Posted by: Valerie | April 2, 2011

Just when you think nothing’s happening…

Last week I started a blog and wrote about 500 words but never finished it. On rereading it, I understand why I didn’t publish it.  It was a load of rubbish. That can happen when life gets dull and repetitive.

Then things started to happen and I didn’t have time to write. It was a week of many kilometres on the highway, driving to and from medical appointments for Joe to have tests in Peterborough. He did give us a scare by presenting symptoms of a possible TIA (trans-ischemic attack, or mini-stroke). It’s good to know that when there is something nasty suspected, the medical system roars up into gear and before you know what ails you, you have already undergone a CT scan, a carotid Doppler ultra-sound and all sorts of heart monitoring.

A new career for Joe?

 Thank you, Kindle, for helping me wait. As Joe’s symptom was extreme dizziness which lasted a few days, it was well worth the tests. But now, after all that, the results came up negative which is of course the desired outcome and the symptoms have all disappeared. Now they are saying that it was probably vertigo. We still have to make another trip to see the neurologist next week. No doubt we shall drive the 100 km, sit around in a waiting room for an hour, to be told that there is nothing wrong. If that is the case we shall both be glad and mad at the same time. Somehow these medical specialists seem unable to pick up the phone and give you the good news. I guess they like to watch your expression of joy – or, cynically, like to get another billing. The main thing  is that Joe is fresh and frisky again!

Spring is stagger-stepping along here in frosty northern climes. A slow melt is however very desirable as less water runs into the basement. Nights are still well below freezing with warmer days following. We can now see the grass in some spots of the yard. The lake is still ice-bound though. We tried to get there this afternoon but bogged down in heavy snow like wet sugar. There are daffodil shoots around the apple tree in the front yard though. Yippee!

 These conditions are ideal for maple syrup making and there are quite a number of sugar bushes around here. It is extremely labour-intensive and involves buckets and boiling vats. Apparently Joe and Pam tried it and quickly gave up after finding the yield was far out of proportion to the amount of labour entailed. It tastes quite nice but my, it is expensive!

We are still dithering about whether to move or not. As spring approaches, it seems less and less desirable. We did go and view a house in town a week or so ago. It’s a bungalow. Completely renovated, super kitchen, rather small bedrooms and a nicely finished basement. Best of all was its excellent location close to a footbridge making it a short walk across the river into a park and town. It also has a lovely big treed yard backing onto crown land. Within the budget too. Hmmm… Then again, the prospect of clearing this place is utterly daunting. I have just been to Joe’s “shop” and found myself groaning at the amount of Treasure in there (read junk). I think we could fill a couple of dumpsters from there alone without even starting on the basement .

Sad news in the neighbourhood. We went to buy our Saturday paper at the Paudash General Store, a pleasant little shop about 10km from here only to be greeted with the news that it is closing! It’s been there forever and has had many make-overs and improvements over the years. Joe has been going there for at least 25 years. Every so often it has changed hands and the owners have all started by putting their own stamp on it and shortly thereafter given up and in comes someone new.

Paudash General Store

 The most recent owner has been a cheery little woman called Doreen with bleached hair and a raspy smoker’s voice. She made a little corner in the shop for the locals to pop in and share a coffee and a gossip and occasionally she had interesting bits and pieces made by local artisans for sale. Lovely hand-made greeting cards , some imaginative knitted running shoes (yes!) and wooden items made by locals. It was always a pleasant stop. Until now! Doreen has quit. No money to be made – the old, old story around here. Not enough local trade to keep going in the winter. Summer tourists OK but not dependable. So now our little General Store will be gone, to be replaced by a fish and chip stand. Ho-hum.

We have however found another place. We investigated a rather dingy looking place very close to the PGS, called Jack’s Butcher Shop, and were pleasantly surprised to find that it is now run by an enterprising sort-of-young couple, Penny and Bob, who seem to have a lot more stock than the GS. And they make butter tarts every day and sell them for 75c. Fish and chips on one side of the road and butter tarts on the other. Not a very promising outlook for the waistline.

Charlie the Cat is as mad a March hare even though it’s April. He is bounding around the house like a kitten on catnip, is on the wrong side of every door and spends much time under the birdfeeder or bothering the nesting crows who vigorously protest. He is also fascinated by our regular night visitors, Robbie and Ramona Raccoon who show up to tidy the spilled birdseed from the deck.

Here's Robbie - or is it Ramona?

They are completely unfazed when we turn on a light to watch them. Am a little concerned about where they are going to have their babies. Not under the deck, please, please…

See what I bought at the auction last week. A lovely silver jug ideal for flowers. Well, maybe not real silver exactly – not even EPNS. It’s EPBM which I assume means electro-plated base metal. Hey, it cost $2.00! Given that we really, really do not need more stuff, we are going to the auction of the  Bancroft year at the end of April. The Ya Ya Gallery is biting the dust rather inelegantly and the goodies are up for grabs. No EPBM there! I wonder if we can actually go, and get out of there without buying anything. But then what’s the point in going if not to buy?

Shiny, eh? EPBM


  1. I would have bought the pitcher too, if I had been there Val. For $2????
    sheesh. I see it filled with flowers from your garden, notable delphinium and peonies.
    As for moving, it doesn’t get any easier, parting with stuff, but soon or later….and it is easier to do it while it is sooner! I have done it many times and am still culling. It helps when the kids are se tting up housekeeping. However, the tr end now is for simplicity and lack of clutter, thus the gorgeous things like extra vases and pitchers. I have a cupboard of coloured pitchers which I don’t use any more. They will likely be on the card table on the lawn one of these days!

  2. Great to see Joe is OK and has many years to run around the homestead or should I say the world….. love yea Bob

  3. Glad to hear Joe is well also. Am longing for real spring here too. Tomorrow is supposed to have more snow. sigh. Just when I thought it was safe to go back on the bike again…

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