Friday, November 26, 2010

The Before Picture

I received a request for a "before" picture of the farmhouse after getting a lovely compliment on the new "cranberry" colored metal roof. I stood beside the apple trees to take this view and I'm rather fond of it. I'm so homesick for the old place even though the downstairs rooms bear no resemblance to how it looked upon purchase. Tearing down inside walls makes it feel more like a log cabin inside now.

We change the photo on our computer screen every couple of days and you can be sure we have lots to choose from. I came home with 500 new photos on my camera. May can't come soon enough so we can go back and do more renovations. Our spirits are so willing and we are thinking of even more ways to cut corners so the money in the "Cranberry Cottage" jar will increase. So far we've giving up the movie channels for the winter, a savings of forty dollars a month. I'm a real movie buff so that hasn't been easy but now I'm watching shows I probably would never have watched before, one of which I enjoy a lot, Nate Berkus. Can never get enough decorating ideas.

Also watching that reality show about turning your home into a restaurant for a night. They must have nerves of steel. Just making a meal for three or four extra people puts me into a tail spin. I like to entertain, it's just the food part that sets my nerves on edge. Will it be good enough, will there BE enough and why did those darn butter tarts burn? Meals I've prepared for hubby and I over and over can suddenly turn into a disaster when a girlfriend who drives three hours to visit us appears. Where's the logic in that?

Okay I diverse, back to saving money. As you can see my thoughts ramble a lot these days, you should see me in action around the house, I give "puttering" a whole new dimension. I digress, another way I've come up with to save money is "give up beer". Not that I drink a lot, my hubby buys me a twelve pack and it lasts me two weeks or more. I like a single bottle of beer in the summer when it's so hot, it's so refreshing but in the winter, cold drinks don't do it for me. I'm already shivering inside thinking of going outside into the white, wild north. Here in Muskoka, we are in the North Country. Perhaps it's not going to be a huge savings but it's what I came up with yesterday.

To make myself get out for walks in the winter to keep the momentum going for a bit of exercise I bribe myself with a hot cup of Earl Grey tea when I get home. There is something so comforting about coming home, divesting oneself of scarf, hat, boots, coat and heavy mitts to head into the kitchen and plug in the kettle. I'm not a huge cookie fan, although I do have some favorites one being a gingerbread cookie that only comes to stores this time of year, all sprinked with red crunchy sugar. Any cookie that is good for dipping in tea, gets bonus points.

I have stopped buying new or gently used clothes and am making some Christmas gifts. My two adult children always get a cheque as venturing into the dangerous territory of trying to figure out what they might want is too risky. Buying clothes for them has been out of the question for years now. If I ask them what they want and they say they need a new toaster or kettle, that I can manage. Hubby and I will not exchange this year, after all a new place in P.E.I. is quite a gift. Although, he has worn the toe out of his mocassins. I will relent there.

As hubby read the weather report on the computer today he told me of snow warnings for our area and it had started already. So the snowblower might have to come out of hibernation tonight. Perhaps that will help put me in the Christmas mode but it will take a lot this year. I'm thinking of not decorating the downstairs or putting a tree up down there like usual. I saw a great idea in a magazine I might try for upstairs, decorating my 22" Rosemary plant with white paper doves I make myself. I have one foot in Muskoka and one foot back on the island.

Must run now, want to clip some dried, dead looking hydrangea blooms for decorating my front window box. They look rather nice up against the pine boughs I placed there. Drat, that means dragging out boots, winter coat, mitts etc. Well I guess I'd better get used to it. When I first moved here I told people: "it isn't the North Pole, but you can see it from here!"


  1. Hi Lannie: a quick comment as I have to go cover another teacher's science class - we are watching Planet Earth so it won't be too difficult. The red roof is quite an improvement. I read that they used a lot of red paint on buildings near the water because it's the most visible colour. So if it's snowing or foggy Jimmy will be able to find his way back from the barn!!
    Hey - you could have a few goats to help keep the grass down, or a couple of cows, sheep or horses:)

  2. Lannie,
    Wow I can't believe the difference from your before shot. The roof really does set the look of the house. Do you intend on keeping the outside colour white? I really like the balance of the two colours at present.
    Gingerbread cookie stories, you have just reminded me I need to get busy and start baking for Christmas.
    Never thought of putting my dried out Hydrangea
    blooms in window boxes. Great idea.
    The white paper doves sound interesting on your Rosemary tree. Those trees smell so lovely, but I can't seem to keep them alive for very long. Hope you have better luck.

  3. Hi to The Witch. As to the colour of the house, we are currently undecided. If we find the right shade of grey, it looks nice with red and I've found a lovely blue,grey that I'm fond of. All the outer buildings are white so it's a hard decision. When we can afford to put a new roof on each of the two barns and garage we hope to do red also. We have so much on our plate as to renovations inside the house that painting is a long ways off yet. My rosemary plant is doing really well so far..I'm working on the right size of doves, my first effort turned out to be too small..thanks for your interest and kind comments..Lannie