Are you looking NOW?

THIS is what I missed when I walked in the front door of my school the other day:photo

THIS was grown on Saltspring Island by the uncle of one of the kids at my school. It was transported over by truck and deposited at my school to be displayed till Halloween, at which time I believe it’s going to that kid’s house to be continue life as a rather large jack-o-lantern.

THIS measures about a metre in diameter (hard to tell from the photo, I know, but there wasn’t anything nearby to help give it proper scale), and the hay bale is about a half-metre tall.

So how the hell did I, completely oblivious, walk right past it?!?

(Makes me wonder what else is going on in my world of which I have been totally unaware …)

Cleanliness is next to … impossible

I may have already mentioned this a few million times – though, to be fair, probably not here. Here, it’s probably less than that. It’s actually probably only to PG that the “few million times” applies. And he doesn’t read this blog. So really, there was no reason for me to specify the “few million times” either here or anywhere else – oh. Wait a minute. What was I talking about? Do I even have a point?

Yes. Yes, I do.

The point is that there is no way for me to get to my place of work without going past farms. I live in a fairly urban residential/ commercial area, my school is in a fairly urban residential area, but in between, there are vast expanses of rural lands. Farms. Acreages. Fields. Lack of urbanness (is that a word? Spellcheck doesn’t think so.)

This comes up frequently when PG washes my car. He often says, in an exasperated voice, “Where do you DRIVE? Why is your car always so filthy?”

And I always respond in my usual calm, reasonable voice, “I drive to WORK. I drive past FARMS to get to work. Farms are messy places. The roads past them are messy.”

Then he says, “So take another route! Find a cleaner way to get there!”

And again, in the most soothing tone I can manage, I answer, “I CAN’T! I have TRIED, but there is NO POSSIBLE WAY for me to get to work without going on FARM ROADS!”

At that point, PG sighs and gets back to work scrubbing the mud off my tires.

wash-me-on-dirty-car

But it is true, I absolutely cannot get to work without going through these rural areas. Even if I take a highway or two, they all pass by undeveloped, farm-ish lands, which, as previously noted, are often full of dirt and mud, which gets tracked onto those highways, and then deposited upon my car. From Spring till Fall, I often get stuck behind a slow-moving farm vehicle on my way to or from work, as well. On one of my routes, on my way home, I sometimes have to stop so that the cows can cross the road to get to the barn for milking – so I REALLY understand that old saying “till the cows come home”.

But last week, the traffic gods conspired to make my daily commute just a little bit worse.

Now, on every single road that I can possibly take to get to work, there is construction. On some roads, it’s not a lot, just a few orange cones to indicate where they are working on the gravel shoulders, but it’s enough to slow all the traffic down. On other roads, they have closed a lane in either direction to repair a bumpy surface, which again, slows all the traffic down. On yet more roads, there are large buildings being built, so there are flaggers controlling traffic so that the trucks can safely move in and out of the construction sites … which slows traffic down.

And construction is also pretty grubby, maybe grubbier than farms. So not only am I being slowed down on a daily basis, now my car is getting even grimier on a daily basis. PLUS, the autumn rains have now begun, so even if some of the farm dirt on the roads gets washed away, there always seems to be more mud to replace it.

This could be a very long, very dirty winter … and I may end up having to wash my own car.

Mooooove over

PG and I went wine-tasting one afternoon a while ago. We visited five different wineries … or was it four? I wasn’t driving, so I kinda lost track of how many we visited. (I think I may have had a few sips of wine past my usual limit.)

Anyway, it was a lot of fun, and we got to try (and buy!) a number of local wines that aren’t available in government liquor stores, only in a few select wine stores, as well as at the winery itself. A lot of the wineries had cheese and crackers and fruit and other nibblies to snack on while tasting the wine, which was a very good thing for people like me who have a rather low tolerance for alcohol. If I hadn’t been eating a bit as well as drinking all those wee glasses of wine, I probably wouldn’t even remember that we’d gone wine-tasting that day at all!

A couple of the wineries had other stuff for sale too, stuff that didn’t really have anything to do with wine. There were many crafts on offer, like Christmas ornaments, jewellery, knitted or crocheted items, paintings, and carvings.

And this: photo

Isn’t it the most adorable milking stool you’ve ever seen? When I first spotted it, it was the cow paint job that attracted me. Then I noticed the udders. Then I just couldn’t stop grinning!

I had to take the photo, because I couldn’t take the stool home. It wasn’t for sale – the cashier at the winery sat on it!