I Didn’t Do Much… But Christmas Is 35 Days Away

This past week I was on Staycation. Honestly, I didn’t do much out of the ordinary. I enjoyed time with my family, had a lot of days of just Darwin and I. While my wife and youngest went out to Calgary, I watched his races on the live stream. Which were probably better than being in person as the cameras were ice side. Plus I wasn’t in a cold rink.

Normally if my wife leaves for a weekend, I get antsy and start some major project. Not this weekend. I did take some extra Christmas lights and put them around our gazebo. I mixed the red my wife wanted and the white that I wanted and am pretty happy with how it looks.

I had told my wife last week that I only wanted to put up two of our four artificial Christmas trees. Before they left, she asked that I don’t put up our living room tree until the start of December. I did put up one of the trees we have- I put it up in her office. She was happy went I sent the picture to her. It means we will be putting up a third tree in our basement now.

My wife doesn’t like the idea of downsizing our trees. So moving from four to three really isn’t so bad. We did three trees before. That generally works better for us. One is our elegant tree, one is the kids tree (all those handmade and silly ornaments collected over the years), and our third is usually just the ornaments we like, but they don’t quite go on either of the other two trees (yet we cannot get rid of the ornaments). A fourth tree is just too much. Mostly we just had lights and it would be outside

I enjoyed my time off. Now it’s back to the grind. At least until my next week of vacation at Christmas.

I Didn’t Do Much… But Christmas Is 35 Days Away

This past week I was on Staycation. Honestly, I didn’t do much out of the ordinary. I enjoyed time with my family, had a lot of days of just Darwin and I. While my wife and youngest went out to Calgary, I watched his races on the live stream. Which were probably better than being in person as the cameras were ice side. Plus I wasn’t in a cold rink.

Normally if my wife leaves for a weekend, I get antsy and start some major project. Not this weekend. I did take some extra Christmas lights and put them around our gazebo. I mixed the red my wife wanted and the white that I wanted and am pretty happy with how it looks.

I had told my wife last week that I only wanted to put up two of our four artificial Christmas trees. Before they left, she asked that I don’t put up our living room tree until the start of December. I did put up one of the trees we have- I put it up in her office. She was happy went I sent the picture to her. It means we will be putting up a third tree in our basement now.

My wife doesn’t like the idea of downsizing our trees. So moving from four to three really isn’t so bad. We did three trees before. That generally works better for us. One is our elegant tree, one is the kids tree (all those handmade and silly ornaments collected over the years), and our third is usually just the ornaments we like, but they don’t quite go on either of the other two trees (yet we cannot get rid of the ornaments). A fourth tree is just too much. Mostly we just had lights and it would be outside

I enjoyed my time off. Now it’s back to the grind. At least until my next week of vacation at Christmas.

Memories From Facebook

Seeing my Facebook memories is pretty much the only reason I go on the app these days. The old status updates help to remind me of where we’ve been and what we went through to get where we are today.

These updates about our former house make me happy with our decision to sell and move into a new house. When we went through those hardships, it sucked. It was tough to get ahead when we had that home. As much as we wanted to update and change the house- something would happen. We would go two steps back and have a headache on our hands.

Not having water or electricity is a thing of the past now. We don’t experience either of those issues anymore. Our current house is also looking like the roof will last for another ten years- so that expense won’t affect us anytime soon.

I like that I can look back and remember the frustrating times and how we got through them. I’m happy with our new home without having to update or repair at this time.

Halloween Is Over

It took less than 30 minutes for me to pack up the Halloween decorations and put them back into the attic. And of course, I decided to bring some Christmas decor down. Specifically the one that has brought the family the most joy.

Creepy Santa has Returned. He came out of the attic the day after Halloween- knowing that his time to emerge and terrify was upon us. He immediately disappeared into his first hiding location. Waiting to be discovered.

The only other decoration that makes an appearance so soon is Timmy- our tin soldier. All year-round he sits in the corner of our outside front entryway underneath our security camera. Once Halloween is over- he gets turned to guard our entrance. I was thinking that I may move him to the upper balcony instead, so he can watch over the neighborhood. He is the perfect pop of color needed for our house.

Because the weather was so nice today, a part of me was almost ready to put up the outdoor Christmas lights. But some of my plans were changed around and the idea fell towards the back burner only to be ignored completely by sundown. Maybe it’s too soon for Christmas decorations. Hahaha.

Have you begun slowly Christmas decorating as well? Or do you bring everything out at once?

We Just Ended Summer

Today, my wife and I cleaned up the backyard and prepared for winter. That meant bringing in outdoor cushions, wiping down the tables and chairs and then covering them for the end of season to protect it all. My wife also went through and trimmed the last of her large tomato plants (the ones that weren’t in the Greenhouse).

The one thing that really says “summer is over” is the fact that I put the winter cover on the pool. I gave it one final vacuum, cleaned out the filters, shut off the gas and set up the bypass water pipe. That way I can keep circulating that water over winter, but it doesn’t have to go through the heater.

Our yard looks barren now. All set for the rain, wind and potential snow that will come in the following weeks. I’m happy that we have more of our house back as well. We were able to utilize more storage space indoors this year. Over the next few weeks, my wife is wanting to set up her sewing area again. It’s perfect that we get to be indoors more often.

I may be done hanging outside, but I can still enjoy the views from the comfort of our living room and bedroom. It’s almost time to turn on the gas fireplaces to add warmth to our environment.

Are you ready for summer to officially end?

Contracting My Broken Day Sleep

After working my first night shift of the week, I will usually get a good sleep throughout the day. Not today. Today my neighborhood was loud.

Our next door neighbors have been getting a patio and pool installed for over a year now. With very little progress being made. Their backyard has been useless for two full summers now. Their yard has been mounds of dirt and no fence between them and their other neighbor. And no stairs from their back deck. Speaking with them, they have shared a lot of frustration about their contractor.

Today, two cement trucks arrived in our neighborhood to pour the foundation. Granted, it was a nice day to do the work. They probably only inconvenienced me anyways. But it was loud and there was far too many people making noise in their backyard.

Perhaps by next summer they will have a pool. I’m not holding my breathe that the work will be done this fall since I have seen the progress going at a snail’s pace. All I need now is to get the name of their contractor so I know who not to use.

Our First Guests

This weekend we will be having our first guests over to enjoy our furnished basement suite. It’ll be kind of nice to have our friends stay for a couple of days. We have plans for the night and a wedding tomorrow. It just made sense for them to stay close by.

Our spare bedroom is all set up with a brand new mattress and sheets. We set out some towels for their use as well. The bathroom got some new soap and a fresh seal of caulk around the tub. Nice and clean.

In the kitchen- we have dishes and utensils all set for use. I also put some spice in the drawer just because. Our basement is almost like an Airbnb now.

I think we did a pretty good job getting it all set up. I even got a few new video apps set up on our new Amazon Fire TV for people to watch. As well, loads of video games are at our disposal for entertainment.

Now to enjoy the weekend!

Our First Guests

This weekend we will be having our first guests over to enjoy our furnished basement suite. It’ll be kind of nice to have our friends stay for a couple of days. We have plans for the night and a wedding tomorrow. It just made sense for them to stay close by.

Our spare bedroom is all set up with a brand new mattress and sheets. We set out some towels for their use as well. The bathroom got some new soap and a fresh seal of caulk around the tub. Nice and clean.

In the kitchen- we have dishes and utensils all set for use. I also put some spice in the drawer just because. Our basement is almost like an Airbnb now.

I think we did a pretty good job getting it all set up. I even got a few new video apps set up on our new Amazon Fire TV for people to watch. As well, loads of video games are at our disposal for entertainment.

Now to enjoy the weekend!

Old Man Shower

Now that our tenants have moved out, it was time to check that all of our facilities are working. As I mentioned before- the laundry machines got swapped and we have set up a nice living room in the basement. We also ran the dishwasher and tested the fridge water/ice maker. In the bathroom- besides using the toilet and sink- I needed to try out the downstairs showers.

Is that a tub or a walk-in shower? It’s both.

The basement portion of our home was tailor built to accommodate an older generation. You know- people well past their sixties. In the basement is a bathroom with a unique tub. It is a walk-in bathtub called “The Imperial”.

It’s the sort of tub that you need to step into first and latch the door before filling it up. Naturally I needed to try it out. So I stepped inside and began to fill the tub.

In under 8 minutes, the water had filled up past the jets and covered my knees as I sat there. At this point, I turned on the jets. BUBBLES!

I’m not going to lie- I was fairly comfortable as the bubbles and water washed over my lower body. This is one of the few times my knees have been submerged in a bathtub as an adult. TMI: I really enjoyed the bubbles that came up past my junk. It wasn’t arousing in any way, just sort of nice. Looking at the pamphlet- it’s called “The Bidet Notch”. Noice.

Draining it is far faster than any other tub I have ever been in. I pulled the stopper and the water flowed out in an almost vacuum like state. Anyways, I may hit this tub when I have a long day. It’s calm, relaxing and at the far end of our home- away from the hustle and bustle of our lives.

Man, I’m ready to be old.

More Space At Home

We have only been three days without tenants in our basement suite. Yet we have taken over and began decluttering the rest of our home. This has been nonstop with help from the entire family over last little bit.

We managed to unpack a bunch of boxes from our garage to fill our secondary kitchen. Our camping supplies came out of the garage and went into the storage under the stairs. We also moved two of our shelving units from the garage and placed our crafting supplies into a walk-in closet.

In one of the bedrooms downstairs, I assembled a new queen sized bed and fresh mattress for visitors to use. The other bedroom will be used as my wife’s studio for the time being. So a lot of fabric has moved from the garage into that room. Our garage doesn’t feel as cramped now that everything is out- especially the shelves. Basically, passengers in the car can get out in the garage instead of the driveway like they once did.

The biggest hurdle was today. The other day, my wife decided to try out the washer and dryer that was in the basement suite. We had never used them in the 14 months of living here. Of course my wife fell in love with them… so we had to swap them with the ones upstairs. A couple of things about this make me happy- now all the appliances in the basement match and are LG brand. The other thing I like is that the washer we moved upstairs is a top loader- meaning the door won’t get hit by the garage door as you enter the home. Plus it lightens up the laundry room. The worst part was moving four heavy appliances up and down the stairs. Good thing our son is sixteen and strong.

My favorite change is our couches. We moved the brown leather sectional into the basement suite along with a new Amazon Fire TV. This feels like our old theater room. Upstairs we bought a love seat and a chair from IKEA along with a new rug. The room is now bright and vibrant feeling, not so clunky. Best part- our settee matches in fabric colour and fits in nicely to the sitting room feel.

We still have a few little things left to do. Like clean up the empty boxes and finish arranging the kitchen. However, these last couple of days have felt like we are gaining back our home as well as our space. No more clutter or holding onto furniture and furnishings for future use. The future is now- and it feels wonderful.

Seeing It From A Different Perspective

I’m always sharing pictures of sunsets and views from our vantage point. I love the colours that nature produces and the way the sky is always vibrant and ever changing.

Today, we had a late dinner and sat inside instead of on our deck; like we usually do in the summer. When eating at the dining room table- normally I face the glass door that looks outside. Tonight I sat opposite of my normal chair. I was missing out on the sunset, but the world was shining into our home and brought with it similar hues.

As beautiful as the sun shining into our home was, my wife and I had a difference of opinion on what the colour actually was. I said it was orange, my wife said the colour shining in was purple. Our son said it was light brown. Now I’m leaving it up to my friends and readers- what colour do you see shining against our grey walls?

Honestly, I’m at a loss. I am adamant that it’s orange. But I could very well be wrong.

Moving On Out…

Thirteen months after we moved into our home, the former owners are finally moving out. When we bought the house, we set up a rental agreement for them to remain for a few months. This was in order for them to have their next place built on the island. The arrangement was beneficial to both them and us. As their new home was getting built, it kept getting delayed. So they stayed far longer than expected. But it wasn’t a big deal for us.

But the time came for them to bid us farewell. They had a shipping container dropped off in order to fill their remaining contents. During the day today, they had some movers come by and pack it up. Unfortunately, the container was too small to fit everything.

So they ended up having a truck come by as well afterwards. It was a far longer day than expected. The movers were only here to fill the container. Good thing our teenagers were home and were able to offer assistance. I also ended up offering my help when I came home after my 12 hour day at work.

Now the suite is essentially empty. Technically their last day is the last day of the month. But we did the walk through of the suite with them and everything seems to be in great shape beyond some basic wear and tear. Next month, it’ll be time for us to declutter the rest of our home and furnish the basement the way we want it. I can’t believe that we have almost 1900 sqf down there. It feels like we are moving into a new home again.

John and Sandra were great tenants. We will keep in touch with them still as we created a good friendship with them.

Final Month Of Tenants

Our tenants have given their notice to move out at the end of this month. As much as the income was nice and beneficial from having them there, it will be amazing to have the space back for our usage.

The tenants of our basement suite happen to be the original owners of this house. When we first bought the home they were only supposed to live here for six weeks. That would have put them out at the end of August last year. As we were about to move in, they had asked if we could extend it to February as they waited for their new home to be built. We agreed. Of course, as February approached they asked to extend it to May… then July… as the house they were getting built was getting delays.

Even though they are moving out at the end of this month, their new home isn’t quite done yet. In fact it sounds like mid October may be the completion date. But during these final stages, they wanted to be closer to the new house (which is on Vancouver Island). That’s completely understandable. Maybe now they can apply some pressure to their contractor to get their place done. I am glad that we have become friends with the former owners. As leery as we were at first, those fears subsided over the year.


For us this means nearly 1900 sqf of living space will become available to us. A full kitchen, living room, den, two bedrooms, two full bathrooms and plenty of extra storage. It also means we can begin to furnish our current space as we move some of our older furniture downstairs. This has become an exciting journey for my wife and I. We have been window shopping (and a bit of real shopping) as we plan new styles for our home.

This has made us feel youthful and fun. When we first started dating we went on many dates doing this sort of thing. Planning bedrooms, living rooms, etc as our family grew. The plan when we purchased this house was to allow for our children to have their own space as adults to live. We are helping them by furnishing the area and hope that one or two of them take the opportunity to use such a magnificent space to grow into adulthood before the possibility of moving out on their own.

Until that time, we will use the extra kitchen to prepare meals while we sit out at the pool instead of always running up and down the stairs. We will also have the space for friends and family to stay and visit for longer periods than just a few hours. Especially those from out of town. There will now be a few beds available for guests.

Everything feels exciting and new again about this home. Only one month to go!

Luck And Hard Work

Last night I was shredding old documents from the years 2000-2010. I saw my old paystubs, taxes, and mortgages. Looking back, a part of me wishes we had paid off our first mortgage- or at least gotten close by now. Since we have been homeowners for nearly twenty years- it could have been accomplished.

Our current mortgage is six times higher than our first one was. When we needed that first mortgage- we struggled to qualify. We jumped through so many hoops and spent a small fortune to get approved through a house evaluation. My mother was also the guarantor for us. I worked nearly 80 hours every week to keep on top of the finances. All of those things helped tremendously.

The horseshoe we have brought with us.

Once we had that first home secured, we knew life was going to get better. Even with all of our hard work, I was a bit superstitious. A fear that it could all come crashing down was in the back of my mind. So I put up a horseshoe in the basement of our first home for good luck. When we moved to our next house, I brought it with us and had it in our carport. Now it hangs in the garage of our current home, bringing us more good luck.

Luck and hard work have gotten us to where we are today. In a few years, my wife and I may decide to go mortgage free and sell this home to downsize. For now, it is our dream home and we are happy to be where we are.

Peony

I’ve always been appreciative of flowers. I have favorites- like roses and birds if paradise. Some other ones we have owned and planted that are among my favorites are lilies, daffodils and rhododendrons. Whenever they bloom, I know the spring and summer seasons are at hand.

Our new home has a couple of peony plants that were already in the garden. I had never heard of them. Seeing them grow was interesting. Little balls on the end of stalks. Tons of ants crawling around on them. And suddenly- BLOOM!

These things just POP. I am absolutely enthralled with the colour and the size of the blooms. My wife trimmed a couple of them and brought those inside for a vase to set on our countertop.

They look beautiful. I never knew that I’d like these. But then again, I never knew about them before this house.

Lazy Day Interrupted

My day was going to be filled with wearing pajamas and staring at my phone. I was doing pretty good and was about to write my blog about it.

I even took my photo and everything. I went downstairs to make a sandwich so that I could sit and write about how lazy my day off was going to be. I went to the garage to get a log of bread from the freezer when I noticed a spot of water on the ground near where my wife parks her car. Then I looked up.

Effing hell. The ceiling is leaking. Quickly I went into the attic still in my pjs. I found the spot where it was dripping from. Back to my bedroom and get dressed. It was time to go on the roof and find the location.

It was right at the downspout from the gutter as it hits the next roof. In the wisdom of the house being built- the flashing on the wall lines up perfectly underneath where the water spills out. Right onto the nail head, rusting it out. Aesthetically, it was a good idea. But it caused an irritant to me 11 years later. Time for some tar patch as a temporary fix. Which will hopefully last the duration of the roof’s life- until we need to replace it in another 15 years.

Like Red Green used to say- “If the women don’t find you handsome, they should at least find you handy.”

I guess I’m that.

Lazy Day Interrupted

My day was going to be filled with wearing pajamas and staring at my phone. I was doing pretty good and was about to write my blog about it.

I even took my photo and everything. I went downstairs to make a sandwich so that I could sit and write about how lazy my day off was going to be. I went to the garage to get a log of bread from the freezer when I noticed a spot of water on the ground near where my wife parks her car. Then I looked up.

Effing hell. The ceiling is leaking. Quickly I went into the attic still in my pjs. I found the spot where it was dripping from. Back to my bedroom and get dressed. It was time to go on the roof and find the location.

It was right at the downspout from the gutter as it hits the next roof. In the wisdom of the house being built- the flashing on the wall lines up perfectly underneath where the water spills out. Right onto the nail head, rusting it out. Aesthetically, it was a good idea. But it caused an irritant to me 11 years later. Time for some tar patch as a temporary fix. Which will hopefully last the duration of the roof’s life- until we need to replace it in another 15 years.

Like Red Green used to say- “If the women don’t find you handsome, they should at least find you handy.”

I guess I’m that.

Change In Weather Attitudes

I mentioned previously about wind storms and the havoc it once reigned on our lives. The chaos that the wind would cause. The destruction and mess that it would leave behind for us to clear up. And the fear that a branch or tree would come crashing down.

Today was another windstorm. And as it continues, I am glad to have moved from our previous house. My wife is also getting over those bouts of weather induced anxiety. She was even able to joke about it earlier.

I’m glad she was able to find humor finally after decades of calamity and fear. It also seems that this windstorm is doing its best to get rid of the cold weather we have had these past few weeks and months.

As of late, I have been wanting warmer weather to approach. This weekend, I may get my wish to come true. We are expecting some sun and higher temperatures that we have yet to feel this season. I look forward to lounging in the backyard and having fun doing so.

As a man, I want to get everything done so I can have nothing left to do. I just want to do nothing in the sun. Just experience it. The warmth on my face, the red hue behind my closed eyelids, and the sensation of the world being at rest and comforting.

Is It Pool Time Yet?

The sun has been teasing us lately. But when you go outside, under the shade is frigid. The wind is still whistling past the clouds and pushing them onward. Looking towards the next few days and it seems like rain is in the forecast.

Today I took advantage of the nice weather. Our winter pool cover came off. I vacuumed up the debris and added a bunch of chemicals to the pool to balance it out. The pool is sitting at 15°C (59°F). Still far too cold to attempt to swim. I’m also waiting a couple of more weeks before heating it to ensure the chemicals create a safe swimming environment. Getting the pool ready is important to me.

But since it’s going to rain for the next ten days, there was no point in setting up the patio and deck furniture just to take it and store away again. I did sit outside first thing in the morning to eat breakfast. I can’t wait to be eating more meals outdoors. That has always been a favorite of mine.

Some day soon and life will be blissful. I will be able to swim and float around in the sun. For now, I get to enjoy the sunsets and views.

Costly Instant Waiting

As the world continues on the slow return, I am finding that I do not like the way you purchase big ticket items anymore. Furniture and cars are the biggest pain to buy right now. I’m not looking for a car, but have heard about the inconvenience.

We waited for about six months for a Bookcase. Which was fine, it wasn’t a necessity so we could wait. But we have reached a dilemma when buying dining room chairs. We could buy super cheap ($100-$200 is cheap???) or we can order chairs that can cost between $300-1000 and hope to get them by June.

The other dilemma is buying outdoor furniture. Right now it’s very early in the season, so not a lot is out there yet. But last year, things were gone off the shelves quickly and we were unsure of what we wanted. Again, I can order some nice furniture for 5-6x what the cost of a set at Home Depot or Costco may cost. Speaking with the salesperson, it sounded like the furniture would arrive by August. Pretty much missing this season entirely.

I do miss the ability to buy quality furniture right off the showroom or in their warehouse. Maybe one day we will get back to those days. For now, I should do my best to appreciate what we have and look at saving for the quality furniture next time instead of the instant gratification of walking out of the store.

How does someone justify $1000 for a dining room chair??? It’s not even gold plated. Inflation is ridiculous at the moment.

Adding Storage Options

With Christmas behind us, we realized that we like the house to be less cluttered. Because we had moved in at the start of summer, most of our time was spent enjoying the outdoors. Now that our mild winter is upon us, it was time to re-evaluate our home. That meant figuring out storage solutions.

First I started in the garage. We had a few boxes that we hadn’t opened yet, and an empty wall. An old bookcase becomes a place to store shoes while some shelves went up on the wall to store lightbulbs, candles, sunscreen, etc… We had some clear bins and fabric ones which worked well to organize and add some uniformity.

Next was the laundry room. Originally there was just a single shelf and a lot of wasted space above. I had taken out some wire shelves from my closet (in order to fit a dresser) so I reused them in this space. Again, we used fabric bins and put old towels and rags in them. The very top shelf will have overstock of cleaning supplies in clear shoebox size containers.

The last thing I did this week was add a more decorative cabinet in our kitchen. It fit nicely under our coffee bar. It also matched the red coffee maker and kettle. Now our teas and coffee have a better place to stay. Originally we had put a temporary wire rack underneath with all those cloth bins I mentioned.

I do prefer the clear plastic storage containers and the cloth bins over the cardboard boxes we had from moving. Even though those boxes were labeled, truly knowing what was inside was difficult. After going through some of them, we were able to gather up more donations and even discovered some items that we had no idea where they had gone.

With so much more stuff to go through, we are slowly decluttering our home. Some stuff that we brought along in the move just isn’t “us” anymore. My wife and I are trying to pass along items that we either don’t use, doesn’t bring us joy, or we simply had no idea why we still have it.

How are your storage solutions? Do you purge items regularly or do you wait for spring cleaning?

The Sky’s The Limit

I have shared so many photos of the sky that we can see from our home over the past few months. Many of you can see the sky from your own homes. You probably also have some amazing views. I’ve been sharing because I’m excited to see the sky for the first time in years on a regular basis.

The transitions and changes over the last few seasons leave me awestruck. Every night and day showcases something new to admire. We have also been lucky enough to see tons of fireworks off in the distance as folks celebrate various events. From out the windows and off the decks- we just love our home for what it has to offer.

Occasionally I do miss the trees and the greenery from our last home. Unfortunately all of those trees kept us shaded from the wonders of the sky. We never saw the clouds, the moon or the sun. We would get sneak peeks of them periodically, but never enough to truly enjoy.

I do like that we did not compromise on privacy when we moved. The neighbors may be closer, but it’s still peaceful and tranquil like our last home was.

As I have mentioned before- I don’t think I will ever tire of the views our home has to offer us.

Gut Wrenching Gutter Repair

Today our neighbor was getting their gutters cleaned. No, that sentence wasn’t meant inappropriately. They had a company cleaning their roof and debris from the gutters.

I had wandered outside taking out some garbage as one of the workers approached me. He asked if it was okay to use our deck to lean towards the neighbors roof. I said sure and we got to talking about the cost of doing my home. He quoted me around $300, but he already took a look when he was next door and said my gutters were fine.

I appreciated his honesty. He could’ve easily told me a price and I’d have not known any better. But since he was there, I asked if I could give him some cash to fix my one downspout. He agreed, and fifteen minutes later, my gutter was fixed.

Watching him climb the ladder that was leaning towards my house made me queasy. It was money well spent having someone else do it. Now the next set of rainfall which happens has a place to drain to.

I’m not afraid of heights, I’m afraid of falling.

More Google Controls

I cannot stop automating our home. About a month ago I thought I was done. Our Google Home is feeling futuristic and connected. Today I added what may be the final item… for now.

The Nest was our latest item added. Basically an overpriced thermostat. But it has so many features that my wife really wants to utilize. Mostly watching the usage- that’s the sort of thing which has become a pastime for her. She is also starting to come around to how to use the automation of our home.

For me, it’s another Google app that will make life easier. Having access to everything in the palm of my hand is exactly what I always wanted. Controlling lights, television, music and temperature creates comfort. I love all of it.

I love the fact that I can control nearly everything now from my phone. The accuracy and instantaneous of it all astounds me. I have used some of the other apps and controlled devices while away from home. Pretty cool and dorky. Now I can be warm or cold- whatever I want.

Keeping our Nest controlled by Nest.

Covered

Today was the final opportunity for us to see the blue of our pool. The final objective we needed to deal with in our backyard to prepare for the winter, was to throw a cover on the pool. All of our furniture is stored away, and the other day we Wrapped The Palm Trees for winter.

It was a sad moment having to say goodbye to the pool for the season. But we haven’t gone swimming in it for about a month now. What’s great about the cover is that it attaches right to the concrete all around. There are sunken pegs that come up and hold the straps in place keeping the cover taught.

Each spring will be filled with a glorious moment as we view the pool once more. The joy will extend through the summer. For now, we will protect the pool from the winter elements with the cover. Until next spring…