Thursday, July 22, 2010

F#*$ing broccoli

I learned lesson, well I forget what number I'm on now but it's a lot, in gardening the other day.

Last year the little green worms ate all my broccoli. So this year I've kept a keen eye out for the little garden munchers but they haven't been around. Last year we had lots of moths. Cecropia and Luna moths, plus others I liked to call Neapolitan moths because their colour reminded me of ice cream, spattered the door and wall of the house under the outdoor light each morning. This year, they came back, but we apparently have more birds this year. Instead of moths spattering the walls, we have moth wings on the deck like autumn leaves. Birds give me heart attacks daily, crashing into the house and snatching away what must be a juicy breakfast.
At any rate, less moths mean less eggs laid by moths on my broccoli, which mean less green worms, which should mean more broccoli. The plants looked healthy all spring and early summer and I was excited to see the heads forming. Then, for no reason that I'm aware of without analysing a soil sample, they bolted. Went to seed. Beautiful little yellowish white flowers where broccoli heads are supposed to be. No broccoli for us again.

So I've come to the conclusion that some people are meant to grow broccoli and others are meant to buy it from those people at the farmers market. Lesson learned: don't waste time trying to grow broccoli.

On another note, my chickens will be leaving on the 31st. I have to bring them out to a farm to be butchered. The dilema is how to get the 9 chickens to the farm. Without making a mess in my truck.

Friday, July 16, 2010


It's funny who we surround ourselves with sometimes. Alot of the time it isn't people we would necessarily choose. Most of the time it's by circumstance. Like work, you take a job and hope the people you'll be working with are nice. They may not be who'd you pick to spend 40 hours a week with, but you make do the best you can because what choice do you have. Sometimes it works out and a new friend is found. Other times you quit your job.

I attended my new sister in law's stagette party recently. I never had a party for my own wedding. I guess at the time, I didn't really have anyone local that I was really close with to be bothered.

At the time of my engagement I was working at a jewelery store. It's probably the last place anyone, myself included, would imagine me working since I don't really care for jewelry, or dressing up, or being indoors, etc. To be honest, I was snobbish towards the job. I was fresh out of school with a piece of paper, it's ink still wet, that read Bachelor of Science. I thought I was over qualified. It was retail, anyone can get a job in retail. So long as I didn't have a criminal record and I could solve a simple skill testing question, I was in. I took the job because I had to. Mart and I had student loans we were drowning in plus a 3 year old to raise. I tried working in my field, on farms, but despite the good pay the hours are impossible if you want to see your kid. So I put what I loved to do, the only thing I loved to do, on hold. I worked at a jewelery store that had decent hours and paid over minimum wage plus commission.

Just tonight, while thinking of the party held for my sister in law, I remembered suddenly that I did have a party. A surprise party at that. The girls from work told me we were having a staff meeting and everyone had to attend or else. The or else was because I loathed staff meetings. I thought they were the biggest time waster ever conceived by the retail industry. Apparently my manager new that and made sure I attended. When I arrived, there were balloons, snacks, cake and gifts all prepared for me. Prepared by people that I spent numerous hours with, but not who I'd call on a Saturday night. We were all different ages and in different places in our lives, with completely different interests.

It surprises me to think that a group of people could do something so thoughtful for me and 8 years later I forget. It was a year later that I left the jewelery store. Some of the original staff were still there, but most were gone. I've never seen or heard from any of them since. Why would I? It makes me wonder if they remember throwing the party for me.

I don't make friends with girls easily. In fact I have only 2 close girl friends. People who know me inside and out and still like me. I'm not sure why. It scares me to think that perhaps I've just had my head stuck up my ass all these years and have been completely oblivious to the friendship offered. Perhaps I've been too busy noticing how different people are instead of how alike.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

A whole glass full of strange.

There are pros and cons to living in the country. Just to define what I call country: we live 20 km from a town with a population of 1500 and 12 km from a convenience store. When my brother in law first visited, he chuckled that a store 12 km away would still be considered convenient. We have 2 neighbours, one across the road from us that is only visible in the winter, the other a 1/2 km down the road. The area we live in, called Greenhill, consists of a road (Greenhill Rd) and about 150 people, though I'm guessing at that, it's probably less.

A pro to living in the country, we have land. Enough to raise cattle and keep a horse. The dog isn't tied, the cat hunts. Deer visit from time to time.

Con: Coyotes and bears visit from time to time too.

Pro: Only the people who live on our road, travel on our road. Generally there are no strangers (I'll add more to that part later).

Con: The mail man won't deliver to us. We apparently live outside every post office's coverage area.

Pro: Because there are so few of us, neighbours look out for each other. To me, that is a huge pro.

Pro: Privacy. No one is around. No unexpected visitors.

Con: Privacy. No one is around. Sometimes we get unexpected visitors.

Privacy is nice. A big reason why we love the country so much. The reason it's a con too is because things like what happen this morning do happen. Maybe they occur in more populated towns too, I don't know. I've never really lived in one.

At 5:30 am this morning our door bell rang. We immediately thought the cause of such an early morning visitor was that something happened to the cows. Or worse, something happened to Fred, our neighbour. Mart answered the door and saw a man, mid thirties, soaking wet from the knees down walking around the back of the house. Mart went out the kitchen door to the deck and found him drinking water from the outdoor tap.

Mart: What are you doing?

Man: I'm thirsty, I was told you'd oblige.

Mart: (seeing his soaked clothes and coming to the only conclusion that made any sense) Did you get your 4 wheeler stuck or something?

Man: Yeah, it's exhausting

Mart: Have you been out all night?

Man: No, all afternoon.

Mart: It's 5:30 in the morning.

Man: Yeah, I know.

Mart: Well get your water and get out of here.

The man, obviously out of it, saw no problem standing uninvited in our back yard drinking from our tap. He didn't ask permission, say thanks or ask for help. He drank and drank and drank, then staggered down our driveway. We aren't sure if he was drunk, stoned, dehydrated, injured, or all of the above. He looked like he had a very rough night.

I spent the morning sleeping off what felt like an unearned hangover headache, half expecting someone to come by and ask if we'd seen a man or a 4 wheeler. We have no idea where he came from or where he went. He may not have even been driving a 4 wheeler through the back woodlot and river. People do, so it's logical, but who knows. I'm just not a fan of a stranger showing up on my front steps at 5:30 in the morning. I wonder if he's ok, but I hope he doesn't come back. He wasn't looking to break in, or steal, he was just there for water. The whole thing was just weird. Maybe this sort of thing is kind of a pro: strangers steal water, not possessions.

Monday, July 5, 2010

road trip

Five hours in the car with a 6 year old and 13 year old in the back seat. Thankfully we have air conditioning. How was our drive? Oh, fantastic. A breeze really. Like a day at the spa.

Owen: Mom. Mom. Mummy. Mo-Om. MomMomMomMom

Me: What!?

O: I love you.


O: Mom I'm done my lunch and my drink is all gone.

Me: Good.

O: Mom. Mom. Mommy. I need to pee.

We are in the middle of the "no services for 70 km" part of the trip. I look back to ask if he can wait and see him sitting fists clenched, legs crossed next to an empty medium size Dairy Queen cup. We pull over and water the weeds in the ditch. We can't get to the trees because of the moose fencing. Or maybe they just don't like people peeing in their woods and it's really people fencing. Either way, at least he's a boy.

O: How many more hours?

Me: 2 hours and 45 minutes

O: Oh.

O: How many more now?

Me: 2 hours and 43 minutes

O: Are we even moving?!


O: Mom. Mom. Mommy. Mooooommmmmmyyyyyy. Mom. Ma. Mummy.

Me: What!?

O: I forget.

Reiley (shaking head): Owen you are such a kid.

O: Oh yeah! Well you're an animal! My teacher said so. She said we're all just animals.

Caged animals. Exactly. Stuck in a vehicle, stuck on the highway. Just trying to get from point A to point B without completely loosing it.

How was our visit? Fantastic! The wedding was wonderful. We all had a great time. I just need to work on my particle beam so we can avoid the drive and travel Star Trek style.