Thursday, July 22, 2010
Here is where we’re at and, after watching things go so quickly, it now seems like the same old, same old down there now. The green will be slightly toned down upon completion.
Two weeks ago, the following conversation was also heard in our basement:
“Do you want to think about glass doors on the upper cabinets so that you can show off your yarn? I know you like to (probably in reference to the basket of brightly coloured skeins that graces our stairwell)?” DH asked.
“Oooohh.” I managed to get out and then very, very quickly agreed. Sorry, you can’t have him.
The stairwell - reworked due to putting french pocket doors between the already finished family room and the new space:
The new doors before priming:
The new office space:
Looking back across the office space towards the bathroom and wine closet:
Looking back towards the storage room, from the craft room:
Guset room one:
Guest room two:
Our builder is hoping to be finished around mid-August. Fingers crossed!
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Although I still feel Marit has one of the best blogging views in the world, I don’t have it too bad in my part of the world either.
I was having a hard day last Thursday. When DH got home I requested postponing my own supper in favour of leaving the house for a walk. I usually motor around the roads and streets when I walk, so as to earn as many WW activity points as possible. However, it was such a hard day that I decided my soul needled some salve too. Therefore, across the road and onto the East Coast Trail I went. It was too short notice to invite the blogosphere but, as I thought you might have wanted to join me, here is my photo journey. Maybe next time?
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
The day of Iain and Aidan’s party dawned bright and beautiful and the heat only intensified throughout the day. It turned out to be one of our hottest days of the summer up to that time.
DH wanted something extra special for their party so we rented a bouncy slide.
Iain, Aidan and their guests had a hoot (that's Iain coming down backwards and headfirst on the slide)! It was a great idea on DH’s part as I figured that the kids could just have fun playing with the plethora of toys that we have here. However, it turned into a great combination to have everyone inside playing in the cool and then running outside into the heat to run and bounce around.
Here is what a one year old does with birthday cake.
I think he enjoyed it ;)!
Iain is learning how to lick the icing off the bottom of birthday candles.
I didn’t make the boys their birthday cake this year and, I have to admit, that decision caused me no end of guilt and a few tears. When I was pregnant with Iain, I took two levels of Wilton’s cake decorating courses so that I could decorate my children’s cakes. However, time and the lack of a chest freezer (it is moved due to the basement renovations) worked against me and I simply ran out of time. Considering how difficult it was for me to go out and buy a cake this year, I know that I need to have the cake(s) organised first for future years as it seems to be very important to me even if the boys didn’t seem to mind one way or the other. Ah, parental guilt!
These gorgeous ‘vintage’ decorations used to grace DH and his sister’s birthday cakes when they were children. There are little holes in each figure into which you place a birthday candle. The set is very fragile so I relegated it to a display instead of using it for the party.
It was a really, really fun day and the last set of parents and children left late in the day which, to me, indicates that a fun time was had by all. Yeah!
Sunday, July 11, 2010
I really enjoyed planning and preparing for Iain’s first two birthdays. It was great to attend the parties thrown by my friends for their children. Naturally, I took note of the things everyone was doing at their parties to maintain tradition and incorporated many ideas into our parties, with a few of my own ideas added for good measure.
There are a few things that have bothered me about the parties we have thrown over the years, however, and that is the level of waste attached: paper plates and napkins, plastic cups that, seriously, barely make it out of their packaging intact let alone through the hands and fingers of one year olds and toddlers, the decorations and, one of the biggest problem areas for me, the loot bags.
Believe it or not, I have spent the year since having Aidan trying to think of alternative ways of having greener parties because I did not want to double the amount of birthday waste we would be creating. It’s not easy being green in this regard but we are trying and, I hope, will get better at it each year.
Fate helped in taking me by the hand when I was reading our Costco membership magazine featuring Mompreneurs Suzanne and Suzanne at Green Planet Parties (and if you visit their link and the site is down that’s because they are taking July off for family time and will be back later in the summer). One of their specialties is fabric birthday decorations and I bought a ‘party in a bag’ which includes a ‘Happy Birthday’ fabric birthday banner that we can use for any member of the family, complete with a matching table runner and cloth napkins. The thought of these decorations becoming a family tradition thrills me no end, means I can use up all those paper napkins that have accumulated after only two years of birthday parties, and can even get/make more reusable cloth napkins in the future if I want them. Could I have made any of these items myself? Sure! Do I have the time? Not even close. Do I love the thought of supporting Mompreneurs, particularly Canadian ones? Absolutely.
The other idea I went for from Green Planet Parties is their loot bag ideas. I didn’t go so far as to fill cloth loot bags with lots of green goodies though I love the idea (but the money tree in the back yard has yet to bloom). I went for the idea of giving one quality piece of loot (in this case, their bean bag bugs). It is my hope that the children attending the party will think of Iain and Aidan for years to come when they play with their piece of loot.
What else are we going to do different this year? For starters, we did not send out/give out party invitations. I will be using potted annuals to add colour to our home. Like I said, I’m working on small steps here.
I already have some thoughts for next year. Some of these to add to the reusable decoration theme would be great and requesting that presents be ‘green’ packaged.
Any suggestions to add to the idea jar?
Monday, July 05, 2010
And a big congrats to Suzanne who has already completed her WIP for the Cup. Isn’t it gorgeous?!? See, when I grow up, I want to be just like Suzanne. Gorgeous, smart, talented and, best of all, a SUPER fast knitter to boot! Yep, that’s exactly what I want to be when I grow up.
I thought you might be interested in some pictures of where I’ve been working on my sweater since starting knitting for the World Cup competition:
Sandy Cove Beach, Gander Bay, Notre Dame Bay:
My parents' cabin in Victoria Cove, Gander Bay. I love this place. Visiting this building is like stepping back in time:
The ever present cup of tea now that I have two children and haven't seen a full night's sleep since July 4, 2007. Brand? Tetley (orange pekoe) - the perennial Newfoundland and Labradorian favourite (though my personal favourite is Twinings' Earl Grey):
Enjoying some knitting time on our drive back to Torbay from Victoria Cove.
I am working on sleeve number one and have three balls of yarn left. My fingers are crossed that the Knitting Goddess forgot that I even know how to knit....
Thursday, July 01, 2010
On July 1st, 1916, the then Newfoundland Regiment fought in its first engagement on the first day of the Battle of the Somme in a place called Beaumont Hamel, France. After that day, the Regiment was granted the title ‘Royal Newfoundland Regiment’ because if enough people get slaughtered at a time, you are entitled to have ‘Royal’ attached to your name (no bitterness from me, eh?). A generation of young men from this province were virtually wiped out when 798 went into the fray that morning and 68 answered roll-call the next morning.
When DH and I lived in Germany from 1998 – 2002, the first weekend trip we took was to Beaumont Hamel. The caretaker at the time was Steve Austin (no, not the bionic one) who, coincidentally, was married by my father (the Anglican minister). Steve was a great tour guide and we spent a couple of lovely weekends at the Beaumont Hamel site, enjoying our caretaker friend’s hospitality and equally enjoying the private tour of the site itself as well as the local area. On one such weekend when we were driving through a field near a small village, a man yelled out to us as we drove by,
“Vive les Canadienne!” in response to our Canadian Forces overseas red and white license plates. The memory of Canadian sacrifices in that part of the world are still very real and current.
Beaumont Hamel is commemorated by a bronze caribou on a mound, the caribou being the emblem of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment. There is another in Bowring Park where DH and I held our wedding reception and is a symbol that I grew up with as playing around the statue in Bowring Park was a rite of passage when I visited the big city.
I have not been home for July 1st in many, many years. As we were on our way to Gander Bay for the long weekend, we did not take part in any Memorial Day ceremonies. However, we did see Sea Cadets spiffied up in their uniforms heading for the Cenotaph in Torbay. Flags poles held their flags at half mast and several front doors held wreaths encircled in red poppies. For both events this year, my family and I remembered and celebrated in Victoria Cove, Gander Bay, Notre Dame Bay with my parents. We celebrated with a bar-b-que, remembering that, if it was not for the sacrifice of those boys and men, we might not have been able to sit back and enjoy such a holiday with family.
On the West Coast of Canada, the BC part of the family was also celebrating another very significant event. Happy birthday, FIL/Grandpa D! We hope it was a great one!
I hope the new family enjoys this house as much as we did. I am very sorry to see it go.