Since moving out here, there have been quite a few things that we’ve tried to do that needed unusual hoop jumping. The most severe being our issues with transferring our identification, but another has been getting an internet connection. Since we couldn’t afford to have a minimum 60ft tower installed, we had to go with satellite internet, and then ended up needing to get two accounts, because it was cheaper than going over our data limit. Satellite internet has more speed limitations, too. Our internet provider, however, recently gained access to another satellite and could offer higher upload and download speeds, with less interruptions, so we signed up for it. Someone was scheduled to come in this afternoon to switch it for us.
Before that happened, we got to work on our daughters’ taxes. In Canada, we have until April 30 to file. Normally, we just do the TurboTax thing, but it had issues with my husband’s disability information. So he and I have taken our tax information to the tax preparer in the next town. This guy (it’s a family business) has done the taxes for my parents for as long as I can remember, and still does them for my mother. Probably my brother who lives out here, too. We’d gone to him when we lived out here years ago, so it was a bit funny to be going back to him again, after all these years.
Our daughters, however, should have been able to just do theirs as usual, right?
Turns out that they can’t file their taxes online, because of the new address.
They can’t log onto the Government of Canada website to change their address, because they’ve never needed to start accounts on the site before, and to start one, they needed information from last year’s taxes. Which was lost when we lost my husband’s desktop computer after the move.
The alternative is to phone Canada Revenue. The website says to change the address online, or call a 1-800#, providing a list of the information that would be needed. One of my daughters called the number, got the automated system, went through the whole thing, only to have a recording tell her to go do it online.
Of course, the reason for phoning was because doing in online wasn’t an option.
Which meant they couldn’t file their taxes.
In the end, we gathered their tax stuff, drove into town and dropped it off with the same guy that’s doing mine and my husband’s.
The tax preparer’s wife took their stuff and got their information onto envelopes. As we were chatting, she made an observation on how much my younger daughter resembles her grandfather (my husband’s dad). Until then, I had forgotten that he’d done my in-laws’ taxes, too!
That done, we didn’t stay in town long. Sadly, it seems one of my daughters has caught my cold. I’m still sick as well, though I am getting better – the coughing fits are still a problem – so being out and about was pushing things.
Speaking of pushing things, before we headed out, I started to gather up some of the branches and twigs in the yard, now that the snow is gone. There is a LOT of them. In the process, I made a discovery.
These little spruce trees were deliberately planted, right by the fence.
I don’t get it.
First off, why are two spruce trees planted in the middle of the fence line like that in the first place. There are already quite a number of mature maples there, including a couple that will need to be pruned away from the power line to the house, as well as trimmed so that, once the leaves come in, they won’t be blocking our satellite signal. You can see part of the row of maples on the other side of the fence. The fence line used to be on the other side of those trees with a gate to the pump shack – the red building in the background.
Second, why so close together? Spruces get quite large. They should be planted anywhere from 8 – 15 feet apart. We’re looking at less than 4 feet apart here.
And finally, why are they planted right at the fence? As they get bigger, they will grow into and destroy the fence.
Yet there they are, with little support poles and tiny picket fences to protect them. Initially, I’d thought maybe they seeded themselves, but the fact that they are protected like this shows that they were deliberately planted.
Why would someone deliberately plant trees in such a way that they will destroy the fence as they get bigger?
I don’t get it.
When we got back home, the internet guy was here and busily installing two new satellite dishes.
On the sunroom roof.
Oh, dear. My old brother specifically said he didn’t want them installed on the roof. Turns out, there was no choice.
Because of the trees.
It was the only place he could get a signal.
The old dishes were already down, and he took extra care to ensure there would be no leaking caused by the satellites. It took him a couple of hours to finish up. When he was done, he tested the speed at about 35mbps. When I had the chance, I tested the wifi signal on my phone. I got 40mbps for download speed, and 1.89mbps for upload speed. The first is quite a lot faster than before – I think we were getting between 10-14mbps consistently. The upload speed is almost doubled.
That should make live easier!
We also got cool looking new modems, with the black boxes replaced with white triangles. 😀
This is what we had before.
That’s our original dish. When we got the second account, the other dish was installed above it.
This is what we have now.
They are aimed in a very different direction. No wonder he couldn’t get a signal through the trees! The other satellites were aimed through a gap between threes. In the same location, these would have been aimed right into the trees. From here, they are now aimed through the gap over the big gate into the yard; the one that can be driven through. Mind you, there are still trees on either side that will need to be pruned, because they are overhanging the gate. Plus one that’s shorter, but close enough that its branches get in the way when I have to make a wide turn into the yard. Pruning is still in order.
I like trees. A lot. They are wonderful things to have, and can be very protective. We intend to eventually plant more trees in the future. Preferably food trees.
But they are also potential problems. Many of the trees that have been planted in the yard seem to have been done without much thought given to what would happen, once they reached maturity. From the Chinese Elm in front of the kitchen window, planted too close to the house with branches damaging the roof, to the pair of Chinese Elm on either side of the small gate, whose roots are now making the sidewalk blocks uneven. Even the original maples on the north side of the house have been allowed to reach too close to the house itself; they should have been cut back many years ago, when they were smaller and it was safer to do so.
It’s going to be interesting, during our first summer living here, to get a good understanding of what all is planted around the yard, what we can keep, what needs to be gotten rid of, and possibly, what can be moved. Those little spruce trees, at least, as small enough that they can be easily transplanted.
There is much to do here, that’s for sure!