Sunday, August 31, 2008 in I Forgot To Pick A Category

Crappy vacation

Ron is home all this week. Yay! He comes and checks on me while I’m working, helps me get organized and takes more of the load when he’s home.

We were supposed to go n vacation. Not a big vacation, but elsewhere in the province overnight. Just a couple days. Our province isn’t THAT big, you know. ;)

But instead, we have 4 huge loads of gravel in our yard because we are re-doing our septic field. Any why are we doing this?

Because the neighbors behind us called the Department of Health and complained.

I’m sure you’re thinking something like, well, if it was a legit complaint and it needs to be fixed, don’t get your shorts in a knot and fix it already. And you know, if there was raw sewage all over the neighbor’s lawn we would have indeed fixed it already.

There *is* the end of a pipe sticking out of the ground. Right now it is covered in three foot high weeds because Ron didn’t want to mow over that area and wreck it. There is no smell. There is nothing coming out of the pipe. The first damp area is maybe twenty feet away, and this is almost over at the far corner of our property.

But since Dept of Health guy and the neighbors can *see* the pipe, we’re obligated to fix it.

This is really… not nice for a few reasons.

One, when we first moved here the lady behind us came up to me in a tizzy one day and went on and on how the formers owners should pay to fix the septic field and they had no business selling us a house with problems like that (Um, we knew, we have eyes…) and she feels very strongly that the formers owners should pay for it. (actually the Dept of Health guy reiterated this too) Since the house stood empty for almost three whole years before we got to it, I’m wondering why that wasn’t enough time for them to call the previous owners and have it fixed if they really felt they should pay, but, whatever.

Two, Ron talked to the couple behind us back in June. He asked if it was a huge issues and if they wanted him to fix it right away. You know, so we could budget and plan. Since it was dry, their lawn looked fine and like I said above – no smell, no nothing, they said don’t worry about it.

Two months later they change their mind.

Is there a wet spot on their lawn? Why, yes there is. It’s also been raining all summer, we live next to a lake, and the wet area on their lawn used to be a swamp they filled in, and is lower than all the land surrounding it. On really damp days , the wet spot covers roughly an acre. The bulk of it is also on the opposite side of our driveway to our house. Our septic field is out back.

Yeah, it’s dumb. Suffice to say we were pretty upset for a few days.

So we’re not just fixing it, we’re re-doing the septic field so it passes inspection and is stamped approved. Any future complaints they have will fall on deaf ears at the Dept of Health. Then maybe they can look at their own setup.

The up side is that it is perfectly legal to install your own septic system, as long as it passes inspection (plus they give diagrams on how it should be done) and Ron used to have his license for this. There’s more piddly details covering how ridiculous the whole thing is, and how un-neighbourly they are being when they aren’t obsessing over their lawn, so to lighten things up, I shall leave you with a picture from the other night.

Self-timer is awesome. Anyone for a round of, “There were five in the bed and the little one said…”?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008 in food, some sort of meme

When in doubt post a meme. Preferably about food.

I know, I know. I have to update at some point.Not much going on but work work work, and for some reason today is like Fall.

For now, here’s a meme I saw at both Meg’s and Carrie’s.

Bold those you have tried.
Strike through those you wouldn’t eat on a bet.
Italicize any item you’ll never eat again.
*Asterisk any items you’d be interested in trying but have not yet.
Underline anything you eat regularly (more than once a month-ish).
?Questionisk any items you’ve never heard of (there will be a lot of these!)

1. Venison
2. *Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp
9. *Borscht
10. Baba ghanouj
11. Calamari – too rubbery
12. Pho
13. PB&J sandwich
14. ?Aloo gobi
15. *Hot dog from a street cart
16. ?Epoisses
17. Black truffle  – can’t make up my mind
18. *Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese (my mom loves it though)
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters
29. Baklava
30. ?Bagna cauda
31. *Wasabi peas – they are right next to the spicy ‘singapore mix” I’ve been addicted to lately
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. ?Salted lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar
37. *Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly
39. Gumbo
40. *Oxtail
41. *Curried goat – wouldn’t be far off from lamb would it?
42. Whole insects
43. ?Phaal
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
46. ?Fugu
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel
49.*Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
52. ?Umeboshi
53. Abalone
54. *Paneer
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal
56. *Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8 ABV
59. Poutine – c’mon, it’s a CANADIAN STAPLE.
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores
62. Sweetbreads
63. *Kaolin – last time I was pregnant it sounded really interesting :D
64. Currywurst
65. ?Durian
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
68. Haggis
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
71. Gazpacho – we all broke out in a rash
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe
74. ?Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill
76. ?Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail
79. Lapsang souchong it was meh.
80. Bellini
81. ?Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict
83. Pocky – this HAS been a regualr lately
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant.
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare
87. Goulash
88. Flowers
89. Horse
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam
92. *Soft shell crab
93. ?Rose harissa
94. Catfish
95. *Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox – not a fan of lox
97. *Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake

Huh. I’m a foodie. Also it just occured to me they could have put dulse on the list.

Thursday, August 7, 2008 in working at home & loving it

A Room of my own – sort of

Hi.

I’m in my new office, do I look different?

I’m on the second floor, in the small bedroom, the one we called the nursery, the one we used as a bedroom for half the winter because it wasn’t as cold as the other room in the North corner, the one with “KATIE” stenciled on the window frame, coordinating pastel wallpapers and matching Noah’s Ark border. For a small room, it has two doors and two windows. It gets great morning light and if I sit at the computer too early, the screen is hard to read. No worries, a couple more months and the sun will move around enough for this to not be a problem.

We finally set it up, one rainy afternoon where it poured hard enough that not only the Internet went out, the tv almost went out too. Oh, and it’s damp enough here there are ducks and geese on my lawn all the time. Anyway, Ron finished assembling the hutch part and I gathered up all our piles and odds and ends, and wiped down dust.

My new office (okay, mine and RON’S but he gets it at night) is still a little bit of chaos and the old office, now the kid’s, is still a bit wild, but we can walk through both rooms and sort of know where everything is. Even if it’s “in that box over there”. My huge new desk surface is littered with papers.

There’s a futon in here. Meaghan sits on it, notebook on her lap, pen in hand. Or in  her mouth, as she gazes out the window, thinking. She writes. The light is better in here, she says.

Emma comes to visit, hanging off my shoulder. “I’m lonely,” she tells us. “I’m downstairs all by myself.” Sarah’s not up yet, but when she does get up, I can see her right away. “Hey,” she’ll say as she crosses the hall.

I don’t have her clacking the keys in tandem with me anymore. I can close the door and be alone and quiet, enough to hear whomever on the other end of the phone. I can see out one window if I turn my head slightly, see people walking down the road, some traffic, an occasional tractor with the lights flashing. I can’t turn around and show Sarah what’s on my screen though. I email her downstairs, send a link, forward an email with “print me plz :)” in the subject line.

Okay, now it’s really quiet. I’m feeling peckish. I have to go all the way downstairs, and hope I don’t forget anything on the way down or on the way back up. My travels through the house have changed direction. It’s faster to get to the kitchen if I use the back stairs. When I was in the other room, I used the front staircase more.

I may have spent a good half hour a day just in walking in circles around my house to go up the correct staircase.

Hmm. Wonder what they’re doing downstairs?

Monday, August 4, 2008 in I Forgot To Pick A Category

Catnip fields forever

We have been asked to announce the death of Abby, beloved cat of Carl and Mam, who passed away Friday after a short illness. Abby is also survived by her housemate, Porsche. She was 18.

Abby cat

In leui of flowers, donations can be sent to your local SPCA.

Saturday, August 2, 2008 in I Forgot To Pick A Category

Sitemeter is crashing the Internet – in IE only

If you’ve been wandering around online since sometime yesterday and wonder why some sites were down and some were not, I can tell you why. :)

Seems that a popular stats tracking code called SiteMeter made some changes and now everyone who uses their code (like me) has a site that won’t work in Internet Explorer. It’s been at least 12 hours and even the main SiteMeter site is down.

Well, only in IE.

On top of the oddness, there’s nothing on the Sitemeter site about it.

If you have SiteMeter code on your own blog, you might want to remove it until this is all fixed.