Thursday, March 29, 2012

LOTR

Okay so the hubby and I just finished watching The Two Towers, me for the twentieth time and hubby for the tenth time, or so.  Is it bad when you know so many of the lines that you can start quoting them before the actors say them?  For those of you who cannot understand why I would a) watch any of the LOTR, or b) watch them 20 or more times, you probably can't relate to anything I ever write so just carry on.  To me the movies, and the books are like when I can't get my brain motivated to think, or my body to do anything, and I just want to sit back and enjoy, or in my case, re-enjoy some great entertainment this is the entertainment.  For some reason I'm in a real slump this last week or so.  Maybe because the weather is crappy and cold.  Whatever it is I'm kinda farged.

This morning seemed to have started out quite well I did couple of loads of laundry, put the first coat of paint onto some moldings, swept and washed the floors, and the dishes, applied for a couple of jobs, and cleaned the bathroom but then it went to hell in a hand basket.  The rest of the day was a total wash, I spent it watching the extended version of the Two Towers and eating.  In that order. 

Even hubby can't seem to get too motivated this last couple of days, yesterday he only managed to pull the furnace and stove pipe apart so he could do the chimney sweep thing for the spring.  Then while I was hanging with my mom, he watched a couple of movies.  Now that is very strange.  It's certainly not strange that I am being unproductive and lazy, but hubby?  That's like saying that suddenly the universe only has a half dozen stars in the sky, or that birds started flying backwards, or the dog isn't a tick magnet.  No person that I know of is more bent on making sure that he is busy then my man.  So what up with that? 

I've been You Tubing a LOT of lectures by astrophysicists these last few days as well.  For some reason I can't seem to get enough.  I could listen to Neil deGrasse Tyson do talks all day. One night I finally went to bed around 5:30 am.  Now had he been my prof in the early years I may actually have had to get a degree in physics, or even astronomy like I had planned to my entire childhood, but sadly, no such luck.  I had some pretty shit ass teachers along the way.  Listening to Tyson though almost makes me have a hankering to go back to school and take a few courses.  Almost.  If I didn't have such an aversion to math that is.  I had been updating my schooling a couple years back and ended up having to do Calculus for this one course through the UofC.  It sucked.  Of course if I have to be honest it wasn't so much the math which sucked as it was the actual course itself. 

And lately I just can't seem to get enough of quantum mechanics, and astrophysics, in fact it seems to be screwing with my sleep cycle, my thought processes and my motivation.  I can't seem to write, or even blog.  All I really, really want to do is listen to Intelligence Squared debates, stuff about why Pluto is no longer a planet, how tree shrews evolved into people, or anything by Stephen Fry, or Penn Jillette.  I think I need a life. 

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Ye Oldde Pile O Wood

Hubby and I have taken advantage of the last week of nice weather to go great guns at acquiring next winter's firewood needs.  Last year we managed to accumulate enough wood to last us the winter in between replacing windows, putting up siding, ripping out walls, replacing walls, etc, etc.  So the process seemed to take forever.  Or more like FOREVER.  However this year we are at a standstill in the reno department while we are waiting for our kitchen cabinets to be completed, so the wood cutting, splitting, and stacking could be done all at once.  It certainly came across different this go round.  It just seemed like we got started and before you know it...presto.  So far we managed to get almost five rows of wood done, which is the amount we had managed last spring/summer, and did get us through this winter.  But seeing as this winter wasn't really winter we figured we would get another two rows completed just to be on the safe side. 

The cool thing about the whole process is that ninety five percent of the wood came from the trees we had to take out anyway in order to get the second part of the road into the back forty.  My thirteen piles of stacked wood has been relocated to the Tree Graveyard...yippee.  We counted at least five more good sized trees that still need to come down from the cross road, which I believe will be enough to complete our seven row goal. 

That means that next winter we will be toasty and able to sit and drink coffee while having a meeting of the Old Shoes and Tea Society.  It also means that all my bruises and sore muscles will have healed up by then. 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Assbook

I took the hell houndicus to the vet today to update her yearly shots and came to the realization that the vet's is like the doggy version of Facebook.  But instead of Facebook I think it should be called Assbook. 

a) They get Poked
b) They Click across the vinyl flooring
c) They Like or Unlike other dogs/cats/people there
d) They make new Ass Friends, and get reacquainted with old Ass Friends
e) They leave messages for each other on the Wall
f) They play random games
g) They think that they have control over their lives there but they really don't
h) Lots of unpleasant things can happen to them when they least expect it

Exactly like Facebook. 

Today was another sweet day....sweeeeeeetttttttt.  I am enjoying every second of it because as everyone knows the weather gods are a fickle bunch and can change that in a moments notice.  Here the temperatures are hitting record breaking highs, while out west, it is snowing, snowing, and snowing.  Oh and cold.  All of which is a lot more suckier than this.  The people on the radio are blathering on about possible thunder showers tonight and clearing up to be sunny again tomorrow.  Sunny but no where near as warm, something around the 13 degree mark.  Still, I will not turn my nose up at it, sunny I can handle, 13 degrees I can handle, but snow? Yikes!  The vicious bastards are spreading the rumour that we may be in for some snow on Tuesday.  So I plan to enjoy this respite while I can. 

The hubby was working his saggy old man's butt off all day today and has got a pile more wood hauled to the Tree Graveyard and split.  After I came back from town I finished helping him stack it so we now have three new rows.  There is probably another row and a half, maybe more, of wood which still needs to be split, and then maybe another row of wood stacked out in the back forty.  So it looks like we have got a pretty good start on next winter's firewood.  We are both fairly pleased about that, even Mr. I Forgot To Put Sunblock On For A Second Day And My Arms & Neck Are Contenders For Top Spot On Team Red. 

Random House In Bluenose Country

I went to town today and stopped by this random house to take a few pictures.  Today is March 22, 2012. 



Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Sunburns and Wood Piles

Just a quick note because my arms are really sore and I don't want to type too much.  Today was purdy sweet!  And when I say, PURDY, I mean it.  Plus 32, sunny, and sweet.  Still no bugs.  I am knocking on wood all over the place here.  They can stay away for a lot longer and I would be okay with that. 

We spent most of the day cutting wood, splitting wood, and stacking wood.  The following are a few pictures of our progress.  This is after doing a little bit of splitting, the wood pile didn't go down because the hubby kept adding to it.  WTF?



This is the wood pile after we stacked the split stuff.  That would be yours truly being all sun burnt but happy about the results.  


This is our piles from the skinny angle.  We left a little more room between piles this year so that the air and sun will have a better chance at going through it.  Not that it matters all that much because the stuff we stacked last year was pretty dry by the time we packed it into the basement. 



I'd take a picture of all the bruises on my arms but no one really needs to see that.  That's all folks. 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Steel Toed Boots and Shorts

Happy first day of spring everyone!  Or should I say Happy Nowruz everyone!  Today I learned from Mr. Gian Ghomeshi that not only is it the first day of spring, but it is also the first day of the Iranian calendar.  Apparently they have celebrated this day for two thousand years, and hold onto your panties (drum roll please) it is NOT a religious holiday.  Wow.  Go Iran...go Iran...go Iran...woot, woot.  Don't ask me why I'm all pumped about that, I just am.  Maybe it's because I've been watching a few of the Intelligence Squared debates with AC Grayling and Richard Dawkins on You Tube for the last couple of days.  Maybe because it's just refreshing that finally the media report about the middle east is positive instead of the usual bomb-fest.
Anyway...today is the first day of spring and boy has it sprung and in a good way.  It was sunny, (still is sunny), warm and wonderful.  We went out into the back forty and cut some firewood.  Me with my trusty little red chainsaw, Lulu, a pair of steel toed boots, and a rather sexy pair of assless, bright orange chaps, and of course hubby with his manly saw, and manly safety equipment for his manly sized needs.   We managed to buck up three pretty serious trees and then took five trailer loads out to the tree marshaling area.  Drying and lay down area?  Wood lot?  Tree graveyard?  I still don't know what to call it.  But the open spot where we used to have our camper which we are now using to stack and dry our firewood for next year.

So far this is what we have managed to drag out of the bush.  Tomorrow the splitter is going to try and do some serious damage to it so Ms. OCD can start stacking it.  I still have twelve smaller piles in the back, back forty which need to be trailered out to the Tree Graveyard, but unfortunately where those piles reside the trail still isn't quite wide enough to get the trailer in there.  (Anytime the urge takes you over you can click on the pictures to embiggen them.)


Did I mention that it was a sweet, sweet day today?  After our foray into the logging business I went back and changed into shorts.  Why yes that glow you see in the sky is the light reflecting off my pale, white legs.  Just so you can see that, I kid you not, here are a couple of pictures of what it looks like in this here neck of the woods. 



Mirkwood


These are some pretty big chunks of logs from a pine tree which have been chopped up because the wind blew this dinosaur sized tree down a few months back.  I figure there is enough wood in this pile to build a cabin the size of Southfork off Dallas.  I stuck my Keene clad foot in the picture to give you some perspective, the hubby says that it makes the logs look smaller.  Yes as a matter of fact he is still alive after insinuating that my delicate, tiny, graceful foot is not so tiny and may actually make the logs look smaller than they actually are, strange that.  Anyway...this itty-bitty pile of wood, which happens to be stacked higher than me, is what he wants to cut up for kindling.  He has some issues me thinks. 


Did I mention that the temperatures actually hit 31 degrees in the sun today?  For my American readers that is in Celsius.  To convert that to your temperature use the following weasel formula 31 X 6/25 + 0.8 - 3/4 X 11 = Really Warm.  (Notice how I got to use the word weasel in a math formula?  Yeah I thought that was pretty good too.)  And just so you don't think that it is all sunshine and puppy dogs I thought I would add a picture of one of two spots in the back forty which gives a whole new meaning to Mud Bogging With Wood. 


Aren't you glad I added this picture?  I know I am.  That way you won't feel the need to come and hunt me down and beat me about the shoulders and head because I live here and you don't.  Well perhaps it isn't exactly paradise.  Maybe it's like a muddy, tree infested, water surrounded, work inducing, briefly bug free, section of nature which I happen to dig.   

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Anonymous Old Shoes and Rats


Ha those sneaky bastard weather gods are trying to screw with my head.  (Please note, if I was a lot less of a genteel person I would have written "fuck with my head" but due to my cultured sophistication I won’t.  Whoops I think I just did.  Please excuse Craig Ferguson's French.)  What was I saying?  Oh yes, this morning I woke to bright blue skies, sun peeking up over the horizon, and birds chirping away.  Of course because I had been lulled into a sense of wonderment by yesterday’s weather I assumed that it was going to remain like that for the rest of the day.  What is that they say about assuming?  Something about arseholes and bastards?  (Oh man do I ever have potty mouth today.)  And I had actually checked the weather channel a couple of days ago and it had called for great weather all week, and I believed it.  Someone once said that if you keep doing the same thing over and over again but expect a different outcome you are technically insane?  Well that would be me.  Why?  Why do I believe the weather wizards?  I must have smoked too much pot in the seventies, or was that being hit over the head by too many pots in the seventies?  I can never remember. 

So, as you may have deduced from my ranting, the day did not continue to be sunny and warm, it kind of clouded over, then it got sunny, then it clouded over, then it got sunny, and so on.  Meaning that the wind has picked up and is blowing clouds in and out, and I know that I shouldn’t bitch because it’s still a pretty kick ass day, but I just kind of feel like I want to be all pouty. 



Meeting Minutes for the Old Shoes and Tea Club – March 18, 2012

Me: Now that the Old Shoes and Tea Club is a well-established, highly structured, solid organization, I am tabling a motion for a name change.  I propose that we change the name from the Old Shoes and Tea Club to the Old Shoes and Tea Society.  Mainly because the word society will give the organization more of a classy feel.  Who will second the motion?  Karson?

Karson: (Half opens her eyes when she hears her name called then goes back to sleep.)

Me: Due to the unanimous approval of all members present the motion has passed.  The Old Shoes and Tea Club will now and forever, or until I change my mind again, be known as the Old Shoes and Tea Society.   

Karson: Yawn.

Me: I also want to table a motion to change the badger on our crest to a weasel.  On the grounds that weasel sounds funnier than badger, most especially now that I no longer have to read contracts looking for weasel words which takes the fun right out of the word weasel.  All in favour?

Karson: (Chest rises and falls indicating that she is still alive.)

Me: Motion passed. 

Hubby:  (From the doorway) So are we going for a walk or what?

Meeting adjourned. 



It kind of is amazing how quickly the ground seems to be drying up, yesterday when we went for our walk things were still pretty dampish.  So damp in fact that if you put your foot in the wrong place you would wind up with a Keene-full.  Unless you were the hubby because he was wearing his Wellies and could walk through some pretty seriously deep puddles without danger of over flow.  But today I only had to be slightly alert for puddles, and then only in a few spots. 



As usual the hell hound scared up a few partridge, some brownish-red kind of bird which neither of us knows the name for, and a couple of squirrels, or tree rats, as the hubby calls them.  She was pretty proud of her hunting prowess, the rest of the society less so. 



This was our conversation on our walk. 

Me: I think I’m going to apply for our society to become a religion so we can accept tax free donations.

Hubby: Did you notice how that gravel I put into fill that hole is now a hump?  It used to be flat now it isn’t.  Weird.

Me: Have I mentioned how much I love it back here?

Hubby: Only every single time we have ever walked back here together.  In fact, I’m pretty sure you still tell me that even when I’m not with you. 

Me: Kit, come here.  Come here right now.  Is that the dog, or is it a walking mud pile shaped like a dog?

Hubby: I’m going to chop all that pine into kindling for this winter.

Me: I think I got a boot full. 



I decided to cut my sojourn outside a little short because I wanted to catch Stuart McLean on the Vinyl Café as it started so I let “You Know Who” throw the stick into the lake in order to wash the dog off and scooted into the house.  Oh that Dave, he is such a card.  I don’t know how Morley puts up with him.  While listening I also decided to make some lunch, a mixed salad, left over stir fry, quinoa, and fried haddock.  At least I think it was haddock.  As I write this  I am in the process of trying out a carrot cake recipe which is made without using flour, well wheat flour.  I am trying coconut flour and ground flaxseed; so far it is smelling quite yummy.  Too bad I forgot to put the baking powder into the mix.   



Last night we finished watching the first season of the Game of Thrones, and I have to tell you that I actually ended up liking it, which is a bit strange because I wasn’t too taken with the book, and each episode was pretty consistent with the original storyline.  The good thing about it is that I will have something to look forward to for viewing entertainment in the future; I hear tell that the second season starts in April.  But I don’t think I will bother with reading the second book, or the third, or the fourth, or the hundredth.  I don’t remember how many there are but I know that I’m not going to bother with them.  Which in retrospect is a bit strange because I usually like those kinds of books; maybe it’s because of the whole never ending winter thing, or creepy zombie stuff, but on this one I will wait for the shows. 



I also hear tell that the, Hunger Games, is being released as a movie and that people are all gaga over it.  Again, it was a book which I wasn’t really all that taken with.  Definitely not enough to actually read the next two or three books, maybe it’s because a) I am no longer a teenager, and b) I loath reality TV shows, even pretend ones where they make kids kill each other.  But maybe as a movie it will have some redeeming qualities?  One can only hope. 



Anyway I think my carrot cake is done so I am off to make some cream cheese icing for it.  And just as a reminder the Old Shoes and Tea Society is now accepting all donations.  For an added bonus, and for a limited time period, for every hundred dollars you donate the OS&TS will send you a choice of either a picture doodled specifically for you on our official letterhead, or dog hair, pleasingly glued to some old newspaper.  Either way, you have to admit it’s a super deal. 

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Aye Paddy Pass Me A Green Beer

Ha!  No green beer for this puppy, in fact, no beer of any kind for me thanks.  I am not fond of that particular brew.  But for all those people celebrating St Paddy's day, tip one for the shamrock. 

Today started out wet, cloudy, and miserable, it turned into dry, blue, sunny, and warm.  It was a GORGEOUS day.  I figure if we could get another couple of weeks of this it would be like paradise around here.  We went for a bit of a stroll this afternoon and all of us were loath to go back into the house.  There wasn't any new clover around but there were a few fresh piles of dog doo-doo which had to be eradicated.  Now that is a nice day when you would rather pick up doody then go back into the house. 

Here are a couple of pictures in lieu of anything interesting to say.  This first picture is of the brand new fridge art which was kindly donated to the gallery by the Poop Brigade.  It arrived via mail just yesterday and already the art director has added it to the collection.  I think I have to invest in some magnets. 


This is "Voldemort" sitting down by the lake and enjoying the sunshine while dreaming of the dock he wants to build.  See that big rock over there?  He has his eye on that for an anchor, or jumping off point, or some such thing for the dock.  He spends many an hour watching the rock, standing by it, pushing it, running his hands down it's side, dreaming about it, and generally fantasizing about it. 

The hell houndicus was in seventh heaven today.  A lot of running, rolling, fetching, and swimming was going on in abundance.  Pure doggy heaven. 


Then suddenly, like a gift from the Flying Spaghetti Monster, more excitment in the form of ducks showed up.  She waited several times for the perfect time to make her move and attack while some of us were drooling over a rock, and the rest of us were sitting and thinking about nothing in particular. 

Take note that the, mana from heaven, were staying just far enough away from the dangerous hound but close enough to try and score some gluten in the form of bread from the humans camped out on the shore.  No such luck for the Mallards, we may be silly enough to feed sparrows and Blue Jays but we want nothing to do with these critters getting comfy enough to crap all over the place. 



Here the hell houndicus is trying to intimidate me into doing something with her by staring me down after I had dragged a camp chair out onto the scary deck, cracked open a bottle of water, put on a hat and some sunglasses, then sat back and did what I like to do almost more than anything else I can think of.  But it wasn't all pleasure, I also had to close my eyes and put my head back against the wall and just enjoy the moment.  Granted it was a loooonnnnnnggggggggg moment, but it was a moment nonetheless. 

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Old Shoes, Haddock, Quinoa & Cake

Hello all of you bloggers, bloggees, bloogers, boogers, and booteeful people.  Well I am assuming everyone is a people; perhaps I shouldn't.  Perhaps there is a robotic pole dancer out there whose bored and surfing the net before going back out onto the dance floor.  Maybe she happened upon this blog and now I've insulted her by calling her a people.  It is a dilemma of blogging I suppose. 

I woke up today to some serious white shit falling out of the skies.  I know!  I was appalled too.  It fell pretty hard and steady for a few hours leaving at least four inches of snow on the ground.  Thankfully it stopped and the skies lightened up and became blue.  But still, who really wants to see that, most especially in March. 

Recently the doctor diagnosed me as being sensitive to wheat.  That's kind of a round about way of saying that I am allergic to the stuff.  Who'da thunk it?  Not me.  Not Miss Carb Junkie.  Anyway he said no more wheat/gluten and recommended that I read a book called, Wheat Belly, which I just finished.  WOW!  It blew me away.  I had no idea how bad "whole grains" were for the average carbon based, bipedal creature.  According to, Dr William Davis MD, who writes this book, pretty much every single modern day disease can be linked back to how bad wheat/gluten is for you.  Celiac disease for sure, but IBS?  Crones? Cancer? Diabetes? Dementia? Autism? Arthritis?  The list goes on and on. Of course I am sort of sceptical about taking things at face value these days so I Googled a bunch of stuff on the subject.  WOW!  There is like this whole other world of information out there which I knew nothing about.  I ended up the night watching a few clips of Dr Natasha Campbell-McBride on You Tube and was just floored. I honestly cannot believe how ignorant of this stuff I have been. 

So here at the official headquarters of the Old Shoes and Tea Club we have now begun to change our lifestyles.  Yes, every single both of us.  That's because I do most of the cooking around here.  Today I made a spinach salad and haddock breaded in quinoa flour and flax seed.  Yummy.  Today is also the last day for the meds that the doctor has me on, good thing too because I woke up at 3am puking my guts out.  Not good.  The only thing worse than puking your guts out is knowing that you won't be able to eat cake again.  I love cake.  I should have made it more often in the past few decades. 

Oh and I promised the kidlet that I would put a picture of my brand, spanking new, dining room set.  It is around four and a half million times more comfortable than the one we inherited with the shack.  We have stored it away for her use. 


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Old Shoes, Chlorine, Chainsaws, & Big Words

The hubby and I managed to get a bit of a start on some of the trees that he had cut down in the swamp this winter.  I don't know if it going to be a once in a life time chance but at least we managed to take advantage of the frozen ice, no snow, and a clear path to be able to drag the trees up to the lay down area.  A week or so ago we had started to pile some of the smaller stuff in order to get it up off the ground and start the drying process but it got blowed over, all of it.  So as hubby was bucking the trees I was repiling the stuff lying in the mud and adding more of the small stuff which hubby just cut. 

Me - You know when your house is renovation central and you can't organize it for a long time piling wood is kind of cathartic for someone with a touch of OCD. 

Hubby - Why do you always have to use big words?  Is that like therapeutic? 

Me - Yes.  (Pause.) So why is cathartic a big word but therapeutic is not? 

Hubby - Because I know what therapeutic means. 

I took a shower this morning and the water smelled, and tasted, like a pool in need of some serious shocking.  So I think I may take a drive into town and pick up some drinking water.  The funny thing about it is that I am having serious flashbacks as I sit here smelling like chlorine.  Good ones.  You see I used to be on swim club and then I was a lifeguard instructor for around twenty years.  Personally I love the smell of chlorine, I'm just not a big fan of drinking the stuff.  I used to laugh when I was playing ball, or running and sweating, people around me always said, "Does anyone else smell a pool?"  Its a good thing that my running partner, and best friend, was also a pool rat, neither of us could smell the other. 

For everyone who missed it we had a general meeting of the Old Shoes and Tea Club this morning.  These are the minutes if anyone is interested.  "This coffee tastes like shit."  "Did you get the water from the sink?"  "Yes."  "You're right, it tastes like shit."  "I'm not drinking it."  "Me either."  "Hey, you just dumped a brand new pot of coffee down the drain."  "No, really?  Were you going to drink it?"  "Well...no."  This is almost enough to get, You Know Who, kicked out of the club.  (No not Voldemort but close.)

Monday, March 12, 2012

Spring Has Sprung

When I say it was a beautiful day today I am not exaggerating.  It got up to 22 degrees.  The morning was a bit dreary and cloudy so I didn't have any high expectations.  Wow!  It was like summer but without the bugs.  I took the hell hound out for a walk and figured I could stay out all day.  I almost did.  We had a bit of a plumbing emergency.  See we decided we had to shock our well and when the hubby lifted the lid the fitting cracked and splush, water, water everywhere.  Yikes, and triple yikes.  We both had visions of having to dig up the yard and replace the line.  As it turned out, with a little bit of imagination, teamwork, and luck we managed to get it fixed and running.  Yowza. 

At least it was warm and sunny which made the unexpected job much easier.  Of course now that we know about the issue we figure that sometime in the future, when we have time, we are going to redo the whole thing the proper way.  After all the place was built many years ago and the plumbing people told us that they no longer make those kinds of parts.  Of course that means digging up the yard and replacing the line, but at least we will be doing it on our terms.  I hope. 

This evening when I was making supper the hubby called me outside to listen to the call of the wild.  It sounded like a pack of coyotes were sitting just around the corner from us.  That make two times I heard the critters since I moved here.  Hopefully they move on by tomorrow, I don't want the dog to get tangled up with them, she would definitely come out second best. 

Well my internet has been on and off ever since the big wind storm so I am going to publish before I lose connection. 

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Daylight Savings and the Old Shoes and Tea Club

Currently I am not employed outside the house so the whole "Spring Ahead" fiasco will probably not affect me like it used to.  Back when I had to haul my sorry carcass out of bed at 4:30am every day and drive to work I used to rejoice when I finally got to see the sun during my drive.  No feeling is greater than being able to see where you are going, most especially when one has to drive through herds of elk and deer to get to work.  And no, I am not exaggerating, I used to live in the Elk Valley and there is a reason they call it that, there are literally thousands of elk wandering around chewing their cud while waiting for a chance to leap out in front of oncoming traffic.  But I digress.  
Just as it was hitting a week where it would already be getting light before I left the house, which consequently meant that an hour later as I would be pulling into work it would be wonderful, fantastic daylight, the Time Nazis would pull the happy rug out from underneath me and make us change the time.  Then the days would seem to drag on for eternity as I was waiting for the sun to catch up to us while I was back to driving in pitch black all the way up the mountain.  Let me tell you, I was not a happy camper, nor a happy purchasing agent for that matter.  And you would think that an hour difference wouldn't do much to your sleep patterns, but when you have to go to bed at 8:30 just so you could somehow get eight hours in before doing it all over again, it does.  
I hated the spring time-change, almost as much as I hated the fall time-change.  Fall was when the sun went bye-bye for a long time.  I would usually leave work between 5:30 or 6:00pm and typically by the time I got to the front gate it would be dark.  Did I mention that I hate time change?  My husband thinks the reason I hate it so much is that I grew up in a small town which sat right on the boundary of time change which meant that we didn't bother with the whole idea.  You just had to remember that sometimes you were the same time as the town west of you, and sometimes with the city east of you.  Believe me that isn't why I hate it, I just think it is a vestigial left over idea from the days of yore.  It’s like the monkey cage and the banana.  
(For those of you who haven't heard the story.)  There was a monkey cage where they had a set of stairs in the middle of the room, at the top of the stairs there was a rope where the evil scientists would dangle a banana.  Every time a monkey would go up the stairs and grab a banana the evil scientists would take a fire hose and spray all the monkeys in the cage.  Then when they introduced a new monkey into the cage and dangle a banana at the top of the stairs the other monkeys would clobber the new guy when he tried going for the banana, even after the evil scientists were replaced by the good scientists and the fire hose was taken away.  See my point?  Exactly like time change.  
Here at the Old Shoes and Tea Club (OS&TC) we have passed a resolution wherein we will make it our mission to get rid of springing back or forth by designing T-shirts that say "Cut off the vestigial tail of Time-Change", that'll show those evil Time Nazis.  
Well I'd better go, the hubby wants me to go out to the back forty where he is going to show me how to cut down trees with a diameter of more than two inches.  It has something to do with dozers.  
This morning during an OS&TC meeting:
Hubby - When you’re ready let's go out to the poplar grove and drop a couple of trees which the wind cracked.  
Me - Okay, let me finish this first. 
Hubby - How big are the trees which you feel comfortable cutting with the chainsaw. 
Me - Well whatever the bar will go through.  I've bucked up lots.
Hubby - No I mean standing trees.  I want to show you how to cut down trees without getting hurt, you have to be careful cause if the big ones kick back you could get hurt.  Or even the small ones.  It is just like when you run a dozer, it doesn't matter how big the trees are they can all kill you.  
Me - (Looking mystified) Okay I'll try to remember that the next time I run a dozer. (My dozer running experience consists of moving a D11 approximately four feet around 15 years ago.  As far as I could tell there weren't any killer trees around and I managed to survive the experience.)











Saturday, March 10, 2012

The Old Shoes and Tea Club

Congratulations, just from reading this post you are now officially a member of the Old Shoes and Tea Club.  It is a wonderful club it consists of people who have old shoes and drink tea, have drunk tea, or know what tea is, and can answer a skill testing question. 

Ques: How many pairs of old shoes make a gross?  (Be careful this isn't a trick question.) 

This morning was SUNNY, warm, and beautiful.  It is one of those days when you go for a walk and your feet crunch through last year’s leaves while you pick up branches blown onto the trail from the hurricane force winds of the day before.  That activity is so exciting  because it means there is no snow on the ground.  You spend your time trundling gracefully through the bush, scaring up bunnies and partridge, and glorying in the warmth of the sun on your face.  Yep, almost heaven West Virginia...lalala. 

So hubby and I went for a walk this morning and had this conversation.
Me - Have I ever mentioned how much I love it back here?
Hubby - Only about fifty thousand times since we moved here. 
Me - Hmmm, fifty thousand?  That doesn't seem like enough times. 
Hubby - Sigh. 
Me - I have to pee. 
Hubby - Really?  I'm shocked.  It's not like you don't have to pee every single time we go for a walk.
Me - Well it's easy for you to get all Mr. Look At Me I Can Just Whip It Out Anywhere. 
Hubby - What does that have to do with you always having to pee? 
Me - Nothing, it’s just easier to go on the defensive at the start of an argument.
Hubby - Oh, I didn't realize we were arguing. 
Me – We’re not, I just thought I would get a jump on it.  So what do you have planned for today?
Hubby - I think I'll come out here while the ground is frozen and cut up the rest of those trees.  What are you going to do?
Me - Oh that sounds like fun, I'll come and help.  We should form a club. 
Hubby - Hunh?  A club?  What kind of club. 
Me - You know a club.  We'll have a name like the Kitpu Secret Society of Gypsies.  Or The Garden of Edam and Baloney.  Or how about Crunchy leaves and Brownies?
Hubby - What are you like five now?
Me - Hey watch it, if you aren't careful I will kick you out of the, Old Shoes and Tea, club.  Our motto is, if you have old shoes come over and have some brownies.
Hubby - Brownies?  What about tea?
Me - No thanks, I have to pee. 

So voila, the new club was formed.  Our shield is a badger wearing an ascot on a field of green.  The secret handshake can only be performed after you use a chainsaw for a half hour and you get that tingly feeling in your hands.  Our mascot is a milkmaid wearing old shoes and riding a badger.  The secret password is Hammerhead Shark.  You have to come to the meetings wearing your painting clothes and ready to discuss the finer points of string theory, quantum physics and the ten dimensions it comes with.  The mandatory beverage is coffee.  (Soooo much better than tea.)

Answer: One pair of course. 

Friday, March 9, 2012

Wind All Gone

Well the wind blew, and blew, and thankfully the house is still standing.  This morning it was still howling up a storm and I just happened to mention to the hubby that it was strange that the wind was still roaring because the weather guys said that it was supposed to stop by the morning.  And I shit you not, it stopped that second, and it has been dead calm ever since.  Weird and kinda spooky. 

It did do some serious raining this morning so I can imagine how muddy everything is out there.  I did not venture out mainly because I was bagged and had to do some serious sleeping after breakfast.  I tried to read a little by the eyeballs just weren't cooperating so I decided not to fight it and go and have a nap.  It turned into a rather extended one but I'm still a little knackered.  So I thought I would throw a few pictures up as entertainment. 

This is how the tiles ended up going into the entryway.  Initially we were going to do a diamond pattern, but we ended up not having enough to try and do that, and I didn't want to wait the two extra weeks for another package to show up.  It turned out pretty nice.  Most of it will be covered with mats anyhow. 


I started giving the local avian population some peanuts, then some seed mainly so the cat could have some Kitty TV to keep her occupied.  She is kind of small so we figured she would not last around here, not with all the bald eagles we have constantly hunting, so she has become an indoor cat.  Consequently she hankers for the out of doors.  This way the excitement of the birds gets her in touch with some of her hunting needs.  Anyway hubby decided that my method of sprinkling seeds onto the railings was rather primitive so he made this feeder out of scrap wood.  So far the blue jays and the sparrows love it. 


This, along with the 13 piles in the back forty, is the start of our firewood for next winter.  Unfortunately the lay down area is a tad bit muddy right now so we are going to wait to start splitting until the ground dries up a bit. 

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Just A Quickie

Get your minds out of the gutter "trollers for porn" this is not a, Quickie, like you were looking for this is a quick update to a blog which has been neglected for the past few days.  Oh baby, yes, yes, right there....ooooh.  That is soooo good.  Was that good for you?  Now you can go back to whatever creepy, icky stuff it was that you were looking for. 

In the meantime, the boring facts of life.  Today was a beautiful, warm spring day.  The sun she was a shining, the birds they were a singing, and the snow it was a melting.  All very welcome in my world.  Although when we took the small car into the big city it was a tiny bit hairy getting from Kitpu Estates out to the highway.  The road into our part of the world kinda, sorta sucks.  Most especially at this time of the year.  It is soft and very muddy when things start to melt.  Today was no exception.  But luckily we made it out just a little more covered in mud than normal and went to visit the doctor.  Neither of us are big "going to the doctor" people and consequently feel quite put upon when we have to do it.  I had to go for a follow up to make sure that things were as they should be (they weren't) and the hubby went for his yearly physical (it turns out that he does have physical presence). 

The ride back out to the estates was equally as hairy, but once again, the little car that could, made it with only a few extra pounds of mud.  Good car!  Luckily we thought to get supplies while in the big city so we should be able to hunker down here for awhile until things dry up a bit.  Apparently that isn't going to be for awhile because the weather, Gloom Team, is calling for rain.  Knowing the record of the weather nimrods chances are that it could just as easily be sunny and dry for the next week as wet.  Only time will tell.

When we returned we were greeted with the happiest of happy creatures.  The hell hound was beyond thrilled and let us know only as a dog can.  The cat, well she was even more excited.  Strange.  I thought cats were supposed to be all "you guys suck, don't touch me" but this one was practically doing cartwheels when we got home.  She charged around the house like one, or both, of us was the Great Cat Juju come to take her to the land of perpetual yogurt or something.  Oh the love. 

Saturday, March 3, 2012

A Story of Kilts and Wedding Dresses



What I Did On My Summer Vacation (well technically it was my fall vacation)


It was a wet and stormy night when the plane lifted off from Canadian soil and took to the air. Okay so it wasn't exactly wet, or stormy, in fact it was warm and dry, but when it landed it was drizzling, foggy, and dark. Yes that is correct, just a few days after our one year anniversary of living out in the east we ventured further east and headed to Scotland to all things damp. And when I say we, I mean the hubby, the daughter, her brood, a.k.a., the Poop Brigade, and the son in law. Here is a picture with one member of the Poop Brigade outside of Ravenstor, a YHA somewhere in the UK (I'll let you decide who is the member). We spent a couple of nights there, to get our bearings and to recoup. The weather was damp, and so were the children.







Oh and just a note to all those other North Americans who think that a minibus in England means the same thing as a minibus in North America, it doesn't. See when you travel with human beings the size of small poodles you also have to travel with more luggage than Madonna, or even the queen, so you need more vehicle than they can even imagine over there because most of theirs are the size of jujube beans. And as a note to all those interested in getting a normal sized vehicle, be prepared to pay a lot of pounds. Or as we say here in the western hemisphere, a shite load of cash.


Our driver, the son in law, was pretty thrilled to be driving in foreign parts, in a vehicle where the steering was on the wrong side, and the road was too. I think the thrill probably wore off sometime between the 499th, or 500th scream from the smallest member of the Poop Brigade.  Or as I call him SLAG (Screams Like A Girl)
I have to admit that I have never been on a trip like this before, where we would get up in the morning and leave the hostel at the crack of 10am.  I had also never been on a trip which was so poopy diaper intensive, and where we actually paid money to eat English food, made by English people. (I don't recommend it.) But I do have to admit that the 10am bit was better than the usual 6am wake time, and given enough exposure anyone can get used to poopy diapers.  Just kidding, no one can ever actually get used to cleaning shit off asses!

After Ravenstor we headed for Whitby, on the way we stopped to eat lunch and have a pee. Peeing in the heather is okay, peeing where there are prickly bushes, not so much. Here is a picture of the heather, not the bushes or the bums which were exposed to the cold blowing winds, and the pricks. Er...prickly bushes. 




We stayed in Whitby in a hostel which was located right next to Whitby Abby. I highly recommend this hostel, and town, it was pretty cool. Literally and figuratively.




The town of Whitby is very picturesque. 


After Whitby we drove up to Alnwick Castle, that is where they filmed Hogwarts in the Harry Potter movies.  I was pretty impressed with the castle, and even more impressed by the fact that they didn't ram Harry Potter crap at you everywhere.  Not that they didn't have a few Potterish things, they just didn't make it the theme of the place, which was very nice. 


However they did have this guy in one of the dungeons, and he was NOT very popular with the Poop Brigade at all.  A fact brought home to me by the one of the members getting up every hour on the hour asking if there were any "scary dragons" around.  All night long!  The daddy of the Poop Brigade came very close to having his ass booted sometime during the night for his part in this little drama.  The only thing saving him from a serious whopping was the fact that I was too tired to get out of bed.   


Having spent an ever so restful night, we once again all jumped into the torture mobile and drove up to Edinburgh where we took in the castle and some of the sites.  I love Edinburgh and have been there before, it is such a cool city, but I highly recommend doing it on foot.  Driving in the city of Edinburgh sucks the big royal arse. 

We wandered through Edinburgh castle.  This picture is of a door in the castle that was used in the prison, the graffiti on it is by the prisoners.


Then we participated in the wedding, the whole reason for going to Scotland in the first place.  Here the senior member of the Poop Brigade is helping the happy couple with their first dance.  She loved the wedding and felt that it was her duty to keep the activity level at full tilt the whole day.  If I was putting a video on this blog you would have the privilege of hearing SLAG in the background.  Fun times!

After the happy couple ran away, I mean went on their honeymoon, the rest of us continued our journey to the nether regions of Scotland.  On the way to Lochness we ran across this fellow, his name is Hamish, and he is a hairy coo. He says "ma-OOO."  Of course he does, because he is, after all, a Scottish hairy coo.



Unfortunately we ran out of time and daylight and returned to our hostel after not actually getting to Lochness. I wasn't greatly distressed about it, because as I have mentioned before, I've been here a few times.  We did find some actual edible food that night in an Italian restaurant, the food was great, the bill was greater. 

We eventually decided that it was important for the children to do some serious educational sites so that they would have a good start in life.  No more stopping to take pictures of silly Hairy Coos, from now on we would only go to areas which would enhance their littles brains.  Here we are teaching them all about the penal systems in Stirling.

We wandered around Stirling Castle for a bit, went for a bite to eat in the castle keep,  and then headed to the Wallace Monument.  I can pretty much say that at around this point I was done with castles.  In fact I feel that I have lived up to my end of the bargain in terms of helping to maintain castles all over England.  With much relief and happiness we headed for Hadrian's Wall.  I LOVE this area of England and would have been happy to spend the remainder of my time just wandering around the wall and the Roman sites nearby.  We stayed at Once Brewed, a hostel which only has one redeeming quality, it is within a stone's throw of the wall. 


After spending a tiny little bit of time on the Wall we headed down south, wayyyyyyyyy south, and figured we may as well see a few more places than we had anticipated at the start.  The drive was no where near as long as I thought it was going to be.  We ended up spending the night in Bath. 

What a difference a few years makes.  The last time I was here things were a lot less...a lot less...everything.  And of course a lot cheaper.  But all in all I still really liked Bath.  Even the hostel turned out to be nicer than expected.
And of course, if you are in Bath, it is only a stone's throw away from the henge, so off we went to check out the monoliths. 
And of course, like usual, the weather was dark, overcast, and rainy.  Every single time I've been here it has been exactly the same.  Well the last time I was here they didn't exactly make you take a mortgage out in order to get in.



A little side trip led us to this place, it is Highclere Castle, disguised as Downton Abbey.  The place was closed for the season but the grounds were spectacular.  I did not know so much empty spaces existed in the southern part of England.




And then finally we hung around in London and toured a few sights.  The queen, as usual, was being a bit of a snag and refused to have tea with us.  Then it was off to see the crown jewels, street urchins, and gorillas.  The bridge looked the same, the jewels looked even more sparkly, someone must have polished them up because they knew we were coming, and the skies were all dank and rainy.  Shocking.
 
 
Then home again, home again, tickety-boo. 
 


What's that you ask?  Blue in the sky, no moisture falling from it, and obviously warm...must be back in Canada.  Yes folks, that and about another thousand or so pictures, wraps it up. 
 

Crap - A - Doodles

My ankle is hurting like a bastard this morning.  So much for being healed.  Most of the swelling is gone and the majority of the bruising as well so it is looking better, however, the walk out in the snow, slipping and sliding, yesterday probably wasn't a great idea.  Argh. 

Today the weather network has a "weather advisory" calling for lots of rain.  So I believe I am going to stay tucked up nice and warm in my house and chortle while the rain washes away all of that ugly white stuff.  After all, it is March right, so it should be spring right.  Hahahahahaha...yes I know I am delirious, but have been like this for eons and am not about to change now.