I woke up with nothing to do…

And I went to bed with it half done.

That’s a quote from a buddy of ours from Campbell River named Gary Bro. He says that it sums up his retired life quite nicely, although we haven’t had too many days in the last few years that followed that particular pattern. Today was as close as we’ve been to it though.

But before I get into today, I have to start off with yesterday’s adventure. We finally managed to get us both out on the motorcycle for the first time this year. If fact, it’s the first time we’ve ridden together since 2009 due to work commitments in 2010 followed by being far to busy travelling or moving the last 2 years to get the bike on the road. The trip around the local hills went really well, and we’ll be off and running on longer trips soon.

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In case you’re wondering, it was 27°C and yes Sylvia was wearing long sleeves and leather riding pants, albeit she had shorts under the leather. Hey, at least she didn’t put on her leather jacket.

I got up today determined to do just a bit of clean-up behind the cedar hedge that runs along the back of our property. On one end of the yard we have a raspberry bush that has been producing nicely the last few days, and when I got below it to pick some of the berries I noticed that the area behind the cedars was rather overgrown. We cannot see this area of the yard from any vantage point, and it falls away sharply into the ravine right behind the hedge. I didn’t want it to get looking too much like a jungle though and figured I’d better whack down some of the larger thorns and grasses. Sylvia had nothing on her agenda and was happy to sit on the deck and do some research on the ipad while I spent a few minutes swinging a scythe. I really had no idea what was back there, as I’d not been there since I trimmed the hedge back in April, and was surprised to find several groupings of the same perennials that populate the rest of our yard. I figure the previous owners moved them here when they divided the various plants over the years. I also found out that we were the proud owners of a Gooseberry bush and a couple of very healthy and very prolific Red Currant bushes. As you can see from the picture it’s no surprise that we didn’t know the currants were there, but now that we did we decided we’d better do something about them and quickly as they were perfectly ripe.

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Twenty minutes of picking produced this.

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I went back outside to finish the manual weed whacking and Sylvia proceeded to spend over an hour cleaning the berries and picking off the stems which left us with this.

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Another hour or so of processing, cooling and then running the berries through our food mill followed.

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We then produced these 10 jars of Red Currant Jam. Can’t wait for toast day. (I know, it’s sad, but we have a Toast Day, Oatmeal Days, Granola Day and Cold Cereal day – have I mentioned that I’m married to an accountant? A very organized accountant.)

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While Sylvia was in between cleaning and preparing the red currants she came up with another project to fill her day. When her father was here he spoke with her at length about the ‘kitchen sink’ Smoothies he makes every morning as part of his healthy eating regimen. Sylvia spent some time reading up on various recipes, and found out that you can process and then freeze Kale to have it available for the necessary hue of green that seems to be a necessary component of a successful smoothie. As we have an abundance of Kale in our garden,she figured that today was as good a day as any to pick it and put it in the freezer.

Here’s the process from bunches of Kale to stems to leaves to pouring it into muffin tins before putting it in the freezer. The look on my face has something to do with me not believing that she’s going to be able to get me to drink this stuff.

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The ice cube tray (with red currant puree, also for smoothies) is the part of the story that concludes the statement that we’re not yet half done with our work today. The only trays we have are in our RV, so I went out there this afternoon to find them and discovered that we’ve had a visitor in the 5th Wheel. It seems that a mouse has made it’s home in the kitchen cabinets, and turned our oven mitts into a nest. I opened a couple of other drawers, and there’s mouse crap everywhere, so we now have something to do tomorrow. I guess it isn’t too big a surprise considering that we live on the edge of a little bit of wilderness, but this is the first contact with a rodent since we got here. Hopefully it will be the last if I can find out where they’re getting into the RV. Oh well, at least we have something to do tomorrow.  Anyone out there want to come over and help?…no?…it’s OK I understand.

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4 responses to “I woke up with nothing to do…

  1. I’m sure you two really enjoyed the motorcycle ride after so many years. It’s a great way tog get to know your neighbourhood even better. Nice wheels!

    That mouse eradication project seems like an unwanted project. Good luck with that!!!

    Kale? It seems you have a major production going on in the kitchen. The red current jam will be tasty on toast; that’s for sure.

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  2. You two are way too busy! Good luck with the mouse problem. We had the same issue last year. They say to use steel wool to plug any gaps/holes in the trailer while in storage.

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  3. Hmmm, silver runners with leather garb…. Sylvia, you just gotta buy matching leather boots :^)
    What a wonderful surprise to have the added berry plants in your yard. I just love ‘free’ food.
    auhhh, mice a sooo cute……. KILL it quick before it repopulates….
    I mean… a person can only have so much cute around and Sylvia takes the position hands down :^)
    Love,
    Norma

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  4. I’m not sure about the kale thing…we need to talk about this. Maybe you can convince me!

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