Last week I started back at work after three months off.

If I had any other job, I bet I would have dreaded it. But I love my job. I love the people and the work so going back wasn’t hard at all.

Although, I sure did feel a little green for the first few days, but it’s coming back to me now!

I even got a haircut for my first day back. It’s pretty short, but why not try something new!

We have been busy after work every night. Sometimes just for doing fun things, like getting enough kilometres on Jeff’s new quad so he could take it back to the city for a servicing.

And the other nights we’ve been busy getting our wood supply in place for the winter. We burned about 4.5 cords last year, so we’re hoping to stack at least 5 cords, and maybe have a few more available for stand by. Rather than go cut it all down ourselves, we split a load this year from a commercial harvester. They are really decent sized spruce that were killed by spruce beetle.

Firewood is amazing exercise for me. Here’s how it goes:

  1. Jeff bucks up a log (on our friend’s lot).
  2. I pick up the stove length round pieces and throw/heave them into our trailer wagon (bend/squat/lift/carry/throw).
  3. I jump into the wagon and stack them all to maximize our carrying capacity (bend/squat/lift/carry/stack).
  4. We drive the load back to our yard and throw all the pieces out onto the driveway (lift/throw/moan).
  5. Jeff splits them with the electric splitter.
  6. I pick them all the split pieces and either stack them in a wheel barrow and bring them inside the fence for stacking, or carry them to the outside the fence racks and stack them there (bend/squat/lift/stack).

There is no gym that can replicate this progress in my strength! And I’ve worn my fingers through 2 pairs of new work gloves!!

When Jeff was in the city, he picked us up a new family member.

Meet Suzie everyone:

Suzie is a Roomba i7. I have wanted a Roomba for months (years?). I LOVE this thing!

I don’t know which is better – the fact she is cleaning the floors more often than I would, or just that we’re keeping everything so neat and off the floor so she can vacuum.

I’ve realized more and more that I think I love chaos, but I don’t love chaos in my house. A messy cluttered house makes me jittery – angry really. It affects my mood significantly. Walking around with these clean floors is AMAZING. And I can walk in the house in bare feet after a shower and not pick up any grit on my feet! (Summer is the worst for dust and gravel and Hank shedding).

And Suzie empties herself! And did so while vacuuming just under the guest bedroom where our Sally (the cat) sleeps. I guess I just don’t vacuum under furniture enough! Now Suzie gladly does it. And I’m happy.

I really love watching her clean. And a big part of that is picturing the algorithm that drives her. It is so fascinating to see how she maps the house, and plots the most efficient way to clean it, and how to back out of tough spots. If I’m not the last person on earth to add a Roomba to their household, you should get one!

Like a normal summer, we’ve been getting afternoon thunder rumbles and brief showers every day. But it hasn’t been hot. It has barely hit 24C / 75F this summer. It is odd because we usually flirt with hitting 30C and the rolling storms usually spark dozens of fires and more smoke drifts in from Alaska’s fires. Not this summer! We haven’t had a smokey day all summer, which isn’t normal, at least not in our 5 summers here. But on the flip side, we have so many mosquitos. Even in town.

I planted flowers in the front garden by the sidewalk again this year, after cleaning out all the grass, weeds, and plants from last year. It didn’t matter. All my effort digging and ripping out all the grass roots by hand again – the grass is back thicker than ever. It just quickly moves over from the lawn. And when the landscapers added manure last year to this box (they helped get it ready for planting after a few years of neglect), that manure must have been full of this invasive clover the Highways department brought up here. I was weeding it regularly and now I’ve given up. The flower box is old and leaning and now will need to be killed with fire. Or maybe a front end loader. It really should have been lined with something to block out the grass.

One day I was out weeding and a friend who used to live here stopped her car and said how good it looked. She said she tried making it look nice, but all the grass and weeds always took over!! HA

Our trimmer also hasn’t been able to start this summer yet either, so it is vacationing at a small engine repair guy’s place until he can revive it. Until then, the grass and weeds are spilling out along the sidewalk too.

Here are a few quick shots of some flowers in the weed box tonight. It’s the first time I’ve planted poppies. I love them!

OK, better get to bed, it’s a work night ya know!