HIDE LIST

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

 

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. 🙂

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!

 

 

Home & Holidays

posted by / December 29, 2015

It’s been a few years since I’ve been without my people at Christmas. And it has been hard on the heart, though we packed in a ton of holiday goodness before hand. They come home on the 1st of January, late at night.

Sometimes sharing is hard.

Home at Mumma's in her sexy new kitchen! Well, new since the last time I was home.Rather than be alone on Christmas day, I managed to get home and spend Christmas with my folks this year, which was really wonderfu! Balm for soul. I got to spend some time with them (and checking out their renovations – Mumma, the kitchen is gorgeous!), see my brother Tij, my sister JB (in-law technically, but she really is my sister in my heart) and my nephews who are giant young men now, and even squeeze in a visit with my long time friend Jan and her Mom, my “Aunt” Shirley. Action packed and lots of Mr J’s hot buttered rum recipe, and the hot tub.

Mr J couldn’t join me, he was spending Christmas with his people, but I was thankful for unlimited texting and long distance. We took advantage of that. I’m looking forward to seeing him today when he picks me up. A lot.

I was thinking about the word ‘Home’ and what that means to me… I spent a lot of my childhood in Nova Scotia, so I think of it as home. Being a military brat, home was where ever we were together. Which makes having family spread all over the place tough. Home is a lot of places for me – with my people, with my folks, with my grandmum & my extended fam, with Mr J – I’m very lucky I have so many wonderful places to house my heart.

Tij drove me into the airport for 3:30 this morning. It was damn cold and the snow that wasn’t there two days ago, reminds me how much I love not getting a lot of it back in BC. I’m a west coast girl now. “Alive and Kicking” plays through the stereo from my brother’s iPhone, as the heated seat toasts my butt. We talk about funny tv (Rick and Morty) and YouTube videos (Good Mythical Morning), our baby brother (Nick), and his upcoming wedding. And other stuff.

“I’m looking forward to meeting him one day.” Tij says about Mr J.

“Me too.” I respond, smiling in the dark car ” He’s funny. You’ll like him.” I describe him a bit more as we drive.

It’s an odd thing, to be home there and also to be headed home. I really am lucky.

There is insulation, vapour barrier and drywall waiting for me.

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Here Comes the Stain Again

*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!

 

2 Comments

2 thoughts on “Here Comes the Stain Again

    I am so glad you and Mr. J found some time to get down and boogie! Love the T-shirts and plan on ordering one soon!! Looking forward to many of your adventures while your little people are away. Sending a hug…… 🙂

      Hey Kath! 🙂

      Me too (about me and Mr.J)!

      We snuck away from life for picnic sushi and a road side rendezvous in car bed this afternoon… It’s good to make life slow down sometimes. 🙂

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