Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A Beehive of Activity

It is very handy to be so close to our house during renovation. (Thanks again, K & D!)  I could hear the buzz of activity outside this morning.  OK, so the buzz was really the sound of insulation being pumped into the house but there is quite a bit going on this morning.

In addition to the insulation, scaffolding is up in preparation for removing the old siding, putting in the new windows and putting on the stucco.  There are at least 8 workers on site and the foreman is on the run.  I love watching our money at work!

Now a little test... What is missing from the front of the house other than the old shutters? (Aren't those lovely dirt shutters being left behind?)  Not sure?  Take a look at an old shot to see ...

Watch while my wonderful father-in-law makes quick work of the removed items with his car and a chain.
  Apologies - I keep forgetting that I can't take videos in portrait mode - please tilt head to left. The nagging Canadian voice in the background is me ;)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Sneak peeks

I was so excited when the walls came down between the addition space and the old house.  The feeling of space and openness we had been hoping for is becoming a reality.

Here is the before and after looking down the hallway from the front entrance:

Before - hallway with view to pantry and back door
After - no pantry and view to hole where French doors will go

Now before and after looking toward the front door:

Old front entrance with vestibule
view from former pantry spot- No more vestibule!

Another BIG change with the reno which is not visible in these pics is the elimination of the stucco ceilings.  The ceiling is getting either new drywall or a lovely smooth skim coat.

The real opening up of the house will be better illustrated when I will post some pics of the new spaces (family room, kitchen and master suite) next time!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Carpe Diem

My dad passed away 3 weeks ago.  I had to check a calendar to see that it really has been three weeks already. I want life to slow down so that I can wrap my head around it.  But life doesn't slow down.  It is either full speed ahead or it stops.

That was true for my dad.  When his cancer was diagnosed, he and my mom decided to squeeze all the living they could into the time he had left.  He saw family and friends, continued to travel the world and participated fully in community activities.  He went full speed ahead.  In the last week of his life, he spent Thursday in Ottawa having lunch with family, cashing in some wise investments, and taking his grandchildren to buy toys before watching my son's soccer game and having pizza dinner with us.  He also wanted to see the progress in the renovation.  I was concerned that he was overdoing it since he was in a great deal of pain and walking with a cane, but he knew he had to pack in as much living as possible into his remaining time.  That Sunday, on Father's Day, he finally was slowed down by cancer.  He could not get out of bed.  A day later, he died at home.

So, in honour of my dad, even though I feel like slowing down and taking time to just be sad, I keep moving ahead full speed.  I took time off from work, but I had to keep working - it was report time.  The reno didn't stop - we had decisions to make and the last of our stuff to move out.  (We have lived in three different places in the past three weeks.  Fortunately, we are now settled in the home of generous travelling neighbours for the next few weeks and it is very close to home.)  Our kids didn't stop being kids, wanting and needing things and desperately wanting life to return to normal for them.  Thank goodness.

I did stop blogging for a few weeks though because I knew that I would have to write this and I would cry - I warned you that there would be tears in this blog.  Before I get back to house blogging, I will leave you with some photos of my dad who lived life to the full right until the end.

Now I will stop crying and go carpe diem.

In the early days, with me and my brother in Halifax.

My parents, sharing a dance on their 40th wedding anniversary.

Memories of a Caribbean cruise.

Cocoa Beach - our annual Conrod family vacation.