Friday, September 25

A Recommendation

I am so excited to have just discovered It's a music website that allows you to put together a library of artists that you enjoy, and will play you a personalized "radio station" based on your taste - brilliant!
They give you a 30 track trial, and after that it's $3/month - which so far, I think will be worth it. They also give you the option to "love" or "ban" certain songs, so if one comes up that you'd like to hear more often, or never again, you can have that degree of control. It also gives you recommendations of other artists you might like based on the ones you've entered already.
Wanna see what I've been listening to? Here's my profile.

Monday, September 21

"These are the people in your neighbourhood..." your neighbourhood, in your neigh-bour-hood, oh these are the people in your neighbourhood. They're the people that you meet, when you're walkin' down the street, the people that you meet each day."

Where in my childhood is that song from? Some TV show, I think, although I can't totally remember. Mr. Rogers? I just remember him singing "Won' neighbour?" If you have any leads on that one, I'd be thrilled.

Back to the topic at hand. Neighbours.

James and I got our new house last Wednseday (YAHOOO!!!!) It's amazing to me how block by block, every little mini-neighbourhood has its own little community culture. The street we're on now is a keep-to-yourself, cut your grass regularly and don't bother anyone street. There is one neighbour who says hello to people, but other than Dave the wonder-neighbour, I don't know anyone else, and we've lived here two years. Ok, that might be a bit of an exaggeration. I know the name of the reclusive woman who lives next door, and have had maybe 2 brief conversations with her, and I know the name of Steve, the single dad who lives across the road and down a bit, who bought James' old guitar from us for his daughter at a garage sale we had in the summer. That's 3 people in 2 years. I'm sure there are reasons that this culture has developed, and I'm sure I don't help it any by being shy (although I do TRY to smile and say hello - I just have a hard time jumping in with my "Good Morning!" when people won't even make eye contact. We struggled with this in our condo too.)

As we were preparing to get the new place, I said to James "We have to do a better job at meeting our neighbours this time! We need to be upfront and introduce ourselves at the first chance we get." It was agreed. We would be pro-actively neighbourly.

We didn't need to.

Within a few hours of getting our keys, we were chatting with Isabella and Frank, an older Italian couple who have lived next door for 45 years. The friendly Spanish family on the other side told us about how she was expecting when they bought their house, and that she actually gave birth on the closing date (I'm so glad that's not me...oy). Crystal from two doors down said hello and if we ever need anything, she's at #84 (ironically her son's name is what we picked out for our boy's name, and then I saw somebody's baby pictures on facebook with that name - and I thought it was fairly unique! grr.). Mike and Debbie and little Keyana from across the road wandered over and welcomed us to the neighbourhood, told us they really like it and hoped we would really enjoy it. The neighbours mingle and gather to chat in one another's driveways, kids are playing ball and rollerblading up and down the street. It's lovely.

I am so excited to have "real" neighbours, although it certainly takes some getting used to. Anything outside takes a little more time when there's always someone to say hello to. I think that's good - and I think the time to build those relationships is well spent. I just need to adjust my mindset about running out to the shed - if Isabella's in her garden, I just might be out there for awhile.

Wednesday, September 2

A Confession

We put our house on the market last week. It was a crazy busy week of painting, cleaning, organizing, and dealing with all of those little things that you think "I'll get around to that someday..." (like the missing piece of trim in the front room) and all of the sudden you need to do it, ASAP. But, it all got done (thanks to endless hours of work by my Dad, help from good friends, and a husband who came home from work, to work almost every day). It looks pretty darn nice around here, if I do say so myself. Last night I sat in my magazine-perfect living room with some candles lit and thought "this will be kind of hard to leave..."
Because we're trying to sell the house, Charlie-dog has been living with James' brother and sister-in-law. That way I don't have to vacuum twice a day, and scramble to find somewhere for him to go when our agent calls to say someone would like to see the house this evening, when James and I are both at work, neither of us able to get the dog out of the house.
Here's the confession:
I don't miss Charlie. I like not having a dog around.
It's been nice not to have to carry around a lint roller and de-dog myself every time I get out of the car; nice not to have to vacuum daily, nice not to have to feel guilty about being too busy for walks, nice not to push past a large, furry, four-legged friend with an armful of groceries.
I mentioned this to James this morning. He was appalled.
"But! But! like Charlie more than you like not having him around! You must!"
I don't know if I do...
I do love Charlie. He's a great dog. In fact, it's been said by a couple of people that if Charlie didn't shed, he'd be the perfect dog. He's friendly, fun to play with, and obedient. But he's sooooo hairy. And big. get the picture.

(, I might miss that happy face and wagging tail greeting me when I come in the door. Maybe just a bit...)
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