awe, humility, hope and a few other things I might notice

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I have not been able to focus much these days. I could blame it on the move, but that would be too generous. So instead here are some snippets, flurries if you will.

My husband and I rarely eat out. Even having coffee out is atypical, especially for me, minor coffee snob that I am. So we had this additional challenge of reticence and unwillingness to add to our lack of variety and choice when we found ourselves without heat, stove or refrigerator during our recent move. In our moving and heatless environment, we used a propane camp stove and made vegie burgers and pita bread for a satisfying hot home cooked meal for 2 days. But before we found the camp stove, we established that Tim Hortons minestrone soup can get you through a lot too, though it felt odd becoming a regular. I am from the States after all. I think I had finally been able to swallow the heart burn inducing yet curiously still weak Tim’s when, just my luck they introduced their dark roast. It felt like it was my birthday.

If necessity is the mother of invention, I am still glad that we have engineers because my necessary inventions have a very short shelf life. While the camp stove use demonstrates our pluck, it was not the most creative act of our adventure. In the move our coffee grinder also decided to die on us, as if the move was just too much change. I found my husbands old Betty Crocker mixer, a fragile looking thing, and inserted the infusion blender attachment as a coffee grinder. I won’t reveal my as yet unpatented secret for controlling the flying beans, but I will say that I have mastered the technique and for a few moments actually thought I was brilliant.

Are you wondering what happened to the ghee? Sigh. The ghee was the only other casualty of the move. We did not break any glass or even chip the furniture, but one of the boxes of ghee somehow heated itself to a more liquid state. This despite the fact that the mercury, er Celsius/Farenheit… the temperature did not budge above refrigerator cold #2. So I am theorizing that then the liquefied ghee was receiving some G’s and moved towards one side of its containers which then led to some escapage and then some greasing of the box and the box underneath it and the truck floor beneath that. We only lost a pound or so (er milliliters…kg???) and had a small mess to clean up. It was like the blob, but luckily we controlled it in time.

The local library is loud. I mean there is no whispering, at all. At full voice the librarian explained the differences between the Kobo and the Ipad. Although both the patron and said librarian were well into their 60’s they had a far greater understanding of the situation than I do. I also found out that a neighbor was ordering their snow tires online from the U.S. and driving out to the border to pick them up. Now that’s a bargain hunter. So I felt fine joining in and asking about local cross country trails and recycling regulations and was dutifully and with a librarian’s exactitude educated about all. The hardware store is also a highlight of local experience, although my questions were notably answered with a less precise, but predictably mechanics mindset of, “well, if that’s what you want.”

The library is loud and familiar and the hardware store is near but the bureaucracy of government and large agencies of the province are beyond recognition and more reminiscent of the border control meets the Vogon’s. I could hear the evil smile rising on the car insurer’s face (over the phone even) when she heard some unfortunately slipped excess of information. She nearly asked for my social security number. I think she wanted to track me down. But they will never find me or my U.S. license plate. Never.

Day 5- it’s 4 degrees or something. I feel cold.
Day 15 or something- it’s 1 degree and it is not so cold when you walk around.
Day 27- whatever the temperature is, it is Peak time for Hydro, so big blanket and two pairs of pants. I hope the cats appreciate the fact that I gave them a blanket too.
Day 35- it’s 11 degrees or something. I feel cold. I think it’s colder inside than outside.
Day 35 and ½- I think all nice Canadian women sound alike, and not just their vowels which I cannot imitate no matter how hard I try, its their inflection, their well moisturized smile…

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Computer madness

While making more ghee and between cups of coffee I have been trying to do crossword puzzles lately because I want to exercise my brain. Crossword puzzles and coffee, I am becoming my mother. Anyway, I thought I didn’t like crossword puzzles when I used to watch my mother doing them because they had a lot of arcane references to movie stars or events in history that far preceded my birth. I mean it seems like the target audience is 70 year olds when I know very well the target audience is 50 er 60-65 year olds. Also, they always seemed to have a mix of overtly obvious clues such as “yes” being the answer to the clue “affirmative” and oddly obscure clues like “tobermory topper” as a clue for “tam”. Huh?? I had some internal fear that this combination of the sometimes clever or arcanely erudite and alternately mind numbing dullness would result in me being caught off guard like I was with tricky exam questions or the silly math problems my brother’s friends would ask about children getting on and off buses when the answer had something to do with the color of the bus driver’s eyes. However, now it is all too clear that my “hurumph” is preceded by an abundance of clues about compass directions, the words “aide”, “err”, “lass” or “lad” and how many times can they recycle clues for “roe”. I think there is an insidious Scottish and fish egg connoisseur bias. I think I will take my Scottish ancestry (in a family that NEVER used the word lad or lass) and my non-fish eating self on to other games, like Scrabble. But alas (having no etymological relation to lass) I end up with the even more sinister computer Scrabble genius/megalomaniac that itself uses words like “laksdfjasdkjf” for 180 gazillion points (maybe that is the Nordic spelling for something) and plainly obscure words like “auxin”. And you cannot add “r” to my “false” for “falser” unless you are 3 years old!  It also does computer-throwee-outee the window words like jade for 44 trazillion points up against my “colors” for unfair combinations of “jo” and “al”. Then there are the completely non-existent words like “tirl” employed and yet the computer evil invisible monster has the gall to declare my use of “subtle” or “export” as illegal. Hurumph! Maybe I should just work on Madlibs, at least in that game I get to choose all of the words.