Saturday, January 22, 2011


When my daughters were young and anticipating an event or holiday, we used to use "sleeps" or "Mr. Dressups" as time measurements.  For those from the UK or Canadians too young to remember, there was a super Canadian kids TV show on daily that was called "Mr. Dressup". 

I used to run a home-based childcare when the girls were little, and along with the daily walk (which felt like a forced march some days, as some participants enjoyed walking more than others) there was a half-hour a day TV allowance.  In typical draconian fashion I chose the show as I watched it with them!  I enjoyed Mr. Dressup; he told great stories and illustrated them while he drew, encouraged use of the imagination and made crafts that we, in turn, would make. 

Mr. Dressup, Casey and Finnigan
There's another family link to Mr. Dressup.  In a budgeting mood, I decided to cut the eldest daughters hair.  She was, if I recall correctly, about 4 years old.  Her lovely thick, smooth straight hair proved more tricky to cut than I thought, and I actually resorted to putting a bowl on her head to use as an outline for the cut.  The resulting trim turned out to be a terrible "bowl cut" that was too short.  Even more horrifying was the fact that with her auburn hair, big brown eyes and healthy colouring, she now looked a bit like "Casey" the puppet from Mr. Dressup...and people would actually comment on the resemblance!  I never cut her hair again...well, maybe a bangs (fringe for the British population) trim now and then, but never the full cut. 

What is the point of all this?  Oh, yes, counting down to an anticipated event....our departure from England/arrival in Nova Scotia.  Brian and I are both a bit terrified at the scale of the work to be done on the Valley House, and I am praying for a teaching contract/substitute work, but we are getting more excited by the day!

Updates on the Valley House include the news that the old hot water tank and water pump (to draw water into house from artesian well) have had it, and need replacing.  I think this was done by Dave Baker (wonderful plumbing person) this past week while it was mild enough to dig down to the well.  There is a cold front there now, -7 degrees, but feels like -19 with the wind chill.  That is why we are waiting until April to go to this big, unheated, uninsulated house!  

Brian has been doing a lot of research, and has discovered the instructional videos online from the US TV show "This Old House".  He is now thinking he will blow insulation in, rather than take down the old walls.  This preserves the soundproofing that the old lathe and plaster walls provide, as well as the historic value of the house. 

So, onwards and upwards.  Our house here will be on the rental market shortly.  We have started packing and purging and flights have been booked.  Vet appointments have been made to get the paperwork sorted out for the cats, and their travel crates purchased.  Dates for farewell gatherings are starting to be written in on the calendar.  As we approach the "sunset" of our time here, I attach photos of Nova Scotia coastal summer sunset!