That 307 seems pretty doable

Just before we moved into this house (two years ago now!) we thought we’d use the basement the same way the previous owners had staged it: we’d put the TV and a couch down there, and keep our living room TV-free. However, once we moved in we realized that simply wasn’t realistic — the basement’s too small, it’s too cool in the winter and humid in the summer, and…y’know, Kramer shits in a box down there. So: on to plan B.

One of the top candidates for plan B quickly became to build a wine cellar down there. I had grand visions of a full-scale cellar, but that just wasn’t feasible, or even necessary — my collection currently stands at 453 bottles, only 415 of which are reasonably cellar-worthy. Still a proper wine cabinet could be good. And so, we had Rosehill build us one. It holds 722 bottles, and they finished it Monday of this week. (Thanks Chris!)

Look at this beaut:

After the first day of construction
The finished product

Since I took today as a holiday, I might just spend the afternoon filling it up. I’m surprised I’ve waited four days, frankly.

Cover photo by JR P, used under Creative Commons license

Outdoor space. Thank the maker.

We’ve reached an exciting time of the year. I’ve always loved spring, both the maple-ness of it when I was a kid, but also the transition into warmth after long grey winters. I don’t know that I clinically suffer from S.A.D., but by March I’m usually pretty desperate for sun & warmth.

Luckily, we now have a house with a backyard. We’ve gotten furniture delivered, and have set up the table and 2 of the chairs — just enough to sit outside if it’s nice, which it has been on exactly ( *checks notes* ) ONE day so far this year.

Still…we’re excited.


Cover photo by JR P, used under Creative Commons license


As I type this I’m waiting for my new Synology DS220+ Network Access Storage device to set itself up. Of course I named it Illmatic.

I’m excited to get all my old media loaded onto it and install Plex, so I’m not constantly swapping files onto backup & media drives. I’m also excited that Lindsay will have a place to back things up, finally. 😐

Cover photo by Tierra Mallorca on Unsplash

Still in the house

We’ve been in the new house for five weeks now, and it’s already hard to remember the loft. Space. Floors. Walls. We can have non-disruptive work meetings and/or private conversations now. It’s really quite a luxury.

There are neat little design features left behind by the previous owners (one of whom was an industrial designer, so…that tracks) like a solar-powered skylight shade.

Kramer has taken to sitting in the windows and watching the squirrels and birds, occasionally even greeting me as I walk up to the front steps. He’s claimed the guest room as his own, more or less, as well as the little nook under the stairs up to the 3rd floor.

Our neighbours are nice too. Last Monday we joined a few of them in the back laneway for some drinks on a nice snowy evening. There are some whisky and wine fans in the neighbourhood, so we’ll get along just fine.

I’ve also been really enjoying the more proximate merchants, even if it’s in a very altered way during the lockdown. Mercury has become my go-to shop for proper coffee. We finally tried Avling a while ago, and were very impressed with their beers — their food options look solid too. We’re close enough to Ascari now that they, along with Chez Nous, will likely become our go-to wine pickup spots. Being this close to Ed’s and the Leslieville Cheese Market and Leslieville Pumps is both wonderful and problematic. Nutbar has been a fun new find. Apparently a Freshii and an A&W are meant to be built around the corner. And some day we’ll be able to visit all the merchants like Queen Books again.

We’re still missing a lot of furniture, and there’s still plenty to do — I’m getting the feeling that will always be the case — but it very much feels like home already.

Cover photo by Tierra Mallorca on Unsplash

In the house

Hey, we’re in the new house! Moved in Friday, and have fumbled our way through a sea of boxes since then.

Kramer is here too, after a few days alone in the loft, a tough (but not as tough as it could have been) extraction followed by a 4-day hunger strike. But he seems to be adjusting well, and is back to accepting our pets and scratches.

We’re still living out of too many boxes and ordering every meal, but we’re here. We’re working more effectively. We’re meeting neighbours. We’re enjoying the backyard due to an unexpected spate of warm weather.

It feels weird to have a house. But it’s starting to feel really good too.

By the way, I’m sure I’ll have something to say about the presidential vote at some point, but for now I’m still electorally hung over.


Cover photo by Tierra Mallorca on Unsplash

Cover photo from Mural by Elicser Elliot.

Riverside → Leslieville

A couple months ago I wrote about buying a house. It had a sixty day close, so the math says we’re moving this week.

The sale officially closed Monday, and I picked up the keys that night. People are coming tomorrow to pack our stuff, and the movers come Friday. At some point we’ll have to move Kramer. We’re dreading that.

The loft we’re in now was a perfect fit when I bought it back in 2017. I’d always wanted a hard loft, and it was in an exciting new (to me) part of the city. But now, in COVID times, with no return-to-the-office seeming imminent, the openness that once made the loft charming now makes it stifling, as does the lack of outdoor space. That said, I like the loft and the building so much I’ve decided to hold on to it and rent it out — a pain in the ass I do not need, but I was loathe to part with the place, especially in this market.

I remain very excited (if a little apprehensive) about the house. It has four bedrooms, which — after having only an open loft with no walls for 3.5 years, might have been an over-vector — and a beautiful back yard. It’s on a street which has always been one of my favourites in the city. It’s only ten minutes’ walk from where we live now (though if Google Maps is to be believed, once one crosses East under the train tracks, one lives in Leslieville) which means many of our neighbourhood favourites — I’m looking at you, Chez Nous and Boxcar Social — will remain.

Wish us luck over the next few days. Especially with Kramer.


Cover photo from Mural by Elicser Elliot.

Cover photo by Erda Estremera on Unsplash

A small big thing

It felt — it always feels — weird to focus so intently on something so inherently micro and personal to us in a week when so much is/was/isn’t happening around us all, but it still feels important to share.

We bought a house.

It’s ten minutes’ walk east of where we are now, so it’s familiar, but an exciting change at the same time. It’s narrow but high, and has a backyard, so we’ll have the space, separation, and outdoor space we’re craving during COVID. It’s a leafy street that we’ve both always wanted to live on.

It’s my first house (after owning three condos/lofts) so I’m heading into more complexity than I might have wanted pre-COVID, but we’re excited. The planning has begun with great enthusiasm. As has the design — I now have a Pinterest account, for god’s sake.


Cover photo by Erda Estremera on Unsplash