Woman’s Best Friend

This is Samson.

When he’s cheeky, he’s “Sparky The Wonder Dog”. He’s a purebred Mutt, but if you see shades of Lab, Shepherd and Rottweiler, you wouldn’t be wrong.

Sam and I are spending a great deal of quality time together, and while I wouldn’t call myself a fraidy-cat, I must say, there is something very reassuring about having a dog around. But Sam is an odd combination of brave boy and wuss.

Exhibit A – I don’t know what the driver of the oil truck has done to him, but he’s got a 110 lb dog pissed at him. That truck can be come up the hill – a street away from ours and Sam will go nuts. I have a hard time wrestling him away from the door when he’s hurling himself at it. Imagine a mohawk down his back – the hair is completely on end.

Exhibit B – Anyone who comes to our house has a “greeting”. Usually it’s four or five loud, sharp barks. These barks are so intense that you will still have the echo reverberating in your cranium when you crawl in bed at night.

Exhibit C – A friend of ours, who also happens to be a police officer, nearly soiled himself when he popped in unannounced. While Samson wasn’t going to let this “visitor” just mozy onto the homestead, he was more than glad to see the kids, whom he licked and bounced around like a pup. Sam LUVS the kids. Wanna break into our house? Bring an infant over – Sam goes ga-ga over the babies and wee-ones and he’s as gentle as a lamb with them.

Exhibit D – The lady who dropped of Sears catalogues at our previous residence would not get out of her van to drop off the magazines. Instead, she would fly up our little driveway at highway speeds and pull thisclose to our house to place the item in our mail box. We half expected to have her Dodge grill break through into our living room. This was after we had a tete-a-tete over Samson.

Irrational Lady: “THAT DOG needs to be tied up!”

Me: “Why? He’s on his own property?”

IL: “Well he’s a nasty dog – he should be tied up.”

Me: “He hasn’t bitten anyone.”

IL: “Well he’s a very aggressive dog!” (Let’s note here that she, herself, is becoming aggressive – I refrain from suggesting she should be tied up.)

Me: “He’s doing his job. He hasn’t bitten you, and he lives here.”

IL: “Well, I was attacked by a dog as a child!”

Me: “Well I’ve been bitten by four dogs, what is your point?”

She spins around gets back in her mini van and backs out of the driveway so fast that she shoots gravel in every direction. I ponder the reaction I would get if I’d sustained an injury from her behavior.

So Sam has a reputation. I’m sure it makes him very cool with the other Mutts he hangs with. I must admit, we don’t help with his bad street cred, since we’ve been known to reply in this fashion…..

Q: “Wow, big dog. Does he bite?”

A: “Not yet.”

This is a selfish response – but an honest one. He’s an animal – and any animal, when provoked, is going to react. However, I like to think that if the crazy oil truck driver were to force his way into the house, Sam would rip him limb from limb.

That being said, this weekend we were cutting trees.

And Sam, who has been enjoying the weekend outside with the boys, does this……

I can’t zoom back any more in this shot – because my leg is attached to my foot, which is immobilized by his BUTT!

Vicious dog. I wonder what the Sears lady would have to say now……

I’d Like to Offer an Apology

Dear Telemarketer who called my house last night,

I’d like to apologize for my husband. The Big Guy was pretty firm in his tone when it came your ill-timed call. I’m not sure where it came from, given the times I’d like him to pitch a fit and he doesn’t oblige me.

I would like to explain to him that you are located in a windowless room, God knows where, and likely working on a commission system. I’d like him to understand that everyone has the right to make a living and you are simply doing your job.

Perhaps I could explain to him that you likely get dozens of responses, very similar to the one he gave. Maybe it’s dozens of responses that are much worse.

I’d be glad to do all of these things, if you agree to do the following:

1. Stop calling my home, since I’ve registered on the Do Not Call Registry.

2. Look at the clock, and realize that 6:30 p.m. is still considered the Dinner Hour and since we all know how important it is for families to dine together, you will refrain from calling at this sacred time.

3. Look at the calendar. If it’s a Sunday – suffice it to say you will not call us – PERIOD. There is no good time to call.

4. If you are going to “pitch” something, give us the chance to decline sooner than 45 seconds and one mother-of-a-run-on-sentence. I’ll give you a hint – you won’t win either of us over if you try to drown us with your sales shtick.

5. We have insurance. We have a bank. We have a religion. We have a phone company (obviously) and a cell phone carrier (just as likely). If we need to change things up, we’ll source you – and will likely decide on a company that has NOT harrassed us via the phone.

6. Since we have call display (as most people do) and you’ve tried us at various times of day without answer – ASSUME WE ARE IGNORING YOU. You should probably save your time and start working on some other poor shmuck.

Since I seriously doubt your ability to honor one, never mind all of these terms, then I suspect we will continue to handle your calls as we do.

As I said, I would like to apologize….but I won’t.


The Big Guy hits the Web

It’s only been three days and I’m already a fan of Word Press! So much so, that I’ve taken the initiative to launch a site for Peter Built Landscape Company. Yup folks, The Big Guy is ONLINE!

It was bound to happen; first with the Facebook account and now shamelessly plugging his business, The Big Guy will now have a head too large for most doorways.

On a serious note – if you are interested in top-quality landscape design and installation, be sure to check out peterbuiltlandscape.wordpress.com . We are in the beginning stages, but eventually I’d like to have a selection of his favorite completed jobs available for online viewing.

The Farm

We’ve had a pretty significant development here in Boweryville. The Farm is Sold.

“The Farm” is actually the homestead where The Big Guy’s ancestors purchase property from The Crown and made a parcel of what would eventually become 300 acres. Right now, Uncle B lives there and as he is a bachelor – it’s a big six-bedroom house that seems empty. It is a stone farmhouse, as was common in that area of the province, but what wasn’t common was the workmanship.

This hutch is in what would have been the dining room. It’s now the “Parlour” except, no one uses parlours any more. I don’t even have the shot to the floor and you can see floor mouldings. They are at least a foot high.

This was a home built by a family after a great deal of struggle and toil. The matriarch of the time watched her dream home being built and, if she was like any other woman I know, longed for the day she could move in and enjoy her modern conveniences. She died the first night she slept in the house.

There are countless stories to be told of lives lived within these wall. Each of The Big Guy’s aunts and uncle, including his father, were born in this house – likely in the room next to the kitchen. This is the same room people were laid out in for views following their deaths.

The view off the front porch is nothing short of breathtaking.

This is the place where I met The Big Guy. A large part of our dating life was lived out here. This is the first road trip we brought each one of the boys when they came home from the hospital and some of our fondest memories were lived out on the field above. It is, without a doubt, one of the best toboggan hills you will ever go down.

The reasons behind the sale are not mine to share, but I can tell you that being here always felt good. Just about every memory I have of being here is funny or warm. A psychic once confused this for my family farm, saying, “But you want to live there – it’s a part of YOU.”

Perhaps it’s because it is two farms away from the farm I grew up on. That house also had a fabulous view. The feeling about this place, however, is hard to describe. I feel the history in the woodwork. I have an overwhelming urge to touch the stones. It’s like The Farm has a life of its own and it actually speaks to some of us.

While we knew The Farm was “for sale” in the most casual definition of the phrase, it couldn’t prepare us for the news that it was sold. First Born Son has always had a special place in his heart for The Farm. He was born a generation too late, but he has the patience and passion for farming. The Big Guy, who actually went to Agricultural College because of his love of The Farm, was also hit hard. Second Born Son was never interested in being a farmer, but loved the idea of the fantasy world he could create in the hay mow; the interaction with the cattle and the mystique the “oldness” the barn represented.

We seriously considered taking over The Farm and spoke to Uncle B about it before we had FBS. It would have involved one or both of use giving up a kidney. It was not meant to be.

While the reasons behind the sale are not for me to share, I feel like time is slipping away. We have been visiting The Farm at least once a week for the past month. We only have one  month left. FBS gets quiet when he thinks about The Farm and how he’s never going to work the land there again. He’s been blessed to enjoy two summers where he’s actually lived at The Farm with Uncle B for a couple of weeks. We’ve tried to tell him it’s a blessing he had that time at all, but for him, it’s a taste of what he can never have.

It’s a bittersweet time for the entire family. The end of an era is nigh and as the deadline draws near, it will be come increasingly emotional for all of us.

Until then, I’m taking an offensive amount of photos. Uncle B laughs at me for my interest in cobwebs and nails.

But there’s a beauty in these images. It’s the heart of the farm I want to capture for us for when we can’t be there to feel it.


Hello world!

Are you ready for The Bowery?

For those of you who have been patient enough to follow me from my previous life on Blogger, THANK YOU! For those of you who are masocists, feel free to check out thebowerygirl.blogspot.com and see if your brain explodes before your computer does.

In spite of feeling like I’m starting over, I do like the idea of a clean slate, to get some ideas together and be organized in my writing.

So, who am I and what gives me the right to thing I have anything to contribute to the World Wide Web? I’m Sarah. I started The Bowery in a weekly community paper that I was employed by during the first stage of my working life. I have some pretty firm opinions and while I do like to share my opinion, I respect the fact that I’m not the only one. I’m open to learning and feel we all have something to give. (Some of us should give a little less than others…)….which leads me into the final thing you need to know about me. I have a bent sense of humor. Irreverent – yes, politically correct, not always.

I am a mom and a wife, which means nothing, other than I have a lifetime of material, when it comes to hilarity, heart-rendering poignancy and a heaping helping of reality. You can relate to me because we are similar – we want the best for our kids, want more for ourselves and are able to sit back and laugh at the stupidity that life hands us.