May wasn't too good a month
weather wise but June has been much better. I took some pictures of
my house as it looks like I'll need to get my trees pruned back and
perhaps even take a couple of them down.
My next door neighbour has
left and the owner of the building came round to see me. Seems he
thinks I should rebuild my fence and garage so that they are 2 feet into
my property line. I've been told that the fence has been in that
position for some 50 years which means I don't need to do that but will be
interesting to see if anything comes of this. Anyway... the owner
said he'd be interested in going 50:50 on removing the tree between our
two properties and that is of interest as I do plan on extending my garage
and also making it into a proper garage rather than a partly enclosed car
port. Hadn't intended to do that until I had the property paid up
but will consider the tree removal.
First picture is a view from my front porch
You can see how the trees are wrapping
themselves around the house.
plan is to replace the steps up to the house and have them painted the
same blue as the other woodwork. Also plan to get the lattice
upgraded and painted plus get some gardening done around the house and
perhaps get some flowers planted.
Neighbours houses on my side of the street
You'll note that I have a birch tree at the
front of the house.
You can see how the tree is now planting
itself onto my roof. This is the one I'm also looking at removing so
I can extend my garage but it is also growing over my neighbours house as
well so likely best it is removed sooner than later. Having said that I
really don't like to remove trees so will give it some thought before I
make a final decision.
Continuing my eye tests I
got another test from the Optician which showed I have a problem with my
As you can see I seem to
have a kind of blockage. Will be following up on this later in the
In May I attended various
meetings of the Knight Templars, the AGM of the Scottish Studies
Foundation and the Scottish Studies Society and also watched Nola getting
her divinity degree and she's now been accepted as a postulant which means
she's on her way to getting confirmed as a Minister... and so well
done Nola! :-)
I got a visit from James
Shields an artist and author who emigrated from Scotland to Canada in the
1990's. He presented me with a copy of his mighty book on the World's
It's a worldwide review of
aircraft types currently flying in civil markings. Includes Helicopters,
Homebuilts, Ultralights and Production aircraft. More than 2900 types and
variants of civil aircraft currently airworthy are illustrated with 3357
photographs including 387 in colour and 563 pages in all.
James, being an artist, has
also worked with many of the leading artists in Scotland over many years
and as a result has agreed to do some profiles of those artists for the
This period has also seen
me working with Beth Gay, the former editor of the Odom Library Family
Tree newspaper. I am now hosting her "Beth's Newfangled Family Tree"
which is being done monthly as a .pdf file which makes it easy for folk to
print this out if they wish.
I am also looking into the
possibility of bringing back the newspaper as the "Scottish Studies
Foundation Family Tree". Beth and I are gathering together the facts and
projections for this and I will present this to the Foundation to see if
it makes sense for us to get involved.
I also got in touch with
the Scottish Heritage Center in North Carolina to see if we couldn't do
something together that might be of interest. Talked to Bill the
Director and we're going to get together in August to see what might be
possible. He's just heading off for his holidays and then he's doing
a summer school for piping and hence August before he'll be free to look
Right now the loonie...
Canadian dollar... is getting near to parity with the US dollar.
That is making it harder for Canadian exporters to compete. While
unemployment is around 4% ordinary manufacturing jobs are getting hard to
find although the service sector is doing well. There is also the problem
with US security. The US are really getting a bit paranoid about
security and they are now insisting on everyone wanting to enter the US
have passports. This means that many more Americans are now
reluctant to travel as many of them don't have passports so if they exit
the country they will need one to get back in.
Also, from a Canadian
perspective, whereas Canadians didn't need a passport to travel to the US
they now need one. This is currently putting a strain on both countries
passport services and on the border agencies.
I'm also finding that I am
not looking at the news from Scotland as often as I did. When I
first got to Canada I would look at the Scotsman news at least once a week
but now find some months have gone by and I haven't logged in to read any
Scottish news. I did however take the BBC Scotland feed to watch the
Scottish elections. I was quite interested in seeing how they went
and was glad to hear that the SNP had got elected. It's really more
that I think Scotland needed a fresh face in politics after all the labour
party had been ruling Scotland for the past 50 years and really needed a
change. It will be interesting to see how the SNP get on in a
Mind you I did note that if
I sent an email to the former First Minister I did get an acknowledgement
email but I didn't get the same service when emailing the current First
Minister. We'll see how things develop in the coming months :-)
On 13th June I had my
appointment with the eye specialist who took some more detailed pictures
of my eyes...
He's decided that I need
some laser treatment and so $140 lighter I'm due to get this on 19th July
at the local Chatham hospital.
In June Nola and Harold
came down to their Port Crewe home from Toronto for a wee break and I
treated them to a Scottish High Tea along with Pat, their next door
neighbour at Port Crewe. Pat works at the local Chatham
hospital so was able to also provide a wee snack for her break at the
hospital from the left overs :-)
My laundry drier packed up
at long last. You might remember that the washer and dryer were left by
the previous home owners and so I've had a good two years free use of
them. As the dryer went I decided to get myself a new washer and
dryer and for this I went to Sears in Chatham.
It was the
wrinkle-prevention that sold me along with the price. I'm pretty much a
one wash person and do my laundry every two or three weeks and so this
should last me forever! :-) As I don't in fact own an iron the
wrinkle prevention looked to be a good bet! I did include a 5 year
on-site warranty with the purchase. They will deliver, install and remove
the old units and they did so on 27th June...
Work on my steps got under
way at last...
The above four pictures show Frank building
the steps on the front of the house. When they stripped the old steps they
found that there were bricks missing so the steps weren't being supported
properly. They've now fixed that and the steps are now up and painted. The
hand rails are away being sand blasted and hope to get them back and
painted by the end of the week.
Here is Claud coming to give a hand.
And the steps on the other side of the house
Couple of things have come
up during this construction process. They noted that the path from
the sidewalk to my side steps goes up and down and that the path to the
side gate is breaking up. They offered to fix this and as I've
already tripped several times decided to go ahead. So... they are also
going to get 10 bags of concrete to fix all that. They are also
replacing the lattice work and will get that painted as well and then a
wee bit of gardening to make the front look good. Claud is also going to
trim back the trees that are growing around the house and especially that
branch on my roof. The final job is to power wash around the front and
back of the house.
Lattice being painted
On the left you see the new lattice going up
and on the right my new cleaning lady stops for a chat
And here is a close up of Angie who is not
good at getting her photo taken :-)
This is the path that needs leveling both to
my side door and also to the garden gate
Most homes have a front and back door whereas
I have a front door, side door, and this is the back door and also to the
right the door leading into the basement. And so I have four doors into
the house :-)
While inspecting the house I found another
issue beside the front steps so another thing to get fixed.
I know I'm within a couple
of years of having to get my roof done so have asked them to give me an
estimate for doing that job. Frank mentioned that you can now get
long life asphalt shingles which will last 40 years which would see me out
so have asked him to get me a quote for this. I have apparently got
only a single layer of shingles so that means I can lay another layer over
the top. All that means is that this is likely to be a cost
effective option. Mind you there will be other costs as when the roof is
being done my intention is to complete my attic and turn it into a games
Also got bit by a spider it
seems as my left hand swelled up...
I wasn't able to make a
fist so went on the web to see if I could figure out what the problem was
To speak to a nurse about a medical or
health-related issue, call Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000. If your
situation is a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or 911.
So I phoned and it seemed that I may have had
a brown spider bite which is giving me the swelling. I headed down to the
Pharmacist and they recommended a histamine and if that didn't fix it
after 24 hours I should see a doctor. Well it wasn't any worse the
next day so I elected to give it another day and it was better and so
currently the swelling has almost gone.
Had a great Canada Day holiday and as Nola and
Harold were down again I ended up having three meals down at their house
and also with their neighbours Pat and Al. One highlight was locally
caught perch and fried potatoes.
So.. that's it for this two monthly report.
Likely more reports on my house next issue :-)