Writing in a Winnipeg Forest Cabin Over The Summer

If you’re reading my blog now then you probably already know that I wrote a whole book this year. I’m so proud of the results but it has yet to be published. Now, I want to talk about my whole experience writing the book. It was quite beautiful because I was surrounded by trees in beautiful Winnipeg, with a whole cabin to myself. So let’s begin!

Part of this news has to come with some bad news, of course. My grandmother passed away this summer and I inherited a small cabin in the woods just a short drive away from Winnipeg. The cabin is really wonderful and renovated, but the small plot of land it came with really needed some work. The only reason I started writing a book really is because I needed something to do at night while I had no internet. I spent most of my day touching up the cabin and fixing the land around it. I just sold it for a handsome price and can’t complain.

Most of the work I did throughout the day was fixing and painting the fence, removing oil stains from the driveway, gardening and stuff like that. But there was also a lot of stuff I couldn’t do myself and had to hire experts for. For example there were several dangerous trees that needed to be cut down so I hired the best tree service Winnipeg could throw at me. It took me a while to find a good tree care company but I was satisfied by the results and it didn’t cost a fortune.

Part of the reason I came up with the premise of my book, which you can read about here, is because I was surrounded by so many trees and beautiful nature that I started to wonder what life would be like in a world suffering from post-nuclear war conditions. I became so grateful for the kind of beautiful nature landscapes we have here in Canada and the greatest theme in my book reflects how I felt staring at all the trees from my cabin window.

Winnipeg trees

I thought of the song It’s a Beautiful World every time I stepped outside and between working in the garden trimming hedges and writing in the cabin creating characters my whole summer was so beautiful! I barely spoke to anyone human. I did speak to a lot of squirrels though. I actually wrote a short story about a squirrel living in a tree and it symbolized a king living in a tower, but I don’t plan to publish that one because it’s a little too cute. Well, that’s just the problem. I don’t know what it is. Maybe I’ll read it again in the future and change my mind about it or post it here. Yeah, I think that’s what I’ll do: post my short story here. I should probably edit it first though, because it’s nearly 3,000 words long and I wrote it in less than an hour.

Anyway it’s a fact that my time writing in Winnipeg over the summer of 2019 was one of the best experiences of my life and I wouldn’t trade it in for anything. I hope you enjoyed coming back for a visit and reading my little summer story. It feels good to be home again where I can talk to people instead of squirrels. I’m just sad I didn’t get to see any bears. I’m also sad that my grandparents’ old summer cabin belongs to a new owner now but there’s no way I’d have the time to upkeep the property there myself, especially with driving back and forth from Winnipeg every year. I think I made the right choice and all my friends agree. The best news is I have a good savings now to invest in my book if traditional publishing doesn’t work out. A few of my friends have made some good money doing self-publishing so they’ll teach me the ropes if I need to go that route.

That was my little summer story in Winnipeg surrounded by trees. It’s kind of funny because at night I’d play the same hard rock CD on repeat and write about mutant bears trying to break into people’s underground bases but you know how it is. The whiskey played a good role too!

Artist in Kelowna BC Makes Art out of Broken Kitchen Appliances

The artist in question is a great friend of the family and she agreed to let me write a piece on her under two conditions:

  1. I can’t tell you her name.
  2. I can’t show you pictures of her art.

She is very, let’s say… shy. She doesn’t want to be judged on the vast internet and she has a right to. She’s in her 70s and is still adapting to what the internet can do for artists. She’s already been featured in old magazines and even appeared on the Discovery channel once during the heyday of her career as an artist. She has been known to weld scrap metal into animals, make robot-like sculptures out of old computer parts and, now, she’s known in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada for making abstract standing art pieces out of broken fridges, stoves, ovens and all other household appliances.

The idea to so this first came to her when her microwave broke down. She had wanted to get a new one for years, so she decided to buy a new one and see what she could do with the old one in a creative sense. She took her husband’s screwdriver and opened the microwave up to find cool parts that she then glued together to make a little statue for her window sill. Now this statue isn’t supposed to look like anything specific, hence the use of the word abstract, but everyone who sees it claims to know what it’s supposed to be. She just smiles at them and fakes agreement.

After getting many compliments on her appliance art, she decided to make a bunch of them, getting scrap appliance parts from many local appliance repair companies in Kelowna BC. In one day she managed to get 3 busted stoves, a freezer, 2 fridges and several other small appliances. She even got donated an antique ice box from Appliance Repair Kelowna, one of her main suppliers. This was a big day for her, little to her knowledge, because in one month she would be the main exhibition of a local art show and would go on to earn several awards for her creativity around Canada. That’s why I wanted to share this story so much, because it shows the power of creativity.

She made all kinds of wacky and bizarre art pieces out of these broken appliances. She used springs, bolts and scraps of plastic to make cool animals, and she even made a bust of Justin Trudeau–that to me looks nothing like him–out of the insides of ovens and a freezer. From the ice box she made what to me looks like a volcano, and out of some toasters welded together she made what to me looks like, well, a bunch of toasters welded together. She also applies paint and sometimes stickers to her pieces to give them extra flavor. My favorite piece of hers is a robotic statue made out of every major household appliance you could think of. There’s even parts of a vacuum in there and it stands eight feet tall. This one she sold to a Kelowna farmer for over $3,000!

kelowna artist

Now this is a quote from one of the interviews she did for a local Kelowna newspaper: “Sometimes appliances just on their own if put in the right place can look like art, especially if the appliance is outdated. Even newer appliances though are designed to be aesthetic and pleasing to the eye. I think my best pieces are the ones that combine the old appliances with the new, and when you put them in the right place you might not consider it art if just passing by because it looks like an appliance.”

That quote really lets you get into her thinking. It might not make sense to everyone but here at Dedoor Creative Ideas it makes perfect sense! The best kind of art compliments it’s environment. Sometimes striking art is good for conveying ideas, too, but most art is placed in a spot where it fits in, and this is what my friend is doing with her broken appliances. And Kelowna appliance repair companies love working with her because usually they have to pay to dump their broken stoves and stuff, so it’s a win-win for everyone, especially people like me who get to appreciate the art and gain inspiration from the artist’s creativity.

So I hope you got some inspiration from this, too. It’s not an everyday occurrence where one of your city’s best art of the time is made from broken domestic appliances. Maybe next time your fridge breaks you’ll remember this and start a new art project. Either way, this was a cool story and I hope you enjoyed!

How a Window Cleaner in Victoria BC became a Millionaire!

This is a story some of you may not believe. The fact that this story is so unbelievable is exactly why I strode to my laptop excitedly to share it with you. I’ve never met this millionaire window cleaner myself, but I’ve heard my friend tell me the story in enough detail to summarize it clearly.

It happened in November of 2018. Phill, a window cleaner who works for a local window cleaning victoria bc business, was just an ordinary guy making a decent living, raising two sons in the Oak Bay area. He went to work everyday just like the rest of us, and had no idea about the fortune that would soon dump in his lap.

One day, Phill arrived with his window cleaning equipment at a big old mansion by the water. He was a little daunted by the dozens and dozens of dirty sheets of glass scattered across the decor of the building, knowing he would need to spend hours shifting his ladder hither and thither in order to clean each one with his squeegee. He even wondered to his co-worker aloud if they could get the job done in a single day like their quote said. Nevertheless, Phill began his job with vigor, tackling the exterior windows in the backyard first. Lunch rolled around by the time he was on the left side of the house, and some coffee gave him the energy to speed up a bit and a few hours later he had reached around to the front of the house, all the while doing an excellent job, leaving no streaks or smears behind on the glass.

Every once in a while as he cleaned he would look into the windows and by accident see an old lady covered in jewelry walking around from room to room talking to herself. Phill assumed this lady wasn’t all there in the head, but as we’ll see this opinion would later change. For a while he was a little creeped out, but he kept his chin down and didn’t for one second gossip to his co-worker about the lady. He respected her, whoever she was, because here he was working for her. And of course she didn’t live there alone. He could also here her grandson working on a car in the garage.

Then, things got a little extreme as, while wiping his squeegee downward across the window, the old lady suddenly appeared point-blank in the window staring right into his eyes and screamed at the top of her lungs. Phill was so scared he screamed back and nearly fell of his ladder. And, no, things didn’t go as you might expect. Perhaps if he fell off the ladder he could have gotten a settlement, but that’s not how he became a millionaire this day. Phill brushed a crumb off his shoulder and shrugged the incident of in a haste.

It turned out the lady was actually blind and was not screaming but merely singing a song, and as Phill kept cleaning the exterior windows he listened to her amazing voice. Soon he was laughing as he recognized the song to be his father’s favorite, Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds by the Beatles. He almost couldn’t stop himself from singing along with her until he realized this was the last exterior window. After putting the ladder back on the truck, he knocked politely on the door because it was time to clean the interior windows.

This is when thing got magical!

Right away after entering the mansion, he saw:

  1. Marble statues.
  2. Cages with exotic birds.
  3. Original paintings framed in gold.
  4. Fish tanks with tropical fish galore!

And right away he could tell this lady was a lot richer than he had originally supposed. But that was none of his business. The kind lady gave him a quick tour, showing him how to get to the attic where some stained glass windows needed to be cleaned, and left him to it.

By the time dinner rolled around, Phill was nearly done. He didn’t mind working overtime a few hours to get the job done and kept working even though he was getting rather hungry. Soon the last windows to be cleaned were up in the attic. Like I said this was an old mansion, and so he needed to bring a flash light up there because there had never been lights installed. After all, why would an old lady need to go up into some creepy attic?

cleaning stained glass

Phill didn’t know what to expect as he crawled up into this dank, cramped area. He shifted and sidled around boxes and bins until he came to the stained glass windows and wetted his squeegee with glass cleaner formula. Phill had never cleaned stained glass before, and it seemed rather medieval and bizarre to him. Nonetheless, he did what he had trained all his life to do and cleaned those windows to perfection. Once again you might expect that he found something up there worth a million dollars, but Phill isn’t a thief!

When he was done, he came downstairs and the lady was in the foyer with tea by a fireplace waiting for him. She offered him some tea, but he kindly refused because he couldn’t wait to get home to his wife’s cooking. Before leaving, he complimented her on her singing and told her about how the Beatles were his father’s favorite band. She was amazed to hear this and told him she was getting rid of her old album collection and asked if he’d be interested in taking some albums as a tip. Of course, Phill was pleased and accepted the offer. He left the house with a box the lady had put together and put it in the back seat of his truck. His co-worker had left early, and so he drove straight home and once he was at the table with his family he opened the box.

Now here’s where the miracle happened!

Inside was every album the Beatles had ever produced, and each one was signed by nearly every member of the band. Phill, knowing how much this was worth, jumped up and down and that night his family celebrated by putting the food in the fridge and they headed out to a fancy restaurant. It only took a few weeks before Phill found someone who was interested in buying the album collection. Of course, Phill gave the one with Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds to his father, but managed to sell the rest for 1.8 million dollars!

Phill’s life has never been the same since, but he’s still a window cleaner in Victoria BC working for the same window washing company. He donated a good amount of the money to charity. All this my friend told me in great detail because she’s very good friends with him.

Now you know what I mean by this story being unbelievable, but it’s true and I hope you found it entertaining. I certainly did!

Thanks for reading and I hope you come back to Deboor Creative Ideas soon for more inspirational blog posts!

Bye for now!