Archive for May, 2006


Today is the first sunny day we’ve had for what feels like weeks, though it may only have been one week.  Still, it was nice to get outside and sit on the deck while having coffee this morning and watch the blue jays take the peanuts that were put out.  Gad, I love the sun (rain and grey skies is so depressing and just makes me want to sleep.)  And it’s a hopeful start to the May 2-4 weekend.  Hope you’re having a great time, Katt.


Being stuck in the house has made sure I got lots of work done.  I’m finally catching up on emails, took flowers to my Mom’s grave and took flowers to and visited Gran.  I also finally finished sanding Gramp’s desk and stained it.  But I know that’s all boring, boring, boring stuff.  Tuesday we went to Cambridge and stayed overnight with Terri and Steve or Tori and Stavros as Dave calls them.  We had to go for some business to do with immigration and Dave’s getting permanent residence here, but I’ll explain that another time.


For now, hope you’re all having a great holiday weekend, although I think that’s just a Canadian thing.  For my American friends and those in England and Australia (Hi Ines!) I hope you’re just enjoying the weekend and that your weather is as nice as ours is proving to be this weekend.  Knock on wood it stays that way.




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I spent the weekend on a paper chase going through every file and box of papers in this house in search of certain things needed for immigration and stuff.  Lord almighty!  I am not the most organized person at the best of times, but after the move to Canada, living out of boxes for two months, then moving here, my paperwork is absolute chaos. 


I’ve set out three times to try to organize files and paperwork and each time other things intervene; tax stuff, revisions, house stuff, life in general.  I suspect it will take a week straight of doing nothing but filing and so on to get the papers in order and I simply don’t have one day free let alone a week.  So for now it shall stay as it is, some stuff in boxes, some filed, some just thrown willy nilly in unlabeled files.  And no doubt all if it more confused and lost than before my paper chase. 


The good news is I did sort of find what we needed, or mostly.  There was one thing I didn’t, but am hoping another document will do in its place.


Anyway, that was my exciting weekend.  A paper chase and waiting on the Roger’s technician who came by Sunday to switch our phone to Roger’s.  He was to be here Sunday between 2 and 5 which kind of put a crimp in our doing anything Sunday.  He showed up at three or four minutes before 5 pm and finished after 6:30, closer to seven Dave thinks.  I found most of the papers I needed just before that and left Dave to wait for the Rogers guy while I ran to the office supply store to photocopy the paperwork, then came home and moped about, wracking my mind to try to sort out where the last bit of info was and wondering why I was so blue.  I blamed it on the weather, all this rain and so on.  But today I sorted out the real source of my present down mood.    


It is May.


Yes, that’s pretty much the crux of it.  May is always a mopey month for me.  May holds mother’s day, May holds my mother’s birthday, and May holds the anniversary of my mother’s death.  Nothing like stuffing everything into one month is there?  It’s good in a way, because then I get all the moping over with in one month. 


Now here’s the funny thing.  Mother’s day went past me this year without note.  I didn’t even KNOW it was mother’s day.   Before I moved to England, Mother’s day would have been marked with a visit to mom’s grave with flowers then I would have taken a card and flowers or something to her mother, my Gran, who kind of stepped in as Mom when Mom died.  After the move to England, visiting the grave and then Gran was out, but I would at least call Gran and wish her a Happy Mother’s day. 


This year, my first year back in the country, I did NEITHER, not even a phone call!!  I didn’t even KNOW it was mother’s day.  Actually, I must have KNOWN.  On Saturday, Owen, our sweet paperboy, brought a homemade card with our newspaper.  The card had a teapot crafted on it with a Lipton’s teabag in it and wished me a Happy Mother’s day.  I remember opening it and a lot of different memories and thoughts racing through me along with confusing emotions.  I thought of my mother, and Melanie and Bryan, and then I quickly put the card back in its envelope, buried it under a bunch of paperwork on the table and turned my attention back to the paper chase and being mopey and didn’t think of it or Mother’s Day again until my Gran called today.


What an odd conversation that was.  Gran asking how I was because they hadn’t heard tell of me for a while.  I blinked in confusion because we’d had tea with Gran and Aunt Sue last weekend so it hadn’t really been a while.  Before moving to England, I tried to see Gran once a week without fail, however, I haven’t managed to get back to that yet since the move, there is always so much to do just now.  I explained about my paper chase and waiting for the Rogers man, and Gran said Oh, that was all right, they’d just expected to see me yesterday and had been a little concerned when I hadn’t shown up.  Jackie and John had gone and Jim and….


Blinking in confusion as Gran rattled off about the family gathering, I tried to sort out what I’d missed.  I know my cousin, Jen’s, birthday is this week and thought they must have had a get together to celebrate that and somehow I must have missed the email about it that would have gone out to the family, but when I interrupted her to ask if that was what it had been, she said no and she seemed to realize I was drawing a blank on this and said, “It was Mother’s day.  I thought you might stop in after going by your Mother’s grave.”


“Mother’s day,” I echoed and sat down.  I was pole-axed that I had missed the whole day and that it had managed to pass without my taking note.  Although, in truth, I guess it didn’t.  I may have mentally blocked it, but not emotionally.  I now understood why I’d been so blue and mopey all day Sunday.  I always am on Mother’s day, and for the better part of May too.  At least I now understood my mood which I’d been putting down to the weather.


Anyway, I apologized to Gran for missing it and shall have to make up for it.  I guess I’ll take flowers to Mom’s grave on her birthday, Friday, and visit Gran afterward.  I’m still rushing around today, then tomorrow and Wednesday Dave and I have some traveling to do for this immigration stuff.  So I may as well leave it to Friday.  I can take Mom a big bunch of flowers then to cover both occasions.


I hope everyone else had a good weekend, and I hope you spent Sunday with your mothers or at least gave them a call if you weren’t able to visit.  Enjoy them while you have them to enjoy.   You’ll miss them when they’re gone, especially on those special occasions.  For me, I wished she’d met Dave, she would have loved him.  I wish she’d lived to see me published and hit the NYT, I wished she’d been at our wedding, and wish she could see this house, I think she’d have loved it too.  I’ve been missing her a lot this year, so maybe it’s fitting that I missed Mother’s day.

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The weekend

Saturday was chore day.  Groceries, plant buying, some potting and lots of cleaning.  We were invited out to a dinner, dance and silent auction by our neighbors Mike and Karen, and I thought we would be going, but that was before I recalled Dave was imitating Popeye.  The swelling in the side of his face from his abscess had gone down some and his lips were no longer numb, but it was definitely still there and I think the double dose of antibiotics and the poisons dissipating through his system were working together to wear on him.  He just wasn’t feeling much up to anything.


Sunday, was lovely and lazy.  Dave’s swelling was almost completely gone and he was feeling much better.  He mowed the lawn and watered the garden and I potted plants, but we didn’t do much other than that.  We had company. 


Gran and Aunt Sue came to tea (tea, fruit torte, nutbuster cake and cherry tarts.  I bought a half a fruit torte and half a nutbuster cake for the occasion.  Gran and Aunt Sue brought the cherry tarts).  It was lovely.  We always have a nice visit with Gran and Aunt Sue.  They looked over the garden which, much to my dismay, chose the last two days to decide to start wilting.  The earlier tulips are starting to lose their pedals you see and despite my dismayed explanations to the flora of our garden that Gran and Aunt Sue were coming and despite my begging said flora very nicely to please last just until after the weekend, the plants continued losing their bloom.  Ah well.  They still looked mostly lovely. 


After Gran and Aunt Sue left – (Aunt Sue you forgot your comforter.  I’ll bring it around on one of my trips to town) I cleaned up and stuff and settled down with a book to wait for our next guests.  Well family, guests sounds so not related.  Anyway, next came Jackie and Rachel.  Rachel hadn’t seen the house yet so Jackie and she came to a late tea (only this time we had coffee with the cakes.)  I gave Rachel the tour, both of us even climbing the ladder and crawling up into the attic which is really cool.  We want to insulate it, and turn it into rooms some day.  We shall see.  Anyway, she and I managed the journey up and down without breaking our necks, then we all settled down to our coffee and again had a lovely visit.   I do have lovely family, you know. 


That was our weekend.  Today I get to take Dave to the hospital about his tooth problem.  Poor baby has to have some removed.  At least it won’t abscess again.  It scared the heck out of me when he came downstairs on Friday with what looked like a golf ball in his mouth.  Sheesh.  Anyway, I should get off here and see about getting some work done before we have to leave.  Hope you’re all having a great day.





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I’ll be sure to take pics Cher.  Unfortunately, I didn’t take any pre stripping shots, but will take pics of it before and after staining.  Or, at least, I’ll try to remember.


I avoided the computer again today until now.  I feel bad about it, I have a ton of emails that need answering, but I’m just so sick of work at the moment.  I didn’t work on the desk today either.  You won’t believe what I did.  Yesterday Jay suggested I get Dave out of the garden.  I’m afraid instead of doing that, I actually joined him.  Ah me.  


We didn’t start until after lunch.  I spent the morning at the passport office trying to get that straightened out.  Honestly, it does seem a pain to get married in some ways, at least for the female.  This name change business is bothersome. 


I brought lunch home and then we trundled out to the yard.  I originally thought

I would be working on the desk today, but Dave asked me to help him with the yard so I did.  Dave is pretty much done the back garden other than the back corner which he needs rocks for.  Today he worked on the front yard so I dragged the rake, a trowel, a garbage bag, the weed whacker and the border cutter thing (a shovel sort of thing but it’s a half moon and flat, not curved) off to the side yard and set to work.  It was surprisingly satisfying.  We worked until nearly 7 o’clock tonight, stopping only once and briefly to chat with yet another neighbor (Martha) who came by to introduce herself.   We have great neighbors.


Anyway, if you can believe it, after all that time working, I didn’t get the side yard done.  This yard is actually huge.  It doesn’t seem that big with the house shadowing it, but geeeees, it really is.  Anyway, what I did get done looks great and now I’m an exhausted, sunburned, aching mess.  And my stomach muscles hurt the most.  It was all that bending and reaching and pulling.  MAN!  If I’d known garden work was this good for your stomach, I’d have insisted Dave wait until I was done work and could help him do the whole yard.  By the time it was done, I’d have the female equivalent of a washboard stomach. 


Oh well, live and learn.


So, that was my day.  Don’t we writers lead exciting lives? LOL.  Maybe not, but it was pleasant and satisfying.  Now I suppose I should go do some emails. 



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Sooooooo.  Hello.  Well, it’s been busy, busy, busy but I am finally out from under…For the moment anyway.  I finished and sent out the last of the three corrections early last week.  Why have I not been around since then, you ask?  Well, you see, as I rushed around prepping the envelope and copying the story to cd to send off, the doorbell rang.  I hurried to the door to find the DHL man there.  I signed for the package, closed the door and opened the envelope to find the proofs for the first book I’d sent corrections in for.  They had to be done right away and the proofs returned.


AIYEEEEE!!!  Talk about shoulders drooping with disappointment.


Ah well.  I went through them and shipped them out Friday along with several other things that needed to go out.  I then sat down to consider what to do next.  Blog?  The gazillion emails, both business and personal?  Website update?  What?  Then I decided I deserved a damned weekend off.  It’s been nothing but work, work, work the last while and I really felt I needed some me time AWAY from the computer. 


So, for what was left of the Friday, I painted the one non-wood brick wall in the sun room, then got up early Saturday for the vampire from the insurance agency (she was quite nice, but I hate giving blood), then Dave and I hit several garage sales before stopping for a late lunch.  After that I finished off the sunroom and cleaned it up while Dave continued on in the garden.  When dinner time arrived, Dave made chicken and salad which we enjoyed inside before going outside to enjoy a fire and wine. 


Sunday I was up early again and headed right out to the garage to start stripping the drop down desk my grandfather made when I was a child.  Around noon I took a break and Dave and I headed out to the local plant nursery to get more plants for the garden, then we went back home to continue working, Dave on the garden and I on the desk.


Today it was back to business and I headed into the city to go to the accountant’s, then the bank, one of the government offices and finally the storage unit.  Yes, I know.  I said I was done emptying out the storage unit and somehow thought I was until the weather turned cool again and Dave made some comment about not needing the air conditioning for a while and I smiled and nodded and wondered what we’d done with the air conditioner, then realized it was still in the storage unit.  Along with 10 boxes of stories (the boxes of printed or original manuscripts of the different versions of the stories I’ve written and edited and rewritten and so on) and the large posters of several of my book covers as well as a book shelf.  I honestly have no idea how I convinced myself I was done with the storage unit.  I think I was just so exhausted that I confused the “done with the boxes of research books, and the ones of pens and staples and other office supplies” with done, done.  Ah well.  I think I needed the two days off.


Anyway, Dave and I had made a trip out to the storage unit last week and got the heavy stuff and there were just the framed cover posters and a small book shelf left today, but I picked them up, so now the storage unit really is empty.  I then headed home where I began sanding down the drop down desk.


Now to the reason for the title of this entry. 


I was born and spent the first 19 years of my life in a small town, but at 19 I moved to one city, then to the bigger city of London, and then of course lived in England.  I quite forgot what a small town is like.  I am being reminded. 


Dave was working in the front garden while I was painting the sun room on Friday and I would occasionally glance out at him.  At one point I glanced out to see an older lady stop on the sidewalk in front of the house and talk to Dave for a while, apparently asking about her new neighbors and telling him that she was a fifth generation Canadian and so on, just neighborly chat.  


Sunday while I was stripping the desk in the garage and Dave was working in the backyard, a gentleman named Josh, came by with two beautiful dogs (a husky and malamute) and we stopped to chat with him for a while.


Today while I was sanding in the garage with the door open and Dave was working in the garden, a fellow named Rob called out and Dave ended up chatting at the side fence with him for a while about his older home up the street and our new old home.  I continued to work out of sight inside the garage while the men chatted, smiling to myself at the occasional bursts of laughter I heard and recalling that after the chat at the fence with the man on Sunday, Dave made some comment about feeling like he has stepped into the movie Pleasantville.  He seems a little bemused by the friendliness of small town Canadians, but pleasantly so. 




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