Sunday, November 30, 2008


1. This morning, Husbandly One was the absolute picture of health. Before I left to drive Son back to his dad's house, the two loves of my life spent about a half hour sitting closely together on the couch, while Husbandly One explained his on-line soccer league to the boy. At 2:30, I dropped Husbandly One (perfectly healthy) at work so he could do an inventory, and drove Son out to our "swap" point, a town about half way between our two homes. By the time I got back and picked up Husbandly One up at 5pm, he had the plague. His head felt like lead, all his joints ached, and I could feel his terrbile fever by simply touching his cheek.

On our way back to the house, I said, "Stop at the drug store so I can at least get you some Neo-Citran." And he did. And THIS, friends & neighbours, is how I know that this sickness is really, really bad. Husbandly One hates pharmaceuticals in all their forms, even refused pain medication after his surgery two years ago (he did not refuse it DURING the surgery, ha ha!). So for him to allow me to feed him aspirin? He must feel like unmitigated crap.

It is almost 8pm, and I fed him the Neo-Citran around 5:15pm. He has been asleep in bed since. I'll wake him up in a few hours to check his temp again and see if he is hungry, but other than that, I want him in bed.

The side effects of this, obviously, is that I had to call Ex-Husband and warn him that Son had been in close proximity with Plague Man earlier today, and I myself am contemplating sleeping downstairs in Son's room, rather than in my own room, cuddled up to Contagion.

2. The more I read on-line about urban homesteading, the more I am convinced I need to stop gardening on my previous tiny scale, and at least move up to a small scale this year. I need to start small, I need to start humbly, and I need to start with low expectations, but I need to START. Oh, and everything I read? Leads me to read more, ha ha.

3. Bill Clinton was awesome. As I think I mentioned, his speech was on the economy. He opened by explaining in layman's terms what went wrong in the States, and how through our global inter-dependence, we were therefore going to feel it here in Canada, too, even though technically "our" economy wasn't hurt much at all. He talked about how in the last eight years, too much of the financial boon in the States was tied to only one segment, housing. Not just in terms of the mortgage crisis, but in jobs created for construction, etc. Put too much faith in to one segment and then when it goes to hell? A country collapses.

He also talked about the crisis facing the Big Three automakers. He didn't get in to how they got to this point too much, but he did talk about how they can get out of this mess. If the US gov't does indeed bail them out, then the Big Three need to prove what they are going to do differently, and he mentioned hybrid cars in particular. One of the three (I think it's GM, but I could be very wrong) has a new hybrid in development. It will get about 40 miles of driving distance to a charge (and most cars in the US are driven less that 25 miles per day) before the gasoline engine has to kick in. Now, this new hybrid is only slated to hit dealer floors in 2010, and it will cost about $40,000. Clinton questioned why this could be stepped up, and why (if the gov't bails them out) they couldn't swallow those development costs initially and offer the new car for $20 to 25 thousand, to actually make it viable for people to buy it...

He also talked about charitable giving and how, in these horrid times, it is still important for people to give. AND he taught me something about about my own country, Canada, as it relates to international relief effort.

Whenever there is a humanitarian crisis, you always hear about countries pledging aid to the affected. In the States, this food aid takes the form of loading wheat and rice on a plane, and flying it over to the affected country. But in Canada -- and I literally didn't know this-- we spend 50% of our aid budget buying locally. Which means that, if the country in crisis is, I don't know, Sri Lanka, our government buys food NEAR Sri Lanka. This allows emerging markets to flourish, allows us to get food on the scene of the disaster much more quickly, makes good international neighbours who will in future look upon trade with Canada favourably for the shot in the arm we gave their producers, etc. Plus? Rather than transport food 10,000 kilometers? Maybe it only has to be transported a few hundred kilometers.

This system has been working beautifully in Canada for several years, I learned. I FURTHER learned that when a similar plan was suggested in the States? Big Ag went CRAZY and it didn't pass.

So score one for the Canadians.

At the end of the afternoon, I was enraptured with President Clinton, Husbandly One not so much. After the past few years of Bill Clinton sound bites on CNN, Husbandly One was really hoping for a more visibly passionate speech from the President. I told him I felt the lecture WAS very passionate, and that he had to remember that Bill Clinton speaking at a political rally, trying to get people excited, was very different from a speech where he was trying to get people to think.

3. My Christmas tree is up. I handled the actual tree construction and lighting (boring, nasty activities) so that when Son got here on Friday, we could move in to the actual DECORATING, which is the fun part.

4. Spoke to my Mum tonight. We decided that, based on the number of people who will be home for the holidays this year, major meals will be at her house. I used to have a dining room table that sat twelve, but a year ago we got rid on it, replacing it with a table for four. (We eat at our dining room table every single day, don't own a kitchen table, and the table was frankly just too big for the dining room in our tiny house.) We FURTHER decided that, instead of the crazy gift giving frenzy that has usually occurred in the past, we are going to draw names among the adults for stockings ($25 limit) and the actual gifts ($100 limit.) Children are NOT included in this rule...well, we only have one child in our extended family, Son, but the point is everyone wants to get him something and children should be the focus of gift giving. (And he hs already told me some of the things HE wants to buy for the grown ups, and I will have to budget for that, ha ha!)

5. My thermostat is set at a balmy 56 degrees Fahrenheit. Husbandly One is in bed under warm blankets, I have a blanket over my lap and am perfectly happy. I refuse to waste money and fossil fuels just so I can sit around in a t-shirt.