Posts Tagged ‘painting’

On Tuesday we found out our real estate agent had scheduled an open house for tomorrow (Saturday). We panicked. We wrote up a to do list to prove to her we couldn’t be ready. Our list was 3 pages long & this was after a week of solid work (by ourselves & anyone we could convince to help).

Well, tomorrow morning I have to run back to the house to put a last coat on the bathroom trim & pass a mop over a few of the floors. Everything on the list is done! Ok, I lie, we still need to finish up the deck outside of the kitchen but that was a task we knew we wouldn’t be able to finish in time.

Without the motivation of the deadline I’m not sure we would be at this point right now but I’m pretty damn proud of us.

We bought this house a little more than 5 years ago. At 140 years old it needed a LOT of work. I big task for a couple who could do little more than paint a wall & change a lightbulb, but with (a LOT) of help from friends & family & a can- do attitude we have made changes, some of them major, in every single room of the house.

People keep commenting that we must want to move back in now that everything looks so good & is finally finished (well, with an older house “finished” is kind of a loosely used word) but really we don’t. We are pretty darn proud of what we’ve accomplished, we’ve learned a lot & we’ve grown a lot.

We added a lot of blood, sweat & tears to the memories in those walls but we’ve also added laughter & good times. One of my favourite things about those drafty old walls was the sense of time & memory that breathed through it. Knowing that others were born & died, wept & laughed, cozied up through winter storms & threw windows open to warm breezes made me feel part of something more.

I will post some before & after pics but the after pics have yet to be taken & I’m too tired tonight to wait for them to upload anyway!


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This past weekend a friend & I went backpacking in Algonquin. It’s something I’ve been wanting to do for some time & then when we were having our beginning of the year planning session for Girl Guides she kept saying she wanted to go backpacking so I jumped on the opportunity.

We decided to do the Highland Trail leaving out of Mew Lake. We headed out Friday as early as we could but apparently it wasn’t early enough. The park said we arrived just in time ’cause no one was allowed to depart after 7:00pm but we’re thinking they need to reassess that timing as unless you are a serious runner there is no chance you can get in to the first set of campsites before dark.

So we hiked for about an hour & a half until it was quite dark. As we passed by Starling Lake the trail turned & headed directly UP & we decided that that was enough. We lucked out with just enough space between the trail & the lake to place our tent. A quick meal & it was time for bed.

Unfortunately neither of us slept well that night. You see Starling Lake was not labelled on our map so we weren’t 100% sure where along the trail we were. Did we pass the campsite or not make it that far? Plus just after we crawled in we heard a loud “Ka-splash” – damn bear threw a giant rock in the water! Ok – not really but neither one of us can figure out what the heck we heard & there was no other sound before or after.

Beautiful Starling Lake - much more inviting in the light of day.

In the morning we had a quick breakfast of oatmeal & tea & then hit the trail. As we suspected when we reached the top of the hill there was a trail sign but in the end we were glad we had stopped the night before as it was still a little ways to our intended campsite.

We followed this moose most of the day. It became a bit of a game to watch for her prints.

We had amazing weather – most of Saturday was overcast & cool. But we sweat enough to keep ourselves warm!

My friend kept us going at a good pace. Please note that this is not representative of the type of trail we were on - this was just one of the few areas I could safely walk & take a picture without risking an ankle.

I obviously need to work on my map skills. There was no problem in keeping to the trail but knowing where along the trail we were we found challenging. Most of the trail was through fairly dense forest so there were not a lot of landmarks to go by.

The Madawaska River as it heads into Head Lake was a welcome sight!

When we got to our site on Head Lake we were happy to stop & set up camp. We got everything set up & a snack into us before the rain started. Perfect timing! We crawled into the tent for a nap & a few hands of Gin.

We had an amazing supper of spaghetti made with dehydrated ground beef & mushrooms & tomatoe sauce leather - all of which I dried myself. So yummy! Mind you everything tastes amazing when camping!

After the rain we had supper & enjoyed a beautiful, sunny evening before a good night’s sleep.

Happy to see the sunshine come out!

Sunday we had the trail we had covered both Friday & Saturday to cover plus the drive home so we tried to get an early start to the day. We headed out about 8:00am hoping to make it back to the car in the early afternoon.

You've got to love a misty morning when you're lake side.

Most magical thing we saw all weekend (sorry for the poor photo) was this misty clearing. All the trees were full of spider webs all sparkly with rain water.

Nature's decoration.

Are you ready for the not so impressive stats? We hiked 1.5 hours on Friday night, 3 hours & 20 minutes on Saturday (plus 40 minutes in breaks) & 4 hours & 20 minutes on Sunday (plus 40 minutes in breaks).

Top priority on breaks after water? Foot care! Take care of those hot spots when they start & they won't become blisters.

We covered 26.5km over the weekend averaging about 2.5km/hour. Coming back on Sunday I counted the hills & we mountain goated up 19 hills (4 we decided were “small” so 17 might be more accurate) averaging slightly more than one hill every 15 minutes. So when the Algonquin website tells you a trail is challenging it should be believed!

Taking a much deserved break at the only lookout point we passed.

It's still too early for the fall colours - guess I'll need to make another trip out later in the season.

Although the trek was definitely challenging & muscles felt it I am definitely pleased with my fitness level. The weight I want to lose is still hanging on but I most definitely have improved my cardio & strength to a point that I am proud of.

And I seem to FINALLY be mastering the art of clothing packing. I used every piece of clothing I brought except my rain pants. No extras! But I must remember to bring a complete change of clothes to leave in the car to wear home.

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Before we moved back into this house last spring I painted most of the house with the help of some friends & family. But we ran out of time & steam when we reached the upstairs hallway trim.

I had painted up there 2.5 years ago before we left (one of the few areas that I had painted) so it wasn’t so obvious that we hadn’t made it up there last spring. But after 4 moves (us out, renters in, renters out, us in) the trim was looking pretty banged up.

But on Saturday Diaperbutt took an unexpected early & very long nap. When he fell asleep in the morning I thought I might get the trim around his bedroom window done. When I finished that & he was still asleep I move on & on & on until before I knew it all the trim was painted. After each doorway I became more & more incredulous that he was still asleep.

The dogs also enjoyed the sunny day. As a special bonus Sadie kept her "helping" to a minimum & I only had to repaint one little spot where she jumped up on the freshly painted window sill.

It sure was nice to get a quiet, sunny couple of hours of productive time. And now our upstairs looks permanently brighter!

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This isn’t actually the first of my 52 projects to be complete but my mother-in-law has the photos for the first project on her camera. I like this goal. It has me really motivated to work on stuff around the house & I have been doing bits & pieces most days – unfortunately a lot of my projects have more to them then bits & pieces!

This morning my hallway looked like this:

When we bought this house the people before us (or perhaps before them) had put fake wood grain stick-’em tiles in all the rooms upstairs. Each room had a different wood grain pattern & in some of the rooms the tiles were in terrible condition – lifting & peeling & stained.We wanted to lift up the tiles & subfloor & have the original wide plank wood floors sanded & refinished but money & time did not permit that to happen before we moved back in, but I knew I couldn’t live with those hideous stick-’em tiles.

So I painted the floors except those rooms with real tile & this square in the hallway. This was where the washing machine was sitting & it wouldn’t fit through the doorways into one of the tiled rooms so I was forced to paint around it & we’ve been staring at that square ever since.

Yesterday I pulled the paint out with the intention of painting it after Diaperbutt went to bed but thanks to his unplanned nap during our hike yesterday he ended up being up much later than usual. So this morning I got brave & decided to go ahead & clean & paint it with him around.

It went very well, only took a few minutes & he found it so fascinating he just stood by & watched. Much easier than I anticipated.

Then I blocked off the wet area & moved on to other tasks.

The quick little guy pushed through my blockade, slipped on the wet paint, scared himself good, put a giant butt print in the fresh paint & tried real hard to ruin one of my favourite diaper covers.

While I cuddled away the tears & worked quickly to wash the diaper cover & ruined top Charlotte decided to put her mark on the project.

So with Diaperbutt in the tub (it kind of looks like I bathed him in mud!) I put another coat on the floor (don’t worry – our house is small & could see him in the tub the whole time & was never more than 4 steps away).

And now it is drying.

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