Sunday, September 09, 2007

Never Lock Your Doors, And Other Tips For Living In Rural Nova Scotia

DH and I are feeling the time crunch. He goes back to work on the 24th of this month after 6 weeks of parental leave and the intention was to have the house reasonably organised (at least the top two floors) and freshly painted before his return to work. We’re not so sure we’re going to make it.

Our house is a cute 1.5 story (I know, I have still to post pictures! I will get to it. Promise) and the .5 part of the house is almost complete. By the grace of God, we might get to the rest (well, God coupled with the assistance of one of my brother’s and SILs who will be visiting us this week)! The .5 floor is what I call the ‘family floor’. It consists of a very small half bath, the master bedroom, a 12’0 by 10’0 landing, Iain’s nursery and the secret room off his room. The secret room isn’t finished yet so we won’t include that space in the following. Master bedroom painted and assorted wall hangings hung – check. Landing painted and assorted wall hangings hung – check. Iain’s room painted – check. Polka dots for Iain’s room painted – nope. Linen and Iain’s closet painted – nope. Stair well painted – check. Assorted wall hangings for stair well and Iain’s room – pending. Curtains can wait.

DH and I were up fairly late (that means 9:30 PM in our house these days) working on hanging pictures. We stopped before he replaced the handrails in the stair well (we got new swanky scroll style handrail brackets from Lee Valley for the wooden rails). DH needed to go unpack some more boxes to find the size of screws that he needed and we thought we’d stop before we both got too cranky to live with. DH then spent until 11:30 PM walking the floors with the freshly diapered, fully nursed wee one until he drifted off to sleep.

As you can probably guess, we spent the better part of yesterday on the .5 floor section of the house. Yesterday morning at about 10:00 AM, I thought I heard a screen door downstairs close. All of the human’s of the house were upstairs with me and the pets, not that they haven’t tried, haven’t learned how to open the screen door by themselves. With a slight tightness to my voice, I told DH about the sound and he went downstairs to investigate. The slight tightness in my voice can be attributed to two reasons:
  1. I admit it. I am rarely showered and dressed by that point in the morning. Let’s be more honest. Even if I am showered, I usually have to get dressed on my way to answer either the front or back door. I run around in just my bra on the top half most of the day, ready to nurse or pump at a single cry. I keep a polar fleece with a quick zipped front handy to throw on in case I have to run to the door. A little odd for those 30 plus degree days (like it was yesterday) but, it keeps the neighbours friendly.
  2. And, secondly, we just moved from Kanata/Ottawa, the Nation’s Capital where I lived in fear of hearing drunken revellers or the sound of teenagers at the wee hours of the morning. Last July 1st we had two young men decide to jump on the hood of our car as they were throwing something at the windshield resulting in a broken windshield and dented hood. We always locked our doors and Para, the border collie, barked any time after 12:00 PM if she heard anyone outside when she thought they should be home in bed like us. Very sensible is our border collie. If I had ever heard the screen door open downstairs while we were upstairs in Kanata, I would have very seriously considered called the police.

Back to yesterday morning. I heard the sound of a screen door close and no barking border collie. Odd. If anyone comes to our house, Para usually barks. She’s kind of like a doorbell that way. As a matter of fact, DH or I occasionally ring the door bell just to get her to bark. Apparently we get hard up for games to play with her sometimes. We knock on walls and doors too, to get her to come and investigate…

DH went downstairs to the sweet smell of cooling, fresh bread on our counter top with nary a soul to be seen. Not only was there no barking border collie but the border collie must have watched someone fly in to her kitchen, deposit bread on the counter, and leave without so much as a grunt to notify us upstairs. We were left to assume that our visitor must have been the Bread Angel. DH called out the back door a couple of times but no one was there. And the border collie was lying in the hallway, in full view of the kitchen (where the mysterious bread was placed) and not too far from the front door which is, naturally, locked. If you’re from the East coast, you know that only strangers or business people come to the front door anyway. Like a good Newfoundland and Labradorian, my front porch is very sensibly being used for storage.

I did find out who the Bread Angel was later in the day when I took baby and border collie out for a walk. One of the neighbours husband’s, who I hadn’t met before, was out on his ride’em tractor (yes, our properties are that large) and stopped to introduce himself and to tell me that his wife, A, couldn’t raise anyone at our place. I suspect she decided not to ring the doorbell because the baby could have been sleeping. Good woman. A’s husband told me that his wife just brought the bread in and told the dog, who was looking at her curiously, to please not eat her present.

Para is quickly learning that we don’t seem to need a watch dog in Nova Scotia however, friendly greetings are appreciated. She’s a darn good dog. When you come to our house bearing bread, not only will Para likely let you right in but, you might also be offered a cup of tea.

Note: I am considering changing my template with blogger. Therefore, there may be some issues with this blog over the next couple of weeks. Wish me luck!


JustApril said...

It's so cool that the dad's get parental leave too, there. I'm impressed that y'all are getting so much done with a brand new baby in tow, be proud of yourselves! What a nice neighbor! Fresh bread sounds SO good, and so does rural Nova Scotia. I knew I liked Nova Scotia, now I want to see it all the more. (That'll be a LONG drive, hahaha) Para is really a pretty dog, and she clearly has a good sense of people and their intentions.

Kristin said...

10:15 still in my pj's. Did put on a bra b/c I needed the breast pads this morning.
I am in love with your bread angel! Everyone around here knocks and gets the dog all worked up barking and wakes everyone up and they NEVER bring bread just try to sell me something.

Hope you found your desk, I'm off to the bathroom.

Mrs. H (aka The Outlaw Jenny Purls) said...

Awesome neighbors! :)

I love the pics of Para.

Yarnhog said...

What a great story! I'll bet your sweet, sweet dog is loving the change of scenery and the chance to run around outside.

Elizabeth said...

1st of all, the fact that you can run around with only a bra on the top half with any kind of confidence means I hate you ;) good attack dog you've got there. Was the bread yummy? We may get into the 20's next week (that's below 0 to you) so I may have to start some baking!

Renee said...

I want a pan of fresh bread tooooo! The closest I have to a bread angel is my mother and she's way back in Newfoundland. Mmmmm, what I wouldn't give for a slice of homemade bread toast smothered in butter.

Sarah said...

I am definitely moving to become your neighbour—we can't find a house here anyway—especially if baked bread magically appears.

I am often still in my jammies if we aren't going to a program in the mornings. Glad to hear it isn't just me.