April 2011

Keep on Rockin’

I’m out of town starting tomorrow, but here’s a custom guitar strap to tide you over…

Would you believe that catches me up on things? So now I think I’m off to walk my dog before it rains again and research some writing – which entails reading, which is the best kind of work.

Enjoy your weekend and if you live on Hamilton mountain, please don’t blow into outer space. I was up there this morning and it’s like being in a hurricane!

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Cinch It

A belt for Hollie:

A soft, split piece of mahogany bridle leather. Brass buckle. Machine-stitched in order to match the design of an existing belt of Hollie’s.


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Strong and (Buy Four, Get the Fifth Book) Free

It’s no secret that I’m Canada-obsessed in the way that’s probably best summed up by the quote at the top of the right-hand sidebar here.

Looking through the books at Value Village yields not only great fiction, but Canadiana-tastic non-fiction as well. We’ve had a load of pretty lucky scores there the last few months. In addition to this guy, meet the following…

First up – let’s keep it local. Lunch Bucket was a VV Christmas gift from Sean’s Dad’s family last year. I’ve since seen it on more than one shelf, so if you want your own copy, just keep your eyes peeled.

Would you believe these old-school textbooks were free at Burlington’s Reuse Centre?

They may be a little out-of-date, but history never changes and the geography texts will come in handy if I’m writing a short story that requires, say, knowledge of “current agricultural trends” circa 1968.

LMM’s words accompanied by pictures of PEI? Check mark.

Pierre Berton? Check, check and check again. Another book I picked up (Mondo Canuck is not pictured because A) the cover is awful and B) they capped a photo of The Band, “Robbie Robertson with his Band mates” and I feel a little boil-y in the blood about that) states in its intro indeed, there may be no greater Canadian pastime than debating the finer points of our identity.

Who better to listen to?

Just in case you need some direction – at the end of basically any pointing finger.

Left – full of photos and Canadian ads/graphic design from the 1920s.
Right – Griffin and Sabine, CanCon-style.
Middle – Timothy Taylor won it in 2000.

Sooooo Alaska isn’t technically/literally/figuratively/comparatively/sort of part of Canada but I, for one, have always felt it should be so I’m including it. I love Alaska. This was an Easter present from Sean’s Mom. She saved it from a pile of books destined for a yard sale because she knew we needed it.

If you’re looking for ways to get your geo-nationalism on, on the cheap, second-hand stores are the way to go – for everything from reading to adorning coffee tables to framing individual pages.


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Sean just picked up a new camera – a snappy little guy loaded with fun features like HD slow-motion recording (makes any action look 100% bad-ass) and auto-stitch.

Just hold down the shutter, pan any area and let the camera deal with figuring out how to put it all together.

I’m triplets! Jane is solo, but she’s in a huuuuuuge yard…

Previous to this, we went on a bike ride…

…to pick up foodstuffs for the first BBQ of the season!

Complete with fire pit action.

This was an impromptu test run as our junkyard…er, backyard wasn’t quite ready for full-on party mode (unless you want tetanus with your grill-ables).

However, we spent Sunday morning cleaning the yard and tossing garbage so as soon as the weather is ready to cooperate, we’ll be hosting these more often. Bigger. Better. BBQ-er.

Also Sunday, before heading out to Easter dinner, we made a quick stop at the farm to plant some hops.

Also bricks.

Kidding. The bricks are just…ummmm…a permanent fixture of the non-arable acre of the farm. This section also features gems including, but not limited to…

old-school tractors,

the coolest drying machine ever,

soon-to-be ducks,

whatever this is (the queedner?),

and yachts!

You laugh, but the yacht in particular should come in handy this week.

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Summer Cycling

As I’ve said in the past, one of the upsides of your man owning a bicycle shop is the endless parade of new bikes available to choose from/drool over.

One of the downsides (though also sort of an upside, kind of like the fake strong weakness you give in job interviews – It’s a curse, but I can be a perfectionist. It’s true. I can’t help but strive to surpass expectation haha!) is there are new bikes each season. And if you’re cycling-obsessed as Sean and I are, it’s tough to stick to last season’s decisions when the new rides roll through in April.

This season, I have been totally taken by Linus.

These bikes are so beautiful. Simple. Clean. Classic. Affordable. Leather hand grips (the ideal match to some of the new Hide & Cyc gear I’m working on). Olive green. I’ve been coveting an olive-coloured bike since Sean bought his Long Haul Trucker in 2005. And though I’m a huge advocate of the step-through frame (I still have my Old Dutch to use on dress days) for both ladies and gents, I must admit that I do love a girl on a men’s frame. Especially when that girl is me.


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