Monday, May 11, 2015

Long time no blog.

Things have been quiet on the blog front for over a year now, and it's funny how easy it is to let something that was once enjoyable get pushed to the back burner, then eventually into hibernation. There are lots of reasons these things happen, blog burnout being the big one. Kudos to all you intrepid DIY'ers and lifestylers who can come up with something fresh and interesting on a daily or weekly basis but to put it simply: things just don't happen like that around here. Often times, we'll complete a small project and feel pretty good about it, but the motivation to stop every two seconds and take a picture (and then spend a handful of hours sorting, editing, writing and uploading) to use for a blog update is pretty much gone by the time our feet hit the trails or our butts hit the couch.

A number of big (and little) things happened in 2014, we put windows in the dungeon basement bonus room, added dri-core flooring, put up drywall (yay walls, yay paint!) and had a close friend move in for 10 months. Having a house guest for an extended period of time put a slight damper on how much construction mojo we were able to muster at any given time but it wasn't necessarily a bad thing; it gave us time to slow down, be more social, spend more time on the trails and really think through the long-term large improvements we want to commit to. Besides that, we're typically fairly private people, so aside from some pictures on instagram we didn't want to breach our friends trust or privacy through over sharing on the internet.

On the home improvement front we had weeping tile installed on the north side of the house, along with a 'French drain' which has made a huge difference in how much water ends up next to the foundation or in the sump pit. Not a pretty job, and it certainly doesn't offer much as far as improving curb appeal, but oh so necessary as the water table is naturally high due to all the bedrock we have.
so. much. water.
So far, it has been working exactly the way it's supposed to (knock on wood!), but we're still very seriously considering installing a system of outdoor pumps and water storage to use the water for gardening or bonfire control because there is just so, SO much water run off every spring (part of our yard becomes a pond for two weeks because the water table is so high). Right now, our yard is still more mud and sand than grass from this project, so re-seeding with clover and other natural ground covers is on our to do list.

 Sadly, we lost our pup Peanut on a camping trip last summer due to someone else's carelessness and I'm not sure it's something any of us will ever completely "get over" as it was an entirely avoidable incident. If the person responsible for baiting traps had taken a moment to think and inform the campsite that they had decided to put poison out we wouldn't have even been there. Period.

RIP Peeps Louise.

After losing our sweet girl Peeps, we were fairly torn up, but about a month later made the tough decision to adopt another pup from a local rescue who was on death row. With more than a little apprehension, we welcomed Winifred into our family. We're just not a one dog family, never have been. It took some adjusting but now almost a year later I couldn't imagine our 'pack' without this spaztastic-snugglebutt.

Mush, J, V and little Wyn; July 2014

 Some other changes that happened in 2014 include monetary ones: we paid off our truck (one of the largest bills we paid monthly) and re-signed on our mortgage despite our original  "five years then GTFO" plan. Our taxes are low, the neighbours few, and despite the local disdain for our neighbourhood, its gentrifying at an alarming pace and we'd be fools to sell in today's market (we've got a good thing going here and we know it). J went back to school (twice!) to upgrade his tickets and was successful. I really couldn't be prouder of all his hard work.

The biggest, most exciting thing we accomplished in 2014 was putting in a successful bid on a recreational property. Though the legal paperwork wasn't completed until early 2015, the wheels started turning last spring/summer. There is a huge amount of work to do out at the camp property, including some maintenance on the existing cabin and some much needed dock repairs but I for one am pretty excited BECAUSE CAMP.

I let the cat out of the bag over on instagram a few months ago because I'm really awful (literally the worst) about keeping exciting news to myself. You can follow along with our projects on my insta account with the hashtag  #4acresofnowhere if you're so inclined, as updates will probably show up there long before they're posted here.

More recently we built a raised bed garden and tore down the outdoor dog kennel. We're hoping to grow some of our own veggies this year but we'll have to wait and see what the weather has in store for us. No "counting chickens" and all that. The kennel was awesome while it lasted but has outlived its usefulness; Wyn can climb in, out, and seven feet directly up to nose at the barbecue. Husky mixes, whatcha gonna do?  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

ignore the mess, please.
mid tear down pre-cleanup

As for the house, we're gearing up for a huge, anxiety inducing renovation. We're ripping off an entire section of the house (pictured jutting out in the above image) and rebuilding from foundation to roof so we can actually have a real bathroom and not just some weird porch conversion. Expect my twitter and instagram feeds to be filled with desperate and hysterical weeping as well as cries of "Help I'm scurrrrred!" or "I need an adult." It's going to be fun, I promise.