Tag Archives: husbands


11 Jul

We are currently in a level 1 drought.  If we don’t get significant rainfall in the next 24 hours, it will be a level 2 drought.  This is pretty significant for our area, since there are many farms which rely on the rain to water their crops.  Some lucky ones have permits to take irrigation water from nearby lakes, but not all.  And, not us.  Not to say that our little garden is on the same scale, but, you know…

What does happen though, is that our teeny tiny 10 foot, dug well can’t keep up with our water needs, and that’s when Bruce gets creative.

Some things Bruce has suggested to conserve water:

  • No showers.

Ok, he’ll allow showers, but only 2 minute ones.  And you have to turn off the water while you lather.  And it is preferable to have a second person in the shower with you, so one can rinse while the other lathers… so as not to waste water!

  • All water run from the tap, if not being used, should be collected in receptacles from which we can water plants and dogs.
  • Since the rain barrels are now depleted, he and my brother-in-law have headed to the river to collect stream water to keep our garden alive.  Apparently it’s legal to take water from a lake if you keep it under 50 000 L.  I’ll take his word for it.
  • No laundry- all clothes are to be worn until soiled.
  • Dishwasher once a day max… our Hydro bill is going to be awesome!
  • The old adage “When it’s yellow, let it mellow; when it’s brown, flush it down” is in full effect.  If you don’t know what that means, Google it.

And finally, in an effort to conserve as much water as possible, he’s decreed that he and Eric will do their part by switching to drinking beer.

Bronwyn, in the spirit of the moment, came up with her own solution.  After finishing her ice-cream sandwich, she held out her hands to the dogs to lick clean.  She then dried them on a towel and proudly announced that her hands were clean, and she didn’t even use any water!



Living the Wild Life

23 Mar

Yesterday started out like any other.  We woke up.  We watched bunnies hopping around our garden.  Sent the the kids to school.  Brought the van in for repairs (yes, this is a practically daily occurrence).  As we were driving out the driveway, I noticed the dogs didn’t have their shock collars on, but I was late, and figured they’d be fine…

You can sense a story unfolding, yes?

When I came home that afternoon, I saw Dude

Man's Best Friend

racing along the fence line next to the highway.  And Nevis

Bronwyn and her pal Nevis on the first day of SK (Sept 2011).

wading in an enormous mud puddle across the road.  I rolled down my window and started yelling at the to get GET.HOME.RIGHT.NOW.  And that’s when I noticed it.

The animal that strikes fear into any stupid-dog owner’s heart.  The dreaded… porcupine!

I shut the dogs inside, put their collars back on, and headed out to get the girls from school.  Bruce had assured me that he would take care of it when he got home, as long as it was still hanging around.  I assured HIM that he wasn’t going anywhere!

When we got back, Bronwyn and I went out to investigate.  When Bruce got home we had a great time taking pictures and talking about porcupines.

Bronwyn loving the porcupine.

A little proof that I was there too!

Soon enough we had to make a decision though.  We sent the kids inside and “coaxed” the porcupine into our yard.  Bruce made quick work of the poor guy, and all was well with the world…

You can tell the story isn’t over yet, right?

After supper I went out onto the deck to get the dogs’ food bowls and I heard them howling and barking and carrying on, so I went to investigate.  I quickly ran back into the house shouting at Bruce to get his gun.  There was ANOTHER porcupine!  I figured it was his mate.  So while I ushered the dogs back inside, I was only thinking about the fact that the only thing worse than a porcupine hanging around the house, was a love-sick porcupine looking for his mate*

* I do not know if this is accurate.  I don’t know if porcupines mate for life… it was just what I was thinking.

Anyway, as I was heading outside to see my second porcupine in as many hours, I grabbed the shovel quickly, thinking that if I needed to nudge it in the right direction, I wouldn’t need to get too close.

I rounded the big pine tree in the front yard admiring this new specimen.

How glossy it is, I said to myself as I admired its smooth, shiny brown coat.

And so much browner- the other one was all scraggly and grey.

What big teeth it has…

And that tail- I’ve never seen a porcupine with such a large, flat tail…


I am not kidding.  What was a beaver doing so far from water?  And in a yard with 2 dogs in it?

And halfway through this thought process is when IT JUMPED ME.

Again.  NOT kidding!

I hit it over the head with my shovel, but it kept coming at me.  Finally I wedged the shovel underneath its body and flipped him over and we both stood glaring at each other.  Well, he was glaring.  I was screaming.  And walking backwards slowly as fast as I could.  When I reached the house, Bruce opened the door and I blurt out the whole story.

I don’t think he believed me.

He handed me his gun and went over to investigate.  You can’t shoot a beaver.  For one thing they aren’t in season.  And besides, they aren’t a menace like porcupines.  I implore Bruce to take the shovel, and he brushes me off.


This is what happened next:

It is kind of weird, because you can only hear my side of the conversation.  But… what the?!?!?  Crazy attacking beaver!

I stopped the movie because the neighbour came over just then with HIS shovel and the two of them kind of snowplowed the beaver across the road and back into the ditch.  A little while later I watched it run across the field back towards the river.

Spa Season

7 Nov

Men… well, all the men that I know… consider the month of Fall to be “Hunting Season”.  This is a Truth that I grew up knowing.  I knew that my father would be absent in October to a place that I couldn’t picture, and wasn’t invited.  I knew that weddings planned, and babies born in October would not be looked upon as times of gladness and blessing, but of inconvenience, and resentment, and ultimately guilt at having to miss a daughter’s wedding…

I guess my question is, “when is Spa Week?”.  And if there were such a thing, is this how it would go?

“Got my plans all firmed up for Spa Week, honey.”

“You’re going spa-ing AGAIN”.

“You know I go every year.  And can you call your mother and make sure she got the dates right?  Luckily someone in our group got a package this year, so we won’t be exfoliating for nothing”.

“You mean you’re going spa-ing with my mother too?  I thought that you were going to the City with your girlfriend”.

“Oh, I’m doing that too.  This week is for manicures, but the City week is for pedicures.  And I’m going to need to more spa clothes.  Can you pick me up a reversible bathrobe?  I need it to be terrycloth on the one side, but silk on the other….”

“Why on earth do you need two different fabrics?!”

“Honey, obviously you can’t wear silk for the hot stone massage.  It would ruin it with all that water vapour.  But terrycloth is too heavy for mani-pedis.  Besides it’s the law.  I’m also going to need to go out to the spa and clear my area ahead of time.  I need to adjust my chair so it’s the right height, and put out my nail file and clippers.  Plus, I’ll need to pick up half a dozen polishes.  I just have no idea what I’m going to need once I get there.”

“Well, when will you be back?”

“I don’t know, depends if we get the seaweed wrap or not.  Could be Tuesday, could be Friday.  I’m going to need you to get some money for travel expenses and food.  $500 should about do it”.

“Didn’t you just GO spa-ing in the Spring?”

“Spring is facial season and my annual pre-wax, and I only went in the mornings before work, this is the big stuff- MASSAGE.  I just can’t wait to head out every week to a different Spa jurisdiction so I can catch all the legal spa times, and hang out with my friends, and drink fancy cocktails, watch chick flicks and get a few treatments in”.

“Well, why can’t I go?”

“Honey, you know it’s just for women, besides, who’s going to watch the kids?!”

Too old for all-nighters

20 Apr

Every spring it seems like a glacier is melting and the runoff heads directly to our house!  The result is that our sump pump, in the basement, runs more than it rests.  Bruce is a bit paranoid of a flood and for the entire spring season doesn’t get a good night’s sleep because he’s half awake, listening to make sure he can hear that the pump is still running.  Because I grew up listening to a sump pump run every spring (right through the wall next to my bed) I rarely even hear the sump pump turn off and on, but Bruce can sense it anywhere.  That little bit of paranoia has resulted in “3 emergency plans” to deal with potential basement flooding issues.  Last Sunday, we used Plans A, B, C; and, a new Plan D was nearly implemented!

Plan A is the easy one: a battery powered water alarm to alert us to rising water levels.  It is very loud, very annoying, and saved us three times in one night!

Plan B: a generator that plugs into the house in case the power goes out.

Plan C: a used sump pump in case the current one breaks.

It was 7:00, and I am half way through putting the kids to bed.  Bruce has spent the better part of a half hour making his famous nachos.  Just as he is about to pop them in the oven, the power goes out.  Six seconds later the water alarm goes off.  Fifteen seconds later Bruce is already in the garage hauling the generator out (which happened to half flat tires) across our mushy lawn in a rain storm (I had to go out and save the day help)!   We get the generator up and running in the nick of time, restarting the pump.

9:00 –  after putting off dinner in the hopes that the power might come back on, we attempt to cook the nachos on top of the wood stove.  Although this sounds like it could work- I do not recommend it!  The bottom burned and the top didn’t melt.  Not what you are looking for in a plate of nachos…

9:50 – Bruce sends me to town (in the storm) to get more gas because the generator is running low.

9:53 – Power comes back on.  By the time I returned the generator was back in the garage – crises averted…

12:00 in the morning – one of the most amazing thunderstorms!!!  Constant lightning everywhere!  Magically, the power stayed on.

1:00 – Power is out again.  Water alarm goes off.  Luckily, the power came back on before we had time to get the generator out of the garage.

2:30 – Plan A sounds the alarm again!  Different this time…  power is still on… pump is still running…  Bruce says he’ll take care of it and if he needs me he’ll call.

7:00 – Wake up.  No Bruce.  I work my way downstairs to find him crouched next to the sump pit with two pumps going full blast, hoses and pipes Duct taped together (water spraying all over the laundry room) with everything leading outside through an open window.  The storm had dumped so much water that our one pump couldn’t keep up.  We were required to run 2 pumps 24/7 for 2 days before the water slowed down to a manageable amount for our original setup.

So in one night we used Plan A, B,  and C.  When I asked what would’ve been the next plan…   Bruce pointed to a nearby pile of buckets.

Cookie Connoiseur

7 Mar

Ok, I have to say it:  MEN!

Ladies, are you with me?

*I apologize in advance to any men who are reading this (it has come to my attention, that although I have a faithful readership, this rarely includes husbands, so I am not really worried about alienating anyone).*

Anyway, Bruce is CRAZY!

Anybody following my random Facebook postings today might have noticed that I was going to attempt to make gluten-free, dairy-free chocolate chip cookies.  I used this recipe (replacing the almond flour with rice flour, the agave syrup with brown sugar, and the grapeseed oil with vegan margarine, and adding 1 c almond milk because the texture was too crumbly).  You might reason, that since I took the time to write all that, I would now proceed to tell you how great they were!

Not quite.

The batter was delicious, the cookies not so much.

It tasted… healthy.  Even though it wasn’t.

And when they finished baking, they crumbled.  Not the texture you are looking for in a cookie for a 21 month old.

On a side note, I think I will try again with an egg, and see how that works out.  Also, I might try the almond flour, as I heard rice flour tends to crumble in baking.  This learning curve is a steep one, friends.

So back to MEN!

After devouring a delicious stew (mostly meat) Bruce flips a cookie off the tray and pops it in his mouth.  He chews for a bit and pops a second.  Having not tried the finished product yet, I calmly ask, “how are they?”

“Well, I ate two”.



So, does that mean you like them, or…. not?

I mean, normally, Bruce would eat half a dozen chocolate chip cookies in one sitting.  Chocolate chip is his favourite cookie (it should be everyone’s, but that is just my opinion), and I don’t make them enough (he says).  His 40 year old waistline will thank me…

But, if they weren’t that good, why did he eat TWO of them?!?!

NB  Normally I let Bruce read any post that is going to be about him before I publish it.  But tonight he has gone to “meat-fest”.  For those of you who are not men, and don’t have a husband, brother, son etc that partakes in this sort of event, it is a get-together that includes food made of meat.  Vegetables are not allowed.  I have been told that onions used for seasoning are tolerated… barely.