Then and Now

So here we are, a balmy 15 degrees (or around 50 Fahrenheit) and it’s the beginning of February. We were told that we’d have a mild winter this year, but still. You have to rub your eyes to remind yourself that you’re in Canada.

I’m reminded of one late March snow storm in the mid-80’s. It got up to around 27 degrees (or the high 70’s, Fahrenheit). The tulips had bloomed and everyone was out doing yardwork in their shorts.  We were told to expect a blizzard the next day, on April 1, but hoped it was an April Fool’s joke. It wasn’t. All the tulips died and we were so stiff from the previous day’s yard work that we didn’t have the wherewithal to shovel the mountain of snow that buried our cars for a week. We were not happy campers.

In other news, I’ve decided to start an exercise program.  This is big news because I hate this thing called ‘working out.’  My exercise program consists of getting at least  2 kilometres worth on the treadmill. Period.  I believe in starting small. 🙂

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This will never be me.

 

 

 

Around the Village

One afternoon in between raindrops I decided to take a stroll around the village and snap some shots.

Sam Katz was the original developer of Cherryhill Village and is still revered by the long-time residents.  A stone commemorating him is positioned near a little gazebo an shuffleboard area behind my building and  adjacent to the outdoor pool.

Sam Katz was the original developer of Cherryhill Village and is still revered by the long-time residents. A stone commemorating him is positioned near a little gazebo/shuffleboard area behind my building, located adjacent to the outdoor pool.

 

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Front view of outdoor pool entrance.

 

The outdoor pool, sans water.  The owners couldn’t secure a lifeguard and for now the pool is closed.  I am sad.

The outdoor pool, sans water. The owners couldn’t secure a lifeguard and for now the pool is closed. I am sad.

 

The walkway to the shopping plaza.

The walkway to the shopping plaza.  The walkways are all lined with those pretty stone borders.

 

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Walkway along the garden plots.

 

Sam Katz allowed use of his land, free of charge, for residents to grow gardens.  There are 140 plots in total.

Sam Katz allowed use of his land, free of charge, for residents to grow gardens. There are 140 plots in total.  The garden plots are next to my building and run along one end of the complex. Beyond the garden plots is conservation land and walking trails.

 

Along the garden plots.  There is no shortage of green space to enjoy nature.

Along the garden plots. There is no shortage of green space to enjoy nature.

 

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Plots for handicapped gardeners.

 

This is the view from above of course.

The view from above…..

 

The view from below.

The view from below.   I’m so glad someone had the design sense to convert the top of the parking garage into a garden.

Move Countdown: T Minus 11 and Counting

Moving day is gettin’ close.

I received the keys to my apartment on June 15, and have made several trips to the apartment to get a head start on settling in. Mostly, I brought storage items in order to determine whether I have more purging to do.  I’m proud (and a little shocked) to say that the apartment’s three closets will accommodate my storage needs.

example of thermofoil doors.

example of thermofoil doors.

A few weeks ago I asked the property manager about replacing the existing kitchen cabinet fronts which had seen better days.  I didn’t hold out much hope, but to my delight and surprise she approved the request and the new white thermofoil fronts, with pewter pulls, are being installed this week.  My delight was tempered with a bit of concern after I read online that thermofoil cabinetry isn’t heat resistant, and has been known to peel if there isn’t a heat shield installed around hot elements, like a stove or dishwasher.  I emailed the property manager about this, and she assured me that she’s never seen this happen and that the “beauty of a rental is that if there’s damage it will be repaired or replaced without cost to you.”  Good.  I’m keeping that email and holding her to it.

Rocky Road by Benjamin Moore, aka my apartment journey.

The rocky road of apartment selection.

In addition to new kitchen cabinet fronts, I decided I needed a new colour on the walls to replace the sickly yellow ivory.   It’s a fairly large space to paint by myself, so I recruited family members to assist. One thing led to another and family members decided that they would hire a professional painter as an apartment-warming gift. Except for the bathroom and bedroom, the entire apartment is now painted in a nice neutral shade, emblematically called Rocky Road.  It’s amazing how a nice paint colour can transform a space, particularly an apartment, which otherwise can be fairly boring.

The complex is an interesting mixed bag of residents:  seniors and university students.  My building is 80% seniors, several of whom I met over the past week. It’s interesting how differently the old and young interact; from the younger residents you get a polite hello, while the senior residents give you their life story in a 30 second elevator ride.  (Well, not quite, but they are very chatty.)  During one of my trips,  I met Catherine, who happens to live down the hall. She told me that no way was she going to live somewhere and not know her neighbours, so she gave me the lowdown on each of them. So now I know that the 90-something-year-old lady who lives on my right is a nice lady who doesn’t get out much but shares her newspaper with everyone, and that the 80-something year old lady who lives on my left is afraid of dogs until she gets to know them.  I must have passed muster, because Catherine told me that the ladies will be so happy to hear that they will have a “nice neighbour.” And I think I’ll have nice neighbours too.

Worst Rooms

Just when I start feeling discouraged that I’ll ever find a nice, affordable apartment, I stumble upon Worst Rooms and feel better.

Worst Rooms, a tumblr blog, is a photographic chronicle of dreadful apartments, primarily in New York City.  Each apartment photo is posted along with its description, which–considering the apartment–should win points for creative advertising.

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Brooklyn, $3600. “A hidden gem–a vast space that is truly inspiring.”

Um, not inspiring.  Nauseating maybe, but definitely not inspiring.

Brooklyn, $1600

Brooklyn, $800; “Artist’s Loft.”

Splatter some paint around Pollock-style and voila–still ugly.

Brooklyn, $800.  "Country- side view."

Brooklyn, $800. “Country- side view.”

I’m not going to comment on the leg elephant in the room.

Brooklyn, $850.  "A very unique basement opportunity is available immediately."

Brooklyn, $850. “A very unique basement opportunity is available immediately.”

First you get to clean it.

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Brooklyn, $1600. “Garden level with modern kitchen.”

Well, running water IS kinda modern.