The White Cottage

MY DAYS IN RETIREMENT

Will Up-Shade Be My Saviour???

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As weeks go, this one was fairly typical, except for Saturday – but that’s another posting.

The usual quiet Monday.

Tuesday saw Nat run a few errands in the morning while I re-organized our back-up CDs and did further research on downspout diverters. The one we purchased from Canadian Tire (a Fiskar product that looked to be the perfect answer) was disappointing and we were going to return it as soon as a replacement could be found. After a little Googling we came upon a diverter that was sold by Lee Valley and from a design point of view, looked to be more efficient. So with nothing on our plates we hopped in the Van after lunch and headed to Burlington. By going to the actual store, as opposed to ordering it online, we’d save shipping and handling charges, Nat would be able to ask the Lee Valley staff about this particular diverter, how it worked and he’d be able to actually see one before ordering. The trip was successful, his questions asked and answered and we headed home with our new purchase.

Wednesday was, again, the usual. Nat’s golf game in the afternoon and me in the office getting caught up on podcasts and other stuff.

Thursday Nat decided to switch the new downspout diverter for the old one. He had some finagling to do because of the difference in sizes between the two, but managed to get things figured out. He had to grab another one of those concrete stones to place under the rain barrel in order to raise it to a proper height for the new diverter to work. When we first moved into this home there was a fire pit in the back corner of the yard, which was surrounded by rectangular concrete stones. Not being the Kombya sort by sitting around a fire pit at night and singing old folk songs, we decided to dismantle the whole affair and retrieve the concrete slabs for whatever reason. These stones have since come in handy in a few projects and Nat has now used one behind the shed as a base for the wheelbarrow, one at the side of the house, again, for keeping stored items from sitting in possible mud, and a couple of stones as a raised base for the rain barrel. With the new diverter up and running we headed into St. Catharines right after lunch for my regular check-up at the Hotel Dieu. A good report by the Doc was most welcomed and we were out of there within 30 minutes.

Friday morning we ran a couple of errands. Bell Canada had finally sent us the refund we were owed ($20.46) and we headed into Fort Erie to make that deposit, along with returning the old diverter to Canadian Tire and then picking up our Trip Tik from the CAA for September. We’ve decided to head down to Corning, New York for a couple of days just to have a break and decided to have CAA do us a Trip Tik for reassurance reasons. Google Maps isn’t bad, but at our age extra reassurance is sometimes needed, and besides, it was free. As the day wore on, the heat was getting heavier. I stayed indoors and got a head start on the housework, while Nat watered the plants and added a mesh to the eavestrough around the new diverter to prevent leaves from blocking up the works and thereby rendering the whole process useless. As usual, he found more work than he had originally anticipated and ended up vacuuming and washing down the front of the house. We’ve had an especially bad year for spiders at the front of the house and Nat was anxious to get the webs and other bugs caught in such webs, cleaned up.

Once the housework was partially done – I decided to split things up over a couple of days because of the heat – I took some time out to do a little research on window shades for cars or vans. Ever since my transplant I’ve been exceptionally sensitive to the sun and, naturally, it’s always “my” side that gets the direct sun whenever Nat and I are driving around. At one point I took the time and purchased one of those “roller blinds” for cars and gave that a try. After licking the little suction cups on the damn thing and trying to get it to stick to the window, there were times that it would pop off and fall onto my lap or down the side of the door. Once I managed to get the blind to actually stick, I’d pull the shade down only to find that the placement was wrong. The sun would peak over the top or along the sides. With much todo, I tried placing the blind in various spots, but the sun somehow knew what was going on and decided to change positions in the hot summer skies. There were even times when I’d finally get the blind placed right, despite the slant of the Van’s front window, when the sun would hide behind the clouds so I’d roll up the blind, only to have it snap off of the window and come flying back at me!! Geez, Louise, this is no longer funny. Naturally, the more frustrated I got, the madder I became and Nat would be trying his damndest to steer the Van down the highway while his whacky wife was fighting a roller blind beside him!!! It was maddening to say the least and that bloody little roller blind now sits on the Van’s floor gathering dust. My Googling fingers went to work and it wasn’t long before I came upon a really neat and ingenious idea. It’s called Up-Shade and there’s even installation instructions posted on You Tube. After checking the web site out and watching the video, I called for Nat to get his opinion. This was a mesh product that fitted within the car window itself and was shaped so as to allow driver and passenger to see the outside mirrors while at the same time being shaded from the sun’s harsh rays. You could virtually buy a shade for each window – irregular for the two front windows and square for the two back windows. Plus, they come two to a pack!! There’s also a video on You Tube where one of the developers demonstrates how easy it is to go through a drive-in with the Up-Shade installed. Honestly, this thing is ingenious and looks exactly like the answer I’m looking for. Wasn’t too much wrong with the whole idea, except would it fit a “Van” window. The sizes carried stated they would fit a small to mid-size car, truck or SUV, and that they were working on newer sizes that would be available mid-September. After Nat measured the Van’s window, I contacted Up-Shade asking if they shipped to Canada (they’re based in Arizona) and if their new sizes would fit a Chevy Uplander. With no word of a lie, I received a reply within minutes. Yes, they ship to Canada, they said and they would email us in September when the new sizes were available and yes, the new sizes would, in fact, fit our Van. I was impressed!! Now, we’ll wait and see what happens in September and will most likely have a new shade for the Van by the time the snow flies!!!! Oh well, there’s always snow glare!!

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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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