We take full-spectrum enzymes - doesn't matter the dosage really, but you need them to cover all foods. Get them at any health store and you will notice a difference. Had my SIL who is on Prilosec take them twice - she said she is throwing the drug away and bought a couple of bottles of enzymes to take home. She doesn't do well with dairy or oil and had no problems with the enzymes.
I recognized the look of a woman-on-a-mission and knew that however this woman reacted, it wasn’t going to be her best self.
“Taylor,” Isaid in a soft warning voice, “Your mother and I both have a lot to accomplish and we have very little time to get it done. When we are finished I will give you my cell number and if your mother wants to call me, she can. Now is not the time for any sort of discussion we would benefit from. I am sure that your mother has taught you about OPSEC. Time to apply it.”
Mrs. Metcalf smiled nodded and went right back to clearing the shelf she was at. I beat her to the pressure canners and put four in my cart I took the other three off, handed them to Taylor and told them to give them to his mother. He returned with three canning kettles and the interior racks. I headed to the dehydrators and took 3 of them and sent two back to Mrs. Metcalf, but I kept all the extra trays and liners.
I got to the canning supplies and told Taylor to his mother here pronto. I began to sling the 1L, 500ml and 250ml jars onto the flat bed cart as they came racing over. I boosted Taylor up and he began to pass the flats of jars down… one for me and one for “Thanks!-and-call-me-Rowena”. Then we divided up the crocks, pickling spices, the vinegar… and with a yelp of pleasure Rowena started tossing Tattler rings and lids to me…
“They were buried behind,” she whispered.
“Mom!” hissed Taylor. “Do you want the 1 gallon and 1.9L jars?”
Rowena snorted “Do pigs fly?”
So next down came the large jars. It went on aisle after aisle… sometimes there were things we didn’t take – vacuum cleaners and particle board furniture or appliances, but we cleared the aisle that had drop clothes, garbage bags and laundry baskets. Between Rowena and I, we cleared out the seeds and fertilizer and potting soils. Our trucks were moved to the rear of the store and packed.
From the garden centre, for the future gardens, I took wheel barrows and hand tools, garden hoses. I also took all the unsold fruit trees – they had some beautiful cherry trees and a couple of crab apple. Unfortunately it was the wrong time of year to get plants and most of the content of the garden centre was plastic carp that would have been a waste of time at any point. I did notice though that the fencing was modular, with posts stuck in cement blocks, and after inquiring, got it for free. The 6-ft chain link fencing would work well in the gardens for trellising and to keep small animals out. I also took the bamboo stakes.
I went through the camping section and took a whole bunch of igloo coolers. They also had several of the ten man tents and some of the shelters and screen houses – you never knew if you might have to deal with refugees and our railway men were going to need more shelter. For the same reason I took almost every sleeping bag they had. From the yard section I took several Mr. Turtle pools – good for water for animals. I also grabbed a bunch of table umbrellas.
I then went back to the tools and managed to just beat a man to the last chain saw. I made sure to get extra teeth and the files to sharpen them. There was also a pair of the steel mesh chaps. I freely admit that as a nurse I have seen the damage caused by chain saws and they scare the heck out of me. Getting into the tool section was a challenge. I got a couple of cases of motor oil and wiper fluids but for the most part getting into the automotive section wasn’t going to happen. I got shoved at one point but it turned out to be a blessing because the guy had shoved me into the ATV accessory shelf and I got two ATV gun boots with brackets before someone else realized what I had picked up. Another man saw what I had and quietly told me to get myself four 1/4" carriage head bolts with nylock nuts or it wouldn’t be secure enough. The kid who was loading our flat cart then told me that there was an ATV plow blade that had been brought in on special order and did I want that. That was a big gift. We don’t get a huge amount of snow – the City is so big and produces so much heat that much of it just melts away. But having made ourselves a private road, snow clearing is now our responsible. The kid also told the back to hold the 20 cu ft ATV trailer.
The store was getting packed and fights were becoming more frequent, so I decided that it was time for me and Zeb to vacate. As we were heading out, the fights began to get bigger and the people coming in were heading straight for the fights and adding to the mayhem. I told the Taylor and is buddy to clock out and I would get them home. With the big truck following, we pulled out just in time.
1Pe 4:7 But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore of sound mind, and be sober unto prayer
Joh 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
Joh 3:17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but so that the world might be saved through Him.
The parking lot was a mess, we drove around road blocks and through a few. I hated to bang up the jeep but I was not about to let the three boys, myself or my hard earned goods fall prey to whatever was developing here.
“Taylor – you and your friend here text your families and let them know you’re safe,” I told them.
Taylor promptly pulled out his phone and texted his mother, along with a big get-out-now-and get-gone message. I quietly noted that the other boy did not text anyone.
“Hey Hakeem, you need to use my phone?”
“No need man,” Hakeem said.
My concern sharpened. “Hakeem, can you hold up both arms?” I said quietly.
He flushed and held them up. On both arms were double tattooed lines at the wrist… gang member.
“Hakeem, I will drop you at the subway station. You are safely away and you will count that as a gift. If you show up anywhere near my home with friends, you will all pay. This is a statement, not a challenge. Look at it as a line of clear understanding. Kapeesh?”
He looked at me and nodded. “All stores will go down in the next 48-hours. Get what you need and get home.”
“Any reason you all have chosen to move now?”
“None that I am aware of,” he replied. “Our orders come from south of the border. Stop here and I’ll get out.”
I pulled over to the side of Yonge Street, just before Hedon Avenue. Along the road ran chain link fences blocking across to the parking for the Finch Station.
“Why here?” I asked as he opened the door.
“No cameras along the road here. They are all pointed into the lot.” He smiled at me, the hyena just below the surface. I smile back and let him see the wolf. He laughed. “Taylor man… good working with you. Stick with Miss Charlie until your mom gets home. I’ll texts the brothers and get them to look for your mom and send her home. Thank her for those lunches she sent in. I’ll miss them. She was a good cook.” He slammed the door and loped off back up Yonge Street.
I turned left onto Hedon, then left onto Carney and right on Holita. On the pretty shaded street full of mid-century suburban bungalows, I pulled over.
“Taylor, we need to look for the tracking device. Could be any size from a button to a brick. It will be on and may be a bit warm to the touch. Your friend Hakeem gave up just a bit too easily.”
It took us almost ten minutes to find it. It was so simple it might have been over looked if we hadn’t looked everywhere. It was slid up under Zeb’s car seat. It was a disposable cell phone with a Find My Friends app engaged. Clever. I cracked open the back and pulled out the SIM card. I smashed the card using a brick from the building site across the street then dropped the card into the sewer and the phone in the construction site’s debris bin.
“Taylor?” I asked as he watched me closely. “Have you heard from your mother?”
He shook his head.
“Text her again and tell her to go through her car before she gets home. She’ll have something similar.” He nodded and fingers flew over the phone. “Now please turn off the Find My Friends app on your phone and do me the courtesy of not texting your friends until you get home.”
It's real and its more than a little creepy... verges into serious stalker territory. Apple describes it as:
"Find My Friends helps you locate your friends and identifies their exact location on the app’s navigational map. It’s the perfect way to track friends whether you’re shopping in a mall, visiting a museum, camping in the great outdoors or enroute to meet up at this year’s best-ever party! For families, it offers peace of mind. There’s no need to constantly text message children or other relatives to find out where they are and if they are safe. Find My Friends lets everyone stay connected without having to send or respond to an endless stream of “where are you?” texts. Find My Friends uses state-of-the-art Global Positioning System (GPS) technology to provide the most accurate, up-to-date locations in real-time. Never wonder where your friends are, if they’re lost, stuck in traffic, or just plain late. With Find My Friends, it won’t take long to figure out where your friends actually are and help them get to where they’re supposed to be. It’s an easy-to-use friend locator and people finder app!"
There is one for the android or i-pad called Trick or Tracker designed for parents to keep track of their kids. While technically neither of these programs can be used without someone authorizing them, by putting them onto a cheap android and depositing the android in the car, the gang has circumvented the authorization issue - they own the phone so use of the app is not illegal.
There is another creepy one called Connect that is designed to bring together all of the social media platforms into one program. So if you wanted to track your ex quickly and easily across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the other means of social media, you could do so very easily... of course it was designed for parents to track their kids but as usual multiple usages exist.
Phone Tracker is used by parents and by employers who give their employees cell phones. It gives them access to physical location and numbers called.
All of this can be easily escaped by not having a cell phone that does anything more than call.
We arrived back at the apartment to find mayhem on the block. The Ontario Hydro had been in and dismantled the power to all three buildings – the fourth had had the service removed when it had been torched a couple years back. The water company had been in and turned off the water while the City had demolished the three vacant wood frame houses and the debris had been hauled away. They then checked the pipes and installed the taps and cement basins as in the parkette.
Greg Hyslop, Mr. Moretti and Henri were walking around the cleared lots with a City Parks horticulturalist deciding what bushes and trees needed to be pulled out and then what the City was willing to offer in replacement. They waved but I left them to it. I hope that they were able to get some nut or fruit trees though. I needed to pay attention to my little guy who was fragrant in his need to be changed.
Meanwhile the City had started on the four story apartment building. Eric told me later that the project manager had been seriously pissed-of that we had cleared the building as usually he pocketed anything he could sell on the side. The demolition guys were thrilled because it reduced their hazards. Regardless, the remaining junk had been cleared and they had had at it. There was very little left by the time we arrived.
In front of our apartment building, a series of tables and chairs had been set up, giving the area the slightly incongruous image of a piazza with its cafes. Busy at work with an endless stream of chatter, the plethora of little old Italian ladies were busy with coffee and trays of rolls with meat, and cookies. Mrs. Moretti got a cookie into Zeb’s fist and he squealed with delight. Workers from the job sites kept wandering though for more. Many of them were also Italian and the discussions with the Nonnas flew fast and furious. Cara and Luccia were helping to serve and clear tables. They had obviously quickly established a friendship and Mrs. Moretti kept them working as the construction workers who were having fun in turn with some gentle flirting. Luccia was a born natural with a swish, a flounce and a toss of the head as she shot back in rapid fire Italian. Cara watched and practiced and the workers kept teaching her new words, as the Nonnas kept a protective eye along with Father Andrea from Holy Rosary, who in his cassock and capello romano, seemed to be intent on bringing our building firmly into his fold. It was all a world away from the mayhem of Canadian Tire.
I went in and changed Zeb and came back out to the growing partito. Truckload after truckload of debris were driven off, with the drivers collecting a canolli and expresso before they left. When the truck finally arrived from Canadian Tire, to the City project manager’s dismay, all the workers came and unloaded it. At my suggestion, the truck was quickly checked for tracking devices. Two were found and one of the dump truck drivers took them with him “for discussion and disposal”. Mr. Moretti nodded and said a quiet “grazie” to the man. The Canadian Tire guy was fed and drove off. We wished him well.
A couple of the ladies had seen the big umbrellas and promptly claimed them for the ‘piazza’. I have to say that it all looked wonderful and special and I wanted to pinch myself at being lucky enough to suddenly be a part of this. This is I suddenly realized what community was all about. This is what I had wanted when I had bought my house. In some ways this place had always been something of a community but this whatever the power confusion and gang stranglehold was about, it had made this place thrive and I was so blessed to be here and not sitting alone somewhere panicing.
One of the dump truck drivers suggested that he and his brother comeback and build us a couple of proper storage buildings using the bricks from the old apartment. Both bachelors in their thirties, they had apprenticed as bricklayers in Cortonna before immigrating to Canada. Eric offered them an apartment and three month’s free rent in exchange. They jumped at the opportunity and Father Andrea and Mrs. Orlandini led them off. Chantelle relieved me of Zeb and he was happy to be with one of his favourite babysitters. She carried him away saying “Lets go splash Zeb!” and Zeb squealing. Luccia pushed me toward the porticoes where John sat at a table in the shade. He leaned over and kissed me… publicly…
I looked around embarrassed and a couple of people laughed at my embarrassment.
“Ah , così lei è la tua fidanzata… your sweetheart?” said one of the construction workers.
“Sì… E'il mio…” John replied with a horrific accent that made them all laugh.
“Ciò che è buono ... così bene ... ora che ... Ora non voglio preoccuparmi per te,” said Mr. Moretti.
I wasn’t so sure about being so publicly claimed without a discussion… perhaps I should rephrase that… the modern woman in me felt that I should be offended… the fourteen-year old in me was delighted that the guy said it first… I rolled my eyes, drank my tea and just enjoyed the afternoon.
The day rolled on and the partito continued. When the big diggers began to tear up the parking lot (except for the strip designated as access road) a couple of the older men walked over and began to pace out two rectangles, each 90-ft long by 13-ft wide., with a couple of trees shading them.
When I looked confused Mrs. Orlandini, said: “I vecchi stanno construendo un campo da bocce… you understand? Sì? The build due bocce court… so they play… is good for them to tend fields and play… no trouble in homes… busy men no make trouble… the wife have peace…”
“Sì,” agreed Mrs. Moretti. “Non più si trovano sul divano e guardare la TV… we get these men moving and working… enough the lazy lying around… we make inside and outside una piazza per venire a mangiare , bere un caffè , giocare a carte , stare con gli amici…”
Arm and arm, the two women watched their husbands fondly.
As we were talking, a shout went up. The Provincial Department of Transportation brought in the noise abetment barriers and had begun to install them down the side of the highway. Tomorrow night when the final truckload of debris was removed from the site, the DOT would close off the road. Given what I knew about the supposed gang deadline, that would not be a minute too late. I wondered how we were going to be able to close off the other road to Cooper Street if we needed too.
I must have muttered something out loud, because Father Andrea turned to me.
“You did not know Miss Charlie that we are about to become Coopertown – a gated community? The City was going to put the gate at the bridge and we asked why not included the Co-op within the community? Mr. Moretti and I pointed out that the two communities were approximately 80% Italian and Catholic and that with the three factory sites being converted into fields and those already fenced and walled, we only needed to put the one wall across Cooper Street. Additionally, a very large percentage of the community lives and works within the community… we have schools, the church and businesses… together we can all work.”
“Well Father, then work is what we need to do. Apparently we have, to be safe, about 36-hours to get what me need before the businesses here are closed down. Did you speak with John today? No? Okay well he was beaten because he recognized that more than half the staff at the local Costco were gang members. I was at Canadian Tire this morning when it melted down. Young Taylor over there with Jack was one of the two young men helping me. The other boy, after I got them both out, turned out to be a fully tattooed, double strip, member of the gang. He advised me on the deadline. So I as you what needs to be done at your end?” I asked.
“Well the City has a crew in demolishing the remaining internal bits of the brick yard. It is going to be used largely for live stock…. the maiali e le mucche… each family will keep their animals there and then Mr. Moretti will train up two more butchers to carry on. The livestock will come in tomorrow. That keeps the hoof close to the butcher.”
Eric joined us. “When the demolition crew is done here, they will move across the street,” he told us. “Just as when the crew is done in the brick yard they will move to the factory site behind the mews. Now Charlie when is the crew coming in from Riverdale Farm?”
“Not sure,” I said. “It might be tonight, but my guess is a pre-dawn load up tomorrow and then a rapid departure. If they don’t get out of there fast, the livestock will be taken.”
John came hobbling-up, cell phone in hand. “We’ve got a problem!”
Eric looked weary for a minute. “What?”
“Just had a call from Mike Gibson… you remember my buddy who is in the mounted regiment?”
Eric looked more interested…”Yeah, I remember him at one of the Aunty’s bbq’s last summer…”
“Right,” nodded John. “Someone has just tried to burn down the horse barns. They got it put out but they lost two horses. They need to move them… Ideas?”
Eric and I looked at each other. Housing a mounted division of the police was like gaining a cavalry unit but our only space was across the street and we needed the growing space…
Father Andrea then came up with a suggestion. “When I first came here, I visited all the factories. The factory beyond the one across the street is mostly made up of four Quonset huts. The parking area was never paved and its mostly grass… perhaps they could use that and some could even live on site. You do have to block off the far end as it’s just got a chain link fence…”
“Father did we ever tell you that you were a gift from God!” said John fervrently.
“That is my calling,” said Father Andrea with a smile.
I've used broken up chunks of concrete to make raised beds. Works great with those flat sides and pieces that are less than a foot long but no shorter than about six inches. Having some raised beds allows those who have bad backs or other hardships to be able to "garden" especially if the beds are not wider than about three feet but they can be LONG! I've seen wheelchair bound people able to work these kinds of beds. Kinda like putting a puzzle together though...something good for the older kiddos?
John was back on the phone with his buddy Gibson, and then he and Father Andrea went to coral the City Project Manager and I watched the three men walk down our new street. In an academic way what was developing was fascinating but the reality of it occurring and the unknowns whys, and to whose benefit, and what-is-going-to-happen next was making me very tired. I don’t usually operate on this sort of a high. But I figure that I had better get my clinic set-up.
I borrowed two of the fathers and we headed into do some rearranging. Maria Collodi, the doctor’s eldest daughter, joined us. Not as striking as her mother and sister Luccia, she was still a lovely girl with a quiet competence and an inner peace to her. Nothing phased her. As the men hung drapes and shifted the examining tables and shelves for me, she stocked the shelves and organized the file drawers. When her father stuck his head in an hour later, I told him I wanted to hire her. An hour still further on, the two rooms and the bathroom were clean and organized and I called it a day. Amazing how much can be accomplished. Since I had no money to pay them, each of my helpers got 4-free appointments.
I then hooked up the computers and tower I had taken from the front desk. I then checked the on-line files for the population of Cooperstown. I had about 75 patients who lived within the Co-op or Cooperstown. I printed off their computer records and had Maria file them. It was pretty good, we were only missing a couple of hard copy files. I then had Maria cross reference each address with Canada411 and the phone book. As she finished each file, she called the patient and advised them that I was operating as a nurse practioner in conjunction with Dr. Lucca Collodi, and that yes he spoke Italian. Did I? Well I was learning… Yes he was from Chianni originally and had done his undergraduate in Rome and medical school at the University of Toronto. Yes he was licensed to work in both countries. Yes he could get medical files transferred from Italy. Ah, now when would they arrive? That was known only to God and Canada Post. Two patients asked if he was Antonio & Amalie’s son… Maria was already indispensable.
John was back in our piazza when I exited the building.
“The police department’s property division will make the arrangements, but the City has greenlighted them to take over the abandoned property. Taxes haven’t been paid in five years on it. There will be a clean-up team in there within the hour and the horses will be moved tonight.”
“John?” I asked, “Did you tell Gibson about what that gang member had told me?”
“Yeah,” he said. “They know something is going down and figure this is part of the advance distraction.”
John and I were handed plates by Cara.
“Jack has Zeb,” she told me and when she pointed down the road, sure enough there was Zeb bouncing in his back pack carrier. Jack was talking politely with Mrs. Collodi, who was walking arm in arm with Luccia, and firmly between them. We all giggled.
The bbqs had been pulled around front and amazing things were being grilled, so we went and stood in line with our plates. A number of the construction workers had stayed and were enjoying some of Mr. Orlandini’s homemade wine along with their bits of grilled something or other. Mrs. Moretti’s tip jar was stuffed.
“It has been filled many times,” said Mrs. Moretti. “I tuck it away. Tomorrow I go and buy and we do this again.
People were wandering up and down the road. I saw Mrs. O’Keefe out with her grandchildren and we waved. The Hyslops were at a table with the older two generations of Gallianos. The Gallianos lived down on the Mews. Their grandchildren were running around on the street with a soccer ball. They were quickly joined by a whole bunch of other children and the game took on a life of its own. As the light began to fade, candles and torches were lit and everybody moved to watch the DOT lower the noise abatement barriers into place. Access to Highway 305 was cut off. A great cheer went up and the driver was toasted.
Off to one side, I heard the strains of music. A couple of fathers had guitars out. Giovanni Adamo had brought out his organetto and he sat beside his grandfather, Piero Adamo, who played the mandolin. Matteo Adamo also had his mandolin. Fillipo They started off with “Dormi, domi, bel bambin” but when Antonio Marese showed up with his coronet demands came thick and fast for the “Carnival of Venice”, an incredibly complicated piece that showcased his talents. Someone had strung up fairy lights and the whole area was awash with happy faces. The band began the saltarello romagnolo. Everyone was up and dancing. As Zeb and I twirled with John, I had to smile at the irony that when the world came to an end we were dancing the night away… What a way to go!
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