Saturday, December 25, 2010

Looking Back 2010

I think I have to say that 2010 was one of the highlights of my life so far. I've had some pretty spectacular years in the past so I don't say this lightly.

It all started with the Olympics. I think I'm still feeling the buzz. I had no idea what to expect. Too be honest, I didn't really think anyone would show up. Boy was I wrong! To see the normally frosty citizens of Vancouver dressed up in their best interpretation of the Canadian flag and filled to the brim with giddyness and joy was an experience I wasn't expecting. I fell in love with my country all over again. There is an amazing power that comes with strong patriosm that just sweeps you along for the ride. I'm so proud of all our athletes and their amazing showing on home turf. The final hockey game was the nail-biting icing on the cake. What a wonderful way to start the year.

The mild weather, while maybe not ideal for a winter olympics, was welcomed by me especially after last years frosty wonderland. I really don't like to battle the elements! It can snow all it wants to on the mountains, but please by all means, rain on my parade, I really don't mind at all.

I spent the spring living in a beautiful heritage home with a fabulous garden. Every day was a treat seeing what new life had burst forth. All the lucious scents and colours were a gift for the senses. After three years of living in an industrial park, all that beauty and life was like water to a parched plant. I spent hours in that garden, inspecting plants, taking their pictures, looking them up online to learn more about them and absorbing their lovely energy.

The nine months I spent in that house away from Mitchell Island was in a sense a rebirth for me. I got out and socialized more. I started the Wyldestone Cottage blog and finally put my interests together in writing so that when I'm ready to teach, I'll have my course notes finally in order. I quit smoking again but for good this time. And last, but not least, I manifested my own home.

June/July were anxious months for me as I held my breath and crossed my fingers and toes waiting for all the paperwork and neccesary manouvers to acquire my home and get it transported down here. The day it finally arrived was like a dream for me. I had to keep pinching myself to make sure it was real.

The rest of the summer and fall, I fell off the face of the earth and into a love affair with my home. It looks an aweful sight these days, full of my belongings and construction material all over the place, but I can see the final vision, I see past all the chaos to the castle it wants to be. Each project finished, each decision made, each new purchase is a moment of pure joy and contentment. I live for the day when I can fling my doors open to the world and say "come on in". I look forward to years of entertaining and working on many projects.

As for the rest of this winter, I just can't wait for it to be over. I live in fear of snow. I don't want to have to get up and shovel off my roof. I don't want to battle my way to work and back in vehicles not equipped for bad weather. I have a bunch of projects on hold because it's too cold to work downstairs. I am counting down the weeks until the worst is behind us. I can't wait to see what the new year has in store for me. It will be tough to beat this year, but a nice calm, middle-of-the- road year would be nice, no drama, just things getting done. Work when I need it, lots of sunshine and some headway on my thousand and one projects would be so sweet.

The only fly in my ointment is my weight. As I knew I would, I've ballooned since quitting smoking. I'm so ashamed and embarrassed, I haven't been to a single function involving my friends in over 6 months. Nothing fits, I look horrific, I have a massive 60-70 pounds to lose to get back to where I was when I first arrived here four years ago. It's such a daunting number, I don't know where to start and the thought of starving myself and exercising like a hamster in a cage just to lose one pound a week makes me feel so helpless. So once again, I start the New Year vowing to get control over my body. I don't know why I bother, none of my resolutions ever seem to go anywhere. Maybe this year, I will resolve to eat more chocolate, be more sedentary and not give a shit what I weigh. Maybe then the opposite will happen, a girl can dream can't she?

Wishing you all a safe and happy New Year, may all your dreams come true and do take some time to stop and smell the roses, it's those little things that make life worth living.

Linking to Cindy's Show and Tell Friday

Friday, November 26, 2010

Tough Times

Boy this week has been one of the hardest in my life. It started when Davids cat almost died. Smoochie had run outside, jumped onto a large box and off the other side only to land in a barrel of oil that Dave had just drained out of the tugboat. He was completely immersed in the oil and scrabbling like mad to get out. Dave heard the racket , hauled him out of the oil and tried to hose him off. The cat didn't like that at all and got away by running under the workshop and staying there for hours. Finally when he was 90 percent dead from hypothermia( the temperature was around zero, it started to snow later that night!) we were able to push his limp body out with a large stick. I spent the next 5 hours just holding the cat next to my body while wrapping him in warm towels and a hot water bottle to get his body temperature back to normal. I set him down for a moment to do something and he crawled off into an inaccesable corner of the attic where he stayed for 24 hours. Needless to say,I didn't get any sleep as I kept checking on him with a flashlight to see if he was still alive.

He finally came out of hiding the next night and I was able to give him a bath to remove most of the oil. His fur still looks way too shiny and spiky and he could use another bath but didn't want to stress him out anymore at this time. It took three days before he came out and walked around and had anything to eat or drink. He still looks completely shell shocked and spends almost all his time sleeping. Poor guy, I feel so sorry for him, his fur has started falling out and he is so skinny right now, but he does seem to be on the mend, so time will tell how he will recover from all the trauma.

That was the start to a rough week indeed. As I mentioned in my last post, winter hit us with a vengance this year. One of the reasons I moved to Vancouver was the mild winters we are famous for but this year I might as well have been back east. One day we hit minus 22 with the windchill and got all kinds of heavy thick snow. As long as the temperature stays around the plus 5 mark we can keep our homes comfortable with space heaters and the woodstove. Once it gets below zero, it becomes a battle to not freeze to death.

Our average temperature inside the house was probably about 5 degrees at best. I basically put on all the clothes I own and went to bed with four blankets and a feather quilt, a cat tucked under each arm and stayed there for the last few days. Dave on the other hand had to battle the elements and go out each day to take apart all the hoses and bring them in to defrost them in an attempt to get running water going again. He spent hours cutting firewood, shoveling the docks, checking all the boat bilges, shoveling snow off his roof and a meriad of other chores that left him exhausted and frozen. I'm so proud of him for having the moxy to get out there every day and do all of this stuff. I was a total wuss and just hid in my bed and moaned about the cold.

I made one attempt to flee the island on the coldest night and only got four blocks away before my engine overheated and something blew. It's still parked on a side road waiting for next Monday when my mechanic gets back from his holidays. I only pray that its a quick easy fix as I have no money for extensive repairs. Not having a vehicle has put me in a bad spot as I have finally gotten some calls for home massage but can't get all my gear to their house without my van. It's a catch-22, I need money to fix the van, can't earn any without the van , arghhhhh!

Last night was the final straw, the power went out for a few hours and things got really cold with no electricity for the heaters. My cell phone battery was dying, no vehicle to get out of here, no where to go, no money for a hotel room, my plants on the verge of freezing to death. I've never felt so helpless. All I could do was huddle under the covers with the cats and hope we survived the night.

Today we woke up to a balmy plus four and most of the snow melted. Halleluyah! Hoping this trend stays for awhile, so I can get on with things around here. That was a week I don't want to repeat again ever!

Monday, November 22, 2010

It's way to Cold to Kiss

A song for winter, sung to the tune of Sealed With a Kiss

Yes we had to say good bye to the summer,
And now it's come down to this
Minus twelve in November,
Now it's way too cold to kiss
Guess it's going to be a long nasty winter,
I'm huddled in bed writing this
Too cold to get up and start a fire
Don't know how I'll make it through this
The water pipes are frozen
The propane hose is cracked
Ice is on the docks
Not enough wood got stacked
I didn't want to say good bye to the summer,
Knowing the heat I would miss
If I could have left in September,
Then it wouldn't have come to this
Guess it's going to be a long nasty winter,
Promises of lots of ice and snow
If only I was was rich, I could get on a plane and go
to Mexico
Where it's warm enough to kiss
And away from all of this

Bah Humbug, I hate winter and more so with every passing year. There was a few years in my twenties and thirties once I had learned how to ski, where I found a modecum of enjoyment from the sight of fresh snow, but now that I am older, stiffer and poorer that small joy is forever gone. Now it's just a struggle to survive each day. Living on the water makes that job even harder.

It's a constant battle against the elements here. We are limited to one hundred amps of electricity for the whole marina and that has to be shared by everyone. That means there isn't enough electricity for everyone to run a million space heaters
24/7, so alternative sources of heat must be found.

First you have to insulate EVERYTHING! Seal all the windows with plastic, stuff all the cracks with insulation, and hang blankets in all the doorways. Our main source of heat is the woodstove which eats firewood in amazing quantities. We seem to spend a large part of each day chopping wood which then vanishes in a a few short hours and requires setting an alarm to get up in the middle of the night to stoke the fire.

Luckily we live in a climate where it rarely dips below freezing but when it does we are in trouble. All of our water comes to us through garden hoses which freeze solid. The regulators for the propane tanks also freeze meaning no hot water or cook stove. Any dampness on the docks turns to ice making them extremely treacherous to navigate. If the cold snap lasts long enough, the river itself freezes, sending large dangerous chunks of ice sailing down river to crash into us.

Over the last two years, so much sediment has built up under us, that Dave's house sits on the hard at an angle during low tide. With last night's full moon making an extra low tide and the extreme cold, his house was making huge cracking noises which sounded like all the beams were breaking.Thankfully they didn't but the noise was something fearful to experience.

Even with 4 heaters and a fire going for most of the night, when we woke up the temperature in the house was at zero, the water pipes all frozen and this is just November! Our really bad weather typically doesn't start until the end of December.

I wish I was a bear so I could just hibernate until this is all over! Or rich enough to just leave for somewhere tropical for the next four months.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Giving Thanks

I was out of town on Saltspring Island last weekend taking a course for my massage therapy continuing education, so didn't get a chance to work on things around the house but this weekend was very productive.Slowly but surely I am making some headway. I'm still working on the kitchen but can see light at the end of the tunnel now. The walls are all painted, the cabinets painted, knobs for the cabinets... you guessed it, .. painted as well.

The original white knob on the left, how they look painted green to match the kitchen colours on the right. Quite proud of myself for thinking of stringing them up on fishing line to paint all sides of them at once.

I got the two leaded glass sliding doors resized and proper handles put on them and they are now installed.( Go here to find out exactly how I made small doors bigger so they would fit the frame) The upper kitchen cabinets have been installed and the plumbing for the sink and dishwasher has been run through the walls.

The next step is to sand and varnish the floors which should take up most of my next group of days off. Once thats done, I can install the base cupboards and hook up the sink and dishwasher. I'm supposed to have an electrician here tomorrow to finish the job of hooking me up. I really hope he comes and does the job. I've been camping in here since July. I didn't mind at all in the summer, but it is getting colder and darker in here every day. If the temperatures drop much more I won't be able to stay here without heat.

If I get power hooked up, there are baseboard heaters in some of the rooms and I have portable heaters I could use in other rooms. I have a woodstove but am waiting to finish running the plumbing through the walls and floors before finishing the floor and setting up the stove. Also I have to cut a new hole in my house for the chimney and am nervous about doing that right. Don't want any leaks, don't want 15 feet of chimney swaying in the breeze either, not sure yet how I am going to do it. The other issue with woodstoves is keeping them going. I have no wood and nowhere to store wood,... meh!

God must have heard my pleas to send me someone to help as I got an interesting offer today. Friends of mine dropped by with two young men who have their carpenter tickets and want to find work in Vancouver. They are willing to trade work for accomadation while they get settled here. They seem to know what they are talking about, so I hope this works out. When I have a helping hand, alot gets done in short time. Trying to do this all by myself is extremely hard. Sometimes all I need is an extra pair of hands to hold something while I nail it in place, but without those hands, a small job becomes a huge hurdle. I figure if I could have an electrician, a plumber and a few carpenters for even one day, I could get a big chunk of the basics done and have the neccesities taken care of. Keeping my fingers and toes crossed and hoping I can come up with enough material to keep them busy if they do stay here.

I have so much to be grateful for in my life right now. I want to thank the universe for providing me with this opportunity, Daryl and my Dad for backing me financially, David for giving me a place to work on things, my friends who helped me move, gave me a hand with my projects and dragged me out of here on occasion to come up for air. A huge THANK YOU to each and everyone of you, from the bottom of my heart. Happy Thanksgiving and a Happy Birthday to my Dad who has the auspicious birthday of 10/10/10 and is spending it at the pyramids in Egypt. Hope your having the birthday of a lifetime Dad, you deserve it!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Big Fish

Funny , I live on the water but don't give much thought as to what might be swimming by. This giant guy was caught upstream. Im never swimming in here again!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

How I Spent Labour Day

Labouring of course, silly!
I don't know if it's the name of the day, but I always seem to be working extra hard on labour day. This year was no different. I've been procastinating about painting my kitchen as I've never had very good results with my painting techniques. This year I took the time to research and ask some questions from the professionals and wrote a post for Wyldestone Cottage about all I learned in the process.

Finally armed with some knowledge, lots of supplies and a room prepainted with primer by my good friend and expert painter, Rick, I was ready to tackle the job. Boy what a difference some knowledge makes! It still wasn't my favorite activity in the world but I am more than happy with the final results and no mess at all to speak of, whoohoo!

The next day, once the paint was dry, I really wanted to get a sense of how the room was going to look when I was done. I still need to refinish the floors(which I really should have done first) but I couldn't wait. I huffed and puffed and dragged all my kitchen appliances and cupboards through-out the house and into the kitchen. I then spent an agonizing 12 hours rearranging everything like a giant (HEAVY) jigsaw puzzle until I was happy with the final configuration of things. I can finally see what the room will eventually look like.

I still have lots of work to do yet. The floors need re-finishing, I need to build a stand for the sink and dishwasher so they are at the same height as the counters. I will be painting all the cupboards,finding and installing a counter-top and handles,installing light fixtures, plumbing in the sink and dishwasher, hooking up the stove to the propane after running propane hose through pipe from the balcony(storage area for the propane bottles), building a shelving unit for the other wall with glass doors and decorating in general. Wow, writing that list just took the wind out of my sails.....oh well, onwards we go, it will be done one day.

The day after that I was too sore to do much of anything physical, but it was a great day nonetheless. I had an epiphany!!! I was finally able to visualize the open downstairs space. It was weird, even though I could see through the open framed walls, I couldn't seem to see past them. In frustration, I started hauling large items around and arranging them where I wanted walls be so I could get a sense of the space I wanted to create. Armed with a measuring tape , I scurried around for hours planning and plotting and making sure everything would fit and traffic flow would be comfortable and I think I am happy with the results. The beauty of this, is now that I know what I want and where everything is going to go, I know what I need and don't need out of my pile of stuff and I can make a coherant list of projects in some kind of chronological order that makes sense. In a way, that was one of the biggest jobs of all! I am so happy to scratch that one off the list.

So here are a few pics of the kitchen in its rough form, you will have to work with me and use your imagination for some of these pictures but I assure you , It will look great when it is finished. Keep in mind the house is over 100 years old, so I am trying to keep some of that character in my design.

This picture is what you would see as soon as you walk in the door. There was a tiled corner there originally for a woodstove but after inspecting the chimney, I found out it was so far away from code as to be nothing but a danger, so no woodstove in that corner. Instead I ripped out the tiles, placed the corner cabinet there and will be building shelves that radiate out on either side. The white window frames you see there will be glass doors for the shelves. The white cabinets you see will be placed up on the wall over the shelves.

Looking to the left in the room, you have the stove which will have a shelf over it for the microwave and some of the kitchen cabinets( they aren't mounted to the wall yet, so will be higher than in this pic as well they still need to be painted)
Looking down that wall you see my kitchen sink project with a sunshine ceiling fixture that will be installed over the sink.

This chandalier wil be going over the table
Over by the front door I have placed a small bookcase which I am going to finish with those windows leaned up in front of it. On top is two of the oak spoon racks I found last year that will be reworked into spice cabinets and mounted higher on the wall.

I've been playing around with different ideas for the doors in the kitchen. This doorway leads to the room beside the kitchen and I like the glass letting all the light in.
I actually have an old dutch door with a window in the top that will be my front door but it was too heavy to move into place by myself , so I placed another glass door here for the moment to get a sense of the view and light I would be able to have.
Well there you have it. Thats the kitchen so far. I have a long way to go but being able to see what the finished look will be has given me the will to plow forward and get it done. I am hoping it will be a functioning kitchen by Thanksgiving. I would love to cook my first real meal in a full sized oven and serve it on an elegant tablescaped table. Wish me luck, or better yet, pop by and lend a hand.

Nothing is in stone yet, so if you have any great ideas, speak up and let me know what you would do if this was your kitchen.

PS, pretty much everything you see in all these pictures I got for free or very cheap, except for the chandalier everything is recycled. I paid $50 for the chandalier and saw the same one yesterday at Home Depot for $180. I paid $100 for the stove which cost over $1000 new. So far my biggest expense for this room has been paint and painting supplies, about $200 with Ricks discount. I'm guesstimating that my total costs what with what I've already spent and the rest that I need will be about $1000 total. That includes renting a floor sander, buying varnish and applicators, plumbing supplies, knobs and hardware for doors and cupboards,paying someone to install my doors and wire in my light fixtures. Not bad for a kitchen from scratch.

I am linking to Cindy's wonderful blog My Romantic Home

Friday, August 27, 2010

And The Walls.... Come Tumbling Down.......

Wow, I can't believe it's been almost a month already! I wanted to post sooner, but was hoping to have at least one finished project to show you by now. It's all been more of a process than I anticipated. I have no power as of yet, although that is being worked on now. Someone had cut all the wires going into the panel box and stolen most of the breakers, so I was left with a big electrical mess to sort out. I have had someone here for the last three days trying to put it all back together with various components that we already had kicking around .

In the meantime most of last month was scorching hot so I wasn't too motivated to do heavy labor and by the time night fell and it cooled off, I had no light to see by. For years I have been drawing plans to design my dream home. It never looked exactly like this place, so I found myself just needing to hang out and spend time here feeling the place out and trying to visualize different ideas to see what I wanted to do next. I kept changing my mind every other day, so got kind of paralyzed and scared to start something. I've been slowly unpacking some of my boxes, trying to find all my tools and craft supplies. I have most of them out now, but won't show you the room just yet as I am waiting to find them all before I decided how to store them.

I've also been working five days a week, so had to wait for time off and some cash for materials before I could get much done. The first project is to get the two front rooms done so I can set up a kitchen and living room.

This is going to be the kitchen. I stripped off the wallpaper that was on these walls. Two of the walls were wood paneling that the paper just peeled off.The other two walls , it was glued on tight. I managed to pull the paper off but it left a paper backing stuck to the wall. I mixed fabric softner with boiling water ( half and half) in a sprayer bottle and soaked the paper backing on the wall.

It just peeled off the wall after that with a little nudge from a plastic scraper. ( The white wall is the first one I did, you can see the paper on the floor. To the left where the wall looks beige hasn't been done yet.)

The room beside the kitchen had horrible plastic looking paneling with plastic ribs holding it together. It looked like mobile home paneling from the eighties or something, seriously fugly anyway. Armed with a crowbar, I pulled all the molding and paneling down. What a horror show underneath. The first wall I did, had this large wood paneling which I thought, ok I can work with this.

But the next wall was all styrofoam insulation

and this wall had thick cardboard like sheets of wallpaper glued to the wood.The different wall paneling you see here is all the back of the plastic stuff that was on the walls originally.

I could of a matter of fact, I avoided that room for a few weeks after.

As soon as I have some more cash, I will be buying beadboard paneling for the bottom of the walls and more paneling for the top which will then be painted sage green or burgendy( I haven't decided yet)

Then there is the upstairs ( sigh...)
I have one room set up as a bedroom and the door wouldn't even open all the way before it hit this wall.

The room behind that wall is a huge airless, windowless space filled to the brim with boxes of stuff. In the heat wave we have been having it was too hot and lacking in oxygen to work up there for any length of time. In desperation one day, I had a fellow come up with a saw and cut me hole in the wall so I could get airflow coming through from the other side.

Ahhhh , much better, light and oxygen!!

While he was doing that, I tore down the wall in front of the bedroom door, so I can easily access the space now and have some cross ventilation going on.

In the meantime, I am still searching craigslist for more material. I lucked out the other day and got all these tiles ,vinyl and wooden flooring for free.

From this huge pile that was free to pick from.
I got tons of gorgeous blue tile for the downstairs bathroom and some nice mushroom brown ones for the upstairs bathroom. I also got cans of the adhesive and grout I needed to do the job. I got some lovely tongue and groove wood and some beadboard style as well as three different styles of vinyl flooring. In total, I probably got in the neighborhood of four thousand dollars of material for free, all because they needed more room in their warehouse!
I also picked up a laundry room sink and a bunch of dressers and shelf units so I can create a large walk-in closet type-of-affair in that upstairs space.
Here is one project, I'm close to being finished on,

The First of Many Projects!!!

The Shirley Metal Kitchen. This was donated to me by David. It is an old (1940-1950) metal kitchen sink and cupboard unit. As you can see, it was seriously rusty and decrepted looking when I first saw it.


I thought for about a nano second, that I might keep the original sticky paper that was on the shelves, just to keep it original looking , but decided against that when I saw the fifty year old dirt under the edges of it. Out it came!

I then spent a few hours sanding the whole unit down with various grades of grit, until the rust was all gone. Then I gave it a good washing with TSP and hot water, followed by a good long hosing down. Once it was dry, it got painted with 2 coats of self etching primer inside and out.

For some reason the colour I chose isn't showing up in these pictures at all, but this is the cabinet with two coats of sage green colour ( which mysteriously looks exactly like the military green tarp that its sitting on).

I found these cute handles at Home Depot. I guess over the years we have changed the standards of how wide our handles are for cupboards. The holes in mine were for about a two and a half inch spacing, but all the handles I found were three inch. So unfortunately, I had to ( get David) to drill an extra set of holes to fit the handles.

So, its pretty much done now. I want to build a small wooden frame for it to sit on as the doors catch on the ground, then as soon as the kitchen is painted, it will be installed.

All this work has aggravated my bulging discs in my neck once again ( 3 times in one year!) Each time it seems to take about 6 weeks to resolve itself. The last time it happened , I spent over a thousand dollars on naturopath, chiropracter, massage, physiotherapy and acupunture. Nothing works unfortunatly. They all say the same thing, there is nothing they can do for me, I just have to manage the pain and wait for it to fix itself. So a few advil and a demerol, then wait for it all to kick in and I have about 2 painfree hours to work with with before it all wear off. I then have to wait an hour before I can take more and it takes about another hour for it to kick in. Slowly but surely, I am making some progress. I'm off to paint the kitchen now, wish me luck, I suck at painting!

This post is linked to Cindy's Show and Tell Friday

Friday, August 6, 2010

Home Sweet Home

If you have been reading my other blog Wyldestone Cottage then this is old news to you, but as this blog is more my personal story than the other, I wanted to document whats been going on as of late.

I finally have my own float home!!! All these years of blogging where I kept going on about how I wanted to build or find a floathome and it finally happened. I am over the moon!!

Home Sweet Home

Back in June, I found out that Davids other floathome that had been moored up in Mission had been seized by the baliff for non-payment of moorage fees. The tenants that had been staying there were involved in illegal activities, got busted and ran for the hills. When David went to check on things he found the notice from the baliff tacked to the door. He couldn't come up with the money to pay the bill and was going to lose the house, so I said, "if I can pay the bill, may I have the house?". He agreed and I went about begging everyone I knew to lend me the money. My Dad and best friend Daryl, came up with the majority of the money for me and the bill got paid just in the nick of time.

It took almost another month before I could get the house towed back here to Mitchell Island. I had to wait for the tugboat operator to get his boat fixed and for the tides to cooperate so we could rearrange the marina to make a spot for me. In the meantime, I was spending every day packing up my stuff at Diana's house and dragging it over here to store in the back of the shop. I managed to load and unload 6 vanloads of stuff over the period of a few weeks. Finally on July 14th, Steve and David were ready to go and get the house.

I was extremely excited and nervous at the same time. The freshet was still running quite hard, they were doing this with just one boat, and if anything went wrong coming under any of the bridges, I could have lost everything. I didn't want them risking their lives for me and my house, so spent the day praying as hard as I could that everything would go smoothly. I had David phone every hour or so and keep me updated on their progress. They had 60 km of river to navigate with strong tides to contend with.

They made much better time then any of us anticipated. I got a call around 4 pm to tell me they were coming through New Westminster. I jumped in my car and raced up there to see if I could get some pictures of them coming through the bridges. They were moving so fast, that by the time I got there, I only managed to grab a quick shot of them passing under the last bridge. I tried to keep up in the car, but they were flying down the river, so I beelined it back to the marina to double check that everything there was ready for them to dock when they arrived.

My first view of the house going down the river

The last of the bridges conquered

Lots of nervous anticipation and then suddenly there they were, coming around the last corner.

Passing in front of the condos across from us

A few more minutes and Steve had swung the house around and got it lined up with the docks.
A few helping hands to guide it into place and my home was home safe and sound. I was ecstatic to say the least. Everything went smoothly for them, the trip was uneventful, unlike the night we brought the Lucky 7 home, thank god! That night was too much drama, I thought we were all going to die.

The house sat for about a week at the very end of the docks while David finished rearranging things here to find me a better spot. Originally, I was to go on the inside of his house, but there is so much mud in there, it would take forever to clear a spot, so in the end I got put in behind his house and the 40 foot barge. I love this spot as it is right at the foot of the ramp and means I have the least amount of docks to stumble over to get stuff loaded into the house.

The previous tenants had left a virtual mountain of crap behind in the house, so I spent the first week, hauling all their stuff out and cleaning the whole place. It was a HUGE job. I literaly moved a ton ( 2000 lbs) of stuff in one day. ( I know because I weighed it!) It was back breaking work that I hadn't counted on before I could get on with the business of moving my own stuff in. Then I had to wait a few more days until the tides cooperated and gave us some water during daylight hours to finally get on with my move.

Last Wednesday, I borrowed a large panel truck from our neighbor and hired some helping hands and the great move began to get my storage lockers unloaded. We did two loads Wednesday night and another four early Thursday morning and finaly, all my stuff is under one roof. This is like Christmas for me, I haven't seen some of this stuff for 3-10 years. I can't wait to see it all again.

My house is not actually a house. It was designed as a workshop and had no kitchen or bathroom area. There are two rooms in the front of the house that are somewhat finished, a huge unfinished space in the middle and two rooms in the back (these will be a workshop and craft room.) The upstairs has one finished room on one end, a huge space in the middle and a smallish loft on the other side. I have my work cut out for me but have most of what I need to do the job. I have been collecting stuff from the free section of craigslist for the last year and have probably eighty percent of what I need to finish the job. Some doorskins and paint will be my first expenses as I try and get the two front rooms ready to live in. The next project after that will be to rearrange a wall or two and get my bathroom framed and plumbed in. By that point it will be a livable space and the rest will get done when I have time and money.

It is SO AWESOME to have elbow space again. I am capable of living in small confined spaces but I am really liking the variety of rooms to play in. I have already started on my beduoin tent themed room upstairs. I am loving it so much I am having a hard time leaving it to work on the rest of the house. I will be spending a lot of time in there in the future. I'll be back soon with some updates, right now its a lot of grunt work, shuffling stuff around, ripping down tacky wall coverings and trying to find neccesary tools buried in my boxes. I've taken this week off work to try and make some headway, so back to the grindstone before work comes along to distract me.

I'm a river rat again and I LOVE IT!!!

So come on in and let me give you the grand tour ( I have to say, I have a whole new apprectiation for real estate photographers, I couldn't get a whole room in one shot so these pictures are really hard to get a good idea of what the place really looks like. I think I will have to do a walk through with a video camera)

The view through the front door, this room will be my tempory kitchen, there is a tiled corner for a woodstove, the other room is just to the right, the door you see ahead leads out into the main area of the house

Looking to the left of the same room, I have already taken down the wallpaper in these pics.

Same room, wall to the left

Same room looking back to the front door

The ceilings in the two front rooms look like this

Looking into the second room ( I don't have any other decent pics of that room to show you, it has two windows)

Coming through the kitchen door and looking right( the wall on the left, I want to push back 5 feet and build my bathroom and a walk in closet in the space. I want to put a door from the second front room into the bathroom so that if I ever needed/wanted, the front half of the house could be a separate self contained suite)
Looking to the left is the staircase to the upstairs bedroom with a space for wood storage

Looking straight ahead you can see a fraction of the unfinshed space that will one day be a kitchen , living room. The two doors at the back are my tool/craft room(on the left) and workshop on the right

A picture from the back end of that room looking back towards the bathroom area

From the other corner looking back towards the staircase and front rooms

My tool /craft room with stairs up to the loft, looking in from the doorway

Looking to the left, I have a lovely view of the river out that window, my big desk will be going there
a view from the loft

Looking back into the room from the base of the stairs

The other room that will be my workshop right now has shelves on both sides. I am using these to store my hardwood flooring for now, once the flooring has been used, I will take down the shelves and open up the room to set up my lathe etc.

The bedroom above the front rooms, soon to be my beduion lounge

In between this room and the loft space is a huge room about 40 x16 feet that at the moment is stuffed full of my boxes, so couldnt get a good picture, and forgot to before the movers showed up.

My wonderful crew of movers, still smiling after moving my mountain of stuff

Casper is a happy cat, he has a new friend, Davids cat Smoochie, they get along like peas in a pod, so cute!

I still can't believe I managed to manifest my dream home, I'm looking forward to many years of joy and happiness within those walls and the joy of knowing I will never have to pack up my belongings again!

I'm linking this post to Cindy's Show and Tell Fridays