Saturday, February 12, 2011

Painting Houses, Chopping Beans, and Creek Courtesy Showers

So, what fun and exciting challenges did Carolyn tackle today? Well, this morning, after Glen went off to work to paint a neighbour's house (Ivy tagging along), Kiko and I were tasked with painting the front of Glen's own house. Seeing as this house was originally a simple summer getaway cottage, the front of the house consists of plywood boards, sheet metal, and corregated iron siding in various configurations. Also adding to the fun was the uneven gravel and stones around the base of the house, making it a tricky exercise to set up the (already rickety) ladder in a safe, stationary position. I chose to risk my own neck instead of Kiko's, and scaled the ladder to paint the higher bits while Kiko painted beside me on the ground. Nearly three hours later, the side of the house was covered in paint, but so were our arms, hands, paintbrush handles, and Kiko's sweatshirt and my pants. Fortunately, and perhaps owing to them being a nylon/polyester blend, I was able to get most of the paint out before it dried, and my pants look mostly okay. As for Kiko's sweatshirt, it was black, and we were painting the house a dark dark (nearly black) green, so it's not very noticeable.

Ladder put away, paint container tightly sealed, and paintbrushes once again stafely stowed in the freezer (yes, don't ask me why), we turned our attention to the vergetable garden, where we picked about ten pounds of yellow and green beans, and then a handful of potatoes and tomatoes. For the last half hour before Glen got home I busied myself with a trowel and pair of clippers, trimming and weeding around the strawberry boxes in the backyard. I was quite happy when lunchtime rolled around at 1pm; the sun seemed to be shining extra brightly and intensely today, and I could feel myself roasting in my long-sleeved shirt, pants, and hat (but as always, roasting is preferable to burning).

After lunch Glen and Ivy once again set out, this time taking the laundry with them (thanks Glen!), and Kiko and I set to "topping and tailing" the beans and then chopping into inch-long segments, before washing and bagging them so Glen can blanch and freeze them tomorrow morning. Boy, if I never see another bean for a few weeks, I will be so happy... but seeing as Glen is a vegetarian, I don't think that's going to happen. As Kiko said, "Every day, here, beans! Always beans!"

Hot and sweaty from working indoors in the sweltering house, I finally decided to brave Glen's outdoor shower contraption... except when I got down there, I had forgotten he had turned the gas off, so the hot water heater didn't work! I ended up filling a bucket with water from the creek running alongside the bath shed and using that, kneeling over the tub, to wash my hair. Brrr! But on such a hot day, it felt quite good.

This afternoon I phoned my mom and started firming up plans for when she and dad come down to New Zealand (in ten days!)... so far I've booked accommodation for two nights and a train trip, and I will start researching more places to stay and booking more activites over the next week or so. As such, mom, if there's anything you really want to do, let me know soon!

For dinner tonight Glen made breaded fish (turns out he's a pescetarian, and eats fish), with potatoes, broccoli, and homemade chips on the side. This was likely the first meal I have had here that didn't contain beans or zucchini! As he was cooking Kiko and I ran around outside, stringing up the freshly-washed laundry on the (short) clothesline, the picnic table, and threading socks through the badminton netting (it looks rather hilarious).

After dinner Glen showed us several videos of Remi Gaillard, a Just for Laughs "Gags"-esque comedian. I'm not really into people behaving in outlandish (and potentially dangerous) ways for humour, but I have to admit, the "How to get free food from MacDonalds" and "RĂ©mi Mario" shorts made me laugh. On an completely unrelated note, he also suggested I see the movie-documentary Zeitgeist. (Ingrid? Documentary Night when I get home?)

Now it is 10:30pm, and time for bed. Night!


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