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Wonky no more

I've had a busy spring and summer, working around the cottage. You can find me there most weekends, fixing something. Mom and Bob tried to keep the cottage going, but in recent years, neither had the money or the energy to do the hard things.

Last summer, I replaced a "deck" that was rotting out; Mom had stepped on a board, and wound up knee-deep in it. Not a good thing for a 79-year-old to have happen. So, I went up with a load of lumber and two bags of ready-mix concrete and replaced the deck with something a bit more stable.

I used the concrete for a footing for the stairs coming down from the deck. Unfortunately, I didn't have enough concrete to properly pour the footing, and the footing that I did pour was akilter enough to make the stairs slope visibly as well. I promised Mom that I'd replace that footing this year, so that the stairs wouldn't be "wonky" any more.

A Man of Constant Sorrows

I am a Man of Constant Sorrows
I've seen Trouble all my Days

Privacy czar to probe Canadian impact of U.S. data program

Privacy czar to probe Canadian impact of U.S. data program - The federal privacy watchdog says she will look into any implications for Canada posed by possible U.S. government snooping on a wide scale. Defence Minister Peter MacKay said Canada's spy watchdog has been aware of data surveillance for years. [CBC Canadian Headlines]

A Final Goodbye

This past weekend, Terry and I spent an emotionally difficult three days at the cottage. Along with the Ingrams and the Lindsays, we said goodbye to my mother and my brother.

Saturday afternoon, we all gathered together to drink a toast to both Bob and Joan, and then trekked over to my cottage to scatter their ashes. Mom and Bob will now, forever, reside beside the clear blue waters of Kimball Lake, on the land they loved so much. They sit at the cottage and on the beach between the Ingrams and the Lindsays.

Spring Activities

This spring has been a little different for me, this year.

A few weeks ago, I went up to the cottage, to open it for the year. I had hastily closed it last fall, between my mother's hospitalizations and during my brother's hospitalization. Because of that, the opening needed to be more elaborate; I had laundry to bring back home, an inventory to make, and memories to live. Two days isn't nearly enough time to make an impact on the work left to do.

Keeping Busy

Spring is here, finally, and that means spring renovations.

The privacy screen behind the hot tub had seen better days. The Wisteria, while beautiful and shady, had torn apart the cedar lattice, and this was the spring to do something about it. It took a couple of days to get prepared, but I tore down the old lattice, shifted the Wisteria, and put up new lattice.

Fragment of a mystery novel

Melody In Black

Chapter 1

I sit alone in the shadows. A table reserved for one, where the light is subdued and the music insistent, obscuring my business without meddling with it. A waitress, young and sleek, slides by every so often, looking over but never approaching unless I beckon. I sit with my back to the wall, my glass off to one side, not far from my right hand, but not so close as to deliberately invite a sip of the 30 year old Speyside single malt Scotch that patiently waits within it.

Planning extended-family vacations

I've had a bit of experience in planning a vacation for an extended family, and let me tell you, it takes a lot of co-ordination and discussion.

So, when the subject came up about planning a vacation for Terry's extended family (son & daughter, father, brothers & sisters & their spouses, nieces & nephews, significant others), I stepped away from the task. Mostly.

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