Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Surviving the Time Warp

This past weekend, I entered a black hole. A vortex of frenetic activity that actually bent time itself and allowed me to get more stuff done than any one household should be able to achieve in 3 days. Strap on your helmets and sit down. I’m not sure how I’m still standing, but you’ll be tired when you’re done reading.

On Friday morning my Dad arrived for a visit. We almost immediately jumped in the car and headed off to Ikea to buy some mattresses. I had picked up the girls’ new Big Girl beds. Pine bunk beds from Sears and decided that Ikea foam mattresses would just fit the bill. I did have to explain that no one would “on top” because the girls are not old enough to have the beds stacked. But when the time comes, let the record stand: Calla is going to be on the top bunk. (I figure this is quite fitting as Fiona was the twin who was on top before they were born.)

So while I got the groceries, Dad started to put the new blinds and curtain rods up. Buy the time I was finished the shopping (more shopping…god I hate shopping) and put away the food and hid the surprise for the girls, we were ready to put together the beds. Pine bunk beds are heavy, so Dad and I took 15 trips up and down the stairs to load everything we needed into their room. We got the frames together and the girls helped us spread out and secure the slats. They put all the screws in the holes and we were able to quickly fasten them with the drill. Already the children’s eyes glow when they see power tools. It brings a tear to my eye just to think about when I can get them their very first power tools.

As soon as the mattresses where down, the new sheets went on (damn me, they’re expensive) and the girls were into their beds faster than I’ve ever seen them move. Finally, after a year and a half, their room is complete. Well, they could use a few pictures on the walls. I’m working on that.

This is how happy they are with their new room.

With that job done, we enjoyed dinner, the girls had a bath and then they were off to their new big girl beds for the first sleep and Dad and I collapsed on the couch and stumbled upon Transformers which neither of us had seen. What a score! The computer graphics were amazing and the story is pretty good too. I vaguely remember there was a cartoon and the toys when I was a kid, but let’s face it, my track record with the toys was not good then and it hasn’t improved any. Why is it when I pick up one of those things I don’t get a cool vehicle or plane. I get a severed head or an arm or a wheel. Really, it might just be for the best that I leave the toys alone and enjoy the movie. I’ll watch it again for sure, even though I know very well that no knitting is possible while its one. That should tell you something.

Saturday many things happened all at once. The grass got cut. It was in danger of swallowing the children, so I cut it just in time. The veggie garden was widened in the hopes that it will produce vegetables this year. Last year was a bit of a fallow year for the garden. I purchased last year’s seeds at the dollar store. That was a bad idea. The only thing that came up were inedible radishes. Seriously, there were like fire. This year, I smartened up and bought seeds every grocery trip for a month. And the number of seed packets meant that the postage stamp garden needed to be bigger. So I set Dad to work with the shovel turning over the sod. And I spent the rest of the day on my knees in the garden shaking the dirt out of the sod and throwing it into the wheelbarrow and emptying it onto the compost pile. I could have put it elsewhere, but then I’d have to mow it too.

While I was shaking the dirt (with the help of the girls who were treasure hunting and flinging dirt around in the garden), Dad went and got me my birthday present. Two new screen doors for the kitchen. Now we can sit with the metal doors open and fewer bugs will come in. Must get a couple of magnet sets to ensure the doors stay closed in the breeze.

And the guys showed up to install…drum roll please…the air conditioner!!!!! This summer the house will NOT become an Anasazi bake oven. I will sleep through the night in July! I swear it.

Three Cheers! to Carleton Clean Air Technologies!!! Rubin, Shawn and Chris did a fantastic job and I would recommend them to anyone for any of your heating and air conditioning needs. They were honest, efficient and cost conscious. They did good work fast. I am totally happy with my dealings with them. Thanks also to Gaynor and Adrian for putting me on to them. Fantastic!

Then we got out the surprise. My kids love to jump up and down. So now, they can.

So I shook dirt out of clumps of grass all day and then cleaned myself up and got ready to do a gig in Almonte at the Naismith Pub. Yes, I played drum for 4 hours with the same arm that shook out all that dirt. And I can still move it now!

And on the way to the gig, not far beyond the tracks on Hwy 29, Dad and I saw something very interesting cross the road. I kid you not. We saw a wolf run across the road in broad daylight. I’ve never seen one of those before.

On Sunday, Dad went home (after letting me sleep in a bit…bless you man). The girls and I planted our veggie seeds (broccoli, lettuces, carrots, beans, peas, tomato plants) and they ran through the sprinkler while I weeded another bed and got wet the more I pruned the roses. And we laid plans for the afternoon. Nicola, Andrew and Harry were coming over for a play (and a relax) and BBQ. A very nice way to round out the weekend. I learned again (after 30 years) how to play Crazy 8s and man, it is crazy. Somewhere around 10 pm I kicked everyone out (except my children who were blissfully sound asleep) and lost consciousness.

When I checked on the kids I discovered that they had decided that their night lights no longer needed to be in their windows when they’d work much better perched up here.

Friday, May 16, 2008


You know, sometimes, when you least expect it, a party breaks out. This is a driect cause from having musicians for friends.

What a great birthday I had. At lunch, I was treated by my friends at work to excellent Vietnamese soup and then a Second Cup iced coffee thing (I'm not a regular and has anyone noticed it is now impossible to order a simple drink at these so called Specialty Coffee shops? I mean without attending their unversity programming to learn the names of drink types and sizes).

Anyways! Many thanks to Dan, Sabine, Gaynor and Dave for a lovely lunch.

Later in the day, Bruce met me for dinner at Lonestar in Kanata where we gorged on tex mex and Corona (OK I was the one who ordered the humungous Corona) and then headed home to what I thought would be a nice relaxing evening with a couple of friends over for cake.

A couple turned into 10 in a hurry. Thanks to Bob, Arlene, Gord, Johanne, Charlie, Nicola, Andrew and Harry for making my birthday special. And extra special thanks to my dear Bruce who arranged a very tasty cake and set the whole thing up.

Music and friends. What more can someone ask on their birthday?!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Let Them Eat Cake

There’s been a whole lot of music and partying going on around here.

Corkery Road played a gig at The Old Mill at Ashton a couple of weeks ago. It was our first time playing there and it was a treat. I had worked overtime that day and was pretty wiped out by the time I got to the pub, but I had revived myself with a bit of new yarn from Kelly at the Ashton General Store (which I have yet to take a photo of, so stay tuned) and a new shawl construction book. Thank you for letting me in eventhough you were already closed!!!

When we got to the pub, we discovered it packed with a whole tournament’s worth of rugby players. What an interesting crew rugby players are. For all I know, they are accountants and computer programmers by day, but put a jersey on their backs and they become something else entirely. On the field, they can become testosterone driven animals intent on two things: killing things that get in their way and scoring goals. But afterwards, they return to the social element…beer. And lots of it.

Just before we ate, we watched these men choose the winning teams’ “man of the match” which was followed by an amazing chug contest. The trick, my lovelies is not to swallow. Just tip your head back and try not to let it come out of your nose.

When that was finished, one of the props came up. And how do I know he was a prop? Simple, he was the biggest bastard in the bar and had size 14 (or so) feet. This is important because he was there to recognize and celebrate a player’s very first goal ever. The man’s prize? ¾ of a pitcher of beer. Drunk from one size 14 “well seasoned” rugby shoe.

I would much rather have watched them perform live sex acts on a goat.

Luckily, despite these manly, barbaric acts, every one used their utensils to eat and some of them even stayed for the show. In fact the table with the big prop supplied John with a hat to wear while he sang one of his tunes. Considering the number of get-ups I’ve seen John wear in the last 2 years, I am not surprised they wanted him to put on the tam.

The Barley Shakers have been active and making much music in the last couple of months. I haven’t had the opportunity to play much with them because of conflicting schedules but on Sunday May 4, we took part in the Almonte Kitchen Ceilidh to help raise funds for the Danny O’Connell Memorial Fund to help up and coming local fiddlers. From what I heard, the show was excellent. The Old Town Hall filled up so fast during the Barley Shakers performance, we didn’t have any where to sit, so faced with the thought of nothing more to do, we went back to Bruce’s and jammed away the rest of the afternoon and then headed over to the Ironworks Pub to jam some more. Great night.

Since the weather has turned beautiful, almost an instant summer, I have been mucking around in the gardens. Because of the business of last summer and the amount of rain we had, little was done last year. One of my gardens wasn’t weeded at all, causing it to make my place look a bit like a crack house. Well after much toil and sweat, I have 4 of my 5 gardens cleaned up and some of them even mulched. I have a few more to go, but the black flies are out in a plague and are making it so gardening is a bit of a blood sport after the sun goes down. Again, no pictures yet. I promise, if the sun is still nice when I get home, I’ll take some and post them later.
This weekend past, my mom was up to visit. We had a great time doing a bit of shopping for gardening things, and she’s responsible for one of the gardens looking so nice. While she was here, we celebrated both Mother’s Day and my Birthday. Although my birthday is tomorrow, I have always been fortunate enough to spread the joy over a week or sometimes two, if I’m lucky. It’s not about the gifts, but the good times and we all like them. So there was cake, and there were flowers and there was much good cheer.