Sundog snippet: Sewer, stove, and refinishing update

On Monday morning, the crew arrived to start digging up the driveway and replace the old, clay sewer pipe. Apparently the locates were finally done on Friday (though I was watching for them, and I didn’t see anyone . . .). So, yay!

The trenchening

I was quickly exiled from the house, though, when they had to move the stairs (our one remaining set).

The trenchening continued

Everything was excavated by the end of day on Monday. They reassembled the steps at the front door so we could get in and out of the house.

Tuesday morning, however, in the process of removing our pipe and compacting fill at the bottom of the trench, the crew uncovered a leak in my mom’s sewer pipe (about two feet over from ours).

Tuesday morning

So they had to replace a 12 foot length of her pipe as well.

Wednesday morning, they were here for about an hour to top up the fill under the side door and move the steps back into place.

Wednesday morning

And now we won’t have to worry about roots in our line.

Wednesday morning part 2

Unfortunately, the paving crew, the retaining wall people, and the carpenter who is supposed to build the new set of front steps, have not shown up.

But progress! Yay!

I started refinishing my office door (finally). It’s one of the things I wanted to do before my leave was over. With one week left, I figured I should get on that . . .

Stripping the door

And yesterday, our new stove arrived.

Shiny new stove

So all is well. For now. Will keep you posted on the paving and other stuff as things happen.

TTFN! Hope everyone has a wonderful week!

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Sundog snippet: Stuff keeps happening . . . or not

It’s been a wild week.

Last week, Phil and I thought we’d made arrangements to have our sewer pipe dug up and replaced. Phil received a call from the city engineer on Wednesday saying that the pavers would have to proceed with the driveway soon. They’re at the end of the contract that includes the work on our property and they wanted to get at it.

So I called the contractor and he said that the hold up was because the locates hadn’t been done. Apparently they’re backed up, too.

The locate still hasn’t been done, the sewer pipe has not been replaced, and on Friday the paving company was making preparations to start work on the street.

So we’ll see how that goes.

Had a lovely lunch with a friend I haven’t seen in years on Thursday. It was awesome. We spent the whole afternoon talking about books and work and life.

On Friday, Phil prepared a Shepherd’s Pie and had just turned on the oven to warms everything through and brown the top. Mere minutes later, he says we have a fire, which I’m not sure how we would have handled as our extinguishers have both been discharged.

It wasn’t a fire, though. The element in the stove melted and vaporized toxic chemicals all over our supper 😦

So we went stove shopping on Saturday.

And Saturday night was the retirement party for two of my (now former) co-workers. It was another amazing night with friends.

Today, I wrangled Phil into helping me clean up the kitchen. And I mean clean up. We moved all the appliances and cleaned under them. We went through all the cupboards. Two garbage bags, three compost bags, and a number of small boxes of stuff to give away. It took all afternoon. Hence the lateness of this post.

So yeah. That’s been my non-writing week.

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Sundog snippet: Miscellaneous stuff

‘Cause we all need miscellaneous stuff. Am I right?

The acting consultant position ended, I returned to my substantive position for two blissful weeks, and now I’m on leave.

My main writing-related goal was to prepare and send off my query package, but I’m behind (no surprise there). I’m still finishing up the latest round of revisions, but I hope to have them done soon(ish).

I’ve also offered to help a couple of visiting writers set up workshops while they’re in town over the next several weeks.

Jane Ann McLachlan will be up for the weekend of May 30 and 31. She’ll be doing a book signing at Chapters from 2-4 pm on the Saturday afternoon and then, on the Sunday, from 1:30-3:30 pm at the Older Adult Centre (in the YMCA on Durham), she’ll be delivering a workshop on Crafting the Contemporary Genre Novel.

JAMcLachlan

I’ll save the second workshop and event details for my monthly update.

Other than that, I’m going to conduct a bit of spring cleaning around the house, and hopefully get a couple of long-outstanding projects done.

The rainbows!Not as impressive as the real thing

I’ve cleaned up my office, including the windows and my variety of prisms in the window. Though the pictures don’t do it justice, I now have rainbows dancing about the room as soon as the sun comes around. They even shine down the hall and into the kitchen 🙂

Guardians of the DeskMy druid

Just thought I’d show you the few things I have on my desk. The gargoyle is there to chase away distractions. The miniature is a hold over from my gaming days. This was my druid. I painted her myself, replete with ink washes, dry-brushing, and enough lacquer to protect her for over twenty years 😉

HeartShapedStone

Phil and I found this heart shaped rock in the back yard. I don’t know why, but I like it. So it’s on my desk.

I also have to have plants. My African violets appear to be happy. This year, I’ve added an orchid to the mix and it seems to like the spot, too.

violetsorchid

I’ve decided not to travel for this batch of leave, since the true purpose of it is to rest and rejuvenate so I can return to work and not feel that it’s the last place I want to be.

The driveway and yard are still a mess. The remediation of Regent Street has begun (soil and sod, prepping the storm drains for the final layer of pavement) but since our property requires some extensive work, a few things have had to be organized first.

We’re supposed to have a sewer line inspection done in the near future. The city engineer visited and suggested that in might be more economical to insert a “sleeve” into the old sewer pipe than to dig it up and replace it. We’re hoping that’s possible, but will have to wait on the results of the video inspection.

The retaining wall has to be finished, the railing erected, and our front entry rebuilt. Even though they’d taken the old set of stairs and moved them into the back yard, we can’t use them again. The bottom step would lead people off the end of the retaining wall (!)

The new steps will run around the corner of the house and into what is now a garden. I’ll have to find a new place for all my plants.

Depending on whether we can get away with an insert into the sewer pipe, or have to dig up and replace the line, we my have enough money to ask the sub-contractor who builds the front stairs to build the side entry as well. If not, we may rebuild it ourselves, but we wouldn’t be looking forward to the work.

The drive will be repaved when the retaining wall is finished.

So there are a number of dominoes that have to fall into place for things to actually proceed.

In the back yard, Phil has dismantled the old front steps and, along with the pressure-treated lumber salvaged from my mom’s deck replacement last year, he’ll be using the bits and pieces to enclose our patio, back fill with stone and gravel, and we’ll finally get to use the space again.

I’m so looking forward to having my summer office again. I didn’t get to use it at all last year.

I’ll be moving the plants from the garden by the house into the gardens around the patio. Now that the birches have been removed, there’s enough sun for the plants to thrive.

Bucket has now . . . kicked the bucket. The repairs necessary to keep her on the road were beyond Phil and we made the decision to count his purchase as a poor investment and cut our losses.

A farewell to bucketBuh-bye, la!

He is, of course, on the hunt for a new(er) truck, but will wait to see how much we might be investing in the sewer pipe lining/replacement before we commit to spending more.

Nuala is doing well. We continue to take her in for the occasional glucose curve, but her diabetes seems to be managed, and her other health issues well in hand. She just turned 10 this year.

NualaMay

And that’s about all I can tell you about this writer’s life at the moment.

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Sundog snippet: (W)rites of spring returns to Sudbury

It’s been a while since I posted on a Sunday, and I had another literary event to report on, so I thought I’d share a Sundog snippet with you 🙂

The last time the (W)rites of spring visited Sudbury was in 1997 (!). I was a part of that event as a budding poet as was my friend Kim Fahner, who was getting her first chapbook, You must imagine the cold here, published through Your Scrivener Press.

Kim’s gone on to have two further collections published, braille on water, and The Narcoleptic Madonna, both through Penumbra Press and she’s currently working on the contents of her next collection. It wasn’t a surprise, therefore, that for this year’s National Poetry Month, she decided to bring the (W)rites of spring back to Sudbury.

On Friday evening, at Marymount Academy in Sudbury, Kim, along with Sudbury’s current poet laureate Tom Leduc, its past PL, Roger Nash, Susan McMaster, and Tanya Neumeyer did a round-robin reading of their poetry on the theme of food.

The MC was Marcus Schwabe of CBC Radio Sudbury and he kept the evening moving with some humour and commentary. Here is Kim and Tanya’s interview with Marcus from Thursday morning.

The League of Canadian Poets and The Canada Council sponsored the event.

The organization to which proceeds were being donated was the Young Writers’ Guild which meets every month at the Greater Sudbury Public Library.

It was a lovely evening and the breadth and depth of poetry was wonderful.

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Sundog snippet: Chaotic life is chaotic

I will try to keep this a snippet, but there’s a lot happening these days.

Work

The uncertainty continues.

My former manager is continuing in her acting position as senior manager until December 31. In the meantime, one acting manager has yielded to another, this time, a colleague, talented and deserving.

Two other friends from the consultant pool have been appointed to training coordinator, the position I held as an acting consultant for sixteen months. One of my friends will be handling coordination for my business line and the other for another business line. I’m very happy for them. The position will teach them a lot.

The new training is well underway. I delivered the Sudbury session the second and third weeks in September. Then I mentored a couple of acting advisors on our team to help them learn the way we monitor our new agents, post-training.

I’ll be doing a little more mentoring, and taking on the supervision of an agent returning to work.

Then I’ll be getting ready for the next round of training in November. After that, I’m not really sure what’s going to happen.

I got my projects from the summer done, but beyond that, I don’t know if anything more will come of them.

With all the major players in acting roles, we can’t really do more than react.

Phil’s got his own burden at work, but it’s not my story to tell, so I’ll have to leave it at that.

Usually, when things are going well for me at work, they go poorly for him, and vice versa. Now we both seem to be in a bit of a jam.

Home

The city engineer stopped by my mom’s last week. Apparently, Union Gas will be by to bury the gas line properly again on Monday.

The Gas Line

Then, the rock will be blasted out. As you can see, the blasting mats are already in place.

The Blasting Mats

Then, they’ll be tearing up the driveway and repaving and, I suppose, getting the retaining wall up.

The engineer is supposed to be coming by with the work order for Phil to sign off on. He says he has a lovely railing for the top of the retaining wall.

You know about Nuala’s troubles from last week’s post. She’s making headway, but after the first glucose curve, the vet increased her dosage of insulin. Her sugars were too high. We’re in a holding pattern there until this Thursday, when we’ll take Nu in for her next glucose curve.

Phil and I are growing accustomed to our new schedule, but between that, the gloomy weather we’ve been having, and work uncertainty, we’re both exhausted.

At least, I’ll have my normal salary to look forward to for the next six months or so. We have some hefty vet bills to pay off.

Creatively

As you may have guessed from my Next Chapter post, I’m trying to focus my energies on my writing. It’s what keeps me sane.

Unfortunately, trying to cram everything in tends to wear me out. I know this, and still, I do it.

When a writing friend came to town last month, I’d intended to meet her. She was reading at my mom’s church on the Sunday and then at the Public Library on the Thursday.

On Sunday, I was feeling poorly and decided not to go. I’m not big into church these days anyway. The week of her visit was also one of two weeks of training I was delivering. When Thursday arrived, I got home from work and essentially collapsed. It wasn’t until after nine that I realized I had missed her presentation.

More recently, I wanted to get out to the launch of an art show another friend was having, but events conspired against me and I couldn’t get away.

It really is true that life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.

Otherwise

I have a number of friends going through tough times.

They say news, whether bad or good, is supposed to come in threes, but it’s been far more than that, and since I’m such a hermit these days, I often don’t know what’s happened until after the fact.

I can only give them my moral support in most situations and wish them well.

I sincerely hope all of this misfortune comes to an end soon and that life resumes a better balance for everyone.

And that’s where I’ll leave you, with my very best wishes for a speedy recovery, a soothing of grief, a securing of contentment, if not happiness, and a world of ease to all your troubles. This, too, shall pass.

The warmest of hugs to you all.

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