Wednesday, February 27, 2008

On the bright side, at least I didn't get a speeding ticket.

As all the snow melts from the yards, a large lake forms at the end of our street. Apparently Volkswagens are not amphibious, and driving through such a lake will remove the skid plate from the underside.

Yesterday, I left last minute for my appointment with Mental Health. This is an appointment we have been waiting to get in to for 4 months, so something as silly as dragging a piece of metal through the streets was not going to stop me from attending it.

I did discover that if I drove exactly 58 km per hour the force was perfect to keep the metal plate elevated in the wind, preventing the horrendous dragging noise that was causing everyone to stare at me. Driving any faster than that created gusts that caused the plate to flap, producing a sort of "whomp, drag, silence, whomp, drag silence." This was even more disturbing than the constant dragging noise when I drove 56km or slower.

It was quite an experience taking the corners through the residential streets and into the parking lot behind the hospital at 58km per hour. I was frazzled and just glad to have arrived intact and on time for my appointment which lasted nearly 2 hours. The last thing on my mind as I walked away from my car towards the door was the fact that Impark rules all the public parking lots in this town. I now owe them $31.80. That sucks.

Friday, February 22, 2008

When black and white fades to grey.

Fifteen years ago, when we built our new ensuite in our old house, I got 4 new towels to co-ordinate with the room - black and white stripes. They were not too large and not too thick. Both Alb and I loved them and they are the first ones we grab when we shower. I'll even dig to the bottom of the stack for one.

Two of the four have disappeared and both the black and the white have faded to different shades of grey. There are bleached out spots and threadbare holes. There are blue splotches from God-knows-what. After toweling off, you have to put on flannel pjs or a terry bathrobe to soak up the remains of water that the towels can no longer absorb, but they are still our favourites.

When gathering things to create rags out of to clean the shack we just purchased, I cut up and replaced most of Albert's t-shirts and held the precious towels in my hands for a fleeting moment... but no. I just couldn't do it. I actually went to Costco and bought a bag of rags for 10 bucks and saved the towels.

This is what you'll find hanging on the towel bar in our bathroom:



Now, don't feel sorry for me, and run out and buy me new towels or anything. There are thick lush towels in the cupboard. It's just I don't like 'em the same. When people use our washroom, there is no fancy matching embroidered towels hanging neatly in a row to make you wonder if you are really allowed to wipe your hands on them.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Looking for life's mute button.


I have an easy access mute button on my keyboard. I love it. Wouldn't it be great if life had a mute button. I hate noise.

Once in a while someone will ask the proverbial and hypothetical question, "If you had to lose one of your senses which one would you give up?" Is this even a question? I'd far and away give up my hearing before anything else.

I have a great stereo in my car. It's pretty much a waste. Yesterday I thought I'd live dangerously and powered on the CD. Heather Clarke came on. What the??? Heather is forbidden in my car. How did she get in there? I had to rack my brain to remember when the CDs were last changed. Ah, yes. Jed did them for Aunty Val. Just before she used the car for a couple of weeks while we went across Canada. Yes, this is February 2008 the the same Cd has been in my car since July 2007 and I didn't realize it. Sad really.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

I love you. But don't touch me.



Today people all over the world are celebrating love day. In our house it's drug day. Everyone is sick and hacking and sweating and chilling. No one wants flowers or candy. We have no functioning senses to enjoy them.

We want drugs. Lots of drugs. Off I trudged to the pharmacy early this morning to get a nice little gift basket for my love: He got sprays, pills, creams, syrups, drops... something to fill every orifice. The only exchange of bodily fluids will be whatever manages to spray all over each other when we sneeze. Ah, love.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

It smells like pee and looks like poo.

I have creative vision. This fairly regularly causes my husband to shake his head and roll his eyes in bewilderment. But he likes being married and quite successfully lives by the code "Happy wife, happy life."

And so... we have bought an investment home.

The house has been for sale and sitting empty all winter. So yes, it smells stale and stagnant. Actually those terms are mild. It stinks. The carpets are so old and have so much dirt and filth I think they are actually decomposing. But if one holds their nose and squints just right, you can actually envision it with a nice wood floor.

There are plugs and switches that are just empty boxes with taped up wires poking out. I just happen to sleep with someone who has the technology to remedy that. The panel box has 100 amp service. Apparently that's a good thing.

The cabinets have mouse poop and they are dark and dirty. But solid. Probably expensive back in the day. They'll recover from their temporary lack of love and appreciation.

The bathroom is decent. Looks like it was remodeled in the last few years. The light fixture is hideous but that's a cheap fix.

All the windows are vinyl. There are good mini blinds on most of them. Not $10 Walmart style - more like $30 Sears ones. To the untrained eye, this is a non-issue. To those with vision, it's money in the bank.

The 15-year shingles are 26 years old. Long past their prime. Well actually long past their life. They are dead. I've had to promise the insurance company that on the first warm day they will be replaced. I have connections and this will cost only a few hundred dollars.

The seller accepted our low-ball offer after minimal haggling. I've allowed for $5k for a makeover. And all-in-all, even if we decide to get out and flip it, I don't think we'll lose money. But that's not the 10-year plan: Ken & Jade will make the mortgage payments for a few years until they can buy their own place. Then maybe Jed will be ready to live on his own. Then in a decade, with retirement looming, perhaps we'll flatten the shack and have a nice large flat lot on which to build a nice little retirement house on. And it's right here in the neighbourhood which we love... just 5 doors down from where we live now.

And... the house just this side of it seems empty and abandoned... my wheels are turning already....


You can't see the turquoise trim around the windows. It'll be gone on the first warm day.


Yeah, it's 70's. But Jade & I have a vision... sunflowers will work wonders.


You can see the creative wheels turning. (perhaps planning an escape)



Heck, it even comes with a redneck gun rack.


I think it was a beige carpet 30 years ago. You could plant a garden in it now.

Friday, February 1, 2008

What a total score!!

As you may or may not know, I am taking another watercolour class. And you may or may not also know that I like ebay, although I try to avoid it as much as possible so I stay out of bidding trouble.

But then every once in a while I get a total score which keeps me coming back for more.

I got 48 tubes of paint for $29 Canadian. Only 2 are duplicates. These little babies range in price from $5 to $11 each. Even when you factor in the $13 shipping it was $42. Forty-two bucks! That's like 90% savings. Woowhee! I saved so much I think I'll go buy something else.

Oh, and another thing ... in amongst the packing peanuts in the bottom of the box there was a brand new make up stick that covers up and helps fade age spots. I'm not quite sure what was up with that being in there but hey it's probably another $20 value.

The Ugly Parts are Part of the Beauty

One of the seasonal options with Art Class with a Wine Glass I love my job. I really do. I am an art facilitator. At least that is the ...