Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Where Does the Time Go?

I realized on the last day of May, that the month had gotten by me without having done a single post! No welcome to May Day, (which was lovely and warm this year) no updates from the garden (slow to start because of the late spring), not even a mention of my trip to Ottawa and lunch with FarmGal (more on that in a bit)!

When my contract at FoodShare finished at the end of April I was expecting to have so much time on my hands to do things that I'd been lagging at, particularly gardening, canning and writing.The freedom of a wide open schedule! My first order of business was a field trip for another passion of mine - genealogy. A recent investigation had led me to discover that one of my ancestors was actually born in the Red River Settlement in 1814 so I decided to make a trip to the Library and Archives of Canada in Ottawa. I spent 5 days pouring over records from the Selkirk Papers and that's a whole blog post and then some, but that belongs to another day and blog.

FarmGal and tulips!
I had messaged FarmGal of my visit and she braved the downtown traffic to meet me for picnic lunch which included some of her lovely preserves and a  fabulous home cured ham. The weather was unseasonably warm but worked in our favour as most of the fabled tulips were in full bloom. We had a lovely visit and even managed to squeeze in some photo ops!

On my return home things took an unexpected turn however. The building that houses our apartment is an old turn of the century row building, with our unit being the 2nd floor flat above a former retail space. Over the years most of the infrastructure like wiring and plumbing was redone but a lot of the original structure remains. Our bedroom ceiling had seen a number of leaks from the ancient skylight; though the roof had been repaired, the lath and plaster ceiling had been patched but not replaced. A large crack directly above the head of our bed had been growing ominously for a few months previously but was gauged safe by the landlord. While I was away there were several heavy storms and the Russian pointed out to me that the crack had widened considerably and that section of the ceiling was now hanging a good 6 inches lower than the rest. Of course late on a Saturday night there was little we could do, so I fired off an email to the landlord and the Russian and I set about moving the bed so we wouldn't be sleeping directly under it. We even discussed moving into the livingroom to sleep but I was trip weary and really just wanted to sleep in my own  room and bed. NO such luck however; whether our timing was perfect or the moving of the bedframe hastened it's demise, the ceiling came crashing down just as we finished getting everything thing out from under that area. We were lucky to not be directly under it but we were both startled, covered in plaster dust and soberly aware that the amount of debris that fell could have easily killed us had we been sleeping- 100 year old plaster is thick and heavy as bricks! The remainder of the month was a mess in every sense- all of our furniture and clothing had to be removed while the ceiling was replaced, the entire room had to be cleaned and repainted and the ceiling fan/light was replaced. Even now we are still sleeping the livingroom as there a few last touches that need to dealt with. I tend to function well with chaos in my working world but not so much in my home- frustration and weeping were common place for a few weeks as I struggled to find anything in that much disorder. Gardening was my main solace, as at least out side I could control my surrounds to a point, although I still couldn't control the cold snaps that kept many of my seedlings still in pots.

So here it is June, which is always my busiest month of the year and not surprisingly, I'm way behind in everything!  There's a mess of cooked rhubarb in the fridge waiting to be canned, ditto a bowl of tiny onions that have been brining for over a week.

The tomato and pepper seedlings need to be planted in their containers and join the squash on the roof. The raised beds are at least planted for the most part although I still have  leek seedlings and rutabaga seeds to go in. I hope I can at least manage to take care of all of that before the madness of working with Pride takes over my life.

Happy June!


  1. Poor you! How can a landlord let things deteriorate to the point of a ceiling falling on the heads of his tenants??? Will he at least let you a couple of months "rent free" for all the trouble this has caused you?

    Good luck and courage in your misfortune.

    Now, I'm going to see what is happening with your ancestors on your other blog!

  2. No and I had to fight with him to pay for the paint to repaint the room! He offered to pay only if we got some cheap mis tint in a neutral tone but I told him it had to be repaired to the condition (and colour)it was when we rented it. We did all the painting ourselves too!

    Which is why there's no new post on the other blog yet, but soon!

  3. Usually when roofs have to be replaced, contractors would inspect the whole system to make sure that everything else is in good condition. That was really shady of your landlord to deem it safe when there's obvious damage though. Can't believe you had to experience the ceiling collapsing to finally get it repaired. -Scarlet @ Roof Works

  4. A trip to Ottawa, lunch with your friend, and discovering that one of your ancestors was born in the Red River Settlement in 1814? Was it the best trip ever! It’s just heartbreaking that right after your wonderful trip, you had to deal with your apartment’s leak problem. Small leaks can really lead to bigger problems. And it’s a relief that you’re all safe when part of your ceiling crashed down. How is it by the way? I hope everything has been fixed. Not only the roof, but everything under it. – Tamara @ RhinoRoofingABQ.com