Getting ready for winter

I risk sounding like a pilgrim, but here it goes: We are rushing to get ready for winter. The last few weekends, we have insulated things that can easily be insulated, and tried to get our home “gas inspection” ready so that we can finally get that new furnace burning. From removing the old oil tank in the basement, to venting our gas range, there’s a lot of little check-marks that we need to account for before the gas company will give us the thumbs up.

Otherwise, he’s a little play-by-play of what’s new in the world of our century-old little farmhouse.

Project 1: Wrap it up

We’re wrapping the back addition — also known as the kitchen — in rigid foil insulation before re-cladding it. We’ll take the opportunity to make the whole back side look the same. Those garages burn holes into my retinas with their ugliness. Consider this first image a “Before”.

sep_2015 (8 of 9) sep_2015 (9 of 9) sep_2015 (2 of 9)The north-facing wall is getting a double dose of insulation. We’ve already stuffed it and dry-walled it before moving our kitchen in to place. Speaking of which…

Project 2: Finish the kitchen

sep_2015 (3 of 9) sep_2015 (4 of 9) sep_2015 (1 of 1)The kitchen is here! As you can see we’ve already covered most of it with things like empty bottles of wine and wilted celery. (I really considered not posting that last picture but it’s just too good.) I have to photograph the kitchen a little better. I didn’t even take a picture of the island, which is currently housing a lot of tools and renovation materials. But, I’m going to wait until we finish it before showing it off.

Right now, we’re installing a new window that will fit snugly behind our gas range. Since we mainly put in solid blocks of work on weekends, the house can tend to get into regular “messy phases” where all sorts of construction materials are propped against walls, and the dining room table becomes a resting place for sheets of measurements, boxes of screws, and so on.

Project 3: No more American Horror Story staircase

The “before” picture here doesn’t capture the beautiful new walls and fresh coat(s) of paint that have seriously revivified our hallways. I bought floor paint, too, and planned to attack the staircase next. But in a fit of inspiration, we decided that the stairs would look awesome if we made them two-tone; natural wood treads and deep red rises.

The amount of time, effort and mental fortitude that it will take to make this happen is staggering. But it’s worth it if only for the “After” photo.



sep_2015 (5 of 9) sep_2015 (6 of 9)

Project 4: Gaze longingly at loving dog

Oh Pekoe… be still my heart.

sep_2015 (1 of 9)C’est tout! I’m really digging the fall in the new house. I have been burning scented candles, and taking Pekoe for tons of walks while enjoying the fall colours. It’s a pretty beautiful time of year in the Ottawa valley.

apple overload

even though the temperature peaks into something resembling summer by mid-day, it’s the brisk mornings and cool nights that have my thoughts turning to pumpkin spices and sweaters and turning leaves…

apple picking, however, is for me what heralds the transition from summer to fall.

growing up in the suburbs, it was a trip to the farms just outside the city that solidified this connection between apples and fall. hay rides, tree climbing and the promise of apple pies. those rickety wooden ladders and eating apples straight off the tree. the adorably grumpy owner of the orchard. even now i get the same feeling: excitement with a twinge of nostalgia.

this year, apples were collected from an abandoned apple orchard not far from Toronto’s west end. unkempt, varied apples. organic. and for the afternoon, it’s a fun mess of climbing, shaking, gathering and dodging wasps.


we were, maybe, a bit over-enthusiastic. but we had plans. oh, there were plans…

(stay tuned)

coffee talk

poor me. whine whine whine. i am experiencing act 1, scene 1 of what is likely a fever. feel sorry for me, immediately.

for this reason, my mind is wondering incoherently through the insanely busy summer i happen to be on the outside edge of, and stewing in nostalgia for fall…

summer can’t last forever, friends. between trips and cottages and famjams and engagement parties… come to me, autumn. i have spent more than 80% of weekend out of the city. you have been a true whirlwind, summer 2012! but now, my mind is lingering on knits and jackets and jewel tones… the thought of these things warm my insides. pumpkin, nutmeg, late-season apple picking (this is still happening this year, yes?)

as fall approaches, here are just some of the things i’m looking forward to:

1. apartment hunting. i am both excited and terrified at the prospect of finding a new place in toronto. it has been a long two years in my apartment, and i am simply ennuyé by everything about it. a huge commute to work, some very low ceilings (poor matt…), and a troubling layout are just some of the reasons that i am desperate for a change of scenery. it’ll be nice to have, for example, a real bedroom. a real bedroom! and not just an open space through which any visitors have to walk through to use the washroom….but can we find an apartment with parking, laundry, and the same spacious feeling in the price range we want?

2. kegerator. it’s happening.

3. sewing! my sewing room has been taken over as a temporary storage place for a beloved friend who is . as much as it is possible to simply “work around” the mess, my inner diva squashes the impulse. sewing in a crowded space? too stressful.

4. being boring on weekends, staying home and watching every episode of the walking dead in existence. the heart wants what the heart wants.


5. helping my best friend plan her wedding. love is in the air! two of my very dear friends have recently become engaged, and i am ridiculously amused with the whole experience so far. i’ve only been to a couple weddings before, and am one of those people who are pretty naive when it comes to traditions and duty (read: clueless). this will be my first time in a bridal party, and i don’t know why this whole “bridesmaid” thing gets such a bum rap. so far, my role has amounted to vintage shopping for cute decorations, drinking champagne while hemming and hawing over various wedding dresses, visiting the beautiful conservation where the wedding will be held, and a handful of engagement-related celebrations.

6. fall photos. the light, diffused through beautiful leaves, on a crisp autumn morning…. can you picture it?

7. fixing the navigation on this blog. oh, it hurts my soul — my soul! — to visit my own homepage and be greeted by the sad nav bar. this has been on the ‘to do’ list for far too long. a simple fix, probably, but every time i’ve started to dabble with it, i’ve been torn away. oh, but it you want to do it for me, *nudge nudge*