Religion, Resolutions, Raccoons, Rutabagas, and Red Tablecloths…

When I last posted, December 21st (sigh), I was deep in the holidaze.  Now that the fog has cleared somewhat (or as much as it ever does for a woman of my advanced years), I decided to post an update with some of the highlights of my last couple of weeks:


There’s an Anglican church near Hope’s school that Jim drives by every day when he drops off the kids.  The minister seems to put great thought into the messages he puts on the display board.  This is one of his latest offerings:

Prayers just aren't what they used to by Jim

I haven’t met the minister, but I think I might like him!


New Year’s Day has come and gone.  Jim and I hung out at home with the kids on New Year’s Eve…the most exciting thing we did was play Just Dance 3 on the Wii (which I suck at…Jim has a video which he’s keeping if he ever needs to blackmail me!).  I was laughing so hard at my own incompetence, I almost peed my pants (although Jim’s attempt was pretty funny too!).

I don’t do resolutions…I figure there’s no point in deliberately setting oneself up for failure.  Before Christmas, I decided to give up eating chips, and I’m happy to report that I haven’t had any since (I have had cookies, cake, pie, fudge, caramel popcorn, nuts, and candy, though…the weight is falling off at such a speed, you can hardly see it!).


We’ve had fun the last couple of months watching a local family of raccoons which enjoys helping itself to Jim’s birdseed smorgasbord on the back deck.  The babies love tormenting our dog, Jake, by walking right up to the back door and peering through the glass at him.  Jake goes ballistic, barking frantically, and all three raccoons continue gazing wide-eyed at the crazed canine as if they were touring the Schnoodle exhibit at the museum.

The mother scares me a little.  She’s big, and not nearly as cute as her kids!  Jim and I often fall asleep at night holding hands…one night I dreamed about the mama raccoon.  She was trying to bite me, and I was holding her mouth shut!  Jim woke me up because I was squeezing his hand so hard!

Here’s a picture Anna took of a raccoon last fall:

One of our nightly by Anna Matheson.


Last year, I grew rutabagas in my garden…I love them.  Of course this year, the deer chewed the tops of the rutabaga plants…they don’t do well without leaves, so I harvested none.  I was thrilled to see a nice 5 lb. bag of rutabagas at Giant Tiger earlier this week (most stores around here have just turnip, which isn’t the same!).  I bought it immediately.  I had some nice stewing beef in the freezer…I made a gigormous beef stew and told Jim to invite his parents over to help us eat it, because fridge space over the holidays was still at a premium!  If I do say so myself, the stew was delicious, and people seemed to enjoy the homemade rolls and pumpkin pie for dessert too (the pumpkin pie I’d served at Christmas dinner got eaten before I had any)!  I’ve got leftovers for my lunch today…yummy!

Red Tablecloths:

Since my job at the Saint John City Market ended on November 30th, I haven’t been overwhelmed with job offers, so I made a proposal to my dad: I would start setting up at the Market with books full-time.   I would pay the rent, but keep whatever profits I made.  I would finally start taking a salary from the bookstore after almost twelve years of sweat equity!  It would give us more exposure (our location is a little off the beaten path), and allow us to get rid of some excess inventory.  Much to my surprise, Dad agreed with my idea!

I’ve spent this week assembling and packing books to take, and looking for red vinyl tablecloths for my bench…not an easy thing to find right after Christmas (I’m trying to keep with the colour scheme at the Market – benches are painted red)!  Each week, I’m featuring a different theme…next week’s is The Movies.

If you’re in the Market, please stop by and see me.  Even if they don’t buy anything, I’ll be depending on the kindness of friends for my bathroom breaks!



Filed under books, family, food, satire

46 responses to “Religion, Resolutions, Raccoons, Rutabagas, and Red Tablecloths…

  1. Several years ago, a raccoon must have tried to jump off the garage roof and got stuck between the open door and the garage itself. It was hanging upside down, for I don’t know how long, because I don’t keep my car in the garage and never went back there. By the time I saw it, it was one pissed off raccoon, sputtering loud raccoon obscenities. I had to call the animal shelter to free it. It kept yelling and sputtering while they were putting it into the cage to take it away.

    • Funny, Rene…raccoon obscenities: “Damn, those humans tied that friggin’ garbage can lid on with bungee cords! I’m gonna break a nail for sure gettin’ into it!” Thanks for visiting…I need to catch up on my reading! Wendy

  2. Think I’d like to meet that minister, too.

    And Just Dance 3 is a blast. We had a surprise adults-only Just Dance birthday party for KAW. Lots of laughter. And humiliation.

  3. Love a minister with a sense of humor…but in Canada if God does not care about hockey wins, things could get messy.
    Raccoons babies are so cute! I just don’t understand why they have to grow up so darn mean! They are awful teases and not in a good way.

    Happy New Year.

  4. The Hipster

    If I lived close enough (say, within 100 miles give or take), I would be so happy to help you out with the Red Tablecloth project.

    I am grateful to have a job and a steady paycheck, but I spend my days doing work that is a far stretch from what I’m trained to do. Nor does it involve any of my many passions. So I sneak in moments to daydream of spending my days around books and the people who love them.

    I’m sure the job will come. In the meantime, here’s wishing you many happy memories of the red tablecloths.

  5. I think it’s cool that you’re setting up at the city market. Sounds like a good business decision. I’m guessing the people who shop at the city market are probably readers. My only concern is that books are heavy, and you’re not gonna have any fund setting up every week! Happy new year!

    • Thanks, Todd. We set up at the Market once in a while about five years ago (a week here, a couple of days there). I’m hoping that being there regularly and constantly changing the stock will help build clientele for both locations, although the customers will still have to come to the store to see the really good stuff! I’m okay with lugging boxes…it’s pretty much the only exercise I’m getting right now! Wendy

  6. I’m so happy to hear you will be able to make some money selling books, Wendy. You deserve it.

    Your New Years Eve sounds about as exciting as Sara’s and mine. We went over to friends for dinner and dominoes, but were home by 11. I think we are getting old!


  7. Happy New Year Wendy!

    My house in Cleveland was a major animal attraction with possums in the garage, raccoons in the chimney and chipmunks everywhere. I even had a frog in the basement once. Now I’ve got birds to deal with!

  8. Sounds like you’ve been having fun, Wendy! I’ve never tried rutabaga, but I like turnips. I’ll have to look for them now. Have fun with the kiddos!

  9. Good luck with selling yours books at the market. With your pluck, I’m sure it’ll be a sellout. Have a very Happy New Year!

  10. I would love to stop by the market. If only I weren’t a gazillion miles away! Hope you have much success with it.

    We’ve had racoons getting in our window wells. They are the cutest little things when young.

  11. jacquelincangro

    When I was taking Reggie out for his last walk of the evening, we spotted two largish creatures at the end of the block. They looked a bit like cats from that distance, but then a car’s headlights turned and I could see they were raccoons. I think Reggie was scared into silence and he wouldn’t move forward. Who knew that raccoons were in the city?

    I like your idea for featuring a different theme of books each week at the market. I bet you’ll get a lot of repeat customers that way. Good luck. I hope it’s really successful.

    Happy New Year, Wendy!

  12. Jeanne Heuer

    And here I thought you were getting paid something at the Bookstore. Well good luck at the Market.

  13. izziedarling

    OMG – got Dance 3, too – so great! Now you need Zumba 2 and the Michael Jackson one – way fun! Happy New Year, Wendy girl x iz

  14. Congrats on your ‘new’ job! Wendy, even though the photo was adorable, the thought of that racoon scares me to death. Just so they don’t set up shop in your attic!
    …I suck at Wii, too! I was going to ‘re-post’ my old Wii post about falling off the Wii board….:)
    Happy New Year!

  15. Hi Wendy! A know what you mean about the mama raccoon scaring you a little. I used to feed “Roxanne and the kids” nightly and the next thing you know, we had a lot of raccoons at our door nightly. One night one of them took off with my husbands flip Hope you have a wonderful 2012!

  16. That first bit reminded me of an Onion headline: “GOD ANSWERS SICK BOY’S PRAYER. ‘No,’ God says.”

    Raccoons romp on our roof after they’ve gotten into the fermented grapes and it’s a holy terror. I run up to the tower and bang on the window and they lurch right up and put their paws on the window and stare at me. Freaky.

  17. Holidaze? I love it! And good luck with all your new endeavors. What a way to start the new year. I hope you find some red tablecloths soon. 🙂

    And I love the idea of themed displays. If I was anywhere close to dropping by, I would for sure!

  18. I’m impressed that you even own a Wii, let alone a dance program – good for you! Good luck with the new book market – sounds like the kind of place I would love to shop.

    • The Wii belongs to the kids, Peggy. “The Market” is actually the City Market that I was managing until the end of November…produce, baked goods, meat, seafood, gifts, handicrafts, antiques, and restaurants all under one roof. Wendy

  19. I wish I were in the area to browse your books while you take a bathroom break. I love a good used book sale.

  20. Your Anna is very talented!

  21. Hey Wendy!!! Am finally back in Blogland and boy am I happy 🙂 Have started writing too, so come over when you find the time 🙂 I’ve used an alliterative title for my latest post…totally inspired by you 🙂 Have just returned from a week in Bombay, where I was with my aunt while my uncle underwent a quadruple bypass. Thankfully all’s well.

    As always, your post made me smile 🙂 God I’ve missed the Blogosphere and I do hope this time I can have a regular uninterrupted spell of writing and reconnecting! I know I would like that minister! And I’m with you on resolutions…stopped making them ages ago. But what is this I hear? You’ve not had a single chip in the New Year??!! Oh No Wendy!! That just leaves so many more chips for me to eat!! Very unfair!! 😉

    • Happy to see you, Harsha! I need to do another post…having one day off a week is a little hard…I don’t have enough uninterrupted time at the Market to write. I hope your uncle continues to do well…will visit your place soon! Hugs, Wendy

  22. Those mama racoons are a force to recon with. We have our fair share of them around here and they are quite the fighters. Once I heard rumbling in the cat’s food (stored in a large outdoor plastic container) and chuckled as I saw our large, gray tabby in the container heling himself to the chow. Only when I went to lift him out of the buffet, I saw that it was a coon instead! The thing hissed or something that sounded like a warning grunt at me.

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