April 30, 2020
.... since we packed up our offices and came
home to work. To self isolate. To take a break
and evaluate life. To reconnect and take up a
new activity or two. We're settled now. And
then late today, our Province announced that
there will be a slow opening of some services,
beginning May 14th. I have mixed feelings
and some new fears. But will ride this out too!
April 29, 2020
Such a sweet little cottage. This was actually a
color we considered for the exterior of our home.
In the end, we chose green, black and white, with
a bit of grey trim, and love the mix. I could see this
color being a contender the next time we do build!
What color is your cottage/house? Do you love it?
Isn't this the dreamiest bath you've ever seen? We had dreamed of a claw foot tub for our little cottage but as big as our bathroom is, the spot for the tub wasn't wide enough. We could have moved things around a bit but would have then ended up with either a smaller space in the bedroom, a smaller shower or losing the alcove in our master closet. It was the right decision to take that one item off our list, with the idea that down the road, when we build our final home, we'll ensure the space for the tub is sufficient. When building this home, I recall often answering questions about "the house" with "oh, you mean the art studio, with a house attached!" I can see in the future answering "oh, you mean the dreamy bath with a claw foot tub, with a house attached!" A feature I'd love one day, when the time is right.
Okay, enough dreaming. Now on to real life. Yesterday, it was warm and sunny, so we took advantage of that and once our work was finished for the day (office work, client work and homework for the homeschooling kid), we changed in to our "work clothes" and set up the saw to start working on our back porch. Our porch had been constructed with standard pressure treated wood but when we added on the two decks, we opted for cedar for those. At the time of the build, pressure treated wood was more economical, but when we did our decking, cedar ended up at that time, being the same price so we chose that. We bought extra with the idea at some point, we'd swap out the old wood with the cedar. Smells so heavenly and is just a nicer looking wood. We got about 3/4's of it done yesterday and hope to finish up today, though it's looking very gloomy outside. As long as the rain stays away, we'll be okay. We'll start staining next week.
While we worked away, our girls and the little guy played football, hockey and brought out the Nerf guns, at which point we stopped to take a few shots on each other. For the record, I was better at my aim and won .... just saying! We also had the first bbq of the season and while dh did his radio broadcast last night, the girls and I caught up on "Good Girls" ~ we now are only one episode behind. Plans are to watch that one tonight when he's back on air. Such a good show. Funny, crazy and thought provoking. We are also watching "Ozark" and though I feel the need to finish the series to find out what happens, I find it very dark and a bit of anxiety creeps in. Once this series is done, we'll have to look for another to tap into for our down time at night.
Hope all of you are doing well. We're coping and finding less anxiety as the weeks go on. I'm still fearful of becoming ill but at this point, we're doing everything we can to stay healthy. Work is going well, we've adjusted to no commute and being home, which we love, and the biggest two worries are getting groceries safely and hoping my mom will fare well through all of this. So far, her care home is free of the virus. We keep hoping and sending blessings that this good fortune continues. I'm not ready to say goodbye to her yet.
All for now my blogging buddies. I'm off to do my workout, then a conference call with my boss, several client counselling sessions and then a meeting with my crew this afternoon. Once all that is done, we'll hopefully be able to tackle the last bit of the back porch. Once all the work is done on this project, I'll post pics. Next on the agenda will be putting our greenhouse together once it arrives and the gardening season will be in full swing then. Our seed order is ready and we'll be driving in to town tomorrow to pick that up. Can't wait to see if we can have a better veggie patch this Summer. Too much rain last year. Wishing you and your crew a beautiful, healthy, stay at home day!
April 28, 2020
I love trying to grow indoor plants and
this one is a favorite ~ a Spider Plant.
Hardy and easy to grow. And once they
are established, baby spiders sprout!
I'll be taking the little babies off soon.
For now, I'm letting them grow freely.
We could end up with at least 4, if not
6 new plants from these shoots. Yes!
A new project to keep us busy while
we all work from home and stay well.
Replacing the old boards on our back
porch to match the new decks. Out
with the pressure treated boards and
in with the aromatic cedar. And with
help from our little guy, it's turning in
to a great project to complete this week.
Are you keeping busy during this scary time?
What kinds of projects are you working on?
April 27, 2020
"In the end the Shadow was only
a small and passing thing;
there was Light and High Beauty
for ever beyond its reach."
~ J.R.R. Tolkien
Like this virus which as cast its shadow
upon us, we know that there is light at
the end of the tunnel, through all of this.
Stay strong. Be well. Stay safe. Be kind.
I've come up with a least a million and one ways to
stay calm and focused. Okay, maybe a "few" ways!
One is to dream about building a tiny cottage on our
favorite tiny island one day. Before we retire, as a
spot to head to on weekends, or to fully live there.
Above are 2 pics I found online of the size and look
that we'd love to capture. Can you imagine being
able to garden all year long? I love where we live
but would love a warmer climate once we're ready
to end our careers, in time, down the road. For now,
it's been a great way to calm my overthinking brain.
Do you spend time daydreaming to calm your mind?
April 24, 2020
I just found this draft and had to start all over again as it became quite outdated! It was a short note about our Easter. I'm rewriting it today to share how this first holiday under quarantine went. Below are pictures of dinner. Just 4 of us at the table this year. Our son and daughter~in~law to be were supposed to be here from the West Coast. We hoped our son, daughter~in~law and granddaughter could have visited from the Big City. And our little guy, the grandson should have been at the table too. Maybe even my mom would have been here, though it's harder now to bring her home from care as her dementia progresses. At the most, we would have had 11 with just our family and maybe 1 more as we often like to invite a friend or 2 for our holiday dinners. Instead, it was just the 4 of us. We had fun, but it was hard too, to be missing so many and to know at the same time how lucky we were on that day and on this day too, to be safe and well. Many others are dealing with illness, death, grief, homelessness, no job and a scary future. We are donating, helping out as much as we can and hope this has an ending that includes a cure and no future outbreaks.
Pictures of our tiny dinner.
We all contributed together.
I "shopped" the house for Spring
items and our tiny lambs and candles.
We had a roasted ham, with pineapple
sauce, green peas, coleslaw, potatoes,
pickles and some yummy deserts. All
our favorites for this Easter Dinner.
Rice Krispie cake and flower~shaped cakes
with icing and Easter eggs on top. So good!
Do you celebrate Easter Dinner?
Was it different from last year?
April 22, 2020
Spring is here! The snow is gone, the air is warm, the mud is every where and we are now woken up each morning by the birds singing away. I know in time I'll wish they would start a bit later but right now, in the midst of our world events, birdsong at 5 in the morning is just fine. So much nicer than waking up to an alarm clock. I don't like alarm clocks!
Today was harder than yesterday. Only a bit of sun now at the end of the day. Gloomy skies don't help us feel energetic. I did manage to still do my workout and that helped. A quick shower than right in to the work day, which went well but again, without sun, it felt hopeless at times. I'm still working on some tasks today as my concentration was a bit off today. Yesterday was so much better with warm sun (I may have my first little sunburn of the year!), working outside, amazing food and good friends. Today was just blah. But on days like today, I always know tomorrow will be better.
I hope your day went well. I'm ending this not so great day but watching "Call the Midwife" and then I think it's time to crawl in to bed early with a good book. A good sleep and a better day in the morning. Tell me now how your day was ....
Today, we honor our planet, our
home, our natural environment, by
celebrating Earth Day. Created in
early 1970 but my family has only
really been celebrating yearly since
1984. Today, April 22, is the 50th
Anniversary of Earth Day. I truly
always look forward to this day.
We've had a crazy weather year with
huge rainfalls last Summer, a late Fall
which created a very late Winter, which
led to a very late Spring, with snow
falling as late as last week. Yesterday,
we sat in the warm sun and watched it
all melt before our eyes. Mother Nature
is full of surprises but I hope now that
we have warm weather again, we can
have a great gardening season and fill
up our lives with amazing, fresh food
this year. Worth the wait, I hope ....
April 20, 2020
Yesterday, on Sunday, April 19th, 2020, this beautiful, courageous woman, married with 2 children, did not return home from work. She did not return home because she was senselessly murdered by a gunman on a rampage. This is a rare event in Canada and one that has left our country in shock. The mourning will soon follow. There 16 others who died in Nova Scotia yesterday from the monster who took out whatever his issues were ~ he is included in that number. It's not clear if he shot himself or if the officers responding did. It doesn't matter. He's dead but 16 others, innocently going about their day, ended up in his line of fire. I won't even name him or put up his picture. I don't believe that anyone who commits this magnitude of a crime should be named, or referenced. Was it for ego and fame? Was it a life gone wrong? Was it for power? Was it for revenge? Why does someone do this? We may never know why, as he's gone, leaving the families left behind forever wondering and our amazing, typically peaceful country hurting.
Constable Heidi Stevenson left behind a loving husband, a teenaged son and a young daughter. She comes from a family who will miss her every day, for the rest of their lives. A 23 year veteran, Heidi was involved in her community and touched many lives over the years.
She will be missed by all her knew her, just as all the victims from yesterdays tragedy will be. I can't name them or honor them as that info has not yet been released. But for today, we will hold Heidi in our minds and her family, friends and community in our hearts.
Today and until all the funerals are done, flags will be lowered, tears will be shed and questions will be asked. Families will be held, memorials will be held and pins will be worn. To Heidi, thank you for your service and your commitment to keeping our country safe from harm. To Heidi's family, and to the other victims and their families, we hold you near, in our hearts and minds, as each of you works through this incredibly difficult grief journey. Alone but held up by our country. Namaste and love to you all.
April 16, 2020
In April, we have had snow, cloudy
days, high winds, rain and some sun.
It comes out for a few minutes at a time.
Casting light then disappearing again.
Coming out stronger, lasting a bit longer
and than away it goes. Today was sunny.
But tomorrow we're going to either get
more snow or rain. Next week, double
digits. What the heck Mother Nature?
I just want to get out in our little garden.
Are you having a lovely Spring?
Or is your weather as crazy as ours?
We are coping. Eating well, though our
appetites are not the best. Trying out
new recipes and doing our best to use
up all our food we have stored away.
Outside of our work time and school
time for our little guy, we're keeping so
busy with games, working out in our
little gym, writing, watching movies
and Netflix, sending out greeting cards
to family and friends, staying in touch
by Skype and FB and Zoom, going out
to get the mail and explore the nature
around us. Fresh air, fresh food, resting
and finding new ways to stay connected.
We are also maintaining a high level of
humor and creativity. An example above.
Can you guess what this represents? Yup,
our new past time ~ money laundering!
This is what happens when we all watch
episodes of "Good Girls" and "Ozark".
Truthfully though, we rarely carry cash
but last week, when we picked up our
online order (no one delivers groceries
out to the country so we have to drive
in to pick up) an error was made on our
bill. Instead of having me come in to the
store and do a refund transaction, this was
the bill brought out to compensate for the
small error. I love our money in Canada.
Very colorful but also very easy to clean.
Soap and water in the sink and then drip
dry! All ready for a trip in to town one
day once this Pandemic is over. Can't use
it now as most businesses won't accept
cash, even "washed cash" to avoid the
virus. For now, it hangs up, and we laugh!
How are you coping this week?
Have you settled in to routine?
April 12, 2020
Wishing you and your family a beautiful Easter Sunday, from our little cottage in the big woods. We are cozy and warm, despite all the snow falling outside .... AGAIN!! We are clearly not destined to have a warm Spring this year it seems. It's not an issue as we're committed to being inside but it's making me a bit worried that we'll never get a chance to plant a garden. Our hope is to successfully grow our own food this year and donate what we won't use. Even planning to buy a second fridge for our garage to store produce. Fingers and toes crossed that this Wintery weather soon ends and we are blessed with a long, warm, rainy as needed Summer. Truly hoping our plan will work this year.
Today is meant to be our lazy day of the week but with Easter dinner in a few hours, it's actually going to be nice and busy. We're having ham this year. Cooking a turkey is something we can do at any time and with our freezer and fridge currently full, leftovers would have been an issue. So instead, we have a lovely ham to roast and the bits of left over will go towards ham and pineapple naan bread pizzas tomorrow and a quiche or two. Roasted veggies, fresh baked buns and coleslaw to round out our meal. This afternoon I'm planning to make these as well:
And I'd like to try this as well for a desert for after dinner:
A Lemon Blueberry Yogurt Cake. Mmmm! Both recipes are new to me so wish me luck they both turn out. Other than eating today, I'm getting ready to work out, then shower, then bake, then take apart the puzzle we finished last night that is currently residing on the dining room table, set the table, and while things are roasting, I'm going to work on the studio a bit more. Taking lots of time but instead of just re~organizing it, I'm also purging as the cupboards are full. I'll take the extra art supplies to our preschool or give them to my grief program. I'm also going thru our clothing and purging what is hanging but not being worn any longer. Donations are currently closed for most charity shops, so we'll have to store these bags for now. But it will be great once life returns again and we can gift these items to others who can use them well. We'd like to Skype with our kids who are not here today as well. Looking forward to seeing their healthy smiles. And my mom as well if there is a spot left for a session with her. After dinner, I think we'll likely take some time to just chill and watch a few favorite shows and then off to bed. I may dig out the Walton's Easter movie to be in the background as we bake and cook. A busy day but one we are thankful for as we continue to remain healthy and safe at home. Happy Easter everyone!
April 10, 2020
Sweet lamb to mark Good Friday. With pretty roses
on a wreath. No big plans here today. It is a quiet
house as our little guy has gone to visit his dad for
the next 10 days. I have to provide counselling to 2
families by phone, finish case notes and then we'll
maybe tackle more of the crown moulding. Take a
bit of time to do something creative and a nap is on
the list as well. Like most of you, sleep is not full
or deep. We make up for it here and there as we can.
Wishing you a beautiful day, with quiet reflections.
April 9, 2020
.... might be closer that originally planned.
With this Pandemic, we are still working
our full hours, at full pay but from home.
To keep busy outside of our work, we're
currently working on crown moulding in
the main floor 1/2 bath. I'll post some pics
once it's all complete. So far, we're doing
well with this project. And still married!!
Once this is done and if we're still at home,
I dream of starting to create this sweet look in
a few key spots in our cottage. This seems
to be a very popular look at the moment but
I do think it's best in vintage styled homes.
Very classic and one I hope we can duplicate
in our home. In the moment, the plan is to
start in our upstairs hall. It is long and narrow
and leads to the Art Studio. We'll do a bit
of an art gallery above the trim. This should
break up the hollow look and feel. We'll
continue down the stairwell, another area
with length and height. More pictures along
the trim line at the top. The next area will
be our mudroom leading out to the garage.
This will extend going down the stairs to
our lower level and then in the hall going
to our daughter's apartment and our little
theatre room. I'd love to create this in our
tiny living room and the dining room across
the hall but think we'll do the first phase
and see how we feel. I don't want any space
in our house to look cluttered either. This is
the next project I've dreamed about forever.
What do you think about our plan to create this look?
Do you have board and batten in your home?
April 8, 2020
My new nighttime routine during this Pandemic now
that I don't have meetings at night or work to do that
doesn't get done during the day. A warm cup of Brit
tea and a great book, also Brit. Corrie on the telly and
a chocolate brownie made by a sweet grand baby. A wee
bit of downtime after busy days to keep focused and on
target for goals. Dh during this time each night is busy
broadcasting a radio show. Time on my own. Time away.
How are you staying focused?
How are you ending your day?
How are you ending your day?
April 6, 2020
Yes, we still have snow. And the top left picture shows the fresh snow that was falling all day yesterday! Please know, in light of all that we are dealing with in this Pandemic, snow should be the least of any concern. But it is pulling me down a bit, as pretty as it is. At least if it was gone, we could be outside exploring Spring as it unfolds. We are doing well to keep busy and we do venture outside each day, for a walk or to just stand in the sun. To see blooms on the trees and green starting to sprout would be a boost to our spirits for sure. For now, I'll take comfort in the pretty patterns and shadows on the snow. So beautiful when the snow sparkles.
Dinner tonight, like all nights, was amazing! Dh loves to cook and he comes up with such creative and tasty dishes. This one is a favorite of mine and he always seems to know when I need a bit of a pick me up. Fresh chicken, stir fried with red onion and pea pods, with ranch dressing as a sauce. Sweet corn in butter and 4 cheese risotto. Mmmm! I'm truly not the best eater and I've struggled with food all of life, between food allergies, reflux, choking and anorexia, he has figured out what I can eat without issue and I'm so thankful for this dedication. I love being taken care of by my guy!
Today we slept in a bit. It was nice to wake up to sunshine instead of darkness. We checked emails, did some work, then I did my workout, showered and while dh did his workout and showered, I did more work. Technically, it's my day off as I work on Saturdays. But for now, I've spread my work out through the week so I have a nice balance of work to keep me busy and down time to do some fun things while we're all home and have extra time. I think it's working well so far. A bit of lunch, a bit of puzzle making, more work, then a break to try and figure out how to hang crown moulding in the main floor half bath. We've got the angles worked out and now we just need to paint a quick coat of paint and then we can start hanging. I might try to do that tomorrow. They are white already but the video we watched suggested a light coat so all the pieces are the same shade of white and I agree with this tip. Tomorrow will be more work and then down time and hopefully some crown moulding work. I can't wait to see if this works well and if it does, then we'll begin to add to the rest of the walls on the main floor in our cottage. This is one of the things that was on my dream wish list and now it's going to happen. Very excited! Fingers crossed that we do a good job and love it!
The rest of the week is pretty chill. Outside of work, meetings and phone counselling for clients, we're hoping to finish up a few things around the cottage. Outside the crown moulding, I've been pulling out pictures to hang. And I'm doing more purging and organizing in the art studio. We have some nice shelves to hang in the studio but I'd need to see if the paint we have is still okay. Stored it in the house, so it should mix up just fine. Afresh coat of paint on all the walls would be great. We have plans for wainscotting as well but the painting needs to happen first. Ongoing process that may go beyond our Covid break at home but we'll try our best. Then we'll move to outside projects, like staining the deck and veranda, more landscaping and installing gates, once we rejig the driveway. You can never say that we'll ever get bored around here! Always something we can work on.
All for now.
Hope you are well.