Tuesday, May 31, 2005

return of da idol

As I mentioned yesterday, we watched the first show of the new season of canadian idol last night. Now, I don't get into the american version because, quite frankly, if I can't vote, I'm not wasting my time on it. Mark and I generally like the audition episodes the best. The "bad" folks are the best part of it for me. For the past couple of summers, it's been a guilty pleasure for us.

Anyway, it's on again tonight and tomorrow. They are showing all of the audition shows this week and then they will air the top 100 eliminations next week. So far, unlike previous years, no one has jumped out and really impressed us. Now, I do understand that our musical tastes in general are eclectic and that normally, we don't listen to anything remotely "idol-ish" but still, I can appreciate a good voice when I hear one and I generally have a good idea about what makes a suitable "idol" candidate. Don't forget either that Mark and I easily and early, predicted the winners in 2003 and 2004. The best thing about da idol is that it comes on at about the same time the mosquitoes will drive you into the house in the evening so it's all good.

I think that we're both starting to get caught up on our sleep, not 100% but close. Poor old Joe is still feeling beaten up. He really did a number on himself. Tonight, my folks came by to drop off a jacket he had left at their place and to inspect the new paint and he stayed in bed, on his heating pad. I know that he's pretty bummed about the injury but he is feeling a little bit better every day. Healing just takes a little bit longer when your body is 80!

For you fish fans out there, I'm happy to report that removing the rocks has proven to be the solution to whatever problems there were in the tank. The water is beautiful and clear and the goldfish are frolicking all over the place. Roger is even jumping out of the water a little bit when you stand by the tank. They really didn't like those rocks and Roger's little protest was a good ploy. It got Mark's attention and he dealt with the problem, quickly. This morning when we got up (at 4:30 a.m. -- goodness that's sick!), the fish were all snoozing together, lined up in a corner at the bottom of the tank. They looked like the waltons or something. It was very cute.

I didn't unpack anything today and I plan to go, put my feet up and watch idol auditions part two. Exotic or what?? Are you jealous yet??

Monday, May 30, 2005

back to work

4 a.m. arrived rather quickly this morning. I could not believe it when the alarm went off. It wasn't easy but we managed to drag our butts out of bed and get to work. For me anyway, work was a restful retreat, away from boxes and piles of stuff. Even though I'd been away for four days, there wasn't a huge amount of stuff awaiting me when I got back into the office. I was able to ease myself back into things, which is very nice. Getting back into our regular routine will be good for both of us. I'm sure that as the week goes along, we'll get rested up. Hope so anyway!

Tonight, I was planning to do very little but it didn't work out like that. During the season premiere of "canadian idol," I unloaded the bins of summer clothes that Mark had dragged into the bedroom for me yesterday. I packed away my sweaters and heavy winter clothes. Of course, by unloading the summer stuff, I have created a huge mountain of ironing for myself. I'm the world's laziest iron-er. I hate to do it. I think I'm going to end up just washing some of it again (even though it's clean) and hanging it up. I'll do just about anything to avoid ironing!

The fish tank seemed weird tonight. The water was really grey and murky and the largest fish, Roger, was staying in the bottom, in a corner. You could tell that the other fish were pretty upset because they kept going to him, checking on him almost. On the weekend, Mark brought home some rocks he'd found. He cleaned them up and put a couple of them in the tank, to make a little cave for the fish. I think that they may have been sprayed with something (he picked them up out in the country) and that was making the tank all grey. Once he removed them and changed some of the tank water, Roger came out of the corner and seemed fine. I know that Mark was really worried about him. It feels like the fish have brought us lots of luck with the house over the past week and it would have been really sad to lose one of them. I can see the tank from where I'm sitting and the water is clearing up and everyone seems really happy.

Thank goodness for happy fish huh??

Sunday, May 29, 2005

sleeping in

This morning I could have slept in until noon, or beyond. Of course, I ended up only sleeping in until 8 a.m. but that felt like a luxury. After 8, my back starting saying to me, "hey, either get out of bed now or don't get out, I'll mess you up good!!" Needless to say, I listened to my back.

I am really loving this house. This morning, I took a cup of coffee, the cordless phone and a basket of clean laundry, sat on my back deck and yacked on the phone while folding wash and sipping on my java. It was heavenly. In the old house, I would have never hauled my laundry out onto the patio, it just wasn't convenient. Now that we have a large front porch at the front of the house, and a deck off of the kitchen at the back, we're spending more time outside than we ever have. It's great!!

Laundry and gabbing aside, I didn't do too much this morning. I did, however, make a start on the kitchen cabinets. I had done one cupboard yesterday and really wanted to at least get the food put away today. The cabinets were so filthy inside that the only thing I had which would cut through the grime was bathroom cleanser. At least now, I know that they are disinfected. I need to do the outsides as well and have some Murphy's for that. The outside will likely have to wait until next weekend. I also got some more dishes unpacked and put away. It's been so nice to unpack a box of dishes and put them into the dishwasher. I'm really quickly getting used to having one. The last time I lived in a house with a dishwasher, it was 1987 and I was still living with my parents.

Joe's been taking it very easy today. Yesterday, he had a little tumble in the shower and he's injured his shoulder a bit. We bought a rubber mat for his bathtub but he didn't put it in before he got into the shower. When he tried to get up from his shower chair, he slipped and buckled and fell. He hit his neck and shoulder on the back of the chair. Mark heard him calling for help and got him up and out of the tub. Fortunately, and I still can't believe it, he didn't break anything. I swear, if any other 80 year old did that, they'd have been down at emerg. His bones must be made of rubber. He's feeling a little better today and I'm sure he'll feel even better tomorrow. He'll just have to take it very easy for the next few days.

Right now, I'm finally starting to feel a little more organized. This is a good thing because I go back to work tomorrow. I'm still feeling really tired but I know that the fatigue will pass as the week goes along.

This afternoon, Mark and I took yet another trip to Rona. We've been making many trips there. I can't believe the amount of money we have spent this week, between cables and stuff for our wireless network that we've picked up futureshop and all of the "home improvement" stuff from Rona, I'm afraid that my debit card will start melting soon. Oh well, better to be using the debit than the credit card, right??

We also stopped off at Costco and picked up a small television for our gym. We found a 13" colour set for $80 which will do just fine. I just want to be able to watch it while I ride my recumbent bike. Mark will hook up our old VCR to it and all should be fine. He got my computer up and running tonight so at least we have one machine in the house that works. His will be going into the basement and I'm sure he'll have it up later in the week.

So that's it. I'm completely pooped and am heading off to bed. Hopefully we'll get to sleep before 10 p.m. 'night all!!

Saturday, May 28, 2005

system shutdown

I'm too tired to walk. Don't get me wrong, I can walk, if I have to. I have managed a couple of times to walk from the bed to the bathroom. What I'm not sure about is how much further than that I could walk right now, if I had to.

Our attempt to sleep in this morning was in vain. I had totally forgotten about the boys coming in this morning to clear out the crawlspace. They arrived at 8 a.m. I'm not sure how big the area is but from where I am sitting right now (propped up in bed, watching a movie -- thank goodness for wireless internet!) it seems like there is a tonne of crap down there. They haven't stopped since they got here. So far I have seen rolls of carpet, chunks of drywall and lots of wood. Mark popped in (with a coffee for me, isn't he lovely?!!) to report that there is a light at the end of the tunnel but that the driveway is covered. It's looking like we're going to have to hire a haulage company to take it away. Mark's planning to call our real estate agent about it. I have a feeling that the lady we bought the house from had no idea that this stuff was down there. Most likely, her ex-husband and kids just used it as a dumping ground. The carpet was pretty damp so hopefully, now that it's gone, the musty basement smell will dissipate a bit.

Last night, I so wanted to soak in our new whirlpool tub but I knew that I didn't have the strength to get in or out of it. Sad huh?? At one point earlier this morning, in mid-sentence, talking to Mark, I started to cry. I know that I'm way overtired. Sad huh?? I guess once we had that cheque in our hands, all the adrenaline that had been keeping me going for the past week, just disappeared and I crashed. I'm planning on getting back into that tub and having a soak this morning. I know that tomorrow I'll feel much better, rested and healthier. Right now though, I'm quite enjoying being a blob, laying in bed and sipping coffee. I figure I've earned it!

Friday, May 27, 2005


It's done and dusted. The sale of our old house is now closed, we have a certified cheque in our hands for proceeds of the sale (what was left over after everyone else got their share). We're both exhausted but now, absolutely everything that we own is in our new house. It might be in boxes but it's here!!

I went over to the old place after I dropped Mark off this morning. By 6:15 a.m., I was back here and we were done with it. I feel good about the fact that we left the house in much better shape than we found it in 5 years ago. Tonight, after dinner, Mark and I drove by on our way home and noticed that they have landscapers there, cutting down trees and stuff.

This afternoon, after the contractors cleared out, I went and picked up my friend Tammy and brought her over to see the house. I hadn't seen her in a while (even though we talk on the phone regularly and she lives only a couple of blocks away) so we had a great visit. As it happens, her sister Holly has just bought a house on the next street over from here. I'm so happy for her. It's a lovely looking house on a super quiet street and it backs onto the school yard. Talk about perfect!!

The dishwasher is now hooked up and our new ceiling fan has been installed in the kitchen. Pat was able to install our new fixtures in the foyer and the hallway but he couldn't put the ceiling fan up in the living room. Turns out, there had been an electrical fire in the box at some point. Not only that, they have made the box into a junction box and some of the wiring looks like it's original from the 1950's. We're expecting an electrician to see us at the beginning of the week to sort it out. There's always something isn't there??

For example, yesterday afternoon, Pat was working on the plumbing for the new faucets and dishwasher and was having a really tough time with it. Turns out, some of the plumbing was really crappy plastic. He was getting increasingly frustrated by it so I had him put in copper pipes. It was $30 well spent. For one thing, we know now that it's good stuff and Pat didn't kill himself trying to work with bad stuff all afternoon.

The toilet was another thing. Yikes. The bathroom that Joe will be using is directly across the hall from his room. It's a really nice, black and white tile bathroom. One of the things we thought was kind of cool was the black toilet. When we got into the house, I noticed that the tank was running and Mark saw that the seat was broken. No problem, we can fix that, right?? Wrong!!! We picked up a black seat and had Pat take a look at the tank. This toilet was some kind of low set, low-flow, fancy schmancy thing. It was also a counterfeit. Instead of being an "american standard" it was just a "standard" toilet. According to the guys at the fancy plumbing store, it may have fallen off of the back of a lorry. Nice huh?? For $100, Pat got a brand new, standard toilet. We put the black seat on it and it looks and works great. Ahh, the joys of a new house huh??

Anyway, I should run along. I am so pooped that I can barely see straight and I have to check my laundry. Yeah, that's right, Mark got my washer and dryer hooked up today (yay!!). Who knew that washing clothes could make me so happy huh?? Trust me, it won't last!!

Thursday, May 26, 2005

this is what sleep deprivation feels like

Have you ever been so tired that brain feels, um...fizzy I guess is a good way to describe it. Almost like your brain is functioning outside of your skull. It's an odd sensation. The body is tired yet it keep working. Funny huh?? Going to bed after 12 and getting up at 4 will do that for you.

Today was busy again. I spent my morning trying to keep out of the way of the contractors and waiting for the cable guy. I amused myself by unpacking our clothes. I have pretty much located everything now. I even have an idea of where my yet-to-be-dragged-out summer clothes are. I'll worry about those later on, right now I'm just happy to have our bedroom looking a little more organized and not quite so dangerous. The boxes create an interesting "mine field" as you try to get to the loo in the middle of the night!!

After the cable guy left, I went over to the old place. It took me about an hour or so to empty the upstairs and scrub the bathroom. I vacuumed too, as best as I could. My vacuum started acting up (of course) but at least it's something. Lucky for them, the upstairs was just painted so everything is fresh and clean. I hauled everything into the kitchen and spent an hour or so trying to get everything organized in there.

When Mark finished work, he helped me bring all of the kitchen / bathroom stuff we had left behind, over here. It took a couple of trips in the car but it's all done. Tomorrow morning, my plan is to go over there after I drop him off and do a final clean. I want to scrub out the fridge and clean up the counters and floor in the kitchen. I definitely don't want them to have to deal with the same kind of mess I have encountered here.

Have I mentioned how filthy everything here was? As I mentioned before, I had no idea that they smoked. All of the white trim on the closet doors (they are mirrored with aluminum trim) was yellow, the washrooms were filthy and the inside of the kitchen cabinets are disgusting. Because the contractors have been here, I haven't been able to do much cleaning. I am afraid to look into some of the cabinets, it's that bad. Also, our contractor mentioned that there is a fair amount of "stuff" in the crawl space (under our bedroom and kitchen -- where the addition is). We have booked two of Pat's labourers for Saturday, to help clear that out and to move some boxes down to the basement for us.

Joe's settling in. He seems happy to not have to go up and down the stairs anymore. He's also enjoying his new toilet. I don't think I have shared the saga of the new toilet. I'll write about it later, right now I'm ready to hit the shower.

'night all!!

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

moving day

We were up before the birds this morning and I don't know if we'll be getting to sleep anytime soon. What a day it's been, a lot has been accomplished but now, there is so much left to do!

One of the first things we discovered this morning was that our phone number wouldn't be changing. A couple of weeks ago, when we went in to phone center to see about reconnecting our service, they told us that they couldn't guarantee that we'd have the same number. Apparently, you could be moving across the street and they can't guarantee it. Mark got kind of upset at the time but I looked at the rep and asked, "you have to say that, right?" She looked back at me without commenting but had a big huge honking grin on her face. I know that Joe was going through himself with worry about it. Honestly, if it weren't for him, we would have probably not bothered with a land line because we're pretty much using our cell phones all the time now anyway.

Another discovery we made today was that the cable service was never disconnected at the new house. Mark plugged in the digital cable box in his dad's room and voila, upper channels, no problem. Funny thing is, they must have had basic cable because some of the lower (i.e. "variety pack") channels aren't coming in but we're getting upper channels that we hadn't subscribed to (shhhhh ....don't tell anyway). Of course, that may change once the guy from the cable company arrives to "officially" hook us up but for now, at least Joe will be able to watch his beloved "Game Show Network."

The move itself went really smoothly. Of course, as you know, Mark and I moved all the weird/fragile stuff so the movers were left to schlep the heavy stuff (books and records mostly) from our storage locker and then get the furniture from the house. I met them at the locker at 8 a.m. and they were at our house before 9:30 a.m., not bad huh?? The whole move was over by 12:30 p.m. We used this particular moving company the last time we moved and I like that they are local. Today though, well let's just say that their attitude left a little to be desired. The guy driving the truck, who was generally "in charge" of the whole production, was a young lad named Henry. He was sweet as can be when they arrived at the locker, very polite and friendly. As I drove back to the house, I was pretty impressed with him. Once they arrived at the house though, his tone changed a bit. When I had booked them, I also booked those big wardrobe boxes for our clothes. When I asked him for the boxes, he muttered (loudly), "fuck!" and informed me that I "should have mentioned it to them before" because they had put all of our boxes in front of them on the truck. I informed him that it was on the contract and thought to myself "uh, duh, who taught you how to pack a truck, loser." They were able to fish one box out but I had enough stuff for at least three boxes -- hello, we're talking THREE closets here. In any event, they unloaded the truck at the new place by 12:15 p.m. Henry graciously agreed to go back to the house and help me fill the rest of the wardrobe boxes and explained that he wouldn't add the extra mileage or time to my bill. How nice huh??

Around the time I got back to the house and was paying the boys, the phone started ringing. It was the appliance company, my dishwasher was going to be arriving momentarily. I couldn't believe it, it had only taken a day for the back ordered dishwasher to arrive. A bit of panic set in though, DeeDee and Ryan were still painting our bedroom so our bedroom furniture was in the middle of the kitchen and I wasn't sure if there would be room in there for the dishwasher too. Fortunately, they were able to squeeze it in and I think it's going to be hooked up tomorrow (or Friday).

Mark was able to get off work early this afternoon so we scrambled to get Joe's room ready. We actually got his bed set up, his furniture arranged and all of his clothes unpacked. I even managed to put out his photos (they aren't on the walls yet -- afterall, they just finished putting the second coat on his room this morning at 6:30 a.m.). We picked him up at my mum & dad's this evening, around 8 p.m. or so. He literally fell into bed. He had seen the house briefly on Saturday morning and wasn't particularly interested in touring the place when he got home. He was pretty impressed at how his room was all set up. I think he thinks that the whole house is as organized Boy, he's in for a surprise in the morning!

Before we went to get Joe, we moved all of the perishable food over here from the old house. Tomorrow, I'll have to finish packing up the kitchen and bathroom and do a little bit of cleaning at the old place. I don't imagine that it will take me too long to do, I hope not anyway. Mark is going to hook my washer and dryer up tomorrow too so I'll be able to do laundry again too. It's slowly coming together. I'm just so relieved to be here. If nothing else, at this moment in time, we have clean sheets on the bed, clean towels in the bathroom and socks and underwear for tomorrow. Sometimes you just have to be really happy to have the bare necessities of life, huh??

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

our last night

This is the last night that we'll spend in this house. Note that I no longer call it home. It actually hasn't been home for a while. Once we moved back in, after the renovations were finished, it felt more like a hotel than a home. A hotel is actually more "homey" than our place though, we haven't had any pictures on the walls, or books or cd's out for almost two months now.

Our new place is looking terrific. The paint is done in the living room. They will be doing some touch-ups tomorrow and installing our new light fixtures. I can't get over how well the colour turned out. Last night, we discovered that we could remove the wooden inserts from our living room window. I accidentally pulled them out of the window in Joe's room last night while I was closing it. The frame thing seemed lose so I yanked. It popped right out. This encouraged me because both Mark and I hated the stupid things. They seem to block out a lot of light. When I removed them from the living room windows, it made an immediate difference. It looked like a different room and the appearance of the outside of the house was changed too.

The painting in the kitchen is also done. We're having a new ceiling fan installed but haven't chosen an over the sink fixture yet. We'll probably find something at IKEA on our next trip to Ottawa. We decided to paint the kitchen high gloss white, just stark white. The flooring and tile back-splash in this kitchen is black so the white looks great by contrast. Our new fridge and stove arrived today. They look so good. Our dishwasher is back-ordered. Apparently it was damaged in shipping. Hopefully it'll come in next week.

Tomorrow morning, our bedroom will get painted and Joe's room will get a second coat. The house looks so much brighter and cleaner than it did when we took possession on Friday. I had no idea that the lady who owned the house was a smoker. Once we got in and saw how yellow everything was, we realized that we had to more painting than we had originally anticipated. We're so lucky that our contractor was available to do it. I know that he hadn't planned on doing everything that we ended up asking him to do and he's been a wonderful sport about working through the whole long weekend.

Right now, Mark's painting our bathtub and I've just finished emptying out our pantry downstairs. I am not expecting that we'll get much sleep tonight but I don't care. I'm just looking forward to sleeping in our new home, tomorrow night!!

Monday, May 23, 2005

happy victoria day!

I hope that you had a nice one. During the first long weekend of the summer, us Canucks are supposed to put our feet up, drink a few beers, open the cottage and generally enjoy the arrival of nicer weather. This weekend has been anything but restful and I'm not complaining a bit.

At the moment, Mark and I are both pretty sore and tired. Yesterday, we rented a cargo van and moved all of the shed stuff, the loosely packed things, anything remotely fragile or strangely shaped. Today, we continued moving stuff and right now, the computer room is completely empty and Joe's room is almost packed up.

Tonight, we took Joe to my parent's place for two days. They have very graciously agreed to host him while we move. At 80 years of age, moving is pretty disruptive and I have no idea what we would have done with him in the middle of all of this chaos, had they not helped us out. I don't know that they will ever truly understand how grateful we are and how much this has helped us out but trust me, it has, big time.

The painting in the house is coming along nicely. It's looking just terrific and I'm really impressed with how much Pat's been able to get done in just two days. Yesterday, he had a couple of young lads helping him out with the priming, plastering and sanding. Today, he had a painter friend with him and the two of them were able to accomplish a lot.

Tomorrow, I want to get Joe's room totally done and finish packing up our bedroom. Most likely, the computer will be disconnected when I get up from this chair. I'm not sure how much time I'll have to write over the next few days but I will have my laptop with me so I should be able to take notes at least, even if I don't have a network connection.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Sunday update

Picking the paint colours was easier than I imagined it would be. Mark and I had already sort of figured out what we wanted in the living room and Joe had a definite colour in mind for his room (a really nice light blue). The colour we chose for our living room / hallway is called "Distant Mountain" and it's a beige tone. The kitchen, master bath and all of the trim and molding (and doors) will be painted with high gloss white. Today the ceilings were painted and some of the priming started.

Because the carpet in our bedroom is hunter green, we've chosen a colour called "Canterbury Green" for the walls. With all of the white trim and molding, it should look really nice. I'm really impressed with all of the windows in this house. They are huge and we get a fabulous breeze blowing through the place, all the time. Even though it has central air, we may not have to run it much except for when it's really muggy.

Yesterday, we spent a small fortune at Rona. We needed new toilet seats for each bathroom, a new hood for the stove (a really sweet looking black one -- it's 220 cfm and so quiet!). We splurged out and picked up new faucets for both washrooms and for the kitchen. All of the taps were in pretty crappy shape and we really love this one particular style (we had put the same style into our old bathroom last summer) so we got the same thing for each bathroom. The kitchen sink had, at one time, one of those little salad sprayer things but it wasn't connected. We picked up a really nice faucet, with a high neck on the tap, with a salad sprayer. When Pat, our contractor, is doing the plumbing hook-up for our new dishwasher, he will install that as well. It's going to look really good when they are in!! We also picked up two ceiling fans (to replace the ones in the living room and the kitchen) and two new fixtures (for the front foyer and the hallway between the living room and the kitchen). They are a brushed chrome and should look very nice. I picked up a similar style sconce for my office as the fixture in there was an old bathroom light (not nice!).

fish story

I'm not sure if I mentioned this when we first viewed the house but, there was a small tank with some goldfish in it at the time. Mark loves fish and had a tank when he lived in Toronto. He was immediately drawn to the fish because the tank was filthy and the five goldfish seemed to be really unhappy. When we went back for our final walk-through on Thursday, the fish were still there. The lady who owned the house asked Mark if he'd like the fish (if her son's ended up not moving them). We said yes and, when we got in Friday, they were there. Of course, the filter was not working and the tank was still murky. Friday night, we went to the pet store and picked up a new filter, some new gravel, an air pump and a bunch of other stuff that I don't really understand (cuz I'm new to all of this fish stuff).

Yesterday, when we were out doing errands, we picked up two little catfish (apparently they like to eat the crap in the tank so they will be well fed for a while anyway). The tank is really clearing up and the fish seem happy. They say that fish are lucky and it seems like they are bringing us lots of good luck so far. I've been taking some pictures of the house, and of the fish, with my camera phone. I'm not sure where my big digital is at the moment so the quality isn't fabulous but it does give a good idea of what the place looks like. Just click on the flickr button over yonder to check them out.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

we're in!!

Boy, I cannot get the smile off of my face!!

Now that we have seen the house totally empty (more or less)we can see how big it actually is. When we originally viewed it, and even Thursday night, there was so much crap everywhere that it was hard to get a sense of size in some of the rooms, particularly in the basement and in what will be my office. The basement and my laundry room are much larger than we had realized originally. We're going to have lots of room. Mark will basically take over the basement and do whatever he wants down there (he's picked out a workshop / computer room / office for himself and has designated another room the "rock room"). I'll be painting my laundry room and we'll have a gym area in the rec room. After living in a house which was built on a concrete slab, it's nice to have so much storage. We're determined to not let it turn into a dumping ground though. We want to organize the storage and make the most of it. This will allow us to keep the upstairs uncluttered and easier to clean (theoretically anyway).

Our meeting with our contractor went really well. Initially, we thought that we'd have them paint the kitchen and do the plumbing and electrical hook-ups for our new appliances. We talked it over with him though and he's going to bring a crew in to paint the rest of the house. They will prime the one bedroom (what will eventually be a guest room), paint Joe's room, our bedroom and bathroom, the living room, the ceiling in my office, and (of course) the kitchen. Today I have to pick colours and we have a tonne of errands to do but it's all good.

Also, today is Joe's 80th birthday. Can you believe it!!?? He didn't want much of a fuss so we're going to do a barbecue/dinner with my parents tonight. His twin is celebrating in Toronto with his family. It would have been nice to get them together but with the move and everything, it just didn't work out that way.

Anyway, I better hop in the shower so we can hit the stores. Yay, yay, yay!! I am sooooo happy right now!!

Friday, May 20, 2005

walk through

Last night, on the great advice our lawyer, we took a final "walk through" our new house. When we saw him on Wednesday, he suggested that we do it, just to make sure that there weren't big holes in the walls or any weird stuff going on. Afterall, if you need to get stuff fixed or whatever, it's easier to get them to do it before you hand over the cash. It was a good idea, as we expected, there were no problems with the house and we got to meet the lady who was selling it.

I was a little saddened to hear that she had been there for 25 years and was only selling it because she lost it in a bitter divorce. She was really nice and was obviously very house-proud so it couldn't have been easy for her. I know the place that she's moved to and it's a very nice apartment complex so that's something. At least she doesn't have a nasty sounding ex-husband bugging her ass anymore.

It makes the whole thing a little bittersweet. This has been such a great deal for us. I mean, we're getting a house that is about twice the size of the one we're in now, with many features that we are thrilled about and we're in a much better financial position now than we were two months ago. I'm still a little bit in shock about how much equity we had built up in our place in just four years.

On that note, Mark just called, he's on his way to pick me up. He has the keys to our new house and we're heading straight there. I'm SOOOOOOOOOOOOO excited!!

Happy Victoria Day weekend kiddies!!

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

cold hands

No matter what I do today, I cannot keep my hands warm. It's kind of strange and a little annoying. It's hard to work when I have to keep stopping what I'm doing to thaw my hands out.

In a little while, Mark and I will be heading to the lawyers to, hopefully, sign off on all the paperwork on our deal. In about 48 hours, the new house will be ours. I'm nervous and really excited. Friday can't get here soon enough!!

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

how do you like it?

I'm not embarrassed to admit that for me, reading the real estate listings is really enjoyable. I joke that my favourite porn site is www.mls.ca. Even though we have just sold our house and are moving in a few days into our new place, I still can't stop looking at it. It's a sickness but it feels really good. I noticed today that they have added a new feature to my favourite site. Finally, they are providing the street address for houses on the site. Previously, you'd have to try to figure it out on your own. This makes browsing sooo much better.

I noticed when I was on the site earlier this morning that one of the houses we looked at on March 19 is still for sale. I know that this is not very nice but I kind of smiled when I noticed that they had dropped the price a whole $20K. The house has a LOVELY kitchen / sun room but the bathroom was literally disintegrating. Parts of the house were gorgeous and others, hideous. Mark and I decided, when we'd seen it, that the woman who owned the house was really into decorating but not so into actual maintenance. I'm still amazed at how little some folks do to sell their houses.

Our place took just over 2 weeks to sell (and that included a week of waiting around for an offer to play out) because we took the advice of all of those "how to sell your house" shows. It might seem extreme to completely empty your home of anything remotely personal but trust me, it works. If people can see your house and not your possessions, it makes a huge impression. Too many times, we were so busy trying to see past all the crap that folks left laying around, we couldn't tell what the house actually looked like.

Yesterday, Mark was chatting with a guy he works with, who is going to be one of our new neighbours. He gave Mark the skinny on the house because his wife is friends with the lady we've bought from. It was all very good news. Turns out that everything we suspected to be recently done, was recently done. Her partner is a handy man and is a maintenance guy for an appliance company. This explains all of the extra built-in features that the house has.

We're getting really excited about Friday. We're waiting to hear from the lawyer about signing off on things. I know I'm stressing about it a fair bit because I had some really whacked out dreams last night and I have gigantic butterflies in my stomach right now. I'll be fine once everything is signed. Until then, I'll try really hard to not puke. At least not while I'm at the office anyway!!

Monday, May 16, 2005

home stretch

So on Friday, we finalized all of the stuff we needed to do at the bank. Our bank manager is terrific and we're really happy with the way everything has worked out. We have ended up with an interest rate that is about 1/2 of the rate we had on our current mortgage.

This morning, Mark was dropping off the mortgage stuff to our lawyer. All we have left to do is pop in there at some point and sign off on their paperwork and we should have the keys on Friday afternoon sometime.

By this time next week, hopefully, our kitchen will have been modified to fit our new appliances and I should have the painting well under way. Hopefully, with a little luck and a lot of organization, things won't fall colossally to shit next week!

Friday, May 13, 2005

they say it's your birthday...

it's MY birthday too, yeah, it is, really!

I have had a great birthday so far. We slept in, very late, I took the day off from work (hence the sleeping in), watched a movie, went to the casino (came out .25 up from what I went in with and played my favourite machine for the best part of an hour), had a great dinner out with Joe. It won't be a late night tonight because we are still doing a lot of running around and stuff for the move but the whole weekend should be pretty low key.

We definitely need to recharge our batteries after the past few weeks. Anyway, hope you all have a terrific weekend, bye for now!!

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

lotsa lists

At times like this, I'm so glad that I am a list-maker. This is actually a valuable skill to possess when you're moving. There are so many things to do and remember, it can be a little overwhelming.

Last night, the rep from the moving company was at the house to give us a quote on the job. I'm budgeting more than what he quoted us but hopefully, I'll be wrong and he'll be right and I'll have saved $400.

Because the moving company is located very close to the place our stuff is being stored, I will meet the movers at the locker on the morning of the move. They'll load the truck with the boxes from there and then head over to our house to collect the rest of it. If all goes well, the move should be completed by mid-afternoon. It's almost hard to believe that we get our new house next Friday. In 10 days. yikes!

Our handyman is going to stop by on the day we take possession. We had hoped that he'd be able to do some work in our kitchen during the first couple of weeks we were there but it's looking like they will be there that first weekend, which is terrific news. Over the weekend, we went out and bought new appliances for our kitchen. We purchased this stove, this fridge and a Bosch dishwasher, all in black. We spent way more than I thought we would but we got all of the features that we wanted. Primarily, my hunny, who is a chef and does the vast majority of our cooking, wanted a gas stove. The house we're moving into doesn't have gas currently so we'll have to have the city bring it to the house before we can hook it up. Because the fridge we purchased is bigger than the "standard" sized one that is currently there, some cabinets in the kitchen will need to be moved. Also, some tiles will have be replaced at that time. He's going to do the tile, move the cabinets, do the plumbing for the fridge and dishwasher and paint the kitchen. It'll be so nice to get it done right away. A friend and I will be painting the living room, Joe's room and possibly, one of the extra bedrooms.

I'm so happy that we have an opportunity to get in and do some of these projects before we move in. I know from previous experience that if we don't do it right away, it gets too easy to just put it off. We really don't want to do this in the new place. Our first house taught us a lot. We're definitely approaching things differently this time out and I have a feeling that we'll be in this house for a while.

Tonight, we have to go get our utilities sorted out and after that, all we have left to do is sign the mortgage and lawyers papers. With any kind of luck, we'll have all of that done by this weekend and we'll have an entire week to pack up the rest of our stuff (which will never take a whole week). It's going well so far, I can't believe it!!

ps what in the hell was Renee thinking?? Honestly, this is more bizarre to me than when Lisa Marie Presley married Michael Jackson.

Monday, May 09, 2005

I'm it!!

I've been tagged by Trish.

What follows is a list of different occupations. Select at least five of them. Add more to the list if you like, and then pass it on.

Of the five you selected, you are to finish each phrase with what you would do as a member of that profession. Then pass it on to three other bloggers.

If I could be a scientist I'd try to find a cure for Alzheimer's Disease.

If I could be a farmer...

If I could be a musician I'd play guitar and write intelligent pop songs like the ones written by Billy Bragg, Belle & Sebastian, Darren Hayman or Kirsty MacColl.

If I could be a doctor...
If I could be a painter...
If I could be a gardener...
If I could be a missionary...
If I could be a chef...

If I could be an architect I'd design green buildings which are constructed of recycled materials.

If I could be a linguist...
If I could be a psychologist...
If I could be a librarian...
If I could be an athlete...
If I could be a lawyer...

If I could be an innkeeper I'd run a really funky bed & breakfast. I'd look after the business end of it and Mark would do the cooking (this is actually something we've thought seriously about doing).

If I could be a professor...
If I could be a writer...
If I could be a backup dancer...
If I could be a llama-rider...
If I could be a bonnie pirate...
If I could be a midget stripper...
If I could be a proctologist...
If I could be a TV-Chat Show host...
If I could be an actor...
If I could be a judge...
If I could be a Jedi...
If I could be a mob boss...
If I could be a personal trainer...

If I could be a stand-up comedian, I'd been razor sharp and honest about the evil that exists in the world, like the late, great Bill Hicks

If I could be an artist...

I'm tagging Brad, Loretta and Alison.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

to all the mum's...

Happy Mother's Day!!

If you haven't done so already, go hug your mum!!

Friday, May 06, 2005

billy bragg and the telephone

I've been listening to Billy Bragg for a long time now. Probably the best part of 20 years or so. Just recently, I've listened to him in a very concentrated manner and have been thoroughly enjoying it. That's not really newsy or important, I just thought I'd share. In particular, I've been listening to (re-listening to over and over and over again because I'm funny that way) the song "Another Kind of Judy." I have no idea what it is about that song but I can't stop listening to it. There you go!

Last night, I got an early birthday present: a new phone!! Mine is almost 4 years old now. Mark and I got them at the same time. He had his upgraded in November but at that time, mine was working fine and I didn't think I needed a new one. Just recently though, it's been acting funny and has been less and less reliable. We had to go to Bell to change our home service last night so I decided to upgrade while we were there. I got this phone. It takes pictures and videos and it's teeny and tiny. I have to admit that I love it, as much as one can love a phone anyway. As soon as I figure out how to email the pictures to my flickr account, expect to see lots of phone shots showing up there. Honestly, I didn't need all the features that it has but they are a lot of fun to play with!

Thursday, May 05, 2005


Boy, seeing the sun shine again just feels good, doesn't it? If it's not shining where you are, I'm sorry to hear that. It's been cloudy and yucky here for days now so the sun feels good.

I should probably start thinking about packing up the rest of our stuff but I can't seem to get too motivated yet. I know that it won't actually take me long to do it and it's hard to have boxes piled up everywhere for too long, with Joe in the house. He's pretty frail and shaky at the best of times, never mind when the living room has turned into a maze of boxes! We may go on a box hunt this weekend. I'm so glad that most of our stuff is already packed and tucked away in the storage locker.

It feels really strange at home right now. The house no longer feels like home. Honestly, it hasn't felt like home in a month or so but now that we only have about 2 weeks left in the house, it really doesn't feel like it's ours. We're anxious to get moving and start working on the new place. I am also looking forward to having access to my CD's again. I can't count how many times, since we've packed them up, I have wanted one or another CD and had to remind myself that they aren't there. It's a weird feeling.

One thing that made me smile today: Much to my surprise, my income tax refund is in my bank account. I just checked it. That was fast. We filed very late (April 24) so I wasn't expecting it that quickly. E-filing is good!

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

sad news

This morning I heard about Hasil Adkin's death. My brother introduced me to Hasil's music many years ago. I never saw Hasil live. Years ago, a friend showed me a video from his appearance at Sleazefest in 1994. His performance, like his music, was raw and wild. His absence will be felt by many.

Rest in peace Hasil.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

rollin' rollin' rollin' **

Things are rolling right along with the house. It's official, it's SOLD!! We signed the paperwork last night. What a great feeling.

We had accepted two conditional offers on our place. The first one expired at 6 p.m. last night, the second was set to expire at 7 p.m. At 2 p.m. yesterday, Mark called to tell me that the first offer had fallen through. This was good news to us. As nice as the first couple seemed, their offer was $5K less than the second offer. We actually ended up making more than our asking price. It's so weird. I never thought that we'd be in this position but I'm really happy that we are.

Almost everything is sorted out as far as the move goes. Since our meeting with the real estate agent yesterday afternoon, I've sorted our insurance, the movers, the cable and sent some stuff off to our bank. All that is left is arranging for the phone and utilities to move and to double check that everything is going well with our lawyer. Fortunately, most of the house is already packed up so the rest of it will be easy peasy.

What a long couple of weeks it's been. I don't know how folks cope with this kind of stuff for months and months.

In other news, I found a $5 bill in our yard this morning as we left for work. Also, we saw the Hitchhikers movie on Sunday. As a movie, I enjoyed it. Aspects of it were very loyal to the book. Other parts of it, not so much, in my opinion anyway. Overall, I thought it was good but I don't think that it will inspire folks to run to the books.

** Mark's a happy boy. They have started showing Rawhide on the Lonestar channel. He loved the show when he was a little boy. I don't think it holds up at all but he's been enjoying the bits he's seen recently.