Thursday, June 25, 2009

The long and the short of it

The backyard as meadow (or meadow mullet)
Dear ?
We apologize for our recent lapse in lawn maintenance. We know two and a half weeks of moderate spring weather can have an encouraging effect on the various species of flora that make up our lawn. Two and half weeks was the timeframe given us by the small engine repair shop where we took our languishing 10yr old mower to be serviced after it putt-putted to a halt on its first outing of the year. During that time we borrowed a high-end European-made battery-powered electric lawn mower from the neighbours two doors up, but because that mower was itself borrowed, sans recharging apparatus, our mow (but not our lawn), was cut short (ahem). Then, after a trying time of avoiding eye contact with passers by and attempting to appear extremely busy/preoccupied on every dash to the car, we confessed the cause of our furtiveness to our next door neighbour who that very evening mowed all of the yard visible from the sidewalk (short in front and sides, long at the back—a veritable mullet for the lawn). What neighbourly generosity! Front lawn mown, we took to holding our heads high and even greeting people as they walked by.

Friday, June 5, 2009

“Half the floor was missing; we were all huddled together in one corner for fear of FALLING!”

--Four Yorkshiremen

When Utilatub is your kitchen sink, you know the renovation isn't going according to plan

I know I sounded an optimistic note about renewing my blog posts, but a small change in circumstances has thwarted my plan. An unforeseen event has put our renovations on temporary and brief (I hope) hold. Since I returned from my latest trip to the EU, we’ve been without a kitchen sink, dishwasher, stove, and, perhaps most troublingly, even a kitchen floor! N’s last project was to replace all the badly chopped up joists in our kitchen (which had been riddled with new holes and gashes for every new plumbing, wiring, and heating project over the past hundred and thirty years) with new laminated joists. The new joists are in (it was a huge job I’ll write about later in the kitchen saga), but we are awaiting plumbing, gas, and electrical conduits, as well as a few other things, like reconciling the major difference in levels between different areas of the kitchen floor, before we finally screw down the subfloor.

When your pet loses his mind and begins ambushing you from above (or posing as building inspector)...

I’ve been doing the dishes in the laundry tub and finding creative ways to cook using the microwave, the barbecue, and a small butane powered single-burner stove. I thought the little pause might give me a chance to continue the kitchen renovation story up to this point, but I’ve been funnelling my creativity into life without floors/sink/stove. It’s a challenging Dali-esque environment we’re inhabiting now. I’ve scaled back my dreams a little. A kitchen sink?—Luxury! I can’t help but think of that Monty Python skit—you know the one: four well to do Yorkshiremen compare the hardships of their youth. The original was actually pre-Monty Python. See it here.