27 September 2006

Life in the country

Life in the country is slower than life in the city.

You've always got a long list of things to do, but somehow, it's okay to just pick the one you feel like doing next and do that.

22 September 2006

Clean clothes

Oh, such excitement today at Apple Jack Creek! Sears had a sale, and we got a new washing machine!

Our first load of clothes is in the wash as I write, spinning free of mud and dirt. The drying rack is set up in the living room awaiting jeans and shirts and socks. For the past year, laundry has been done at Union Guy's house (or on occasion, at the laundromat near the office!) and so it is very exciting to have a washing machine of our very own.

We got a front load washer, as it uses much less power and water than most regular washers: this model is a Maytag, rated at 170kWh/year. It is very small, so we can't do too many clothes at once, but if we do a load of wash every few days, we should have no problems. I see this as an inducement to frugality in clothes shopping: if you have to do the wash every few days, you don't need seven pairs of jeans in order to make it from wash day to wash day.

My current objective is to get the storage unit unpacked and dig through the remaining boxes to see what I really need to keep and what can be sold/donated/freecycled. This house is very small and has minimal storage space, so if something isn't likely to be used frequently, it isn't likely to be kept. Living with less stuff is a real release, anyway, so I'm looking forward to this process. Of course, I'm also looking forward to having my baking pans back, and putting some books on the shelves, and locating my parka before winter hits again!

That, and the outside work (cleaning up the yard and making a run to the dump, fixing the fences so the sheep stop escaping to the neighbour's land, getting the firewood split and stacked for winter, figuring out a heated watering trough system ...) should keep us well out of trouble for the next little while.

13 September 2006

Finished floors!

We finally have finished floors!

Okay, the stairs aren't done, but the rest of the house is laid, stained, sealed and topcoated.

Do you realize what this means?


Yes, we'll have to move things around to do the baseboards, yes, we still need a second coat of topcoat in the kitchen, yes, we still have to do the ceiling and things will be in the way a little but still...

My socks came out of a dresser drawer this morning instead of a Rubbermaid bin - first time in more than a year. The Boy has bookshelves for his Lego and his books and his treasures, many of which elicited happy exclamations when they were brought out of the boxes they've been hiding in. I am, at present, sitting in a very ancient and very comfortable old chair with an actual floor lamp beside me. There is a table by the window holding several plants. My rocking chair is beside it. This weekend, we should be able to bring the couch home! Soon we'll be able to empty out the storage unit and get that bill off the monthly accounts ... and use the money to buy baseboards and window trim instead!

These things probably seem remarkably mundane and ordinary, but when you live out of bins and wade through sawdust and wear steel toed boots in the house for a year, it really is a big deal.

Aaaah. Home.

05 September 2006

And for the rest of the weekend...

... we worked hard.

Union Guy and The Boy worked on acquiring more firewood. There are several slash piles in the vicinity, and Solar Neighbour graciously loaned us his chainsaw to tackle them with. In the hot summer sun, Union Guy sawed off fire sized logs and The Boy loaded them into the truck bed. We plan to rent a splitter a little later on and share it with Solar Neighbour so that both of us can have a nice pile of split and stacked firewood. Most of it will still be too green to burn this year, but it's good to get a head start for next winter.

While the boys were outside in the sun, I was inside on my hands and knees staining the floors. I got the bedroom floor done one day, and the loft done the next. The dark walnut stain (Watco Black Walnut, actually) looks really good on the pine flooring, although it is a bit washed out in this picture. The wood has a lot of variation in it that you don't really notice until you've got the stain on the floor, but I really like how it brings out the grain of the wood.

I went to the Greyhound today and picked up the sealant that will go on top of the flooring: the guys I got the floor from use this industrial grade stuff on the installations they do and highly recommend it. I have to let the stain sit for several days to finish drying before I top coat it, but I am very anxious to have real floors! Once the flooring is done, I can start bringing in some furniture at last - we will still have to move things around a bit to do trim and such, but we'll no longer need to sit on lawn chairs and keep our socks in Rubbermaid bins. Woohoo how exciting!

A successful wedding!

My best friend got married on the long weekend, so that kept us quite thoroughly occupied for a couple of days!

There was a lovely service on Saturday at a very old local church, and The Boy served as an usher. One of the duties of the usher is to ring the bell at the start and the end of the ceremony - the other usher, a cousin, did the bell at the start, and The Boy rang it at the end of the wedding as the happy couple walked out the front doors. The gentleman from the church was helping The Boy pull the rope, but he let go when he discovered that The Boy has farm kid arms!

My friend and her husband wanted a fun outdoor barbecue type wedding, more like a family reunion than a typical wedding reception. We had amazingly good weather - bright sunshine and no rain - and a fun group of people including a lady who did face painting and another who organized crafts for the kids. It's the only wedding I've been to where there was a pinata filled with candy and an outdoor fire pit with marshmallows!

All in all it turned out beautifully, and we wish them the very best of happiness!

Cousin Neighbours off on their grand adventure!

The Cousin Neighbours were through last week on their way south to start their Grand Adventure.

You can read all about their journey on their blog: