Tuesday, 3 September 2019

I Could Nap

Well, summer is officially over. The Labour Day long weekend marks the end of summer holidays with the kids returning to school and families returning to their busy, normal lives filled with rushing the kids off to hockey, soccer (indoor), ballet, dance, gymnastics and oh so many activities that I, thankfully, no longer have to plot on my calendar.

Our summer this year was cooler than normal as I didn’t need to install the air conditioner in the window. I didn’t have to turn on the furnace either, so summer was kind of middle of the road. I do kind of feel that we had more rain than normal, but according to the weather guy it will all balance out. Whatever that means. All I know is that the fields and hills that are normally dry, brown grass at this time of year are as green as they are in the springtime. It is kind of surreal.

When I travel back into my memory I remember that I looked forward to this time of year. Well, sort of. Holidays were over which wasn’t great but at the end of the summer my buddies and I were down to playing board games like Monopoly which could last for days. It could also end when someone got mad and kicked the game and all of the money when he landed on Boardwalk that had a hotel or two on it. I was excited about getting back to school and seeing my school friends that I hadn’t seen since the previous June. The down side of course was that I had to start a new school year to see them and that meant a new teacher who may or may not like me. School was a struggle.

One of the things I really looked forward to was the new TV season started in September. The old shows that I loved were returning for a new season and those cliff-hangers would finally be resolved. There were new shows coming and you never knew if there would be a new favourite in the bunch. Some of the shows started off well but I soon lost interest and others that were slow starting developed complex characters and situations that I could barely wait till the next week to find out what would happen next. Good times!

This year and for many years past that excitement hasn’t come. I don’t go to school and any friends that I still have are here year round. I don’t have sports to look forward to (my bad) and in fact for me the fall begins about six months of indoor activities except for the leaf raking and snow shovelling. Television programming has changed a lot over the years and no longer is September very exciting. With the advent of cable the networks have several different season premiers a year. Fall premier…winter premiers…Christmas season shows…January New Year events…Spring Flings and God only knows what is next. This summer we had Christmas in July which I kind of liked but I am sure there were the Grinches and Grinch wannabees who would have willingly spent several years in jail for murder if only the could get their hands around the necks of a program director.

I guess I am getting old and just want stability in my life. My TV live in particular should be stable. I am embracing Netflix, Crave TV and Amazon Prime. I am sure there are others I have yet to embrace, but that is for the future. With all of these cable shows streaming, there is no longer a TV premier season so I just have to be on constant alert for the next great new show.

I suppose that I could just read books or do something constructive and creative with my time instead of flattening my ass on the couch. Nope. I can do that creative stuff when the cable is down …or…I could nap.

P.S.  The cable went out while I was writing this, so it won’t go up on the blog until tomorrow. Interestingly enough, I am going to take a long nap which most people call sleeping 

Sunday, 1 September 2019

Grandkids Can Be Pretty Gullible

About a month ago we had three trees removed from our front yard. Two of them were birch trees and the other was an ash tree. The Ash tree suffered from a broken branch high up during our Snowtember event four years ago. Our city lost or suffered damage to about a third of our trees. I find that hard to believe, but who am I to question the city bean (tree) counters. Since the damage to the Ash tree I pictured the branch plummeting from on high and ending up stuck in the roof of the neighbour’s car. Serve them right for parking on the street. Plus over the years the Ash had grown in a very odd and ugly direction and it became an aerial highway for squirrels.

The two Birch trees have had a lingering death that lasted for several years. The extreme cold of this past winter finished them off and not one leaf sprouted on either tree this spring. Most of the Birch trees in the neighbourhood suffered in some way or another. I am assuming that the cold was responsible but I suppose it could be some kind of suicide pact. Do trees get depressed?

I did mull over trying to cut down the Birch trees myself, but I had visions of myself sitting in front of the insurance adjuster trying to explain why I thought I could cut down a dead, mature Birch tree without crushing the neighbour’s home. That would have been the best possible outcome. Besides, what on earth would I have done with all of that wood? I like fires a much as the next guy, but two trees worth of wood and branches is an awful lot of tree.

In the end I called the Branch Manager Arborists. They cut down an Elm tree we had about five years ago and I was very happy with the work. That was another ugly tree which grew far too close to the house. Anyways, the Branch Manager sent out a couple of tree monkeys with multiple chain saws and within a couple of hours all that was left were fire ready logs. They asked me if I wanted to keep the wood and my initial response was NO. Like I said, a tree or three is a lot of wood and I don’t have many fires any longer. In the end I kept a pile of wood hoping that the kids (who do have fires) would be happy to take most of it off of my hands. So far only the neighbour’s kid wanted any. They also sent a guy out with a machine to chew up the stump. I have dug up stumps before in my life and I highly recommend not doing it yourself.

I figure I will turn a couple of bowls in memory of the trees that kept our family company for so many years. Arwen convinced Maegan and Brendan that Birch bark was Indian chewing gum when they were much younger and much more gullible. I have also stripped relatively large sections of bark off of the logs and have made a few bird houses which look pretty good. I am also experimenting with making Birch bark rings which look …OK. I have more experimenting to do. There may be some other crafty things I can do with the Birch bark, but so far I haven’t thought of them.

Maybe I will convince Hurricane, Tornado and Tsunami that Birch bark is what the indigenous peoples of Canada used as chewing gum. Grandkids can be pretty gullible.