Getting Ready


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We have been spending a lot of time getting ready for winter.  Our top priority these days is our roof.  It is full of cracks and leaks, and they must be addressed before the snow starts to fall. The last thing we need is a crack to fill up with water and then freeze. I’m not sure why that is so terrible but I assume it has something to do with water expanding once frozen and then all the ice having a cracking good time in my ceiling.

The first order of business on the roof is to remove all the gravel.  My job is to fill our 5 gallon buckets with gravel.  Once filled they are too heavy for me to carry so Jess hauls them to the edge of the roof and tips them into our wee trailer below.  Then he trailers them to our gravel pile while I continue the mind and arm numbing job of bucket filling.

We try and get some roof work done each non rainy day.  Today was beautiful and sunny albeit a bit windy.  Jess suggested it was too windy for roof work.  I counter suggested that he was procrastinating and we should get to it.  So off we went.

We were about five buckets in when we heard the crash.  Our ladder had blown over.  We had no other way to get off the roof save jumping.  We had no phones, and no plan B.  So I did what every Milford citizen should do when in need:  I yelled for Bob.

After about 10 minutes of yelling for Bob to no avail, I started yelling at passing cars.  After about 10 minutes of getting ignored by passing cars, I went back to yelling for Bob.

Finally, our lovely neighbour Bob came and saved us.  Thank goodness for good neighbours, especially those strong enough to pick up a ladder.  As soon as we were rescued, we thanked our dear friend and got back to hauling gravel for the next few hours.

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Thank you Bob! The next Manhattan is on me!

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October

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Somehow another year has flown by.  Two of my awesome children turned another year older this month.  It has been a month full of parties and cake eating.  There was a pool party and a party full of kittens, puppies and Lego the lamb.  There were cupcakes and several cakes from a box, but tonight I made a homemade banana cake with peanut butter icing.  I tend to get all my cake recipes from my  awesome friend Annie’s blog.  There is always excessive cake/pie eating in October as there is much to celebrate.  Cake eating is simply one of those burdens I must shoulder for the good of my children.  As burdens go, I believe this one may pale in comparison to some current world issues.  Wouldn’t it be awesome if the most serious problem in the world right now was my social obligation to eat too much cake this month?  Or that there was a shortage of forks in the world due to my excessive cake consumption?  Or all the wheat farmers had to work around the clock to supply enough flour for all the baking?  If only the world of over eating were that simple.

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Amongst all the celebrating, we snuck out last Saturday to go to the Saw-Whet owl banding at Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory.   We have been meaning to go for the last two years.  It has always been a struggle to rustle 3 kids at bedtime hour and bundle them up for a chilly night out.  It was well worth it.  We saw a Saw Whet owl close up and even got to pet it.  It was really amazing to check out an owl that close.  We went to the bird banding in the spring, and found it equally fascinating.

The bird observatory is a migration research station on the southern tip of Prince Edward County. This area is a huge migratory path for many birds.   The station bands more than 15,000 birds of more than 120 species.  In the spring, banding begins at dawn when weather permits.  Since our first visit, I promised myself I’d volunteer as soon as my kids were old enough to get themselves on the bus.  Jess suggested we all volunteer as a family come spring.  It seems like the perfect reason to be late for school.

If you plan to be the County in October, you should check out the owl banding.  I may even go again this month.  But not tonight, I’ve got some cake to eat, and a little girl to celebrate.

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Thanks

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We had big plans this weekend.  We were coming into the city early, dinner plans, High Park, friends, family, good times.  Then I noticed spots on Wini, and shortly after a chicken pox diagnosis.  Cancellations ensued, and instead of sipping lattes with friends, and turkey dinner with family, there was self imposed isolation.  Off I went to buy a last minute turkey and we are on our own for the first Thanksgiving in memory.  Just the five of us. And two dogs and ten chickens.

It is a welcomed moment of slowing down.  We have been running at such a fast pace since the spring that it is lovely to just stop for a few days.  We have spent much of the weekend outside.  I took my dogs for a long walk yesterday morning.  As I walked my familiar route, I reflected on what a difference a year can make.  Last Thanksgiving, I was still so devastated by the death of my mom.  I tried hard to see the beauty around me, but I was drowning in sorrow and my eyes were blurry.  I can see clearer now, and it is such a welcomed relief.  Plain old regular life can be hard enough without loved ones dying.  As far as I know right at this moment, everyone I love, like, and tolerate is healthy.  If I had to pick one simple thing in my life to be thankful for, it would be that no one in my immediate circle is dying.  That may sound like a downer sentiment to some, but feels darn freeing to me.

Yesterday Jess and I spent a good amount of time in the garden planting garlic.  We got through close to 400 cloves.  Today we planted another 400 with the help of our girls.  That should get us through next year, with a little more to spare.  Before our garlic planting, we explored our new favorite conservation area.  There are lots of trails in a wooded wonderland filled with crazy mushrooms, interesting plants and maybe too many snakes.  There are lookouts, wetlands, mossy bridges, and a myriad of opportunities for my dogs to get good and filthy.  All part of a perfect walk in the woods.

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I have a turkey in the oven, my girls are making cookies for the neighbours, and Jess is on pie.  I am going to go pick some cabbage and kale for our salad tonight, and some squash to roast.  We are on our way to a perfect Thanksgiving dinner.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.  May we remember to be thankful each and every day of our lives.  Enjoy all of those people at your table tonight, and the pumpkin pie.  Life is too short to skip the pie.