Monday, February 9, 2009

Settling In

It has been just over a week since I moved into my new digs. And I love it. I am not surprised.

Even though the old place was new, had high-end finishes with brand new appliances and a view of the rolling orchard fields all I felt when I was there was resentment. I resented the twentysomethings that were void of basic respect that is expected when living in a communal environment. Parties, open vulgarity (not respecting the presence of a woman in the elevator and using foul language - my Dad would have put those punks in their place), vandalism (my truck was broken into two nights before I moved ...I thought nothing was taken until I went to put on my prescription sunglasses), and did I mention the parties? There was so much more and my resentment was fueled by every little thing that I knew I could no longer live there.

So here I am in my new place. It is a 3 year old carriage house in the first block that tranistions the downtown area to residential and it faces the alley. Yeah, a totally different breed of human being lives down here. What I love is that it is an old neighbourhood, I live on the second floor and I am surrounded by trees which means lots of filtered light and a nice breeze without fearing my windows open. It is quiet. I don't share a bedroom wall with the lucky bastard that lived next door to me and I have a garage. A nice garage where I can paint furniture. This thrills me more than I can say.

I am still nesting but when I am done I will put up some before and afters. The past tenants were disgusting.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Hooked UP!

It is hard being without the internet, cable TV and the phone. From Friday until this morning I was without all of them. In between unpacking and cleaning I watched 4 movies, which is not the same. I need me some evening news. I would have been beside myself if I wasn't able to watch American Idol tonight.

So here I am in my new shack. I love it even though it isn't the fancy granite counter tops and the stainless appliances or a nice new high efficiency stacking laundry pair but it has a nice big soaker tub, the water pressure is good and I totally love my slanted ceiling bedroom. I am starting to nest most definitely.

The above shots are just 2 of a good 2 dozen shots Kelly had done of her jewelry. The photographer is so good for an amateur and his wife is gorgeous. Kelly is addicted. It is so neat to see your work like it is presented here. It almost makes us feel professional ...which we are of course but seeing it in print is so different - it gives the jewelry validity. When I see my furniture or the goodies I have in the store in print it makes me feel ...successful. Feeling and looking successful is half the battle of BEING successful. Its like the newbie realtor driving around in a rented BMW while showing real estate to potential clients. Looking the part gives you an upper hand I think.

Glad to be back online ...but its time for dinner ...I am starving!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Out Like A Lion

Just moments after I posted yesterdays entry a convoy of fire trucks rounded the corner and then into our complex...well the first one did and the 2 that followed hovered around the entrance. An ambulance arrived shortly after and a few more fire trucks after that. Even the ladder truck. There was no immediate hauling of the hoses or no visible flames shooting from a window. I couldn't of course see the entire building as there is one between mine and the one involved. I counted 5 firetrucks including the ladder truck. The trucks weren't leaving after a short while and my curiosity got the better of me.

I dressed and went outside in below freezing weather and all the tenants of the involved building we shivering outside ...some lucky to have a hoodie, or is it hoody, and a pair of shoes. As it happened there was a small kitchen fire on the second floor and the sprinklers came on which distinguished the fire immediately but kept on sprinkling ...flooding the apartment over 6 inches in just a few minutes with more coming. Meanwhile it is leaking down the hall and down through the baseboards and leaking to the 1st floor. In all 10 apartments were damaged ...4 severly. A few of those apartments had tenants and so many tenants never think about insurance. If you own you can't get a mortgage without insurance but tenants contents are not covered under the owners insurance.

For around $30 and up per month, depending on your valuation, you can insure yourself and your belongings with tenant insurance to be covered against this kind of unforseen disaster. With the way these condos are popping up so fast they must be no better than glued together would be silly not to insure you and your belongings.

Just one more reason I am glad to be leaving here. I get nervous when I am counting on the same person that will throw a used condom off their balcony to be responsible with cigarettes, candles and electrical appliances.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Moving Day

Hi ...remember me?

I am in the throws of the moving experience. The last 4 days have been spent doing a major cleaning at my new place and painting the bedroom. My landlord bought me a new fridge and is upgrading the lighting in the garage from a lonely single light to 3 florescent fixtures - 1 - 8'and 2 - 4' so I can paint the furniture for my store at home. I am very excited to get out of the frat house. Not that anyone even reads this here blog except for Kate - hi Kate! - but I won't be around for a few days until I move on Saturday.

Be good!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Movin' On Up

Frat party that spilled into the hall in my expensive condo

I took this photo using my freshly dropped D60 using the regular lens. I wish I had had the zoom lens because if you could see, up close, the look on this guys face was almost worth the grief they gave me that night with their loud, obnoxious partying at 1:30am. He was actually trying to be pleasant pleasant as a drunk guy could be.

I am no longer homeless. It was a struggle to find just what I wanted right at the end of the month but I was successful. I truly believe, and it has proven itself over and over and over again, in the power of thought ...whether it be positive or negative. I was determined to get out of my lease. I could not see myself living here anymore. It would have and will get worse as the better weather approaches. I love my apartment and if I could have cut out the section that I occupy and plunk it down somewhere else I would have been tickled. But the truth of it is that almost every condo project in this city has basically the same problem. A vast majority of the tenants are students and with summer coming there will be an influx of more 20 somethings moving to town. I knew what I needed was a house.

I was successful at getting out of my lease but that gave me one week to find a home. For the last 2-3 days I have been on a mission. I have seen houses, with garages, in good neighborhoods but at the end of the day ...they were too much house. Even if I took in a roommate. Some were just too far, too large, too expensive ...and not one could I picture myself living in. I was to meet one last Realtor for the day yesterday and it was another house in Westbank which is only 20 minutes from Kelowna. When he called to push up our appointment I told him that I decided not to waste his time because I just didn't want to live that far out of town he urged me to keep our appointment. The new bridge that crosses the lake has totally eliminated rushour traffic. It really is just 18 minutes door to door. Kelly pushed me to keep the appointment also so I went. Just as I expected it was not a good fit for me. I chatted up the Realtor managing the property expressing my wish list of a small house for one but with a big garage ...a totally unrealistic list really. His face took on a pondering expression and he said ...I have a friend.

Two hours later I was looking at this quaint carriage house. The true version of a carriage house is a "garage" where the carriage and driver resided back in the day. Living quarters were above the large garage that held the carriage. Kelowna has a grandfather clause that allows people living in the downtown core to build these "carriage houses" in behind their house and have legal living quarters above. I fell in love. It is small and cozy and with my touch it will be my sanctuary. And the best part ...I have the garage I wanted so I can paint furniture at home and not be at my store 15 hours a day. Oh ...and ...I can walk to my store. It is less than a 3 minute walk. I can see the stores rear parking from my front door ...which is in the alley. I sign the lease today at noon and I have permission to paint - the last yahoos that rented were not respectful of the place and it needs a freshening up and a good cleaning kind of cleaning.

Another perk? Yeah ...I am saving $600 a month.

It goes to show you that opportunity comes in different disguises. There is always a reason for everything and it is mostly a manifistation of our thoughts, desires and yes, fears. We can't control how they are delivered but we are in control of what we do with them.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Ask. Receive. Panic.

So you have only heard me bitch about my expensive frat house apartment once ...but I am pretty much always complaining about it. I had already contacted the property management office that acts on behalf of the owner of my condo. Armed with my arsenal of complaints they agreed to look for a new tenant to release me from the lease. There is such a flood of apartments/condos in this city people pretty much have their pick so I wasn't hopeful someone would rent this one in a timely manner. Yesterday I got a call from the property manager telling me she had someone very interested but the condition was that she needed February 1 occupancy. I didn't want to push my luck so I agreed. Then I panicked. I have 8 days to locate a new place (must be a house with an attached garage so I can paint at home instead of having to spend endless hours at the store) and move. So yeah ...the heat is on. Wish me luck ...or send condolences because this could very well kill me.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A Little Before & After

I had already removed the hardware and filled the holes I no longer needed.

All done and ready to go out into the big bright world.

I haven't used my D60 to take pictures in the store since I dropped it and subsequently broke my 55-200 lens. These were taken using my Fuji Finepix circa 2003. I remember paying over $400 for it back then. You can get a better Finepix now for half the price.

It has been a busy week. Sales are down which isn't unexpected but I have been busy in the paint room and acquiring new pieces. The hunt for quality paintable antiques (I don't generally paint anything older than the 20's or 30's) is very time consuming. It is also sometimes awkward. If I am not finding good stuff at the small auctions we have up here or unable to get to Vancouver for a larger auction, then I am buying privately. People can sometimes be unrealistic about the amount they want for the item they are selling. I generally will find something online for sale from our local homepage website. I will communicate via email expressing my desire to, in the event of an unsuccessful sale, offer a much lower amount. I leave the ball in their court and wait until they contact me. I don't like to barter ...but it is essential at finding quality, affordable pieces that I can convert to the finished product. I have been hired to paint of couple of pieces that somebody already owns that has been keeping me busy also.

When the store is quiet it is a good time to do a big clean, rearrange and merchandise new product. I am expecting a new bath and body line from London and my first spring home decor order so I will be busy unpacking.

If I wasn't so tired I would write about the inauguration and at the risk of sounding like a collective broken record, I was moved. Inspired. Hopeful. Obama is a global President. And although he doesn't run this country he certainly makes me feel more excited for the future than the ones that do.