When I was a kid, I liked to read and many of those stories were about animals. I loved Beatrice Potter’s Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle. I spent many happy hours in the Green Forest with Sammy Jay, Reddy Fox, and Tommy Titmouse, rounded out by John Calvin Reid’s congregants in “Bird Life in Wington”.
I think of them still, as I watch them from my windows. And just like many of those characters, my feathered friends have personalities too. They’re city birds, after all. I think they know I’m watching, so sometimes they pose nicely, and other times, they let their “true colours shine”.
Some people aren’t just missing the odd screw, they’re missing the whole freakin’ toolbox!Unknown
Happy Wednesday from all of us!
‘The Answer to the Great Question… Of Life, the Universe and Everything… Is… Forty-two,’ said Deep Thought, with infinite majesty and calm.Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
Dear Diary -It’s week 42. Did you learn the “Answer to the Great Question… Of Life, the Universe and Everything…”? No? Me neither! I know the pandemic has made me
lazier less energetic and this year I’ve noticed a lower level of laziness energy in our local squirrels too. Or is it ingenuity?
It’s that time of year again when the squirrels dine on the fence and leave their half-eaten apples behind. Squirrels don’t eat apples, you say?
I’d say he’s horking that down like it’s his last meal! Where’s the ingenuity in leaving a mess for someone else to clean up? It’s not there – it’s here! Why scrounge apples off the ground when you can eat them IN the tree?
It’s making me rethink the whole shopping/cooking/clean up experience. Why go through all that bother if can just dine right there in the grocery store?
Dear Diary – My clock is still pyscho. It still indiscriminately starts counting the hours and bipping every time it hits midnight, regardless of what tropical paradise I was sunbathing in, in my perfect bikini body! On Sunday, it was dancing between 7:51 and 5:38. The correct time was 7:51 but at 5:38, I was flirting with Dwayne Johnson. I wanted to switch it with the clock in the office (they are the same model) but it got weirder. Thinking it might be the battery, I yoinked it out and plugged it in, but it remained frozen at midnight. So I put the battery back in. It’s still frozen at midnight and now the radio won’t turn on either. Take me away, Dwayne.
Dear Diary – It’s not outside, but inside! Believe me, I checked. There is a definite new single spider thread in the front window of my car. I’m not sure which is more terrifying. The thought that there’s a spider in my car or a mouse in Hubby’s. We don’t know if there’s any new evidence of our mousey friend since I avoid his car like the plague.
We had the shingles of our carport and back porch replaced this week. I voted for a new couch! The roofers were supposed to come Tuesday morning so I got up early. They showed up Wednesday morning while I was still in bed. They were done in a few hours and told us the bin guys would be by later to get their bin. It’s Thursday morning and there’s no sign of them. Hubby’s car is trapped in the carport and he has to go in to the office tomorrow so if he’s not home before I have to drive Little Guy to youth, I don’t have a car. Even if I did, I’m not keen on taking that mouse for a car ride. If it ran under my feet, there would be an accident. If not my car in the ditch, then I’ll be struck on the road fleeing the vehicle. Unless the bin people come.
I’m trying to work on my fear of spiders. A couple weeks ago, Little Guy came up from the basement and stood in front of me, blankfaced. “Yes?” I asked suspiciously. While he admitted he hated asking for help, he needed help. Spider! So I grabbed a shoe and the fly-swat and followed him down. It was a big one. A big black one. On the wall. Next to his pillow. [shudder]. I whacked that sucker so hard I’m surprised I didn’t crack the wall, AND I made sure there was a body. Or what was left of a body, before I went left the scene of the crime.
During our Thanksgiving dinner, I noticed a white spider creeping ever so slowly through my Mom’s flower arrangement. It took every ounce of energy to not just grab my plate and leaves. I couldn’t take my eyes off it. Eventually Auntie M came to the rescue. She coerced it onto a leaf and put it outside. The leaf was so tiny. I’m so impressed. White spiders are no less horrifying than than black ones.
But I think I’m getting braver. Instead of hollering for my Dad Thanksgiving weekend, I did this…
Sure, I did the heebie jeebie dance right before I yelled for my Dad! But see? Getting better.
Dear Diary – What new fresh nightmare is this? I’ve been scheduled to lead worship on Sunday, which is a pleasure. The nightmare is that at my new church, there’s an app for that. Specifically, an app for the background tracks used along with live instrumentation. It means I have to set up the playlist with all the settings for instrumentation and arrangement in advance. It means in addition to speaking, playing and singing, I have to click the correct buttons at the right time from the platform, or risk an incredibly awkward silence during the live service. I escaped the nightmare last month by
begging asking my friend to work it for me. And he worked it, baby! But this time, the responsibility is all mine.
Learning a new app shouldn’t be a big deal, unless you’re getting to be an old dog who is prone to panic attacks while learning new tricks! This app has colours and buttons, symbols and squiggly lines that all mean something important. I know they do! And even if I knew what they all did, at the same time no less, I have cold hands. My iPad doesn’t recognize the almost undead, so when I tap the screen, it doesn’t respond. On several occasions now, I have had to bellow for Little Guy to come “make my stupid iPad work”. Inevitably, his one tap sends my iPad into “yes master” mode and it jumps into action. I confess that sometimes I want to take that happy iPad and use it to wipe the smirk off Little Guy’s face. It’s just not fair!
I watched the tutorial after another worship leader talked me off the ledge and showed me how to use it. I’ve procrastinated a large portion of the week and I fiddled with it the rest. I have no idea if I’m even close, but I’m sure 5 minutes into rehearsal tonight, I’ll have my answer. I will have either done it all correctly or I will have blacked out from the stress. Either way, I’ll know.
Dear Diary – The bin guy came so Hubby’s car is released and I can drive my own car Friday night. Too bad I wasn’t dressed when he arrived…and Hubby was in an important meeting. I think he was more embarassed than me when I slipped out to move my car out of his way, in my nightie and robe. It was less embarrassing when that cop drove me home and I was wearing my glow-in-the-dark piggy jammies. Is everyone dressed by 10 a.m.? Normally I would be but I have a very important blog to get out.
We recently experienced a FaceBook Blackout. I didn’t even know about it until long after the fact. Immediately following it, my blog had a 306% spike the next day. I’d like to think I was wildly popular for that one day, but I think it was a panicked reaction to sudden social media withdrawal, and we all need to find something better to do with our time.
I should probably shower and get dressed…
Dear Diary – It’s week “Sweet 16” and I feel like there should be cake!
This week I started my course on Writing Humour (becaue Hubby says I need some)! I was really nervous and really excited. I mean, it’s being taught by a celebrity from the Arrogant Worms. I fixed my hair, put on make-up and laid out my pen and pad in plenty of time. I took a pic with my computer (which was terrible so I took another one on my ipad).
When I went to join in, my keypad wouldn’t work. I couldn’t log in, shutdown or open the directory to find out why. I yelled for Hubby, but he had gone for a walk. So I did a hard shutdown and made tea…
Hubby set up his laptop for me but I missed the first 10 minutes. As for my laptop, Microsoft decided to delete the driver for the keypad so I have to use a mouse. I hate it!
I loved the class though. After brief introductions, we collaborated on a silly song about Apps. Trevor, our instructor, added a tune and by the end of the night, we were singing along. Our homework is to write down funny things that we notice during the week, something I do naturally because coming up with blog material, particularly during covid lockdown, is pretty darn hard to come by!
It didn’t hurt that our chronic lazy toilet issue is back with a vengeance. Instead of running slow once every few weeks, it’s almost a daily thing. One afternoon, I heard Little Guy struggling so I took on the challenge. I couldn’t get it! Hubby couldn’t get it! After 9 buckets of warm soapy water, I tried again. I will not be bested by a toilet!
After my success, Hubby made the comment that when it came to all of us trying to clear the toilet with a plunger, “Mom is the queen”. Without skipping a beat, I replied, “Yup! I’m Queen of the Latrine”.
I ran with the idea and started my own country song/poem:
1) A man’s home is his castle and the toilet is his throne
His children are all grown now but he is not alone
His wife, she is a beauty, and to him, she is a dream
Because this lovely lady is the Queen of his latrine.
When the water slows to a trickle or the flappy thing is broke
When the methane gas is arisin’ and it’s not safe to smoke
Armed only with a plunger, oh! the nightmarish things she’s seen
She’ll conquer, that’s why he’s thankful
‘cuz she’s the Queen of his latrine
2) His wife is smart and pretty, her figure is the charm
But cookin’s never been her strength and that may cause the harm
To thinning pipes he’s addin’ beef and pork and beans
But he knows that she loves him ‘cuz she’s the Queen of his latrine.
Bridge: Logs and bogs and meadow muffins,
Drops and plops or squirts
Whatever’s left behind him, she’s cut out for her work
3) Maybe it’s the plumbing, the house is getting old
The bathroom paint is peeling and the stains are growing bold
But their love’s forever, though their match is strange it seems
Faithful to the end, she is the Queen of his latrine
What do you think? Maybe I should stick to my day job…
Dear Diary -This weekend we woke up to 10 cars in the driveway of our neighbour across the street. And people wonder why there are hundreds of new covid cases in our region every day? Way to social distance. Please…stay at home.
Dear Diary – If the sun shines when it’s raining, we get a rainbow. What do we get when the sun shines and it’s snowing???
Dear Diary – Last night, Hubby was scowling and looking at the bottom of the laundry basket. He turned it upside down and shook it. I told him everything would be ok. In a few days, the basket would be full again, with clean clothes, as if by magic.
Dear Diary – This week I finally coloured my hair. But, I was lazy and my arms were really tired so I didn’t comb it out or dry it before I stuck it in a bun on the top of my head. Now I have “Muppet Hair Syndrome”. It’s been 3 days since and whenever I let my hair out, I look like a female Grover who was struck by lightning. All I’m missing is the smoke!
As if that wasn’t frightening enough, last night, when I leaned forward to turn off the light, my hair was apparently tangled in the wrought iron headboard. I’ve had my hair caught in my zipper before, and a car window, the seatbelt, and the fridge door…my hairbrush, my necklace and my curling iron…but this was a new one for me. I’m scared to look in the mirror because there might just be a bald spot!
If this lockdown lasts too long, I’m going to become this…
but I’m not crazy I’m just a little unwellMatchbox 20, I’m not crazy
I know right now you can’t tell
but stay awhile and maybe then you’ll see
a different side of me
Dear Diary – Semester 1 of Grade 10 ended on Friday. Little Guy was so relieved to be done. In fact, he was downright pleasant to be around. Sunday afternoon we played a game of Carcassone. The difficulty, however, is that with the dining table now a home office, there’s no surface large enough for all the tiles. We sat side-by-side in lawn chairs in front of my small desk upstairs. Even though we shortened the river pieces to eliminate a few tiles, as the game neared, we were in trouble. So we added a windowsill and a mat on top of an open drawer. It’s a 3D board!
There’s a thin line between thinking outside the box and a caffeine-induced psychotic idea
Dear Diary – I ordered groceries for 2 weeks again online. It took me 4 hours to plan meals and compare prices between stores. When it arrived 3 days later, it felt like Christmas. I waved excitedly to the driver. He waved back, probably wondering what kind of nut lived here. Hubby helped me bring the bags inside and put things away.
It wasn’t until the job was complete that I realized, there was no bread! Was it their error, or mine?
It was mine. I ordered 8 loaves of bread for curbside pick-up the next day. There may only be 3 of us in the house, but we go through 5-6 loaves of bread in 2 weeks! Man cannot live on bread alone, but my men can’t seem to live without it!
Dear Diary – I’ve noticed a pattern lately with my instagram account and middle-aged guys. They follow my instagram account for a few weeks, liking most of my posts, especially the selfies. Some of them try to send me a direct message. When I don’t respond, they unfollow. Most of them have no description about who they are, what they like, etc. Some boldly share that they are looking for a relationship. I’m not sure this is the platform I would choose were I single and looking, but who am I to judge? The last guy to follow really made me chuckle. For his description, he wrote: “I’m here looking for a serious relationship that can take good care of me”. Well, as long as the relationship is all about you…who could resist?
Dear Diary – Big Guy gets hot under the collar when people dismiss video games as having no value. We know that gaming is more than just about the game; it’s also about community and so much more.
He passed on a positive story this week. A mom wrote that her 15 year old son has been hanging out with his friends a lot online during the quarantine. One evening, the friend and 5 of his friends were “hanging out” and they invited a solo player to join their “crew”. This gamer was much younger and had been spending a lot of time alone. In fact, it was the eve of his 11th birthday. So they threw him a virtual birthday party. They took him on quests, shared their loot, helped him win battles he couldn’t do on his own, and stayed with him until after midnight so they could sing him “Happy Birthday”. This random pack of guys could imagine the disappointment and heartache of this kid alone on his 11th birthday because of quarantine, and I’m sure this is now a birthday he will never forget!
Dear Diary – Semester 2 started this week. The first day was a half day so students could connect with their teachers. It took some sleuthing but I tracked down the missing teacher.
“No, please. Please don’t make me get up and go to school!”
“Honey, you have to go to school. You’re the teacher!”
Dear Diary – I was halfway down the stairs, counting all my steps, when I decided it would be less work to retrieve my fitbit from the charger, than to run around the house counting. With it being so cold outside, every step counts! As I charged up the stairs, Hubby asked me where I was going. I told him I was going to get my fitbit.
“What’s a pitbit?” he shouted after me. “Is that some kind of tool that measures how much you’re perspiring?”
When it is warm enough to go out, I feel like this snowman – a round pig squeezed into restrictive, poufy outwear that is slowly coming apart around the edges. On the days when I don’t get out, I kind of feel like I’m coming apart anyway. The bulky coat, sloppy boots, moulding mittens and hat that is just plain too big, make walking feel more like waddling, and then I do start to sweat. Maybe I need a pitbit after all!
My favourite winter activity is going back inside and putting my pajamas on!
I didn’t include the topic of Cee Neuner’s Fun Foto challenge today because for some, the first association might be off-putting. It’s “non-live animals“. My first thought was taxidery or stuffed animals. Little Guy’s first thought was roadkill. I actually have a photo of roadkill, but I won’t be sharing that today.
As I looked in my archives and around my home, however, I noticed there are a number of creative options! I have a stainless steel mouse in my kitchen, whose tail holds my rings when I’m baking. My egg timer is a pig. One tea tin has a sloth and one tea dish is a panda. I have assorted figurines of cats and frogs in the house, and Grandpa’s Pig. My shower curtain is birds on a wire. I’m wearing kittens on my nightgown and I am in no hurry to get dressed.
So I experimented with a few other items because it is, after all, a photo challenge:
Creativity involves breaking out of expected patterns in order to look at things in a different way.Edward de Bono
Normally Wednesdays have been “wilderness wednesday” but there isn’t much wilderness in my backyard. The birds don’t visit my feeder. Even the squirrels, just like my neighbours, are holing up in their cozy abodes and venture out only to get groceries. And now, with the impending declaration of a “state of emergency” in our province, and living in a region that has been hit particularly hard by Covid, that isn’t likely to change.
So I decided today to share a few pics of my new office/craft room/spare room which I generally refer to as my “sanctuary”. It’s become the place I now tuck in to write or craft away a few hours, somewhat in peace. I have family visitors popping in to say “Hi” during their bathroom break! 🙂
I wouldn’t call the space complete, but it’s well on the way, and for the moment, relatively tidy! So a good time to snap pics because I know it won’t stay this pristine for long!
As you know, it took me several weeks to paint the room blue, and it would have taken longer without the help of a friend (who booped the ceiling with the roller in plenty of places so don’t look up!)
Let me give you a quick tour:
I had hoped to purchase a day bed, but elected to keep Little Guy’s bed instead and save some pennies. The drawers are handy for storing fabric (and a change of clothes for Big Guy if he ever gets to visit again)! I debated a long time whether to go for a “beach” theme or a “videogame” theme. I decided “beach” was more grown-up! At some point, I will print and frame some of my favourite photos from our 2 summer holidays at a cottage near the beach. It’s my “happy place”. I also have my eye on some fluffy and beach-vintage-y pillows, and I will re-cover some of these in softer colours. My hope is to create a comfy corner to read.
I searched my symptoms on WebMD and it said it said I needed to be on a warm beach sipping pina coladas!Unknown
I own a lot of craft crap! Moving it upstairs forced me to sort and purge, no small undertaking. I hid a lot in the closet and there’s still a shelf in the basement (shh!) My hope is that organized, easy access will help me recapture my “creative mojo”! I put out some cards to inspire me.
The desk is nothing like I wanted, but it belongs to Hubby and he wants to keep it for sentimental reasons. I would paint it white, but the sentiment comes from happy memories of refinishing it with his father. On the plus side, the drawers are deep and it’s been a handy surface for crafting, writing, and cutting sewing patterns. My new cow desk lamp gives me whimsy; the oversized tea cup for pens and pencils, a nod to my love of tea. The tissue paper flowers were a mother’s day gift a million years ago! I started to write a book and I need to suck it up and get back to it, so I prominantely placed this reminder: Let your faith be bigger than your fear.
Finally, behind me, a new shelving unit for form and function: more craft crap, and some pretty things to make me smile.
The top shelf is my “geek shelf”: Minecraft Lego, Big Bang Theory Lego, and my Mercy figurine. I play the battle angel, Mercy, almost exclusively on Overwatch! The bottom 3 shelves contain my stamps.
The middle shelves have more personal things. Some sea shells from my Grandfather, who loved to walk the beach in South Carolina early in the morning. He made me promise not to let Nana throw them out if he died first! I also have a photograph my aunt took of my family with the catamaran my Dad built. I don’t remember the boat (except the faded red paw print on the sail) but I have many happy memories of camping and canoeing on this lake. A blue glass bowl that belonged to my other grandmother. I seem to remember it with hard candy in it? And she loved blue. I also have her small white tea cup with exotic birds. Perhaps they are enjoying the sun in palm trees next to a white, sandy beach and turquoise waters.
Which is where I’d like to be.
Because there’s nothing more beautiful than the way the ocean refuses to stop kissing the shoreline, no matter how many times it’s sent away.Sarah Kay
November 18- Dear Diary, Another gloomy weekend, or maybe that was just in the kitchen. When Handyman was installing the tile, which looks so nice, he had to pull the plug out and accidentally pulled off 2 wires. I don’t know when Dad will be able to get here to fix it. So with no light and no plug, it made cooking and baking a dismal task.
Last Friday morning, I made an emergency call to the pastor to see if he could pop over to help install our microwave. Fortunately, he was available only for the 40 minutes it would take, including driving. The installation went well but the microwave moves every time you push a button. It’s super annoying and more than a little scary!
Since Handy man took some doors home with him, I got some of the trim painting done, but it required some creativity to reach all the nooks and crannies! Handyman has started installing the new built-in cupboards and counter. So excited to see it finally coming together!
November 19 – Dear Diary, I sent my pa some snaps of the plug and hanging wires, which required standing on angles. I was not built to be in the circus, and yet I share a house with a number of strange characters. Me included. Daddy you’re my only hope!
On the plus side, the grout is going in. I haven’t been this excited about mud since Mud Hero. On the downside, it doubled my clean up at the end of the day just so I could cook dinner. Mud in the sink, all over the counters…even the floor.
We had yet another issue with door knobs & handles. Despite our careful consideration and adding up the numbers, more than once I might add, we ended up with 6 knobs too many…and 6 pulls too few. This required another trip to home depot. I was in too big a hurry to even change out of my yoga pants. I knew right where to go (after the return counter) – aisle 21! But to my dismay, they only had 4 pulls left. I raced to customer service where 2 ladies stood waiting, to wait on some guy, who had gone looking for something. Apparently this guy was “hotter” than me in yoga pants, and I had to wait for 2 of them to finish waiting on 1 of him! They were less than friendly when they did get to me, and they couldn’t help me any way!
So I had to drive to the other Home Depot farther away. I burst through the doors like a woman on a mission, heading straight to aisle 21. But hardware was not in aisle 21. Fortunately I wasn’t far off, and there were oodles. I skipped to the car with my newfound bounty…this time, only an hour and a half of my life gone forever!
November 19 – Dear Diary, Hallelujah! A new day has done and a bright light shines in the darkness. It is the light over my sink. The broken plug is repaired. The microwave is shimmied. The grout is complete. The doors and knobs and pulls are all installed. Handyman is done! I have cupboards to clean and some painting to touch up. Simple. But the hard part now…is finding “homes” for all. this. stuff.
Old vs. New
PLUS… all new breakfast/baking bar!
November 2 – Dear Diary: Hubby and I went shopping to buy a microwave. I thought it would be a simple job: drive to Home Depot, pick one in our price range, and bring it home. How hard could it be?
First, a long discussion ensued whether to choose black or stainless steel. Since nothing else in the kitchen is stainless steel, and expecting it to be less popular and therefore cheaper, we chose black. Every microwave in Home Depot was stainless steel.
A Home Depot employee looked on the website for us, and could order one in black. It was more expensive than stainless, and came with a $69 delivery fee. Ouch! It couldn’t be delivered to the store and picked up…so another discussion ensued, and we decided to buy a stainless steel one. Did you know, dear diary, that the only microwaves in the store are the models? It would take at least a week for it to come in. We didn’t know if Handyman needed it on Monday. We politely declined, much to the annoyance of the employee, and headed to the hardware aisle, where we proceeded to discuss and fondle all the knobs and pulls, from simple to ostentatious. We got ridiculously giddy. The prices, however, were a shock. I cannot justify spending $300 on hardware alone, no matter how ridiculously good-looking they are. So I settled on a simple white ceramic knob to go with the simple white doors. I purchased one for the whopping price of $1.99.
We went to Canadian Tire. They only had stainless steel, and none of them were over-the-stove models. BUT while we were there, I took Hubby to look at dishes. Our everyday Corelle set was given to us in 1995. While every mug and saucer is intact, we only have 5 dinner plates. Which means if we everyone is home, we have to do dishes. Which means if we have guests, we have to flip a coin to see who doesn’t get to eat. Unless we eat in shifts.
There was a great assortment of colours and patterns. I was particularly attracted to a pale blue stoneware set. The only ones Hubby liked were white. Just white. Our plate-flipping-coin will have to stay in the kitchen a little longer. Discouraged, we set out for store #3…
I hate shopping at The Brick. As soon as we set foot in the store, a salesperson started stalking us. It was creepy. He stalked us to the microwave department, pointed to a couple of models but didn’t explain anything, then wandered off in search of better prey. We could get him if we needed help.
We wandered around, scrutinizing the varied features of these stainless steel models (no black). The deciding factor (apart from price) was very high-tech: how comfortable the handle feels when we open it. Then we started wandering to see find Mr. Salesperson. Mrs. Salesperson saw us searching and offered to help. She showed us a few models and checked on a sales one that we liked.
We had made our selection when Mr. Salesperson showed up, and started mouthing off to Mrs. Salesperson about “stealing his sale”. It was incredibly uncomfortable. We didn’t know if we should interject or just walk away. Before we decided, she walked away and Mr. Salesperson rang it up. We could pick it up 3 days. I paid. Mr. Salesperson couldn’t get the receipt to print, so he disappeared…for nearly 5 minutes. I was beginning to wonder if he’d split town with my payment and I was to end up with no microwave. Just a gaping hole over the stove. Eventually we left with a receipt, a small migraine, and a parting scowl from Mrs. Salesperson.
November 4 – Handyman said he was coming to apply the second coat of plaster, but he didn’t show up. Guess he forgot and he’s away the rest of the week. I got bored waiting, so went shopping for clothes for Little Guy. He’s now taller than me but I’m still 4 lbs heavier. I’m not sure I could take him in a fight, but I’m going to pretend I didn’t say that!
November 11 – Everyone has been sharing their kitchen renovation horror stories. I was thinking I was getting off pretty easy. Famous. Last. Words….
The art of the bird is to conceal its nest both as to position and as to material, but now and then it is betrayed into weaving into its structure showy and bizarre bits of this or that, which give its secret away and which seem to violate all the traditions of its kind. – John Burroughs
Practice makes perfect. After a long time of practicing, our work will become natural, skillful, swift and steady. – Bruce Lee
Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice, and most of all, love… – Pele