Saturday, February 24, 2018

No Boundaries


This week they moved to the upstairs. They are still working in the basement, they just expanded the worksite. Since the business end of the bathtub backs onto my bedroom they had to move furniture to cut a hole in the wall to access the plumbing, so I now have no safe haven from the dust and noise and workmen and tools strewn about. Plus, they found mould in some of the basement gyproc immediately below the upstairs bathroom (see photo above). The bathroom sink was leaking and I knew that, I just didn't know how long it had been leaking. Obviously long enough for mould to take hold.

Upstairs bathroom
They cut holes into the gyproc in my bedroom and in the basement ceiling to access the plumbing. All of the sinks except the one in the kitchen are disconnected, so the painter washes his tools there each evening. I brush my teeth there too. I thought it would only take a couple of days to remove the old bathtub and install the new one, but after a week it is still not plumbed in. Consequently I took a shower in the basement shower stall. But since they were painting in that room the curtains had been removed from the window, which is in plain view of the male student's bedroom window next door. There were no cars parked in their driveway last night so I took a chance. It's study break.

Downstairs bathroom
Bobby likes to spend his weekends with his grandkids so he tries not to work on Saturdays, but he said yesterday that he might come by this Saturday to do a bit of work. Oh joy. Once again, he thinks another two days and they will be done. Which is what he said a week ago. Since they are working in both bathrooms, I now know where all the publicly accessible bathrooms are in town. Washing up is a problem, but as long as I plan ahead I can make it to a reasonably private toilet.

Meanwhile back at the ranch my email to my financial guy to transfer money to my bank account landed in his spam folder and he didn't see it until I sent a follow-up email a week later. So I was unable to meet Bobby's weekly ransom demand.

The news both north and south of the border is crazy, but since my personal life is kind of off the rails the craziness in the world out there is just part of the scenery. Last night a friend called me to see how I was doing. When I told her that I have burned through most of what I thought of as my lifetime discretionary money fund, she asked me if any of the workers smoked. I told her that one of them does so she suggested that he might burn the house down and I could collect the insurance money.

She also told me that another friend of hers just pulled a live tick off her dog after a walk in the woods. In February. It is that warm now. She thinks it is just winter delayed, that sometime in March all hell will break loose weather-wise. I think she's wrong, that this is the new normal.

She says, Fine then, after the next big blizzard you can lead the Naked Yoga class in the school parking lot.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Basement Saga continued

Backyard visitor
Mid-February, no snow on the ground, no snow in the forecast. Every time it snows there's rain right afterward and the snow is washed away. Weird winter.

The guys are putting my basement back together again. It has been a long haul, they've been here for so long I feel like I should be charging them rent. Everything that could go wrong did.

Now I have a cold, I'm hoping it won't last too long. The guys figure they have one more day of work down there and then I can start putting things back where I want them, but with this cold I have no energy for it.

Hapi is quite discombobulated by the change in sleeping quarters. Usually she sleeps in the basement but she can't now so every night she has to decide whether to stay indoors upstairs or go outside. Usually she chooses to go outside. I don't mind, but it seems that all our rain is happening in the night and I know she doesn't like being in her doghouse in the rain because of the noise of the rain on the roof. And if I'm asleep I can't let her inside, so she goes out into the rain and finds the muddiest spot available to lie down in. By morning she is soaked and covered in mud, then she wants to come inside. All her white fur is brown now.

The last few days they've been cutting laminate flooring to fit back together again; the dust from that goes everywhere. There's no point cleaning it up until they're done, which I'm hoping is tomorrow. Then they're going to come upstairs and do some work on my bathroom. They think it will only take a couple of days, but I remember a month ago Bob thinking the basement job would just take a few days. You just never know what kind of disaster you're going to uncover when you start taking things apart.

I went to an amazing house concert over the weekend, a woman who sings Edith Piaf. She's very talented, plays multiple instruments and has a gorgeous voice. Her partner plays guitar and he is amazing as well. It was enthralling. The concert was at her mother's place. The couple now live in Montreal and they came back home for three Valentine's Day performances. I really hope their talents are rewarded.

Last night I went to a talk and slide show about the railway children of India. The mother of the singer went to India over Christmas to visit Father Abhi who works with the railway children of Varanasi. They have a centre there where they house some of them and arrange for them to go to school, also they help find adoptive families or reunite children with their lost families. Most of them are girls, their futures are not good. Father Abhi heads up an organization (DARE) that does this work and also he travels India and the world to drum up support.

There is a small network of groups in Nova Scotia, Belgium and one other place that I forget. When he needs money for his projects in India he tells the network. Usually it is something very specific, say a small bus or some piece of necessary equipment. Then the network raises the money and sends it to him. Sometimes it can take a couple of years to raise the money. It is complicated, there are rules governing how money can be sent overseas and also how money can be received by organizations in India. By being very specific they handle the complications. So my little town is part of that international network, to help the railway children. Of course it is just a drop in the bucket, but I guess every little drop helps.

The slides we watched were very colourful, the presenter was quite fascinated by the brightly painted trucks in India and also by all the dancing. The children are taught amazing dances and they love it. Father Abhi has all these paintings and statues of an Indian Jesus, he looks like a Hindu guru or a buddha. The Christmas celebrations were extremely colourful and full of dancing and coloured lights and flowers. It was beautiful and strange at the same time, Christmas celebrated in a Hindu way.