With a very slight change in our hot weather, I felt stirrings of fall projects in the air so I went out looking for new drapes at a little commercial mall on Hyde Park Rd, London, Ontario (Canada). I’ve been considering these rather funky looking drapes for over a year now and despite them being on sale I was a little hesitant to commit to the purchase. Then I realized it was just hunger so I walked a few doors down and tried out a brand new place to eat called Porcino. The drapes could wait….afterall, they were just hanging around until I got there.
Porcino is a relaxed and contemporary place with an appealing artsy vibe . The menu is neat to read as the prices are simply noted with a numeral such as 8 or 12 or……. for some reason that also appealed to me. Scanning down the menu I decided to try the chicken parmesan with side salad and then sat back to do some journal notes (always the amateur writer!) and enjoy a cold drink. I had made the weekday lunch seating just in time (11 am to 3pm) and noted the supper seating time was also an option (5pm-10pm) and Sunday hours are accommodating ( 4pm-9pm). Quite hospitable, when a couple came in just on the late side of 3pm, they were graciously seated by the young owner and the available chef sprung into action. The food choices are a great selection of starters, soups, salads, panini, pizza and pasta. My chicken parmesan panini was delicous but if I’m feeling more adventurous next time I could try fried calamari, steamed mussels, panko crusted goat cheese, quattro stagioni pizza or wild mushroom ravioli…..to name only a few of the tempting dishes. There are a couple of large tables but mostly it is a cosy, intimate setting for friends and family to gather. It has the right feel , a nice decor (love the varied art lamps hanging from the ceiling), pleasant, clean washrooms with individual real terry towels and good food. I intend to take my family and friends there (on theatre outing days) but have a feeling I might go on my own again very soon…..maybe when I pick up the funky drapes I finally felt nourished enough to order.
Today is my day off and it really felt like it for a change. Whew….I went out to the farmer’s market, greenhouse. did laundry, had a nap, worked in the garden and had another nap. Since retiring I’ve thoroughly adapted (like a big time slacker and I deserve it) to the laid back routine of extra sleep, reading, theatre,writing, puttering, little drives to fun spaces, some gardening, some short walks, cooking a super healthy and gourmet farmstyle cusine, cleaning once in a while and visiting with friends and family. However, the puppy on loan has changed things significantly. Last week I ate cold meatloaf and pickles over the kitchen sink so she wouldn’t see me eat anything.
I offered to keep her last week to bond with Miss Moneypenny as she will be staying with me next week anyway to recover from some eye surgery to correct something called cherry eye, a common problem for little bullies.
Getting up to walk and feed her early has reminded me of my working days, but at least now after checking to make sure I’m dressed completely (long story) to walk around the quiet neighbourhood I don’t have to shower and do my hair or makeup (for days if I don’t want to), but instead crawl back into bed for another snooze before really getting up for the day. The puppy maintenance schedule is bathroom walk, feedings, more bathroom walks, cleaning up wet newspaper safety targets, floor washing, more feeding, more walking, some training for puppy kindergarten, more or the aforementioned, over and over….playing, hugging, cuddling….writing several email updates to my son working in a beautiful theatre about his puppy child….and so…when she went home yesterday for the weekend…..I missed her.
No worries though, by evening tomorrow she’ll be back and into everything, upsetting the retired apple cart big time. Surgery on her eye is on Monday morning and both my son and I will be worried, concerned and relieved when it is safely over. Just think, next week, I’ll be doing the puppy lifestyle all over again but this time she’ll be upset about wearing a cone protector around her bulky little neck, she will be wild as a bronco as she won’t likely have her quiet time routine in her crate due to wearing the cone….thank goodness we bonded this past week. I’ll let you know…….( in case you haven’t seen her picture yet, (gush from Nana)….see my blog post Precious Penny.)
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I bet you are just waiting with breathless excitement for the next Penny post (see Penny’s picture on Precious Penny post). She is getting bigger, sassier and has a pronounced pout when she hears “no” , “don’t chew Grandma’s jewelled sandals”! During the past week she has started puppy education class and ranks right in the middle . Marvellous Monty (another bulldog pup) is the smartest at this point, next comes Penny and at the bottom of the class is Rangy Riley. Monty has had the advantage of a longer, stable homelife than Penny. He is a beautiful little guy and impressed the trainer with his manners but even Monty has his faults apparently. He is a porch peeing dog. Riley on the other hand, looks as cute as can be, like a typical Benji type dog but is a notorious ankle biter. Penny is just learning to settle in so we give her a break for the time being. She is a food focused dog so likes her twenty-minute training homework each day and is earning numnums for sit, stay and high fives. So cute, those high fives!
My son’s vacation has turned into a young parent experience with five o’clock am wakeup yelps, outdoor walks, feeding times, medication times( to clear up some tummy trouble), wet newspaper cleanups, more outdoor walks, monitoring adjustment to crate times (hopefully she is calm in her crate when returns to work next week), buying supplies and feed and washing his floors to keep ahead of the pungent puppy smells. Some vacation, eh?
We are going on a day trip to see a friend perform in a play at The Shaw Festival, Niagara on The Lake, and have lined up my neighbours to puppy sit. Penny will be in good, kind training hands while we are away. No doubt, my son will go through separation anxiety while we are gone for the day. He will probably buy a souvenir chew toy or British design collar for Penny as if she even cares for it or not. All Penny cares for are her numnums. I expect she will be at the top of her class on Friday or at least tieing for first place with Monty. Riley, bless him…we just hope for the best.
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A good fairy appears in my wild garden of perennials and quietly works. Pulling weeds, clipping shoots and branches, tidying up pots and planters, discovering lost garden tools and toting away (with permission!) wheelbarrows full of green compost to my neighbour’s bracken pile she has opened up my little yard again and made it more presentable, enjoyable and loveable. The neighbour is even more into natural gardening than I am and allows me to bring my green compost over to his wildlife sanctuary for the birds, rabbits, squirrels and skunks to shelter themselves in.
My garden is on a rural village street that curves from the park to the main road of the village and serves as a walkway for many neighbours. Everyone walks here. Some of my neighbours have kids , many have visiting grandkids and sweet doggies that need the quiet, peaceful walkway that goes all along my property.
My garden, porch and sedentary bookish lifestyle is on full view and that is fine. However, the weeds and chaos of a jumbled garden can work against the creative vibe so I try to pull and yank weeds with the best of them so I can get back on task with my writing. I can do it but it is an unpleasant effort when it gets crazy ahead of me with weeds and long grass.
Now, the good fairy, home from university, majoring in history and human resources (clever fairy!) and living on a neighbouring farm with her family, flies in and out like a whisper to give me a hand. She has made my wild garden a little more trimmed and ready to burst out in its glory with seasonal appearances of white and pink hydrangea shrubs, blue morning glories trailing up an ivy wall on my little house, white and lilac Rose of Sharon bushes, ENORMOUS pink Himalayan orchids, leafy Boston ferns , a few wild red roses and a quaint trellis covered with rosy bittersweet.
She promises to fly in later in the early fall when she visits her farm family (to help show pigs, sheep and cattle at fall fairs) and come by again to work some gentle magic on the forsythia and lilac bushes that will need to be trimmed so that they can bloom beautifully in the spring. I will take advantage of her willingness to work and get her to dig lots of holes for tulips, daffodils and hyacinths. Gently she has coaxed the old and established wild garden to reveal itself gracefully if not as eccentrically arranged as before. Now I can keep ahead of the weeds, just water everything as needed, plant my annuals (bought on sale) creatively in an odd assortment of planters and just wander in the garden. Middle age fairy myself, I truly appreciate the help and can get back to writing, reading, going to artsy events and theatre.
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