Friday, August 26, 2011

Technical Difficulties

Hi, I am so close to civilization I can taste it. Yet, I have no computer and no Internet. I'm limping along, but will hopefully be up and running soon.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Canadian Chronicles: Where The Heck Is The (Fill In The Blank)?

We are almost to the two week mark in the Canadian wilds. What was I up to today? Matching sets of sheets.

Can someone please tell me why I have the bottoms to some sets and the tops to others. One matching pillowcase here, no matching pillowcase there, and no quilt to match any of the shams? WTH?

Thank goodness for my fancy college education. Thank goodness I never went for my masters degree. How could I explain to myself that I am matching sheet sets with my years of sweat and tears of study.

Yes, I was having a worse time finding matching sheets than I ever have with socks.

Well, what is the big deal you may ask. The big deal is that we go through this stupid exercise every year and every year we come up with some big, new, wondrous idea of how to organize this linen disaster so that it never happens again.

Well, it happens again every year.

Every year, I wonder what the sheet fairies do with my icky, leftover sheets.

What the heck do they do with them? Where do they go?

If you’re coming to the Taj this summer, please bring a hostess gift of a set of Shabby Chic Sheets from Target. This kind dries the best in the dryer in this humid environment. Then you know for sure you’ll have a matching set of sheets, just like at a normal hotel.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Canadian Chronicles: Eyes Ahead: What Is Coming Down the Pike? Goofy adages and the Y2K Teen.

My son recently returned from a trip to China. He cursed me about my little “sayings.” He said, when he uses them, no one knows what he is talking about.

Hmmmm? Cooking on the back burner? Doing something like a house on fire? A month of Sundays?

Well, today, as I changed and washed sheets after our first round of guests, I was thinking about the next jump.

The next jump you may ask? Yes, when I was riding and jumping on a course, you always kept your eyes ahead and looked where you were going next. Look where you want to go…

I have a gazillion sayings that come just from me and my own experience. I suppose they are not written down anywhere and no one else in their right mind uses them, but they are a kind of short hand scrawl in my family.

My kids certainly know what “putting a bounty” on an item means. If we have to “fly like an eagle” they had better hurry up and get out the door or we’ll for sure be late.

Someone asked how I felt when all of the guests leave and I’m alone. My mind is always on the path to the next item, I’m never in the moment of the leaving, I’m approaching the next jump in my mind.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Canadian Chronicles: Family Feud Garbage and Recycling Style

Garbage is monitored in a police type state in this sector of cottage country. The local dump is filling up, and it is all about policing our own garbage and recycling if we want to keep it open.

This is garbage up close and personal. In the city, we fill our garbage cans and roll them out to the corner. The very nice garbage men come along in their truck and presto change-o, gone-o.

Two months a year, I really think my money that is paid to Marin Sanitary is quite a bargain—ever with the new rate hikes. There is a sterility and detachment that is akin to buying bologna in the supermarket.

Sometimes we think about where our garbage goes, but there is nothing like seeing a mama bear eating it with her babies. When that big momma is eating your leftovers, how can you not contemplate what your leftovers are.

On the abyss of the pit, there is very little that is poetic. Pieces of trash and more trash co-mingle in a tangle of stinky, smelly mess. Where do old toasters go to die? Just look in the hole of the garbage dump.

Maybe if were all confronted with actually putting our own garbage bags in our cars and driving them to the dump and then adding them to a cesspool of crap, we would all be recycling more vigilantly.

My son is pretty good about being in charge of the trash and recycling. That was, until some fellow Americans visited us, and 2 weeks later, when we were getting ready to take the recycling and the garbage to the dump, or a dump run as we call it, we realized, that our relatives are not very good recyclers.

Yes, old moldy orange peels, diapers and meat wrappers co-habitated with the cans, paper, plastic and glass.

Somebody had to sort it, posthumously, so to say. As the main working mama at the B&B we call the TAJ, I was stepping back from that one. All of the kids tried to pass that one on, but my eldest daughter was the worst. She was adamant that SHE was NOT sorting stinky, rotting garbage.

I told her we all have to do jobs that we’d rather not do and that is it is part of life. Not very impressed with my little speech, she resisted royally or princessly. Let the feud begin.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Canadian Chronicles: Arts and Crafts and Kayaks, Grown Up Style

As I sit on the floor of my bedroom, ripping through packing tape and sorting small parts, I think about being old and less crafty. Gasp, can that be true?

There was a time, when I did needlepoint, crocheting, sewing, rug hooking—you know the kinds of stuff that were considered hobbies. At one point, I got a new hobby, the granddaddy mac of all hobbies, I call it children.

Part of the children hobby, is assemblage. Instead of the gentler crafts, my grown up arts and crafts session feature things like today’s project: assembling a fan.

I am reading pictogram directions, twisting and turning L keys, and looking for small bolts that somehow, seem to be always missing. I know full well, if I screw this one up, the plastic fan blade could hurl across the room and kill me quicker than I can say, “read all of the directions.”

Yes, these days, I am putting together furniture, children’s toys and small household appliances as my crafts.

This makes me think of a funny story. One time my friend, Deborah, and I decided that we could pick up the two-man kayak from the local wilderness outfitter’s store by ourselves. If we DID NOT wait for the husbands to do the job, we could be enjoying the kayak that evening.

Deborah is not one to shy away from any task. She is the type of Girl Scout that you want right by your side when the zombie’s attack. We are always doing things I am sure that I would never be confident enough to do on my own. Things like fixing showers, toilets and making cement.

Anyway, we got to the kayak store, and needed help getting the giant sized kayak on top of her van. A nice man offered to help us out. Just as he was hoisting it to the top of the van, a storm cloud broke out over us Addams family style.

Half under the car, tying the rope to the frame (his bottom half was quite dry, but his top half was dripping drenched), he looked up at us and said, “Where are your husbands?”

The answer to that, my friends, is the story of my life.

However, I am sitting here with my new fan blowing on me in all its windy glory.

Bless us crafty gals. We kayak faster and get cooler quicker.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Canadian Chronicles: My Wicked Groundhog Kind of Wednesday

The cot-TAJ (from here forward, just TAJ will be used) comes complete with a sweet little guest cottage. This is a cottage in all the usual, regular sense of a Canadian description of cottage. The furniture is shabby, not even shabby chic and there is that telltale cottage smell.

You might not be familiar with the cottage smell in regular real life. It smells musty, a little moldy, stuffy and cabin in the woodsy. When you smell that smell, you know that you have arrived at a bona fide cottage.

Right now, a ground hog is living under this little piece of Canadiana. If you’ve explored some of this blog, you might know that Birk is an animal lover to extreme limits. She was mauled by a wild cat and still insisted that we adopt it, for just one example.

Sooooooo, I found the girls cornering this little ball of wild fur in the garage. They were discussing names and how they could transport him back to California.

As if.