And Just Like That…Summer

May 27, 2016 § 2 Comments

bloglilacs

Lilacs

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Red Flower Vine
(I have no idea what its name is)

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Open Pool!

I have been taking advantage of the warm weather and spending as much time on the deck as possible. Though winter was late in leaving it seems summer showed up early.  I’ll happily take it. Who needs Smarch anyway?

😀

I’m Starting Without You

April 5, 2016 § 1 Comment

The calendar says Spring started two weeks ago. For a few days it was warm enough that even the daffodils believed it and started sprouting. Unfortunately, it turned out to be a ruse and we were lulled into a false of gorgeous weather.

The temperatures have been near freezing and a good ten degrees below at night for the last week. It sure takes the wind out of those Spring project sails. Gardening, spring cleaning, setting up the deck usually wait until it’s consistently warm enough to melt all the ice and snow, take the plastic off the windows and be able to work outside without a parka and gloves.

Well, I had enough  and started my Spring cleaning in the kitchen today. It was a small project but I enjoyed doing it and was inspired to do some everyday and by the time it’s warm enough to open the windows and doors, it’ll be done.

cupboard

This is my baking cupboard. The top shelf got cleared off, cleaned up and put back much the same as it was. Originally, I had all my mixing bowls and Tupperware crammed into that small cupboard on the left – and cursed it almost daily for how awkward and inefficient it was.

Switching all that with the dry goods makes for much better use of the space. Riveting stuff, eh kids? 😀 Hey, some have their Star Trek and World of Warcraft…I’m a nerd about my cupboards. There is just something about ordering my outside that brings me peace on the inside.

I’ve also finally started the long awaited project of cataloging my book collection. I’m somewhat of an amateur bibliophile. What started with half a dozen Calvin and Hobbes treasuries has, in twenty years, grown into a collection of about 500 books of vastly varied types.

bookcatalog

Almost all my older and rare books were purchased from thrift stores or given to me as gifts from my treasure hunter father. Many of them acquired in lots or piles, hastily shelved to be looked at later and then promptly forgotten.

Now, I’m actually getting to look at them, make notes and do research. See, nerd…me.  😀

House Update w Pics!

October 19, 2015 § 1 Comment

The best laid plans and all that…

What was supposed to take a week has now stretched into almost a month. Valley weather is not known for it’s consistency, especially this time of year.  (Put it this way, it was 4 (C) and snowing yesterday. It’s 8 and raining right now and tomorrow it will be 13 and sunny.)

The recent either too wet or too cold has made completing the job harder than we anticipated.

Nevertheless, progress is still progress and we may still get it finished yet. But in case we don’t…I’m posting these pictures to mark how far we’ve gotten.

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This is the house before.

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This is after Hubby removed the hedges and
the first coat of primer was applied.

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This is now.  It still has an unfinished look but compared
to what we started with, it’s like a brand new house.

Hubby vs Hedgezilla

October 6, 2015 § Leave a comment

I believe a good test of any marriage is a major DIY home renovation project. No matter how much they agree on the end result, getting there often involves two different people with VERY different ideas as to how.

 

Case in point…meet Hedgezilla

Hedgezilla

Hubby: It’s got to go…it’s growing into the eaves and pushing on the roof.

Me: I agree. Let’s call someone.

A WEEK LATER:

Me: Did you call someone about the hedge?

Hubby: Oh yeah, I called BUDDY. He’s going to lend me his Dad’s chainsaw.

Me: (FACEPALM)

Hubby: But for now, I have this…

GoatvsHedgezilla

Me: A handsaw? (Le Sigh)

HOURS LATER: BUDDY with chainsaw showed up and in no time a knife fight become a battle of the electric sword.

Me: You’re not even wearing protective eye wear!  Well don’t blame me if you get a chunk of wood in your eye and go blind.
GoatvsHedgezilla2

All told this story actually spanned two days, I condensed it. The rest is not important. Hubby won the battle and didn’t lose any eyes.

StumpwRocks

He says it’s a combination of determination and will. I say it’s a combination of arrogance and luck. Either way, we got a big chunk of our house back. I can’t wait until it’s all finished and comes together.

 

11 Years Later

September 30, 2015 § 3 Comments

Once upon a time, 2004 to be exact, I went away for a week on holiday with my BF. Hubby decided to surprise me by having the house painted. How thoughtful. We had already picked out the paint colours before I left because we had planned to do it ourselves when I got home. Woodsy beige for the main and dark green for the accents…

frontofhouseGoogleMaps

Oopsie! It’s the thought that counts, right? I suppose it could have been worse…I’ve seen houses painted purple. In any case, it was a professional job with quality paint so there was little point in covering it up right away.

Well, after 11 winters, most of which were pretty harsh, it was finally time to repaint. We got started last weekend. First we got rid of what Hubby refers to as “hedgezilla” and then we started with the primer. What a difference!

MidFullFront

Hard to tell from this pic but it’s already looking like a brand new house. I’ll post better pics once we’ve got more work done. I can’t wait until it’s finished and it’s time to start adding the accessories like lights and new house numbers etc…  I’m even looking forward to redoing my front garden, that’s saying a lot because I’ve admittedly got mostly black thumbs.

Oh, I’m also pretty sure that most of my neighbours are more excited than I am.  😀

Speaking of Ends…

May 18, 2014 § 1 Comment

I recently ended my procrastination about Spring cleaning and finally cleaned out the mudroom.  A long awaited chore that bounced from list to list until I eventually forgot to write it down.

I just woke up yesterday morning and decided I was going to do it.

ShelfTwo
Recycling

ShelfOne
Weird how much that accomplishes, just doing something. Instead of planning, debating, discussing, and writing endless lists about…the only thing that actually changed anything was just getting in there and doing it. I know, it’s not Plato, but it’s still a pretty good metaphor.

HappyGnome
A smiling Gnome agrees.

Cleaning Closets and Purging Purses

March 31, 2014 § 1 Comment

I will say this for the delay of Spring, something positive I promise…

I sure am getting a tackle on the cobwebs and the wrangling of dust bunnies.  It’s even been nice enough today to have the windows and doors open.  All four cats are on the back steps noses in the air. Oh, happy day.

Not wanting to waste the motivation from the fresh air,  I emptied, swept, mopped and reorganized the front hall and coat closet.  Unfortunately, I didn’t think of it before I started and there are no before pics…all’s the better I say, I hadn’t cleaned it out in a few years and it was a real mess.

I did snap a few pics of what I found in there that I’m purging.

CoatsBoots
Here is the pile of coats, jackets, sweaters, boots, a bubble wand, an unused box of Hallowe’en lanterns and a pair of flip flops. Not shown are the mass of reusable shopping/grocery bags that I’ve accumulated over the years.

More astonishing however, and only I can take credit for it, was this…

Purses
…the plethora of purses I’m purposefully purging.  (Sorry, I had to.)  Anyway, some of them I haven’t used in years and a couple still had the thrift store tags on them. Ridiculous.

If I were to set any goals for the rest of the year, one would be to stop buying stuff I don’t need, even if it is from a thrift store or second hand shop.  Just because something is cute and cheap doesn’t mean I need it anymore than if it were gorgeous and expensive.

Anyway, it took me a good two hours from start to finish and it was well worth it.

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You wouldn’t believe how much crap was hung on the hooks and stuffed on top of and beside the bench. The space looks twice as big now. Yay!

Inside1
Look, we even have extra hangers for guests.  😀

Inside2

After noticing the wasted space above the shoe rack I thought maybe I should get some shelves.  Not wanting to wait for the gratification of getting it done today, I opted to use tea cup hooks and hung our hats.  I could actually move them around a bit and get a few more in there.

Finally…Inside3
…my beloved shoe rack. I bought it a few years ago…actually, the last time I cleaned out the closet and I love it.  It fits nicely inside the hall closet and holds all our non-winter foot wear, my purses (I’m keeping five) and two empty backpacks.

All in all, I’m pleased and even more motivated to get at the rest of the house.

My Favourite Fall Things

September 17, 2013 § 2 Comments

I LIKE Fall. I LOVE Fall! No, wait, I ADORE Fall!

Fall is my favourite time of year, always has been and always will be. Used to be it was my favourite because my birthday is in November and who doesn’t love their birthday?  Family, friends, presents, cake…birthdays are the bomb!

Well, they used to be and then I turned 40 and frankly, it’s just not the same anymore. So even though I’m no longer crazy about my birthday, I still love this time of year.

Here’s a list of my favourite Fall things:

1) The cooler weather…I HATE humidity and we get it pretty bad here in the Valley. It can be stifling and make a person, even one with as sweet a disposition as mine (Hubby, you can stop laughing now), cranky and irritable. By the end of Summer I can be a full on biotch and right quick to snap.  Believe me, by September, a cool Fall breeze is most welcome around here.

2) The changing leaves…well, darn it they’re just so pretty, aren’t they? Hues of red, yellow and orange decorating the trees are almost as nice as Christmas time in these parts.

3) Returning to the sanctity of my kitchen. I really do LOVE cooking but not so much in the Summer…see article 1).  If we’re camping, that’s one thing and I’m pretty good with a Coleman stove but to cook indoors during oppressive humidity, well, no thanks.

4) Yard work…I know, I know…normally, I’m not a fan of yard work or gardening in general. As some previous posts can attest, I have tried very hard to grow a green thumb and have made several attempts at veggie gardens, flower gardens and even gardening in pots. Meh, not for me. But Fall yard work is different and more like cleaning and organizing than actual gardening. Trimming hedges, turning beds, putting my gnomes away for the winter and cleaning up the deck, I’m all for that.

5) Down time…ahhh, blessed boredom. Summer is a hectic time around here for the same reasons as everyone else but I’ve got the added busyness of 7 family birthdays between the middle of July and the first week of September.  That’s a lot of dinners, presents and way more cake than my waistline needs thankyouverymuch.

So, I suppose that’s it…my top 5 favourite things about my favourite time of year. Stay tuned as I plan to start posting my favourite Fall recipes over the next few weeks.

Cabbage Rolls, Pulled Pork, Spaghetti Squash with Meat Sauce, Chicken Pot Pie and Beef Stew. Oh heaven’s, now I’m hungry.

😀

Organize 2013 – Update 5 (Part 1)

June 4, 2013 § 2 Comments

Well, another month and another organize update. Can you believe we’re half way through the year already?! I’m boggled to tell the truth.

In any case, Spring is fast turning into Summer and we’ve been busy with outdoor projects for the last couple of weeks. Raking, planting, weeding, digging etc…

One of the longest standing outdoor projects has been the removal and replacement of the 40 some year old shed in our backyard.

bloldshed

It would be a simple project except that it houses our 300 lb pool pump that needs a solid pad underneath it. Up until now, because we’ve never had one, we’ve been lucky that we’ve had no issues. In any case, that’s what this organize project is about.

blshedgone2

Here’s the shed gone and the pool pump. Not much to see really, nonetheless, it’s a definitely a step in the right direction.

blshedgone
Here’s Hubby getting started. At the moment he’s working around the pump because it’s too heavy to move by himself.

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Well, I spoke too soon. Having called a couple of friends to no avail, Hubby got tired of waiting around and, citing physics as his friend, moved the pump himself. I cringed and pleaded for him to wait but I guess a man’s gotta do. In any case, he lived and didn’t even pull a muscle so I guess I overreacted. He’s nearly finished the pad and has decided that it’s much cheaper to build a custom shed ourselves (the Royal “our” I suppose) for $200 than to purchase a pre-fabricated one (that we have to put together anyway) for a minimum of twice that cost.

Hopefully it’ll all come together in the next couple of weeks and I’ll have Part 2 of the update ready.

😀

Thanks, as always, to Shady @ UnschoolingRoyalty for inspiring and encouraging these monthly organize updates.

 

Organize 2013 – Update #2

March 2, 2013 § 2 Comments

I’m a little early with this month’s Organize entry because I’ll be busy on Monday.  Anyway, last month I thought I wouldn’t get around to anything big because I had finally finished putting together my library and that was a huge project that took weeks to complete.

Well, life has a way doesn’t it and while we were at an auction a couple of weeks ago I fell in love with a dining room set that was basically a steal. I couldn’t walk away from it and just knew I had to have it. It’s not like we make major purchases very often and the last dining room set we bought (from a consignment shop) was over 12 years ago.

So voila, easy peasy, paid for and picked up. Well, that part was easy. What wasn’t so easy was cleaning out the older, much bigger hutch, and sorting through over a decades worth of “stuff”.  I wasn’t going to have room for everything in the new hutch so I had to prepare myself to downsize, big time.

DiningViewBef
This is the beginning of the emptying out process. The stuff on the piano and in the corner was leftover clutter from the library as well, it was total and utter chaos for two weeks. But this is what it looked like after.

DiningViewAft
Interestingly, I did not find the process of purging very painful and it was pretty easy to decide what was going. Of course, there was a part of me that didn’t want to sort it at all and was tempted to grab a couple of boxes and garbage bags and just toss the whole mess.

PianoBef
Seriously, what a disaster. I’m really not sure how I managed to avoid screaming every time I walked in the room. Nevertheless, I kept at it and before long, all that mess was made tidy and neat.

PianoAft
The piano looks, well…like a piano and not the back room of a Five and Dime. I also dispensed with many of the curios that were cluttering the top of the piano opting for a simpler and cleaner look. Not to mention that now it’s much less of a pain to dust.

The worst was the corner of chaos…it’s where we put everything we didn’t know what to do with. I was amazed at how quickly we filled that space.

CornerBef
I was equally amazed at how quickly, once we decided to just do it, that the space was emptied and cleaned up.

CornerAft
Ah, a minimalists dream, right?  The room looks twice as big as it did before and I feel 20 lbs lighter (figuratively, of course – literally, I wish).  Oh, not shown are the outlet covers I finally put back on after I took them off to paint the room, 6 years ago. What can I say, I’m the Queen of Procrastinate.

So, that’s my Organize update for March. As always Hat Tip to Shady @ Unschooling Royalty for getting the ball rolling on this Organize 2013 project.

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