Tuesday, 29 May 2012

The Angels are Singing

Seriously, they are! Why? Well because we've got the drywall finished in the kitchen and dining room FINALLY!!!!! When that happened I swear there was that "hallelujah" moment where the angels sang and played their little harps. It was truly a miraculous moment. Now it's not really that big of a step in the grand scheme of things, but it feels monumental at this juncture. I mean, have I been seriously kitchen-less for five whole months now!? So it is a HUGE deal that the drywall is done, because that is what was holding us back. There was no way to paint, no way/point in laying the new subfloor (let alone the new flooring), what's the point of continuing to assemble cabinets when you have to shove them in the corner of every other room to your house blocking off access to needed things! There was no point I tell you, but now there is!
  It has renewed my excitement about this project again...the prospect of having even ONE cupboard up and functioning for me to put our clean dishes away in has me giddy! Don't even mention the fact a functioning sink is on the horizon because I might just pass out, and it gives me heart palpitations thinking about all the food I can cook, and oh the things I can bake when we have the oven hooked up. It seems a little sad when some finished drywall can cause that much excitement in your life, but I'll take it!
   So instead of blabbing on about all the fantastic-ness that is abounding in our kitchen, I'll let the pictures do the talking.
So here's one of the only shots I have (I think there's more on my other camera that is AWOL right now) of the process pre-re-drywalling, and they're both from the dining room...but if you squint real hard and use your imagination, you can see that the kitchen looked pretty  much exactly the same.

 This was the old front door that we closed in...if you can believe that people still try and come to that door? There's nothing there now except for some pink Styrofoam, and they try and knock? Seriously, some people's kids!

So we took out that dumb ramp that went from the kitchen to the living room out (which I don't actually have any pictures of - most likely because it made me want to facepalm every time I looked at it) But again, if you squint and imagine then you can remember there was a (short) step coming from the kitchen, then they had built a ramp to go down to the living room. 

 The bonus about making the floor of the kitchen all the same (aside from having more kitchen floor & being able to take that wall to the right back a bit) is that it gave us about an extra foot in that area of the basement - to bring it level with the rest of the ceiling down there...which is where we are planning on putting a bathroom, so woot!

My look how far it has come! It's amazing, super excited that I can actually start priming in here (and the dining room) most likely by the end of the week. You can see from the last picture that we finally had the duct work added to bring heat up to our bedroom (just in time for that hot spell in March haha) No longer will we need the electric baseboards or crappy air conditioner up there, another woot! You can also see that we closed off the laundry room door. Which is fantastic from a kitchen standpoint, but since that's where I have to cook, it's not the greatest arrangement to have to walk all the way around and through a bedroom. I'll take it though if it means pushing the kitchen ahead.

Happy to say that we have made some progress in the kitchen, there's still a TON of work left to do, we hope to have the priming and painting done by the end of next week...then start on installing the upper cabinets - which means I can put away clean dishes, (say it again) woot!

Monday, 28 May 2012

My Milkshake Brings All The Boys To The Yard...

Maybe not my milkshake, but my mad gardening skills for sure! We've actually done a fair amount of work outside, and it's starting to look significantly better.

Here's where we started...
 These two are from when we first looked at the house...look at how lush and nice the grass looks haha - no weeds!

 This is a more accurate rendering of where we started when be began removing stuff. We had no idea what any of it was, we knew we just wanted it gone. It was basically just a bunch of over grown crap, so we just started hacking away. After about an hour or so of labour we were left with a slightly less ugly front area - a stretch of dirt. (I know I took pictures of what it looked like after but they're obviously on another memory card - which is hiding in a missing camera - because I can't find them)

The stretch of dirt sat for about a month before we decide to take up the bricks. We are planning on putting a large porch on the front in a few years, so in the interim, we decided to put a garden in so it doesn't look so pathetic there. As most of you know, I am not a gardener. I don't know the first thing about it, so I called in reinforcements...I brought in my mommy. She's a great gardener, and she's like a plant savant, she knows what pretty much ever flower is called.  It was a perfect pairing, I knew nothing, and she in totally in her element when gardening. She got all excited when she saw this clematis at the back, and she kept offering to buy plants for me when we were at the nursery. Now I know where to take her shopping if I want her to buy me things hehe.

We started in the back yard investigating what some mysterious plants were, and figuring out what we could dig up to transplant in the front. We have a big area out front (17'6" long, and 6'6" at it's narrowest & about 9'6" at it's widest) so I was hoping to be able to transplant as much as I can to save some money.

 We started by taking a look at this bushy ground cover thing, it had pretty little purple flowers that those lovely red arrows are pointing out (you still can't really see them very well - sorry). Mama didn't know what it was, but when we were at the nursery we discovered that it's Myrtle. Sweet...and it's clearly been there for quite a while haha. To the left (in front of the lattice thing) is the clematis, this is where she was sucked over to it as if by a magic force-field, waving her arms like an excited little school girl seeing the Beibs in the flesh! Unfortunately we weren't able to dig up any of this - because the clematis was all woven in the dead hunks, and we just never really got around to the myrtle.

 This is an older picture (from March I think) of the rosebushes we thought were dead...not sure what the rest of the rest of the flowers are, (or if they're even flowers) as they're sadly no longer with us...Jason hacked over them with the lawnmower. We pruned back and dug up the rosebushes, and found some baby rhubarb being choked out that we're not really sure how it got there. There was also a small little euonymus shrub growing not to far off that mom sort of hacked up when she transplanted it haha.

 Then there's this bohemouth, which is a mixture of a couple different euonymus plants, and something else that I can't remember of the top of my head. I'm not really sure what we're going to do with this, we don't want it where it is, that's for sure, so hopefully we can find a way to use part of it up front, and maybe give the rest to our landscaping friend? It's huge though, probably about 6.5-7ft around. Yeeshk!

Then the fun part happened...we went flower shopping, mom had a blast, and we came home with a bunch of things for a fairly reasonable price, and we got to diggin'! I still wouldn't say I overly enjoy gardening, but I did have a pretty good time, and the best part was no arguments broke out! Here's what we were left with after about 3 hours of work.

  Here's a couple larger view shots...it looks a little sparse right now, but about half the flowers haven't bloomed yet, and there's still more to be added (from the back yard, other people's donations, and some more purchases) plus we had to leave room for some tulips, and daffodils that I'll be planting the the fall for next spring. Even just this little bit makes me happy when I come out the front door.

 We went to Klomps (on Hwy 7 between St Marys and Stratford) and we picked up for $120:
  • 2 weigela "fine wine" (they're the taller pink coloured shrub)
  • 2 Asiatic lilies (the cool orange ones) (I think I might pick up another one)
  • 10pks (of 4) allysum in white & purple
  • 6pks (of 4) marigold (in different styles and colours)
  • 1 Hydrangea quick fire - they'll be a pinky colour
  • 1 large begonia in white (below)
  • 2 Bidens in yellow
  • 1 Bellflower in purple (although they call it "deep blue")
  • 3 oriental poppy's in white
My mom also brought a few things with her:
  • 2 segments of sedum
  • 2 purple columbines
  • some tall-ish yellow flowery thing that she couldn't remember what it was called
 We were able to transplant the two rosebushes (close to the front door), and part of the euonymus (by the old porch) from the back yard. When we dig up the myrtle we'll put it beside the porch to cover the ugliness (since we can't get rid of it, as it's the cold storage room) The clematis will have a home between the two windows when we get around to moving it - probably in the fall after it blooms)

Look at the pretty lily...it's so cute! I still need to get some ferns for along the back, and I want to get a red rhododendron bush, because they're gorgeous and humming birds like them, and I really want a peony (because they're my favourite) but mama wouldn't let me get one *insert sad face here* hehe.

I'm quite pleased with how the garden turned out, nothing died in the process so that's always a plus. I don't have a propensity for keeping things alive; I was always that pathetic kid who'd little seedlings died in elementary school, so we'll see how this goes. I'm hoping since they're already alive and all I really have to do is water them regularly things will go well. 

I'll leave you with the cute little butterfly fanning its wings from our back bohemouth bush.