Chillin’ with the Family on Family Day

The American’s have President’s day and for Canadians living in Ontario or Alberta – we’ve got Family Day.  A long weekend in February, quite possibly the most brilliant idea ever. I love a long weekend that doesn’t have an event involved in it.

The Boy and I had a pretty low-key Family Day weekend, but we did hang out with the family and we did have some productivity.

The Boy,  the Brother and I headed to Lowes on Saturday afternoon to embark on a family adventure that could end in disaster or the start of a new family business.  The business of ottoman making.

Getting all the pieces - I heart Lowes

Do you remember a couple of weeks ago I shared this picture

are we handy enough?

And I thought DIYing would either result in a BEAUTIFUL custom made piece of furniture and a great sense of accomplishment, or shenanigans.

I’m happy to report that we are halfway there. We have a great sense of accomplishment – but it’s not quite beautiful yet.

some handy work of handymen

If you’re in need of a storage ottoman – I know two boys that can help you out.  But I can also tell you that from our first DIY experience – DIY doesn’t always mean cheaper.  We’re at about 25% of the cost of the one we were looking at at Urban Barn – but we haven’t bought batting or fabric yet.  I hear fabric can be expensive.

Plus – labour is expensive.

These boys aren’t cheap.

fabric me

The rest of the weekend included a family dinner, a family knitting bee, a family effort to clean our dirty house, and a family walk.  Different family members for each of these events, but in the cold and snow of February, I’d rather spend a long weekend with the family than the President!

Closing Time – You can’t stay here

Today’s the day!!! It’s Closing Day! Hurrah!!!!!!
It’s a little bittersweet – just a little.  As I’m looking around our first home there are things I’ll miss and things I won’t.  In honour of our first home 5 fast things I won’t miss and 5 fast things I will.

  1. Not controlling the heat. Our apartment is in a century home that has been split into 4 apartments.  It’s water radiators are efficient – when they’re on. The heat is controlled by the apartment downstairs.  The first winter we were here the people in that apartment didn’t know they controlled it for the whole house and turned the heat off whenever they weren’t home – we froze for a good couple of weeks before we found them.
  2. Not controlling the temperature of my shower. Similarly to heat, in an old house we all have the same hot water tank. If you’re showering and someone else decides to do laundry – you better be quick or get out of the way!
  3. Speaking of laundry – The Boy and I are thrilled to not have to cart our laundry all over Ontario.  Spilled something on yourself? Now we can wash it right away!!
  4. Nosey neighbours. Okay, so they’re not that bad, but we do live across the street from our landlords and while they are lovely people, it’s just a bit…. close.
  5. The draft.  We love the old character of our house, but an old comes with old windows and in the winter – those windows are really crappy.  Our apartment is super cute but in the winter – it’s small and it’s cold.

 

But there are things we’ll miss too:

  1. The character.  We really love the large window frames, 9 inch base boards and old wood floors.  Our new house is new – and that’s going to be great too, but we really loved that we lived in an old house with lots of history.
  2. The neighbourhood.  Even though we’re only moving about 1 km away, we’re in a new neighbourhood.  Sure that means we’ll find new houses to lust after, but we really like looking at the all the other old houses in our current area.
  3. The “lake”.  Part of the neighbourhood is a really nice central park, with a big “lake” (not a lake at all, it’s a pond but they call it a lake – I don’t know why).  We walk around this “lake” every night and look for the beaver, check in on the ducks. Again, our new house will come with a new walk route but until we find it we’ll miss our old one.
  4. Muscle Beach.  Our square-footage basically doubled in the summer with Muscle Beach – our rooftop patio and container garden.  Our new house will get a new deck next summer – it’s already on the Boy’s to-do list. But there’s something about a roof top that’s just so much cooler. Maybe it’s the lack of railings that made it feel more badass. HA!
  5. The neighbours. Our family friends, and priest live one street over. We’ll miss running into them on our daily walks and it’s been nice to have someone we know living so close.  It gives our neighbourhood a small town feel when you run into people on the street, or have someone throw rocks or an apple core at your window to get your attention.

Good-bye little apartment.  We’ve loved you while we were here – but it’s time to go.

Quintessential Ontario Spring

I did it. I managed to take pictures to show how I spent my day. I got the idea from Heather over on Heather Drive. Of course then I fell off the planet and got side tracked by a baby that was waiting for me to finish a project before making an appearance – seriously it’s been so freakin’ hot I felt really badly for my little preggo mommy.

Alas, better late than never… I give you Saturday Spring in Ontario

Up at 8am to head off to the Farmers Market

Bought some rhubarb and a big ol’ basket of strawberries

And a little treat. Fresh bread.

Came home and started cooking up a storm

Well not a storm…. a PIE!

It smelled so yummy it got the Boy out of bed

We packed and made a few discoveries… the Boy requires no less than 6 pairs of shorts for an overnight trip.

I found an earring that has been missing since the day after we got married.  I thought it was gone forever. But when I picked up my bag to pack – I heard something fall on the floor. I looked down, and there it was. I don’t know how I didn’t lose it somewhere in the last 9 months since I use this bag all the time, but it seems someone was looking after it. The Boy was thrilled since he was sure it was him that lost it.

We made our way north – I know you didn’t think Ontario went further north than Newmarket, but it does. They call it Collingwood.

And one of my favourite mommies and I enjoyed a lovely beverage

After dinner and pie, we had a beverage and a chat before heading home.

Ontario Spring post complete – just in time for Ontario summer! I’m predicting BUSY and HOT!

A date in wine country

Sista and her Physicist are winos. I’m a wino too but the Boy is not. Sista and her Physicist are pros when it comes to wine country (that means they’ve been twice three times sorry Sista corrected me and demanded an errata! once to Pelee and once twice to Niagara) so this summer I let them plan the trip and we made the Boy be our DD.

He was thrilled.

Here are ten things I learned while wine tasting:

  1. There are about a million different wineries in Niagara on the Lake.Sista and the Physicist
  2. You can pick any of them and you’ll likely be delighted.
  3. Some of the wineries are owned by celebrities
  4. These do not necessarily make them good.
  5. Turns out the Boy does like wine.
  6. He just has expensive taste.
  7. You can taste the difference in dirt at Coyote’s Run
  8. You should probably go with a budget
  9. Thinking you’re not going to spend anything is delusional
  10. When you’ve decided you can only budget one fancy bottle – budget another one, especially if the second last stop is the best stop!

Seriously, we learned that you can try just about everywhere and fun will be had, but if you want to be just like me here’s where we went:

The Boy and I picked our favourite from Coyote’s Run as our expensive bottle. We decided we would save it for a special occasion. A new job.

We celebrated.

Can you believe the Boy said he didn’t think we would be opening it so soon?

Apparently he didn’t realize my awesomeness.

Go on a wine tour. Check!

A-Z of Long Weekend Whirlwind

The Boy and I went to my cousin’s wedding. I was thinking of how to sum up a whirlwind trip jam-packed with family fun… I’m going to attempt to do it alphabetically:

Aeroplan – How we were able to make the trip.  My parents seem to have accumulated excessive points so they generously donated some to our cause and we just paid the tax.  Sweet!

Banff – The Boy and I escaped the family clutches for a quick trip to Banff to meet BFF Kate and her new manfriend.  I wish we had mountains in Ontario… and Kates and manfriends too.

Calgary – where we were for most of the weekend. Duh.

Dancing – The Boy did dance with me, but only once he was good and ready. The parents danced up a storm.

Eleven – Number of kids under the age of 7 that were at my uncle’s house on Sunday – organized chaos!

Family – I’ve got a big one.

Grandchildren – We were able to take a picture with my Grandmother and all of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren that were at the wedding… there were 14 grandchildren and one great-baby.  Does that seem like a lot? Did I mention that there were 16 grandchildren missing and 9 greats?  That’s 40 kids for those that have trouble with the math.

Holiday – Even though it was a quick trip, this time of year is a great time for a holiday… even if you go somewhere cold.

iPhone – All of my pictures were from my iPhone since Sista has my camera.  I’m impressed.

Jim – Father of the Bride and my Uncle who just got an iPhone.  Cousins be warned no one is safe…. Jim’s taking video and uploading to YouTube!

Kids – Being one of the older kids in the family here’s a question, when did all of these little ones become legally drinking big kids?  I know it’s not a huge age difference between some of us, but if I’ve changed your diaper you are forever age 6 in my head… seeing you otherwise disturbs me.

Love – Lots of love for the Bride and Groom – why else would we make the trek… especially in March!

Marriage – What we went to celebrate, and celebrate we did! I loved that their ceremony and reception was reflective of them, and the reception super fun.  From Buddha place-card holders, to named tables – simple and beautiful!

Neeel-Lawn – How the Westerner’s say Mom’s maiden name (their last name).  When the Justice of the Peace said my cousin’s name the Boy leaned over and said – “As if they said her name wrong!” I explained that’s how these Calgarians say it.  We talked about it the next day and cousin says she heard recently that they all say it weird.  News to her.

Over-yarned – I was worried about the dreaded under-yarn.  But instead I went to the other extreme.  Forgetting that I would be exhausted on the flight there, busy the entire 4 days, and only able to really knit on the way home  – I packed about 4 different projects and only worked on one. That said, I’d rather over-yarn than under-yarn any day.

Paul – The newest member of the family! Just when he was thinking he knew everyon ein the family – a whole new group came from Ontario… and that STILL wasn’t everyone.  Paul – every family is a little weird… there’s just A LOT more of us than in most.

Quartz – Rose quartz that is.  One of my fave parts of the ceremony.  All the guests were asked to hold a piece of rose quartz in their hand and put a wish or intention for the couple into the stone. They collected all of the stones and they will be kept in their home as a reminder of all the love on their wedding day!  Beautiful!

Readers – I found out where all those stats are coming from! Thanks family for reading my blog!

Stacey – The reason for the season.  This little lady was one beautiful bride!

The Boy – The family all gave me shit for not calling the Boy by name on my blog.  You can imagine what they had to say when I told them that’s his name on my phone too! They were happy to re-meet him and remind themselves of his for real name.

Uncles – My mom is the oldest of 10 kids.  5 girls and 5 boys.  4 of the boys are in Calgary and this weekend we got to see all the uncles.  Love them!

Venison – Didn’t get to eat any, but was reminded everyday where that delicious treat comes from…. a baby Bambi Head right above our bed. Single tear.

Weather – We saw it all. Sun, rain and a lot of SNOW.  W-day for Cousin was an absolute Blizzard.  30 cm/12 inches – ish.  The next day? Beautiful and melting.  That’s Calgary!

eXcited – Going to a wedding certainly got us excited for our own!

Yikes – What I said when I got to work this morning and opened 57 emails + the 20 I received today + our work website broke when I was away.  That’ll teach me for leaving for a few days!

Zzzzz – I had high hopes of going to the gym today and tricking the jet-lag into thinking it wasn’t going to get me and move on.  It didn’t work.  By 4:30 today I was exhausted.  My friend Milena told me today your soul takes 3 days to catch up to you when you travel… so by that theory my soul just figured out I was in Calgary… and I left again.