Thursday, February 22, 2024

Talking about it

I had a conference with my insurance company today.

They are as frustrated as I am with the lack of movement with our claim and repair. The gentleman expressed his exasperation at the lack of interest on the part of builders, etc., to come look at the job and/or give a repair estimate. He was quite shocked at the company who came out last week charging me over $300 for basically doing nothing, other than putting it in writing that we do have a non functional chimney due to a fire. He told me our experience with lack of interest is across the board. We are not alone. He ended that conversation with, "Where have all these builders gone" and "Why don't the ones still working want to do an insurance job?"

So later in the day someone from the insurance company, here, came by and looked the whole sheebang over and look a lot of photos of the damage. He made phone calls and expects to have some news for us SOON.

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Running from the black dog

 Those who know, know what I'm on about.

Everything going on here, along with things NOT happening, is taking a toll.

We have a different heating contractor coming by tomorrow. He knows most of both of our families and knows what a difficult time we've had. Everyone speaks highly of him. I think we're going to get a better offer from this fellow.

M is feeling slightly better today. He finally agreed to try the heating pad and is finding it to be just the ticket. He's two weeks since his accident.

My elderly neighbour called to complain about her lot in life. I suggest I collect her and we run about for the afternoon. We got our bitching and complaining out of the way first and then had some good laughs. I think we both felt a good bit lighter on our way home. She is so much frailer than when I last had her out last month. She just celebrated her 86th trip round the sun.

Sunday, February 18, 2024

What a day

 When I went to bed last night at 9:30, the temperature was -19C. I woke up sometime in the night and checked the temperature only to find it had climbed to -6C. For most of today it hovered around the freezing point, as high as +1.

But oh my goodness, did it ever snow and blow a gale! We had white out conditions most of the day. We probably have about ten inches of fresh snow with a lot of drifting. It sure cleared up around sunset, though the wind is still blowing like crazy.

We are really socked in both from Friday's storm and now todays. The township plow has been by several times. I managed to SHOVEL a path the length of our long lane to get to the road. We finally found a neighbour who will come blast us out tomorrow morning.

Once that is done I am hauling this man to the hospital to get this extreme pain checked out. I know ribs take WEEKS to heal, but I think he's in too much pain. He was feeling a wee bit better yesterday and managed to sit and watch TV most of the day, but he's down and out and in agony today.

I roasted a nice, (if funny looking), chicken for dinner. When I pulled it out of the freezer I thought it was a duck!  The legs were all weirdly positioned on it. We will get two dinners and a lunch out of it. (IF we are home tomorrow)

I would really like to work on this sweater in progress, but someone has decided that's not in the cards.

The papers are the pattern. When they were on the couch, she was laying on them. I put them in the basket on top of the knitting and she hopped right in and snuggled up to sleep.  This girl loves a basket of any kind. She BARELY fits in this one.

Thursday, February 15, 2024

The stress is driving me crazy

 The snow has just started. We might get a decent dump from this one.

The WETT inspector has come and gone. The news is NOT good. He said our complete chimney is toast. We were shocked to hear they only have a 30 year life span. We've had heating contractors in here putting in a new wood furnace a few years back. It was all inspected and we were NEVER told these clay and brick chimneys have a thirty year life span. 

So it's doubtful that the insurance is going to cover us.

Unless we have deep pockets, and it's obvious we don't, we were advised it's best to tear the whole chimney down to just below the roof, seal it up and patch the roof. We can hire a company to do it or save a lot of money and do it ourselves. Not that M and I would be doing it, but you know what I mean.

It has been a tough day. We got a second quote on the gas furnace which came in quite a bit lower than the first. I'm not dealing with it anymore, M. can talk to those people.

So we have a newish wood furnace, wood stove and about seven cords of firewood for sale. We probably have a sale on the wood.

Mr. Fisher has been visiting. Disregard the date on the clip. I can't get it to stay set to the proper date.

In 2019 we had a huge snowstorm. Our tractor broke down in the yard, but the neighbours pulled up and dug us out.
The tractor sat there with a broken axle until spring

Our neighbour MikeR dug us out at the road with his tractor. Little did we know he was quietly dealing with cancer and would leave this life in three months. He was such a nice neighbour. We miss him, and his family.

Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Here we are again

 How can it be Tuesday already?  Whew, a couple more days and we'll be half way through the month.

Heard the good news about Al Bossence today.  Al got his long awaited hip replacement surgery and is on his way to recovery. Hopefully yours will happen soon Rick Rousseau! Thinking of my blogger friend Connie as she mourns her dear mother this day.

Our car has been sitting out in the sunshine since last week. The front yard and lane is a skating rink. I've been scooping ashes from the wood furnace and tossing them along the lane, but with only one device burning there aren't nearly enough to keep it much in check.  I had to sprinkle todays offering in front of the garage and put the car away today. I have several appointments and grocery to do tomorrow and it's SNOWING today. It's wet snow and it's going to be COLD tonight so I didn't want to be scraping and scraping before heading out.

I had coffee with daughter T on Sunday, but not much else exciting happening in my world.

M. is still laying quite low as he recovers from his fall. He managed to cook supper tonight and feed the critters which was a change. He is finding that standing up straight is kind of a relief from his pain. Still, he has to be very careful. It's usually about six weeks to heal ribs! Our dear friend and neighbour Paul E. popped by with a big jug of water for us today. We didn't ask, he just knew we would need our water. Pete and Paul are such good kind friends.

Our car was supposed to go to the GM dealership for an airbag recall today. I wasn't comfortable, or prepared, to sit around there for two hours on my own, so I called and rescheduled to next week.

I have a lot to do in the town tomorrow, then Thursday the heating /WETT contractor comes to do the report for our insurance claim.

I have THREE cousins (maybe even more that I haven't met yet!) named Jean Graham. Do you have multiple folks with the same name in your family? I have two known cousins with the same name as myself and at least one with the same name as my sister. My brother has a family name so there are literally DOZENS with the same moniker.....sort of like John Smith, but different. Patterns like this make genealogy a challenge.

Today is Shrove Tuesday. Did you have your pancakes? I made blueberry pancakes today. They were so good with lots of real maple syrup.

That's it, That's all. See ya' later

Thursday, February 8, 2024

Quoting song

 Something happening here. What it is, ain't actually clear.....

We finally had TWO companies contact us today!

Our local agent found a company in a town about 100km from here that does the whole shebang. They are a contracting firm with WETT certified chimney inspectors and sweeps, right down to masonry people. 

M. talked to them first, then I talked to them later in the morning. I felt quite relieved after talking to them. She told me they are pros at dealing with the insurance people in the city so try not to stress anymore.

Right after our dealing with this company, we were contacted by yet another company in a town about 80km away. I was sorry to tell him he was about ten minutes to late. He said he hoped we were going to look at Mr.X to do the job. He really gave that company a good reference. Well that is encouraging because those are the people we are dealing with!

The guy is coming out next week to suss out the issues and do his reports.

I'm going to try to NOT think about it now.

Dog and I got a mile walk in today. I ditched the boots for my Sketchers walking shoes. It made quite a positive difference. I could feel the muscles in the feet and ankles working differently. Lets see if there is some aching tonight.

Do you feel like November has been 3 1/2 months long and we are skipping right into March? We are 8C today. It has been intermittently sun/cloud. I say it feels like March! Tomorrow is supposed to be even warmer, but rain is forecast. Mud season is about to start!

Friday, February 2, 2024

Update, what update

 The fire restoration company sent out a specialist who was supposed to look up the chimney and make a report for the insurance company. A KID who looked about 17 arrived to "inspect our gas furnace". What the hay????? We don't have a gas furnace yet. Well he asked what kind of furnace we do have. Wood and Oil M, responded. Okay, he would inspect that. No, NO, Wait, you're here to look at the chimney and do a report for the insurance company. No can do, he's not qualified......

It has cooled off quite a bit. The front lane is icy. The snow and ice have mostly slid off the back roof.

We went for a nice trot up the back road today. This evening the snowmobiles are roaring up and down and up and down. They hit the road by my lane and leave a trail of sparks. Idiots!

I baked a really nice cake today. Do you remember when Mayonnaise cake was all the rage? I tried it again. The main tip is to use REAL Mayo, not Miracle Whip. I used the recipe on the Hellman's site. The cake is a bit dense and fudgy, but not cloying. I made a frosting with a package of cream cheese, a small carton of whipping cream and 1/3 cup of icing sugar. Beat until light and fluffy, but thick. It's the perfect frosting for that cake. My mother used to use Miracle Whip when she made this cake and I didn't like it one bit.  The Hellmans Mayo has a nice mild flavor and works perfectly.

Wednesday, January 31, 2024


 We take ridiculous precautions against fire in this house, but it didn't prevent it from happening. Yes, I am still trying to get things taken care of here and NOTHING is happening. Phone calls and stupid emails from my adjuster, who doesn't have a CLUE!

There are FIVE fire extinguishers in the house and I don't know how many in the garage. There is at least one in the car too.

But our buggaboo are these *&^%$ smoke detectors. I know we have more than we need. We replace them frequently. But NOW, NOW, the beeping has started! M. has them all taken down and lined up on a bench trying to sort out which is driving us crazy. He thought he had it sorted last night and put them back, but oh no, just as we were settling down the annoying thing started again. He's convinced two of them are at it.

My poor dog and one cat (the other doesn't give a fig about noises) HATE it. As soon as M picked up the offender (at least he HOPES he got it this time) the dog started walking backward, eventually hiding behind the big new recliner chair where I'm sitting. She followed me into the kitchen and peeked around the side of the cupboard to see if M was still fiddling with annoying noise makers. Enough of that, she went to lounge on the mat at the back door for awhile. The cat, meanwhile, has headed for the basement. When things get too loud for her she runs to hide on a garment rack way in a back corner. There are boots lined up on the bottom shelf and there she hides.


Sunday, January 28, 2024

The Weekend

 We went for a drive yesterday. It was nice to visit the river. Surprised to see an open channel!

On the way home we popped into the grocery store and picked up a couple of things, seeing as we drive right by it, y'know.

Today a pet store in a town near us was doing a fund raiser. They were offering nail clipping with funds going to the SPCA. We were surprised to see sweet little Heidi doing the clipping. She is the gal in Deep River who does our dogs teeth. We also booked another teeth cleaning for this coming Thursday.

We took a drive by a place called The Point Beach to go for a nice walk along our beloved river again. WOW, there was a LOT of open water there. As we got close to the beach proper we were in for a big surprise. People were SWIMMING! The adults were swimming while the children played in the snow.

 toweling off after their invigorating dip

Our weather is looking to be unseasonably warm for another week to ten days. We are going to lose a lot of snow. Our road is an awful muddy rutted mess after  all those snowmobiles and trucks and trailers ripped it up this weekend.

The Creek is running!
Open water!

Trucks and trailers looking left

Another gang looking right

It was still relatively frozen yesterday when I took these photos. By the time they ripped and tore up the road today it was just a mud hole. The rut at the head of my lane is nothing to laugh at.

Friday, January 26, 2024

Doing what we can

 There is still no movement on our fire claim. The insurance company DID finally phone late this afternoon, but we were doing the shopping and didn't get home until after business hours.

M. cleaned the wood furnace and pipes, then made a decision to buy NEW pipes. So, we added that to our shopping list. The furnace bits are all back together and keeping us cozy. Thank goodness we still have heat. I guess I shouldn't complain. One chimney is burned out and we can't use the wood stove upstairs. So that's it.

The weather has been pretty moderate after those few COLD days. Some areas around us got quite a bit of freezing rain, but not us. We just had a few ice pellets.

The neighbour was telling me the moose has been walking out on our road. I put a trail camera at the end of his lane shooting out to the road that comes down from the bush. There is a lot of snowmobile traffic out here these days so I expect there will be a lot of shots of them. I will go collect the card tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Tuesday stuff

 Daughter T and I ran the roads this morning. We started our outing with brekkie at Tim Hortons. As we were exiting the car, my girl exclaimed "look at that burned out house"! A very large empty house kitty corner to Tims burned early this morning. A Tims employee said it was a squat. They frequently saw derelict looking individuals coming and going. The property is scheduled to be the future home of some sort of medical facility.

We did some shopping and called it a day about noonish.

My new chair arrived today. It's just lovely.

The warmer days are a relief. We are awaiting a quote on an electric furnace now. Still no relief from our fire damage. 

Sunday, January 21, 2024

I'm working on it

 We are finally creeping out of the deep freeze. My goodness we've had some bitter cold nights, and days!

I woke up from a fitfull sleep with a headache. Late this afternoon Princess Pup and I harnessed up and went out for a short walk. A longer walk was anticipated, but a good stiff cold breeze made it feel much colder than -10C. We didn't go to far, but did get some fresh air into the old lungs.

My poor old cat had an awful fall last evening. There are open beams running across the livingroom, ten feet up. The cats often sit up there. I don't know what happened to the old gal but she fell to the rug below, landing on her feet. She was a bit limpy walking away from the rough landing, but it soon passed. We gave her a through examination and didn't find signs of any injury. No broken bones or dislocations. I think she just had a good bruising thump. I carried her up to my bedroom and gave her the fleecy housecoat to snuggle up in. She slept there until I went to bed when she wandered off, no limping. I noticed today that she was a bit stiff when trying to jump up on the old recliner where she has her fleece blanket. I'm keeping a close eye on her.

Tomorrow I will be on the blower to my insurance agent to see if we can get some more contacts for this chimney fire business. I'm at the point where I don't even know who to call. I swear work ethic took a crap during Covid. The stress of this mess is giving me a headache....

My amaryllis is in full bloom. There are four gigantic flowers right now with another flower bud emerging from the bulb. 

Each flower is six or seven inches across. The plant is very top heavy so I've put it into a stone flower bowl that is weighty enough to hold it's own.
The painting of the ancient totems in the background is by my good friend Marley. She's an interesting artist who captures the real CANADA in her work. I have numerous pieces she painted of Algonquin Park scenes.  She has also done some really nice pieces for the War Museum in Ottawa.

Thursday, January 18, 2024

Calls everywhere

 My insurance guy, and us, have calls here there and everywhere trying to get people to come and assess our situation so we can get settled and move on. It is now a week since our fire. A guy from a big company called today to see if we are still in need. Yes!! He said he would call right after lunch to set up an appointment to come out. He never called...

It is going to be extremely cold for the next 48 hours. I hate to think what kind of a predicament we'd be in if we didn't have some heat.

M. is so anxious about it all. I wish I could send him on a warm vacation.