Tag Archives: Home

Alternative Living – Secondary Suites…


guest house

Secondary suites are known by a multitude of names – in-law suites, mother-in-law suite, granny flat, annex or accessory apartment. In other words, a self-contained living space for young or old, giving them independence but close by for assistance when required. The definition of a secondary suite is that it has its own entrance, kitchen, bathroom and living area. These spaces can also be used for rental income – either for the homeowners requiring extra income due to their own reduced income or for a single homeowner.

There are numerous adaptions to a single dwelling to create an annex. Suites can be over a garage, situated above or below the main floor of the main dwelling, or a guesthouse or garden suite. However, some suites, may not have all their amenities separate so share these with the main dwelling, such as kitchen or living room.

There are regulations concerning separate suites which vary from country to country and even state/province/county, so it is advisable to investigate what zoning or land use is permissible in your area before embarking on a plan for a suite.

moterinlaw500x360

Although many people think of these suites as an alternative to senior homes for their parents, they can be modified or used in other ways as explained above.Another use for a separate suite is a workplace for one or more employees. It keeps ‘work’ separate from home but with the benefit of no commute for the boss!

extensions-annexes-main-crop

The expenditure to build or create a suite must be investigated properly to ensure that when the property is sold that expense is partially recouped.

The tiny house movement has given these annexes a new option too. Local authorities are beginning to see the benefit of extra housing spaces. Keep an eye on your area’s zoning criteria and make the best of it.

Have you encountered an in-law or rental suite? What were your thoughts on the pros and cons?

What would your perfect ‘annex’ consist of?

 

 

 

Parents Love Unconditionally…


Ardent – definition : 1. vehement; fierce 2. intensely devoted, eager, or enthusiastic; zealous

This word describes my parents love for their children and grandchildren perfectly. I lost my Father ten years ago and my Mother on 5th September, 2013. Their legacy of unconditional love, will live on in us all as we love and support each other at this devastating time. Their love for each other showed in everything they did. Together now for eternity.

We may not have been monetarily rich as a family but we never felt disadvantaged or poor as love and encouragement was limitless in our lives as we grew into caring, respectful adults. In turn we are showing our children the same fierce devotion to make them loving, caring people.

Night-night and God bless to the most wonderful parents anyone could ever wish for.

Mother & Fa

Reflections…A Writing Excercise…


Stymie – definition: to present an obstacle; to stand in the way of

As many of you know I really enjoy writing prompts, and have overcome ‘blocks’ using them. So don’t get stymied use one to refresh and release your creativity.

I was inspired by a fellow blogger’s photograph of a set of windows. http://storiesbyfrances.wordpress.com/2013/04/20/untitled-2/ and promised to share the short story it inspired. The changing light in the two windows made me think of reflections of a personality.

Window 1

Madeline believed wholeheartedly that the eyes were a reflection of the soul so no matter what a person might appear like on the outside, she knew it was their inner being that was their true self. When she moved into her new apartment she relished the golden light that shone through. It reflected her joyous nature. With a bubbly, friendly personality many people were instantly drawn to Madeline. She made friends easily and was known as a loyal and supportive person.
Although she had been living in the apartment for over two weeks, she had not met her immediate neighbor. Their apartment window was always dark and gloomy such a contrast to her own, even though they were facing the exact same direction. Madeline had heard movements through the wall and the murmurings of a television but nothing more. Wanting to make introductions, Madeline baked a batch of cookies on Saturday morning. Once they were cool she placed a dozen into a small tin lined with a napkin.

Window 2

After taking a deep breath and with a broad smile on her face she knocked on her neighbor’s door. She waited and turned her head to listen. No footsteps. No response. Maybe she had missed them going out while she had been busy baking? A shuffling noise stopped her from turning away. The door slowly opened and an old man’s face appeared just above the door chain.
“What do you want?”
“Hello, my name’s Madeline. I’m your new neighbor. I wanted to introduce myself and offer you some cookies I baked this morning.”
The man’s brow crinkled, as he looked her up and down.
“Cookies you say?”
Yes chocolate chip. Would you like them?”
“You want to give them to me?”
“Yes.”

Window 3

The man put his hand through the gap in the doorway and took the tin. A slight smile creased his lips.
“Well thank you. The name’s Boyd.”
Not waiting for a reply he shut the door.
Madeline was a little surprised but thought Boyd was probably lonely. From the small glimpse of his apartment she could see numerous cobwebs and there was a distinct stale odor. She thought her gift had given him a little happiness but wanted to help more. She would think on how that would be possible as she cleaned her own apartment.

Boyd sat in his armchair with a mug of coffee and ate the cookies hungrily. It had been a long time since he had such a treat. After Mildred passed he seldom left the apartment. Luckily the corner shop delivered the same food order every Wednesday so his only outing was to collect his pension once a month. He would pick up the money, pay his bill at the shop and return home. He felt anxious whenever he was outside; the neighbourhood had changed a great deal in the last five years.
Madeline’s idea came to her as she was folding laundry. She knew she would have to be convincing but maybe it would work. Once supper was cooked she made up an extra plate and knocked on Boyd’s door.
“Who is it at this time of night?”
“Hello, Boyd, it’s me, Madeline, from next door.”
Boyd opened his door and peeked through the gap.
“I wondered if you would like some supper? I haven’t got used to making single portions and made far too much for one person.”

Window 4

The aroma made Boyd’s stomach grumble.
“Well, it seems wicked to throw it away, I’ll help you out.”
Boyd took the chain off the door and opened it. Standing to one side he motioned Madeline to enter. Her heart ached when she saw how dark and dirty the apartment was. The poor man was obviously living alone and could not manage. Boyd followed behind Madeline shuffling with his cane.
“Just put the plate on the little table by the armchair. Thank you.”
Madeline surveyed the room, apart from the armchair, side table and the television everything else had a layer of dust covering it. It was obvious Boyd sat in that exact spot most of the time.
“If you will let me I could bring a plate over every evening.”
“Now why would you do that? We’re strangers.”
“Not anymore, Boyd, we’re neighbours. I hope we will get to know each other well, in time.”
Boyd looked at Madeline friendly, smiling face. It was a long time since he had anyone want to be his friend. A broad smile lit up his face and Boyd nodded as a single tear ran down his cheek.
“You are so very kind. I would like that very much.”
Over the following months Madeline managed to clean Boyd’s apartment and they regularly went for walks at the weekends, picking new coffee shops to visit on their way. Light began to reflect in Boyd’s window and his eyes. Madeline shared her light willingly.

I may be late…


Palm Springs 068

Hello All,

I am going to apologise as my blog post today will be late! I am attending a seminar : Digital Tools: A Workshop for Writers & Editors.

So as they say ‘watch this space’…! By the way today’s word is Verdant ; definition ‘green with growing plants’ so feel free to take your own spin on it in my absence.

As I drove to the seminar through a stark white and grey winter scenery I remembered today’s word – verdant. I have come to admire the  resourceful  Albertans I live among, who manage their harsh weather on these prairies with block heaters for their vehicles, winter tyres (tires!) and covered malls. Life does not stop for minus something stupid temperatures or massive amounts of snow. It is all taken in their stride, as natural as the seasons themselves.

Alberta Legislature
Alberta Legislature (Photo credit: ericzchu)

The first time I saw a Canadian in T-shirt and shorts at only +2 I was totally nonplussed. What were they thinking it was still freezing? However, five years later the +2 does feel warm after minus 35…it’s all a matter of perspective and experience. Once the warmth arrives no matter how slight it is taken advantage of. It may come as a surprise but our summer’s are hot but short in comparison to the long winter months. This is the time Albertans go all out to enjoy it. Every day is spent outside for as long as possible in an extensive range of activities from gardening to sports to hiking to barbequing. Gardens, or yards as they are referred to here, are resplendent in a multitude of colourful flowers, lush lawns and patio furniture of all shapes, colours and types.

Our first spring was a real surprise as it seemed the trees and plants sprouted green shoots overnight and within a few days bare branches and earth were obscured by foliage. Every living thing hurries to enjoy the summer – human, animal or plant.

In short it is a life lesson – make the best of what you have while you have it.

Changes…


12463871-empty-straw-nest-with-twigs-and-feathers-on-a-white-background

As the old saying goes ‘nothing stays the same’ and the last few weeks have made that quite apparent in my life. Each event has made an impact on me both emotionally and physically. My oldest child flew the nest and is making a new life with his girlfriend in a very nice apartment.  As a natural worrier, I am tending to bounce back and forth between being happy that he has made this transition so successfully to being anxious that he will struggle. Is it only mothers that do this? His girlfriend is a delightful young woman and it is obvious they are very happy together…but that mother/ child bond is never truly broken. I know I will have to curb my contact and ‘interference’ – thank goodness for texts!

Another event has seen my daughter change schools due to conflicts at the previous one. Again I have bounced between anger and frustration to swelling with pride that she made a decision that was slightly unpopular but has proven to be positive.  In fact she has the option of finishing school faster with her option, which is an added bonus. Within moments of my son’s departure, my daughter commandeered the basement suite as her own space and has started planning the redecorating already.  We were washing walls and cleaning carpets the very next day.

Whatever challenges and changes life throws at us, we know in our hearts it is for the best in the long run but when we are in the midst of them, they sure are hard on the heart and body.

Are you facing changes at the moment?