Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Bacon

The fabulousness of bacon can not be overstated.

Bacon plays a big role in my family. There was quite an upset on Christmas morning when it was discovered that there was nary a piece of bacon in the house. Major oversight on Santa's part. Our eggs and stollen just weren't the same with the sausages that had been intended for the stuffing (nor was the stuffing sans sausage).

The lack of bacon led the tasty treat to become the topic of conversation for the festive season. Meals of bacon past were lovingly revisited. Recipes featuring bacon were drooled over.

In the middle of this bacon revelry, my brother revealed this piece of decadence. Bacon Blondies, or "Miss Piggies". I cannot wait to try this recipe. It was developed by a friend of my brother's and he won a prize for it at a cooking competition. My brother got to try the prototypes. He almost started drooling just telling us about them. The final recipe was made with bacon that the guy cured himself in sugar and cinnamon, but the ones my brother tried were made with storebought bacon, and he thought they were wonderful. I am thinking maple bacon. mmmmm.

But the bacon madness did not stop there!

What could possibly top the craziness of brownsugar cake with chocolate and bacon you ask?



This afternoon I discovered my mother watching bacon porn.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas lunch

A few of my friends from university happened to be in the same general geographical area on Monday and decided to have our annual Christmas lunch and news catch-up session.

We had a great lunch, and were able to cover all the high points of news (highest being an upcoming wedding for M and a thesis defense for J, congrats girls! well, and I guess my starting my MLIS).

But, when we first pulled into the parking lot, we looked up and discovered someone else having his own special Christmas feast:

mmmm, pidgeon.

He was still there when we left the restaurant, but there was decidedly less pidgeon:

This guy was less than 10 feet away from the front of our car, and the same distance away from a rather busy street, and nothing was going to make him move. Happy Holidays Mr. Redtailed Hawk!

Sad Day

This is my last day as a nanny. It is kinda sad. Especially since I am very soon going to be living all by myself in a new city.

It has been really nice living with my cousin and her little family for awhile. I got to hang out with the coolest little guy all day long, and then I had a beautiful large space to go to be all by myself.

Plus, I got to cook for other people and have them appreciate my food. I know my mom appreciates it when I cook too, but we spend the meal analyzing the dish and what could have made it better. Here, they took what I gave them and ate it with gusto (or added habanero salsa or hot sauce if it wasn't spicy enough for them). The one time I expressed that I thought a meal hadn't quite turned out, they said, "Oh, this wasn't how it was supposed to taste?", so I stopped analyzing the food out loud.

Last night I had already gone down to my room when my mom called, so I had to go back upstairs to replace the phone after we hung up. I don't usually go back upstairs because I don't want to disrupt the bedtime routine. But the little monkey was still up, playing and watching a Christmas special. He came into the kitchen to see what I was doing when I replaced the phone, so I picked him up and carried him back to the living room when I was done, and sat with them for a minute. When I left to go back downstairs, I got halfway down the steps, when I heard him running and crying, and I turned around and saw the shadow of his little feet under the basement door. So I quickly went back upstairs, "Oh, I am sorry, was I not allowed to leave yet?". I ended up watching the end of the Christmas special with them while he showed me his new bath toys. It is nice to know I am loved.

I am so going to miss having a little guy to squeeze and cuddle and tickle all day. Those giggles are priceless. Can you tell I am sooooo ready to be a mom? I guess I better get started on looking for a husband. Maybe Santa will bring me one for Christmas and I can just skip the whole awkward dating thing.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The morning show

This was my train or thought this morning:

My brother's apartment building is really old, it has big landings.

The building I lived in in London (England) was the same age, it had big landings too, they turned them into bathrooms.

I really liked the room I took my showers in every morning there. It had a nice big frosted window that let the morning sunshine in.

Plus, some of my friends used that room too, so I got to say hello and have a chat when I got out of the shower.

Hmm, wait a minute .... it was only the guys hanging out in that stairwell waiting for the shower. Most of the girls used the showers in the main stairwell. But that was just because they lived at that end of the hall.

I wore my bathrobe to and from the shower. Why don't I wear that bathrobe anymore?

Oh, right, its kinda short.

...

Oh, now I know why there were guys lining up to wait for me to finish in the shower.

Oh dear.

Probably best that I realized this 7 years after the fact.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Not what I wanted for Christmas

We are all sick here. Kinda hard not to get sick when there is a teething toddler running around with his hands in his mouth bearing sickness and and then sticking those icky snotty slobber hands in your mouth. Yeah, its been pretty gross here, what with wiping his nose every few minutes and being thrown up on.

The thing is, I get sick every Christmas, and while this head cold is a welcome change from the usual stomach flu, it isn't any better. And despite to promises of my Neti pot, which I have used twice a day, my cold still progressed to the constantly running nose stage. Blech.

No, I do not have H1N1, or "the hinny" as my brother calls it.

And instead of sleeping, I am having these weird dreams about a plastic dump truck and the saving of Christmas (too much Treehouse).

I just wanna go to sleep and wake up all better. Can I get that for Christmas?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Advent Day 16


The best part about the holidays is the food.

We have traditional food exchanges with various friends and family. People plan their holidays around the food my mom makes, and we delight in the yummy things that come our way.

My mom likes to make baked goods, so almost all of her friends plan their Christmas morning breakfast around her goodies. She makes cinnamon rolls for a couple families, a coffee cake for another, and stollen for us an a few other families. Mom puts almond icing on the stollen, and occasionally bakes a ribbon of marzipan inside, Christmas morning is not the same without it.

The food that comes in is just as good. Last weekend I got to partake of our friend's Melton Mowbray Pie. Delicious, thy name is Melton Mowbray Pork Pie! mmmmm. We are looking forward to receiving cheese balls, homemade bits and bites, fruit cakes, the best shortbread in the world, and various other cookies and candies.

And of course there are all the Christmas dinners! We have family Christmas dinner on Christmas day, numerous dinners with friends, and a second family Christmas dinner when my cousins from the States can make it up to see us, and then occasionally we have a dinner on New Years Eve.

mmmmm, I am salivating just thinking about all the yummy yummy food. mmmmm.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Advent Day 15

I heard this song on CBC this weekend, on the show Tapestry, the song itself is awesome, the video is a bit cheesy in bits, but a good concept. (the radio program is on again on Thursday night apparently and it was a good listen if you wanted to catch it)






Sunday, December 13, 2009

Advent Day 13

Tree of 2005, we were teased for getting a small one.
Note the Noma church from the 1940's underneath

Ok, so if you hadn't guessed, I quickly ran out of quotes for Advent. I suspect more organization needs to go into such an endeavour.

So, instead of quotes, I will now move onto my family's Christmas traditions.

Today my dad and I went out and wandered around a snowy field in freezing rain with a saw looking for a Christmas tree.

We have always gone out and cut our own tree, no pre-cut trees for our family. When we were little, I remember going out to the tree farm with my dad and brother, picking the perfect tree for mom, cutting it down, and figuring out how to tie it to the car and bringing it home, and then holding it up for inspection in the driveway when we got home.

As we got older, it became the thing that my brother and I did together when he came home from school for Christmas. We wandered around fields for hours, my brother eventually whining, "Carry me!", which generally led me to sing a chorus of "Carry me, Carrie" (in case you were confused, my brother is almost 3 years older than me and a foot taller).

The last few years, it has been my mom and I going out to get the tree, we made use of our feminine wiles and got the "young lad" at the tree lot to cut the tree for us.

This year, my dad and I went out together for the first time in more than 10 years. We went to new place, and what a mistake, the guy was really just selling off brush from his bush. We eventually discovered that he was selling the spruce trees in his field, they were few and far between, but they were at least Christmas tree shaped and sturdy enough to hold ornaments. So we went out into the field, and I saw a good tree about half-way across, so I set off walking directly there across the field, and told my dad to take the well-trod path to avoid stumps and pitfalls.

So I found the perfect tree, and walked right up to it, and suddenly found myself lying down in the snow with my leg knee deep in a groundhog hole. I was in the middle of a farmer's field with a very painful twisted ankle.

Luckily by the time my dad got there, it had stopped hurting enough that I knew I would be able to walk back to the car. Then, while we were cutting down the tree, my dad cut his ear on a lower branch.

When we finally got home and listed our injuries and the difficulties we had encountered, mom said, "See, there is no way that your father and I can do that on our own. That's it, we are buying an artificial tree in the sales after Christmas."

As I sat down to ice my ankle and discovered a goose-egg on the back of my calf, I conceded that it might be the best plan, as long as they got one with the lights built in.

It is the end of an era.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Snow

We are having snow here. Alot of it. My cousin lives in a rather windy location, so not only do I get to look at the snow falling, but for the brief moments when it isn't falling, I get to see it being blown around by the wind. There is another 4 inches of snow on the bbq this morning, and we used the bbq last night!

I love snow, when I am warm inside, or it is a calm sunny day perfect for tobogganing and snowfort building.

The thing is, I haven't really had to deal with snow for a long time. I lived in Victoria for three years, where we maybe got a week of snow the entire winter, and the Christmasses I came home to were remarkably green. One year the only snow I saw was a few wisps on the way back to the airport.

Last year I didn't have to go out in bad weather because I was working on my thesis, I could wait for good days to go outside. It didn't really snow all that much last winter anyway, the most snow I saw was when we went up to my cousin's in the north for a few days and walked on the bay. I didn't even get boots until January.

So this year I am a bit nervous. I am moving to an extremely snowy city, and I have to walk to school and to groceries. I will have to actually make sure I have emergency supplies in case it is too scary to go outside for a few days. I have class every day and attendance is mandatory.

I have been having nightmares of falling on my way to school and breaking my wrist. I lie awake planning how I would get help. I know I pass right by the university's hospital to get to my building, but I can't remember if they have an emergency room. This is actually keeping me up at night.

It is crazy. I am not worried about classes, just the weather.

Also, I am not really outfitted for cold weather. I need a proper winter coat, ice grips for my boots, and more wool socks.

Maybe Santa will provide.

Yes, I am nervous about starting over in a new city and new school. Argh!

Thursday, December 10, 2009


Not the part where the quote is from, but where Stephanie finally loosens up, hilarious!


Toni
- "A man who lies cannot love."
Stephanie - "That sounds like something out of a fortune cookie"

- Toni (Goldie Hawn), Stephanie (Ingrid Bergman), in Cactus Flower


Sorry, too tired to think of anything else, besides Cactus Flower is an awesome movie!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Advent Day 9


"No road is long with good company"

- Turkish Proverb

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Speaking the same language

Today the little monster and I were being lazing about after his nap, watching some Treehouse, when one of the shows had an alien on it.

The alien spoke gibberish.

The little monster thought this was hilarious!

He was laughing so hard he had tears in his eyes.

He never laughs out loud at the TV, he might smile sometimes, but never the full on giggle.

It was really hard to tell if he was laughing because the alien was talking funny, or if he was laughing because he finally found someone who spoke his language and it was the first joke he understood.

Whatever it was, baby giggles are an awesome way to start the day!

Advent Day 8


"There is a crack in everything,
that's how the light gets in."

- Anthem, Leonard Cohen

Monday, December 7, 2009

Advent Day 7


"The children were nestled all snug in their beds
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads."


-A Visit from St. Nicholas, Clement Clarke Moore


ok, so this was just an excuse to post pics of my gingerbread house from two years ago. I have gingerbread on the brain, I am planning a gingerbread lighthouse for this year!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Advent Day 6


Since today is the first Sunday of Advent, the day we light the Hope candle, here is a story about hope.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Advent Day 5


"What if you said yes?"


-Graffitti downtown Guelph, (I am too tired to figure out who said it first)

Friday, December 4, 2009

Advent Day 4


"A life lived in fear is a life half lived"


Thursday, December 3, 2009

Advent Day 3


"Mom smells like woodsmoke. All the time I kept on smelling her =sniiiiiff= and thinking, 'Mmmmm. Bacon.' "

-my brother, at a memorial service.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Advent Day 2

Obviously not a hyacinth

"If of thy worldly goods thou art bereft,
and to thee alone two loaves are left,
Sell one, and with the dole,
Buy hyacinths to feed the soul."

-Author unknown, my grandmother's favourite saying

Look after Aunt M up there Gran!


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Advent Day 1


Thought for the day:

"Never let a little thing like complete and total humiliation stand between you and a good time."


Yay! First day of Advent! Now, to try and find a "thought for the day" for every day until Christmas!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Goodbye

sorry this pic is not good of either of them, but photos of them "cutting a rug" were on someone else's camera, but I will post them asap


One of my great-aunties died last week after an extremely short bout with lung cancer. Well short in that she only actually knew it was lung cancer the day before she passed away. She thought she just had a bad cough left over from a summer cold and the doctor gave her a puffer. She was too busy trying to sort out my great uncle's medical problems to bother with something as simple as a cough.

She was an awesome fun auntie. Her husband is the youngest of my gran's siblings. He was twelve when my uncle was born. They have always been the fun auntie and uncle. They also always treat everyone the same, it didn't matter what age you were. My great uncle laughs and jokes in the exact same way with the little kids as he does with the adults. My mom remembers my auntie letting her take their one year old son for a walk all by herself when she was eight.

The best memory I have is of dancing with the two of them at their grand-daughter's wedding last summer. They were almost the first ones on the dance floor, and danced more dances than most of the young people. It didn't matter what the music was.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Shelter

I have a place to live in London, ON!

Woo Hoo!

I have a bedroom, a bathroom, and a kitchen. It is just big enough for one person. In fact there is only one chair at the kitchen table. Also, the only window is in the kitchen, but as there isn't really a door between the kitchen and bedroom, it shouldn't be too bad. It is a walkout basement, and the yard backs onto a park with lots of trees, so it is really pretty.

My mother is certain that the small space will ensure that I will spend all my time on campus studying.

It is 15 min walk to the grocery store and mall (dangerous), and 15 min walk to my building on campus. Which is good, since the city bus drivers are currently on strike.

The people whose house it is are very nice and they have an awesome dog, which is a hunting breed.

Which could be a problem for me having Baz the bunny with me. But, we will try it out, and if it becomes too much of a problem, mom and dad will come and get her. I am thinking of keeping her cage in the bathroom for an extra line of defense.

I will only be living there for one semester, so I am sure it will be just fine for 4 months. Then I will either be on co-op workterm, or have made enough friends in the program to find new roommates, or sublet from someone who is on workterm.

All is well.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Torture of the Innocent

Today we took the little monster to the allergist.

He was great in the car and great in the waiting room, well, ok, the stairs up to the offices. Old building, one common waiting room in the old lobby and then a big steep staircase up to the offices (totally not accessible to those with mobility issues, I can only assume there was an elevator somewhere). Anyway, monster spent the waiting time showing all the old people in the waiting room how well he can climb stairs, and then flirting with the receptionists at the top.

Once we got into the office the trouble started.

First of all, he did not like sitting on the crinkly paper on the exam table.

Then taking off his shirt and being attacked by a stethoscope was a crying offense.

Then he had to be held on his mom's lap in preparation for the nurse to come in. You do not hold the monster in captivity. This was also a crying offense.

Then the nurse came in, and not only did he have to be held even tighter by his mom, but I had to hold onto his wee little arm while the nurse dropped the allergens on his arm and pricked them. This was a screaming, twisting, face going purple offense.

And then we had to sit like that, me with a strong grip on his poor wee little arm and hand, his mom with a strong grip on the rest of him and his other hand, for 20 minutes.

20 minutes of tortured, vocal chord ripping screams.

We were able to distract him with some strawberries and blueberries for a few minutes, but then the nurse came in and mopped up some of the blood that had dripped down his elbow and told us we still had 10 minutes left, right when we ran out of blueberries and there were only a few strawberries left. We threw some Cheerios into the mix and bought a little bit more time.

He started screaming full force as soon as he saw the nurse again when she came to clean him off and check the results. He calmed down after that, then screamed again when we changed his diaper.

The thing is, we went there because we thought he was allergic to eggs and dairy. So all they tested for was eggs and dairy. And we found out that he was indeed allergic to eggs and dairy.

We asked the doctor about nuts, and he said, "Oh he shouldn't be eating them at his age anyway, they are a choking hazard."

So we still have no idea if there are any other food allergies lying in wait, which is kinda what we wanted to find out.

Poor little monster went through all of that just to find out what we already knew.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

What's in your dinner?

Last night we made tacos.

Generally we have used the packaged seasoning mix, but we have been worried about potential food allergies, and a quick perusal of the ingredients list resulted in numerous red flags. MSG, maltodextrine, and numerous unpronouncable chemicals.

We found a recipe for taco seasoning online here, and cut it down to a pinch of red pepper flakes and no added salt, and added half a tablespoon of cornstarch, and then used it just like the seasoning packet (ie, added the cup of water). We also cooked the ground beef with real onions and garlic and grated zucchini (I add vegetables everywhere!).

It tasted really good, and by controling the amount of salt and eliminating the scary chemicals, it was ten times better for you!

And guess what? The tacos still dripped that radioactive orange goo!

Who knew orange goo was all natural?

Monday, November 23, 2009

Birthday

I just finished up my birthday week!

I got two weekends of celebrations!

We went to Toronto and saw the Dead Sea Scrolls last weekend with my brother.

Then my mom came over the day before my birthday and brought yummy lunch from my favorite place and we went for a long walk with the baby in the sunshine collecting fancy twigs and milkweed pods for Christmas displays.

On my actual birthday, Sesame Street was even celebrating birthdays! and then my cousin and my friend took me out to a fancy dinner. and then laughed at me after my one and only drink.

Then I got a family birthday dinner on Saturday, and a family friends dinner on Sunday night.

Much better than some of the birthdays I have had. And my brother might actually get around to sending me my birthday present sometime before Christmas.

It kind of didn't feel like my birthday, and then sometimes it did. It was weird. Maybe I am just getting older and birthdays don't matter as much. hmm. not sure how I feel about that.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Daily Smile

I have a thing for the show I Didn't Know I was Pregnant.

Almost every episode has a story where a baby was born in a toilet.

There is nothing quite as hilarious as Americans trying to talk politely about having a poop.

And to have it reenacted.

Signs and Portents (of good)

I am occasionally a little superstitious.

When a big change is happening in my life, I look for signs that it is a change in the right direction.

When I got into the History Master's program, everything seemed to be falling into place. I got in to the program I wanted, I got the advisor I wanted, my best friend wanted to move with me, and I was able to borrow furniture from a friend.

But then when I got out there, things started to fall apart. I couldn't find an apartment for us to rent, the History department said there were no grad students around and I should come back during the first week like a normal person, my advisor couldn't meet me because he threw his back out golfing. I started panicking. This was not the way things were supposed to have worked out.

My first year did not go exactly as planned. I had kidney stones on my first day of classes and when I finally attended a class, the students were still grand-standing how much they knew and I started crying in class because I had no idea what they were talking about. I slowly understood that you didn't need to know all that crap, and I had some insightful things to say, but I spent most of my classes feeling overwhelmed and stupid. Which is probably why it took me three more years to write my thesis.

So why am I going back to grad school?

I learned my lesson. (I hope). I learned that fate and luck and divine intervention, if there are such things, can only get you to the door. I have to open the door and do the work to get what I need out of the program. And what I need are the skills for a lasting career.

Besides, I got into the program, and I have already found a good little apartment, walking distance to the school, for a very reasonable rent.

All signs point to yes.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

A Big Headache

Saturday was a gorgeous day here. 18 decrees C, sunny, just an all around wonderful indian summer day. I had plans, places I had to go, things I wanted to do. All my errands had to be done on Saturday because we were going into Toronto on Sunday for my family birthday trip to the ROM to see the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit.

But none of that happened.

Instead I spent the day in bed with my first ever migraine.

There have been a few times where I have had bad headaches where I really didn't feel well and had to lie down, and I often wondered if they were what people referred to as migraines. Let me just say now, if you have to ask, it ain't a migraine.

There is just no mistaking the "oh my god I have to lie down now or throw up" pain of the migraine. The "why are my glasses suddenly the wrong prescription" start to the headache. The desire to be as far away as possible from all light sources.

The worst part was that I couldn't see. Usually when I am not feeling well, I can at veg out in front of the TV, read a book, or at least flip through a magazine. I was so flipping bored! The two Tylenol and two Advil finally kicked in and I was able to sleep. Which was good, because lying there with only the pain to think about got old pretty fast.

I was feeling better by about 4pm, and actually got out to do a few errands after the sun went down, and went to hang out at a friend's, and when I left her place at 9:30, I was feeling close to normal.

Fingers crossed that was my first and only migraine, I feel so sorry for the people who suffer from them on a regular basis.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I Got In!

I have been offered unconditional admission into the MLIS program at UWO, and I have accepted!

And I officially convocated yesterday from UVic, even though I couldn't go out to be there in person.

I am not sure if this MLIS is a forward, backward or lateral move, but I am all excited now, and I can't jump up and down because the baby is napping.

EEEE!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Choosing

I had a horrible dream last night, probably heavily influenced by telling my cousin about the book The Taking the other day.*

Warning: This might be scary. You don't have to continue reading. Even I cut the dream short.

In the dream, most people had been turned into zombies or vampires, or zombie-vampires, in any case, minions of a dark lord.

The people who had not been turned were running scared and hiding out in our last stronghold, but our defenses were weakening, and pretty quickly the zombies got in and rounded us up.

They took us to an underground auditorium and we were forced to sit in the seats to await instructions. There were over 200 people, but the auditorium was only half-full.

Our "guest speaker" suddenly made his appearance. It was a walking, talking skeleton, where most of the flesh had been fried off, and what was left stuck to the bones was still sizzling and crackling. The piercing yellow-green eyes were the scariest part. It was the big D, and he gleefully began explaining to us how we were all soon going to be transported to Hell to begin our eternity of torture.

"What about the good people? I don't think I should be going to the bad place" someone yelled out.

It sucked in it breath and grudgingly admitted that some people didn't have to go to Hell. It obviously had hoped that no one would ask about that loophole so It could have everyone. "Everyone with a lit candle, stand up and make your way over to the front rows on the righthand side"

I looked around, not so many people had lit candles, but they were quietly standing up and walking towards the front. I panicked, where was my candle? I looked down and found I had a candle, but it wasn't lit. I looked around at people I knew and had fought side by side with, but they did not have candles and I thought they should. I tried to ask them if they too had unlit candles, but they didn't pay any attention. The last few people with lit candles were almost past me, and I stood up and slipped into the procession, hiding in the crowd and trying to make it look like my candle was lit.

I still didn't know if the people with lit candles were actually good and going to be saved, or the opposite, but the fact that they didn't rat me out and that people holding babies were part of that group probably indicated that they were the good ones. I still didn't know if It was actually going to let us go, or if It had just singled us out for a worse fate. I didn't know what would happen if they found me without a lit candle.

I just knew that I was terrified, but I had chosen to be good, and that was all I had control over.

Then I woke up.


*The Taking is basically about The Flood happening all over again because modern society is so corrupt, but instead of water wiping everyone out, the Devil gets to play, but only for a few days, so he pulls out all the stops, bringing Hell to earth, but at the end of his time, the rains come and wash everything clean, leaving only the good people and children. It is a good book, but parts of it are just plain scary and the stuff of my nightmares.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

First Sentence (maybe?)

The evil Hallowe'en book has become a bone of contention.

He loves the book. He can sit for hours playing with it.

As you can imagine, I look for any excuse to take it away. The noise gets so annoying after the second time.

The other morning, I made the mistake of carrying him into the living room so that his mom and dad could get ready for work, and he saw the book on the top of the fireplace mantle.

He put out his hand reaching for it and whining.

I said, "No, you can't have the book this morning."

He whined and cried some more.

Me: "Nope, no book."

Baby: "Ya b'!"

His mom: "Did he just say 'Yeah book!'?"

Me: "Yeah, I think so. ... No baby, no book."

Baby: "Ya bo'!"

Today's lesson: To get a child to use his words, just deny them something they really want. Plus you get to see that super cute "determined baby" look on their face!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

What you can't have

The water heater is broken this morning.

Never have I wanted a shower more.

I have spent a few days unshowered lately because the little monster is experimenting with different nap times, so why do I really really want a shower this morning when I can't have one? I am actually contemplating having a freezing cold shower because I feel too gross to answer the door to the repairman!

But I can't have a shower because the repairman might come any minute.

This reminds me of the time there was water contamination in my hometown. I was babysitting and the parents called to warn me not to give the kids a bath, or drink the water. I was relieved, the kids hated having a bath. I thought the kids would have a "yeah, no school!" snowday kind of reaction.

The kids started crying because they couldn't have a bath, and moping around the house saying "I wish I could have a bath, why can't I have a bath?"

yeah, that's right, I am reacting the same way the four-year-old did.

=whine=

Sunday, November 1, 2009

True Scary Story

Someone has a key to my parent's new house.

Someone who lives closeby.

Close enough that they can come and go in the time it takes me to drive my parents 5 min up the road and come back again.

They haven't taken anything yet, the only evidence that they have been here is that the front door that we never use is unlocked when we come home.

Maybe they are just checking if we have had the existing security system hooked up yet.

We had the locks re-keyed yesterday, something we should have done when we moved in.

The door has stayed locked so far.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Dream Fulfillment

I have a weird alarm clock at my cousin's house.

It is supposed to wake you up gently.

Half an hour before the alarm time, a light comes on, supposedly dimly, and gently becomes brighter, "like the sunrise!". grrrr.

15 min before the alarm time, noises start. You are supposed to be able to choose. I get bird screeches every morning no matter what I do.

Then, on the alarm time, it goes "BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! BEEP!"

This morning, I managed to sleep through the "sunrise", and woke up a bit with the bird calls, but went back to sleep without hitting the snooze button.

Then I had a dream that my cousin was poking me with a curtain rod (white with little ball finial on the end) and telling me "see? isn't this much better than an alarm clock?"

=Knock= =Knock= =Knock=

"C, are you awake? We have to leave at 7 this morning, sorry, forgot to tell you!"

Yup, just like in the movies and really bad TV, I was awakened from my dream about my cousin waking me up by my cousin waking me up. Awesome.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Jumpy

The little monster has always been a bit jumpy, or "startles easily" as his mom says.

When he was about 5 months old he jumped every time I started laughing at a family dinner. Ok, so those who have heard my laugh know it is a bit, hmm, shall we say, loud? (I was once asked to come to the preview night of a new comedy play so that there would be someone audibly laughing their ass off in the audience for the critics) ok, so baby jumping when I laughed wasn't too unreasonable, but every time? you think he might have gotten used to it after awhile.

Now that he is older and I am around all the time, he laughs along with me whenever I laugh. no, now he jumps when he thinks no one was watching the stupid thing he was about to do, or is so focussed on it, he forgets I am there.

Yesterday he stared at a new crayon so hard as he contemplated it and brought it to his mouth, that when I said "No!", he jumped and almost shoved the crayon up his nose. Awesome.

Now one of his grandma's got him a Hallowe'en book. The book introduces all sorts of scary characters, with googly eyes that move! but the best is that last page. The little monster knows what happens once you turn the last page. He gets apprehensive as you flip closer to the back of the book, even though he has requested the book and wants to see it.

When you open the last page, this scary vampire laugh starts up and a bat in the corner has red LED eyes that flicker. So scary! and even though he knows it is about to happen, he jumps a mile in the air! I thought I was scaring him, but then I left him alone with book, and he flips directly to the back page all by himself and still jumps every time!

The kid is totally going to grow up to love roller coasters.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Resolved!

Well, the application system seems to have finally spit out all of my information, so all is well with the application. phew!

I am a little suspicious that there actually was a problem, but at least my desperate emails to my referees resulted in my delinquent reference to say "Oh, right, sorry, I will get right on that!" so now everything has been received by the University and hopefully the department can access the last reference today.

Geez, usually it is me who does things at the last minute, nice to finally have a situation where it wasn't my fault!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Gradumacated!

So, apparently, degrees were officially awarded on Wednesday, so, I am officially a Master of the Universe! ok, so just Master of Arts, but who cares about the rest of the universe right?

In other news, things are not going so well on the bid for further universe domination.

Applications that rely on computers suck!

The transcripts that I ordered and paid for as part of the online application haven't been sent yet, even though the order supposedly went through back in the middle of September.

I just found out today that the department I am applying to doesn't have the reference that my advisor completed back in September, a reference that turns up as completed on the thing I can check online. And the other reference which hasn't been completed yet might not have even been sent out yet because there has been some kind of computer glitch with the system.

Even though these problems are with their system, they will consider my application late if they don't get everything by the end of the month, which means I get put on the waiting list.

Bah!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

That song

When we were kids (and onward really), whenever we "didn't wanna", my dad and my brother would start up a chorus of :
"I don't wanna go to work today! (Where there's a whip =fsht* wrist flick= there's a way)"

Every time the song came up, we pondered where it had come from. We knew it was from a cartoon movie that we saw as kids, something with slaves and whips (and there are a surprising number of those), we thought The Secret of NIMH but I saw it again, and it wasn't that.

Then, the other day while we were painting my brother's bathroom, the song came up again (gee, can you guess why?) and I got to thinking, I wish there was some way to find out where the song came from..... oh wait! Its called the internet.

Here is what I got



We saw the Lord of the Rings cartoon movie once, and we didn't even see it all the way through because there was something wrong with the tape. Weird what things stick in your head. (Also weird how the orcs are much more sentient beings in the cartoon version). I have no recollection of the movie except that the VCR ate the tape.

Kinda disappointing to finally know where it comes from. We sing it slightly differently, and of course, I like our version better.



* I couldn't make the =fsht= noise of a whip flick when I was younger, so I used to say "voochee!" which of course quickly morphed into "bluecheese!" because every good whip says "bluecheese!"

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Angels of Painting


a mother and daughter

1 bathroom

9'x6'

10' high ceilings

nubbly textured wall and ceiling that all had to be primed and painted, and painted, and painted

8 hours of work

$650 worth of work for the price of a pizza and a parking ticket

1 lucky brother who's sister had a day off and was willing to help him out

2 women too tired to bother trying to get the paint off their hands before bed

Edit: While getting ready for bed I discovered that I not only have paint all over my hands, but have a large splotch near each elbow, where I must have leaned against the wall, paint on my feet and ankles, paint splotches on the front and back of my shirt, and the one on the front bled through to give me a splotch on my boob so i assume the ones on the back did the same thing. Of course, all the major splotches are primer paint, which requires paint thinner to get it off. yeah.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Thanksgiving Edition

We have a lot to be thankful for, but a very full and busy weekend that might not let us fully appreciate it all, so i'ma make a list.

1. Even though we are all growing up and our family is expanding, I still get to see most of my extended family at some point this week.

2. My brother is coming home, even though he will have to wear a pestilence mask cause he be sicky.

3. My cousin and his son in Tennesee are recovering from their bout of H1N1 and double pneumonia.

4. My Pa has his job back, at least for a few months, and is super stoked about going to work every day.

5. My mom is settling in to her new house and making it her own. most of the boxes are unpacked.

6. I have a job that lets me cuddle one of my favorite little people every day, and a plan for the future that involves more school and infinite possibilities. And a week off next week!

7. This Thanksgiving will be even more special because the little person will be baptised tomorrow morning .

I'll end with my father's grace:

Lord, bless this food from your bounty,
Help us to be always mindful of the needs of others,
And look after those who cannot be with us tonight,
Amen.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Wedding on High


The M&M wedding was wonderful. A beautiful September day. A few trees had started to turn already, making an awesome patchwork vista from the top of the ski hill, where the ceremony took place. Plus, it was so much fun to take the chair lift up the mountain in all our wedding finery and then back down again.

The best part was how happy my friend M was. Mom and I brought the bridal party lunch earlier in the day, and M's mom was stressed but still happy, but M was floating on a euphoric cloud. She hadn't been stressed at all about the planning of the wedding, and she was over the moon on her wedding day. I think one of her favorite parts of getting ready for the wedding were the pretty underwear that said "Bride" that her older sister had given her, which she had to show me while i was unpacking lunch.

It was really nice to see how much M&M love each other, and that they are honestly nice and laid back people. I mean, I knew my friend was, so it is nice to know that she found such a perfect match in a husband. They had time for everyone, and really tried to speak with every guest at some point during the afternoon and evening, so nice when everyone had traveled a long way to get to the wedding. I think it was the only wedding I have been to where everyone had to travel at least 2 hours in order to get there. The guests were almost half and half Canadian and American, fitting, since the couple are one of each. Funnily enough, we traveled less distance from Canada, than most of the Americans did! The only Canadian/American issue we ran into was that they don't sign the register during American weddings, so when the bride and groom started walking back down the aisle without signing, all of the Canadians started whispering "They didn't sign the register! Are they really married?" Guess what the number one question they had to answer in the receiving line was?

It was a great wedding, and I know they are going to have a wonderful future together.


Saturday, October 3, 2009

Dream Sequence

(For those who haven't met me, if you are reading this, I have very strange dreams on a frequent basis, and I generally tell everyone about them, because i am that type of a person. Plus, it makes long car trips and walks to school much more interesting, these are actual dreams i had last night, no exaggerations. If anything they are more wild and crazy in reality than in the re-telling)

Dream 1: Set in a subterranean subway station type place, but with a black roiling canal instead of the train lines. There is a thunder storm with heavy winds (yes, inside). A millitary General, in typical movie general form, is yelling at everyone on the platform. They have captured a man and are threatening to throw him into the canal. There are obviously evil black things living in the canal, and judging by all the roiling, they are upset and active. Every once in awhile a tentacle, or other limb burst through the surface of the water, only to be electrocuted by a current the millitary have run through the surface of the water to keep things contained. In mid-General-yell, a giant spider-like thing breaks through the water and wraps inself around the General to drag him back in. The electric current zaps the creature as they hit the water again, and it lets go of the General, leaving him to skitter across the charged surface of the water to the beach at the end of the platform. The captive and I see this as an opportunity and jump into the canal and skitter across the surface of the water, through electric shocks. We almost make it to the beach, when they turn off the electrical current, and we plunge into the infested waters and have to swim for our lives. End of Dream 1

Dream 2: On the set of a historical vampire movie, a dark, misty, moon-lit night. A vampire on horse-back carries his willing female victim in victorian underwear towards the New England ghost-town that is the home of all the vampires. The horse walks on a raised brick pathway through the woods that has developped a rivulet of water running down the middle. By the time the path meets with another, the paths are covered an inch deep in running water. When they reach the road, it has turned into a fast moving river. I think this is kind of weird and realize that the sets had been built weeks ago, and that the day of the shoot there had been torrential rains, but the weather had cleared off to provide the ideal conditions, so the director had decided to go ahead with the shoot anyway, and ascribe some sybolism to the flood as an after-thought. End of Dream 2

Dream 3: I am the only human in a room full of friendly (so far) sleeping vampires. We are in an old storefront full of flea market furniture. There are eight female vampires in one bed, five or six males in the next, and a dozen children in another bed at the foot of the other two. The sun is coming up and there are no curtains except some ripped roller blinds in the front of the shop. I run around trying to hang up old blankets to cover the windows, but there are too many windows and not enough blankets, and the room is full of mirrors that are reflecting the sunlight around the room. Some of the vampires sleepily wake up, look at the sun coming up, and roll over to go back to sleep, as if to say "meh". End of Dream 3.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Secret Weapon

I have a secret weapon in my fight against the little monster.

I sing, and he stops being fractious and sits and listens. most of the time.

When we are out for a walk he gets tired of being in the stroller for too long, so I start singing anything that pops into my head, mostly English and French Canadian folksongs. There aren't many people out walking at 1pm, and I can see them coming a mile away, so I can sing to my heart's content (yes, i realize it is mostly for me, but I get on a roll).

So I was singing "Song for the Mira" at full voice, when a man suddenly appeared right in front of me. Oh my god! Did he hear me? Quick, say something to the baby so he knows I wasn't singing to myself! Where did he come from? Was I in tune? Why is he turning around? I want to pretend this didn't happen! Oh god, he smiled at me! He so totally heard me! Argh!

I kept on walking past where the man had appeared, and realized that he was installing a pool in someone's backyard, and they were using the trail that runs behind the houses to move in some equipment.

=le sigh=

If only my super powers extended to an invisibility cloak, or at least a sound bubble.


PS I totally started singing again a block later. I mean geez, I had to finish the song!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

ewwwww!

Is there anything worse than being puked on? really? can you tell the monster and i are not having such a good morning?

At least I only got the little pre-puke yak-up, and not the full deal. of course i still had to clean up the full deal. i am not sure how i made it through without puking myself, but i did.

I really hope that this was just a one-time deal and isn't going to turn into a full-blown puke-fest illness, cause i definitely won't be able to avoid that one, not with a baby who sticks his fingers in his mouth even more when we isn't feeling well. lovely.

now i have to figure out how to work the central vac so i can vacuum up the baking soda i tossed over the spot on the carpet.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Instant Track Star

I have started a new job this week. It is fun, tiring, and gives me lots of time to surf the internet. Can you guess?

Probably not!

I am now a live-in nanny to my 1 year old second cousin. This is a temporary gig until I start MLIS in January. It works out perfectly, because I needed a short-term job, and my cousin only discovered she had to go back to work a few weeks beforehand, and so did not have enough time to work her way up the day-care waiting lists. They live in the next city over, so it is easier if I sleep here rather than try to beat the morning traffic to get here for 7:30 in my non-existant car. I have the whole walk-out basement to myself! I have a TV and a sewing machine in my bedroom and a walk-in closet! and a weird Hammacher Schlemmer alarm clock that wakes me up with a light and bird screeches every morning!

One of my friends from university also lives in this city, and has already invited me to join in her ladies night with her friends, so that will be something to look forward to next week. Plus she has a Wii, with Sports Resort, so I might just have to pop over there on occasion once I figure out the bus system here.

But the best part (or maybe the worst?...) is that my cousin and her husband are runners. That is actually how they met, at running group. So every Monday and Thursday night we all head out to the running store and meet up with the groups for a run. Her husband actually leads one of the groups, with the baby racing stroller and still makes it back first. My cousin is just getting back into running after having the baby, so she and I and a couple other ladies make our own group and run and walk at our own pace, which works out great for me, because I can keep up with them and not get lost in this new and totally confusing city.

On top of that, I take the baby out for a walk in the stroller every day, and there are a lot of hills in this neighbourhood! and a lot of trails, this subdivision was designed really well. it is so nice not to have to walk on concrete all the time, and to have access to little bits of nature, like ponds and creeks and forests.

Now I just have to find a compass and protractor set so I can make the templates for my dad's "Turtles in a Mudstorm" quilt, that will look something like this, but in browns and oranges, and I will have something fun to fill the nap-times.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Morning After

My friend's wedding was awesome! This is not a story about it.
This is a story about the B&B where we stayed while at the wedding.

We stayed in a garage that had been converted into a guest cabin at a b&b. The hot tub and pool were right on the other side of one wall.

We got back from the wedding at 11:30pm and got ready for bed. as soon as our lights were out and we wanted to go to sleep, we heard vigourous sloshing from the direction of the hot tub outside.

That is right, someone was having sex in the hot tub.

We broke out in a fit of giggles, rolled over, closed our ears as best as possible, and hoped for a quick finish. I believe it went on for about half an hour.

The next morning, we were a bit late for breakfast, and so had to sit at the big dining table with a young couple. The young couple were in town for an antique car show, and had obviously had a good night out at the bars the night before, the boyfriend asking for large glasses of ice water with his breakfast.
The boyfriend started to complain about his back hurting and how he must have fallen at some point the night before. His girlfriend said, "No dear, you didn't fall." and left it at that.

The conversation took some turns and my mom ended up saying that we had come back from the wedding at around midnight. The girlfriend sat up straight, her eyes went wide, and she turned and looked at her boyfriend. He was confused and continued eating. and then complained about his back again a few minutes later. and asked the girlfriend if she had brought any Aleve. and wondered again what he had done to his back. His girlfriend looked decidedly uncomfortable, and grabbed his leg to try and make him stop talking.

As soon as we got back into our cabin my mom and i said in unison, "Oh it was soooooo them!"

and the best part?

He didn't even remember!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Gifting

One of my oldest friends, M, is getting married this weekend.

She is a friend from my neighbourhood that was never in the same school as me (except co-op preschool), but we liked alot of the same things, and so ended up in after-school activities together. Plus our mom's are friends, so it is hard not to keep in touch!

We were in dance classes together all through high-school, and even when I was sick and could barely move, M came by to pick me up for class anyway, no matter what, so I had to go and do what I could in class, even if I felt like hell.

But our main connection was, and still is, sewing. We were in sewing lessons for quite awhile, but only had lessons together for a few years. It is so much fun to have a friend who understands about sewing, and about making time for sewing, and who had the same teacher so has a similar take on sewing.

So of course, I am sewing her wedding present.

Except, I kindof forgot her wedding was so close. Like, on Saturday.

I bought the fabric today.

I realized it was so close at her shower last night, when we were laughing about how she is not nervous or stressed at all, and can't understand why her mother is. And then I realized her wedding was this weekend, and started getting stressed!

oh well, the project I am making should just take a day and a half, max, and I can get started tonight, so fingers crossed my sewing machine keeps working!

At least i have my dress and shoes for the wedding!

Monday, September 7, 2009

When it happens to you

I have worked with census materials for more than six years. I have worked with every Canadain Census from 1891-1951. The latter years are still classified, so I have to have security clearance to look at them. That is because the Canadian Census has a 92 year release date, which means that only the years up to 1911 have been released to the public so far.

It may seem weird to think that we have such a long release date, but people lobbied to get such a short one, it used to be 100 years.

The long release date is so that people directly affected by secrets about their families held in the census are dead before their secrets are revealed.

But some of the other documents that people use for geneology do not have such long release dates, may in fact be available at any time, like birth, death and marriage certificates, and the secrets come out anyway.

I used to think that there wasn't really any secret held by the census that could be so bad, until my father started researching his family's geneology.

We discovered that my great-grandfather had been married twice. We haven't yet found any evidence that he was divorced from my great-grandmother before he married again though.

1901 Census has the whole family living on the farm out in the country.

1911 Census, the mother and a few of the younger children, including my grandfather, were living in town by themselves, with the mother working as a laundress to earn money for the family.

1912 Marriage Certificate has the father going by his middle name, but listing the right birthplace and dates and parent's names, marrying a different woman in a Northern mining town.

1914 Death certificate, the father has died in the Northern town. (My mother says "Second marriage was too much for him!")

Now, this information interests my father and I, because we didn't know much about that side of the family. It is actually kind of neat to find out that something so out of the ordinary happened in our family!

But if my grandfather were still alive he might feel very differently about these revelations. If he hadn't known about it, he might not like to discover that his father had abandoned them when he was six years old, only to get married again a few years later. If he had known about it, he might not like that his grandchildren knew about such a shameful part of our family's past.

I never really appreciated the necessity of the 92 year release date until it hit so close to home.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

What is in a name

i was out to lunch (ha ha) with some lovely women today, and one of them told a story that really got me thinking.

Her daughter's boyfriend had kept their road plowed all last winter. One day, one of the two other people who live on the road caught the boyfriend and asked him and his girlfriend to dinner to thank them for keeping the road plowed.

When he got home and told his girlfriend, she said "did you finally catch their names?" "oops! nope, we will have to try and figure it out at dinner, they have to call each other by name at some point!" They couldn't even look up the other people's phone number to let the people know they were in fact able to make it to dinner, the boyfriend had to wait until he saw the man again in his driveway.

They attended the dinner and came away none the wiser. At no point during the visit and meal did the other couple call each other by name, or introduce themselves.

The story got me thinking about how few times we actually introduce ourselves these days. I went through my entire undergraduate degree meeting new people and never knowing their names, because you don't generally introduce yourself when you laugh at someone else's silly comment in class, and then once you have been sitting together for the whole semester, it seems a little late to ask their name. Most of these people I never saw again after that class was over, and a few I have finally discovered their name through the miracle of facebook when they have been tagged in someone else's picture.

I also realized that if someone came into my family's house and tried to figure out our names from how we refer to each other, they might have difficulties. We only refer to people by their real names in dire circumstances.

Sometimes I long for those days when you couldn't talk with someone unless you had been "properly introduced". At least them you could ask other people for more information about them, and not have to ask "Do you have any idea who I have been making out with all evening? Cause I have had tons of classes with him but it seems a bit late to ask him his name now, " just to get a reply of "I don't really know his name, but he was in my physics class first semester....."

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Wildlife count

I am back up North and trying to stay warm. I think it is fall here already. We might have already had the last swim of the season.

But the coldness hasn't stopped the wildlife from coming out to say hello. I think they are happy that school is back in now and all the summer people are gone!

So on this trip I have seen:

Mr. Fox sunning himself on a rock, all gorgeous red fur and smug "this is my sun and my rock" expression.

Two HUGE wild turkeys! They are kind of weird looking, but regal, like skeksis wearing quail and pheasant feather cloaks.

A mama deer and two babies crossing the road and looking back at the cars like "whoa, where did they come from?"

We have also seen more moose prints on the bush paths around the house.

Add these to the two HUGE turtle sightings, a little turtle, and a redwing blackbird attacking a great blue heron, that makes for a pretty good summer!


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Free and clear!

Done!

I sent the hard copy of my thesis off to Victoria this morning.

That is it! I am done done done! Yippee! Huzzah! I am free!

and what did I do with this newfound freedom?.....

applied for a Masters in Library Science.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Basil's brush with death

Basil the Bunny was attacked by a cat this afternoon.

We got complacent at our new house, with its enclosed backyard. We hadn't seen any cats roaming the neighbourhood, so we figured the only problem with leaving Baz in an outdoor cage for a few hours during the day was the weather.

Then mom stepped out onto the back deck and saw a cat chasing a streak of grey across the yard and through the gate across the driveway.

And then she saw that the side of Baz's cage had been ripped apart.

We ran out into the front yard screaming, "BASIL!", and couldn't see her or the cat anywhere.

Then I started to think, how the hell do you find a five pound animal that is terrified out of its wits, possibly hurt, and doesn't come when you call it? doesn't even make a noise to tell you it is there? probably doesn't even know how to get back home if it has run too far? that we don't even know if its still alive?

Then I saw the cat, huddled under a trailer next door, without a rabbit in its mouth.

At the same time, mom found Baz huddled against the curb across the street. No visible blood. We were quick enough in yelling that the cat backed off. either that or there had been a car, which I don't want to think about.

I cuddled her under my chin and her heart was beating again by the time I got her back inside, and she curled up on my shoulder under my chin for the next hour until her heart-rate slowed down again.

Two hours later she is completely fine, and is hopping around outside of her cage for the first time in the new house, feeling very brave now that the crisis is over, and she bested a cat.

Her mom is not quite so fine. Baz will not be going outside again very soon. Especially now that the cat knows where she lives.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Neighbours are awesome

Our family lived in our old neighbourhood for over 30 years.

We made some very good friends in the neighbourhood.

Those friends helped us move.

You guys are awesome.

You helped pack a million dishes.

You helped clean our fridges and other places that haven't seen a duster in almost 30 years. ewwwwww.

You helped dig up plants to bring to the new house.

You took loads of crap to the thrift store, the dump, the humane society.

You took loads and loads and loads of boxes over to our new house.

You stashed our stuff in your houses because there were not enough hours in the day to move it all before we had to give over the keys.

You helped us christen the new house with laughter and good food.


Thank you so very very much.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Loot Bags

We have come up with the perfect solution for our excess of stuff from the B&B: everyone who comes to visit the new house will receive a loot bag.

Each loot bag will contain:

-a Gideon's Bible
-a Brita Water Filter Pitcher
-a set of slightly used but clean towels
-a set of slightly used but clean sheets
-your choice of side chair or end table

I think that should slowly help us cut down on the clutter!

Friday, August 7, 2009

All moved in, no room for us

We are all moved in and my mother has just christened our new kitchen floor with a broken bottle of green food colouring.

This is because there is currently no room in our kitchen to put a box down to unload it.

My mother had a interior designer friend of hers come and look at our new house before we moved in to see what furniture we should bring with us to the new house. She assured us that most of our major furniture items would fit, especially the family antiques. And i am sure that she is right, she just forgot about all the smaller furniture pieces, the ones that are currently completely filling our living room, and the fact that we have possessions, that are all currently in boxes taking up the rest of of the space in the house. And the garage.

Somehow we were able to convince ourselves that we could easily fit all of our stuff into a house exactly half the size of the old one, simply by getting rid of the extra beds and a couple of chairs.

Now the wishful, "someday we will have built-in bookshelves built along this wall" has turned into, "we are going to IKEA tomorrow and getting some bookshelves to screw together and create the look of built-ins."

Don't get me wrong, I love this new house and I think my parents will be really happy here, there just needs to be a serious purge of all the crap that they thought they could hang onto.

The green food colouring is a case in point. There isn't much of a mess because it was almost all dried up in the bottom of the bottle. The bottle broke, because it was old and glass. How old, you say? I would estimate it was from the 60s. It came out of my grandmother's house.

See how much we need to purge?

Friday, July 31, 2009

Moving In!

We got the keys to the new house today!!!!!! Yay!!!!!

We have already moved two car-loads of boxes over, and concluded that we really need to leave to boxes of books for the movers, because that is what we are paying them for - to break their backs so we don't have to!

It is also already a pain to drive over there and back. It only takes 10 minutes or so, but because of two rivers and construction, there is no direct route, so you have to weave through "traffic calmed" side streets all the way over, and then wait for five lights before your trun to turn left. plus it is the hottest it has been all month today, and people are all trying to go away for the holiday weekend, so drivers are all peevy. bah!

but the boards for the garage walls were delivered early, and we managed to get the delivery guy to take the challenge of backing up down our driveway and dumping the boards right into the garage, an interesting feat, and he was pretty chuffed with himself once he had successfully completed the task. now the workers are busy putting up the vapour barrier and boards so that we have a finished garage for the movers to put the extra furniture in on Wednesday.

Its all coming together so nicely! Mom is worried now, because the house looks so much smaller without furniture, but i reassured her that the previous owners had just as much furniture as we plan to put in, and it did not look crowded. I know she will not believe me until we get all of our stuff in.

So happy! My parents will be officially retired by Sunday afternoon!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Butterflies and cow socks

When I was about 7 or 8 I had a favourite pair of socks.

They came in a grab bag of clothes from one of the older girls in the neighbourhood. They were white socks with fuchsia pink cow spots all over them, with a pink band around the top that had a standing up cow and a laying down cow on both side of the sock. Awesome!

(actually through various grab bags I got other pairs of the same socks, some of them were blue though, and so was able to wear my favourite cow socks well into junior high!)

When I was little, my mom, aunt and grandma had a favourite ladies dress shop called Butterflies that they liked to go to. I loved to go too, because it was always a special occasion we were shopping for, and my cousins and I would run around the store and try on hats and laugh at the size of the shoulder pads.

This one time it was just mom and gran and me. I got bored with mom and gran deciding over one outfit, and so wandered off to explore on my own (anyone who has been shopping with me knows I still do this. sorry). They had rearranged the accessories section, and I spent a lot of time checking out the cool new socks they had on display. My new love of the cow socks had made me something of a sock officianado. Plus, they were the only thing that might fit me in the store.

While gran's purchase was rung through, I made one final hopeful pass through the sock aisle. Just as my mom was calling me to hurry up, the shop's owner came up behind me, and slipped something into my coat pocket, and said "That is for being such a good girl in the store."

As I ran to catch up with mom, I put my hand in my pocket, and pulled out a pair of pink and black striped socks.

Of course, the gift of socks was the main topic of conversation all the way home, with mom and gran questioning me as to exactly what the woman had said etc. etc. (they had seen her give me something, so at least they didn't think I had stolen them!) Then, when we got home, she was telling dad the story as we went upstairs to put the shopping away.

All of a sudden, mid-story, she burst out laughing, and said "C! take your shoes off and show me your heels!"

I did tell you they were my fav socks right? The heels were completely worn away.

Mom quickly took stock of the rest of my outfit, and kept on laughing. It was a Saturday. When you are little, you wear grubbies on Saturday so you can play. I was wearing a fourth-hand winter coat that probably needed to be cleaned (perfect for Saturday), pants that were a little too short for me, and penny loafers that showed off the holes and in my socks (and probably made them worse) with every step.

So the owner of the store had seen a well-behaved little waif in holey socks and second-hand clothes, longing only for a funky pair of socks (a wish which was quickly denied her by her mother), while her mother and grandmother (both snappy dressers) shopped for $300 suits. The lady probably felt sorry for me and thought I had a horrible mother.

My mom thought this was hilarious! Then she tried to make me throw out my cow socks.

Ha! That wasn't about to happen! Cow socks trump black and pink stripes any day!

Morning in a b&b

I am sooooo f*&%$^ glad that we only have 6 more days of operating a b&b.

Firstly, because my mother sold the daybed in "my" room last week, so I have been sleeping on the foldup cot. Then, it was Hillside this weekend, and we were more than full, so "my" room, with a foldup cot for a bed, was rented. Generally, when my room is rented i sleep on the cot in the basement. Do you see the problem here? I had to go sleep at the neighbour's.

Secondly, now that I am back in "my" room, the room beside me is rented, so I can't use the bathroom on this floor unless the guests who have that room are out of the house. That means I have to use the ensuite bathroom attached to my parents bedroom in the basement. The door to the basement is fully visible from the breakfast table. Which means that, in order to pee in the morning, i either have to get up at 6am, before all the guests, or wait until after the guests have left the breakfast table, unless I am desperate and I want my mom to laugh as I run by in my bathrobe and point me out to everyone at the table. thanks ma, ever so subtle.

This morning, the guests stayed at the table until almost 10am. I snuck into the bathroom on my floor when I heard them ask for another cup of coffee. It is now 11, and I am still in my pyjamas. I have had half my breakfast simply because there is a fridge right beside my room and I snuck a yogurt.

Yeah, I am totally ready for this b&b crap to be over!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Changing History

I have come to realize that my brain sometimes changes my memories. They are generally memories where I was feeling particularly foolish. And it is not like my brain changes the memory to make me look better. No, it just changes one little detail.

It changes the winter coat I am wearing to one that I had owned 5 to 10 years before the time of the incident.

In my memory of having a fight with my mother and being late and running for the city bus, something that happened in grade 8, I remember myself wearing the winter coat and snowpants I wore in grade 2 and 3.

In my memory of accidentally letting go an embarrassingly loud fart in the public library, which happened a few months ago (I can't believe I am telling you guys this, except that it still makes me giggle), I remember myself wearing the big black wool coat of my grandfather's that I wore in grade 10 and 11.

I guess my brain thinks this incident is just too crude to have happened while wearing my kicky new red coat.

At least with the coats, I know that they can't possibly have been worn at the time of the actual incident, I guess I need to be aware that I might have changed other stuff that might not be as noticeable.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Wherein I sell my childhood

I hate this moving thing! The packing, the unpacking when you discover you put something important away in a box, the repacking of the box which is never quite as good as before...... argh!

The thing that is really getting to me is the selling/giving away/throwing out of stuff. Stuff that has been around ever since i can remember. Stuff that I don't want to get rid of because it has a memory. but it is really just stuff, an there is no room for it at the new house, or in my current vagabond life of unemployed-ex-student-possibly-student-again-very-soon.

Like the salt and pepper set. They are bright 1970s orange. They matched the plain wooden set my grandma had. They sat on our dinner table every single night I was growing up. My brother and I used to hide them on my father once mom had determined he had had enough salt on his dinner. There are good family dinner memories associated with them.

But we haven't used them in years. And now they sit in the box for the garage sale.

So now i get to sort out the boxes that are being kept from the garage sale boxes, all of which, for some reason known only to my mother, have been put out in the garage. And disentangle the furniture that is being kept from the furniture underneath it that is being sold. and discover that we still have boxes of G.I. Joes that my brother has forbidden us to sell, labled "G.I Joe Vehicals, Do not OPEN, Do not MOVE, Do not throgh out! This MEANS YOU!!!!" in 9 year old boy handwriting.

To top it all off, there is a chipmunk who has chosen this same moment to make a nest in the back of the garage. Thank you Mrs. Chippy, for making our time in the garage ever so pleasant.

Argh!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Scenes from the beach

Scene 1:
Me: "Did a raindrop just fall on me, or was that bird poop?"
S: "Raindrop. ...Uh.... wait.....are you going grey?"
Me: "Yes."
S: "Ok, yeah, raindrop."

Scene 2:
Playing frisbee in the water. I have gone after the frisbee.
S's husband, A: "Lets have a jumping contest! 1, 2, 3, JUMP!"
S: "Ha! I went higher than you!"
A: "1, 2, 3, JUMP!"
Me: just comming back on the scene, "S, honey, fix your top, you're about to fall out."
A: "Oh! So close!"
S: "Hey!"

Scene 3:
A: "=Sniff= Is that someone's shoes?"
Me: "Yup, probably mine, they are entirely synthetic and they stink! I am so mad cause they are new!"
A: "=Sniff= yup, that's them, they smell worse than boy's shoes!"


Thanks guys for an awesome day at the beach!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Oops I did it again

Why oh why can i not get any guys my own age to even talk to me, and yet seem to have no problem attracting skeezy old men? Why?!! Ewww!!!!

So here is the scene: My cousin's dog loves one of the construction guys that work for the company at the end of the lane. This dog will refuse to walk one step further until the guy catches up with us if he happens to be on the property when we are out walking. They are doing construction on an island right now, so this guy asked if he could leave his boat down at my cousin's boathouse so he could take it over for work, so we have met him a few times on our evening walk. The guy is close to fifty, has a teenage daughter, and by the time we see him, he is walking and enjoying his evening beer and cigarette.

Last night, he was just walking across the beach when we finished our walk and the dog saw him, and dragged me part way down the hill to get to him. I got ahold of him though, and figured we might as well wait and say hi, cause the dog was not going to go inside until we did. So by the time the guy saw us, he saw me waiting with the dog at the top of the hill. I started to realize that this was not a good move on my part.

So we had a little chat while the dog almost turned himself inside out with love for this guy. Then he asked me when i was going home, and when i was coming back up again. And where home was.

And then he says, "Well, let me know if you want to go out fishing sometime, I go out all the time and I got lots of extra gear."

and there we go!

Now, I actually like fishing. As a solitary activity. Not stuck out on a boat in the middle of the lake alone with some old skeezy guy i do not know. His boat is really built for one person.

See, that would have been totally different if he was twenty years younger and didn't give me a creepy "no" feeling.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Water issues

Living on a lake this summer, we obviously have water issues.

The water here comes straight out of the lake, goes through a filter and then through a uv filter. It is supposed to be drinkable at this point, and you wont die or get sick if you happen to get some in your mouth in the shower, or brush your teeth in it by accident, but it's not really drinkable. To feel safe about drinking it, we boil it on the stove for 10 minutes, and then we use this water to make tea (yup, we boil it again for tea) and to give a final rinse to veggies. We drink bottled water most of the time.

But, since i have been up here, the water in the white toilet bowls has looked kinda yellowish. My cousin went down to the basement the other day, and all of this clanging and banging and swearing ensued. It sounded like she was battling a demon or something. When i went to see what was happening, she had the filter container off the system and was washing it. We had had the water guy out a week ago to try and make sure the water line was down on the bottom of the lake, and he must have kicked up a lot of dirt.

The filter container was full of mud. icky, sticky, lake bottom mud.

Now the water in the toilet bowls is nice and clear. There is still a lot of mud in the tank, but it will have "settled" by now apparently. ewwww.

I am a little worried about the few showers I have had here now. We have had a flock of Canada Geese and Mallard Ducks living on the beach for awhile now, and the water line is not that far out from the beach. And judging by the amount of droppings they have left on the beach, i am sure just as much is going in the lake. Also, we found evidence of beaver in the swamp. Yeah, i am sticking to bottled water as much as possible.

At least it is not like the cottage we used to rent across the bay, where we had to collect our water from a spring in the bush on Martin Short's property and boil it.

Needless to say, personal hygiene has taken a strange turn. I brush my teeth with a glass of bottled water. I only have two showers a week, where i wash my hair. I basically just have a sponge bath in the morning and then try to get in swimming as much as possible (yes, in the icky lake water). I have bought biodegradable soap and shampoo in case it ever gets warm enough i can have my bath in the lake. Likely right on top of the water intake. The weather has not been co-operating though, and we have only gotten in swimming every few days. I don't think I stink or anything, it is just not what I am used to.

It is amazing to realize that I can get away with way less washing, and water, than I use at home, and not feel gross and dirty. Oh, we really are spoiled with our access to an overabundance of clean water in the city!

Monday, July 6, 2009

The Wilds!

Up here in the wilds of million dollar cottage country, we get a lot of wildlife, but somehow, we are still surprised when we see it. Like the moose tracks we have been seeing on the laneway. We live next to a swamp here. I have seen moose in the swamps on the side of the road about a kilometer away. But somehow, we are surprised that it was walking down our laneway. I guess we are just across the river from the village, so we assume that we are in the middle of civilization.

We still get some pretty cool stuff though! We just saw a pair of foxes running along the beach and down the rocks after dinner. We have deer running all over the place (i actually pet one when i was younger) Last year I saw a river otter down at the rocks, the year before there were a family of mink (baby minks are so cute when they are learning to swim!), and one year my mom and I saw a squirrel swimming across the bay.

That is right. What, you didn't know squirrels swam? we didn't either.

We were out in the paddle boat at dusk, and saw a little head plodding around the front of the point from the river, straight towards us. mom made us stop because she thought it was a beaver and she had never seen one. But as it got closer, we saw it had a fluffy tail that it was keeping out of the water. We followed it until it climbed up the bank on the far side of the bay and sat down on an old stump. It kept right on a straight course, despite the fact that we came within a few feet of it. I still wonder what was after it that made it swim so far. It would have taken us at least 15 minutes to paddle the distance that that little squirrel covered with his determined little doggy paddle.

See, told ya we have some weird wildlife! And I haven't even started on the people!