Thursday, August 30, 2012


Our neighbours have birds.  Not nice song birds, or pretty birds like parrots; theirs are foul (fowl) kinds of birds -- chickens, turkeys and a rooster.

The turkeys stink, but I don't hang out in their back yard to smell them.  I wasn't impressed when they came to my backyard to visit this spring, but Boy put the run on them and they haven't been back.

What I do object to is the rooster.

He is loud.

He can't tell time.  There is none of this early morning cock-a-doodle-doing.  This guy cock-a-doodles ALL day long.  I think he might be blind or something.

It drives me crazy.  I've debated complaining, but I don't know to whom -- do you call the township dog catcher about a rooster?  Can you even have fowl in town?  Is there a fowl department at the town office?

I almost solved the problem earlier this summer...

Cock-a-Doodles came to my house to visit.  He must have got directions from the Turkeys.  I found him wandering around the pool patio.

I sent Boy to chase him away.

Boy offered to shoot him.

And I paused.  for awhile.   before I said "I think shooting roosters in town is frowned upon."

This morning I regretted that decision.  Cocky little bugger.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Boy the Plowman

Boy fixed up this tractor last summer.  It's a 1950-something Massey 33.  This summer he took on finding and fixing an old plow from the same era.

He had a harder time with it than planned as one of the shop boys backed over it and broke some essential parts.  Turns out those parts are next to impossible to replace.  We know because the shop boy and my Boy looked for months.  

Boy is also a kijiji addict.  He found a "newer" model of the same plow type on the site, bought it and modified it to fit his plow.  

His goal all along was to take his tractor in the County Plowing match, that was, coincidently to be held on the farm of friends of ours. ( Friends with a real farm, not a big lawn that her boys pretend is a farm so they can buy equipment...)

Boy finished his plow 2 days before the competition, did a practice run to make sure it would stay together, then declared himself fit to compete.  

I was at Girl's horse show so I didn't get to watch, but my friend L sent me these pictures, and Boy gave me details when he got home.

Turns out there were lots of friendly folks to give advice and help out.  DH "coached" and Boy ploughed.  He told me that as long as he didn't come last anything else would be as good as first.  Turns out he did place and got a cheque to prove it.  He claims he's now a "professional" because he's been paid for his "sport."

I told him that he ought to hand that cheque over to his dad for gas and parts, but Boy had an answer for that.  He told me that his dad is now his "sponsor" and he is seeking others to do the same....

When I showed him the pictures that L took, I asked him if he knew she was photographing him.  He said, "no, but it's cool that I've got paparazzi."

Good thing it's a big tractor.  It's needed to support his head.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

I love this quote.  I found it on Pinterest, and I don't know where it originated or from whom.  It might be my new mantra at home and at school.  Looo-ve it (say it like Oprah).  I think it will cut down on my stress level significantly....

"Your unpreparedness is not my emergency."


Monday, August 27, 2012

Hollywood Treasure

This is Girl at the Saddle Club horse show this weekend.  She is riding a new pony this year named Hollywood Treasure.  His barn name is just Treasure, but there are many (myself included) that just refer to him as Trouble.

Because he is.


He is just a young guy, only 5 years old, and just learning.... everything.  Everything, including manners.  He likes to nip or bite and his favourite trick is to step on your toes.  You have to watch every end of him.  Girl takes it in stride, gives him a wee pop on the nose if he bites and continues on about his care as if nothing ever happened.

Me, I wallow in my resentment if he has forgotten his etiquette.  I wonder, often out loud in a very un-cowboy way, "why am I sponging your nether regions when you've just tried to take a chunk of my butt?"  and "why am I rubbing sunscreen on the bald patch by your tail when you've just stomped your hoof by my toes?"

Sometimes I also wonder things like "why am I picking up Trouble's poop while Girl goes to the refreshment booth?"

Girl is the elegant rider, the competitive gamer, the glamorous horsewoman, and I, I am the dust covered, sun burnt, poop-spotted, lowly groom -- who cheers out loud and walks proud when Girl and Treasure ride out of the ring.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

oh my...

Oh my.

Oh my.

I have seen a TV show that has left my mouth agape and my head a shakin'.

I think it's like watching a train wreck.  I am appalled, but can't look away.

The kids DVR'd a show called "Honey Boo Boo" and watched it back tonight.  I was in the office and could hear the TV and the kids laughing.  I had to go watch 'cause I couldn't even believe what I was hearing.  It's a red neck show.  And the sad part it I think it is real.

The line that got me (from mama) ... "them dang youngun's done gone and cut thar toenails in m' dang bed."


This is TV.

Oh my.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

20 Years!

Today is my 20th anniversary.


I was a baby when I got married.  Really.  Only 21.  I didn't know anything then except that DH was THE one.  He still is.

Funny story.

I was still in university and DH often came down to visit and to get me out of dorm-room hell.  We went to a jewelry store to get a silver tea set for his parent' anniversary (really for his mom -- I'm sure Pops didn't care about a tea set....).  While we were waiting for it to be polished and wrapped we were leaning on the jewelry counter.  Immediately beneath us were engagement rings.  Good marketing, that.

I was looking at them, apparently DH was too because he said in the most romantic way possible "so, do you wanta do it?"  I knew what he meant, said "sure, if you're serious."  He was.  We picked out a ring and lived happily (most of the time) ever after.  The end.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Early morning

It occurred to me as the alarm went off this morning at 6am that is was still fairly dark out.

When the sun is up at 6am it is easy to get out of bed.  I know, I did it one day in early July to get a picture of this little guy.

Every year we have a 'coon family that stays in our big maple tree in the back yard.  If I am sneaky quiet, and early enough I can usually catch one of them peeking out of their nest.  That was the one day all summer that I saw 6am.

It just seems entirely unfair that when I have to get up so early the sun isn't up to greet me.

Monday, August 20, 2012

We spent an extended weekend in Toronto this weekend.  Since we rarely "do" vacations this was a real treat.

I spent a lot of time looking up.

This is the view from our hotel room (looking up, way up).  That just brought back a flash of my childhood -- remember The Friendly Giant "Look up, way up?"
I digress...

This is the base of the CN tower and you can see part of the Skyway walk at the base of the picture.  I noticed construction all over the downtown.  One wonders how any more buildings can fit in the space.

The view looking towards lake Ontario (more of the Skywalk in the picture).

We went to Casa Loma on Saturday.  I'd  never been before.  It is a magnificent building.  This is photo is taken from the front, looking up by the main door.  I think I was destined to live in this castle.  Honestly -- I would have been happy to live in the stables...

This is the roof of the conservatory.  (I haven't figured out how to edit photos on my Blackberry, so you'll have to imagine the vibrant colours of the stained glass.)

If you ask Girl how she liked the trip she will first tell you how much walking we did -- at Wonderland, around the downtown (which included Chinatown, a new experience for both kids -- unsettling for Boy who kept thinking we were going to get mugged.), to the theatres, Union Station  and around Casa Loma.
Girl will also tell you that she loved everything we did -- just not the big city itself.  I get it.  The metropolis of Small Town is enough for me.

Thursday, August 16, 2012


This is Girl's Crown Beta Fish, Bill.  Bill replaces Bubbles the Beta fish who jumped out of the tank to his death this winter (hence the scotch tape holding the lid on the tank this time... lessons learned).

Bill really is a beautiful fish.  I like everything about him except that he lives on my kitchen counter.  That's the only place to put him that a) can stand getting wet because it seems there is always H20 splashed about and b) that Rocky can't find him (also another reason for the scotch tape on the lid.)

Girl loves this fish.  She takes good care of Bill, so he is really no work for me.  In the mornings he is often the first being to say "hello" to me when he wags his wee tail fin looking for breakfast. I like him.

This morning we discovered that Bill wasn't his usually happy, bubbly self (you'll have to picture it) so I hope he isn't ill, or depressed and suicidal as our Bubbles apparently was.

Keep your fingers crossed for Bill.  Girl and I hope he makes it.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Once again, not parents of the year....

See this....

This is the view from inside my Jeep as we followed Boy down the back road on his tractor.  This is the antique 1953 tractor that he restored last summer.  He was taking it to nearby Small Town to get something put in the tires (for added weight, I'm told).  When he started out for Small Town it wasn't raining, but it was a wee tich overcast.  DH sent him anyway.  We left shortly after and caught up with him just before the torrent hit.  His tractor does not have a cab.
We did throw Boy a jacket -- but neither one of us offered to take over driving the tractor.  I looked at DH and said, "does this make us bad parents?"
"It makes us dry ones," he said with a smirk...

Nope not parents of the year.... again.

(By the way, Boy is just fine.  Apparently he's not made of sugar, so he didn't melt.  And his humour was quite good despite being soggy.   So all is well.  Massey will get goop in the tires and Boy will be set to plow something sometime....)

Monday, August 13, 2012

Boy's Garden

Boy is an entrepreneur.  He's always looking for two things.  One -- to make money and two -- to keep busy.  He's busy.  He's always got a plan and he's always working on something.

In the spring it was maple syrup production.  Though he found that was not a money making enterprise this time around.  He figures he should charge me about $25 for a pint of syrup to make a profit.  I suggested that he give me the syrup and I wouldn't charge him for cleaning the sticky off my ceiling...  We came to a mutually beneficial agreement there.

This summer he decided he would plant a garden.  It's a big garden about 125 feet long by about 15 feet wide.  Boy and Girl planned everything out and have been working all summer on weeding and harvesting.  First we got peas...

What they discovered was that you have to pick and shell ALOT of pea pods to get enough peas for one meal.

Also, if I hadn't been eating them raw out of their bowl there might have been more for supper....

Now they are harvesting potatoes.  They've got white and red ones.

I've been scrubbing the 'taters, chopping them up and putting them in tinfoil with a wee bit o' butter and some s&p.  Then I double wrap the tinfoil and put them on the BBQ for about 30 minutes.  Turning at least 4 times in that time.

I call these the versatile 'taters because they are good for breakfast, for dinner or let them cool and make potato salad.

Fresh from the garden is always best.
Fresh from a garden I don't have to weed or pick -- awesome!

Friday, August 10, 2012

I'm ba-a-ck (say it like Ricky Ricardo...)

I haven't blogged for ages.  I'd like to say I purposely took a blogging hiatus, but the truth is that I've had blog-block.  I think that is a real thing -- it surely is a serious diagnosis.  Ask Freud.

The picture has nothing to do with anything except that looking back through my photo log I found it and it made me want pancakes.

I can't have pancakes because I promised myself that for two weeks I would strictly follow Canada's food guide.  If you have ever tried to do that you would see that there is no room for big stacks of pancakes with Maple Syrup.  Not even if the maple syrup was home made by your own children, from your own maple trees, and finished in your kitchen so that  your ceiling is still possibly sticky.  The maple syrup story can wait for another day, though.  The issue with the food guide is fitting all of that food into one day -- 8-10 servings of fruit and vegetables?  8 servings of grains?  I can't eat that much -- and it doesn't leave any room for the stuff I have been filling up on -- cookies, ice cream cones, popsicles, chips.  Bad stuff.  I'm trying to clean up my habits before fall -- hopefully that will help the waist-line too.  I'll let you know how I make out.

I think my blog-block is over.  Maybe because it finally rained -- the oober-dry recesses of my brain are swelling up and feeling refreshed... I've got lots and lots and lots to share.   Hope you'll drop back to visit and see what we've been up to at Shady Lane.

The teasers:
-LOTS of organizing and cleaning has been happening here
-getting ready for a yard sale...
-the kids decided to plant a garden -- let's talk about potatoes and tomatoes!
-new recipes -- let's talk about a spinach smoothie!

So glad to be back, energized and inspired.