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Thank Goodness For Warm Homes

18 Dec
Deer wallows outside our bedroom window

Deer wallows outside our bedroom window

One week to Christmas. The recent cold snap is almost over. -30 before the windchill isn’t much fun.

Yet our ‘deer’ friends somehow survive without blankets, heaters, furnaces and the like. Incredible! The photo is of eight wallows where they hunker down for the night just outside our bedroom: belly on the frozen ground, backs to the cold stars. Quite the herd.


No Relaxing On The Deck Today

12 Jul
No Relaxing On The Deck Today

No Relaxing On The Deck Today

Mucho rain last night. Thunderstorms forecast for today. Lottsa squishy corpses sharing the deck. Any volunteers wanna help me shovel and sweep them off? Nah, I didn’t think so. Somehow I think It’s going to be me, just me. Why do I get to have all the fun?

Fish Fly Season.’Nuff Said

11 Jul
Fish Fly Bonanza

Fish Fly Bonanza

They’re baaack! This, just one window view. They are also outside the house, on the deck, the lawn, the trees, anything that moves.

Isn’t there some way we could make them into a food source? Fish fly patties, fish fly kabobs, fish fly chowder? Or booze? Where are all the creative chefs and moonshiners when you need them?

Ah well, they will soon be flying away and procreating their little wings off.

They will die happy in their short lives but the evidence and aroma of their little corpses will last forever.

Me and the Mouse

8 Mar

scary mouseMany, many years ago when I was not as cool as I am now there was an epic battle between me and a rodent.

I was at work pondering things such as String Theory and its eleven dimensional universe, and how to remove the chewy caramel stuck between my teeth, when the phone rang.

She: You gotta come home now!

Me: Okaay?

She: I’m in the kitchen on the counter!

Me: Okaaay? Why are you on the counter?

She: There’s a mouse in the apartment and he’s sitting there staring at me!

Me: Oh. Okay.

By the time I got home she was still in the kitchen, on the counter.

She: It’s in the bedroom. Get it! Get it!

Noble sire that I am I armed myself with broom and bucket. It was a nasty, vicious battle, attacking and retreating many times. Finally I had the four legged devil in the bucket. Off to the building’s garbage chute. Victory as I closed the chute with a satisfying clang. I was a hero that had overcome tooth and claw. Such power!? Such bravery!

That evening there was a soft knock at the door. There stood  a teary eight year old who lived on the same floor.

He: Have you seen my gerbil? I love my gerbil. I only got him today and he escaped. I really love my gerbil!

Me: Uhm, uhm, oh.




It’s Green and Pulsing. Where are my Glasses?

30 Mar

Glasses are meant to be worn. Sometimes people forget that. I won’t mention any names but S-S wasn’t wearing hers.

I was afternoon-meditating on the couch in the den. I was in deep meditation, very deep. Dreams of S-S whispering sweet nothings to me kept me in sweet enlightenment. But soon her sweet tones changed to something a bit more – how shall we say – shrill, strident. The tone something like,

“Barry, get your ass out here!”

Meditation over I put on my glasses.

Mr Frog

Mr Frog

It seems S-S was stuck out in the garage, without her glasses, after taking out some garbage. I saw her rooted, frantically pointing to something on the step leading back into the house, near my feet.

“What is it, what is it? It’s moving! It must be a snake! Get it! Get it!”

Ultimate cool person that I am I saw it was a mere frog, a big eyed pulsating amphibian. The poor thing was lost.

“It might be a snake. It’ll bite me. Kill it! Kill it!”

Non-nimble, humane hero that I am, I proceeded to stumble on the step, scare the bejaysus out of Mr Frog and land flat on my face at S-S’s feet. Mr Frog, happy to escape, hopped away. Any expectations of profound thanks for saving S-S were immediately dashed.

“What took you so long, I’ve been yelling for over half an hour? And where are my glasses?”

I felt a deep kinship with the frog. I tell ya It’s hard being a hero with glasses.

Hero with glasses

Hero with glasses


Peacocks In The Cemetery

6 Aug

Life is strange sometimes. When you think you are saying or explaining something simple about something unusual you receive a response that shows that people seem to come from different universes.

Peacocks, Peacocks, Peacocks

Peacocks, Peacocks, Peacocks

Sometime ago S-S and I were touring the East Interlake area in our car. We had visited Arborg, Riverton, Hecla and places in between. One of our stops was in Hnausa (pronounced nazer). As we drove by the local cemetery we did a double take. There on the gravestones and sepulchres was a muster or ostentation of peacocks. Bet you didn’t know that’s what a group of peacocks is called, didya? Males and females just strutting around.

How did they get there? Why were they there? There was no one around to ask. But there they were. Anyway, on our return home we mentioned  this unexpected sighting to some friends. Guess what the only question was:

What were you doing in a cemetery?

Ho hum. So much for sharing the surprises in life.

Trees in the Eaves and Poop on the Stoop

30 Jul
Trees in the Eaves

Trees in the Eaves

I had to take down a Yagi aerial from the roof today. It was a remnant from our old non-functioning internet provider. Climbing up the ladder I noticed that in spite of the screens on the eaves there was a lot of  decomposing goop (technical term) in the eaves. Sharp eye that I am I also noticed a mini forest growing there. Maples and ash growing in abundance. So much  for the protective eave-screen. So for those of extreme eco-sensitivity the forest is no more. Sorry about that but eaves and house come first.

The following paragraph has scatalogical references. Reader discretion is advised!

I also had to clean off some steps. We have lottsa trees near the house. Birds love trees and they love to do doodoo when they fly their little arses off the trees. Perhaps they were also fertilizing the forest in the eaves. Sorry (somewhat) to those of a birdy bent but poop of any species is not my thing. Also, sorry there are no pics of the poop but this is not that kind of blog. Gotta go and wash my hands now. Next time I’ll wear gloves.

Me and the Tick or Arachnophobes and a Rubber Hose

6 Apr
Dog Tick with its Pound of Flesh Still Attached

Dog Tick With Its Pound of Flesh Still Attached

It is now getting closer to that time of year when I will have to awaken Brute and start attacking that cultivated weed called grass. It also means the start of tick season. Those vampirish little denizens of trees, bushes and grass. Just waiting to drop or jump onto you. Thus the “inspiration” for this post.

Several months ago, before the snows came, before glaciers smothered the driveway, before … Oh, I digress, you say. Anyway, a long, long time ago I noticed S-S staring at my body. Foolish me. I entertained fantasies of her admiring my (c)hunk of a studly form. Stupid me. She was checking a spot on my back that seemed to be growing larger. So, sometime around 2:00 a.m., I could feel her eyes burning into my back, in the dark and could hear a muttering, “Hmm, oh, hmm, eew,” and the like.

“OK,” says I, “to get some sleep, let’s check it in a better light in the bathroom.” So there I was, back exposed, with S-S getting closer, and closer and closer to look at the spot. When her nose was almost touching said spot – FFWWUUMMM – out shot 8 legs, instantly and suddenly. I, of course, blissfully unaware of proceedings heard a 100 decibel screech and the stomp of S-S running out of the bathroom, shrieks down the hall, screams into the bedroom, howling again down the hall, and finally, only a deathly hyperventilating, a panting and puffing. Slowly I turned, step by step, to look upon a face, white, ashen.

“It’s, it’s, it’s got legs…!,” pants my own Florence Nightingale.

“Then you will have to get some tweezers and get it off,” says I, the soul of calm, masculine courage.

“Me!” croaks Flo, “but it’s got legs!”

Soon the awful truth hit her: I couldn’t reach to do it myself, and unless there was someone living in the crawl space under the house, she was it.

With her head turned away, one eye closed, and the other barely open, my very own Flo eventually  managed to get the tweezers placed, just so to remove my new body appendage plus a chunk of flesh for good measure. I only gave one manly bellow of agony and hardly cried at all.

Daddy Longlegs, Pre- Spider-Whacker Intervention

Daddy Longlegs, Pre- Spider-Whacker Intervention

Flo’s, I mean S-S’s fear of 8-legged crawlers also showed up when we used to sleep in the V-berth of our sailboat (that’s in the pointy end, at the front). Spiders love being near water, therefore, they love boats. We used a length of rubber hose to keep the hatch slightly open for a nice evening breeze. S-S discovered that this hose made a great “spider -whacker” and she would beat the blankets and pound the pillows, and smack the living daylights out of spiders, seen and unseen, present or absent. That worked fine, as long as I wasn’t in bed at the time. If I was, it sounded like some nautical S&M party. I think the yelling kept more spiders away than the spider-whacker. Who knows what our neighbours on the dock thought of these goings on.

There are then two life lessons arising from this post: fear her fear of spiders; and it’s safer to mow the driveway than the grass.

Life and Death Around the House

12 Aug
Northern Flicker Window Victim

Northern Flicker Window Victim

This post is a little more sad and a little more joyful.

Sad news first. All of a sudden, over a few days recently, birds have been crashing into our large windows that face the lake. This picture on the left is of a Northern Flicker. I have also found young Cedar Waxwings among other songbirds. Why the sudden increase, who knows. It seems to be mostly songbirds, never a Crow or Robin.

Robin's Eggs in the Planter

Robin’s Eggs in the Planter

Robin Fledglings in the Planter

Robin Fledglings in the Planter

On the happier side the Robin family is back. Each year year a pair of Robins sets up a nest in a hanging planter on our  breezeway front entrance. The flowers in the planter are artificial since nothing seems to want to grow in the planters on the shady side of the house. So the choice of nesting site is a bit of a puzzle. It’s a bit of a dangerous spot since once the crows find it they are merciless in attacking the nest. But some young ones survive. This is at least the third year of the parents’ return

More On Fishflies, Underwear and the Pagan Slap-Dance

31 Jul
Fishflies Swarming at Night

Fishflies Swarming at Night

People have been asking how fishflies get in your underwear. The short answer is “I dunno.” (Visual image spoiler alert) All I do know is that when I strip down before coming back into the house – on the orders of S-S – they are there. In case any of you think that might be kinky with little bodies wiggling and jiggling south of the border then think again. It’s also not much fun being semi-naked on the deck doing the equivalent of a pagan slap-dance. Then it’s off to the showers since I also now have a few extra creases and folds for them to hide in. Needless to say fresh underwear is now in order. This is probably more information than you wanted to know but that is the problem with asking the question in the first place. The truth is sometimes ugly, not me, just the truth.

Enjoy the picture of the fishflies swarming at night. Nocturnal plague!