Saturday, August 29, 2009

and the rains came down and washed it all away...

The worst part of my job of delivering newspapers is not the 2AM start time, nor the 364 days a year, though that is hard to handle. Nor is it the cold winter nights, the ice, or the wind and rain - those are fleeting in the grand scheme of things.

The worry of running into a skunk usually amounts to nothing as they amble off, in search of more garbage. Waving the paper in front of you helps to dispel the occasional spider web. You learn to lift your feet so as not to trip over kids' toys, or garden hoses, or small plants left in your way that you cannot see in the dark. And to listen for that telltale sississ of the sprinkler system starting up before the water streams out in an unknown direction that could likely be where you are standing.

I hate running into people in the elevators. I am tired and dirty and sweaty and don't smell nearly as fresh as they who are newly awake and recently showered.

No, the worst part is the ever present markings of newsprint. It gets everywhere. And by everywhere, I mean everywhere that you touch. Your face, your hair, your clothes, the apple fritter that you stupidly decided you needed, the door that you push to open, the handrail, the switch plate, the taps ... and most irritatingly, the steering wheel. Because once it is on the steering wheel, the whole dirty process starts over again every time you are in the car. It is not easy to wash off. It takes a lot of furious scrubbing. Dish soap is often the best for getting through the grime. But there is almost always still a touch of it embedded within your fingerprints. Dark grey water droplets get all over the sink and the counter and walls and mirror if you are stupid enough to automatically shake your damp hands before drying off with a towel. It goes without saying that I have no white towels.

Oh, I know, there are ways around this. I could wear latex gloves - some people do - but I find them irritating and they never fit properly on my short fingers. And that wouldn't stop the problem of newsprint getting all over the steering wheel. I could wash the steering wheel every morning ... but we all know that is not going to happen. I could have Wet Ones (or equivalent) and use them after every twenty papers or so, but that would just make my hands sticky. And eat into my time and profit because I'd be going through an awful lot of them with 320 papers a night (400 + inserts on Saturday).

Last night (Saturday morning delivery) had to be one of the worst. Not only did we get lashings of rain pissing down as if the gods (all of them) were pouring out buckets, but I 'scared' two - 2! - skunks who were playing in the puddles. I can still taste the acrid smell in the back of my throat, though I don't think they sprayed very much and at least not directly at me or my car. I backed into a bright yellow bollard that I couldn't see for the heavy rain and fogged up windows, denting and scraping the new paint job on the rear bumper.

BUT, it was my last night for one of the papers. It was not easy to decide to give up a contract job (though after last night...). I know that I am tired of being tired all the time. There are so many other things I would like to do - like take a few more little holidays. Go to a few more fall festivals. Stay up late and watch Jon Stewart at 11 instead of at noon the next day. I can replace the exercise (?!) I'm losing by going on early morning hikes. There are over 100 waterfalls to explore in the city of Hamilton. And my car will be just a little bit less dirty.

I will hopefully fit in a few more massage appointments to pay for the car repairs.....

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

weekends away

For a successful wild women weekend at a cottage, there are a few things that can make the time truly memorable. It helps if one of you actually owns a cottage that you can use. It also helps if one of you should be an excellent cook who absolutely loves to feed the five thousand. You should all love to laugh about life and have a cache of stories to share. And be willing to just lounge around and drink coffee or wine or water or whatever. Indoor plumbing is a good thing to have. As is a fire at the end of the day.
You should travel far enough away that it feels like a true escape from the life you have without these friends nearby.

You find yourself a little dream car

and leave the big city behind
and drive until you cannot drive any further
then you venture a little.

then you stop.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Monday AMuse

still enjoying cottage, where it is always five o'clock

Friday, August 21, 2009


I received this award from Jientje who takes the most gorgeous photos from her little place of Heaven in Belgium. Thank you so much!

It is actually for my photoblog Sightlines, but I am cheating a little and displaying it here. I'm also cheating a little by not passing it on to anyone specifically. I don't have that many regular commenters on my photoblog but I find I get a little tingly thrill when I see a new 'follower'. Someone likes my photos enough to want to come back for more! I also check in on several phototoblogs but can't always think of anything original to say, so I just quietly enjoy their work. And sometimes, as with Jientje's, I get all dreamy.
But for now, I am dreaming of awarding myself a brief holiday and am headed off to a cottage by a lake.
To celebrate friendship and a birthday.
We might imbibe a little. We will definitely eat well.
And we will laugh lots.

Have a great weekend everybody.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

All in all, my life is pretty good. I really have few things to complain about, although I do.
And it all seems so petty, the things I find irritating.

Really, I have a home and easy transportation to wherever I want to go.
I have a job - actually I have 3 jobs.
I have enough money to buy food that is plentiful and within a very short distance.
I have more water at my disposal than I could ever possibly use.
I do not need to share my home with several other people.
I do not even need to share a toilet with several other people.
I have a toilet.
I am healthy and have few real fears for my health and safety.
If I get tired of this life I could change it.

So many people do not even have these basics.

I found out about this on Worldman's blog.
On August 19, 2009 is the inaugural World Humanitarian Day
This link will take you to the UN office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
It is not happy reading, but you will learn much about the world we share.

On 19 August and for the first time, the international community will pay tribute to the brave humanitarian workers who devote their time and energy to come to the rescue of innocent victims of war and natural catastrophes across the world. The family of Sergio Vieira de Mello, the late Special Representative of the Secretary General in Iraq, deeply moved by the tragic bombing of the Headquarters of United Nations in Baghdad on 19th August 2003 that killed Sergio and 21 of his humanitarian colleagues, resolved to work towards having the day recognized as a befitting tribute to all humanitarian personnel.

~Sergio Vieira de Mello Foundation

Monday, August 17, 2009

Sunday, August 16, 2009

SundayStills - clouds

Posted by Picasaclick on collage to embiggen
“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under the trees on a summer's day, listening to the murmur of water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time"
~ John Lubbock
Some of these were taken this past week. Some were taken as far back as last winter. All are within a block from my home. Summer has finally arrived here, so am sitting outside, doing not much else but soaking it all up. This heat has a way of completely draining me of all energy. I am allowing myself to be drained. And resting. Except, today is too hot and hazy for clouds...

Friday, August 14, 2009

I could have waited for Monday AMuse to post this, but really, I couldn't wait. This is too funny!

"My husband and I were exploring Lake Minnewanka in Banff National Park-Canada when we stopped for a timed picture of the two of us. We had our camera set up on some rocks and were getting ready to take the picture when this curious little ground squirrel appeared, became intriqued with the sound of the focusing camera and popped right into our shot! A once in a lifetime moment! We were laughing about this little guy for days!!"
~ from National Geographic photo of the day website

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

where I am impulsive

We've all done it.
Made impulsive purchases of things not needed, but lusted after.
Some have worked out better than others.

We have our small, innocuous purchases, like these cute, tiny spoons, which make me smile when I use them to eat my yoghourt.

And there is this, bought at
Anthropologie, just because I travelled all the way to the only Canadian store in the new and improved Don Mills Plaza, and had to buy something. Then I find out when I get it home that it is not only a timer, but one with a handy magnet. How I missed that, I have no idea. It's not like I don't turn every item over immediately to see the price...

And this. My cast iron teapot bought at the market a couple months ago. I LOVE it!
I only wanted a photo for a challenge...

Then. there is this.
bought at a street sale, of all places!

I love these pieces. At least I do whenever I see one in an antique shop. In my living room, where I have been slowly moving towards a mid-century modern look mixed with Art Deco, I'm not so sure.

It was a great deal. It is in very good condition. It has never been painted or otherwise defaced. The guy delivered it for free.

A small part of me wants to paint it. horrors! Because, as much as I love it, I'm not that crazy about oak.

Could I be any more conflicted?
Has anyone else bought something they've long admired from afar, but not so much once getting it home and up close and personal?

Monday, August 10, 2009

Monday AMuse

If I keep drinking enough fluids...
I should be well again soon.
Once I wake up.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Monday AMuse

these photos are really bad --- but I was in a rush to capture this
and yes, they were together!
I even drove on ahead and snuck in a sidestreet to get a good shot -- then a damn car got right smack in the way!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

SundayStills - fences

I thought I had more photos of fences that I could just whip one out at will. Apparently not. I have lots of gates and stone walls and a few hedges. And I have quite a few railings, which are sometimes like fences. So I looked up the difference between fences and railings to see if there was any more to the basic one that fences are designed to keep people out whereas railings are designed to keep people in. Then I drove around this morning, early, soas not to arouse too much suspicion, and I peered into various backyards...

A fence is a structure that serves as an enclosure, a railing is a structure with a horizontal bar across the top for support.

Some fences are very basic, but can be prettied up by turning them into a trellis.

Other fences are just basic and need a pretty chicken to make it photogenic.

Then there are the old, old fences that will be torn down when this land is expropriated for another subdivision redevelopment.

I'm not particularly fond of these wooden structures surrounding a house
I don't need that much privacy.

Although, this one at least looks interesting

a variety of decks

and some areas have fencing already installed to separate the yards, but they are usually rather utilitarian and not always enough...

For me, I prefer the wrought iron look.

and even a wee bit flamboyant.