Sunday, January 27, 2008

Tell it like it is

Shea saw this on a truck and had to take a picture.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Tamp, Tamp, Tamp

Kim spent a whole rainy Saturday like this. I stopped by on my way to our Polymer clay guild meeting to take some pictures, feeling a little guilty that I'd be off having fun while he was pushing this 1,000-pound machine back and forth across the lot, tamp, tamp, tamping away in the rain. At least he was dressed for the weather, doesn't get many chances to wear a sou'wester.

I doubt he was singing in the rain but doesn't it look like he's getting a few dance steps in? The Tampin' Tango maybe.

Here's the result of all that labour - nice, smooth and well-tamped.

Since this picture was taken there have been some embellishments added - a few survey stakes.
We're now on our way to officially turning this one lot into two. The subdivision plan has been signed, by us and the bank (the true owners), copied and delivered to city hall for final approval.

Our new house will be built on the right-hand half. The birch tree being protected so well by that orange fence is not in the exact centre so will be all ours. Luckily some of the the plants I wanted to keep are also in the orange pen. I'll have some transplanting to do in the spring to get them all on my side.

Friday, January 11, 2008

My front door

These were my entries in the Clayamies matchbox swap, my very first polymer clay swap, 3 years ago . (I got this picture from the clayamies site.)

I made a cane of my front door and another cane of our home's lovely pink brick then went a little crazy building wacky roofs. Each matchbox had a teabag inside because that's what you'd get if you came through my front door - no coffee here, just a pot of tea.

I was very lucky with this swap because at that time Gera Scott Chandler lived a 5-minute walk away. She was the swap host so I got to go to her house & see all of the matchboxes before she sorted and shipped them. I think Gera spoiled me because I was new; when I got my share it included some of my favourites, (Tina Holden's, Liz Hoar's) and one of hers.
You can see the whole swap on the Clayamies site, (but you have to look reeeeeally close to see the x-rated one).

I'm so glad I still have a bit of the front door cane left now that the house doesn't exist.

(Did you notice that I figured out how to do links today? Hope they work)

...going....and gone

It took me a while to place just which part of the house this picture was and finally the ivy did it for me. It was the door that threw me; that is the spot where the downstairs door was but that isn't the right door. This pic shows one half of the house with the top floor gone. Looks like the ivy is the only thing holding the house up at this point.
I tried very hard to give away some of that ivy but for some reason got no takers. Can't believe that no-one wanted to have their house overgrown with lovely thick ivy vines so they could pretend to be a princess in a Grimm's fairy tale.
Was always a fight keeping that darn stuff under control. That and the hundreds of baby holly trees springing up in the flower beds each year. The hollies are gone now, along with a few 'significant' trees that were inspected, measured, and plotted on a plan before it was agreed that the trees would be INSIDE the new houses if they were left standing.
Quite an ordeal just getting rid of a few trees:
After giving buckets of money to a tree surveyor, a tree inspector and a landscape architect, then having the city's tree inspector take a look (he didn't get any money, that would be called bribery), we were finally allowed to give many more buckets of money to City Hall (not bribery, that's "tree permit fees") for the privilege of paying someone else a few more buckets of money to cut those trees down.

Now the lot looks something like this:

Intentionally blurry so you get a feeling for what it looked like in real-life through my rain-smeared glasses, in the pouring rain, when I dropped off the site plans to the demolition guy (Bob the un-builder). That soggy green stuff in the fore-ground? That's what grass looks like in the winter, under water. Just a typical 'Wetcoast' winter's day. Oh well, at least rain doesn't have to be shoveled.
The orange fences have been there for the past 6-7 months, protecting the trees that we are keeping. I kept wondering when the city was going to supply the llamas and sheep that go in the pens to keep the grass & dandelions under control all summer but they never showed up. This forced Kim to commit the almost-criminal act of breaching the tree fences to get a lawn-mower inside.

Tomorrow he and the boys get to play with a 1,000-pound Tamper, tamping down sand. The whole site - three times. Darn, too bad I have a guild meeting I have to be at. Actually, we got lucky with the soil composition, it could have been a lot more expensive to prep the site. It's rather frustrating trying to grow a garden in clay (my Mom spent decades 'amending' it) but it's a GOOD thing when you're building a house.

Friday, January 4, 2008


Here it is: the beginning of the end. An excavator bucket digging into the roof of our carport. Now make some splintery, crunching sounds & you'll feel like you're there.

And, just like that, the carport's gone.

See that yellow brick chimney? Tons of brick in that. Looks like it'll last eons. (actually it was leaning just a tiny bit more each year - rather scary)

It's next.

Looks like the chimney took part of the roof and our dining room wall with it.

Looking very desolate now, with those gaping windows looking nowhere.

Very bad feng shui, those three windows. I read that 3 large windows like that, overshadowing the front door, mean that the children in the house will not obey their elders and will fight, talk back and be cheeky.
THAT explains a lot..... (and not just referring to my kids - this is the house my sisters and I grew up in). I tried the prescribed solution and hung wind chimes inside the front door so that the front door could let those cheeky windows know who's boss every time the door was opened but I didn't hang them close enough to the door so they were mostly silent and ineffective.

We'll go back tomorrow to see what further damage that little excavator did today.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

What's your sign?

Biggest shock this Christmas: seeing my sister's new tattoo. Not just the fact that she got tattooed, which was a big enough surprise, but a SNAKE is not exactly your usual mini-van-driving, suburban-hockey-mom tattoo.

When my husband asked "why a snake?" she explained that she was born in the year of the snake. While the rest of us were trying to remember our Chinese astrological signs, not quite sure, our youngest sister had no problem remembering hers:

"Oh, I was born in the year of the Princess".

De-boxing complete

Spent this past week off (that's right, at new job for one week, then had 11 days off) trying to get properly settled into our rental house. I think I finally succeeded because last night my husband & son told me I had turned this house into a home. Amazing what installing some shelves & getting rid of a few (dozen) boxes can do. All right I'm ignoring the two stacked right next to me here but they have stuff on top of them, that makes them a useful table - right? Guess I'll have to do it properly, follow Linda's advice & throw a tablecloth over them. Then no-one will know.

I think we're all feeling a little more settled: I've finally figured out how to close that tricky washing machine lid without pinching my fingers and the cat is no longer permanently attached to either my lap or chest (depending on whether I'm sitting or lying down) The first couple of days here Smokey kept doing his impersonation of a scary Halloween cat, arching his back & hissing. Have to say even his best attempt was pretty lame, he's just not a scary-looking cat. Talkative & demanding, occasionally annoying, but certainly not scary.

Guess I should stop referring to this place as our little hovel as our house is scheduled for the big demo later this week so it'll be the only home we have.......for now.