August 20, 2018
When we built our new home a couple of years ago, our little cottage in the big woods, we knew we'd love to build at least one more time in our lifetime. This current house was really meant to be just for the two of us once our children all left home. But life took a bit of a curve when the marriage of our eldest daughter did not continue after the birth of their first and only child. She came home, baby in arms and we didn't skip a beat in welcoming her to be with us. While she went back to school to become a nurse, we built a house that would accommodate her tiny family and give us space to move and live. It's been worth every moment so far and after sharing a much smaller house, without all the options we have here, we have truly cherished our little cottage. Truly cherished.
I think we did really well to create a unique home with such a limited budget. The key was finding a builder who could give us almost everything we hoped for without a huge premium price. We also had a side budget to do a bit of extra shopping for a few perks, like our dream range (our AGA from England), the stone fireplaces (all the way from New York), an art studio, theatre room, extra big kitchen island and pretty wood floors. We still came within our budget. We are such great treasure hunters that we found each of these at decent prices, though each of these looks like they cost a million bucks! Well, not quite but you get the idea. Truly a ton of fun.
Now that we've settled in and are concentrating on our landscaping, we have had a couple of conversations around how long we'll all live together. I don't think this will be a short term situation as our dd does need us to care for little guy when she works her 12 hour night shifts. And help out when she works a day shift and we need to take him to school. We enjoy this and know until he's a teen, she'll need our support. In time, we might build again, and that makes me a bit excited, though I would be very sad to leave here. A bit closer to town might be appealing, especially in the Winter. But not too close as we love the quiet in our little forest. No noise, except the wind. The sound of cars, people, city life is just not appealing to us at all. But a bit closer would be. We're only 8 minutes from town, but in the Winter, on a snowy, icy day, those few minutes can feel like a lifetime. In order to move, it would have to be just the right piece of land, close enough for a shorter drive but then far enough for the quiet. Sometimes we come across listings of land and we peek, but then we say "not yet" and close the link or newspaper. One day, it will fall in to place, just like this did when we were ready to build the first time. It will take patience and energy. For now, we stay.
But this decision hasn't stopped us from gathering new ideas just like we did for years before this house. I was in a waiting room the other day and started looking at a home style magazine and found these shots. The first is an iron tub. A very different look but one that intrigued me. Next house, I truly would love to have a claw foot tub. This one is just too neat but I suspect, likely out of our budget. Unless we find a similar look within our budget! Next picture is my favorite. I'd love more of a "chunky" look for our AGA range and this is just what I'd have in mind. Finding a builder who could do this might be challenging. But then he'd (or she) would have to create this fireplace too! Again, similar to what we have now but in a larger scale. And probably a larger budget then. But this house, right from the moment we took possession, has gained some lovely equity. In the end, it will likely be relevant to the building process at the time. Equity is a good thing!
Until then, we'll keep loving this house and work on the landscape design, which feels like it will take forever. I know one day we'll stand back and say "we did it!!" For now, we plug along, trying to fit life, theatre, work and play in between all the dirt and lifting, moving rocks and creating paths. Such fun. But tiring too! I look forward to the next house and can't wait to build again. Hopefully next time, we'll have another great experience. We lucked out and our hard work paid off.
I'm off to our Centre today ~ it's my day off from work so I'm using it to meet with my Summer Students and paint our walls and trim. A bit of a refresh before preschool starts on September 4th. Can't believe that Fall is just around the corner. I need more Summer so I can finish up my task list. Just a bit more please! I want to enjoy Fall instead of working away.
Is your Summer task list almost done?
Are you looking forward to Fall?
August 19, 2018
On Tuesday, we took some time out after our
tech rehearsal to eat dinner with our crew.
It was hot and smoky from the fires, and
very noisy, as any big City will be but we
still had a great time laughing and eating
great food that left us full and fulfilled.
This was our bedroom the other morning,
well after the sun would have been up.
Because of the catastrophic forest fires
in the Province next to us, our sky is dark.
Full of smoke, making this eery portrait. It's
hard to breathe and a State of Emergency has
been declared. Here, one Province over, they
have asked people to stay inside until this clears.
I went to work but had 2 asthma attacks
during the day. I typically have 1 to 2 a
year, so it's pretty bad. I'm worried about
family, friends and our little veggie patch.
We desparately need rain here to clear all
the smoke from the skies but in B.C., they
need the fires to be extinguished. It's so
scary and many are being evacuated. I
can't imagine the terror of not knowing
if you're home will still be standing when
this is all over. Crews are doing the very
best they can but we truly all need rain ....
We had a late night after our first show
and when we got home, we both realized
we had missed dinner and were just a
tad bit hungry. The cupboards and
fridge are full but we didn't feel like
cooking, so we had a bit of breakfast
for our dinner. Yummy and very fast
to make. Not the usual but it worked!
August 13, 2018
One of the charity's I work for has been invited to be part of an event that includes a movie premiere, a first showing in Canada. We are honored to be part of this amazing opportunity. Part of our commitment is to be available for things like a media call. I was asked to be on the radio and tv on Friday and brought along our little guy to the studio. I've done tons of media over the years, but he's never had a chance to come to a studio before. A big treat for our little guy.
The crew were amazing, even putting him right in the control room during the shoot. We discovered later in the day when we got to see the taping (it was shot and shown live but they keep a tape and sent us the link) that he was in a bunch of shots. They thought he was amazing and kept showing the control room where he'd peek out from his chair with a big grin and a thumbs up! He has great aspirations to be an actor and it's so much fun seeing his vibrant personality shine through. I have no doubts he'll be somebody one day. Too much character in this little body!! I can't wait to see it unfold.
August 10, 2018
Our Pergola will be going up in the
next week or so on the new deck.
We chose this set, with 40 lights to
twinkle on the nights we want to sit
outside under the stars. The wood
for the structure has been ordered and
once it's hear, we can start the build.
I've always dreamed of a Pergola! I
can't wait wait to hang the lights and
maybe next year, some hanging baskets.
Wish us well as we sort the wood and
get our little Pergola up on the deck.
August 7, 2018
Sometimes life gets heavy. Today, with the low clouds, the high heat and a troubled heart, I've tried hard to be good to myself, knowing tomorrow will be better. It's getting through a day like today that is so hard to navigate. I think the hardest thing for me is that I am the counsellor for everyone else. I help individuals and families figure out life and death and everything in between. I'm damn good at my profession and take pride in working with those who struggle. But when it comes to my own "stuff" truly I have no one who can help me. So I go it alone, suck it up and wait for tomorrow. My dh is so comforting and listens well but he can't fix whatever my worry is. My mom used to be my biggest confidant but with her memory fading away, I can't talk with her like we used to. It's hard when we visit and she asks me "how are you?" like she knows I need to talk but I can't. Half of our visit now consists of me helping her remember who each of us is and then the second half is joking around as she shares stories and quips. I love our visits but I miss our old chats. So much ....
For now, I'll muddle through this hard day, get my work done, try to find some special moments and choose between tackling my worries or burying them for another day. One day I hope I can find someone I can trust as much as my mom but for now, after too many incidents where my trust has been broken, I'll have to rely on my resiliency and my hope that as always, tough moments are short lived and the real things that are important are the moments to live and to cherish.
What things make life hard for you?
When life is hard, how do you cope?