Thunderstorm Renovations


The Plan : Have Dinner, maybe walk the dog, read a book and go to bed.

The Reality: Find water leaking in the corner of your kitchen, call the insurance company and have them send “emergency remediators” to bandage up our little mess.

The Bad News: Turns out our roof in that corner actually sunk and pretty much explains why we had water in that corner due to the ice dam we had earlier this winter, and we haven’t fully figured out how much the repair will cost and how much our insurance will pay for it, but there goes BW’s dream of a weekend getaway anytime soon. BW just got a new roof for her upcoming birthday.

See that fan? It has to stick there for 3 days running full blast blowing god knows what all over our kitchen. Thank goodness we have lids for the pots on the stove.

The Good News: Due to the winter we had and our previous leak that still hadn’t been fixed we will not have to re-do our first repair because our contractors for leak number 1 are so backlogged we hadn’t had that fixed yet so this new leak is a good thing in a way because now we know we have a big problem, and can get the roof fixed right and then have the renos done on the interior.

Oddly enough, there’s little damage. Yes, we have a hole in our corner of a kitchen and it makes entertaining a little rough right now, but there’s no real big mold problem, and our cabinets seem to be fine so once we get about a six by six roof repair, and some drywall and paint back up it will be like better homes and gardens here at Tidy Husband HQ.

Updates to follow…

What Weed?

I was on my way out the door after dinner to mow the back forty before it got too long and BW stopped me to point out that I should pull a weed at the side of the house.

Because (as usual) I had no idea what she was talking about, I asked her for further clarification.

“What weed?”, I asked.

big weed


(I also asked her to put on something nice before I took her photo. She’s outdone herself)

As you can see we don’t get to the east side of the house very often, and I guess when I was out cutting the lawn I didn’t notice the wonderful weed we created.

But it hasn’t been all weeds this summer, and in fact BW and her green thumb managed quite the crop of zinnias this year too.


I can see these flowers from my favorite spot (the couch) thanks to the fact that they’re taller than the windows. I’ve also spotted a hummingbird enjoying our flowers that grew from just little seeds we bought on eBay.

But I’m not the only one who enjoys the flowers this year.

We have a surplus of vole problems this year and last night, BW was looking out the window when she shouted “That little bastard!”

I thought she was talking about me, but this time it was a vole. You see she caught the little guy chewing the stem of the flower and then when he’s chewed through the flower falls to the ground where he can dine on the flowers and we’re left with this:


At least we’re keeping the local vermin well fed this summer.

Great Canadian Adventure – Day 4


and…we're done.

We're out of pie, patience, energy and time. Our great Canadian adventure of 2015 has come to an end.

On our last day we started the very cool day with a walk in a national park and then came home for grilled cheese sandwiches and the last swim and paddle of the season followed by a dinner grilled to perfection on the open fire followed by leftover pie.

After dinner kiddos put on a play for us that had something to do with lawnmower repair and ghosts. I'm not really sure of the plot but it was a laugh all the same.

As I write this the sun is setting over the lake, and this might be the best weather we have had so far. We avoided the rain except for half an hour's worth earlier this week so we really can't complain.

We've had a great time, but tommorrow AM it's time to fill the car back up with all our stuff and drive back home.

The dog and I will be glad to be back home sleeping in our own beds.

Stay tuned for a big photo update once I get a regular wi-fi connection.

Great Canadian Adventure – Day 3


Feeling Moody

As one can expect after three days trapped in a cabin with four adults and two kiddos, things started to get a little stressful. All because of a silly mood ring.

When we first showed up at our rental here at the great canadian adventure it worked out very well, or so we thought, because the family next door had a ten year old girl and one of the occupants here was nine years old and those two got along like peas and carrots. Add a tire swing, a beach and a five year old brother to play with (terrorize) and we thought we had hit the child care lottery as the adults sighed a big sigh of relief and thanked the heavens above for built in playmates next door.

But then it happened: Our neighbour went to the store with her dad and came back with a two dollar mood ring, and once our 9 year old bundle of joy saw the mood ring her new friend had acquired, she started to ask about getting her own mood ring so she too, could bask in the glory of coolness and eternal happiness that only a two dollar mood ring could provide.

And so it began. The constant questions about where, how and most importantly when can she have her very own ring of eternal happiness:

"Mommmmmmm….it's only two dollars and it's at the store with the red barn!"
"Mommmmmmm…you said maybe!"
"Mommmmmmm…pleasseeeee can we go to the store?"

and so on…

There wwere charts drawn and songs made up about the mood ring. Oh, let's all bask in the glory of the mood ring!

I guess every holiday has one defining moment that makes for the theme of the vacation, and up until today I thought this might be about swimming dogs but the mood ring now trumps this.

I now know how to stomp and mope and sulk when I don't get my way, as I have been trained by a 9 year old. I tried my new found skills on BW in a campaign to go home and end this mood changing experience but she gave me the look of death so I dropped it.


I'm Here for the Pie.

But at least there's pie. And that makes all the mood ring campaigns worth it because we ventured out into the wilderness and went picking blueberries because my MIL promised me fresh blueberry pie if I behaved.

We did quite well with our haul and the berries were as big as my thumb and not only did we have enough berries for pie but we also had more than enough for snacking too. Blueberries are my favorite fruit and well, I love pie, so it was a fantastic day when it came to eating.

The weather here was a little cool for swimming so we had to entertain ourselves in other ways and after dinner when the sun went down we started a fire so the kiddos could have s'mores.

I had never had a s'more before and now I know why. They are too sweet and sticky for this tidy guy so I will stick to pie and blueberries.

But the kiddos loved them, and the fire was hit.

We ended the day with a fantastic sunset across the lake and if you ask me, the colors from the sky beat any colors you could get from a mood ring any day of the week.

The Great Canadian Adventure – Day 2


The Dog Can Swim

So the big news of the day with the great Canadian adventure is that thedog can swim!

This of course, is not what the dog wanted or intended.

My little furry friend, like myself, was quite content to running along the shore and barking at those crazy swimmers to come back to safety!! because you are going to get hurt.

But the swimmers really wanted the dog to join them. This means we had to bring in the reinforcements.

You see, we had our good friends from Hamilton join us for the day of fun in the great white north and their teenage daughter just grabbd the dog and tossied it in the water.

Regardless of whether the dog wanted to learn to swim, it did.

And once the dog was tossed in, it didn't really love the idea but it managed enough to follow BW out about 20 feet before it turned around and said "screw this, I'm heading back to land".

The photo you see above is on one of her return trips.

I never want to eat snot again.

The other big thing that happened today was we played a game with jellybeans where you get to pick a color, and the flavor could either really good or really horrible

This, my dear readers might have been the most horrible experience in my life.

I had the options of:

  • Grass Clippings vs Mint
  • Dog Food vs Chocolate Pudding
  • Green Snot vs Pears

I was lucky to win with Dog Food, Green Snot and Grass Clippings.

Glass clippings was the best flavor of the bunch and it wasn't that bad, and when I had the pleasure of tasting the dog food it wasn't great at all and it was instantly recognizable. I did not linger wtih the taste but at now I know what dog food tastes like. This might be good info to have for my retirement years.

But the Green Snot. OMG. I never ever want to see a jelly bean again. This was one of the most disgusting flavors ever. I actually had to stop playing after that because I couldn't bear to play again with the barf flavor still on the horizon. I cashed in my chips and declared defeat. Then brushed my teeth to try and shake the taste. Yuck

The rest of the day went as one can exepect when you're out in the wilderness. There was lots of swimming, and kayaking and running and drinking and snacking and walking and…

Wear Sunscreen

BW got a sun burn on her back that thanks to the design of her swimsuit looks very similar to the union jack flag.

Of course she didn't think that her sunburn was all that bad but now as I write this, she's re-thinking her decision to forgo sunscreen earlier in the day.

To summarize, what we learned today was:

I will never ever look at a jellybean the same again.

The dog will never ever look at a lake again

And most importantly: wear sunscreen. :)

The Great Canadian Adventure – Day 1

Welcome to Day one of the live blog of the great Canadian adventure for 2015.

I'm writing this from a postage stamped and mosquito filled room with BW, 2 kiddos and her sister. Also, my mother in law is here.

So as you can see I am having a lot of fun camping here in Canada up on Rice Lake!!

Luckily, BW brought me as the expert Canadian wilderness outdoorsman that I am and I am able to help her and her family navigate the rough waters of camping up north with ease.

They didn't even know what a "Muskoka Chair" was. Sheesh.

We have only been here a few hours, but here's what I know so far:

  1. The tire swing is perfect for kiddos
  2. Thank GOD For wi-fi, even if it is a bit on the slow side.
  3. Burritos for dinner are delicious
  4. Small children can swim and swing all day and still not go to bed!
  5. Suprisingly, traffic wasn't all that bad for a Canadian Holiday
  6. BW can't drive all the way here without having to stop to pee.
  7. Starbucks is about a half hour away so we are still close to civilization. I may be able to survive this.
  8. The Dog has already fallen in the lake.
  9. Sunsets on the lake are very pretty

On tap for day 2 is a trip into town to see the how the locals live.

Until then…

Tidy Husband and Co.

Locked and Loaded

I figure that with today's episode I have two ways to tell this story:

  1. I screwed up
  2. I saved the household money with my do-it yourself approach to fixing a problem here at Tidy Husband HQ.

Obviously, I am choosing number 2 to share my latest tale..

This story started out without problems. It was after a late dinner when I looked out at the weeds/grass in the back forty and succumbed to the fact that I better get out there and deal with the problem, because that's why BW has me around in the first place.

So I made her an offer: "You do the dishes, and I will cut the grass and then we can meet up later once all the chores are done". She seemed okay with this arrangement and so I got up to grab the keys for the back shed



I looked everywhere I could think of where I may have left the keys last time but without luck. I have been known to leave these in my pockets and they end up in the wash but I checked both washer and dryer and came up empty. I scoured the house, I emptied drawers, I re-traced my steps and then finally I had to admit it: I LOST THE KEYS.

So then I did what any guy would do when he loses the keys to a lock: I hit the lock with a hammer. I soon realized my efforts with the hammer would be useless and so now what does one do?

I know, I will ask youtube.

According to my research there's about three ways to get a lock off something:

  1. A drill, or saw or dremel tool – I choose not to go with this option because of sparks and the fact that our woodshed is, well, wood. I didn't want to have to call 911 because I wanted to cut the grass.
  2. Bolt Cutters. Looks good, but these locks look pretty sturdy
  3. Try picking the lock.

Number 1 was out, and I didn't have bolt cutters at what now has become almost 9pm, but I did have an extra locked lock I could play with (why we are saving a locked lock with no key is beyond me, but that's for another post) but I had a hacksaw, but and the outcome with the saw was about the same as the hammer. Boy, these locks are tough.

I then spent the rest of my evening trying to pick the lock I had with a pen lid and a paper clip, and despite the fact that twelve year olds on youtube can do this, I couldn't.

For those who are still reading, I have tried a hammer, a hacksaw and picking tools and still my lawnmower is in the shed and the grass is getting taller and taller and taller. The neighbors have started to picket the house.

Of course, while I was doing all this, BW was inside reading a book about sex (I kid you not) trying to ignore my increased anxiety about getting the stupid shed opened. (some days there's not enough prozac)

Then she suggested the unthinkable:

"Hire a locksmith", she suggested. Talk about a blow to the male ego, folks. When she said that I realized this : she didn't think I could fix the problem

Can you imagine? Me paying some $100 or more to fix my mistake? And this is when I haven't even exhausted all my options such as calling my friend to help. I mean really, BW, how could you even think that?

I will show her! I said to myself as I drifted off to sleep dreaming of unlocked locks and fresh cut grass (I really need a hobby)

This morning I awoke with a fresh start and fresh perspective. Also, I had these:


These little 22 dollar wonders worked, well, wonders:


At first I thought I had bought the wrong thing because my scrawny little arms barely made a dent in the lock and for a quick second I thought that maybe BW was right, but then I had another stab and used all my 162.8lbs of dynamite to push and push and squeeze until finally the hardened steel lock gave way to my arms of steel.

(when the lock did finally give way I fell right over because I was leaning so hard and almost knocked myself out on the shed door, but I would appreciate it if you didn't tell BW about that part. I have an image to keep..thanks so much)

There, problem solved.


Well, almost.

Then I realized that when I was buying the bolt cutters I should have also bought new locks to replace the old ones.. so back I go to the store to get new locks:

new and I bought these fancy ones at the dollar store for even greater savings. The only trouble with dollar store locks is that not one key works on both like the previous set, but with a sharpie that's esaily fixed:


As I mentioned at the start of this story there's two ways to look at this adventure and I am going to go for the positive spin where I saved the day with my newly formed bolt cutting skills.

I saved BW money today!

Note to BW:

See BW? You were of little faith, but I did fix the problem and for much less than a locksmith would cost. It was $22 for the cutters and two dollars for the locks. Add a bit of tax and my mistake (I prefer the term 'learning adventure') saved us over seventy dollars at least over taking the easy way out and calling in the pros. You can take me out to dinner to thank me for my hard work with the money I saved you.

Love, TH.

PS. I cut the grass.

Counting The Rings

If I ever have to ask myself how long have I been married?, all I have to do is count how many times I have painted the garage floor because here at Tidy Husband HQ it's that time of year again. Dear readers, I present to you:

Paint the Garage Floor 2015

Here's the before photo:

garage before

and the after photo:


I never knew I was such a good painter until I got married, and when you get hitched they warn you at the altar about all the "in fitness and in health" stuff but there's also some stuff they don't mention – like the painting.

Guys, if you're getting married you will be painting and consider this your warning:

Beware of the List

I have also learned that it's best to not let your wife know you are planning on painting the garage, because once the cat is out of the bag it will be in BW's head and then it will get on the list and you will be asked over and over like a four year old: are we there yet? Is it done yet? When are you going to (insert job here). The questions, OMG.

This can be hell. I am learning to keep quiet until the very last minute prior to the task. The element of surprise is your friend with the list

You don't know about the list?

The list is the devil. It hangs on the fridge and even if you do stuff you don't get any recognition but you're greeted with the question: "What are you going to do next?"

But now that I've got a couple years of marriage under my belt (along with some extra pounds) I have a few tips and tricks to share to cope with the list:

Feel free to use Tidy Husband's patented method to do as little as possible around the house:

  1. If you have a list, keep it to yourself until you are ready to do the job and then spring it on the wife. This works much better than pre-annoucing your intentions. Keep the romance, and keep 'em' guessing. :) The element of surprise works just as well with painting as it does with roses.
  2. If you do have stuff on the list, I have found that sometimes you can promise to do stuff on the list and the promise will be enough to satisfy her. It's rare that this works and will get you out of the task completely , but sometimes saying you will do (you just didn't say when) it does buy you some more time on the couch with your feet up.
  3. See item number 1. This is your best tactic. Number 2 can backfire and all that happens is the list grows in the meantime.
  4. (bonus tip). You can sometimes 'forget' to do a task because she didn't put it on the list and then you can use the "I didn't know" excuse. But eventually this catches up to you too, so at first I would try number 2 above if this doesn't work. At very least, it will buy you a bit more time.
  5. (bonus tip numbe 2). If you have a friend that's handier you can tell the wife that you're waiting for the friend to 'help you'. The reality is he's helping you avoid the task altogether. There's no help coming from your friend because he has his own list to deal with too.

(This last tip is pure gold. BW has wanted a pantry built in the kitchen from the day we met. I promised she would get it as soon as 'my friend' would help. She's still waiting for a pantry)

I guess in a way by painting the garage every year – this is the same as re-stating my wedding vows:

I promise to love, cherish and respect (and paint the garage)

Happy (garage painting) Anniversary, BW.

PS. I'm not telling you what I plan to do next. It's not going on the list that's for sure.

MailBoxes, Etc.

As the sun sets on my fourth July 4 weekend and BW heads to bed early after too much partying I thought I would take the time (and the quiet)
to document some of the highlgihts of this weekend’s events:

Item Number One: The Mailbox


Earlier this month BW came in the house with a letter from the USPS that our mailbox was no longer servicable and that if we wanted to continue to get mail we would have to get a new one.

Funny, I don’t see why they would say that:

old mailbox

I don’t see anything wrong with our old one that came from Sears Roebuck back in the 70’s. Except for the fact that it doesn’t have a flag and has survived being backed into by many.

So. As is with all the tasks BW made it my job to get the mailbox fixed.

As I have mentioned before I’m not handy. Not ‘fix the mailbox’ handy to be sure.

So I Googled “buffalo mailbox install” and sure enough there’s a guy who will come to your house and bring and install the mailbox for you. How cool is that? In fact, there’s more than one guy who does this but this guy was cheaper and the first guy didn’t show when he said he would.

We splurged and got the fancy two storey mailbox with doors on each end so you don’t have to make the extra four steps and step out on the street to get the mail.

Actually, the brand of the mailbox is ‘step 2’ which is probably becaus that’s how many steps you save when you check your mail.

New Mailbox. Yay.

Lastly, speaking of mail if you get mail and there’s not enough postage it is at the discretion of your mailman they will deliver the mail anyway and hope you pay them back as they pay for your mail out of their own pocket!

I found this out when I went to the post office and I was asked who my mailman was (small town, it’s possible I guess). I replied that I did and that’s when I learned about the money. I would have paid right then and there but BW doesn’t let me leave the house with any cash so it wasn’t until a few days later I managed to catch up with our mail lady at the end of the driveway.

Item Number 2: The Company

BW’s Mother and Sister came to visit for the weekend and it was a very good time because the company, but also the food!

There was pie:





and Ice cream and cookies and OMG THE FOOD

I have to tell you I was a little worried about the pie. We were on the tail end of the season and the ladies went picking berries early Friday morning and came home with a pretty big haul. Enough for two pies.

(It’s a good thing they didn’t stay longer. The pie a day diet is not good for the waistline).

Item Number 3: The Work

Ever hear the saying “there’s no such thing as a free lunch”?.

Well, in my case it was “there’s no such thing as free pie“” and I had to earn my keep around here and wash MIL’s car from head to toe:

car washed

Things I learned while doing this:

  • She has a lot of pens.
  • grandchildren eat lots of popcorn in the back seat
  • Black velour interior and grey dog hair don’t mix.

But all this hard weekend labor was worth it though because pie! and they were round too – my favorite kind!

And that’s our weekend. Not too shabby.

BW and I just polished off the last of the empanadas for dinner and I just checked in with my MIL and they are home safely in their nice clean car so it was fantastic long weekend for all.

Hope all six of my readers had a great holiday weekend too. (hi dad!)

Rainbow Bright

It started out like a normal day, until my phone beeped at me:

haircut: Time to leave - 12:52

“ooh, I forgot about that” I thought to myself – even though though the hairstylist called yesterday to remind me.

You see, BW and I go to the same hairstylist at the same time on the same day. Yes, we’re that couple.

It’s just easier that way. Besides, BW has a tight grip on the family finances and so she pays. :)

So, off we went to our favorite hair salon.

My haircut is pretty straightforward. I always tell my stylist to just dial me back to 3 weeks ago and she whips out the number 3 clippers and she’s done with me in about ten minutes.

And Then Things Got Weird

You see, I am not really all that up to date on the intricacies of what goes on with you ladies when it comes to get your hair done so imagine my surprise when I turned around and saw this.

“Umm… BW – you know you have styrofoam taped to your head?”, I asked.

She said “Put that photo on Facebook and I will kill you”. [1]

And then I asked her what exactly was all that stuff on her head?

She growled at me some more so I dropped the questioning for the time being.

Pick a Color, Any Color

Then she asked me about colors: What color did I like better – green or blue? pink or red? Do you like mauve?

I answered her: Blue. Also, my favorite Beatle was George. And pizza is my favorite food. (all good things she should know about me)

Seeing how this was going to take a while, I dashed over to Tim Horton’s for a coffee.

Whatever was going on back at the Salon looked expensive and it would take some time and so on the suggestion of the stylist that all this girly stuff was going to be a while, off I went.

When I returned BW was still in the back so I plopped down on the chair and took the opportunity to catch up on some back issues of Cosmo.

Finally, she was done and she’s so beautiful!!!

or… maybe colorful would be a better word:

haircut 100

I will end this little story with the lesson I learned today when wanting to keep happily married:

Regardless of how the end result of your wife’s haircut looks like:

Do say: “You look beautiful!”

Do NOT say: “You look like My Little Pony!”

  1. you never said anything about my blog so I figure this is fair  ↩