Friday, 31 March 2006

Condo repairs - day eight

We couldn't come home until 7:30ish because the painters would be there 'til then so Gord and I met at Fionn McCool's for supper. Mark and Monica had given us a gift certificate for Christmas so we used it (thanks, Mark and Mon!).

When we got home, our place was still a disaster. But the painting was done and it looked fabulous! We picked up the kitties from Mark and Monica's and set to work to make it somewhat liveable for the night. At least our bed is clear so we can sleep here tonight.

The kitchen

Looking into the kitchen from the living room

Happy birthday, Gord!

Today is Gord's 52nd birthday!

He never works on his birthday

and I hope he has a fun day off!

Thursday, 30 March 2006

Condo repairs - day seven

Knowing we couldn't go home until after 7:30pm because they were painting, Gord and I went to Gabby's on King Street W for supper.

Then we raced home so we could watch Survivor. We were expecting the same mess we've been living with for the last week or so. But it was much worse. Things were even more jammed in and EVERYTHING was covered in plastic. Duh! Of course!

The living room, kitchen, hallway and part of the back bedroom have been painted. We love the banana yellow in the living room and hallway. And we love the tangerine in the bathroom. Both are very bright and loud but we are very happy with them. Quite a change from "builder white"! They will be back tomorrow to finish up.

All the boxes that were in the hallway because there was no room for them anywhere else were on our bed along with shelving and everything in the bedroom. Plus all covered with plastic. Monica and Mark said they could keep the kitties over night. There's no way we could stay at our place and Mon and Mark offered up their spare room to us. We have the best neighbours!!

We have imposed enough on Mon and Mark (they have taken in our kitties every day ~ we didn't think it was going to take this long) so we got a room at the Travelodge on King Street W. It's just outside the downtown core so was only $109 for the night (free parking and free continental brekkie). So we packed quickly and off we went. Then I realized I'd brought everything but a comb and make-up. There will be a quick stop at the drugstore on my way to work tomorrow! And because I couldn't get into my closet, I'm wearing the same clothes as yesterday. Eeeew! I was able to get a change of underwear, though. Yay!!

Tomorrow is Gord's birthday and he's taking the day off (he never works his birthday). He'll be able to chill and relax on his day without the stress of having to be up and out before 8:00am because of the painters.

Wednesday, 29 March 2006

Condo repairs - day six

They came in today to put up the trim, baseboards, etc.

They nailed a metal plate around the inside of the windows and then did some caulking. It looks like crap. Not acceptable!!

Isn't this a lovely caulking job? NOT!!

So our Super said the builder will have to figure out what to do instead and then come back and do it. Hopefully in the next couple of days ... which will bump the painting into next week or the next.


So the painters are still coming in tomorrow and Friday. That gives the builder time to figure out what they are going to do. Then they can fix it ... and then the painters can come back in again to touch up. There's no way we can keep living with all our stuff in the middle of our place. We're not the neatest people but it's never THIS bad!

Our living room ... they expect us to keep living like this??

From our kitchen

Tuesday, 28 March 2006

Condo repairs - day five

We came home tonight to find that the primer has been applied to the effected walls. Yay! There is still no trim.

Gord and I both had shitty days at work today. So we met after work and consoled ourselves with a burrito at Burrito Boyz. Very yummy! We needed nourishment for the night ahead.

We had to pack EVERYTHING as the painters are coming in tomorrow. I've got a ton of books in my bookcase so it wasn't a fun chore. We ran out of boxes so I put my back issues of fitness magazines in groceries bags and put them in the trunk of our car out of the way (I didn't want them mistaken for garbage). Gord took everything out of our "shrine" and the shelving units in the living room.

So the mess in our place has gotten worse. Keep in mind that it isn't all that big and right now everything is piled in the middle of it.

Everything we own is in the middle of the rooms ...

This is driving us NUTS!!

The deal is that just the effected walls are getting repainted. But since our place hasn't been painted since the summer of 2002 and needs a painting (and we hate painting!!), we are going to have the painters paint our entire place and pay the difference. May as well since they are there anyway.

Monday, 27 March 2006

Condo repairs - day four

They didn't show up ...

... so our Super called the builder to see what was going on. They promise to be there tomorrow.

So we have been inconvenienced for seven days so far for the "three day job". Sigh ...

Saturday, 25 March 2006

Book ~ "Two Plus Two" - Alan Cochran (1980)

This was a murder mystery set in a swinging singles club. It was written by Alan Cochran (aka Ken Grimwood). I've read his Replay a couple of times and really enjoyed it so thought I would check out his other stuff.

This was a fast read. The writing was good and the subject matter was interesting. Definitely a different style of writing than Replay.

Friday, 24 March 2006

Mildred Pierce, Toronto, ON

Our property manager took the condo board out for supper tonight at Mildred Pierce. Mildred Pierce is an upper end restaurant at the end of our street. From the outside, it doesn't look like much. It's in a baby blue building that looks like a factory. We get stopped all the time by people looking for it because it's so hard to find. But it's quite different in the inside.

I've been there about six times since I moved to the 'hood five years ago. I always get the same thing ... roast chicken biryani and clove-scented basmati pilaf with cashews, apricots and date chutney. Very yummy! And for dessert, I had Classic Mildred Pierce profiteroles with Lindt milk chocolate ice cream drizzled with a rich dark chocolate sauce. Again, very yummy!!!

Condo repairs - day three

All the plastering and sanding has been done.

The dust factor is very low.


The back bedroom

The back bedroom

Thursday, 23 March 2006

Condo repairs - day two

All the drywall is up and the dust factor is fairly low. Yay!!

Our back bedroom (the computer is usually on this desk ...
um, when it's not on its side)

The desk on its side and their vacuum cleaner

The back bedroom ... the desk chair is buried on top of the futon

Wednesday, 22 March 2006

Condo repairs - day one

When our condos were built seven years ago, the builder screwed up and didn't make the inside of the exterior walls fire-proofed enough. This is a serious issue and the condo corporation has been fighting them about it since. Last year finally agreed to fix the issue. And this month they finally agreed to get the work started.

I'm the president of our condo board so I begrudgedly volunteered our place as the guinea pig. It had to be done eventually so we may as well get it out of the way. Last weekend we packed up everything to get it away from the outside walls ... shelving units moved, knicknacks packed, computer taken apart, etc. Everything is being stored as far from the outside walls as possible (so there's not much room to move around). We took our dog to Gord's son's place for a couple of weeks. Our kitties are at our neighbours, Monica and Mark, during the day (thanks again, Mon and Mark!!).

We have a small two bedroom unit (744 square feet) that runs north to south (our condos are in townhouses rather than a tall building). What they did today is start putting up two layers of drywall in the living room.

Stuff that was against the outside wall is now jammed against other walls

By the door - light switch and alarm

Up into the air conditioning vents

Our living room (Byron doesn't seem to notice!)

The trim in the back bedroom has been removed. Though they are covering the furniture, etc., there was a bit of dust (nothing too serious).

Tomorrow and/or Friday should be worse as they have to tape, plaster, sand, plaster and sand. They estimate it will take three days to do ... then they'll have to repaint ... and we'll have to clean clean clean!

Apparently the owner of the company (the builder) was by three times to see what was going on. From what I understand, they didn't realize the magnitude of the job. Right now, they maintain that the work will be completed in all 180 units in three to four months (using multiple crews). Very optimistic!

So Gord and I are feeling very displaced. Nothing is in its place. We keep telling ourselves that all will be well again this time next week.

Tuesday, 21 March 2006

Book ~ "Swim with the Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive: Outsell, Outmanage, Outmotivate, and Outnegotiate Your Competition" - Harvey MacKay (2005)

From ~ Envelope magnate Mackay exhorts listeners to work harder and smarter, weaving personal anecdotes into a creed of success through persistence, instinct, and planning. Hard-boiled business advice like this benefits managers, salespeople, and entrepreneurs of every stripe. Not without humor, not without a dash of humility, Mackay offers nuggets of advice that may help listeners excel.

Interesting principles told in a quick and snappy style. I enjoyed this book and look forward to reading others by him.

Sunday, 19 March 2006

Reptilia, Toronto, ON

We attended a Single Horizons' event today at Reptilia. It's a reptile zoo just north of Toronto. My friend, Kelly, and her son, Chris, came as our guests.LeeAnn had arranged for a private viewing for us (there were about 20 of us) to get up close and personal with five reptiles ... a turtle, a lizard, a couple snakes and an alligator. I've never been a big fan of reptiles but I figured this was my chance to hold them since it was a controlled environment. They weren't as bad as I thought. Gord, on the other hand, wouldn't go near them. Afterwards we went through the zoo ~ they have a ton of different reptiles. It was gross watching the snakes eating white rats and seeing the dead rats laying around for the snakes to eat later. But that's life, I guess.

Another cool event, LeeAnn!



The group was supposed to go to a sports bar/restaurant afterwards but then LeeAnn found out that kids weren't allowed (we had four kids in our group). Instead, she decided we'd go to another restaurant. We (Gord, Kelly, Chris and I) decided we still wanted games so we headed for Chuckie Cheese's. But it was PACKED! So we went to Montana's instead.

Kelly and Chris at Montana's

Friday, 17 March 2006

Hollywood on the Queensway, Etobicoke, ON

Gord and I celebrated St. Patrick's Day by attending an event at Hollywood with 30 other Single Horizoners. My friend, Yvette, came as my guest.

There was a Celtic band playing called the Cape Breton Newfoundlanders. I don't get a chance very often to hear the tunes I grew up with in Nova Scotia.

We had supper before the band started ~ nachos, Caesar salad and a choice of lamb stew, bangers and mash, corned beef and cabbage (Gord had), or spaghetti and meatballs (I had).

Yvette with her green beer

me and Gord

LeeAnn (owner of Single Horizons and a loyal reader ...
Hi, LeeAnn! Nice haircut!) and I

Harvey and Sylvia with Harvey's birthday beer

Harvey and Sylvia met through Single Horizons about four years ago. The last time we were at a pub event with them, I told the band that it was Harvey's birthday. The band and the crowd sang "Happy Birthday" to him and even had him sing a song on the stage with them. But it wasn't his birthday. Ha! So tonight I told the band it was his birthday and they sang "Happy Birthday" to him and the waitress gave him a free beer. His birthday isn't until May!

Thanks, LeeAnn, for coordinating this!

Saturday, 11 March 2006

Book ~ "Cue the Easter Bunny" - Liz Evans (2005)

From ~ During a dry job spell, PI Grace Smith dons a bunny costume to promote tourism until she's hired to investigate death threats sent to the depressed, drugged-out husband of sexy soap star Clemency Courtney — who just happens to have a pet bunny. Another sudden job finds her joining her off-and-on PI boyfriend, Dane O'Hara, in a search for long-lost Heidi Walkinshaw, whose suspected abductor, a convicted sexual predator, was killed years earlier by Dane's brother.

I'd never heard of this author when I saw this book at the library. I'm glad I checked it out because I really enjoyed it. It's a murder mystery (which I enjoy) and the writing was funny. She reminds me a lot of one of my favorite authors, Janet Evanovich, and her Stephanie Plum series. I'm looking forward to reading her other books in this series.

Tuesday, 7 March 2006

Book ~ "The Friendship Crisis : Finding, Making, and Keeping Friends When You're Not a Kid Anymore" - Marla Paul (2005)

From ~ This much-praised celebration of women's friendships explores the keys to forming emotionally supportive and sustaining connections at every stage in life. Embraced by some of the most popular women's magazines, this book has struck a chord with women everywhere who know that finding close friends as an adult isn't easy. Most women rely heavily on their friendships with other women to share their joy and see them through the rough spots, but common life changes - having a baby, leaving a job, moving to a new town, starting an at-home business, becoming divorced or widowed - not only make it difficult to forge new ties but often fray the ones we already have. Marla Paul brings together the moving personal experiences of many different women with the keen insights of psychologists and other relationship experts in "her wise and helpful book on this much neglected subject."

Nice book about friendships throughout the different times in our lives. I enjoyed reading it and it was appropriate I started it during my weekend away at The Briars with the Girls Night Out Club.

Sunday, 5 March 2006

The Briars, Jackson's Point, ON

I spent the weekend at The Briars in Jackson's Point. It was a Girls Night Out Club event. It's the fifth year they have done it ~ it's the third year I've gone. And for the third year, my pal and neighbour, Monica, was my roomie.

The Briars has rooms in the main part of the resort but there are also lodges down the road along the water. Our group of 20+ had the Mayfair Lodge. It was a great size for us ~ ten bedrooms with a common living room/kitchen on the second floor. Our room was on the main floor.

On Friday, there was a champagne welcome and then we headed to the main inn for supper. Then we headed back to our lodge for some drinks, chatting and knitting (I brought my afghan along).


I had a massage at 10:15am (it was great! I like a deep massage and the massage therapist combined Swedish with shiatsu) and then a pedicure at 11:30am (my toes are a lovely shade of purple). Then I met everyone for lunch.

Yvette, Monica and I at lunch (look how relaxed I am!)

There are lots of activities at the resort (sleigh rides, snow golf, walks, snowshoeing, a pool, fitness room, etc.) but I felt like chillin' out (life has been way too busy for me lately) so I went to the tower to finish my book

The Briars and tower

I headed back to the lodge a couple hours later for more chatting and knitting (and a couple drinks) before we headed back to the main inn for supper. We were early so we went to the Drinkwater Lounge first. 

Chris, Darlene, Yvette and I at the Drinkwater before supper

After supper, Chris, Darlene, Monica and I went back to the Drinkwater for a couple drinks before heading back to the the lodge. When we got there, the PJ party was just getting over.


I checked out and then headed to the tower again to read and chill. I went on the 10:30am walk with The Briar's fitness person, Sheila. She took Monica, Arlene and I around the area and we ended up at the lake (Lake Simcoe). The lake is frozen and there were a bunch of people ice fishing. There were lots of trucks and huts on the ice so we figured it was safe enough to hold our weight.

Arlene, Monica, Sheila and I on Lake Simcoe

Monica and I went back to the tower to read for a while and then headed down for lunch.

The Girls Night Out Club - our last lunch before heading home

Saturday, 4 March 2006

Book ~ "The Mirror" - Marlys Millhiser (1997)

From ~ When Shay Garrett looks into the grotesque and evil mirror she receives as a gift on her wedding eve, she is drawn back in time, awakening in the same house, but in another body, that of her grandmother, Brandy. The independent and headstrong Brandy is transported as well - from 75 years in the past into her granddaughter, Shay's deserted body. Shay is forced to live the life of her grandmother, being called crazy by all of society and is tortured by knowing the future and being forced to endure it.

I enjoy time travel books so this one interested me. I really enjoyed it. All the sites that I read about it gave it rave reviews. The writing is well-done and moves fairly quickly. It was interesting reading how Shay reacts in Brandy's world and vice versa.

Friday, 3 March 2006

Happy birthday, Sister Sarah!

Today is my favorite sister's birthday
(actually she is my ONLY sister!) .

Sarah is now 38
and lives in Halifax, NS.

See ya soon, Sis!