Tag Archives: London

All these things and a Dog named Robert

Backyard Mornings

Living in London has been rewarding for me; especially having my own house with my own yard and trees.  While I’m not outdoors-oriented in any way, I do enjoy my yard.  I enjoy it in the way a gentleman does, someone else picks up the poo, my mailbox is monitored by my household staff and my guard dog “Bob” keeps out the racoons.

At least I would if I had grounds, staff or a dog named bob.

Instead I get to sit in my house or yard; watch the bluejays and the cardinals in spring, fireflies in summer and chickadees in winter.

It’s not a bad life; to have a nice house in London.

When the mercury was hitting 80 I was in the yard

Spent a good deal of this weekend enjoying having a yard.

Watered and patched the front lawn a bit on Saturday; put down a ton of “shady blend” grass seed and covered it up with soil in hope that in about 2 weeks those bald patches will be covered in soft grass.  Watered it all down and enjoyed the cool spray; it was already 75 in the shade by 10 AM Saturday and Sunday!

The back yard took a bit more, as the gardener (Jen) wouldn’t leave her basement lair in the morning, so she ended up toiling in her dirt corner in the hot sun.  I spent some of this time tearing down the squirrel house from the big tree out back.  I’ve been spoiling to take it down since the day I noticed the squirrels in it; they alternated between it and our roof all winter and I’m tired of the the pitter patter of little feet, truth be told.  So I pulled it down and found it full of three things; dirt, fur and BEES.  GOD-DAMNED BEES!!! A whole colony of BEES!!!  RUN AUGH!  AHHH! BUZZZZ.

Yeah, I found a bee’s nest in the thing as I tore it down and spent about 30 minutes trying to coax them into abandoning the furry confines they had built into.  After poking and hoping failed, water and drowning appears to have won out.  As they (thumb sized, no joke) bumble bees left the pile of fur and dirt for me to spread them over my new grass seeds on the south (shady) side of the yard.

Every time I go back there I see more crap that needs to be taken out of the yard and I get depressed at the sheer volume of stuff that needs to leave; the former owners left us with a literal ton of garbage and random bullcrap to clean up, not to mention a couple hundred dollars worth of basic repairs and painting to take on when we moved in.

Look; I love that when I wake up and look out my window I’m looking at my yard; but all the repairs (we still don’t have a stove due to the broken glass there)  and the garbage cut the sweetness pretty hard.

Yellow roses and fresh cherries aside.

Sunday was nice, more watering more relishing the spray.  More beers in the heat of the evening.  Pad Thai for supper.

Still…

When the mercury was hitting 80 I was in the yard

Spent a good deal of this weekend enjoying having a yard.

Watered and patched the front lawn a bit on Saturday; put down a ton of “shady blend” grass seed and covered it up with soil in hope that in about 2 weeks those bald patches will be covered in soft grass.  Watered it all down and enjoyed the cool spray; it was already 75 in the shade by 10 AM Saturday and Sunday!

The back yard took a bit more, as the gardener (Jen) wouldn’t leave her basement lair in the morning, so she ended up toiling in her dirt corner in the hot sun.  I spent some of this time tearing down the squirrel house from the big tree out back.  I’ve been spoiling to take it down since the day I noticed the squirrels in it; they alternated between it and our roof all winter and I’m tired of the the pitter patter of little feet, truth be told.  So I pulled it down and found it full of three things; dirt, fur and BEES.  GOD-DAMNED BEES!!! A whole colony of BEES!!!  RUN AUGH!  AHHH! BUZZZZ.

Yeah, I found a bee’s nest in the thing as I tore it down and spent about 30 minutes trying to coax them into abandoning the furry confines they had built into.  After poking and hoping failed, water and drowning appears to have won out.  As they (thumb sized, no joke) bumble bees left the pile of fur and dirt for me to spread them over my new grass seeds on the south (shady) side of the yard.

Every time I go back there I see more crap that needs to be taken out of the yard and I get depressed at the sheer volume of stuff that needs to leave; the former owners left us with a literal ton of garbage and random bullcrap to clean up, not to mention a couple hundred dollars worth of basic repairs and painting to take on when we moved in.

Look; I love that when I wake up and look out my window I’m looking at my yard; but all the repairs (we still don’t have a stove due to the broken glass there)  and the garbage cut the sweetness pretty hard.

Yellow roses and fresh cherries aside.

Sunday was nice, more watering more relishing the spray.  More beers in the heat of the evening.  Pad Thai for supper.

Still…

The house, the yard and stuff

Yesterday was one of those “get things in shape” days.

In short order Jen, Elizabeth and I

  1. Removed half of the boxes from the master bedroom that had been “hanging on” opening up another 15% of the floor space in there and making it look cleaner.
  2. Hung some pictures and set the stage for more to go up in the living room area at the front of the house
  3. Cleaned out the storm drains at the end of the yard
  4. Cleaned up the damn pine cones all over the yard
  5. Spiked a bunch of weeds
  6. Coiled the old holey Garden hose for tossing out… might take it back and bury it in the garden instead as an under-ground watering system… bears more thought really.
  7. Finally packed away the dining room table.  We don’t eat at it and we have a nice breakfast counter to eat at anyway.  This opened up a ton of space in the livingroom/kitchen area too.

In terms of stuff to do I checked out Kijiji and Craigslist and found a bunch of lawn mowers for sale.  I’ll have to check on them but we should be able to get a simple gas powered one for under 60 bucks as opposed for 90 bucks for an electrical one.  Our grass is too long for an underpowered one…..

We have crab grass where I laid the new seed.  Was the new seed full of crab grass?  Hmmm.

The new seed didn’t really take universally so we still have a kind of patchy lawn.  The back yard has really become this lush jungle of weeds though.  We need a weed whacker.

I need to repair at least one plug and then get an electrician in to fix the spare bathroom’s lights and power.

Paint needs touching up in places, but I bet a nice rub with a cloth will fix some of them instead.

Still no oven, coming up with 300 bucks for a repair seems less likely as the months come on.

Some outstanding bills to deal with too.

Perhaps it is time to sell off the comic collection if only to get some of this stuff done.

The house, the yard and stuff

Yesterday was one of those “get things in shape” days.

In short order Jen, Elizabeth and I

  1. Removed half of the boxes from the master bedroom that had been “hanging on” opening up another 15% of the floor space in there and making it look cleaner.
  2. Hung some pictures and set the stage for more to go up in the living room area at the front of the house
  3. Cleaned out the storm drains at the end of the yard
  4. Cleaned up the damn pine cones all over the yard
  5. Spiked a bunch of weeds
  6. Coiled the old holey Garden hose for tossing out… might take it back and bury it in the garden instead as an under-ground watering system… bears more thought really.
  7. Finally packed away the dining room table.  We don’t eat at it and we have a nice breakfast counter to eat at anyway.  This opened up a ton of space in the livingroom/kitchen area too.

In terms of stuff to do I checked out Kijiji and Craigslist and found a bunch of lawn mowers for sale.  I’ll have to check on them but we should be able to get a simple gas powered one for under 60 bucks as opposed for 90 bucks for an electrical one.  Our grass is too long for an underpowered one…..

We have crab grass where I laid the new seed.  Was the new seed full of crab grass?  Hmmm.

The new seed didn’t really take universally so we still have a kind of patchy lawn.  The back yard has really become this lush jungle of weeds though.  We need a weed whacker.

I need to repair at least one plug and then get an electrician in to fix the spare bathroom’s lights and power.

Paint needs touching up in places, but I bet a nice rub with a cloth will fix some of them instead.

Still no oven, coming up with 300 bucks for a repair seems less likely as the months come on.

Some outstanding bills to deal with too.

Perhaps it is time to sell off the comic collection if only to get some of this stuff done.

The Ice Death is here!

Last night as I left the office I was greeted with what I have to call an oddity for early January, a light warm mist.  The Air temperature was still in the zub-zero range but there was a mild-thin patter of water walling over the whole place.

This was (of course) prime freezing rain weather.

This morning I  was not surprised to find my car frozen in a thin candy-shell of dappled ice.  It produced some neat images of ice and water.  I think they will have a date with a cropping tool before they get anywhere near useful but at least they show the crust as it was this morning.

Feel bad for anyone homeless in London, okay?  They might have been stuck out in wet, sub-freezing weather overnight last night.  Weather my DOG didn’t want to go out in.

Girl, I hope you’ve got lots of money at the DOG PARK, DOG PARK, DOG PARK!

Lucy iz Fasts

We’ve had a dog for about 9 days now; Lucy the “Jug” or “Puggle” or “Jack Russel Mutant” something.  She’s about four months old and just getting the hang of asking to go out and not chewing on our hands for comfort.  She’s small enough to pick up and carry around, but large enough to not look a toy dog when she is out for a walk.  Which brings us to the weekend, when we took her to the off-leash dog park off of Hamilton Road.

It’s a nice park; lots of trees and open spaces.  There’s a small dog area, where (on Saturday) Lucy got a taste of real open freedom in the city, running around like crazy and chasing sticks.  There’s a a no toys rule in the park to avoid fights (smart) and a poop-scoop rule (smart, but a number of the dog owners seem to ignore it, more on this)  the small dog area was deserted, so after a bit we took Lucy to the regular  area so she could see other dogs.   Good news, she behaves off of the leash in the large area, bad news every male dog that saw her wanted to hump her into a hole in the ground.  It was cute when the tiny little black pug mutt wanted to, it stopped being funny when 5 or six dogs were trying.

So I picked her up, walked away and we took an off-leash walk through the woods and then out of the park, leashed up of course when we left.

The next day we skipped milling around with the other people and just went for a walk through the trees and grass.  Lucy was great, walking with us and then coming when she lagged to sniff the plants.  What a good dog.

We took her into the small dog area where some other small dogs were playing, but they just ended up chasing her around and trying to hump her.  Oh well.  We leashed her and walked her out to the big dog area where the largest dog at the park decided to try an arial full-speed mounting, repeatedly.  The monster’s owner didn’t make any real attempt to stop “Kirby” from repeatedly making my little dog yelp in pain when his monster tried to run down and mount a puppy, it should come as no surprise that he had just let his dog drop a massive load in the trails just 10 minutes earlier while I watched.  No scoop, not so much as a look over his shoulder.

Assholes come in all stripes.

I picked Lucy up and walked her away from the fracas and then let her down to walk out of the park.

She’s none the worse for wear, but I’ll keep her out of there until she is fixed and has had more time with other dogs in the small dog area.

Let’s say “Goodbye” to the Summer that never was

This is Late August, "normal" but not "HOT"
This is Late August, "normal" but not "HOT"

Summer 2009 in London has been lacklustre at best, and for Ontario as a whole it hasn’t been the “Greatest Summah Evah” either.  Whether it was shivering in the cool July Nights or being soaked in the Early August Rain, this has been about the weakest summer I’ve experienced, and I’m from Scotland.

Let’s hope that it remains “warm” until October, but I have a sneaking suspicion that we are going to see snow by mid-October this year (considering the freak and heavy snow storm we had last October, this isn’t outside the realm of possibility)

God Damn Snow!