Monday 29 July 2019

Back on track

This should be a short post, as I thought I'd try to catch up the rest of the week and then next week I can do another wrap-up.  Or least that's the idea.

We had another three showings from Thursday to Sunday as well as an open house on Sunday.  None resulted in any offers but I did get a bit of decent feedback; "house looks good overall except windows".  A second wasn't as favorable, "Didn't like the small yard and the work to do in the basement."  Sometimes I truly wonder if people look at the photos on the website before coming to view the house.  In the latter case, they would have seen both the size of the backyard and that a portion of the basement is unfinished.  Oh well, c'est la vie.  

I had dinner with my friend C on both Thursday and Friday evenings.  I haven't said anything (until now), but she and her husband N have split at his instigation.  This was huge shock to her and I've been spending a fair amount of time with her over the past several weeks.  He was packing on Thursday at the house, and had movers coming on Friday so she stayed at local hotel as she couldn't bear to watch this happening.  On Sunday a spent some time there while the open house was underway.  She and her brother have done some rearranging of furniture so the gaps aren't as noticeable.  It's all horribly sad because they've been together for over 20 years and of all the couples I know I'd say they were the last I would expect to see break up.  

On Saturday morning, I made a quick trip out to D's.  When she was here last week the pharmacy wasn't able to get her meds for her due to a mix-up with the doctor.  She called on Thursday and asked if I'd pick them up and bring them out to her.  For some reason, to do with temperature, they couldn't be mailed.  I left just after 6:30 a.m., drove out and spent a half hour with Eli while his mommy enjoyed a shower, then drove home and was back at the house by shortly after 10.  Our forecast high for that day was 32C though I believe it reached 34C.  Very hot for us so I wanted not to drive in the heat of the day if I could avoid it.

We did have another storm after I posted.  My son and I went out to watch the storm roll in.

The clouds were low and moving fast.  It started to rain so we moved into the sun room and watched the lightning show.  We were getting strikes every few seconds and it sounded like a train was rumbling by almost constantly.

When the storm passed to the east, I captured this photo out the west windows of the sun room. I love it!

That was the week that was.  Hard to believe it is already the end of July, though we had a cold front come through yesterday dropping the overnight temperature to just 6C!  Brrr!!!  But there is a full week of heat ahead of us so summer is still in full swing.

Have a great week everyone!

Wednesday 24 July 2019

This and that, and even more

I won't call this a weekly wrap-up as it keeps getting later and later in the week before I post.  I did blog the other day about prepping for showings.  We have had eight showings in six times, three of them over the past two days and I'm exhausted.  There is the rush of adrenaline as I make sure everything is tidy and ready to go, as I hustle the cats into the car, leave the house about 10 minutes ahead of the showing, and park around the corner out of sight.  I've gotten pretty good at knowing which vehicles are the ones on their way to the house because there is usually two of them.  Then I keep an eye out for those vehicles coming out the crescent so I have an idea when we can go home. 

After the multitude of showings we've had since May, I have to say the cats are doing very well.  Neither even fusses now when I put them in the carriers and take them out to the car.  Saku is not a fan of a moving car, but he settles down quickly once I park.  Sasha sometimes gets a bit vocal but for the most part he's pretty chill about it all.  I buckle their carriers in the back seat of the car, and have found if I put Saku on the right rear seat and Sasha in the left rear seat then I'm out of Sasha's direct line of sight and he's settles right away.  

I was hopeful that the 9 a.m. showing would have resulted in an offer.  This was a second showing and they were in the house for nearly an hour.  The 11 a.m showing cancelled and the 5:45 p.m. showing were in an out of the house in about 10 minutes.  I have my fingers crossed that perhaps this morning's folks had to work on some financing or simply wanted to sleep on it and that there still might be an offer in the works.  I haven't heard a word from my agent - I'm sure I would have had it been a hard no.  

We had a big thunderstorm a week ago, with rain, hail and wind
Thankfully that's not all going on in my life.  A couple of weeks ago, I'd put in an application to volunteer with the local Canadian Cancer society office.  I got an e-mail asking if I would be willing to put in a couple of hours to clean up their flowerbeds.  Absolutely, that is right up my alley!  I spent two hours there on Thursday morning and barely made a dent though I'd half filled a large garbage bag.  The next day I was sore from the all the twisting, kneeling, and bending.  I had thought I might run down on the weekend but it was Monday before I made it back.  I did another 1 1/2 hours and the first bed is about two thirds cleared with another half bag of weeds pulled.  I plan to finish that bed tomorrow and get a start on the side bed.  It feels good to see it looking so much better than when I started.  No photos because I lock my cellphone and my purse in my car while I'm working.   I'll keep going back once a week to keep it up.

I finished crocheting a little girl's sweater using some leftover yarn I had.  It's not quite finished, as I need to add three buttons at the top, and I want to lace ribbon into the sleeves but it's close.  I tried it on my Eli the other day to gauge the size (it was a 4) and I'd say it would fit a four or five year old.  It buttons at the top and flows open and I shortened the sleeves.  I think it will look adorable over a little sundress or Sunday best.  Now I just have to find a little girl to give it too. 

On Tuesday, Eli and D came to visit.  She had a doctor's appointment in the morning so she brought Eli to stay with G'ma.  We had lots of fun, watching Paw Paw (Paw Patrol), reading books, eating blueberries, cranberries, and cookahs, and playing outside.  After D got back we tried feeding Eli a bit of lunch (bad idea considering what he'd eaten already) and then went shopping.  Since October she has been giving me a fixed amount of money each month to cover the mortgage, utility payments, insurance, and property taxes for her house with a little extra on top.  She found a table and four chairs at Jysk for just over $200 so we used some of that extra to pay for it.  It's a cute little table and fits in her dining room perfectly.  Tonight she sent me photos of Eli and his little friend Eli (Elias and Elijah respectively) playing and coloring at the table.

Later we took Eli to the nearby splash pad for some fun.  AND boy did he have fun! This castle was a real hit with him, with it's little slide and spurts of water.  He must have climbed and slid down several dozen times.  He did have to learn the lesson of taking his turn because the park was busy!!!  I don't how I quite managed to get a photo of just him, quite frankly.  

The park also has "dry" playground equipment (as described by one of the other children).  Eli did go and play a little bit on it but he far preferred to play in the water.  I don't blame him because it was hot and the mist off the spouts felt good to me. 

After an hour we headed back to the house and waited for Uncle C to come home from work.  He and Eli had a great time running around in the basement, tickling, and swinging in circles.  Meanwhile I'd had a call from my agent for a 7 p.m. showing so D and I hustled to clean up the debris left behind by a two year old.  They headed home, and before we left the house I'd washed the living room, hallway and spare bedroom floors.  (Remember how I said Tuesday was vacuuming and Wednesday was floor washing...yeah, it all got done on Tuesday!  I'm glad it did because I initially thought I had three showings today so I didn't have to put as much effort into the prep this morning).

I've had another visitor this week.  A fledgling robin must have tried to fly too early.  I initially found it on my front step just before a showing when I took out a bit of garbage.  He/she/it didn't show any real fear of me, and just stayed put.

When we arrived home, it was gone and I thought perhaps it had learned to fly.  But no, it showed up again two days later, this time on the back deck.  It's very cute and I sure hope it survives (I haven't seen the adults for a day or so), but it sure poops a lot!  I had brushed off as much as possible off the front step, but my back deck has a lot of it.  The radar indicates we've got another storm heading our way tonight so with any luck, most of it will get washed off.  Or I'll be out there tomorrow a.m. after I get back from weeding to clean it up.

This afternoon, I went over to the library for stitch,  make, and chat.  I've been meaning to go for some time but kept forgetting the date.  I finally thought to put a reminder into my phone.  Initially I had planned to take the knitting I'd started but that grandson of mine had pulled the needles out.  It's a funky type of yarn and I'm not sure how I would pick up the stitches so I grabbed a ball of yarn, a pattern book, and a crochet hook to take with me.  I met a nice group of women, all were stitching (cross stitch and embroidery), but were very welcoming.  I plan to go back as it was a nice place to sit, relax, and just have a bit of chit chat while I started a afghan.  

Well, this post went on much longer than I had planned. I can hear the thunder in the distance so I'll head outside until it starts to rain before I head back into the sun room to watch the storm.  Have a great rest of the week everyone!

Monday 22 July 2019

Prepping for an showing

Since the house has been listed I have been keeping up with the housework (most of the time) and not letting clutter get away from me.  I have to tell you, it's more than I would normally do, but now it seems to becoming my normal.  For instance, I didn't always make my bed because I knew I'd be getting back into it 16 hours later and no one was going to see it.  Now, it's one of the first things I do when I get up in the morning.  It seems to be rubbing off on my son as well.  I got a call for a showing at 12:30 today and when I checked his room, his bed was made and the room was tidy. 

Generally then, getting ready for a showing is easy.  Though I still find myself spending at least an hour prepping.  These are some of the things I do to get ready:
- Ensure curtains are open in the sun room, turn on the fan and open a couple of windows for a cross breeze.  I open the external door and lock the door between the kitchen and sun room.  The external door is a bit tricky to open so I make it easy for them.
- Check spare bedrooms for dust bunnies, make sure closet doors are closed, and spritz some air freshner.
- In the master bedroom, smooth the bedding of kitty prints, clean the mirrors of fingerprints, and check to ensure dresser drawers are closed.
- My ensuite is simple, just give the sink an extra wipe (since I keep a bowl for the cats in it), and remove any garbage in the bin.  I take a bag with me and empty the waste bins in the various rooms.
- The kitchen gets a once over, counters and the sinks are wiped down, I sweep the floor, and straighten the tablecloth.
- I continue sweeping in the living room, give the television and the stand a quick dusting, and spritz the furniture with Febreeze.  I keep an eye out for stray cat hair too!
- If needed, the rug in the front foyer gets a quick vacuum and the mirror by the door gets cleaned.  
- In the basement I turn on several lights, open the storage room door, and double check my son's areas...though I really don't have to.
- Just before I leave the house, I put the lids on the cat litter totes. 

I have air freshners throughout the house too as cat odor was the major complaint when I first listed the house.  Now it's never an issue.  

I've gotten into somewhat of a routine, clothes washing, grocery shopping, and baking on Monday, vacuuming and dusting the entire house on Tuesday and Saturdays, washing floors and cleaning bathrooms on Wednesday and Sunday.  Friday is truly my day off, usually when I go out with friends for lunch and dinner.  But there are days when I get distracted by things I'd rather do, like sewing and knitting or crocheting, or even just reading blogs!

Since I've reduced the price, we've had six showings in four days with another scheduled for later this week.  My agent is also planning another open house for Sunday.  With the increased traffic (though I didn't think we were doing badly before), my fingers are crossed that an offer will be coming soon.   Regardless, I think the routine is here to stay.

Tuesday 16 July 2019

Weekly wrap-up

I generally try to get this post done by Monday evening, early Tuesday but I made a trip out to visit my daughter D and my absolutely amazing grandson Eli so I'm a little late. (Yes, I'm a little biased and totally smitten with that child...and he knows it!)

Last week I did a little thrift store shopping, first at Salvation Army and then Value Village.  I picked a few pieces of needed clothing, a pair of capris, a pair of shorts, and a t-shirt at my first stop.  For some reason, ever pair of capris I own have developed tears in them.  I guess I should be so surprised as they were used when I bought then in the first place.  So while I'll mend them for everyday use, I don't feel the old ones are good enough for going out to dinner or even shopping.  For the three pieces I paid only $11 plus tax.  

At Value Village, I found a rain coat for $8.50.  The brand name is Alpinetek and while I searched using Google, I couldn't find a similar one in new condition I did locate a used one for $15.  So I think I did well with this price.  It will come in very handy this fall I'm sure, but I was also thinking since it is lightweight, but lined, it will make a great jacket for my British Isles tour in June 2020.

I also picked up a couple of bags, one of Little People for Eli and one of sewing notions for myself.  In my bag I got a couple of measuring tapes, three stitch rippers, three transfer rollers (not sure the technical name for those), several packages of snaps, a few buttons, some thread, sewing machine needles and best of all a container of pins.  All for $3.99 which was the original cost of the container of pins.  So I did pretty well there too!

Thursday I had a couple of appointments, the first at 8:30 a.m. for my annual mammogram. No problems, I didn't expect there would be be, but as both my father and his sister had breast cancer I go every year.  We had a showing at 9 a.m. so I took the cats with me.  I learned that Saku does not like travelling at highway speeds.  OMG, did he howl! It was almost frightening as you'd think he was being tortured.  Thankfully it wasn't too warm at that time of day, so I left the sunroof and the rear windows cracked.  I was in and out fairly quickly and then headed in the direction of home, though I drove through the city rather than around it.  Saku hollered some but not nearly as much as he had.

Later that day I had a nail appointment and when I arrived home I realized I had dropped or misplaced my house and mail keys.  I called the screening center and the mall where I'd had my appointments but no one had turned in any keys that day.  The woman on the phone at the screening center insisted I'd find them between the seats of my car.  So Friday morning, I pulled the car out of the garage and spent a good 45 minutes cleaning the car out, vacuuming and wiping down the inside of the doors, the dash, and the center console.  No keys.

Later that day I had to run out on an errand and when I returned, as I stepped out of the car...I stepped on those missing keys.  The only thing I can think of, is that I'd dropped them on the driveway and when I pulled the car out of the garage to clean it, I parked over top of the keys. 

Friday night was dinner with friends, while Saturday and Sunday were focused on house work and crafts.  I finished crocheting the edging on the blanket that D's friend M made for Eli.  I hadn't noticed until I washed and blocked it (I used my bed for that as I had no other space large enough), that the pattern was so different.  This was made for a single bed, mine is a queen so it's quite big.

Not that Eli is yet sleeping in a single bed, he still prefers to crawl in with his mother from his toddler bed.  Since D did the same thing until she was nearly 6 years old I'm not surprised. Neither I nor she wake up when the kid climbs into the bed.  It took several months of bribery to convince her to sleep all night in her own bed.  I suspect Eli will put her to the test as well.  Isn't that what every mom wants for their adult children, that their offspring will test them, as they had tested their parent themselves?  Or maybe that's just me.

We had another showing on Sunday, so the morning was spent cleaning and tidying.  I did start another knitting project but I'm fighting with it so won't show you until it is complete...sigh, if it ever is.  I did get a pair of shorts cut out from some stash material for Eli, but haven't done any sewing yet.  Monday I was on the road shortly after 8 a.m., stopping on my way out of the city for a cup of coffee and a breakfast sandwich.  The traffic was light all the way out, and the construction was finally complete, so it was only a 90 minute drive.  

We got a lot done while I was there, lots of weeding in the flower beds, along the fence line, her little gardens (she has three pumpkins starting but little else), while Eli ran around and played.  While his mom took the recycling to the depot, I took him in the stroller and walked to the nearby park.  The splash pad was open and he had a blast, running between it and the other playground equipment.  I had no problem reaching 10K steps that day!  Later that afternoon, when we'd got more yardwork done, D and I sat in the shade while Eli played in his pool, on his mini trampoline and his sand box.  He is such a good kid.  Oh, I forgot to mention, when I arrived, he told his mom, "ma-ma came!".  She had been telling him for the last couple of days I was coming to visit.  He was almost as excited to see me as I was to see him.

Here he is playing peek a boo with G'ma.  I had used the sheet on the couch as my bedding last night. 

This morning we spent some time reorganizing her kitchen cabinets before I headed back into the city.  I'm proud of her, she's really come a long way in the nine months she has been living in her own home, both emotionally and financially.  She is taking pride in her home, and especially in her little boy, and making a good life for the two of them.  

This evening we've had quite the thunder storm roll through, even a little hail.  I'm going to go spend some time relaxing in the sun room.  I'm a little weird that way, as nothing makes me feel more at peace than the sound of rain on the roof and the rumble of thunder in the distance. 

Have a great week everyone!

Saturday 13 July 2019


I blame HGTV with all of it's shows that have the sellers spending thousands of dollars to renovate their homes while buyers point out every fault.  We've reached more than 25 showings (includes the 12 who came for the two open houses) and not a nibble in sight.  

So this afternoon I had a conversation with my agent and I asked him to be brutally honest with me.  He advised that at the price I'm asking, potential buyers are expecting to see new paint with brand new flooring throughout.  I'm not prepared to spend the money - in reality I don't have either the savings or sufficient credit to pour a bunch of money into the house in the hopes that I'll make at least a portion of that back.  So tomorrow we'll do up the paperwork to cancel the first listing and set up a new one at a much reduced price.  

A close friend recently had her home appraised, unfortunately because of an impending divorce, and her home was appraised at the amount I currently have mine listed.  But her home is bigger, has a large yard, and has new windows and doors, in addition to other updates.  That was the eye-opener for me as I had to realize that I won't get out of this house what I've invested in it.  In fact the new asking price will be several thousand less than I paid for it in 2010.  Sadly, because of the glut of properties on the market and that I haven't been able to invest as much as buyers would expect the value simply isn't there.

But when I think back, to the old house I realize I'm still ahead of the game.  I bought the 920 square foot, three bed, 2 bath property in 2000 for around $80,000.  I sold it in 2010 for nearly 3 times that much!  Today similar properties are on the market well under $200,000.

So despite the fact I'll "lose" money on this sale, I am certain I will still recoup the down payment I made on this house, plus a decent portion of the principal payments I've made over the past nine years. (This is the net amount after commissions and legal fees).  

While I could wait for that perfect buyer, there is no guarantee that house values won't drop even further in the next year.  In fact, our local real estate board is forecasting another 4% drop in the next 12 months.  With that in mind, coupled with my desire to move on, I'm prepared to swallow this bitter pill.  It is going down much smoother because I realize unless I go back to work I can't afford to do the changes most buyers would expect.  AND there ain't no way that's happening, I can assure you of that!

I'll be back in a couple of days with an update on the rest of my week.  Have a great rest of the weekend everyone!

Monday 8 July 2019

Weekly wrap-up

Another week of Fridays (everyday) has flown by.  The weather has been lovely so I've spent a great deal of time outdoors, either on the back deck or the front patio.  Who knows how much longer I'll have those spaces?  Nope, still no offers but we continue to have showing fairly frequently.  Sooner or later, someone is going to be interested enough to make an offer.

Besides being lazy, I've been re-reading a book I read many, many years ago.  Five Smooth Stones was written by Ann Fairbairn, and originally published in 1966.  The story line follows a young black man, orphaned at birth,raised by his paternal grandparents, and mentored by a "Viking" professor in the city of New Orleans. An accident when he was yet a small child leaves him with a limp.  His grandfather and his mentor push him hard to learn and eventually he attends a small university in one of the Northern states before studying law at Harvard.  While in university he meets and falls in love with a white woman and the novel examines the relationship between the two, the impact on their family and friends, as well as the racial tensions that existed at the time  in the United States.  There are marvelous characters in this book, not just David and Sara, but his grandfather Joseph, the professor Bjarn Knudsen, their classmates, and others.  I had forgotten more of the story than I remembered, but it's still a great read.

On Thursday, C and I went to the theatre to see Yesterday, the movie about a young man who, after being involved in a bicycle meets bus accident...brought on by a world wide power outage, finds that no one else seems to remember the Beatles or various other more current items.  He is a struggling musician who finds fame and fortune using the songs of the Beatles though he's never entirely comfortable with doing so.  It is part love story, part fantasy (who could forget the Beatles?), with the music wound throughout.  While a bit fluffy it was a far better movie than Rocketman, IMO.  I quite enjoyed it!

Friday was dinner with C at Denny's, and Saturday she and I, along with friend C, K, and T met to drive out to Moose Jaw for the Saskatchewan Air show.  It is held at the former military base, now flight training center and home of the Snowbirds the Canadian air demonstration squadron.  The last show was held 14 years ago, and was cancelled due in part to the significant costs of insurance.  The organizers obviously found a way to overcome those challenges and plan to hold the event every second year.  I've never been to one previously and was enthralled.

I don't have many photos as I did not take my camera with me. (There is a reason for that which I won't share at this time). So all of the photos I took were with my cellphone.  

There were a number of different aircraft, a bi-plane, two Harvards, a Spitfire, a P-40 Warhawk, a CF-18 Hornet, an F-16 Fighting Falcon (from the U.S.), an odd looking plane from Switzerland and several more that I've already forgotten.

One of my favorites was the Spitfire.  Watching it and the Warhawk fly through the sky was amazing.  These are the aircraft that were used in World War II.  There aren't many left and to see one that was in such pristine condition was incredible.

My other favorites (of which there are no photos) were the CF-18, the F-16 and of course the Snowbirds.  I think I spent much of my time looking up at the sky in amazement at the agility and precision of these aircraft.  Each of the flights was narrated and at times, we were able to hear the pilots over the radio.  They certainly enjoy their time in the air!

Harvard aerial show - the pilots were two brothers from Edmonton, AB.
It was a hot afternoon, with temperatures near 29C (84F), but there was enough of a breeze to keep relatively cool, while keeping hydrated with lots of water, and sunburn free with SPF 60.  There were clouds too, but no rain though just 75 km. away in Regina, there was a downpour.  Good, because I didn't have to water my containers yesterday.  

We stopped at Applebee's on the way into Regina for dinner before heading home.  That evening the Saskatchewan Roughriders played the Calgary Stampeders.  The game was not great for us, as we lost 37-10 but it was a relaxing way to end the day as I curled up in bed with the cats to watch the last two quarters.

While we were on our way to Moose Jaw, my agent contacted me to ask for a showing.  I called my son, woke him up, and asked him to ensure the cats were out of the house by 1:30 p.m.  I was concerned as the house wasn't as tidy as I like it to be prior to a showing, but when I came home I noted my son had taken care of the worst of it.  He really is a good guy!  He parked down the street and said the group was in the house for nearly 30 minutes.  But no offer has come of it.  

Yesterday was a quiet day, I did do a bit of housecleaning, more reading and hanging out on the deck, and simply enjoying my Sunday.  I did talk to my brother while he was driving back from Alberta where he participated in the Sinister 7, a 160 km. (100 mi.) Ultra marathon which can be run by solos (are they nuts?) or groups up to 7 individuals.  R ran legs 3 and 4, which totalled 54 km (34 mi) up and down the mountains.  As he ran down from the top of leg 3, a storm hit the top with rain, hail, thunder and lightning. I'm glad he was already on his way down!  He enjoyed himself immensely though I'm certain he was pretty sore.  He told me next year, he'll likely run an early and then a late leg as running the two were pretty wearing on him.  The race started at 7 a.m. on Saturday and their team finished about 7:30 a.m. on Sunday.  There is a limit of 30 hours for teams or individuals to finish the race so they did pretty well.

My agent also called to ask for a showing today at 6:40 p.m.  So today has been a heavy duty cleaning day.  Thus far, I've done my laundry, vacuumed the upstairs, washed the living room floor, cleaned the toilets/sinks in both bathrooms, cleaned the mirrors throughout the house, and Febreezed the furniture in the sun room and living room.  Next up I have to vacuum the basement, clean the toilet and sink in C's bathroom, clean cat litter (which will be the first task), sweep up the pine cones on the driveway, dead head and water my containers, and take out the garbage.  I'm sure there will be other tasks that I'll find as I'm doing the rest of the list.  Serves me right for being lazy last week.  :)

Have a great week everyone!

Thursday 4 July 2019

A not-so quick update

Things are looking much better in the back yard now!  

First the before:

After the repairs:
Looking much better already, right?  The contractor (not a Sask Energy employee as I initially thought) recommended that we end the sidewalk at the end of the house, then fill in the rest of the area with more base and crusher dust.  As a result they had to pour a small patch of concrete at the meter.

I suspect eventually the patch will lighten and won't be as noticeable, but regardless it makes more sense now.

While I was running errands yesterday I stopped in at both Home Depot and Rona to see what my alternatives for the pathway might be.  I discovered, very quickly that the round concrete blocks I had thought I would use were far too heavy for me to lift (and that was important because I'd be doing that work myself), and fairly expensive.  I found at Home Depot there were plastic alternatives but Rona didn't carry them.  That was a bit disappointing as I still have a gift card (from the paint debacle earlier this year) but I'm sure I'll find something to spend that on later. Back to Home Depot I picked up 36 square Stomp Stones. These are made from recycled tires and were quite inexpensive.  Best of all the placement is very easy.  Simply place the stone on the ground and literally stomp on it!

The almost finished project:

I say almost finished because I wasn't happy with how crooked the path was so went out later with a yardstick and lined them up a little better.  I had used the ruler to measure the space between each block but that didn't keep them straight.

I haven't made up my mind if I will change out the last nine blocks to the same pattern as the rest.  I had placed them in three because the path widens at that spot but I'm still not certain about the placement.  I'll leave it be for awhile and either I'll decide it needs to be changed or I'll just get used to it!

In the backyard there was this unsightly spot, before:
After all the rain we had recently the crusher dust had settled down several inches.  I picked up a few bags of black soil and filled it in before spreading and raking in some grass seed.  It will take awhile to fill in with grass but that's okay, it still looks better than it did.  As you can see there is still a patch by the end of the path that is full of crusher dust the grass didn't grow well there anyway.

The after:
I did have to pay for the removal of the rest of the sidewalk (and the blocks), but Sask Energy picked up the cost of the rest of the work that was done.  This made sense, in that they didn't need to remove all of the sidewalk to move the line thus it would have been my responsibility anyway.  But finding someone to do the work was proving difficult as every landscaper I contacted was busy until September.  That Sask Energy did the right thing and sent out one of their contractors was a pleasant surprise.

Happy Fourth of July to my readers in the United States!  Have a great day everyone.

Tuesday 2 July 2019

Weekly wrap-up

Wow, that was a fast week even though there wasn't much happening.  We had lots of warm/hot weather so I spent a fair amount of time outdoors reading and relaxing.  It was great!

S was back in Regina on Thursday so I met her at Timmie's for a quick bite to eat as she headed back north.  I'd finished the research for Fairmont Hot Springs and gave her a copy of the spreadsheets.  We discussed a slight change of plans as she and her husband will spend Thanksgiving (Canadian) with family in Manitoba the weekend of October 12 so instead I'll be flying to Edmonton on the 14th.  We agreed on the room we wanted at Fairmont and when I got home I made the booking.  She's stuck with me now!  There is a so-called seat sale for both Air Canada and WestJet but the prices were actually lower before the sale so I'm waiting until tomorrow to see what happens to the prices. I still have the option of using AirMiles and I can't imagine the prices will change more the $50 so not too worried.

On Friday I met my friend K for lunch and we had a good long chat.  We went to Mr. Greek, a franchise restaurant that opened up in Regina a few years ago.  We've been there before and quite enjoy the food. We both had gyros with french fries and a drink.  Yummy!  She and her partner J are just back from Virginia with a side trip to the Outer Banks visiting friends.  Both areas sound like places I'd like to visit someday.  A bit of a gossip and conversation about our next adventures was in order.  

Friday evening was our regular dinner though we've moved on from the restaurant to a nearby Denny's.  I met C there with friends M and C joining us.  We had a great visit as always.  I like Denny's as it has a senior's menu - helps me save a few dollars as I seem to be eating out more frequently now that I'm retired.

Saturday was a quiet day, and Sunday evening K and I drove out to my brother's farm to feed Hollywood (the cat).  R and his family were in Edmonton for the weekend for a basketball tournament.  Hollywood is about 16 years old, the last surviving member of Puddy's litter from which I got Silas and Shady.  She is blind and not in good shape but still hanging in there.    

Yesterday, of course was Canada Day.  I generally stay home but this year C convinced me to join her in the park.  Our other friend C also came as he goes every year.  We arrived around noon, assuming we'd be there for the 21 gun salute but this year that part of the events was cancelled.  We walked over the main stage for the speeches, then wandered the grounds of the park for awhile.  Then it was over to the pedestrian crossing to watch the Plywood cup races.  Teams enter the competition by collecting pledges.  Each team is then given a few pieces of plywood, a few nails, some duct tape, and tools.  They build a craft of sorts out of the supplies and then it's time to hit the water.  All of the "boats" are put in the water at the same time and they float or not.  This year there were 17 teams and only 11 made it beyond the starting point.

The first paddler was out in a hurry and moving quickly.  The paddle they built (and yes they have to do that too) was something like a kayak paddle.  He was halfway across the lake before the rest of the paddlers had figured out how to move their crafts.

Most of the boats had one paddler but there were a few that had two.  The latter probably wasn't the brightest idea because the extra weight simply made it harder to keep the boat afloat and slowed the progress down.

It was fun to watch...though I'm not sure if we were cheering them on to finish the race or sink!  There was a couple of individuals who obviously did sink so they swam across the lake instead.  The lake isn't that clean - it's manmade - so it's not really recommended but they obviously had fun.

From there we headed over to the beer gardens where we could sit and watch the bands play.  The music wasn't that great so off to Houston Pizza (another tradition) for a late lunch/early dinner.  I was home in time to watch the Roughrider's football.  The game was late in the late in the second quarter when it was stopped for a weather delay.

We had a wicked thunderstorm that lasted nearly 90 minutes!  The lightening was coming fast and furious and it sounded like a freight train was rumbling by.  I called my daughter at one point and could barely hear her over the noise of the storm.  My son and I sat out in the sun room and watched it pass by.  Those are the fireworks I enjoy best!  

Finally, some good news!  No, the house hasn't sold but this morning a crew from Sask Energy showed up to check the back yard.  They've agreed to do some repairs to the work that was done.  They will cut the pavement off at the point where the house and sun room meet and pour a patch of concrete to fill that area.  I've agreed to pay to have them remove the rest of the concrete, they'll fill the area with a mixture of crusher dust and base.  I'll pick up 6 or 8 round paving stones and that will finish the area off.  I've already filled in the hole with black dirt and added grass seed. Hopefully in a month or two one won't be able to tell anything was done.  The crew will be back later to do the work, hooray!

Time to get busy about the house, that darn vacuum isn't moving on it's own.  Have a great week everyone!  Hope you all had a wonderful Canada Day.

Monday 1 July 2019