Sunday, July 29, 2012


This house was built in 1959.  I believe, I'm the third owner. 

Right now, there are three steps in the kitchen, then a little landing, then you walk into the porch, which is where the rest of the stairs to the basement are.

The porch was added by the second owners. From what I've heard, the stairs to the basement originally started in the kitchen, basically attached to the three stairs that are there now.  Moving the steps allowed for a bigger dining room.

That's great. But, when the porch was added on, they didn't allow any space for stuff - jackets, boots, shoes, gardening supplies, etc  All the porch is is two doors and a set of stairs. 

Looking from the kitchen into the porch
Not long after I moved in, I added 4 hooks on the wall to the left of the outside door,and a picture with 4 hooks on the wall to the right of the door. Back at the beginning of July, I took down the picture and replaced it with 7 hooks:

This weekend, I put up some IKEA kitchen rods and organizers:
Note the optimistic cycling supplies, in case I want to go for a bike ride on a moment's notice
It's still not great, but it's a little better than it used to be.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Most Sensational, Inspirational, Celebrational ...

Last Tuesday (the day we caught the mouse), my mom and my niece arrived for a visit. We had a really good, surprisingly Muppet-filled week.

Tuesday night, I brought my niece to my boxing class so she could see what it was like. She fell asleep in the car.

Both ways.

Wednesday, we took it easy, although we did make a trip to IKEA. My niece B bought a mouse stuffed animal, then promptly left it on the table. I put it in a mouse trap.

Thursday was Calypso. My mom hurt her knee a month ago, so we rented a chalet so she'd have somewhere to rest out of the sun.  It was a really good day, and I got less sunburnt than last year.

Friday we again took it easy ... until Friday night, when my niece and I went to see The Muppets at Westboro beach.  It didn't start until after 9, so that was a very late night.

Naturally, that meant that we went to the Bonnechere Caves on Saturday.

In the caves

 The caves were interesting - they did a talk about fossils and how the cave was discovered, and then we got to visit the caves.  At other caves I've been to, they ask that you not touch anything, but here they encouraged us to touch the walls. 

B and her favourite auntie (Wanda)

 On Sunday, Wanda and B went for pedicures, then we all went downtwon and walked around the market.

Aren't these cool glasses?
Monday was another easy day - we went to Bayshore for an hour or two, then went to Britannia Beach until we got kicked out of the water due to thunder.

We then stopped at the grocery store, and the power went out.

Yes, we had a storm on Monday. 

While they were here, I tricked my niece into doing three Brownie badges. She doesn't mind doing the things you need to do to earn a badge, but she doesn't want to work on a badge because it's summer.

("What? This was for a badge? I can't believe I fell for that.")

I also made her cook several meals and help replace the towel bars in the downstairs bathroom. This earned me the title of her laziest auntie, because I make her do everything. (Wanda is her favourite.)

Somewhere in there, we also watched all but one episode of the Muppet Show, season 1.

It was a good visit.

Even if I'm not her favourite auntie.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

So You Think You Might Have a Mouse in Your House

Let's say one day you come across a crust of bread (formerly sitting on the toaster to dry) that has been gnawed upon. You're pretty sure you haven't gnawed on it, so you think you might have a mouse.

Step one is to thoroughly wash the counter, because ew. Step 2 is to pull out the mouse traps (last used in 2004).  Set three traps (2 of those wooden ones, one clothes-pin like one) and bait them with peanut butter.

Wash down the counter.  Go to sleep.

If you wake up to find that all three traps have been licked clean, you have a mouse. A mouse who likes to taunt you. (Wash down the counter.)

Re-bait the clothespin-like mousetrap. (Do you really want to scrape a mouse out of the wooden ones?) Add a nut, hoping that the mouse will have to spend a little more time dealing with the nut and thus trigger the trap.

Wash down the counter. Go to sleep.

Wake up to find that the trap has been triggered, but there is no mouse. Wash down the counter. Re-bait the clothespin-like mousetrap.

Go to Canadian Tire. Buy a live mouse trap. (The 2004 incident was in February, when catching a live mouse wouldn't really be helpful - were you going to feed it until spring?) Bait live mouse trap.

Wash down the counter. Go to sleep.

Wake up. Check live mouse trap - it is undisturbed.

Glace at clothespin-like mousetrap. Lean closer to see if the mouse really ate all the peanut butter. Realize you're looking at the back of the mousetrap



Weasel Wanda into taking the mouse outside for disposal.

Wash down the counter. Wonder if you will ever sleep again.

Saturday, July 14, 2012


You know what makes it hard to fall asleep?

An loud explosion that makes the house shake.

That's what happened Thursday night at around 9:20.  (OK, I wasn't trying to sleep yet, but it was close.)

Naturally, I turned to Twitter to find out what was going on, but for the first time I can remember, Twitter had no ideas to share.

It took about half an hour for the adrenaline to wear off, so I wandered around the house. Half an hour later, Twitter was still clueless, so i went to bed not knowing what had happened (like some sort of pioneer). 

One of my coworkers is married to a fire fighter, and she found out what had happened for me.  It turns out it was the police, detonating some explosives confiscated from a house in Centrepointe.

Maybe I should start following the Ottawa police on Twitter.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Going back to work for a rest

I was off work all last week.  It was a fantastic week, and I got a lot done.  Here's what I did:
  • went to see Brave
  • made popsicles for when my niece arrives (1 can frozen orange juice, one big container plain yogurt)
  • got the oil changed in the car
  • made 3 dresses - 2 for my niece, one for Wanda
  • added hooks in the back porch
  • moved a picture (with hooks) from the back porch to the bedroom
  • cleaned out the fridge (It's so clean, it makes me happy every time I look inside)
  • updated LinkedIn
  • replaced a board in the back step
  • painted the back step and boards around the lawn / flower garden
  • with Wanda, trimmed some of the trees and hedges in the front
  • visited with some old friends 
  • ate grape tomatoes fresh from the garden
  • weeded the vegetable garden
  • washed all of the old clothes that are no longer wearable and cut them up for rags
  • washed the kitchen floor
  • organized the Halloween costume
  • went to Prescott for the day 
  • went through my old cassette tape and recycled them
  • read at least 10 books (none of which are the ones I've borrowed - I need to get on that)
  • saved Princess Peach
  • made 3 pendants
  • painted my rain boots
Aren't they awesome? Sesame Street / Muppet craft books are the best.

There are still a few things on my to-do list, but I'm happy with everything I accomplished.