Celebrating Tiny Houses

I would especially like a tiny house and a tiny car. Otherwise known as a micro house and micro car. What other things have been trending as micro or tiny? Computers of course. But, I’m not a fan of smaller screens. I like to be able to see what I’m doing.toptinyhomes

Join Gizmag as we give a big thumbs up to ten of the most attractive, innovative, and downright interesting tiny houses we’ve come across in the past 12 months.

Source: Thinking small: Celebrating the very best in tiny houses

All the Abandoned, Forgotten Pornography

How many scantily clad women have been abandoned this way? I found this photo via Flickr (the urban exploration group I moderate). Here are these women, posing in bikinis for their photo to appear on the cover of a publication. Is it something relevant to women in bikinis? Not so likely. But there it is… thrown out, discarded and forgotten about. Does it make you feel at least a bit sad?

Urban (and rural) explorers find old pornography magazines at abandoned houses (and not just houses). Most of it is deteriorated due to weathering, animals, time, etc. I don’t know if anyone saves any of it. Not so likely.
bikinijournal
Photo from Flickr: Julien Lefebvre

Ideas for Halloween Blog Posts

happyhalloweenTired of the same old holiday posts? Try writing about these!

How to make your lawn look ghastly for Halloween using simple stuff like zombie flamingos, garden gnomes and such which you can buy on eBay and poke into your grass.

How to dress like a slut for Halloween without alarming your Mother

Lingerie in Halloween colours to perk up the late night trick-or-treaters.

How to keep your kids from eating too much candy on Halloween – give them healthy snacks instead and threaten to hang them off the roof while they barf if they don’t eat the healthy snacks

Dress up your pets for Halloween so they can guard your kids from the pumpkin bashing bullies

How to store your Halloween costumes, especially those which are not flame retardant.

Halloween gifts for your boyfriend who didn’t return all your 1,000 text messages yesterday

Play with trick-or-treaters: Get a stuffed dog for Halloween and put on tapes with spooky music and a dog barking in the background. Let kids think the dog is safe and then sick your real dog on them.

What to do if your child is choking on Halloween candy? – feed him more until it all goes down

Decorate your house in pink for Halloween – for breast cancer. Don’t forget to use your husband for the big boob in the centre

Old fashioned Halloween costumes – spray paint your children

Gather all the children’s toys you’re tired of picking up and recycle them into Halloween monster toys like babypedes and other monsterish, gruesome things.

Shoes to wear for Halloween, wind, rain, snow or slime

Halloween movies to watch with your dog, or cat. Write about movies with dogs or cats, or goldfish with a Halloween theme

Halloween tapes like Monster Mash which you can play over and over to torment teenagers who don’t appreciate the 70’s… yet.

Use mannequins to create a Halloween family eating dinner around the table. Make this the night you invite the neighbours for dinner. (They don’t need to bring anything but extra seasoning wouldn’t hurt them).

Tacky, trippy or just plain terrible sweaters for your loved ones at Halloween

Safe chemicals to throw on your children when their cheap Halloween costumes ignite

More reasons why candles are not a good thing for children to carry while trick-or-treating

Creepy Halloween toilet paper to use for papering houses, cars, people, pets, etc 

How to make your own creepy sound recordings for Halloween without really harming any children or pets.

How to spray foam on cars which is not shaving cream (which melts paint apparently)

Use cookie cutters and hot wax to shave creative Halloween patterns in your chest (or back) hair

If That's Life, I Guess I've Had It

I wrote this about my Dad, so long ago I had forgotten about it. Originally published to BackWash.com on May 28, 2004 and written when my Dad died.

My Dad would sometimes say, “If that’s supper, I guess I’ve had it.” This past week after his death that phrase has caught in my mind only I’ve adapted it to, “If that’s life, I guess I’ve had it.”

My Dad was 71 years old when he died. He was born in South Shields, Scotland in 1932. He had one sister who also came to Canada (the whole family did when he was in university). My Dad was an electrical engineer though he didn’t have the actual engineer stamp due to not finishing that last year of university. He could have many times over, but he chose not to bother. He chose not to bother about a lot of things.

Anyway, he married my Mother in 1964. They lived in farm houses and city apartments for awhile, back and forth until one run down farm in a town called Kincardine where my sister was born. She was the third of four kids. We moved back to the city from there cause the farm house had no running water and my brother and I were having asthma problems with the country lifestyle. Two more moves and we ended up in The Rouge. It was the town of Port Union then, later it became part of Scarborough and thus part of Toronto. When someone asks where I grew up I think of The Rouge. It was a very white middle class place. Nice though a bit sheltered.

Dad always loved jersey cows. He kept buying the Jersey Breeder magazine long after we had seen our last farm house. While I was growing up in The Rouge he was daydreaming about a jersey farm. He made lots of plans on paper and now and then we had family trips into the middle of nowhere Ontario to look at a farm he could buy. By that time Mom was pretty much prepared to veto them all. No more run down farm houses, no more him expecting her to run a farm and cows while he worked in the city and came back on weekends to supervise.

Dad liked to sing and whistle while he worked. Often the same old songs about ‘stay home and mind baby brown eyed girl, captain brown being down amongst the dead men and tally my bananas day o’. I’m not even sure what the names of the songs are. But I’ve heard them over and over all my life.

We started looking through his things, picking what to keep, what to display at the service and what to toss. There is a lot to toss. He wore his clothes till they were worn out, he was no fashion plate though he liked to think he looked good. Sometimes he did. Among his things I noticed an old program from a theatre performance of ‘Man of La Mancha” that he went to with my sister and myself a very long time ago. I was surprised to see that. Also one Father’s Day card from all the cards I had ever given him. Usually he left them sitting right where he had opened them and let Mom eventually toss them into the garbage. I put away the one card that he kept. There were also more pins and badges from the local Lions clubs that he had yet given to me to sew onto his Lions vest. Between my Mom and I we had kept them sewn on for him for the past ten or so years. He also had pictures of golf games and events with business associates and sometimes my brother or his current son-in-law too.

He had his first small heart attack while we lived in The Rouge. After that they came more frequently, over time, slowly. He ignored them. Even though his own Dad had died at age 65 from a heart attack which he ignored until he died in the hospital that same night. That just proves you can’t help people who will not help themselves.

I remember being in the hospital up here in Alliston with my Dad just a few days before they took him down to Newmarket for the quadruple by-pass operation. He wasn’t sure about having the surgery and I can see now that he was afraid. That makes me feel very sorry for him. But, I don’t see how we could have done differently at that point. It was likely already too late. Anyway, he had a very bad heart attack right before the surgery but they went ahead at that point cause he would have died anyway I guess. Either then or the next attack. Surgery seemed to at least give him a chance to survive. He did pull through for two more days and seemed to be feeling pretty ok for someone who has just had his chest opened and adjusted. But two days after the surgery he didn’t wake up. He was in ICU and stayed there. Being worked on, his body kept functioning with life support. The hospital staff seemed to think his chances were not too bad at that point. But he never got better and last Saturday, the very day they were going to pull the plug he died himself sometime before 6:00 AM.

Maybe it’s having the distance of time and now death, but I do feel less angry about him and things he did and said. In the end it doesn’t matter. It’s up to me to get on with my own life. On Monday we are having the memorial service. Mom is bugging me about what I will wear. I am not looking forward to having to make chit chat with people who think they knew him. Cause they didn’t really know him. Dad liked to make a show of his life. He was always Mr BigShot and we were holding him back, picking on him and making things difficult in general. He would tell his business associates, the local Lions club which he joined and others all about us, as he chose to see us. So, no, I’m not looking forward to two hours of hearing about what a good guy he was. But the service is for them I think. For me, I don’t care. He is dead and it’s over.

Right now beside me I have an old rolodex of his business cards which I’m sorting through for valid names to add to the guest list. If he could be there for the memorial he would be happy with the show put on for him, because of him. His due I expect he would think. For me it’s just something else I have to do. I wonder if I will think of him much after the wind down of everything. It seems as if we’ve been expecting and waiting to put on this last show since we were kids and here it finally is. Now we can do the show and put it into the past and leave it there. All the build up and the suspense will be gone. Just like Ian N. Brown himself.

Pumpkin City: Early for Halloween

Pumpkin city

I especially like this idea. I could make a row of them like a candlelit village. I’d rather have these than a scary jack-o-lantern face.

Pumpkin City

A passel of pumpkins provides the backdrop for a quaint village scene.

Step 1: Carve a hole in the bottom of each pumpkin, scoop out the pulp, and return the cut pieces.

Step 2: Print out these house templates. Resize on a copier, scaling the images to fit your pumpkins.

Step 3: Cut out stencils as directed on the templates and affix to pumpkins with masking tape. Trace on the designs with a felt-tip pen.

Step 4: Remove stencils, then carefully carve along the drawn lines of the houses’ windows with an X-Acto knife. Fill in the designs using a fine-tip brush and black flat acrylic paint; let dry. Affix a battery-operated votive candle in the base of each pumpkin with adhesive putty.

Read more: Country Living