Friday, October 29, 2010

The Bell Tolls - A Rant

I finally told them off. I couldn't handle it anymore. It started with politely listening to their spiel, honestly interested in the deal they were offering. I would keenly ask questions and ask for time to consider the offer. After some consideration, I decided to stay with my current cable company. Afterall, I'm happy with their service and while Bell may have a great deal on the table today, would it really be worth the hassle to switch?

What ensued has been MONTHS of phone calls. At least weekly, at 6:30PM, they would call. Sometimes, they would call on Saturday mornings or afternoons. My politeness grew increasingly impatient. I started hanging up if there wasn't an immediate response. Then tonight, I (calmly) lost it.

6:28PM. Phone rings.
SH: Hello?
Pause. Consider hanging up.
SH: Hello.
Bell: Hello maam, my name is Peter. How are you tonight?
SH: I'm fine, but I'm not interested in talking. Click.

Wow! That felt good!!!!! I felt a tiny, surge of guilt next for hanging up. How rude, I thought. They probably talk about people like me at the call centre. What a bitch.

I went back to chopping lettuce for my salad.

6:35PM. Phone rings.
SH: Hello?
Pause. Hang up.
Did they call back to tell me  how rude I was to hang up?

6:41PM. Phone rings.
SH: Pause. Hello?
Bell: Hello maam, my name is Ryan. How are you tonight. 
SH: I'm fine. How are  you?
Bell: Good maam. Thanks for asking. I'm calling on behalf of Bell Canada.
SH: I know you are. You just called me, and then you called 5 minutes before that. You call me every week. I'm  not interested in talking. I'm not interested in whatever offer you have on right now, and I'm not interested in switching companies. 
Bell: May I ask why you are not interested.
SH: I'm happy with my current company. I'm not interested in the hassle, and frankly, you call me every week despite the fact I've told you I'm not interested. Please take me off your call list and don't call me again. 
Bell: Thank you maam.

Hopefully that's the end of that. Sorry about the rant.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Savvy Homegirl = Selling Homegirl?

Much to my surprise, my recent interest in all things exterior seems to have raised some eyebrows around my neighbourhood. It did occur to me when I was sanding, scraping and painting, there were probably a few neighbours peering from behind their curtains with curiousity. At that point though, I thought they were probably gawking studying quizzically at my odd colour choice, which has absolutely grown on me, but is still very similar to the siding.

This past weekend, the weather finally cooperated (somewhat), I had some free time and bf's pressure washer to wash the siding. A few of you suggested waiting until spring, and I seriously considered. Afterall, this fall seems to be busier than any (note the lack of blogging as of late), but the grimy siding and bug guts were getting to me. Another winter of grimy siding would no doubt mean an even tougher cleaning job in the spring.

Mid-way through the task, my neighbour came over to ask if I was selling my house. Apparently, the painting and washing seemed out-of-ordinary. Despite what it seemed, I really just wanted things to look tidy again. Which, they do. Especially by the side door. Remember all those bugs? After a quick scrub, the siding looks white as snow. The neighbours might not notice, but I sure feel better coming home each night!

Can you tell the difference? Before:

After: Pay especially close attention to the top of the wall, near the overhang. That is not a shadow in top photo.

Friday, October 15, 2010

"That Was Easy"

I recently received a Staples "easy button' as a gift. I find myself quoting it regularly. Not regularly enough unfortunately, but when it came time to complete my fall to-do list, here we go:

Staples Talking EASY BUTTON - Complete With Batteries

That was easy.

Almost, all done! A warm Sunday morning, a committed Sunday evening, and a sunny Saturday afternoon was all it took to knock most of these babies off the list.

  • Tidy front flowerbed, plant 1-2 mums
  • Paint exterior window frames and untreated wood
  • Clean behind stove
  • Wash kitchen floor
  • Wash siding
The only chore outstanding? Washing the siding. I don't know if I'll do this or not. For 2 reasons:
1) I think this would be WAY easier with a pressure washer, than a garden hose. I don't own a pressure washer and I don't plan to rent or buy one.
2) Does it make sense to do this now or should I just wait until spring.

Ultimately, one more good weekend and I could get this job done. By then, I'll also be raking leaves and cleaning out eaves troughs, so logically that would be a better time to wash my siding anyway. I have yet to clean out my eaves without getting yuck leaves all over the side of my house. It just hasn't happened. So, I guess I just added to my list, huh?

Here we go:

  • Wash siding
  • Clean eaves troughs 
  • Rake leaves
  • Pull up dahlia bulbs
  • Plant & mulch mums

Now, for that nice weekend..... 

Monday, October 11, 2010

Colour Me... Matching?

One of the chores on my fall to-do list was painting the window trim outside my house. For some of my windows, this was a long-overdue task. It seems like the spare bedroom window frame has been peeling almost since the day I moved in.

We have had so much rain this fall, I was certain this was not going to get done. So, when the forecast looked to turn warm and sunny and Home Depot put a $7 rebate on gallons of paint, I skipped my way down to the store and picked up the paint. I eagerly awaited all week, brush in hand, for both the weather and my schedule to clear. Friday evening, I set to work with the scraper and sandpaper and Saturday, bf and I tackled the windows.

Here are a couple of 'before' pictures of the front of the house.

This first picture is from fall 2008. 

Here is a close up of the window and door frames.

I had fretted only briefly over the paint colour. Almost a tint of the green, mossy colour on my doors, I was certain Lexington Park would look fabulous. We started to paint, and soon after, I stepped back to admire our work....

Fall 2010: After painting all the window and door frames.
'Oh... Gasp!' Were I think the words out of my mouth. The paint was almost the exact same colour as my siding. Although the colour above looks unfortunately close to the 'before' photo, I can assure you the paint is much lighter.

Bf likes it and thinks the house looks cleaner. I'm undecided. I love bright, bold colours, so I'm mildly taken aback by how much this colour blends into the siding. At the same time, I was tired of the sandy-brown colour that was there and just like the change.

What do you think?

When it stops raining (yes, it's raining again), I'll snap another from the same angle as the first and post it as well for a better comparison.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Buggy Anyone?

Oh my bugs!! They are everywhere! And there are so many of them!!

Has anyone else noticed there to be significantly more bugs around this year? Is this just me? Perhaps, my house is abnormally attracting them this year?

I just can not believe the spider webs and bugs outside my door. I've swept these down nearly once a week now, and it seems like they are back the next day! I know they're not harming anything, and I'm not one of those 'ew, yuck, bugs' people, but honestly, they're starting to annoy me. Just. because. they're. there.

This is leading me to wonder if washing my siding is even worth the effort?

There's my bug rant.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Tomato Canning Adventures Continue!

Admittedly, this post should be about my craft room reno, but we have reached a stalemate with the spikes, and my travel schedule the past 2 weeks. When I have had time at home, I've spent it experimenting with more canning recipes... all with tomatoes.

After my first adventure, I was committed to putting my new canner to more use. Not only that, but I was a little disappointed with the result; 3 cans of tomato sauce was NOT going to last the winter!

After a week of sunny weather, the tomatoes left in my garden still had not ripened, so I purchased half a bushel of roma tomatoes from a local farm market for $8. I immediately whipped up a batch of tomato sauce, using the same recipe as last time. My home once again filled with the sweet aroma of boiled tomatoes, cinnamon and nutmeg. A few hours later, and I had several quart jars of sauce.

A few days later, with the remaining tomatoes quickly being devoured by time and my cat (she ate at least a quart), I decided to try my own salsa. I know salsa is easy to make, but having never tried a canned salsa before, I wasn't sure how many jalepenos or hot peppers to use. Bf and I had picked up fresh, Ontario hot peppers when we bought the tomatoes, and now I had five at my disposal. Hold your giggle; I didn't use all 5! I snipped the tip off one, and deciding it was pleasantly warm, chopped it up and threw it in. A few slices of pickled jalepeno and my home was beginning to smell like the local Mexican cafe we love.

I cruised around the internet and ended up with a combination recipe from several websites.

Savvy Homegirl's Salsa Recipe
10lbs (approx) tomatoes
2 C green peppers
3 large onions
1 hot pepper
3 slices of jalepeno
3 Tbsp salt
1 Tbsp pepper
1 Tbsp chile pepper
5 garlic cloves minced or pressed
3/4 C vinegar

Boil the tomatoes until the skins split, then submerse in cold water and remove the skins. Puree half the tomatoes in a blender and heat in large stock pot on the stove. Chop remainder of tomatoes into quarters, sixths or eights depending on size. Finely chop remaining veggies, press garlic and add all veggies and spices to the pot. Add vinegar, stir and bring pot to a boil.

I know I could've got away without using my canner to seal my salsa jars, however the canner worked well to sterilize my jars before filling them. Especially since it seemed like I started the salsa while my dishwasher was mid-wash, and I had not thought to put the jars in it.

The result? 14 jars of salsa with just enough heat to spice up your nachos, but not enough to make you sweat. I also had just enough tomatoes left for a pot of homemade tomato soup. Paired with Sobey's new Swiss Multigrain Bread, and you have a scrumptious fall lunch!