Wednesday, November 25, 2009

In the Old Days

Things sure have changed since I was growing up (in the 60s and 70s). I'm not talking about the leaps in technology (hey, back then, we got giddy over colour television and Atari's Pong). No, I'm talking about everyday stuff like:

Garbage Bags and Bins

We used paper grocery bags for kitchen waste. Paper! There was no backyard composting, no green bins. Can you imagine the oily, mushy mess that must've leaked through? On garbage day, we put the seeping bags into the dented metal garbage can with the lid that never seemed to fit properly. We didn't have to worry about raccoons getting into our scraps -- they didn't live near us because we hadn't yet used up all their natural habitat. But the dogs ...

Dogs That Roamed Free

There were no poop and scoop laws. No leash laws. Our own dog was either in a fenced yard or on a leash, but most dogs in the neighbourhood were let out through the front door, free to do their business wherever they pleased. And if they fancied a little snack, they could always tuck into one of the easily accessed garbage buffets.

One Bathroom

We were a family of four, and had only one bathroom in the house. Now, I've a family of three and have four bathrooms. It does make life easier at times, but those toilets and sinks still have to be cleaned.

What changes have taken place since you were a kid?

Thursday, November 19, 2009


Japanese maple in fall
October 29, 2009

Japanese maple in winter
Two weeks later

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Bugs and Stuff

A confession: Many years ago, my husband and I visited a friend's cottage up north. The mosquitoes were out in full force, and a rather noisy one broke into our bedroom, keeping me awake (although my husband slept on). I turned on the light, but was unable to find the source of that irritating "zzzz". Then I remembered: mosquitoes only bite once (a myth, I've since discovered). I was desperate -- a sacrifice would have to be made. I placed my husband's arm gently on top of the covers, and I ducked underneath. Note: this was before West Nile Virus. Soon, the buzzing stopped, and I slept. Years later, when I told my husband and friends this story, he was kind of surprised that I could be so ... so selfish and cruel. Our friends thought it was hilarious.

And on a unrelated topic: I've always wondered where moths hung out before electricity.