Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The Joys of Winter...



Woke up this morning to frozen pipes. Amazing how long it can take you to compute what the issue is at 5:45 in the morning (hmmm....kitchen tap doesn't work, let's try the bathroom...hmmm, bathroom tap doesn't work, let's try the bath....hmmmm, that doesn't work...wonder why........followed by the sudden jolting DOH of realization). Called my pal A. in Toronto (love those time zones!) who talked me through it, then my pal A. here in Vancouver, and with some good advice in hand (find the incoming pipe and heat it...) went to work.

Well, water comes in to my house under the front porch. Which is closed off. Which has a crappy door that freezes shut. To cut a long boring story short, finally managed (with a crowbar) to open the door, and hunched down under the creepy, spider ridden porch with some hot water, rags and a blow drier. Also dispatched an IMMENSE spider (4 inch leg span, no joke) on the porch door by doing a rather John Cleese-like funny walk manouver (or nazi goose step, depending on your cultural references) and stepping on it - think it retrospect it was dead, having frozen in place. Anyhoo, water is running now, and I am relieved and exhausted.

On a happier note, have managed to hang up the quilt. Pattern fights with the duvet cover, but trust me, looks a heck of a lot better than a door, which is what it is concealing. I think I will likely raise it somewhat so the bottom border shows as well. But Thomas likes it....

Monday, November 27, 2006

Why my house is cold...

...it seems that I have large furry heat-seeking masses blocking the heating vents. Suggestions for their removal welcome.

Snow Day





There is about one foot of the heavy white stuff outside. As per my Mum's request I took some snaps of the place yesterday, but there is much more outside today. The tree is from this morning though. The sad thing is that I left my very nice snow shovel in Toronto (I was moving to an apartment in Vancouver - why would I need a snow shovel, and where the heck would I store it?). Did a bit of shovelling with my collapsable car snow shovel, crouched over like a troll because the shovel is so short, and of course today my back has something to say about it.

Working from home today. It's a snow day after all (and Thom managed to convince me I really shouldn't be leaving the house....).



Sunday, November 26, 2006

The Transformation #3: Let it snow


The first snow of the year. I'm not a snow lover by any stretch, but I have to admit there is something beautiful about it and the quiet blanket it puts down over everything. Wasn't feeling that way as I was stressing about my car's ability to make it up a rather steep hill near my place at 3am last night, but today my exhausted self is feeling a bit differently. It does means that the days plans change though - no more driving overtown to visit a pal, and I suspect my parents, who usually drop by for a weekend visit, might also be socked in by the snow. That being said, I there is something kind of pleasant about having decisions about what you need to do in a day taken out of your hands by the weather gods. And who knows, maybe the cooler weather will mean that we will soon have safe drinking water again (sigh).

Busy day yesterday - made some Citrus & Chardonnay jelly (quite yum), ran some errands, painted the den, went to see the cryogenic miracles the Stones with my brothers (courtesy of my generous brothers I should add - not that I'm suggesting the $160 ticket price is in anyway an overblown money grab...never...).


Today I'm struggling with whether the den needs another coat or not. The colour is completely solid, but there are some roller marks that you can see due to a difference in sheen that I might try and deal with. Obsessive? Me? Never. Then it will be time to purchase, cut, and paint the baseboards and door trim... I'm also thinking of getting something similar to this as the centre room light. Might be a bit grand, but something about the red is making me want grand.

Or maybe I'll just have another cup of tea. Made with bottled water.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Cosy things...

Well, it isn't The Transformation #3 as I haven't had time to put the third coat of red on. Next weekend, next weekend. Days need to be much longer than they are, and I need to have much more energy than I have.

Busy weekend though. Friday night was a fundraiser for DOXA. A good night with some good pals. And for those pals that were volunteer-slaves that night - thank you thank you. I was taken with a lovely hand-made quilt that seemed to call out that it needed to be part of The Bunkle ...and after quite a bidding war (terminated by my pal A. threatening the other bidder with bodily harm ... I love my friends...!) , I am the very happy owner of this beautiful piece of craftsmanship. I think it is actually going to reside on the bedroom wall for a bit, hiding an unwanted door that pokes up behind the head of my bed (the layout of my place is ... odd. Let's leave it at that) .

Also spent time with A. trolling the craft fairs and celebrating J's 40th birthday - a spread of wine and cheese that boggled the mind ... much fun. So - all in all, not a weekend I can complain about (if I could just learn to let go enough to not feel frustrated about the lack of red coat #3 that is ...).

And finally, this weekend's life lesson: when ordering vietnamese curry beef soup, ask them to hold the tendon.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The Transformation: #2 Nausea Heartburn Indigestion....


Busy weekend. Room went from grey-purple grunge colour to hideous pepto pink (primer, not permanent...and I was warned about the colour ) Learned a couple of things: Glad Press n' Seal works as a fantastic paint tray liner - so much better than foil (my sewer system is as delicate as a ... oh, I don't know but it's irritating and it means I am super careful about making sure nothing bad - including water soluble paint - goes down the drain. Mr. Roto Rooter was really nice and all, but I don't want to see him again anytime soon....)

Then managed to move on to fantastic fantastic oh I love it red...two coats, and to my amazement I think I've only got one more to do (went into this having just acted as sous-painter to my pal A in a red room that took 8 coats - and some talking A off Please Make It Stop ledge - to cover). It is a very rich, brick slightly soaked in blood colour. Strangely, that isn't how the colour is marketed.

The weekend's life lessons: I hate painting ceilings; if you put red paint on too heavily with a roller it will start to slide down the wall in the creepiest blood-like sheets; I apparently have a palsy I didn't realize that is clearly demonstrated by the cutting in of the wall paint at the ceiling; I know the lyrics to way too many folk songs, as revealed by my ability to sing(?) along with the entire Folk Roots digital music station playlist; and the friendly, unfocused gaze of Ted, my Mum's childhood bear - attired in a red velvet childhood dress of mine, with fur becomingly trimmed by my brothers - who happened to be sitting on top of a cd case just outside the den can startle me enough to almost make me lose my balance on the painting ladder.


It's coming, it's coming. And I'm soooo glad.



Saturday, November 11, 2006

The Transformation: #1


Rememberance Day...
and
Mike's birthday.

Time to start on the den. Thomas' tips for anyone painting (or drywalling, or...) a room with a wood floor: use roofing paper to cover the floor - no slippy moving dropsheets necessary. Actually that's my reason for using paper. Thom's reason is that unlike true dropsheets, the paper is taped down with cat-gnarl-worthy painters tape . Bets are on that I will wake up to find wet, chewed lumps of the stuff tomorrow morning.

So - today I've: ripped off the baseboards; ripped off splintered remains of a piece of door trim that was adhered with at least one full tube of caulking, which made for a pretty cartoon like sproinging back of the trim every time I tried to pull it off. Also patched the walls and primed the ceiling. Tomorrow...who knows, hoping to put on a coat of pepto-pink primer and get a coat of ceiling paint on.



And - a minor miracle - Maggie has EYES!!


Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Go Foster!!

It's times like this that I miss Ontario. My best pal A. is taking her baby boy Foster to his debut at the Royal Winter Fair this Thursday - he will be in the weanling colt Canadian Sporthorse line class. A. and I for years before I left Toronto would take the day of the Royal line classes off work, and show up at some ungodly hour for the Cup classes - 50 or more gorgeous 3 year old horses just waiting for us to pick apart their looks, their breeding, and what their handlers were wearing. It was the biggest horse day of the year for us, and every year we stayed until we were so exhausted from inspecting horse conformation that we looked like zombies and probably couldn't tell a good looking horse from a good looking elephant. Then came the year we took A.'s 3 year old, Fenella. I swear, those were two of the most stressful and most thrilling days of my life. And she's not even my horse. Needless to say, she won ribbons. Big ribbons. And I don't think you could have met two more thrilled women if you'd tried.



SO... this year it's Foster's turn. He is Fenella's full brother, and I'm sure he will follow in his beautiful sister's footsteps. I just wish I was there to watch it first hand.

And for those of you wondering why I haven't posted more pictures of Miss Mags, let me show you why....

Cat sees camera, cat closes eyes (scroll down & take a look at the other picture of her...enough said)

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Thomas' Eye View.....

















First, apologies for not allowing non-blogger comments. Rookie error.

It's time for room two - the den (which was, for a while, my office/bedroom...did I mention I have a BEDROOM now?). Figured I'd let Thomas give the tour, starting from the location of cat contemplation, the Cat Bag.

I'm not sure the rest need that much commentary. There are consistencies between the images if you look closely enough: 1) look of feline shock & disdain; 2) beauty of old refinished-by-my-fair-hands fir floor; 3) hideousness of rest of room.


Special things that I am considering keeping as 'features' of the room: pink paper door to bathroom with special cat slit for impromptu cat visits during showers etc; splintered & ripped door trim and semi-removed baseboard; weird patches of test paint scattered randomly over walls; and Thomas' strangely pigeon-toed feet (look at the second photo - closely). I should mention that last weekend I stripped off a very special wallpaper border (dreamy stars and suns) so I am unable to demonstrate the room's true original beauty. One thing I would like to point out is the one thing that the previous owner left behind that I truly appreciate (unlike the extra dishwasher; rodent traps; bike; creepy kids toys; miniature fire hats; old paint; broken carpet steamer; large plastic penguins....I'll stop) - and that is the big cardboard wardrobe box that has been an incredibly useful floor pad during many moments of this insane project. Yes, that is my little friend leaning up against the wall in the den.

I am guessing that the room make-over will commence next weekend. Will keep you posted. And hopefully Thomas will approve.