Tuesday, March 29, 2011

I Have Given Birth - Again!

Not really.  Well, really, but not really in the sense that I went off and had another unannounced baby ;)  Really in the sense that the heirloom cherry tomatoes and black tomatoes have sprouted!  I've had them in their Jiffy pots for maybe a week now (I'm trying not to obsess over them, that usually leads to destruction) with their little baggies-come-greenhouses on sitting in our south facing windows on the landing.  I decided I'd mostly ignored them long enough and that I could sneak a peak at what was going on in there, and low and behold, little spouts!  I am SO proud, it's like giving birth all over again!  However, I had written labels nicely on the pots so I would know which ones were cherries and which ones were regular so that I could plant them together accordingly come warmer weather.  I noticed today that all the condensation from their greenhouses has washed the majority of those 'markers' off.  I have no idea who is who.  Crap.  Hopefully I can sort them out when they have, say, more than one miniscule leaf poking out of the ground.


Thursday, March 24, 2011

HotDog! Get Your HotDog Here!

Or so Animal Control told me this morning ;)  Some kindly fellow knew we wanted HotDog more than he did and turned him in late lastnight and we picked him up early this morning.  SO relieved, words cannot even say!!  Thanks for listening to me whine lastnight though.  Yay!!

Anyone Seen A Hotdog?

Oh please, oh please, oh please say you have!!!

Today we ended up with a completely FREAK snow storm that resulted in a snow day.  A snow day in Canada is a big deal.  Seriously.  So we had a lot of snow.  We had blizzard like conditions upon arrival home from work tonight.  It was disgusting. It was freezing.  It was starting to freezing rain.  And our sweet little Hotdog went out for a bathroom break.  And noticed someone left the gate open for him. Unfortunately Mr. Pretties didn't put two and two together for almost an hour.  We've spent the last three hours combing the frozen tundra like neighbourhood to no avail.

 I hadn't realized, but realize quite well now, that Hotdog was actually our fifth child.  We've lost cats before, and cats are smart, cats will come home on their own if they're able.  They'll catch a mouse if they're hungry and they'll outwit any human/dog/car, so although I do worry, it's not necessarily the end of the world.   Except for the time our cat Pickle got out and got attacked by a new neighbourhood beast of a dog and died.  That was actually the end of the world.  I'm still dying inside over that.  But dogs don't know how to take care of themselves.  Specifically Hotdog is a miniature dachshund who is afraid to go on his leash and as a by-product has no interest in going for neighbourhood walks.  Thusly, he is lost after moseying two houses away. 

The thought of him out there alone, cold and scared is literally teetering on the edge of self implosion.  It actually completely explains the phrase 'I just can't handle the thought' because really, I can't handle the thought, any thought, that doesn't involve Hotdog sleeping in his warm bed with his dachshund lovie.  This is the dog that shivers when it's cooler than 20 degrees in the house.  It's -3 tonight.  The snow is twice as deep as he is tall.  I honestly don't think we'll ever see him again.  The kids are going to be absolutely crushed in the morning when they wake up and he's not there.

 I said to Mr. Pretties I just don't think I can go on without him in our lives, he's like trying to live without an arm or a leg (if arms or legs constantly stood right infront of where you were trying to walk at any given time and barked maniacally at any sound that could possibly be someone knocking on a door within a 50 block radius) and even though people DO go on to live without arms, or legs, or both, I don't want to. 

We adopted a puppy before Hotdog, a basset named Turnip who we adored, but who came to us unknowingly with Parvo and within six weeks had to put him to sleep. It killed us.  Hotdog lit up our lives again, he made the hurt not so bad and helped us heal.  And now he's gone.  The big city snow plows are up and down our street every half hour which is ripping me apart, he's either going to freeze, get run over, get buried in a snowbank or get found by a family who wants to keep him for themselves.  Of all the scenarios, if it came down to it I would choose a new family for him so long as he was healthy and happy.   Tomorrow I'll put out all the calls to the shelters, vets, and pop up signs.

 I knew we loved Hotdog and that he was family, but I didn't realize how impaired we'd feel without his presence.  Just knowing he's not in the house somewhere makes it so silent and lonely.  Above all, Hotdog was a fabulous companion.  Who really liked to ruin my stuff.  A lot.  But I still loved him.  Even that time he wrecked my brand new, more-than-I'd-Tell-Mr-Pretties-I-Paid-For sheets. 

Here's hoping for a miracle, because that's what it's going to take to get our weiner back.  I absolutely dread the thought of having to deal with the reality that he wont be back, ever, and having to pack up his stuff because it's too painful to bare.  The thought alone makes my insides feel all slithery.  I'm not even being dramatic. At all. Okay I am, but it's how I work through the pain.   

Monday, March 14, 2011

What goes around comes around...

Or so it's seems...

Mr. Pretties and I looked at an old farmhouse last spring (scare alert: a year ago to the EXACT date) and had a month long debate about it (No joke - a MONTH. LONG. DEBATE.  I wouldn't suggest it personally) because it was at a time when Mr. Pretties didn't need to be close to work anymore and my job was fairly disposable at the time.  We also needed more bedrooms.  Come to think of it, we still need more bedrooms...  Oh, and it was 120 years old.  And a farm.  Those should have really been the only two factors going on.  Seriously, based on that alone I think we would have made the right choice.  Instead, since I was in near-end pregnancy nothing-doing phase and couldn't grasp a two hour away moving situation we decided to move exactly 11 houses away from our current one, to a house with twice as many bedrooms and a full attic.  It's old.  It has charm.  The basement floods.  The dirt in the yard is equal parts non-fertile soil and what I'm fairly sure is imitation soil.  While I can't say that I don't like the house, I do, it's had a hard life and no one loved it. I take a fair amount of pity on it and help it esthetically where ever I can.  But last week just did me in. An unsuspecting mouse found it's way into our new mattress.  And died.  I believe this crossed about 200 lines for me.  Let me just say, I don't have a problem with mice in general.  I will wrestle the cat for one if it's caught and put it back outside (where it promptly comes back inside no doubt). I even think on a cute scale they score about an 8.  However, when I go out of my way to be respectful of them and the mouse community does something like shacks up in MY bed and then DIES?!  Oh no.  We're through there buck-o.  So these small things are what I use as moving ammo/moving motivation.  I also hate the neighbourhood - but that could just be me... 

Okay so where were we here?  Oh right.  The House.  With a capital H.  For 'Hell yeah!' because it's awesome. And, because, house starts with an H....  moving right along here... so I was doing my nightly house search online (I do this EVERY night.  I figure anything good will pop up and be gone right away so I stay on it) and I was reading an ad about an old Heritage Home in Olde Rural London and thought 'Hmm... that sounds about right...' and went to view the pictures.  They all looked so nice, very 1880's typical, but something about them seemed familiar.  Until I got to the picture of the outside of the house (who posts the outside house picture last anyway?) and nearly fell out of my chair.  While screaming 'My House!!! My House is Back!!!! Mr. Pretties did you hear me??? My House is BAAACCCKKKKK!!!' in my outside voice.  I love this house. I. Love. This. House.  I Love. This House.  It doesn't matter how you say it!

(it's had work done - it no long looks so scary and abandoned) 
It's like my kindred spirit, but instead of my skin and bones it has brick and mortar. Which I'm cool with.  It's in the country.  It's surrounded by corn (which I have a small anxiety inducing concern about with the Littles - however I think electric fencing will solve it) It has an old barn.  It has an old chicken coop.  It has old farm fencing.  It has an already tilled vegetable garden that probably has REAL soil in it.  Did I mention it's old?  And charming?  And has TWO staircases?! You know, for those times when you wake up and are all  'Hmm... which stairs should I take today?  Newspaper or kitchen first?'  Or for when the kids are burning off energy, they could run down one set and back up the other and do like hamster wheel exercises.  Please note I sad said 'could' not 'can' because if that actually happened they'd be outside in the pasture faster than they could even say hamster. It has mainfloor laundry.  Even the kitchen is nice and I find that most old houses have crappy renovated-in-the-70s kitchens.  This has a renovated in the 70s kitchen, but they used classic wood for the cupboards, painted the rest white, kept the hardwood throughout the entire house, and put in new counter tops. That makes it entirely acceptable.  Did I mention the main staircase is curved? 

(I love that they labelled the picture, just incase there was any confusion about exactly this picture was about...)
And it has a veranda.  It might also have Coyotes.  Two words for that though. Electric.  Fence.  Amen.  Wait, that was three.  Oh well...  But there's this stickler of a dilemma.  I work here.  Two hours away from there.  I cannot drive to work everyday.  I would have to quit my job on the whim that I would find one just like it in London.  Which may not be so...  But part of me doesn't care....  We have to decide soon though.  Unfortunately it's the same realtor we dealt with last year and he already thinks/knows that we're mental and is learly that we're wanting back in LoL  I don't blame him.  I'll bring him a box of chocolates.  Or 100.  Before I quit my job ;)  Did I mention the school bus stop is at the bottom of our driveway? Or that I ordered chicks last week? Or that I'm afraid of squirrels?  Uh... never mind the last bit. No one needs to know about that. 

So hopefully we wont have another month long 'discussion' about this house.  Mr. Pretties is actually a lot more open to the option this year than he was last.  Something about me telling him 1,000 times that we should have moved since, and that he's agreed every time.  I think he's seen the light.  Or got tired of hearing about it.  And chickens.  And pink Wellies.  Or maybe he's tired of hauling all four pretties everyday to school twice ;)  A bus stop at the end of the driveway does sound pretty sweet... unless you take my neurosis into account, and then it's just one more thing to worry about, you know, because bus accidents are so much more common than car accidents...

Friday, March 11, 2011

Antique All The Way...

The Pretties want to go rural.

 I'll give you a minute to digest that morsel of information.

You good?  Excellent!

After a year long hiatus from the blog, and approximately 300,000 life changes (including, but not limited to, a new 2010 baby girl

 Mr. Pretties retiring, moving houses, and going back to work) we've (meaning, I've, because Mr. Pretties is a lot life tofu in that he will adapt to most things that I want to do. Which is awesome. Clearly) decided that with being aware of where our food comes from and the quality of it's life has lead us to want to not only know where it lives, but want to live nearby.  I don't think we want to take on raising our own meat (beyond the odd chicken), simply because we don't have the knowledge, the money (lol), or the man power, but would love the opportunity to live in the same community and join a local CSA that allows for farm visitation, volunteer time on the farm, etc... I think that would be awesome and all around 'right', if there is such a thing.  Although I don't altogether love the part about eating animals in general, it appears to be a fact of life for us, and any part I can play in supporting those who give their animals a happy, quality, fairly natural life would be fabulous.

We'd (I'd)  also really like to try my hand at raising various things too. I'm not saying we're going to get rich, or break even, but I've been doing tons of research this past year (as in our Google browers now only has the capability of showing my farm related entries, it doesn't know any other exist anymore...) and a few things that've really caught my eye (and heart, most of my brain waves, and most of  my very being, to name a few) have been alpacas as fibre animals, angora rabbits for fibre and show, bees, and Jersey Giant chickens.

How giant is a Jersey Giant?  Glad you asked.  Here's come vintage perspective for you:

 I love the idea of caring for heritage breeds and planting heirloom/heritage fruits and vegetables in our garden (why wouldn't I? Who doesn't love an antique veggie seed?!).  I know part of me is very much in love with the romanticism of swinging a basket in the sun while collecting fresh eggs, but I strongly believe a much larger part is in love with spending the day mucking out stalls, making trails through the snow to bring my animals food and water, and for providing them with a good life while they provide for us as well.  It would be a great trade off. 

With that all said, these few, poorly worded paragraphs have taken me three days to complete.  I'm not joking.  Did I mention I'd also love to write a few children's books?  I figure if I start right now I might have them finished sometime in the 30th century.  If I type fast.


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