Eating Rodents Like Farley Mowat and Making Pastry Drug Lord Style

Just before she left, Sula sent all her nearest and dearest a message containing the number of the satellite phone (a fifteen digit number if you can believe it) along with the dates of her departure and return. Included in this message was the surprising piece of information that in the case of emergencies, the satellite phone could receive texts.

This is Sula’s fourth year in the bush. It is also the first year that she has given any indication that her only means of communication could receive texts. It was my understanding that the satellite phone was for emergencies only. Events along the lines of “The narcoleptic field hand ate all the food in the night; please send help as we are dining Farley Mowat style- eating roasted mice with tails, fur and all.” were what I thought the phone was reserved for.

The texting tidbit was news to me, whether we, her family and friends, had shown the proper respect for the phone in not contacting Sula ever during her field season (no emergencies came up) or whether this was a new function on a delicate and temperamental piece of technology, I’m not sure. Whatever the case, while Sula was away, when I was having trouble with baking or was just thinking of her, I would write imaginary texts to Sula. I never sent them because doing so would have landed the both of us in hot water, as Sula works with top government agencies that don’t care about superfluous items like false eyelash glue.

 

Is now too late to text your mother?

Message sent at 12:49 AM

 

My mother and I are wearing false eyelashes.

Message sent at 12:52 AM

 

We have no idea how to remove them and are afraid of waking up with our eyelids glued together.

Message sent at 12:54 AM

 

Is this a thing? Please advise.

Message sent at 12:55 AM

 

Wait, sorry, just realized that it’s five am in the Arctic.

Message sent at 1:04 AM

 

Or maybe it’s 10 AM. I have no clue. Time zones are hard. Are you even in the continent?

Message sent at 1:05 AM

 

On the continent? Prepositions are hard too. Especially whilst drunk.

Message sent at 1:06 AM

 

You may have figured that last bit out.

Message sent at 1:07 AM

 

I probably should have paid more attention in high school geography. In my defense, I didn’t know my best friend would be an Arctic researcher.

Message sent at 1:11 AM

 

Along with possessing more experience with finicky makeup tools than me, Sula is also a better baker. When she’s at home, I sometimes go to her for advice when working in the kitchen.

 

I’m making a pie crust. It isn’t going well.

Message sent 3:24 PM

 

What does it mean when it says to cut the butter in?

Message sent at 3:26 PM

 

That sounds like something a drug lord would do.

Message sent at 3:27 PM

 

Regardless, this process is wildly unsuccessful.

Message sent at 3:27 PM

 

You’re not answering. Despite the fact that you’re an expert on pie crusts.

Message sent at 3:44 PM

 

It’s kind of like you’re too busy befriending polar bears and furthering science to care about dessert.

Message sent at 3:46 PM

 

When Sula is away, or off the grid, I try to contact her mother more often, presumably so that Mrs. Jackson will appreciate her talented, couth daughter more when Sula returns from the North.

 

I just sent your mom a postcard about penises. I’m sorry.

Message sent at 11:23 AM

 

It was an accident. Again, I’m sorry. For whatever reason, these types of writing accidents always seem to happen to me. Like the time I sent my aunt a postcard about why she should make out with Colin Firth.

Message sent at 11:26 AM

 

Someone ought to take away my stamps. Or at least proof my correspondence before I send it out. My son is phenomenally poor at editing. Something about him only knowing eight letters of the alphabet.

Message sent at 11:31 AM

 

I of course never sent any of these text messages. For whatever reason I’m already on the Canadian government’s radar based on the number of times they audit my taxes. Texts like these on a government phone might get me added to the “No Fly” list.

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Five Things Friday: The Murderous Family Christmas Edition

It’s Friday in New Zealand. It doesn’t make any sense, but time zones are like that; they’re tricky devils, sometimes, for example last weekend, they jump backwards an hour for no reason at all. Time zones don’t obey the laws of physics. Scientists thought everything had to obey the laws of physics. And everything does, except for time zones. Also Cher.

2010-cher-pg259399

This lack of adherence to physics is the only possible explanation for this woman. Photo Credit: MTV.com

Anyway, on with Five Things Friday

  1. My In-Laws Gave Me Coal For Christmas

It wasn’t actually coal, it looked more like severed tree roots. Regardless, it sent a message -be nicer to our son; this is your Christmas gift. Following celebrating an early Christmas with Tex’s family this past weekend, I found a “present” at the bottom of the bag of produce they had brought from the farm. It was underneath the beets and the lone zucchini which was the size and shape of a baseball bat.

I turned the oddly shaped, dirt clod coated bulb-ish/shrub-ish thing over in my hands trying to find an identifiable feature so I could figure out whether to cook it or plant it. Finally I gave up and called my mother-in-law Zoey*. “Did you give us a piece of a tree?” I asked. “Pardon?” Zoey replied masking her obvious disapproval of my naughty behavior over the past year with confusion.

“I’m holding a plant” I said. At least I thought it was a plant, it very well could have been dirty petrified wood. “Is it for the garden?” I questioned further. “Oh!” Zoey burst out, “it’s the horseradish”. So it wasn’t coal, it was condiment ingredients. Close enough, it ended up making me cry. Message received -I should be nicer to Tex.

 

  1. I Drove Over Two Men With My Van

To clarify, I drove over a pit AND two men with my van. It was horrifying and I cried in the way that one does when they’re about to commit murder. I’d never patronized a Jiffy Lube before, consequently I was shocked when the garage doors opened and in lieu of a friendly mechanic trotting out to relieve me of my keys, a youth in a pit beckoned me to drive over him. Then to make matters worse, another young man jumped in with him. Double manslaughter, goody.

I drive infrequently because I loathe it, but more importantly because I’m terrible at it. The examiner had to coach me through a three point turn on my licensing test. Thus, the pit/youth situation spelled certain doom and jail time to me. However I somehow managed to very slowly maneuver the van over the pit and the youths lived to scare another unsuspecting customer.

 

  1. Babies + Oranges = Mistake

Mini-Tex is into eating exactly what I’m eating. I made the mistake of consuming citrus in front of him so now our floor is like a high school cafeteria- sticky and more than a little gross. I debated not washing it and leaving the job for Tex but thought better of it upon remembering the number of baseball bat sized zucchini my mother-in-law has in her garage. Death by squash is never pretty.

 

  1. I Don’t Actually Have A Fourth Or Fifth Thing

Cher took them to another time zone. I’m sending a search party to Taiwan and Austria, I’ll let you know when my other writing points turn up.

 

 

*Names have been changed to protect the identities of lovely, thoughtful women whose fondest desire is for their families to have well seasoned, delicious, local food. She also would never think of using her zucchinis for anything other than baking and is so gentle that she makes people who would never hurt a fly look aggressive. My mother-in-law is compassionate to the point that I’m pretty sure she mourns the dust-mites that accidently get sucked out of the air by the vacuum cleaner.

In The Event Of An Emergency Send Spun Sugar and Large Inflatable Reptiles

When I was a child I was ticked off, absolutely enraged by the fact that there is no new TV in the summer.

And then I stopped watching television so it became a moot point. Recently however, I discovered why there are only poorly made, low budget, reality shows to be found on television during the warm months- no one’s home.

Now my blog was doing pretty well. I have approximately a squillion and a half family members give or take five, who check my blog fairly frequently and a handful of followers who aren’t related to me that also like my work. Then July came, and everyone and their brother went away and the stats for the Great Unwashed tanked harder than Arrested Development’s Nielson ratings. So now the only people reading the Great Unwashed with any sort of regularity are my Mom and Roscoe’s Mom.

Actually Roscoe’s Mom reads it more often than my mother but that’s because Roscoe is a boy which means he doesn’t call his mother to say “Mom! I just watched the news and my inflatable crocodile is underneath the shelf next to the door in the basement if you need it.”

Just an FYI there was a MASSIVE flood in Toronto. My parents live near said giant throbbing metropolis. (That sounds vaguely dirty but is really meant to express my feelings about the city. I think I just made things worse.) Anyway so in the event of a flood I wanted them to know where the pool toys were.

Because that’s what you need in a flood. Pool toys. On a different note, the Red Cross wouldn’t hire me.

Red Cross- A country has just endured a horrible life changing crisis. What do you send?

The Great Unwashed- Cotton candy! I like to eat it when I’m sad about things like my parent’s cats being sick.

English: Pink Cotton candy. Deutsch: Rosa Zuck...

These people are prepared for anything from a child’s birthday party to a earthquake.(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Getting back to the original point of this post – The Great Unwashed is now going into reruns. Not really, but I am re-posting the part one of two Liebster award posts because part two will go up on Saturday. Or Sunday. There’s an issue with me changing time zones on one of those two days and although I’m good at many things, figuring out times in other countries is not one of them. Roscoe even made me up a table so I can figure out what time it is in Ontario while I’m away. Supposedly this will prevent me from calling him at odd hours.

Even still I have no doubt that I’m going to shock him awake at 3 AM while I’m away. He’ll bolt right up in bed hearing his phone ring thinking that he has to dash back to the hospital to prevent someone from bleeding out and it will just be me, calling to tell him about a lizard I saw.

I’m an excellent wife.

On with the reruns. Also I promise, promise part two will actually go up Saturday.

Or Sunday.

Blasted time zones.

Neil Patrick Harris Declined My Offer To Host This Award Post

Posted on June 12, 2013

However the show must go on, and this is an awards show. For me. Just me. Here at The Great Unwashed we are super self involved but we are also about family. Big family. That last sentence may have been foreshadowing. Or it would be if Roscoe would let me have my way. On with the show.

Dear Faithful readers,

The day has finally arrived. I was nominated for an award. Not a big award. More like WordPress’ version of a participation award but gosh darn it, it’s an award. And I’m chuffed.  Now there are multiple steps to follow for this award, so many that I’ve decided to break it into two blog posts.

First you need to acknowledge and thank the person who nominated you. So thank you Erica Funi of  Finding The Funi, I do so appreciate being nominated, I was so thrilled that I called my Mom, who already knew because she went on my site and saw, but didn’t call me because that’s the kind of mother she is. Actually she may have texted me in her excitement, I’ll have to check my phone to see if there is a cryptic “k” from the day that you nominated me. This is my mother’s electronic way of communicating with the world- one indecipherable letter at a time. Sometimes she’ll put a “u” or an “i” in there just to mix it up.

Getting back to the award. Erica is a wonderful writer. She also has a nice smile. And I have it on good authority that she does not smell. Erica, I don’t think I could have written a more winning recommendation if I tried. Thanks again for nominating me, I did my best to answer your questions which was of course the second step in the process.

What is your biggest pet peeve?

People asking about my pet peeves.  No that’s not true, like most people, I love to be questioned about the things that are bothering me. Most recently my biggest pet peeve is Roscoe’s refusal to take a second wife. I’ve gotten into the show “Big Love” of late and the concept of polygamy is really growing on me. I just love the idea of someone else cleaning and grocery shopping and vacuuming. Roscoe claims that I don’t fully understand the idea of multiple spouses.

Car-mel or Car-a-mel?

 

Are they both edible? Yes? Then why are we having this conversation and not eating sweets?

If you could trade places with anyone for a day, who would it be?

I can tell you who it wouldn’t be – my imaginary sister wife. I left her alllll of the laundry. The pile is taller than me, which isn’t saying much, but it’s also taller than Roscoe. I’m going to consider that an accomplishment. We’re out of laundry detergent but I’m sure my imaginary sister wife can take care of that.

What is the last website you visited?

Hold The Condiments. Occasionally I feel it necessary to send windy, rambling messages to other bloggers. Before that I wrote a fan letter to the Byronic Man.

Wait did I answer the question? No matter, moving on.

Toilet paper. Over or under?

Once again, I think you’ve missed the forest for the trees, or in this case the forest for the products of the pulp and paper industry. As long as you have TP, you’re good. Unless of course you have a house full of riotous teenagers and it’s Halloween, in which case you’re probably going to be out of toilet paper shortly. Also you’ll owe your neighbours a cake. I’d hide the eggs before you start baking too.

What was the first concert you went to?

I feel like you don’t want me to answer Raffi.   I’ll go with someone much cooler instead- Hanson.

What is your favorite quote?

MMBop.

Is that not a quote?

MMMBopThey’re definitely cooler.  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

How do you take your coffee?

In litres, preferably in the morning.

Or in gallons for all my Southern reader friends.

What are you having (or did you have) for dinner tonight?

A sandwich, I was supposed to be making wheatberry salad, but then I started watching “Big Love”, and answering a never ending series of questions.

What is your favorite thing about yourself?

I feel like this is more than eleven questions, or possibly I’m answering more than eleven questions, or maybe it just feels longer because I keep asking questions.

Let’s say my ability to count.

What is your guilty pleasure?

Polygamy, but I haven’t actually done that, I just imagine other women cleaning my house and then making me litres of coffee. So let’s go with eating all of Roscoe’s special yogurt out of the fridge.

Stay tuned for part two of the Liebster award posts. There’s going to be a bar fight.