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March 2005

March 30, 2005

Respite from the tundra

Why spew luminous prose when luminous photos are at hand?


Of Azure Skies and Lumber

Shooting a commercial for Ram Forest Products with a fantastic Atlanta crew.


Weenie_150_dpi_1 BBQ Hostess Secrets

Mag displays a weenie 'charred' with a black Sharpie.  Makes barbecued items look appealing even when uncooked.

March 28, 2005

A clean, well-lighted place for writing

Dsc00001_4I have three or four writing projects that I'm supposed to be working on but our house is a churning oligopoly of caregivers who come in daily to look after my Mum, who celebrated her 90th year by getting hammied and breaking a hip.  (I'm kidding about the hammied part.  When you're in your 90th year, beer loses its lustre.  Although the occasional hit of Gatorade is a real upper.)  Anyway, my concentration is lame with all the activity around the house, or at least that's my excuse.

So I came up with the huge distraction of building a writing studio away from the topsy turvy household.   Happily we have a south-facing 12' x 16' shed-roof structure that used to function as a livestock run-in, judging by the knee-deep mounds of horse pucky. 

So we started by shovelling out the old shed with the help of our neighbour Alex, who swears by well-aged equine poo for encouraging her summer garden.  Unfortunately the poo was frozen since we live on The Tundra just north of Toronto, Ontario, so it took a day or two of pick-axing before the ground was level enough to proceed. 

Continue reading "A clean, well-lighted place for writing" »

March 19, 2005

The miracle of composting toilets


Today I ordered my composting toilet.  I know what you're thinking: What a RUSH.  You're so right.

I've been hankering after one of these babies for years.  I'd even developed that enigmatic facial expression a woman gets when ownership is inevitable; part vixen, part conqueror, part megalomaniac.  You've seen that look on brides.

Composting: The Time Has Come

Lots of people are adding composting toilets to pool houses, remote cabins, workshops, garages, cottages and motor homes.  A composting toilet is the ultimate solution when you want to put a bathroom in a spot that has any of the following issues:

  1. No power
  2. No sewer hook-up
  3. No septic system
  4. No plumbing
  5. No water supply

As it happens, my future bathroom site (in our small barn where I'm building an office) has all of those issues.  How lucky can one girl get?

Continue reading "The miracle of composting toilets" »

Alma matters

Big_armsThis has nothing to do with home repair, unless you know that not one person in the photo has a working knowledge of welding, replacing a toilet, or recalibrating a framing nailer, except me.  I take comfort in this because these are all guys I went to University with and they have all become presidents of large corporations, or executive producers at NBC, or leaders of art and industry.  Whereas I have succeeded in the more esoteric arena of plumbing and masonry.  You can see the jealousy on their faces. 

Photo: Former cast and creators of New Faces, a raucous musical tradition at New College, U of T: (Clockwise from top left: Colin Swift, John Bertram, Alan Gotlib, Jim Betts, Greg Reed, Mag, Mark Lukasiewicz)  - March 14, 2005


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Mag's Books

  • : We're All In This Together

    We're All In This Together
    Based on four years of interviews with Steve Smith, Mag's unconventional biography reveals the personal stories, sorrows and joys that continue to inspire the man behind the Red Green legacy.

  • : How Hard Can It Be?

    How Hard Can It Be?
    Mag's quirky and entertaining book of home improvement projects for beginners.

Nota Bene

  • It’s never too late to be who you might have been. - George Eliot (1819-1880)
  • Simplicity of character is the natural result of profound thought. - My fortune cookie