Daily Archives: August 25, 2007


We’re all stretched a little thin here. HRH has injured his right wrist somehow and can’t lift things or grab things; he was sent home from work on Friday. The humidity, courtesy of a lovely rain/stormy thing that has happened on and off for the past 36 hours, makes everyone feel like they’re suffocating. Sparky is all right for a while then turns all Toddler Jekyll on us without warning. I have hit the phase I hit every couple of years where I absolutely cannot stand my house and must change it in some way. I feel as if there’s nowhere I can go to relax in my own home, which is problematic. The living room and bedroom make me tense, and my office is a workspace with no room for any other furniture, otherwise I’d try to put a reading chair in it. We can’t afford a new living room sofa and chair, of course, but these ones are now past well-used in a colour that has never thrilled me, and HRH and I can’t agree on slipcovers. (Come to think of it, the boy is the only one who has new furniture in his room. The only new pieces of furniture we’ve ever bought are bookcases, the fridge, the living room carpet, and the kitchen table.) The television is having major issues with the visual display on the screen and it appears to be dying, another costly problem we’re reminded of every time it’s turned on for a movie or to watch the news. I live and work at home, and if I don’t like being there, well, it creates tension in my brain and body. Not a good thing. It’s odd that I can put up with objects that I don’t enjoy for a long time, then suddenly, as if a switch is thrown, I’ve had enough and things have to change or I will go mad.

Also, no matter how many times I wash the kitchen floor, it remains sticky. Little things like this are dangerous to my temper.

But there is freshly baked bread as of an hour ago, of which I have eaten a quarter-loaf already.

I put the new strings on the viola Thursday night (I so want to say ‘I restrang the viola’), and I think the previous set of strings were violin strings. (Whoever owned this before I picked it up knew nothing about stringed instruments.) My trip to the easily-reached luthier reaffirmed that I don’t like them much; no matter who talks to me they seem to think I know nothing about the instruments I play or consider any of the research I’ve done ahead of time of use or import. Telling me you’re giving me forty percent off the list price of strings and making it seem like a huge favour when I know every luthier does it impresses me not a bit, and in fact makes me think you’re condescending to me. Also, if I wanted to spend a hundred dollars on a bow, it would be put towards one for me and not one for my son to mess around with. I’ll be going back to Archambault to pick up one of the cheap-quality ones for $37, thanks.

(Note to self: just stop trying to like them, okay? Give up. Use your regular luthier, even if it’s further out of the way via public transport and has no parking, and be thankful.)

We went out this morning to Valois, where I made a quick stop into the Bramble House for dolly mixture and Walnut Whips. HRH and Liam hung out at the train station and watched four long freight trains go by, up close and very loud. This thrilled Liam beyond belief because we took him to the Montreal train museum last Sunday and he has asked to go see “the big trains” every day since. I poked about the secondhand bookstore in Valois while HRH and the boy relaxed on the back bumper of the car with the hatch up at the station. It was a nice morning out.

The second batch of ratatouille on Thursday wasn’t as good as the first. I baked the first for a half-hour longer than the recipe indicated, which mellowed the vegetables out more, I think. The second batch was cooked for exactly the specified time, and the veggies were crunchy but not as sweet.

Read Christopher Priest’s The Glamour in its entirety on Thursday. Good, but not as good as his Extremes. I finally finished Scott Lynch’s The Lies of Locke Lamora which was good, but took me a long time to settle into. The style of storytelling wasn’t exactly easy, but the story was interesting enough that I stuck with it to accustom myself to the style. Once I had, it was enjoyable enough that I found myself chuckling now and again.

The boy just woke up early from his nap, crying as he does sometimes when he wakes up and wants to still be asleep. I slipped into his room and wrapped him in his blanket, picked him up, and carried him to the chair where we snuggled for about five minutes until he fell asleep again. I sat there in the dark with his long rangy preschool-like body across my lap, his head on my shoulder and his eyes closed, his breathing a bit snuffly, and I wondered where the past two years had gone. I have sat with him in that chair so often, more so when he was younger. There is a certain peace that descends when you hold your sleeping child. Part of my mind frantically tells me to make the most of this time by putting him down and getting stuff done, while the rest (thankfully) ignores it and rests in the moment, feeling that peace, the weight of the warm body, the soft damp curls on the head, the fists that twitch randomly in sleep, that snuffly post-cry breathing, the legs that dangle off the side of my lap. I’m having trouble with life in general these days, so moments like this give me the still time I need for both my mind and my spirit.

Once he’s awake (again, and at the proper time), we’re off to a barbecue with friends this afternoon. I’m looking forward to it.