Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Would that everything were as simple.....

...... the other day my husband and I had one of those "wait a minute, what's happening moments." Somehow, most, if not all of the doors in our house had somehow repositioned themselves. That is: the doors that never closed were now tilting significantly towards their jambs and the doors that never stayed open, were now blocking every hallway!!

What's happening....

OK, we've had a lot of rain and yes the foundations of the house could have shifted. I immediately pictured thousands of dollars in repair bills. This was a logical, if not cheap explanation. The other theory, of course, is eerier, poltergeist!!

Could we have for years been living in a house with supernatural powers err beings? And now suddenly they have decided to "come out!"

We started to ask questions.

Us to daughter - "Have you noticed anything strange in the house lately?"
Daughter to us - "No, oh wait, the cat keeps getting trapped between the basement door and the pantry door no biggie, but I think she's hungry."

Author's aside - She can't get to her food in the basement so she might start eating ours!!

Us to son - "Have you noticed anything strange in the house lately?"
Son to us - "No, oh wait, I oiled all the hinges with WD-40 the other day. Now the doors don't squeak!"

Author's aside - Nor do they behave the way they have for the last 35 years!! We have adjusted our life around the peculiarities of various doors in the house and now in our retirement years, we have to change the habits of a lifetime - painful, but not as painful as replacing the foundations of the house!!

I thought to myself, no one asked him to oil the hinges, however, he did. We always ask him to mow the lawn and he never does. There is a lesson here. Now, if I could only open the doors of my mind to the answer, I might be able to solve the universal problem of millennial ennui. Somehow I don't think it's squeaky doors. Maybe it's just a lack of "spirits."

The picture - a knob from one of our closet doors - crystal balls come to mind :)

Have a quiet day!!

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Asparagus as Theatre

One of my favourite poets is T.S. Eliot and one of my favourite books is Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats. I love, love, love everyone one of the poems in the book and yes, I am a cat person!!

Ironically, this weekend one of those magical poems came to mind. It was Gus - The Theatre Cat. Why? Well, I don't always have reasons for why things just pop into my head out of the blue, however, if I really think about it, there was probably a trigger. In fact, the trigger this weekend was an article in the paper about asparagus - not the cat, the plant.

Ho hum - boring old asparagus. Now, it could be less boring, if you came from Europe and were used to white asparagus and then decided to get into an argument about the attributes of white asparagus over green. This might, however, turn into a kind of class warfare, where the upper classes always ate the purer, more refined foods - white asparagus, for example, while the servants ate the stodge.

No, the article wasn't putting anyone down. It was actually praising researchers at Guelph University who, in 2000, developed a kind of super asparagus. I had visions of an aspragus spear in a crusader's cape, slaying the equivalent of vegetable dragons - OK it was a slow day!!

Really, only a gardener can get excited about a plant that grows at twice the speed of its generic equivalent, lives twice as long - about fifteen years and has a significantly higher nutrient value. Throw into the mix the fact that it is frost hardy, can grow in really cold weather, poorer soil and needs very little in the way of pesticides.

I think that it's time to get an asparagus pot!! For those of you who didn't find this very theatrical - did I mention that it grows so fast, that you can almost see it move - here's the poem!!

Gus - The Theatre Cat
by T. S. Eliot

Gus is the Cat at the Theatre Door.
His name, as I ought to have told you before,
Is really Asparagus. That's such a fuss
To pronounce, that we usually call him just Gus.
His coat's very shabby, he's thin as a rake,
And he suffers from palsy that makes his paw shake.
Yet he was, in his youth, quite the smartest of Cats--
But no longer a terror to mice and to rats.
For he isn't the Cat that he was in his prime;
Though his name was quite famous, he says, in its time.
And whenever he joins his friends at their club
(Which takes place at the back of the neighbouring pub)
He loves to regale them, if someone else pays,
With anecdotes drawn from his palmiest days.
For he once was a Star of the highest degree--
He has acted with Irving, he's acted with Tree.
And he likes to relate his success on the Halls,
Where the Gallery once gave him seven cat-calls.
But his grandest creation, as he loves to tell,
Was Firefrorefiddle, the Fiend of the Fell.

"I have played," so he says, "every possible part,
And I used to know seventy speeches by heart.
I'd extemporize back-chat, I knew how to gag,
And I knew how to let the cat out of the bag.
I knew how to act with my back and my tail;
With an hour of rehearsal, I never could fail.
I'd a voice that would soften the hardest of hearts,
Whether I took the lead, or in character parts.
I have sat by the bedside of poor Little Nell;
When the Curfew was rung, then I swung on the bell.
In the Pantomime season I never fell flat,
And I once understudied Dick Whittington's Cat.
But my grandest creation, as history will tell,
Was Firefrorefiddle, the Fiend of the Fell."

Then, if someone will give him a toothful of gin,
He will tell how he once played a part in East Lynne.
At a Shakespeare performance he once walked on pat,
When some actor suggested the need for a cat.
He once played a Tiger--could do it again--
Which an Indian Colonel purused down a drain.
And he thinks that he still can, much better than most,
Produce blood-curdling noises to bring on the Ghost.
And he once crossed the stage on a telegraph wire,
To rescue a child when a house was on fire.
And he says: "Now then kittens, they do not get trained
As we did in the days when Victoria reigned.
They never get drilled in a regular troupe,
And they think they are smart, just to jump through a hoop."
And he'll say, as he scratches himself with his claws,
"Well, the Theatre's certainly not what it was.
These modern productions are all very well,
But there's nothing to equal, from what I hear tell,
That moment of mystery
When I made history
As Firefrorefiddle, the Fiend of the Fell."

How he ever got the name Asparagus, I'll never know. But clearly he was a star and so is Guelph Millennial (crazy name too) that new breed of asparagus, which is producing a little theatre in the garden. Move over Sweet 100s, you've got competition!!

Have an aspiring day!!

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Garden Porn...

I just received, with my papers - we still subscribe to both Toronto newspapers -  the Lee Valley flier. Now, most fliers come in the front door and go out the back!! I know I don't need more clothes, or shoes, or furniture etc..etc.. However, I "brake" for gadgets. I don't actually buy them, but I salivate over them, even if they aren't for the kitchen.

Speaking of kitchens, Lee Valley - garden and maybe kitchen supplier to the world - had a universal blade sharpener listed. I struggled hard to find a need for it, after all it was only $23.50. Now all the knives in my kitchen are dull - maybe even duller than the cooks :). However, I know that if you don't sharpen a knife at the right angle, you actually do more harm then good. My life is a testament to the fact that, I could do more harm then good in most departments, so I skipped the sharpener.

I was intrigued, though, by the potato pot that lets you grow potatoes in a small area, then lift them, temporarily, out of the soil to see if they are "ready." The pot was only $17.90. Yes, I know, I could buy several pounds of small potatoes for the price of one pot. However, it's not about the savings. It's about the entertainment, the drama, the fun! There I go, I've almost talked myself into one!!

I also liked the glass and surface cleaner kit that's ideal for car windows and their dusty dashboards. I have, though, given up on cleaning my 19-year-old Honda Civic. It's too bad, because the tool came with 3 removable and washable cleaning pads and an extra "foot" for a quick change of pace (I couldn't resist) - no that should be a quick change of the bottom of the tool for some extra cleaning, maybe. Did I mention that when I was driving my son to work one day, he pulled down the sun visor and decided that he really ought to go home and change - he was covered in dust. For a mere $26.50, I could, at least, have a clean conscience.

I couldn't even find a use for four very colourful Bottle-Top Waterers. These are tops that you screw onto a water bottle to give you either 1. a fine spray, 2. a drencher, 3. a weeder tip - whatever that entails! At a price of $7.50 for all four, I should just buy them for their brilliant colours.

The pictures - my garden porn.

Have a colourful day!

Thursday, March 16, 2017

A Sheltered Life....

A friend posted this to my wall on FB and I thought that it was fun. I realized, however, that I had too many "no"s - so I guess I have to get out and do a little more!! Here it is, with comments

✍ Tattoos - no
Your (my) skin is an organ and when given the choice, years ago of "clean mind or clean body - take your pick." I opted for a clean body - so no inking inside or out!!

😷 Surgeries -2
Such is the stuff of life. For a clean body, some dirty Cancer had to be taken out 16 years ago.

🏥Broken Bones - no
Clearly, I haven't played hard enough!!

🔫 Shot a gun - no
I'm so opposed to guns, I can't even look at them, let alone shoot one. I'd rather shoot off my mouth - oops!!

😕 Quit a job - yes
But I had taken a three year leave of absence from it - teaching - before I decided to quit. I've never regretted it - except for the pension!!

✈️ Flown on a plane - yes
At first I thought this read "Flown a plane" so I said no. I'm not sure that I know anyone who hasn't flown on a plane.

🚙💨 Driven 100mph - yes
Yes, when I was young, careless and always in a hurry. Now I keep it about 120 KPH. I get stopped at 130.

🚁 Rode in a helicopter - no
I could actually pay for one of those rides over niagara. Then again I have never ridden in an air balloon either. I have a fear of heights. That did not stop me walking the Caminito Del Rey.

⛑ Gone zip lining - no
Again the heights, but I may, at one point :)

🍼 Watched someone give birth - no
No, I've never had the opportunity and then I view this as a private event.

😯 Watched someone dying - yes
My mother, on the dance floor. She went out in style - in a sparkly dress and silver shoes, dancing the Tango. It was very sad, but amazing!!

🏈 Been to an NFL game - no
Not a sport I enjoy, but I've been to hockey games - another sport I don't enjoy, and countless baseball games, many in iconic stadiums - obviously a game I enjoy!!

🍁 Been to Canada - yep,  live here
I not only live here, I was born here. However, I am always homesick for places I have never been.

🚑 Ridden in an ambulance - no
...and I hope I never have to, unless it's to save a life!!

🏦 Visited Washington D.C - yes
Next to the Victoria and Albert, the Smithsonian is my second home!!

🌞 Visited Florida - yes
I have gone most often in summer. I hate crowds.

🗻 Visited Colorado - not sure
I have changed planes a few times in Denver, does that count?

🎉 Visited Mexico - no
I have avoided Mexico - too violent.

🎲 Visited Vegas - no
I'm not a gambler. I would also hate the Disneyesque nature of the place. Give me a cute European village and I'm happy :)

🍔 Eaten alone at a restaurant - yes
Why not. I meet people that way.

🎤 Sang karaoke - no
I sing off key, so I avoid performing, unless I'm alone in my car and then I get weird looks at stop lights!!

🎿 Been downhill skiing- yes
I took it up again about 15 years ago. It's the only "thing" that gets me through winter!!

🎼 Ability to read music - yes
I am currently looking for a small piano or keyboard. I don't play well, but I can read music.

🚵 Rode a motorcycle - no
I might have liked to when I was younger. I ride a bike, though, all the time!!

🏇 Rode a horse -yes
I'm not a large animal person. The idea is romantic, but horses need a lot of care. My father had several and I have a sister who rides!!

🏥 Stayed in a hospital - yes
Sadly, yes. For myself and members of my family. We (Canadians) have the best health care in the world and it's all FREE!!

💉 Donated blood - no
I'm very queasy.

🏕 Slept outside - yes
I was a girl guide. What's not to love about camping. I've slept on beaches in Greece, in a car in Portugal and Yugoslavia, on the floor in Cornwall. I have never slept in the snow!!

🚗 Driven a stick shift - yes. 
I learned to drive on a stick shift. My father thought that automatics were for the weak. It's still my favourite!!

🚓 Rode in a Police Car - no
Never and if I have to, I hope it's only to save a life.

😇 Grandkids - no
I started late and adopted my youngest at 49. Now my father is 102, so there is still hope!!  P.S. My younger sister is a great grandmother.

🚤 Driven a Boat - yes
I'm not very fond of motorboats. I would kayak to the edges of the world, though!!

🐌 Eaten Escargot - yes
..and winkles, and eel, and lots of sardines - fresh or canned. I am an adventurous eater, when I'm in the mood, although, I don't eat liver!!

👽 Seen a UFO - maybe :)
I have seen weird things in the sky, that are not stars, planets or planes. And if they were supermen, they didn't come to the rescue!!

🛳 Been on a cruise - no
....and I never plan to either. There is something about crowds and being marshalled about here and there that I dislike. There is also something very artificial about hanging out in a floating hotel and being dropped at a port for a few hours, every few days. I much prefer overland travel. One of my regrets in life is never to have taken the London bus from Earlscourt to Katmandu!!

⛽️ Run out of gas - yes
....Well almost. I have a guardian angel and I have coasted into a few gas stations, when I was younger!!

🍣 Eat Sushi - yes
Not my favourite. I dislike the taste of seaweed. As kids we had to take cod liver oil on a tablespoon in winter. I hated it!!

👻 Seen a Ghost- maybe
I'm one of those photographers who has pictures with weird, ghostlike shapes in them, that weren't there when I took the picture. I see people on the street that I swear are people from my past, who have died. The other day I saw a video on FB of a woman dancing and it could have been my mother.

🎅🏻Still believe in Santa Claus- Yes
I believe in magic. I believe that wishes and dreams come true!!