Wednesday, August 16, 2006

So, with the beginning of August, came not only the end of Carlo's summer teaching schedule and the beginning of his vacation, but also my birthday and our planned trip to go camping with our three year old son. Camping you say? Why not to Italy, to visit fabulous art galleries, majestic cathedrals, having tantalizing gelato and succulent wines? My vote seemed to have been vetoed. We went camping.

Not that it wasn't amazing. I'm still going to bring up the Italy trip again next year (and every year thereafter, until I can browbeat them to go :) )

We decided to go north. We always go north. Every year in May, I get online with our National Parks reservation service and book our camping trip in Algonquin Park. We go there as much as possible. The views, the lakes, the wildlife, are all truly beautiful and worth every second of the four hour drive in weekend bumper-to-bumper traffic to get there...really.

This year, like clock work, I logged on-only to find that our retreat, our haven in the north, was completely booked. There were no sites available-and I was looking all the way into August for Pete's sake!

So instead of Algonquin Park, we headed up north to a park on Georgian Bay. It was a good choice, still latitudinally the same, still a Provincial Park, still camping, right?

Well, all Camp grounds are not created equal, as with everything else. It was still a quiet camp ground, which is something we really look for. And the water was marvelous, crystal clear, warm and with a fun, sandy beach for playing. Yet, the natural benefits that we had come to cherish in Algonquin Park seemed to be sparse. There was a more definite feel of "human invasion", and very little flora to behold. There were no nature walks and no fish to pull out of the lake.

Still, for our son, it was heaven on earth. He absolutely adored the beach. He loved the fact that he slept in his sleeping bag in a tent, and didn't have to go to bed until it was really dark out, after stuffing his face full of mushy white marshmallows. He also got the undivided attention of his parents and his uncle, who accompanied us this year.

So all in all, while I will still press for Italy next year, we won't be ruling out camping either. For this family, the experience is one to savour as often as possible, and we'll always make the time to go...although we might stick to Algonquin Park, as that's where our hearts seem to be.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

It looks like summer is well on its way to having arrived. How do I know this? What is the deciding factor that brings this to my decidedly unfocussed attention?

Our grass needs cutting. Constantly.

Lush green lawns are the bane of society. I know, in the past everything from T.V., cell phones, and spiky hair have been the bane of society in my humble opinion. But really...grass.

You may recall that we have recently moved into a beautiful home in a nice, quiet, older neighbourhood. It's great. I love it. But there's 1/2 an acre of land, and a lot of this consists of lush green lawn. Everyone on the block has the convenient riding lawn mower out at least twice a week to keep the grass nice and short. My husband has also been graced with a riding lawn mower of his own, even though we have a push mower that is almost brand new (bought last year). The riding mower was given as a gift because our friends were getting themselves a new one. The old one, the one sitting in our garage...doesn't work. Hubbie is adamant that he can get it working, and until he does...the grass doesn't get mowed.

So not only are we the "new kids on the block", but now we're also the bad neighbours because our lawn looks more like a meadow, complete with weeds.

I hope and pray that the mower will either be fixed soon, or a kindly arsonist will come along and set it on fire for either case, the lawn will still get mowed eventually. And then I'll have to start baking muffins to take to all the neighbours.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Wow, has it really been since January that I've posted a blog here? I feel deep shame, I assure you. Crazy, crazy is life in a law office.

We have, however, begun to enjoy our Springtime. It started madly enough in January, with a seemingly innocuous little photo on the internet of a house for sale. I fell in love. My husband and I had just started to talk about the possibility of selling and moving somewhere else. We like the area, but in the specific neighbourhood where we lived, the constant construction and growth was wearing thin. Since we had moved in there had been about 5,000 more homes built around us, 2 schools, 2 grocery stores, 3 corner conveniences, 1 Canadian Tire, 1 Walmart, 1 Home Depot, and 3 strip malls. The noise level had grown to be so bad that no matter what time of day it was, you could never enjoy the natural sounds (even though we were fortunate enough to back onto a bush area).

So, I showed the photo of this nice little house to my husband, we went to see it, and put in an offer. Ta da...she turned us down. Okay, keep on trucking you say. And that's what we did. We put the little house aside in our minds, and kept looking around. Well, after another 3 weeks, we still hadn't seen anything we liked, and decided maybe we should wait until next year anyway, just to be sure we weren't "jumping into anything".

But wait...the seller of our little dream house came back to us and said she had reconsidered our offer (I mean really, if that's not fate, what is?). We jumped on it, and by mid-March, we were the proud owners of a 30-year old home in rural Ontario, with a 1/2 acre of land, and lots of trees, privacy and "natural sounds".

We painted, we cleaned, we gutted and renovated the basement. Ask me why we felt the need to renovate the basement right away. Because my husband decided before we even moved in that it would prove to be a perfect getaway for him and his buddies. He wanted to turn it into the ultimate "games" room. Complete with foosball, poker table, bar, tv, etc...Considering I talked him into the house in the first place, I was quick to agree that it was indeed a necessary expenditure at this time.

We survived the Easter holidy, spent time with family and friends, attended a baptism and a birthday party or two...and now we're up to date.

Talk to you soon.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Well, it's surely been a long time since I've successfully blogged, and I say successfully because there have been a few times (few and far between) where I've begun something, haven't been able to finish, and of course, the impetus is gone, and later I no longer feel that my thoughts were worth trying to resurrect from the vast black hole that is my brain these days.

Christmas has now come and gone, the new year has thus been rung in, and here I am at my desk again. I think what I really wanted for Christmas, and of course, didn't get, was some more time off. Not only from work, but from the whole rigmarole that is the holiday season. I really love it...I do, but I wish that there wasn't so much to do in such a short time. For my husband, it's great. He teaches, so come Christmastime, he'll always have two weeks off from work. Sure, I'll give him a few projects to get done around the house, but that's more to keep him from calling me at work every ten minutes because he's bored out of his mind. He's just that kind of hyper-active personality type that has to have the hands and mind working on something constantly, or he'll immediately be sleeping...or bugging me.

Not me. I know how to maximize relaxation time. I don't get much of it, but if I even had three or four days where I didn't have to follow any schedule, do any visiting, or get any work done, I'd be reading. Not just casually, but hard-core from sun-up to the dark of midnight reading. That, and I'd go for a massage, get to the gym a couple times (not too much, it's a vacation), bake some warm, fresh muffins, and get out that paint brush.

I have so many ways to relax, but lately none of them seem to work. Maybe it's because of the fact that there's not even enough time for power naps anymore. It takes me more than the 1 hour grace period I may get in an evening to wind down and really RELAX, and so I don't bother anymore. I keep on truckin' and tell myself that I'll just get these few things done today, and then tomorrow I'll have a little more time and I can sit down for a while. But it never happens that way, because tomorrow comes with its own set of all new tasks that just have to get done.

I guess that's why I've chosen to vent like this today. I'm making it my New Year's Resolution (do people really still make those?) to not give a shit about the dishes so much, or the laundry, or worry about getting every task off of my desk before the end of the day.

So how long do you give me?