I see a red door.. 🎶

Ok, I know the door wasn’t red, but did I get you singing? Sorry – if you’re not familiar with the Rolling Stones – that blogpost title was lost on you.

Dane told me he wanted to paint the trim around my door black 🎶 🎵 🚪 “I want it painted black.. I want it painted blaaaack“. (I’m gonna have that ear worm all day) And I was dubious. He kept saying.. it will be a “Grahnd Entrance!”

We stopped at the house today just as he was doing it. Check it out..


I gave him a big 👍🏽 and he gave me the slow nod and smile. Yah, he knew it. He just needed me to know it. Thankfully I trusted him.

Paint is done for now until touch ups later. My custom shoe mold is primed and ready for flooring.

And Bill is vaccuuming up while I sit here and cough up a lung blog.

Plumbers have been in this week destroying our basement breaking up the floor to run the new sewer lines. Also installing a Back flow preventer. If you know anything of Jordan Station, our high water table, and the sewer problems we’ve endured the last few years in our town, (several NEW homes had raw sewage coming up through their basement drains 2 yrs ago). you’d agree this is one of the wisest investment in our house renos. We had to quickly scramble the other night to come up with our final basement layout for bathroom and kitchenette so they could rough those in as well.

Goal is to have our very own mini J lounge.. a place of respite for visitors or those in between homes.. like us. Visiting pastors, missionaries.. those in need of a temporary home or space of their own. We won’t have 3 bedrooms and a pool table, but working with what we have.

It’s been a rough week here health wise. After the disfiguring facial trauma lovely rash finally cleared up, I came down with a nasty bug.. “multiple systems failure” is what I’m calling it. Sinus infection/viral asthma/bronchitis/flu. I think I’ve decided at this point I’m skipping Christmas.

After the 3rd night of fevers and hacking up a lung I finally put aside my Friesian stubbornness and went to the Dr and got some relief. One of the most amazing things I thought I’d NEVER do is a nasal rinse. The whole idea freaked me out. But she convinced me to try it. I’m a serious believer now. I may invest in Hydrasense® that stuff is golden! My allergies won’t know what hit them when Spring comes!

One last thing before I check out.. thanks to my loyal readers.. last week you broke a record in one day on my last blog post. Not a Guinness World Book kind, just a record for me.. in number of readers and number of countries. I have a feeling that was one of the days my sister was travelling through a couple Asian countries, but still.. looks good. I know she wasn’t in Singapore or South Korea so I don’t know how that happened.

Next week we’ll see a real transformation when the flooring gets installed and cabinetry starts. We’re nearing the finish line for the interior, soon it will be time to pack up and go home.

HOME… did I hear that? that will be the best Christmas present of all. Home.

A lick of paint

Dane, our painter has been in the house for a week now.. I stopped in at 3 pm to check progress and he and his guys were gone already – which was bittersweet.  I would like to see them work a full day, but it was nice to have the house to myself to take it all in, in the gorgeous late afternoon sun.  It’s been a brilliantly beautiful sunny day again here in Jordan Station.

This morning when i stopped and first saw the colour he was cutting into the ceiling.. i gulped and thought… oh no! it’s way too dark!  But i have seen this colour on walls many times in our condos we’re building.. and i knew it was just my mind and the wet paint playing tricks on me.   Funny thing.. the photos also make the colour look darker.. you’ll have to trust me.. or just come visit!

It’s actually quite light.. and very soft.  On the chip it looks more Greigy.. but here on the walls in these photos it looks more cool grey.  Interesting..  The colour is Benjamin Moore CSP-95 Sea Salt.  Trim is Ben Moore AF-15 Steam.. he is also going to paint the trim all around the front door black to make it stand out more as a grand piece. (his words, imagine them with a British accent)

No, i did NOT go with Cloud White. 🙂  I find Cloud white kind of a dirty, yellowy white.  Steam is quite lovely, and goes great with the “alltherage” Greige colours like Sea Salt, Revere Pewter.. I wanted something a little lighter and a bit different than Revere Pewter on the walls, even though I’m drawn to Revere Pewter and it’s chameleon character.  When Dane introduced me to Sea Salt, one of his new faves in Ben Moore’s new lineup – i knew it was THE ONE.  (VERY different from Sherwin William’s Seasalt which has a blueish tinge)

Our kitchen cabinets will also be Steam, and the bathroom vanities are BM Gothic Arch CSP-80.  ( a darker shade than the walls in the bathrooms which are Cathedral Grey CSP-205.  The Island colour is very dark… Double Espresso.. i can’t WAIT to see it with the granite.


He talked me into painting the bathroom ceiling and trim all the same colour as the walls in the powder room, and I was dubious at first, but now seeing it, I quite like it.

I’m getting quite excited to see it finished.  There’s another 2 days of painting early next week, then hopefully flooring will start.. I have it booked for 10 days from now, but the painter is now ahead, so praying for an opening so we can get back some of our lost days.

In the meantime… dinner is going in the oven…



Progress and brick walls

Dropping in at the house today after work felt good. Healing. Hopeful. The opposite of all that I have been feeling the last couple of weeks. All the stress I’ve been carrying about the house and work came out in a rash this past week.  Literally. You may remember I was mocking one of our drywall boarders for leaving work because of a rash a while back. That came back to bite me big time.

At first I thought it was an allergic reaction.. and it may have been, but I’m beginning to believe now that it was stress related. it’s healing up now after trying every remedy under the sun. The one that worked?

Cedar wood oil and Frankincense . Seriously. These babies are in my pocket all day right now. #shamelessdoTerraplug

Taped on Oven mitts were about to become a reality to save me from scratching.

Anyways.. the stress is lessening as I see things moving forward. I KNOW I shouldn’t stress, shouldn’t worry.. I’m definitely praying about it all, and trying to leave it all in the Lord’s hands.. but my humanness is rearing it’s ugly head (again, literally.. see above photo) daily.   It’s a constant battle… Romans 7:15 comes to mind…  I can just hear Paul.. ARRRGHHHH!! every time I stress/worry and fall into bad habits I wake up feeling like I’m hitting my head yet again against a brick wall.

So, we keep working on it. Recognizing that worry and stress are not only bad for my health and well being.. God doesn’t want me to.

That bit of confessional out of the way…. onwards on why you visited today.. to read about the progress on the house!

Today our painter completed the first coat of primer on all the walls and filled all the nail holes in the trim.  He had some great paint ideas i hadn’t thought of either that we’re incorporating.. you’ll get to see/hear about these when they happen.

It’s amazing how one coat of primer can make it look so much more finished. Our poor painter tore his MCL playing soccer ⚽️ on the weekend, so he’s hobbling quite badly. He’s actually glad to be at our house right now ’cause he doesn’t have to do stairs or ladders. He’ll have to get help with the baseboards is my guess though, no way he’s getting down on that knee.. OUCH! He certainly won’t be doing any tricks anytime soon!

Plumbers came as well today (they were supposed to all last week, and we kept getting bumped due to emergencies other places but.. they weren’t late yet, so not a problem.. yet it still added to the stress level..)  and ran all the water lines in the basement and started breaking up the floor for the sewer drain, back flow preventer and rough in for new bathroom going in the basement early next year.

There’s a lot to be said for Pex water lines.. you can definitely tell which is hot and cold.. and the flexibility is great.. plus Bill took all the old copper out of the house, brought it to a metal recycling place and made some good money.. that was definitely helpful!

Bill took the day off from Stelco and put up the angle iron for the stone.

Reason for this is that I’ve always really disliked how high our parging was/ where the brick started. (Approx 2′ off the ground). I’d like the new stone to start at the minimum height which is 6″.   It was a really nice bright sunny and almost warm day, so he picked a good one to stay home and work outside!

For those of you away from home right now… you know who you are….  here’s a taste of home today.

Drive by blogging

I’m coming to terms with our new “schedule” that keeps on shifting… trim is mostly done. Desmo just needs to put door hardware and shoe mold on after flooring and paint. Blinds are getting measured tomorrow, while I clean clean clean getting ready for the painter who is starting in Monday. Floor registers were cut out today, and the plumber should also be running water lines tomorrow.

Here’s where we’re at today…

And yes, today on Nov 15 we’re getting some snow accumulation.. Its supposed to taper off overnite, and turn wet tomorrow. We’re chicken sitting, so Bill set up a heater for the “girls” as their water was starting to freeze.

Angle iron was delivered today for the new brick shelf on the house. Bill will be installing that in the coming week. Progress continues!

Moving forward

This coming week marks when our kitchen was to be installed. It’s all ready for us and sitting at our cabinet makers shop. I’m tempted to go visit it. But this is what our kitchen looks like right now.

The delays were actually not due to things that went wrong at our house. Other than a couple little easily solved things, every thing has been moving very smoothly. The delays I’m convinced are due to the “time of year”. The last quarter of the year leading up to Christmas is when everybody has their push on to get things done. All our suppliers and trades have deadlines, are over committed and often understaffed. Good labourers are hard to find, and everyone is feeling the domino effect of delays. Materials not being shipped on time to site, back orders, sick staff, family emergencies, weather.. and more weather.. all do their part in wreaking havoc on schedules. Basically LIFE gets in the way. But it all gets done, and beautifully in good time.

This morning I visited the house and saw that the carpenters made excellent headway on the trim. Windows and baseboard are still to be done, but most of the doors are trimmed out.

I’m especially pleased where Desmo trimmed the two new large bedroom doors where they meet.

As I sit in an old wooden chair

one of the guys brought up for breaktimes, writing this blog post, I looked up ahead and smiled.

I took in our new entry way and breathed a big sigh.. it’s so lovely bright and open now. It’s about 5.5′ across, not large by most standards, but so much bigger and brighter than it was before, with an entry closet almost twice the size of the old creaky tiny drafty closet we enjoyed before.

If you visited our home pre Renos, you may remember how very narrow and cramped the front entry was. This is the only pic I could find.. it looks bigger with the living room wall torn out. It wasn’t much more than 3′ deep from the door to the kitchen entrance. Not conducive for those long goodbye chats, yet we still did it. We just became close talkers. 😜😆

if you’ve not been to our house since we started Reno’s, and need some help visualizing… that old closet and entry used to sit where our kitchen wall is now.



Everything right of the drawn line is new.. 3′ + wallspace for the new 2 pc bath, and the rest of the addition space on this side of the house for the new entry. Old closet stood left of this space where I roughly drew it.

It’s coming along so beautifully.. and in good time.

Focusing on the positive

Cause it’s so easy to see all that’s not. Not right, not according to plan, not on time.. things I don’t want to remember or commemorate here.. so here’s to the positive!

The exterior Tyvek (house wrap) and insulation is up! Poor guys were Tyveking on a really blustery day last week.

And trim has started! We ran into some interesting issues with all 3 pocket doors.. one had a screw through the roller track during installation

And two tracks were in crooked, making the doors not level, so our carpenter magician fixed one by altering the frame, and 2 others by cutting a hole in the drywall to access the frames and correct them. All 3 pocket doors were hung more than 1/2″ too high as well, leaving a considerable gap underneath, and he was able to remedy that as well. All a bit disappointing, but I’m so glad to have a really great craftsman carpenter to deal with these issues. He’s a fantastic problem solver and has made it all so in the end we’ll never know.

So Pete the taper is coming back to patch the 2 12″ square holes, and we’ll never know they were there. Whew! Except.. I did commemorate them, didn’t I… 😜

The trim is starting to come along nicely, we’re really happy with what Des is doing, and the attention to detail he takes.

This was a mock-up he did for me, which helped us decide against the shoe mold on top of the base. Cove was supposed to go on top, but the wrong material was shipped. Glad we’re catching these things together!

It’s beginning to take shape as our beautiful new home. A little longer than we’d hoped, but it’s being done right. Where we’re spending Christmas this year is still up in the air at this point. We know we won’t be home in less than a month which was our first plan, but we may go back just in time for Christmas with some things unfinished… and I’m learning to accept it, move on and focus on the positive. Or we may just take off somewhere hot and sunny and skip Christmas all together this year… or maybe I’m dreaming…

Autumn leaves

If you live in Niagara, hopefully you were able to get outside and enjoy this gorgeous Autumn 🍂 🍁 day. Here’s the view I had from my desk at work this morning.

I said to my sister, it physically HURT to be inside today! Fall days like this are my Favourite! Cool temps, brilliant sunshine, clean crisp air to breathe… I got outside as much as I could today. We have 3 dismal days of rain ahead.

Pete finished sanding today, and Igor finished the shower. I love it. It’s so lovely to see this part of the plan come together.

Josh and Austin (2 of my coworkers at LC) came to install the egress window and front porch posts (that will be clad with stone and flashing) they also put in temporary stairs for us for the winter until (late May!!!) when the landscaper is tentatively scheduled to do the driveway and front porch.

Here is the view if you’re sitting on a Fall late afternoon at my dining room table.

Come on in after a brisk walk and I’ll pour you a cuppa ☕️ and serve you warm cookies 🍪 from the oven. Let’s have a lovely chin wag.

Taping and tiles, oh my!

Again, we had a bit of a stressful weekend, trying to problem solve something we never had to. At some point, we will learn to trust the professionals.

We had what I will call a “wonky wall”. It’s the support wall for the big beam in our ceiling that allowed us to have the open concept we will soon enjoy.

The very last stud that was put in the support wall was really twisted. The boarders followed the twisted stud when they put up the drywall, which was then taped.

Bill left a note by the wall for “Pete the amazing”, asking for his advice. Pete was in today mudding and sanding, and when I arrived at the house at noon he had already fixed it. The man is truly an artist. I gave him a big hug. He said he first noticed it on Friday, and “once it’s seen, it can’t be unseen”; there was no way he could leave it like that. I’m verklempt yet again.

Here’s Pete at work tonite.

The big surprise today was a call from our flooring company saying that the Tiler was on his way to install the shower tile. What?! I’m not ready for him! I checked with Pete, and he said it would be ok. Turns out they’re working great together. Igor is new to me, and another artist/tradesman who takes pride in his work. He was excited to show me at the end of the day how he patterned the tile. Tomorrow the spacers come out and he grouts.

first pic is the Schluter tile back taken at noon, next 2 pics are near the end of day.

So exciting to see finishes happening! I really hope the next few weeks fly by.. I’m really getting excited now to see the finished product of my hopes and selections, and how they all fit together.


Today’s goal was window treatment shopping. As much as I hate shopping, Guillermo hates it more. But he was very patient.

We ended up choosing things I never would have thought of. Not set in stone yet, we’re still looking at pricing and maybe another store. But we got a lot of education today, and some interesting ideas. I didn’t photograph them all, but here’s a snippet.

Honeycomb “cellular” blinds that open at top and bottom for both bathrooms. Shown with laminate and paint colours. These work well in damp environments.

This is how they operate, top and bottom

We chose one in a warm cocoa colour with blackout for our bedroom. Will look something like this except with cooler tones

We’re still waffling on the patio door in Bills office, but it may just be bamboo Roman blind. My mind is blown.. I can’t believe we’re considering it.

And finally the living room and dining room big windows.. we kept coming back to the functionality of horizontal wood blinds… but how about not white, how about weathered wood?? Photo doesn’t do the colour justice. It blends so well with our livingroom furniture ( the fabric in the background) and our paint colours. BM Steam trim, BM Sea salt walls

For valance, I plan on having our carpenter build them to match the trim.. rather than the valance matching the window treatments. Like this.

Or maybe this?

All in all, a productive shopping day. If you know me… you know it sucked the life out of me, but feels good having made some serious headway.

Rambling and speechless

I’m a little speechless. So I’ll likely ramble.

I’ve been all over the map emotionally, spiritually, and most definitely physically this week. Down with a bad cold after holding a sick baby in nursery on Sunday – my reserves are low. I’m struggling with God’s goodness. Why me? Why us? I have been so unfaithful throughout my life with His gifts. Part of the time, I believe He’s giving this to us.. but then I wonder.. are we taking it for ourselves? The 👿 and 😇 on my shoulders are working overtime. But I don’t want to hear their voices.. I want to hear God’s. I know James 1:17 well

But does it apply here? Am I just taking this for myself? Couldn’t the money and time be better spent elsewhere? Of course it could. But I have a deep desire to bless others in and through the home God has granted us stewardship of. .. much like my sister and brother do in theirs. But couldn’t I have done that in my oddly little shaped house before? Of course we could. I think we tried.. but I always felt so inadequate. I saw the flaws. My focus was off that’s for sure.

did we do this too quickly? Pray about it enough? Seek wise counsel? Sigh. But yet here we go.. here we are. I’m fragile. Be nice to me. And don’t Pooh-Pooh what I’ve shared either. It’s real and it’s raw. Also I’m not fishing for affirmation. I’m just sharing the real heart of the matter. This isn’t always as easy as it looks on the outside.

On the other hand, when I’m not overthinking everything.. I am getting excited about the house and the progress. We ordered Canadian made stools for our kitchen this week through Ryns furniture.

That was a hint.. after I was playing with colours and components of the stools. The wood, the steel, the fabric.. so fun to “build your own”. I look forward to hanging out in my kitchen with family and friends gathered around the island.

Pete the taper came yesterday and was back again today. His artistry at taping amazes me. After dealing with the boarders, it’s a real joy to work with Pete. He comes early, stays late, brings his own coffee maker so he doesn’t waste time or money running to Tim’s..his work ethic and care is inspiring. I think I thanked him 8 times today. He found a window issue we didn’t know about, just via scrutinizing his own work. This type of tradesman is getting harder to find. One that takes great care and have real talent. I think our schools do a disservice by telling the less educated, less dedicated young men and women to get into trades, cause it’s all that they can manage. We need good hardworking, intelligent, smart common sensical thinkers who can do math in their heads.

I have a few nephews on both sides of our family who are tradesmen. 2 electricians and a stone mason. They are all of the above. I am proud of and thankful for them- But they are getting rare. 🐇 trail. Sorry. (Not sorry)

Here’s some of Pete’s work today, including a view of our new main floor Butlers Pantry/laundry room.

He still has a couple days of mudding and sanding ahead, but already it looks so great, and he’s taken care of all the issues left behind by the boarders.

Mike the insulator called me late last night, freshly back from his 2 week fishing trip up north, asking me if he could come blow the ceiling insulation in. He’s another guy like Pete. Shows up, calls ahead, works quickly and diligently.. plays nice with others. He also takes forever to invoice. I often have to ask him to. I knew I wouldn’t have to chase Mike to come back. He’s one of the few that when he says “yes” the first time, he’s there.

The exterior stone should be in next week, and I still haven’t confirmed our mason.. but the siding guy is booked for 2nd week in December. Spent some time going over what I still need Lincoln Construction to do in the next week or so before masonry. Exterior R5 Insulation has to go on exterior walls, then they need to be strapped for siding. Porch beams to be installed, temporary exterior stairs built until landscapers come in the Spring, (remembered this later) egress window in basement still needs to be installed (it’s just shimmed in and taped right now to keep critters out.

Bill now has all the brick off on the affected exterior. Wow, what a job! He would give Pete a run for his money if he was a taper. My WillYum has the most amazing work ethic, attention to detail, stamina, and strength. I am indeed blessed beyond words. Speechless. Verklempt.

that’s enough rambling for one so speechless. Talk amongst yourselves..