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Saturday, December 31, 2016

HAPPY NEW YEAR!





Happy New Year Friends!

We are still on vacation in Calgary with our daughter, son-in-law and grandkids and had the privilege of visiting the Festival of Lights the other night.  This was at a park in Calgary and the lights were amazing.  Everyone had a blast sliding on the hill while I walked around and enjoyed all the lights and Christmas music playing.  

Since Canada is celebrating it's 150th birthday on July 1 there will be lots of special events to mark the occasion throughout the year all across our beautiful country.  The maple leaf symbol in the photo was adopted in 1967 when Canada celebrated it's 100th birthday and each triangle represents a province or territory.  And of course the maple leaf is our flag symbol known around the world.

I wish each of you a very blessed year ahead full of good health, peace, hope and prosperity.  God bless you!

I'll be back in a while.  Take care.

Pam



Friday, December 16, 2016

it's almost Christmas




Only nine more sleeps until Christmas day.  How this month has flown by!  Are you ready?  I'm not.  But that's okay.  It will all come together by the 24th.  Right?

We are under the polar vortex today as is most of the continent and it's bitterly cold!  At least the sun is shining.  But, that wind!!  How it blows and roars from the north.  

I looked out the window one morning last week and there were 6 deer grazing on the trees right in our backyard.  I captured these two as they left.  So beautiful.  We have never had deer in our yard as much as this winter and in the daytime as well as night.  Their tracks are all over the yard.

A beautiful sunrise the other morning.  

The 'little brown shack' out back.  

We ran an errand downtown last Saturday afternoon just as the sun had gone down and the streetlights were coming on.  The almost full moon was shining above the trees.  Queen St. sure looks quiet compared to most cities!  

Fredericton's beautiful city hall decorated and lit up for the holidays.  It would be much prettier at night.

We've had a lot of snow this month and the deck didn't get cleared off after the first big storm then it froze so I guess it will be there for a while.  We didn't even get the bench chairs put away before the snow came.  

The kitchen windowsill looks as wintery as the view outside.




Snowflakes in the living room window with millions falling outside.

Did you catch the full moon the other night?  It was so beautiful as it shone across the snowy landscape making the snow sparkle like diamonds and, you can even see the stars in the sky.  Gorgeous!  We've had cold clear nights for viewing all week.

There was a beautiful hoar frost on the trees and branches yesterday morning before the cold front moved in.

The drive to town in the afternoon was spectacular but I couldn't take any pics.  This one is of the hill behind us.

And here is the reveal of the inside of the new mudroom/entry of our house.  It was finished last Friday when the painter came and painted it.  Murray still has to hook up the power to the outlets and I will paint the wood trim again after Christmas but it's done and we love it!


This is taken from the top of the down stairs looking toward the door.  The door leads to a deck across the front of the house to the garage.  


****************

I will be busy with finishing up preparing for Christmas, and spending time with family and friends for the next while so I won't be blogging again until January.  I hope to visit your blogs when I can though as I enjoy seeing all the decorations and preparations you are making.

I want to wish each of you the blessings of the season as you celebrate with family and friends.  Have a safe and wonderful holiday.

From our home to yours ~


MERRY CHRISTMAS!  πŸŽ„

Blessings,
Pam



Thursday, December 1, 2016

our first snowstorm leaves a winter wonderland overnight




It's December!  We went from fall to winter overnight on November 30 and it looks like winter is here to stay but you never know.  Last year started this way and we had very little 'winter' after Christmas.  

I woke yesterday morning to a bright light beside me and thought someone was shining a fluorescent light in the window.  When I squeezed my eyes open I could see it was the phone lit up and when I looked at the digital clock it was dark.  Aha!!  The power went out. Okay.  Up we get to see what was going on outside.  What a shock to see about a foot of heavy wet snow everywhere.  Our landscape was changed overnight and we had now power!  Welcome to winter!

As we got around, and we realized we couldn't brush our teeth, wash up, flush the toilet or have a hot cup of tea, reality hit.  

Murray decided to start the snowblower and clear the driveway as the snow was pretty well stopped.  But first he put the modem on the battery backup for me.  πŸ˜Š  He knows I need to be in touch with the world.  Haha.  The neighbours were outside doing clean up and their 2 year old was enjoying playing in all the snow.  After a while I went out and filled the bird feeders and then took lots of pictures. After that I did some shovelling but that snow was so heavy that I took it easy and only did the back deck steps and a path to the backdoor. I love the first snowfall when it coats everything it lands on.  It was a nice day and the temperature was at the freezing mark with no wind.  It was bearable.  We got about 25 cm. of snow!



This was on November 29 - the calm day before the snowstorm.






When I filled the bird feeders we had dozens of Goldfinches at them and on the ground.


~~~~~~~~~~~~

What did I do all day?  Well I sat here in our living room with this pretty view (minus the lights on) and read and kept in touch with the world spent time on social media - dressed in a tuque and puffy jacket with a blanket over my legs.  I was grateful when Murray said he had to go in to work for a few hours mid-afternoon.  The roads were plowed and bare and the mall was open.  πŸ˜€  Perfect!



We got home around 7:00 and the power was still off but about 7:30 it came on again after over 12 hours being off. It didn't take long for the house to warm up.  I wonder how my ice cream fared in the freezers??  lol  BTW....there are still people without power for the second day in a row.  I feel fortunate we have power today.

~~~~~~~~~~

Guess what?  We woke up this morning to another snowstorm and another 15 cm. of snow being blown around by gusty northeast winds.  But, thankfully, we still have power...so far!  Schools are closed for a second day in a row and even the mall is closed.  The roads are terrible and it has started to rain now on top of all that wet snow.  What a mess.

I was saddened to see the news about all the terrible wildfires near Gatlinburg Tennessee and also in the hills of North Carolina.  What devastation!  The Gatlinburg one reminds me of the wildfires in Fort McMurray, Alberta in May.   I pray for rain for these states (and in Colorado) that will quench the dry earth and for safety for those affected.  

Thank you for visiting me and your kind comments on my post about our house renovations.  We are thrilled with the new look and space.  

Have a great day!  Take care!

Pam




Monday, November 28, 2016

our house renovations - 2016




March 2016 


Hi there.  I mentioned to my readers and shared a couple of sneak peeks that I would do a post on our house renovations so here it is.  Where do I start though. 
We bought our house just before we got married in the summer of 1977.  Yes, we've lived in the same house for almost 40 years!  Most of my friends have lived in at least one other house but not us.  We've stayed put.  We love where we live and our house is not fancy but we have made many upgrades over the years so we could stay here.

July 2015

Here you can see the garage 'man' door.  Up close it was gross with peeling paint, rust and a fogged up window with a torn screen.
And the screen door on the front of the house was rotting and our old dog used to 'knock' on the door to be let in so the wood was scraped bare under the door handle (see first picture).  I really hated to see that screen door go to the dump but it did.  

1979
Above is our house in 1979 with the carport/deck, very tiny trees (now gone) and a picket fence (also now long gone and I wish we'd kept it but it was rotting even then at 7 years old).  We took down the carport around that year and had an attached garage added on and a small deck on the back of the house.  Since then we've replaced the siding and windows, decks front and back, and done lots of upgrades inside as well.  There is always something to do when you own a house.  Right?


 The split entry or raised ranch style is very common in our part of the country.  When you enter the house there was a 3' x 6' space before you go up stairs to the living area or down stairs to the basement.  Three by six!!  Not much room!!

I took this photo in March when we were seriously considering the renovations and expanding the front entry.  As you can see, it is small with just enough room for a small half moon table and a lamp.  And barely room for 2 people to stand there.  And difficult to find space to remove boots or shoes too and no place to sit down, other than the steps, to do so.   

Since we built the new shed in November of 2015 we had it sided in a new vinyl siding (khaki) and this would be the new colour for our house as well.

The shed was built in 2015 but the siding was installed this past June.  (disregard the date on the photo).
By the time we got a carpenter/contractor lined up the work didn't start until late September.  

New windows and 'man' doors were added to the garage.

A new window was added to the two bedrooms at this end of the house.  This is a southerly exposure so they let in lots of sunlight as well as lovely breezes in the warmer months.  Note the gable ends are done in shingle-style vinyl.  I forget the colour of this though.

October 25.  Once the garage and house were sided it was time to start on the front entry.  You can see the outline of the shape it will be and due to the bedroom window we couldn't go any wider.  The front deck was removed as it was rotting after about 12 years of weathering.  Our contractor would design something to incorporate the landing to the garage door for us.

We love the windows and the light they bring in!

In summer the windows will let in some lovely breezes so we really don't need a screen door.


By November 6th the entry and siding on the front of the house was completed.  Now for the deck.

Because of safety codes, the height of the deck being over 12" would have required a railing across it.  Well, we didn't want that so the contractor made a second step down all across the front and incorporated it into the landing area to the garage door.  He even made a corner 'shelf' to sit a potted plant in the summer!  πŸ˜  And I can see a pot or two of plants on the step across the front maybe.  There is lots of space to have a sit down on the steps and room for a small table and chair set perhaps.  

We love the detail of the stone, shingles and stained cedar at the peak of the entry.

Murray laid the in-floor heating last Wednesday and the contractor laid the tiles on Saturday.  He is here this morning doing the grout.  
Don't you like those curtains??  One thing about a large window at ground level is lack of privacy and I'm really paranoid about people seeing in. So. These are a temporary fix until I purchase expensive blinds ($$$) for the windows.  Haha.  And while I'm at it I hope to replace the roller blinds in the bedroom and buy new ones for the 2 new windows.  Oh yeah.  I see $$$$$$$$ for those!!  I have a beach towel hanging on one of the new small bedroom windows.  Haha.  

We had pot lights added around the entry which are really nice and bright.

After our first dusting of snow last week.

I made this winter arrangement for the new corner by the garage.

What do we have left to do?  Outside - landscaping, new patio stones up to the deck, staining of the deck which will all happen next summer.  Inside - priming and painting of the walls and trim.  And decorating, which I'm looking forward to.  And new blinds.



The back of the house with the new deck we had built in 2014 and the new patio on the ground added this past summer.  

We are loving this new entry space and can't wait for it to be completely done so we can fully enjoy it.  I also can't wait to clean the house from top to bottom to get rid of all the dust!!  I have already decorated for Christmas, for the most part, and put up a tree.  I know.....crazy eh?

I think we're done!  Now.....I have some ideas for the family room and the office, and new hardwood stairs to replace the old carpet, a new bannister and hand rails.....oh the list goes on and on. Oh!  And backsplash for the kitchen!  Still not done after we renovated it 5 years ago.  It's never ending.  Murray may never be able to retire!!  

Thanks for stopping by to visit.  

I hope you have a lovely day and a great week.

Pam


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