Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Winterizing Wonderland

One of the main differences between having a condo and a house is exposure to the elements (and by elements I don't just mean "the personal lives of dozens of people who share the same exterior walls").  This fall we had a long laundry list of things to do in preparing for Winter. A couple of the main things that we did were already covered, including getting new windows and installing a furnace. However, there were some smaller items to be crossed off the agenda as well, and here's how we tackled some of those.

1. Seal cracks

"A baby seal walks into a club..." Okay, okay, I'll stop there. This is not about "seal cracks" as in jokes about seals. The first item we had on the list was applying some silicone to a few small foundation cracks. It was recommended by our home inspector and was kind of fun! Basically we walked around the house identifying small cracks and squeezing out some concrete silicone that we could spread out. We took pictures as we went in order to send them into our insurance when we're done a bunch of inspection recommendations to help our rates go down.

2. Tame the wild foliage

Next up we were on to using some of my parents' hand-me-down garden tools to trim hedges and get rid of a couple flower beds.

You may have heard us mention that Grandpa Joe moved into this house from a farm and so, his green thumb needing an outlet, by all accounts he spent a significant proportion of his time planting and maintaining a gigantic vegetable garden (by city standards) and at least a half-dozen good-sized flower beds.

In contrast, we moved into the house from our condo where the flora we tended to included a plant I got from my brother-in-law last year (still alive), a lucky bamboo we named--wait-for-it--"Lucky" (still alive), and an orchid (don't ask). That's it.

So while we love the look of flowers, in the name of easing our way into home ownership, we thought it best to take away a couple of the beds and allow for slightly less maintenance.

You'll notice on our to do list that there was also the plan to till our vegetable garden and get rid of a couple more flower beds. That just didn't happen before the snow flew (I moved those items to Spring 2013 on the list to keep it up to date). We did however manage to deal with our rain barrels and the removal of some vines and annuals that were almost as invasive as certain settings on the massage chairs at my nail salon.

3. Leaf it to the last minute

You know that picture we all have in our heads of leaf-raking, where it's a gorgeous fall day with every shade of yellow, red, and brown--no, not brown, burnt sienna--and a happy family in sweaters joyously sweeps their green-carpet lawn clean with light wrist-flicks while a mischievous puppy plows through the golden mounds?

Well, that wasn't us, and you may remember that from our previous post on the matter

A couple of other things that weren't on the list that we may have left longer than we'd like (but got done anyway!) were
  • move our patio furniture into the garage
  • drain the lawn mower
  • turn off the tap to outside
  • clean the eavestroughs (well, mostly)
  • get the extension cord ready to plug the car's block heater in (readers living closer to the equator are looking at us like "huh?" We live in a climate where our cars have block heaters to keep the engine from freezing solid and thereby preventing them from starting when we needed to be somewhere 5 minutes ago and oh-crap-why-won't-the-darn-thing-start-please-oh-please-oh-please...)
So long story short, we're feeling pretty prepared for what winter has in store for us!
A blizzard arrived this weekend so Fall clean up is officially on hold and waiting until Spring arrives! We're really looking forward to the snow melting away and having some great plans for our yard in the future. It was kind of fun to learn how to do a bit of yard work and have a nice big space to work in and have some campfires and gatherings of friends. 

That brings you up to date on our Fall To-Do list so far. We have a couple of things left to address but tonight we made some headway so we'll bring you an update on that soon! Remember to add your input to the poll and comment away with any projects you're working on! Anyone local starting to get inspired for Christmas since the blizzard made it a Winter wonderland outside?


  1. This weather makes me want to set up a christmas tree and start holiday baking lol but for now, I'll settle for making cool holiday crafts! Like maybe some cool homemade gifts!

    1. I'm with you! Definitely went Christmas shopping today and already took out all the Christmas decorations which I will likely set up soon :S. Trying to resist! Next week I want to make some Christmas crafts for decorating if you're interested!