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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Lost Art

I recently bought shoe polish. I would have thought it a pretty easy task. I always remember that being the one thing grocery stores carried, long before it became fashionable or necessary to be a 'one stop shopping experience'. I had to hunt high and low to come up with simple black and dark brown. Two simple little tins, with the little red and white bird on top. I never remember there being much other than Kiwi polish. My mother dabbled in other forms, besides the semi-solid puck, but always went back to the pucks. The one glaring exception would be white. White shoes needed to be heavily dosed in a white, opaque liquid, squeezed out of a sponge top bottle. It was sticky stuff and always seemed to leave streaks.

I had forgotten how soothing it was to shine shoes. Lining them up on old newspaper, slathering on the polish with one old rag and rubbing it off with another, both rags kept especially for this purpose, since no cleaning liquid has been invented that will remove it from fabric. The simple satisfaction of seeing all those shiny, nearly new again shoes lined up.

Perhaps in today's throw away society, we have forgotten about shoe polish and keeping things for as long as possible. I am glad to have re-discovered it. Kiwi polish, since 1906 and still going strong 1. 2.
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Thursday, March 12, 2009

Hold the Coffee, Please...

Today's blog entry is a reflection of annoyance and a general question, rather than the deep and profound ideas I usually spout here.

We are in a recession, no secret there. During this time, our socialist government seeks to prop up our economy and slow the downward spiral by investing in a multitude of infrastructure projects, some with more merit than others.

Why then, oh why, have all of the rest stops on the 401, beginning after Woodstock headed westward, been torn down and not replaced? There is nothing headed eastward, until well on to Toronto. These bits of antiquity were in desperate need of repair, to be sure, but where are they now? In a season when tourism will begin again, why would you hamper people from travel? Spend your money here, say the ad campaigns. Visit Ontario, says another. And to truly add insult to injury, the mammoth sign on the side of the road, warning to 'Take a Rest Fatigue Kills'. Where exactly would you like a body to rest? In the ditch?

The tear down of these aging structures begin last spring and hasn't progressed past the piles of dirt covered in tarps stages since. Had private industry been given the reigns, I can almost guarantee that the rest stops would be up and running again in six weeks or less.

Perhaps our many government officials would like to go to Windsor (if they can find it) or Kitchener and sit down for coffee. Then see how far down the highway they can make it before the lack of rest stops becomes a very pressing issue. 1. 2.
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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Baby Shower

So, I made a whirlwind, 26 hour trip to Windsor this weekend. While I was there, among other things, I attended the baby shower for the daughter and son-in-law of a dear friend. This cake was my contribution to the cause.

It was inspired by the paper goods for the shower, these adorable little onesies, found, at all places, the dollar store. They were absolutely precious. Truly, what did we all do before the dollar store? 1. 2.
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Monday, March 2, 2009

Cool Stools

We just made a trip to IKEA in Burlington. I'm not sure we'll go back to that location, given a choice, but it was a pretty cool trip anyways. This particular location is not a 'full service' IKEA. While they carry most of the stuff, they don't have all of the colours or options available. It worked well enough for our purposes, but I suffer from a terminal case of the 'what ifs'. As in, what if I liked the other colour better? What if I saw something else I had wanted more? You know how it goes. You are actually happy with your purchases, but are always looking for other options. I like to label myself a victim of our materialistic society. Helps me avoid accepting blame, I guess...

At any rate, we found these very cool, wooden, stools, for the kids to use. They are always wanting to help in the kitchen, but kitchens are built for adults, not so much little people. These stools provide them with a sturdy standing surface. We have rubbed them with linseed oil (stool on left) and will put the traction grippy tape on them soon. What we didn't count on is that they also make excellent little tables. The kids have imaginations that obviously exceed my own. They love them. For $20 apiece, I'm figuring they were a darn good investment. 1. 2.
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