Sunday, January 29, 2017

The Evolution of the Breadbin

We are fundamentally lazy souls, the three of us here. And the house, not to put too fine a point on it, looks it.

I am always just a little envious of other people's homes. All of them. It doesn't matter how little space you have or how humble the decor is, what strikes me immediately upon entering your domicile is that compared to mine, it looks like you're about to show it. No clutter. Surfaces clear. Lots of space to move around.

Our home looks like a frat house by comparison, and complaining about it is pointless because: see first sentence, above.

The kitchen is particularly bad. Like most houses built in 1969, ours lacks for both counter and cupboard space; what little of the former we have is cluttered up by gadgetry undreamed of in 1969, and the cupboards are falling apart. The kitchen will simply have to be redone before we sell, and since we (a) don't plan on selling any time soon and (b) don't have sixteen thousand dollars just laying around, it isn't a priority.

In this house, when we announce something is going to get done...well, it eventually does. We stripped the carpet off our stairs to the second floor several years ago, unsure of what we intended to replace it with. It stayed bare wood for roughly ever, and is at long last recarpeted, thanks to Mark.

Likewise, we have been telling everyone hither and yon for months that the basement's being redone. You think we're cluttered on the two upper floors, you should see it down there. Or rather, no, really, you shouldn't. That's where clutter goes to die. The damnedest things migrate down there and dealing with even a fraction of it is daunting after a hard week.

Now we have a deadline.

On March 6, Waterloo Region is joining the rest of the world and forcing its residents to pay for garbage pickup. I mean, pay above and beyond the property taxes we already pay.

Now, it's not as draconian as (I've learned) it is elsewhere. You get two free bags or cans a week (and since a can holds at least two bags, I'm opting for "cans); after that it's $2.50/bag or can. They also will start collecting biweekly, instead of weekly as at present. (Recycling and organics will still be collected every week). You get double the allowance on weeks after major holidays.

A former colleague of mine was crowing about how he had managed to generate just four bags of garbage for calendar 2016. Highly, highly impressive. The three of us come close to that every week, and that's with two oversized recycling bins absolutely jam packed.

What we don't do, and haven't done aside from a very brief period when it was introduced, is use our green bin. That's going to have to change, and change fast. And ugh, but I'm not looking forward to it.

Again with the added costs: you're supposed to use special bags to line the thing each week (although newspaper is supposed to be acceptable, I fail to see how I'm supposed to craft a bin liner out of a newspaper...) These bags must, of course, be bought. So you're going to be paying one way or another.

Then there's the keeping of all that organic waste close enough to the kitchen that it's not onerous to dispose of more, yet far enough away that I don't puke one day in July when the stuff in there has fermented and smells like a skunk deep-fried inside the asshole of another skunk. With a soup├žon of maggot. Blech. Well, lots of people seem to have figured this out, I guess I'm going to have to do it too.

Regardless, though, that basement is going to have to be fully done by March 6, or we'll be paying out the ass. A few months ago I filled ten large garbage bags and it barely looked like I did anything. There's easily thirty more down there: mostly bric-a-brac that nobody's going to buy even at a Value Village.

Once it's done, though, we'll have more living space. A chill room, with another TV, a stereo (Mark has a HUGE collection of CDs), my piano, and oh, yeah, a LOT of books.

When we first moved here in 2004, our living room was originally the basement. It didn't stay that way for long. Now we'll have a second living room down there.

Add that to the new mattresses we bought today, one for our room and one for the guest room. We're downsizing both. Our room currently has a Sleep Number bed, king size, nine and a half years old. Up until very recently it's been providing excellent sleeps, but not so much of late. We've opted for an extra-firm queen, to which we will add a memory foam topper: cheaper to replace that every couple of years. The guest room's going from the queen size mattress that once upon a time got Peached to a full, also firmer. This will free up space in both rooms.

Next up, sometime this year: finally replacing the stove I killed the element on the day I tried to burn the house down, and also replacing our living room couch, ideally with a sectional.

Purge and replace...maybe when we're done I'll feel like I'm living in a grownup house.

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