May 31, 2015

Billiard Loft Renovation -During

When they said they'd take down the ceiling, the builders really meant it. We were awed by the height hidden above our heads in our very slender row-house. We've decided not to raise the roof, but to raise the collar ties for a little extra head room.

Reinforcing the floor for the pool table - it almost weighs a ton - took some time. Only a couple of cracks in the ceiling below. And our son missed a face full of plaster dust by about 15 minutes.

The lighter cross-beams will be the new height of the ceiling.



Billiard Loft Renovation - Before

In a nutshell. We live in a 123-year-old house. We've been here for 17 years. The housing market in Toronto keeps going up and up and therefore, so is our nest-egg. But we are 50-something empty-nesters  - do we stay or do we go? Where to? It's too expensive to buy back in in this market. We don't want to move out of town. Our neighbourhood's great. The location's convenient. With 5 choices of how to get downtown transit is convenient.

Time for a little dreaming.....fading, fading.


....We're changing a 5-bedroom house into a 3-bedroom house. But in the meantime we haven't rid ourselves of any furniture or the detritus that living 17 years in one place can accumulate. We surprised our son with this news the day he came back from university.

Oh, and I get to update my kitchen too.  Stay tuned.

February 25, 2015

Magic Bus

 As a five-year-old I had never been on a bus let alone seen a bus conductor. The chap who worked the Green Line between Chatham and London wore a disc-shaped machine at his waist that dispensed crisp cardboard tickets. An instrument of valves and keys borne bandolier-fashion over his uniform doled out correct change.  “It’s impolite to stare” my mother corrected, but I hadn’t even noticed the conductor’s hunched back and his extra big boot. For Christmas 1967 I received my own bus conductor’s kit, replete with flat cap, cheap plastic belt, a roll of tickets and a coin dispenser.

Other "on the buses"  stories can be seen at the Exquisite Corpse  - found here.

November 11, 2014

I found this article on my newsfeed today and it made sense to me. A couple of roommates in Calgary have saved $55,000 by not buying anything for a year. They didn't actually not buy anything for a year but they changed their lifestyles significantly. love this, but it helps when you have everything in place to begin with.
I didn't get it together until I was 28 - I kept amassing huge unpayable Visa bills. We have an over-inflated sense of self. Don't buy anything unless you can afford it. We don't deserve to have a house full of new furniture at age 22 - you got to pay your dues and work up to it. Or else you don't learn how to manage money.

I think it's easy for people who have a good sense of self. who know themselves, their style, that they don't have to change their patio furniture with every whim, or buy five couches in 10 years.

We take transit
By antiques or vintage
at the fraction of new furniture.

I have my foibles. I buy a lot of clothes from an English catalogue and spend a lot in duty. But it's quality stuff. Whereas by front porch looks like dog patch but I have a really nice porch light!

False economy

Clothing exchange