I Mean It

April 22, 2009


The Living Room: Brought to You by Cuca

April 18, 2009

Some photos by E.g.; all tampered with by Lavenderbay.


Hello, blogworld, Cuca here. Mother has asked me to show you around the living room. She has very specifically not asked the dogs. Note, if you will, the recycle-bin barricade.


First we have the armchair,warmed by a ten-dollar cushion and a five-dollar fleece throw, cozied up to the ABC* coffee table and the BRU** braided rug. Oversized books adorn the lower shelf, among them Netherlandish Painting, Canadian Art, and Australian Birds. On the table top you will see a Cardicorgi candleholder (a birthday gift to Turtle from the dog manufacturer Shelley) and…


… an Indonesian grass basket, costing two bags of kitty treats at Ten Thousand Villages, bought especially to hold beach stones. I just shake my head sometimes.


Another cushion and throw, a twizzly floor lamp, and just beyond that…


A mantelpiece. Spotted Sandpiper, fancy candle, artisanal clock, 1940s incense holder, more rocks (good grief!) and Athena will all have to await my guiding hand; it’s much more amusing to rearrange small items when dogs are sitting underneath them.


Beyond the mantelpiece we see the harp, tucked into the corner between the fireplace and the window. The two white planters expect to greet some sprouted pussywillow stems any day now. I wonder how tasty those will be?


Ah, the window. That reminds me: I’m getting bored. Here’s the NYBA*** rocking chair. Big deal. So if you’ll excuse me…


… the bear and I have a windowsill date with a gorgeous view. Ta-ta for now.

  • *ABC: Already Been Chewed.
  • **BRU: Baptized by Regurgitation and Urine.
  • ***NYBA: Not Yet Been Altered.

Apartment Pix (ii): Studies in Blue

April 8, 2009

In today’s post, we present the bathroom and the dining room.


From the bathroom doorway, you can see two sets of bifold doors. The first hides the washer and dryer; the second hides a huge closet. Note the shell pattern on the shower curtain.


This dragon hook was left behind by a previous tenant. Above it is a skylight.


The dining room and kitchen make an L. This is the view from the kitchen; the window is off to the left.


On the righthand wall, an old dresser gets a new life: glasses and cups are stored on the shelf, placemats and napkins and tablecloths and silverware in the drawers.


On the weekend, we found a willow someone had cut down, so we took a few sprigs home.


This building was built within five years after the Great Fire of 1877, so it has coal fireplaces, which are smaller than ones made for burning wood. Nevertheless, I thought our larger roasting pan was just the thing to decorate the spot. I appreciate beauty with a purpose.

Next: the living room (and maybe the foyer) .

Apartment Pix (i)

April 7, 2009

Hey there, good blogbuddies!

It’s been a busy week. The outbound tenant at our new place didn’t move till the morning of the 1st. We moved in during the afternoon. By happenstance, the same moving company had been hired by both of us, so they were able to coordinate things. 

The other complication was with the property management workers, who had been denied access for an inspection and headstart at the cleaning, repainting, and floor polishing. They arrived at 08 30 on the 1st, and worked for two solid days to get the place ship-shape.

Luckily, all of our possessions fit into one room.

high and dry

This is the view through the baker’s rack into the bedroom. The movers put everything into the painted-that-morning living room, and then when the bedroom was finished, we moved all the stuff into it so the living room floor could be polished. As you can see by the intarsia raccoon, I had already opened a box or two before piling the rest of the stuff in there . (There are several spikes permanently mortared into each brick wall.) Meanwhile,


Virginia scrubbed the stove and fridge, gathered the garbage, and washed and polished the floors (sorry about the photo, I’ve no idea why it turned itself sideways);


Les and Chris installed new kitchen flooring and countertop;


and Don painted the walls and hooked up the washer.

This team has been working together for years, get along wonderfully, and show pride in their work. I’ve separated tasks by name, but I think there was a good deal of overlap, each worker helping the others; plus I was trying to stay out of their way, and so my descriptions may well be inaccurate. I was quite content to sit in one room, opening a carton or dozing off over a to-do list, listening to the casual banter coming from the rest of the apartment, and humming along to the 70s hits issuing from the radio station on Don’s boombox. Those first two days of chaos were, in fact, quite a happy transition.

Still to come this week: various views of the completed areas, a look out the windows, and — special for Goodbear — a secret room.

Now to tackle the remaining mess, that of the computer/craft/spare bedroom. Eeek…

See you tomorrow!

computer-room    more-computer-room

A Spelling Lesson From the Bay City Rollers

April 1, 2009


Champlain points out the river.


S-A   I-N-T   J-O-H   N!

S-A   I-N-T   J-O-H   N!

S-s-s Saint John New BrunsWICK!!! Saint John New BrunsWICK!!!

S-A   I-N-T   J-O-H   N!

S-A   I-N-T   J-O-H   N!

[Need clarification? Watch the original here. ]

Okay, here’s the scoop. When the great French explorer, Samuel de Champlain, landed here on a sunny June day in 1604, he named the river that flowed into the Bay of Fundy la rivière Saint-Jean, because it happened to be the feast day of Saint John the Baptist.

Sometime later, the English settlers here had other names for their spots on either side of the river, but finally in 1786 they decided on the collective name of Saint John, using the name of the river to represent both settlements. Saint John became the first incorporated city in North America.

Life went on. Sometimes people spelled it “Saint John”, and at other times “St. John”. Of course, being named after as popular a guy as Jesus’ first cousin and the patron saint of France, the New Brunswick town competed with Saint John, Quebec and St. John’s, Newfoundland for distinctiveness. In the early twentieth century, a movement was afoot to change this city’s name back to Parrtown, the earlier moniker for the community on the east side of the river.

I don’t know about you, but personally, if I were a west-sider, my nose would be out of joint at such a thought.

Possibly the city council and the newspaper saw the situation in a similar light.

In March of 1925, the Telegraph-Journal suggested that the road to distinction lay in consistently spelling the city’s name without abbreviation: “Saint John”. The newspaper further announced that it would itself do so, effective immediately. A mere six weeks later, the city council made it official. The river might be the “St. John”, but the city’s name would always be spelled out fully.

So there ya go.

"Three blocks straight ahead, you can't miss it"
Full statue, with E.g. and Sonny Boy, in Queen Square.

I will, in parentheses, add that in local publications it is acceptable to write “SJ”. But no “St. John”, please.

And don’t worry; it took numerous corrections on the part of E.g. before I got this fact drilled into my own head. I may be Canadian, but I’m definitely “from away”.

Thanks are due to this page for the facts behind the spelling of Saint John.