Saturday, May 31, 2008

Chaos reigns

Oh, the chaos! But it is almost over. We’ve had a bit of a week from hell, with chaos in my house, chaos at my office, and chaos in our poor exploding brains, but today is the wrap-up day, at least of the house stuff.

Yesterday the Got Junk truck came and took away many cubic yards of life detritus. That felt very, very good. Today our driveway was tarred or sealed or I don’t know what you call it. All I know is black stuff went on it and it looks very fine. We also have today our handyman Ziggy (that’s his real name, and I must say it does suit him) doing all the final bits and pieces of repairs here and there. Once he’s gone, I can get in and do a thorough clean (much easier to do when most of your belongings are either junked or in a storage locker!), and we’re ready to receive the buying hordes!

As of this time of writing, we have not yet appeared on the MLS website, but are assured it should be “any minute”. We are already featured on our realtor’s website, which I am not going to post here in case crazy people decide it would be great Saturday night entertainment to come deface our splendid new driveway, but if you are friend not foe, you can call or email and I’ll give you the link. The pictures do look fabulous!

The sign is to go up on our lawn tomorrow, and that’s a big psychological thing. That makes it very real indeed. Possibly a bit lump-in-throatish. I have lived in this house longer than any other in my life: nearly 20 years. It is where I raised my children from babies to adults. It has seen a huge and important segment of my life go by. We are leaving wonderful neighbours. However, we are only moving a couple of kilometers away, and it’s a great and exciting new beginning of the next phase of our lives.

But first, I must clean!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

The House Journey

Well, blog people, you've shared with me the frustrations, disappointments and ultimate joy of being a househunter. Now come with me as I travel on the journey of being a vendor!

The euphoria has worn off and reality has set in. Our house goes on the market next weekend and we are working harder than people our age (and condition!) should have to. We can contract out a lot of stuff, but no one but us can box up our life.

Every day we get up early. I spend the mornings cleaning out closets, cupboards, drawers, nooks, the basement, and boxing and bagging up stuff to go to the storage locker (or dump) so that when we show our house, it will seem as if we have no stuff and therefore people will be terribly impressed by the masses of room in this house. I then spend the afternoons and into the evenings doing my paid work.

SRH spends all day doing repairs, weeding the garden, pressure washing things, boxing stuff up, and working the phone to hire people to do what we can’t. This weekend we had a guy paint the inside of our garage so that it’s now so sparkly white you could be forgiven for believing it to be an alternate dining area. In the next few days we have a guy coming to resurface our cement stairs and sidewalk, a guy coming to repair two bathroom sinks, and a guy coming to do miscellaneous other handyman chores. SRH also spends a great deal of time and energy slinging ant poison about because it’s that time of year and the little buggers keep trying to come in and take over and make our house look infested and seedy.

Trying to pretend you’re something you’re not is exhausting!

I had to go out and buy a blow-up bed. We are currently only using two of our four upstairs bedrooms as bedrooms; one is my office and the other a TV den. We were told that at least three of them must appear to be bedrooms because apparently house-hunters are generally of such low IQ that if they don’t see a bed in the room, they will not be able to imagine it could be used for such a purpose. They will look at our large house and say sadly, “Oh, only two bedrooms! Such a pity! We’d have bought it if it had only had one more!” So the couch in the den is removed and replaced by a blow-up bed resting on a couple of large suitcases, all covered by a cheap bedspread. Pillows, a table, a lamp, and voila! Instant "bedroom".

It was suggested I buy a blow-up doll to put in the blow-up bed, perhaps sporting a blow-up cigarette and the Kama Sutra open on the bedside table, but I think not.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


Now, my blog people, I want you to hear the theme from 2001: A Space Odyssey in your head right now, please. (Otherwise known by its original name, Also Sprach Zarathustra.) If you don't know what I'm talking about, please go find it on YouTube and have it playing before you read further. Ready?


Saturday, May 17, 2008

24th of May??

So this is just a little thing, but does anyone else wonder why we're celebrating Victoria Day -- otherwise known as the 24th of May weekend because May 24 was Queen Victoria's actual birthday -- this weekend, when in fact next weekend is the 24th of May?

We are most confused...

Thursday, May 8, 2008

And blah blah blah

I am starting to feel itchy to blog again. I don’t have a topic yet, but I think things may be simmering in my feeble brain. Something might just bubble up to the surface soon -- or it might not; I don’t want to get anyone’s hopes up. I just have that feeling.

For now, maybe a simple update on the Grammar Family will suffice. After all, I started this with the idea that it was a forum to unabashedly talk about myself (without doing the icky public diary thing). I had no delusions of creative grandeur back then.

Let’s begin with SRH (not, as in a never-corrected earlier typo, SHR. I don’t know what that might stand for that would reflect that he’s mostly retired. Shy Husband Recluse? Suddenly He’s Resident?) Anyway, he’s very much enjoying his two days at work each week. It’s very gratifying for him as there is always much useful for him to do and clearly they would be very happy to have him come back three, four -- seven days a week. This, for any number of reasons, he won’t do, of course. Two days is good. With the better weather of late he’s been pottering about in the garden in very appropriate retired-chap fashion. He’s no horticulturist but he finds weeding a pleasant activity for an hour here and there.

The Lad has added DJing (as in clubs) to his list of professional activities. It suits him right down to the ground as he has never been averse to the position of centre of attention. He and his partner in this enterprise recently were the openers for some Grammy-winning personage at a big downtown venue. (I was told the Grammy person’s name but as it meant nothing to me, it stayed in my brain about three picoseconds.) They spun music and did their shtick for about an hour and a quarter for a large and exuberant audience. His sister, who attended with a posse of friends, tells me they were a huge hit and had the crowd in the palms of their hands. Certainly when I spoke the next day to The Lad, he was higher, figuratively speaking, than Cheech and Chong put together on any given day in the seventies.

VCCGirl has completed her first year of college with a 3.5 GPA, so we are extremely proud. She had a tough time, academically, in high school and it just goes to show what happens when you’re studying something that actually interests you. These are not Mickey Mouse courses she’s taking, either. A number of perfectly good universities accept VCC Hospitality grads directly into third-year Commerce programs, and they wouldn’t be doing that with a diploma of cartoon courses. She is currently taking a required math course she decided to drop last semester so as to better focus on it by itself, a plan I endorsed (for what that’s worth!) She is doing this while also working full-time, thanks to some understanding and flexible employers. I really admire the work ethic, but this girl has not had a vacation in over two years -- heck, she hasn’t had more than two consecutive days off in over two years, and most of the time, she does not have any complete days off at all, only hours here and there. One worries a little.

As for me, well, nothing changes, and I’m content with that. The other day one of my children half-jestingly accused me of being agoraphobic. I suggested that for one thing, I’d be unlikely to head out into the ocean on a cruise ship as regularly as I do if I were agoraphobic. For another thing, if I am agoraphobic, I’ve been so most of my life. But I’m not. It’s not a phobia that causes me to stay in my house as much as I do. It’s not even a neurosis. It’s a preference. It’s the lifestyle choice of a cocooner. I do choose to be inside over outside most of the time, but it doesn’t have to be my own house. I can be inside a mall just as happily. (Or a cruise ship!) And I do, in fact, regularly walk outdoors without the slightest tremor of nerves. Call me fuddy-duddy and boring if you must. Call me a hermit, a loner, a weirdo, even. But don’t be accusing me of some mental illness from which I do not suffer!

Jeez. Those kids can still push my buttons, can’t they?

Well, okay, so a lot of this ended up sounding like one of those Christmas letters everyone laughs at. Aren’t we great? Aren’t we fabulous?

Well, we are, you know.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Just Holding My Spot...

I am blogging today. I am not doing this because the muse has returned -- she hasn’t, at all -- but because I am afraid if I don’t, I’ll get booted off this website. I suspect one has to show a certain amount of activity.

So here I am, actively blogging.

We haven’t found a house. The new realtor is doing his thing and we have looked at a few, but nothing suits. I know we’re being very picky, but we just don’t want to end up in something we’re not happy with. But I’ll confess, I’m getting a little depressed. Going out to look at houses is no longer exciting but a big chore. I suppose one of these days we’ll finally just settle. But we’re not quite there yet.

VCCGirl is annoyed because this next house was supposed to be her turn at having a private space such as her brother has enjoyed in the current house for the past four or five years. Now it’s taken us so long that her time to benefit from such a perk would be short. She will graduate with her diploma a year from now and plans to blow the parental popsicle stand the minute she’s working full-time.

I’m annoyed because we would have done all kinds of renos to this house if we’d known we’d be here this long. But we can’t start a renovation when the house of our dreams might suddenly appear the minute we gutted the kitchen. It’s very frustrating.

The Lad is delighted because he’s out of here this summer without ever having to leave his lovely space in our basement for a little room down the hall from his parents in a smaller house, as he had feared.

Anyway, BOR-ING. (And quite poorly written.) But keeping Grammar’s blogspot in place until the muse returns from sabbatical.