Monday, May 31, 2010

How do you camp?

I grew up going camping for holidays and even though I complained as I got older, I still loved it. We don't have a lot of cash for our summer vacation this year, since we went to New Orleans, and I'm wondering about camping. How do you find a good location? Are State Parks the way to go just like Provincial Parks are in Canada? Has anyone camped with a 17 month (probably 18 months by the time we go) child and have pointers? Should I avoid the tent and get a cabin?

Luckily, I'll be able to do a lot of my internet searching in front of the tv once my netbook arrives!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Ready to grow

Four days ago I was frustrated because I didn't see any time to get my garden in. It was hot and with the in-laws visiting I wasn't sure if I'd be able to. But then I sucked it up and got to it. A few hours in the hot and humid outdoors over two days and sweat dripping down my face, it was the first time in days that I was smiling! Tomatoes, broccoli, cabbage and marigolds are what you see popping out. I even put two cabbage plants in the compose bins to see what will happen! In previous years I've had tomato plants growing out of them so why not some cabbage!

A few years ago when I started gardening I had no idea if I'd be able to do a good job of it. This is my third year and I'm pretty happy with the state of my soil, the amount of black gold I'm able to add to it and the quiet I find in my gray matter while I work. I guess gardening is just in my blood.

After 5 days of baking and cooking for the in-laws and getting the garden in amongst all the heat, I'm exhausted and my couch is calling. How was your Memorial Day weekend?

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Sometimes I surprise even myself....

It is the end of May. It is too damn hot. 77F/25C at 7:40 pm with the sun setting in our bedroom windows. When it is this hot it should be July. No real sign of relief on the weather forecast.

The In-laws are here - am I allowed to ask them not to speak in their 'dog whistle' voices while talking to my daughter? But Sweet One does seem to be really enjoying having them around. I honestly feel bad for my mom and stepdad who she hardly interacted with at all.

Sweet One's sleeping has been fukked up because of how fukking hot it is and then I lose even more sleep both because she wakes me up just after I finally fall asleep and then I can't fall asleep because of when I got woken up .... gong show.

I only just started getting my garden ready. In 55 minutes this afternoon I became drenched as I emptied out my compost bins into the garden beds and turned all the dirt. I'm almost ready to plant.

And usually all of this would be driving me insane but in the end it isn't! I'm behaving a little better and have managed to avoid the stare of death from my mother-in-law. I guess things will be ok.

But honestly, does anyone have any ideas on how to help a little one sleep when it is too fukking hot?

Friday, May 21, 2010

Lurking underneath

I'm working on item 6 of 6 on my list of jobs to fix up the house a bit. This project is the lattice and wood panel that is perpendicular to the porch floor that I refinished a few weeks ago. The stink that comes up from my work never ceases to amaze me as I'm sanding away with a borrowed belt sander, my face covered in a dust mask and safety goggles! What the hell is it underneath the paint that can have that unholy smell! I can only imagine. Slightly frightening.

Then as I was finishing up with the 50 grit, trying to pry myself out from the mountain laurel that was pressing me against the porch, I let go of the trigger on the sander and brought the sander down to my side. Or so I thought. My knee stuck out through the hole in my jeans and the sander gave my knee a quick kiss just as it finished winding down. Dammit. Three hours of working on this project injury free and then in the last 30 seconds...

Hopefully this project will be done by Sunday evening. Dammit. Showers tomorrow. Monday?

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Shedding the wire

One of our next door neighbors is a college student. His parents bought the house two years ago and he has recently graduated. Today it looks as if they are readying the house for sale with bags of mulch and a Uhaul truck in front. I'm trying to imagine what their lives are like. What do his parents do? They must be absolutely loaded if they themselves drive a Lexus and over the past month the kid has been parking a Cadillac Escalade where he previously parked a Honda Pilot. Maybe I'm envious because of that financial freedom when I find it unfathomable to be able to spend so much money on a vehicle - and even moreso to have such an expensive vehicle when you haven't even started working for a living yet. The vehicles cost the same as my house! (But perhaps if I ask them nicely they will sell it to someone who can be my friend!)

Whenever we buy something of any value - ie more than $50 - there is often a lot of thought that goes into it. Our finances are such that spending money is not to be done on a whim by any means. I can honestly say that learning to live within our means over the past 5 years has brought me a lot of satisfaction and I am happier. But there are days when I am envious of those who don't have to do this.

One thing I'm excited about is that we have decided to join the wireless world and get a netbook. At first I thought we'd get a full size laptop but then realized that a netbook will give me what I want - to be able to go online while my daughter is watching tv. That's all. Simple. It will be the first computer I ever put out money for and I'm so excited to have this one little item that feels like a bit of an 'extra'. Now to figure out what I will get - any suggestions?

5 minutes later ....
I did a reverse address search and then googled that name and the city where he comes from and realized that my neighbor's dad is an optometrist. For some reason i'm almost relieved to find that as his profession rather than a field of work where money is the only goal.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


So what do you do when your neighbors are completely and utterly incapable of responsibly training their dog to shut up? There is a sheltie that lives next door and he will bark and anything and everything constantly! I understand that shelties are a noisy dog but I also know that my mom was completely capable of training ours when I was not even 10 years old. She had three children under 10, worked and still found the time to train our dog. Our neighbors have no children, spend quite a bit of time at home but have basically given up on training their dog. They have said to us that they worry about the dog annoying the neighborhood. Why? Because their dog barks more than all the 6 other dogs put together that live along this block? Last week I was outside painting my porch and for half an hour the dog barked at people across the street. I'm seriously at the point that I want to throw some chocolate its way. Or perhaps I'll be able to find one of those ultrasonic bark stoppers for a cheap price that I can put in my yard.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mmmm, pie

For the past couple of years, my attempts to try and make a pie crust on my own have been complete failures. Whether it was gluten-free or regular, margarine or shortening, nothing worked.
So when my mom was visiting last week I had her help me make a pie crust and voila! it didn't suck. It was good to be doing something with my mom where we just joked around. (Any time she was given the tiniest opportunity during her visit to start talking about her theology and all that she's learning as a minister, she'd get going on this brainwave that left no room for anyone to be involved - the pitch of her voice also jumped up an octave or so and the sing-song was incredibly which made me start to wonder if any LSD behind my back.) SO, it was nice to not have to venture into the 'land of wonder and amazement' and just have some pie at the end of the day! She did get a little grossed out when I ate some of the scraps from the crust. I had to make sure it was the same recipe that she used when I was little and since I'd gorge myself on the raw pie dough, it was the only way I knew how!

Friday, May 7, 2010


When I have a project to do, I feel like I always get 98% of it done. Painting a room? I'll save the trim for later because my violent outburst of painting has left me spent. So I tell myself I'll finish it up later.

Part of my problem was that three years ago I thought I would pull up the carpet on the stairs and living room. However, I never got around to it and since toddlers fall down stairs occasionally, I'm glad I didn't. But looking at the trim for the past chunk of months has made me cringe because it looks a little like ass. It may only take up 2% of the wall but the trim is like the icing/frosting on a cake (and I'm completely guilty of eating icing with a spoon)!

So with the hopes of getting a few projects done before the in-laws arrive, I have a checklist and things are getting crossed off. No longer will I need to give myself shit every time I walk up or down the stairs because there is a new layer of cream cheese frosting on either side of me. It won't be long before I've done all the projects I'm capable of doing myself and then I'll just hope the lottery comes my way so I can have someone else do the ones I can't!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

A visit and painting have eaten up the past two weeks!

What a couple of weeks it has been! Sweet One got two teeth - molars!

My mom and stepdad came to visit for a week. It is hard to visit with my mom because in the past two years she has been working as a minister (unordained) at a church and is so excited about everything that she is doing and learning. It is great for her because she has always wanted to do this but hard for me because once she gets going on this stuff she almost becomes a different person. I can't put it all into words right now which is probably why I haven't been posting - because this has been on my mind for awhile now and I don't feel ready to put it all out there.

My porch has now been painting. I still have to paint the lattice that is skirting it as well as one other section, but in general the surface has been sanded, caulked and painted over the past few weeks. I have two other projects to get painted in the house and then the rest of what is outside. I hate all these little painting jobs hanging over my head.

Sweet One is in bed right now crying for my attention - cry a bit, stop a bit, etc. We are in the transition of moving to one nap and sometimes it makes bedtime hard because she gets so wired playing after supper that it is impossible to slow her down and yet she won't let me sit and rock her ... that is until I go back into her room.

Anything exciting going on in your world?