Thursday, October 27, 2011

Battening down is hard when you're working....

But I get Friday off, and that may help a little. I'm feeling quite behind in what I had hoped to accomplish by now in the garden. However, tomorrow it will rain, so I am going to finish some work in the house so I can get outdoors on Saturday, which, so far at least, promises to be fine.
     We have a plan to import some red osier dogwood from elsewhere to our own personal messy ditch.

It's a strange thing, red osier dogwood grows in many, many places in PEI but not in our little corner of Queens County. I was down to Georgetown yesterday, and came back on the 48 Road, and, even through some pretty heavy showers I couldn't help but notice a LOT of red osier dogwood, looking magenta, leafless and beautiful. I want that! We may go to Tryon for it, or back to the 48 Road. Depends. There's none nearer, for sure.
We are having work done on the house, which is necessitating a lot of clearing out of undisturbed cubby and hidey-holes. We're getting more insulation blown into the attic, and this means that all the stuff we stashed up there (when the house was much smaller and we didn't have a storage room with a DOOR) - kids' books, paintings, our books (mainly textbooks), bits of fabric, school stuff, business papers many years older that 7 - all of this is coming down to the living floor and being gone through. Much is being chucked out. But the process is messy.
   We are having the roof re-shingled as well, but luckily the roofer has to do the cleaning up THERE! But I should put protective pots over my perennials in the flower beds near the house, because I don't think these guys care much about flowers. If it doesn't rain too much, perhaps I can get out there tomorrow and at least do that.
    Then there're the kitchen cupboards. We have cleared out the top shelves on the upper cabinets, discovering a lot of tupperware and the like which hasn't been used in years. I'm making up a bag of the stuff which might be of use to someone, and it will go off to the Diabetes Association when it's filled. I do hope that the new cupboards will have more useable storage space. I'm banking pretty heavily on the pantry unit being a good place to stash a lot of those use-now-and-again things like the slow cooker and the wok. And the china platters and so on.
    One bonus thing in the attic stuff was a box of yarns, mostly teeny bits of mohair which I threw out, but also about 6 balls of Kroy Sock and Sweater yarn in a nice manly dark grey, as well as burgundy (3), blue (1) and white (1). It must be from long ago, because the price tags indicate that they cost under $2 each, and were purchased in Souris at the pharmacy. There's a bit of ribbing knit, and some of the colours are wound onto bobbins....was I thinking of making some hideous intarsia sweater? Thank goodness the 80s are over. I can now use the yarn for socks!
    We put half of the fire wood in on Monday after supper, and as soon as we have a couple of dry days again the rest will follow. It's been chilly, but not enough to justify lighting the furnace just yet. We don't need the steady heat, just a blast of the oil at suppertime and another in the morning. It was 2 degrees this morning!
     Once the roof is re-shingled we are getting a solar hot water panel installed. This will necessitate us replacing our 1993 oil-fired hot water heater with an electric one (for back-up). The Co. has priced a 60-litre heater for us - our present one is 30 litres. We think this is excessive, as we've never run out of hot water with the 30. As I keep doing laundry in cold water, I wonder what difference it will make to have an unlimited supply of hot. Doesn't hot water washing wear out one's clothes faster? Or is that all down to the old-fashioned top-loading washer?
       In my plan to finish Bathroom #3, I want to put in a stacked washer & dryer (front-loaders) and I've been worried that they will take up a lot of room - I'm going to build them a little closet with a regular door, as we have several doors that we haven't needed yet. There are three 30-inch ones, and one 35-inch one. I have been steeling myself to use the big one, as the washers and dryers I've been looking at are all HUGE - over 30 inches wide, and we'll need to be able to get them out of there if (or rather WHEN) they go wrong. (And many of them are grey! What kind of foolish is that? Isn't doing laundry depressing enough, without that?)
     However, in Halifax on the weekend we saw smaller ones - still front-loaders, but 24-inches, not these wash-17-pairs-of-jeans at once behemoths. And of course we don't need huge ones, so this makes me easier in my mind and I can finally go ahead and build the laundry closet, and get on with installing the bathtub, etc. I have hopes that our kitchen-cupboard man might be able to do us a vanity for the bathroom, and then we'll be all set.
     We were unsuccessful in finding any granite tiles for the counter top in Halifax - there were plenty of choices if you wanted black or grey, or a bright Barbie-pink, but nothing DECENT at all. Nothing with the bit of subtle colour that matches what we have - oak floor and cabinets, stained a mission brown, dark green walls and rust-red finish. How difficult can that be?  We really aren't that fussy - we just want to have the counters a lighter colour as the rest of the room is so dark.
     And we almost bought some bamboo flooring, but realized, when we got it on the cart in the store, that there was NO WAY that these four 6.5-foot packages were going to fit in our CAR! There are times when only a truck will do.

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