Tuesday, March 31, 2020

We're saving money!

I mean,   what else can one say?

So far,  the hair salon and nail salon are missing a few bucks due to the Covid-19.   I shan't attempt to quantify just how much I mean by "a few bucks".   But let's just say,  with the money we've saved,   I'm thinking of buying yet another woodworking tool and having it shipped to the door.

Just a thought.   Thoughts are free.


Haven't quite figured out what I want to do today.   Might just futz around out in the "shop".   Seems the sensible thing to do.  I have enough material to make a couple more book cases for the downstairs,  so that might be an idea.

I haven't run out of material just yet,  although there are a couple other things in my pea brain that I wouldn't mind taking a stab at.   It mostly involves storage ideas.

Now,  speaking of things involving wood,  I did manage to (finally) finish a towel rack that T.C. had asked me to make some time *ahem* last year.   (These things can take time, after all)

Hard to get just the right angle.  I do appreciate that there are those woodworkers who have some sort of photo set-up,  but I have no intentions of selling stuff,  so I've never bothered.  That chest in the last two pics is a cherry blanket chest I made...some twenty years ago?  And the first pic has a bed that I made for Daughter Number Two some....twenty years ago.   I dunno.  Maybe that's a rough estimate.  Twenty,  twenty-five?   I suppose I should sign and date everything,  for posterity or something.

I do have one of those branding iron thingies,  with Handcrafted by....The Caretaker.  (no,  that last part isn't quite true,  but you get the idea)

I did get a call from the fellow who has the "make your own wine"  shop,  as I was due to go and bottle both a batch of red and a batch of white tomorrow (Wednesday)  but he's technically "closed"  due to Covid-19. 
Now,  considering that wine making involves being ultra sanitary,  I'm not sure just how he needs to be closed,  whereas the Beer Store and the L.C.B.O.  are considered "Essential Services"  here in Ontario. 
I mean,  I'm not complaining,  and I do buy beer at the L.C.B.O. instead of the Beer Store,  as then I do get a couple Air Miles to boot. 
But "essential"?   Not so sure.

Oh and,  for those who are reading from afar,  as good as our Health Care system might appear to be,  our "drinking system"  is from the Victorian era.   L.C.B.O. stands for "Liquor Control Board of Ontario",   and every province has their own little quirky system of regulating booze (and beer).

We can these days buy beer in the grocery stores,  but of course,  I never think to buy beer at the grocery store,  some sort of conditioning I suspect,  plus you don't get the variety that's available at either The Beer Store or the LCBO.

Anyhoodle,   T.C. is making Potica,  which is a type of Easter Bread,  although it looks like we may be having Easter by way of Zoom,  or some such internet thing.  Not sure how that will play out.

I was going to put in a link,  but you can Google Potica,  and see what I'm talking about.

Thanks for stopping by.

Keep your stick on the ice.

And wash your hands.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

It's Saturday!

Or,  as my oldest brother was forever saying,  "Every day is Saturday".   And that was because he has been retired since....I think it was back in the 80s some time.  I'd have to do the math.
So ya,  in our case as well,  "every day is Saturday".   The major exception in the case of the weekends used to be that we would never set foot in a store,  as we had no desire to be out and about with the working folk.  Back in the days when I was working,  and had to venture into a store after work hours or on the weekend,  I'd get ever so slightly annoyed at the Seniors in there,  mostly in the damn way.  Just all I could do to keep from trampling someone's Granny. 

But, we don't want to get off on any kind of a rant here.

We're getting a little bit of rain today,  and the temperature is hovering around 4 degrees.  (Celsius,  what else?)

I was going to have a wee bit of a pity party yesterday,  as both my back and my front were aching like a son of a gun,  after having transplanted that Rose of Sharon on Thursday.

The weather prognosticators were calling for rain,  but in typical fashion,  they were wrong.  It rained somewhere,  but not here.

So it was just about perfect weather for working outside,  with the temps up in the low teens.  Something like that.  Almost "shirt sleeve weather"  for the average Canadian.  Although,  I find that we are typically more willing to step outside and brace the cold after the winter,  than in the fall,  when we've just come through a hot summer.

I'm not entirely sure that the Rose of Sharon will live,  but I wanted to give it a shot.   There was a certain amount of grunting.  Or "peckin' and snortin' , as one of my other older brother was wont to say.
On the other hand,  the ground was considerably softer than it would have been in the fall.   We have clay here,  and it gets to be just like rock.  Digging by hand is,  shall we say,  problematic?

I had to remove one of the fence panels to get in close enough to dig the thing out (I didn't take a before picture,  silly Bunt)  so while I had the panel removed,  I decided to dig out a strip of sod/dirt and put in a row of bricks under the fence.  I still have a fair number of bricks hanging around.  There was an assortment of random building materials here and there on the property when we moved in.
 At the base of each pillar out front for example,  there's roughly the equivalent of a half skid of random cinder blocks that were in the basement.

Three different sizes,  just to make things interesting.

Don't forget,  my late father-in-law was a contractor,  so I guess there were some things left over from time to time.   The story goes that he originally wanted to build out in the country,  but T.C.'s Mom,  (my late Mother-in-Law,  whom I never met) being that much wiser,  wanted to be in town where there was the possibility of public transit.  A wise choice,  as car maintenance wasn't necessarily one of his strengths.   Won't elaborate.

Plus,  back in the day,  there was a "Lakeshore Bus"  operated by Greyhound that my wife's siblings and she would take to get in to Hamilton to go to the only Catholic school around for miles.

The Lakeshore from here is maybe a block away?  Well,  a fairly large block.  Like,  a "Texas block".

And of course,  Greyhound stopped the Lakeshore bus years ago.  Progress.

We finally had brunch around noon time,  and now each of us will go off to our respective "hobby rooms" for the afternoon.   T.C. has her sewing room,  and I my shop.   Did I mention that we have an intercom?   We don't bug each other with it,  but once in a while it comes in handy.

Thanks for stopping by.

Keep your stick on the ice.

And stay inside.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

It sure is quiet out there.

My life as a recluse continues.  I'm sure the money that we've saved by T.C. not going to get her hair or nails done has helped offset the money we've lost on the market.

But only slightly.

Thankfully,  it's all just numbers on a screen,  as we have these wonderful things that the kids these days don't have called "Pensions".
Ya,  you can mock me all you want,  you Millenials,  or Gen Xers or whatever you're called,  but just make sure you start saving your cash. 
It is indeed unfortunate if your entire pension income is dependant on returns from the market,  but I've never thought that that was such a good plan to start with. 
That's all I'm gonna say on that.

At some point in the morning,  when I'm starting to melt into the couch,  I muster up my strength to step away from the computer and actually go and DO something.

The sorry thing is,  by the time mid afternoon rolls around,  my energy level is starting to wane ever so slightly,  and I start to have thoughts of  "maƱana" .   There's always tomorrow.

I do have this one particular Rose of Sharon that needs to be moved.  I'm not looking forward to that.

There was some discussion in the fall about moving it,  and I really should have stuck to my guns on that one,  as the recommendation from several websites recommend doing so in the fall.   T.C. had other ideas,  so here we are.

I'll probably kill it.  Which would suck,  as I quite like the thing.  The trouble is,  it's right where I'm going to eventually put a fence post,  and if that happens,  I'd kill it for sure.

Supposed to rain tomorrow,  but maybe Friday?   We don't go to the Pub on Fridays anymore,  so it's not like there's some sort of time line during the day that I'd need to adhere to.

Admittedly,  the ground is going to be a heck of a sight softer than it would have been in the fall,  but that's hardly a consolation.   I was younger in the fall.

Well,  I see T.C. just emerged to cut herself a piece of Strudel,  so I think that might be the plan for the afternoon.  Then maybe a little snooze,  and then "we'll see".

Thanks for stopping by.

Keep your stick on the ice.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

And the Self Isolation continues!!


Well,  I think I might have mentioned at some point over the years that I,  in fact,  could quite likely get along just fine living as a "recluse".   Not a hermit,  mind you.  I likes my wifi and all that.  And getting deliveries to the door would be problematic if living as a hermit.  Plus,  if I were to chose to live in some remote gawd fersaken place,  I'm afraid I'd be very much alone. 

Anyhoodle.   There's always something to while away the hours.  At least until my knees start to complain.  And Oh Lordy.

But this isn't a Pity Party,  so let's not go there.

After the bulk of the painting is done downstairs,  and before I starting making some moves in the furniture department,  I figured I'd suck it up and finally put down some baseboard of some sort.

This stuff is actually considered "casing",  but the baseboard that I was looking at was kinda flimsy,  and I wasn't about to blow too much dough on some fancy schmancy stuff made from Oak say,  as it is the basement after all.   I had thought that I'd be painting it one of the colours that would perhaps be a nice contrast to the paint on the walls,  but T.C. took a look at the primed bit that I put down as a bit of a reference/test,  and declared that she thought she'd like it to be white.

So white it is:

Always best to paint it ahead of time I find,  so as not to be forced to spend all that effort on hands and knees trying not to get paint everywhere.

The beauty of the white is (or any colour for that matter) I can caulk any little "issues"  I might find,  and then just paint over it.

Me likey.

None of that has actually been nailed in place,  by the way.  We're still at the "fitting" stage here.

I'll get back to this once my knees stop complaining.

And to think,  there was a time when I could spend a day doing just this,  and then go in to work and carry on until midnight. 

It's been a while.

So if I think of it,  it's been a few years now that I've been "self isolating".

Hope y'all are hanging in there.

Thanks for stopping by.

Keep your stick on the ice.

And wash your hands.

Friday, March 13, 2020

As the stomach turns.

Well kids,  looks like the idiots are in full panic mode.   Reports are the stores are whacko,  but these are second hand reports as,  being a Pensioner,  I don't go to the store on a Thursday night,  or any other time when the Worker Bees are in need of a good shop.

Saw one of my long time Facebook friends commenting on the line-ups at one place (on Facebook,  of course),  and moments later,  got a call from Daughter Number One saying she and hubby went in that store,  took a look at the lines,  turned around and left.

I did go to Costco on Wednesday for the usual.  Milk,  bread, cream and....toilet paper.   But,  Costco is where I do buy toilet paper,  unless it's on sale at Food Basics,  just down the street from us.   There was a bit of nuttiness in the toilet paper aisle,  but nothing like I've seen on the news. 

I was actually a little embarrassed to be buying toilet paper,  as I really didn't want to be part of "that crowd".  I can't figure out if the ones that were buying two and three bales,  are actually running variety stores and selling it at a profit?  If you think you're going to have the shits that bad to need that much toilet paper,  there's going to be other issues.  Besides,  when it comes out like that,  it's kind of a "self cleaning" situation.

But let's not go down that rabbit hole.  Is that a pun? 

Not sure.

Anyhoo,  I think Daughter Number one was trying to get some guidance as to whether or not they should stick to their plans to go to Cabo San Lucas in a couple weeks.  She didn't really come out and ask the Old Man (that wouldn't be cool)  but it was one topic of discussion.   The flight down is direct,  but the return leg has a stop over in the US.   That could be problematic.   The flight cancellation wouldn't be too much of a concern,  as many of the airlines are waving their fees in that regard,  but they've paid for the villa already.  Ain't gonna get that mulla back.

Now to some other (more sane) news:

Work continues in the painting department.  I ain't no ball of fire,  I'll tell you that much.  I suspect I put in a good solid three or four hours some days,  and then I get a little tired or hungry,  and my motivation begins to suffer.  Admittedly,  there have been a couple times when I've done a wee bit in the evening,  just to finish off a section.

And we made a discovery.

See,  Travelling Companion had this idea that "we" want to replace the fridge that I've now moved to paint behind.  So fine,  we did some looking on the usual sites,  settling on a model from Costco.  Wasn't about to pull the trigger any time soon however.  The idea was,  that the fridge is "really noisy",  and if we're going to be putting the day bed down there for an extra sleeping area,  then  it "has to go".

Plus, it seemed to be running way too much.

Except,  when I moved it about five feet,  sort of around the corner from the kitchen area,  I immediately noticed that,  not only was it heaps quieter,  but that it also wasn't coming on nearly as often. 


I even thought that perhaps it had stopped working,  and decided to check on it.  Nope,  running just fine.

Well see,  where it had been sitting,  it's not entirely level.  I didn't think being slightly off kilter would make such a huge difference.  Apparently it does.

This is a fridge that we bought second hand almost 20 years ago,  and it's been chugging away down there all this time.  So,  having a new fridge would definitely help in terms of energy conservation.  I'm just not too sure how long it would take to save that five or six hundred dollars in electricity costs.

I suspect,  another 20 years..

Anyway,  hope y'all are doing well.  Self isolating and all.   Turns out,  I've been self isolating for years and years.

Who knew?

Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, March 5, 2020

It's not the painting, it's the prep.

There have been many a time when,  lying there semi-comatose on my big comfy couch down in the "Man Cave",   that I've thought that maybe,  someday,  possibly,  I'd give the whole place a paint job.

I like thoughts.   Thoughts are great.  They require minimal effort.

Then along comes T.C. who,  during our trip back from Ottawa (well,  Osgoode really)  last weekend, (no,  a week ago last weekend...) managed to "rearrange the whole house".   Here I thought she was having a little shut eye but NO,  she was THINKING.

There's a big difference,  between the way I "think" about things,  and the way T.C. "thinks" about things.   When T.C. engages in this activity,  it usually means work.

For me.

 So, along with moving random dressers,  beds and desks,  there was going to be some painting.


Oh ya,  forgot to mention.

Took a little road trip last week. (no Bob,  two weeks ago.)

Sister-in-law and hubby who live in Kingston,  had (wait for it) taken the train to Toronto a few weeks back,  stayed overnight at another sister-in-law's place,  and then flown off to San Diego for a visit/vacation.  Her hubby has two brothers in California.  Of course,  they naturally counted on taking the train once again back to Kingston from Toronto.

See where this is going?

They arrived back in Toronto on the Tuesday (a week ago)  and having come to terms with the train issue,  thought they'd take the BUS to Kingston.

You may or may not be aware that there have been some rail disruptions in this country due to some land disputes with some of our First Nations.  I'm not going to get into it,  'cause I'll just say something I shouldn't.  Even though it may very well be the very thing that every one is thinking.

A while back already,  we had been thinking of taking a wee trip out that way for a visit,  as both the Kingston Party and the Osgoode Parties had come for their usual Christmas visit,  and I was looking forward to showing up at their respective doors and getting fed and lubricated.

Didn't plan on driving though.

It's been a long,  long time since I ever took a bus most anywhere in this country,  and taking a bus to either Kingston or Ottawa has me hearkening back to some time in the 70s.   I was a student then,  and bus fare was something I could afford, and besides, I didn't have a car at the time.

Skip ahead some 40 years.  Um,  I don't take no bus.  And I don't expect anyone else close to my age or older to it either.

Besides, ever heard of The Corona virus?   To me,  a bus would just be a smaller version of a Petri dish,  such as those really big Petri dishes, that on the outside look suspiciously like a cruise ships.

So,  we drove off to Toronto a week ago last Thursday morning to fetch the Travellers,  and continues on to Kingston.   We didn't stay in Kingston,  even though we were invited,  as I know perfectly well that,  when I've been away for any length of time,  the very last thing I would want, would be to play host to a couple folks who,  even though they may have provided some very timely transportation,  are still going need a bed made up and food put on the table. 

Besides,  it was only another couple hours to get to Osgoode,  so as to mooch off the other set of Christmas guests.   Also,  it was my sister's birthday (indeterminate age,  but she's older than me)  She lives in Nepean (part of greater Ottawa)  and we wanted to see her on her birthday.

All well and good.

Skip then ahead to getting home and getting to work.

It's OK.   Really.  I don't mind too much.  Except that,  in "Bob Land",  we don't just prime and paint over the crappy jobs that have gone on before. 

First of all,  back in 1992,  when we built this apartment,  there was a bit of a push on to get it done in a timely fashion.  Took long enough to clean out all the junk,  come up with some sort of layout,  cut up the concrete floor for the plumbing,  and then get on with putting up walls, etc.

As a result,  there were several "hands" at work.  With varying degrees of skill,  let's say?   So there was that.

Then skip ahead to around 2001,  and Daughter Number Two and one of her college buddies thought they'd paint.  Well.  I'll not say much,  except that I'm now taking the time to first of all fix some of the dry walling boo-boos from way back,  and then sorting out some of the other "issues".   Like,  I just spent maybe a half hour scraping paint off of a phone jack that should have been removed,  and not half painted over.

That sort of thing.

And yes,  once upon a time,  we had these things called "phone jacks".   Old school I realise.  But I either keep it in its place,  or patch the ensuing hole once I take it out.  Either way,  pain in the ...

You might notice up at the top of that one window there,  where you can see the corner bead?  Wasn't done properly.  Had to scrap off the very thin layer of drywall compound and fix it by taping it,  and then applying more mud.

So I did get one wall completely done,  and some stuff put back in that corner.  I initially,  naively thought I'd completely remove the cantilevered cabinet where that TV is sitting,  but thought better of it. 

Too many wires.

And,  that's life here at The Ponderosa.

Just when you think you're "retired".


Thanks for stopping by.

Keep that stick on the ice.