Monday, 11 April 2011

Making This Place Ours

As anyone knows who's been through a MAJOR renovation, it is all consuming.  Factor in doing nearly ALL the work yourself, and you pretty much have time for nothing else.  Kelly has worked SO, SO hard, and the credit really goes to him for his investment of time, energy and skills that have essentially rebuilt this home inside and out in what will be 2 years this August.  Is there anything this man can't do?  I think not.

While Kelly's been working on re-building this house, I've been busy taking over everything for the family and trying to help him out here and there.  Most of my role has been support as I'm not particularly handy with tools.  I am, however, The Painter.  I seriously hope to never see another paintbrush as long as I live!    I can only imagine how he feels about working on the house.  Now that things are slowing down in the Pressing Need department of construction, it's glorious to take a little time to attend to projects that we Want To Do.  What a welcome relief to do something we FEEL like instead of always doing what we HAVE to do!

Kelly spent the entire weekend working in his garage building custom benches and shelving.  When we moved in, the place was raw and unfinished, and with so much to do on the Urgent column of the To Do list, he hasn't has so much as a minute to work on setting up his garage properly until now.  I have no photos to attest to the monstrous mess that was in there, but imagine if you will, a moving truck spewing it's contents the garage and you'll pretty much get the idea.  It was a disorganized MESS.  He took down all the tiny old kitchen cupboards that a previous owner had installed because they were really ineffective for storage and they blocked a lot of natural light.  He then built a fully functional steel workbench with shelving underneath along the entire back wall of the garage!  Coupled with the new brighter windows, it's a fantastic workspace with great natural light.  He also made an ingenious lowered surface to put his compound mitre saw so that when he cuts stock, the length of wood will be perfectly supported on either side.  Brilliant!


While Kelly was working in the garage all weekend, Paige and Reece played outside along him and rode bikes.  Both of them are getting some sun and they have little tanned faces already!  In the picture below you can see that Reece is losing teeth at a rapid rate :)  We have been enjoying lovely mild weather and the snow is melting bit by bit.  I can't tell you how wonderful it is to see bare ground after such a long cold winter!    

Saturday morning, I managed to get my living room carpet steam cleaned while I had the chance to throw all the windows open, and I helped clean up/organize the garage with Kelly on Sunday.   Some time has been spent in the basement storage room getting it cleaned out and re-organized as Kelly built me some new shelving in there so now I've got enough shelving for my food stockpile.  I made up 4 Gold Nugget Meatloaves (cheese stuffed), 2 for Sunday dinner and I put 2 in the freezer for another night.  I love having meals ready to go in the freezer for days when we are busy and I'm too tired to cook.   With more time outside now, I really notice how much more tired we are at the end of the day.  Fresh air wears us out!

As it was Ian's 18th Birthday last week, we celebrated with his cake last night.  A white hot milk cake iced with whipped cream and served with a berry sauce (frozen berries simmered with sugar on the stove till reduced and syrupy).  He was out with his friends having a beer at the local pub on his birthday night (he's legal age here now), so we postponed his cake for Sunday supper.  What a fine young man, Ian is ~ we are so proud to call him our son. 

And lastly, my talented husband whipped up this handy little cage to keep the cat out my newly planted seeds.  It's tall enough so that when the plants grow it won't crush them.  What a guy!!!  Take that, bad kitty :)

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