Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas Everyone!
We've had a nice, quiet couple of days. For Christmas we got some new friends!! We met two couples in town who are very close to our age, and are very, very nice. We've been having lots of fun getting to know them a little bit, they just seem like amazing people. So Yay, that was nice.
Jai made an amazing Christmas feast - turkey & stuffing & roast potatoes! Yum yum! The turkey took a little longer than we expected, but it turned out perfect.

We got some very nice presents. Jai got me my very own curling broom, I can't wait to try it out. And we both got snow boots, now all we need is snow! They're calling for snow tomorrow, so here's hoping! Emma really liked her present, too.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Pretty, pretty, pretty

This is our pantry as it looks today!
And here are some pics from our walk earlier today:

Pretty, pretty, pretty!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Hello. Well, the last couple of days have been filled with things that don't look impressive but take many, many man hours to complete. Mostly sanding and scraping. Two days ago we sanded all the drywall mud in the pantry until our walls and ceiling were flat. That took both of us working with hand-held mouse sanders almost all day. Now that is a dusty, crappy job. The last two days have mostly been spent scraping paint. There were three layers of paint colours used in our pantry. No one at any point used primer, they jsut covered over the parts that were chipping off with a little extra paint. In some places, you just had to touch it for the paint to chip off, and in some places (sometimes only inches away) it took forever to scrape down all the layers. Whew!!!!!!

We have rehung the shelf brackets, and tomorrow we should be able to prime the whole room. This is a picture of one of the piles of paint chips - lovely colours they had picked out, hey?

Three days ago we tripped over to Dartmouth to attend the Goulden family Christmas. It was great fun, everyone was there, even Santa! Unfortunately we left the camera in the truck and then carpooled to the party, so I have no evidence to show you. I'm quite sure a great time was had by all, though. Jai and I felt like we must have met all the Gouldens now, but Errol was able to name a few more. Gary, if you're reading this, do you think you could get Debbie to send us her meatball recipe? That sauce was just delicious and I keep thinking about it. Thanks!

And poor little Webbie had his eye biopsy today. They were going to give him a gas to make him unconscious, but he was so well-behaved they didn't have to. Yup, we have the bravest bunny ever.

And also the world's only three-eyed cat.

To close, for tonight, thank you to everyone who sent us Christmas cards, they look just lovely and make us feel loved.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Sanding and Mudding

Hello. We've been plugging away on getting the pantry done. So far we've put up the new drywall and 1-1/2 coats of mud (ran out partway through.) We've started sanding down the shelves and brackets, and we picked out our paint colours. I'm expecting more of the same tomorrow.

In other news, I got the job at the library that I applied for, so now I feel like I can tell you about it. It's only an 8-week contract, but basically I will be doing all their programming - one-on-one computer tutorials, kids programs, and anything else that we think would be fun. Is that the perfect job, or what? I start on January 2. It's only 20 hours a week, so I will have lots of time still to work on the house, but it will be a nice change for a little while.
We went to town hall today to check out the plans for the condo development going in behind our house. The way they appear on paper, two of the buildings will be built within a couple of feet of our property liines. Obviously they aren't actually allowed to do that, but no one has called us back ever about buying any of our land, so we're not sure what's going on there. I guess we'll have to wait and see. We both feel like it would be pretty nice to keep our entire backyard, too. I just ordered an herb gardening book off Amazon!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Christmas came to Court ST.

Hello! Another victory for our curling team. Our skip came second in the bonspiel this weekend, and he was playing awesomely last night, it was so cool. Plus Jai and I made one or two shots of our own, and even had rocks that scored points. Jai said he couldn't get to sleep last night, he was so excited by "our scinitillating triumph" (direct quote.)
Today Jai finished getting the last of the plaster out of the pantry while I had a job interview with the library. Then we had Christmas. We went to the Christmas tree place about two blocks from our house, and I think Nova Scotia just grows better Christmas trees. Maybe it's all the snow. All the trees in the lot were great, and they were all the same great price. We walked away with a gorgeous nine foot tall tree for $18. We've gotten two Christmas packages in the last two days - one from Grandma and Grandpa, and one from Aunty Gen - thanks guys. Still only one card on our imaginary mantel, though. I hear rumours of my cards arriving in their expected places, so I'm hoping we'll get more soon (hint hint!) Check out our tree, it's the best one ever:

That's Jai with his hearty cup of nog. Skoal, everybody!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Hello! We don't have a lot of news, Jai has had a cold for the last couple of days, and has been spending all day in bed. At least, it was probably a cold, and not some weird bubonic plague sickness from 1880 when they sealed the walls that we just tore down. This is what our pantry looks like as I write:

It's not so pretty.
We had our first dinner party tonight - not at our house, of course! Our neighbour Pearl invited us over to have dinner with her and Steve and Aida, another couple from town. It was really great - delicious food and super nice company. We baked cookies today so we would have something to bring over. They turned out pretty good (almost, but not quite, as good as Grandma's!) I even took a picture of them before they were eaten:

Now those are pretty.
Jai's feeling better now, so we're hoping to have a productive day tomorrow. No promises, though, because we finally get our truck back! Yay! We have no idea what it's going to cost, because they never called us to let us know, even though they said they would. When I called on Friday to ask what was going on, they said "it's almost done, we just have to get it up on the hoist and rotate the tires." I was afraid to ask, because it turns out it did need a whole new heater coil. Jai doesn't think it will be that expensive, so we'll see. The owner seems really nice, and he's in our curling league, so I don't feel like he is going to rip us off or anything. Plus it's a pretty small town, and that kind of thing tends to get around.
Tomorrow should be a big night, as first we have a town hall meeting, where the mayor is officially stepping down, and then we have a curling game. People around here are already joking about Jai running for mayor. It can't happen in this election, but we figure it's a good sign for his BIG FUTURE PLANS (mwa ha ha.) Just kidding, turns out we're not even allowed to vote in this election, since we've lived here for less than six months. Oh well, it will come around again, and THEN......

Friday, December 08, 2006

That's a shot from a recent road trip we took. That's the edge of a stray dog, the camera was too slow to catch him. Dig the sign, though - classic. We actually tried to find Delusion, and couldn't.
Of course, it wasn't all that recent of a road trip since the truck is in the shop right now. They've had it for four days, and I don't think they've actually looked at it at all yet. In retrospect, it was a bad idea to tell him we weren't in a rush for it. Especially around here, where the pace of life is s....l..........o...................w. Oh well, we don't really need it at the moment, I think both of us just feel like we do, because we don't have it. Tonight, for instance, we were both craving Chinese food. There's lots of Chinese food places in the Valley, almost every little town has one, except Bridgetown. And none of them deliver. Jai's been feeling under the weather for the last couple of days, and today I'm feeling pretty horrible, so we had to settle for takeout from the Pub. We got the most Oriental dishes they offer - it was good, but not quite the same.
Other than that, we have been working on two main things over the last couple of days - Christmas cards & packages, and the pantry. Got all the Christmas stuff done finally, and sent off yesterday, so hopefully everything will arrive on time. It should, but of course the people in the post office will never tell you that it will, definitely.
Jai spent most of the day tearing down plaster and removing ceiling tiles covered in Mouse poo, and I spent most of the day stripping paint off one side of one shelf. Somebody, at some point in our house's 130 history, was storing their tar in our pantry, and allowed it to spill all over this particular shelf. Several someone elses tried to cover it up with paint. Luckily stripper is a strong enough chemical that it actually melted the tar, but it was still a lot of scraping, and it's still not totally done. I was trying to convince Jai that we could spread out all the shelves in the backyard and rent the floor sander again, but he wouldn't go for it. At this rate, I will still be working on the shelves at Christmas, so I might have to come up with a Plan C.
Also yesterday we had to rush Webster the bunny to the vet (in a cardboard box, because of course the bunny carrier is in the back seat of the truck!) because he had a runny nose. His eye lining has been buliging out of his head every time he licks his left side for the last month, but it always goes back in, so we figured it was harmless, if a little gross. But now it looks like the best case scenario is an infection, and if they eye drops we have to give him three times a day don't clear that up, then it's probably a tumour. Needless to say, we're really hoping the drops work.
We got a call from the lawyer yesterday that the deeds have finally been transferred into our names, but we're a little worried that it took so long, the developer will have changed his mind. We called him yesterday when we heard, but haven't heard back yet. So we'll see.
Other than that... yesterday was really cold. We walked all the way to Tim Hortons (1/2an hour each way), but it was still kind of fun being all bundled up. Our house had icicles all over the front. Today was much warmer, and very windy. And I guess that's just about all my news. Sorry for the lack of pictures. To make up for it, we finally posted the video of our tree lighting ceremony at town hall for you to watch and get that warm, Christmas-y glow all over. So grab a mug of steaming hot chocolate, light a candle, and check this out: (just copy the link and paste it into your browser window.)

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Back in the Winner's Circle!

Yay, we won our curling game! We know it's not about winning, but tonight's game was really fun cause the other team was very close to our skill level, plus they were all cool, funny guys. We happily paid for their drinks.

We've got some snow here in Bridgetown finally! It's so pretty!

It snowed all afternoon, but it's not snowing anymore. We're really glad we don't have to drive anywhere!

This afternoon (while it was snowing) Jai and I took apart the pantry. It was really gross and filthy, dirty work. We're going to try and salvage as much of it as we can because we really like the original layout, but everything needs to be stripped and redone. The plaster all has to go, it is just hanging off the wall.

We also dropped the truck off at the shop so they could undercoat it and fix the heater core. Good timing, eh? Yeah, I'm stretching it a bit for news...

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Finishing the Bedroom

These are some befores:

And these are some afters:

Yay, we finished the bedroom shelf. I think it looks great! Now all that's left is to do the trim around the ceiling, but that is a small job that has to wait until we get into town to buy more trim. Other than that, after I build some bedside tables (which might be a while, with all the other jobs) we're counting the bedroom as done!

We've been having a Christmas-y weekend. Last night Bridgetown had it's Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony. It was tons of small-town fun and charm. It was a really rainy night, so the kids choir cancelled and only about twenty people showed up, but we were all full of spirit, and they even closed off the street with the fire trucks, even though we were all standing on the sidewalk. Hooray. We got a video of it, but Jai has to figure out how to put it on Youtube, so you all can join in the fun and count down from 11, just like you were there. After the Tree Ceremony, it was Midnight Madness, where every store in town stayed open till midnight and had big sales. We were home pretty early 'cause there's only about ten stores but we did get free hot chocolate and we bought our very own game of Scrabble, which we played late into the night.

Today we went to the craft fair in Annapolis Royal. It was great fun. The quality of stuff was really great to see, especially after we were so disappointed by the Halifax show we went to. This was a real old-fashioned craft fair.

We won a door prize by walking in the door. There were lots of people there we knew, which was really fun, and we met a really nice girl who moved to Bridgetown a year ago, and her and her husband actually looked at our house. So we're hoping she'll stop by to see what we've done.
Oh, and also I made Christmas shorbread. It's so yummy, and it made the house smell sooooo good. I even took a picture:

And everything was so Christmas-y that the sky just had to spit out a few fluffy little snowflakes to send us off to bed tonight. You have to look really hard to see them, but they're out there.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The Emma-nator

Hello. Things are settling in nicely here with Emma the cat. She has an incredibly sweet personality and has completely won both of us over (I was easy.) She likes to sleep under the bed or on the corner by my feet, and one of her favourite activities, when she's not getting pets and snuggles is to sit in the windowsill and look out the window.

In other news, yesterday we got a call from the Mayor telling us to come get that wood. He's actually resigning and moving to another part of Nova Scotia, so he was getting rid of just about everything. You know us, in addition to two truckloads worth of wood, we picked up two trunks, an NFB film carrying case, and a picture frame. I wonder how long before our very big house starts to feel very small....

Anyway, there was some really nice pieces in the pile. It was mostly spruce and pine, but there were also oak, beech and birch boards as well. I planed up a couple of small pieces of beech today, and it's beautiful stuff - lots of character, just the way I like it.

Also today we finally got our new light hung in the bedroom. We took the ceiling fan out yesterday and tried to put up the new light, but we had trouble figuring out the wiring because it was so complicated. We could either get the bedroom light to go on, but not turn off, the closet light to work, but not the bedroom, or nothing working at all. We had to call in the reinforcements and get Stan on the job. After Jai talked to his Dad, everything became much clearer and we finally got the stupid thing to work. But we both felt like our arms might drop off by the time we were done. So, how many hours does it take Jai and Lauren to hang a new light fixture? I don't even want to think about it.

And...HAPPY BIRTHDAY BRAD!!! Hope you had a good one. Looks like a pretty yummy cake.

We just heard Emma crunching away on something in the closet, and when jai investigated, it turned out Emma found a bag of her treats, dragged it into her bed in the closet (which is where we give her treats), opened it, and got all the treats out of it. We managed to recover most of them, but certainly not all. No WONDER she was so quiet all day today.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Emma's home!

Emma's home!!! That's the big news of the day. But first: we had a nice weekend. We went down to Halifax to do a bunch of stuff - some of which we actually got done. We went to the Atlantic woodworking show and picked up a few odds and ends that we've been needing, like hose for the dust collection. Then we had an amazing dinner and a great visit with Steph, Johanne and Justin. Steph made shish-ke-bob (yum!yum!) They were nice enough to let us sleep over at their house.

We were planning on going to see Danny Michel play again because he was playing in Halifax that night, but we had to go to Home Depot after dinner instead of before, because of the CRAZY Halifax traffic. We spent over half an hour in total gridlock. Then after Home Depot, neither one of us felt like going back over the bridge, and we were right by a movie theatre, so we went and saw Casino Royale instead. It was really good, just exactly what I was hoping it would be, and maybe even more. Yay! So even though we missed Danny Michel, neither one of us felt like the night was a loss.
In the morning we were planning on going to the auction in Truro, but our truck started leaking major anitfreeze all over the carpet on the passenger side, so instead we bought leak stop stuff and drove home. We did make one stop at Kent along the way, though, and it was really good that we did because we couldn't find any tile we liked at Home Depot, but found just the perfect tile for our kitchen counter from Kent. So it's on order, and we were feeling all jazzed about the kitchen and actually figured out a plan for what we want to do in there. We've been going back and forth for weeks, so it was nice to figure something out that we could both agree on.
Today was Emma! She meowed the whole way home, but she's settling in very nicely now. After some initial hesitation, she has now explored all the rooms we have open to her, as thouroughly as she can. She wants to be around us constantly, following us from room to room. It's very sweet.

We've just about finished up the bedroom. I got the headboard finished today, and we put the bed together. Our reading lights are hung, and we found a replacement for the overhead light at Home Depot, so we'll put that up tomorrow. We also bought that last roll of wallpaper we were needing, so that can get finished up as well. Almost there, and then it's on to the pantry.

Friday, November 24, 2006

The Cattery

Happy Birthday to me! Yay! I had a GREAT birthday, it was so much fun. Normally I have to work on my birthday, and it was so much fun to just take the WHOLE day off and goof around. We had an awesome relaxing morrning, and then we went to "The Cattery" and met all 25 cats that live there. We quickly narrowed it down to three cats, and then down to two. But how to decide between the two? I don't know. It's very difficult, they were both SO sweet. We finally decided on a little black one named Emma, but when I think about it, I still think we should bring Shasta home too, so Jai has had to very firmly put his foot down that we can only get one. ONE! I don't know how people do these things. It's hard to leave one behind.
This is Shatsi. She's a shoulder sitter, but got left behind because she snarled at me when I was petting her:

This is Shasta, she was incredibly sweet:

And this is Emma, the one we are going to take. She was so sweet and friendly. You can't see it in this picture but she's got "double paw" - like an extra toe (apparently it's a Nova Scotia thing.) She really likes Jai.

Anyway, after that we drove into Greenwood and had Chinese Buffet and bought kitty supllies. Then we came home and went to the pub for a piece of cake. It was ladies' night at the Home Hardware, so we dropped in there too (there were other men there, already.)
Oh, and this morning I got all sorts of fabulous mail - thanks everybody that sent stuff, that was so much fun! I had lots more things to say, but since it's really late, it'll all have to wait for another day! Goodnight!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Birthday Countdown

Hello! Three more days till my birthday! I got two more birthday cards in the mail today (thanks Grandma & Grandpa & Aunty Gen!) For my birthday, we are getting a little cat. Yay! I'm so excited! They don't have an SPCA here, so all the cats are fostered out to homes, and then they have profiles posted on-line ( We faxed the lady our application this morning (free faxes, whenever you like from town hall!) and she called us tonight to say we were approved. Now we have to call the foster homes of the cats we want to meet, and go see them. Quite a process!

We had another curling game tonight. We played against a team that was actually really good, and our skip wasn't there to save us. We were DEMOLISHED! They were so good, I couldn't even understand the plays they were making. They stopped trying after three ends, when the score was 10-0. The scoreboard only goes up to 16, so I felt good that we at least kept them on the scoreboard, and we did end up scoring three goals. Final score: 16-3. At least they were very nice. At our club, if you lose, the winning team buys the losers drinks - so everyone's a winner. They were a really fun group, too, we enjoyed hanging out with them after the game. I'm sure one day we'll be that good (now that we have our shoes!)

That's pretty much it for news. We have been steadily chipping away at the bedroom projects. Today Jai primed all the moldings and baseboards, and I stripped some more paint off the door we will use as a headboard. This door had at least six layers of paint on it, and I have so far spent about eight hours stripping it. I bought a stronger stripper today, and it still didn't get it all. One more coat, I'm hoping, it feels like such a thankless job. Meanwhile we have been puzzling out what we want to do in the kitchen. We'll start by taking the pantry apart and stripping the existing shelves (more stripping! Ugh!) and fixing the floor, walls, and ceiling. The pantry & kitchen is going to be a HUGE job with a very small budget. I'll keep you updated on how it goes!

I guess that's it, for now. Didn't really have any new pics, but here's a before shot of the kitchen (in all its glory!):