Sunday, June 21, 2009

Wedding bliss

This weekend, while my house was finally on its way to looking cute, I was on my way to Sarnia for a family wedding.

Let's just pause a moment to admire actual PAINT on my walls.

Yes, it's a good feeling.

But instead of finishing up the cuteness, I went to my cousin's wedding. It was a great opportunity to catch up with the family, although they weren't all able to make it, which was too bad. It was a lot of fun. My cousin looked beautiful in the dress that my aunt made her and I thought: that's the dress style that I would choose... you know, if I were to ever get married. And even though people kept asking me, I'm not even engaged, so there won't be another family wedding soon.

However, I am hoping to have people over for a house-warming party this summer. Which is really quite similar to a wedding, minus the pretty dress and jewelry and ridiculous costs, if you think about it.

It's weird that at the wedding, I just had more views into how much work a marriage and kids are. I saw my cousin's baby for the first time. One month old. And a handful of fussiness. I imagine that the baby will grow out of it, but for the time being I can only envision how horribly I would deal with that situation. There's a reason why people try to have a baby with someone who can help them not go insane...

Monday, June 15, 2009

Insulate this!

What a gorgeous weekend it was!

Too bad I didn't get to enjoy any of it.

I spent most of my time either in the house, painting, or in the crawl space under my extension, finishing up the insulation project.

My mom and Gordon helped me out the whole weekend. They were awesome. If you click on the picture you'll also see that there's a picture of my front room all painted in Oyster Bay (grey/green). In addition to that, the rest of the main floor is all primed, the entryway closet is painted and the front door is also done.

Again, I'm so lucky to have people who will help me like this. Having people around makes it go so much faster.

I will say that the spray foam insulation project wasn't as bad as the insulation project on my old house. It was just as hot but it didn't take as long. I felt just as manly after completing it, though.

Feeling really good about the house stuff getting done. I'm almost to the point where I can do "nothing" for the summer!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Digging for lead

It's always nice when you have about 2 seconds to decide if you're going to spend a thousand dollars on something that you don't understand and haven't had time to research.

That's what happened to me when I found out that:
a) The city of Toronto was digging up the pipe in front of my house
b) They were doing it right away
c) This would be my only chance to replace the lead pipe between city property and my house
d) It would cost me dearly.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Pie and other fattening weekend stories

Dear Mom,

I'm sorry. I've found something to replace a very important part that you've played in my life for the past ~cough~ years. I've found Williamsford Pie Company's strawberry rhubarb pie and I'm not proud of it.

In fact I'm a little sick about the whole thing. Might have something to do with the fact that I just ate half of the pie I purchased yesterday on my way home from Southampton. And when I say "on the way home" I mean, I had to significantly detour to get to the pie store.

In fact, much of the weekend was dedicate to gorging myself on a lot of food that wasn't designed to be (a) good for me; (b) eaten for a meal; or (c) eaten with such staggering gusto.

Friday night, Gordon and I got in our rental car and began the over three-hour trek on Hwy 10 (the whole way) to the Saugeen Shores. When we got there, we ate a rather pleasant, average-sized meal or ordinary composition. Tasty and not yet disgusting.

And then Gordon said that I needed ice cream, which of course I did not, so we all piled in the car to try to find an ice cream store that was open at 10pm. No luck. But Shopper's Drug Mart was having a sale on Ben & Jerry's. So it was that I had a chocolate peanut butter cup and chocolate sauce sundae at 11pm on Friday.

And Saturday morning had us at the local cafe, Armen's, where I devoured strawberry-and-cream cheese-stuffed french toast. With maple syrup of course. And I was able to taste the ham-and-cheese-stuffed french toast as well as the eggs benny that others ordered. At least this was after a significant walk about the town and shore. A walk back home and bike ride followed. To prepare my stomach for more, I guess.

Then we settled on the deck of the cottage to read magazines and feed chipmunks. After which sandwiches, quiche and sunchips were served. Certainly, I wasn't hungry, but how can one say no to their hosts? Especially with really yummy quiche?

And then -- wait for it -- a nap. Excellent follow up move, I must say. Followed by the part of the trip you might not believe: a chocolate gala. A benefit for the local museum just happened to fall on the date of our visit. And so there was chocolate fountain (with fruits and cake for dipping) and chocolate martinis and chocolate dipped potato chips and fudge and truffles and cheesecakes. And finally, when I thought my belly couldn't take any more, I discovered the pie table. This is where I found THE pie. Strawberry rhubarb, just a thin sliver.

"Where is this from?" I asked thinking I could get it at the local cafe. No luck. Williamsford. And we all know where that story led.

Later that night, we ended up at a bon fire where they were roasting marshmallows and hot dogs and I thought I might actually throw up if anyone talked to me about food again.

The next morning, we went for coffee in Port Elgin at Coffee Culture. And a little shopping here and there. We walked around for hours and ended up back at the shore, at an institution of the local culture. Gerry's. It had been talked about and talked about. Hyped up and down. We needed to know. And so we bought an extra large order of french fries and brought it back with us as a "thoughtful gesture" -- the local lore proven true as we munched and worked on our puzzle.

That night, not long after the needless deep fried potato extravaganza, Gordon and I made our hosts spicy Thai soup. With noodles and veggies and chicken and of course coconut milk. Calories from another country are OK. Besides, it had veggies in it.

And later, when the Tony Awards were on and I read the Discover magazine (my Cdn House & Home already finished) I needed to finish up the rest of that Ben & Jerry's because otherwise it would be like leaving garbage for my hosts to clean up, really.

And we know how the ride back to Toronto went, with the detours for pie... well, that, and a short stop at Champs in Shelburne. But back in time to return the car on time and get the subway across to my end of the city. And you know, since we were up at the Danforth we might as well get that amazing french onion soup at the Court Jester. And a peanut-butter-chocolate-banana sundae at Demetre's... and pie when I got home...

So, Mom, I guess what I'm saying is you don't need to make me anymore unhealthy food anymore. I think I'm over it.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Potato Chips

Potato Chips
Originally uploaded by fritish
It's not usually a good sign when I'm eating bags of potato chips for dinner.

I mean, sometimes it is because I'm feeling decadent and it gives me a good luxurious feeling.

But probably not when it's coupled by feeling unproductive. Actually, let's go back and start this with THAT little tidbit. It's not a good sign when I'm feeling unproductive.

I really, really like being productive. I love DOING things. And right now, I don't really want to do anything. Not at work, not at home. I don't want to pack for my weekend away in Southampton. I don't want to clean up the pile of garbage beside my computer, even though it only means walking it to the recycling bin about 10 steps away.

I don't want to do anything from my to-do list. Like call my neighbour about the chimney and the fence and the gutters. Like learn about insulation. Like pick out a colour for paint that I won from EcoPaint (very cool, actually; I won it by tweeting).

Generally, I love this stuff.

But right now, I want to sit in front of my computer and write about how I'm eating greasy chips with dip (finishing off the whole bag, actually) and feeling lousy. And then I want to eat the last bit of rhubarb crisp that I made (perhaps warmed up with vanilla ice cream). And then I want to fall into bed without brushing my teeth or taking off my makeup. And don't even get me started on how much I don't want to go to work tomorrow to work on the ridiculous mound of stuff there, either. I'd be pretty happy to just sit in front of my computer all day tomorrow (actually, I really want to be reading my House & Home that just came in but I'm saving it for this weekend).

Because I just don't want to do anything.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

The roof and other things I never wanted to know about my house

Last night, my amazing roofer came over to collect money for the completed roof and eavestroughs project (unsexy reno project #2 as mentioned in my last blog).

He is so great about telling me what he found when he was working. In my pictures (click on the photo for more house porn on Picasa), you'll see the insulation put in on my back extension. That went off without a hitch. But the top and front; well, that's another story.

Top: Apparently, my chimney is flakey. I guess I knew there was something going on from the home inspection done in September. But they only said I needed to continue the liner for the gas furnace venting. OK, no big deal. Now my roofer says he doesn't know that the chimney is venting ANYTHING. That it's possibly blocked. Great.

Front Bay Window: This was done over in metal. When he pulled off the existing metal, he found it was full of holes in all the multiple layers of metal sheet roofing there. And under the last layer was a mound of soaking wet insulation. And we all know how awesome wet insulation works: awesomely. So he took that out, dripping. And then found mushy wood under that. Also very awesome. So he put that out of its misery too and replaced it with, you know, wood of the non-rotten variety. Novel idea in this place, apparently.

Oh the good news keeps on coming in.

Lots of opportunities to help me decide where to spend my money. And by that I mean: not on vacations.

I love my house. I love my house. I love my house...