Wednesday, July 21, 2010

If It's Celsius, It's Too Cold!

All people who are parents, know that their own children are brilliant. I had a sense, even before her birth that my daughter would be of superior intelligence and I now have plenty of proof. She, affectionately known by me as "the girl", finds the most amazing ways to solve problems. For example, she has discovered that if a person hides dishes under the bed instead of leaving them in the kitchen sink, it will avoid potential conflict with roommates caused by not washing the aforementioned dishes. Also, if your cat's litter on the ground floor smells and your bedroom is on the third floor, someone on the first or second floor will probably change it.

There is a certain issue that I've grumbled about for a long time. I came to an acceptable compromise with the help of "the girl". In the winter time, when I am bundled in my warm woolies, a coat, hat, mittens, boots and the like, stores, malls and supermarkets are heated to a point that would make even a Floridian envious. Nonetheless, this problem is easy to solve by undoing some buttons and removing a few items of clothing. Conversely, in summer, when the outdoor temperatures may or may not be blistering and the population is wearing extremely limited clothing, the air conditioners are going full blast on an extremely low setting in these same stores. Upon entry, you instantly suffer from hypothermia. Not only that, I can almost swear that I've noticed icicles form on peoples' noses in the freezer aisles.

Today, I was wearing capris, fitflops and a loose shirt. My daughter was in a lovely strapless sundress and sandals. We entered a certain large department store that sells everything from gravel to groceries and in less time than it takes to say brrrrrr.....we both crossed our arms over ourselves and began rubbing our own shoulders. We noticed numerous other shoppers participating in a similar activity. At this point, we decided to head back outside, get a blast of warm air, a shopping cart and try again.

Upon re-entry into Santa's summer home "the girl" made an announcement."Let's go into the clothing section, and select some warmer outfits to wear while we shop."

She's a genius! I always knew it.

We had some laughs as we tried on an assortment of items, sweaters and the like until we both found a suitable hoodie which would complement our outfits. "The girl" picked a rich royal blue and I selected my favourite shade of cozy gray. The goosebumps were temporarily erradicated and we continued to shop.

"Hey mom, look...track pants. We could just keep putting on layers until we are warm enough. Ooooohhhhh, socks too."

She's a genius, and funny too!

While we continued loading our shopping cart, I noticed the envied stares of other customers who wished they had dressed for this frigid indoor weather. Clearly, they hadn't seen the store tags dangling from our new ensembles. As we lined up to check out, we realized that it would be necessary to dispose of some of our attire. We established a place in line, parked our cart, then we nonchalantly removed the items, gathered them in our arms and unloaded them on the nearest shelves.

"Well", my daughter said, "we did them a favour. Not only did we stay and shop, but cleaning all that up should keep some store employee busy....and warm."


Friday, July 2, 2010

Honk if You Like Geese and Ducks

I have a history with ducks. Ever since I hatched my first ducklings in the late 90's I have had an affinity for the feathery little creatures.

I'd like to think that over the years, I've become quite the duck expert. For example, ducks take 28 days to grow and develop inside their little orbs. They can instinctively swim upon hatching and need very little instruction to locate food. Clever.

A couple days ago I happened to be down by the lake. At the marina, there's a lovely area with a large sandbank. I saw dozens upon dozens of ducks, geese, swans and seagulls in the water. I've never seen so much wildlife in such a small area. In fact, counting them would have been impossible.

I wandered along the sandy beach, took a few photos and observed for a time. It was a lovely day and the sky was blue. I was amazed at the sight of all these magnificent groups of birds. As I turned to walk back toward the parking lot, I had the sense that I was being followed. I turned and saw a few ducks behind me. Although I was well aware of the concept of "imprinting" these ducks were not babies. Then, I noticed that the throngs, or gaggles as it were, of geese on the lake were also pointing in my direction. I became a bit unnerved but continued to walk gingerly across the sand trying to avoid soiling my shoes with the assorted droppings.

When many of the birds, left the water and began closing in, I decided to back away, rather than walk away from them. It made me feel more secure somehow and allowed me to be more aware of the goings on behind my back. I realized too, that I was having a brief flashback of a Hitchcock movie and didn't like the eerie feeling I was getting. On the other hand, it was kind of unusual. There were people in the parking lot looking somewhat perplexed when they spotted my following.

My feathery friends couldn't be dissauded and continued getting closer. At this point, I was close enough to the car that I turned, ran and leapt into the auto. I'm not certain how I created this hypnotic effect on the wildlife. Maybe they just liked having their pictures taken. On the other hand, I would be flattered if someone wanted to call me "The Duck Whisperer".
"Don't Get One Webbed Foot Closer!"