Things have happened.
My BH passed his nursing registration exam, which means he can now work as a nurse, which means we'll have a second income, which means that I'm partnered with the hottest fucking nurse in the world.
Oh, this is good.
I went ahead and ordered a fancy computer to record with. I had savings set aside and just went for it. Hopefully this means I'll be able to create some new music again. It also means I have to figure out how to use a mac. It comes next week! I guess I'd better paint the closet studio.
On that note... I'm hosting a baby shower in two weeks, so I have very little time to finish the house. Not every little detail, perhaps, but I need to make it presentable for people who are coming to party.
It's not going to be a traditional baby shower in the least. But that shouldn't surprise you.
My friend brought over a big hunk of cow for the dogs to play with the other day. A cow knuckle, I think? Anyway, it's gross, but Morty loves it. Frida would love it if she could get anywhere near it.
I'm telling you this because Morty now wakes up in the morning and sits in front of the shelf holding said knuckle. And he waits there. Until I get up.
Things have happened.
So I'm going to throw a mixed bag at you, since I'm not feeling very linear-minded today.
I hate the word, and I'm not on one exactly.... But here's the thing. Over the course of the renovations, I have eaten take-out around 70% of the time. Not because I can afford to, and certainly not because I prefer to, but because life has been crazy and I didn't have to patience to plan all my meals. Even when I did, I would find that the groceries had gone bad.
Take-out is heavier than what I eat at home. It's greasier. It requires a lot of exercise to burn off, which I haven't done much of (unless you count banging my head against a freshly-painted wall as exercise). So I've gained some weight, making my jeans too tight and most importantly, making my boobs too big. Honestly. I've always been modestly endowed and happily so. Having tight bras was the breaking point for me. I'm shrinking my portions, eating less sugar and snacking on veggies more. Who knows if it will work, but I'm sure as shit not buying a new bra just because my boobs decided to get gigantic. Fuck that.
My precious eco-lawn was germinating during the heat wave, and that week of +40 insanity murdered my grass. It was completely refused to grow beyond the soft green starters I was getting so excited about.
The debate then became... Do we give up and put down sod? Or do we try again? For a while I was gunning for sod, and let me explain. I have two dogs who play in the backyard. Because there is no ground cover, they come inside all dirty and muddy. Then they jump on the white couch.
Well, the couch is now brown and I'm out of patience. We're going to try once more (compost, seeds and lots of water) and hope we don't get a heat wave. Fingers crossed.
There's a commercial on TV for a children's charity, and it uses an Anne Murray song as its theme. It always puzzled me why I know every single word of it. I don't really listen to Anne Murray, but I knew the arrangement, the harmony, the verses....
And then it hit me. When I was in children's choir a million years ago, we sang at the NAC as part of a big musical event (although the purpose escapes me now). We sang that Anne Murray song... With Anne Murray. On stage.
The mystery is solved, but my next question is... Why did I repress that?
I'm making it my mission to find the perfect pad thai recipe. I've tried a few over the past year, but they're only been passable. The search begins again. Have I ever told y'all how much I love pad thai?
I do. Lots.
Got any recipes for me? Ones that you've tried and loved?
We get our shed this week. The lack of shed is why we haven't been able to finish unpacking. Too many bulky outside things around. I can't wait until I can move the weight bench / wardrobe / miter saw / storage units OUT OF MY BEDROOM. There's nothing worse than putting on underwear and stepping on a saw. Thank goodness for safety covers. Seriously.
The exhaustion of burning the candle at both ends is getting to me. My throat is sore and I'm really forgetful. An unpleasant combination, to say the least. I need some serious down time.
Also?? Two of my very favourite artists are playing in Montreal in the 31st. My BH can't go because he's already committed to a million things that day. The only friends I've got who like these bands can't go either. As much as it would be weird hanging out alone at a music festival in another city, I'm still considering it. I would feel like such a lame-ass if I missed these shows.
To top off this post full of random musings, I'm trying to plan a baby shower for a friend of mine. So far only one person has RSVPd, so I might just have to feed her cake in the kitchen and call it a day.
I figure, as long as there's cake, it's a success. Am I right or am I right?
Last night I got my final invoice for the renovations that we hired out, aka, the renos we didn't know how to do ourselves.
While I was expecting the amount to be high, there's something different about *knowing* and *seeing it on a piece of paper.*
I cried for a while, cancelled a dance lesson I had set up, and moped around the bedroom. My BH very sweetly tried to cheer me up, again and again, to no avail.
Eventually he turned to the internet, hoping to find something funny enough to make me crack a smile. I think we had been watching funny videos for over half an hour before he hit the jackpot.
Folks, this is what brought me out of my debt-induced funk.
I laughed and cried and laughed some more, and although I still feel depressed about money, at least I can watch that video on repeat.
Speaking of money, tomorrow morning we get our new fridge. It can't come soon enough... That tiny leak is now a fucking lake and the dogs keep wandering through it. I can't keep up with the mopping.
Next week we get our shed, and I'm clinging to the knowledge of its arrival like a lifeboat. Part of the reason we're not unpacked yet is that I have several large items sitting in my house that should really be in a shed. This includes a large-ass weight bench, a giant wardrobe, a workshop table, three trunks, all my luggage, all our tools and a variety of doors.
I know. It's dumb, but there you have it. I want that shed, and I want it bad.
So, before I realized how expensive this was all going to be, I set aside enough money for a new computer with recording capabilities. You know... The one that is supposed to go in my recording closet to facilitate actual recording? THAT ONE. The responsible gal in me wants to put those savings towards my debt. The musician in me wants me to buy the damn computer, since I'm probably not going to be buying much else for a while.
I have yet to decide what to do.
At least it's Friday, right? I will crack open a beer and hang the laundry on our new line. I'll snuggle the bulldogs and kiss their drooly faces. Then I'll crack open five more beers. Then I'll pass out in a lawnchair.
That should lift a bit of the stress away.
I'm not going to Bluesfest this year.
That festival is tricky. It pulls me in with its killer lineup every summer. I buy my tickets, I go, and most of the time I leave in a panic.
I'm a bit claustrophobic, which is usually why I end up in a panic. But I also hate the lines, the sound bleeding from stage to stage, the garbage everywhere....
Granted, I've seen some incredible concerts over the years. Brazilian Girls will always stick out in my mind, as will Toots and the Maytals and Ani Difranco. K'Naan last year was really memorable. Juana Molina blew my brains out.
But a lot of other stuff has sucked, either because of the bleeding sound, or because I can't see anything. I'm 5'2 and I don't wear heels. It's a miracle if I can see the stage.
My BH and I decided not to go this year, mostly because we knew we'd be too busy with the house. I'm not regretting it, although missing Dan Mangan hurts my heart.
In other news, we found a fridge to buy. It's going to be white and small, instead of gigantic and black. Although I'd rather not have to buy anything, it will probably improve the look of the kitchen to have something less imposing than our current monster of a fridge. Now we just need to sell our extra flooring, unpack, change the light fixtures, have our shed installed, finish painting, and landscape.
I'm going to die.
In music-related news, I bumped into a friend of mine last night, and he's offered to help me set up my closet studio. This includes some ProTools lessons and some additional soundproofing. I love having musical friends who will help me in exchange for baked goods.
Still haven't found my camera cable, so no adorable pictures of the dogs for you. Sad.
When our fridge started leaking, I shrugged it off. The fridge is nearly new, and the water coming out of the bottom seemed harmless.
You see, the guy we bought the house from turned out to be the cheapest man on the face of the planet. Perhaps worse than my former landlord, if you can believe it.
A few examples:
He saved every screw he ever had, so when we needed to remove a simple piece of wood from a wall, we changed our drill bit no less than seven times to account for the changing heads. Deck screws, drywall screws, metal screws, support plugs, nails.... You name it.
The "new kitchen" he installed in our unit before we bought the place was actually a collection of cabinets he got for free, and then frankensteined together with his screw collection.
Also, when he bought appliances, he bought them used from the cheapest places in the city. As such, they are all falling apart. Case in point.... Our fridge.
When the fridge repair guy came to the house yesterday, I guess he thought we were making a big deal out of nothing. A little bit of water. Pffft. Then he looked at the back of the fridge and said, "Oh boy."
Anyway, we need to buy a new fridge within the next few days before our compressor completely dies and our fridge runs out of coolant.
The thing is, I'm so deeply in debt that the extra punch in the gut from a new fridge won't feel like much. It's just frustrating because it shouldn't really be happening. The fridge is only a few years old.
Regardless. I'm still happy to have a working washer and dryer. I'm happy about my new banjo. I'm happy I can take a normal shower. And that's enough for me.
Some house updates.... Since people actually seem to be interested in it.
Remember that nonsense with my showerhead? Like, the pipe coming out of the wall was a weird size and therefore nothing would fit on it?
I went to four stores, including one that specializes in PLUMBING for chrissakes, and nobody could help me. The last one I tried, the salesguy shook his head and told me I was screwed. "The piece you need is very hard to find. Even Preston Hardware doesn't carry it, and they carry everything."
Even Preston Hardware doesn't have it? Well, I really AM screwed, I thought.
But two days ago I found myself in Preston Hardware buying Murphy Oil, and I thought I'd take a gander at the plumbing section. Just to see. A nice man asked if I needed help, and I described my problem.
"You have an old clawfoot tub, I imagine?" he said.
"Uh, yes... How did you know that?" I asked.
"This is the part you need," he smiled, holding up a piece of metal that cost a measly $3.99.
"Are you sure?" I asked.
"Oh yes. This will fix your problem. I'm positive."
Sure enough, I went home, installed my new find, and I can now take a normal shower. THANK YOU PRESTON HARDWARE. Everyone else, including YOU, specialty plumbing store... You suck.
In less triumphant news, I just realized that the "blanket" I've been sleeping under for the past week is actually my tablecloth. Ahem. No wonder it was so lightweight.
My BH and I popped into a few antique stores over the weekend to find a teak sideboard. We were wandering around the gigantic antique market in Old Ottawa South when I saw it... A little tenor banjo. Cheap, ancient, and oh so pretty. Did I mention cheap? I love buying instruments from people who don't actually specialize in music. It sometimes translates into affordable banjos for yours truly.
So instead of having a nice sideboard in the living room, we now have a new banjo in the music closet. I'm feeling pretty thrilled about it. Who needs a place to put a TV, anyway? I don't even have a TV right now. But I do have two hands and a WICKED NEW BANJO.
We accomplished a lot this weekend - our laundry area is totally finished, which means clean clothes and some motherfucking shelves (if you thought they were just regular shelves, well, you were wrong). Next up, we have to put together the dining room table and donate eleventy million books. Do you know how many books we have? So many. I can't even believe how many. It's time to thin the herd, so to speak.
Anyway. I can shower now. I think that's all I really wanted to say.
Last night, I attended the always-entertaining Blog Out Loud Ottawa. Daaamn, we have some great bloggers in this city.
I didn't read this year, mostly because I haven't been writing the most inspiring posts as of late. How was I going to choose between crap and crap? The answer was to listen, laugh, and cradle my Guiness. No pressure to be witty when other people are reading.
I am hoping to read next year, so I guess I'll have to up my game a bit! It would help if I could find my camera cable so I could woo you all with pictures. Oh, the side effect of having my life in boxes.
Catching up with all my favourite bloggers was a real perk. I was amazed how many of you asked about my new house. Actually, to be specific, most of you did the following:
"Hey Stella. How's the house? Are you... Okay?" (insert worried look here, and maybe a pat on the shoulder)
I'm going to guess that a lot of you have been through renovations before, and that's why you were all scared about the state of my mental health. Thank you for your concern.
Here's how it is.
The house, although it is a big flaming messy adventure, will look really great in about a month. In the meantime, I am changing in front of an open window, showering under an open pipe, and wrapping my bulldogs in wet towels before bed. Like overheated pigs in a blanket. But they are dogs in a towel. And they are not for munching.
I think my handsome BH is having a worse go of it than me, simply because I am loving this soupy steamy weather, and he wants to move to Antarctica. We are different creatures. What can I say?
This week we have some patching and painting to do, as well as putting up our clothesline and assembling a new storage unit for the kitchen. Pictures of finished projects will go here, at least whenever I buy a new camera cord. Booo.
It has been an odd few days. Do I say that a lot? I think I do.
First off, we are now living at the new house. It's a disaster, but it's OUR disaster. We love it.
Although technically we're in the same neighbourhood, we're far enough away from our old street that everything seems brand new. We miss our old neighbours, but it's been nice to get away from our former landlord (aaah, it feels good to type that) and the dog-abusing shithead who lived not far from us. May they both get their own.
Yesterday was a break from unpacking... We went to Montreal for an afternoon and had a brilliant time at the Jean Talon market. After a bit of clothes shopping and wood-fired pizza, we headed back home. Unfortunately, when we arrived back in Ottawa, my grandmother had to go to the emergency room for an unspecified pain. She's doing fine now, but it was a late night. We sat with her and helped her fill out papers. Emerg is such a strange place... To bide the time, you are forced to observe everyone in the room because there are really no books or magazines. Confined space and panicking babies. Delightful!
The renos continue, and continue, and continue..... This is the week of electrical work. Our electrician, a cheerful guy named Dave, will be slaving away in this crazy heat for at least the next four days. Lucky guy. Good thing he has a sense of humour.
Most of the renos are coming together fine, but we've hit a bump in the road. We currently don't have a shower head because the pipe coming out of the wall is too small. It doesn't fit anything in standard size, and you can't buy adapters or heads to match this pipe. Yeah, I know..... It's dumb. We'll either be showering without a proper head forever, or we'll have the plumber come and replace the pipes. I don't like either of those options, but hey. At least we have shower curtains now. No more show for the neighbours!
For those of you wondering about this mysterious EcoLawn product... You can buy it at Home Hardware in the Glebe. It's a mix of seeds that look like grass, but aren't. They only grow to be about six inches high and then they stop. It creates this lovely soft lawn that doesn't need to be watered or cut. It grows in shade or sun, and it's purrty. Our friends planted it when they designed their yard, and we were hooked.
Man, my writing is really sucking ass these days. Apologies. I can't write eloquently when I'm this tired.
I'm considering heading out to Blog Out Loud this Wednesday, but I guess it will all depend on the house madness. Maybe I'll see y'all there?