There’s A Chipmunk In The House

Our cat loves chipmunks. She waits for the good weather so she can stalk them, chase them, and occasionally catch them. Due to our untypical mild weather, I’ve been leaving the back door open. I was sitting outside one afternoon when the cat shows up with a chipmunk in her mouth. The door is open so I jump up to block her way. She stands there for a moment, with food dropping out of the chipmunks mouth, and then she lets it go. Where does little chippy go? Straight towards the open door and into the house.

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They are tricky to get out because they see every barrier as a challenge and jump straight over it. Anyway, I managed to ‘herd’ it towards the back door and out.

This morning I was on the phone when in walks the cat with another chipmunk. This time she takes it into my bedroom and drops it, where it proceeds to scurry and hide under the bed. I didn’t have time to deal with it as I had plans to go out.

I had a lovely afternoon with my friend and returned home. There is no sign of the chipmunk in my room. Good, but where is it? The cat sniffed it out behind the piano. I shut kitty in a room and persuaded chippy to go somewhere else, which was basically another room, but at least closer to the open door. Why do they only see these things when they run in and can’t see them to run out?

Chipmunk is now under a dresser five feet from the door. I look under the dresser, but it’s gone. Huh? I open the bottom drawer…

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…chipmunk, anyone?

I won’t go into tedious details, but it took a lot of chipmunk scurrying and jumping before it finally discovered the rather large portal to the outside! Thank goodness. In total, it had been in the house for eight hours.

I love having a big garden and having lots of green space around, but sometimes nature gets too close for comfort. I hope I’ve learnt my lesson and remember to close the screen door from now on. It is supposed to keep critters out, after all.

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Birthday Girl

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Becky turns 25 today. What an achievement! I hope she’s having fun at camp.

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Freedom

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I was sitting out on the deck last night, reading a book, enjoying a moment of quiet, when I realized that this time next week I will be alone. I drive Becky to camp on Sunday where she will stay for ten days. I am alone as I sit on the deck, but I know she is ten feet behind me, in her bed watching a movie. I can’t see her, but I know she is there. Next week, she will be gone.

She’s been to camp many times, but this is the first time I have been at home on my own. Last year I went away, and other years I have spent with other people; friends or family.

She keeps asking me what I will do while she is away. I think she is not happy with my answer, so she asks again. She can’t believe I have nothing planned. I can’t believe it either. Our lives are so regimented that even though we crave free time, we both struggle with it. It is so precious to us that we think must use it wisely and invariably plan the whole thing.

So here I am, on the verge of ten days of freedom, and all I am thinking is how much I will miss Becky; miss her smiling face, her sense of humour, and her singing. I will sit out on the deck next week and I will not have her behind me in her room; unseen. I will miss her presence, her beating heart, her spirit.

Posted in Family, Home, Life, parenting, Travel | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Stormy Weather

We had severe weather warnings for Tuesday evening. There were tornado warnings north of us. It was one of those rare times where the meteorologist got it right.

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A large tree at the back of the property split, fell, and covered another tree. The tree that was buried was bent double. The rain was so hard that it came through windows and doors.

I asked a neighbour if I could borrow a power saw and then I spent seven hours yesterday cutting up the tree. I borrowed a reciprocating saw, which has a blade that moves backwards and forwards. If I didn’t have the saw tight against the branch or the branch started moving, then the blade stopped moving and the saw moved backwards and forwards! My arm was flailing around and my brain felt like it was inside a cocktail shaker. Needless to say, I ended up with a sore shoulder and a headache.

Anyway, we are okay, there was no damage to the house and the mess is cleaned up. The tree that was buried actually bounced back up once the weight was taken off it. There was no damage to it. Nature is amazing, in so many ways.

Posted in Canada, chaos, Friends, Home, Life | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Training

I mentioned a week or so ago, that I was studying. Yesterday, I passed! I am now licensed to drive a bus.

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It took two weeks of training, a medical, a written test, and a road test. I Also spent three days learning about air brakes and passing that too. There were times my head was so full of information, I just couldn’t take anything else in.

I trained with two other women from Mississauga. We studied together and worried together. We all passed the same day and have become friends.

Why did I do this? My main goal for the year was to get a part-time job. After having my resume ignored by several retail and food outlets, I decided I had nothing to lose. I knew it was going to be hard to re-enter the work force at my age, but was expecting to get an interview at least! It was a hard knock to the self-esteem, I must say.

I had been thinking about driving a school bus as the hours are great. Two hour shifts are perfect for when I leave Becky alone. Four hours is a stretch and eight is not possible at this time. We lost the individualized funding in March, so wages for support staff are coming out of our pockets. I want Becky to continue cooking with Jen, so I decided to go back to work. That’s how I ended up upgrading my drivers license, meeting some wonderful people, and having a great time.

I passed my road test yesterday so my name will be put forward for available work. I’ll let you know once I get my first route, but for now, I’m enjoying the feeling of success.

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Posted in Canada, Friends, Independence, Life, parenting | Tagged , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Mayor’s Picnic

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Every June, the Mayor of Oakville hosts a historical picnic. As a Scottish country dancer and a long sword dancer, I am invited to be part of the entertainment. Last year I danced with both groups and found it pretty tiring. Also, Becky stayed home so I had to run back home as soon as I was done dancing. This year, Becky joined the festivities down by the shore of Lake Ontario.

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It was a little cool and I was glad I had brought a blanket and fleeces.

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The country dancers went on first, followed by the sword dancers. At last I am able to post a picture of me sword dancing as a couple of people were taking photos.

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After all that hard work we tucked into the picnic. There was soooo much food. As we started to eat, it began to rain.

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We soon had the park to ourselves, but we didn’t care and had our picnic anyway. It was a lovely afternoon despite the crummy weather. It’s always a good time when we spend it with our friends.

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The Squeaky Wheel

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Becky’s wheelchair has six wheels. About two weeks ago, one of them started squeaking. I ignored it for a couple of days, but finally broke down and hit the shed in search of tools. It took about ten minutes to find the right sizes for the nuts.

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You can see the covers on the sides of the front and rear wheels. What their purpose is, I don’t know, because all they seem to do is trap dirt and foreign objects! Anyway, I pulled the covers off the rear wheels and cleaned all the dirt, sand, and hair away from the spindle/axle/whatever it’s called. I put them back together, cleaned up the mess, and got the grease off my hands. “A job well done”, I thought.

A couple of days later, I hear a squeak. Again, I ignored it. Again, it got worse. This time it was the front wheels. At least I had the tools ready this time. I go through the same procedure and think, “that is it. All the wheels are cleaned”.

Earlier this week, squeak, squeak, squeak. No. It cannot be. It was. It got louder and louder; worse than the previous two times. Maybe it needed a mechanic? Nah. So, yesterday morning, before Becky got up, I took her chair outside and cleaned the rear wheels, again. In a burst of energy, I also cleaned the rest of her wheelchair, which had so many pieces of food in it, we could probably feed a family of geese for a year!

Becky got up, wheeled off, and squeak, squeak, squeak. What!? Now the sound was at the front. I was too busy the rest of the day to do anything, so I had to leave it. I had friend come over to help me study (that’s another post coming soon) and we could barely hear each other over the noise. Becky was even shouting at her wheelchair, “shut up, you stupid chair”!

Last night, once Becky was in bed, I took the front wheels apart and cleaned them, and put them back together, and squeak, squeak, squeak. At this point, I felt it was personal; me against the chair, so I take the front wheels apart again. This time I am a bit more aggressive, and ‘lo and behold’ I find another crevice full of crap…I mean a lot of garbage that sits on the floor that was hoovered up into these wheels. It was much harder to get out, but after half an hour with a thin blade, I managed to get most of it out. I do the clean up routine, again, and hope for the best. It’s now ten o’ clock on Friday night. While others are relaxing, or out having fun, I’m sitting on the floor cleaning wheels. Just one one of the many joys of life with Becky. Anyway, I digress. I tried the wheel chair, and silence. What a lovely sound. Silence. The squeak was gone.

Posted in chaos, Disability, Family, Home, Life, parenting, Repairs, wheelchair | Tagged , , , , , , , | 7 Comments