What the Heck IS This Thing?!

Freaky-Deaky Thing
What is this?!

I know, I know, Suzi – I told you she was letting me take her picture. Which she did. Sort of. It was the most I could talk her into; sorry.

But isn’t that a freaky-deaky whatever-it-is? *I* know what it is – La-la-la! Ahem. I know, now, anyway, but it took forever to get it out of Ruby. She was right stoned on coffee last night, I swear.

She found it day before yesterday. Er… Saturday. No, no; it was Friday… oh, let’s let her tell it.

I hardly slept a wink the other night. What night was that…? I don’t remember, now – that just drives me crazy.

Me: What the heck is this freaky-deaky thing?!


That’s exactly what *I* said! Isn’t that the cat’s whiskers? Guess what that is! You know where I found that?

Well! I went out to get the paper on Friday- that’s the night I couldn’t sleep!

Me: Friday night?

No. Thursday night, which was why I was so late gettin’ the paper in on Friday. The paper boy always leaves it in the breezeway there, on the table, you know. And when I went out there, this thing was sittin’ on top of the paper…

And I thought, What the heck IS this thing?! And then I saw it was the sports pages out of the Toronto Star it was sittin’ on top of!

(laughs and claps her hands together)

Me: I’m sorry; I don’t follow…

Well, Satch had been here to mow the lawn! And I was so tuckered from the night before, that I was sound asleep and I didn’t even hear the lawn mower, can you believe that?

Me: You mean, your nephew, Satch?

Yes! (laughing) Well, he always brings me the sports pages from the Toronto Star! So, he’s the one that left this thing, wasn’t he? It was on top of the sports pages, and the sports pages were on top of the regular paper that the paper boy brought!

Me: Aaaah! So… what is it?

That’s what I asked Satch, didn’t I?

Me: So, you did see him, then?

No, I didn’t see him! I told you; I slept right through the lawn mower! So I called him on the phone, and I said, “What the heck is this thing?!” (laughing)

Me: Well, what the heck IS it?!

(more laughing and hand clapping)


… and that’s what she wants you to do.

Random Song for the Day: “Unplayed Piano” – Damien Rice & Lisa Hannigan

But Nowadays, You Get 3 Quarts for a Twenty…

Blueberries Taken August 24, 2014 with Canon Powershoot SX30 IS

Taken August 24, 2014 with Canon Powershoot SX30 IS

Blueberries, that is. Yep. My fridge is now home to a 3-quart basket of blueberries that I bought for 20 bucks. That is not a complaint in any form, either, even after Ruby’s latest foray into yesteryear, shortly to follow. 3-quarts of blueberries that I didn’t have to pick, clean (well, rinse, maybe, but a single stem on nary a berry can I see), or get sunstroke for. These ones were picked by Ruby’s granddaughter for 5 bucks cheaper than the stranger-picked ones at the grocery. I’m happy. Ky will be purple in a day or two.

Anyhoo… Ruby said tonight:
Continue reading “But Nowadays, You Get 3 Quarts for a Twenty…”

82 Years Ago This Summer…

In 1925, Ruby’s mother took her to the Bruce Mines Fair for the first time. As far as I know, there still is a Bruce Mines Fair, but I don’t imagine it’s near as interesting now as the way Ruby describes it. Maybe I should just let her tell it – she’s a much better story-teller.

The fair lasted for three days, and people would be getting ready for next year about the time this year was finishing up. They had a prize for everything. You could bring all your livestock to be judged, and your preserves, and pies, and quilts. My mother always won first prize for hooked mats, every single year, but she put in all kinds of other things, too; flowers, and canning, and vegetables. Especially carrots; all her carrots had to be exactly the same size. She’d line them all up on the kitchen table and grumble over them.

People would get excited over the fair like you wouldn’t believe. Even the kids had events, like the three-legged race and the potato-sack, but they had other contests for them, too, like “Best Dog” or “Best Cat” and they’d all bring their pets. It’s a wonder all the animals made it through the weekend.

The older girls would put needle-point in – I won once for a tea cloth. The big stores like Sears and Eaton’s would award trophies and such for the best entries, and one of them sent me a silver platter for that tea cloth – had my name engraved on it and everything – I was right proud of that. I wonder where that is now? I don’t remember….

Long pause….

Me, prodding: Did people sell things, too?

Oh, of course! You could sell anything you’d brought, which was why it was so important to win! The winners sold first, and made more money. But you couldn’t take a thing off those tables until all the entries had been judged, so at the very end of the last day, that’s when things got really crazy. All the people with blue ribbons would be puffed right up to twice their size, holding out for more money than people wanted to pay, and all the “losers” would just be trying to get rid of stuff so they didn’t have to drag it all back home again.

My mother spent the whole week before the fair walking on a razor blade, and us along with her, trying to get everything packed up and making sure not to forget anything important.

She took me to the fair for the first time when I was about a year old. That must have been a mess for her to deal with; all that stuff to organize and pack and making lists, all the while with me hanging off her hip. When we got there, she saw they’d set up a Ferris Wheel. She’d never been on a Ferris Wheel before, and that’s all she could think of, but she couldn’t get herself a ride because she had me with her.

She finally run into someone she knew and asked the lady if she’d watch me while she went on that Ferris Wheel. So whoever this woman was, she took me, anyway, and my mother finally got her ride. She thought that was the cat’s whiskers, being up that high and seeing everybody’s house for miles and miles around. She didn’t want to come down again.

When she did finally get off, she couldn’t find me anywhere, of course. There were crowds and crowds of people, and it was some time, probably a couple of hours, even, before she found the woman that had me. When she got me back, she noticed I had a blue ribbon pinned on my dress.

Wouldn’t you know that lady had entered me into the Most Beautiful Baby contest while my mother was on the Ferris Wheel. And didn’t I win?

Me, smart-ass-like: Did she get any decent bids on you?

Random Song for the Day: “Voice on Tape” – Jenny Owen Youngs

Ruby Strikes Again…

…strikes me funny that is. Another little collection from “The Landlady”.

“She still hasn’t forgiven me for that time I hit her over the head with a shovel.”

“I was black and blue from all the pokin’ around.”
(About a nurse drawing blood…)

“I had the stupidest dream. It was Christmas, and all these dead people showed up. You should’ve SEEN all the presents!”

“I was just beside myself. I should’ve got a lot more done.”

…and after she realized why I was laughing so hard…

“Don’t you write that down! I didn’t mean to say that.”

Struck Me Funny, It Did…

Ruby has gotten used to me writing down everything she says, now. She even seems to be looking forward to reading all the stuff I’m making up about her, if I ever get it printed and bring it over. I hope she still feels that way once she reads it.

Contrary to what I told Mushy in a recent email, Ruby just turned 82 a few weeks ago (I had added a year on – and she wasn’t altogether too impressed with me when I told her that, either). Her stories have made a big difference in getting me writing again. My own mother will be 83 in October, and I’m working on getting stuff out of her, too.

I’m able to visit Ruby more often than my mom, though. Ruby’s just up the street, and full of stories as she is, sometimes it’s the one-liners that she comes out with that make my whole day. I’ve gathered up a few to share. I don’t know if they’ll turn into “Landlady Stories” or not, or if you’ll find them as comical, but they sure struck me funny, as Ruby herself would say.

“He wasn’t really a dwarf.”

“Donkeys aren’t very obliging animals.”

“I can crawl around out there and stick ’em in the ground, I guess.”

“I’d be scared to try it (Pot). I’d get addicted.”

“I wish I could get in and out of the bathtub as easy as I can get in and out of that truck. I got stuck in the tub. Twice. Once was on New Year’s Eve, and by the time I got myself out, I was pret’near too tired to go out.”