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Ahh, summer

It’s here at last—summer!

So many great things happen this time of year. School’s out and all that wild shouting and screaming is, of course, the teachers. Even the students seem pleased.

With graduation ceremonies in full swing last week, several old alumni were in town—returning to their alma maters to hand out bursaries and other awards to deserving students.

Critters coming out of the woodwork

With spring finally sprung and mudding in the garden in full swing, it’s just amazing what kind of critters are coming out of the woodwork, or burrows as the case may be.

The skunks are roaming widely and soon a new batch of little ones will be busy getting themselves squashed on the highways.

Oh, the smell . . . sweeter than the last rose of summer.

Deer the same. The does, after dropping their fawns, will be busy darting out in front of you, stopping, and then heading back across in front of you again.

Seems a death wish goes with recent motherhood.

Joys of trimming

After I finally got the old lawnmower fired up and got the leftovers from last year’s flowers and the winters detritus chewed up, the lawn was in shape—sort of.

A couple more buzzes and the grass was gaining ground on me. But in spite of the growing windrows of brown grass, I refuse to rake and carry. Grind it into mulch is my motto.

The edges, however, would not pass the Pearl’s inspection.

Ode to the Lion’s Tooth

This deserves an annual reprise:

It’s that time of year again when the lawn warrior girds himself for battle. Weapons belt bristling with digger, snippers, three varieties of weed killer, and other assorted instruments of war, the grim combatant enters the field to face and eradicate the foe.

And don’t get me wrong, this is not a male-only pursuit. Many a mighty Amazon, similarly equipped, enters the fray with just as much zeal.

So just what is this hated foe?

A plumbing conundrum

First, in case you hadn’t noticed, the drought in the district of the past year has ended—I think.

That out of the way, let’s look at the wonders of modern plumbing: the hot shower.

You are worn out, tired, sore, dirty, and there is nothing quite like a long, hot shower to send your cares down the drain. It is one of the true pleasures of modern plumbing.

Sharpening your mental skills

How sharp are your powers of observation?

Research tells us that you can keep your mental skills sharp by using them. Here’s a little exercise you can try.

When out strolling the town, look closely at the properties and then guess how old or what generation the folks are that live there.

It helps if you do this in an unfamiliar neighbourhood, but it really doesn’t matter because your memory so bad, you don’t remember what you had for breakfast let alone who lives on your street.

Keeping a close eye on the trash

I rescued it from the trash can . . . for the third time.

My old grey sweater has been my favourite chilly day companion for many a decade. It is not only comfortable, it is “natty”—just the kind of casual attire fit for the retired small-town gentleman.

“Natty, my foot! It’s downright scruffy. Makes you look like some old bum!” snorted my wife, The Pearl of the Orient, when she discovered me hauling said garment back from the garbage can where she had deposited it well-hidden under a bunch of potato peelings.

Planning revenge for ‘land mines’

I thought there was a U.N. prohibition on the laying of land mines. But no, as the snow and ice recedes from the roads and sidewalks every spring, there they are.

In these fresh spring days, with the sun finally shining and things starting to melt, I like to stroll the roads with my head up and shoulders back taking in all the glory of the new season.

But no, that is impossible if I am to maintain domestic peace with the Pearl of the Orient.

A holiday favourite

With entertaining season upon us, I want to share with you one of our favourite recipes perfect for a buffet or cocktail party—or serve it with rice for a main course as this recipe makes an abundant amount of sauce.

By the way, ground chuck is available at your local butcher and is much meatier in flavour than typical ground beef.

All the best of the holiday season to you. . . .

Honey Garlic

Meatballs