Little Chicks

Decades ago, when my children were wee, I had a close friend with three young children. She drove around town with her kids, referring to them as her “little chicks”, with great affection. One day I heard her say to them, in a VERY public spot, “OK you little peckers, get in the car!” Now, I knew what she thought she was saying, but I doubt anyone else within earshot had the inside story on that comment. I gasped. People around us gasped. She went on her merry way, driving off into her own land of language usage. I didn’t have the heart to tell her right away, I was hoping it would not happen again, but after it happened a few more times I bit the bullet and filled her in. She was shocked.

On Saturday Attila and I spent a lovely evening with Harriet, Hogan, and their daughter. The day was windy, sunny, and quite beautiful. They have a cottage on the lake, so we sat on the dock, went for a boat ride around the lake, and had a BBQ. It was a day of decadent liesure, which we seldom experience. Good company and good times.

Yesterday the weather was perfect for a drive, and so another lone trip to the little house in the city was undertaken. It was a very long drive. Several segments of the road travelled were under construction. The wait times were long, sometimes as long as 10 minutes. There were a lot of huge transport trucks on the roads. They go slow up hills, and the cars behind them have to go slow up hills too. The journey was safe and comfortable, in spite of the delays.

The car was loaded with the lumber needed to build the front porch at the little house in the city. Attila bought “second” quality wood from his workplace, at a reasonable price. The boards were long, so the back seats, and the front passenger seat were folded down so that the long boards would fit into the car. Upon arrival it took about a half an hour to unload the wood into the garage.

The primary projects for this visit are bathroom related. After removing flooring and a subfloor, there is still another layer of tiles that was underneath, and second layer of subfloor that is underneath the tiles. Four layers of flooring altogether, if one ignores the carpet that we found in there.

The tiles were wet on top when we exposed them. When I pulled up the tiles and subfloor in the bathroom this morning, the floorboards were black with mould! We will need to carefully assess the floorboards for viability, since they have been damp for a very long time. Some will need to be replaced.

On the floorboards, beneath all the multiple layers of flooring and subfloors, I also found shards of broken glass, probably a result of the original window being broken.

The bare floorboards. The black spots are mould, and were damp when I pulled out the tiles and subfloor. EWWWWWW!
DSCF2639 bathroom bare floorboards

The toilet remains perched on three layers, where it was installed. When the toilet is removed all three layers will need to be ripped up, the floorboards left to dry out, and any rotted floorboards replaced.

The other bathroom project is to cut and install insulation on the exterior bathroom wall, and then staple on vapour barrier and seal it. This job is better left for a cooler day. It is 28C today, not a good day for working in a small damp space. Tomorrow the weather will be cooler, and it will be a better day for that kind of work.

Terra stopped by to say hello, they are still very busy working on their new house. She tells me that their garden has already produced cucumbers, and that she will bring one over for me. I have taken to eating raw vegetables with a sour cream dip for most of my meals. It is just too hot to cook.

Evening is falling and the air is cooling quickly. The windows and doors are open once again, the fans are whirring, moving all that lovely cool air around the little house.

Worldly Distractions


26°C (19C at the country house)
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 100.2 kPa
Tendency: falling
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: 25.5°C
Dewpoint: 16.5°C
Humidity: 57%
Wind: W 35 gust 52 km/h
Humidex: 30


“I have never been especially impressed by the heroics of people who are convinced they are about to change the world. I am more awed by those who struggle to make one small difference after another.”
Ellen Goodman
1941 –

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Exactly. Operating in your own bubble of language useage can be embarrassing. When B refers to us as “cohabiting”, I just cringe, because that’s not the case at all.

One time it had financial ramifications–the assessor came to my house when I was refinancing and everything was fine, he was happy with what he saw (I saw how he had marked the sheet). And then B introduced herself as cohabitor, and he changed his ratings, I found out when the report came back through the finance company. In the long run, it got straightened out, but I am now very aware that words have a great deal of power.
On a different topic–your bathroom project. I does seem weird to me that people would have made “repairs” by just nailing boards over the problem or painting over the damage. My mother would have called it “redneck repair” and what my father would have said (he was a plumber and electrician) is unprintable. That bathroom shows it all too clearly.


“…little peckers…” I can remember people calling kids that back in the day. It never occurred to me that it meant something else, more sinister… I call my dogs “little buggers” all the time but don’t mean those things that come out of the nasal cavity… words are funny.