Things

Reid mentions in one of his blogs that my “growing up with both English and Italian cultures has had an effect on Luisa’s speech patterns.” I admit I have a slight problem with speech, but it’s not due to my learning to speak both English and Italian at the same time. I don’t know what causes it, but it’s definitely inherited. My brother and I have both gotten it from my mother. My dad has often stopped dead in his tracks, to stare at my mother incomprehensibly with “the look”, (head tilted to one side, smirking), as she declares “Go get me the thing in the stove”, when I know, quite clearly, that she meant “Go get me the container full of spaghetti sauce in the fridge.”

Boy, the brain can be a strange thing. I just seem to lose words sometimes. I can’t think of the word and so insert “thing” most often. It seems to get worse as I age. I’ll often slip the wrong word in now. For example, I can’t believe how often I’ve said, “OK kids, bedtime! Time to get your bathing suits on!” And then Michael will assume “the look” (head tilted to one side, smirking), and say “Do you mean PAJAMAS???”

We all love my mother’s sausages (especially Reid!) She was here for the past weekend and she decided she would show us how to make them. My brother came over, and we started the long job. Reid helped and took pictures, but often, he looked after the kids. When the three of us (mom, brother and I) worked together, I found we worked like a well-oiled machine. When we spoke, using “thing” or “stuff”, we knew exactly what the other meant.

I’ve only found one other person outside my immediate family who understood me without my having to remember the word I meant for “thing”. He was a fellow I used to work with for years, Alvin. Alvin, another co-worker Jim, and I worked on a project together for a long time. I would try to make a point, and Jim would just stare at me with the “look” (head tilted to one side, smirking) and I would realize he didn’t understand me. No doubt, somewhere back there as I explained my point, I used the word “thing”, or perhaps I slipped in the wrong word. I’d get frustrated and turn to Alvin and say, “Do you get what I’m trying to say???” And mercifully, Alvin would understand completely.

Perhaps this is why I consider myself to be lacking in writing skills. Sometimes getting the right word out of my head is like pulling teeth. (It does no good to insert the word “thing” in a technical document I might be writing for work!) I’m a terrible speller as well. Thank goodness for spell checkers and thesauruses (thesauri??).

Victoria Day Weekend

Spent most of the weekend in Thorold. We were there, along with my brother’s family, to celebrate my dad’s 75th birthday and Mother’s Day, a week late. Things didn’t quite work out as we had planned since my nephew got sick while we were there, but it turned out well anyway. Except that the kids spent way to much time playing computer games, and I couldn’t convince them (as usual) to play outside.

Went off with my mom, again, with a shovel and various buckets to scour the forests nearby for interesting plants. Brought home lots of day lilies and some strange sort of plant that looks cool. I’ll have to identify it at some point. (No, it’s not poison ivy.) But she had also been asking her friends for plantings. She scored big time with a fern, something I’ve really been wanting, and with more hostas!! Yay!! I had decided that I didn’t want to buy any more plants. They’re so costly!! And so far, it’s working out well. It’s fun sharing/receiving plants from friends and family. I’m currently looking for a home for my rose of sharon. And as usual this time of year, I came home with various plants from dad: tomatos and lettuce.

We always go to Thorold on Victoria day weekend because their fireworks are held on the Sunday. That way, the kids go to bed on time on the Monday, but still get a great Victoria day celebration. There’s always food, drinks, and music before the show. However, this year for the first time, they decided to hold it on Monday. 🙁 So we missed out on fireworks this year.

I actually enjoy our time in Thorold because of the fact that there are no computers there. This time, Reid brought an iBook from work. So, as usual, the whole weekend revolved around it. (Just like at home. Seems like any spare moment Reid has, he’s in the basement with it. I’d be jealous if I were a normal woman. Example: Luisa’s cooking dinner, 20 pots on the stove, running around trying to get everything ready at once. Reid comes home from work, pecks her on the cheek, and runs off downstairs with the computer he hauls around with him. Great, Luisa thinks, he’ll be back in a moment and help me out. 20 minutes later…. “Reid??? What are you doing??” “Just setting up”. Ya. And checking e-mail, and checking various Apple/News/whatever web sites.) I’m sure Reid will view this paragraph as a challenge and post some exaggerated response on his own site.

Plan for the day today: finish sanding down all the filled holes/cracks in my hallway, sand down some more doorways (especially the one where I replaced the wood where the hinge was – it was cracked), and, hopefully, prime where necessary.

SO Busy!

I can’t believe how busy I am. I’m wondering if I’ll even have time for keeping a log!! I had been hoping to post something yesterday, but no use! I collapsed at 11:00 pm and headed straight for bed. Here’s a typical day in the life of Luisa (now that I’m not working!)

7:30 am – 9:00 am
Wake up, get kids up, ask dear husband whether he’s heard the alarm, wake kids up again, make kid’s lunches, grab breakfast, ask dear husband (yes, again) whether he’s heard the alarm, drive the kids to school. Meet with mom who asks me to type up a notice for an upcoming school event. Promise to get it to her tomorrow morning.

9:00 am – 10:00 am
Notice a big pile of grass roll discards dumped on the street near house and realize I could patch up the bare spots in the back yard lawn. Grab hoe, shovel, etc., and proceed to make a patchwork quilt out of back yard lawn. Stamp it all down with feet, put sprinkler on.

10:00 am – 12:30 pm
Drive out to Lansing (my favourite hardware store) and speak to my favourite paint guy, Chris, about my horror paint situation (previous owners painted the 6 (count ’em!) doorways in my hall with latex paint over oil). Buy paint for the hallway and trim. Buy window hardware. Realize I could go home since I’ve bought everything I need to, but wander around (can you blame me? It’s a hardware/homeware store – my kind of heaven!) Buy new lighting for hallway, buy new hose. My bank account is not $300 less. Ahem. Very bad. Drive home.

12:30 pm – 3:00 pm
Remember that sprinkler is on (oops) and turn it off. Grab lunch. Change into ripped up black tights with paint splatters, and micky mouse T-shirt and proceed to scrape at latex paint on the 6 (count ’em!) doorways. Get one doorway started yesterday done, and start on another. Realize that at this rate, I’ll be at it all month. Getting late, got to pick up kids, so vacuum up paint chips, change back into respectable clothes.

3:00 pm – 3:20 pm
Just enough time to run out to the local grocery store and get some groceries. Yes, I can do this in 20 minutes.

3:20 pm – 4:00 pm
Pick up kids at school. Talk to moms in school yard about various things: upcoming events, kids, homework my younger one hasn’t told us about, etc.

4:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Kid’s tennis lesson. Hey, actually get to sit down now.

5:00 pm – 6:30 pm
Make dinner, eat dinner, clean up after dinner.

6:30 pm – 7:00 pm
Run out to car fix-it shop to pick up car, which had been in for tune-up/oil-change.

7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Beg dear husband to give Ronnie a bath so I can work on notice for the upcoming school event. Beg dear husband for ideas on structure for notice, comes up with great ideas, which in the end are ingored (of course). Constantly interupted by kids. Can’t get much done.

9:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Kids finally in bed. Finally get to work on notice in earnest. Too tired to make it look very nice. Fiddle and fiddle with various aspects. Spend some time on phone with husband looking for cool fonts. (We have two phone lines. My office is on the 2nd floor, his is in basement. Also, laser printer is in the basement. Nice to be able to phone him after printing it off and asking how it looks. Don’t we have a cool life?)

10:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Exhausted, but refuse to go to bed, must unwind. Make my usual 10:00 pm coffee (decaf mocha java from Starbucks – yum) and settle down to watch a horrible Voyager rerun, which I do every night. I can’t quite remember the episode, I think I fell asleep on the couch. Finally drag myself to bed at 11:00.

So endeth a typical day. I think I need a sabbatical from my sabbatical. (Actually, I really enjoy working on the house! I must be mad.)

Hey – it’s after 10 and I’m missing my horrible Voyager episode and my decaf!!!

Teenage Robins

This morning, I went out back to water some plants. I looked up at the robin’s nest under the deck roof and noticed two birds standing next to each other looking out. I thought it was mama and papa robin, but I’ve never seen them standing there like that. I thought they must be standing on the baby’s heads! But then I realized they WERE the babies!! They were teenagers now!! They had speckled fluffy breasts instead of the red breast. Wow. The others must have flown off! So I quickly watered the plants, thinking I might be able to watch them fly off. By the time I was done, there was only one remaining in the nest!

I quickly went indoors and watched from there. Just before I went in, I noticed mama bird (from now on, I assume it’s mama) with food in it’s mouth. As soon as I was inside, the last baby (I mean teen, they grow so fast *sniff!!) jumped and flew down to the deck. It ended up between two rails on the deck, facing the pool. Then I watched mama as she came tantalizingly close, chirping all the while. Meanwhile, baby-teen chirped back. Suddenly, whoosh, dad comes flying by at 100 miles per hour chasing another robin away, chirping madly. Mama stays close, eventually flying up to the nest looking for others, I guess. No one there (so sad!). She flew up to the top of the deck and stayed close to baby-teen. Eventually, she flew down to baby-teen and gave it the food she had been so lovingly carrying in her mouth. Then she flew up to the top of the hedges. Soon after, baby-teen flew right across the pool (!) and landed in the day lilies. 😀 Yay!! First real flight!! I could see no more.

Hmm. I wonder if they’ll return to the nest! It’s the first time we’ve had a successful nest in the deck area. They always build there, but soon after, we find the nest knocked to the floor – either by some cat, or no doubt the raccoon. Perhaps leaving the lights on all night discouraged the raccoons. What a lovely start to my day!