Quickpost

May. 16th, 2014 09:54 am
kadenza: (carcassonne)
Ok, I will now resume my posting activities. I can handle this. I just wonder why the "post" option is the hardest button to find, and the most visible one (Community Directory) is also the least useful. It seems 100% pointless.

* [livejournal.com profile] zinniz is coming to visit me! Exciting!

• For the first time since we've lived here (6 years), I bought some plants to put in the garden. Crazy, I know. Wisteria for the trellis thingy over our stairs, a bucket of lettuce for eating, a tomato for also eating if the raccoons don't get to it first, and some bee balm. Picking stuff out got kind of addictive so I may head back to the garden centre today.

• In a few weeks we're going on a mini vacation to Montreal and Quebec City. Nat is super excited to speak French to people. We did go to France in the summer of course, but she was too shy to say anything to anyone. Now she can say pretty much anything she wants (and often forgets how to say things in English just after school) so there should be a big difference this time.

• Working on my next wrap. Sometime between the last one and this one, something really clicked. I think I have found my "thing". This wrap in particular is a real thing of beauty and gives me happy feelings whenever I see it. The tension is perfect, there isn't a single sticky thread, and the selvedges are straight as rulers. The only thing that's bothering me is that the customer has not written to me since I started weaving, and this makes me worry she doesn't like it. When I sent her pictures of the yarn on the warping mill she commented that it was "brilliantly amazing" but since then... nada.



• A bunch of family things are happening at my house this weekend, including my sister's b-day and a belated mother's day celebration. Currently I'm waiting for a delivery of furniture for our 3rd floor deck that we've had for nearly two years. This could result in people actually using the deck, even eating on it. Wow! We could maybe use some planters up there as well. It gets direct sun all day long, so I'm most looking forward to the umbrella.

kadenza: (carcassonne)
Our house is now over 100 years old. Parts of it are absolutely freezing during the winter, most notably the front bedroom and the 3rd floor loft. Up above the loft is a mysterious area of unknown dimensions that's accessed only by a small rectangular door in the ceiling that we have never dared look into, but the house inspection binder says "Attic Insulation: None Seen." So that seems to add up. While the downstairs is around 21 degrees, the loft rarely gets above 17, and I've seen it as low as 14 on particularly cold mornings. Anyway, I've heard that you can hire some dudes to bring a big hose and blow cellulose insulation into an attic, but we never got around to it (and apparently, neither has anyone else for the past 100 years, so I don't feel too bad about it).

Mysteriously, last week for a couple of days it was positively toasty up there, and I couldn't figure out what was going on. Then in the middle of the night (and I woke up Marshie to tell him the good news) I realized it must be the foot or so of snow on the roof from the big snowstorm we had last week--coincidentally, the most snow the city has had in 5 years, and also the amount of time we have lived in the house. I'm now convinced that if a blanket of snow is enough to make a difference, actual insulation will too. Or anything, really. Stuffed animals. Marshmallows. Bubble wrap.

Oh heck

Feb. 10th, 2011 10:04 am
kadenza: (Default)
Now I missed the kindergarten info thing, for real. It was a top priority until they pushed it back a week, then it completely dropped out of my mind. But in any case, I'm not panicking yet because it's our home school and she is guaranteed a spot. I'll drop by today, bring every piece of ID I have and see what needs to be done.

It's been excruciatingly cold the last few days, so I have devoted the week indoors to cleaning out the spare bedroom, which had become a repository for all the surplus furniture (mostly Ikea) displaced when we redid the 3rd floor. You could barely get in the door, and now you can get to the closet and the futon which is a significant improvement. I also cleaned up the closet in there, and put all the baby clothes in bags to take to Goodwill. At the bottom of the closet I found my woolen scarf which has been missing for several years. And of course... it was so moth-eaten there were more holes than scarf. Horrifying. Just when I think I've got the moths licked, I find a new stronghold. As someone who owns a fair amount of yarn (and hates synthetics) I live in constant fear that my stash will be compromised.
kadenza: (intermission)
Let's see. We spent a pleasant long weekend in scenic Chatham with [livejournal.com profile] newschick and entourage (dogs, cats, husbands, in-laws). Much pumpkin pie was consumed. I also played Monopoly probably for the first time since high school.

The couch saga is over and the 3rd floor is finished. The hoisting of the couch and chair nearly gave me a heart attack, but anyway, now they're up and at least I can rest assured that they will never be stolen. The room is supremely cozy and I really enjoy being up here. We have burned our way through many of the downloaded and/or Netflix shows but have quite a stack to go. We're nearly through Season III of Mad Men, and I think we may start Dexter next.

Nat and I visited the Science Centre today and visited the Jacquard loom ladies. They suggested that once Nat is in school and I get a bit more experience, I can come join them. Sometimes things just come full circle... a year ago it was those very loom ladies that encouraged me to start weaving. And the Jacquard-- come on. The thing is just really fricking cool. It's been in operation for almost 200 years and I could help run it. Yes.
kadenza: (newsflash)
This seems to have been a busy weekend, and it looks like things will continue to be busy until at least Thursday.

This is our third summer in the neighbourhood and we've avoided Taste of the Danforth until now, but on Friday night we walked up to check it out. Insane. Completely insane. I wish I had taken my PoleCam so I could have at least attempted to capture the scale of the thing. I swear the entire city was compressed into about five blocks. We walked the entire length and it was pretty much shoulder to shoulder the whole way. Despite already having eaten dinner, Marshall consumed at least two more dinners' worth of assorted meats on sticks.

Yesterday after three days of no-showing, the contractors returned to finish up. True to their word, they were packed up and gone by noon. I like the paint, the bamboo floor looks great and the new stairway light is really cool (kind of like a 40s diner with a big glass shade), and gives character to the whole room. The rest of the furniture won't be ready for several more weeks, but I don't care because I won't even be here. We swept and vacuumed and very shortly after lunch I began moving weaving stuff up the stairs. The loom itself weighs almost 100 lbs and maneuvering it through our narrow doorways and halls resulted in some cosmetic damage (to the house, not the loom), including some pretty bad scrapes to a newel post. We then remembered that when we moved it up to the spare room back in May, it was in two pieces. No wonder it didn't fit anymore. Anyway, upon reflection, I'd much rather fill, sand and repaint the newel post than have to disassemble and then reassemble the loom, so I think it's a fair tradeoff.

[livejournal.com profile] newschick and bro-in-law dropped by for a brief visit. They are New Brunswick bound today, and Nat and I will follow in four days. I have a to-do list, but I haven't done any other prep. It might be time to start packing (and/or panicking).

Wasting no time, I spent a good four hours or so at the loom last night. I felt like I was in that effect you sometimes see in commercials and music videos where the person in the foreground is at normal speed and everything around them is a blur. Much as I enjoyed my classes, it's so nice not to have to watch the clock. Today I have the WHOLE AFTERNOON to myself, and I know how I'll be spending it.
kadenza: (crafts)
Overnight I had my 15th and 16th Spoonflower sales, breaking the $50 mark. It seems to take a while, but those one and two dollarses do add up. I forget when I started, March or something [edit: January!]. I can use it on the site as "Spoondollars" or transfer it to PayPal as Actual Money. I think I'll take the cash.

What else... Marshall had his eyes lasered last Thursday, and at his checkup the next day was already 20/15 in each eye. I'm so relieved it seems to have turned out ok. I dropped him off and went shopping, didn't want to be anywhere near the place while it was going on. He's still getting used to not wearing glasses, and it's funny to see him reach down beside the bed each morning, or try to take them off before I administer his drops.

Our 3rd-floor reno is taking foreeeeever but I guess that's the way they usually go. The original estimate was three days, and that was a week ago. Fixtures, switches and outlets are yet to be done, but the floor is in, the paint is done, my warp is wound and I'm so ready to move my loom up there and get started.

Also

Jul. 8th, 2010 08:31 pm
kadenza: (Default)
We're getting our third floor redone, and today I looked at some flooring samples. I'm leaning towards bamboo, because it's supposedly so renewable, and also I just like the way it looks-- the long straight grain punctuated by the occasional bamboo-y knobs (which I have just learned are called nodes). Anyone had any experience with it?
kadenza: (carcassonne)
I really should post more often... then I wouldn't have to summarize a week and a half at one go.

I've been doing a lot of cleaning this weekend. I just discovered that the rug in our bedroom is made of pure wool, and I know this because I also just discovered that we have a clothes moth infestation. It's horrible. I have no great love of the rug (which came with the house and will find itself at the curb next garbage day) but I also have many valuable woolen items and a yarn stash to think about. I spent most of the afternoon and evening vacuuming and clearing clutter. In a word, ACK. The thought of bugs EATING MY STUFF just makes my skin crawl. This never happened in the condo.

In happier textile news, my woodgrain fabrics continue to climb the Spoonflower charts. Three more people have purchased swatches of the Zebrawood in the past five days, and it's on the "what's hot" section of the site. Unfortunately I don't get a cut when someone buys a swatch, but it probably means they'll soon be ordering larger quantities. In the meantime, I've ordered 12 more swatches of my own designs so they can be eligible for sale as well. As I've mentioned before, this isn't exactly a huge moneymaker, but it's certainly enjoyable. I love to create repeating patterns. My newest uploads include oak, knotty pine, cork, bark and beach sand.

I never did mention that about three weeks ago, my dad knocked himself out in the middle of the night by falling and hitting his head on the wall. The next day he had a variety of alarming symptoms including slurred speech, blurred vision, blue lips, low blood pressure, erratic heartbeat, extreme confusion and hallucinations. We were certain it was a stroke until pneumonia and a concussion were discovered during an emergency MRI. Lack of oxygen from the pneumonia explained most symptoms, and the concussion explained the rest. His recovery has been slow and the bacteria seem to be pretty tough, but during a visit today he seemed completely back to normal which was a huge relief to me.
kadenza: (uplights)
It looks like our hydro account has finally been set to rights, because suddenly our Time Of Use thingy is working. I can now view the graph from the day before and actually remember what I was doing. The dryer uses more electricity than I ever imagined-- the thing is a beast. I normally don't run it during the day, but last night before going out I really needed something dried. Not sure what was going on from 7-9 p.m. while I was out. Probably just lots of lights and Nat's mandatory Little Big Planet fix before bed.

kadenza: (solar)
Our application has finally been approved by the OPA (Ontario Power Authority)! We applied the day after the MicroFIT program was launched (Oct 2) and it only took... 75 days. Now I have to contact Toronto Hydro and apply for a meter and a grid connection. This is taking aaaaaages but it's a brand new program and I think demand is much higher than they anticipated. Our neighbours two houses over have been admiring our panels and it looks like they may get some too.

Getting there.

Home

Sep. 15th, 2009 12:26 pm
kadenza: (carcassonne)
They say the best part of travel is coming home. Quite often I agree. Not that Nat and I didn't enjoy our two weeks by the sea with my parents, but it's just so nice to be back. The weather is superb and apparently it's been like this the whole time. About 22 during the day and 17 at night. It can just go on doing this as long as it likes-- 22 is my favourite temperature.

Marshall enjoyed his two weeks of bachelordom and kept things quite neat, though the house is showing some signs of neglect. I'm not the world's greatest housekeeper by any stretch of the imagination, but even I have standards. There is a lot of dust around, the air is a bit stale, the plants are looking droopy and there is a rather icky smell coming from the kitchen sink. But besides that, I'm just enjoying being back in the house. We've lived here for almost two years now but certain things still surprise and delight me. I sat at the dining room table today and said "Hey, this table is really nice". Also, I really enjoyed my shower this morning. There is a fairly large window over the tub and only the lower half is frosted glass, leaving the top open to the view (trees) and sun. It's awesome to have a shower with sunlight streaming in.

Also I really like our cats. They are great. Many hugs and pets have been administered.
kadenza: (solar)
The solar panels were finally installed yesterday. I was super excited. So here they are, 10 panels of awesome which unfortunately won't be much good to anyone until a hydro guy comes to give us a second meter and turn everything on in a week or two. I'm also looking forward to September, when we find out how many other people in the 'hood also signed up for the RISE program (and thus what kind of a group discount we'll be getting).

a couple of pics, click for bigger )
kadenza: (weather)
A solar dude left about half an hour ago, after evaluating our roof, electrical panel and hydro meter. He took pics of everything and will get back to us in a few days with a quote. If only I had known he wanted to see the basement... it was a disaster area. Anyway he seemed pleased with our roof. He said yes, they do also offer a wireless thingy that allows you to monitor power output etc. from your computer. I asked him Marshall's one question, "what's the catch?" and there really doesn't seem to be one, other than the startup costs being quite high. The government of Ontario's Feed-In Tariff program (80.2 cents/kW) is now one of the best in the world, plus this year there is a retail sales tax rebate for solar systems ($700) and the home renovation tax credit ($1350) to take advantage of as well.

So yeah, I'm raring to go. We'll see what happens with the estimate.
kadenza: (test pattern)
There is a new solar power initiative going on in the 'hood, and it has finally moved to the installation phase. The company that won the contract has arranged three packages for the group: 1.2, 1.98 and 3.15 kW systems. I am super keen on getting a solar panel, and I think Marshie is coming around too. I mean, how many other home improvements actually pay for themselves? It's maintenance-free and guaranteed for 25 years, but will likely last closer to 40. The new provincial Feed-In Tariff Program will guarantee a rate of 80 cents per kW hour for the next 20 years, meaning the smallest system will generate about $30,000 in that time. How cool is that.

Anyway, I have arranged a site evaluation for the 23rd. It would be awesome if this could happen very soon so we could make the most of these long daylight hours. Our roof faces south, completely unobstructed, has a pretty steep slant, and isn't doing anything useful other than, you know, providing us shelter and whatnot.

sigh

May. 18th, 2009 12:34 pm
kadenza: (aaaaaah)
Just yesterday I was out on the back porch surveying the yard and the garage and the gate and fence and wondering when we'd get around to making things more secure. This morning the garage door was standing open and my stomach just sank. Inside where Marshie's bike used to be was his Kryptonite cable lying on the floor in two pieces. He hasn't ridden it in ages and it wasn't very good, but it's still a very icky feeling to know someone with bolt cutters was in there and in our yard. Being a holiday weekend, our neighbours on both sides are away.

Anyway, hopefully this will be the kick in the pants that we need to get moving on perhaps getting a lock or even a whole new door for the garage. I think we're pretty lucky that we've been here a year and a half and this is our first theft.
kadenza: (aaaaaah)
Jolted awake this morning at about 2:30 by someone alternately ringing the doorbell and pounding on the door. Marshie ran downstairs and I yanked up the blind as the doorbell continued to ring and ring and ring. It turned out to be a taxi driver who claimed we had called for a cab. We totally didn't. We were asleep.

This also happens with mail, tradespeople, couriers and pizza deliveries (though granted, not usually at 2 a.m.) due to our house number. We're 11, and the house next door is 11a because of some long-ago superstitious person who decided they didn't want to be 13. Therefore, a lot of people assume 11a is in our basement or something. I'm not sure what can be done about this. But it took me over an hour to calm down and fall back to sleep. Blah.
kadenza: (carcassonne)
Skype, you're on notice... G-chat has implemented a new video/voice thing and it seems to work really well. [livejournal.com profile] newschick and I gave it a test run yesterday.

This morning at about 4:30 we woke up to the disturbing sound of water dripping somewhere in the house. Turns out rainwater was coming in through the bathroom fan vent and dripping down onto the toilet and floor. After cleaning up and placing buckets, getting back to sleep while worrying about soggy walls and joists was not so easy.

The roofing guys have just left after sealing up every seam they could find on the flat roof (which was just replaced in August). Fingers crossed that does the trick. If not, I hope finding the source of the leak doesn't involve too much ripping up of drywall and ceilings. When your house is 97 years old, things like this are bound to come up, I guess. I do miss the condo at times like these.

Sup

Aug. 26th, 2008 11:10 am
kadenza: (intermission)
Phew. I am done with another deadline and now I can finally relax.

This weekend was mostly taken up with my poor babe and her first real illness. She woke up very hot on Friday morning and the fever didn't break until yesterday afternoon, at which point she broke out in red spots all over her body which means it was a virus known as Roseola (aka Herpes 6). Roseola sounds a bit nicer, doesn't it. Anyway, there was a whole lot of crying and not a whole lot of sleeping in between. Glad that's over.

[livejournal.com profile] haggisthesecond stayed over on Friday night, the first night of the fever. I hope she got some sleep. She also told me about Kiva.org, a micro-loan site for helping entrepreneurs in poor countries. I have helped a lady in Paraguay expand her fruit store and I'm keen to hear how that goes. Since I was one of the last people to contribute money before her loan was fulfilled, I expect I'll be one of the last to get it back. We'll see. It's kind of exciting, anyway.

I still can't get over the fact that I have no more rats. I still find myself saving bits of my meal on the side of my plate only to realize it's all for naught. We will soon be getting our new cyborg sideboard to fill the space where the cage used to be, so maybe that will help. It should be ready pretty soon and looks pretty much exactly like this but darker, in quarter-sawn oak to match our dining room table.

Squatters

Jun. 26th, 2008 05:16 pm
kadenza: (invader)
I woke up this morning around 5 to some most peculiar sounds outside the open window. Twittering, chirping trilling kind of sounds. I got up to look out the window (to which the two cats were already glued) in time to see a mother raccoon leading five tiny babies across a branch of our tree and onto the front slope of the roof. Tonight she will probably give them "how to open the green bin" lessons, but right now they are just adorable. I hope to get pictures.

I've been wondering all day where their den might be. Our house is pretty structurally sound and I couldn't think of any crevices they might have gotten into. I went out onto the 3rd floor deck to get a better look at the back of the roof. That's when I heard a scrambling sound under my feet, looked down and saw many pairs of gleaming eyes peering up at me through the slats. Somehow they have wedged themselves into this space that is probably 4" off the top of our flat roof.

They can stay if they want, but they should probably be made aware that the roof is being replaced at the end of July, and the deck is either going to be relocated or rebuilt during that time. I think they'll probably be out by then.
kadenza: (carcassonne)
We're still not quite used to living in a house and all that comes with it (utility bills, garbage day, raccoons, you name it). We are amazed by the amount of junk mail that we get, and the number of people who come to the door. Jehovah's Witnesses. Mormons. Real estate agents. Natural gas discount people. Politicians. And just now, a person who claimed he was a financial advisor (in Australian oilskin coat and strange Crocodile Dundee-style hat with teeth all around the band) wanting to know who we're currently with and if he could take a look at our finances. He asked me point blank how much is in our RSP! Dude! I told him, as politely as I could, to take a flipping hike. He tried to give me his business card, and I refused. He said, "It's just a card." And you're just an ass.

If only they made spam filters for doors.

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