Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Frame this one.

Happy New Year From Kim, Cole, Jem & Shea!

This is a very rare photo not just because all four of us are in the same place at the same time and no-one looks terrifyingly bad but also:

Shea doesn't have his hand in front of his face. Can't count how many 'hand' pics I've deleted
Kim is smiling. (He often does, just rarely in front of a camera)
Cole isn't pulling any pranks on anyone. (that we can see) Oh, except for that silver bow stuck on my chest, but I think that was courtesy of Shea-Max.
No-one is wearing a t-shirt. That's an event that only happens, maybe, once a year.
Both boys are being hugged by their Mom and, guess what? They both survived.

On to the next decade....

Come See

Our House is not completely finished or fully furnished but we've proven that it is party-ready so we're having our long-delayed house-warming open house.

Saturday afternoon & evening, January 2nd.

Everyone is welcome to come any time after 3pm. (Knowing us we'll just be finishing up our current project at 2:55)
Email me for address and directions.
We'll be happily giving tours of the house and our kitchen will be stocked with lots to eat, maybe even some food that doesn't contain left-over turkey.

(I know I'm safe posting an invitation publicly here because I get weekly reports on how many readers I have & even if every single person who reads my blog comes to the party they'll all be able to comfortably fit in the master bathroom at the same time.)

Here are some of our latest projects:
Installed the monorail lights over the kitchen island.
If they look familiar, they are: the pendants match the ones in the dining room.

Our powder room was a truly collaborative affair: tiling by Jem; fir walls with jatoba detail & cedar pedestal by Kim. You'll have to come & see how it all looks properly put together.

Kim sitting down on the job, gluing down the landing and step.
"Kim are you really going to allow people to actually step on that, with their feet even?"

Monday, December 28, 2009


This is what Christmas dinner for 32 & 1/2 (for first time in ten years we had a toddler at dinner, little cutie-pie Anna-Lisa) looks like in our house. (click on pics to see full-size)
We didn't actually need all 32 chairs because by the time the last diners got their plates filled the first ones through had already inhaled mass quantities, as only teenagers can, and left for an important 'Rock-Band' engagement upstairs.

It was just a little frantic getting everything ready on time, considering we were still tiling, sanding and installing paneling and trim up until the 23rd but we managed to pull it off. There was a mad rush to vacuum & dust away all the sawdust (Thanks Mom!) and re-arrange our furniture to accommodate four long tables in the living room.
"The fourth table goes right here."

Only once did I get to the point where I had to remind Shea that "when your Mom is acting all stressed-out like this it's best to talk to her in calm, soothing tones". Referring to yourself in third-person always lets them know just how close to the edge you're getting.
We supplied the turkeys, hams and potatoes while everyone else arrived with the rest of the feast.

Dinner was a little later than expected (I lingered over our lovely champagne brunch at Tammy & Alain's and my turkey wouldn't pop itself into the oven even when I phoned it and asked nicely) and we ran a little short of mashed potatoes (Grandma's potato calculations didn't take into consideration the abundance of teenage boys in our family, all starving by the time my turkey was done) but, other than that, everything ran very smoothly.

Kim and I want to give HUGE THANKS to:
for taking on all carving duties and dish-scraping afterwards;

for cleaning, cooking, organizing, helping and all-around Mom-type support;

For their centre-piece building and table-decorating skills, Tammy(centre) and Alain(left) now AKA "Glitter-boy" after having waaay too much fun when Tam took him to Michael's for supplies.

And to everyone else for making it such a wonderful evening, and showing Kim that we could comfortably fit that many people in our living room. Love you all.

Aftermath. This is the last picture taken that evening. Four cousins and an Aunt: Heather, Tammy, Jem, Erin, Floralee.

Interesting fact I learned: even a 1:1 ratio of Bailey's to coffee does not diminish the effects of caffeine if you're not accustomed to drinking coffee at 10pm. On the upside, it sure was nice to wake up to a spotless kitchen with every inch of counter vigorously scrubbed clean.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

A Quick Zoe Update

Here's proof that our Zoe is feeling like her old mischievous rascally self again:

There's still no sign of life in her tail but I think we'll wait until after Christmas to amputate it. Don't want a sulking kitten moping about during the holidays.
(Although, on second thought it would be safer for our decorations.)

Oh dear, the Christmas tree.
And she thought toilet paper was fun.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


This year I'm participating in the annual Clayamies Christmas Ornament Swap again after not having a space to make ornaments in for the past two Christmases.

I had a great idea for something interesting and a little different but after a couple of attempts I realized that the design that worked so well in my head would require a lot more real life design (& engineering) hours to get it to work than I was willing to spend. Filed it away in the box with all my other great ideas that didn't quite work. Am going to need a much bigger box soon.

Got nervous when I started to hear from some keeners who had already finished the maximum of 20 ornaments and I was still trying come up with a new idea - I now needed something simple that I could whip up a bunch of very fast. (I may have been guilty of going a little overboard in the past so I'm due for making some smaller, simpler ornaments than say, the giant pinwheels I made one year - sorry guys, I'm sure those ones blew everyone's postage budget to hell)

In the meantime I went to Julie Picarello's wonderful workshop at Linda's house in Deep Cove.

Here's a horrible photo of a slice of the Mokume I made in her class.

As a quick aside to the main course of Mokume, she showed a cute little thing to do with the scrap ends of Mokume blocks that she calls a lizard tail.
My Lizard tail.

Came home, started playing around and made some Julie's-lizard-tails-inspired twisted candy-canes.

Except I used a striped block of clay instead of thin sheets;
and I twisted them instead of rolling;
and didn't use any of the gold leaf that gives Julie's sparkle;
and I used no Ecru in my colours, strictly clear bright candy cane colours;
and I didn't taper them - (who would want a pointy, already-sucked-on candy-cane?);
and I cut them in 4 sections, not 2;
and.... Hmmmm, I guess my weird little candy canes really don't have much similarity to Julie's lizard-tails after all, except for the fact that they both have a mirror-image effect.
Julie's class DID remind me of the mesmerizing effect that those mirror images have on our brain.
I made an even dozen of them, a perfectly respectable amount for the swap. It means I get back a dozen ornaments from clayers across the country.
I can't wait.

In the past I've put all my swapped ornaments on a wreath but this year it was too crowded to fit all of them.
And I haven't even received this years' batch.

I'm going to have to get a small artificial tree, just for my treasured polymer clay collection.
Or a second "overflow" wreath.

Monday, November 30, 2009

From the 'Z' Files: A Sad Tail

That's not a typo, our little Zoe has a broken tail.

We don't know how it happened, we found her sulking on the couch last week, hissing and saying "Meowch"when any pats got too close to her tail.

Her collar was found in the middle of the crosswalk so we feared an encounter with a car but the vet says she doesn't have the claw damage that usually indicates 'car'. Maybe a cyclist since we are on a bike lane? Who knows? Whatever it was, let's hope she's learned not to follow kids across the road.

She should have been feeling fine by now but, silly young thing, she refused to follow Doctor's orders to rest & stay quiet.
THIS is where we found her on Thursday....

See her poor tail... hangs straight down like a plumb-bob.

Not long after grounding her from any further ladder acrobatics I was on the phone telling Kim that she seemed to have some of her bounce back when I saw two white paws grab onto the edge of the kitchen island...... then slip off.
She hit the floor rump-first, right on her broken tail.
She did not bounce.

Oh the yowling and the howling. and the growling and the yowling.

She slunk off slowly, straight to her travel crate. The crate that she complains non-stop about being in when we go to the vet? That one that she hates so much?
She spent the rest of the day in there, snuggling a stuffed chicken.

Unfortunately we haven't seen any signs of life in the tail, it just drags behind Zoe, hitting the floor with a "thunk" when she jumps down from the couch.
At this point it's a liability since she has no feeling or control over it so it looks like it'll have to be amputated.
Now all the other cats will laugh at her and call her stumpy.

I said maybe we could get her tail bobbed at the same time as we get her spayed.
Kim replied that if she gets her tail cut off we won't have to spay her because none of the boys will want anything to do with her.

Don't listen to him Zoe, you'll still be the prettiest kitty on the block, stubby tail and all.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Crawling through the weekend

It's ironic that now that I supposedly have plenty of time on my hands, unexpectedly unemployed bum that I am, I would find it so hard to find the time to post to my blog.
It's not that I have a shortage of subject matter. I could write about my polymer clay guild and the swap I organized; or about setting up a mini-studio and starting to, well, at least to condition some clay; or about our gorgeous new built-in shelves; or, about the garden design class I took.

All of those will wait. One of our favourite events happened this weekend.

This weekend I had planned to finish our downstairs 1/2 bathroom. With at least 3 parties scheduled (including Christmas dinner for 34) it might be a good idea to have the guest bathroom and stair landing finished enough that we can re-hang the bathroom door. I have a feeling most people would appreciate some privacy.

My good intentions were thwarted by Kim - the East-side Culture Crawl was on and we spent both Saturday & Sunday wandering around artist's studios wishing we had a winning lottery ticket.

Saturday we got off to a late start so Shea came alone. I think it's pretty cool that we have a 15-year-old son who WANTS to spend an afternoon with his parents looking at art. OK, maybe not the "with his parents" part so much but how else was he was going to get to the studios? He has very definite tastes too, even if his expression of them is very brief, limited to either "meh" or "I want" when asked for his opinion. Sorry kid, $1,300.00 is a little beyond Santa's budget for a painting for your bedroom.

Fortunately most of what we fell in love with was so far out of our budget that they were no temptation. It's the works that had fewer than 3 zeros in the price that were painful.
Almost within reach - but do we really want to be spending our money on paintings when we still need furniture? and landscaping?
I consoled myself by buying a very cool cast porcelain vase (or drinking glass).
"Hey Kim, I'm doing your Christmas shopping for you again. See what you're giving me - a porcelain canning jar". Reminds me of all the canning my Mom did when I was growing up.
I can't remember the artist's name - Heyday design I think? and her business card was a soggy victim of another broken teapot this morning. I've broken so many I'm now officially a serial teapot-murderer. (but hey, now you know what to get me for Christmas)

We also bought a small 8x8" piece. A photo transfer on gesso. Taken in the artist's front yard this summer, the garden that we tramped through to get to his studio.
That's what's so wonderful about the Culture Crawl - the closer connection to the artists. The ceramic artist even had a story about where she found the canning jar she made her mold from.
This is another nostalgic piece for me: I loved the bleeding hearts we had growing in front of the house we moved away from when I was 7. Pink Monkey Studio is the artist (can't remember his name either and too lazy to go check the back of the picture right now) and he's donating proceeds from his bleeding heart series to the Heart & Stroke foundation. That's what cinched our decision between the bleeding heart and the birch trees.

Must remember to add a bleeding heart to my landscape plan.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

This little piggy...

I'm not very happy.
If I'm going to lose two or three productive days to the flu I at least want one symptom to be "loss of appetite" so I have the benefit of being a few pounds lighter by the end of it.
But no, this one hit me just hard enough that I didn't have enough energy to do anything except lie around eating. (Doesn't help that I spent the evening before it hit baking & hadn't yet hidden, I mean put away, the results.)

'Swine Flu' is right.

Friday, October 16, 2009


One of the perks of our new house that I've been looking forward to is the radiant in-floor heating on both floors. Nice warm floors, lovely to have toasty toes this time of year.
That is if we could get the heating system to work properly.

It performed beautifully for the final plumbing inspection before we moved in.

Inspector: "Your boiler's not working."
Me: "Wouldn't that be because it's what, about THIRTY DEGREES outside so we've turned the thermostat down?
Inspector: "Hmphh, I don't know. Fire it up and we'll see."
Me: Cranking thermostat up to 35.
Boiler: "Brrrrrrroooooaaar"
Me: "See, it works, nothing wrong." (Aside from the fact that we'd rather NOT be working in a sauna in the middle of summer)
Inspector: Scratches out the word "FAIL" on our inspection report & writes "Passed"
Inspector leaves
Boiler promptly dies.

Although we didn't know it for a couple of months, until after we'd moved in and the weather started getting chilly enough for us to think we might like to have just a little heat now, thank you.

According the repairman, it wasn't the boiler itself that died but one of those small box-like things attached to it by wires & pipes. A regulator I think someone called it. Anyway, it's name is irrelevant as long as it works now.

Which it only sort of did, the first night. No sign of warmth in the main floor, the boys' rooms or the rec room.
But boy was it hot-hot-hot in the master bedroom. And not in a good way.
We felt like we were being roasted alive in our bed.
And our stone-tile bathroom floor? TOO HOT TO STAND ON.
Seriously, I had to do a little dance while brushing my teeth so I wouldn't scorch my soles.

The second repairman discovered that some of the valves weren't open and weren't letting the water circulate properly. Opened them up, checked the rest. Should work now.

And it did..... for 1/2 the house. The main floor & boys' rooms? Perfect.
Our master bedroom and the rec-room below it were having issues. Both areas were swinging (slowly, this type of heat takes time to change) from feet-scorching, melting-the-candles-in-that box-I-left-on-the-floor heat to icy, where's-my-parka-what-do-you-mean-I-don't-own-one cold for no reason.
No matter how we adjusted the thermostats in those two zones, we couldn't get them to settle down to anything resembling room temperature.

It almost seemed like the thermostat downstairs was controlling the upstairs zone & the upstairs thermostat was adjusting the heat in the rooms below it.
BINGO! My theory was confirmed last Wednesday by repairman #3 who then re-wired them correctly.

Fixed now?
I wish. I'm going to have to go out and buy myself that parka because in a fit of desperation Kim has turned the heat in our bedroom completely OFF, not just the thermostat but right at the source, the boiler-room.

I'll be very glad I insisted on a fireplace in my bedroom this weekend while we wait for the.... what are we at now?... 4th visit by a repairman in 2 weeks.


I keep telling him that he should try harder to be happy with what he has.
I tell him he's just tormenting himself spending all that time on-line looking at younger, prettier models that he can't have. But still:

"Oh no, Jem! I accidentally hit the 'buy-it-now' button for this red Ferrari.

"Well Kim, I sure hope it has comfortable seats because THAT'S where you'll be sleeping."

Monday, October 12, 2009

One room down...

I've been saying for a while that one of the most frustrating things about living in a 'work-in-progress' is that not one room is completely finished.
"I don't even have a closet that I can consider finished."

Well, now I can say I have ONE finished room.
Door hung, trim installed & painted. (the splotches on the floor don't count, that's a cleaning issue, doesn't affect the 'finished' status)

Vent cover installed, walls & ceiling painted, with no dings needing to be filled. Even the ceiling light is installed, unlike my kitchen & dining room.

My Pantry is DONE.

All shelves & hangy-things installed and just a few Costco trips away from being filled.

Well, at least it's one room down.
Or am I cheating by counting a pantry as a 'room'?

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Legal now

We Passed!

Finally. On our third try.

We now have an occupancy permit and are allowed to live in our house.
After being illegal squatters for 3 - 1/2 months.

Our second inspection, one week ago, was very close. We had a few issues like attic ventilation and insulation and some little things that Kim had taken care of before I even got home from work.

Two of the things we failed for were actually the inspector's mistakes.
The "missing" insulation in the attic was not over living space, but where the wall takes a jog in towards the bathroom and the roof doesn't follow. No insulation needed there.
And that "grout" around the tub where there should be silicone? That's no grout, mister.
That's "Colour-Matched, Sanded, Siliconized Acrylic Caulk".
It costs FOUR times as much as regular silicone caulk and requires a lot more swearing at it to get it applied properly and looking good. So it's staying, Mister.

Now we can spend our limited 'house-work' time on things that WE want done, not what the city inspector thinks is important.

I'm off to put some holes in the walls.
(Hanging mirrors, shelves, curtains, robe hooks....)

Sunday, September 20, 2009

My studio is where?

It's hard to believe it was December 2007 that I packed my studio into boxes and went on hiatus from my guild, my polymer clay, my beads & jewellery, from anything creative that wasn't house-related. Almost 2 years. And I survived. Socks helped - I relaxed by learning how to knit socks. Now almost everyone in my family has a hand-knit pair of socks whether they wanted them or not.

When the Vancouver Polymer Clay Guild was re-organized last January to have 3 elected co-chairs I agreed to be one as long as my share of meetings to chair & organize all came at the end of the year, when my house would be finished and I'd have lots of free time again. (optimistic wasn't I)
So last weekend was my first jump back into the guild. I had promised a few people that I'd do the bead-making demo that there wasn't time for at last February's retreat. So, me teaching my guild something I hadn't done myself in almost two years? Time to unpack some boxes.
Since my 'studio' is otherwise occupied right now it's a good thing I have a nice big island with the best surface for claying on - cool polished granite.
You think this is messy? That's just one wee box. Wait until I get the rest unpacked.
Actually, I'd rate myself as mid-range organized once I get set up. Not as neurotically neat as some but organized enough that I know where everything is even if it looks like a jumbled mess to everyone else.
(My Mom now knows better than to move any of my tools even a few inches from where they look like they've been carelessly tossed. She once did me a "favour" by organizing my bathroom drawer for me; she thought everything had just been randomly thrown in there. Completely messed up my morning routine, I was late every day for a week until I got everything back where it belonged. Thank goodness she didn't "organize" my studio, I would have gone mad.)
Here's an example: this is my box of scrap clay. A rather messy orderliness. Or is it an orderly messiness?
(Probably 1/2 the clay artists will think "That's your scrap clay? It's so tidy." while the other 1/2 will think "That's disgusting, how can you stand it so messy?)

While unpacking I found some canes that I must have made sometime after the big studio pack-up, I just can't remember where or when.
They did come in handy to make some practice beads. Not that I have a shortage of canes, it's just nice to have something new to use. Turns out claying is like riding a bicycle, it all comes back once you start again. At least... I think it does, but really, how would I know? I may have forgotten 90% of what I knew and not know it.
I did remember how to make this many different beads.

And had a great time - it was fantastic to spend a whole day at a guild meeting again. What a great group we have.

On another polymer clay guild-related note: Clayamies, the Canadian online guild has a new blog with quite a few posts already.
Check out what clay artists across Canada are doing.

Thanks to Tina (of the fake pebbles contest) for setting it up.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Itchy hands

Now that the house is built I'm starting to think about other things I'd like to build.

Getting that restless "I need a project (or 2 or 3)" feeling that installing shelves in the pantry simply won't satisfy.
I don't have a studio space yet (there is STUFF stored where my studio table is going to go) and I don't even have a knitting project to work on.
OK, I lie. I do have a knitting project but face it, when you're winging it and designing as you go you should write down the pattern if you're going to put it down for more than a few days.
I now have a partial throw-pillow cover which is completely screwed up because I thought I could just 'remember' the not-very-straightforward pattern I made up. I should be able to remember my own design, right? Worked for the first 1/2 pillow or so, when I was knitting on it every day; couldn't figure out what the heck I was doing when I picked it up after a week. Now it's waiting to be recycled back into a very inspiring ball of yarn.

To make things worse, we went to the Interior Design Show West today.
Lots of local furniture designers and woodworkers to see. For me it's not so much a case of "I want one of these and one of those...." but "I want to make one of those" and "I want one of these but I'd build it this way...". Now I'm itching to design and build furniture again.

Oh, except for THIS. I love it. I want it. Buy it for me, PLEASE. (because I'm sure I can't afford it)
You have to, have to, have to click RIGHT HERE (Straight Line Designs) and see it, it's fabulous. It would be perfect for the "Luxe Boudoir" look I have planned for our bedroom. (Um, just kidding Kim)
There was one hanging from a rickety garment rack along a back wall of the Interior Design Show, looking like someone had been taking it somewhere, then got distracted & forgot it, shoved against the wall, very forlorn & back-stage-looking. It was supposed to - I asked the designer, Jud Beaumont. We were at Emily Carr together (a million years ago he said, ahem, not quite a million for me, I was a couple years behind him).

Now that we have a Garage!

with a Workshop! (and it's much cleaner now than in this pic) maybe I should make use of it and build some custom furniture for myself. With polymer clay inlays & veneers of course.
Or..... better yet..... design some furniture and hire one of my handy-dandy sons to build it for me. Hmmm, feeding those hollow-legged teenagers may pay off yet.

Although, looking out the windows at the shorter days and falling leaves I think I should concentrate on getting my sewing machine set up and make some window coverings before the trees can no longer provide us with privacy. And there's this...
Do you think maybe it's a sign that I should make some proper cushions for the window seat?
The pink yoga mat just wasn't cushy enough for Cole, besides, it's since been removed to be used again as a yoga mat. My back (& hips, & arms, & everything) is so happy.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Hard as stone

The totally talented Tina has rocks on her blog.
She is running a contest right now where all you have to do is to pick out the beach stones that she's made from the real ones she picked up on the beach.
She must have rocks in her head if she thinks anyone can tell.
Tina is far too talented at this faux-stone-making thing. They ALL look real to me. The only way I could enter that contest is to close my eyes and jab my finger at the computer to choose.

I must not be the only one who feels this way because Tina's now expanded her contest to include people who blog about it & spread the word.
NOW I may have a chance to win one of her fabulous pebble bracelets. Which is a good thing, because I really want one & didn't even bother to enter the contest, I looked at the picture and just plain gave up - it's TOO DANG HARD to tell which ones are fake.

You think I'm exaggerating? I tell you, Tina's a genius. YOU go to her blog and try to tell the difference between the real ones and her hand-made stones. See if YOU can do it Smarty-pants. Maybe you'll get lucky and win a tutorial to learn to make your own beach stones that no-one can tell are fake.

If that link doesn't work go to and scroll down to the "Want to win a free tutorial?" post. Just try it.

Maybe I'll even take another look and make a few wild guesses.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Chip, chip, chip

A few more things from the 'Building Approvals Division' list...

#1. Install Permanent Site Address

Here's Kim working out the spacing. (And see what we bought at a Giant Pot Sale a couple of weeks ago - some giant pots. Now I need to buy some giant plants)

#11 Complete skirting at ensuite tub, caulk tub top & shower/tub bases.

Finally - now my bathroom vanity won't look like this:

And while I have the stuff out to do the tub skirt ...

doesn't it make sense to finish the walls at the same time?

...and the top trim?

Which is how a quick little tiling & caulking task becomes a 3-week job. (To clarify - that's weekends only, I'm slow but not THAT slow)

Now I only need to splash sealer over the whole works and clean up and we'll have a fully-functioning ensuite bathroom. (Except for the mirror, should hang that soon - maybe I wouldn't look like such a wreck if I had one properly-hung mirror in the house.)

A second usable shower just in time for the re-start of the mad morning rush with 3 of us trying to get ready & out the door at the same time. It sure was nice when I only had myself to nag: eat breakfast; pack lunch; don't forget your stuff; don't be late; don't let the cat out....
I'm as bummed-out about back-to-school as the boys are.

Paying the Bills

I finally made a payment to my architect/general contractor... and acquired a little accessory for our driveway at the same time.

Poor Kim has been pining for a 'stick' ever since his beloved got smunched from behind when he stopped at a crosswalk for an elderly woman.
And if you look back at my "list of things we'll get once the house is done" ("Promises") you will see "sports car for Kim" at #6.

Now, I've been told this is just a partial payment until we can afford to pay him what he deserves for all his hard work - A real sportscar.

This is a trial one, a tester to see if he can survive the winter driving a sporty little convertible and, more importantly, to see if he can survive the daily commute without a cup-holder for his morning coffee.

But it is awfully cute. Ooops sorry Kim, I mean MANLY. It's an awfully Manly, Rugged, Powerful (sweet wittle cutsie-wootsie) sportscar.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Not quite archaeologists.

It's surprising what pops up when you leave your backyard unattended for months.

I was lucky enough to snap a few pictures of this wildlife before our own native wildlife lunged out of the underbrush to swat at my dangling camera strap. After showing that strap who's queen of this jungle Zoe-Cat turned and took care of the invading fungi with a few bats of her paw. Trampled a pretty little fairy ring too.

Oh well, time was running out for them anyway, being right in the middle of our future patio.

We decided that since we had to remove 6" of soil from the perimeter of the house we may as well take it a little farther and prep the ground for forming a concrete patio.
Sure will be an improvement over our existing plywood "patio". This was taken after the big clean-up or, to be exact, re-location of the mess to the other side of the yard.
After a fair bit of consultation we decided on a curved patio, mimicking the curve of the eyebrow window above. Wouldn't do to take the easy way & make it square, would it? You can see the stakes showing where it'll go in the photo above. It'll be pretty big. Click on the pic to see just how excited our teenage helper was to be spending part of his weekend doing heavy-duty yardwork.

Then there was digging....

and more digging.

And this was not the easy sand that was removed from the side yards. This was the lovely soil we have for gardening - hard-packed clay. Good riddance.

Among the less interesting finds unearthed like pink bricks from the former house, large chunks of concrete and various construction debris was also a pink road cone and this guy: