After cropping, the texture of the door on the left is more apparent and the view of the lake more intersting.
If we or our photographers spend some time looking at the photos for listings, the viewer (and internet shoppers) will be more attracted to what they are seeing of the home. Cropping before the shot by deciding what is the focus, or doing some after shot cropping, will make a big difference.
There are some things you wish you never had to know and, when forced to be aware, wish you had slept through the lesson. The appliance repairman came to fix the ice maker in the fridge. The repairman pulled out the fridge drip tray. First, I had no idea that such a thing existed but, in retrospect, where else would the water go from a self- defrosting fridge. When he pulled out the tray (and all self-defrosting fridges have them), it was green and slimy and disgusting. I had a chance to clean it and it was likely the first time since the fridge was installed with the previous home owner 15 years ago. As if my house cleaning skills were not already in a failing grade, the repairman then told me that the house had had mice in the past as evidenced by all the mice poop around the tray. ARG!!!!! According the repairman, mice can always find the drip trays in homes because they are searching for drinking water and this is one source they can get to. Yuk, yuk and double yuk.
When we moved into the house, there were entry points for mice. Apparently they get into the attached garage when the doors are open or where pipes and wires enter the house and then they sneak through the tiny little openings. With a box of fine steel wool and some patience, MDH was able to close every entry. Mice will eat through almost anything but don’t like steel wool. Since the steel wool application, we have had no mice.
So, in case the fridge needs repairs and you are not up to humiliation that day, unscrew the bottom panel of your fridge and take out the drip pan to clean it (say more than once every 15 years), watch for signs of mice and take time to stuff steel wool around the entry points of pipes and wires into your house.
As an aside, I was saved from a final mortification when the repairman did not find mouse cadavers at the drip pan. Thank god for small mercies.
Stainless steel wool 1 http://www.flickr.com/photos/oskay/2362752031/
If life hands you a lemon, make lemonade.
This house is a real lemon (meaning defective in someway).
- Drop some lemons into the food garburator to clean it and improve the smell.
- Diluted lemon will help fade stains
- We all know to add lemon to honey when we have a sore throat.
- According to Real Simple, you can shine the interior of a copper cookware by sprinkling a lemon wedge with salt and then scrubbing the interior.
- Every stager knows to include a bowl of lemons in the kitchen, they are real and they last a long time.
- If you cut a lemon in half and then put them in a dish cut side up, the room will smell fresher.
- I always squeeze a lemon over cut fruit so it will not brown. The same is true for potatoes and cauliflower you have prepared and that are sitting in a pot of water, waiting for cooking.
- Don’t forget to use lemons when you make guac – it will stay green longer.
I have always wanted hollyhocks growing in the yard. You know, those tall stems with multiple flowers that bloom for a couple of months every summer. They come in lovely pinks, peaches, reds and maroons.
Maybe I read too many English Murder Mysteries with hollyhocks surrounding the sorry victims thatched cottage. Whatever. We have tried to grow hollyhocks and failed. Sounds like nonsense talk because, as you know, everyone can grow hollyhocks. We have even walked down back lanes and picked seed buds from hollyhocks that were growing like weeds thinking if they could grow in those conditions, they could grow in our yard.
Well, success at last. Several years of trying and here is the hollyhock in our yard. I was asked to go out and ensure that I took photos so that, should next year not be as good, we will have this memory preserved.
Thank goodness that we finally had…….
A Hollyhock on Gwynne
We have a pole in our front yard for the power and telephone lines. On that pole is a sign indicating No Parking Anytime to the left of our home. I think you have to learn to live with the ‘gifts’ that the city gives you so we have planted a vine and a clematis plant at the base of the pole. This clematis is a plant of extraordinary beauty and has been giving us flowers for the past several weeks.
About that No Parking sign…. From time to time the city will come by and rip plants away from their signs. These are guys who likely have no gardening training and are there from the Traffic Bureau. We have grown (pun) fond of the clematis so this week we took out the ladder, climbed up and cut back the plant so the sign is visible. Oh yes, we also saved a few people from getting tickets.
Photo credit: Me. I have tried to get a few good shots of the plant but found that if the sun is shining directly on the plant, the flowers come out very washed out. Taking the photo from some of the flowers that protrude and at a 45 degree angle helped to get the true colour of the blossoms. Oh, using the macro lens also made the focus just the plant and blurred the background.
There are a few cats in my neighbourhood who are allowed to roam freely. One of the by-products of these free range cats it that they like to mark or spray ‘their’ territory and that includes my backyard. When the sun heats up the sprayed area, the smell is way beyond pleasant. I like to sit outside and enjoy the summer and there are days when this is not possible because of the cat smell.
I have been doing a search on what can be done to first get rid of the smell and, second, get rid of the cats.
- This week we started to dump the morning coffee grounds in the smelly area. That will, I hope reduce the smell. Perfume sellers often have a jar of coffee beans for customers to inhale between smelling different perfumes. Who knows, this may work and costs nothing.
- We bought something called a CatScat mat (don’t you just love it) from Lee Valley and will be putting it along the top of the fence.
- I discovered that cats are not that fond of citrus. Many people have recommended putting orange peel in the flower beds are around the doors and area that the cats seem to scent. I found a citrus spray called Nature’s Miracle Orange-Oxy Power Just for Cats Stain & Odor Remover that is available at pet stores and on Amazon.ca amazon.com
- On another note and this one more potent smelling, I have mixed white vinegar with water in a spray (LOL) bottle. Some goes on the cat sprayed area and the bottle sits on the patio table waiting for me to use to shoot the cat should it dare enter my area while I am outside.
- Finally, and we are not up to doing this, there are humane traps that we could buy and trap the cats to take to the pound.
It seems I am not suffering alone. My favourite veterinarian columnist, Dr. Bernhard Pukay, wrote an article in the July 3, 2012 Ottawa Citizen about keeping cats out of flowerbeds. According to the article, I am on the right track with all of these efforts.
If you are selling your home, make sure that you do everything possible to eliminate offensive odours – both inside and outside the home.
I hope that: I don’t get any catcalls for writing this post; my curiosity will kill the cat (smell;) and, this post will not rub you the wrong way.
It was amazing. She found the hard shell on the ground and picked it up to show me. Apparently she was walking by the tree when the light green of the wings caught her eye.
Now, I love meeting new people and Nancy was very interesting. She is a biologist with the Federal Government (explains why she knew so much about bugs- wait is that a double entendre?). In fact, she works in the same department I left but in a building of well over 1,000 people it is not a surprise that we never met. She has the two most endearing shelter dogs. Sally lives a few blocks from my house. She said she and her husband bought their house for its future not for what it was at the time. I love talking houses with the people in my neighbourhood. She said she hopes to live there until the end of her days.
Of course, I learned a lot more about her but some conversations are just too long to repeat. I hope you like seeing what Nance, the biologist showed me.
I decided to go back to the Ornamental Gardens to see if there were any peonies left. I saw a couple of late bloomers but not the glorious array from two weeks ago. Still, I had my camera and time so I walked around taking photos and talking to people Of course, I only had my macro lens on the camera so thought I was limited in what I could photograph. Well, apparently, there are limits but not many (I am really proud of the portrait of Justin and of the helicopter).
Justin had a remote control helicopter and was learning to fly it in an open area of the Experimental Farm. Of course I had to stop and talk to him. What a wonderful young man. It makes you proud of the next generation. Here is what I learned about Justin.
He is an apprentice electrician who comes from Cape Breton. I did detect his accent and it was pure Cape Breton lilt.
Justin has one more year to go to get his journeyman’s papers.
To get work, Justin has worked in the Alberta Oil Sands project. Work is work and you go where you can find it.
Justin is in Ottawa with his girlfriend and looking for his next assignment. He needs to be under a journeyman to continue with his apprenticeship.
If Justin does electrical work with the same skill that he has flying his helicopter then his is going to be one very lucky catch for some employer.
I got a phone call Saturday morning telling me that Hoover (my Westie) and I had won a basket of dog goods from a draw at the groomer’s shop. Having a Westie means that you get to know your dog’s groomer very well. Chantal Raby has been grooming my dogs for the past several years and she is wonderful. Hoover is so relaxed with her that he falls asleep during the process. That alone is a high recommendation.
Chantal owns DAWN OF A NEW DAY. She and the other groomers do amazing work on both cats and dogs. The shop is very large so there is space for dogs to stroll around, drying areas an big wash tubs.
The last time I took Hoover in for grooming, he was the 5th or 6th Westie for that day. They all looked smashing after the cut or hand stripping. Chantal grooms all dogs and cats (??!!??). What a brave woman to take on cats!
If you are looking for a terrific groomer in Ottawa, I highly recommend Dawn of a New Day.
Dawn of a New Day
Pet grooming and styling salon
20 Pretoria Avenue (in the Glebe behind Loblaws)
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, K1S 1W7
One of the benefits of living is Ottawa is the location of the Federal Department of Agriculture’s Experimental Farm. Access if from Carling Avenue or Prince of Wales Drive. It is like a huge park. Included on the Farm is the Ornamental Garden. This week the peonies are going strong. There are hundreds of peonies and some that I have never seen. It is worth a trip to the Ornamental Gardens to see the peonies. Don’t forget your camera!