Tuesday, July 27, 2010
As always, I've got my camera and my netbook with me, so depending on what facilities I find along the way, I may be checking in occasionally. There's some spectacular country along the way, so I hope to have a few photos for you.
Now back to planning what CDs to take . . . very important to make the right choice of music for a summer road trip!
Monday, July 26, 2010
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Sunday, July 25, 2010
So I came downstairs Sunday morning to this collection of shoes by the front door. I love that sight -- really takes me back to the child/teen-rearing years when the kids would have their friends over and there'd be a barricade of shoes by the door.
Into the kitchen to make my tea, and I looked outside to another sight that made me happy,
Pater chatting with Daughter #3 and her BF in the rising sun (they get up surprisingly early since they've had their little dog -- good practise for you-know-what, not that I'm pushing for more grandchildren any time soon . . .)
Later in the morning, similar pose, different players (Daughter #1 and Son's GF). We made numerous errors in building/renovating our house, but the front deck and stairs we got just right. They were designed to get as much casual seating out of the stairs as possible, to accommodate chatting while view-watching, and they're brilliant for that as well as for enjoying a solitary morning coffee.
We're also pleased with how many little nooks there are for sitting away from the crowds -- and Pater likes moving around the yard through the day depending on which combo of sun and shade he wants.
And there's always room to spread out on the beach. Either for tide pool adventures -- imagine having all these aunts and uncles to turn over rocks on your command so that crabs might scuttle forth. . . what bliss for Nola!
Although perhaps you'd just as soon stay inside and practise your stair-climbing . . . .
We've had such fun. Son and GF left yesterday, the rest of the crew departs today. Pater and I will be having a long nap and observing a prolonged and contented silence thereafter.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
I was content for quite a few years to be a stay-at-home mom (working , though -- all moms are working moms, right?) so was able to indulge in cloth diapers and for our first year with our oldest, we had no dryer, so I hung many loads of laundry out on the line, often hauling them in before they were dry because it had started raining. I have to admit that, young as I was, rather idealistic environmentally, and still besotted with the novelty of independent domestic life, I could be caught sighing happily over the sight of those diapers flapping in the breeze.
And sometimes I'd think of my maternal grandmother. She had ten children, and although mothers toilet-trained early in those days, she would still occasionally have two in diapers at the same time, and they lived in Manitoba where many months of the year were only good for freezing clothes board-solid on the line. While my grandfather always worked hard to keep the family adequately, even comfortably, housed, their residences were never expansive, and these spaces were often decorated with laundry festooned from drying lines inside the house.
No wonder, then, that when a travelling salesman stopped by one day in the difficult 30s, my grandmother's heart would have beat faster at his description of the oh-so-useful washing machines he was selling. Just think of the hours she could save if the machine would agitate the clothes for her, instead of having to stir them and scrub them with her own tired hands, sometimes rubbing the knuckles raw. Imagine being able to feed them through the wringer to rid them of all the excess moisture, instead of wearing out her own wrists and finger joints wringing them out one by one. . . .
But no, Grandma would almost have snapped at the salesman, pushing down her silly excitement, how could she possibly afford such an item. Did she look as if there was money to spare on such foolishness? She was probably already shutting the door impatiently, getting back to her bread dough or scolding a curious child back to its chore of setting the table, when the clever salesman made a suggestion. What if she could buy the washing machine on credit? That was an easy suggestion for Grandma to resist, but his next one gave her pause: What if she washed clothes for some of the neighbours, earning enough money to pay for the washer herself?
And that, dear readers, is how my Grandma got her first washing machine, and left the washtub behind her for ever.
Perhaps what surprised me most about this story when she told me it many years ago is that when I told her how proud I was of her hard work and initiative, a domestic entrepreneur at a time and place when opportunities were few and when life was a constant struggle, she found my pride hard to credit. All Grandma felt, when she remembered this period, was shame. Doing domestic work for others was an abasement, a betrayal of the class movement she was committed to, the upward trajectory that her husband's hard work and their home ownership was meant to achieve. Caught between her upbringing in a French-Canadian farming family and the dreams encouraged by the 20th-century's carrot-dangling media (in effect decades before Mad Men, really), Grandma's shame stayed with her even into her comfortable old age in a house with her own washer and dryer and freezer and stove and fridge, all well-maintained, all paid for with cash, in advance . . . I could only hug her, a bit sadly, a bit wiser about the role class played in my own family history. I thought of Grandma's story a few weeks ago when we walked through several villages in Portugal's Beiras and noticed these communal washing facilities, decades if not centures old.
These "modcons" include a grooved or textured surface -- ribbed, not "for your pleasure," as certain ads promise, but for cleaning efficiency. Of the two we spotted, each scrubbing surface
was differently configured but with the same obvious purpose.
The water is apparently diverted from the ingenious irrigation/aqueduct system that is ubiquitous through this region. Once we were alert to it, we were constantly aware of culverts and gutters and pipes, often equipped at strategic points with very simple (often just a piece of wood) levers which allowed water be switched from this pathway to that. Here a simple switch would move water to fill up this cistern, and nearby a pail or a bottle could be filled with cool potable water.
While I was quite sure I'd figured out what these facilities were for, I was pleased to have my guess confirmed by this hard-working woman, apparently quite content to be washing her laundry and happy to pose for this photograph. This "laundromat" has more features than the other, with separate tubs and what looks like easier access to clean rinsing water.
And it's covered, which would be a welcome feature on the rainy days when you really need to get that piri-piri sauce out of your husband's best shirt so that he looks decent at the dinner with your visiting cousin tomorrow night . . .
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
29 May 2009 ... Olympic gold cyclist Victoria Pendleton loses her lycra in revealing ... 'Some of the girls I race against are quite masculine and have very ...
lycra cycling | SPIKE
A woman in gold unitard is cycling. ... margin-left: 5px;">lycra cycling |
My good blogging friend, IndigoAlison, commented on an earlier post that she sometimes wishes good children's clothes could be sized up for adults. Bet she'd pass, though, on a rainbow- coloured handknit wool dress -- but look Alison, it's got stripes, you love stripes, right?
Luckily for Alison, I won't be making her a gift version of this anytime soon. This wee dress was made out of yarn left over from this project from the Tara Froseth pattern Little Sister's Dress .
But Nola doesn't care about that. She just loves the duck button.
(By the way, she now has a full repertoire of animal sounds. Her answer to "What does the frog say?" is the most delightful "Bobbit, bobbit," any Nana has ever bragged about, only topped by the whimsical way she meows, delicately, for "What does the cat say?")
Now that I've charmed you with ducks and dresses and granddaughters, might I whine a wee bit. I'm finding it a bit tough to post these days. Partly that's because we've got an amusing wee person and her ever-so-well-raised-by-clearly-superior-parents mother staying with us this week and the temperatures in this third straight week of sunny skies are more conducive to beach and hammock than to word-processing. But it's partly also, my shallow, approval-seeking self admits, due to low numbers reported by my Statcounter. I'm blabbing and blabbing away and people are tiptoeing by, avoiding the boring blather . . . at least, that's what my sensitive, insecure blogging self wonders. Really, I suspect, many of you are enjoying or grappling with the summer's irregular schedule and not getting to your blog-reading. My own Google Reader has been sadly neglected.
But I'm curious to hear from other bloggers: Do you find a dip in the stats through July? Does it bother you? Do you respond by posting less since those words are rather wasted anyway and blog material is not to be squandered?
And if your numbers have soared, I'm not sure if I should ask you to keep that a secret and leave me my illusions, or if I'll beg you to share some tips to keep the summer readers.
For now, though, I'm closing up my Netbook and heading outside. First a good run, but then the choices are walking to the park with Nola or taking her to the beach to look for crabs (since she's arrived, her vocabulary has stretched: crab, beach, boat, barnacle, rock, stone, seaweed, ocean, house, Lily (the dog visiting next door) . . . and on, and on . . . )
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Living amid the bags and bags of people, why they generally accept adversity award love? Why are we still single? Answer these questions is: We are unique, because we all achievement in a being who is in her beauty. If not then, the man is the body, if not the body, is the legs. Something that should be acceptable for us to move advanced and appetite to accomplish them ours.
Philosophers, poets Tuesday raved about the adorableness and activity that comes with it. But now we’re activity to deconstruct it and see how that makes us be with addition who absolutely can be our “soul mate” We will broadcast added cewek spg toge and cewek spg bispak later.
Monday, July 19, 2010
Despite the lack of watering, my garden still looks quite green -- the bamboo helps as do the banks of roses everywhere, but there are other smaller plants that contribute interesting texture as well as verdancy. The hellebores, for example. Isn't this a handsome leaf?!
Back on the ground, this simple daylily stalwartly produces a bloom or two each day, reminding me of a laying chicken in its faithful schedule. The clump is spreading slightly each year, though, and there are more eggs in the daily basket than there were last year, and I hope there will be more next summer again. That's the gardener's way, isn't it, always hoping forward, planning and imagining future gardens while remembering earlier ones?