Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Autumn is a great time for work

Our home has been a beehive of activity this past month. We’ve had visits from two sets of grandparents – Diane and Rick then Peter and Loretta as well as my nephew Leif while his parents were in Spain on vacation. We also had a spectacular Sunday brunch last week joined by even more family – Mark, Linda, Megan, Michael and Anna. During this amazingly productive month, upon arrival each visitor over the age of 16 was issued a pair of gloves and a tool – usually a shovel but at times a drill, nailer, trowel or Wacker gravel packer. Young Leif was issued plastic varieties of the aforementioned items for his safety and ours. Work orders were given and the toil proceeded at an amazing clip. Dirt was excavated, grass was trampled, holes were dug, cement was poured, gravel was packed, pavers were laid, frames were built, hot tubs were purchased, roofs were raised, fireplace was assembled, lights were wired, surfaces were finished and firewood was hauled.

The final product is shaping up to be a wonderfully weather resistant, cozy, fresh outdoor living space. The numerous test “sit-ins” have been a success, leading me to believe that the launch party will be tremendous. We haven’t actually scheduled the launch party yet, but we should be ready for it very soon. We are still trying to decide whether we should fill the hot tub for a couple weeks usage before the winter hits, which I am hoping will be mild to make up for the cool summer we experienced here. Now let's get back to work.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


The other day young Magnus asked me why he was called Magnus. I explained to him that his name "Magnus Antonio" was taken from the names of two of his great-grandfathers - Magnus Olson and Antonio Borges. The exchange then went like this: "Do you like that name?" "Yes, but I'd like a new name." "OK, if you could pick a new name, what would it be?" "Pillowfoot".

I really have no idea where he got that name from, but I must say it is very unique. I tried calling him Pillowfoot for a while but it just didn't seem to suit him - silence generally eludes the young gentleman. He generates noise at all times; sometimes a whistle, other times a whinny, but most often a musical soliloquy - usually his unedited thoughts sung to the tune of Mary Had a Little Lamb, Max and Ruby or various System of a Down pieces. He is an excellent singer and it seems like his sister is well on her way in developing this skill too. I try to encourage this development by holding daily air band practice in the basement where the three of us alternate between drums, guitar and mic (Playstation 3 model....though we don't actually have the console - just the instruments, which allows for much more artistic interpretation). I've demonstrated most of the classic rock guitar maneuvers for them including the "windmill guitar strum", "one legged Chuck Berry hop", "flying V stance", "guitar flip over the back" (though I bagged myself trying this one), plus a few of my own that are much too complicated to describe with words. I also gave them an intense demonstration of guttural thrash metal screaming, but I had to stop when they both started sobbing, "Daddy, you're scaring us!!". I'll save those advanced moves for when they are older.

In other news, our backyard deck project is well underway. After massively underestimating the amount of labour and materials required to prepare the ground for a concrete paver patio, we are finally at the stage of actually laying down bricks. The weather has been ruthless, alternating between awe inspiring downpours and brief moments of light sprinkles. I think we've seen the sun once. I am taking daily pictures of our progress so will likely post those on our website upon completion. If the momentum continues, we expect to be finished by the end of October which will be a perfect time for a autumn backyard party - complete with fireplace and hot tub! Onward and upward.