Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Too Good to Miss

For those days when you just need a "feel good pick-me-up".

Don't say I never give you anything.  :)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

I Have A New Name

Well, when you change things, more things need to change to make it all work.  You know...buy a new dress--you need new shoes, get a new hair-do--you need new clothes and lipstick, get a new laundry room....

The setting for today's post:  the new laundry room. 

Yes, I love my new digs in the slavery department.  The stacked washer and dryer have made room for a folding station, a hanging cupboard, and a lovely powder room.  We haven't had a ground floor toilet for the past 17 years and so you can just imagine how wonderful it is now to feel the need and have somewhere-close-at-hand to go.  Yes, it's all good.  All except for the fact the dryer door gets in my way as I unload and fold the clean clothes. 

I called the appliance people.  They said I could do it myself with a door reversal kit.  Oh Yeah!!

So I got the kit, read the instructions, assembled the tools and fended off my husband's screams of terror.

Besides the metal hardware and the glass window, everything I had to deal with was plastic.  And we all know that plastic costs pennies to make into stuff, and plastic fractures easily, and plastic costs thousands to replace.....  This was the most scary part of the whole thing....prying  up the cowling to remove the handle and hinge covers:

Next, I removed the door.

Then I separated the two parts of the door sandwhich...and guess what?
I got to remove the lint and dust that had collected there for the past five years.  Who knew?

Getting a grip on this thing was a challenge, but taking a picture while gripping and screwing was even harder.

So I got the hinge off and then reattached it on the other side of the door.

Basically, I retraced my steps backwards and got the whole thing back together and working.  Hurrah!
Now I don't have to dodge the door to make my way back and forth to the folding station.

and just because I am soooo proud of myself, I will give you two angles of the finished job:

Now you can call me "Rosie the Rivetter".

While all this was going on, Admiral Lord Nelson (the dog) took it on the lamb.  He met the dog catcher several blocks away from home and went to jail.  $55.00 later...
You will notice this shot is not entirely in focus.  Try screaming at a pooch and taking his picture at the same time and see if you can get a photo in focus....

Now you can call me, "The Misplacer of Precious Puppies".

I heard the name "Marielle" a while ago.  Just saying, if I had to choose....

What name would you choose if you were going to rename yourself?

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Mother of the Bride #4

There is progress to report...

We've made a pile of tulle bows to mark the hiking trail to the wedding and in the process, we finalized the agonizing decision about "wedding colours".  People kept asking us
-What are the wedding colours? 
-Well, white, of course, was the response. 
That immediately prompted the comeback, -No...the wedding colours!

How long has this been an issue for brides?  Where have I been?  Isn't the mother of the bride supposed to know these things and how am I suppossed to instill confidence in my Bridie-Dear when I shrug my shoulders and shake my head in befuddlement at these questions?

Anyway...we now have colours.  It will be really colourful, in a muted, pastel sort of way.

Dresses for the three little flower girls are almost done.  They already look adorable.  Now the big question is...which one will get to wear the pink ribbon sash?  There seems to be contention on this issue, as they each ask me
-Don't girls always get to wear pink, all girls, always pink?

Now the Mother of the Bride needs a dress, or at least a decision about one.
Stay tuned.  To be continued........ 


As Blogger has boycotted my profile and won't let me comment on some of my fav blogs, I want to take this opportunity to tell:

K- you are  hilarious and I can't even imagine you on Martinis.
Jeff- you are welcome to cook for me anytime...looks delicious
Boob Nazi- bras were made to torture women.  The prices alone are enough to give a person apoplexy
Amy- I'm with Jake...micromanagement belongs in computer labs...would you like to take over Blogger on my behalf?

If you follow these people, please, please tell them I love them and I have linked to them....I am still HERE!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Fathers' Day Stories #2

        I was the first one up.  With my hair a shaggy halo around my head, my eyes half open, I navigated the steep stairs down to the first-floor bathroom.  It was cold on the tile floor.  I curled up my toes, swinging my feet to get loose from my flannel pajama bottoms.  I sang a little song and carefully measured out the allowed amount of toilet paper one small girl was permitted.  As I moved to the sink to wash my hands, I saw a most amazing thing:  The bathtub was half-full of water and....heavens...fish!

          They were swimming in lazy circles around the tub.  There were lots and lots of fish, with big eyes, and tails, and mouths making gulping motions. 


For once, I didn't make a sound.  I knelt down and put my hand in the water.  I touched a fish.  He didn't bite me.  This was such an unexpected delight, I had to share it.  I tip-toed back upstairs and woke my brother and sister.

Come quick and see what I found!

Careful not to wake Mummy and Daddy, I shut the bathroom door and we all hung over the edge of the tub, playing with the fish.

I got one, my brother exclaimed.

Me too, me too, let me,  our little sister squealed.  She wanted to get right into the tub with them.

We didn't think about our breakfasts, but we gave the fish Rice Crispies to eat.  By the time Mummy and Daddy got up, some of the fish were listing to port in a "I'm not feeling so hot" so of way.  One or two were lying lifeless on the bathroom floor, our pajamas were soaking and we three were as slimy as the fish.  Even Mummy was surprised.  Her face got all red.

The smelt were running and Daddy hadn't gotten home until three in the morning, when we were all in bed and sleeping.  His sheepish grin won her over...once he promised to clean it all up and disinfect the tub, that is.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Fathers' Day Stories #1

          Our post-war house sat on a big lot with a huge vegetable garden out back. I didn't realize then that Dad's hunting and Mum's garden were what kept food on our table throughout the years of my childhood. I didn't learn the stringent economies of our household until I was nearly 21.
          Mum stayed home to "raise the kids" and Dad went to work wearing a suit every day. He was proud that he had a good job. Still, there was never an easy, disposable income. Every Saturday, or was it every bi-weekly pay day, I would see Mum poring over the big leather book with pages divided by dark blue and red lines, neatly sorted piles of bills and receipts and her coffee mug at hand.
          When Grandpa died, Dad was the only one of our family to make the trip out west for the funeral. I remember the serious, late-night discussions debating the cost of plane versus train or bus fares, the should-he-stay or should-he-go agonies.
          I got my heart’s desire for my 10th birthday…a “big girl bike”. I LOVED it’s wide comfortable seat, the coaster brakes and the woven, plastic basket hanging off the handlebars. It wasn’t until years later that I realized it had been a garage sale find, not the brand new bike I had thought.
          A sibling needing extensive corrective surgeries not covered by health insurance was cause for a $200,000.00 loan that hung over my parents’ heads for more than 20 years. The cars we had were always used. Mum sewed our clothes. We wore hand-me-downs.
          Having grown up during the depression, my parents knew how to “get by”. Careful management of their resources, creative economies and hard work gradually whittled down the debt and my siblings and I grew up unaware that we were missing out on anything.
Photo by Grant Cochrane

          As our family grew, Dad built the 2nd story on our small house with his own hands. He fixed, rebuilt, repaired anything we brought to him, even our cars as we got older. Mum often remembers the day I proudly announced in my three year old voice,    Daddy and God can do anything.     Dad liked that I put him first, before God.
          Every spring, he was the first one into the freezing, mid-night waters when the smelt were running. He brought home tubs of fish to clean, package and freeze for lip-smacking suppers. Every fall, he and his friends would go hunting. He had a “22” for rabbits and partridge and a “305” for moose and deer. Many is the time I would visit a Big Beast hanging from the basement rafters, waiting for Dad to come home from work to “deal with it”. We dined in style on roasts, chops, steaks and chuck all year long.
          Dad is gone now. His careful investments and planning for the future guaranteed that Mum would be safe in her later life. Now at 89, she is comfortably cared for, without financial worries. I look back on all his life challenges and how he rose to meet and conquer them and I am proud of my Father. The memory of his words, his principles, his good deeds are the standard I will measure against for the rest of my life. They say a girl marries a man like she remembers her father to be. I married a wonderful man—the story goes on.
           As Fathers' Day apprpoaches, are you remembering your father fondly, or still working on issues from childhood?  Can you recall a great story about your Dad?  What makes you smile when you think of him?

Friday, June 10, 2011


"I have hundreds of them--they spread everywhere," she boasted.

I don't know how that is even possible.  Every year I start from scratch.  Come spring, I see whole acerages covered with them, but not here.  All I want is a small bunch--just one--I'd be happy.

The bold, brassy poppy.  Red crowns, licorice-coloured faces dancing joyously in the sun, bleeding passion into the air.  My place needs that energy.  I long to have them grace my gardens, but no, it seems it's not to be.

Sadly, I move on, making do with roses.

The wild profussion of spring in Maine takes my breath away.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Spring In Maine

My head is buried in flowers, caressing my cheeks, tickling my ears, hugging my chin.  My nose drowns in the delicate scent and I hurtle down tunnels of memory to 1955.

We are gathered at the base of the tree beside Grandma's bungalow, as she directs Mother to higher and higher limbs with her shears.

-Cut more, more--over here now, cut more.

Everyone is smiling.  There is a never-ending supply of flowers making us drunk on the perfume saturating the still air of that afternoon so long ago.  The bundle of cuttings grows, each sprig top-heavy with clusters of tiny flowers.  My child-eyes widen at the size of the bouquet cradled in Grandma's fat arms.

The fleeting scent of flowers over 55 years ago....  So pure and simple a thing as that carries me into the new season.  I am welded together with generations before me, in an undying love of lilacs--the embodiment of hope and joy that comes with spring.