Sunday, 28 August 2011


Waiting for Irene...(and feeling a little wordy)

I was darn near late getting back from my lunch break on Friday - I was listening to a great report on CBC radio about technology and 'unplugging'. (The interview is here - it starts at about 14:00) Fascinating stuff. There have been studies done that say that when you read a computer screen, if there is a block of text (much less a picture) that doesn't have anything to do with your reading, it shoots your comprehension of what you do read by 50%.

That's scary, thinking about how much of what we read is broken up by fancy, shimmery ads and different fonts and scrolling texts with coloured backgrounds.

Our brains use different pathways to process things - even things as similar as reading off a screen and reading off a page.Read all your stuff off a screen, and the pathways used to comprehend words off a page? Begin to shut down.

Getting all the news about this incoming was-a-hurricane-but-is-now-a-tropical-storm? Is like waiting for Godot - the bad news is still there, and you can look for Jesus' co-conspirators if you like,  but it...never...comes. Yesterday we ran around frantically tying down the tractor and tidying everything away, doing the storm checklist: Do we have food? Can we cook if the power goes out? Does everyone know where to go if a tree falls on the house? and then today.....we waited.
It's spit rain and misted a lot, and there have been some interesting gusts of wind, but listening to the forecasts and forecasts and forecasts is really just stressing out the kids and making them punchy.

So today we've been watching movies and reading books (we made a run to the library earlier) and treating this like any other rainy, might storm, y'know, day.

And I wonder if exposing them to two days of news broadcasts and footage of roiling waves and flooding streets is good for them. If they might not be better off not having so much to think about. So much lag time before the actual event, so to speak.

If we should have unplugged.

I am so grateful that all my friends and family are safe from the effects of this storm. Please do not think I am negating the good things that having an early-warning system does.

Thursday, 25 August 2011

the third act

When I moved to Nova Scotia from Michigan, I brought three cats with me. (Hey, noone ever accused me of packing light!) Panda, Katie, and Chumba. Panda died some years back, Chumba last year, and Kate....

well, we put my sweet old girl down today.

Last night she had (we think) a series of small strokes, leaving her blind, unable to walk more than a few feet, and with a permanent head-tilt.

It was time.

Bear took her in to the vets, and now she's buried up on the hill at the edge of the blueberry bushes where the sun warms the grass every morning, next to her best pal Chumba.

We'll miss you, Katie-baby.
Katie was the first one to greet both kids home from the hospital, the first to accept Bear, the first to bound on the bed in the morning and let us know it was time to get up! and see what the new day had brought! She moved across Michigan several times with me, enduring several different roommates and boyfriends, and then staked out Bear as her very own once she was settled in here at the house.

Tonight was spent in quiet cries with the kids. They both seem to be doing okay right now, since they knew she was frail and elderly. Lucy is lost, though.

I'm sure soon there will be the tiny feet of kittens running around the house, because remembering your summer as 'The summer vacation my cat died' is just awful. And seriously? Our house with just one cat?

Perish the thought.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

under cover of the night

Did I really not tell y'all about these? But they're so awesome....

We have four. Flossie, Freddie, Bert and Maeve.

They live happily downstairs (I think the main nest is towards the back of the coat closet, although last fall they were in the pantry under the cold storage for a bit) and seem to enjoy pilfering mittens and the odd sock or two. Maeve used to come upstairs (she's the most social of all of them) when the children were small (I think she liked the taste of Wet-Naps) but now stays down with the rest.

We don't really see them (they're a quiet pet to have!) unless we've been out of peanut butter for awhile, and then there are mini, ankle-threatening stampedes, and much loud bickering over territorial rights and whether the cat food bowl should be considered necessary and therefore captured rations or not.

Oh, and they eat tinsel off the bottom of the tree.

The North American House Hippo. Makes you want one, doesn't it?

Saturday, 13 August 2011

the cusp of the weekend

I hate how the edge of Sunday bites deep with the incessant chant of 'You have to work tomorrow'.

Whispering in the back of your head, tainting all the joy and fun of the last day of your weekend.

Can we do something after supper? Wow, that looks like a great show. Should I stay up and watch it?
A meteor shower? Sounds great! But....

I have to work tomorrow.

Blech. And Urgh.

Today is my Sunday - tomorrow I work at the hospital. I'm torn between making the absolute most of it (Wanna dye your hair with Kool-Aid*, Roseyroo? Cass, bet I can make soap turn into snow.** Wanna bet?) and floating, lazily and limply, in the pool.

Tonight we're having a great meal - stuff I've been waiting all week to cook, and dessert, and then...

and then the pool is mine.

*We may repeat this again some other day. It either didn't work or R's locks are too dark to show.
** Really? YES.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

this is planet earth

I'm watching 'Planet Earth' (no, not the Duran Duran video, the BBC series) and listening to David Attenborough talk about baby polar bears and wondering why, for God's sakes, why, I watch these (admittedly gorgeous and interesting) nature programs when I know there's going to be at least one baby animal that doesn't make it.

Tonight's cute and cuddly snack du jour  (well, so far, we're still not sure if the polar bear cubs will survive) is a baby caribou.

And now it's on to birds, which are almost as sparkly and purty as my husband today after Rosey got after him with her Glitter Barbie makeup. (He said I could blog about it, but drew the line at photographic evidence, sadly.)

Crap. The wild dogs are after the impala. Y'know, I understand that this is real life and not a Gary Larson cartoon, but I still can't help wishing that the impalas could just catch a break.

Elephants swim, did you know? I mean, all four-feet off the ground swim? And how joyous they look, carrying their trunks over their heads and 'creek-ing' at each other.

So many creatures, all of us, inhabiting the same space.

This film makes me wonder what Lucy is thinking when she chews off the zipper pull on my purse (does the leather make her think she's hunting something?  Or is she just....delusional? However far back her 'hunting memories' go back, I have a hard time believing any of my calico house-cat's family brought down a cow.)

But then again, all things are possible here...on Planet Earth.

(And yes, I'm humming the bah,bah,bu-bah from the Duran Duran song. Of course.)

Saturday, 6 August 2011


It's quiet here now.

The rest of the household is asleep - Bear might be awake - I think I just heard him cough - but the cat is snortling next to me and Jasper is sighing out in his spot in the kitchen. The tv is on low (PBS is playing a Foreigner concert, and I'm remembering all the songs and tapping my feet a bit) and I'm up reading blogs and messing around on the internet.

The moon is high and half-full and the stars are out.

I have a soft spot for Foreigner - not only is it the music I remember from rollerskating at the rink (honest, am not ninety years old!) the theme song to my first serious relationship was Midnight Blue. Ahh, summer nights, rock music on the radio, driving with your guy.....

I still love the song, but whatinhell were we thinking with the hair and the clothes and the makeup?
Even better, those things are supposed to come back around soon, aren't they?Gahhhhhh

I've started journaling again, and the simple act of putting pencil to paper calms me, centers me in a way that  blogging hasn't yet.(Although I'm very fond of them both) Blogging is like writing letters - you're aware that someone is going to read it, somewhere, but writing in a journal can be entirely yours.

It's barely the beginni9ng of August, and Cass has begun the countdown to the beginning of school already, although I think even he's not quite sure if he's dreading or looking forward to it. A bit of both, probably.

R has decided she wants a short haircut this year and pierced ears. (sniff mah baybee!)

It's been a good summer so far. What lies ahead?
What's going on in your corner of the big wide world?

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 ...