About Me

February 28, 2015

This is February?

 We've had an amazing winter so far. Very
few snowy days, tons of sunshine & lots
of melting for the bit of snow we do have.

On Wednesday, we ventured into the city
to look at apron sinks. Our trek took us to
Ikea & on the way out, after falling in love
with the look of a farmhouse sink for the
kitchen, we treated ourselves to ice cream.

Who could resist a summer treat when
the sky is this blue, not a cloud to be
seen & the sun was so hot, we had our
jackets undone. We opened the sunroof
& drove down the highway with our
tunes blaring & our ice cream melting.

A beautiful spring day, in February!

Please, grampa?

Look what our dear grandson found on a
recent trip to Costco. He figured out how
to make it recline & spent a good deal of
time trying to convince grampa it was a
good buy! In the end, we didn't buy it but
it would be sweet in the new theatre room.

Not on our wish list but it's definitely cute!

One last item to share.

In our new kitchen, there will be a lovely
& big centre island. We've never had one
before, so we're pretty excited. The plan
calls for plain, wooden corbels under the
countertop. We were fine with that, until
we found these really great brackets at the
Antique Mall. We're off tomorrow to buy
them & get them off to our kitchen guy.

Love this french country look for the kitchen.

More treasures.

We've been trying to find some vintage
glass door knobs for the new house. Not
an easy task. But we found more than
we need at the same store that had the
old vintage light. Now we're just waiting
to hear back from our builder to see if
they'll fit in the new doors. The store
owner described a way to make them
work but it's up to our builder guy as he
is the guy who has to put the energy into
the process. Fingers crossed he can!

 Aren't they pretty? It may not work & I would be
disappointed. So for now, we hope & keep the little
fingers crossed for good luck & extra measure.

Hoping, hoping, hoping ....

An amazing find.

It's hard to tell in this photo but this light is huge.
We stumbled across it last week at a little store
just around the corner from the place that is
making our railings for the new house. An
amazing find on a warm, winter afternoon. The
best part, besides the vintage feel to the item
was the price. A very sweet $40. Now we just
need to figure out which room to hang it in.

A small dilemma for an amazing find ....

All in my head.

I'm still hurting. And now I have a nasty
head cold. Trying to explain to my dear
husband what it feels like, I made the
mistake of saying "it hurts so much & it's
all in my head!" To which he replied,
"then I really can't feel bad for you if
you've made it all up!" Took me a bit
to figure out the joke. And honestly, as
funny as he can be, that one didn't make
me giggle. Just added to my pain ....

February 22, 2015

I Hurt.

It's crunch time! We have just a short time before
our new house will be ready. Won't you be happy
when we finally move & I can stop talking about
the build process? Of course, I may then launch
into the next phase of the new house: landscaping.
Until then, we have lots to do. I'm thankful that
we've been working on our move since before
we started the build. But now we're speeding
everything up to get the old house sold & packed
up. For the last two weeks, we've been painting,
packing & purging. I'm so tired of the whole
process. Tonight, this is how I feel inside:

And below is how my body feels: I hurt from
head to toe. Everything aches. Pain in spots I
didn't know could hurt. Everywhere. Ouch!

The only thing that helps is knowing that
all this work is getting us one step closer
to the country. Every box, every donation
bag, every paint stroke .... worth the effort.

Just wish it didn't hurt so much!!

February 18, 2015

Sometimes, you just have too ....

 We've lived a very frugal life. At the beginning, 
it was a way to have a parent at home with our
children. Then it became our continued lifestyle, 
even after I went back to my career, 20 years 
in. Now it's a trendy subject & we still subscribe
to this way of life. But every once in a long while, 
something comes along that we have to make 
big decisions about letting go of some of our
savings & treat ourselves to an event, or a trip,
or something for our home. Yesterday, here's
what crossed our path & is now sitting all
wrapped up, ready & waiting for the new house.

A vintage heart shaped chair with light sage
green velvet fabric. In perfect condition, this
beautiful piece was created in Montgomery,
Alabama, far from snowy Alberta! The colors
are perfect for our new abode, the style just
right. And how did we find it, you may be
pondering? I was on Facebook the other night
& suddenly the antique mall posted a few
pictures of new items & there was the chair.
Without any thought & chatting with my
lovey first, I put my name down on it & they
graciously agreed to hold it for me. It wasn't
cheap but the investment is so worth the
opportunity to own this very unique piece. 
Given the long list of others who were
asking for it, even when we were picking it
up just reaffirmed that as quick as it was, 
it was the right decision for us.

And we love it!! I truly believe that each &
every one of our purchases, big & small are
so precious to us because we sacrificed so much
so our kids were given an extra measure of
security when they were growing up. Now we
could be less frugal, but we're still having
fun finding the best deals. Even though it
felt like we were spending a lot on this chair,
when we did a search, we actually found two
others, both in the U.S., for much higher
fees, so we know we did well. And both were
not in as good of shape as this one, from
what we could tell by the pictures. All in all,
another great find & one we'll cherish always.


 We're getting ready to show our house this weekend.
Scary thought, that someone is going to walk thru
our home & decide if it's right for them. What if they
hate it? What if they love it? Such mixed feelings
right now. Bittersweet yet exciting too. It's time to move!

As we open close one door ....

.... we're getting ready to open a new one.

If all goes well, in just a short time, we'll
be "home" once again. It will take time to
truly feel like our place but we're ready
for the big challenge. Old memories to
keep us going & new ones to create!

February 16, 2015

Today ....

.... boxes are gone! The ones we need are tucked
away in our storage room for moving day, the ones
we didn't need were recycled & the ones someone
else could use were donated. Feeling free & light.

Feet up for a few more hours, 
then back at it again tomorrow. 

How was your long weekend?
Did you relax or use it to get caught up?

Yesterday ....

 .... surrounded & crowded out by boxes. 

Packing is well underway.

February 15, 2015

A Surprise Today.

We drove out to see the progress on the outside of
our new house today & look what we found!

Garage doors .... I wasn't sure if I liked the design at
first but now I'm loving it. Not the traditional boxy
look that we're used to seeing. Love the arches!

Now if the lovely siding guys would move a bit
quicker, maybe we'll be able to move in this year ....

More Choices.

This is a long weekend here in sunny Alberta. We
have spent most of our weekend painting & packing,
plumbing the new sink for the kids bathroom &
purging more items that we no longer need. Lots of
work but all good stuff! Our little guy is away on a
visit with his dad, daughters are off to a movie & dh
is now at his hockey game. What am I doing? Well,
I'm surrounded by boxes that are packed, ready to go
down to our storage room until we move, boxes that
are packed, ready to go to the charity shop & empty
boxes, waiting for their contents. Cozy on the couch,
I'm trying to decide which railings to choose before
our builder asks for our decision later this week.

We have a couple of spots where railings need to be
installed, including the staircase going upstairs. I
love this as we gave it a nice twist at the bottom,
& the railings will add a lot of character here.

Just a short run at the top of the stairs.
You'll see both sets at different angles.

The "Juliet" balcony will also have
a run that will match the curve design.

Love this space. Can't wait to see it
all finished with the railings in place.

Now back to the choices.
So many to choose from.

February 14, 2015

The Day of Love.

I agree that we should & in our home, do
show love on a daily basis. But it's still
fun to have one special day that is all
about the love we express to everyone!

A day to be "mushy" or creative.

A day to say "thank you" for being part of
my little life here, in the big woods!!

How was your special day of love?

February 13, 2015

Another Friday the 13th.

I'm slightly superstitious, so Friday
the 13th has never been a favorite
day of mine. However, I've never
had anything bad happen on this
day, so I'm going to stop thinking
that something bad might happen!

Today was great, other than waking
up with a very sore & achy body. I
attended our little guy's field trip &
had a great time watching him have
fun & conversing with the parents.
Got a few keys things crossed off
my "to do" list & now I'm tucked
into a warm bed to watch a bit of
telly ~ Coronation Street is on tap.
Dh is off to a hockey game & when
he's back, we're meeting our builder
at our local coffee shop to finalize
our kitchen budget. We have to
also decide the pattern of railings
& the last few lights need to be
chosen. Then all our decisions will
be finished up. Busy weekend to
get our house ready to sell. I am
so thankful it's a long one with
extra days off. We'll make good
use of this time with our last reno's.

How was your Friday the 13th?
Do you have big plans for this weekend?

February 12, 2015

Puppy Approved.

We found this amazing sink at a local home improvement
store. It was marked down from $280 to $20. Sold!!

For our daughter's bathroom upstairs in the new house,
we like it so much, we're now trying to find the
matching or similar sinks for our master bathroom.

Even our pup, BoSox, approves of this choice for C.

Do you like this design for a bathroom?

Feeling Guilty ....

Our community has an amazing recycling program.
We have a black bin for true garbage & a green
bin for organics. And each week, we can put out as
many blue bags with paper, tins, glass, plastic,
anything that can be recycled, inside. Most of us
tend to put out a bag or two each week. But now
that we are purging, our blue bag collection has
become a bit more than the usual haul for the week.

Last week's stash.

And this week!

Feeling slightly guilty for our great
garbage collectors. But they turned up,
on time & without any hesitation,
loaded up the bags. So very thankful
for this intentional collection to keep
our landfills from getting too full.

Do you have a recycling program in your community?

Doors. Doors. Doors.

Went to visit the house on the weekend & discovered
the interior doors had been delivered. It was so great
to see how pretty they are. Install started on Monday.

The doors leaning against the nook window are for
the main floor & upstairs. The doors leaning on the
wall & window in the Great Room on the right side
& against the nook wall on the left are for the 
basement apartment. All will be painted white.

The door for our Linen Room.

Mr. B. exploring his auntie's closet.

Bathroom door leaning against the wall.
The hallway doesn't seem as dark now.

And that's the door story for today!

February 10, 2015

Would you?

Through this entire house building
process, we've had many decisions
to make. One has been to decide if
we will sell our current house, which
is owned by us, free & clear, or to
consider renting it out. If we did go
this route, we'd have to of course,
put a mortgage on it as we would
have used this house's equity to pay
for the new house. Our new home
would then have a bit of a mortgage
on it but one that we'd pay off pretty
quickly. This house's value is under
the new one & the equity we have
is great but even with our savings,
there is still a bit of a shortfall. We
are both comfortable with this &
all along we knew we'd likely sell
this house so we'd remain living the
comfortable life that we'd are loving.

Things have changed a bit. Our rich
economy in this province is shifting
as the price of oil has dropped too
a very low dollar & this is a worry
for many. Jobs have been cut & soon
we'll start to feel the effects in the
real estate market. Both my dh & I
work in industries that never seem
to get hit with the recession & we
know this is just part of the "boom,
bust, recover" that happens in oil
rich communities. However, this
time, our timing with selling our
current home may be effected by
the industry & we need to make
some concrete plans around what
we will do if the real estate market
takes a big hit in the next couple of
months. One of our options is to
hang on to this house & rent it out
until the market corrects itself again.

So here's my big question of the day?
Do we rent out our house & wait for?
Or sell now & take the best price we
can get, even if it's a bit lower than
we had hoped for? I'm only talking a
difference of anywhere from $1,000
to $20,000 as a guess. We know in our
community, it's hard to find a great
place to rent & we know we have a
wonderful house in a truly perfect
location. Rents are high here, more
than enough to cover the mortgage
payment, taxes & expenses. I've
never been a landlord & my fear is
that we'd rent to someone who might
trash it in the end. We'd have to do
a lot of background checking & take
a risk but it could work. There are
tax benefits to this scenario too.
Either way, worry is involved. 

What would you do if you were in this position?
Do we go the safe route & get less money in hand?
Or take the riskier route & fingers crossed in the
end come out on top with a bigger profit?

February 8, 2015

Look who's Two!!

Our little L turned two today. 

We so love getting pictures of her every day as we
don't get to see her due to distance. But pictures &
Skype are the next best thing! L is starting to talk,
she's a bundle of energy & the sweetest baby girl.

Love you L, our tiny princess!!

February 4, 2015

A Decision.

Isn't this a great art studio? It's not my space
but a picture I found that shows a well used
environment, with a window on the outside
world. There are four windows in our studio
& once construction is complete, I truly hope
we will achieve this light & airy feeling inside.

I'm now half way through my "sabbatical" leave
from work, using my time to pack, purge & paint
in preparation for our big move out to the country.
Many decisions have been made over the last 8
months & this week, I made one more. As an
eclectic artist, my process of creativity is unique
& my space will reflect this. One day, I want to
be a true full time artist. As much as I love my job
because I can use my energetic creativity, it is a 
time consuming process that doesn't always leave
blocks of time for my personal art each day. I
get frustrated that I can spend days working on
something that needs my brain power & energy
to complete the project. My decision is just this:
my studio will be my sanctuary, a place to create,
a place to reflect, a place to energize, a place to
unwind. Beginning with small increments of
time, with an eventual goal of full time work. We 
aren't sure until we've lived out in the country for 
a while if our projected expenses will be bang on 
or out of bounds. For now, we need my income 
but once we can determine our actual & final 
budget, then we can make plans to bring me home 
to be the artist I am, the artist I need to be.

Part of this decision was choosing a name for the art
studio, which I did finalize today. I have to register
it, so until that legal process is done, I don't want to
write it here, just in case I can't use it. But I love it &
an internet search didn't show any users. Fingers
crossed that I can use it formally, soon!!

February 3, 2015

And not to be outdone .... here's Louis ....

Louis the VIII that is!

For the Great Room on the main floor.

Can you envision stockings at Christmas? It's
going to look very festive.

My boys!!

Meet Michael ....

 .... Michaelangelo, that is!

Our mantels for the master bedroom. Believe it or
not, we got such an awesome deal on this baby, sent
all the way from New York, that we would have paid
way more for simple wood mantels! Love the stone.

Sorry for the boxes underneath. These are heavy &
we wanted to protect the wood floors. We took each
out to make sure there were no cracks or flaws. All
are now packed up, ready for our builder to install.

Loving Michael!!

February 2, 2015

Exciting ....

The trim that will be installed around the exterior
windows has arrived! All the windows are white,
with a casing around each. We are adding the black
trim for a bit more of a classic look. Very traditional!

That was our big excitement for the day!

Was your day exciting today?

February 1, 2015

Pretty Ceilings.

Our ceilings were primed, painted & then scraped
this week for a "California Knock Down" look. 
Not sure what the name means but we like the flat
& sleek look, as opposed to the old stipple we have.

Picture on the left shows the ceiling now that it's dry.
On the right, the front door & two storey foyer.

View from the Great Room looking towards the front.
And the second shot is our alcove for the desk.

Our builder, D, our daughter, C, & my dh, B.
Conversing about color & the beautiful ceilings!

Almost a full shot of the media wall in the Great Room.
Soon, the mantel & the bookcases will be installed.

Paint first, then flooring, trim, lights, doors & cabinets.
So close! The left pic shows the small wall that is part
of the Turret. And then the bank of big windows.

That's the update for today.
More pictures & stories to follow.

Wrapping the House in Green.

We had a hard time choosing the siding color
but neither of us has regrets about our final pick. 

Dark sage green .... just right for a house in the forest.

The siding is about half done now. Can't wait to see it
all finished, with the grey on the gable ends & around
the peaks, black trim around the doors & windows, &
the black shutters framing several of the key windows.

Almost wrapped in full!!