Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Second best moment of the day...

I go to a Pilates class (medium/intense level) with such a good instructor that my buddy and I have followed her from place to place for the past 5 years. The current class is FULL of Cute Young Things with lots of Lalalemon and tight little bums and flat tums - they LOOK really fit and strong and they work in Silence, (I mean it - I've been in noisier churches) checking themselves out in the mirrors.

My buddy and I, we are The Old Guard (although she doesn't look it as she looks good in Lalalemon and I can't be bothered finding my Bought at a Flea Market in France pull-ons do just fine). We grunt and groan and make rude comments to the instructor who laughs at us and pays us no nevermind. Mostly, we are Good Girls and Keep Ourselves on Our Own Mats (apparently, that's Pilates/Yoga/Exercise talk for our family's Comparisons are Odious). Except sometimes, we just can't help ourselves especially when we are still chugging along with whatever the Wonder Instructor is telling us to do and the rest of the gang are lying on the floor gasping.

Today, I was there on my own (buddy being out of town) and, without the Other Half of Old Guardedness was totally minding my own business/mat (that means the Wonder Instructor asked if I was sick because I wasn't making complaints). We were somewhere in the middle of eleventy-seven repeats of something with a full-on engaged core (unless it was the threety-fifth repeat of what the WI refers to as Plank and we all know are Push-Ups which are also supposed to have engaged core as well as tucked tail and tight elbows) when, into the Deep Silence, the Cute Young Thing next to me asked plaintively, "What does it mean when you start to see stars?"

Broke us all right up.

May have to get her an Old-Guard-in-Training card.

First best moment: The Jr Boy has moved back in for a month (all good). Today, he cast a calculating eye over The Stuff that Needs to be Dealt With and I could see a Plan of Action germinating. Dump trips may be required. OhyeahOhyeahOhyeah!!!!!

Still breathing

Friday, November 20, 2009

Hunkering. Stage 1

I am hunkering down for the cold season here. For those of you in warmer climes, this does not mean harvesting the most recent peas and looking forward to beans and switching from summer tank tops to cotton sweaters. No, this has other aspects.

Such as: moving motorcycles back into the basement. Please note, I did not do that; The Jr Boy + his good friend did and the rolling stock is nicely set up in its winter home. All the rolling stock, that is, but my little Honda Twinstar which was relegated to winter in the (unheated) garage once The Jr Boy acquired His Blonde and which seems to have been left out on the bike moving again. I'm not sure it would know what to do down there with all the big guys but I think it might like to try it out. Fortunately, The Jr Boy has promised a return visit to organize the garage. Moving one more bike isn't on his radar but it's on mine....

Such as: finding the snow shovels and moving the Garden Refuse Bin to the back of the line because the Garden Refuse Guys will not be back until Spring no matter how many tonnes of pine needles fly out of the interface trees with which I am surrounded and which will take several weeks of filling said Bin to stuffingdom (including possible jumping upon) in Spring to get the ground fire hazard somewhat under control....

Such as: figuring out how to clean and re-base my skis. I've never had to do this. There seems to be a can of something in the wax box which is labelled Stripper. My guess: it's for cleaning my skis and not for creating an ephemeral ChipRDale. A new and broadening adventure awaits...

Such as: adding layers. At the moment, I have on wool socks, jeans, camisole, t-shirt, sweater, and cashmere scarf. Yesterday, I had on all that plus a fleece vest and a great felt hat. The furnace is at 18 degrees only because The Jr Boy came by today and told me that the 14 degrees I did have the furnace set at was actually an air conditioning setting. I am glad to have a working furnace and gas coming into the house. I hate paying the gas bill....

Such as: there are eleventy-three unfinished knitting projects including one lace shawl that was kicking my backside until I suddenly realized that I have knit enough of it to make a lovely Seasilk neckwarmer. Eleventy-two ufos now. Hehehehehe....

Still breathing.....

Friday, November 13, 2009

Further adventures

Apparently, some of you have nothing better to do than to sit about waiting with bated (not baited - can't imagine you with worms in your mouths...) breath for further installments of deathless prose from Yrs Truly. Well, can't say this will be deathless.

I am at Poppa's aka my father's. This, to some of you means nothing but to others has a resonance. My Dad is 88. Today he worked me into the ground with repect to leaf raking and hauling, raccoon wire removal (apparently once the dambugger crane flies go dormant, the 'coons lose interest), apple picking (2 trees and I'm bringing a boxful home for sharing - sign up now), and carport roof leaf removal. It is the latter which I wish to bring to your attention.

When this house was built (late 1800s/early 1900s and we have the hand forged nails to prove it), cars were not invented. Whoever lived here probably had horses or Shank's mare and did not see fit to build a stable for either. When we arrived, there was a carport/garage which my parents saw fit to incorporate into the house as a "family room". This happened after spending a winter entertaining themselves and their friends in the dining room because my amour d'annee would arrive on Friday evening from uni and we would establish ourselves in the living room in front of the TV for whatever was on offer while we caught up on not having seen one another for a whole 5 days. Once the carport/garage disappeared into the best room of the house, another c/g needed to be constructed and was.

It was built 2 vehicles wide beside the family room with a flat roof outside my brother's second floor window. It is a practical construction for this climate 11/12 of the year. In fact, for most years, it is 100% practical. There are, however, the occasional years when FLAT roof construction is impractical (as in bloody stupid). Last year was one such year which led to the Jrs spending Christmas morning shovelling the damroof (not to mention the driveway which we will not get into at this moment) before stockings and breakfast - well, maybe not stockings but definitely breakfast.

Snow is an issue. So, too, are the broadleafed deciduous and noble/Douglas fir trees which edge this property.

Here's the thing: Going to build a flat roof? Make sure there are drains along the low edge. Check.

The tricky part is: make sure someone is here to clear the broadleafed deciduous leaves et fir needles off the damroof because if you don't SOMEone is going to be out there with the blowtorch (and hair dryer but not so much anymore) to clear the ice off the drains. All it takes (trust me) is one goldanged wild cherry leaf to cover the drain opening and one has the beginning of a Mess.

It struck me as "peculiar" that despite the amount of precipitation there was no run off the roof. Observation led me to realize that no one had been on the roof since last Christmas. Sighhhhhhhhhhh.

O how we need you, digitus camerus.

Picture Moi clambering out Late Bro's window avec rake et Poppa clambering out same window (3rd try due to stiff hip joint) with leaf blower et broom. Picture water in rooster tails blowing over the edge into the gully. Picture drains being opened and gouts pouring down. Picture me thinking about the rescue team perhaps not having to rescue my father from his own flat carport roof.

Picture a day of warmth and soft winds (dragging more of the damapple leaves from their trees), picture the bloddyroof clean swept and the drains open, picture me pushing my father and his gimpy leg back into my brother's room, picture The Old Guy et Moi sitting about the hearth in the family room feeling a bit worn down but not defeated.

It's been a good day.

Still breathing