Finding My Inner Martha (Or Not)

Things I hoped to do by my birthday & Thanksgiving: 1) get beeswax, wicks, and varnish; make half a dozen mini pumpkins and gourds into candles; 2) finish mudding office, prime, move all furniture and boxes, scrub floors, and paint 2 coats on the 2 walls that need it; 3) prime and paint drywalled section of hallway and redo all white trim; 4) do a blog post featuring friends’ and families’ visits over the past year; 5) finish drywalling, steppling, cleaning, priming, painting, and moving into my new bedroom; 6) dependent upon 5, clean old bedroom and move in guest bed (a.k.a. oversize coffee table) from middle of living room; restore order to living room; 7) wipe construction dust off all belongings again, for the last time; (8) make decadent cheesecake for Mari Ann and Jason’s visit; 9) mow, rake and till wildflower patch, plant poppy, columbine, lupin and other seeds; deadhead, prune trees and mow lawn in what remains of good weather ; and 10) celebrate one-year anniversary of buying home (October 6th) by not renovating home for an entire day. Number of items on above list that Martha could do blindfolded in 10 days or less: 10. Items I might actually complete by my birthday: 2, 3 but not trim, 4, 7 but probably three more times, 10 (please?) for a total of 5. On the other hand, things we can feel accomplished about…


Home Business

I’ve been hinting at this for a while, but let’s make it official: Richard has started a home business to supplement his “day job” since Unimog sales have not gone well in his first year on the job. Here’s how it happened: people at work knew he was in HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) before, and asked his advice to help them get the right heating system for their homes. This month, the third time around, the gal at work who took his advice brought him two heat pump system quotes that were, in Richard’s opinion, asking an arm and a leg. So after thinking about it and talking with Jason, our friendly not-quite-in-the-neighbourhood distributor (who you’ll remember provided and installed our own heating system), Richard asked his co-worker if he could give her a quote – and three weeks to get ready for it. She said sure, and Sheridan’s Heat Pumps and Mechanical Ltd. was born. As a result, we’ve been doing a rigamarole of applications, certifications, licences, insurance, banking, sweating over how he’s going to get the business going while we’re finishing this gigantic renovation! (One source of funds, sad to say, was our beloved lawn tractor. Sold it to the neighbours. Sigh.) But it’s all coming together. We’re working hard on the master suite this weekend – pictures to come soon – and on things like business cards and the new website. Plus I’ve been back at work for a few days, with hopefully more contract days to come. It just means the reno itself is slow going. But, Jason and Mari Ann arrive next weekend, perfect timing for Jason to help Richard with his first new job: his co-worker accepted his quote! And my parents arrive the weekend after that for Thanksgiving. Further motivation, despite all these other chores, to get the bedroom done. So that’s the big news. I am now going to don my Holmes-like brown overalls and yesterday’s dusty T-shirt, and put one more coat of mud on the drywall. Then I get to seal the tiles that Richard has already adhered around the tub. Which means that instead of using the sealant in the open, airy garage, I’m using it in the tiniest room in the house, with only the ceiling fan and my nasty dust mask to protect me. Lovely. But I can’t wait to photograph it and show it off. It’s gorgeous. The whole thing is going to be gorgeous. It’s just taking a while. Yesterday, a bear spooking the neighbour’s llamas caused some excitement as Jonathan got out the shotgun to go rescue the llama that jumped the fence, and we all went out back to steer it back to the farm. Then we met our new neighbours on the east side, and their two dogs. And Richard talked to Don on the other side about borrowing his ceiling-steppling equipment to do our master bedroom ceiling. I got all the drywalling I could do done, but at dusk … Continue Reading →


Mud and a Shower

Another busy weekend! Although Richard’s initial response was, “great, more work”, we were happy to hear from our plumbing store that our replacement shower had arrived three weeks ahead of schedule. And, to add to that excellent luck, our pocket door and French doors were ready for pickup as well. So we picked them up on Saturday morning (entirely forgetting about the grocery run, unfortunately). In the afternoon, Richard took an online course and wrote an exam (more on this later), and I mudded and cleaned up the reno zone to make room to bring in the shower. On Sunday, with the help of the neighbours, we squeezed our gorgeous (and undamaged) new shower through the rough opening left by the old sliding doors, and tucked it into the back of the master bathroom. That was the easy part. Richard has decided to leave it there until the bedroom and other bathroom are done. I was looking forward to seeing it with drywall up, but there’s a lot of plumbing and electrical still to do, not to mention cutting an opening in the stucco for the new window, so it will have to wait. The important thing was that with the shower inside, we were then able to install the bathroom’s pocket door, and the new French doors. Not enough hours in the day to get the new bathroom wall drywalled, but the wiring is done, and drywall in the closet got done so that I could continue mudding this week.