Friday, 20 October 2017

I’ll tell you what I want, what I really really want

When I lived in Ottawa, I went to HomeSense pretty much every week. Now that the closest HomeSense is over an hour away, I don’t get there very often. So when I had to go to Halifax on Tuesday, HomeSense was most definitely on my list of stops.

I was hoping to find a pendant light for the bathroom and a new duvet cover. I came close with the light and struck out big-time with the duvet cover. But all was not lost – from the lighting section, I saw something teal off in the distance. Four somethings, actually. As I got closer, I got more excited – they were pretty close to the chairs that I really really wanted for the dining area in our kitchen. Blue – check. Low backs – check. Nail head trim – check. The only not-quite-what-I’m-looking-for were the dark legs.

chairs 2

If I didn’t have a box of hardwood flooring and 4 bags of dog food + $300 worth of groceries in the car, I would have snapped those babies up in a second. I could only put them on hold till the end of the day, although the store would hold them for up to 10 days so I could go back and get them. But did I really want to go back to Halifax next week just for some chairs?

chairs 1

In the end, I headed back home chairless. And then proceeded to obsess over those chairs for the rest of the day. CRAP, I should have bought them! What to do, what to do…


Lightbulb moment!

I texted my cousin who lives near Halifax and asked her for a BIG favour – and being the awesome cousin that she is, she went to HomeSense the next day and bought the chairs for me, which I luckily was able to put on hold for another day. WOOT! Of course, this means another trip into Halifax next week, but I think I can live with that. I just hope the four chairs fit into the back of my car!

So now this is my updated kitchen mood board….

kitchen mood board with numbers revised oct20-17

Now if we could just get to the point where we’re actually putting the kitchen together!

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Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Beam me up Scotty

A few days ago, I was walking Sassy on the beach and came across a big wood beam sitting in the sand. I’m always picking up pieces of wood from the beach for as-yet-undefined craft projects, but this baby was way too big for me to handle by myself. Plus it was in the center of the beach, so a long walk back to either end with it. Luckily, the beam washed up right in front of a rental cottage. So after asking for and getting permission to use the cottage driveway and beach access, I convinced Brian to help me round up the beam. Which, as it turns out, weighs about 1,639 pounds. But we managed to get it off the beach and into the car and up to the lot.

beam 1

So now I have an 11 foot long wood beam to use somewhere in our house. Where, I have no idea. But I’ll figure something out :-) Maybe we’ll use it for something like this around the front entry…

beams entry 2


What would you do with a big old beam from the beach?

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Friday, 6 October 2017

Damn you Sarah Richardson!

Up until a couple of weeks ago, I was perfectly happy with the wood stove that we selected – the Kodiak 1700 from Enviro. It’s a nice enough wood stove, and it should do the job of keeping our house toasty warm.

But then Sarah Richardson had to go and mess things up. I happened to catch a reveal from her latest series online, and now I’m obsessed with this blue & nickel wood stove.

blue wood stove

I mean, really, is this not a sexy wood stove?

blue wood stove 4

blue wood stove 3

I did some sleuthing and discovered that this blue beauty is either the Super Classic or Summit Classic from Pacific Energy. I went to a local hardware store that carries Pacific Energy wood stoves to get more info and pricing. And my dream of having a blue wood stove has been shattered – Pacific Energy discontinued blue a couple of years ago. Yet  they still carry maroon wood stoves. Seriously? Why?! Who wants maroon?!

ARGH! Damn you Sarah Richardson for getting me all excited about a wood stove that I can’t have!

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Tuesday, 3 October 2017

It’s a gusher!

So we’ve been working on the garage and the house for two years now without knowing for sure that there’s a good source of water on our lot.The chances were pretty good we’d find water, but we didn’t know for sure.

Last Monday the diviner came out and found water about halfway up the driveway. He let me use the stick to see if I could find water. On the second try, the stick pointed to the same spot the diviner found. It was pretty crazy, but I really had no control over the stick, it did what it wanted to do. When I asked the stick what the water flow was, it started to point down when I reached 11 gallons per minute. Yep, crazy again! I mean, this is just a plain old stick, how does it have these super powers?!


Today the well digger came out to the lot and started digging in the spot the diviner found.

truck 1

well digger in trees

truck 2

And two hours later, the digger hit water 100 feet down. Right at the spot the diviner found.


And now we have a well! The water flow is about 8-10 gallons per minute.

well 1

Now we need to get the water from the well to the house. It’s only about 250 feet away ;-)

well 2

It’s definitely a huge relief to know that we have water. It would kinda suck to have a house with no sinks or toilets ;-)

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Monday, 2 October 2017

It’s crunch time!

I’m excited and stressed and happy and freaked out all rolled into one… we have two months to get our house ready to move into, because our rental house is being rented by someone else starting on December 1st. EEEK!

I’ve been bad about posting house build updates over the summer. But most of the work happening over the last few months was plumbing and electrical, which really isn’t all that exciting. And who wants to see pictures of wires and PVC pipes anyway, right?

So here’s a wrap-up of what’s been going on since the electrical and plumbing were done around late August. After e passed the electrical inspection, we could start insulating. Brian got to do the whole ceiling while I was downstairs insulating the main floor. Then we covered it all with vapour barrier.

I swear this stuff smells like cotton candy!

insulation 1

insulation 2

insulation 1

Meanwhile, the big guns came back to work on the septic field.

excavator truck

Our foredogs inspecting the work ;-)

septic field 1

Last week we had a diviner come out to look for water for our well. The diviner has found water for lots of wells in the area, and even the well digger told us to have the diviner come out to find the best spot to dig. I was a bit skeptical till I held the stick myself. It’s hard to believe, but you can’t hold back this stick when it starts to point towards water. It’s really quite incredible, and I’m totally a believer now!

kelly stick

Brave (or crazy) Brian is now working away at installing drywall on the ceiling.


drywall 1

drywall 2

And I’ve been working much lower to the ground shingling the exterior walls. The ocean side is almost done and now I’m working on the west end.

shingles after 3


And that’s the house build wrap-up!

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Friday, 22 September 2017

We have a flooring front-runner

I went into Halifax earlier this week on a mission to find hardwood flooring. I came home with nine samples (I like making my life as difficult as possible!). Each time I laid them out and then narrowed them down to a couple of favourites, there’s one that made the cut each time. I don’t want to say that it’s the winner quite yet, but it’s definitely the front-runner.

So here it is – from Fuzion Flooring’s Classical Elegance collection, Oak Serenade…

oak 2

I like this hardwood best for a few reasons:

  • The colour is a greyish-brown that will hopefully not show too much sand and dirt!
  • The graining in the oak will help to conceal dings and scratches more than a less grainy wood like birch or maple.
  • The planks are 7-1/2” wide – love wide planks!
  • The colour and graining aren’t in-your-face, so hopefully the floor will take second stage to the more interesting aspects of the house – like the views :-)
  • It goes great with the tile that I love – Ceragres Wood 2 in Dust. The hardwood and tile will meet in places, and I’d like them to have a somewhat seamless transition rather than an obvious change of materials & colour. Here’s the Oak Serenade hardwood with the Wood 2 tile. And a rock ;-)

wood tile

Before I commit to the hardwood, I’m going to buy one box so I can see how much colour and grain variation there is in the full-size planks. After my previous hardwood front-runner not turning out to be what I expected, I don’t want to take any chances. We need about 2,000 sq ft of hardwood, so definitely don’t want to screw this up!

Next up in the decision-making process – finalizing the tiles for the upstairs bathroom.

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Sunday, 17 September 2017

A home for cucamelons

What, you may be wondering, is a cucamelon? Well, it’s really pretty much what it sounds like – it’s a tiny cucumber that looks like a tiny watermelon.



I’d never heard of cucamelons till last Tuesday. when someone brought a bowl of them to rug hooking. I was a bit apprehensive biting into the first one, but it was actually pretty good. Kind of like a cucumber dipped in vinegar – not exactly pickled, but with a bit of an acidic zing. I popped a few more into my mouth, and brought home one cucamelon to try growing my own from the seeds.

Problem is…. where can I put a garden? Right next to the ocean isn’t the greatest spot for growing fruits & veggies. Too windy, mist from salty water, not to mention that the ground is pretty solid ‘cause it’s pretty much all rock.

And then I had an idea. A couple of weeks ago, work started on our septic field. First they dug out a small road…


Then cleared the area where the septic field is going.


excavator truck

Then they trucked in soil and sand – supervised by site foredogs Gizmo & Sassy ;-)

septic field 1

Once they finish the septic field, they’ll toss grass seed over it, and we’ll end up with a big patch of grass in the middle of the trees. What to do with a big patch of grass in the middle of the trees…. light bulb moment!


It’s the perfect spot for a little garden! With raised beds so the roots don’t go down too low, and with a fence around it to stop the deer from eating the plants. Similar to this, but on a smaller scale.

fencing 1

fencing 2

That should keep my cucamelons safe :-) And I’m thinking of planting raspberry & blackberry bushes, and I’m going to try this method to propagate hydrangeas. Plus I might try growing peppers, tomatoes, lettuce, and bok choy. Ummm, but first we have to finish the house!

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Tuesday, 12 September 2017

I’m floored

Choosing the right flooring is hard. It’s not like choosing a paint colour, where it’s a relatively easy and inexpensive fix if you choose the wrong colour (trust me on this, it’s happened to me more than once!) Once flooring goes down, it’s down for good. So no screw-ups allowed – which is making this already-hard decision even harder!

We have to go with an engineered hardwood because of the radiant in-floor heating. I thought I’d found what I wanted – Preverco’s hard maple in Chamonix. Except when I tried out the sample in the house, it looked too dark.

Image result for preverco hard maple chamonix

Then I tried out a sample of Beaulieu’s European white oak in Chardonnay.

Except this is what was in the box of samples planks. Most of the planks were like the middle one, which I think looks kinda weird – too stripey.

beaulieu chardonnay

So looks like it’s back to the drawing board for the hardwood. We need a wood that’ll stand up to the dogs, (likely either wire brushed or distressed), matte finish, wide plank, not too expensive… the hardwood search continues.

I can’t tell you how many tile sample boards I’ve lugged back and forth. At one point, I had about 20 of them in the back of the car. And how many winners were there? Well, a few actually – till I decided that they were too grey. Now I’m leaning towards tiles that are more on the brown side. These are a couple that could work in the entry and closet and under the fireplace– Ceragres Wood 2 and Ceratec Biarritz.

Ceragres - Wood 2

Ceragres - Wood 2


Ceratec - Biarritz


Ceratec - Biarritz

And that doesn’t even touch on all the tile decisions still to be made for the bathrooms. UGH! Making decisions is definitely NOT my forté!

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