Monday, April 27, 2009

Things I learned this weekend

1. There is such a thing as a Tea Sommelier.

2. There is such a thing as a Tea and Chocolate Tasting. Oh. So. Good.

3. Tea pots should be washed thoroughly after use. Seriously. Keep washing until you no longer smell the tea. This dispells my father's long held position that the tea buildup inside the pot adds flavour. He has been known to go apoplectic if you try to wash out the teapot. This apparently comes from the British origins of passing the tea leaves from Master to servant to servant's friends and family. Obviously if you are the fourth or fifth person to use the tea leaves, you want the most flavour possible, and so would not wash out your teapot. Since we use new tea bags or leaves with each pot, there is no need to hold onto our teapot crud. We now have a gleaming teapot.

4. Moving furniture with my father is difficult because he actually hinders the process. He will pull back or push down on the object because he thinks you are moving too fast. This has led to many quotes of "Faster would be better!!" which fall flat because Dad has never seen Serenity.

5. Old vinyl floor tiles were made with asbestos.... my father reminds me as we are ripping up carpet glued directly to the old vinyl floor tiles in the basement. I wore a dustmask. Not much prevention against asbestos, except that the tiles would really have to be disintegrating to give off any asbestos. So he says.

6. I had forgotten what a really hot day in Ontario means... A wicked cool storm! Fergus and Elora (the villages close to us) had a tornado on Saturday, and we had hail and a power outage in Stratford!

Thursday, April 23, 2009


Here is what I saw out the window while eating breakfast:

Little dog, doing its "duty" in my mom's garden. Little dog's owner leans over with a Tim Horton's paper coffee cup, and scoops "duty" in with the lid, closes it up, and continues on the walk.

Huzzah! Camouflage poop sac! No more dangling baggy you can hide from no one! Brilliant!

Except she kinda gave it away by holding the cup at arms length for the rest of her walk.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Mr. Mousie's Bad Day

We haven't even put the house on the market yet, and already we have a family trying to move in! Or rather, they think they have moved in, and we are gently convincing them otherwise.

To be quite plain, we have mice in our basement.

We thought it was just one. We only discovered him yesterday morning. We have been living in the basement all winter, believe me, we would have known about mice if they had been there before.

Anyway, after numerous attempts to catch the mouse by placing a plastic basket over it, one of which resulted in poor Mr. Mousie bumping his head on the door in his flight, I finally caught him in the bathroom. He has looking a little dozy already, which is probably why i was able to get him.

There I was, plastic basket over mouse, yelling at my dad to get a big piece of paper or something to slide under the basket so I could flip it over and take the mouse outside. He brought me a file folder, which was nice and big and sturdy, but perhaps too big. I managed to smush mousie's wee footie under the basket and got a "weeeweeeeweeeeweee" for my efforts, and then after all that, the mouse slipped out, falling half a foot to the floor when i tried to flip the container over.

But he was stunned enough that my dad was able to scoop him into the gargage can, which we then placed on its side on the front porch, and then realized that it was raining and no mouse was going to leave a garbage can in favour of the rainy outside world. So I gently tossed the contents of the garbage can out, aiming for the garden, and missed.

Poor mousie landed on his back on the concrete porch.

As we watched, he slowly started waving his feet around in a definite "Whoa man.... Wha happened?...." kind of motion. He righted himself and started to slowly hop around the porch, very disorientedly. When he started aiming for the house, dad scooped him up in a little box and put him out in a flower bed that is as far as you can get away from the house.

Coming in from our ordeal, we started back down the basement stairs and saw another mouse!

After consulting with my aunt who lives out in the country, we put some birdseed in the bottom of a bucket as our new, humane, trap. Dad decided our mice were stupid though, and build them a little ramp so that they could actually get up to the edge of the bucket.

We have caught two more so far, one of which is in the photo above, so cute and little!  just not in my house!

I am not sleeping in the basement anymore.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Reality Bites

Last night I was having a really good dream. (Not one of those dreams, geez people!)

My dream had adventure and intrigue and secret passages and a chocolate milk factory and a black Baptist church! It was awesome! Except for one small problem...

I made a sound like a bullfrog every few minutes. A deep throaty croak.

I had no control over it, and whenever it happened, people in my dream looked at me with a startled expression. Ok, so, not just part of the laws of this dream world, and, oh right, this has happened before, in a completely different dream.

It got so that my throat started to hurt, but i didn't want to leave the dream because it has been awhile since i have had a good adventure dream. I was finally forced to leave by the faces glowring at me for disrupting the service in the Baptist church.

When I got up this morning my mom said, "Oh my goodness! You were snoring so loudly last night, the walls were shaking!"

Greeeaaaaaat. I hate it when reality intrudes on my dreams! Plus, I have been coughing all morning and have a really sore throat.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Score another one for ordinary people

So my mom and I discovered the story of Susan Boyle, this year's surprise talent of the "Britain's got Talent" show, this morning over breakfast, and of course, everyone has been talking about her all day. (Here is a link to the youtube video if you haven't seen it yet. i had a hard time not crying, especially since i have sung that song and know it is very difficult).

I have a very hard time watching the begining of the video because everybody is so patronising. They have this attitude of "Who does this old lady think she is? Oh well, we'll have a laugh and send her on her way soon enough." I find it quite disgusting, especially in a show that invites talent from everywhere, and has already had a surprise Opera singer a few years ago. This article from the Herald agrees with me, much more eloquently.

I am far too empathetic and feel people's discomfort for them. I cringe and squirm until I know things are going to be alright. I try to give encouraging smiles and nods, or catcalls, if they appear to be floundering. One of my friends watches me unstead of the tv sometimes because i show everything on my face. But I cannot stand people who discourage and put down.

Its just like the high school talent show, when some kids that we had known since kindergarten got up a rock band and performed, I think it was in grade 10. They were all on the geeky band side of things, and some of the guys were up there in their tucked in poloshirts and khakis. Some of my "friends" were sitting in front of me. they considered themselves to be relatively cool, if there can be a "cool" to the band side of things. They started giggling and whispering and then some burst into outright laughter. There was a bit of giggling from the rest of the packed auditorium too. I was cheering, along with some others. They glowered at me.

I leaned forward and said "Are you guys up there?" silence and glowers, "'Cause it took them a lot of courage to get up there and perform, and they're probably one of the better acts today. Show some respect for your friends." I leaned back and continued to cheer. By this time I was the majority, and my "friends" had to join in or look stupid.

One of those guys is now trying to make a career for himself in music, and has tried out for Canadian Idol, and even made it far enough to have a few clips on TV.

Talent comes from everywhere. If we discounted everyone who did not fit our idea of physical perfection, we wouldn't have gotten very far past the mouths of our caves. We really should go back to radio, this obsession with beauty and style is wearing me out.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

You know its too much when....

We are cleaning the house to get ready to sell it.

So. much. cleaning.

So much so, that last night I had a dream that we somehow found our dog, Holly, in a box of old stuff in a cupboard in the basement. Miss Holly Good-Golly died four years ago. But in the dream we picked her up, shook the dust off and she bounded away to have a chew on my Wrinkles dog (who i also just found in the cupboard in real life).

And she was resurected as her young self, bouncing around with her little black face and showing my cousin's new dog just how you go about chewing up a stuffed animal.

It was a good dream.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter: A Series of Unfortunate Photographs

We drove down to Michigan for family Easter on Saturday.

2 dogs, 1 baby, 1 four-year-old, 1 ten-year-old, and ten adults. and we spent most of the time in one room. Far too much fun to sit still for pictures!
My mom got tired of waiting.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

hello april!

I just realized i haven't posted in awhile.  there is not much to post, really.  but i will give you a brief run-down of what has been going on.

1. I house and dog-sat for two weeks.  so nice to have my own space, and to have a cute and cuddly little puppy to snuggle on the couch with.  I was also able to do a lot of sewing because i am still waiting for my second reader to get back to me on my thesis.  

2. I went into Toronto to visit my very good friend and her husband and we had super yummy southern barbecue at a place called "Cluck, Grunt, Low"  so much meat!  yummmm.  I also had a fun time visiting with my friend, and hiking around the Beaches and the Danforth in Toronto.  We had a nice sunny weekend and ended up in shirtsleeves by the end of our walk.

3. I finally got to watch Firefly!  I love the movie Serenity and have always wanted to watch the tv series and so i was finally able to borrow it from my friend's husband and watch it over the past few weeks at my housesitting gig.  awesome!  it was just as good as i was expecting, maybe even better!  Nathan Fillion is sooooo dreamy!  and Canadian, which is prob why i like his sense of humour.

4. My parents have finally decided to sell the house.  This is both sad and happy news.  Sad, because this is the only house i have ever known, and i really wish i was in a position (read married with kids) to buy it and continue to live here.  But it is too big for my parents now, and they are getting tired of the bed and breakfast thing.  When you shout "Hurray" when someone cancels, you know it is time to get out of the business.   So we now have to "declutter" and get rid of 28 years worth of junk in order to sell the house.  I have to decide which stuffed animals, dance costumes, jewellery from my beading days,  and children's books i am going to keep, and which ones can go on to someone else.  

5. But it also means we have the joy of looking for a new house!  I love looking at houses and helping my parents look is fun because they have some specific requirements.  They need to have everything on one level, so at least one bedroom and a full bath on the main floor, and room to put the laundry upstairs too. They also want something with character, something built before the 1950s, which leads to issues of UFIs and asbestos.  Oh joy, i know it is out there somewhere!

So I am going to say that good things are going on here.  Except for the snow that came down yesterday and froze today.  We could have done without that.