Tuesday, 27 May 2014

May Days Part 1

Hello Peeps!

Wow! May is almost gone.  It's been a mostly nice month for me. I've been in a some pain (mostly my knee)  this month because of all the rain and dampness but looking at all the plants and flowers that are growing as a result cheers me up.  The view from my favourite chair is lush, and colourful and I'm thankful for that view when I can't get out and do much walking.

I finally got around to using a gift certificate from my wonderful son for the Aveda Dayspa for a Spa Treatment.  It's been a few years since I've done anything like this and it was heaven!  I nearly floated out of there when I left.  It was just what I needed.

We've used this time to fix up the garden outside at long last. It only took 5 years of living here to get around to it.  It's a communal garden but no one seems really interested in it and a couple of the residents are too elderly to be able to do much.  It's down two flights of stairs and there's no water tap out there so it was already a challenge for me.  The local cats have been making one corner of it nearest the building their public toilet.  We spent nearly and hour digging, sifting and lifting out all the crap.  There was a bit of old fence propped up against a neighbours shed and it gave me an idea.  Cats can't shit on what they can't dig it so to get them to forget about that spot I thought I'd make as difficult as possible for them.  I laid the old fence on the ground with the nails sticking up and planted a few things in the spaces where the slats had broken off.  Before planting I thoroughly watered the area with asafetida and lemon essential oils mixed into it.  Asafetida, appropriately nicknamed "Devil's Dung", stinks all on it's own.  It's a cross between garlic gone bad and onion gone bad.  It's powdered form (Hing) is used in very small pinches in Indian cooking to help the digestion. I know that cats don't like citrus smell and no one likes the asafetida smell so here's hoping......  The neighbours have noticed the smell that lasted for a couple of days. After planting we laid down some orange peels from our fresh squeezed that morning. The OH has been replacing them every morning with fresh ones.  I also got some stuff from the pet shop to sprinkle on the area for good measure and maybe can ease up on the essential oil waterings.  So far so good although I noticed yesterday that an attempt was made to dig but no deposits left.  I know the crapping won't stop immediately but if we clean up any that does end up there as soon as it's noticed and water down the area with more asafetida and lemon eventually they should give up and find somewhere else.  This method worked for me once before in Ireland when I was having trouble with some feral cats for a while only then I had powdered asafetida instead of the oil.
I've been enjoying sitting out there and enjoying the peaceful surroundings.  I'm on the lookout for a discarded table or two since what's out there is more than ready for the trash. Various chairs, discarded or unwanted by neighbours (including us),  have found there way out there so there's plenty of seats.  I'm looking forward to a barbecue or two before the summer is over.

Here are a few snaps of it.


A slide made from an old table by one of my neighbours for his children.  Mind the splinters!

   We finally got some Museumkarts and went to the Hermitage on the Amstel to view the Silk Route exhibition.  I enjoyed it although I was more interested in what the archaeologists found rather than the process of finding it.   This time I tried the wheelchair although I hate it.  I finally decided after being in so much pain at various places that I couldn't concentrate on enjoying it.  OH had to push me of course but he's had to push his grandmother around during outings in here last few months of life so has had a bit of practice.  He pushed me into a couple of displays (embarassing) and forgot that I wanted to look at something while "parking" me sideways to the display.  We stayed for over a couple of hours and I got to enjoy what I saw instead of only being occupied by one thought: When could I  find a place to sit down soon?  I don't like being in the chair but have decided that if it's the only way to get out there and enjoy museums and the like then that's the way it has to be.  I was in fine enough shape afterwards to walk (with my crutch) a bit along the canals since it was a lovely, sunny day.  The next day I was in great form not having to spend it recovering from the ordeal of being out the day before.  It's had a knock on effect and I was good for a few days.

The good feeling came to an end when I became quite unwell with dizziness, itching and painful ear and sinus congestion.  It's gone now with the help of some ear drops from the doctor and massive doses of Wellness Formula.  The dizziness was caused by the ear problem it seems.  I think it was a major pollen allergy flare-up.

While I was feeling too dizzy to move around much I got busy with my hooks.  I needed some curtain tie backs that went with the colours of my other soft furnishings for the summer.  While I was at it I also made something for keep the balcony door from flying wide open when I have it open for fresh air on windy days.  I have a foam doorstop thingy to keep it from slamming closed but nothing to keep it slamming the other way.