The White Cottage

MY DAYS IN RETIREMENT

The Bat, The Barrel, The Barrier And The Budget – Who Knew!!!

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The week started off quiet enough. Thursday saw us pretty much bored, so we decided to do the unusual and go out for lunch, albeit the usual haunts – Tim Horton’s & Wendy’s – but it was a change of pace. Nat also wanted to drop off the lawn trimmer at Paterak’s Garden Centre on the way home. He’s been having a hard time with it and keeps thinking that it’s slowing down and not doing such an efficient job. We knew that Dave would have to give it a look-see, determine what was wrong, and then give us a call to say Yeah or Nay to any fixes. The rest of the day was taken up somehow – it must have been pretty bad, as I can’t remember at all what we did!! With the rain coming down in buckets by supper time, we decided to forego Lucas’ baseball game that night and heard from Laura later that the rain never came to fruition in Niagara Falls!! Go figure!!

With the arrival of Friday morning, Nat wanted to sand down the bathroom door – it’s been swelling a bit in this intense humidity – and I wanted to get the house cleaning done so I could have a free Saturday while Nat was golfing. Of course, Nat had to check the rain barrel diverter during the rains last night and discovered the damn thing wasn’t working properly, so this morning he had another look see. Turns out the rain was pouring into the diverter but bouncing back over the filter bypassing the rain barrel, and running back down the downspout. I did the Google thing to check the manufacturer’s website and was able to send an email to Customer Service. So now we sit and wait! With that task done, Nat finished off the vacuuming for me and I was outside setting up the umbrella in anticipation of having a nice lunch on the patio. As I was cranking away I noticed a small brownish thing gripping onto the canvas. Curiosity got the better of me and I turned around to check things out and hot damn, it was another Bat!! I screamed for Nat who couldn’t hear me because the vacuum was going. Once I got his attention he gave the canvas a flip and the bat fell onto the patio. Not sure whether this creepy creature was alive or dead, he then gave it a poke with the end of a broom stick. Sensing we were now pissing it off, it flew a couple of feet and landed on the patio rails behind the BBQ. Again, another poke and finally it flew away over the fence and further afield into our neighbour’s property. I was now spooked for the rest of the day. I kept looking all around the patio waiting for something else to come popping out. Yuk!!!! Now thinking Nat can put up the umbrella from here on in. Too many bats these past couple of days for me – and God, where in hell were they coming from???

Once Nat had finished sanding the bathroom door, he went to the sump pump room to get the paint. Suddenly I hear his voice from the stairwell “Can you come down here a minute?” Whenever those words are spoken in this house, it’s not a good thing! “We’ve got a moisture problem”, he said as I descended the stairs. “Oh God, not again”, was my reply as he pointed out the drops of water trickling down between the vapour barrier and insulation just behind the sump pump and along the west outside wall. Both of us stood there shaking our heads. All of Nat’s work of stripping down the sump pump room and re-insulating it properly was all for naught. He then decided he had to strip back the vapour barrier and insulation to at least determine where the water was coming from. We cleared away any obstructions and upon further inspection the exterior walls were dry. Whew!!! That was at least one good thing. We were still baffled, however, as to where the water may be coming from and why just on the vapour barrier?? We decided to remove the top half of the plastic barrier where the water was found, turn on our little floor fan and hope we could dry things out. With that done, I immediately went to the office and did the Google thing ‘water between vapour barrier and insulation” and immediately came upon several web sites with answers. God, I love Google!!!! After reading a couple of sites we were certain the problem was somewhat minor – that because of the constant humidity of late and with no air return vent in the basement, the water had nowhere to escape and thus built up on the vapour barrier. It was recommended that the barrier be removed from any outside wall and to perhaps poke quite a few holes at the top and bottom of the barrier on the inside wall in order to allow evaporation. Made sense to us, plus a “no cost” solution to at least try.

Now thinking that the worst was over for the day we get a call from Paterak’s Garden Centre about the lawn trimmer/edger that was being looked at for possible repairs. Naturally, the news wasn’t good. The carburator was shot. Naturally, it would be expensive to repair; naturally, it was the kind that was difficult to repair and naturally, the cost of repairs would be half the price of a new trimmer. Dave was being straight with us and Nat knew it. He had a good reputation in town and any local customers would come back at him if he steered them wrong. Nat also knew enough about engines, carburators and mechanical stuff to realize this wasn’t worth the effort. The discussion then ensued – the trimmer was only a couple years old, bloody aggravating that it goes on the fritz so soon, not exactly an expense we budgeted for this month, along with the fact that we definitely needed one – we both knew what was about to happen – a new trimmer would soon be hanging in the new little shed. Discussion over and after lunch the deed was done. Nat headed down the street and soon returned with not only a new trimmer, but a new hat, new safety goggles, a small bottle of oil for the trimmer and a completed 5 year warranty!! Paterak’s had thrown in the little ‘extras’ for good PR and it worked. We were more than pleased with their honesty and service. I’ve said it before – won’t get that in the big City!!!!!

So far with the arrival of Saturday morning things have been peaceful. Nat was up before the birds to go to his golf tournament and I’ve decided to get an early start on laundry – having risen out of bed a bit sooner than usual – and then hang out in the office and get caught up on some podcasts. Here’s hoping we can get back to being boring again – it’s less expensive, it’s easy and good for the budget and blood pressure!!!

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Author: Twila

Born and raised in a small town in Ontario, Canada, with 5 sisters and a brother. Now retired, my husband and I travel, play golf and am slowly renovating our new (old) home. After my kidney transplant in 1999, we've learned to enjoy life to the fullest. Nat and I have driven across Canada, taken an Alaskan cruise and drove home via the Northern United States. We've also been to Mexico, the Caribbean, the East Coast of Canada and Cape Breton. We've done the "Snowbird" thing, having lived in Destin, Florida for a couple of months of the year. In 2007 we changed our travel plans in order to move into and renovate our new "old" home, but hope to someday get back on the road again. We also love returning to Scotland (Nat's origin of birth) to visit his family and tour the Highlands and surrounding Isles.

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