Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Activities: Anaerobic and the Other Kind

There is another Mant working at my house. I do not pretend to even approach the level of Mant reporting done here, however, this one has been, as they say in Newfoundland: right some busy. The 2x6 is still across the front door but there is a skeleton of a deck out there and it is possible that I will be breaking my Lenten booze-fast with a glass of wine on my new deck on Easter Sunday. Glory be and Hallelujah!!

It has not been without the usual queries/issues but, mirabile dictu, things get resolved when the homeowner is present during the process. Who knew??

There has also been a modicum of personal involvement - nothing that I couldn't have paid for but why pay when one can DIY?? And die is about how I felt after spending 5 hours Sunday afternoon crawling across joists with stain roller in hand. I do not "do" heights. (defn: anything that I will get badly hurt by falling from, solid ground doesn't count.) Both The Jrs got that gene from their father. I can rock climb up no problem but one look between my knees and I'm glued like a limpet to the face. Picture me on joists at 16" centres, about 10' off the ground and then add my own height and my belief that my head is the heaviest part of me (cf. actuality of the weight of me arse) and, furthermore, that were I to start falling, I would somehow slip between the joists without getting caught up. The word for this is "tense" which will explain why I was some challenged to move on Monday.

Today being Tuesday, I'm doing better.

The Mant was impressed with amount I had done.

Stubbornness The Jrs. get from me.

In other news: First running session finished with an acceptable (defn: finished, didn't barf or cry) 5km anchor leg in the local half-marathon relay. All our t-shirts are 10k ones,though, so I guess that sets the next bar.

And next time, my running partner will not be a 6'3", 27 year old, hungover smoker with a stride about 4x as long as mine who has just finished a double breakfast sammie. Hmmmm... on second thoughts, had he been my size, etc. I'd have been left in the dust. As it was, he could run and chat away the kms - easy for him: he could have walked with that stride length and still kept me up to the mark!

Still breathing

Thursday, March 18, 2010


The thing about starting a project is that sometimes one gets bleedover into another one. While The Basement de Poppa has had one load removed (not so one could tell unless one was an active participant), The Basement de Moi (6 hours driving + 1 ferry trip) is still cr*d laden. Fear not, Juniors, (and anyone else who might have had their beady eyes on "stuff") TBdM is still the same.

The Garage, however, is not.

That is all.

Still breathing

ps: Anyone got any use for Wellies size various? I seem to have a garbage bag full....

Monday, March 15, 2010

Poppa's Basement

I have been Down in The Basement. This will be of no interest to anyone who has not been in my father's basement but for those of you who have, let it be noted that there is one pick-up truck less of Cr*p down there and the re-surfacing of two items of wonderment. To wit:

My grandmother Lizzie's trunk was the repository of all her worldly possessions when she, along with her family, emigrated to Canada from Scotland in March 1912. This trunk went "below" and has her name painted on the lid. It currently houses my grandfather Poppa Joe's WW I uniform (kilt and tunic which The Jr Boy is laying claim to), some of his letters to her from overseas, a lot of photographs of people we don't know, my mother's report cards, and a lot of books including some in French (we are all Anglos). Lizzie died very young (it feels odd calling her my "grandmother" when she was only in her early 30s) and Pops the summer before I was born. The trunk was moved over here in 1963 if the newspapers in it can be believed and my mum, with me hanging over her shoulder, looked in it briefly then. It must have been still too soon for her as it was closed back up and relegated to the corner under the rest of the storage shelves and other stuff too good to throw out such as the cabinet record-player which has been down there since 1966 were stacked in front of it.

In the same corner was Gran's "cabin" trunk although I doubt they were in any cabin. I don't remember ever seeing this but it must have arrived in this house the same time as the big trunk. It, too, has photos and a collection of newspaper clippings (mostly garden so we know where that comes from!) and a small black case which, when opened, turned out to be a presentation "to Lizzie on the occasion of her emigrating to Canada, 3 March 1912" It is her toiletries case all fitted out with bottles and holders for combs and brushes (all gone - probably used up by her magnificent auburn hair). There is a mirror, miraculously intact, and when I opened it, the sense of looking a very long way back surrounded me in the dust of the basement. Four generations of women in my family hold her name; when The Jr Girl is next back this way, I will ask if she wants to have a look in the mirror.

The load of cr*p was delivered to the dump.

The dump is not as entertaining as in the old days when it was a prime place to sight in one's guns on the rats in between watching the human scavengers circling the arriving vehicles in hopes of a major score of old bicycle wheels, slightly cracked dishes or a saucepan that only needed a bit of welding in the bottom to make it as good as new. The new dump has a weigh scale and a Free Store with a sign that reads "Maximum One 15 Minute Visit Per Day" which is better than the one at the old dump that used to read "No Scava Gin" leading my brother to ask in seriousness if other kinds of gin were ok? There are employees who help/supervise if they aren't busy pushing the buttons that make the cardboard compactor go. I kept dad from saving a few "good" things by threatening to leave him at the Store for longer than 15 minutes.

There is more down below. This is going to be an ongoing project. Next up is to get in touch with the 85 year old who moved into a townhouse and asked Dad to store some of his good stuff. The local metal recycler will pick up. Dad's Basement Storage is about to be shut down!!

Still breathing