Thursday, 28 October 2010

the sawmill

In the midst of my statistics project, I discovered something interesting...
Bridgewater (one of the towns near me) had a drive-in movie theatre.

It was closed, of course, and up for sale in 2001, but it hadn't been knocked down for a factory or cut into a thousand house-lots that I could find out, so

maybe....maybe I could find it?

I love drive-ins. I grew up going to them, snug in the back of my parents car, a sleeping bag tossed over our legs, squabbling about pop-corn and laughing at the talking candy-bar concession stand ad from the fifties they played before every show.

I would love to own a drive-in theatre. And I think it's a family-friendly idea from the past whose time has circled back around.

Bear was nonplussed. 'You want to drive around and look for what?'

I forget sometimes that B doesn't know every rock, every tree and every hill in the five county area. His job means he's intimately aware of so much of the surrounding countryside - there have been very few times I've stumped him.

We drove and drove and drove and finally conceded defeat. R was getting a little whoopsie (she gets carsick, something we figured out three days before we left for our marathon-driving vacation, more fun for us) so we pulled over to the side of the road to let her walk it out and discovered.....

an old sawmill.

Grey and weathered boards were all over the place, with giant fallen sentinels here and there.
Far back in the corner, there was evidence
that someone was still using the machines. 
Fresh piles of sawdust and clean sweet new boards lay,  waiting to be used.

We never did find the old drive-in.

But walking around the milled wood and the overgrowth interested us all enough so that the long ride back in the gathering dusk was contented and quiet.

Next trip we'll get directions. Sometimes, though,  poking around is just as fun.

Sunday, 24 October 2010

une multitude de billes

On the desk here is a tin box full of marbles. This being Canada, it's imprinted with both English and French.

Turns out, a box full of marbles translates to une multitude de billes.

Which is a direct metaphor for this morning.
  Cass is finishing an....ambitious....project for his third grade class.It's a desert habitat, complete with research, figurines, and a diorama. While the research part went smoothly, and his papers are typed*, the painting and finishing of the diorama has been.....well, a challenge.

(I'm currently hiding out in the living room so I have to interact as little as possible.)

Not that he's not doing an awesome job. And I'm certainly not against giving him a hand with colour choices and detail work with a toothpick, should it come to that.

But holy God, he's like a room full of weasels to get to concentrate on the task at hand. Three hours, three figurines. And we haven't touched the plants yet. I've finally called a time out to go to town and get more yellow paint and I don't know....break up the drama or something?

And now I'm got the music up loud and I'm listening to them giggle over their lunches. Tempest departed.

*By him. This summer I discovered that Cass likes to write much more if he can type on the computer. Win-win, as far as I'm concerned.

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Pinky Boo

Rosey is SIX. It's sort of incomprehensible. I mean, yes, I know she's not a baby anymore, but SIX YEARS OLD?

She's the happy, bubbly one on the family - she'll chat your ear off - and my girl has a good, strong heart. 

She loves the outdoors and jumping and her stuffies and smiles everyday when she sees the cat has started sleeping in her room. She colours enthusiastically, cuts and pastes and glitters and tapes and stickers and would give everyone a rainbow if she could. She dances to everything (Black Eyed Peas, anyone?) and goes on amusement park rides until the rest of us have passed out from exhaustion.

She wants to be a dancer, a teacher, someone who helps animals and to drive a camper into the desert. She loves makeup and earrings (we'll be getting her ears pierced soon) and playing with her brother and the clean, loose joy of pumping your legs up into the sky and swinging.

I'm really enjoying being your mamamamama, Miss Rosey. You're a joy.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010


Man, the first day back to work after a three-day weekend drags. I've been hunting out statistics on the two closest counties for the last two work days (aaaaAAAAAAAUUUuuugh and YICK!) and compiling a report on the local farm market, so it's only now, that my workday is essentially over, that I've got a chance to take a break and type something out that doesn't have to do with the (fricking) Government transfers as a percentage of employment income (dependency ratios) or some such.

all together now: (aaaaAAAAAAAUUUuuugh)

And it's grey and cloudy outside. My home still probably smells like turkey and apple pie. It should, since yesterday was Canadian Thanksgiving (did you know that the first Thanksgiving Day in Canada after Confederation was observed on April 15, 1872, to celebrate the recovery of The Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII) from a serious illness? I've lived here for TEN YEARS and I didn't know that! I did some (in hind-sight) rude questioning of my in-laws the first few years I had C.T'giving here, since I knew the Pilgrims had no historical significance here....)

and we made turkey and stuffing and pie and potatoes and have a jolly fridge full of Tupperware waiting for Turkey and Dumplings and other casseroles.

Rosey (aged soon-to-be-six) (this weekend, how did she get so OLD??)  made the pie crust, and I'm SO GLAD my heavy hand with pastry seems to have skipped her generation. Mmm, flaky child labor goodness!
Cass peeled potatoes, and B made the stuffing.

Then we sat down to eat on the china I brought back from Michigan with me, the plates I ate every holiday meal on as a child, my mother's china. And there was a twinge of missing her, and then I thought of how she would have loved this, her granddaughter fussing with the glasses and her grandson just waiting for the rest of us to HURRY UP ALREADY so he could dig in, and I knew she was smiling somewhere.

And then the kids ran outside and tried to teach each other how to do cartwheels. And really, who could be gloomy watching that?

Monday, 4 October 2010


Fire Prevention Day today. Picture by J. Evans

Today is my boy's birthday. His NINTH birthday, actually. NINE. That's a LOT.

He's so smart and wonderful, my boy. He fights with me about turning off his light at night (C'mon! I'm almost done with this chapter!) about playing outside (I played all day at school!) and brushing his teeth.
(I think it's more to irk me than anything else, since with his habit of taking thirty minute hot showers, it can't be an aversion to getting clean..)

He's beginning to realize that Santa Claus might not be all real, that his parents can't force him to eat all his vegetables, and that flashing the puppy-dog eyes at Mom will probably get him what he wants.

He wants to be in a rock band and be a scientist and a doctor and help people build things. He wants to grow his hair out and talk about tattoos and guitars and sunglasses and being cool. He loves his dad and his sister and his aunts and his uncles and misses his grandfather terribly. He is his own world.

And we're better - infinitely better - for having him in ours.

Happy Birthday, Cassidy, sweet boy. Happy Birthday, Beau!

Friday, 1 October 2010

all thumbs

The copier broke again at work. Well, sorta.

Toner out! it insisted, and when I obligingly slid the  new one home, it burped and chuckled for a moment and then smugly asserted I'd done something wrong.


(Okay, I made that last bit up.)

I looked through the (copious) literature that comes with the beast, flipping through MAINTENANCE, and TROUBLESHOOTING, and WHAT TO DO IF YOUR COPIER IS BEING A BUTT, and could find no mention of the corresponding error code. Okay, maybe there was something online.

Well. The Sharp website? Lovely. Sleek, even. But trying to find the model number I needed in a three-page list written in tiny type? IRRITATING. But I kept on, found it, downloaded....and the instructions for changing the toner were different than I needed. Same copier, and the illustrations matched, but no mention of the code, and no clear this is what you do NOW step-by-step stuff.

So, I did what I probably should have done from the start. I called the technician.

I have a lot of sympathy for these guys. They've got all the answers, yes, but they're trying to diagnose a problem over the phone.

So when he hemmed and hawed and finally said the words I somehow knew were going to come out of his throat:

'Did you turn the machine off and back on again?'

I did not blast him. (However, the wind generated from the rolling of my eyeballs sent all the notices pinned in the lobby a-flutter.)

Why yes, I said, I did! and resisted the urge to say 'Next!'

"So," he went on, "are you sure you put in the magenta toner? Could you go get the box the toner came in and read me what it says?"

The box for the magenta toner has magenta writing on it. And the cartridge itself is edged with bright PINK plastic edges. This would be hard to screw up. But, again, he's not there, in the room, he's on the phone, so I dutifully fetched the box and read the part number off, trying not to sound resentful that something in my tone apparently led him to believe I was both touched and colourblind.

We bandied on back and forth (I HAD the right toner, surprise!) and he promised to send a new toner to see if that would fix the problem and we hung up, without an answer to the problem, but thinking we were on the right track.

Half an hour later, in walked our usual copier repairman. D the Copier God. (This is said with love, because lord knows he's saved my bacon several times, and he always admits when he doesn't know the answer, which I find admirable.)

And once again, he tried and couldn't replicate what I had seen on the screen. He had some ideas, though, and after some futzing, the great beast obligingly rolled over and began working again.

I still think if I read my manual word-for-word I'd find somewhere a small section titled 'PRANKS TO PLAY ON THE CHICK WHO IS LOW ON COFFEE'.

Yarn over and over

Someone, an old babysitter maybe, taught me to crochet when I was six. I remember making long braided loops of yarn and thinking how pretty ...