Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Soft and Downy

Isn't she just?  Look, there are even lots of little feathers all around the base of her beak.  I don't know if those are what they term 'rictal bristles' or just some soft, downy feathers... either way I think they are cute.

This is a little lady Downy Woodpecker that comes to the suet cage for her favourite.  Peanut butter and bugs.  Suet cakes I buy at the bird feed shop.  They, and the Northern Flickers get on there and hang... literally ... sometimes it appears as though they are snoozing...but, sometimes, maybe they just refuse to get off and give anybody else a chance.

There is a "pecking order" too it seems.  If the little Downy is on there and a big ol' Northern Flicker shows up....well, the little one flies off for a bit.   But, she comes back... and so does her boyfriend... I've never seen it the other way around.  No Flickers leave if a little Downy shows up for grub.  Big Meanies.
Don't forget... click to make larger to see details if you like.

Waiting patiently for me to finish shovelling so she can come into the patio for her suet cage.  Not too nervous at all...unlike the big Flickers... who take off the instant I go out there.  They may be big meanies in the bird world...but, they are afraid of me.  Hah....

Here is one of the big Flickers...  all fluffed out so he looks even bigger.  It is -25C these days and they puff out their feathers to keep warm I guess.  And...below...... ...the little lady Downy so you can see the size difference.  Sorry they are a bit soft focus looking... almost fuzzy... they were taken with the venetian in the way...but, didn't want to scare them off so left it.

Linking up with Stewart's Wild Bird Wednesday again... check them out by clicking on the photos below.

Friday, January 6, 2017

"A gentle expression"

That's the phrase the bird books uses when describing the look of Northern Flickers.  It's so true.  Look at this guy...or maybe it is two different guys ...I can't say for sure.
All I know is ...they hang out ...literally..on my suet cage.  We buy the 'peanut butter and bugs' one and they seem to love it.

Here he is on a cold day.. perched on top of the feeder pole in the sunlight.  Definitely looks like a gentle expression to me.

Hunkered down and all fluffed out on the top of the patio wall
.. still looking pretty gentle.  I wanted to say 'chill' or 'cool'...but, ..hahahha it is cold and snowy and those words seemed not quite right.  Somebody may have thought I was trying for a pun or something..

This is the type of weather we are having ...   it is still snowing, so I will definitely be out there again this afternoon putting in some more shovelling time.  Did over an hour earlier, so I don't think I'll bother with the treadmill today..or the weights... I have sidewalks, a patio and a double driveway to shovel... that'll be another good hour of exercise, so I can opt out today.  ...  maybe just some good stretches later.  Or.....not..........................

Check out lots of other great birds at this site.  Just click the badge...

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Best Christmas present ever ...

A robot.  Yep.  IRobot Roomba.

You know when we were young and a vacuum cleaner as a gift was not what we had in mind? ....   Times have changed.

He works diligently let me tell you... and, he doesn't miss a spot.  Those legs under the beds?...especially the ones in the middle? ... he goes around them at least 3 or 4 times making darn sure there is no dust left lingering... what a treat.

The first time we asked him to do our bidding it was almost like having a new puppy.  We followed him around the house checking everywhere he was going... to make sure he wasn't getting into any mischief.  He is so clever... mapping out the areas; making sure he didn't miss any spots, etc..   When we tried out his services a second time he was even more organized.   After all, he had 'mapped' our house previously.  There is only ever a slight problem near the docking port... but, maybe a chair in too close proximity caused that.  We moved the port and will see what transpires next time.

It takes him about as long as it takes me to vacuum the whole house... but, hey..  I can let him get on with his job and I am free to do other things...I love it.!!  Of course, I will still be vacuuming...but,  if little Snoopy does his job once a week, I bet I can cut my own vacuuming down considerably...   he won't be able to open and close doors to get behind them..nor will he do steps .. so the human touch is still essential every so often.   But, the square footage I will actually have to do will be minimal if he does all the rest and does a good job.

After so many years of renovations and having to vacuum daily and sometimes many times a day...I will be so happy to have this little vacuuming buddy ... can't even say how much I love him already.  The main vacuum cleaner is also being replaced... we killed it with all the drywall dust we vacuumed over the years of the silly renovations.  Maybe next week I'll get my new one of those......... the shipment is stuck in eastern Canada.... snowstorms and whatnot... probably some Christmas delays as well.

Friday, December 23, 2016

I have new babies...

I took out my box of Christmas 'mousie' bits when I searched for the Christmas cards in the storage area awhile back.
It was a Herculean feat just to get into that storage area believe me.  It is still stacked with all manner of "stuff" we had to move in there to get it out of the way so we could make our renovation mess.   There were rolls of excess carpet, boxes of record albums, boxes of electrical and electronic gear, my massage table, boxes of tiles, golf clubs and carts, the other pop down movie screen and two long blinds from upstairs reno of 3 years ago....acckkkk!! Disaster area of the first order.  In January, I am going to do a major purge... what fun that'll be.  No, really, I'm actually looking forward to throwing out anything and everything related to renovations.  Goodbye and good riddance to it.  I no longer have to save any of it.  Wheeeeeee!!  oooh, sorry, got a bit giddy there for a nano second..  Oh, alright... perhaps maybe one box of tiles in case there is an accident and something needs replacing.  But, there is going to be a lot of stuff piled out by the fence in the New Year.  We love doing that... we have some regular scavengers who stop by to check it all out and in no time at disappears.  Perfect.  I bet some of them have built houses with all we have chucked over the years.  Complete houses.

Back to the mousies.  It appeared that I had cleaned out several walnut shells last year so I had a head start... thank goodness, as we finished this reno so close to the festive season I didn't have much time to tinker around.  Managed to find a few hazelnuts in the box as well, to make into the actual mice... so, lots of drawing eyes and noses and gluing and playing later...I have several new babies to hang on our own tree or to give to various neighbour kids.. I sneak out on Christmas eve and hang them on doorknobs for a laugh.  Only got caught once when somebody decided to drive home at the exact time I left the porch.  Probably I looked like a deer in the headlights.  I was busted there.  And, one dog barked his head off inside a house...but nobody figured out why, so I sprinted down the block before they opened the door.  Whew.

I love them on our tree... and little kids and parents alike think they are so cute... I make a dozen or more every year it seems.

Here is a shot of a portion of my tree...  you can see a few of the little guys on there.... along with origami and all my other fun little things.. it looks like one of those pics you could make a puzzle out of doesn't it?
Click on any pic to biggify

Here are the little mousies... all the same and yet...all so different.  Just like little babies in a nursery...hahhahahah.... oh, I'll take that one please, the one with all the lovely black 'sticky up' hair...oh, just a minute there aren't any.  Not since my nephew was born.  Okay then..the one with the little blue flower between the ears please?  She's mine, all mine.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Changed my header

That's little Darla, my tiny needle felt I made way back in... uhm.....just had to go to the photo for info.... can't believe it was in 2009.  Good grief!  Time flies. flew past me on the latest renovation as well.... we began it at the end of March and lo and is now ... December.  Great.  Remember when Sumbunny said it was only going to take "about a month"?  I knew better and said at least 3 ... but, little did I know it would escalate into 8 months plus..... sheeeesh......

My life has definitely not been my own and it was a lot of mess ... and re-creating, and then... well, you get the drift... last Friday the guy came to switch around the glass panes in the office doors and we declared us officially finished!!!  I do have the tree up and am ready for the 'sparkly' season.
Wooohooooooo !!!

Still have to put up my little tree downstairs on the new carpeting and can't wait to see that.... it's totally different now with new carpeting and newly painted and the main wall of speakers etc re-done.  That wall was the main thing we were planning to do when we began things...but, you know how it goes... every project just seems to grow.  Takes on a mind of its own.

I have to say though, that this final renovation has gone the easiest and the best of all we have done in the past 30+ years as far as the professional trades went.   We did lots of it ourselves ... and, then... had professionals finish off baseboards, casings, painting, carpeting, etc.  This time... it was great....I called or emailed them... we set a date for them to show up...they did, I paid them... they went away and we were happy with all the work they did.  Can't say enough good things about all the guys we hired.

All of our worries about each and every stage were totally unfounded... but, in fairness to us... we have gone through some pretty trying times over the years with various trades.... somehow this time we got all the right guys.  What a treat.

At the beginning it was just us, and much as we've done renos for years...... by the time we got it demolished... I think we were saying, "what have we done"??
When a room looks like this.... it is a daunting task to make it right again.

End of March...

By April 19 we had the wall re-built and speaker boxes in place... not too bad for a couple of amateurs.  We did feel proud of our accomplishment at this point even though the end was a very  long way off and seemed even further some days.....

Now, it looks like this.

We re-built that wall around the doorway and also did the ceilings in both rooms and had new carpeting installed.

Here is what it looked like before.... this was the renovation we did ourselves in 2004.  I know that because we take lots of photos of all of our "work".. plus, there were some nasty comments on a 2 x 4 under the wall that I wrote about my "boss" that time around.  No more components collecting dust now.. all hidden away behind the wall in a small "server" room we also built.

After 30+ years of renovating this house... we quit.  Yep... that's right.  Nobody is doing renos again in this place.  They can't.  We've done every single thing that can be done.  It can't get 'old' for many years now.

Somewhere in between things I still managed a bit of golf, practiced at the driving range and on this day..wandered into the park area with my camera... so I give you this pretty one too...