Saturday, July 31, 2010

Life Lessons

# 317 - when painting, always put brushes away during even the shortest break, particularly when living with curious dogs who will not admit their guilt, but who are nonetheless guilty without question.
Case in point:
black dog, newly whitened nose tip

# 138(a) - always remove the plastic insert from a new deodorant stick prior to application.
# 138(b) - after scraping one's underarm raw with said plastic insert, it is not then advisable to immediately remove the insert and reapply deodorant. Such "rash" action can lead to severe pain, speaking in tongues and dance moves to rival Elaine Bennis.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Today's post brought to you by...

10 Things to Bring on a Camping Trip

We haven't actually "camped" in a few years (the thought of sleeping on a small tent right beside their mom seems 'awkward' to teenaged boys - who knew?), but when we did, there were some definite staples to include (apart from the obvious, like TENT or SLEEPING BAG):

1. Knitting (well, duh...)
2. Books (again with the duh)
3. Camera (I've always wanted a waterproof one, but we've managed without)
4. Inflatable sleeping pad - I am definitely of an age when I like my comforts, and the last time we camped I borrowed a sleeping pad with down in it - my kind of roughing it
5. Chairs - not fancy, just basic keeping-my-ass-off-the-ground kind of chairs
6. Wine - just one bottle, poured into a metal bottle, which is allowed - one glass a night by the campfire just takes the edge off
7. Smores supplies - messy, gooey, but keeps the kids entertained (and stuffed) for hours
8. Bear spray - we never came face to face with one, but I heard them sniffing outside the tent more than once. My question is how does one get close enough to the bear to use the spray effectively without becoming an appetizer? And still, I find it comforting to have nearby...
9. Bug spray - some of us have major insect issues, and must be well-sprayed in order to enjoy the outdoors. I'm not naming names, I'll just say it's not me.
10. Good coffee - something about an early morning campsite, dew-covered ground sparkling in the early sunshine, silence but for birds, and the small of coffee brewing on a Coleman stove... mmmm....

I could go on - fishing rods, for example - but I'll stop here and imagine I'm tucked away in the woods by a lake somewhere...

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Top Ten Tuesday

I thought it might push me to be a little more, um, regular in my communications if I tried something like a Top Ten list, although I'll be back in a day or two with a What I Did This Summer Part I post -

so, 10 Things I Like About Where I Live:

1. We are less than 10 minutes by bike to the shores of Lake Ontario, with real beaches and everything.
2. The Burlington, ON "core", where I live, has a small-town feel - we can walk/bike to the library, Starbucks, and the kids' orthodontist.
3. Our town is a relatively short drive to so many wonderful attractions: Niagara Falls (45 min); Toronto (40 - a zillion minutes, depending on traffic); Muskoka / Algonquin Park (2 - 3 hours); wineries (40 minutes in the Niagara direction, 3 hours to Prince Edward County); FABULOUS beaches (10 minutes down the street; 3 hours to Sandbanks and plenty in between).
4. Our house is two blocks from school, so the kids can and usually do come home for lunch.
5. Ours is an old, established neighborhood, with lots of huge trees and heritage houses, which makes it great for strolling.
6. The downtown core is being fixed up (perpetually), and there are cute shops, boutiques and restaurants all within walking distance.
7. In addition to Starbucks, there's a Coffee Culture and even a Second Cup within walking distance, so no caffeine hankering goes untended.
8. I like walking.
9. We live on a very quiet cul de sac populated by mostly boys, so it's always easy to get a road hockey game going, if you like that sort of thing.
10. I have followed the "smallest house in the best neighborhood" adage. Ours is a cute, small-ish cottagey thing surrounded by a few $1million+ properties. Put it this way: Thursday is lawn service day on our street. I cut the grass on Fridays.

So there you go, 10 reasons I love to live in Burlington!