Wednesday, May 25, 2011


My old barn is in bad repair. It's collapsing in on itself, has opened "vents" at the back end where the floor has decided to go on its own, and has acquired a funky, earthy smell---not altogether unpleasant. These holes, by the way, allow an entrance way for various mice to set up home over the winter months. My wife will not go into the barn during this time, I however don't mind much. I like to think of it as "Bernie's Winter-Over" place for these wee beasties. The barn is quite old now, and I think Mother Earth is reclaiming it for herself---these things happen to us all, by the way. My wife has been after me for the past couple of years to replace said barn; I always refused. I've grown inexplicably fond of this structure as I watched its brave effort to ward off the inevitable. But, I was thinking it was time now to turf it, as painful as that will be.

I approached this decision to purchase a new barn with my wife. She said, "No!" She went on the explain that now that she is retired our capital is reduced somewhat making it not as easy to spend on things not necessarily essential---or something like that. She ended this assessment by saying we'll look at it in a couple of years, or so. She's usually right on these matters---so far. I spent a time looking at the barn from the patio searching for a solution or a patch; the barn seemed to be staring back through pleading mouse holes.

You see, there's another problem involved here. I recently came in possession of a snow blower---an excellent powerful machine for firing snow from your driveway into your neighbour's yard. It works well. But since this machine is so powerful it's also quite big---for a small, rotten barn, that is. And every time we try to get something out of the barn for gardening and such, I have to take the snow blower out and park it in the middle of the driveway. Parking the snow blower in the middle of the driveway on a warm, sunny day makes the neighbours nervous, I find. They're looking at you suspiciously from the corner of their eyes. When you start it up, which I did to tune it up---just in case---the neighbourhood kids all ran home. A bit odd, I thought. If we could keep the snow blower out of the barn for now, it would all work fine, I thought. I suggested to my wife we use the machine as a planter in the summer. You could put plants and flowers on top and within the blades. It would be unique, if anything. This was a silly solution, and my wife confirmed this fact by not even venturing a response.

So I'm going to have to put on my flimsy carpenter's cap and devise a reno system for the old barn to try to breathe new life into it. I think I can do that. I might even put ceramic tiles on the sinking floor. My wife is in agreement as long as it doesn't cost more that a new barn would. That could be difficult---I'm thinking siding, and a window! Automatic doors, security cameras, LIGHTS!, a big screen TV---HD! The possibilities are limitless.

I have so many books I want to talk about. I AM going to blog every week now---since my readership has gone significantly up, by the way. I'm reading AGENT ZIGZAG by Ben MacIntyre right now. It's an excellent non-fiction book about a British spy during WW11. I finished reading his OPERATION MINCEMEAT about the same thing actually. He's such a good writer, and the stories are beyond believable even though they are true. I'm enjoying them very much. They would make great movies, by the way.

Next: Heaven and Hell---books and ideas.