I Love My House

Our House

Late last year Mr. Finger Candy and I sold our two-bedroom condo apartment and made the rather spectacular leap to single family home ownership.  To say it’s been an adjustment would be an oversimplification, but not a wild one – we’re not in completely over our heads here (unless we’re talking about the snow from our driveway, now piled high on our front lawn, which, after four or five storms, now stretches way, way above our heads.)

Without a doubt, things have changed, but in very few ways have they changed for the negative.  Mostly, I think we’re just plum delighted with our new-to-us house, and thankful beyond all measure that we’re out of our condo.  We…did not enjoy living there for what I was about to say was just the last couple of months, but really, encompassed the entirety of 2019.  We really, really did ourselves in with the unfortunate quadruple whammy of deceased pet, chaotic reno, employment strife and arsehole neighbours.  It was hard to view the place, beautiful though it was, as anything but a burden after that.

So we moved on to greener pastures (or at least they’ll be green once the snow melts.)  To be sure, we have taken on a mountain of responsibility that we did not have before, but weirdly, I think we both kind of love it.  You just can’t tell me that this man, outfitted in his best Captain Canada attire, out sweeping the back patio in the middle of a snowstorm, is not getting off on this!

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Things I frequently and delightedly note that I love about our new home?  The quiet.  Our street is – knock on wood – SO QUIET.  Or maybe it’s not and I’ve just been brainwashed into thinking that anything less than 2,000 other people thumping up and down the street every day is peaceful.

Our neighbours seem to be kind, considerate and helpful souls.  Snow has been plowed, holiday cookies have been exchanged and plans have been made for better weather get-togethers.  I hardly know what to do with this bounty of good neighbourliness.

The red heat lamp in our ensuite bathroom rocks my world.  I never bathe that I don’t have “ROXXXXXXXXXXXX-anne!” running through my head, or think that I’m somehow showering in the midst of an Alien movie.  Sometimes it’s both, which makes for a very unique bathing experience. 🙂

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We have a finished basement!  And true, it might be colder than Cocytus, the frozen lake of Hell, but that’s just because we don’t spend a lot of time down there right now, and so the heat’s rarely cranked.  But I suspect that once the warmer weather hits AND we’ve renovated the place into the ultimate Haunted Mansion-themed home theater, it’ll become THE cool place to be, in temperature and vibe.

Speaking of the Haunted Mansion, Mr. Finger Candy gave me this dope Honeywell doorbell for Christmas, and he programmed it to play the first 12 counts of the soundtrack to the Haunted Mansion.  “Heheheheheh, you’re going to freak out so many Jehovah’s Witnesses!” a friend gleefully chortled.  Delivery people certainly think it’s amusing.  Weird thing to say you love a doorbell, but here we are. 🙂

We have storage, so much storage!  Four bedrooms’ worth of closets, two ground floor cupboards, two gigantic basement cupboards and an entire furnace room filled with floor-to-ceiling shelving.  The real kicker for us has been learning to spread out, as we’re both still in that “Maximize every bit of space you’ve got” zone we were living in back at the condo.

Every time I do the laundry, by myself, in my basement at whenever-the-heck-o’clock I please, I do a little jig of happiness.  It is so, SO wonderful not being beholden to prescribed hours of use, or having to navigate the complicated and needlessly aggressive social strata of the Friday Night Laundry Crew.

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The wildlife that dances about our private backyard is plentiful, varied and very, very charming.  I say that now in the winter when the bunnies, squirrels, chipmunks, blue jays and other assorted woodland creatures are snatching (provided) peanuts off our back patio, but I’ll probably be singing a different tune when they’re chewing up my garden.  But I do kind of love “our” rodents.  Maybe not as much as Mr. Finger Candy, who lays out back deck buffets of tiny peanut butter sandwiches, but I’m really rather fond of the little buggers.

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A three-minute drive out of our neighbourhood in any direction brings us to a wealth of shops, restaurants and other retail establishments.  Bit of a double-edged sword, that one.  On the one hand, we’ve made excellent use of the local offerings – Indian buffet, Chocolats Favoris, Little Caesar’s, and one particularly inspired evening, Talladega Takeout (KFC, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut and Powerade.)

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On the other hand, we’ve made excellent use of the local offerings.  Maybe too excellent use.  Our wallets and waistlines are demanding that we back off a smidge on this bounty of take-out and dine-in options and get back to our Hello Fresh-ing.

We’ve named our trees and wildlife!  The chestnut tree at the front of the house is Chester, the oak in the back is Annie (Oakley) and the tiny squirrel with the kinky tail and the light brown tummy is Brown Betty.

I don’t even mind (too much) the cosmetic renos we’re carrying out – painting, molding and more mill work than you can shake a miter saw at – because at least we have real options for temporarily escaping the mess.  Truly, this experience is night-and-day compared to the renos we had done to our condominium last year.

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It may be a lot to lay at the doorstep of a new house, but this place has saved us.  Back at the condo we were floundering, if not outright drowning, always desperately trying to make 800 square feet of concrete into a home, and invariably coming up short.  There were simply too many rules, too many people and too many competing interests – a truly needless aggravation on top of (at the time) a pretty stressful life.  As I testily wrote to our property manager last year, it wasn’t a home, it was merely a situation we were trying to survive.  Badly.

Then somehow, against all odds, we found this place, our real home, and it saved us.  We now have purpose, drive and positive responsibility.  We have choice.  And yes, we also now have larger bills, more square footage than we know what to do with, and a great big bloody pile of driveway snow that might just attain sentience and go off galumphing down the street, but these are acceptable trade-offs (maybe not the sentient snowman thing.)  It’s worth it to know that these are things under our purview, and that if there is an issue with our home, either positive or negative, how we approach it will be our decision, and our decision alone.

I don’t sleep well, or at least I don’t sleep consistently.  Back at the condo, the early morning hours were mostly a time to stress and worry and fret.  And forget all that “rising gently from the depths of somnolence” business – hardly a morning went by that I wasn’t catapulted into consciousness.

These days I’m still rising early, but for a different reason.  True, part of that reason is getting old/back is shit, but mostly it’s because I want to enjoy my new home in those impossibly still morning hours when it’s just me and the backyard bunnies and our plans for the future.  Feels pretty nice, and like there’s maybe no place like it.

Hallowversary 15: This Time It’s Boring

Two years ago, for our 13th Halloween wedding anniversary, we went to Disney World on a super spontaneous, ultra last minute trip and rode the Haunted Mansion 13 times in one day.  Last year, for our 14th, we dressed up like Tyler Joseph, the lead singer of twenty one pilots, and bombed around the Magic Kingdom during Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween party.

This year we listed our condo for sale.  And it rained.  A lot.

Okay, wait, back to the condo part.  “But hey, wait,” you may be saying to yourself.  “Didn’t you just renovate your condo?  And wasn’t it kind of hell?”  And the answer would be yes to all of those queries – we did just finish it, and it was its own very special kind of hell, but it was time to move on.  Onwards and upwards and outwards!  In fact, here’s the tour video our agency shot; hope you like the place. 🙂

Anyhow, in light of that bit of major adulting (lord, how I HATE that term) we’re having a pretty low key anniversary – regrettably no Disneying this year. 😦  Instead we went to the lumber yard for some last minute “I’m selling my house” items and ate sausages and veggie dogs, standing up in the end-of-October drizzle, in the parking lot.  It actually wasn’t terrible – this guy certainly looks pleased with himself!

But because I can’t ever let the opportunity pass to look backwards in fondness at my life, I created this little video for our YouTube channel, Park or Perish!, about the year we rode the Mansion 13 times in one day.  Two years on, it remains pretty well the coolest thing we’ve ever done, and I wish with all my blackened heart and soul we were there today.  This fun little video will have to suffice for now.  Happy Halloween, friends, and happy 15th to us.

You So Cheesy!

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Or me so cheesy.  Actually, if the video that accompanies this post – a Disneyfied salute to cheese I put together for our YouTube channel, Park or Perish! – is any indication, WE so cheesy.  Honestly, who has three solid minutes of cheese-related content to compile into a video?!  Us, apparently!  (Questionably fun bit of trivia about your friendly neighbourhood blogger: When I was a kid, I had an appendicitis scare that thankfully – but kind of embarrassingly – turned out to be nothing more than Sandy Drew and the Case of Too Much Cheese.  It would seem I haven’t learned much about moderation when it comes to one of my favourite foodstuffs.)

I like these nails, even if the little cheese holes (heh) look more like planets than delicious bacterial culture (to mangle a Beasties Boy song, it’s “Intergalactic Plan-e-tare-CHEESE!”)  Or they’re Cheese Nibs (more like Cheese Nubs, on account of the fact that I broke off two of my good hand nails, right down to the skin, and then had to sacrifice the remaining three to the broken fingernail gods.)

Anyhow, hope you enjoy this cheese-covered edition of a new feature I think I’m going to call Nail Art and a Movie. 😉

Best Buds

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Here’s a wicked fun and versatile polish for those of you looking for something a lot a bit different, KB Shimmer’s blue-to-plum-to-green tri-thermal, Best Buds.  How neat is this?!  And perfect for the upcoming Halloween season.

I nabbed mine from Harlow & Co., and you can, too, but best of luck choosing a hue (or three hues) from the tri-thermal collection, because they’re all lovely (and they all might unfortunately be out of stock at the moment, too – between writing this yesterday and going to the site today, they have completely sold out of KB’s tri-thermal collection.  Harlow restocks their KB polishes frequently, though, so despair not.)  But I loved the way Best Buds would morph from an inky purple, to a blackened plum, to a gorgeous, clear mint green, sometimes all at the same time.  It’s very witch’s brew, or that every-Slurpee-flavour-in-one-cup kind of thing!

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As per their name, thermal polishes work by reacting to your body temperature.  To invoke another ’80s concept outside of Slurpees (bet you anything their stock rose just based on the many, many mentions in the most recent season of Stranger Things, no?) they’re the mood ring of polishes.  So if you tend to run a bit hot, as I do, whatever polish you choose will show on your hands most often as that warmer colour, in this case the shimmery mint green.  But if you’re a member of the Cold Hands Club, then it will most often display as the blackened purple.  And if you’re somewhere in between, or simply running in and out of the heat and air conditioning a lot, it will be all over the place – little green here, smudge of purple over there, and a sweet plummy streak running straight down the middle.

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Or you can just cut out Mother Nature altogether and grab yourself a glass of cold water, a glass of hot water, and simply have fun, like I did in this little video I posted to my YouTube channel, Park or Perish!  P or P! (the exclamation point is very Panic at the Disco, who I once saw in concert when they still had the exclamation point in their name) is normally the home of our Disney adventures, but just this once I thought it would be fun to bring my Finger Candy over into the world of moving pictures.  Enjoy!

Vlogging Disney’s Port Orleans Resorts

When I’m wearing one of my many other social media hats (actually, there’s not that many chapeaus in my closet; I Facebook and Insta and that’s pretty well it) I’m a Disney vlogger.  I wouldn’t say this is a tremendously serious effort on my part.  If it were, I’d be running around Disney World with a monster vlogging rig, filming the newest and the best and the shiniest.  But I actually like to enjoy my vacations, and the thought of being chained to my camera when I should just be carpe diem-ing is nothing I wish to do.  I also have a really terrible habit of singing along – badly, loudly, and probably off-key – to whatever music is playing.  This actually becomes a very big problem when you can hear me singing the Fall Out Boy version of What is This? from The Nightmare Before Christmas – complete with a lot of bluesy, Patrick Stump-esque vocal runs – right over top of the fireworks soundtrack (seriously, I had to bin just about the entirety of my footage from last year’s Jingle Bam show because I could NOT shut up.  Somebody tell the broad down front to can it!  And maybe not drink five cocktails immediately preceding the show.  As a for instance.) 😉

But one thing I do enjoy filming when I’m on vacation is footage of whatever incredibly themed Disney resort we’re staying at on that particular trip (small, incredibly lame confession in these bizarre, social media-driven times: despite having favourite resorts, we stay at a different one every time because a) there’s a lot of gorgeous resorts, and we like explorin’ ’em, but mostly because b) we like to vlog it.  There, I said it!  I feel so dirty now.  I’ll just go and stand over here in shame by this Instagram wall.)

Ahem.  As I was saying, I like filming footage of our resorts – the landscaping, the architecture, the pools, the food, the rooms.  I recently put together a video that incorporates multiple stays at two of our favourite Disney resorts, the Port Orleans French Quarter and, just on down the river bend, the Port Orleans Riverside, and I thought it turned out really well – a solid vlogging effort!

And so I’m sharing it with you!  Hopefully you’ll find some useful information here to help you if you’re in the midst of planning your next Disney vacation.  And even if you’re not, it’s just fun to scheme and dream, isn’t it?  Happy Disney-ing, friends!

How to Be a Canadian at Disney

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Happy (nearly completed) Canada Day, peeps!  Can’t stand the day myself – that’s what you get for a young lifetime of stupid Can Day celebrations that soured you on the entirety of the holiday (loved starting to drink terrible beer in my best red-and-white duds at eight in the morning with my friends, hated the inevitable skirmish I’d get into with my boyfriends or friends as we desperately tried to find each other 10 minutes before the fireworks in a sea of drunk(er) revelers on Parliament Hill.  Did anybody check the giant lemon?!)

Although I’ve really no reason to continue hating the holiday, since in the intervening years, I’ve had moderately alright to even not-so-terrible Canada Days and…*tails off remembering somewhat recent year grandmother tricked her into visiting relative at very remote Cabin in the Woods (actually, it’s quite a lovely cabin in the woods, totally free of elaborate death mechanisms designed to appease the pagan gods.)*

It’s basically just a day ending in Y for me, albeit one where I’m infinitely more inclined to sport a fly red-and-white mani in honour of July the 1st.  And this year I gave it a Disney twist to go along with the Canada Day video I made for our YouTube channel, Park or Perish!, which is all about being Canadian at Disney.  Which pretty much amounts to having good manners, having good manners whilst drinking, using words like “whilst” and screwing around at the Canada Pavilion at Epcot.  See for yourself below, eh?, and happiest of Canada Days to you all, my Canuck friends, all two remaining hours of it. 😉

Small last minute edit: Just as I was about to click the Publish button on this post, I heard a smattering of fireworks going off, looked out my livingroom window and was treated to a lovely, impromptu, 10 minute-long fireworks display just across the river.  So maybe not ALL of my Canada Days have been horrid. 🙂

They Say Stay in Your Lane, Boy

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Breaking news: This post has nothing to do with Disney!  Um, actually, wait a sec… (*consults first three seconds of the YouTube video posted below*)…yeah, sorry, there’s a bit of Disney in there.  It would appear I literally cannot help myself, no apologies.

Also can’t help myself because we’re talking about twenty one pilots here, my favouritest of the favoured bands, and I will take every opportunity afforded to me in this world to tell absolutely everyone about last Halloween when Mr. Finger Candy and I dressed up like Tyler Joseph, the lead singer of TOP, for an after hours party at the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World.  Rock star cosplaying – I highly recommend it.  Tigger was a fan!

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The other night we finally got to see twenty one pilots live for the first time on their Bandito tour, and they were INCREDIBLE.  So polished!  So much tech – pyro, air jets, confetti, lasers, drum platforms and multiple, moving stages.  So much shirtless Josh Dun, the drummer with the sweet disposition and the even sweeter abbbbbbbbssssssss.  And so much heart.  It’s obvious how much Tyler and Josh love what they do – it radiates from every aspect of this carefully orchestrated production.  This is the adult in me speaking (let her speak; she doesn’t get out very often!) but there’s nothing more attractive than someone(s) showing care and competence.  Not sure I needed the boost, but I’m smitten with TOP all anew. 🙂

And newfound smittenness needs nails, don’t you think?  So here’s a TOP-friendly mani inspired by the aesthetics of their three major albums, 2013’s blue and red Vessel, 2015’s black, red and white Blurryface and 2018’s camo and yellow Trench.

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Being all smitten-like also required me to put together a video I shot of *some* of the show, which you will find below.  But truthfully, I’ll never make a living as a concert blogger (is there such a thing, and where can I get in on this racket?) because I don’t want to be a documentarian, I just want to be there carpe-ing in the moment, singing along to Holding On To You at the top of my lungs whilst offhandedly contemplating Josh’s arms day routine.  It’s unfortunately not a comparable experience to the full show (GO, GO, SEE THEM, YOU WILL NOT REGRET IT) but I hope you enjoy these snippets all the same.