Wednesday, May 16, 2018

August in May

After 3 lovely hot days reminiscent of late August, the basement has warmed up noticeably & the cold cement floors feel divine underfoot. Even the mouse in my closet is enjoying the warm days!! And speaking of that mouse, after buying something called 'Rat & Mouse killer' last month, I have discovered that I need a 'feeding device' to dispense the stuff. Stupid me just tucked the little plastic bags along the route the mouse likes to take & wondered why the damned mouse was still alive. I have never intentionally killed a mouse in my life so I guess I can be forgiven one mistake!! Watch out Mouse, I have now opened the bags & put the contents into 'feeding' stations. Your days are numbered .   .   .   .

I'm down to three projects & MY tax return!! Hopefully, they will all be finished by the end of the month & I can spin the summer away on my patio. I have several knitting projects I want to tackle as well - maybe even finish up one I started for myself last year. My poor old house sweater needs to be trashed - it's 17 years old & ratty in the current incarnation. Some is cat damage & some is just plain old age - I bought this yarn in the 70s & it's been knit & reknit at least 3 times since then.

The other night, in a fit of midnight on-line shopping, I bought 10 balls of RED Briggs & Little "Tuffy" & 5 balls of BLUE JEANS at 40% off. I should freeze my credit card!!! But, it was a good deal, will wash & wear very well & knit up quickly. I confess to craving some RED Briggs & Little for ages & bought a pattern months ago. The Blue Jeans will be knit into a vest with a cowl for the Bee Queen as a layering piece. She actually looks her best in Jewel colors but keeps buying the GREENS her mother loved. I thought the blue cowled vest would ease her gently into better color.

The Bee Queen (my niece) is dividing her hives up the Valley & says she's imported some new California queen bees to expand her brood. With the shortage of bees around the world, she's really excited about increasing her hives. She originally thought it would be fun to have a hive or two out in the field to make sure her fruit trees got pollinated. Then she discovered her first home grown honey & was smitten! She took the Bee course & is now raising her own bees. All of hers survived the winter & she's now creating new hives from the old. She tells me there's far more money in growing Bee Hives than in honey & thinks this will be a great retirement income project. Okay kid. She's talking about retiring early when she has her 25 years in, selling the farm to developers & buying a Hippy Dippy place on one of the Gulf Islands to grow chickens & bees & learn how to spin. She plans on taking her old aunty with her. I told her it was fine with me as long as I have an indoor toilet.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Happy Mother's Day Weekend

The Ex called this morning to ask me out for Chinese - we try to go out once a week to keep in touch &  we have a favorite little spot that I introduced him to before we got married 30 years ago.  It continues to be a favorite. The food is well prepared & generous, lots of oriental dishes are on the menu as well as the 'North American' version of what Chinese oughta be. I found this place when I was in my 20's  - lucky me - as relief from the Rickshaw in downtown Surrey where my Dad & all his waterfront cronies ate what they called 'Chinese Food' on Saturday nights. My Dad couldn't understand that tomato fried rice, chow mein & chop suey were not Chinese & the Rickshaw didn't serve the kind of food I was used to eating downtown in Chinatown.

What has this to do with Mother's Day, you ask??? Well, the one thing you could count on with my Dad is that he loved parties, loved gifts & hated to shop. Once he found somewhere or something that worked for him, he never varied from it unless forced. I have inherited a little too much of that from him!! Good old Dad. When he was told that Whalley Hardware brought in non-hardware gifts for important holidays, wrapped them & stayed open late for men only on Thursdays, he never shopped anywhere else. All my gifts from age 11 on came from the Hardware!! You could count on him to order up the FOOD for any celebration too! Yup. The Rickshaw would deliver. If he wanted to go out - the Rickshaw had private party space as well as the dining room.

One year, when I was a student living on my own, I decided I'd had enough & I would bring the food for Mother's Day myself. Mom could always count on a gift from the  Hardware from Dad, cards & chocolates from the kids & the Rickshaw's Chinese for dinner. But that year, I brought the food from MY little place. I practically had to hand feed Dad for a while but he got over it when he found the deep fried wontons & sweet & sour dipping sauce. Mom never even got a taste.

So, did my little place change Dad?? Not as far as Chinese food went, I think he really liked the fluorescent sauces & over salted dishes at the Rickshaw. Maybe it was the company over there, too. But one thing I did notice, Dad was eating steak at Jim's Hideaway on Father's Day.

Tuesday, May 08, 2018

After Tax

Hello Blog - I guess it's just about time to get off my ass & do some updating! The problem with updating is that you need something interesting to update about. Working for a living isn't all that exciting but it sure gives you a lot more grist for the mill because retirement is mighty short of interesting things to talk about on a day to day basis.

Just finished the most tiring tax year I can remember in ages. Everyone had a problem. People moved. People bought & sold homes. People married. People died. And two new little ones came into the world. No one thought to check the tax implications before they did what they did & a few sure were surprised. But life goes on & I think it's time to file my own tax .  .  .  .

On my desk I have four balls of yarn to make the MKAL - the Yarnmaid's Tale from Jimmy Beans!!! Since I already have two clues, I have to get in gear!!! The original color choices were Scarlet - for the Maid & Black - called Under His Eye but this is for my niece Lara & she's into everything GREEN. So I chose a dark Asphalt & Tarragon, a greyed green for her. Just a little something to get me back into the swing of things!!  I read the Handmaid's Tale many years ago when it was included in a huge reading list for a Canadian lit course along with The Stone Angel & The Book of Eve. All the novels were by & about Women & everyone of us thought the Handmaid was waaay out there - we are talking about the 70s here now kiddies. Take a close look at today's world. A slight Political shift to the left, a little less separation of church & state & a repeal or two of some rights & we're on the way .   .   .   .