After working this last long weekend and then seeing too many doctors, we got away to the cabin for a couple of days of nothingness on Monday afternoon. Wendy packed the car while I got a couple of hours of sleep. We got away a little later than normal and I had thought that we were coming back Thursday (more about that later).
We arrived at the lake and unpacked some stuff. While Wendy was arranging things and taking care of Oliver, Mark and I went outside and put up our new gazebo. I hadn’t thought we needed a gazebo but we got one at the Centre to provide some shelter out back. The one we got was a heavy duty one and quite nice. By the time I realized we could set one up at the lake, Superstore was out of them. We later saw some temporary ones at Jysk but decided that $119 was too much to pay for something that was wobbly even in the store. After talking about it, we just decided to wait until next spring and get one as it wasn’t that high of a priority. While getting something from Wal-Mart the other day, they were blowing out the same kind of gazebo for $40. After thinking about it, we decided to try it out and if it only last the summer, we would only be out $40. After seeing it had some guy wires, we also decided to pick up some heavy duty plastic tent pegs so the total cost was about $45. It does give Wendy and I some shade to have a coffee in the morning and relax a bit at night. It also gives us about 90 more square feet to live in.
Mark and I had it up in about 10 minutes. Wendy joined us for some of it but I think one person could get it together pretty easily. It said in large letters that it needed to be taken down in extreme weather conditions but what is extreme weather? A good gust of wind or a typhoon? I am still not sure what the answer is but the next day when a blustery thunderstorm blew and rained quite a bit on it, it held fine although I think part of it was because those tent pegs were not going anywhere.
That night I finished James Howard Kunstler’s novel, World Made By Hand. I don’t know if I would recommend it or not. It was supposed to incorporate the ideas from The Long Emergency and depict a life after the oil had run out. It kind of does that but it also shows life after nuclear bombs have been detonated in Los Angeles and Washington D.C. (after a war in Israel) and a couple of coup’s have happened in the U.S. In the end it is a kind of post apocalyptic novel that describes small town life after a nuclear war, after a series of epidemics, and the oil having run out. While the book was interesting, it reminded me a lot of Pierre Burton’s book, The Great Depression which may be a more accurate look at what life would look like in a devastated economy. While I agree with Kunstler that our belief in technology may be naive, I think he underestimates regional ingenuity to deal with some of the problems that we are facing. You can find more about the book on it’s website or check out the trailer for the book here.
The next morning the Pederson’s all came out for a day of exploring, eating, swimming, and chilling out at the lake.
Of course Mark also showed of his incredible fashion sense while at the beach.
Of course even after I showed him this photo, he still thought he looked pretty cool.
That night we managed to use our washer drum barrel fire pit. After burning some holes in our lawn, I realized that if I put it on a cinder block, the grass does better and Smokey the Bear can calm down and get off his stress medication.
While we were up there, we installed a replacement to the antique cabinet that was hanging on the wall in the kitchen.
The shelves weren’t that hard to install but I did have to do a bit of painting to replace the brown void where the cabinet used to be. With the shelves and the storage containers under the table, Wendy feels as if she has enough space now to work and maneuver. I needed to pick up some more screws but the next time we go up I plan to add a couple of book shelves but the interior is coming along. The big thing now is to keep painting an interior wall or two every time we go up.
Before we left, I made Mark help me barbecue some hamburgers. This was kind of life changing for him as last week he wanted to be some sort of eXtreme sports star, now he wants to be a chef. Tonight he offered up all sorts of commentary on Wendy’s cooking while trying to figure out how to make salad like his mom.
We got back in the city on Wednesday night. I had thought we were staying until Thursday but Wendy only packed enough stuff for two nights. The end result was we came home and got up this morning ready to go to the Saskatoon Exhibition. I generally end up enjoying the Ex when we go but in July when I think of the carney’s, the crowds, pickpockets, and the heat, I think that there is a better way to spend a day. It is a big deal to Mark so I promise Mark that we can go every year and we have a good time. This year was no exception.
This was the first year Mark was tall enough to ride on the adult rides. He was DEVASTATED last year when he wasn’t tall enough to go on the bumper cars and had to suffer the indignity of riding with his mom. Him and I scouted out the rides and all he wanted to go on was the bumper cars. After I assured him that no matter what happened, I would get him more tickets to go on the bumper cars, he went on the Tilt-a-Whirl with Wendy.
Then it was off to the bumper cars because the rides either scared him a bit or he heard stories of kids tossing their cookies on them and he didn’t want to risk not going on the bumper cars.
After a couple of times of him trying out the bumper cars, I realized that he will never ever drive a vehicle I own. He gets too much joy out of hitting other drivers. We then made our way to the food area where all sorts of really unhealthy and tasty things were being offered up.
The Ex was a lot of fun but the acclaimed Canadian Pavilion was a little odd. RCMP and military recruiting plus a big display on how the borders are being patrolled. I couldn’t figure out if this was Canada or a police state. What happened to celebrating multiculturalism, diversity, and making fun of ourselves? We did get a big map of Canada and a 1-800-O-Canada ruler out of it though.