…and, we’re out of cat food

I am getting braver – or more cowardly, perhaps – in dealing with people knocking on my door.

I’m sitting here trying to work. I’ve had the roof done (Note: if you need a new roof, call Desi’s in Burlington. I can’t say enough great things about them) but that means it’s been banging and thumping and other general roofing noises going on for two days. I can’t work. I thought I’d be able to sit here all normal-like drinking tea and snapping deadlines except, that’s not what happened. Do you know they use nails to do roofs? Lots and lots of nails?

Of course I knew that, but for some reason I thought it would be hardly more than a bunch of guys putting sticky notes up there. I’m all the way down here; they’re all the way up there. They started a few minutes before 8 and two of the kids had been out karaoke-ing and drinking the night before and were hungover, so that was pretty funny if you weren’t one of those two kids, and I wasn’t. I kept doing stupid things like walking out the front door and having one of them yell up “whoa!” because I forgot there is a constant rain of things that come down when you roof. I now think ‘whoa’ actually means ‘stupid homeowner alert’.

But I got no work done, so this morning has to count. And just now I hear a tentative knock, and before I realized what I was doing I headed to the door. I have a glass panel in my door (it’s this tacky stained glass rose that my Mother looooooooved and because I love her it’s still there, but, really, tacky) and I could see it was people drummin’ up business for the lord. It’s just like driveway sealers who knock and say, “we were just doing business at your neighbour’s and we have some of this gooey stuff leftover and we’ll give you a great deal” and I always say no thank you. I know my JWs were just doing business in my neighbourhood and I know they have gooey stuff left over because nobody in my neighbourhood needs their religious needs attended to on their front steps.

What I don’t get is that the driveway sealers can at least look at my driveway and know it probably does need sealing. The dude who tried to sell me a new front porch could see with his own eyes that yeah, a new porch is on the list. Does this mean the JWs can see into my dark heart and know it needs refurbishing? I thought if god is your light and all, you should be assuming the best in people, not just figuring they need their driveway sealed.

Maybe next time I’ll invite them in and give them some tips.

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We shall put aside our differences just for now

The bait for this pic was frosted mini wheats. Right now, it’s honeynut cheerios. This keeps nearly every animal in the house entertained for hours. They squoosh around to get the best position, with Shelby often sitting on the stairs just behind them. Nobody fights.

kittens 3

Pammy has taken Alfie camping with her family. She just sent this as they get underway to Algonquin:
alfie ready

This was Alfie last night. He knew he had a big day ahead of him:
alfie tucked in

I tried to take Cairo and Marco to the cottage with me. Next week’s Motherlode explains the whole painful process. I ended up going alone…

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Lorraine does a car review

I probably shouldn’t speak of myself in the third person like that. It’s usually only felons and crazies who do that.

Had a blast in PEI with Subaru. Every car review should feature something like this…a real test.

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It’s like a frat house without kegs of beer. And with a mom.

All four kids are working; that’s the good news. All four kids are working different shifts on different days and I have no clue who is coming or going; that’s the other news. Taryn is working at a new restaurant, so food isn’t an issue. Ari comes in for lunch, so that’s pretty easy. I don’t know what Christer does, but Pammy makes perfect little lunches and things and packs them carefully into cooler bags. It’s always healthy; it’s always fresh; it’s usually stolen. So, this was what greeted me when I opened the fridge this morning:

pam work
pamy work 2

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…but you’ll have to wait to read about the flat tire.

I’m home. Was in Anne of Green Gables land hauling Subarus through potato fields. It was fun.

This is funny.

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Pammy: “Alfie is getting cold in the mornings. I have to get him a sweater”

alfie sweater

Alfie: “I am not amused.”

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August and the Quaid Brothers

In this, this week of relentless heat and humidity, I’ve had a raging migraine since Sunday night. I woke up today very cautiously – you migrainers know how that looks, like the little kid in the kindergarten pageant who peeps out from between the curtains as the gymnasium is  filling up  – to ascertain if the headache had indeed dulled down from full on jackhammer let-me-die-now to my-head-is-a-giant-bruise-and-I’ve-never-been-more-grateful.

I’m sitting on my back deck on a perfect summer day; I just noticed it is August 1st, but I knew that because I also noticed some leaves turning at the top of one of the trees in my yard. August is the most depressing month of the year. I know some of you vote for February but you’re wrong: February knows damn well it sucks and has the good grace to bow out early. August pretends it’s still summer even though it sends in licks of cold air earlier and earlier in the evening while still clogging up the noon hour with full on heat like a sonuvabitch. Sure. Book that week up north, plan to meet on the patio, but bring a sweater. The only good part of August is that it leads to September, a month I adore.

July and August are like those siblings they compare in the magazines. They put pictures of Randy Quaid next to Dennis Quaid and say things like “one little genetic blooper, and look at the difference!” and yes it’s mean, but hey, Randy Quaid gets cast emptying the shitter on his RV in Vacation with Chevy Chase and Dennis gets to put his hand up Ellen Barkin’s skirt in The Big Easy and pull off the sexiest sex scene where you don’t see a thing. July and August are like that. One I’d let feel me up; the other I’d let empty the crapper.

I’m babysitting 8 pounds of dog that occasionally bites me. He’s a rescue and he’s darling and sweet expect for those random moments when he turns into a bag of teeth. We’re supposed to know and bribe him with treats into good behavior, but I will never ever get used to the smell of dog treats on my hands so I am rather lapse in my training. I think Alfie and I understand each other, actually. I can’t be bribed with treats either, and the people who love me do so in spite of the fact I bite them occasionally. Alfie came to us with issues and we’ll never know what happened in his first year to warrant the biteyness. I feel for the little bastard; like the man he is named for – my Dad – his early history decided far too much for a handful of liver treats and all the love in the world to put back to rights. Détente is not peace.

So watching Alfie has forced me to sit out back doing nothing, not only to let him take the air but to also put a safe distance between him and four cats who never tire of teaching him a lesson about the superior species, or at least the importance of understanding that whoever has stealth combined with sharp nails wins. Alfie is not stealthy; his nickname is Bo Jangles for the multitude of tags required to keep track of a dog; funny that they call it belling the cat.

We had to give him eyedrops, and we finally settled on a system of putting on those heavy duty gardening gloves, getting a muzzle on him, and then with one holding him, the other would get a drop in. It was hell. It was for his own good. He was instantly back to sweet when it was all over. Kinda like me and August. I’m just gonna put a five-point harness on August and ride it out.


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Happily disconnected

Got back from the cottage on Sunday and to paraphrase Sandra Shamas, the family is back and there’s gonna be laundry. Oh, how there is laundry. I was up for ten days or so, and the kids went back and forth as work schedules permitted. I don’t believe in sleeping bags so I make up beds. I tell everyone to bring a couple of towels, but in and out of the lake every ten minutes means more and more towels. Happily, we have bins and bins of sheets and towels. Some date back to my parent’s wedding, I kid you not. Tea towels are forever, it would seem.

I usually use my cell phone as a router up there so I can get internet for an hour a day or so. What I didn’t realize was that Ari has been using up the gigahooies on our plan downloading stuff at work on his breaks. “But we never, ever use up the plan,” he explained. He used up the plan. “I’ll pay for the overages,” he explained. Yup. I managed to get a column filed before the reminders went from you are now approaching your limit to you have reached your limit to we just charged you thirty dollars to YOUR PHONE IS GOING TO EXPLODE.

So. I had to call Ari to ask him what I could use. “You can text and call, but that’s it” he explained. Can I use the Googler? No. Can I check Twitter or Facebook? No. Can I check my emails? No. If you know me, you know I hate texting and I hate talking on the phone. I just tossed my phone aside and started to envy Laura Ingalls Wilder.  I also realized that if I really had to think about it, I actually have very little to say. I’m sure some of you knew that all along.

I crashed on the dock all day and read westerns, then crashed into my bed at night and watched westerns. My favourite used book store is in Rosseau, and I was there my second day up. Found an awesome new bakery and coffee shop in Orrville (thanks, Roz and G) and was grateful it was only open 4 days a week. I put in a set of taps; I called the plumber to fix the leak I couldn’t; I replaced the screen door; I had the one cat I took up discover she would like to be an only child.

Can’t wait to go back. Think I’ll just pretend my Googler is busted every time.

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Mystery solved

“Which of you kids keeps leaving the printer turned on?”

marco printer

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Waiting for the Big One

Wow. This is an excellent read from Kathryn Schulz at The New Yorker. We’ve all grown up knowing to fear the San Andreas Fault, but she explains why that’s nuthin’.

I’m still haunted by images from the Thailand tsunami in 2004 and the devastation in Japan in 2011. Recap the death tolls: 230,000 in Thailand, wholly unprepared for such a disaster and 16,000 in Japan, a place expecting it. The property damage in both places defies description.

It’s a half hour read or so. I suggest you make the time.

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