Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Speedy Graduation

Speedy graduated University. Hurray!

Congratulations! Speedy!

Violinist arrived to join us at Convocation but couldn't find us. We had three seats upfront with a walkway directly behind us. Geek Guy went looking for Violinist and just then a woman tightly wrapped in lime tinfoil mini-dress, orange foundation - or maybe that was spray-tan - ratted bleached hair, painted everything, Cleavage - Lots of SunDamaged Cleavage - showed up. She carried a lovely bouquet of flowers, as if to make it all better.

Mutton-Dressed-Like-Lamb, accompanied by two young bleating sheep, tried sniping our seats. "Mutton should have Violinist's seat. Mutton is a parent," they loudly bleated. To which I replied, "These are taken. That is Violinist's seat. This is GG's seat. We've been here for an hour, just like the invitations say to do."

A nicely dressed ordinary looking woman seated at row's end, next to Violinist's seat smirked. I turned toward the front. Push. Push. Mutton pushed her shiny way toward Violinist's seat. Bleat. Bleat. She was a mother so she should sit there.

A breath later GG with Violinist stood behind me. GG is one of those engineer types and women generally fall all over Violinist. Between the two of them, I figured they'd straighten it out. I continued to act disinterested. Mutton and her sheep rebleated their opinions. GG and Violinist stated the facts. And then it happened.

Another woman in the next section behind us stood up offering her spare seat to Violinist.
Mutton plunked herself down.
Violinist rolled his eyes and took the spare seat.
GG squiggled past the woman on the row end, around Mutton's orange knees and squeezed in beside me.

"Make it uncomfortable...if that's possible," I nudged Geek Guy.
"What do you mean?"
"Try clipping her knees with your honking camera lens."
"I can't do that."
"You manage to do stuff like that every other time by accident. Try doing it on purpose."
"I can't do that. It would not be kind."
"Then just mash her flowers."
GG gave me an exasperated look.

Nine minutes into convocation, Mutton squiggled and wiggled herself away, disappearing for the remainder of the program. An hour later, Violinist reclaimed his seat and afterward reported spotting Mutton loading up at the refreshment table. "I walked straight toward her," he said, "I didn't take my eyes off her, but she slinkied away."

Friday, June 18, 2010

Fun in the Big City

Fun is a construction worker this summer building that evil fence protecting G 20 Summit attendees in Toronto later this month. Before Fun could leave, traveling the four hours up the 401, he asked for gas money because none of the billion dollars being spent on the G 8 and G 20 Summits had yet to trickle down to him. The first few days were dotted with texts expressing how much work and how little fun they have been having working twelve and commuting four hours a day, six days a week. This however makes GG and Decadent Housewife very happy.

Just into the second week of this, Fun made a whirlwind 36 hour visit home. Plunking his bags onto the floor and himself into the kitchen rocker he said, "It sure is good to be back. I do not like cities. What do you have to eat?"
"Is that dirty laundry I smell or you?" I replied, handing him an iced tea.
"Both. Worked all night and drove straight here."

And he told of his adventures in the Big City - Toronto - building a wicked fence around the downtown and the policemen guarding him and the other construction workers. Fun notices policemen - he has always wanted to be one. And he told how one noticed him going through a yellow and gave him a ticket for going through a red. And how he got two flat tires, together, at the same time. And how he accidentally dumped over a cart of fence parts into the middle of an intersection and no one ran him over because the policemen guarding him did their job and came to his rescue. And how policemen do not carry and dispense tylenol for construction workers with misbehaving wisdom teeth, but Big City hotels do.

He rocked. I fixed his supper, "first real food in days," while listening to tales of crazy drivers and "I really don't like being away from home."
I thought about the enlistment papers I'd found while cleaning his room. I'd tucked them into a bottom drawer, wondering that this experience would put the kibosh on that.
Across the table sat a sun browned young man. Wiser, brawnier than when he left not even two weeks ago. Happy. Tired. I didn't notice the bald spot he thinks his hardhat is causing. I saw a sturdily built five-year old, reflected in my rear view mirror, running to the front lawn of the little country school - waving - smiling - as I drove away down the road.

"I think we're staying longer than three weeks - repairs if the fence needs it - tearing down afterward."
"You need to visit the Royal Ontario Museum and the Art Gallery of Ontario and St. Lawrence Market and Cabbagetown. For goodness sake use the food allowance you get and buy a decent meal. Go somewhere downtown. Maybe an open air cafe. Go to the top of the CN.
Unless that fence you're building is going to keep you out."
"I've got security clearance."
"Well do it. And wear a jacket. And University of Toronto is having a Doris McCarthy exhibition. You really must see it.
Think about your art.
Think about those policemen who don't like their jobs.
Be careful."

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Work and Play

Each day - bright and full of possibilities.
Each day - necessary things too.
How to fit it together?

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Leamington Tornado

A century home on the north side of Highway 18 or Seacliff Drive.

Town - Leamington, Ontario - got hit with a Tornado early Sunday morning.
The destruction is mainly along Highway 18 going eastward close to Lake Erie. Monday, while driving along the ridge, old Highway 3, the vista south toward the lake was noticeably changed of its treeline.

Saturday was a bit humid but not unusually so. It's been far more humid.
When the sky turns pop bottle green you know to get in and under - now. But this tornado struck at night.

It started raining heavily about half past seven in the evening. Fun texted me to take in the light show. The lightening was spectacular but I also thought it seemed unusually low and vicious.
An hour earlier Taffy began uncharacteristically barking.
The cats lined up at the screen door wanting in, something they never do.

South side of Seacliff Drive in the first block west of Erie Street.

Early Sunday morning, I texted Buff. Buff was down at the lake babysitting with his BFF. Fun was on the way to pick him up. Speedy finished work in The City and walked out to a foot of water flowing down the street. He knew his little basement apartment was flooded.

Seacliff Drive looking south.

Not long after Fun picked Buff up, Buff's BFF called crying that the house was shaking. She woke the children and got them to the basement. Two houses across the street are now destroyed.

South side of Highway 18 east.

Buff's BFF's father is a volunteer firefighter. They found one of Shoeless Joe's patio chairs forked into an interior wall of a home further east. Meanwhile, whoever it is who decides these things, still hadn't determined if this was a tornado.

Seacliff Park, looking east.
Ordinarily, sky would not be visible through the trees.

Speedy got to work on his flood by throwing all the clothes already on the floor, up against the door where the water was pouring in.

Seacliff Park looking south to Lake Erie.

It was once a beautiful stand of old trees.
What is left will likely have to come down.

Mitch's Barber Shop, Erie Street South, looking west.
Comfort Inn is to the right.

Fallen tree and crushed sidewalk at Erie Street south and a side street looking west.

A friend of Buff's said all the water was sucked out of their inground pool. Four inches of rain water remained in the bottom.

Forest Street, looking south to Lake Erie from Seacliff Drive. Seacliff Park is right.

The view should be all towering trees with very little sky - maybe again in another hundred years.
A few weeks ago trees in the lower half of Seacliff Park, looking out to Lake Erie, were removed to make way for a water park. And now the upper half is nearly all gone too.

North side of Seacliff Drive.

We heard that someone in a tent sustained a broken arm from falling debris. We have not heard of any other serious injury. Thankfully, there was no loss of life.

South side of Seacliff Drive, between Erie and Sherk.

18 remains closed up to the Albuna Townline. A teenage boy who begrudgingly went with his parents to their cottage for the weekend came home to a heavy tree crashed into his bed.

18 East and Cherry Lane looking east.

Cherry Lane is heaped with downed trees. Yesterday, the north/south street was open but very congested. I stayed out, driving further east along the Bevel by the golf course. Trees are snapped and over, a Baptist church heavily tarped on it's west end.

Seacliff Park looking east.

Fun has been working for a construction company building fence. That's their signage on the ground impaled by the fence. He is currently in Toronto constructing security fence for the G20 Summit. There's plenty of work to be done here when they get back.

Seacliff Drive looking north.

We get very bad thunderstorms here all summer long. Many times when the boys were little, I put their bike helmets on them, bedded them down along the west wall in the basement and nervously curled up beside them. But thankfully nothing ever happened. This time too, we are fine where we live further north.
But Town is a mess.

Thursday, June 3, 2010


Geoffrey is a wee Welsh mouse living in, or rather outside - I hope - a busy little cottage on an island off the coast of Wales, Anglesey Allsorts. Vicky, one of Geoffrey's humans thought he'd met his end, but no, the mouse came back. He has gumption, is bold and seems to know that Charlie - resident mouser - is apparently no real mouser at all.

Thanks, Vicky, for the bit of fun. Geoffrey fan club badge is now safe with Dough Boy amongst the cookbooks.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


The computer is major, major wonky, hence blog neglect.
In the time it has taken to manage to get this post up, Decadent Housewife has baked a whole lot of bread and done a heap of laundry.

Speedy's SIFE team placed in the top five universities for all of Canada - word has it, third.
Speedy borrowed my little Nikon, climbed up a mountain in the Canadian Rockies and dropped the camera cracking a filter. Speedy is okay, and my camera no wonkier than it was after I dropped it cracking a filter.

While Speedy was away, I struggled with Geek Guy's heavier camera and bigger lenses, which Fun would snipe, leaving me with nothing at all to document all the extra cooking and weeding and transplanting I have managed to get done because the computer is wonky. Occasionally, GG's camera would reappear, filled with photos of sunrises like the one below, ferris wheels, skies, waterfalls, fast cars and pretty girls. My Fun.

Buff has decided to finish off his remaining high school credits at home.
"So you want to homeschool again," I said.
To which Buff apparently, only just realizing this truth, shoved the remainder of a plate of cookies into his mouth grinned and said, "Hmm. Yeah, I guess so."

The transmission dropped in our main mode of transportation.
Buff let us know about this via text while he was sixty miles from home.
"Pull over, turn off engine, restart, repeat, you'll cripple home."
He instead, crippled off and up another forty miles to a hot spot beach for the day and then crippled home, sunburnt but happy.
Ah, to be eighteen again.

California Auntie and her girlfriends are on their way to Canada driving across the continent in a mobile home. They are taking the long way through Canada, to avoid tornadoes and not get stranded in a desert somewhere. I reminded her that Dad once hitchhiked three days to the nearest garage lugging his radiator, after hitting a deer while traveling on the Canadian prairies. And the last tornado Canada had was in Manitoba. But she said they feel safer doing it this way. Ah, to be seventy-something.

Violinist called out of the blue, "Hello Mother, how about Roll Kuchen and I come over for supper? We'll bring buns and burgers."
"Oh what a nice surprise!"
He continued, "I have to go over to The Island, so I thought I'd come by and say goodbye."
"What do you mean, goodbye? How long are you going for?"

During supper I noticed Roll Kuchen taking tiny bites but managing to get it all down. At church a few days before I noticed how beautiful her complexion is and had complimented her on it.
I also noticed her oohing and ahhing over a friend's baby.
The evening ended with Violinist asking if I would babysit starting sometime early next year.

Violinist escaped with his bow hand intact, again, after getting bits of glass into it while cleaning up his garage. The helpful doctors at hospital "A" managed to drive a shard deeper, lodging it between a tendon and nerve. Not a good thing if you are a violin player. So Violinist went to hospital "B" and found another doctor who suggested digging around for it under a general.
We won't talk about the seven hour wait after the scheduled surgery time, courtesy of the Canadian Health Care System (Bow Down and Kiss the Earth.)
Poor old Roll Kuchen. She must have been real tired. But I was stuck with a wonky vehicle and resolved to refrain from being the nuisance mother-in-law anyway.

(Sunrise photo by Fun. Posting will likely be sporadic until computers are fixed. Eh, Speedy?)