Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Post 3791 - What I Have Been Up To

Hello again, my lovelies.

I have been incommunicado for more than a week now. I am sorry about that.

We... ended up not going to the cottage. The reasons for that are complicated, actually. We didn't go to the Valley, either. We just stayed in town, laying low, taking things easy.

First of all, I have been keeping something from you for months and months now. I had my reasons for doing so. I think they were good reasons, but upon re-evaluation, it just doesn't make sense any longer. This thing has taken an enormous amount of my time, and Patricia's time, over the last six months, and contributed mightily to many of the problems I have had getting blog posts out on a regular basis.

Here it goes.

The house I have in the Valley is on the market.

Some of you have known about this since the beginning. If you work with me, you would have likely heard me grousing or seen my exhaustion.

Patricia and I have spent a lot of time down there cleaning out the place. Many, many trips to Value Village, dropping off stuff. So many salt and pepper shakers. Packing things up. Cleaning out the attic took the better part of an entire weekend. My father had put stuff up there over the decades that was promptly forgotten about. Goodness gracious. Old exercise books from high school. University stuff. We filled 14 or 15 large plastic bags full of that stuff, after I had climbed up in the attic and thrown stuff  down into the hallway. So much stuff. 99.9% of it went out with our recycling.

A couple of years ago, I went up there and found some old mystery magazines and back issues of SF magazines, issues I had long ago misplaced, and which either I or my father had put up there more than 30 years ago. After rescuing that stuff, I had hoped that there might still be some treasures up there. Not so much.

That is but one example.

We have found so much stuff there over the months and got rid of it. My father was  a packrat of the highest order. We found hundreds of cancelled cheques he wrote back in the 1970's. He would pay Mom a sum every week with which she would buy groceries. We have found so many of those cheques. Those will be shredded.

There have been a couple of offers on the house. One of them, to my ever lasting regret, was rejected because we didn't have full information. The disappointment was nearly palpable. Another offer fell through over when the person could not secure bank funding.  Plenty of people have traipsed through the place.

The decision to sell the property was not made lightly. I thought about it for years. I felt I was betraying my parents by selling the place. They wanted me to retire down there, even though my life has been in the city for the past three decades. But the cost, on my finances, on my psyche, on my soul, on nearly every aspect of my being, had become such that keeping the place was an untenable situation. Driving up there. Taking care of the place. Driving back. Rinse. Repeat. For years.

I resisted for as long as I could before friends and a couple extended family members managed to convince me that my parents would not want me to go through all this sturm und drang, that they would understand if I just let it go, that it was time for someone else to live there and put their stamp on the place. Yet feelings of doubt lingered, like

I recently hired a man to replace the back steps, as the old ones had become unsafe. I haven't seen the work yet. I am sure the man did a very good job, as he has been doing extremely well with the other handyman jobs I have had him do in the last several months. He has been a godsend. I always address him by his last name because he is a good man who deserves respect, and therefore I will address him with respect.

There are other aspects of this topic that I probably should not discuss here, but you can guess what they might be.

In other news...

We did have a bit of fun during our vacation. We went out to a couple of meals, including a place called Delish, in Upper Tantallon. It is a British-focused eatery that also sells groceries from the U.K. We really like the place.

Also had a good meal at the Finer Diner last week. And before hitting Nocturne last Saturday, we had a meal at our favourite Halifax sushi place. As we left, the owner looked at me and said, "I am a boy". Turns out I had given him one of my Bevboy's Blog business card and had kept it for the past year or so. Must be a blog reader. Hello, sir.

The return to work on Monday was difficult. I was exhausted Monday night and slept the night away. Felt a bit better Tuesday night and made a stir fry for dinner. Wednesday morning, the dull headache I had had for a few days was still there. I found a stash of my headache pills and took one around 6:30. 45 minutes or so later, it was gone, and I felt fine. I love those pills. Have saved me from taking dozens of sick days over the years.

So, that is what I have been up to, in broad strokes. I feel better for telling you about it.

I am going to turn in for the evening. I have to get up in less than six hours. Where do the evenings go?

Talk to you tomorrow.


Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Post 3790 - Tomorrow.

The blog returns tomorrow. Sorry for the delay. All will be explained.

See you then.


Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Post 3789 - Not Just Yet

So, it is very late Tuesday night. Sort of Wednesday morning.

We haven't gone to the cottage just yet. We plan to head out Wednesday before lunch time.

We kinda lazed around until mid-afternoon. I had some finishing touches to put on my latest Frank Magazine article, so that is done. My editor gets to concentrate on the remaining articles in the magazine, whatever they may be.

By three pm, we got tired of sitting around the house, so we took off for Tantallon. I had to go to the bank, the RBC there, so we parked there. Patricia ran into an old friend of hers, so they gabbed. I grabbed a slice of pizza from the place next door to the bank and wandered into the "Delish" deli and British-based grocery store. I had been in there years before and been unimpressed, but the improvements in the place made me smile. I now have a jar of Branston Pickle to consume!

We went across the street to the Tantallon Farmer's Market, which for whatever damn reason operates in the summer and early fall on Tuesday afternoons, between 2 and 6. I bought Newbie a catnip toy. I got a jar of dill pickles.

Then we went to Otis And Clementines because used bookstore. Ellen had just got in some vintage mystery paperbacks. I sifted through them. Musty! But I found six John Dickson Carr novels for two bucks each. Once I conquer the problem with the musty odor, I will add them to my home office/library.

I have tried putting musty books in a zippered up bag along with an open box of baking soda and had only limited success. Please pass along your tips for removing musty odors from books, won't you? You're a peach.

We drove along the "loop" that took us along French Village and all those other numerous communities. We grabbed a bite at the Finer Diner. I had the soup of the day (cabbage with bacon), and a side Caesar salad. Loved them both. Patricia had the hot turkey sandwich, which she found a little dry. We drank water. Too full for dessert.

We continued along our way, eventually reaching Peggy's Cove, and continuing the way around back to the Saint Margaret's Bay Road. In the gathering darkness, in October, the drive was not the most exciting. A ton of rocks and not the most interesting views. We returned to the house around 7:20. I gave Newbie his present, and he played with it like a crazy kittie.

We watched two movies on demand this evening. "Kidnap", starring Halle Berry is about a single mother whose son is kidnapped in broad daylight. Without her cell phone, she hops into her car and gives chase. It only got a 37% Rotten Tomatoes score, but it pressed all our buttons. It was a fine little film, and I hope you check it out. It was filmed in 2014 and originally supposed to be released in 2015, but sat on a shelf until last year, when it was dumped in theaters in August. It deserved a far better fate than that. Check out "Kidnap"!

The other one was the 2017 "Murder on the Orient Express", the remake of the 1973 film, based on the Agatha Christie novel. I have enjoyed Kenneth Branagh's acting and directing for more than 25 years, and he does not disappoint here. The film sort of sets up a sequel, based on another Christie Poirot novel. I hope it happens.

By this time, it was nearly midnight.

It was a good day. Let's hope that the rest of the week only improves.

See you soon.


Monday, October 8, 2018

Post 3788 - Vacation Time

First of all, Happy Canadian Thanksgiving, everyone.

We didn't do much today. Slept in like crazy. I spent much of the afternoon and quite late into the evening, working on my next article for Frank Magazine. I just filed it about 40 minutes ago. It is not a true crime piece. Something a little different that I hope you will like. I will announce the subject of the article over the weekend.

I wanted to get it done a little early so I could enjoy the next several days of vacation. We will be at the cottage with spotty and sporadic internet coverage, so blog posts will be, um, spotty and sporadic until the weekend. Sorry about that.

We are nervous about going to the cottage. We haven't been there since August. The lawn was shaggy then. It will be that much worse now. I can only imagine how exasperated the trespassers will be with us, since we have inconvenienced them and made their trespassing problematic.

We have been neglecting the place. I will have to spend the better part of a day mowing down there, and I do not look forward to it, even though the lawn tractor does most of the work. I get hay fever something fierce. I take some of those allergy pills, which work, but they knock me out for 18 hours after I am done the job. Sleeping is nice, but not for that long.

I am calling it a night. It's a night.

See you soon.


Saturday, October 6, 2018

Post 3787 - Saturday Night Stuff

How are you this evening?

I didn't write Friday night because I was tired. And Thursday? I was busy doing stuff and got to bed kinda late. Should have written something. Sorry.

The highlight of the day for me, as sad as it sounds, was when the guy from Bell Aliant dropped by to upgrade our Fibre Op equipment. He replaced the modem and router, and combined them into one device, which is smaller and more efficient. The old wifi router had 4 antennas. This one has 12. Coverage is significantly better throughout the house, even in the upstairs bedrooms, up two flights of stairs. It means having to change to a new network, which is fine. The usual cost of $200 was waived because of lengthy service.

The internet in the house feels peppier now. We are pleased.

We are off work until the 15th. We are still plotting what we will do for the next week, but at least some of it will leave us sans internet access. Blog posts will be spotty over the next several days. I will write as much as I can. I promise.

We're celebrating our Thanksgiving on Sunday. I think I will turn in so I can get up relatively early and enjoy it.

See you tomorrow.


Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Post 3786 - Wednesday Stuff

Yes. Writing a blog post two days in a row.

I spent a few hours at the archives tonight, researching something for an upcoming piece in Frank Magazine. I think it will be a pretty interesting piece, once I finish my research. I even managed to track down a source to talk to me about this particular topic. I look forward to sharing it with you.

After that was all over, I picked up Patricia on Spring Garden Road. We drove home. She had bought me a little sammich thingy, so I nuked it when we got home and started to watching "Lethal Weapon" on the PVR. Patricia promptly dozed off, so we will watch it in the coming days. I read this afternoon that Damon Wayans, star of the show, has decided to quit the show in December, probably leading to its cancellation, and throwing a couple hundred people out of work. It wasn't enough that he got Clayne Crawford fired. Now, he wants to shut down the show entirely. Bugger.

Tomorrow is Thursday already. Not a pay week. A pay week would be lovely as I have a couple of unexpected house expenses to take care of.

I am calling this short. Lots to do tomorrow, which comes in six and a half hours.

See you tomorrow.


Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Post 3785 - Where Have You Been? We've Been So Worried!

Good question.

I am not sure I have a good answer.

Last Wednesday I was working hard against a tight Frank Magazine deadline. The result is a three page article in the issue that hits stores on Wednesday. I hope you check it out.

Thursday night I was busy doing some other stuff that occupied the bulk of my evening.

Friday night, my body collapsed on the recliner and I was out for the night.

Saturday we went to the Valley for the day. I paid my handyman friend for some recent work he did and hired him to do yet more work for me down there. I heartily recommend this man to anyone who needs such work done down there. Hit me up and I will give you his name. We returned to the city later in the evening.

Sunday... what did I do on Sunday? Uh... Patricia? Honey? What did we do on Sunday? That we want my 4.7 readers to know about? Oh, nothing? OK. I did nothing on Sunday.

Monday night, once again, I was tuckered out. I wasn't feeling well at work that day, so it was curtains for me when we got home.

Tonight, we watched some stuff on the telly. And, now, sheepishly, I write this silly blog post.

We had some time for a few good meals over the last several days. Since I have some foodies as readers, I thought I'd tell you about them.

We were off on Friday. We drove to Tantallon to Lefty's Restaurant and Lounge for a late lunch. Here is the website. We adore the Irish nachos. I ordered the two piece Bangers and Mash. There was too much mash, even though it was mixed with onions and cabbage. Sausages were locally sourced. Patricia ended up eating the balance of the meal that evening. This was after I made the mistake of offering her "a couple of bites", and I never saw it again. I recall liking it.

Saturday, in the Valley, we had lunch at Paddy's Pub and Rosie's Restaurant. I have never understood why they have both places under one roof. It is a conceit that has never made sense to me. They have one kitchen, folks. One! Same menu. Rosie's is a slightly nicer place to sit in. I used to take my mother there. We went there so often that the servers knew that we would want "two coffees and two waters". I had the steak dinner, which cost over twenty dollars. It was okay. For that price, in a pub-type environment, I expected somewhat better. Patricia liked what she ordered, but I cannot recall what it was.

On the way back to the city that evening, we drove back through Wolfville and had a snack and a couple smoothies at the juice bar on the main drag. A vast menu with a couple dozen options for wraps and pitas, but only about six choices for smoothies. I am thinking they should re-think the name of their business. Just a suggestion.

Sunday? I already told you that we did nothing on Sunday. Stop prying.

So, there you have it. A rough approximation of what I did the last week. I do hope to write more often, but my schedule does not always permit me to do so. I do apologize most humbly.

I will state "see you tomorrow" in a tone that is a promising one, but who knows what will happen between now and then.

So... uh, see you... tomorrow?