Playing House, Part VII

As promised, here are the photos of our latest (and long overdue) renovation marathon. The demolition part, anyway. Actual construction is still on hold because it’s impossible to get an electrician around here! Richard wanted our service upgrade done by a professional, but since the local electricians aren’t professional enough to show up when they say they will, or even reply to a voicemail, I think he’s going to end up doing it himself. We can’t wait any longer: the new heating system, bathtub, shower, 2 toilets, 2 sinks, and the accompanying faucets et cetera were ordered yesterday and are due to be installed starting the second week in July. Given the rainy weather and my intense desire to do something destructive on Monday (topic for conversation elsewhere), I decided it was about time we cleared the way for our new ensuite. Allyson and I made a start Monday, I really put my back into it Thursday and Friday, and today Richard and I finished gutting the ensuite and most of the master bedroom. This photo shows the first of two loads that went to the transfer station today. I have twenty photos to post tonight, and hopefully I can use them to provide as much of a picture of the intended construction as they illustrate of the demolition.

A Full Weekend

Richard’s sister, brother-in-law, and two dogs came up for a short visit this weekend. We celebrated Colleen’s birthday with a decadent lobster and clam boil followed by Richard’s best ever apple pie. (And BBQ’d salmon with quesadillas for lunch, eggs benedict for breakfast Sunday morning, and clam chowder made from the leftover clams and stock to finish off the weekend of eating). The weather could have been better – the gorgeous hammock Colleen and Jorge brought was dripping wet most of the weekend – but between storms the ground dried enough for a game of bocce, we enjoyed our lobster out on the lawn, and had a couple of visits with the goats and sheep, and the neighbour with his growing pack of tiny dogs (more puppies are on their way, he says, and Smoky the llama is due soon, too).

Creature Comforts

Richard says I’m in denial. I have not fully accepted reality. Apparently, I’m a country girl now. But aside from the sound of Daisy’s baritone leading the alto goat chorus out back, most days it feels like suburbia here, with a little extra dose of the good life: truly clean air (no stink of manure, thank you very much!); friendly, helpful and generous neighbours (with some oddballs thrown in for laughs); prolific fruit trees and flowering plants to make my garden a source of joy; and now, my very own post office box number instead of “general delivery”. Got the notice from the post office today, and will spend some part of the day tomorrow sending our new mailing address out to everybody. Oh, and finally, my connection to the outside world: my dial-up is back to normal. I even downloaded a long overdue 56 mb OSX update in the middle of the day today while Allyson and I made a grocery run. Last week I was amazed if the connection stayed up for 20 minutes. Today, it was on, downloading away for several hours. I got all my updates downloaded, almost 100 mb worth, and Allyson checked and sent e-mail as that was going on, without a single howl of despair. (There have been a few in the last two weeks, let me tell you.) Last night I even helped a neighbour order a couple of books on Amazon, and it actually worked! Hurrah! (Why order it here? They don’t own a computer. Okay, maybe we are in the country. But you could as easily call it a retirement community. With pocket gophers instead of golfers.) Relief aside, in a month if all goes as scheduled, I will move on to high speed two-way satellite, a new internet service being offered in July. For what I’m paying now for a dial-up phone line and unlimited access, I can get upload and download 75 times faster. Now that will bring me back into the 21st century. It does get a little sleepy in our neck of the woods. Anyway, many of you could care less about what plants are turning up in my garden (although I’m guessing you’ll take a sudden interest when all the apples, apricots and cherries ripen, hmm?) and you may have seen quite enough of our four-legged neighbours, but I’m not such a country girl yet that I haven’t stopped being charmed by the flora and fauna. So for Lael and Mom and others who can appreciate the baby horns on my new friend Billy the Kid, or how a columbine looks like a Chinese dragon, this post is for you.