Thursday, January 31, 2013

Under feets.

Under foot..
under your foots.
under yer' feets.

The rabbit.

I don't think I really took into consideration how much the rabbit would miss the dog. Actually, I didn't figure he'd really even notice that the dog was gone, or at least that there would be no impact on the rabbit...
Until the day after Jelly was gone.

It is near impossible to be in the back room of the house without the rabbit FORCING himself on you. Head butts, nose pokes, climbing legs, stealing shoes, weaving between feet.
All of it.
Attention starved.
If you're a visitor, be warned.

It makes me wonder what was going on between those two when I wasn't home, who was curled up in who's bed?

Wednesday, January 30, 2013


I missed garbage day again.

Do you ever leave things in your fridge with the intent to toss them on the next garbage day? It's a bad habit of mine. I still rarely eat here at home- I miss eating at home, it's just not in the cards right now. So when I do make food, the leftovers go to waste... unless I eat them for breakfast... I'm not into that so much.

I missed garbage day again.

Week 4 in a row.

Don't open the fridge door.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

more thoughts on aprons

I do love a pretty apron.

Though, obviously I'll use a dorky one too. (See last night's posting)

I love that I can reach down and I have at the ready something that can be used as a giant pocket, a pot holder, a tea towel, a wipe cloth...

I've been wearing one nearly every day in the kitchen, just to keep myself a little cleaner... There's just one slight downside to wearing aprons.

Eventually I take them off.

And I forget that I'm not wearing one... and I wipe my hands all over my skirt or shirt... and don't notice till I get to work.



I just scared myself to death.
Really, I might be dead right now... my mind just hasn't caught up.

My mom sewed quite a bit when I was growing up.
At one point in the late 80's early 90's she started making me shorts and best of all, short overalls.
This was when it was really cool to wear boxer style shorts. Seriously. It was cool then.

Glow in the dark frog shorts.
Glow in the dark cow short overalls.
Glow in the dark pig short overalls.
Blue striped shorts.

Honestly. As parents, why didn't they stop us? These things looked terrible.

Anyway, there was always lots of leftover fabric in our house and mom would put it to use, or have us kids put it to use in some craft. One of the genius things she did was make aprons. I still have a bin of her stash that I dip into from time to time.

Fast forward to bedtime tonight.
I place the pile of folded (but not put away) laundry on my dresser. Lights get turned off. I turn to hop up on my bed (it's tall)... and I yelp.

There's a weird globby green ghost on my dresser.

Yup. I've still got one of those glow in the dark (cow) aprons.

Because you never know when you'll be cooking in the dark.

Monday, January 28, 2013


There seems to be a direct correlation between my involvement in the festival and my ability to take time to write...

Actually, it's that I'm too lazy to sign in and out of google accounts- so either I blog, or I check my festival email account. Seriously, that's all there is to it.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


Yup, I'm sad.
Yes, she was just a dog... I'm not heart broken, I'm not lost. I'm just sad that my friend is gone.

This house is too quiet without the snoring.snorting.farting.huffing.toenail clicking.foot licking.

But thankfully there has been lots to do to keep me busy, While going right from the vet's to work wasn't the greatest idea I've ever had- keeping moving has been a good thing.

Today was a marathon work day that gave me flash backs to the time before I bought my house- remember that time I had two full time jobs? "Marathon Wednesdays" It felt a little like that.... on a Tuesday. Running from one place to the next. I'm ready for bed.

It won't always be like this, I just had to throw a few extra hours in at the group home early this morning before starting (the first day) at the Paint Shop. I breathed a sigh of relief halfway through the day realizing that I didn't have to be home to let the dog out... then fought guilt for the rest of the day for feeling that relief...
It won't always be like that either.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Oh babydog

I had to say goodbye to a dear friend yesterday.  Jellybean, Jelly, Jellydog, Babydog, Stinkerboxer, Stinks, Girlie, Pooch, Poocher, Puppers, Lill'dog, Ratnick, Beaner, Jellybelly...

Monday, January 21, 2013


A number of years ago I had a twitchy lip. 
So twitchy that it lasted for more than a week. It drove me MAD. So mad that I still hear myself mocking myself "what's yer problem Twitchy Lip Boileau?" ... but said the in the way old peers sometimes call my sister and I "Boy-Low".

It's back.

It's migrated.

It's on the inside of my left nostril.

All I want to do is stick my thumb up there and plug my nose so it can't keep twitching... invisible, but oh so annoying....I pulled out countless nose hairs before I figured out what was wrong.

grumble grumble grumble.

Sunday, January 20, 2013


I'm learning new things

Group W war games.

First... please.. please, take the time to watch the video.

There was a huge fight on the bench*. It took place online for all the world to see. Pieces of it were deleted by worried observers. It got mean. Names were called. People got concerned ... I had several people ask me in real life if things were ok... "Are you and Eve really in a fight? I thought she was so nice!" and "Are things going ok in Toronto? I've been following this fight online and it has me worried, are they going to keep [the jam] going?"

I got an email from a corktown member (who doesn't really know me) after I'd responded to part of the fight online... asking me if I'd been offended by what was being said.

Friends... it was a hoax. A little activity staged by the "Group W Bench and the Bench Warmers" to keep the winter doldrums away. So staged, that we often posted in our private group what our insults were going to be before they were made public. I haven't laughed (belly laughed) like that in a long time. I couldn't check things on my phone- I had to do it in the safety of my own home so as not to scare anyone with my LOUD guffaws.

Please watch the fantastic conclusion to the fight... I wish I could have been there to join them...
(and I'm sure the "elbow to cheekbone" bit was unintentional, but I still love it)

*Group W Bench is the amazing group of talented friends at Corktown Uke Jam. I love them to bits. While I can't be there very often, I'm pretty lucky to be included in their midst. So named for the line in Arlo Guthrie's song "Alice's Restaurant"... we're the Miscreants of the Ukulele, and we'll put you on a tee-shirt if you do something stupid.

Saturday, January 19, 2013


I grind my teeth at night... Well, actually I clench my teeth, I only grind them when things get really stressful. I also talk in my sleep, and more recently I've been known to throw things (sorry Jellydog).

I've taken up something new at night, and I'd really like to know what it is I've been doing.

I feel like it's the morning after a 1991 grade 8 dance... have I been head banging?

Friday, January 18, 2013


Group W Bench news later... I'm too excited about what happened this week.

2 things... the first... my hours just got better at work- better than what they used to be. I mean, it's still only 24 hours a week- but they're arranged in a way that doesn't make me want to cry anymore. Hello social life.

I'm so glad.. because the way they're laid out means better supports for the people I work with, no more rushing to make things work "as best we can", but now we can actually do things well and do them right. I'm really really happy about it.

Ok... the other thing is slightly basement diary related.
Wednesday I went into the paint and wallpaper shop to pick up some floor paint. Basement is now $40 over budget. BUT, not only did I get the right product... I was offered a job.

So, if we can make things work with my still odd (but so much better) group home schedule, I'll be working a few hours a week at the shop downtown... working for the ladies who used to work for my mom.

How's that for a funny circle?

Thursday, January 17, 2013


It felt good to be back the other night... back to the little ukulele jam... it wasn't so little. We had 32 people out and we ran out of chairs.

It felt good to be back at the helm of it, I'm sure Brenda was happy to take a step back out of hosting the night- but it felt strange for me too. There are a bunch of new people who've started in the last year who I don't know, one is a fairly huge personality... We had a tiny moment of clashing, but I think he's ok... I tried not to bruise his ego, but also needed him to know he wasn't going to railroad me. I doubt that anyone noticed.

I feel bad that I don't know everyone's name... and even worse that I don't want to know their names.
I'm glad they're there, and I'm glad they're participating.

There are now 4 or 5 "rushers" in the group, those that speed up as the song goes, and speed up loudly. That'll be something we'll have to work on. Unfortunately our regular bass player hasn't been around, and the other person who plays the bass is one of the "rushers".
Yeah, we'll be working on that.

I'm impressed with the skill level at the jam... they've really come a long way in the past year- while I imagine that they're looking at the chord charts, at least they're willing to dive into some of the harder songs in our books.

Next month we start the new format for the evening... I really hope it goes well, having the first hour be a jam hour and the second hour be a time for people to play the songs they've been working on. I may talk to some people in advance and see if they'll step up, I think it'll be hard to find people willing to do it the first month. Maybe some Corktowners will come join us next month?

Oh my gosh.. I can't wait for wednesday night to hurry up and happen so I can post what's been going on.

(note: this was written on Tuesday night)

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

ch ch ch ch changes

I remember the first time I actually listened to that old song on the radio. I was making a mix tape for a friend and there were some big changes happening in our lives... I didn't want to "turn and face the strange"... I didn't want time to change me... I wanted things to stay safe and known.

I feel like I'm watching some things change around me that I didn't think would change, and I'm feeling like that kid who listened to the words to an old song for the first time on the radio... I'm feeling stubborn, and nervous, but not sure what to do about it.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013


dear dog, you realize that if you continue to be well.... I'm going to have to trim your nails soon?

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Miracles on Bond Street.

Two miracles to report on Bond St this morning.

The first is Miss Jellydog... last night WE WENT FOR A WALK. Yes, the dog who has been sleeping for the past 3 weeks got up and went for a walk... then ate all her food without me needing to use the rabbit to taunt her (her food guarding instinct is so strong, she's only been eating when she thinks the rabbit is going to steal her dinner).  THEN, she started playing with a stuffed animal, and when she'd had enough of that, she chewed on a bone and begged to get on the couch. She hasn't played in weeks. She's barely acknowledged I exist for weeks.
I've nearly put her down on 4 different occasions since Christmas. She's had good days that have stopped me- days where she'd get up and go outside and sniff around a bit.. and bad days where I'd clear my calendar for the next morning's trip to the vet after carrying her outside to do her business and lifting her back into her bed.
Last night I even had to chase her out of the rabbit's litter box twice!

The second miracle is that Basement floor... it actually looks clean. It's the first time I've wished I did a before and after picture... the first time I didn't go into the basement and sigh because I was overwhelmed. The floor is dry after yesterday's washing, and now it's filled with all sorts of stories... splashes of paint, circles from cans, patches of rust, weird scratches and pock marks.

I love this old house.

Basement diaries

It's looking like things are changing daily now down there. While before I was trying to live through the "it gets worse before it gets better" stage, I'm now in the two steps forward, one step back... satisfying to actually see some progress. It took a week of serious effort, a second trip to the dump (since the project started), and a lot of creative hobbit-crafting.

So yesterday's duties included moving the drywall/sheetrock that's been stored in the corner out of the way so I can finish cleaning and prepping surfaces for paint. The limestone and brick walls are getting a couple of coats of masonry paint to seal them up before I go too much further, and the basement floor is going to get a coat of paint to freshen it up, and to make it easier to keep clean.

Cleaning the basement floor? Oh dear.

I'll admit... I've done it once since I moved in 3 years ago. Even then, it was only the shop vac run around the room to rid it of mouse droppings* and spider webs. Wash the floor? "phhhhffffft! That would be stupid with an open coal bin pit in the corner" said EVERY PERSON WHO'S EVER LIVED THERE. No joke.

There were these two strange black blobs that I couldn't even scrape off when I started... after the fourth bucket of water sloshed and scrubbed around... they turned out to be pink bubble gum... really dirty pink bubble gum.

I don't think I'm going to be drinking chocolate milk any time soon.

*for a house that was overrun by cats, there sure were a lot of mice living in the basement. 

Saturday, January 12, 2013

The basement diaries

Every day is a bit of an adventure down there in the basement. Yesterday's adventure is one I could have done without.

I've gotten over the black lung- my sneezing is to a minimum after spending a few half hour sessions with the shop vac (new basement rule: until the walls and floor are painted, there will be no more sweeping, only shop vac duty).

The next job on the to-do list was to take down the "grow-op closet". I don't think anyone grew much in there, or at least for very long, because the water damage to the wood was so minimal. It was pretty easy to tear down, they really weren't carpenters... it was more of a hobo/hobbit project than anything I've every jury rigged together... Every screw used in the project was different, some had been painted, most had been worn so badly on the heads that I had to pound them out with a hammer from the back... Though I will give them credit where it's due- that use of the cut up hockey stick nailed to the wall really did offer the closet ceiling extra support.

The closet ceiling.

The closet was built under the left hand side of the pantry, and extended under the spare bedroom. The entire thing was made from chipboard... which loses most of it's strength with water damage... this is why it was so easy to pull apart. Remember when I moved into the house? Chris pulled out the floor boards and subfloor in most of the pantry because it had been saturated with cat urine? He didn't have to do anything to the left side of the pantry, we just replaced the trap door that covers the basement stairs...

I'm just going to copy and paste what happened last night from my facebook page...

Dear: People who grew pot in the "closet" that they built in my basement. 
I realize you haven't lived here in years, and you probably don't think about the closet you built very often, but I just wanted to let you know I think about you often. 
Currently I'm cursing you, your children and your grandchildren for the special gift that closet ceiling just provided me... several years worth of DIRTY cat litter from the home owners' pets that came and lived here after you.... that litter just fell on me while I removed that ceiling.  
Excuse me while I go vomit and think of more curses to heap on your heads.
Very sincerely, Lesley Marie

That really happened.
Now I'm gagging again.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Kara Thoughts

If you're of the praying type, or the intentions minded, or the love sending sort... please put those vibes to work.

Last night one of the Friesens (the family I worked with in Togo) posted news that the Kara market had burned down yesterday. (article here) This is incredibly sad for so many reasons... People's livelihoods have been lost, their savings, their belongings...
There are many small markets that will profit from this loss, but I'm sure prices will be driven up in a terrible way. It's so hard to make things work in that country already.

I'll dig up some of my market pictures later and post them. Kara market taught me so much about myself and the people of Togo. This is very very sad.

Here's a link to someone's visit to the Kara Market- They don't have many shots from inside- just the butchers' space... they're missing all the fresh veggies, the clothing, fabric, household goods and fetish sections!   The market building was two stories and had a courtyard like space, there were lean-to buildings around on one side that had all the clothing... oh my gosh, it was an amazing place to explore.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Buy some kleenex

The smackdown with the basement continues.
Some small part of me recognizes that I'm winning... a large portion of me wonders what the hell I'm doing.

I'm not doing before and after photos. I don't want to remember it in the state it's at now... I just want it to be done.

I want the sneezing to stop.

I want the boxes to have homes on shelves, and I want to make a trip to the dump.
Perhaps that will happen today on my way to look at fabric for the false wall? Fingers crossed.... pitter patter, let's get at 'er.

Wednesday, January 09, 2013


I've made corn tortillas for homemade taco nights for years. 
But tonight I decided to see if I could figure out how to make flour tortillas.

Turns out I can.

Oh dear, I think my stomach might burst with burrito goodness.

Next, learn how to make just one.

A little relief!

Got the word yesterday that we're getting a few of our hours back at work- ones that had been removed from a contract... which means....

I get to have my daytime shift back on Thursdays!

Which means.... I have a night in the week that I'm off every week!! A consistent evening off to do normal people things.

It also means improved support to the people we work with, but I'm still in the "really happy for selfish reasons" frame of mind.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013


It's that time of year...

I had just one resolution earlier this month, to make some changes.

Pretty vague. I like vague.

But, I've been spending some more time thinking about it. I think Mandamanda has come up with the best list so far, so I told her I was going to steal her list as my own.

  1. More from scratch, less from the box.
  2. Take more pictures.
  3. Make a home that you feel loved in.
  4. Stop trying to be perfect, flaws are more beautiful.
  5. Take the time to truly appreciate every blessing.
  6. Kiss more men
I may have added number six myself.

Going with number 3, I made a list this week... Meg was talking about a program she's doing for January to get the house in order for the year. I thought it was a great idea, and while I don't stick to plans like that, I thought I could at least do a few of the steps. 

So, the first idea was to make a list, room by room, of things that need to be done in your home. Not just things that need to be done eventually like "refinish the wood floors", but also things like "reorganize and wash the pantry shelves" or "wash the shower curtain". 

 I found that for the most part, I ended up with a list of the big things that need to be done... renovation  or decoration projects that I'd never written down or thought through fully. I think I'm going to do an actual walk through and see if there's more small stuff/ cleaning based things I can focus on.

 I wrote my first list then sent Meg a message that said I wanted to cry. I kept thinking about Newland's reaction to her making the list, and his voiced concern that most of it was going to end up being his "to do" list... It's ALL on my "to do" list.

Anyway, I didn't freeze up- which often happens when something seems too large to tackle, I took the dead plant off the top of the fridge and cleaned the top of the fridge... It's been sitting there a year...

I got to cross something off my list!

Monday, January 07, 2013

wrong numbers

I got a call today ... someone looking for the LCBO.

I wish.

Monday Bunday

I woke up the other morning and thought that the dog had killed the rabbit in the night.
There was blood EVERYWHERE.

Then I remembered that the dog was sleeping in my bed... was still sleeping in my bed, and couldn't have gotten down without my help.

Then I spotted him, laying half in his box, half out... asleep? dead?

I walked over to the box, he jumped up and poked me in the knee looking for treats. Not dead, peppy and saucy as ever. He had broken a nail in the night... and then sat under the kitchen table FLICKING his foot, spraying blood everywhere... whacking it against the rail under the table, making it bleed more.

I spent a good 45 mins on the floor scrubbing blood splatter and trying to convince myself that a CSI team wasn't going to blame me on a future murder with their specialized blood finding lights... And imagining myself as Dexter, analyzing the blood splatter and the directions it came from... discovering hidden sprays on the bottoms of chairs (how?), trails through the back room... till finally I found the nail, stuck in the litter-trapper carpet beside his litter/food box. You know the type? Rubbery plasticy threads meant to catch the little pieces of litter that stick to your pets' feet?

gross dude.

just gross.

Give me treats, I had a near death experience.

Sunday, January 06, 2013

More dreams

I sent this message to a long time friend today- he and his brood of children (3 boys and 1 girl) were the guest stars in my dream last night. Except that there was one extra little girl, and his kids were about 3 years older than they currently are... maybe I'm prophetic? 

I was driving somewhere and I was suppose to pick up a book from you, but I was in a bit of a hurry... and I really had to pee.   
You invited me in, and I followed you and the little chillen's to the basement where you started a sunday school lesson (you were practicing for the upcoming week at church). 
Anyway, I still needed to use the facilities, so you sent me through a tiny door into an industrial kitchen. When I turned around to ask where the bathroom was, you'd closed the door but came in over an intercom and told me how to find the door to the washroom.  
Ducking through a smaller doorway, I ended up in a furnace room with this strange wooden bench... it looks kind of like the desk I have in my livingroom, but it had small square doors on the top and sides... I had to open drawers to use as steps to get up on it, but then I couldn't figure out how to use it. 
Eventually I knew I'd been in there too long, and figured you'd start to get suspicious, so I decided I'd just find a pit stop after I'd left your house... but I was getting desperate... and discovered at nearly the last second that the desk wasn't a toilet, it was icecream storage.
I found my way back to your basement where the kids were sitting on their perches (I guess your children are part parrot). You knowingly winked at me and said "did you ever get to urinate?"  
Then I ran out the door and forgot the book at your house.
I imagine tonight I'll dream-pick it up.

Oh my.
That was one of three dreams last night. I can still see the details of the kitchen, and the tubs of icecream sitting in the desk.
I did wake up having to pee though.

Saturday, January 05, 2013

Dream a little dream

This is a little rambley...

Vivid cottage dreams kept me entertained at night... including this one where the taxi guy owed this mob guy some money, and when I went out to get my taxi, he'd been buried alive in pea gravel. I had to use my wheat broom (one that used to belong to my parents and now belongs to me) to sweep the gravel off of him, except that the broom had been eaten by the rabbit, so mostly I was just wiping this sump of a broom over the poor guy's lips...

I remembered so much detail in the morning that the retelling of the story made me sleepy.

Also... we watched Harold and Maude....

I don't have much to say ... just... WAY TO GO MAUDE

(totally tempted to make some inappropriate phone calls after watching that)

Friday, January 04, 2013

So, what did you do at work today?

Don't even ask.
Me:thanks for your help Coworker: I'm wondering how you did that... you didn't even blush!

Hitch in my stride

I woke up on Tuesday morning and nearly rolled head over arse down the stairs from the loft... all 16 of them...  I counted them as I clung for my life on the bannister.

It was like my leg/butt muscles weren't talking to my brain.
My hip wanted to send my leg in one direction, and the tendons would say "heck no".

Sitting for hours in a car and then sprinting across the field in snowshoes was a poor choice.

Self note: yoga or stretching after such a trip is a good idea.

The next day I tried to give myself a heart attack by trying to snowshoe up the biggest hill in all of Grey County. Rae was a good sport and joined me. I think she was hoping I'd fall down dead so she could use me as a toboggan to get to the bottom of the hill... It nearly happened.

Self note 2: Go on these snowshoe trips solo so you can take many breaks and not feel the need to take on the world.

It's a day after the ride home, snowshoe muscles are fine.. but my butt is still beat from the long ride home.

Self note 3: The GPS knows short cuts. Take them. Also, learn to pack less stuff so there's more room in the car.

Miss Jellybean didn't take up too too much space in the car- and she made a really great lap warmer if you didn't mind that your legs would fall asleep from the weight of her.

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Eve of a new year

My friend Lynnie's family has a second home/cottage outside of Owen Sound. The past few years our little circle of girfriends has gone up for a weekend in the winter.
This year, Lynnie is still living out West on Gabriola but she arraigned for us to make a visit there without her.

There's a lot of lazing around when we go out there. Woodstoves, too much food, naps, trashy magazines, too much food, old movies, knitting, endless CD sharing... but there are also kitchen dance parties, art making, hikes, and snowshoe adventures.

New Year's Eve we were feeling pretty wiped out from our long drive in, and the residuals of holiday excitements .. but one of the ladies had a great idea for an art project and we set to work on creating.
Cut, snip, paste, sketch, colour, snip, write.
We each created a piece that let go of things from the past year, forgiveness extended to ourselves and others, intentions for the next year... and then, at our decided "midnight" time, we strapped on our snowshoes and headed out into the dark with our pieces and some matches.

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Eat Papa! Eat!

(disclaimer, I didn't post this one before heading to the cottage- cottage stories are coming soon)

There are certain Christmas movies that just make the season for me. My mom was in love with "It's a Wonderful Life", I've always been partial to the Christmassy cartoons- but I'd still sit down every year and watch that one with her. I think of her when I watch it now. This year I didn't really get around to watching any Christmas specials...

Anyway, for me it was the Disney "Silly Symphony" Christmas special. It was getting old when I watched it as a kid, but it was the thing that brought me into the Christmas Spirit. A few years ago I posted my favourite short, I'd spent years trying to find it... I'm posting it again.  Jump to 6:25 for the "Night Before Christmas" portion.

The stop frame animation Christmas specials were also a huge favourite of mine. Rudolph being the all time best.
At work when we want to encourage one of our individuals to eat his supper, we quote it "Eat papa, eat! No one wants a skinny Santa".

Skinny Santa is what I call this one guy that I see in town. He's an older man in his 60's with a long flowing beard. He's a runner. I totally yell (in my head) "Eat papa, eat!" when I see him.
The other day I saw him jump the plastic fencing around a construction site while he was running. We've gotten a good amount of snow here this week, and he high stepped his way to the fence and bounced over it.

I giggled.

But I laughed HARD out loud when I saw him high step his way to the porta-potty on the other side of the construction site.

New Year!

The year was rung in with style...
By style, I mean in my pajamas and leg warmers, a scarf and mittens, snowshoes and flames.

Cottaging stories to come.