Thursday, 4 October 2012

New Addition to the Family

And by family I really mean house, because we're not having a baby. Or getting a dog.

This is what the world looked like today when I got up. For anyone who's wondering, the white powder on the front lawn (and our neighbours roof) is snow. Not frost. Or cocaine. It's snow.

In case you needed more proof. Here's what it looks like now, a few hours later. It's been going for awhile now. It started last night as rain, and now, on October 4th, it has turned into snow. And its really wet snow. The kind of snow that when children play in it, they come back literally dripping. While I've always had a special place in my heart for the first snow of the year.... I have to admit, I think of the first snow coming in December - or maybe late November. I suppose I'm still a southern Ontarian at heart.

But, while snow has suddenly added itself to our lives, its not the purpose of this post. The purpose of this post is that little white sign hanging out in front of our house. That sign is a sign that we have an alarm system! Here. Close up. Note how it still looks warm in this picture. It wasn't. I was cold.

So, the other day Derek and I were just chilling in the living room; I was writing a blog post. He was probably playing a computer game. When all of a sudden, there was a knock on the door. We opened it up, and low and behold, there stood a salesman (even though he insisted several times that he wasn't a salesman, he totally was). Basically, he represented a company that would install a security system in our house for free, so long as we promoted it with a sign in our front yard.

He was friendly, and Derek and I try not to be rude, so we agreed to listen to his schpeel, and two hours later, we had a brand new security system.

Now, neither of our parents have these kinds of systems (my parents version is two really, really loud dogs), so it hadn't really been something we'd thought about before. But safety has definitely been something that I've thought about since we've been going through the move-out-of-apartment-and-into-house process. Living on the third floor in an apartment building consisting mainly of elderly folks doesn't leave a person with much to worry about. I mean, really. Our front door had a deadbolt, and the only other way to get in would be to fly three stories up and break through one of our windows. Not that likely. But now that we've got a house, it's a lot more likely, I suppose. A lot of people believe that Steinbach is uber safe because it's small and "Mennonite", but we've had a number of break-ins in the past few years, and last year, there was a major cocaine bust (the real kind; not the snow kind) in Winnipeg - and most of the drugs were headed to here.

So, all that being said. Derek and I thought we'd rather be safe than sorry, and we agreed to get the system installed. It's completely Canadian run, which is fantastic, because we're supporting our country. And we got about $2000 worth of equipment and installation completely free of charge. The only fee we have is the monthly cost of running the system, but we'll be getting back about 15%-20% of that from our insurance company - simply because we have the system. It came with door sensors (to know if the front or back door were opened while the alarm is on), the touch screen alarm panel (which is wired to a company that can hear what's going on in the house if the alarm goes off), a motion/freeze sensor (if the house temperature drops too low below 0, then it gives a friend of ours a call, so they can go check out what's up - so our pipes don't freeze), and a fire/smoke detector - directly linked to the fire department while we're away.

All in all, I feel a lot better sleeping for those four hours between when Derek gets up and leaves, and when I get up. Though, the first morning we had it, our front door decided to open while I was still asleep (and after Derek had left for work). All of a sudden the house was filled with a very loud beeping noise, and I wasn't sure whether it had lit on fire or if there was a robber or what. But I'm pretty sure that's due to the fact that the door and the frame (and I think the hardware) are all original to the house - so, the moral of the story is that sixty year old doors can open on their own if you don't close them. very. securely.

And another funny story to wrap it all up. The day after we got it installed, Derek and I went out for the evening, and when we came back home, we realized we'd locked ourselves out of the house. Kinda wished right then that they offered an "On Star" sort of service right then - call them and they let you in? Instead we called a locksmith, Jacob Giesbrecht, who was completely fantastic, and let us into our house. The end.

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