Saturday, August 25, 2012

Summer Nights

I was sitting on the newly arranged love seat sipping my morning coffee staring out the picture window at the pouring rain.  The wind is gusting to 80 kms and Brandy can't go outside without becoming a wet soggy dog.  Even though today will only hit a high of 17*C, it made me remember.....

I was about 10 or 11, maybe even 12, and it was a hot hot evening in my parents house.  They didn't have air conditioning then and wouldn't until I was closer to 15.  It was the kind of sticky humid heat that made you uncomfortable to be inside and outside.  Mom and Dad had some kind of fan that often sat in the doorway of the front door.  You had to put water in it.  I don't know if it worked but I know that summer it got a good work out.

We had been somewhere, I don't recall where.  Maybe at my grandparents or just out for a drive as we often did that when I was a kid.....just to find relief sometimes.  It was about 11pm.  My parents had opened all the windows in the house and were sitting out on the front step because it had finally cooled down outside or at least it was cooler than being inside.

Magnum PI was on the TV.

.....and I was torn.  I wanted to watch TV but it was hot.  From inside the living room I could hear the murmur of my parents conversation  on the front step.  They encouraged me to go outside and I did go in and out a few times.  Mom thought Tom Selleck looked pretty good with that mustache and I always secretly thought maybe that's why Dad had a 'stache too.

On a night like that we sure would have appreciated rain like we're getting today.

It was also on a hot evening like that I'd see my grandparents car pull up outside.  They drove a '77 Grand Prix which would later become mine on my 16th birthday.  We'd all pile into the luxury sports car and head to Dairy Queen.  Mom, Grandma D and I would wait in the car.  I'd always get a hot fudge sundae while Grandma would get strawberry.   Thinking about it now and I can almost smell that new-car-grandparent smell.

My own parents are older now than my grandparents were then.

Such great memories from a rainy late summer day.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Chapter Seven [It's a Novel Idea]


I wasn't looking forward to it. Everyone would be curious as to how the “date” with Alex had gone. And by everyone I mean Emily. I didn't think the other guys would care much. I had tried to sleep late by hitting the snooze button an extra time but with frustration I climbed out of bed and headed to the shower. I dressed for work and arranged and rearranged my hair until I thought it looked fine. When I couldn't stand it anymore I headed out the door. I didn't want to leave for work until the very last minute. If I could avoid any of the Alex talk I would.

When I arrived at my counter at the bank I found a note.

Stacey, you were right. We make better friends. No hard feelings. Alex

I tried to find Alex, but was told that he wouldn't be in. Maybe none of the others knew.


At lunch Emily cornered me wanting details. “So how was it?” She had asked giddily.

“Not worth talking about, Em.”

“Oh come on. I bet you're going to see him again.”

“Not even close, Em.” I assured her. “If you want to go out with him, he's all yours.” Emily was clearly surprised. “He's not at all what he seems.”

She left it at that just shrugging off my responses. I'm sure she'd fill in the other girls. The gossip would spread like wildfire. I noticed that Emily was folding and unfolding a magazine.

“What do you have there?”

“Huh, oh this.” She said tucking it under her arm. “It's just one of those tabloid things. Remember how I thought they were filming a movie here?” I nodded. “Well, I was right. Some of the worlds newest up and coming actors are going to be right here!”


“Ya, I thought so.”

After that conversation seemed to lighten up, but still I could not wait for this day to be over. Friday afternoon dragged by. I felt like I was looking at the clock every five minutes. My mind was trying to go elsewhere. I could not wait for the next day. I kept having to yank myself back from daydreams. It was very hard to stay focused and I was so glad when it was finally five o'clock and time to go home. The next day was much easier to look forward to knowing that Reese was going to be involved in it. I almost sprinted from the building to my car.

I was so glad to be free of the day. I turned on my stereo, immediately my head was bopping and I turned it louder. I stopped at Safeway and picked out a salad for supper, much like I intended to do on that other Friday, I grimaced. No. I was not going to think about that stuff now. I was on the weekend freedom tour.

That evening I tried to stay busy by cleaning my kitchen. I scrubbed it from top to bottom making sure to get all the crevices clean. When I was satisfied with my work I took the dish cloth and towel to my laundry basket. I saw how it was over flowing. I really didn't feel like traipsing all the way down to the laundry room. Does anyone ever really feel like doing laundry? I sighed. It was now or never.

I grabbed my basket and sorted through the lights and darks. I made sure I had my laundry soap from under my kitchen counter and launched a small search for the keys to the laundry room. I smiled at myself when I remembered I had tossed them into my junk drawer after the last laundry run. After rummaging around, moving and removing items I finally came up victorious. Proclaiming myself ready, I headed down to the main floor.

On this Friday night I could hear various sounds emanating from different apartments. Some sounds were just blaring TV's while others were loud discussions. I was thankful that my neighbors seemed to be working class people like me who lived quietly. So quietly at times I felt like I was detached from what was going on in the rest of the world. I didn't own a cell phone, a computer and only had the most basic of cable packages. I didn't live under a rock.....but it was close.

I had tossed Dusk into my laundry basket on the way out the door. With the washing machine thumping away, I slumped into the folding metal chair in the corner of the room and began to read. I had only stopped to switch the clothes from the washer to the dryer and when my eyes were beginning to blur I looked up in thought. Edwin, the main character was the perfect man. I doubt any man really could live up to that. Well, maybe Reese could. I got butterflies in my stomach when I thought of him. Tomorrow, I thought happily.

When I had folded all my clothes and paired each sock I left the room and started back for my apartment. When I got close I could hear the phone ringing. I jogged in the door and balanced my laundry basket on my hip as I reached for the phone.


“Oh Ann, I was just about to hang up.”

I turned around and set the basket down on the floor, then walked back and shut the door to my home kicking it shut with my foot. “Oh, hi Will, I was down doing laundry.”

“That's not terribly original.” He joked. “That rates right up there with washing your hair on a Friday night.”

“Don't think I didn't consider doing that too!” I joked right back.

“I feel so at ease talking to you, Ann.” Will confided. “Its like your my own personal therapist.”

I frowned. “I would prefer to be a friend, Will.”

“Well, I don't think you'll have to dish out that much advice anymore, anyway” Will paused. “It seems as if things are working out.”

“That's good.” I leaned against the counter in the kitchen.

“And I do consider you my friend.”

“That's good too.”

“In fact, Ann, I was thinking that it might be fun to meet one of these days.”

The idea hung out over the sound waves as I mulled it over. “I might not be able to live up to my telephone persona.”

“Maybe I gave you the wrong impression. Not a date or anything like that. Just a friendly chat over coffee.” Will said.

“I'll think about it okay?” I was much too intrigued with Reese to bother thinking about anyone else, even if they only wanted to be my friend.

“That's fine. I understand.” He was insulted.

I felt bad. I had given him the wrong idea. “I'm sorry, I didn't mean to be insensitive.”

“No it's okay, really. We'll talk about it again.”

“Okay.” I said softly.

“I'll talk to you later, Ann.” And Will disconnected.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Hood is a Changin'

When I first moved to Toon Town, I gave my neighbours nicknames because I didn't know their real names.  I had hopes that we'd be the kind of block that got together for parties and sat out on the lawn and had coffee and were friends.  None of that happened in the way I wished it would.  There was Neighbour Fred, The Rider Fans & Nice Neighbour.  I even blogged about them in another blog life.

Not all the original families are here.  Corrine was my immediate neighbour but moved away before we lived here a year.  There's been 3 families since Corrine.  Joel and Josie are the best next door neighbours we've ever had.  They do have parties and they do invite us.  Sometimes we go and sometimes we don't, but we always say hello and share our gardening tips over the fence.

Nice Neighbour is exactly what his name describes.  He's nice.  When he's outside working he'll wave.  He walks his little white dog and stops and talks.  He's told us he appreciates us as good neighbours.  He's chatted about our new fence and he's even said "Pop in for coffee, Dorothy and I would like it."  Dorothy!  That's the name of his wife!  Ten years later, I have no idea what Nice Neighbour's name is, but I always chat with him and I always wave back.

Next to Nice Neighbour is a new family.  I think they are Filipino and that's just fine.  There are little kids who ride bikes and play outside.  It's nice to see kids in the neighbourhood again.  There haven't been any for a long time.  So far, this family doesn't have a nickname.

Directly across from our house are The Rider Fans.  I called them that before I knew I was one as well.  They are better described as Tim Horton addicts though.  Whenever they leave, they always ALWAYS return with coffee from Timmies.  Yes, they still dress in green on game day, their little kids are clad now too, and so are we.

Next we have Neighbour Fred.  Hubby calls him Meticulous Neighbour because he is forever cutting his lawn or weeding or watering.  They've done a lot of work on their house.  Since we've lived here they've done a new gate, new driveway, and resided the house.  I'm sure there were renovations inside as well.....we just can't see them.  I've talked to Neighbour Fred up close a few times.  They've always been good and looked out for the well being of all in the hood.  I am thankful for that.

This spring Hubby was at work and was taking the elevator when a lady introduced herself as Cindy.  Here it turns out she is Neighbour Fred's wife.  Hubby had been working in the same building for 2 years in different departments.

When we first moved here their teenage boys would practise their skate boarding out on the sidewalk.  Brandy would bark at them. Then we watched them move away.  Now they return with little kids of their own.  It's the evolution of the neighbourhood  I suppose.

This evening I looked out the living room window.  There is a newly planted For Sale sign on the lawn at Neighbour Fred and Cindy's. 

It's sad to see a good neighbour go.  But on the up side, someone new will move in.  Maybe they'll be the sit on the stoop and visit type.  I'm hoping. 

10 Thought Tuesday ~ Dwindling Time ~

My feetz outside reading before I was plagued by the "rash".
It's a sunshiny day here in Toon Town.  We're supposed to get up to 31*C this afternoon.  For me, that is hot Hot HOT.  It indeed still feels like summer but we can be sure the days are numbered.

Numbered like my list!


1.  Yesterday I went to work and called all my students to inform them of their starting dates.  It took about 45 minutes.  I left mostly messages which I am thankful for.  I really dislike phoning parents.

2.  While I was at the school my classroom neighbour was busy packing up his belongings.  He's not coming back this year.  He's a good guy and says he might be back next year.  We taught similar styles of music and tended to lean on each other for advice.  I'll miss him.

3.  Brandy~puppy is done with the Gastro Intestinal food.  I mixed the last into the other kibble.  She gobbled it up last night and this morning like she hasn't eaten in weeks.  I just hope that the regular Purina food isn't too hard on her system.  She seems fine so far.  And no, the vet never got back to me nor did he advise me on what to feed her once the food was done.

4.  Pennington's has shoes.  Yes.  And they are really super cute.  The only problem is my closest and favourite store does not carry them.  So to view and try on these super cute shoes I have to drive all the way over to the East Side.  It's not fair.  People on the West Side wear shoes too.

5.  I'm going to make a hair appointment for a back to work "do".  I think I will go shorter....about shoulder length.  I explained to Hubby how I don't seem to get the results I want and he told me that I should tell the hair dresser to make me over....instead of telling them what I'm hoping for and ending up with the same cut that doesn't work.  I think I'll try that.

6.  Football critics and Ridernation are making me crazy this week.  Yes, we lost another game.  It's 4 in a row.  The offence on all levels was poor this week.  The thing about the football in this province is that fans are beyond passionate.  I can't even explain what it's like until you experience it.  But they are harsh.  I'm staying quiet for now about it.

7.  I'm almost finished reading Motor Mouth by Janet Evanovich.  I thought that this was the first book in the series but I was led astray and it's actually the second book.  I like it.  I really enjoy Janet Evanovich's writing.  It has a flow and pace to it that is so easy to read and time passes fast and you don't even know it.  I gobble up her books.

8.  I think when I go out I might stop at Tim Horton's and grab something for lunch.  I love that new Peach Mango smoothie.  Yes, I like it better than coffee.

9.  *sigh*  I need to do some major clean up before the school year starts.  I feel like I'm going around in mental circles.  I want to do this and I want to do that and soon I've thought about it so much I haven't done anything and time has passed me by.  *sigh*

10.  Brandy is still not impressed with the current furniture placement.  She's not fond of the couch in the window.  But my back is thankful for sitting on the love seat.  She looks longingly a the window.  I am more stubborn than she.....I am not moving the furniture back......yet.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Piano Lesson #7 ~ Test Day ~

Did you study?  

Honestly, if  you were in my classroom I'd probably hint around a lot for answers that I really know that you know.  Sometimes we know what a thing is and we just can't remember the name of it.  That's alright.  And sometimes in music knowing what to do is more important than knowing the names of things.

If you know what something is on the test but can't remember the name, write it down.  I might give you marks for being creative.  I once gave a student marks for saying the term "N.C." meant Nifty Chicken.

And no, that is not on this test.


1.   Name the following symbol.

2.  Name the notes.

3.  True or False.
The pinky finger on the left hand is finger number one.

4.  Tell the note values.

5.  Name all the letters in the musical alphabet.

6.  What are the notes in the C chord? 

7.  What are the notes in the G7 chord?

8.  What colour are your teachers eyes?

That is the end of the exam.

Not that hard, right?

Next week is Graduation.  You need to prepare two songs to play for a mini concert.  Practise your bowing!