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Yellow Bird

Posted by Marlinee on Aug 21, 2017 in Middle Age

I was walking home the other day and saw a yellow bird. But of course there is much more to this story. I was walking home on Oriole Parkway, a Toronto street in an otherwise leafy and urban area with a volume of traffic and illicit speed that makes it more like a major roadway, [...]

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A house is not a home

Posted by Marlinee on Jan 14, 2017 in Houses

Since I haven’t moved in almost two whole years, it’s time to move again. As I have mentioned earlier, looking for a place to live is very much like online dating. There are promising profiles and attractive photos but the proof is in the actual pudding, which is rarely as tasty or fresh or chock [...]

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Birds of a feather

Posted by Marlinee on Aug 14, 2015 in Houses

I have always been fascinated with flamingos. Really, who can resist something that pink? Something that is real but looks fake. Kind of like what Donald Trump claims about his hair. But I digress. Maybe the reason fake flamingos are so popular is because flamingos are so inherently bogus themselves. And speaking of fake flamingos, [...]

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More first world problems

Posted by Marlinee on Jan 18, 2015 in Middle Age

Not that I’m complaining about moving. No, these are not complaints, but merely observations of annoyances, the type that could crop up at any time, not just when disrupting your life voluntarily. But they are annoyances none the less, and what better thing to do about an annoyance or two than to share them with [...]

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Homeward Bound

Posted by Marlinee on Nov 9, 2014 in Houses

I have not rented anything since about 1987, until now that is. I have discovered that re-entering the rental market in 2014 is kind of like re-entering the dating market if you have been off the shelf for a few decades. In fact there are many similarities. 1. The photos (or lack thereof). As you [...]

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Stay, just a little bit longer

Posted by Marlinee on Nov 16, 2013 in Middle Age

Another insult to the injury of November is leaving the cottage for the season. Not that I am not less than miserable at the lake when the sleet starts sleeting, the dark starts creeping, and the water lines start freezing – oh, is that a poem coming on? Maybe not, but the load-out time has [...]

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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’ [...]

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Just yesterday morning they let me know you were gone

Posted by Marlinee on Sep 23, 2010 in Houses

This week the cottage burned. To. The. Ground. We went up to look at it and it is amazing what a fire will take. The only things remotely recognizable were the cast iron frying pan and the shell of the brand new cast iron sink (minus its enamel) that we had just bought for the [...]

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A Field Guide to Urban Wildlife

Posted by Marlinee on Jul 21, 2010 in Houses

Cockroaches: Nature’s Perfect Pest The first time I ever saw a cockroach was when I was living at the graduate students residence at U of T. I opened my typewriter case one day and a strange bug crawled out. My roommate helpfully identified it. Turns out the building was pretty much infested and although they [...]

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My House is a Very Very Very Fine House

Posted by Marlinee on Jul 8, 2010 in Houses

As the third owner of a house that turns 100 this year, I feel like I am the curator of a domestic museum. My house was born before the First World War. It was built on the optimism of the new century, its neighbourhood made possible by one of the feats of engineering immortalized in [...]

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