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Monthly Archives: May 2013

Support laneway houses in Vancouver!

We knew that the City of Vancouver was discussing laneway houses.

But now they are asking for our input.

Want to show some support?

 Council referred proposed amendments to the laneway housing regulations and guidelines, and expansion of the program to Public Hearing on June 11th, 2013

interested in what they have to say?  Here’s the proposed amendments. I have to admit I flagged about page 32, but then, my evenings are full of placing items in cardboard boxes prior to the big move.  I will read it, and I will be at that meeting if it is at all possible.

Gotta walk the walk, know what I mean?

Thanks to the guys at Lanefab for the heads-up.

Still packing and purging

DH was out of town doing good works in Ottawa from Wednesday to Saturday last week.  I had big plans to do a lot of packing, but surprised myself by actually doing less.  I had forgotten how much work a person who works at home does while he’s home — working.  There were piles of laundry that did not magically transform themselves into clean clothes; cat dishes that did not get filled; litter boxes that did not empty themselves; dishes that stubbornly remained dirty. And get this — the refrigerator does not spontaneously make food! It’s nice living the life of the ridiculously spoiled, and I didn’t even mind being reminded that I do.

But he returned to us late Saturday night and by Sunday afternoon we had a nice pile of boxes to take over to the rental. The big move is next Sunday, and we’ll be schlepping boxes over to the storage space next Saturday, so things are back on track. And I used the Victoria day holiday to pack like a fiend again.

We are currently living in what Stephanie at the blog Scoutie Girl calls “home limbo“.

that space between the moment we start dismantling our current home, and the moment we declare ourselves satisfactorily settled into our new one

And that’s where we’ll be until we’re in the laneway.

The rental looks better every time I see it.  There’s lots of light, and the neighbourhood is great.  The kitchen is teensy, and I was stowing some stuff away and remarked to DH that living there would be like camping, just using what we needed, with no spares or extraneous stuff.  He gave me a grave look, and explained that this is the way we will be living for the rest of our lives.  We will be getting rid of stuff from now till the move into the laneway, this is just the first step.

Stephanie suggests purging inclusively

decluttering through the lens of what you want to keep, vs. what you want to get rid of

Look at whatever-it-is and ask yourself, not “do I really want to throw this away?” but “do I really want to keep this?”  Find space for it in our new place?  Displace something else just to have this around?

Makes decisions a little easier to make.

Week 2

When Laurel sent us the list of stuff that had to be done, I was expecting things to stay pretty static during the last week.

But when we dropped by yesterday we could see real progress.

It’s still a hole in the ground.  But now it’s a level hole, with gravel!

Day8.1No more excavator sitting in our kitchen!  Just a lovely level lot with places for water to come in and flow out.

The rest of the yard is completely out of bounds

Day8.2with red danger tape up.  And the back fence is up with danger tape on that.

But it’s looking more like home to me.

DH took another shot to show the difference.

Week 0

LWHTime1Week 2

LWHTime3Only 28 more weeks to go.





A new career opportunity? you could clean up!

We are packing and packing and packing.  And then we look around — and nothing’s packed.

It’s amazing how much crap er stuff one collects in just 13 years.  In less than 1500 square feet.  I’m throwing out tons.  And giving tons away.  But there’s still so much stuff!

Wouldn’t it be lovely if someone would come in and take care of all this for me?

Like Christine Smart of Designing Moves.

According to this article, she is just the sort of person who will take care of all those tedious details, like she did for the Thorpes of Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

 She dove right in, arranging an auction, handling online sales on craigslist and eBay, and donating to charities. Ms. Smart also oversaw move-related details, such as cataloging items, space planning, packing, shipping and unpacking.

People in their senior years (ahem!) are downsizing from large homes to small. There is such a need for people who help the downsizers adapt to their new life that there’s  a National Association of Senior Move Managers.

Give me a few days and I will be on the phone to get their help.

Come on in!

Have you ever been stuck somewhere, expecting guests, and no way to let them into your home?  No? Have you ever forgotten your keys? Or lost them?

Well, welcome to the 21st century — we have an app for that.

Thanks to Life Edited for turning us on to Kwikset — and Kevo.  Now that device you carry around that is your phone, your camera, your computer, your atlas, your mailbox, your stereo, and most of your life can also be your keys.

Kevo will open your lock and let you in — or it will open your lock and let your guest in, even though you might be anywhere on earth.

It’s like it’s a smart lock, in your purse or pocket.

DoorknobWhat if you lose your phone?  Can it be hacked? Don’t ask me, ask them.  But it seems like a very good idea.

Ain’t no place like a hole in the ground

I am crushed and downhearted by this recent provincial election.  Not because of the result.  I am disappointed by the result.  No, I am crushed and downhearted because over half the people in this province who were eligible to vote did not do so.

Really, people? Ever hear of the responsibilities of citizenship?  Universal sufferage?  One person, one vote?

I don’t want to hear your feeble excuses.  Woody Allen said that 80 percent of success is just showing up.  So next time, when we need you, show up already.

’nuff said.

Our home is currently a hole in the ground.  And as Bugs Bunny once sang, there ain’t no place like a hole in the ground.

with a big fat goon a’ floating around.

Now our land is well dug up, we were expecting to be moving along quite briskly.  But as Yosemite Sam might say, “Hold on, there, pardner”.  Life is a little more complicated than just building a hole in the ground and having someone pour concrete around it (see cartoon, above).


  • our builders (Novell) will be preparing the site for WCB safety – tarps over dirt, barrier from falls, safe path of travel for surveyors and workers, etc.
  • there will be an inspection by Geo-Technical Engineer – for soil stability
  • there will be an inspection by WCB – for safety
  • then once they have the above items squared away, Novell will schedule the land surveyor to come and lay down markers that denote the corners for foundation.
These inspections will take at least a few days – by next week we hope to be into forming the foundation walls.
We’ll meet Novell for our first semi-weekly meeting next week.
Till then, as far as the build goes,  that’s all folks!

Day 1, Week 1, Part 2

DH has decided to create a little time-lapse record of the build, and has found the perfect place to shoot a picture to capture the most action.

Here’s a shot he took a few weeks ago:

LWHTime1Note the parking pad and fence across the yard.

Here’s yesterday’s shot:

LWHTime2I had hardly noticed the retaining wall in the neighbour’s yard before, with all the bushes about, but now you can see it quite clearly.

We’ll be putting more of these time lapse shots as the build progresses.



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