Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Seen through a car window

Taken in August, along the drive home from mum and dad's. The Armview is a sweet little diner about 10 minutes walk from us.

It only took six months

A couple of nights ago, I was on Facebook chatting with one of my friends in Vancouver. He wanted to know how things were going with the house, and I told him that it was keeping me pretty busy. I told him I was learning lots, like framing walls, hanging drywall, crack-filling and taping. His response to all this was that I needed to post more photos of the house and the work that was getting done.

Well, this post is especially for him. I'm starting small, with a little tiling job I did in front of our dishwasher. It's not quite finished yet, but you get the idea.

When we first moved in some 6 months ago, we had to do a little surgery to the kitchen floor. The hardwood in there had been laid over the old floor, and there wasn't enough clearance between the new floor and the kitchen counter to slide the dishwasher in. We eventually ended up having to cut a few floorboards out, and for the past 6 months there has been a hole in front of our dishwasher; a patch of old vinyl flooring; a window into the past.

It was always our intention to get that cutout patched up. and we decided that some slate would look best. We picked up some tumbled mixed slate mosaic, and they've been languishing in the garage for months now.

On Thursday morning, after dropping Nate off at his play group, I got back and started work. Cutting the trim pieces from the floorboards we had removed. Then I cut a piece of plywood to fill in the space so that the tiles would come level with the rest of the floor. First time laying tile, and as you can probably see, it's not exactly level or straight. I had also underestimated just how hard it would be working under the dishwasher door. I could barely get the notched trowel or grout float under it. I laid the tile on Thursday morning, and let it set for 48 hours. Did the grout about an hour ago, and will seal it in the next few days. In all I'd say about 2-3 hours work.

Patty should be home in the next hour, hope she likes it.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The old neighbourhood

I thought I would make a list of the things I missed from my old neighbourhood. While putting it together, I realized just how much I've already forgotten. Little details; store names, people, dogs. Some are from 9 years ago, some are from just before we left. There is no particular order, just me remembering. Some of the people and places are no longer with us. Sad, yes. However the memories are all good, and I found this exercise to be a strangely uplifting experience. All those little bits we take for granted.

Milo, the big shepherd; Shiloh, the great dane and Liza Minelli, the Boston Terrier; Misha, Francine, and Frank; Kea; Nice CafĂ©; Chris at Pulp Fiction; Soma; the little old lady at Kams; BBQ pork at Ho Tak Kee; Our Town; Sushi Yama; Grr; Tisol; Leepo; Mister; Corey and Erica at Happy Bats, Tea Swamp; Dave the guerrilla gardener; Hillcrest plumbing; Walter out front of the Sev; Viki and Aleese at Urban Source; Our Community Bikes; Hawkers’ Delight; Helen’s Grill; Bert’s Diner; Anubis and Dammit; Corey; Rev; Windsor Meats; The Flower Factory; Zipang Sushi; Toshi; JJ – RIP; Brewery Creek Cold Beer and Wine; The Budapest; Adam at Yek-O-Yek; Sid and Helen at Papa’s Pizza; Everfresh; Monsoon; Motherland; Pleasant Girl; The Cascade, and the scarey old junk store that used to be there; St. Vinnie’s; Planet Bingo; The Reef; Olivia at Main Sellution; Bubba; Merlin, Linda and Joey (RIP); Max (RIP); Cheryl; Shelley and Crash; Jonathan Rogers Park; Pad Thai; Chutney Villa; Anthony at Mine; Aurora Bistro; Major Matthews Park; Robson Park; The Sunny Spot; Vegetarian at the Bo Kong; Jenny. Eliza and Alice (RIP); Kingsgate Mall; mama (like nana); Rose; The Federal Store; Kim at the best little sushi place ever on Main and 11th (the best spicy tuna roll I’ve ever tasted); The little Vietnamese noodle place that used to be on that corner; Legendary Noodle House on Main and 26th; Thai Son on Broadway; Slickity Jim’s Chat ‘n Chew (destroyed in a fire last week); Laura and Lunar; Shannah; Tara and Bailey; little Arlo; Gabriel, Carley and Frankie; Mark and Story; the Mongolian place; haddock and chips at The Windjammer; Confuscius says; the little place that made jerky, victim to a fire 9 years ago; the congee and noodle house; Damian, Ian and Finley;...

I hope to make more lists like this.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Uilleann pipes

Davis Watson is presently couch surfing at my friend Sam's in Cork, Ireland. Spread the word and pledge if you can.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Missing friends

A couple of weeks ago, Nate wandered into my room in the morning and woke me up with this:-

'I miss Vancouver. I like Vancouver better than Halifax. I miss my friends there and I miss your friends at the coffee shop.'

Then he slumped his shoulders forward, as if defeated and launched into an overly dramatic wail. At the time I thought that he just wanted some attention, and so I pulled him up onto the bed and cuddled with him while we talked about the good things that came with our move to Halifax.

He hasn't let it go yet though. He's brought it up several times since then. We've been here for almost 8 months now, and in the past couple of weeks it seems to me he's mentioned missing people in Vancouver more than he did during the entire 7 months prior.

He's not the only one though. I've been missing my friends too. When I first moved here, I made a conscious effort not to pick up the phone to call people back in Vancouver, or to check in too often on Facebook. I felt I needed to let go a little, if you will. I didn't want to be living my life in Vancouver via the phone/internet while I was here in Halifax. Of course that didn't stop me from thinking of my friends there. I guess Nate hasn't stopped thinking of his friends in Vancouver either.

And so my friends out West, know that you are missed by a little boy, and his dad.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Yes, I am still very much alive

My friend Jack wanted to know where I went. I've been right here. Never left, I just never got around to posting anything here. Somehow October just got away from me, and now it's November. What happened?!

I guess I've been busy. With what I'm not exactly sure. The basement reno has been taking up some of my time, and I'm glad to say it's almost done. It doesn't look like the basement anymore, it looks more like it's part of the house now. The newer part of the house. We've also got ourselves a new front door, one that lets light into the previously dark cave-like hallway. It's remarkable what a little bit of light will do.

The outside of the house has been plugged up, the rotten boards have been replaced, the satellite dishes have been removed. Now there's just the matter of all those leaves.

The espresso machine is finally up and running again. I haven't put the cover back on yet, just in case. There are still a few little leaks and some of the valves need replacing, but when you've been nearly 8 months without an espresso take what you can get. Now we have to find someplace to put it. It's sitting on the kitchen table right now, not exactly ideal.

Nate went trick-or-treating as Batman on Halloween. I stayed home and doled out candy, and Patty took him around the neighbourhood. He was very well behaved, and didn't once wander into anyone's house. Quite a change from last Halloween when all he seemed to be interested in was going into people's homes.

It's Patty's birthday tomorrow and she's leaving for Ottawa in the morning. I got Beatles Rock Band for her last week, since I knew she wasn't going to be around this week. Nate has been singing Yellow Submarine and Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.

Today at work I met a couple who just moved from Vancouver. They drove across the country and arrived here at two this morning. They were looking for Black Cat espresso. 'Wicked?' I asked, 'Yes!' they replied. Regulars of Wicked Cafe on Hemlock, but they also liked JJ Bean and 49th Parallel. I wanted to jump over the counter and hug them, but I managed to control myself.

This post is missing photos, and I promise they will come soon.