This heart-shaped pumpkin leaf seems a fitting symbol for my love of taking pictures in the garden. And, below, shooting from the heart... a scene from my life with three wonderful daughters. I'm so blessed to have them!
Our calendar was quite clear this weekend (except for the Rider game on TV, which only affects Neil's time -- and mood*), which allowed us to tackle a number of jobs around the house and yard. Lots of check marks on the to-do list!
On Friday, I worked for several hours on Sophia and Madeline's room. This was Part 2 of The Big Clean. I decluttered, cleaned, and reorganized every surface (they're lucky to have numerous shelves). Unfortunately, I ended with a box full of various things that still require decisions. I didn't really want the girls' help in the cleaning phase, but I need them to decide (with some guidance) what to do with their property, and we ran out of time to do that together.
Meanwhile, Neil gave the van and truck a thorough cleaning on the insides. As usual, the van cleaning was long overdue and therefore, quite a big job. It is clean now, but still full of toys, books, and shoes that need to be donated. There's no place to keep these things in our house so they have to stay in the van until we get rid of them. I didn't mind having them there for a few weeks because I have been adding to the bags and boxes, but now they need to go ASAP.
Saturday morning, Neil and I prepared our back-alley driveway to receive slag from a friend and neighbour. (Slag is a by- product of the metal smelting process and it's a good material for driveways. We have a local source.) We had to move some crusher dust into the yard and clear patches of dead moss (luckily, Neil had already killed all the weeds back there). Thursday evening, I said to Neil, we need to get some slag for behind the garage. I guess the universe overheard and decided to arrange things for us: Friday afternoon, my friend Lisa called and asked if we wanted 3 or 4 yards of slag because she had ordered 7 yards and only needed about half (it was the same price for 7 yards or less). She only lives a couple houses down the alley, so on Saturday and Sunday morning, we hauled slag from her driveway to ours with a wheelbarrow. We haven't spread it out yet, but we think there's enough to cover the area. Since we still need to order crusher dust and clay, we left lots of space for those to be dumped. We worked on this project about five hours total. We managed to avoid the highest temps for this heavy labour, but it was already quite hot out by the time we finished each morning.
Also on Saturday and Sunday, I worked on and completed my monthly photo tasks for June. Thank goodness I had started selecting and editing photos last Monday and worked on it several times through the week. With Mosaic, Picture Color, and other events, June was a huge photo month. Plus, sifting through a couple hundred poorly-lit Irish dance photos is time-consuming and not very fun. I'm glad I didn't have to sit down for a long grueling session (as I was determined to get this done in time to get 9-cent prints at Costco!).
On the weekend, we ate out on the patio twice. We love eating outside! Saturday evening, as we finished supper about 7:30 pm, I just sat there on the patio for awhile because it was gorgeous outside: not a breath of wind, no mosquitoes, and the temperature was perfect for me (about 25C). Also in the fun department, Laurel and Bronwyn took Sophia to see the final Harry Potter movie on Friday afternoon (which she loved!), and I took the girls and their new friend, Zoe, to the spray pad on Sunday afternoon. Sunday night, Neil and I started watching the CreativeLIVE course, Food & Culture Photography with Penny De Los Santos. Love it!
*I was very proud of Neil for deciding not to listen to the post-game show after this terribly disappointing game (and this is significant because he ALWAYS listens to it). I think avoiding it really reduced the amount of dwelling on the loss.