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Posts Tagged ‘laughter’

This past weekend my folks, one sister and my four-year old nephew were visiting from Canada.  It was also our 9th wedding anniversary, so we decided to have a little BBQ at our house, in all there were about 25 people and I think it is safe to say we all had a good time.  I lit a fire in the fire ring so we could make smores, the boy, (my nephew) was very interested in this process and pulled up a chair close to the fire,  he was making it quite clear in all his wiggling that he wasn’t overly comfortable. A co-worker/friend and I were standing off to the side where we overheard the following conversation between my sister, and her son. (who she calls in her blog, ‘the boy’)

My sister: walking up to my wiggling nephew and taking the seat beside him, “Boy are you okay?” 

Boy: “Yes”

“Boy you are wiggling around and can’t keep still, what is wrong?”

“My underpants are sticky”

His underpants were sticky because it was hot, and he was wearing long pants rather than shorts to protect him from mosquito bites. My friend went hysterical, he loved the honesty and simplicity of the answer.  Although we work together and see each other just about every day he clearly hasn’t been paying attention.  For my family such an answer is typical, even so I have to admit there was a poetic beauty about it, especially coming from a four-year old. 

Yesterday I was sitting in my office at work, my co-worker was in the other room helping out one of the technicians.  I always keep an ear open just in case there is something I need to deal with.  I heard the following conversation:

Technician: “Hey, what’s up?”

Co-worker: “My underpants are sticky!”

I almost died laughing.

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My wife and I are still redecorating, still laughing and I’ve got one tip on how to decorate with your significant other and not be at one another’s throats.  Simple really, don’t do too much at any given time.  Give yourself a generous time line so there is not a lot of pressure to get things done now! While we didn’t fight, or even argue I could tell by the end of this particular day we both had pretty much reached our limit there was just a hint of that telltale tension in the air. 

Something else I’ve learned is try to have good lighting.  Our bedroom is pretty dark to make matters worse we had to remove two light sources so all we had was an overhead light and the light came through the windows.  Once we got everything back in order we did find a few issues that we will have to deal with, when we would have been able to correct them at the time had the lighting been better.  I know, sounds simple, but we don’t always do what sounds simple, logical or obvious. If we would keep to the simple and obvious rule we would have removed the three baskets full of laundry off our large, heavy king sized bed before we moved bed rather than after.

Overall everything is moving along nicely and we should be on target for our mid June completion date. The next big obstacle is going to be painting and that is only an obstacle because I don’t like painting not because I anticipate any problems. 

So I am sitting typing away with the TV on in the background when the show is interupted by a weather alert.  The TV goes to a black screen and those annoying beeps start. Seconds later the computer generated voice announces that, “There is a severe storm waring for the central paw region” My wife and I look at each other, “Did the tv just say central paw?”  In this day of modern technology you would think a computer would be able to interpret ‘Pa’ as Pennsylvania or at the very least, ‘PA’ but paw? Somewhow it is comforting to know that computers still have a little catching up to do.

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 We are still working on the bedroom remodel, (yes it is going to be a long drawn out process). We  removed some more molding pulled out the TV and TV cabinet, and no it’s not one of those sleek little flat screens,  oh no my friends it is one of those really heavy monster TV’s that is the exact opposite of flat so it has the bonus of being bulky as well as heavy. 

We removed the baseboards and cut a whole in the back of the cabinet to accommodate the socket in the wall and put up the wall paper like stuff to cover the paneling.  Now the wall looks great the TV cabinet sits further back into the corner and flush against the wall so it takes up a little less room and looks fantastic.

Still my wife and I worked as a team with no issues between us. Wait, there was one small issue.  The wallpaper is pre-glued but the glue has to be activated, so you cut a length you want, (in our case 7 ft long and the paper is 18 inches in width) and then run the paper through a trough of water, each part must be in the water for a good 15 seconds.  There are probably a variety of ways to execute this particular task but we have decided the, ‘Aching arms, sore back stretched out ham strings’ method works best for us. 

Allow me to explain, the trough is 18.5 inches long 3 inches in width and 4 inches deep.  So you can only wet 3 inches of wall paper at a time.  We have a bath sized walk in shower so the trough goes on the floor in the shower, my wife gets on one side and holds (at this point the bulk of the wallpaper) I’m on the other side of the trough bent in half placing the leading edge into the trough and we count 1 one thousand, thousand, 2 one thousand, thousand all the way up to 15 one thousand, thousand.  We found if you rush this step your stick ability to the wall is less than great.  Then I pull up the leading edge 3 inches and my wife hunches down in half and holds the next three inches in the trough and begins the count, then I raise the leading edge another three inches and so on for 7 foot length.  It is a slow process and halfway through my arms are getting tired because holding up wet wallpaper is not as easy as it may sound and 15 seconds multiplied by 7 feet is longer then you might expect. It is hard to ignore the pain in the back and thighs that creeps in as you remain in a bent position for an extended length of time.  

So, we are in position and everything is running smooth, we have about 5 feet of the paper good and wet and then it happens, my lovely wife who is still crouched over manages to head-butt the end of the paper I am holding up.  Did I mention that because you don’t want to ‘loose’ the glue you go through the process with the glue side face up in the water, which means that the non glue side is facing me and the glue side is, well you guessed it, facing my wife who now has glue hair.  Okay it may be that my arms were getting tired and I may have allowed a little slack in the paper and it could be the paper met the top of my wife’s head as she was leaning forward just a little. 

The best part is we were able to laugh.

We were able to laugh even though the future of my job is questionable.  We were able to laugh even though this is my wife’s busy season at work and they are understaffed and under a lot of strain.  We were able to laugh even though our room is in total upheaval. We were able to laugh even though this remodel is going to be a long drawn out process. We were able to laugh even though we have a few pets having some medical issues.

We are able to laugh, and there is nobody who I’d rather be laughing with.

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Many moons ago my parents, (who own Perfect Magic) used to host a magic convention in Montreal each year.  It was a big deal some of the biggest names in the industry would attend.  I won’t list them here as most of you are not magicians so it wouldn’t really mean anything to you, and those that are magicians can click here  to get the full list.  After the convention we would have a party with the invited guests (magic dealers, lectures, performers and friends who helped us out) and have a grand ole’ time.

At one such ‘after’ party a friend of my mothers, said to my Mother, “I envy you, you know all these entertainers and its such a different sort of life it must be so exciting!”  My mother laughed and replied, “What are you talking about?  We go to work, we figure out what we are going to eat for dinner, we watch tv and we go to sleep then wake up the next morning and do it again. It is you who lives the exciting life, you’re a teacher, you travel you’ve seen the world, now that’s exciting!” My mothers friend laughed and said, “Not really, we go to work, we figure out whats for dinner…”

Last night my wife and I were eating dinner at Denny’s with what has now become the Tuesday night crew.  After reading my blog one of our new found friends commented that we live such an exciting life compared to theirs.  I said, “not really,  we wake up, go to work, figure out what we are going to do for dinner…”

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Husky Fun

Husky fun
Husky fun

You know you are in for a trying day when it is 5:30am and the snow in the driveway is up to your huskies belly.  My saving grace is that it is Saturday which means that instead of securing the dog on the porch and dragging out the snow blower and moving snow for two and a half hours, I can turn around, stick the dog in the laundry room and go back to sleep and worry about the snow later.  I’m not a fan of snow, yes its pretty, but pretty is only skin deep and ugly is to the bone.  Watching Sequoia play in the snow does add a whole new element.  I wish I had set the camera to video mode but at 5am I am not thinking that clearly, it is amazing I had the presence of mind to grab the camera.  I seriously had to laugh as she bounded through the snow, tail in the air, mouth open tongue lolling out to one side.  Every now and again she would dunk her face in the snow then pull it back out totally encrusted in snow up to her ears, her blue eyes sparkling. Then she would stretch out her neck, her eyes would narrow to slits as she put her nose high in the air and breath in all the scents the world has to offer her. The next moment she would be bounding through the snow again. If Sequoia has taught me anything it is to take the time to live in the moment.  It is a lesson I forget all to easily, thankfully she is there to remind time and time again.

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Fate Or Circumstance, Part 3

Once at  Sandra’s we found the kennel, made sure Husky had food and water, we promised her that Sandra would be home soon and that we would visit during the week, and with great reluctance we walked away.

Husky screamed!  She didn’t bark, growl or howl, she screamed.  Never had I heard such a noise, it sounded like somebody had taken an old rusty spoon and used it to carve out her heart.  We couldn’t take her with us and we couldn’t wait all night.  Husky was safe, she had water and Sandra would soon be there to take her inside.  Being the cruel heartless people we are we walked away with heavy hearts and tears in our eyes and the most horrific sound echoing in our heads.  The neighbour promised us he would check in on Husky once Husky had settled down.   As we drove home with that god awful noise still reverberating in our heads we started thinking up ways we could keep her with us until we found a suitable home.  Logically we knew husky was fine, emotionally we were drained.  Some would argue that this was when we decided to keep Husky, and again they would be wrong. 

We made a vet appointment with Lee (the best vet ever) who gave us a lecture on dog ownership and given our situation and the temperment of our cats, how owning a dog was probably not the smartest idea.   Lee also forced us to see the obvious, if Husky did  kill one of the cats, how would that make us feel? then what would become of Husky?   Lee did admit that this husky was not a typical husky.   Husky took all her shots, gave blood and submitted to the exam without all the usual husky drama.  For the most part she lay on her back paws in the air waiting for somebody to rub her belly.  Lee who is not only the best vet, is also a friend who cares about her patients and despite her lecture informed us that she would support our decision and help us any way she could both as a friend and a vet.  Did our vet just open the door a tiny crack?  There were a lot of issues and the potential for deadly disaster, I was still focused on finding Husky a suitable home but maybe there was a way to share the household, maybe we could find a way to separate the cats from the dog when we were all in the house at the same time, maybe…just maybe…

During this time we took Husky everywhere getting her as much exposure as possible figuring the more people who saw her the better the chance we had at finding her a good home.   My wife was busy being a detective and with only Husky’s rabies tags she managed to uncover  a lot of  information.  The previous owner owed the vets money, making them reluctant to give us any information, but with a little explaining on our part each vet we talked to agreed to release Husky’s records our vet.  We found out that Husky was a mom but the dog law officer realized this guy was unable or unwilling to look after Husky never mind husky puppies and forced him to have Husky fixed.  He did comply but once again never paid the vet.  From there my wife was able to track down the breeder.  Husky was a purebred and we got all the information we needed to get her papers from the American Kennel Club.  We had no interest in getting her papers but it was a good ‘selling’ point to tempt a possible owner. 

Finding Husky an owner was a difficult task,  we were not about to ‘dump’ her on just anybody, how would that help her?  how would that put her in a better situation?  Most people want a dog that they can throw out the door on a cold day and then give a whistle and the dog will come running back, unfortunately with most huskies you can’t do that, once they are outside and unrestrained, they are gone.  Training a  husky is not as easy as training a lab.  Before a husky will do anything they ask themselves “whats in it for me?” and there better be something as they are certainly not out to please you.  Huskies are not always good with children or other dogs and other dogs don’t always like huskies.  In our studies we learned that huskies have their own language which other dogs don’t understand.  A husky owner in northern Canada who has working huskies warned us that huskies play a lot harder than most dogs and the difference between husky play and a husky fight is the amount of blood spilled.  To make matters worse our husky is very dominant and doesn’t play well with others.  If another dog doesn’t respond the way Husky wants them too she goes on the attack. 

One Sunday we went to Sandra’s to drop Husky off, (thankfully we could now do this without the screaming)  there was a pen set up in the yard with all the husky puppies playing inside.  We brought Husky into the pen and she immediately went into mothering mode.  She played with them, let them crawl all over her but when they crossed the line (as huskies are prone to do) she would roll them on their backs and hold them there until they calmed down.  We stayed for a while, playing with the puppies (we really liked zag and Sandra actually tried to get us to adopt zag) and really enjoyed watching Husky play with the pups.  Once again that dreaded time came when we had to leave we said goodbye to Sandra and the woman helping her, said goodbye to Husky who was only paying attention to the puppies but just before I got into the car I happened to look back and noticed Husky had stopped paying attention to the puppies, all her attention was on us. Later when my wife mentioned that particular behaviour to Sandra she told us that Husky always watched us leave and looked for us once we were gone and on Saturdays she would wait by the door for us to pick her up.  I though back to when we first met Husky, she didn’t look at her previous owner, she never looked back.  Some would say it was at that point we decided adopt Husky the truth of the matter is Husky had already adopted us.

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Just because this is a small town and the locals are all connected if not related  It really is a small world  doesn’t mean that it’s a tight-knit community.  Five years back we were having a campfire with some neighbours one of which works at the university.  I was working at the bank at the time and we started telling tales.  Turns out my neighbour worked in the same office as Joe the bursar who makes daily deposits at the bank.  Next day Joe walks into the bank and I mention that one of the people he shares an office with is my neighbour X.

Joe: “Oh” he says to me, “so you must live over on hill street” (location and names are changed to protect the guilty). 

Me:  “Yes, right next to x, in fact her father in law used to own both properties” 

Joe: “Really, you must be in the old Smith house, I grew up around there”

Me: “Yes”  my wife has always told me if you want to let a local know just where we live all you have to do is let them know that we are in the “Old Smith Place” so I was amused by the response.

Joe: “Oh so you are next to the Hatfields” 

 At this point my dear readers you have to know I am not always quickest horse on the track as Joe’s last name happens to be Hatfield.

Me: “oh yeah the entire clan lives on my street” and I started humming the theme song from deliverance ‘dueling banjo’s’  the middle part of the song

Joe: “You live near Jane?”

Me: “Yes Jane shares a property line with us, do you know her?” I innocently ask.

Joe “She is my grandmother”

Now I am seriously regretting my rendition of dueling banjo’s and I’m trying to find a way to dig my way out of the hole I’ve now found myself in, and this is not a little hole.  Joe is the bursar of the university, the largest business around, the reason the whole town exists, a town that for some reason has a bank on every corner and I just called his grandmother and most of his family redneck hillbillies. You would think at this point I’d know when to keep my mouth shut, but I haven’t  So I add, “I’m sorry to hear about your grandfather I didn’t know him well but he was always nice to us.”  His response? “what happened with my grandfather?”

“Uhm Joe, he died a year ago from lung cancer” 

“Really?” he says to me, “I don’t talk keep up with that side of the family if you haven’t noticed they are a little strange up there, see you tomorrow” and out the door he went leaving me scratching my head in wonder.

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