Tag Archives: raccoons

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 be...photo 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 visitors...photo 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

Random, Rants, Roughage, and Rodents…

This is going to be a very random post, as we are heavily into planning for our upcoming 10th Anniversary Open House at the bookstore this weekend (http://bit.ly/aZc2SH ), and I’ve been busy trying to get the stacks of books under some sort of control…

1. Ridiculous customer: We have a really BIG Bible: about 6 inches thick, and at least 10 lbs.  On this Bible, there is a small plastic tag that reads in BIG RED LETTERS: “DANGER – Do Not Touch.”  On Friday, I watched a woman move the tag off the top of the Bible, set it on the shelf, and proceed to haul the big honkin’ Bible off the shelf and down on to the FLOOR, so she could look through it!  Apparently, she could read the word “Revelations,” but could not comprehend the shorter ones: “Do Not Touch.”

2. Reluctant body fluids: I am an occasional blood donor – I had an appointment to make a donation on Friday.  I made my way through the incredibly detailed questionnaire designed to safeguard our blood system (no, I’ve never visited Africa, been in prison, or worked with monkeys or their bodily fluids).  Unfortunately, I hadn’t had much water to drink (“I drank tea,” I reported hopefully, but that was no good), so they had a terrible time even finding my small “rolly” veins.  Apparently, it helps to be hydrated…they did finally find a vein, and got the process started.  As usual, my blood flowed as slowly as molasses…after about ten minutes of me squeezing a small rubber ball, the flow stopped completely.  I felt like an utter failure: “Sorry about that,” I mumbled dejectedly.  “I’ll try to drink more water next time.”  The nurse told me not to worry about it.  As I nibbled a cookie, I chatted with an acquaintance of mine, who has over 600 donations under his sleeve, and volunteers at the clinics when he’s between donations!

Canadian Blood Services logo...

3. Rampant greed: I made my first visit to our new Costco on Saturday (Jim had already been there a couple of times with the kids – one trip yielded the biggest jar of olives I’ve ever seen – I don’t even like olives!).  I was amazed when the cashier informed us that she had to take some money out of her till, because earlier she’d had a customer pay for a $2400 order in CASH!  We bought a few useful things, including giant boxes of cereal, rechargeable batteries, 300 ZipLoc freezer bags in two different sizes, and a 36-double roll pack of toilet paper (that should last a couple of weeks!).

The toilet paper we got...I'm sure that embossing will make all the difference...

4. Rodents: Anna informed me when I got up Sunday morning that she had seen a BIG raccoon on our back deck during the night…he was apparently enjoying the eggshells that I have in a bucket out there for the garden.  Jim’s bird seed is also attracting other critters: in the morning, Anna saw a big RAT!  She snapped a picture of it, but deleted it before I told her I wanted it for my blog! 

5. Roughage: I spent Sunday in the garden, harvesting various vegetables and greens.  We had company on Sunday night, and I served salad which was a combination of stuff from my garden, and purchased ingredients.  We also had Swiss chard/beet greens, mixed snap beans, and my first Red Kuri squash, which I picked even before it had a chance to turn red!  I was also thrilled to discover at least one baby pumpkin, a couple of Dakota Dessert squash, and three decent-sized zucchini.  The best news was finding out that my broccoli is finally forming tiny heads!   I also picked more blueberries and a handful of blackberries.

Red Kuri squash before it got red...

Baby pumpkin...

This zucchini is destined to become chocolate zucchini bread...

Uncle David's Dakota Dessert squash...

Baby broccoli head...this is only about 3 inches across...

6. Recognition: My blueberry pie was a big hit with our company https://writerwoman61.wordpress.com/2010/08/08/i-owe-it-all-to-pig-fat/:  Jim’s parents complimented me on how tasty the pastry was, and Jim asked for seconds after they were gone!


Filed under books, food, gardening, nature, rants, self-discovery