Home renos

El Franco: “Let’s replace the steps to the basement! They’re old and crooked and dangerous.”

Me: “Okay … but it’s going to cost a fair amount to have a carpenter come and install them for us.”

El Franco: “No, I’ll do it myself!”

Me: “Um, okay ..?”

Two days later, after buying the wood, some power tools, and watching a few ‘How To’ videos on YouTube:


The early September sunshine creeps across the table top in the back yard. The sound of tennis from the court in the park beyond the fence lends a vacation feel to the day as I sit outside reading, enjoying the warmth and the story. Light aircraft circle overhead, probably having taken off from Toronto Islands airport, which juts out to meet the foot of Bathurst Street a mere twenty minutes walk from here.

I should enjoy these moments (and I do!), as I’ve noticed lately how much lower the sun is in the sky, and that the days themselves are getting shorter. Autumn isn’t that far away now, and soon any trysts with literature will be forced indoors.

Rampant raccoons

We’re plagued by raccoons right now. The little buggers have a den up under our neighbours’ roof, right next to our rooftop terrace. They usually come out at dusk to begin scavenging for food—after they’ve used our terrace as their personal, conveniently-located latrine, of course. Pretty gross!

Over the weekend it rained heavily, so we were stuck inside most of the time. At one point I was looking out the window at the back yard during a lull in the deluge, when I saw two of the young raccoons climbing up our fence. I’m not sure if they were just being playful and curious, or if they were looking for food, but it was certainly unusual to see them out during the day.

As much as they can be pests, they’re also damn cute, the little devils!

I managed to grab my camera and and shoot some footage of the inquisitive critters before startling them. See video below.


My Tangled Bank

Okay, it’s not quite the famed hillock of lush vegetation that inspired Charles Darwin, but it’s the closest thing I have in way of a view from my home office. Given time, I’ll eventually get around to cutting away the ivy that’s slowly growing across the window in my office upstairs. In the meantime, it does provide me with a somewhat limited view of nature; in this case a beautiful green dragonfly, which had settled on one of the leaves this bright and sunny morning.

I managed to fish out my camera from the depths of a drawer, to take a snapshot before the winged predator flew away in search of Sunday brunch.