electricland: (me by ohi)
because I am far too tired to create a coherent narrative. Note to self: when anxious, staying up until 1 a.m. does not help.

Today's Science Tarot card: the High Priestess. I love this one -- Kekulé's dream of benzene is one of my favourite science stories. (Also, I seem to be getting a fair number of cards telling me not to live in my head so much. Hardly surprising.)

It is looking likely that the Project That Ate My Life will go live tomorrow! Stay tuned.

In 2010 I actually managed to keep track of all the books I read (plus a few I only skimmed). It was... a lot. I went on a library fast in November/December to try and catch up on the books I actually own. Working on copying them from the little green notebook to Goodreads (I'm electricland over there too). This year perhaps I will go so far as to write reviews! Or, y'know, perhaps not.

...that is all I got tonight. Time for bed. But first, here's how things looked at the cottage 6 months ago. I wish I could figure out how to get this Scrapbook thing to work, it is the least intuitive interface EVER.
electricland: (Default)
Spent the weekend at the cottage, which was a good thing to do. Sailed once, went canoeing once, swam lots, read lots, ate lots. Was somewhat antisocial. Took several books out of book purgatory and over to the book exchange at the barn; I did retrieve three that I decided I do still want in my life, so book purgatory/quarantine has been successful.

Saw quite a few birds -- the usual ducks, mallards and mergansers, now getting very big; a ruby-throated hummingbird (not ruby-throated at all as she was a girl); kingfisher; crows, of course; and most notably, a cormorant, which landed quite high up in a pine tree and caused us all much bemusement. The little mergansers are very cute -- they swim along with their heads underwater, and when they spot a fish they go tearing along the water in pursuit. The mallards are cute too, but not as active. Saw two chipmunks, and others saw the mink, but I missed it.

Came down last night with my parents. Wretchedly hot in the city still. I eventually got to sleep by reminiscing about (1) times I have frozen my little toes off in Quebec City and similar in winter, no matter how many layers you have on it doesn't help, cheekbones start to freeze in the wind, etc.; (2) times I have been damp and cold, boots slightly leaking, damp at neck and wrists, fine drizzle with cutting wind, hair stuck to face, fingers stiff, skin prone to cracking. Suddenly a little balmy heat doesn't seem so bad. (Reminiscing about times I have been even hotter than this was not helpful, I discovered.)

Read this week: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (surprise!). Specials. Firethorn. Night Watch (I am mildly tempted to have a go at reading ALL books called Night Watch -- there are many). The Sharing Knife: Legacy.
electricland: (Default)
Potterwatch: 88 of 4040, still in transit. I also have to go in and ask them why, if they have 103 copies of Small Island, half of which are happily sitting in the library, they need MY copy back to fulfill a hold?

Jen and I took the GO train up to the cottage last night. Well, not right to the cottage, but as far as Bradford, where John picked us up. Not a bad trip, except for the chatty woman with the penetrating voice who was sitting in the next bank of seats. One of the nice features of the GO, I've always understood, is the groups of people that become GO buddies and always sit in the same seats and get to know each other. That is indeed cool, but the rest of us learned more than we needed to.

Anyway, it was a good thing to do in the grip of a heatwave. The lake is a perfect temperature -- I swam, and we admired all the ducks and ate shrimp and lamb and chocolate cake and raspberries, and then oohed and ahed over the slightly-past-full moon as it rose over the bay.

And then I got up at 6:30 this morning and admired the ducks again and we did the whole thing in reverse. Lovely, although if I do it again I'm making coffee.
electricland: (me by ohi)
Even those with a lot of travelling involved. Let's see...

Tuesday: Flew to Montreal. K&J met me at the airport and took me home and fed me pasta primavera and strawberry pie. I heard all about France and getting lost in Carcassonne (sp?). It was bloody hot out.

Wednesday: Strawberry pie for breakfast, then booth bunnied all day. Went pretty well. Escaped around 5:30 as detailed in my last post. Went home and ate gazpacho and pork tenderloin. Yum.

Thursday: Lazed around and read in the morning, then went out and revisited old haunts in Westmount Village and bought stuff I didn't altogether need with money I don't altogether have. (OK, some things I did need. Like the tote bag. I really needed the tote bag.) Lunch: sandwich from Cavallaro. Met M for coffee, went out for dinner with some friends from the last job.

Friday: Flew home. L's wedding. Gorgeous, at the Palais Royale, with full moon on the water and swans and a tall ship and fireworks at Ontario Place. All planned of course. Great party and no explosions (apart from the fireworks, that is).

Saturday: Helped rip down the nasty shed-like structure that's been sheltering our exterior basement stairs. Crowbars and a sledgehammer were involved, although part of the job was easily done with bare hands. Turns out we're going to need a jackhammer for the rest of the concrete steps, but it's delightful to look out our windows and not see a collapsing tar-paper shack. Jen and John have been doing sterling work taking stuff to the dump, just in time for us to replace the pile with a new pile. Then barbecue chez [livejournal.com profile] lostvoice and P.

Sunday: GO bus to cottage. Nap. Ah, sweet sweet sleep.

Monday: Much lazing at the cottage, interspersed with reading and getting the slips in. We ran out of steam before we could actually get the sailboats in the water, but the field is prepared. And the canoe is out. My dad drove me down in the evening.

Books read: Murder on St. Mark's Place. The Unfortunate Miss Fortunes. The Lightning Thief. The Virtu. Down the Rabbit Hole. The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana (I've been having a terrible time getting it finished for some reason). The Privilege of the Sword (finally).
electricland: (fuji red wine java)
This weekend I had an ambitious program: I wanted to read, and I wanted to cook, and I wanted to give myself a pedicure. Success! I accomplished ALL these things, plus some furniture moving and throwing out of stuff. And a very short swim (it's still a little chilly, and I hadn't been moving around enough for that to be pleasant).

It was Jen's birthday Saturday so we went up to the cottage. [livejournal.com profile] crankygrrl provided lunch -- cheese and baguette and salad and good things like that. I'd volunteered for dinner, which turned out to be asparagus; roast chicken with German potato salad (although in Granny's Joy of Cooking it is not called this); Greek salad; and chocolate cake and vanilla Swiss almond ice cream.

It was good. Although one day I will figure out how to make cakes that don't rise too high in the middle and crack. We ate a lot.

Sunday after breakfast provided by Jen (pancakes, bacon, scrambled eggs) I finally revolted against the chest of drawers in my room that's been trying and failing to be a bedside table for however many years, and put it into the closet which I don't use much anyway. Stole one of the coffee tables from the living room and put it into my room instead. Instant improvement -- it's the same height as the beds and has a shelf for books. Jen tossed the magazines that had been in it (only one was less than a year old). We're still trying to absorb the remaining stuff that came from Granny's apartment. Things go to the cottage, but they rarely leave, and this is a problem.

Also spent some time doing Kakuro and watching the goose and duck families. Incredibly cute, and luckily (I almost wrote "cluckily") the geese don't nest near our cottage, so we can enjoy them without cursing them. Oh, and there were four huge (in my experience anyway) fish wandering around near our dock on Saturday -- I couldn't tell what they were, possibly catfish, but they were each about 18" long. Suddenly all those fishing boats make more sense.

Reading: gave up on River of Darkness by Rennie Airth, which wasn't working for me, but adored The New Moon's Arms by Nalo Hopkinson. Magic in the Caribbean and a deeply difficult but awesome middle-aged heroine. And seals.

How were your weekends?
electricland: (house parrot)
come hell or high water. At least, for a value of "week" that includes
"the coming weekend".

Entire family at the cottage this weekend -- my parents finishing up their
three weeks there, my aunt and uncle starting their two. On a practical
level, because my father went grocery shopping and my aunt brought up what
seemed like all the food in the house, this meant a ridiculously full
fridge. Getting anything into it was even more difficult than wiring those
stupid pot lights of mine. We dedicated an entire box that had once held
honeydew melons just to bread. We did eat very well, mind you. Now my
parents have come back to the city, bringing their share of the food with
them, so what was a pristine and minimalist fridge under my reign now
looks pretty much like the one up at the cottage. My dad does not believe
in buying small quantities of anything and is impossible to restrain by
normal methods; my mother and I occasionally gaze into the crisper drawer
saying things like "Why do we need eight red peppers?"

Anyway, it's lovely to have them back, of course, but... I've really kind
of enjoyed being on my own, and I would like to return to that state, and
the house is reasonably ready to move into, and I think it would be a good
idea if I just... did. So I'm gonna.

Weekend was good. Saturday the final pieces of the new dock arrived at
last. Sunday we had an onshore wind all day, which got a bit irritating,
although if we'd had the boats out it would've been great. I baked a
birthday cake and we went to a baby shower for one of my cousins. Monday
was gorgeous and sunny and calm, which meant Invasion of the Gin Palaces,
and we spent some time debating the best way to get rid of them. (That
sounds horrible and snobby, but having twenty big motor-cruisers moored in
front of your cottage, some of them literally twenty feet off your dock,
gets irritating. Not to mention the sea-doo that chugged very slowly past
all our cottages, inside the reeds, driver and passenger gazing at us with
interest. That is Rude. It's not like the lake doesn't remain ridiculously
shallow well offshore.) A potato gun, while tempting, would probably
invite some kind of firearms charge. I maintain that the best plan is to
train the seagulls to land on them.

The Queen in Winter improved steadily, and the last story (by Sarah
Monette) kicked ass. I read another small chunk of Ulysses. And
then my aunt lent me the new Jilly Cooper from the library, so that's what
I'm reading for the next little while. *glee*
electricland: (house plan)
On Saturday I went to the fan store and bought a fan at vast expense to the management. I am pleased to report that it isn't ugly, and it has a remote control. Installation may be tricky but the manual seems very comprehensive.

Had lunch with [livejournal.com profile] crankygrrl, then went and wired lights, then helped Jen wire some of her lights, then built an Ikea cabinet and decided it wouldn't fit over my sink but would be just fine over the toilet, then drove up to the cottage. Drove through 10 minutes of incredible rainstorm on the way, could barely see the road, then the sun came out and it was just breathtaking -- glowing saturated green and gold fields against a grey sky. And a rainbow to top it off.

Today, my aunt reports:

To all,
Today for lunch, Jen, John and I had breakfast: bacon and eggs and those frozen croissants that you put out overnight that smell and taste like the real thing when you cook them in the morning. First introduced to us by Kelly and Jean. With savage honey (from wildflowers and has a bit of honeycomb in it).

Jen, with help from John and Neil, managed to thwart Ikea and assemble her bed. Also wired two more lights in the bedroom and put up a shower curtain.

John finished the hutch in the kitchen, wired a switch and failed to find the right 'decorative' (aka hide the faults) molding at both Rona and Home Depot.

Neil is assembling art frames for Jane.

We soldier on.
Cheers, Helen
Saw the ducklings today -- there are still five of them, and they're quite adorable, not fuzzy any more but only about half-size still. My mother and I took the canoe out for a bit. Drove down around 6:15 and did grocery shopping and laundry, I feel so organized.
electricland: (Default)
My aunt reports:

Today for lunch, John, Jen and I went to Gabby's.

Yesterday, Rob worked on the door of her bathroom cabinet, did something* for pots and pans (I can't read my writing), put on handles with the fine cordless drill, and put together a filing cabinet. Then she bailed and went to the cottage.

Jen cleaned and was frustrated by Ikea hardware.**

John--after having yesterday volunteered with the Beaches Garden Society to plant a garden in front of the Beach Library ((how worthy is that!)__ has been mounting top cabinets in Jen's kitchen and building a base for the lower cabinets. Jen helped and did not make a mistake with installation of the corner cabinet--but it was a near run thing as John O would say. (She admitted same when I told her about my slip-covering.) Jen also worked on putting together her wardrobe.***

We are progressing.
Cheers, Helen
*Installed wire baskets in the cabinet by the stove, actually.
**In that, when she opened the boxes for her wardrobe, they contained no hardware.
***OK, one cabinet out of about 5 came with hardware, so she put together everything she could.


Cottage was lovely, especially since the heat and humidity in the house (despite the insulation) were enough to have me dripping with sweat the moment I picked up a tool. Ugh. Lake was very welcome. Stag party next door less so, but oh well. Between house and cottage I also saw Joanne and the new baby, who is adorable.

The mallard family is down to 5 ducklings from 7. I was afraid their independent ways (or their mother's casual parenting style, depending how you look at it) would catch up with them.

Reread The Perilous Gard. Read His Majesty's Dragon and the Jinny book that [livejournal.com profile] raithen sent me (THANK YOU!). A fine reading day all around.

Failed yet again to get to the Fringe. Next year. Or perhaps I'll manage something at the Best Of.
electricland: (house parrot)
My aunt reports (well, reported, this is from yesterday):

Today for lunch, Jen, Jen, John, Mike and I had scrambled eggs with smoked salmon, fried potatoes and tomatoes, and sausage and bacon.

There has not been a report for a week because John and I were with Bob and Jane on a houseboat trip on the Trent where we had a perfectly wonderful time.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch . . .

Last Sunday, Rob, Jen and Kathryn primed the first floor--taking up the torch from moi-meme.

Thursday, Jen pained assiduously and got lots and lots done.*

Friday, John the Floor finished the first floor floor.

Yesterday**, John grouted Jen's bathroom and Jen assembled kitchen cabinets.

William has been working on door and window frames on the first floor.

And the excitement never stops.

Cheers, moi-meme.
*And then Mike and I came over and helped clean out the first floor so the floor guys could have a clear view. Amazing how stuff piles up. We filled up the van for a dump run and took the tools down to the basement and unpacked the stove and dishwasher and were generally industrious.
**Sunday, I guess?


Meanwhile meanwhile... Friday night I helped [livejournal.com profile] crankygrrl move while Jen and Mike took the van to the dump. Saturday morning Jen, [livejournal.com profile] monkeycommando and I were all on moving detail (Jen and MC packed boxes, MC and I ferried them down the hall, Cranky and I unpacked them and I brought the empties back -- rinse, repeat) until it was time to break for the England game. I went up to the cottage at half-time (stopping en route at a picnic site in Markham, but couldn't find [livejournal.com profile] stilldeepwater and M anywhere so went on). [livejournal.com profile] stilldeepwater and M arrived later on and stayed overnight; they were delightful guests and even weeded the lawn. So I basically did NOTHING for two days except sit, watch the ducks, read, eat, drink, sleep, and occasionally swim. Watched the fireworks all around the lake after dark. Oh, and played Trivial Pursuit on Saturday evening. Bliss.

Ducks, yes! Two families of ducklings. One mallard family with seven babies, still small enough to fit easily in the palm of your hand but quite independent. When they get too far behind they run across the water to catch up, using feet and wings together. And a family of mergansers, also seven ducklings, about half-grown; they only came by once, but spent quite a long time in front of the cottage fishing.

And yesterday I saw, I think, two different kinds of beasties -- a group of three little chestnut-brown ferret-shaped guys with blunt tails trotted in single file in front of the cottage, and then I saw another animal -- quite similar except with a more rat-like tail -- running back and forth several times. Eventually it ran out onto the dock and jumped in the water and that was the last I saw of it. Mink? Muskrat? Not sure. Saw a chipmunk as well.
electricland: (Default)
Yesterday: dermatologist appointment, very little work, made lists, helped [livejournal.com profile] crankygrrl move (well, start to move -- she's not terribly packed but I think it'll be OK) while Jen and Mike took the van to the dump, picked up the van, went to Dominion for groceries at 11 p.m. It was sort of like an adventure. At least, that's what I'm choosing to tell myself. Would've been better if I'd had a loonie for a shopping cart but such is life. Noticed when I got back to the van that Jen had left her purse in it, leading to dilemma: to phone, wake everyone up, and tell her, or not to phone? I phoned. I figured if it were me, I'd want to know.

Today: pack, bathe, more moving (just until the England game starts, then everyone's pausing and I'm taking off), picnic, and then COTTAGE! Me, a long weekend, and a lot of books* I haven't read yet. Peace perfect peace with loved ones far away. Can hardly wait.

See you all Tuesday!

*I'm taking:

Ulysses
His Majesty's Dragon
A Princess of Roumania
Melusine
(Indigo's having a four-for-three paperback sale)
and Lunar Park for one last go.
electricland: (Triplettes)
This evening I:

- Had dinner with my mum.
- Read today's house update. Here. )
- Triumphed over the new scanner.
- Failed to triumph over the bundled photo software, which refused to initialize.
- Yelled a lot.
- Watched the second half of the Foyle's War from last week.
- Figured out a way around the stupid software.
- Sent off a plaintive email to the manufacturer, which will probably be ignored.
- Helped my mum upload 6 photos. Might be better to create a separate account for 'em before we go much further. More to come.
- Discovered that Fafblog is back! Yay!
- Got very sleepy and went to bed. (OK, that's a prediction.)
electricland: (house plan)
Friday, my aunt reports:

Today for lunch Jen, John, David and I had frozen pizza. Brian the Tile was invited, said he had another job, but asked to be invited again.

John did wiring--smoke and CO 2 alarms. It was very noisy. He went to the dump.

Dan and David did plastic plumbing. Dan went driving.

Jen sorted chaotic piles of stuff, and bought/picked up beer (vital) pendant lights for Rob's stairway, green tile for her bathroom and plastic plumbing bits.

Cheers, Helen
Saturday I got to the house around 11:30 so wasn't wildly productive before lunch, which was quiche and salad. My parents ripped up many floorboards (my dad is determined that one area of my floor at least WILL NOT SQUEAK, DAMMIT). After lunch Jen and I put up vapour barrier in my kitchen using the cool stapler that runs off the air compressor. Also, black gunk. The black gunk was a pain in the ass, although having watched a similar operation on the 3rd floor I don't think we were using the gun correctly.

Then we made some project plans using Bristol board and Post-It notes, which nobody but us will use, but I found it helpful.

Then I helped my parents with the floorboards, which took forever.

Then I went to [livejournal.com profile] monkeycommando's birthday party and was very dull company. Did I mention that it rained all day Saturday?

It went on raining all day Sunday, when I went up to the cottage with John, Dan, and [livejournal.com profile] pariah_ink to put the dock away. I must say that the chest waders have been a wonderful addition to this process -- I don't mind wading around in the muck at all now, although I did nearly get stuck at one point. My parents did not come, but sent chili.

Then we drove back to the city and I had a shower and sneezed all evening. I'm not sure if it was allergies or a cold. Today will tell. Unless, of course, it's more spores. I really would have liked to stay in bed this morning, though.
electricland: (puppies)
I am not ready for Monday. I would like all weekends to be three-day weekends from here on in, plzkthx.

[livejournal.com profile] crankygrrl drove J and me up to the cottage on Saturday (we had stayed in town Friday for book club -- none of us had made it very far into A Suitable Boy but I'm enjoying it very much). Spent most of the weekend laughing at the dogs: my aunt and uncle are babysitting Leo, a 4-pound, 6-month-old Yorkshire terrier, enormously engaging and confident of his welcome anywhere (yesterday morning as I was just waking up he leapt onto the bed, ran around my head once, licked my fingers in passing, jumped off the bed again and ran out). My grandmother was very taken with him, even with his habit of hopping up onto her chair without warning and climbing all over her to lick her face. He and Tilde together don't weigh 20 pounds, but they were very firm about defending the homestead from those awful, awful people in the cottages either side of us. He's also quite a water dog -- he hopped into the water to investigate some of the ducks, then retreated when six of them started swimming towards him to investigate in return, and came swimming with us a couple of times. Tilde's nose was slightly out of joint; we had to reassure her that we still love her best, it's just that the dog who randomly hops into your lap is more likely to get snuggles than the dog who remains aloof. She also wasn't at all keen on this swimming business, but we weren't sure if that was because she believes dogs shouldn't swim or she was jealous.

Drove down yesterday evening, watched Veronica Mars and Doctor Who ("Father's Day") on tape. Have high hopes of addicting J to Doctor Who.

Everyone have a good weekend?

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