Tag Archives: Miracles

Only Child’s Canada Day thanks and no thanks

Only Child's magnificent juniper tree as it once was. Slowly coming back some.

Only Child’s magnificent juniper tree as it once was. Slowly coming back some.

Canada Day, July 1, is one of the few statutory holidays I like to celebrate. Christmas is another. However, we all know why last Christmas was a write-off – the ice storm – except for one thing, my son’s wonderful help here – getting my boarder, her cat, and me into a hotel downtown and paying for it when we had no hydro power and no heat here. And driving us back here Christmas Day (when we had power – but not everybody in Ontario did) and making dinner.

On Canada Day I have a ritual – I don’t usually make it on time for the parade but I go to the nearby community area where there are booths for gardening, crafts, City of Toronto information, community groups, food, entertainment and a lovely garden maintained by the East York Garden Club. I like to sit by the latter and eat a lunch I have brought along as I no longer eat burgers and hot dogs, let alone the buns that go with them (gluten). After that I like to go for a long walk in the neighbourhood just south of this community park area and end up back on a main street and take the bus home.

Today it doesn’t look like that will be possible, thanks to God and his weather. I mean the parade just started 20 minutes ago and then the rain. But more on that later. First, what am I thankful for on this July 1?

1. My son, Martin, for all his help and support, not just with dealing with the ramifications of weather, but for helping me with computer stuff and well just being there. I will do a separate post on this in future.

2. The miracle of the trees and shrubs damaged by the cruel extreme winter and early spring weather (the latter was actually winter weather going to late April/early May). As mentioned in a previous post, two of my evergreens suffered extensive damage – that damage from winter burn from extreme cold when the sun gets lower in the sky (late April and into early May). Half the boxwood turned rusty brown and most of the big beautiful juniper. I gave God you know-what for that and it looks like he is making some amends. The juniper is slowly coming back – not sure if it will be 100 per cent. Despite my next door neighbour and the arborist saying “no it’s not,” I do not want it removed. “Over my dead body” is what I say to them. I’m not losing hope here…yet. I’ve watered the Juniper in between rainfalls (which works out to not often for the watering), added bone meal plus and those fertilizer sticks you put in the ground around the drip line of the tree. I also weeded around the tree as much as possible. One of my two patches of silverlace over by Tanya’s and Alex’s fence is dead. Alex removed the deadwood from his side and I’ve removed some from my side. The other silverlace on the fence and gate to the backyard is slowly coming back. Still lots of deadwood there but that will get removed in time. Which brings me to miracle no. 3.

3. My Good Samaritan. This retired gentleman who took it upon himself to just show up and shovel my snow (and other seniors – older than I – in the neighbourhood) again just showed up and offered to cut down and prune the deadwood. Turns out he is a certified arborist, now retired from the City of Toronto Parks and Recreation. This was almost a month ago. Still nothing done. But it is not his fault. We have had too much rain, too much of it heavy and with thunder and lightning, the area can’t get dry enough for him to do his work. We have also had a few too humid days to do tree work. I do not want him getting heat stroke or worse. So, God sent me a Good Samaritan but makes it impossible for him to do his work. Something is wrong here.
4. The miracle of the lost leather bracelet. I love leather bracelets, especially the wide one I wear all the time in the summer. Never wear more than my watch on my arms in winter when it is long-sleeved sweaters. A weekend ago I was gardening, removing a lot of dead rosebush (I can do most of that myself), weeding and finally getting the replacement lavender plant, and a few others, planted. When done I discovered I was no longer wearing the bracelet. Usually I remove it for gardening, but I decided I had forgotten this time. A thorough search of the garden areas worked in and the bin and yard waste bags (I emptied the latter three onto my driveway and rummaged through them three times) brought out no bracelet. I did find a sort-of replacement in Chinatown but it isn’t the same. It is smaller but has dome fasteners – not that that ever stopped my bracelets from getting lost. Yesterday morning while sitting on the veranda drinking my coffee I saw the bracelet sitting on its side on the other side of the veranda just past the other chair. I grabbed it and washed it. And also thanked God and a few saints for this miracle (Well, with this and the trees I had pestered God a lot – for blame and he had to make amends. Looks like he did).

Not so for the weather. This is what I am not thankful for. And I am referring to the weather Canada-wide, not just in my neck of the woods.

For the most part Canada used to be a good place to live weather-wise. Oh sure, we had the cold Arctic and cold winters and lots of snow in various areas. But only the odd severe weather storm in any season.

That all changed eight/10 years ago. Some people might say before that and I won’t argue here. Suffice to say Canada has joined the US for tornado alley and eastern Asia for monsoon-like weather. You can’t live anywhere in Canada without experiencing severe weather of some sort. If you don’t believe me check out The Weather Network on TV or online. The station now has a regular segment every 10 minutes (right after the local weather forecast) called The Force of Nature – highlighting the extreme weather all over. (It should be called The Force of God).

As mentioned in previous posts I know there is global warming and the theories behind that. Some of it is true, but even very religious people can’t eliminate the God factor. You know the will of God. God gave us humans free will and maybe, just maybe he doesn’t like what we are doing with it. The weather? He is either making it happen or letting it happen. Take your pick.

For now the brief heavy rainfall has stopped. But who knows what will happen weather-wise for the rest of the Canada Day celebrations.

Happy Canada Day.

Cheers.

Sharon A. Crawford

Only Child Writes

 

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Filed under Canada Day, Extreme Weather, God, Good Samaritan, Lost Bracelet, Trees and Shrubs

Only Child says snafus change priorities

Only Child with her parents in happier times at her grandfather's farm

Only Child with her parents in happier times at her grandfather’s farm

The house repairs, snafus, flakey help, etc. continue. But there is a silver lining in here.

Remember I ended my last post with talk about miracles?

I think I got my miracle and I am grateful.

Two friends recommended someone else to deal with my air conditioner problem. After two phone calls to one person which gave me endless phone ringing and no voice mail, I went on to number two recommendation. He answered and was available the next day. And (drum roll here), I turned on the A/C; he checked out the old air conditioner, looked inside the front of it, fiddled with the thermostat there and some buttons outside and voila – we got air (and not just the fan). I ran around closing windows and doors and we left it on for awhile while he went to the next problem. The house got cooler. The former handyman last fall had pronounced the compressor dead in this A/C and said it was cheaper to get a new one. I’m glad I had the A/C covered outside for over winter. Toes crossed that this A/C continues to work the rest of spring, summer and early fall – when I use it. I’m frugal and picky here.

The next problem is turning into another nightmare – the leaky tap in the main floor bathroom. The leak was from the bottom of the tap onto the sink back, not the spout. When he took the tap apart he found a couple of things not working so we went up to Home Depot to get new parts and a few other necessary items such as stain paint for the picnic table and the veranda railing. One part from Home Depot, despite being the same size, wouldn’t work for my taps. The handyman had a couple of used taps in his van and just needed a replacement part for the one, which he got. He installed it and it works.

But that’s not the end of the story. This tap leaks from below (not the drain) when turned on. He is coming back later today when he can get his van started. Thanks to the rain (not his fault; he doesn’t cause the weather conditions),he’s having van problems. I suspect the tap leak might be some caulking needed where it joins. When the four-year old tap (the one removed) was put in, the plumber had to come back to caulk.

Rain is forecast for all but Friday in the Toronto area – not good painting-outside weather.

And the fellow who is doing my heavy yard work? He was here last Wednesday and dug up part of my backyard garden – lots of deep weeds and grass that had grown back in. Instead of listening to my instructions to put just a bit in each bin because I have to carry them to the curb on yard waste collection day, he overfilled to above the top of two bins – there were three empty bins he had to work with but he left two stuck together and when he’d filled them, he couldn’t separate them. It started to rain (not his fault) but he said he would come by in a day or two to finish the digging and put the weeds dug up into bags. Meantime he covered the two overflowing bins with a tarp (so they wouldn’t get all soggy and heavy from the rain) and I put a couple of cement slabs on top to hold the tarp in place.

It is now six days later and he hasn’t showed up. Last evening I sorted out his mess, lifting the heavy slogs up and shaking what soil I could from them into the garden and putting some into three bags (not full so I can carry them to the curb tomorrow evening). I moved the bags and some of the bins into the driveway by the side of the house front and covered them with tarp and the cement slabs.

Now, I’m wondering if when you get a miracle, you get other stuff taken away or screwed up? Sort of like to keep life in balance?

And speaking of life balance, I’ve taken another look at priorities and realize that not all my priorities are my choice. Having to deal with everything on my own is a big fault factor here. I’ve had to bow out of something that I wanted to do (that was in my priority choice) because of all the other stuff I’ve had to deal with and still am (in my blog post last week).

But there is something else that gives me satisfaction. I’m firing the former handyman I had for many years and also the fellow who was doing heavy yard work. When the latter finally shows his sorry ass up at my front door I will tell him off – “Never darken my doorstep again,” is my message to him.

My mother was so lucky to have my dad as long as she did – even though he was sick with cancer, and ulcer and a heart condition for part of the time. He was loyal and he was a damn good house painter. Then there was his friend Ken, the opera singing plumber (and despite hitting the high notes, he was reliable).

Cheers.

Sharon A. Crawford

Only Child Writes

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Filed under Aloneness, Family and Friends, Gardening, Help and Support, Helping Others, Home and Garden, Life demands, Mom and Dad, Only child, Problems, Sharon A. Crawford