Saturday, February 4, 2017
It will be a year of change and renewal for my Husband Tom and I.
We have decided to do the pioneer thing and head west from our cozy century home here in Orillia, Ontario CANADA.!
Yessir...all the way to Vancouver Island, British Columbia, CANADA. As far west as one can get in this great land of ours.
Why move? Well, we are both retired and starting our "Seniorhood" and we would like to get away from the winters.
Living in a Mediterranean climate- such as one finds in the Cowichan Valley, will be a dream come true- and yes, there are Palm Trees and Mountains and an Ocean and tidal flats and spring bulbs and trees budding in late January.
A friend last week exclaimed: Palm trees in CANADA???
Yes, I assured her and showed photos.
I have been watching and learning about Vancouver Island for a couple of years. E-mailing, talking to folks and "Google Earthing". In fact I could drive from Victoria International Airport to our new home in the Cowichan Valley- without a map.
Before you say to me- but Rob, all that rain and cloud, check for yourself. The area where we hope to live has some rain. As an example- Victoria- BC's Capitol, has less rain than Toronto and Miami and the Cowichan Valley has 1/3 less rain than Victoria. I have been watching webcams for over two years now and I see a lot of sun.
There has been some snowfall this year and cold, leaving many residents of the Island gobsmacked- but that is unusual to be sure.
We have a huge list of what to do next but first and foremost is selling Pine Tree House. This has been a terrific home for Tom and I for almost 25 years.
Pine Tree House was built c.1882
We have papers and pictures from all those years ago and a history of the house from then until present day.
We have a triple car paved drive.
A double car garage with insulated workshop and storage loft.
A seven level deck from garage to back door to side yard. A pond.
A 10x10 garden shed that emulates Pine Tree House.
There are gardens on three sides of the house with a lot of approximately 100 x 95.
A verandah wraps itself around two sides of our historic home.
Inside two and one half baths including a master ensuite.
Three bedrooms and a laundry room/utility bath right at the back door. The washer and dryer are LG and front load. There's a utility sink with a French flavour.
We have 2 gas fireplaces. One in the parlour and one in the family room.
A Dining Room off the kitchen with built in oven. Stovetop and dishwasher. Double sink.
An upright refrigerator/freezer that has an ice cube maker- the best invention ever- and a reverse osmosis water dispenser
Hardwood floors downstairs. Carpeted stairs and landing.
One bedroom is laminate. One carpeted. The master has original pine flooring.
Upgraded Windows are shuttered or covered with two year old blinds- one with a remote.
The cellar- although not very tall- this is 1882 don't forget, is home to the high efficiency gas furnace, breaker panel, sump pump- again this is a c.1882 vintage home and central vac container.
The home lends itself to antiques and a quieter lifestyle. I love spending summers on the verandah overlooking Matchedash Street, North to the east and our gardens to the south.
This is what I will miss most about the "old girl". The back of the house sees western sun.
Have I left anything out?
Swisssh Radio and Starlite Radio will make the journey as will this blog and of course our family of pets- two mini-schnauzers and two orange cats- both brothers.
Our Price tag?
Quite Reasonable....for a desirable Orillia, north ward location and heritage home.
Saturday, January 21, 2017
Note: I told myself I wasn't going to write anything more about the demise of my summer theatre company but something just got my "big boy" panties in a knot.
I know what you're saying-
Let it go Rob.
The past two years I found myself busy getting shows ready for a new summer/fall season for Orillia Theatre/Double R Productions.
This new year there will be no new summer/fall season from our company and probably never will be again but I have a couple of questions and comments to make.
Where were Orillians who saw this week's "Orillia" shows at St Paul's Centre when 5 shows from Orillia Theatre/Double R Productions provided work for non-union actors and crews for the past 2 seasons? We didn't see most of you.
One show we produced even ran out of town during the time it was at the OCC in Orillia. A bold step to take for a small theatre company. We were also the first professional production to use the new St Paul's Centre stage. Maybe we just didn't get the word out there. Maybe people didn't understand what we were attempting to do- that being to give Orillia and tourists, a second Summer theatre company to choose from with more show choices.
|The Importance of Being Earnest above and The Affections of May- below|
Where were Orillia City councillors when Orillia Theatre/Double R Productions- a not for profit company needed support? A presence at the very least. We also raised funds for local not for profits including Couchiching Conservancy, Green Haven Shelter for Woman, Big Brothers Big Sisters and the Sharing Place Food Bank. We have now folded after 2 years of providing work for actors and crew due to small audiences and expenses.
We are happy to say we did get two $500 grants from the city- one each season, which we were very, very grateful for receiving. Still, it would have been nice to see "bums" in the seats. We thank our sponsors and advertisers. It couldn't have been done without you!
We thank the local media who granted us many freebies. We also spent our funds with that same Media which brought us little in return at our Box Office. We don't know why. Our shows were professionally produced and well-received by all audiences both local and out of town who attended. You should have seen and heard the accolades from audiences after each show.
They were delighted to say the least.
Instead of other theatre companies working with us and supporting us, we as a company- or at the very least me as Creative Director, was shunned. We sent theatre goers- even a bus or two, to other local productions when we didn't have a show on a particular day or were otherwise sold out. We were willing to work together.
This year in 2017 Orillia again only has one summer theatre company run by the city in a city-run facility. Orillia Theatre/Double R Productions has closed due to lack of audience support and funds- yet we provided a professional theatrical experience for not only our actors and crew but our terrific audiences. Out of town theatre-goers shopped in our stores, dined in Orillia restaurants and visited our tourist destinations.
|All for Nun...The 2nd Coming- Top Sadie Flynn Comes to Big Oak- below|
It's hard not to take such a disappointment and failure personally- and I do.
It was time-consuming, tiring and stressful to produce our shows,
yet it was fun too and right now- I am missing that fun.
We tried our damndest... to be sure.
|Original 2016 brochure printed before we moved Sadie Flynn to October 2016|
Saturday, December 31, 2016
Saturday, December 17, 2016
At least when Bob told folks what he did at Squeegee and Surly, he referred to himself as a "clark". It was probably just his accent, since in reality he was a clerk.
Bob's Bic pen scratched away on the paper in front of him.
"Fuck, it's cold in here. So cold that I have to pee again!"- he grumbled under his breath.
Setting the pen down he slid from the wooden stool where he was perched and left his office turning right down the hall to the gents. As he turned he saw Squeegee counting his money.
After relieving himself in the executive outhouse in the back alley, Bob walked back towards his office. As he stepped towards his desk, he heard an unusually hearty laugh coming from Mr. Squeegee's office. Right then and there, Bob decided to grow a pair and ask for the following day- Christmas Day, off. Hell, he might even ask for the whole week as long as he didn't have to do any special favours for old Squeegee- if you know what I mean. Nudge. Nudge. Winkety-wink!
No! Not those kind of favours Dear Reader and tsk tsk for you thinking that way! It's Christmas after all. Now, pull yourself from the depraved gutter where your mind lives and read on with a light heart. What I meant was favours like washing his car or trimming Squeegee's ear hairs.
You all are disgusting.
May Jesus- if he existed that is, have mercy on your unholy souls!
Now back to this yuletide fable...
No, Bob would put his size 10 and a halfs down. This year there's be no bullshit favours performed.
In that he was unilingually unanimous!
A shoe shine perhaps in the spirit of the season but he wasn't going to look down into Squeege's ugly, old, hairy ears again this year. He still shuttered when he thought about it.
Beverley was a cross-dresser and her name was really Roger but Bob didn't mind. He didn't mind one little bit for Beverley could cook a turkey so moist it would make any Queen weep. Also, Dear Readers, her giblets were superb!
Thursday, December 8, 2016
|...when they all go home!|
Wednesday, November 16, 2016
Say it ain't so. If I were counting- and I am, this season was been wrought with electrical problems. No less than four strings of white mini-lights have burnt out. The last set- last evening, on a wreath that hangs above our "shed-mahal" door.
That's our garden shed.
We call it the "shed-mahal" because we got carried away with the design many years ago and from the street it looks like a small house, hence the "shed-mahal". The wreath made of grapevine requires a 14 foot ladder to reach it. So, last evening when the lights came on, a string of white lights on the huge wreath were dark.
A year ago I had also wrapped the wreath in a set of red LED lights. The red/white combination looked brilliant! Last night was a warm evening and it sure didn't feel like mid-November as I dragged the wooden ladder from the "shed" and propped it up against the door. As usual, I had to stand a couple of steps from the top on the ladder to grab the wreath from its hook and take it down. Luckily, I had found another set of white LED lights in the garage loft so I set about replacing the one that had turned black. I wonder if there had been a brown-out? I have noticed the lights dim during the evening a couple of times in the past week.
I set about removing the offending lights but the wire was entwined around the red light string and an artificial garland of green fir I had wrapped around the wreath, so, I got the pliers out and cut the wires! A "Tim-the-Tool-Man-Taylor tip"! I mean that Tim Taylor knows everything about Christmas decorating and yes- I unplugged the set first before I cut! After removing the bits of severed light string, I wrapped the new LED set around the wreath an climbed up the ladder to hang the wreath in its place. At least I would be using less energy with the new lights but I still wonder why I have had so many sets go dark this season. The wreath looks great once more.
Now, I have to tell you there is a fine line between classic decorating for Christmas and "tacky".
Tacky, as an example, would be those plastic, blow up figures once sees in some neighbourhoods- not ours thank goodness, around the city.
Now, don't judge me but I am a little hesitant to tell you this. You see, the past couple of holiday seasons, I have seen an Eiffel Tower up at the Home Depot that lights up and sparkles. Now, keeping in mind that not only have I seen the "real" Eiffel Tower "sparkle" on the hour a couple of times at Christmas and climbed to its very top, I had been tempted to buy this 7 foot replica in previous years. Well now, earlier this week when I was at what my husband and I refer to as "The Homo Depot" buying paint, I saw the replica tower again.
What can I say?
I had a weak moment and shelled out a hundred and thirty-nine bucks for this sparkling white version. I mean the lady at the cash said it would look beautiful with a bit of snow falling.
"Maybe so."- I said, "I just hope it doesn't look tacky."
"No. No. Not at all!"- she replied scanning the bar code on the box.
I noticed she couldn't look me in the eye.
Hennaway, last evening as well as dealing with the light string outage, I also put my "EffelTower" together and plugged her in. She looks good and to tell you the truth, her lights sparkle in the same manner as the lights on the "real" tower there on the right bank in Paris.
|Here's a pic of the "real" Eiffel Tower sparkling a couple of years back|
"Oh, Honey..." so, that's good- isn't it?
A neighbour from France saw the tower twinkling away last night and said it looked nice.
No, he's not from Nice.
Now, onwards and upwards and here's hoping my seasonal lighting problems will end and I'll "sparkle" through the season.
Wednesday, November 9, 2016
|A Typical American Family at Christmas|