WHO said that

Monday, June 18, 2007

A strange neighbour
The house next to mine is deserted, or at least it seems to be. I've been told that the house has been vacant for 5 years. Yet, from time to time, mysterious garbage bags appear on the curb, and recently we've experienced some unusual electrical brownouts.

Last summer I did see some evidence of renovations being done in the home but a year later and nobody has moved in. The lawn now consists of grass over three feet in height and things are looking quite unsightly.

With the string of reports on the news about marijuana grow ops in residential neighbourhoods, I started to wonder. But there are not the other tell-tale signs. There is no condensation on the windows, the windows are not blocked, there doesn't seem to be regular traffic to and from the house.

I suppose I'll continue being a nosy neighbour to figure out this mystery, or at least get them to cut their lawn.


Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Squirrel revisited
Back in February I wrote about our unwanted visitor. We ended up having the good people from AAA Wildlife Control take care of sealing up the gaps in our roof to keep visitors away. $500 later, our attic is squirrel-free.

But, that does not seem to have stopped our little friend from trying to get inside. Every once and awhile I still hear the scampering of little feet on top of our roof. Yesterday, I caught the little guy (who is noticeably less red then when I spotted it in the winter) sitting in our eaves where his little door into our attic used to be.

Perhaps he was reminiscing about the good old days when he was able to curl up in our attic insulation enjoying the creature comforts of our home.


Sunday, April 01, 2007

Our sponsored child

Today, Janet and I decided to sponsor a child through World Vision. We had been thinking about doing this for some time but we finally decided it was time to stop putting it off.

We chose to sponsor Richel, an adorable 5 year old from the Philippines. Our money will go to World Vision to help the community where Richel lives.

We hope to write to her, and send her some small things (World Vision suggests paper items such as colouring books, pictures, stickers, etc.) just to let her know we do want to help and we do care.

While this is really only a small contribution of $35/month, we hope this little bit helps make her life a better one.


Monday, February 19, 2007

A little unwanted visitor
Owning a house has its ups and downs. In the fall we had a little leak in the roof. Water was finding its way through a vent hole... nothing a roofing professional couldn't fix with a little caulking.

Recently, we've had problems with our furnace. The temperature wasn't getting over 19C in the house. I bought a new thermostat, but that wasn't the problem. Long story short(er), today I seemed to have diagnosed the problem... water (condensate) wasn't draining properly from the furnace causing it to lockout and shut off the gas. I seemed to have cleared out the water drainage and things seem fine.

But just to add to the housing woes, we now have a little red squirrel living in our attic. I heard some noises in the ceiling the other day. Suspecting an animal, I went out to investigate roof from the backyard. First I heard the squirrel (I swear it sounds like those guys are laughing at you) and then it ran atop my fence, leaped onto a bush and then gracefully jumped onto my roof. After staring me down a bit, it entered my attic through a gap between my roof and the eaves. Now these little squirrels are really quite cute. But they're often your worst enemy on a canoe trip in Algonquin Park. They're incredibly persistent, really quite brave for their size, and very hungry. They are capable of gnawing full packs. A friend accidentally chop one in half with a machete while camping once (long story... he thought squirrels could move a lot faster).

Anyway, I had a wildlife control fellow drop by for an estimate. It'll cost at least $300 to get the squirrel out (humanely, not using a machete) and patch part of the roof, but more of the roof will need to be fixed once the ice on my roof thaws.

All in all I love home ownership, but it is certainly leading me down some adventures as an unwilling participant.


Friday, February 16, 2007

Harper Chinese New Year!
Chinese New Year is just around the corner. Soon we will be ushering in the Year of the Pig.

And how did I know that the new lunar year was coming? Why, because my in-laws received this lovely greeting card from the first family of Canada: the Harpers, wishing them a Happy New Year!

Now, I'm a little jealous... I didn't receive a card. Did only select Chinese people receive the honour of a greeting card signed by Stephen, Loreen, and the kids?

Then I started to wonder... have people around Canada been receiving cards for Christmas, Hanukkah, Al-Hijra, or maybe even Valentine's Day?

In any case, I hope everyone has a wonderful Chinese New Year, whether you received a card from Stephen or not!