Archive for May, 2009

Monthly Archive

Sometimes it takes something small to make someone happy. For Charles, it takes curtains (well, more accurately, window coverings). He dislikes having our house “open to the world”, even though we live on a fairly quiet street, and so as soon as the sun starts to set, the curtains/blinds are drawn (this is slightly at odds with my strong appreciation for natural light, so occasionally I will open up curtains/blinds shortly after he has opened them. But I digress.)

Many of the window coverings in our house are the ones that came with the house when we moved in two years ago. This is partly because we had so many expenses when we moved in – new furnace and A/C, new roof, half of the fence (with the other half starting this summer) – and partly because we just hadn’t picked a colour scheme for the rooms, so we didn’t have a base colour to start with. But when we got our new windows two weeks ago, we took down all of the window coverings and decided that it didn’t make sense to put them back up.

Which left us a bit exposed, even for my light-loving ways.

So, the very next day we did a shopping blitz and bought four curtain rods and two sets of curtains. That day we put up two curtain rods and quickly decided we didn’t like either set of curtains, so with one hour of available shopping time left, we ducked out again, returned two sets of curtains, and bought two more which promptly went up when we got home. The next day we hung the remaining two curtain rods and one set of curtains that we already owned. This still left us with one naked window upstairs, but since it was the nursery, we figured we still had a bit of time.

All of this just highlighted the fact that our kitchen window had been bare since we had moved in two years ago. We bought fabric months ago, and put up the curtain rod a few weeks ago, but I had never gotten around to actually sewing the curtains and so the window remained uncovered and the neighbours, if they chose, could see into our kitchen. And this bugged Charles.

So last weekend I finally sewed the curtains for the kitchen, and Charles has been happy ever since. Who knew that something so small could bring such happiness?

Of course, there are some things that I just won’t do to make him happy – like name our child (should it be a girl) Raindrop. Not even as a middle name.


The puddle may have evolved into a pond today. Either that, or I forgot this morning to switch out the sponge that I have started using to keep the flood waters at bay (which is also entirely possible given my mushy brain these days). All I know is that I wasn’t anywhere near the usual dribble area and yet my feet still got a soaker. And since our new water softener does not arrive until next Monday, until then I shall have to admit defeat. Or scrounge up a larger sponge to handle the increased leakage. I’m already switching it out twice a day.

Today seems to be my day of defeat. I also had to admit defeat at the food store (a.k.a the grocery store) tonight.

I dislike shopping carts. I used to hate them completely, but realized that they do come in handy when you need to pick up one of those water jugs that weigh 40-someodd pounds. But outside of these extreme situations, I avoid shopping carts like the plague and only use handbaskets*. Which is why Charles had to start going food shopping with me (to prevent me from lugging around 40-someodd pounds of random items. I’ve been known to stick a case of pop under each arm and still carry a full handbasket of items. Yes, I’m stubborn). But tonight, I only had to pick up a few small items for a potluck tomorrow, so I stopped at the food store after work and confidently grabbed a handbasket.

Which turned into a bit of a mistake. True, I ended up picking up a few things on top of the items that I needed for the potluck. But they were things like bread. And broccoli. Things that weigh next to nothing. And yet as I walked towards the cash with my not even full handbasket, I felt as if I had two cases of pop and an overflowing handbasket. It felt …. kind of heavy. And it kind of stretched my (pregnant) belly a bit. And that is not a pleasant feeling. I don’t know if I have just grown weak with my forced dependance on shopping carts, or if perhaps the random items did add up to more than the sum of their parts. But whatever the case, it is with great sorrow that I have come to the conclusion that I can (should) no longer use handbaskets (at least for the next four months).

Clearly I must just carry things in my arms.

And if there are too many things to carry in my arms, I will … use … a shopping cart. There. I said it.

* I will use those little wheely “hand” baskets if available – same maneuverability as the handbaskets, but able to hold heavier things!

Sure, sometimes I say that I want to be an alpaca farmer. Just like I say that I want to win the lottery. Oh, wait, I do want to win the lottery …

Anyway, as much as I think that alpacas are lovely, and it would be great to have all of that wool to knit up into lovely, lovely things, I’m sure that being an alpaca farmer (or any other farmer) is far more work that I actually think it is. And as much as I usually wouldn’t consider myself to be a slacker when it comes to getting things done, I’m pretty sure that raising alpacas is just a slight bit out of my area of expertise. This might have had something to do with my newfound reason. Although I do love the before and after pictures (poor, little nekid Mira).

Of course, there are other reasons as well – my current job, our current house (in the city), our current friends (also in the city). All of these I would have to give up on one level or another to become an alpaca farmer. Sure, our friends might visit if we had a farm close-ish by, but the rest of it cannot be picked up and transported to a suitable farming location. And then there is the aforementioned lack of necessary expertise in the subject.

So, what it comes down to is, I would like to live in an imagninary place that combines our house, on an alpaca farm, just outside the city, where I don’t have to do much of anything other than love on the alpacas and knit up the lovely wool that they give me.

Maybe when I win that lottery I can just hire someone to do all of the work and I could just reap the rewards?

I never, ever, thought that growing another human being could suck up this much energy. I know that it makes sense in theory, but until I had to do it, I never comprehended the level to which it would suck the life right out of me (I know, I know … wait until after the kid is born!). Luckily I’ve only fallen asleep in one meeting (so far!) and my days are usually too busy to really stop and think about how tired I am. Which might also explain why I pretty much crash 15 minutes after I get home.

Perhaps what surprises me most is how much it is like a switch being thrown in my head. One minute I am fine, the next minute I could fall asleep where I stand. I was commenting to Charles about this the other night and without thinking, he said “You’re just like a pug!”. Which is both funny and very astute. We helped transport a seven month old pug from her temporary foster home to her permanent foster home on Saturday and she was the epitome of a pug puppy – bouncing around on my lap one second, flopped on my knee and snoring away the next. Repeat fifteen minutes later. Even ours, at a few years older, can fall asleep in moments, and often start snoring when their eyes are still open. Just like a switch has been thrown in their heads.

As long as I don’t start shedding hair like a pug, I think I’m okay.


The first morning that I stepped in it, I thought “Ugh! That is gross!”, but I cleaned it up and thought that was the end of it.

The second morning that I stepped in it, I thought “Ugh! That is gross!” but I cleaned it up and thought that must be the end of it.

The third morning that I stepped in it, I thought “Ugh! WTF??” but I finally realized that it was water, not cat pee and that was actually a bit of a relief – I figured that Charles and I could handle fixing a leak in the pipes for our basement sink (attempting to determine why the cats would pee on the floor would have been much more difficult).

The fourth time (I missed stepping in it!) I finally remembered to tell Charles that we have a leak in the pipes for our basement sink. Except that it wasn’t our sink (that would be too easy). Instead, it is coming from our very ancient water softener.

And that, my friends, is a bit more expensive.

So for two days, I have resisted looking up the cost of a new water softener. We cannot get by without a water softener (our water is waaaaay too hard*) and I’m not really sure that fixing our current one would be cost-effective, if it can even be done given its age. But with new windows arriving on Friday, and a new fence hopefully arriving soon-ish (I really, really, reeeeaaaaally want our fence) and a baby arriving in September … well, having to shell out for a new water softener is a little hard to take. So instead, I clean up the small puddle (it is a very small puddle) that appears on the basement floor and I cross my fingers that one day it won’t be a lake.

* I’ve always heard that Waterloo has very hard water, but never actually remember the number. This helped me out (bolding mine)”… the Regional Municipality of Waterloo has some of the highest levels of hard water (defined as containing large amounts of calcium and magnesium) in the country… Anything over 10.5 grains per gallon (180 mg/L) is considered to be extremely high and is labelled in the fifth category as “very hard”: the estimated average level of water hardness in the Waterloo Region is 22 grains per gallon (376 mg/L), more than twice the level necessary to be included in the top category.” Fun.