Tag Archives: life

I’m A Pro… Crastinator

I just realized I have a superpower!  Ordinarily this would be thrilling news; but sadly, my superpower seems to be procrastination:

I usually write my blog drafts on Mondays, but we were in Calgary last week and our 90-minute flight home on Sunday turned into a 24-hour ordeal due to fog.  By the time we finally got home late Monday afternoon I was too tired to write (although I somehow found the energy to work on our upstairs renovation).  I promised myself I’d write my draft first thing Tuesday morning.

But Tuesday morning I slept in until 7:30 AM, and then a tech showed up at 9:15 to work on our security system; so I couldn’t get started until after he left.

Then I got sidetracked by a few more issues with our upstairs renovation.

At last I settled down to write; but my knuckles were dry and cracked from the work I’d done the night before, so I had to go and rub on some hand lotion.

That’s when I realized that my fingernails had grown ridiculously long.  (Okay, for me ‘ridiculously long’ means ‘a couple of millimetres’; but that’s irrelevant.  They were TOO LONG, and desperately needed to be trimmed.)  That used up some more time.

And while I was standing there clipping my nails, I noticed that the soap dispenser had grotty blobs of soap clinging to it.  So I had to clean it.

Then when I cruised by the kitchen counter on my way to my laptop, I got waylaid by the spiced nuts and caramel popcorn and homemade Bits & Bites left over from Christmas.

Many handfuls minutes later I managed to tear myself away from the caloric free-for-all and plop into my chair… only to discover that it was noon; and therefore time for lunch.  Dang.

After lunch I had to put a roast in the slow cooker so it would be ready for supper.

Finally at one-thirty I made it to my chair and started typing, mainly because my anxiety over the deadline had finally exceeded my urge to delay.

But if it had been a task I truly wanted to avoid, I could have procrastinated much longer.  I have a whole arsenal of excuses excellent reasons:

  • Planning: One shouldn’t dive into action without adequate planning, right?  (If you’re about to remind me of my usual jump-in-with-both feet tendencies… just… shhhh.)
  • Re-planning: Things change (especially if I’ve procrastinated long enough) so I have to plan all over again.  (See also ‘re-re-planning’ and ‘re-re-re-planning’.)
  • Cleaning house: That’s not procrastinating; that’s protecting our health.
  • Reading: I’m topping up my well of creativity.
  • Baking: Homemade treats are much healthier than bought ones.  These cookies might save our lives!
  • Research: To the untrained observer it might look as though I’m scrolling LOLCats, but I’m actually doing in-depth research into current memes.  For my books.  Yeah, that’s it.
  • Social media: That’s ‘advertising and promotion’.

Now that I’ve discovered my superpower, I’m working on my superhero name.  WaitWoman?  DelayDame?  SuperStaller?  One thing’s for sure:  My superhero suit won’t include a fuchsia cape.

But maybe I’d better do some planning and research before I make a final decision.

And I just noticed some dust that needs to be cleaned up.

And I’m out of cookies.

Oh, look!  LOLCats…

What’s your superpower?

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Paint, Lies, and False Optimism

We’re close.  We’re sooooo close…

You may think that first sentence should end with “…to insanity” but in truth, our sanity fled a long time ago.

No; we’re close to finally finishing our second floor renovation… if by ‘close’ you read “we only have to paint three walls and half the floor, install the shower doors, buy four sets of bifold doors and install them, hang a bathroom door, build storage shelves and a twenty-four-foot bookcase, and trim out six doors, four windows, and two skylights”.

Honestly, we’re almost done!  …Or we’re delusional.  It’s one of those D-words; but ‘delusional’ is so harsh.  I prefer ‘optimistic’.

You may recall that I confessed my antipathy to painting back in May when I ended up painting our exterior trim.  Shortly thereafter, we tried to hire a painter to do our interior work.

The original painter who did our addition was the messiest painter I’ve ever seen.  By the time he was finished there was paint everywhere, all over our new flooring and even on the door handles; and he seemed to think that was perfectly okay.  We didn’t call him back.

After a lengthy search we found a second painter who thought he could fit us in.  He showed up, gave us an astronomical quote, and then vanished after we asked when he could start.

So we found a third.  He showed up, gave us a reasonable quote, and said he could start the following week… and then vanished.  (I heard a rumour that he was fleeing three ex-wives and a soon-to-be-ex fourth.)

So we tracked down the second painter again.  We waited a month until he finally showed up and started painting… and then he had a tantrum and walked off the job after doing only two rooms (badly).

By then I was out of time and patience, so I did it myself (despite the fact that I REALLY HATE PAINTING).  It was a slow process, but it looked surprisingly good when I was finished.

So for the second floor, we didn’t even bother trying to hire somebody.  “I’ll do it,” I said to Hubby.  “Even though I REALLY HATE PAINTING.”

“Should we do the floor last?” he asked.  “Just in case you drip?”

“I never drip,” I said proudly.  “I’m a very tidy painter.”

Well.

I guess I can’t blame our ex-painters for being flaky, because apparently there’s something in latex paint that turns people into liars and/or nutjobs and/or destroys their hand-eye coordination.

Last summer I painted without a dropcloth and never had a problem; but now?  Good Lord.  I have paint on the floor, the ladders, my clothes, and every part of my body that isn’t covered by clothes, including my hair.  When I’m finally finished upstairs, I’m going to frame my jeans and market them as a modern art piece.  (On the upside, the walls and ceiling are pristine; and thanks to Hubby’s foresight we’re painting the floor last.)

But slow?  I’m positively glacial.  With emphasis on ‘positively’; as in ‘falsely optimistic’.  Before I started, I thought, “Ah, I’ll be done in a few days.”  I’ve been painting six hours a day for two weeks and I’m still not done.

But I’m close.

I’m sooooo close…

*cuddles into straitjacket and rocks back and forth, humming*

Did I mention I REALLY HATE PAINTING?

To be fair, that mess isn’t all from mistakes – I also clean the end of my small roller on my pants because it’s easier than finding a rag. But still…

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Do I Smell A New Year?

I originally thought I might start off 2018 with a look at last year’s highlights, and maybe throw in a few New Year’s resolutions just to round things out.  But I don’t bother with resolutions, and even if I did they’d be pretty much the same as everybody else’s:  “Stop pigging out on Christmas goodies”; “Find new hiding places for the dead bodies of errant contractors”… y’know, the usual.  And the top stories of 2017 were mostly depressing.

So instead of reviewing the questionable activities of our current world leaders, I’d rather look at what it might be like if we were governed by the benevolent despots we all know and love:  our pets.

If cats ruled the world… we’d be slaves:

  • Naps are mandatory, with a minimum total naptime of 12 hours per day. Disturbing a napping cat is an offense punishable by a life sentence on litter-box duty with no chance of parole.
  • Vegetables and condiments are banned. All meals shall consist of meat and dairy only, with an occasional live mouse just to keep things interesting.
  • All homes must have at least one window that admits direct sunlight; and a soft piece of furniture must be kept in the sunbeam for the sole use of the cat.
  • Humans must take shifts creating a lap for the cat and providing petting services. (Unless the cat decides, in its sole discretion and without prior warning, that it doesn’t want to be petted anymore.  Petting an unwilling cat is an offense punishable on the spot by flaying with claws.)
  • Fur is never to be removed from the cat’s favourite sleeping place. It should be allowed to build up year after year into a felted nest the exact size and shape of the cat.
  • Litter boxes must be cleaned within ten seconds of use.
  • Humans should be spayed or neutered. Not because there’s any health benefit to the humans; just for revenge.
  • Everything is a scratching post.

If dogs ruled the world… we’d be pets:

  • Butt or crotch sniffing is the only acceptable method of greeting. Humans spread too many diseases with handshakes.
  • To ensure optimum health, humans should be taken for long walks at least three times a day.
  • Human walkers must stop frequently to observe their surroundings. This will be strictly enforced by their canine supervisors.
  • Furniture is for the sole use of the dog. Humans are allowed on the furniture only if they provide belly rubs.
  • Stinky substances must be rolled in with abandon. If humans don’t like the smell, they can sleep in the shed.
  • Humans are not allowed to go anywhere unless accompanied by the dog.
  • All meals for dogs shall be at least 50% larger than necessary. It is perfectly acceptable to eat one’s own vomit; and if humans don’t like it they can just look the other way.
  • Everything is a chew toy.

Our household is currently despot pet-free but I’m considering adopting human versions of at least some of their laws; particularly the ones regarding naps, sunbeams, and walks.  Those are New Year’s resolutions I can get behind.

But speaking of behind… I think I’ll skip the butt sniffing.  That might be a teensy bit awkward on pub nights.

Happy New Year, everyone – wishing you all the best in 2018!

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Unpredictably Predictive

This week I was delighted to discover that computers are now capable of writing stories for us using predictive text. I had already suspected as much, since these days my iPhone can pretty much compose text messages all by itself. If I type “Are…”, it will automatically fill in “…you still coming today?”

This is an unavoidable result of dealing with contractors who are genetically incapable of showing up as promised; and it also proves that my iPhone is at least as smart as they are.

Um… no, I’m not bitter; why do you ask?

Anyhow, back to predictive-text stories: Botnik Studios fed all seven volumes of Harry Potter to their computer, and then turned it loose to write the next great Harry Potter saga.

Amazingly, the computer did create a story that has taken the internet by storm. Not because it’s so good, but because it’s so hilariously bad. Check out “Harry Potter and the Portrait of What Looked Like a Large Pile of Ash”.

Better still, talented artist Megan Nicole Dong couldn’t resist the challenge of illustrating the particularly bizarre bits.

Inspired, I turned to my iPhone. Surely it had the world’s next bestseller locked away in its little electronic brain!

Here is its magnum opus:

I don’t know what to tell you about the other day but we’re not going to get any more time. Officially the best thing to do is to get a new job. Jobless claims are still coming up in a couple of months but I haven’t been able to make any changes to the company.

I forgot to ask you about the foundation of your job and how to make it work. The next time we have to make sure you get the house. The beams are not going to make it any better than the last time I had a chance to look at it and I haven’t done anything for the last week. I want to see what we can do to get the job done.

I admit I was disappointed in its painfully dry prose; but at least the whole composition was more coherent than a lot of business memos I’ve seen.

Moving on from ‘predictive’ to ‘predictable’… Christmas holidays are here again!

And that means I’m going to skip next week’s blog post so I have time to remove a few pounds of dust from Every. Single. Surface. In the house.  Including the Christmas tree, all the Christmas decorations, and the (formerly nicely) wrapped gifts, because the contractors (who were supposed to finish a month ago) exploded Dustpocalypse in our house the day before our houseguests were due to arriveGRRR!!!

*breathes deeply through a dust mask for a few minutes*

Okay, I’m all better now.  Ish.

I’ll also be taking time to prepare some festive calorie-laden goodies for my guests.  With any luck I’ll be able to keep the dusting separate from the cooking; but if not, at least I’ll be serving high fibre (if oddly-flavoured) meals.

Merry Christmas to those who observe it; and whatever your December traditions may be, I wish you joy, comfort, peace, and prosperity.

‘See’ you on January 3, 2018!

 

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Spuds And, Um… ‘Spunts’

So there we were, stumbling across frozen ground in the darkness carrying a powerful flashlight and a digging fork… and Hubby turns to me and says, “This is going to be a blog post, isn’t it?”

Yes; yes it is.

Why were we apparently robbing graves in the dark of night, you ask?  Well, I’m pretty sure it’s my dad’s fault.

He loved potatoes, and we had them for nearly every meal.  Every now and then my mom would sneak in a bit of rice or pasta; but as my dad tactfully explained, “That was okay, but I wouldn’t want it every year.”  I love potatoes, too, and most of our meals include the humble spud.

But the other night Hubby came into the kitchen where I was making gravy and announced, “You know we’re out of potatoes, right?”

My jaw dropped in horror.  What?

WHAAAT?!?

We had roast beef.  With gravy.  And NO POTATOES?  I turned off the heat under the gravy pot and marched toward the door.

“Please tell me we’re not going out to the garden,” he said.

“Of course we are.  We have gravy.  We need potatoes.”

“It’s pitch dark, and the ground is starting to freeze.”

“I don’t care.  We need potatoes.”

Which led to the aforementioned jacklighting of potatoes.  As it turned out, it was remarkably similar to grave robbing since some of the hills were a little on the rotten side; but we did end up with enough good potatoes to soak up our gravy.  Whew.  Crisis averted.

Later in the week I was waiting my turn in the insurance office, playing Scrabble on my phone to pass the time.  It’s a point of pride for me to win – in all the time I’ve had it, the app has only beaten me once.

I was down to three tiles, so I knew the game was almost over.  I hadn’t seen the Q (worth 10 points) yet, which meant the app had it.  By then there was no way the app could win – I was already beating it by nearly a hundred points.  But I really wanted to stick it with that Q.

I had three letters left, and there was only one place where I could unload them all at once.

But I hesitated.  The available letter on the board was C.

And I had U, N, and T.

I’ve already mentioned my profoundly Canadian habit of never using foul language in public even though I’m actually a complete potty-mouth.

I was in public.  And it was a really rude word.

It wasn’t as though I was going to stand up and yell it out at the top of my lungs, but still.  My Canadian conditioning runs deep.

I stared at the board.

Sneaked a surreptitious glance around the waiting room to make sure nobody could see my screen.

Then I snickered inwardly and unloaded the dirty word that ended the game.  But I felt as though I should apologize to the little old lady beside me, just in case she’d seen it.

…But then again, if she was as Canadian as I was, theoretically her private vocabulary was just as colourful as mine.

Any dubious victories in your world this week?

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Well, I’ll Be Spatchcocked!

It’s odd how I can go for weeks or months without running across anything particularly funny on the internet, and then suddenly I get inundated by snicker-inducing goodies:

I was browsing Amazon for Christmas gift ideas, and I didn’t realize some vendors have such a tenuous grasp on reality (and good taste).  Check out this “Lovely silhouette art for baby nursery”:

Awww… how adorable. Not.

Um, guys… it’s a panda waving handguns.  In what world is this ‘lovely’ or in any way appropriate for a baby nursery? Although if this is how parents are decorating their nurseries these days, it does explain a few things.

So I abandoned the Amazon vendors to their delusions and went to catch up on my blog reading instead.  And within minutes I ran across the word ‘spatchcock’.

If (like me) this is the first time you’ve encountered that word, I know what you’re thinking.  I can practically see your thought-bubble from here.

You’re thinking, “There goes Diane down another dodgy research rabbit-hole that leads to a kinky sex website.”

I’d act all indignant about that; but there’s not much point since we all know it’s happened before and it’ll probably happen again.  But I swear, this time I wasn’t reading anything dodgy at all – it was a cooking blog.

There was no definition or explanation; only a note that you could “spatchcock the chicken” if you wanted.

Well.

I’ve lived for over five decades, and I’m pretty sure I’ve never wanted to do anything that sounded like that to a chicken.  Or to any living thing, for that matter (with the possible exception of a couple of guys I’ve known).

I did a Google search for ‘spatchcock’, braced for who-knew-what perversion.  And I found it immediately:  Jamie Oliver spatchcocking a chicken.

I’d love to say that it was as lewd as it sounds; but sadly, it only means ‘to butterfly’ – to remove the chicken’s spine so the carcass can be flattened for cooking.  I’m not sure why they didn’t just say that in the first place, but it’s nice to know there are cooks out there who share my childish appreciation for salacious-sounding words.

Apparently the internet was on a roll, because after serving up panda pranks and chicken chuckles, it rounded out the amusing animals with a plastered possum that broke into a liquor store and went on a bender, a scofflaw squirrel that got charged with criminal mischief and was released on bail, and some hostile hagfish that slimed a car so badly it looked like a remake of a Ghostbusters movie.

But ‘spatchcock’ is my most prized discovery of the week.  I don’t find words that are new to me very often, and I consider it a serious lapse of my professional puerility that I’d never heard of a word with such great comic potential.

’Cause now I’m imagining a new verbal expression of shock:  “Well, spatchcock my ass and call me a chicken!”

Gotta work that into a book somehow…

P.S. Just a bonus to this week’s bounty of beasts:  Yesterday I saw two women walking across the Canadian Tire parking lot in Parksville.  One was walking a large dog on a leash.  The other also held a leash… attached to a goat.  They were going for a walk.  To Canadian Tire, apparently.  Now I have yet another reason to laugh uncontrollably at the word GOAT!

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Do Ya Feel Lucky, Punk?

It’s been an interesting week… if by ‘interesting’ you mean ‘a blood-pressure-spiking, rant-inducing tragicomedy of ridiculousness’.

Or in other words:  ‘Same-old, same-old’.

We started the process for our second floor renovation in early August, reasoning that two and a half months was lots of time to get a permit, frame a storage closet and a bathroom, and insulate before the weather turned cold.  I sealed my doom by signing up for a six-week watercolour course to begin in mid-October, because the construction would be done by then, right?

Ha.  I reckoned without the glacial pace of structural engineers and bureaucracy.

Last week when we were rushing around getting ready for the framing inspection (we did the framing ourselves), I finally lost my grip… on everything from my paintbrush to my temper.

In our last watercolour class I had foolishly bravely decided to paint along with the instructor.  I didn’t expect great results; but what the heck, if you don’t try, you’ll never know, right?

I actually did okay for a while.  I laid in washes for sky and water, and underpainted my trees… and then my coordination short-circuited and my paintbrush (loaded with brown pigment) flipped out of my hand and bounced… not once; but twice… onto my painting.

Two gigantic dark-brown turds splotched down in the middle of my misty landscape.

I burst into uproarious laughter.

Taking their cue from my continuing chuckles, the rest of the class converged to giggle and cheer me on while I tried to convert my turds into dock pilings jutting out of the water.

I failed, but at least we all had a good laugh.

In between construction and turd-painting I’ve also been hard at work on Book 13, and apparently I need new reading glasses.  For a few days a muscle under my right eye twitched wildly, making me look like a female version of Dirty Harry on speed.

That turned out to be fitting, because when I discovered water puddling on our floor from a leaky door, I completely lost my shit and fired off… *ahem* …a strongly-worded missive1 to our home-builder, who has been ignoring my deficiency reports since May.  I doubt if it did any good, but at least it relieved my feelings.

After that banner week, I couldn’t help snickering in anticipation of comedic disaster when I looked into my kitchen junk drawer.  It contains everything from screwdrivers to matches to notepads… and also a tube of lip balm, a black Sharpie marker, and a Tide pen all in the same convenient compartment.

Now, what could possibly go wrong?

So if you hear about a woman who accidentally poisoned herself by using a Tide pen instead of lip balm, you’ll know who it was.  Or who knows?  I might unwittingly use the Sharpie to enhance my Dirty Harry image with a permanent black moustache.

So whenever I make a blind grab for that tube of lip balm, I have to ask myself:  “Do ya feel lucky, punk?  Well… do ya?”

*

1 Even though I really wanted to fill that email with enough profanity to make their eyes bleed, I didn’t use any swearwords at all.  Aren’t you proud of me?

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Hello, Garlic, My Old Friend

There’s pretty good evidence to suggest that Hubby is a vampire:  He’s basically nocturnal, and garlic repels him with the force of a speeding Mack truck.

Unfortunately, I love garlic.

I try not to inflict it on him often, but every now and then I get a restaurant meal that’s redolent with my favourite allium.  This week was one of those times:  I knew as soon as I took my first mouthful that it was going to be a sinus-burner.  But at that point it was too late to stop, so I chowed down and enjoyed every bite.

Later, I was marinating in my own fumes when a little tune popped unbidden into my brain:  The first line of “The Sound of Silence” by Paul Simon.  Only instead of his lyrics my brain supplied, “Hello, garlic, my old friend”.

And just like that, a blog post is born.

I give you my latest masterpiece:  “It Pounds The Sinus”, sung to the tune of “The Sound of Silence”.  Look out, Weird Al Yankovic; I may be even weirder than you.

Here’s the instrumental version* so you can follow along with the tune:
*The meter is a bit off because the guitar player didn’t exactly match S&G’s original version, but you get the gist.

It Pounds The Sinus
(Sung to the tune of “The Sound of Silence” by Paul Simon)

Hello garlic, my old friend
I’ve gone and gobbled you again
Around my tastebuds softly creeping
From my pores nastily seeping
And the odour that was planted in my veins
Still remains
The stench confounds the sinus

In all my reek I walked alone
Narrow streets of cobblestone
‘Neath the halo of a streetlamp
I was accosted by a deadly vamp
Though his fangs were lit by the flash of a neon light
He couldn’t fight
The stench that pounds the sinus

And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people maybe more
People gawking without speaking
People fleeing after sniffing
People hiking on, who only turned and glared
After I aired
The stench that pounds the sinus

“Fools,” said I
“You do not know, garlic eaters like me blow
Vile miasma that can leach through
Breath mints, Febreze, and full-strength bleach, too”
And my breath like violent raindrops fell
A deathblow
To the suff’ring sinus

And all the people were afraid
Of the horrid stink I’d made
And a sign flashed out its warning
In the words that it was forming
And the sign said
“Bad breath is a problem that a normal girl forestalls
With strong menthols
But garlic still dumbfounds the sinus”

Any other garlic-lovers out there?

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Contractor’s Contractions

If you’ve ever tried to renovate during an insane housing boom, you know exactly what we’ve been going through for the past year.  But if you’re blissfully unfamiliar with that situation, I’m here to tell you that contractors use a special language full of shorthand and contractions; and after a year of tearing my hair out I’ve finally learned to interpret the local dialect.

Here are some common phrases and their translations:

“I’ll be your project manager and take care of everything.”:  “I’ll collect $1500 per month from you and ignore your job entirely unless you call and nag me every day.  If I do actually get involved, it will be to obstruct progress by telling all the trades that I’m the sole point of contact and then dropping off the face of the earth.”

“You can have anything you want…”:  “…as long as it’s one of our three substandard stock items.”

“We can have that in for you by Friday…”:  “…two months from now.”

“Yep, we can do that no problem.”:  “We’ve been promising that we can do it for the past three months; but now that it’s time for us to actually show up and do the work, we can’t do it after all.  You’ll have to find somebody else and sit on their waiting list for another three months.”

“That’s impossible.”:  “That’s not the cheap-ass way we want to do it.”

“This is prepped all wrong.  Whoever did it was an idiot*.”:  “I’m going to charge you extra.”
*Any trade not currently on site will be blamed for shoddy workmanship regardless of the actual quality of the work.

“I’ll drop by and do an estimate and get right back to you…”:  “…when hell freezes over.”

“I’ll be there Tuesday at nine AM…”:  “…or maybe noon.  Or maybe sometime Wednesday.  Or I might not come at all; but the one thing you can count on is that I won’t call to tell you.”

“I’ve just got a couple of days left on my current job and then you’re next in line…”:  “…after I take the money from my last job and go on a three-week bender, and then do ‘a quick job for a friend’ that takes another two months.  But right after that, you’re next… ish.”

“I have to leave for another job, but don’t worry; you can get anybody to finish these last couple of details for you.”:  “I’ve made a fundamental mistake in my work and I can’t finish unless I tear it out and redo it.  And that ain’t happenin’, so sayonara, suckahs!”

“I’ll charge hourly.”:  “I’ll hide in my truck talking on my cell phone for hours at a time and hope you won’t notice when I bill you for it.”

“I know that’s what the building code requires, but as long as you don’t get a permit or an inspection we can do it my way for a lot cheaper.”:  This means exactly what you think it means:  RUN AWAY!

Unfortunately, being able to translate these phrases accomplishes nothing except to adjust my expectations far below what I would normally consider sub-par.  And even my adjusted expectations are turning out to be wildly optimistic.

So if you’re looking for me, I’ll be the bald chick in the corner muttering profanities to empty air and yanking on my last two remaining hairs.

But at least I speak the language now.

*

P.S.  I learned these phrases the hard way this year but, to be fair, we’ve also had some excellent tradesmen who were professional and reliable.  But after two separate miscreants bailed on us this week after promising us the world for months, I was just a leetle cranky.  I’m all better now.  Ish…

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The Four-Letter S-Word

The four-letter S-word:  Snow.  Yep, that’s an expletive around here.

Growing up on the Canadian prairies, snow and bitter winter cold were simple facts of life.  We dressed appropriately and respected the danger; but unless the temperature sank to -40 we carried on.

When I was in my twenties I moved to Calgary, Alberta, and I thought I’d died and gone to heaven.  There was still cold winter weather, but it was regularly punctuated with chinook thaws where the temperature rose above freezing.

But…

Years ago my dad and step-mom used to spend the winter in Victoria, BC.  I visited them frequently, and it never snowed.

Later, Hubby and I came to central Vancouver Island once or twice a year for ten years or so.  We visited in all the “winter” months, and it never snowed.  (Okay, once we saw about an inch, but it melted the next day.)

So after thirty years in Calgary we decided to move to Vancouver Island where ‘it never snows’.

Yeah, right.  We got suckered.

Last winter was the coldest and snowiest on record.  We had about two feet of snow on our yard, and it stayed for a couple of months.

But, hey, that was an anomaly, right?

*snort*

Guess what happened last week?

Yep, about ten inches of sh-… I mean, snow.

Vancouver Island doesn’t deal well with snow, and often the power goes out when the weather is bad.

Fortunately, we knew this.  We’ve wired our house so we can switch over to generator power if necessary.  And it was necessary:  we lost power four times, for several hours each time.

When I was a teenager, our prairie farm was hit by a three-day-long blizzard.  The power went off the first day and was finally restored five days later.  The roads were impassable.  If we hadn’t been prepared, everything in our house would have frozen, including us.

So last week when the snow came down and the lights went out, my brain flipped into DEFCON 1:  “AWOOGA!  AWOOGA!  EXTREME HAZARD!  ALL HANDS ON DECK!”

I scurried around lighting candles, dragging out my big goose down duvet, and helping Hubby get the generator deployed; all the while knowing that WE WILL DIE IF THE GENERATOR QUITS!  What if we run out of gas?  We don’t have our wood-burning backup furnace installed yet, OMIGOD WE’RE GONNA DIE!

Um, no.

The temperature was barely below freezing.  There was no wind.  And even if the roads had been impassable and we had no heat source at all, our neighbours’ place is less than a quarter-mile away.  If we had actually managed to die, it would have been from sheer stupidity.

So maybe eventually I’ll get over my knee-jerk panic over winter power outages; but that sh-… um, snow… is still sticking around.  And it’s barely November.

We’ve been had.

*

P.S.  To be considered a true Islander I have to complain about the snow, but I’m secretly enjoying the pretty white sparkles.  This is the best of both worlds:  I can enjoy the snowscape in my yard, and if I need a break I can drive ten minutes to the coast where the grass is (usually) green and the ocean waves keep rolling in.  Paradise!  🙂

P.P.S Just because I needed a bit more stress in my life, my web host has gone belly-up, taking all my websites and email addresses with it.  If you’ve tried to email me, I apologize – your email has probably vanished into cyberspace.  I hope to be back in action with a new host by tomorrow.  Watch this space for updates…

Update:  I think (hope) everything’s working again… *fingers crossed*

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