Monthly Archives: August 2014

The Sky is Falling

Two days ago I was in my kitchen and saw my neighbour through my window. She was standing on the sidewalk, staring up at the second floor of my house.

I went outside with my container of blueberries because we cannot be parted. Blueberry season is on, friends, and they are my favourite, my true love, my most sweet companion.

“Everything ok?” I asked my neighbour. She is a nice woman maybe ten years older than me. We chat a lot. She is funny and low-key and has never complained about my children, even has lied to me for years about not hearing them. Seriously. You are not hearing impaired, how could you not hear them, what a nice thing to say.

“I found something weird today..” she started, moving toward her house.

We live in townhouses, so her house is separated from mine by a cedar hedge and courtesy. I followed her around the hedge to her house, where she picked up a piece of wood, a two-by-four, painted the grey colour of our houses, with a metal grate attached to it by one screw.

“What is that?” I said.

“I found it on the hedge between our houses,” she said. “It must have fallen off the roof. But I don’t know from where…”

We both commenced looking up at the second floors of our townhouses, wondering what the hell.

I saw a place on my wall that I remembered not being bare before. I shielded my eyes.

“Oh, from there,” I said. I pointed. It looked like a double exhaust pipe on a muscle car, but pointing out of the wall of my house.

“Is that..your dryer vent?” she said.

I shrugged. Maybe?

Yes, as it turns out. The cover for our dryer vent just dropped off the house the other day, luckily landing in a hedge and not on either of our patios or on our heads. As Eli would say, “Now THAT would be a concussion!”

This evening a representative of strata came over and rapped on my screen door. She interrupted my solo viewing of Tiny Furniture (a fantastic movie if you want to experience life as a 22 year old) and consuming of chili and rice and chips because that’s how I roll when I’m alone (oh yeah, family is gone tonight to camp out in a park and look at the meteor shower).

“Hi…” she called to me.

“Hi…” I answered, shoving a chip in my mouth and forgetting to pause the movie, which is OK because I have been 22 so I know what happened in the ten minutes I was away from it. (angst, angst, more angst)

“Are you the one whose dryer vent cover fell off?” she said.

“Yes,” I said and brandished the now-somewhat-famous piece of wood caked with dryer lint and bits of my old hair, attached precariously with one screw to its metal grill.

“Hmm,” she said, staring at it, moving it from one hand to the other. “Hmmm. What was it attached to?”

“The wall,” I said.

“Yes but..” and she pointed out that there was no hole in the wood indicating that the wood and grill were ever attached to the wall. Yet, there are two exposed vents pointing out of the wall, and a piece of wood attached to metal on the ground, so let us do the math.

“We have someone coming in September..” she said, looking dubious.

“I don’t know,” I said. “It’s wasp season.”

“Yeah,” she said. “Someone else down the row actually had the same thing happen recently. But not the wood, just the grate fell off.”

I felt some relief. It wasn’t that my house was defective. It’s that all the houses were built twelve years ago and the person who built them used super glue that takes exactly twelve years to wear off. One by one, the grates will drop off on peoples’ hedges, onto their patios, concussing their children and cats.

The other day when my neighbour and I were discussing the exposed dryer exhaust, she said, “You don’t want to wait to fix that. Critters will nest in there. Squirrels..”

My neighbour had squirrels in her place a few years ago, and raccoons eating her herb garden. She is bitter about critters.

“Well,” I said. “I’ll just leave the dryer on all the time. I’ll cook them.”
“Free dinners” she said.

It’s not what I want, though. I don’t want things living in my dryer exhaust pipes. I don’t want great exposed holes in my wall. I don’t want to eat squirrel.

The strata representative went away and handed me back my piece of linty, hairy, broken wood with the one screw attaching a metal grate.

“Someone will be in touch,” she said. She was shaking her head as she walked away.

“Thanks…” I called after her.

I came back inside and finished watching my movie and eating my dinner. I’m sure it will all work out.

August 1

Today was my final day off without children until school starts sometime in the fall. It is now four-ish PM. At five I will go across the street to pick up the kids, who have been enjoying a water and sun-soaked day at the daycare. I saw them earlier, as I snuck home from my hair appointment, they were frolicking in the grass, shirts off, while one of the daycare workers sprayed a hose in the air.

Yes, it is hot here. Super hot. So hot. I am not complaining because it is beautiful to feel the sun on your skin and the ache of the burn on the backs of your knees where the sunscreen sweated off and the trickle of sweat that starts in the middle of your head and slowly makes its way under your t-shirt, through your bra and all the way down to your butt crack, where it meets a friend and they conspire to make you look like you peed in your pants, giggling all the while the way sweat does.

Whoops, got away from myself there.

One of the things I’ve been doing this summer is running. I am doing this half-marathon training which makes me go running four times a week, roughly double my previous running time/distance/etc. There is no wimping out because there is a group and I am a people pleaser.

Actually I go even without the group. The running is wonderful. I love it. I am happier on the days I run than I am on the days I do not run.

Also, there have been consequences.

Consequence 1: I am faster and have better stamina!
Consequence 2: New calf muscles, I am getting those.
Consequence 3: I am always sweating. All the time. Always. I start sweating when I put on my clothes, I sweat some more when I run and then I sweat for an hour afterwards and then it’s thirty degrees celsius in my house so I sweat until the next day, while applying ice packs to my various pulse points. Sweat sweat sweaty McSweatserson.

You know what is bullshit when you are hot and sweaty and exercising a lot? ANYTHING EXTRA TO CARRY AROUND. My shorts are lightweight. My tank top is made of wicking whatever. My shoes weigh an ounce or something. The heaviest thing I am carrying is my FUCKING LONG ASS HAIR. (actually it might be my feet, but.)

Oh hi I am super happy about how I look and feel right now, can you tell?

Oh hi I am super happy about how I look and feel right now, can you tell?

So today I got it cut. Ahhhhhhhh haircut. Major, huge haircut. The kind of haircut where you run it under a tap and then shake it and get on with your life. I am a happy happy person. I was going to cut it all, shave it up the back and leave a little poof ball on top like a demented giant poodle, but my lovely hair stylist convinced me to leave it a little wild around the top because my hair likes to be wild. Fine. Okay.

HEY now I am jaunty and smiling!

HEY now I am jaunty and smiling!

I also bought one of those belts with the water bottles to put around my waist for the longer runs. We are currently a third of the way through the half-marathon training and summer shows no signs of stopping in its tracks and raining on me so I require a hydration solution.

Top tip: water belts can be purchased at a discount at Winners. I saw these FuelBelts at … oh somewhere, for $50 and at Winners they were $25. (but they were in the MEN’s department. Don’t stop looking if you don’t see them in the women’s department.) Second top tip: you can get decent quality exercise clothing — technical stuff — at Value Village. Sniff before you buy, wash in hot, and then proceed to soak it with your sweaty sweat and make it your own.

Budget conscious running tips from a 40 year old woman who sweats a lot. There must be a market for this. Yeah. Well, happy August, anyway! Here is a picture of Eli picking raspberries and making his best ham-like face.


And, because if Arlo was reading this (and he will be, someday) he would say, “Why isn’t there a picture of ME?” I add a picture of Arlo looking like a very short seventeen year old. There. It’s fair. *wipes brow*