I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen rain

Posted by Marlinee on Oct 21, 2010 in Houses |


After a few weekends up close and personal with the cottage remnants, I have discovered more good and bad things about the pyrotechnic experience:

More good news:
The pair of prescription sunglasses I thought I had left at the cottage turned up in the kitchen drawer at home. These are the same glasses I
’lost’ for six months earlier this year. My theory is that they were indeed in the cottage and teleported themselves home when the lightening struck.

The colony of mutant spiders that lived under the cottage has most certainly been wiped out. Surely, they must be. Either that or they will be like new superheroes, mutating to even larger specimens with super spider powers. Let’s hope they use their powers for good not evil, the definition of evil in this case being coming into the cottage.

Speaking of pests, we finally got to the bottom of the mysterious sawdust problem this spring. It was carpenter ants. Apparently the piles of semi-rotten wood around the cottage form their perfect habitat. The exterminator was called and successfully treated the in-cottage issue as well as the most obvious outdoor colony sites. Since I have witnessed the snap-crackle-pop of ants in a fire log, we must have done them great damage. Oh, unless they had already started hunkering underground for winter.

More bad news:

I kept my barbecue racks so clean you could eat off them. Oh wait, you sort of do. Anyhow, it was spotless when I last left it. Now it is just a spot.

There is a species of bug that inhabits most of western Muskoka that we affectionately call the ‘rock roach’. The exterminator guy we called about the carpenter ants (see above) says they are indeed a form of roach. They seem to live in and consume wood, and they were very big fans of the cottage when it was newly built. One of our volunteer clean up crew pulled one alive from a pile of ashes, proving that it is indeed true what they say about cockroaches: they will be the last species remaining on earth after we all perish from an environmental disaster. Right now they are probably having a planning meeting for how to infiltrate the new cottage in the spring.

About seven years ago, I insisted that we farm out the construction of the inside stairs: one long set up to the loft and a shorter set down to the sunken livingroom. They had oak treads and pine risers and the plan was to finish the oak part and paint the pine parts white. They came from the manufacturer wapped in paper and pastic, with additional cardboard pieces over the stair treds. To protect them from the continuing construction chaos around them, we never removed the protective wrapping. They stayed that way until the end. I always said we were going to have a huge party when the stairs were finally able to be revealed. So much for that. We never actually even saw what they looked like unfinished, let alone stained and painted.

And the final bad thing – still no word from the insurance yet. Stay tuned.

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