Sunday, November 14, 2010


This morning I want to discuss a topic very near and dear to my heart.


yurt [jʊət]


A circular tent consisting of a framework of poles covered with felt or skins, used by Mongolian and Turkic nomads of E and central Asia.

Yurts are also used by eccentric campground managers in central North America to appeal to the eccentric city dwellers who want to do something 'different' for their week off work in the summer. Having a yurt in their campground gives them the ability to charge 5 times as much for the lot, and generally sell out for the whole season!

Yurts are fantastic.

Just the word feels good rolling off my tongue. Yurt. Yurt. Say it - I dare you.

Several years ago Dave and I were living in a dungeon my parents basement and actively househunting because we were going to snap and kill a whole bunch of people in a blaze of glory eager to strike out on our own and move into our own home. Unfortunately houses in our city had (like most Canadian cities) gone through a massive boom, and the prices were about 10 years slave labour beyond our budget. So we sat in our basement and stewed, dreaming of natural light and the freedom to scream out karayoke at 3am if the desire struck.

One of the options we actually gave a bit of serious thought to was a yurt. We could afford a city lot. That was about it. A bare serviced lot (yes our spending ability was that pitiful). So we figured we could buy a lot, and build a yurt! The Mongolians live quite well in them, and you can build walls inside and make rooms, and have running water, and it's bloody cold in Mongolia, so they are obviously able to hold up to the cold!
Unfortunately our city has a bylaw that you must build a permenant dwelling/structure on a city lot, and a yurt does not suffice. We figured we could build a garage next to the yurt but apparently that wont suffice either.

We were crushed.

Our next option though was even more fun...

Alas - if you think the city balked at a yurt, this did not go over well at all.

After years of making realtors across the city laugh at our pitiful offers and glorious expectations of a house, any house, anywhere, so long as there are no parents living in it, we gave up on city life. We even looked in the 'hood'.. and I mean the HOOD... the street where there have been several shootings these past few months, and has been dubbed 'gang central'... Yep - we couldn't even afford to live in crackhouse city. It was pretty dismal. And unfortunate - I could totally make 'drug den' decor work in our home.

When we realised the city was not going to work for us, we finally decided to think outside the box and started looking at smaller towns, about an hour from the city - far enough that the rich folks who dont like the city weren't jacking up house prices by making 'bedroom communities', but close enough that we could still get to the city pretty quickly if need be.

And we found our dream home. And it was affordable (well it wasnt really, but we put in a brutally insulting offer and it turns out they were so desperate to sell at that point they would have given it to us for some walnut shells and painted rocks (and they very nearly did).

Of course our 'dream home' looked like a freaking showhome when we walked through it the first time... hardwoods, tripane windows, a huge kitchen, an office (an office!), 3 bedrooms, 2 huge bathrooms (and i mean huge - one of them is bigger than Tylers bedroom - it's bizarre - we could totally use it as a guestroom if that wasn't completely disgusting).
And as is always the way, after we bought it, and moved in we realised that the hardwoods were about 90 years old and beyond scratched and dinged etc, the tripane windows were mismatched, broken and all different sizes, and mostly installed wrong, the huge kitchen had 4 cupboards and about 2 feet of counter space, and the plumbing froze if it dropped below 0. The insulation is an asbestos riddled fire hazard, the house hemmorages heat, the floors feel like ice cubes, and there is so much rot we haven't even found yet.... I think one wall might be held up mostly by the vinyl siding... but i wont let Dave check because I'm fairly sure once that vinyl siding comes off the whole side of the house will fall off and I'm too damn cheap to fix it right now!

All that and I can still say - IT'S OUR DREAM HOME!

It's ours. We're ALONE. We can fulfill our 3am karayoke dreams. We can cook crazy wild goat meat currys and not worry about disgusting the other folks that live with us. We can let our kids completely destroy the living room (and boy can they destroy a living room) and after they're in bed we can say "let's not bother cleaning up - they'll just mess it up again tommorrow." and not worry about anybody else being annoyed!!

It's glorious...

We have slowly fixed up stuff as we've gone... replaced broken windows, moved the plumbing indoors, slowly chipped away at the rot (at least I know when that wall finally falls down, the door will still be standing. Because that's important.).

There is an appreciation for your own home that can only be fully realized by living with your parents for several years, particularly when you have young children.

Just the freedom to play your own music, clean the house in your underwear, put IMAX movies on for your kids full blast, choose to read instead of tidy, and really just let it be as clean or disasterous as you so please is so empowering.

For all it's faults, and all the old broken crap that still needs fixing - we love our house. It's ours. And it's certainly not in crack central.

Though someone stole our neighbors cats a few weeks ago.

Seriously - she stalked them for a few days, asked him if he would give them to her (to which he said absolutely not - they were his kids cats), then baited them while he was at work, and totally catnapped them! Who the hell does that???

Just to make it wierder - it took him a week to track her down and figure out she took the cats ACROSS THE COUNTRY with her to her winter home!!!

I'll be honest - a character that stalks and catnaps someones pets scares me more than the crackhouse dealers in the city... That takes some seriously twisted logic on her part.

Thankfully after many threats of litigation, the cat napper, to great personal expense, sent the cats back to our neighbor by plane and they are again home and happy...

But yea...

Who does that?

Till the next dose,


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