Archive for the 'Island Life' Category

Wordless Wednesday – A Walk In My ‘Hood







(Almost*) Wordless Wednesday: Is PEI The Only Place On Earth Where It’s Not So Uncommon For Wheelchairs Drive With the Cars?


*Let’s ignore the fact that I actually took this while I was driving and concentrate on what’s really dangerous here, ‘kay?

Wordless Wednesday: Charlottetown Turns 154



Well, we’re having our second bit of a cold snap here, so yesterday I stopped by the furnace oil company and put some money on the account and asked if I could have $300 of oil delivered…  for the last year or so $300 has been the minimum delivery order (or $400 if you wanted it faster).  The woman looked at me like I had two heads…

“The minimum oil delivery is $351.89,” she stated in a matter of fact tone that implied everyone on the planet knew that.

So I asked for $351.89 worth of oil.

Seriously, who comes up with a number like that?  What genius said, “hey… we need to raise our minimum order price… how about $351.89?”  I understand that in all likelihood that is the cost of a certain number of litres, or many some top secret significant number only memorable to oil company workers, but couldn’t they have rounded it to $350 or $355?  And what would happen if I already had oil in my tank and only $351.88 would fit?

Which brings me to my other cold weather point.  Our house is drafty in certain places… the front door, the corner of the master bedroom, and the entire kitchen are significant heat eaters.  I had to move the pile of sweaters I have against the cold bedroom corner wall and there was snow, or frost, or white cold stuff ON THE INSIDE of the house there.  I have no idea how that’s even possible, but it is. 

So, in my attempt to at least warm up the draft from the front door, off to the hardware store I went and bought some window plastic.  Our plan was to seal it from inside the porch like it was a big window.  That way, the door could still be accessed in an emergency (just break the thin plastic), but the draft would be blocked in a way that is not visible from the living room.  The plan worked beautifully and the living room has warmed up significantly.  It worked so well, in fact, that now I’m wondering…

Why don’t they make really big house plastic so I can just wrap my whole house in it from the outside until winter is over?  They could make it all shrink wrappy for people who care about asthetic appeal, or make the plastic some festive colour or pattern or something for those who like something a little funky or artistic.  They could even make wrapping accessories to boost sales, like ribbon and bows and things, so people could make their wrapped houses look like presents.  And there would be a whole new job market for expert gift wrappers.  It would extend their season significantly.  Some wrappers might even get their own show on HGTV.

It was -23C yesterday… (that’s -9.4 F) … and -31C with the windchill (-23.8F)… I’m only partially kidding about this.

Bagpipes Before Breakfast

What does it mean when you start hearing bagpipes before you’ve even had your morning coffee?  It means you must be in the heart of Charlottetown on parade day.

Today is a holiday in town.  A day off to watch a parade which celebrates a horse race.  It’s a rather home-spun type of event, where a typical float is the back of a flat bed truck adorned with balloons and crape paper as participants dance, wave, and smile as the music blares.  It is a part of local culture and tradition, and we go each year.  My favorite part are the large helium balloons.  My least favorite are the bagpipes warming up before breakfast.

With the parade ending at lunch, the girls and I had the afternoon to fill, and true to my Canada Day notion of spending time together in a coffee shop, we made a plan to take our notebooks and spend a while at a local spot we have never been, sipping a beverage, and jotting down thoughts, dreams, stories, and other great works.  And blog posts too.

The children got their first fancy hot chocolate.  When I suggested a topping of whipped cream they initially thought I was joking, but soon were on board.  They were both impressed and amused by the beverage.  We sipped on the drinks and talked for a while before pulling out our notebooks.  Rainbow worked on her gratitude journal and drew for a while, Dolittle jotted notes and lists.  I blogged by hand (to be transcribed later).  There is something to be said for this long-hand thing.  I can see how the environment and the method is condusive to creativity.  I can also see how longer creative works may require solitude or the company of the less inquisitive.  But it was lovely — we three, journalling together.

Sometimes bagpipes before breakfast is actually just a quirky way to start a rather wonderful day.

I’m a Fan

I have made no secret of the fact that I am a fan of dance television. While I don’t discuss television much here, per se, I have put that little fact in my 101 Things About Me page. The fact is, most everyone in our entire house likes dance television (or will at least watch it with me), with our favorite being So You Think You Can Dance.

I was reading the local paper on-line yesterday and notice a little story about a local dance studio that held a workshop on the topic of Broadway dance in Stratford last weekend. Travis Wall was one of the instructors. Travis. Wall. Travis Wall of So You Think You Can Dance. Travis Wall who was probably my favorite contestant ever, followed very closely by brother Danny the following year. Dolittle would also be excited to learn this fact. She can’t hear the name without saying “He should have won, you know.”

So as we were driving to watch some black belt testing last night (which was awesome by the way) I said to the girls, “Guess who was teaching a Broadway dance class on PEI last weekend?”

“Ellen Degeneres” guessed Rainbow.

“Nope. But that would have been exciting.”

“Travis Wall” guessed Dolittle

“Yes! How cool is that? He came to PEI!”

“Wow!” was the concensus. (As well as “He should have won!”)

“So what would you do if you actually had seen Travis, Mom?” Dolittle asked.

I had to think about that for a second. “Squeel like a teenager.” I replied. And I really think I would have. I’m really that lame.

So…. for those of you unfamiliar with the show, here is a clip of the particular moment I became a Travis fan.

(Sniff). I love a kid who loves his mama.

Rocky Roads

One ofpothole.jpg the few things in life one can be assured of… as sure as the sun will rise in the morning, and as sure as the sun will set at night… weather fluctuations will bring pot holes to Prince Edward Island.

And this year is particularly bad.  The milder days counter the colder days and the result of the conflict is that roadways and parking lots look like battlefields.  G*d bless those who travel with a back-seat driver as it is practically impossible to avoid these craters much of the time as they are so frequently spaced.  My workplace has one that resembles an animal feed trough in both size and depth.  Do not even attempt to sip your coffee in your travels as you will soon be wearing it. 

Now, you don’t have to go far to hear folks complain about the situation of the pavement.  It’s even made it to the news on a number of occasions.  So, I’ve been thinking that there might be a creative approach to this… a turn lemons into lemonade kind of thinking… and this is what I’ve come up with…

First, I thought, forget fixing them.  We can just let them get worse, then market ourselves as one big amusement ride.  Like a province wide roller coaster.

But then I got a better idea.  An idea prompted by elephant rock.  If PEI can use a naturally formed rock formation as a tourist attraction… why not pot holes.  They’re naturally made.  All we have to do is find ones that look like someone famous… like Elvis, or Jesus, or Anne, or Dumbo if need be.  Create a map of the stars like you might find in Hollywood.  Maybe even get some “constellations” of stars like our scenic drives and ba-da-bing… something people might spend a day on… maybe more with the likely car repairs.  I’m just sayin’.

So, any ideas on the pot-hole above?  It’s right outside my driveway so I’m sort of anxious to get in on this idea.  I’m thinking Peppermint Patty…


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