Sunday, January 26, 2014

The Renovation Saga Continues

It seems longer than just last weekend that we had a fresh new snowfall that was so beautiful I took 30 or 40 pictures..I walked down the road in front of our house and all around the yard, everything was so white and silvery. I sent many pictures off to family and friends...a brother who is an artist said he would like to paint at least five of the pictures I emailed to him.

Today we had rain, snow and sunshine. One minute it was clear, the next a real blizzard. This is a winter that people will be talking about all across Canada I think, with temperatures being so frigid and the amounts of snow many provinces are getting...Ontario, where we come from has been blasted with so much snow that it's hard to see many houses from the road. Snow is piled so high that our neighbour's grandchildren call these snow piles "mountains". Lots of fun for the kids this year playing outside.

We are plugging away at our renovations, often getting help from Jim's brother. Yesterday the drywall went up on the kitchen ceiling and today all the walls were done. Now that tedious mudding job will start again. Our new fridge and stove arrived several weeks ago, all gleaming and shiny, just waiting to be put in their proper place. Our kitchen will be very small once all the cupboards are in so on the bright side, we won't have to order much flooring! I also look at it, the smaller the house, the less cleaning I'll have to do.

I'm an outdoor person for the most part (not so much in the winter) so will be wonderful to get the house cleaning done quickly and get outside for the more enjoyable gardening chores. I'm so looking forward to buying some asparagus plants this year, would like about a dozen. Right now I only have 4 plants that Jim's son bought me, but they did survive their first winter here.

We are making strides inside the house although it still seems to move along slowly at times. Ceiling lights have been hooked up, our bedroom is painted and nearly all the trim is done, closet doors are hung and a door put on between our room and bathroom. We have two rooms left to put drywall up in so we certainly are coming along. There are so many days this all seems like a dream, I wake up thinking all this can't be real, that we are renovating our farmhouse and are living in Prince Edward Island. I might have to pinch myself sometimes.

Another aspect of the renovations that happened this week is our heat pump is getting installed. We will soon have a heat source in every room. It's the smallest unit the supplier has ever installed but my husband sees it taking up more space in the basement than he expected, so our storage down there is shrinking. I think we are going to have to do a "lot" of thinking about what we keep and what goes...although building a new two storey garage would solve a lot..

Several weeks ago on a Wednesday it was so mild, sunny and beautiful my sister-in-law and I went beach combing. Yes, we did wear our winter coats and boots, but had a grand day at the beach finding sea shells and beach glass. With all I've collected over the years I need to be sure and find something I can do with all of it. Just not leave it in glass jars to be looked at and admired.

We are very happy to hear weekly Friday night dances are starting next week at the Hall just 5 mins. down the road from where we live. We love to dance, they will help pass the winter months and perhaps in the summer with the doors and windows open at the Hall we can enjoy the music just sitting in our yard under our beautiful willow tree. Or we might even have a front porch built by then....I'm also enjoying my art class and my rug braiding class. It's been a great way for me to meet new people.

As I look out the window we are in the blizzard stage again and hubby has fallen asleep already after a busy day lifting drywall. Any extra rest he gets, he really deserves. He works so hard on our place but he enjoys it for the most part. A person needs to really live in a place before one can make all the decisions, so I just hope between the two of us when we get our heads together, we think along the same lines. So far, so good...

Monday, January 6, 2014

Winter On The Island


This is the first full winter in Prince Edward Island for my husband and I, although we did spend a month here in February 2013. Now that hubby has a permanent job here, we will not be leaving until March for our home back in Muskoka. That trip will be bitter-sweet as we pack up all our belongings and wave good-bye to our family and friends.

I was under the misconception that winters here were not as harsh as they were back home. In Muskoka we often had to shovel off our roof as the snow load was so heavy and deep. In fact we emailed a friend back home this past December. She contacted her brother to shovel our roof just before Christmas. I see by the news that Muskoka is getting bombed over and over with 15 to 20 cm. of snow often twice a week, so we are wondering if this is a winter when the roof might have to be shoveled twice...that would be a record.

Another misconception I had was that the temperatures wouldn't be as cold here as they are back home. Wrong again, it's been just as cold here many days as back home. I will soon have to stop calling Muskoka "back home" as the island is our new "permanent" home, it just that old habits die hard. I lived in Muskoka for over 16 years and hubby has lived there for over thirty years. We have been renovating our farmhouse purchased in 2010 for nearly four full years.

Some of the jobs at the farmhouse are enjoyable, the priming of walls and painting help finish off a room and we feel a great sense of accomplishment once the windows are framed and new floors are set down. But the mudding of walls, the constant sanding, sweeping up dust and looking like a pair of ghosts when we are done, dare I say, is not one of our favorite tasks. But it must be done before the paint goes on.

We get most of our work done on the weekends as Jim works five and a half days a week at his full-time job. I decided to give hubby a break from sanding Sunday, so we traded jobs, he painted upstairs while I sanded. Up and down the ladder I went, taking a break when my neck got sore by sweeping up the dust, sending clouds of it everywhere..I imagine we will be vacuuming up drywall dust for a year after we move in.

I have had some fun too, looking for new furniture, planning the new kitchen cupboards with the help of a professional, ordering our new refrigerator and stove etc. I was able to chose paint colors easily until I came to the living-room. The dining room should be the same color, also the hallway to the upper level which can be seen from the living-room..that is a lot of walls to be painted the "same" color or at least in the same color family. I've become really bogged down, I can eliminate many colors, but zoning in on "perfect" one seems to be escaping me. We may move in with just the primer done at this rate.

This will be our first "new" home built within the confines of an old farmhouse. We replaced the roof, all the windows, new heating system, kitchen, added a downstairs bathroom..There are so many decisions to make, so much to buy, things I didn't even realize. I was thrilled this past weekend to find curtain rods on sale to finish all the windows. If I'd gone looking for specific rods I might not have chosen the ones I just purchased but the price was right..

As we finished our work day yesterday, hubby and I talked of our priorities and what we needed to work towards once the bedroom and living-room are finished. Always good to have a focus as it's easy to get off track when faced with a million jobs at once. How daunting it can all seem at times.

It will be wonderful one day to wake up in our own bedroom in our own home, cook in our own kitchen, relax in our own living-room. Right now we are residing just down the road at our in-laws  home. Spring can't come fast enough although I do somewhat dread the "big move", knowing it's a real stressor..but even tho the house might be a real mess with work staring me in the face in every direction I will talk hubby into going for a walk. Across the fields once all the snow is gone, into the woods to look for wild flowers.  As long as we are in the woods, we can't see the work, out of sight, out of mind at least for a short while. Dreamer that I am...