Thursday, July 28, 2011


I have awesome friends. I already know that. But, in the six weeks since I got possession of my house, I've had so many people offering to help in lots of ways, I thought I'd give a shout out.

Sue Leckie: Sue offered to help me clean before I even moved in. We worked all afternoon scrubbing from top to bottom. It was a good feeling to know that when I moved all my stuff in, the house was CLEAN! She also helped me discover that my windows tip out for easy cleaning. Oh ya!!

Connie Berry: My sister Connie came for a full day of organizing, moving furniture, shopping for furniture, hanging things and brainstorming ideas. Master of the ideas.

Marj MacGregor: What a sweet friend. Marj came over for coffee one morning on my patio and brought Cinnabons! (yes, the real deal) While she was there we decided to go furniture shopping the next week. What fun to toot around with coffees in tow, checking out options and getting inspiration.

Murray Barnett: Even before I got my house, Murray was helping me out. He actually went through it before I made an offer - to get another opinion. After it was official he helped me by picking up, storing and then installing my rain barrel for me (on the hottest day of the summer no less). Always dependable, Myrrh.

Jodi Wildschut: Jodi used to be my roomie and has done the house thing herself, so she has been able to share her experiences and lessons learned with me. She also came over to help me hang some stuff on the walls, come up with ideas and even toted away some boxes for Goodwill for me. Thanks Jod.

Josh Murray: My cousin Josh thought he was just coming for a visit. What he didn't know was that he'd be helping to move a couch and hang some curtains! But he never complained once. In fact, I think he had fun with it :)

Dean Bates: For some reason, Dean has the ability to make me laugh, no matter how crazy the control room gets. So, the evening I bought my couch and told him it's officially called a "click clack" we had uncontrollable laughter! He also offered to help me move it as he has a pick up truck. So nice of him since he was officially starting vacation that day. Thanks Dino.

Things are starting to come together and feeling like "home". Stay tuned for more updates!

Thursday, July 21, 2011


I have a friend and his name is Bruce. (ok...singing a Johnny Cash song in my head...) Bruce and I have been friends for a long time but I don't actually remember meeting Bruce, he's just always been around. We work together and just clicked as kindred spirits do. We have spent many breaks together either at the picnic table or in the lounge at our corner table with a view.

During these dinner-hour conversations I have learned a lot about Mr. Bates. I've heard stories of his childhood and how he met the lovely Mary Ann. We've discussed family - the good, the bad and the ugly. He has offered up fatherly advice and I have entertained him with tales of my frivolity. We have laughed together and cried together and I dare say, at thirty years my senior, he is one of my closest friends at /A\.

I was devastated when he told me about his cancer and relieved that he seems to have kicked it. He had a very understanding ear when I discovered my sister had cancer. He was the first person I showed my MLS listing to and the first to see my home the day I got the keys. He is also the office lottery coordinator, sending out updates when there's a big jackpot and collecting funds for the pot.

Bruce will soon be able to retire and spend lots of time at his beloved cottage, so Mary Ann hosted a party to celebrate. The party was on my moving day and if it was for anyone else, I wouldn't have gone. But, how could I miss? The setting was perfect! Their cottage overlooks Lake Huron and is gorgeous. The day was filled with outside games, fabulous food and great friends. Dinner was served at a long family-style table overlooking the lake and I got to sit beside the guest of honour!

The day will come when Bruce and I don't share our breaks at the picnic table, but I know that we will always be friends and look forward to the day he calls to tell me to do my "happy dance" :)

Monday, July 18, 2011

Ms. Fix It

Last week I experienced my first home repair project. Sure, I've done some things since moving in, but most of them consisted of making a list and having someone else complete the task. Not this time!

I was in the middle of my morning shower and I had just finished rinsing the shampoo from my hair (fortunately!). I had just squirted some facial cleanser into my hand and was lathering it up when all of a sudden the spout where the water comes out FELL OFF! At the same moment, the water which was being redirected up to the shower head started to gush at me at a 90 degree angle! I was able to finish my shower by using the force of water similar to that of a fire hydrant. As I dried off, I tried to gather my thoughts about what I was going to do about this problem.

I picked up the spout and examined it. The end was threaded and it appeared it would just screw back on to the tub. However, when I tried to do this, the taps were in the way. So, I went to my tool box and returned with the appropriate screwdriver. I removed the taps, screwed the spout back on and returned the taps to their rightful place. I was feeling pretty proud of myself....until the next morning during my shower.

Yes, it happened again. As soon as I pulled up on the knobby that makes the water go to the shower head, it fell off again. This time I took the piece with me in a ziploc baggie to Home Depot. I was a little surprised when the man working there suggested a roll of 75 cent teflon tape. Seemed like an easy enough fix...and it was! I repeated the same steps but this time I applied a few rounds of the tape before putting the spout back on. Five showers later, it is still holding up.

There is a certain sense of accomplishment in problem solving and fixing something all on my own. I'm sure this is the first of many experiences like this and I promise I won't blog about them all!!

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Remembering Jim

It might seem like a strange thing to say, but today I attended the best funeral. Jim Teskey was friends with my dad "back in the day". Years later, after Jim had married Lynda and Dave had married Ellen and they had 6 kids between them, the Teskey and the Mills clans would hang out.

There were games nights and camping excursions, campfires with smores and watching movies on a BETA player at the Teskeys!! Jason and John were older than me - more the age of my siblings. So as the "older kids" got older, I was left tagging along with the adults. I didn't mind. Lynda didn't have a daughter and is definitely a girly-girl so having me around was like a surrogate daughter for her. We had lots of good times.

Memories of the Teskeys:
  • hearing stories of the trouble Jim & Dad used to stir up
  • camping at United Church Camp
  • pop and chip parties
  • seeing "The Nations"
  • Jim's ever-present suspenders
  • going to London Dairy
  • JIMLYN licence plate
  • Jim's love of the song "Lynda...Do You Wanna Dance" (and inspiration for me singing it almost every time I see her)
Jim was an easy-going, laid-back kind of a guy and a big ole teddy bear. He had a permanent post outside the back door at church where he would greet everyone going in. After giving him a hug and opening the door, you'd find Lynda inside asking where her hug was! He was the first person I knew that had hearing aids and I remember his constant leaning in and saying "eh?". He loved to joke with people and had a constant smirk on his face and twinkle in his eye.

We were all sad to hear that Jim had developed leukemia and even more sad when we learned that his days with us on earth were numbered. I went to see Jim one week ago. Lynda and I had a little cry when I got there, but she informed me that Jim didn't want any of that. In his last days he wanted all laughter and good memories and true to his word, he was still joking around as he sat on the edge of the bed.

The comforting thing about today is that Jim planned every last detail. He didn't want any suits and ties at his funeral...dress comfortably, casually and wear suspenders if you can. (Jim's trademark) The sanctuary today was a sea of suspenders :) Jim was able to ask each pallbearer, personally, if they would do the honour. He picked the music and scripture. The service was the most uplifting and inspirational funerals I have seen. It has "Jim" written all over it. My favourite details:
  • the family entered to the sounds of The Grundy County Auction
  • Jim exited to Louisiana Saturday Night
  • singing "I'll Fly Away" and "When We All Get To Heaven"
  • the poignant words of his sons
  • the pastor in a golf shirt
  • playing his & Lynda's song "Lay Me Down" by Conway Twitty (who else would play this song at a funeral? I was a puddle)
  • the funeral procession passing their house and the purple truck parked out front
  • the squirt guns pulled out at the grave site!
During the service, they played a song called "Jesus Laughing". The pastor explained this is how Lynda saw Jim entering heaven. As I listened to the song, I could picture Jim walking up to Jesus and asking what took so long or something of the like. It was such a great mental image to think that he is in a better place with those that have gone before us. So many times at funerals we get caught up in how we are feeling and how we will miss our loved one but Jim made the most graceful exit of anyone I know.