More with the Doing, Less with the writing (on this blog, anyway)

posted by / October 14, 2016


So the summer came and went and not a lot got done around the house as Mr. J and I spent the time working, having fun, and jaunting off to Kentucky to my baby brother’s wedding. Now that my peeps are back, and the mad rush at work has slowed somewhat then picked up speed again, I have turned my attention back to my disassembled house and am getting busy.

*cracks knuckles* (but only virtually because eww)

Some pictures from Kentucky!


Kisses!! Love those. :D
Kisses!! Love those. 😀
The grounds were absolutely gorgeous. I, unexpectedly, fell in love with Kentucky
The grounds were absolutely gorgeous. I, unexpectedly, fell in love with Kentucky
My little brothers. Nickle Pickle (in the kilt) tied the knot!
My little brothers. Nickle Pickle (in the kilt) tied the knot!
It was a vintage travel theme - a story book wedding.
It was a vintage travel theme – a story book wedding.

I had been waiting on Mr. J to do some fancy, super cool, metal work to my spout that I had bought for the tub, which he finished up a couple of weeks ago and I installed! Interesting fact, Mr. J went to school to be a machinist, and has a milling machine! So I got to watch him cut metal and be all sexy. All the stuff that man can do, and knows, is just… wow. *fans self and swoons*

Mr J working the metal
Mr J working the metal
....Like a Boss
….Like a Boss
the spout - before
the spout – before
Seriously? Who does this
Seriously? Who does this
OoooOOooo... AaaaaAaaa...
OoooOOooo… AaaaaAaaa…
Look at these things of beauty!
Look at these things of beauty!

The spout, before Mr. J worked his magic (along with help from his friend Paul the Pilot – thanks Paul!), just had a copper pipe sticking out of the back. Which was a disaster waiting to happen should I have just tried to put that in the wall. First, there was nothing for support. So if someone pushed on it,  it was very likely that the copper pipe would be wiggled and pushed to the point of leaking… in my new wall, behind my new tiles… NOPE. I haven’t done all this work for something like that to happen. Also with the pipe just going 3 inches straight back into the wall, connecting it to a copper to pex  elbow was going to be messy, and not possible without cutting down the copper pipe anyway. Sorry if I’m starting to sound like Charlie Brown’s teacher…

SO, this had to happen – below are pictures of the spout welded onto a plate that has a proper elbow in the back. Cool, huh?

FIRST Install!
FIRST Install!
Nice and level and strong as hell!
Nice and level and strong as hell!
Look at that awesome connection! Wait a minute...
Look at that awesome connection! Wait a minute…
Needed to grind off a connection and redo it... Wasn't on properly
Needed to grind off a connection and redo it… Wasn’t on properly
Good times. Renovating - to love doing the same job at least 6 times
Good times. Renovating – to love doing the same job at least 6 times
Making that last cut...
Making that last cut…

And then Finally… VICTORY IS MINE!!

As well as a sweet ass spout.

But Wait there is MORE!

My Brother came to visit! I wish I had a picture of his face as he looked at the construction – he was not as excited as me about the progress. The look of “Uh, Bec…”, was pretty funny, even as he was being all supportive.


(My peeps did not want Uncle Trev to go – they miss all the Jr Macs like CRA-ZY)

As I type I have drywall in DA HOUUUUSE!!

Oh my god, could it be true? Could I really have walls again? *tears of joy*

Here is the progress to date. I could bore you with insulation pictures, but they aren’t very sexy – and I’ll save all my electrical adventures for another post (Shout out to Mike at MDT for being so amazeballs and helping me get my panel to code! You are the best!!) – but I have a sub-panel and stories of killer attic spiders to regale any one who wants to listen.

Also, Insulation is the worst.  Completely.

Mike at MDT (General Contractor and all around bad ass) also hooked me up with a drywall guy, because I really, really, really want my bathroom to look great and I don’t want to have the drywall look terrible. No one cares about what my ABS gluing looks like or the twists on my wires under the marettes- but lumpy drywall is not cool. So I’m spending the money on a pro.

As a do-it-yourself’er I have just enough information to be dangerous. And I am anxious with my baby, this reno of mine. For example, I read that one should NOT mud/polyfil the densshield – you should use a cement mortor – type S and then a mesh tape. This is so the boards get glued/fused together and you don’t get tiles cracking, as the house shifts and does the things houses do. In 2 year, I do not want broken tiles. So how do I broach this with the guy?

“Hey, I know I am totally not a professional… but this seems wrong to me.”  Do you feel as uncomfortable as I do? Ugh.

But I am hopeful! And look – pictures!

The Laundry Room - I can't see into the crawlspace any more!
The Laundry Room – I can’t see into the crawlspace any more!
Vapor barrier - and insulated. :) It has been a looooong road.
Vapor barrier – and insulated. 🙂 It has been a looooong road.
I get so happy looking in the bathroom - I clap like a seal
I get so happy looking in the bathroom – I clap like a seal
*SQUEEE!!* *clap-clap-clap*
*SQUEEE!!* *clap-clap-clap*
The Niches... I hope they turn out nicely! There is a story about these bad boys...
The Niches… I hope they turn out nicely! There is a story about these bad boys…

So here I am, with major progress in the bathroom and laundry room – soon the finishing, decorative, final vision fun start happening! The sexy stuff.

And I am aaalll about the sexy.


Mother/Daughter Father’s Day birdhouse

posted by / July 7, 2016

I missed mother’s day at the school with Gigi – work steam rolled over me and I missed it. Luckily, an amazing friend (Thanks C!!) jumped in and made a beautiful teapot with her. I’m sure I will carry that guilt (and many other nuggets) with me to the grave.

That said, I wasn’t going to miss Father’s Day. I left myself reminders *everywhere* and blocked the time out and guarded it like the Mama bear I was feeling like.

Gigi was feeling a bit down about Father’s day (as my people tend to get on this particular day), and she was feeling awkward that I was going to be the only Mom-dad there, but I told her I’d wear my pink tool belt, and it would be awesome! She looked skeptical at best, a look, that at 8 years old, she has down pat.

The day of the in-class event I wore my pretty pink tool belt and brought my other one (the orginal one Mr J. gave me) for her to wear with a little hammer for her to use. She was pretty pleased – and her best friend Lily thought the little hammer was the best. Lack of glitter forgiven.

We made quick work of the birdhouse, I’d start the nail and Gigi would finish it up. We made a great team.

After it was all together we got to paint it. When you looked at ours at the end, side-by-side with all the other Dad/kid creations, there was no doubt ours was decorated by girls. Beside all the brown, green and black houses was ours – rainbows and hearts.

I heart our little birdhouse.

Shutters!! 3 out of 4 up and looking awesome. :)
Shutters!! 3 out of 4 up and looking awesome. 🙂
Stuff still cleared off the deck awaiting stain.
Stuff still cleared off the deck awaiting stain.


Tonight I started hanging the shutters (which I love so hard!!), and it was getting dark, so I thought, before I packed the tools away, I’d hang the birdhouse. Surprise Gigi when she gets home. I’d like to make a little fairy door for her too. For “Ellen”. Ellen is the friend of the tooth fairy who helps out and likes to eat buttercups. Long story. But now G will pick buttercups and leave them in her window sill for Ellen.

It pinches my heart and makes me want to scoop up all my babies and hold them close. Hold the tickity-tock of time off for just a little bit longer.

Notice the birdhouse has a purple door too.

Here Comes the Stain Again

posted by / July 4, 2016

*insert the Eurythmics here singing a hilarious parody about staining my decks*

It’s staining season! Time to bust out the pressure washer and stain brush! Time and chores stop for no man.

I just finished pressure washing the front of my house this weekend AND cleaning the planters gutters out. I had been putting it off, since I had to climb on my roof  to get the last bits. But to get to the deck staining (and finally get my shutters up!) I got busy. In order to to reach the spots I needed to I had to lean off the side of my lower roof, holding the rope in one hand and the pressure washer gun in the other. It was a little Rambo, and I admit, I felt totally bad ass doing it (I was totally safe with my fall gear on). Check that bitch off the chore list!

Then I scrubbed the front deck with Simply Green and pressure washed the mossy grime off. It’s only been two years since I refinished them, but good lord does it need it again! I’m almost done – just a few hours more and it can dry to get ready for stain. I’m using Sikkens  (expensive but worth it, in my opinion).

So what else did I do on my childless Canada day weekend? (My people *sniff* are gone for a month and a half)

Mr. J and I had a wonderful, delicious evening in, and then we tripped the light fantastic and danced until 3 in the morning the next, arriving home at a very late/early 4:30am. The birds were a chirpin’. So there was some fun, in with all the work around here.

I created a t-shirt store! Help support my renos and wear some cool duds – wins all the way around! There is even a shirt I made from the graphic I did for Mr. J’s mug for Christmas (I bet you can guess which one).

Buy Stuff!


My Life – No Quarter Given

posted by / June 16, 2016

“Ten years from now, make sure you can say that you chose your life, you didn’t settle for it.”
Mandy Hale, The Single Woman

I am not settling – this crazy, awesome, sometimes super challenging life, is AMAZING.

I saw a video the other day where the guy was talking about the bittersweet melancholy that comes from enjoying things so much and recognising that everything comes to end. Everything you see around you, right now, will die and or just fall to ruin with the passing of time. Many things around you right now will live beyond you. That tree over there? That old building that has seen generations of people come and go… we are, as cliche as it is, dust in the wind, my friends.

Which is why I feel like I have to enjoy the mother fucking shit out of my life.

Doing as little harm as possible. Living large while taking care of this aging, very non-model body that is covered with the wear and tear I’ve put it through – and finding joy in it’s upkeep. The run I did tonight? Sucked zombie balls, but I did it. And I will do it again tomorrow. Or switch it up with some yoga.

I am the heaviest I have been in 6 years – since my twins were born. In my defense, it took 2.5 years to do this damage. Not enough exercise. Too much food. Not enough sleep. Blah, blah, blah… It’s back to the basics. Get this temple feeling better. One action at a time, forward momentum. Enjoy this journey of loving my skin. While I still have it.

I look at my kids, my parents, my friends, my sweet love and I think – One day… and I am overcome with love and this terrible sadness, and I can’t tell them enough that I love them and appreciate them. That I appreciate all of the crazy that is my life.

And Vegas on my birthday? AWESOME.

Living a fabulous life


Doors, the meaning of life, and Sex in a Symbol

posted by / April 29, 2016

I’ve had a lot of doors change in the last year.

If you’ve been to my house in the past you may have experienced my broken patio door – it is now fixed. Thanks to Mr J’s incredible ability to bend metal to his will and his inability to put up with something that works poorly (read “like complete shit”). He was so sick of having to reef on the “sliding” glass door and being afraid it was going to fall out and kill me (or my peeps) he took the damn thing apart and gave me a lesson on the inner workings of glass doors and how to install (after he made all the rolling metal innards from scratch) it all. He amazes me at every turn, and I fall in love with his sexy, sexy brain more every day.

He also fixed my bedroom door that was falling off it’s hinges. And put a lock on it (cue the porn music).

Mum painted my front door purple this spring! Something that had been on my “Really want to do that!!” list. Making my home just that much more me. I’m hot pink and bright blue all at once, baby.

In more door news, I put a new door on my newer-all-the-time bathroom. I love it SO HARD. I can’t wait to do the rest of the doors!1 Okay, I should qualify that with “I can’t wait for them all to be done”. It was a complete gong show to get in – I mean how can a door frame be a trapezoid in 3 dimensions??? A wheel barrel of shims later… it’s in and closes straight. It may be one of the only straight and square things in this house (god knows I never going to be that).

Click to enlarge the pics. If you want. I mean, don’t let me be bossy.

old bathroom door
Eww!! These ugly ass 70’s doors have got to go. They are not even retro chic.
Mr J giving me the let’s get busy look – not the sexy one. That’s a private gallery…
Time to put on the pink tool belt baby!
I even like it closed. 🙂
It is a thing of beauty! New door! Solid core and swings like a dream!
It is a thing of beauty! New door! Solid core and swings like a dream!

April has been a busy, busy, busy business month too – with doors swinging open so wide I feel dizzy from the possibilities. More than once I have been filled with fear. Mr. J makes me feel unstoppable and stupidly capable. I feel like I’m trying to control the speed wobble. It’s exciting as fuck.

Unless you are a close friend or reading this blog (thanks Mom!), you probably don’t know I have a partner in my life. I don’t talk about him on facebook, we don’t live together, we don’t do many friend events together – we are pretty private. for a bunch of complicated reasons. I am so glad in many ways, the pace of us has been what it is.

Appreciation. It’s more than just a hipster font on a sunset beach instagram shot. It is cliche as hell, but no less true. It’s the gratitude/appreciation I have for our time together that has enriched my life in so many ways. Also, the realization that my peeps need ME. They have to share their Dad, which has caused them a lot of anxiety and upset. I’m so glad I could, and have been, a stable place for them – even as I work like a dog to support us. So much goodness. And a great deal of clarity.

Forward momentum – walking through doors, Duke’s of hazard’ing it through windows, learning, growing, failing, getting back up, and loving with all I have… that is it for me. The meaning of my life. If I kick it tomorrow, I love, love, love this zany, fun, struggle of a life I have. Thanks for taking this moment with me. Right now (as Carl Sagan has said), you are magically, through the power of words, hearing me in your head! Seriously, that blows my mind a bit. Also dickballs. Heh. I just said that in your head.

So on a nostalgic, appreciative of life, love and the universe kick of a mood, I have to say how sad I am about Prince’s death.

life is just a party, and parties weren’t meant 2 last

The man was seriously sex.  In a way I find Mr J to be. Just SEX. Magneticly so. Like omg, I’m all blushy and swoony.  I am not the only one in either of those camps. Creative, different with a HUGE… heart.  Geez! what did you think I was going to say? I’m so, so sad the force that was Prince is gone from this world… makes me appreciate my time with Mr J even more.

…let me show you baby, I’m a talented boy…

I’ve been binging on Prince’s music since I heard the news – I’m even listening to it right now.  I’ve been doodling a tattoo for Mr J, thinking about Prince’s iconic symbol, while I nurse my creative juices back to life today.

I’m happy my front door is purple.

My Secret Project – T-bone’s New Digs (and other bits)

posted by / April 6, 2016

March was busy.

Like, crazy busy. And April seems to have stepped up it’s game to give March a run for it’s money, making me have to redefine the term. But I am very, very happily busy.

Mumma came for her yearly visit, which was AWESOME. We got lots done, though progress on the bathroom came to a screeching halt. I’m waiting on a my tub spout to be reconfigured to fit the wall (and be stronger, because kids) – Mr. J has a plan. He is also on the super busy plan, so until things settle down, I am just settling in to wait until we can finish that part. And that kind of turned into good timing, since it gave me the chance to finish some other things I wanted to do.

While the kids were away visiting their Dad, I wanted to surprise my oldest who is turning 12 with his very own room. It would mean dismantling the home office (bu-bye built in shelves) and finishing a room that was long over due some love.

With me being swamped with work, my Mum jumped into the frey with paintbrush in hand. First she painted my front door, that I had been longing to update. It was beat up, and since I can’t afford to replace it, paint was a great option. But what colour? Well, purple of course!

A purple door represents wealth & honour. Having a purple front door lets others know that you are living a prosperous life. It does not necessarily mean that you are wealthy monetarily, but you are rich in your quality of life and wellbeing. You are also honorable.

A purple door can show your open mindedness. The color purple in the practice of feng shui is the only color that you can place in any direction. This shows that purple is a versatile color. The color purple also is not a common front door color depending on where you live. So when you paint your front door purple, you are telling people that you are open minded and versatile to life’s possibilities. You think outside the box.

A purple door can bring a sense of calm.
If the shade of purple you choose for your door has some blue hues in it as well, this can bring a sense of calm and have a peaceful affect on your front door space. There is a lot of good energy surrounding the color purple.

My Purple Front Door - before the secret project begins


As far as the meaning goes, I am definitely rich in friendship, family and have a wonderful sense of life moving in a fabulous direction (even with the bumps).

We cut out giant stickers for Georgia and Oliver’s room (thanks to Mr. J’s enormous, amazing printer!) and completely gutted Oliver’s room to give him WAY more space and play room. Oliver got minions and Gigi got a giant pink sparkly unicorn. Which, when she saw it shouted, “IT’S SO PINK AND SPARKLY!!” It made my heart happy.

Mum and I hung curtains, changed out light fixtures (including the front deck – no more crazy green light bulb), got the shutters painted and drilled and ready to go up on the house. I even managed to get a bunch of the front pressure washed, up high on the scaffolding (which is starting to feel like an extension on house – gawd, I’ve got to move that stuff!). I was safely harnessed with my fall gear to my roof, but it is not a job for those who dislike heights. And after we did all that, and the kids flew to Ontario for 2 weeks, we immediately started to dismantle the old office. Going through the books and paperwork was a slog. The desk and an old boat bookshelf were sold off to help make room, and go towards the reno fund.

I didn’t get a picture of the “before” office – filled with crap. But maybe that’s a good thing… (note to self, never let stuff pile up like that again).

Once we cleared the room and painted, I moved the internet cable to the other side of the room and fished it into the wall and popped it out a cover plat, all nice and neat. I also added a new electrical outlet, desk height. i got one of those fancy ones with the usb outlets built in, so Thomas can change his devices right on his desk. Just a cord needed. 🙂 I want one in my room!

Mum and I love trips to ikea. It’s a great source of decorating ideas, reasonably priced furniture and 3D puzzle skill tests. While she was here, I did get my bathroom cabinet and Thomas’ loft bed, and some other cool bits. I’m a fan. For those of you who know your stuff, you can see the stool in the picture is from there too. Just one more thing to put together. I did discover, when we left there, giant packages in hand, that my car is part Tardis. Mum and I both did the, hands-in-the-air-touchdown move when we wrestled the final box in, both of us more than a little surprised it fit.

During the last week, as things were coming together, a few things happened. My car died, I got horribly sick, and Mum left. All of  which rank pretty low on the good times scale.

Luckily, the best mechanic in the world saved my bacon, I started eating cold meds like popcorn, and well, there is nothing lucky or good about Mum leaving (that part sucks). But it meant it was down to the wire to get the room finished – with my peeps arriving in a few short hours, and just me, an allen key and three 65lb boxes.  What’s a girl to do except get busy?

*drum roll*

I have a vey, VERY happy birthday boy. And now Nate wants a bedroom makeover. Oh, and the bathroom is still callin’ my name. And the shutters need to go up. And. And. And…

And I couldn’t be happier. 🙂

Workin’, and loving it!

posted by / February 17, 2016

I’m really lucky. I love what I do – graphic design and web development is fun and challenging and I meet some pretty awesome people. Even if only via Skype. I love the connection, getting to know their business and coming up with fun ways to get their product/service into their ideal client’s hands. Good times and I get paid (mostly)!

So needless to say, no renovating has been happening. I also slipped off the self love wagon. Yoga, it’s not just to help you touch your toes, it is good for the soul. It really helps your insides be more bend-y too. Flexible body, flexible mind.  And running. I. Need. To. Run. It clears the fog, gets me to focus, and is a serious Zen boost to the power of 50. My current status is sit, work, high sugar (and fat, god help me), and coffee, coffee, coffee. Not good. So far February is not my best fitness/self-care month.

Jane! Get me off this crazy thing! (and for the love of god, hide the snacks)

So today, I need to move this body of mine.

A few other bits and bobs – I threw together a zazzle page, just for giggles (link to come).

And tonight my big boys are going to be Master Thespians! T-bone (aka Tech Guy) is going to be something… a surprise that involved a button up shirt and vest. My middle guy, Mr.-rough-and-tumble, is going to be Oberon – king of the fairies, in Midsummer Night’s Dream. I seriously am so proud! *squee!* He and I practised together – me trying to make him sound less like he’s from Brooklyn and the nuances of Iambic pentameter… well, fogetaboutit. He’s 10. He’s my most favourite version of Oberon ever.

Tomorrow afternoon my twins hit the stage in two separate plays. I can’t wait to see what they do!

I think this weekend Mr. J and I are going to hit the showers hard (ha!), and see how much we can get done on the bathroom this weekend.

*runs in circles with hands in the air*
My mother is coming and my house is a mess!

Back to coding the website I’m working on – I’m so excited to have this one come together!

Renovated the blog!

posted by / February 3, 2016

And I hung up a fancy new logo to boot.

Of course I should be, oh I don’t know, getting the damn drywall out of my foyer. But this was fun! And way less dusty, and it only requires one set of hands.  What do you think of the new digs? I am totally going to have a shirt made – who wants one?

The Happy Homewrecker - and her runaway reno

In other news I have a toilet! A really wonderful gift from Mr J. (flowers? Pshaw! I say).  It’s a bit premature, as I am going to have to take it out to drywall and put the floor down, but we wanted to test it. See if it is a good flush. It passed with flying colours, or swirling canned stew (which was what we threw in to see what it could handle – nasty!). I love having a second toilet in the house… oh how I have missed it. The bathroom feels so close now, I can taste victory.

But the drywall hurdle remains…  I REALLY want to get it up this month, February, so that in March (*choirs of angels sing and a beam of celestial light hits the calendar*) my Mum comes for a visit. It’s possible we could do finishing work together! Oh yeah… then, giant bathroom party – with champagne, party food, and dancing. Big things should be celebrated, and I plan on celebrating this one.

Hell, I plan on celebrating the drywall getting up.

My closet version 2.0

posted by / January 18, 2016

I loooooove shoes. And cute clothes. And hats. And wigs. Really, I love all things girly fashion. So my closet is kind of a big deal for me.

One of the first projects I did was based on a clip I saw on a tv show… It was a while ago, but it was a piece on a mayor of a town who loved to crossdress. He had a gorgeous shoe collection that he had on display in his closet on what looked like ladders. Inspired, I had crib sides and baby gates in my crawl space… And room down there to build my own shoe racks. I got scheming…

With my shoes out of the way, the closet was on my hit to do list. I hated my old, dark brown, wall of bi-fold doors. They always felt in the way. I want my room to be my oasis from the crazy. My retreat of awesome. Step one, ditch the 1970’s doors. Get cool, white curtains to hang instead! When I did this, last spring, I thought my Dad was going to have a stroke, me taking time away from the bathroom reno, starting another project – it makes him mental. Mumma was out visiting and we ended up giving my bedroom a much needed refresh/rearrange, that included additional lighting, a super sexy mirror, and the closet doors. It felt wonderful! My mother and I wrestling my giant king sized bed and matress is a memory that makes me smile just thinking about it. My Mum and I do DIY projects well together. Lots of laughing, chatting and dreaming up ways to make it prettier and more functional. I wish they lived closer. She was visiting and hoping that we’d get the tub (that was living in my front foyer) into the bathroom during her stay, but that didn’t happen. Too many structural issues that had Mr. J and I working hard to make the floor (and wall) safe and solid.

Since doing my closet, the old brackets, shelf, and rod had been threatening to give up. I mean, it’s pushing 40 years old, and I had it jam packed, so I didn’t feel like it owed me anything. Then the cats decided to take down the curtains. They were little furry assholes. So my closet? A giant mess.

Part of my Christmas present from Mr. J were some new heavy duty metal bars and brackets for my closet! I told him about my thoughts on closets, and the wasted space. Do I really need 3 feet above my closet rod? It’s a stupid area that isn’t very usable. I decided to change things up and add a double bar!

I may change it up after a time, but I think I will try this configuration for a bit and see how it goes. There will likely be a version 3.0

Yes, I have a step stool (it has a home in the closet, so I can pull it out as needed)

I also have sexy disco, LED lights I put in. Love. Them. Hard.

Getting home, the new year, and lists

posted by / January 5, 2016
Shop Vac from Nickel & Megs- a fabulous addition to my home.
Shop Vac from Nickel & Megs (aka General Lee) – a fabulous addition to my home.

I arrived home to a parcel from my baby brother (Nickle) and his beautiful bride-to-be (Megs) – another amazing present from them! We’d already gotten movie passes (we totally ran out and saw Star Wars before the kids left for the holiday) and Exploding Kittens (the card game), so this package was totally unexpected, and just blew my mind. I am now the proud owner of my very own shop vac!!

It kind of doubled as a Christmas present for Mr. J too, as he can now have his back. I was kind of in love with his shop vac, so this is just extra special that I have my very own.

Mr. J gave me a wonderful set of different shaped files.  One of those things that we’ve needed on different occasions, and there isn’t really a good substitute/make-shift thing you can use in it’s place. A fabulous present! He also gave me new brackets and a rod for my closet (dear to my heart) and super cute dress to hang in it! I got spoiled in the best way. I’m totally a grateful, happy girl.

Tij, JB and the boys gave me a home depot gift card, which I love and will use no problem at, what feels like, my second home. It’s especially welcoming in the plumbing ilse (many an hour spent there)




100 things every homeowner must know - a book from my Dad
100 things every homeowner must know – a book from my Dad
A special note from my Dad
A special note from my Dad – Nickle is now gunning for “Best Cook in the MacLean Family”

My Dad got me a book for Christmas. I often get a book from my Dad, and I love that he writes in them, and this year’s book was really special. I know it makes him a little nuts that I am doing this so slowly, but I know he is proud that I am doing it all on my own. The book is “100 Things Every Homeowner Must Know – how to save money, solve problems and improve your home.”

While I was visiting, Tij (my younger, middle, brother) asked me something about my renovation and after I had explained whatever it was, looked at me, and said, “Nope. I would just hire people to do that shit. I get no joy from that kind of work.” Which made me smile. I get it. There are some jobs that I just do not enjoy. Crawling around my low-rise attic in the nasty insulation – balls. Insulation in general is just UGH. Itchy, But it feels so good to get those things out of the way. It’s kind of like running in the rain – I feel super hard core after gettin’ it done.

It’s been a week since I got home, and it’s just been getting back into the groove of things, an all night New Year’s eve with Mr. J, not withstanding. The kids got back, which was awesome! I missed them like crazy!! They also brought back with them the customary lice – which they do every time they visit their Dad. Every. Single. Time. I was ready. Stool in the kitchen, bright lights on, bags to quarantine all the stuff and clothes, hair treatments with comb to go through the hair and olive oil and saran wrap to finish it all off. None of those little bastards were getting out alive – just for clarity’s sake, I’m talking about the lice. *knock on wood* So far, so good.



Now I’m into new year planning and list making. So much to do! I’ve even added a secret project to my to do list for Thomas for his birthday in April – I’m already panicking about the time.

The dry wall is still in my front hall – it is really time to get that dealt with. Get that on my list!




About the Happy Homewrecker

What exactly are you wrecking?

Well, I prefer to think of it as, making it better than it was rather than wrecking.  I tear down to rebuild – better, stronger, faster – with new drywall, electrical, plumbing and lighting!

This blog is about my journey of renovating my very own, older  home. The Zen of  ripping things down and apart with a vision of how they should look going back together, and learning some mad skillz along the way. This is also true about myself. Before I took a paintbrush to this house, I tore down the family that lived inside it. I did it with the same intent – to make it better. And I am. With less hammering, and more hugs. I am renovating myself  too – basking in a soul deep gratitude that comes with second life chances. So I’m not just going to be writing about my latest  progress in my current project, I’m going to be writing about my personal renewal as well.

My home is a side split, about 30 years old on a quarter acre lot. Last year I became it’s sole owner. All. By. My-self.  (sing it with me!) It was a really big deal for me, to get my very own mortgage. It was a lot of bank hoop jumping but I did it like a circus dog being chased with a taser.  I spent the entire summer last year rejuvenating the decks, with pressure washing, sanding and staining. 3 coats. I built my very first scaffolding too, for that project.  It emboldened me to start what I thought would be a good “starter renovation”, my laundry room. Well, the laundry room snowballed, as I uncovered problems in the house. And that is where we start, gentle reader,  the laundry room in a state of mid reno, and the bathroom above it completely gutted to the studs.  Why the bathroom above?  A leaking tub and the laundry room ceiling full of  black mould, of course!

I am a single Mom of four little people, in my 40’s, working full time to pay the bills and take care of  our household. I  love all things girly and fun. I love adventure and travel.  I love to run, yoga, and food. I love to dance – though I’m not any good, it’s just damn good for the soul.  I have a healthy appetite for many things. My family (that I love like crazy) all live far away, but I’ve got amazing friends and support. I also have an amazing boyfriend – part porn star,  creative-doer, all-round handyman, with the most beautiful heart I have ever known.  I get to see him once a week, and I savour each delicious moment.

Here, let me pour you a cup of coffee (or pass you a beer out of the ‘fridge – depending on the time of day) and fill you in on what I’ve been up to lately.





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