Saturday, April 01, 2023

Catching up

Since the day I started this blog, long ago, I have never let it sit so many months without updates...but it felt like I could never quite get enough time to come back and visit. Everyday things I love fell by the wayside over the last few months, and I am only now getting them back.  The first big news is that by the end of February, we finally had our new kitchen.  The one where we had to gut the old kitchen entirely, put in a structural beam, get a lot of plumbing and frozen pipes fixed, etc.  This bread would be unremarkable, except we went many months without homemade bread...everyone in our house is so "used" to having it that going from November until end of February without bread was a long wait.  (Of course now, Passover is almost here too, so no more homemade bread, but at least there is a kitchen to cook and eat in again!)
Literally the moment the cookbooks got taken out of the boxes, we were looking at recipes again, discussing what to make next, and getting excited about future meals again.

When the kitchen was finished, we could move the stained glass from the old house and hang it in the new one. Everyone felt relieved at the move.  We bought this stained glass when our twins were infants, and recently the artist who has helped us with the glass in this "new" old house told us that this window stained glass was likely from the late 1800s or early 1900s, and by the way, many of the types of glass in it were no longer available.  All the more reason to treat it with caution.

Getting through this time with no real kitchen, managing two mortgages (until the old house sold), a part-time job plus my freelance work, and of course, managing our household, twins and dog--has been complicated.  We spent a lot of time outside and I have found access to winter time activities  and exercise like an outdoor rink in walking distance and the (frozen) river trail--have been a great gift.
Walking the dog out on the river trail among art displays, skaters, skiers,'s an amazing opportunity, like having a new provincial park at the end of the block.  When the trail closed, the dog and I were both sad!
I've also been sewing, knitting and spinning when I can fit it in, although not with as much regularity as I managed before.  This winter, we managed to have twins signed up to three extracurricular activities in January and February.  (Chess club, sewing studio and piano lessons) In March, we continued with piano, tried out kick sledding--with and without the dog, and also kids had an intro to racquetball.  Later in April, we're starting again with chess and sewing, but at least there will be fewer snowstorms and -30C evenings to contend with while driving around.

Each bit of renovation that happens is a triumph.  When our contractor brothers opened up this back door area and renovated it, it was like a doorway to the past.  My professor husband has been slowly getting windows fixed one at a time, rehanging the window weights, and we have so far opened up 4 windows and two doorways.  (2 more windows to go, I think.)  Whoever decided to close off windows and doors in a long-ago renovation...maybe in the 1980s or maybe much earlier...really wasn't the brightest bulb.

Here's the re-opened back door area.  Below are two high up windows in our new kitchen...both were blocked off but one of them had actually been left open, behind cupboards and walls, to vent a half-bath for perhaps 40 or more years.  No wonder why the area was cold and the pipes froze in winter!
We also finally have a working dishwasher, which is a huge deal when feeding a family all winter.  We were not surviving on take out or eating out during this time...but we did choose to use paper plates during the kitchen renovation.  It was probably the most paper plates we adults have ever used in our lifetimes.  It was worth it though, there are limits to what one family can manage...even an eco-conscious one.  It's also the first time in 20 some years when we haven't composted at all--because our dog got skunked in September right after we started composting.  So you know, we decided to stop composting until we figured out how NOT to attract skunks to the yard.  If you have tips on that, let me know in the comments!

Knitting continued as kids keep growing and needing new woollies!  This is another version of my "Stripe Freestyle" Sweater- slightly upsized as my kids are now a little bigger than the pattern I published.  The yarn for this one was my handspun Cotswold and silk singles.  I dyed it as well, the yellow was dyed with marigolds and the red came from a nice dye packet.  I wrote about spinning and dyeing this yarn on the blog in 2006.  Some yarns just need time to marinate in the stash!  In this case, I obviously had to give birth to twins first and then wait 11 years.

Here's another fun photo of kids enjoying the art installations this year--this one was taken at the Forks. This sail turned in the wind while you stood on it...but it also served as a much needed windbreak on a very chilly day.

I'm now on to knitting yet another "Stripe Freestyle" sweater for the other kid and the fuschia yarn in the background will likely be a sweater for me, someday.  (It's on hold while I knit more for kids.)  It never fails to surprise me which knitting patterns sell lots of copies and which don't.  The Stripe Freestyle pattern is a slam dunk in my household, but doesn't sell many copies on Ravelry, Payhip or Lovecrafts.  No idea why.  In any event, it's been a mainstay in these twins' wardrobes for years.

 Finally, I'm adding a much overdue photo of the lovely birthday celebration we had back in January- I had a big birthday, in the midst of all of this. We were stressed out and it went by quietly.  However, now that we're "down" to owning only one house, things are somewhat calmer.  Still lots of renovations to go and some ends to tie up, but I'm hoping for warmer weather and more time for writing, designing and playing ahead.  

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home