Archive forSimone’s Journal

Practice Makes..um..Good…

Practice Makes..um..Good


“More. I need a little more” I say as I lay on the bed.

“Well don’t pull on it. Give it some slack” is his reply as I give a little tug. “I don’t think this is how we did it LAST time, do you?”


It’s been a while since we’ve done it, and our memories aren’t what they used to be. You ever notice you remember things that aren’t way up there on the You’re Going To Need This Information In The Future list, but can’t remember your kids birthdays, where you put the car keys, what you were supposed to buy at Safeway or why you’re standing in the bathroom with a magnifying glass in your hand staring at yourself in the mirror. Anyway…


“Maybe we should try it upside down” I offer, as I struggle to reposition.


After shuffling around with a grunt or two and only one stubbed toe, it looked like it might work. A bit more manipulation and then…

“Are you done?”

“No. I can’t keep it up. It has too many finger prints on it”

“Well I’d say somebody handled it too much then”


Smirks and verbal jabs weren’t going to help. Patience. We needed a little patience, that’s all. Besides it was actually going better than I expected, and I think for the most part he thought so too…


“Just give me a sec… Ok…ah…but I need it a little tighter”

“That’s as tight as I can make it. Take it or leave it”

“Ok, ok, ok”

”Aaaah…There, you’ve got it…YESSS!…..sigh…Finally.”

“Pretty good eh?”

“Yes dear. I’ll just leave you to finish” I reply as I scurry off the bed and head out into the kitchen to get a glass of water.


“All done!” he announces shortly after, and then joins me on the sofa. “How long do you think that took?”

“About forty minutes, which is a lot less than last time.”

“Really? Great! We’re becoming real pro’s at this. Next time we should be able to do it in twenty”


Well folks, we managed for the second time to seal up the bedroom windows in the RV for the winter.


Maybe I’ll win the lottery before next December rolls around so we can get an RV with double pane windows. I know that doing little projects together helps build a strong relationship, and this episode was no exception. But wrestling sheets of plastic, tape and scissors (now there’s a safety issue) while on the bed (remember it’s a small RV)) without causing (much) bodily harm, has been done. I say let’s try something new…like, oh I don’t know, ice racing or bungee jumping.  🙂

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Start Your Engines…

Start Your Engines…

 

“I think I’ll start up my vehicles” Brian says as he browses through a booklet on the newest computer thingamajigs (This word is actually in the dictionary, I kid you not). How looking at computer stuff kicked his brain into thinking about cars and trucks is a mystery to me, but so is Stephen Harper, people who wear spandex, and getting the wrapper off a new CD case.

 

“You mean the ones out in the cow pasture?” I query, although I already knew the answer as we were at his parents farm where he has several stationary vehicles, by which I mean they’re parked and are not moving nor, as far as I can tell, will be moving any time soon.

 

He offers a “Ya ya” as he puts aside the booklet, leans back and grins at me as if he’s just discovered out how to get the wrapper off a new CD case. My simple “Why?” was greeted with “Just to see if they will.” In the year plus that I’ve been going to the farm with him, he’s never tried to start up his collection of vehicles. In fact I didn’t think any of them even HAD the ability to start anymore, and were more like conversation pieces for the cows…

          “You know Mable, I think that grey one with the big eyes

is kind of cute. Seems a little standoffish though. I asked if he’d

like to play Dodge The Cow Pie, but he won’t even look me in

the eye”

          “I’m kind of fond of that older white one, but I know what

           you mean Dorothy. None of them are very friendly. Look how

           they stay in their own little group and act like we’re not here.”

          “Well who needs them anyway. Come on, let’s go see Beth. I

  heard she had implants.”

 

Anyway, when I had asked why he had so many vehicles he said “I might need one some day” and “If nothing else, the parts alone are worth it.” And I’m thinking “Worth what??” I mean really, how many carburetors, starters, rear view mirrors and thingamabobs (distant cousin to thingamajigs) should a person have “just in case”? How many vehicles does he intend to have along the way that these parts will be compatible with, hmmm? This guy has enough parts strewn about the farm to open up his own shop. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like everything is in a big pile in the middle of the front yard. Some of it is in his shed (which is smaller than a warehouse but bigger than a Mini Lube station), some is in his stepdads workshop (I don’t know why, considering there’s no work being done with them), and some of it is…….ok, it’s in a pile…or two…but covered up (mostly) and not in the front yard.

 

Anyway, my curiosity was piqued ((I didn’t have anything else to do) and  after Brian found (hopefully) all the keys, I headed out to the field with the company of Freckles (the dog) and he drove our car (to use as a boost) As I approached the area, the first vehicle to catch my eye is what I call Farley, which is a big old Fargo truck that Brian (at the time of purchase) was sure would be a breeze to fix (ha) and is (six months later) still parked in the field and NOT fixed. Well, we stop at Farley and next thing I know Brian is in the back, passing me parts and whatchamacallits (second cousin once removed to thingamabobs) that I then either put on the ground or into a wheelbarrow. Can anyone say “Side tracked”? Said parts were then taken to the “shed” to be protected from the upcoming winter elements, meaning Farley is going to be parked in the field for at least another six months…sigh.  

 

Eventually we made our way back to the other vehicles that were nestled ever so cozy amongst grass, brush, hay and cow patties. Freckles had lost interest and headed off to find something to dig up, chew or roll in. Brian picked out a few cars and checked under the hoods to find they didn’t all have batteries. No problem, we’ll just shuffle batteries around as needed. After hooking up our car battery with the first vehicle, my job was to get in and try to start it. Well I was totally surprised when it started up after only a couple of tries, and if the look on Brians face was any indication so was he, even though he denies he had any doubt (I believe you dear). Anyway, once all the smoke cleared, our coughing subsided to a low hack, and our eyes stopped watering enough for us to see, we continued down the line and after some tinkering and a few…um…words of encouragement, successfully started five vehicles. Sounded like a good time to stop. No sense taking a chance on ruining our perfect score or putting one of us into a carcinogenic coma. And besides, I needed to pee.

 

Later that evening Brian beamed with pride as he told the family of the successful start ups, like a father boasting after his child has used the potty for the first time. I’m waiting for the day when I see these vehicles MOVE and not just start, or at least contribute in some way other than increasing our carbon footprint, and providing the cows with something other than each other to mooo at.

 

I’m just saying J

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It’s Sheer Magnetism…

It’s Sheer Magnetism…


“Maybe I should make my own magnets”

I’m reading a book while sitting next to Brian on the sofa when he throws that tidbit out into the room. The statement itself doesn’t surprise me as he’s been interested in magnets and magnetic motors for some time. One of his goals, and there are a few, is to actually produce his own permanent magnetic motor, and so he often researches the topic.


So there I sit, minding my own business, when he puts forth that question, and once again before I catch myself, my mouth opens and I query “Ok, but how is a magnet made?” I immediately realize what I’ve done and sure enough his reply is “Don’t you remember learning it in school?” only to receive my Don’t Go There look, to which I get “Well look it up.” My shoulders slump and I quietly moan. As we don’t have regular internet at this time (Google is your friend), I’m handed a physics book and he even tells me where to find the information on magnets ……I know! If I was to look up something in one of my medical books I definitely probably might be able to pick the right book, but I would most likely probably definitely have to look up what page(s) I needed to reference. Then again, Brian reads and rereads books on physics, math, chemistry and the like, just to pass the time, and considers them light reading. My idea of light reading is the front of a cereal box.


Now don’t get me wrong. I’m all for learning…really. I believe it’s important to expand ones knowledge. However, these days my search for knowledge runs more in the direction of Fiction and puzzles like Sudoku books and not so much on Study books. Now bless Brian the dear man because he means well, but whenever he asks me a question and I respond with a No, I don’t know, or give the deer in the headlights stare, I feel a bit sorry for him because the look he gives me back is quite painful…for him…or maybe it’s just gas. But I digress.


Anyway, I did remember that magnets have “poles”, one north and one south. I got that part, but they lost me after that when the book went on about the relationship between magnetic poles and geographic poles. Something about north poles being south poles but pointed north, or maybe it was south poles being north poles pointing north, or was that south, and does that mean Santa really lives at the south pole, not the north pole, because that might explain why my letters to him keep coming back. And then the book starts showing equations of which I’m not a big fan. At this stage of my life, the only equation I want to figure out is how many pieces of chocolate it will take to stabilize my mood swing after I’ve been reading a physics book.


So anyway, the next day I hear a “Huh” from Brian, which usually means he’s thinking and there’s more to follow. Sure enough, a few seconds later, he’s standing next to me saying “You’ll sit there and do a meaningless puzzle, but you read a couple of pages in one of my books and whine I can’t do this…It’s too hard…I don’t get it, to which I say “I am exercising my brain…I can do this…It’s not too hard…and I do get it.” He walked away smiling, his eyes rolling, and his head shaking.


In the end I did learn how to make a magnet, albeit a small one, and when the time comes for Brian to develop his magnetic motor, I’ll be right along side him with my magnet, picking up paper clips as needed and giving him all the support I can muster.


In the meantime, I have a new cereal box to read, a puzzle to finish, and Brian says if I don’t do my homework Santa won’t bring me what I want…sigh. 🙂

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Bring It On….

 

Bring It On…

 

At the end of October it will be a year that my other half and I have spent in the RV together…..I KNOW! It doesn’t seem like a year, but that could be partially due to short term memory loss, which I’m sure is not in any way related to my age.

 

Yes, it’s been a year of learning for both of us, although I must say that with all the class sessions in Chemistry, Math etc. that I’ve suffered endured thoroughly enjoyed, I have learned more than he has. Whether I’ve retained any of it is another matter.

 

I can’t speak for Brian, but here are just of few things I’ve learned…

 

-I’ve learned that if you don’t like rain, you shouldn’t be here.

 

-I’ve learned to skirt an RV. I’ve also learned how to tarp an RV…over…and over…and over, and that you can’t have too many bungee cords.

 

-I’ve learned 2/3 of the Periodic Table, which is kind of cool although what I’m going to use it for is still a mystery to me. And for the most part I still don’t care for math…or chemistry…or science in general…I’m just saying.

 

-I’ve learned that two people cannot fit into the bathroom of an RV at the same time…uh, to brush their teeth. I’ve also learned that the shower stall is a great place to put recyclables, seasonal footwear and his toiletries, and the wall cabinet is a great place for all my stuff. Don’t cringe, we do shower, but in the main building here, which I don’t have to clean.

 

-I’ve learned that turning on the microwave and air conditioning at the same time makes the power go off in the entire RV.

 

-I’ve learned not to say anything to Brian, that I want him to remember, until he has two cups of coffee in the morning. However before his coffee is a good time to tell him things like I’m going to throw out his favorite hole ridden and threadbare underwear or t-shirt, as his automatic reply at that time is “Ya, ya” and then later on when he asks, I can honestly say he had agreed to it’s disposal.

 

 

-I’ve learned to give up the kitchen, bedroom, bathroom and 3/4 of the sofa and dining area (all at the same time) to make room for his I Can Fix It projects, c/w enough tools to open up a shop, and prepare a meal on 6 inches of table space with a coffee cup, a tea light candle, and a shot of Baileys.

 

-I’ve learned that getting on a boat by the swim grid entrance is less hazardous to your health than falling in from the side, that docking a 36 ft power boat is easy one day and not so much the next, and that other people on the dock are good at giving support and encouragement for each effort, especially if doesn’t threaten one of their boats.  

 

-I’ve learned to navigate…somewhat…by fold up and book style maps. And I’ve learned that when someone asks for last minute navigation information for an alternate route in order to bypass the construction directly ahead, doesn’t make me a happy navigator and usually leads to what I call “oral banter” and then another construction zone. Perhaps he’s learned this too. Do I hear a “Yes Dear”?

 

-I’ve learned that I like chestnuts, our dock neighbors, and walks together up the mountain in our backyard, but not sushi, music (debatable) that sounds like monkeys playing an assortment of instruments after consuming 8 cups of coffee, or expeditions in the dark and blowing snow to rescue rope and bungee cords in an attempt to keep the tarp from being blown into the next town.

 

-I’ve learned I don’t need a television, and that playing Scrabble with a word nerd (albeit a cute one) requires time, patience, a sense of humor, did I say patience? and something stronger than green tea.

 

-I’ve learned where every rest stop with a toilet is between Agassiz BC and Calgary or Edmonton AB.

 

I’ll stop by saying that home is definitely where the heart is. It’s not where you are, but who you’re with and why you’re there. Besides I’m not sure about my readers attention span. The important thing is that this past year has been a pleasure, and sharing it with the man I love is a big part of that.

 

So bring on the next year because I’m ready. Lets see, ear plugs-check, tea lights-check, official Scrabble dictionary-check, bungee cords-check, and……oh oh…I’m out of Baileys. 😉

 

 

 

 

 

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Hey Mister Sandman…

Hey Mister Sandman…

 

After a lesson on Algebraic permutations, I headed off to prepare for bed. The sound of rain had been fairly constant throughout the day and evening, and didn’t appear to be letting up. After flossing and brushing my teeth, I took a moment to make sure the ceiling vents were tightly closed before hitting the sheets. I have a habit of fluffing up my pillow before I lay down, and so I grabbed the upper end to do that. I knew something was wrong when I felt cool wetness, and when I lifted the pillow up and turned it over, sure enough, the underside was wet and so was the sheets and the head of the mattress. My astute mind, tired as it was, deduced that water was coming in from the window edge. That deduction was validated when I saw water dripping down the wall and on to the bed from, you guessed it, the window edge. Closer inspection showed the wooden mattress base was also quite wet…aaack. The blame for this really belongs to Brian. You see earlier in the evening, as the rain was pelting down on the RV, he looked at me and said “It’s nice to be warm and dry”. Obviously the gods heard this and decided that we were getting just a little too comfortable and so, perhaps having had a slow day and looking for a bit of entertainment, they sent us this rather moist reminder. It also meant that the sandman was going to have to wait…sigh.

 

I will remind everyone that our RV is 30 yrs old, and therefore has NO roll out sections, thus giving us a 12 inch wide “hall” space. Now, I’m not complaining, I just feel this will help you get the picture more clearly. Anyway I quickly stripped the bed and then Brian used a combination origami and wrestling technique to maneuver the mattress out into the hall (aka kitchen) and leaned it against the combination clothes closet, liquor cabinet and pantry wall. Our hopes being that by sometime the next day, both the wood and the mattress would be dry.

 

The only other available sleeping area was the sofa in the living/dining room. This is the area where the sofa and the dining table (with benches, not chairs) are directly across from each other and said dining table also acts as the living room table. The sofa slides down like a futon resulting in a cross between a twin and double bed. We have never tried to sleep on this before but, as they say (Does anyone really know who “they” are?) there’s a first time for everything, although I think some things should never have a first time, like root canals, blind dates or Brian climbing off the sofa in the morning, making my side tilt toward the table and the opening underneath, sending my back side, butt first, into said opening, folding me in half.

 

Well the bed frame was dry but the mattress wasn’t, so it spent the day in the “hall”. It went something like this…

-Tilt mattress toward sink, making sure no one is on the sink side

 (Sorry dear) open closet, put laundry in basket, close closet, tilt

 mattress back

          -Sideway shuffle between stove, counter and sink as needed,

           while keeping the stepping on your other half’s feet down to a

           minimum (Apology accepted).  

          -Tilt mattress, get water container, tilt mattress back, fill water

           jug and coffee pot, tilt mattress, put container away, tilt mattress

           back.

          -Slide mattress (Thought I was going to say tilt didn’t you?) farther

           in to the “hall”, get stuff needed off bedside table, slide mattress

           back

          -Tilt……Well, you get the idea.

 

By the end of the day, Brian had sealed EVERY window, the mattress was dry and he had it wrestled back into the bedroom and onto the frame. Teeth were flossed and brushed. Ceiling vents were checked. Pillows were fluffed, and the sandman was calling. I climbed between the clean sheets and as I drifted off to sleep I heard “It IS nice to be warm and dry.” Shhhh! J

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When Will I Learn…

When Will I Learn?…

 

Do you ever have moments when your brain and your mouth just don’t work in harmony with each other? Your brain saying one thing and your mouth spewing out something totally different? I was hoping that by my age I’d have found a way to coach these two functions into getting along and working together, but alas it isn’t so.  As I glance over to the book in Brians lap I spot the word Algebraic, which of course is part of the whole MATH thing. In the same moment that my mind sees the word, registers the meaning of the word, and tells me that if I ask about it I’m going to get more of an explanation than my inquiring mind really wants to know, my mouth has already opened and although inside my head I’m screaming “Nooooooooo!” the words “Hey, what are you reading about?” are released into the room, and he actually hears them. No, I’m not kidding.

 

He doesn’t usually hear what I say the first time around (even if I’m sitting right next to him) especially if he’s reading, or listening to the radio, or glancing out the window, or……well…pretty much anytime. If I want him to clue in, I physically take his head in my hands and turn it towards me so he has no option but to pay attention. But not this time. He’s actually quick to reply and begins reading out loud about Permutations which, I think, has something to do with mapping sets of things like CD’s or bad hair days. It’s not that I didn’t or don’t want to learn things like math, but I’m more the type who wants to learn it if I feel I’m actually going to USE it. Besides, it’s not that I can’t DO any math. Why I can count, subtract, multiply and divide quite well, so long as the batteries aren’t dead.

 

Brian will sometimes question my education. One of his favorite lines is “Did you learn ANYTHING in school?” which I usually ignore, but I’m often tempted to reply “Of course I did. I learned that 1 and 1 equals 2 (see that’s math). I also learned how to read and write. I learned when women in Canada were allowed to vote (1917), the Canadian Anthem..Oh Canada, Our long and naked land (or something like that) and I learned that hanging someone out of the second story window by his ankles to get his pen from the ledge below will land you in detention”  I’d to clarify that I did  indeed graduate from St. Mary’s High School in Calgary, Alberta.  I will admit however that I was what most people would call a typical high school student who paid only enough attention and did only enough work to pass a test. Otherwise it would have cut into my time spent on important things like skipping class, hanging out at the coffee shop with friends, drinking cola and eating French fries while looking over the newest magazines and discussing music such as Michael Jackson singing about a rat named Ben, Elton John singing about a crockidile that rocks and my favorite, Chuck Berry singing about playing with his ding-a-ling. Classics for sure. But I digress.

 

 

So after using up what was left of my brain cell allotment for the day, I must have made enough sense for Brian to think that I had indeed (at least for the moment) grasped some of the information, because he said “Good girl”. And before he could get started on the next page, I quickly pointed out …

  1) It’s 11:30 at NIGHT and the bed is calling out to me,

  2) Although I appreciate the effort, I wasn’t expecting a math lesson at

      this time of night and as such didn’t come prepared, and…    

  3) It’s 11:30 at NIGHT… You do the math.

 

Bed it is…J

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Painfully Obvious…

Painfully Obvious…

After a week in denial, there I was unsuccessfully trying to ignore a toothache, mainly because…well it was aching. I tried telling myself it would be fine if I REALLY kept positive thoughts, but it seems that even I don’t listen to myself…hmph. Anyway the sadistic tooth was completely ignoring the pain medication I had taken and invited all the surrounding teeth, both up and down, to join in the melee. As I moaned and groaned while holding my hand against the painful area, my other half, being the observant fellow that he is, noticed my discomfort and inquired “What’s wrong?” “Uh, my tooth hurts. I think I need a root canal” I suspected this was the problem as I’d been through it before. I had also hoped I’d never have to do it again…sigh. “Need to go to the dentist?” he asks. As I didn’t think seeing my gynecologist was going to help, I replied “Yes, that’s probably a good idea”. Now the only dentist I even remotely trust is in Calgary, so after getting an appointment and enough pain killers to get me through the next 3 days, we headed off to Alberta.

I’m not exactly thrilled about going to the dentist. In fact I’d rather sit in a theatre, front row, in the middle seat while listening (without ear plugs) to an opera, after taking a laxative. But then again, I don’t know anyone who joyfully signs up to experience oral needles, little rubber sheets stretched across the mouth and held in place by clamps that ALWAYS bite into the gum, drills, suction and other strange utensils being thrust in and out, while listening to the dentist ask for things like nippers, pliers and power tools. Not exactly dialogue to relax by. And they try to distract you with a television mounted into the ceiling tuned into a home renovation show. Oh joy, more drill and other power tool sounds. Now I realize that today’s technology has brought about ways to make the experience less painful. However, although I appreciate the attempt, it doesn’t make going to the dentist any more joyful for me and I still cringe at the mere thought. Brian thinks my pain threshold is too low and/or that I’m simply a wimp, to which I say “Aaaaaaannd?” only to receive the usual combination head shake eye roll. Anyway, I was right. I did need a root canal and I did get a root canal. I also got a bill for $800. I’m not sure what was more painful, the toothache or the bill…Ouch!

Speaking of pain, I’ve been known to injure some part of my body on what seems in the last year or so to be a regular occurrence. It’s been a couple of months now and I celebrate each week as it comes. Well last week while we were at the farm, someone was helping his dad dig a well and “Safety first” measures weren’t quite in place. A well was needed, so they just got out there and starting digging one. What the hell. There attitude is that they’re men, and therefore invincible. Well Mr Invincible had a bucket full of heavy wet clay attack him when it came off the home made (uh huh) pully system, and he received an injury to his leg, just above the knee. I know it’s hard to believe it wasn’t me but it’s true. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not happy Brian (who thinks I’m a total klutz) got hurt, I’m just glad it wasn’t me and it confirms my suspicion that he is indeed as susceptible to life’s little booboos as I am. I do however have to agree with him (damn) that he has a better pain threshold than I do. The camera flash was too bright, and so the picture isn’t very good. I’m glad to say he’s well on his way to healing and I’m yet another week injury free, so life is good.

 

As we headed back to the RV, the well was still a work in progress (slow progress) a new shiny bucket took the place of the old plastic one (still using the same pulley system though, and the paramedics were on stand-by.

 

 

 

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And thanks once again for everyone’s hospitality in Calgary and at the farm.

It’s always a joy. 🙂

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Snot What You Think…

 

 

Snot What You Think…

 

Brian and I were shopping at Super Store recently, and it brought to mind a previous shopping trip that I had written to him about when he was working away from home in Fort McMurray.

 

I was waiting to get through the checkout and was watching others go about their business.  I enjoy people watching, and the entertainment factor that day was working for me…I focused in on a Mom who was struggling to get through the door, complete with 3 children in tow (approx. 2-6 yrs of age). The small one wants to be picked up, which is evident by his crying “UP..UP..UP” while reaching on tippy toes. The middle child is picking his nose and wiping it on (unbeknownst to her) moms shirt hem. The oldest child is attempting to make a break for freedom by ducking, twirling, and shuffling  (either that or he’s getting ready to audition for the upcoming  series “So You Think Your Kid Can Dance”). I watched them head off in search of the Crystal Skull….Oh wait…that’s Indiana Jones. As they scurried out of sight I silently wished that she be blessed with patience, love and a health benefits plan that covers Prozac.

 

Anyway, that incident brought back a few memories of when my kids were little, although I shudder to think I might have been out in public with kid snot on my shirt hem. So many memories, there’s not enough space on my computer to hold it all.  Like spaghetti sauce and noodles in the hair, peas in the ears, dinky cars in the toilet, floaters in the tub (you know what I mean) and play dough ground into the carpet, sofa and grandma’s crocheted table runner. Then came the often used phrases such as “I really really neeeeeeeed it…Reeeally”, “She/He started it”, “I don’t know” and the number one “Not me!” There’s not a household with children, ANYWHERE, that doesn’t have a Not Me living in it. Eventually it becomes “Can I have $20.00?”, “I don’t HAVE any homework”, “EVERYONE else’s parents let them yadayadayada”, “That’s not fair!” and let’s not forget “Grounded? I HATE you!” Brings a tear to my eye……Really. So the time has come when Brian and I get to sit back and enjoy the visits with our grandchildren (We have 3 between us) and watch them guide walk drag their parents through this stage of life.  I stifle the urge to laugh (although not always successfully) whenever I hear them whine (the parents, not the children) about not having enough time in the day or a moment to themselves, while on their hands and knees cleaning up peanut butter, mashed potatoes and cereal off the floor, wall and nearby window. Shouts of glee (the children’s, not the parents) and sounds of water splashing coming from the bathroom, and wondering how soon it’ll be before water trickles down the stairs and into the kitchen. The not so pleasant odor being emitted by the little one, along with an obvious discoloration of his pants taking their attention away from the stove, resulting in another not so pleasant odor, which ends in a call to the nearest pizza delivery service.

 

It’s not that we don’t sympathize because we really do. After all we’ve been there, and as such, have paid our dues as did our parents before us and theirs before them. As grandparents it’s simply our turn to sit back and see the humor in it all. And besides, it won’t be long before they’ll be uttering the oh so popular phrase “Just WAIT ‘til you have children of your own!” after leaving the principals office, child in tow, for the third time in as many weeks, with the child quick to reply “School SUCKS. I’m not having kids. And if I do I’M not going to be so mean to them!”

 

In the meantime parents, keep an eye on your shirt hem, the pizza delivery number nearby, and remember to tell them you love them anyway, knowing one day it’ll be your turn to stifle a giggle. And you won’t have to say I told you so because it’ll be written all over your face…. J

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Boys And Their Toys…

Boys And Their Toys…

 

Our boat was ready to be hauled out of the water for a general bottom cleaning and check over. The area to store and do the work on it was also ready and waiting, and so with Brian on deck, I pulled the Absolut out of our slip and we headed over to the launch area. It went smoothly and I docked it without incident….whew. The truck and trailer were in place and soon the boat was slowly and painstakingly placed on the trailer for removal from the water. However, after several attempts to lift it, we were told by the guy doing the work that our boat was too big for his trailer and he couldn’t complete the job. Arrrrgh. The only thing left to do at the time was turn around and head back to our slip at the dock. Once again, Brian was on deck and I was at the helm. I backed it up and off we went. We had recently been moved to another slip as our boat has a wide beam and getting in and out of our previous spot was a little more difficult and slow. The new slip gives us more room for maneuverability, and I’m certainly not opposed to that. The only trick is that after approaching it, the boat has to be turned around 180 degrees before pulling it into the slip. I had watched Brian do it a few days before, and was pretty sure I could do it too. Using only the transmission controls, I slowly turned her. Wow, it was so cool to take the boat and spin it around… without hitting anything, and glide it into the slip…without hitting anything, and seeing the smile on Brians face…when I didn’t hit anything. Now we just need to find an alternative way to get the boat out without going all the way to Shelter Island in Richmond, which is where it was when Brian bought it.

 

Well that was a few days ago. Since then, Brians brother Mike decided to take HIS boat to Shelter Island, remove it from the water and do a little work on it. He asked Brian to go with him and not surprisingly, he said yes. The RV could be flooding from the leak in the seal of the window next to our bed and he’d still have said yes because the trip involved a BOAT. The next day we had barely arrived at the dock in Maple Ridge and the two of them were smiling and heading down the river, while I, the dock master and a few other regulars to the marina waved them off. You see, apparently it’s always MY job to get one (or both) of them to whichever boat they intend to move, see them off and then go pick them up at the other end….I KNOW! Let’s see, they get to play boat, and I (for hours) get to drive in a car without air conditioning, on roads with  lighted intersections that are always red when I reach them, constant construction and thousands of other cars with people behind the wheel who have no idea how to drive….sigh. As Brian likes to help when he can, this past week we (Brian more often than I) have made the hour and twenty minute drive to Shelter Island and then the hour and twenty minutes back. If we decide to put out boat there, at least we now know the best route to take depending on the time of day. And I’d like to add that when the Absolut pulls away from the dock, I intend to be waving from ONBOARD it this time. Just smile and say “Yes Dear” J

hpim1694

hpim1695

I DID leave them at the boat on Sunday and ventured into Vancouver to visit my son Michael, who lives downtown….Downtown Vancouver. I’m not crazy about driving downtown Calgary and I lived there for years, so heading downtown Vancouver was NOT something I was looking forward to. YES, a mother’s love knows no bounds and after taking a few detours, taking the scenic route getting lost and pulling over (4 times) to review the map, massage my temples, and re-chart my course, I made it to his place with enough time left over to kiss him hello, hug him goodbye, and head back to get Brian. And as a mother, I reserve the right to use that, not so great, driving experience JUST to see him, as a guilt card somewhere in the future. Love you Michael and it was great to see you…Mmmwah!

 

As if all that driving wasn’t enough, on Monday Brian and I went into Vancouver to find parts and charts for the Absolut. We stopped at a place I believe is called Popeyes Marine Exchange, which is full of marine stuff, hence the name. Most of it is used stuff and it’s like going on a treasure hunt (pun not intended but appropriate). After finding the oar rings we needed Brian headed upstairs to an open area that has books, charts, maps and such, while I browsed around on the main level thinking he’d only be up there for a short time. Oh silly me, what WAS I thinking? That man can spend hours browsing or reading over something if the subject holds his interest, and here we were in a building FULL of stuff that interests him. Eventually I just sat down at the bottom of the steps and waited for him, while cobwebs formed between myself and the railing. Other shoppers and store personel would see me, stop, glance up and spot Brian immersed in the maps, shake their heads, whisper words of sympathy, and offer to bring me nourishment or perhaps a pillow.

 

But the highlight of the day was meeting Fred. Fred runs a little shop that deals with, among other things, marine refrigeration. It was next door to Popeyes, and after brushing off the cobwebs, we decided to take a look for some air conditioning gauges that Brian wanted. We didn’t get the gauges, but that didn’t matter. Brian began to vibrate the minute we turned the corner of the building. Fred was sitting on his motorcycle and chatting with his friend “Honda Don” who owns 27 motorcycles. Now the bike topic alone would have kept Brians attention (he has two) but there was so much more. This shop had an amazing array of projects that Fred was in the process of working on as well as pictures of completed projects, including (from scratch) a sailboat AND a helicopter. Fred is working on making another helicopter (almost complete). It’s not often you walk into a little corner parts store and see a two man helicopter in the garage. He’s also working on a vintage car (Ford Model A) that will include a JaguarV12 engine. When asked why such a large engine, he simply said because he could, and also because he hadn’t seen it done before. He apparently likes to do things out of the “norm”.  The stuff he had and the stories they told delighted us both. Brian was grinning from ear to ear for the rest of the day, and if he’s happy, I’m happy.

 

So let’s see….I’ve been learning to handle a boat, and the next thing Brian wants me to learn to drive is a motorcycle. Hmmm…I wonder if there’s enough room in his shed at the farm to build a helicopter…Just a thought dear…J

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Help, I’ve Fallen And I Can’t Get Up…Again

Help, I Fallen And I Can’t Get Up……Again

 

For reasons unknown to me, I seem to be more fumbly lately. Now don’t tell me fumbly isn’t a real word. If “doh” and “meh” can make it into the dictionary (They did recently. I’m not making this up) then fumbly can’t be far off. I wasn’t much of a fumbler prior to boarding an RV and coming to BC with Brian. Hmmmm, coincidence? Perhaps not.

The worst fall I had was when I fell INTO the boat, bruising my right leg something awful as well as most of my ribs on the left side, leaving me to sleep sitting up and hugging a pillow to my chest for weeks. So I try to watch my step when at the dock in Mission where our boat is, as the walkway down to the parking area is sloped, and last week I WAS watching until Dan (one of our dock neighbors) pulled up in his truck unexpectedly and I looked up, for just a second, and next thing I know I’m on the ground, (OUCH!) with a twisted left ankle and no skin left on my right knee.  While voicing my displeasure, I was suddenly surrounded by Brian, Dan and others from the harbor, all talking at once and not seeming quite sure what to do with me, each one looking to the other hoping someone else will do something so they won’t have to. Men, need I say more. After my other half helped me up the steps (ouch ouch) to a chair, I was presented with a first aid kit by Dave the harbor master, and set to work icing my ankle and bandaging my knee. After all my years in EMS I can do this kind of thing in my sleep, which at the time would have been a welcomed state.

Brian pipes up with “What the hell happened? One minute I’m walking along and all of a sudden I hear a sailor behind me”, obviously referring to my verbal dialogue at the time. After relating what happened, and seeing the look on Dan’s face, I assured him he wasn’t to blame, and then he assured me I wasn’t the first one to fall down that slope (some consolation I suppose) although his recollections included alcohol or some other form of mood enhancer, which also at the time I would have welcomed. Did I say OUCH!?

Anyway, Brian was supposed to help Ben (another dock neighbor) with one of his boats and I didn’t want him to have to put it off by taking me back to the campground, so I decided to tough it out in Mission for the rest of the day, and go to the pharmacy to pick up first aid supplies needed to replace the ones I had used from the kit. The knee of my favorite pants (go figure) was shredded and bloody, and as I didn’t want to draw inquisitive looks from other shoppers, I took scissors from the kit and made them into shorts on the spot. Rolled up the cuff a couple of times and TaDaaa, perfect shorts. I AM good. After making myself presentable, I eeeeased myself into the drivers seat and soon learned that driving a vehicle with a five speed standard transmission is NOT good for a sprained left ankle.

The rest of the afternoon was spent sitting on a bench at the harbor watching my ankle swell up, painkillers in my system, and chatting with a multitude of well wishers, until Brian was ready to go home, at which point HE nearly fell when his foot caught the decline on the same slope.  I felt so much better knowing it wasn’t just me, but at the same time happy he didn’t get hurt as I wouldn’t have any help at home, hehe. Once back home, and after ten minutes easing myself out of the car and hobbling toward the door of the RV,  I stopped dead in my feeble tracks at the steps leading into it. Although there are only three, it looked as daunting as thirty and I was willing to put off climbing them until the following Tuesday. Turns out that wasn’t to be an option as behind me I hear “Come on old lady” (It seems to be his favorite line :p) as he unceremoniously assisted my backside up and into the RV. Hmmmph!

The next challenge was relieving myself without sounding like a sailor, and I had put it off as long as possible. Could somebody please tell me the reasoning for the height of RV toilets (at least in older models) Cripes! It’s one thing that the bathroom is the size of school locker (I’m not complaining, I’m just saying) but the toilet is all of six inches off the floor.  I’ve seen kids training potty’s that are higher than RV toilets.  WHAT were they thinking when they came up with these things? 

“Hey Joe, I think these toilets should be as close to the floor as possible so that people can give their legs some exercise since they sit on their asses for hours when they drive”

“Sounds good to me Karl. You’re always thinking. AND we’ll save on material too.  That should make the boss happy. Hey, maybe we’ll get a bonus for using our ingenuity”

“Ya!……Uh…What’s ingenuity Joe?”

So even on a good day plunking down (don’t go there dear) and then hoisting up (or there either dear) is bad enough. But when the ankle on one leg and the knee on the other don’t want to participate without causing PAIN which leads to sailor talk, these two maneuvers are torturous. Arrrrg!

Well, eventually Brian Nightingale had me settled back on the sofa, ice pack on the ankle and painkiller in hand…wink. Ahhhhh! Oh oh. I just remembered that fluid in means fluid out…sigh. 

 

Medicated :)

Medicated 🙂

 Cheers! J   

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