Thursday, 29 November 2012

New Boots January 20th, 2012

January 20th, 2012

I left you on a three bag day.

I was so focused on Wednesday that it was a surprise to find out that I had managed to loose Thursday as my tight grip on reality slips. I usually run the garbage sacks to the end of the drive at the crack of dawn, but somehow managed to restrain myself. I was very mixed up, as the church down the that feeds the poor had not put their usually huge pile, out. They were having a funeral and I guess it was to be nice for the bereaved. Arriving to a mammoth pile of rubbish would be a little distressing

My neighbours were on their way to the airport, but I confirmed with them just what day of the week it was with them, to make sure.  We exchanged pleasantries while they explained they were on their way to New Orleans, another place I would love to go, Hong Kong too. They have had four holidays this year, note the date. . My horoscope this morning told me to “tighten my belt I was living outside my means.” This is information? What about love? Romance, money? No I get fasten up the road is coming to meet you soon.

My Canadian equivalent of flips flops broke yesterday,. No matter how much glue and silicone I put on the boots they were dead.  The only thing that was protecting me from the great outdoors were my socks. They were recycled into the blue bag at the end of the lane, which then meant a replacement pair that I dug out.

The pair I purchased in the States were lugged up the staircase and I had a Cinderella moment.   I thought that they were going to be like hiking boots. However they have steel bars in them. Good for walking in hostile territories. Not so good to go thru airport security. They are heavy. They are seriously heavy, which when I bought them did not really matter as I had the energy to lift them.  They claimed to be waterproof and they do however keep my feet on the ground. Not that my flying around, outside of hysteria, has been a problem.  With my hips held on my mere tendons I went for the daily walk.

Let me tell you why this was a feat of endurance. Let me give also give you the details as to what a Spiderman push up is. In a regular mans world it is where you lift yourself off the ground with your hands, balanced on your toes, while in a supine position. Usually yelling at the trainer an obscenity or two.  The Spiderman version is where by you lift one leg  and take your knee to elbow while doing that do a push up. We did this station several times along with the other superhero part of the workout was jumping on the half ball thing. This I am told  is supposed to make your stabilisers work.  I found out those babies run down the back of your leg and over your heels. We also threw balls against the wall sitting down, for some reason aside from mind boggling fatigue.  While in the plank position, similar to a push up but this time we got to haul on a giant elastic while keeping your hip level to the ground. I managed to get home and not exterminate the guest I told you about.  There was no difficulty sleeping.
Off! Soon after turning the computer I went to take back library books and managed to take one I had not read and leave one I had.  Lucy loves the library, as she is the only dog allowed in, for pets from all the patrons. I exchanged books while people asked questions like “how old she was, can I pet her,  and they had a golden too that died.” Lucy thinks that there will be liver treats, as she got many when she got her shots and looks very pretty. Attracting even more patrons.  The only reason we get out of our rock star status is the walk awaits. The only time that dog pulls now, is down the stairs at the library.

Back to the steel shanks. I could barely get my feet off the ground. Other women would have this sexy walk thing going on I am sure, but I look like Yogi the Bear ambling down the road. We  mosey the circuit, while answering calls from telemarketers, whose introduction is a horn blowing in your ear. Because you have answered the phone at that time they call at that time all the time. I do not have call display so I usually answer it. My mother no longer takes offence when I hang up on her, but she usually get the weather report from MontrĂ©al before I do.

As we are struggling along, well I am, the dog is happy, happy. I notice in the distance a man who is practicing martial arts, not the gentle tai chi stuff, but the real deal. I who has taken exactly one session a month from May to September  while at outdoor boot camp. I can recognise a fighting stance on a tall skinny man dressed in fatigues. Yup.  He is prancing all over the place, and I cannot lift my feet. Lucy gets leashed and we managed to get by his boot camp of thermos and jackets. He smiles and says “hello.’

After Lucy pulls the burrs from her coat I vacuum again and run a towel around the paw prints on the kitchen floor.  I go to get some new boots and find a sale at the soon to close Canadian store where I have a billion reward points.  I find a sale of foamies that the guest from “H-E double toothpicks” as my mother would say, recommended AND they were on sale. One stack at 40% and another at 50%  and somehow I won! So now I had to get it and will put it on a bed upstairs. That means that I have to tear the bed apart and clean the whole thing, but really what else is there in life to do? Solvitur ambulando, St. Jerome was fond of saying. To solve a problem, walk around. ~Gregory McNamee

Big hugs as a bug hug today would be too hard.



Complaints and more January 19th, 2012

January 19th, 2011

While walking the dog down by the river, before going  to go to a Superhero workout,  a potential lady guest phoned from a gigantic hotel down the street saying they were full and did I have rooms. She wanted to see the space and sat in the driveway until I had powered the dog and myself up the street. The dog of course should have been cleaned up better but her paws did get a swipe.

The potential guest gives dyslectics a bad name.  She had Ontario plates and claims to be a goal setter for the school systems teacher  and a realtor in Ottawa. (I don’t make this stuff up) We toured the bedrooms available.  She then proceeded to tell me how to run a bed and breakfast.  She signed in and left her shoes in the middle of the foyer going to the stairs. She complained about the heat, the lock on the doors, and the bathroom, the wireless connection and the star rating system.

She told me she was allergic to tree nuts and ordered peanut butter oatmeal for breakfast. I explained it was crunchy peanut butter when she asked what the bits were in it. She asked for extra pillow cases and elucidated I should purchase the one with zippers to encase the pillow. I told her that they were already on and required for my licence.  I handed her the extra ones while she followed me into the laundry room after I told her to stop.   She could not understand how I could eat such a big bowl of oatmeal, and it was the first thing we agreed on. I can’t either.

She is gaining weight she claimed and usually only “eats smoothes for two meals a day.” She is uncomfortably thin. Originally from Thunder Bay a know frigid area of the country she wore just an open jacket and shoes. Claims she moved to Ottawa as she hates the cold, I guess it depends on your perspective.  

I asked her if she was tired she said exhausted. She was a two week road trip teaching goal setting and this weekend driving to New Hampshire to go to a class reunion at Dartmouth. Isn’t that an Ivy league school?

She went out for the night and was the last one in. Wanting to “just fall into bed, which she did“ She ended up at the new sports bar I did not know was open. There she met a judge for the skating competition and watched the hockey game.  Leaving her running shoes on the hardwood floor and not entrance hallway.

It was explained to her  where and how to park in the driveway. She asked for a shovel and proceeded to shovel the lawn to park the car on it beside where I indicated. I don’t know just where the shovel is at the moment.  I went outside and explained to her she did not need to shovel a thing and stood in the place and indicated the diameters of where to park in the driveway. I returned from boot camp, she had her car in backwards. However there was enough space for the other guest to get out this morning.

I tripped over her shoes on the way to let Murphy out this morning She gave me the time she wanted to eat. It was two minutes to the appointed time and cooked and said she would be down in 15 minutes. Mere minutes later, she came downstairs in her panamas, hugging her hoodie over them.  Asserting that she was not a morning person.

She did not drink the tea but was appreciative of the apple juice because she was not feeling well.  Other people would have finished meal. She asked for it to be left as she was in a “time crunch“, I knew she would not be back to the table but left the half bowl of oatmeal and pot of tea while she went and showered. Enquiring  where the soap was while standing beside it at the sink in the bathroom.

She left the door open to go and start the car and come back with a travel mug. I did find the shovel . She did not comprehend why I was boiling the kettle to warm up her to go mug that had been in outside in her car. She poured tea I made in the pot in after she washed her mug. (The weather has plummeted over night but nary a drop of snow.)  But she only got to her car before she dropped it anyway.

I was notified however if she was ever back this way she would be back. We live in hope. "Every person is a new door to a different world."

The bed is stripped of its three pillow cases and for good measure the mattress cover. Just for something to do.

Boot camp saw us doing Spiderman push ups and leaping on the  boson balls.   An easy workout was how it was sold to us. If my arms don’t fall off I will be lucky.

I also dropped three tea bags in a cup and it is just 9 a.m. Wish me luck..

Love Liver January 18th, 2012

January 18th, 2012

Lucy got her shots. I was reassured that the cyst is nothing to worry about. Second vet to tell me, but you can never get enough assurance. Lucy got lots of liver treats. Lucy and Murphy LOVE liver by the way.  I must try and not feed her too much as she seemed to be hanging onto an extra pound or two from all the rice I fed her a while back for garbage gut. However she is still within ok limits according to the height and weight charts. What is my excuse? Unfortunately  for me A&W just sent around coupons again.

My friend of the flyers dropped them off a day after I went shopping and I discovered I had not missed much.   One of the grocery stores is having a dollar daze and I purchased yogurt for 140 calories per half cup. I saved money, but the calorie consumption chart guarantees that can and it does have a taste.

I am still sore from boot camp two days ago. My arms seem to protesting typing. I go again tonight.  I discovered some new gum and used double was should be sanctioned to keep my mouth going. (I know it doesn’t need any help) After the last class I washed my hair and forgot to take my soap in with me and  used the Soap-works shampoo and conditioner bar instead for that all over glow.  When I climbed out of the tub  I spied some perfume that a guest had left behind. Instead of leaving my fragrance free state alone I squirted away! Many of you know just how hard I have to work at being fragrance free.  Just what happens to me when I deviate from the path? Let me tell you,  I sneezed almost immediately and continued to do so for a while until I woke up  the next morning with my eyes looking like stop signs they were so red. ( the chosen colour this year I know but not for the whites of your eyes)
I proceeded to fill up the humidifier, a pan of water on the heater.  I continued to wet my eyes for almost 24 hours. When that had calmed down I came to realise that the muscles around your  eyes can  hurt and proceeded to bend them back into shape. I then discovered my jaw was not working so well.  Along with other body parts I  also chewed so hard I could not move my jaw.  I took an Advil for that.

I had a good weep for Debbie the new widow when I read the letter over again before posting.

I think I am in good health at the moment

I invited the lady of the flyers for supper and poured Kraft bbq sauce with garlic on chicken, it had worked so well for the pork roast. The  major discovery was that I did not have any more garlic so I cooked an onion in the smashed potatoes, ummm ummm.

Spring is in the air, the weather +6 and windy. SO that proceeded into a frenzy of orderliness that has not been seen in a while. I jumped into spring cleaning mode with  two our of three floors were scrubbed and tubbed. In anticipation of the spring like conditions  I purchased tulips.

 New (kid ) guest in going to paramedic school. Fed him breakfast because his car was behind another guest. I am not supposed to feed him.  Paid cable and vet bill from proceeds however and he is very nice.  Bought bread and could not resist tortillas. Which determined that I was going home for lunch, and not to walk the dog right away.

The Irving Group no longer lets you read their paper without paying, both in the line up and on line.  In the paper which I read for a moment while waiting to pay they said that the skate Canada would reap benefits of up to $5 million. I am waiting for the lotto myself. My brother, the father, said he would pray for more guests. I told him just to go straight to praying for the lotto jackpot please.

The wind is up and I could have hung the laundry out of doors, but since I did not know the temperature was going to be so high I stuck it in the dryer.

Must close and put my wet boots back on my feet and take Lucy for her walk before I go to boot camp.  The weather forecast according to George Carlin is “Dark”

Bug hug,



Another day January 17th, 2012

Jan 17th, 2012

Difficult to get a good thump at the day, when the temperature high is going to be -15.  Huddling around the computer seems like a good idea, waiting for emails to respond to.

I have purchased two new pairs of sun spectacles , but really they are waiting for the summer. Because I wear so much to go outside they lower my ears by about an inch when I put my headband on. And making my nose look fatter than it already is.

I noticed a that a lot of the women wore bright colours down the isle of the Golden Globes. This is good, as I have a lot of red as accents this year in my snow suits. I throw a lot of purple around too, as it seems that makers of clothes thing that woman my age like it. It goes with the died red hair and crows feet.

Kitty litter awaits since the Murphy cat is not doing anything but staying inside and sleeping. (One of my favourite activities)

I have put off doing laundry as it takes more electricity to dry everything that I am storing in the washing machine. I am also hoping the fridge cleans itself. The oven is supposed to but I have never seen it do that without my help. I should go and one of those machines that cleans rugs, but since I am having difficulty getting anything done it too shall pass.

My marketing ploys included calling a  massage therapy place. They are having a seminar later this month. The good news is they have heard of the Downtownbnb.
As the woman had been an executive assistant in the Lord’s government AND had heard nothing but good things. The problem was they are also offering the seminars in the north of the province so no one is travelling here to attend the seminar.  Poop Onwards.

The walk was actually bright and sunny, with Lucy turning into SUPER! Dog. Defending me from an odd looking person out walking in the park. Odd for two reasons, one they were walking and two they too were bundled up like a freedom fighter. I looked like a bank robber, with my baklava the only thing showing was my  eyes. The other person looked exactly like me and something about that
disturbed the girl dog.

Boot camp was its customary nature. The instructor was a new girl who learned her lessons well and we went thru the paces at a good clip. We all were complaining we were sore from the class on Friday and here it was Monday and about to do it again. Crazy or what.  I did however find out that the “old” trainer girl who went off sick was from Pte Claire, gone to McGill and Concordia and followed a similar life path as I. We may know people in common, or I at least babysat her.

Hugs !


The Clementine Cake Lives, January 16th, 2012

January 16th, 2011

The Clementine cake lives. The recipe travelling the globe has turned into a pudding for one lady friend. It appears that no two cakes are exactly the same. It also seems that no one person has the same ingredients at home so it changes taste, consistency and apparently colour. Run run little cake!

The amble with Lucy was short, as the temperature was 9 F or -13 C with a wind chill making it much colder.  There is a repeat performance announced for today. I took her for a concise walk, accepted wisdom stating it should and could warm up. Ha! Canada in the winter. (On my list of things to do is a beach house down south and more dancing.)

In out hour was curtailed. Murphy doing just one lap around the house and then curling up on the bottom stair surveying his domain. Then demanding his attention or more of it I should say.

Short walk about a quarter of what we normally do in the afternoon as the wind was operating like a scalpel in an operating room.  What little snow there is squealed  in the almost sub-zero temperatures, depending on your perspective,  under my boots. Lucy did not seem to mind at all my attire or the weather. Bundled up is an understatement  I was wearing my technologically marvellous coat back yet again from the seamstress for its zipper. I came home to change out of my Grampy sweat pants and giant boots to look less like a mutely coloured Tire person and headed off for the night  

Given the bitter cold, pasta restaurants were the order of the day. The town seemed to have the same idea as it was packed. Not a fresh veggie kind of day but an orgy of pasta, manicotti and lots of sauce. In the vain attempt to control calories, I threw in a Caesar salad.  Babble on with a friend how foolish life has become, work or the lack of it, men or the lack of them  and the economy and the lack of that! To think all used to be fixed with a diet. Boot camp still on the agenda, but not with the vigour of youth. I know better now. I know about plump cells and life. Win some loose some but not fat cats or cells.

I have a roomer coming today or tomorrow. The kid will be put in the girlie room, with hopes that I get other more paying guests. He had a space but the other landlord cashed his cheque and magically the room was filled with another person. I received a call from another owner of a bed and breakfast in Carquet. Poof Gabi is on his way. More on him after I meet him. I told father and son we would have a one month trial. So no more sleeping in, as my room is off the kitchen and he will have to get to paramedic school. The huge thing is parking, I have room for bodies but if it snows the parking places  shrinks.   Everybody has a car to walk around the block.

Another buddy, from long ago is planning to visit in March. I knew him when I was a baby in Grad school and somehow now he now older than I am. Another story to come.  I was half expecting  an old guest to return from Oman but the arctic conditions  could kill him. He mumbled something about coming back in January.

Given its Monday new vigour surges thru the week. The catalogue of planned events today calls  for and could include cleaning the fridge, new batteries, watching bank balances descend,  a new portable phone for upstairs, groceries, seeing if La tomato starts and last but not least, purchasing the components for the slurry needed to keep me going to boot camp. Bath oil and Epsom salts. The slurry is at two stores or could be at one, depends. Seize the day takes on a whole new meaning.  I have just maybe recovered from boot camp and here it is again. I may jog around the house as I discovered I put four tea bags in my cup!

Off I go for another day of fun and adventure, you too please! Bug hug. (this is from boot camp, where you balance on a half ball thing and keep moving like an upside down ladybug.)

David husband of Deb January 15th, 2012

January 15th, 2012

Gotta be cold out there, the cat only did one round of in-out hour. He is currently supervising from the couch. Lucy ate something on the walk yesterday with her friends, thru the night had bad dog flutiness. She was in and out all night, consequently I was up and down. First thing when I was awaken she got Tums and I feel much better.

I got a lesson in how brief life is. David, the husband of Debbie, age 55, died on Friday of a heart attack.

I was at their marriage ceremony. The lesson was driven cruelly, as it just mere moments ago over milk, sugar, tea and breakfast that things, events and life were reviewed and were talked about around a breakfast table. Then time took wing. They went home and so did I.

Shocked one watches as the events of their life recedes. The new saddened soaked one takes possession. The instant you hear, life changes not so much for the listener but for the wife, the sister, the mother.

Before the phone call  it was a telephone day, chitchat of a diversionary kind. After the news was heard, introspection calls were made. Prior to it, there was a walk with a dog walking friend. It was a Sunday kind of day. Quiet gray cold January, marking time until Monday, that day is when the world rushes to commerce.  A book reading kind of day. Burying yourself in the mystery of thieves, tinkers, and spies.  Following, the mystery of life and the injustice that will never see the light of a court hearing.  

Beforehand meals of no consequence, afterwards no a meal of consequence. Peaceful wallowing in naptimes interrupted by the sting of the phone, that lead to night-time insomnia  Hiding in day dreams, next looking at photo albums of recollections. Smooth lines of time flatten into choppy exclamations. The rush and willingness to assist, with no where to go. Empty and idle hands.

The sun is out, the world is turning and goes on, maybe not for the family, the wife, the sister and the mother, and for extended of in-laws, mother, brother and sister,  but not for a while. The fissure in their lives of before and after carved in granite.

Friends, away and distant hear the grief, marking the time, the day. Bowing heads, hands clasped, waiting for the future to assist to listen to hold if only on paper.

Carpe diem,  

More Clementine cake January 13th, 2012

January 13,2012

Gigantic machines in the hours of darkness, moved garbage and then snow. The only time there has been noise on the streets this week, and I have one guest. He is coughing that little hacking breathing cough, adding to the noise level and is probably contagious. I managed to sleep thru it all. He may or may not stay another couple of nights. I need to get my hazmat suit out.  Of course he wants a discount for staying with me. I have given other individuals that opportunity and hesitate to extend this courtesy as  they leave paying the discounted rate after one night. He did go to check on his father, and left all his bits and pieces.

The wintry weather is not supposed to last long, as there is rain in the forecast,  to wash it all away. This winter is the total opposite of last years where we could not see out the windows and had to defrost the roof for a small fortune, because of the ice. This year, I came home and unplugged the wires as it is mild and want of course to save money.  I have spent another small fortune on snow removal. This gentleman has been to the house twice, this year. His final cheque clears yesterday. I may be ahead on heating.

The program “The Nature of Things” last night, was talking about “Obesogens.” How toxins in the water, air and land are causing more fat cells  and the epidemic of obesity and or type two diabetes. Great.  Now I know its not my fault (which I have known my whole life,) but it now confirmed by science that its not just my genes. In my quest for the famous science experiment I froze the Clementine cake to slow down its rate of consumption. It does not zap well I came to find out. After reincarnating it, the cake which was moist to begin with, turns into  is a mushy mess.

I may just put a chunk out, for experimental purposes for the guest. Whose comment when asked if wanted the baked beans with the French toast, his responce was more along the lines of a gourmand “the more food the better”

A creepy observation this morning, While letting Murphy out for his constitutional I noticed that there was a mosquito a tiny baby one, trying to get out. The temperature is such he could continue to exist out there.    

Boot camp tonight, with all the standard operating duties and obligations in the middle of the day such as the walk with Lucy. I went to see on the walk see if it has frozen enough to go for my annual skate. There was more water on the ice than under it. They have not cleared the sidewalks as the rain is supposed to do it cheaper.

I really thought that I would be skiing this year. One of the reasons I am participating in the excise class of the century. I have 10 year old skis both cross country and downhill. That have not been near me since I moved in her. (Note to readers, bed and breakfast digs into ones social life, badly.) However if I had not participated in the boot camp I probably would have been put into an induced coma after I fell down the hills.

Four marketing calls, today most offering me “discounted” cash for credit cards. I am not sure just what that means, but I once followed up on one of these calls and a slick salesman leapt to my door.

So duty calls, hugs


Thursday~ January 12. 2012

January 12, 2012

Made it to Thursday! Wednesday was smooth.  I think that is why I don’t notice them so much. Day included a trip to the shelter to purchase a licence for the dog, cat litter and to meet a lovely golden cross Apollo  that would make a good addition to any family (hint)

The walk in the wind just about scraped my face off. The nap in the middle of the day interrupted by another (can you imagine) bnb owner wanting to join the bed and breakfast association for the province.  I poached the salmon in the Clementine water and used the extra to make rice.  Boot camp was focused on core work. Ate and watched Brit Coms. (Doc Martin Season 5)

The hardest part of the day was getting the 50 pounds of cat litter down the stairs to Murphy’s bathroom which he supervised while I was going down the stairs.

I have to say I am feeling ok and rested which is a novel feeling. I am usually stressed if there is people staying and stressed if there isn’t. This time of year it is hard to figure out if the recession is pounding on my door or if it the natural flow of things as it after the huge hump of Christmas. Reading the newspaper is scary too.

So the diary of events is too boring to continue, will close and carrying with the list of things to do, hoping your day is an uneventful as mine is. Big hug.

Post clementine cake January 11, 2012

January 11,2012
The Clementine cake looks like a patio stone. It took ages to cook and then when I pulled it from the oven it was still clammy. It could be that it called for 5-6 pieces of fruit. I don’t know just how many I put in it. I am of the “more is better” school. I have left it on the counter waiting for it to dry. I may make more for the backyard.

All that effort not to eat or at least restrain myself in calories alone, was for not.. For a the wet damp cake. A huge chunk has disappeared out of it. I have to admit the sender of the recipe said it would be improved the next day. It tastes like marmalade and toast but better. I had to make it as the lady who via the computer sent me recipe also brought me the 2.5 cups of nuts and pan to bake it in. I had not read the recipe well, but had manage to get the extra eggs it called for. So I was trapped into baking something I did not want to eat. Then via the computer, I had to dissuade another individual that the cake did not need flour. Legal Tortes don't have any, either.

It called for buttering a elaborate pan that has a latch on the side and parchment paper. Other women would have trimmed the paper to fit the pan and I just left it hanging over the side as that came in very handy. I just hoisted the whole thing out when the time came to get it out. I had learned this from my banana breads I just use the too much paper  I lift it straight out of the spring form without using the latch provided.

Another use for the Clementine water could be for chicken soup base. I have a number of friends who are in need of soup as they have colds and flu’s. One husband and wife team had two different types and were giving themselves each others. Could drop it at the door and run away when delivering it.

I got into bed last night and started laughing about all the funny things I would write about it this morning and now for the life of me can’t remember any of the lines I was going to use. BUT you will be pleased to know it is Weds. I think.

My rant a few days back about recycling got more response than any other letter I have sent. Someone asked “who just had peed in my corn flakes“. I challenged others to reduce reuse and recycle, so I carefully watched myself to see that I was up to my challenge. I made a pot of tea, ( found it became too cool too fast.) I did use the sink as a bucket for dishes to sluice them off before going into my 1981 dishwasher. The dog’s bag was a bread bag and had to purchase the biodegradable ones. So waiting to hear from everyone about what they did.

My garage is off its axis just like mistress of the manor. However the visitor that inspected the garage advised me that I was the most interesting person he had met in the last three years in Moncton. He gave me not one, not two but three calendars for 2012. I have ripped out the nice pictures and plan to make a vision board. (Another blast of surgery is scheduled for February 7th) I gave him two of my brochures to take to his wife who works for an insurance company to encourage guests. Off for a day of fun and adventure. Big hug

Clementine cake January 10th, 2012

January 10, 2012

The day began with my recurring guest for breakfast. He will because of his recurring,  pay part of the mortgage. Somebody has to. He is here about once a week and received French Toast for his labors  When he arrived last night, I could not talk which is what one expects if you are the host of a bed and breakfast, having just returned from boot camp.

It feels like my arms are on hinges and very rusty ones at that. We hung from cables twice thru the stations. One push ups and the other pelvic tilts, hovering two inches off the floor with no net.  All of which they assure me is to strength your core.  And a third from another ring hanging from the ceiling looks like a pole dance. One had to plant your feet so you can lean back and touch the ground with your hand then bring said hand up and touch the cable. Upon my return home, I made soup. Watched it cook and some TV. I can’t say I overcooked it as the legumes were tough when I fell into it. 

While eating tough soup, I watched a very funny Brit Coms that I have to tell you about the “Vicar of Diblee,” a TV show on Vision Television. (On Weds night at 9? But that could change.) The  assistant was reading a passage from the Bible and mixed up all the letter s with f. The Vicar jumped up and interrupted with the word, succour. Hilarious. I just discovered the program with my mother over Christmas, but apparently this has been on for years. My bed was screaming for me and OFF~ I went.

The doorbell rings after breakfast and before vacuuming.   My neighbours son that I waved at thru the window earlier in the morning,  brings his 8 month old son to inspect. Square, no teeth, blue eyes and all the asked for  fingers and toes. Cute as a button in his alligator overalls. Wonder if they make the overall in my size.

The day was filled with such excitement as purchasing kilos of dog food in my new sunglasses. Red seems to be my colour of 2012.  The sunglasses that were on sale at the local pharmacy. I purchased two pairs. The red pair has flowers to go with & to match the car.( I noticed recently that the new to me little red car seems to have eyelashes.) Red mittens completed the purple dinosaur coat ensemble. I tie the dogs leach orange around my waist and the walk the dog in this ensemble. Every colour under the sun is attached to my body in the amble. I think Lucy chases squirells just to get away from me.  

But in the meantime I determined that I had leftover Clementine’s. Fruit that needed to be used up. I Googled recipes.The recipe that was very easy, using a hand held blender, and the food chopper (I got as a gift from my older sister a few years back). I had gone grocery shopping purchasing extra eggs but had not gone thru the recipe at all and found that I did not have the pan or the ingredients, like 2.5 cups nuts.
The recipe calls for cooking them for two hours on the stove slowly but I do not have the patience.  I filled up a pot with water and placed the fruit gently the oven with the rest of dinner.

While they were simmering and dinner cooking, I went for a walk with the intention of visiting a neighbor along the way to wish her a New Year. I had a bowl of soup many hours earlier barley was able to put one foot in front of the other, staggering back home as the glucose levels seemed to drain out of my feet .I waited until the rain and hail started then set off. I leaned into the sludge coming down, making sure that everything got soaked. I then turned around and made sure the back of me got it as well.

I had been trying to cut the calories that go into my mouth.  Somehow had the presence of mind to manage to eat a salad while the chicken, and the Clementine’s cooked.  I posted the recipe on face book and almost get into a fight with about  how much flour used in the cake. Hard to believe a cake without flour, but there you have it. The joys of social media…. I had not tasted the thing yet.  I now have two cups of Clementine water, that I may use to poach the salmon in tomorrow, and on it goes ….

Maybe I should have waited until the thing comes out of the oven before announcing my intentions and subsequent actions “Experience: that most brutal of teachers. But you learn, my God do you learn.” (C.S. Lewis)

Hugs waiting  for the taste test!



Recycling Rant January 08, 2012

January 08, 2012. My rant for today. To be read in one breath!

My Father was of the opinion that we had dominion over everything This was in the post war 2. A giant  push for consumerism and conservative leanings. Our consumptive economy developed from that war that got us where we are today. His grandson will still blame us....even though I have hang out laundry, have lo flow show heads, special wet/dry garbage containers, turn off the electric when not using the hot water, drive a lo gas consuming car. I use bio degradable cleaning fluid and laundry soap. I don't have a/c in the house as it is stone, the place insulated up the ying yang. I set the thermostat and have the guests use blankets, I wear clothes not flips flops in the winter. (when I have guests, pray harder) The heat is turned off to the rooms not occupied and turned down to 15 when no guests are here. I wash in cold water. I have a ancient cell phone that is still going, it has a recycled a battery to put into it. I take batteries back to the store and keeping them in a glass jar until then. I read the newspaper online. I use a bucket and mop to clean the floors. I save the pop cans taking them back to send a kid to camp (again when I have guests, pray harder please) I recycle towels and sheets to rags or to the spca for the animals. I don't use paper towels or serviettes. I don't purchase books anymore I get them from the library. My computer and monitor is recycled. I wash out tops to yogurt containers and milk sacks. I reuse yogurt containers for soup . That is frozen, then after usage they may go into recycling. I have my shoes re-heeled. I have soap for personal use that had no packaging and am working to use shampoo and cream rinse as well (from I decant hand soap, jams, honey for guests uses. I decant dog and cat food. I use a franchise to purchase the animals’ food that is a locally owned. Independent and a woman to boot.  When I wash my hair which I will donate for wigs for cancer patients,  I stand in the lo flow shower. But I think I mentioned that already. I clean furnace air filters and reuse them and wish I had enough money to convert the house to waste water recycling, solar and or wind, I will someday. I have re-mortared the brick, insulated the basement, caulked and resealed the windows from the inside, then outside. The insulated  chimney saves 500 litres of fuel a winter approximately. I turn the water off while washing my teeth. Lucy's poop bags are biodegradable. Lucy and Murphy are recycled themselves. I was using phosphate free dishwasher soap but they stopped selling it. I have a thermostat for the wires to the roof to de-ice it. I turn off my computer and my car when not in use. I have two plastic water bottles that I take and use water out of the tap from. One of which my mother gave me and is older than my nephew is. The cap is broken but everyone at boot camp knows it is a family heirloom. Someone was thoughtful enough to bring it back when I forgot it. I have a battery operated lawn mower. I will get better at grocery bags. I still have the net ones I purchased in England when we were kids. I have the whirly light bulbs in every light in the house. I use local food products made here in the province or at least from the Atlantic. I know where my potatoes are grown. The commercial bakery is up the street and the milk products are from New Brunswick farmers I am told. The apples are from an orchard 40 kilometres’ from here. My tea bags are from a Maritime producer in Sussex that has been in existence since 1800's. I eat too much meat. My lawn is pesticide free. When I turn on the oven I stuff it full.

I wish for my nephew and nieces another world, one where injustice and worry did not exist. Where people would think before they spoke or acted or ate. I wish they thought about where food came from and had a choice of food to choose from, where islands of plastic did not exist in the oceans, that the habitat for animals was not being overtaken by mindless housing tracts, that housing and food were not commodities for profit and built for the long haul. That our society was not profit/greed driven and can be taken down as easily as it did. But it has. One of the rampant environmentalist was and is Auntie L.

We have to realize that "Pain has no blame" Blaming is a total waste of time, it makes people defensive, what is needed is to challenge and educate and remind. There are people who do care and do act. Who are mindful and want environments of water, air and want land free of pesticides.

The question is not what we DID but what we are GOING & willing, willing, willing, to do, on daily on a increasing basis. It is not talk that will get us out of this mess but actions small incremental actions by individuals like me and you and think about your recycling efforts today please. I will try to use the sink and stopper in the kitchen (like a bucket) instead of running the water, and make a pot of tea instead of boiling the water three times. What will you do? Big hugs, lg

Car Wash January 07, 2012

January 07, 2012

 I started down the driveway, at the end once again realized  I had lost Wednesday. How did I know this? It was Thursday, there were the neighbors tell tale hints, the garbage bags, Thursday it was.  Really you would think I was used to this by now.

Driving the car was a difficulty. The car is not hot red, but red & white, having crossed many time zones. The windshields on both ends were and are covered in crud. The side windows are saline inspired art work. The mirrors splashed with fluid that is supposed to clean them.  I am waiting for it to warm up to take it to fill it with fuel, so I can also get a car wash.

I know it was way too cold for a car wash. If I did take it now, I would not be able to get into it at all. Currently I have locks that I don’t understand., There is a Morse code sequence that I have yet to figure out to get into it. Once to the left opens just the drivers side while a tap dance to the right could possibly open the rest of the doors. I have too many doors I have to admit. One huge one opens to a non existent trunk. It too has a special clandestine code.  I am just not a high teck kind of gal. I do I think, have to get the energy together to give the car a sponge bath. The dog too come to think of it.

The cat headed off to mark his territory which includes a 65 year old shed. Because of my neighbors snow removal last year my garage is getting more socially conservative, listing to the right.  (I seem to get more wild in old age.)  When I arrived home, from the holidays, the garage door was at an angle that meant someone had been in and that the contents had been stolen. It was too late at night and I was too tired to begin the assessment. It took two days to find out that nothing is missing. Who I ask you would want worn out plastic lawn furniture? I was sure someone did.  The ladder that a painter left me was still there too, along with my signs which are now battered with age. All is well in the garage.  16 year old Grasshopper was leaking life giving fluids, so the floor which was not too bad, gives me a scare and I think the new to me Tomato is about to go under.

I woke up to a nose bleed. The heating system is to blame it dries out the atmosphere, to the point there is not a drop of moisture in it. It looks warmer out, regardless I had to turn up the heat as I have a guest coming from B.C. While extolling the virtues of a bed and breakfast repast,  he was insisting on “just toast’
I told him I turn into the Jewish Mother and cluck for good measure.  He said he did not need another one. When I took his credit card I realized he was Jewish, sometimes I should just shoot myself. Another guest appeared, the one who was last here and cleaned up a visiting dogs calling card while there was a party going on.  Managed a quick trip to the food store and had enough to feed them breakfast but I just don’t know, as I think I bought too many crackers and not butter.

You can tell that I had a completely uneventful life by my last several paragraphs. You think I over focus on the tiny. According to the CBC the afternoon commentator Tchaikovsky was worried that he would run out of ideas, Me too! He worked on a little idea, and made it in to some big music. We artistic types worry that the juice will dry up.

I was informed that there is a golden retriever girl 1 year 2 months out at the shelter.(same age as Lucy, and Libby when I got them.) The last time I even thought about this, Lucy went berserk and I went for a swim in e-coli. ( A river close by here) I will not go and see her, Goldie is her name, needs manners......but socialized. But it breaks the L spell. Mom is Lorna, Liberation from the SPCA aka Libby, Linda, and Lucy is what I am referring to.

I do however have to find Lucy's certificate of rabies to be able to buy a license. I chased her vet around the tri-city area here. This is while the vet made up her mind where she wanted to practice. I just don’t know just what clinic of the three Lucy had her shots. I used to keep her records in the car, but switched cars and on it goes.

The frosty weather continues, not much snow at all. It took about half the five k walk with my cousin and her son’s puppy, Latch to warm up. The first part of the walk was an icy hill. I slipped ending up descending gently on my backside down. The dog completely oblivious. Pushing myself off from side to side, hoping not to glide off into the stream that gurgled beside it.

So with that will glide off upstairs and clean a room.  My second favorite household chore is ironing. My first being hitting my head on the top bunk bed until I faint. ~Erma Bombeck

Big hugs, lg


First Boot Camp Jan 06, 2012

January 06, 2012

I did make it to boot camp, the first session of the new year. It seemed easy at the time, and was easy was the trainer had arrived from Austria. She too was too jet lagged and was not her normal self.  With a chorus of whining and sniveling we had not one but two warm ups.

One, because is it -11 C or 16 degrees F. Two, none of us had been there since well before Christmas.  Myself included.  I put on long pants and well worn Texas t-shirt  then off! I went. Sixteen, 16, count 'em brave and foolish individuals,  pretending athletic types, thinking we were in contention for the Circus de Soil.  There is a picture somewhere in the world that has me, with my legs thru stirrups two feet off the ground doing push ups to commemorate the start of 2012. We did another the reverse of the previous effort for hamstrings where by we had to lift our knees up and this was to get our hamstrings moving. Great. I still can’t walk.

We need to pay them to do this to us, Given it was the start to the New Year and the first of the month, there was a long line up to compensate them for all this. We have music from the trainers I pod,  It make it easier beat down the little hairs in your ears.  I couldn't understand it. I am too old. My music stuck in my head is the Sound of Music, circa 1964. I am whistling the tune where the young Nazi and the 16 year old virgin are singing and dancing in the gazebo since the New Year began.  “ I am 16 going on 17, I will take care of yooooou.” etc. Right.

You are only as old as you feel, well in a short hour I feel prehistoric.

We did a warm up in the gym and then hit the stairs. Everything went well. The cold of the arena slowing down your breathing, just when you needed it. Back in out little alcove we pounded around the 14 stations of the cross.

I must tell you that every piece of elastic I had put on my body to support and suppress managed to curl up and in. I have discovered however the further you are away form the mirrors the smaller you look. I am still waiting for the colossal weight loss that others are claiming boot camp gave them. “I simply remember my favorite things and then I don’t feeeeelllll ssssoooo bad”  Too true.

I was in danger of climbing into bed and never getting out. (see previous paragraphs song)  I made a slurry of oil and salt to keep the skin from drying out as I sat in the bathtub. Salt to replenish the saline lost in sweat.  I kept the hot water flowing. I seized up while typing. It was difficult to climb the stairs to the bathtub.   I had to get into the bath or I would never breathe again. I could not wash my hair as I it would mean building a hoist to get my arms in the proper position. “Whiskers on kittens and warm woolen mittens, these are a few of my favorite  things.”  Oh yea.

The cat yowled to go out at his regular time and I have to let you know the fat lady was mumbling . Somehow made it down the 6 stairs to open the door. On my tippy toes hanging on to the recycling bin.

The daily  walk was along the river and was frosty. Given there was a wind, Lucy really enjoyed her time. I had leaned into the air stream, humming more of the show tunes. I had my hat over my eyes and parka complete with fake fur over that and did not notice her rejoicing. . I discovered that she had rolled in something when I ascended into bed later.

 I parked the car away from the library, then walked unsteadily as I was still stiff and sore, to renew the books I did not read over the holidays. This was because I never stopped eating and could not manage to hold a tome and have a meal at the same time. 

Tomato soup (no relations to my car)  and crackers were all that I could muster after boot camp. At  3 am my stomach started to gurgle, the dog sleeping peacefully next to my nose.

The cat of course had been left out in the cold while we walked as he had to defend his territory .  Murphy showed up while I was lowering myself into bed with goop coming out of his eye which was quickly closing and not to sleep. “Thousands of years ago, cats were worshiped as gods. Cats have never forgotten this."

Only for the animals  would I get out  of bed.  I found some prescriptions from 2005 and loaded the offending eye with it. Animal prescriptions have names like HTML, PMBT  and so on, I cracked open one that said in the fine print optomologicial  and squirted away without Veterinary supervision. His eye this morning looks good and I have to spend some time looking up the prescriptions so I know what I am putting in his eyes.

Wishing a day full of songs in your head, so they get out of mine.


OFF~ we go January 04, 2012

January 04, 2012.

We, we, the kids, Lucy Patricia and Murphy the Road Scholar from Little Shemogue, and I  made it home to the "Big Little City" here on the banks of the Chocolate River yesterday. The expedition started off in the suburbs of Montreal in subzero temperatures. The Little Tomato the new to me car I drive just would not warm up no matter how fast I drove until I turned left into the province. Given how cold it was it was a surprise that the mighty St Lawrence River was not ice-covered.

I woke up at 4:30 a.m. and we were on the thoroughfares earlier than usual. I had spontaneously left the Trans-Canada out of sheer boredom. Taking the exit that would lead me onto the Salmon River Road. I have to tell you nothing but snow and ice. An off road adventure, as the car is newish, and it would shave minutes off my time. I slalomed thru only seeing a brown fox for wild life. The sign at Plaster Rock warned of winter conditions for the next 134 kilometers and then I looked at my gas gauge  The journey back to New Brunswick was all from memory.

My memory I have to say is not very good. An example of this was upon arrival in Montreal, I determined that my mother had all the ingredients for an egg dish that I could not remember the name of. I had to resort to looking in the antiquated recipe book, under egg dishes until I found the word and recipe I was looking for, quiche. Conversations with old friends took on new meaning, as none of us could finish sentences and we had to root around in old memories to complete paragraphs.

I did start the day by stripping and  making my bed. Mom gave me two sheets that were not usable,  one worn, the other torn, third time lucky I got to finish the job. The quality of the sheets from my youth I have to say is much better than what you can purchase nowadays. Mom is saving them for heirlooms. She is I know mending them today.

Lucy of course was concerned I was going to leave her behind and while loading the little car, stuck to me like glue. She would not even carry her toys out to the car. Lucy has never been forgotten one minute in her life I hasten to add.

I thought that I would never get on the road as the CD books that I had taken out of their casings slid down the side of the door. One of the things with a tape is you could have it sticking out of the machine and ready to pop in when ready to listen. I knew I had to stop and get things ordered. I stopped 500 yards from my mothers door which is the service road to the highway. I was worried I was behind schedule at 6 a.m. I got behind a huge truck and crossed the Mercer Bridge without falling in, which is a marvel, if you read the newspapers you know the state of the highways in Quebec.

I actually listened to two CDs, on the way home, one a story about dragons and Saint Georges descendants a la Harry Potter, and another and still had an hour of silence. Murphy, of course, when the disc finished started yowling. (He believes that some one is talking to him for 12 hours straight, even I a known chatter box could not do that. Maybe Elisa my niece could but not me)

I had to on the highway #126 turn the cat’s crate around and pet him thru the bars. We were hurling down the road at top speed as I had not adjusted to being the only one on the road. He was content as he could I think see out the windows. Reversing into the driveway was difficult as I was unused to that gear. Being Gordon's daughter you can never go in reverse, only forward. I unloaded the car and dropped into its heap in the kitchen, the unpacking chore is half done, with this writing.

I transported up all sorts of Maritime goodies, including boxes of Ganong's hard and soft chocolates, frozen lobster, Graves beans and chow-chow. The honey I had purchased to give as gifts, froze on the way up and the blue undertone colour was lost in the haze. poop. I assured people of the colour. Baking these days consisted of boxes of cookies purchased at the local grocery store and not available in Montreal. (Frozen I hasten to add as  I had left them in the car prior to leaving, as they would be safe there, from taste testing.)So Christmas 2011 was well-behaved. Mom is slower and not baking anymore. The flow of groceries did not stop.

The Butterball cooked in the oven that is the same age as me, and the dressing had its picture taken. The main event meal provided leftovers to the point I had Chala bread, turkey and cranberries sandwiches for supper upon my return to Moncton.  (Good Chala is hard to find here in Moncton.) Mom was misty at the letters we all sent and read at the table to her and about her. Hopefully it put an end to her horrible year.

Back came a pair of matching earrings (can you imagine!) and three pink (of course) flannel night gowns, two pairs of slippers and a plastic frog bank (Can be sung to the song the 12 days of Christmas) The frog bank I have determined will be used to save for my trip to Turkey, and Newfoundland. The piece de rĂ©sistance however is a toilet bowl cleaner in the shape of a giraffe.  I am delighted to say matches my first floor bathroom. It has taken up residence there and looks if I do say so myself very smart. The “table saw” for chopping up cakes I hope is not a reflection I hope of my baking abilities. I have a calendar of photos and a pin from Newfoundland to wear to see that I get it back to the rock.

The grass when I arrived home was greener than most of the summer, and better yet you don't have to mow it. I let the animals out and Lucy unsure what to do as she had not been let out of the car for hours. She was sure I was going to leave her in her own back yard. I gave them water and Murphy promptly threw up on the carpet. I resisted the urge to call emergency vet services as I could not see straight. After calls to let people know I had gotten home I found the bed and slept for 12 hours and would still be there if Murphy had not yowled to go out. He is lucky is has made it to 2012.

Stacks of mail await, dog to walk, library books to go back, loads of wash both cloth and dishes lie ahead as I forgot to turn on the dishwasher when I left, but couldn't anyway as I had drained the pipes. I have used all the milk up I brought with me which means a trip to someplace to get more. I am not sure that I can get behind the wheel of the car just yet. I do however have sandwiches left over, and stale Montreal bagels to keep me going. I do have boot camp tonight, and may die.

I do apologize for not getting to some of the visiting I normally do but I also have to hasten to add I did not get the books read I brought with me either. Tempus fugit.  

Wishing you all the best for the new year ahead, love all round, Linda