Posts made in August, 2013

Admissions of a mint-loving maniac (and plans for my next purdy little kitchen)

Posted by on Aug 26, 2013 in Kitchen | 4 comments

Admission #1:  I am obsessed with teal/mint/teal-ish-mint/teal-y-blue-ey-mint/anything in that whole awesome and spectacular colour family at the moment.

Admission #2:  I have ginormous plans to either…

a) paint my kitchen cupboards with the fabulous above mentioned teal/mint/somewhat teal-tinted-mint-based hue (if I’m feeling particularly adventurous and brave – painting kitchen cupboards takes A WHOLE LOT of work, so it’s quite a crazy project and not at all for the colour-fearing commitment-phobe)

OR

b) paint my kitchen walls teal/mint/teal-y-mint should I chicken out of my bold kitchen cupboard painting plans and opt for the more low-risk option.

Admission #3:  I don’t yet own the aforementioned kitchen with its not yet painted cupboards and/or walls but I will very very shortly – only FOUR weeks (plus a few days) to go!  Until then, in true (likely predictable) Melissa fashion, I will obsess endlessly and scour Pinterest for loveliness.  (I’m a little lot OCD like that.)

So, in lieu of actually having an actual real-life kitchen to paint at present (holy moly I can’t wait to have to have my own little kitchen again!) and in light of the fact that I’m a little obsessed with paint colours at the moment, here are a few of my favourite marvellous quasi-teal/mint/absolutely lovely kitchens…

Triangle Honeymoon (whose site seems to be down at the moment) (which makes me super sad – there’s a whole lot of awesomeness there!) painted their kitchen in Glidden’s Gentle Tide…

Glidden Gentle Tide - lovely mint teal colour for kitchen

Looks so perfect with the butcher’s block countertops, no?

And take a look at Brenda over at Cottage4C’s (bravely!) painted kitchen cupboards…

Sherwin Williams Rain blue-gray painted kitchen cupboards

The colour (Sherwin Williams Rain) is a tad more blue-ish than minty-ish, and I love it.  So pretty!

Our little loo at the last house was painted in Benjamin Moore’s Woodlawn Blue, but I think it’d be super pretty in a kitchen with white accents and such (like this one from Darryl Carter)…

Lastly (but most definitely not leastly) is this teal/green/slightly-minty-I-suppose (but definitely lovely!) kitchen courtesy of House of Turquoise

Benjamin Moore Kensington Green kitchen with white cupboards

Oh, swoon.  I absolutely adore this kitchen!  So much so that I think we should see another pic (don’t you?)

(I’m still swooning over here.)  The colour is so fantastically cheery, but not obnoxiously so (since, well, I can only stand so much cheeriness pre-coffee in the morning.)  And with pretty yellow accents it just looks so… fresh.  Like a cucumber I suppose.  Or a big head of iceberg lettuce.  Both of which, appropriately enough, belong in a kitchen.  So perhaps Kensington Green belongs in my kitchen…

And perhaps I should make a salad.

(As soon as I officially own my kitchen that is.)  (Only four weeks plus five days to go!)

 

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Orange cats make the very best friends (missing our amazing Jacob)

Posted by on Aug 19, 2013 in Tails | 4 comments

Our family is missing a very very special set of orange paws.

We lost Jacob last week.

It wasn’t entirely unexpected.  A few weeks back we brought our beloved orange cat into our vet for a checkup having noticed that he’d lost a bit of weight.  With the move and all, I guessed it was stress.  Worst case scenario, I figured, his tapazole dose maybe needed tweaking (since we already knew that our happy kitty had a rather hyper thyroid.)

Sadly, it wasn’t either of these (relatively easily fixed) problems.

Jacob was whiskers-deep in kidney failure.

I cried when our vet told us the news.  I knew what this all meant.  Many years ago Sweetie and I had lost another cat, Harry, to chronic renal failure and it was awful and heart wrenching watching the disease progress and gradually eat away at our furbabe.  But, with frequent sub-q fluids and a special diet and a little extra care, Harry had lived a relatively normal and quite happy cat life for several months following his diagnosis.

With Jacob, however, there was no gradual-ness to the disease.  Jacob was dying.  Rapidly.  His kidneys had almost entirely stopped functioning.  In a little over three weeks, we watched our amazing, outgoing, vocal, beloved Jacob waste away to fur and bones.  Fluids didn’t slow the progression of the disease at all.  He was a brave little orange cat – he tolerated twice daily meds and patiently let us poke and prod him – but we could tell he was quickly getting sicker and sicker despite all of the pills, all of the fluids, and all of our love.  He stopped being our playful awesome orange cat.  He stopped eating.  He became withdrawn and quiet.  And he smacked his lips constantly – a sign we knew meant that he felt nauseous.

So we made a heartbreaking decision.

Jacob is no longer sick.

One lazy Sunday morning, a long long time ago, when Jacob was a very new addition to our family (having been recently rescued from the evil neighbour across the street – aka “Bubba” – who [much to our delight] suddenly up and moved one day, but [much to our horror] left his adorable and outgoing orange cat behind to fend for himself), Sweetie and I were listening to the CBC and a song by local artist Norm Hacking played.  It went like this…

ORANGE CATS

Best friends can come
In lots of shapes and sizes.
That’s why they’re always
Such wonderful surprises.
Mine has four legs
And a lot of orange fur.
He tells me life is great
With the world’s loudest purr

His name is Syd
And when his owner moved away
He came a-knocking
At my door one day.
He said “I sure need a home
Oh, won’t you let me in?”
‘Cause orange cats
Make the very best friends.

chorus
Well, they’re not in it for the food
Not in it for the money.
Just give their chin a scratch,
Let them sleep where it’s sunny.
You don’t need a turtle
Or a gerbil or a bunny
‘Cause orange cats
They make the very best friends

It’s been nearly 20 years
Since he came to stay.
He’s been my best friend
In so many ways.
From a handsome young mouser
To a wise old man,
Syd, the orange cat,
He’s been my very best friend

Over the past eleven orange fur-filled years, I’ve sung the line “Orange cats make the very best friends” often to my Jacob (I wanted to make sure he knew just how much he was loved.)  On Tuesday I whispered this same line to him as I said goodbye.

Orange cat in profile

Orange cat photobombing my picture (but being cute about it)

Closeup orange cat sleeping

Orange cats make the very best friends - missing one amazing cat, stupid Chronic renal failure

Orange cats really do make the very best friends.

 

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Feeling sorta saggy (the results are in: our future home is… meh)

Posted by on Aug 8, 2013 in The old mauve house | 1 comment

So we had our home inspection the other day.  The results?  Meh.  The house needs a lot of work.

Not that any of this was new news to us, of course.  Squishy kitchen floors and a little structural wonky-ness?  These were flaws we were prepared for.

But still, there were a few surprises.

The workshop that Sweetie was so excited about is about to fall over.  Soon.  Some careless past home owner cut out all of the rafters, likely attempting to create a more functional ceiling height in the space.  But, by doing so, the walls and ceiling have been rendered completely unsupported.  Yep, that’s right: nothing (beyond a few nails and good fortune) is supporting the walls or keeping the roof from collapsing.  And, as you can likely imagine, this is bit of a concern and immediately needs to be fixed according to Mr Inspectorman.

Blue and red workshop old wooden structure

And there are windows that need to be replaced.  And jack posts that need to be added to maintain structure.  There are spots of siding missing here and there.  And the back sunroom is currently being supported by a deck that was never meant to carry the weight of an enclosed room – it most definitely needs to be re-enforced.  The central air unit is completely non-functioning.  The second story bathroom has enough lean to give you vertigo.  And the extremely overgrown and weed-infested backyard needs to be plowed under and re-seeded and completely restarted from scratch.

Oh.  And did I mention that the house is mauve?  Yep.  While watching the inspector poke at prod at our future home, I suddenly realized that the siding is indeed mauve.  What colour door looks good with mauve-coloured siding?  I’m not sure…

Mauve or pink sided older house with gray roof

So are we still taking the plunge?  Gather up your swim trunks because apparently we’re going deep sea diving in Renoville.  Yep.  Despite all of this, the home inspector said that the house had good-ish bones that just need a little love.  And, you know, we have lots of house-loving love to give, it seems.

Only seven-ish weeks till it’s all ours.  Yay!!!  Can’t wait to get started on making this house the best little mauve-coloured home it can be.  :)

 

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Our next NEXT house (really skipping ahead a bit here – let’s imagine our house-buying world, five years from now, k?)

Posted by on Aug 5, 2013 in Moving | 0 comments

Soooo…  (cue fanfare…)… we bought a house.  Yay!!!  Home inspection looming, assuming everything goes well we’ll be moving in at the end of September.  And while sixty days wasn’t our ideal closing period (we were desperately hoping for a lovely and quick-ish and nice and tidy little thirty day turn around), we’re both super excited to start a new adventure in a new home in a new community.

Which house did we buy, you ask?  Remember when I chatted about this house, which, in real life, looks like this…

Mauve or pink sided older house with gray roof

Yep.  We bought that house, squishy kitchen floor and tiled countertops and unruly bushes and far too many tchotchkes and all.  Why?  Location location location.  As much as I tried, I couldn’t get that darn place out of my head.  I love the little tree-lined street, I love the big and private (and, sadly, rather overgrown at the moment) yard, and I absolutely adore the community.  The house is most definitely not perfect, but I couldn’t stop thinking about how perfect that house would be for us.

And I don’t believe that the perfect house has to be absolutely perfect.

A short while ago, a friend (having heard that we were house hunting) mentioned that a mutual friend had recently purchased a house.  In fact, not just any house.  A really nice house, he said.  With an en suite bathroom off the master bedroom and nice finishes in every room and as move-in ready and as perfect and pretty as any house can be.

Truth?  At first I was indeed a little envious.  Sigh, how nice it’d be to buy the sort of house where we could simply move in, shuffle the furniture around a little, put our feet up to test the ever-important ottoman positioning and declare that – poof! – we’re all settled in.  Easy peasy!  No painting, no major cleaning, no planning, no obsessing.  Just instant comfy-cozy comfort awesomeness from closing day on in.  Just… like… that.

But then, when my wits suddenly snapped back into action, I realized that as nice (ok, way better than nice perhaps… let’s go with FANTASTIC) as it would be to find and purchase our dream home, we’re just not in that position right now.  Sure, if we had the available funds and didn’t have any other high-priority items currently dominating our monthly budget, and if we both had secure jobs without worry of layoff or strike or other similarly unfortunate potential work-related circumstances, then yes – maybe a sparkly and finished house would be the answer for us.  And sure, if we weren’t fairly certain that in five years or so we’ll be in a much better financial position and able to maybe buy or even (gasp!) build the house of our dreams, a pre-finished no-renos-required sorta house might be blinking wildly on our radar and we might be excitedly planning our fancy-house buying strategy or signing documents on lovely white corian (swoon!) countertops in our newly purchased swanky and perfect kitchen.

But that’s not where we are right now.  As much as it pains me to type this, our next house won’t be our forever house.  And as much as I dislike this whole selling/buying/moving/angst-ing process, I’ve come to terms with the fact that this won’t be my last dabble in the rather fickle (and cruel) world of real estate.  This house will be yet another stepping stone house, one that we can use to keep our costs down, freeing up money for other, far more important ventures for now, and hopefully enabling us to once again make a profit when we do (a few years down the line) decide that it’s time to find “the one.”

But, until then, I’m ok with another fixer upper.  It’s just a house.  It’s a roof over our heads, walls to keep us warm and safe, and a place that we can settle back into life in.  Whatever else it becomes is completely up to us.  And I guess that’s the benefit of a fixer-upper: we are starting from scratch.  The house, despite having a great layout and good bones, needs some work before it’ll be the home we want it to be.  And, by bringing it up to our standards, we’ll increase the value as well.  Just like we did with our last house.  And just like with did with the house before that.

And, truth be told (since we’re divulging everything here!) I am kind of looking forward to finally getting my hands dirty once again.  It’s been a long two-month paint-free period.  I’m missing the fun of planning, and the delight of realizing that I’ve mysteriously and miraculously somehow managed to choose the perfect paint colour or I’ve rearranged the furniture in the best pattern possible or found the best deal on a much needed somethingmerother in Ikea’s As-Is section.

Yep.  I may be entering reno withdrawl.

But soon I will triumphantly hold paintbrush in hand once again and proudly slap some fantastic new colour on our walls in a house that we’ll make into a home that’s perfect for Sweetie and me and the cats and anyone else who’d like to join us there.

Until then, I’ll start planning the fixer-upping yet to come for our next little fixer upper.  Quite excited.  Quite giddy, in fact!  Our new house may not be perfect and sparkly or have an en suite loo or anything else fancy like that, but it’ll be perfect for us once we’re done with it.

You’ll see.  :)

 

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