View From The Glen

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

This Old House

The women who used to live in our house 20 years ago (10 sisters and 4 brothers) showed up today. Andrew found them at the end of the laneway taking pictures of the parts of the house they could see from half a mile away behind the forest that is our driveway, and he invited them up to the house to take a closer look.
They were visiting from Alberta, and Andrew - home sick today - said that when they saw my flower garden on the east side of the house, they collectively burst into tears.
This is the garden our mother always wanted, the weeping women told a rather uncomfortable Andrew. She could never get flowers to grow here, and she'd have loved this.

Obviously discomoded by this display of emotion, Andrew let them into the house to see the massive stone fireplace hearth that we just finished restoring. More tears of joy.

And the kitchen...!

If our mother were alive, she'd be so happy to see this, they told Andrew.

Which made him feel pretty good as he did most of the work.

It was an emotional visit for them, as nostagic trips are wont to be. And when I got home I was happy that they'd seen it, and oddly happy that it would please some long dead woman that I have never met.

But underlying all of that was one thought running relentlessly through my head...14 children! Here? And I stopped feeling so guilty that Anna and Grace still share a room.

Chocolate Fudge

Summer decided to make an appearance today and Ivan bought Super Fudge ices in to the office this afternoon to cool us all down.

(although here in the air conditioned office is already nice and cool - still, any excuse for treats!)

About half way through, my popsicle started melting, and the ice slid down the stick to rest on my fingers while the chocolate fudge began to ooze out the centre. Before it landed on my laptop, I had the presence of mind to grab a paper towel and head for the kitchen. That's what I was doing - eating over the kitchen sink - when Cynthia walked in to grab a bowl for her ice.

Engineers. Sooo smart.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Mightier Than The Sword

At the end of the school year, Grace came home with a collection of goose feathers.

Great, I said sarcastically. We can sharpen them and use them to write with.
The kids thought that was a great idea. So did I actually. And despite Andrew's not-so-subtle eye rolling, and a collective groan from my friends, we spent last Sunday afternoon writing letters on parchment.

Anna wrote lengthy epistles to her great grandmother and great aunt.

And Grace did too - albeit without puctuation or spaces (which she thought were a construct of a more recent time, though she didn't put it quite like that).

There's something immensely satisfying about quill and ink. We're all set to do this again. By candlelight next time.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Fashion Sense

Kevin, who used to work with me in marketing, (and who USED to be a friend) was over at my desk the other day and we were discussing new marketing in the context of social media. The talk turned to the demise of traditional advertising/PR avenues such as newspapers. I get all my news online at these days, and I like the convenience of it all though as an ex-newspaper editor, I feel sadness at this too. Kevin agreed with me, and said the beauty of the internet is that you can just look at the areas which interest you.

oh, but I used to like browsing through the big Saturday Ottawa Citizen or Globe and Mail, I told him (remembering lazy morning before kids when that was possible).

You have to admit though, he returned, that there were some sections you wouldn't have read. Like fashion.

Like fashion! Zing!

I mean, what exactly was Kevin trying to say? I am obviously a keen fashion observer - you just have to look at my kids for proof.

Wait a sec - Erik likes to wear shinpads over his arms and legs to look like a gladiator or Roman Emperor.

Anna thinks pink cowboy boots and purple shorts are a great mix. They certainly make a statement!

And is Grace wearing pink pants and a red shirt? Yes, I believe so.

So maybe fashion sense is not our forte.

Still, I prefer to think Kevin was making a comment about my obvious intelligence being above trivial matters such as fashion, rather than a comment about my personal fashion sense. Hey, we can't all be Michelle Obama!

July 16th

On July 16th, I sit here listening to Mendelssohn's Italian Symphonies and sipping red wine (a highly recommended French red that I don't particularly like: when will I learn that I have never really cared for French wines?) in honour of Carla who would have been 42 today.

By rights I should be quaffing a raucous red - Carla liked red wine that had bite - and listening to celtic music, as that's likely what we'd be doing if she were alive today.

Actually, that's not quite true - it's what we would have been doing a decade or more ago when we lived in Halifax and spent every weekend in smoky Irish pubs - but on days like today, it's easy to live - momentarily at least - in the past.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Turquoise Necklace

I was buying presents from stella&dot the other day and I fell in love with this turquoise necklace.

I don't wear jewelry much, and don't know this would actually suit me, but I loved it. The colours captured in the stones remind me of the sea, and it struck me that wearing this would be like wearing a little bit of the ocean -powerful, mesmerizing and timeless - around my neck.

I couldn't help it. I had an uncharacteristic urge to blow a frivolous $200 on myself and buy the necklace.

I didn't of course - I'm far too fiscally responsible for that.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Puppy Love

She's not a puppy anymore.

Just turned 5 in fact.

Crazy, slobbering hyperactive, hairy mutt.

But she loves me.

And that's worth something.

Uncle Dave taught Anna to use a drill last Saturday. She was helping build the veranda with Dave, Andrew and Klaus. Anna really likes her Uncle Dave.

Liz, Bronwen and I hung out sipping pinot gringio and ensuring a steady supply of sandwiches, nachos, burgers and beer got to the work crew outside.
Dallas chased Lady around until she flopped down in exhaustion. Erik - home after 3 days away - retired to his bedroom to reacquaint himself with his Lord Of the Rings action figures and lego castles. Grace and Orria played really well together all day.
Meanwhile the guys pondered and debated and built.
Good day.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Natasha's Wedding

Tash and Denis got married yesterday and Anna and Grace got to be part of the ceremony.

It all started out well enough. The kids were adorable.

A little nervous, and Tash's son Jacob did his best to stay out of the pictures - I have a bunch of the back of his head.

But they smiled while they had pictures taken at the labyrinth, and politely tried sushi while waiting for cake.

But then the face painters arrived.

And my beautiful girls vanished.

Buit I found these cute tigers and brought them home instead. Can we keep them?

It was a beautiful wedding. Congrats Denis and Natasha.