Wednesday, July 27, 2005

In memory of E.B. Fenner

Life Lessons my Poppa taught me:

1. He once asked me to tell him what "Mad Dog" was backwards. I was so proud and loud when I figured it out. Mimi tossed me out of the cottage in the blink of an eye for the blasphemy.

Lesson: Never blindly answer other people's questions without thinking about it first. The answer reflects on you not the person who asked the question.

2. You only get one kick at the can of life. Make sure you drink all the vodka you need and smoke all the cigarettes you want. When those two vices get in the way of experiencing life - Quit them without question. He travelled the entire world and got to enjoy vodka in all of the right places because he quit enjoying cigarettes in chain formation the second his doctor told him to.

Lesson: Don't let habit get in the way of living.

3. Poppa surveyed the Trans Canada Highway through Northern Ontario. He was the best hobby fisherman I've ever met. When you are in the bush for months on end you need to enjoy what the bush has to offer.

Lesson: Take what you can from where you are and live it fully.

4. Poppa would get woken up by tequila drunk grand-teenagers skinny dipping on the dock and got so blind angry that you were afraid to leave your cottage for the tongue lashing the next day. Use democracy and elect an ambassador to apologize. He could always tell when we'd scapegoated someone and that was worse. Once an ambassador was elected there was no need to rain hell fire on all members of the offending team.

Lesson: Always apologize when your behaviour is disrespectful and don't waste your breath if you're not sincere - that insults everyone more and shows no self respect.

5. Poppa built gardens all around our cottage properties and when the magic of creation was done he found magic in the day to day maintenance of the flowers and vegetables that he grew.

Lesson: Take care of your living projects and they will give you everything in return.

6. Don't define yourself by your paid work. Find fulfillment in as many aspects of life as possible. When Poppa retired from working for Trans-Canada he did the following:

  • built his retirement home on Six Mile Lake
  • learned how to design gardens on the Cambrian Shield. Not an easy task. One of the last things my Poppa told me was that he spread 100 lbs of manure on those gardens over the course of the summer. Holy Shit...
  • learned how to paint it
  • wrote and illustrated books for all of his grandchildren when they were born. Even though we got them when we were less than 3 years old they came to define some specific aspect of ourselves.
  • travelled the world with his wife of 67 years.
  • built and left a life that we could all use as foundations for our own lives

Eat Local Challenge

I've come across this competition through Marmalade's blog. It might be just the salve to soothe my guilty energy wasting conscience.

Now that the wedding/moneymoon is over I'd love to start enjoying cooking and increasing my OCD about food and health.

Hence I introduce to you.

Eat Local - A blogger movement that is increasing momentum worldwide (how cool!) The challenge is to build your diet and eating habits on foods that are grown locally. This is a great way to support the local economy and to minimize the environmental footstep of your eating habits.

"Our food now travels an average of 1,500 miles before ending up on our tables," says one of the Locavores, Sage Van Wing, of Point Reyes. The process imperils "our environment, our health, our communities and our taste buds."

Sustainable food comes from sustainable agriculture, which does not rely on heavy use of petroleum on the farm or in distribution. Besides conserving oil, sustainable agriculture reduces carbon emissions, which are linked to global climate change and poor health. Finally, supporting local agriculture sustains the local economy.

There are a ton of resources and markets in Toronto that I found through these links. The most exciting of which is the Riverdale Market which happens on Tuesdays and is right on my way home when I walk!

Toronto Farmers’ Markets
Ontario Farmers’ Markets
City of Toronto, Eat Local!
Public Policy and the Transition to Locally Based Food Networks
Toronto Food Policy Council
WOW Foods

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Air Conditioning...the life blood of sanity

We have succumbed to the heat. YOU WIN HEAT WAVE!

The PIC and I invested in a small air conditioner for the boudoir. After spending 5 days in Algonquin Park where it's cool at night and hot in the afternoon we couldn't handle coming back to the heat wave in the T.Dot.

The reason for holding out on the last frontier of comfort for myself was primarily energy consumption. Two years ago Toronto was tossed into the joy that was the blackout for the Northern Seaboard and Southern Ontario. We maxed out our grid so I instinctively felt that AC was something that we really could live without, unfortunately, sleep was not something we could live without.

So we pick out a small AC at Home Despot after reading the box carefully the PIC put the love machine together and installed it. While cleaning it up I come across a flyer, printed by EnerGuide, that was attached to the machine in the box which tells us that this f'ing machine IS THE LEAST ENERGY EFFICIENT air conditioner in it's class!!!

I will admit that we should have done our own due diligence in the matter checking into the Energy Efficiency Ratio hell, we should have know what the EER is!

But why why why the fuck isn't the EER put on the box with all of the other basic information? What good does it do the basic consumer to put the label inside the box?!! I guess Simplicity will sell more AC's based on the fact the consumer won't know until they've installed the damn machine that it's going to suck their hydro bill skyward.

Sigh. Rage aside - we slept for a full 8 hours last night in blissful comfort. So nice to sleep without waking up to spray myself with H20

Monday, July 25, 2005

The ceremonial binding of the ball and chain...

So it's been just over two weeks since I've posted. I could have updated all y'all from the cottage the week before my PIC and I went legit but...well...there was beer to drink and a dock to sit on as depicted here by my PIC.

Adventures had and survived in the last two weeks:

- The term regravelling was new to me - my dad was excited about a new laser leveller that my Man Brother lent him. Notably, the Brother lent it to Dad but let us shovel 18 tonnes of gravel around the driveway until it was level...within a centimetre. I couldn't understand why this was necessary because so few people were actually parking on the driveway

- I got balled and chained...he he he. By this I mean my PIC and I tied the knot. We had all worked so so hard to make it happen smoothly at the cottage that it was a very cathartic moment for the whole clan when it happened.

Some pictures from the first round of this event that I love and adore:

- My nephew Gabriel and niece Claire with my cousin Allan: Gabriel and Claire are at that phase in toddlerdom when they *cannot* be more than 6 inches away from their mother if not *on* her. It is a testament to my cousin's patience, charm and gentleness that they accepted this perch.

- My brother Dan without whom we would not have been able to pull of the wedding day without knowing about all of the problems that come up. He put on the daddy pants with Charlotte and Liz and together they were spectacular. His incredible ability to make everyone feel comfortable and engaged and taken care of made it impossible for folk not to have a great time.

- My sisters. These two women enrich, expand and support my life - they are unstoppable forces of creativity, intelligence and drive. They can plant more trees than anyone in a camp of 30, develop waste disposal treatments that conserve energy the environment AND lead to big money gains for big money companies, and MAN DO THEY CLEAN UP PRETTY.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Happy Birthday Aviva!

My friend Aviva turns 30 today. These are some things that I know about Aviva:

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1. Aviva has one of the best sets of breasts I've ever seen/touched/admired and not only are they fantastic but they feed her son delicious nutrious milk. That's fantastic.

2. Aviva is an activist and is inspiring in her involvement on both a local and a global level.

3. She is a lawyer who finds tax law fascinating...that's right I said it.

4 Aviva made moussaka the other day before coming out to celebrate birthdays on Church Street. A woman who can make crazy new recipes in between getting hypnotized by a new baby and going out with debauched friends is a woman who is unstoppable - she will break you if you try.

5. She can speak Spanish

6. Aviva taught me how to knit without dropping a needle so that my grandmother would stop mocking me (to this day I owe her a knitini for that)

7. She loves to be on adventures which can involve any combination of the following: Camping, canoes, fresh air, smoky air, martinis, high end dresses, making out with girl/boy friends, expensive meals, mcdonalds, gstrings, drag queens, rock music, symphonies, french, spanish, montreal or tea at home with knitting and music. That's right this woman does it ALL. I've tested this theory and have had too much fun doing so.

Cottage Posted by Picasa

8. Aviva is greatly involved in human rights and not only can she talk the talk she walks the walk in her own life. This stuff is serious shit, yo.

9. Aviva gave birth to beautiful baby Max and is a kick ass mother! I will fucking cut you if you say otherwise.

10. Aviva is the friend who "happens" to drop you a line right when you think you're going to stab your own eyes out with stress unwittingly saving your life or in the very least your eyesight.

Happy Birthday Lady Friend.

Friday, July 08, 2005

That monkey called Tequila...all over me like a Lesbian trying to convert

I think I'm still drunk.

I don't think I'd blow over I'm just saying I won't be operating any heavy machinery today.

Good times in Boys Town with my crew of enablers.

God bless them every one.

Pics to follow before my departure to nuptial land.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Happy Birthday Jason

I have a new picture that I wanted to post but our internet is down so I'm recycling...

My Partner in Crime. Love of My Life. Keeper of the Nostril Posted by Hello

Things I know about Jason:

1. Fruit salad is his favourite breakfast.

2. Unlike 98% of the world trying to find themselves Jason knew that he *loved* comedy when he was 2 years old and has been collecting it, learning about it, doing it for almost as long as he's been alive.

3. Jason is the most confident and self assured person I've ever met.

4. Jason loves french fries from chip wagons especially if they are made with peanut oil.

5. Jason is not afraid to try new things but before he does he needs to think on it for awhile to get comfortable with the idea.

6. Jason hates it when people apologize for things that they can change but never do.

7. Jason has BIG BIG FEET

8. Jason's natural enemy is the duvet because feathers don't belong in bed.

9. Jason cleans the house when he's worried about his drunken and debaucherous wife.

10. Jason is the most giving, welcoming, generous, smart and passionate man I've ever met - if you say something mean about him I will FUCKING CUT YOU without a second thought.

Monday, July 04, 2005


Our computer has exploded leading to a distinct lack of writing.

Electronics that have bitten the dust in the past 3 weeks:

- My stereo (just needs 'servicing' but then who doesn't?)
- Our "refurbished" home theatre system (exactly 1 day after warranty)
- The raccoons under our porch ate through the phone lines
- The Power Pack on the pc died a dignified death.

So this is what it's like to be Amish