Monday, August 31, 2009

Curtain Call

I had a stroke of brilliance. Sometimes a solution is right in front of you and you don't even know it. I had been planning to put up a laundry room and close it off so it would essentially become a dog room. There were a couple problems with this since the only light to the kitchen besides track lighting was the southern windows. The laundry room would effectively cut off all natural light to the kitchen. Also, it would make the kitchen very small. Added to which, Raimi has a problem with being enclosed. I just know a room like that would bear the evidence of his anxiety in no time.

Stroke. Of. Brilliance. I have extra curtains since I got an awesome sale on a few super great quality ones(as in $4 price tag on $90 curtains) and was not sure what to do with the cheap(er) left over Ikea ones. I also hauled three curtains rods from Calgary and had extra brackets. See where I'm going? So I hung the curtains in front of the washer/dryer/garbage/water heater. Voila. I also had some netting curtain material as well so I put that across so you can't really see the washer at all.So there is the expen where the two naughty younger dogs go when I'm out and Halo and Raimi are left loose but blocked off from the livingroom. There's even space to put a small kitchen table. I wonder if I can get one of those small round pub tables so I'm not dealing with the inevitable dog-chin-on-table-while-I-eat.
I also managed to get my hands on a nice little desk for my laptop, pens, envelopes etc and then, in a stroke of luck, I got an awesome deal on an Eastlake chair for $25. I love that chair. I think the desk and chair look great together particularly when decorated with a Mallaig.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Hurricane Shmurricane

We survived our very first hurricane yesterday. Hurricane Bill was heading up the coast as a Category 2 but by the time it got to Nova Scotia it was down graded to a Category 1. In the end it passed 75km south of Halifax and never really made landfall. Warnings were issued for Pictou County for heavy rainfall, high winds and a tropical storm. To see the path on the news would have you think it was much worse than we actually experienced.

Sunday morning started out eerily quiet and still. There was almost no movement in the air and the sky was a weird sort of green/grey color with no depth at all. You couldn't tell how high the clouds were and although it wasn't raining the humidity was the worst it's ever been.

By about 11am the winds had picked up and were heavily gusting but not dangerously so. It steadily increased in gusts which seemed to come from all directions. The gusts stayed high, mostly up at the tops of the trees and sometimes the top of a tree would be bent in the wind but its lower branches weren't moving at all. A bit eerie I must say.
The rain started about noon and gradually got heavier and heavier until it was just a steady heavy downpour. It doesn't look too impressive but a rain storm normally lasts about 20 minutes to a half hour and tapers off. This kind of rain kept up for hours.
The wind and rain continued and was probably at it's worst at about 3pm when over the next hour it began to taper off. By the early evening the rain had died almost completely stopped but the wind continued gusting and blustering from various directions with some force.
The clouds started to break up and we had a little sunshine for about a half hour - just to give you a good clear look at the tree litter on your lawn I guess! The sun went down and the wind remained pretty steady out of the northwest blowing away a lot of the humidity.

Today the skies are overcast and it's steadily raining. Hurricane Bill brought a low pressure system so we'll have rain for a few days to come. It's sort of welcome after the blistering heat we've been through these past couple weeks but the dogs don't get out as much! It was our first hurricane and we got off light ... I'm sure there will be more on the way - 'tis the season!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Mellow Yellow

I have still been slaving away at the house but now am on to the boring fiddly things that do not offer great blog content or much in the way of really good photos. So far for the past few days I've been painting trim and baseboard heaters, dapping some gaps in miders and casing joints and finally digging in the last of the stepping stones.

I did repaint the hall area with yellow and it looks much better - it's more appropriate with the house color scheme and now it feels very warm and cozy when you move from room to room. More organic ... look at me all designer minded!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Bake Me A Cake

I have been bragging for the last week about my kitchen transformation and since I finally finished it (for the most part) I took some photos. It took me 2 and a half days of constant work to get this completed and by now I'm more sick of painting than I ever was but I think the effort was worth it. And imagine if you will that this transformation cost me a mere $60.

Here is a photo reminder of what the kitchen looked like before I moved in. Not terrible, not great, just a kitchen that needs a little attention. Right after I moved in I painted the walls green and it made a huge improvement but I knew I wanted to work on the cabinets because the wood on the sink wall was stripped of lacquer and didn't match the other cabinets. In fact none of the cabinet stain matched each other. Still - it was livable although I wasn't in love with the green.I'd been giving some thought to what I wanted to do - restain the cabinets with a lacquer or just paint them. Because of the headaches of sanding to get all the wood to the same shade so the stain would be consistent I decided to paint them and this was the result. Notice the backsplash. Really notice it. What a pain in the ass. I didn't realize that wanting the tiling at an angle would be such a headache. I asked my Dad how to do it and he told me but what he was thinking was that putting tile on an angle is really hard to get right. Thank gawd it was vinyl tile and I could easily cut it ... plus it was super cheap.
For whatever reason I forgot to include the backsplash of the stove in my tile calculations so I had to go back and buy some more but now everything is pretty much complete. The only things left to do are to refinish the floor which is hardwood under a few layers of old flooring, change out the light which is pretty basic and ugly right now and finish siliconing the seams of the tiles to stop water getting behind them. I think it's pretty cute and I actually like being in there now ... I even baked some muffins yesterday but as it turns out when the recipe says to add baking soda it really means it.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Fan Club

Fans are so nice when they blow cool air down on you while you sleep. I wouldn't know. There was a fan here yesterday, I even posted a photo. At about 7pm I was sitting in the living room watching TV and heard what I thought was a bulb bursting in the bedroom. The cats shot out of the bedroom and I got up to check. The fan was spinning like crazy held only by its little safety wire. I called my Dad and he said to just take it down. It's a goner. The fan base was really hot and the gimble the fan pedestal sat in was shattered. Huh. It wasn't happy about being moved that's for sure. Fans don't cool you much when they look like this ...

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

This Little Light of Mine

My Dad was here today to switch a few light fixtures since I have never put in any kind of electrical fixture. We moved the living room fan to my bedroom, installed a new fan in the living room, installed the dining pendant and replaced both the front and back door lights as well.

This is the living room fan - it is SWEET. It's huge, beautiful and can be run on high speed and doesn't wobble(wobbling makes me nervous). It normally retails for over $100 but I saw it by chance on sale for $40 and bought it although I didn't intend to.
The livingroom fan was moved to my bedroom so that I could have some air flow at night for the dogs and myself covered with dogs. I plan to paint the fan blades white since I really don't like the fake oak look much.
The dining pendant was a steal at Walmart for a whole $20. When I see sale like that for something I'm looking for (without a determined install date)I definitely buy. I have also done a lot of research on the various things I want to upgrade so I have a pretty good idea whether I am paying a good price.

The front door light was not working at all - probably because there was no bulb - but the original light looked sad, had no glass in it and was a poor example of a welcoming porch light. This one fortunately is intended to be mounted hanging because one that needs it to be pointing up would not have worked. The back door light is one that points up. Seems kind of like planned the exterior lights doesn't it? Not so. I accidentally bought an up light and a down light without realizing it and we spent a few minutes puzzling over the difference in the models since the photo on the boxes are almost identical. I bet I'm not the only person who has two of these lights and was confused by the difference in assembly. I also have some new house guests that are making themselves quite at home. Sadly they need to be evicted and by evicted I mean killed. Some hornets or yellowjackets or whatever the hell they are have selected my front porch as the ideal location for a new nest. I can see the appeal, it's sheltered, quiet and probably seems very safe - location location location. Not so much when one Tamzin comes at them with a big can of Hornet Nuke.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Ship to Shore- Updated!

Yesterday was the last day to see the Tall Ships in Nova Scotia. We headed up to Pugwash with Bill & Donna who have Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers and a couple of Pulis - they live in Trenton which is about 15 minutes from Pictou. The day started out overcast and threatening rain but turned into a gorgeous blue skied, sun bathing day.

I finally created an online album - Tall Ships Pugwash.

Here's me on the Picton Castle at the stern where the wheel is. Behind me is Pugwash harbour which carries on out into the Northumberland Strait. Like my cute hat? It was $5 at Walmart - I'm not usually a hat wearer but with all the outdoor activities we've been doing I have suffered a bit of heat exposure and the hat helps prevent headaches.

And my parents on the Picton Castle. We'd been on several ships by this point - Roseway, Pride of Baltimore II, Fair Jeanne, Mist of Avalon- but the Picton Castle was the neastest because it was the largest and is a three masted square rigged sailing ship. Very cool. More cool because they have a ship's cat named Chibley - we didn't see her. My Dad recently got a hair cut but you can't really tell since he's a bit windblown - they even trimmed his chops and eyebrow!
Picton Castle is the ship where in 2006 a deckhand was washed overboard just south of Nova Scotia - I read the TSB final report on it and it sounds like it was a case of human error and circumstances. As with anything involving humans there will always be the chance of fatal errors. I believe it really is impossible to completely avoid accidents simply because people are only human no matter what precautions you take. It was a sad result of human error but to my mind ... not entirely unexpected. I mean you're on an honest to goodness sailing ship with sails and masts and rigging and out in the ocean ...not to put too a fine a point on it but it's not beyond the realm of possibility that someone will end up in Davy Jones' Locker. You know?