Friday, April 30, 2010

Snug as a Bug in a Rug

I haven't updated you guys on the renovations in quite a while... not since the day mum's hand went through the floor by the toilet! LOL.

This is the "snug", kind of like a den.. its right off the bathroom and the living room and it'll be home to a television, desk, futon (or daybed) and all of the video game equipment. It's going to be a warm and snug-gly place to hang out and most importantly a place for Kevin to play video games without disturbing us watching tv As you can see our house is put together in an interesting way... How it works is we have a stud-framed house with barn board on the inside, between that and the outside siding we just recently found is mortar, we suspect for "insulation". It seems that at one point our entire house was wood sided and the brick portion was given a brick ficade when they had the money! Very cool or what? The dividing wall between the living room and snug is framed with tongue and groove panelling (oldddd) on the bottom and lath and plaster on the top on the living room side only. Just so you know, the window there is in awful condition.. they're 10-12 years old and have no been taken care of so we're having custom windows done for the entire house but we're doing it room by room because its so expensive. They'll have mullions and look somewhat like the original window we have in the kitchen (also coming out). Though unfortunately about the windows we just discovered that the window sills are rotted and will need replacing so what we save by not having a double brick house, we now have to put into getting new sills made and installed. Oh well.

Mum is outfitted for the job, she *was* wearing a bag as a hat to keep the dust out of her hair too and big huge googles. We spent a good 4 or 5 hours knocking plaster off the wall. Actually funny enough its not even really plaster, of course on that one wall it is but that is the plaster for the living room. In fact, in the 'snug' and bathroom the walls are made of this fantastic material that I suppose came between lath and plaster and drywall called "Gyproc Lath." It is a drywall type material that has ridges on the finish side to plaster over. It is basically the same idea as lath and plaster except it takes less plaster to give you the same look. Pretty neat huh?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


Aside from the usual horsey feeding, goat feeding, and checking on the garden to see if *crosses fingers* anything is actually starting to sprout in there. Unfortunately it has been cold the last few days and rather on the rainy side with a bit of snow mixed in. Thankfully, thus far, we haven't had any snain - snow + rain = snain. And then it happened. Our Cat-astrophe. Accio, the nasty housecat, decided he needed to pee on one of the newspapers on the table. Upon finding it we discovered that instead of pee, it was actually blood. Not pee mixed with blood. Not pee with a pink tint. But actually real, red, blood. We booked him in for an emergency vet visit and went in at 2:30pm to see the vet. They palpated his bladder hoping to get something, and took his temp then put out a litter box with a product called "no-absorb" in it, which is a litter that is made out of plastic pellets so the urine just falls through it for collection. Miraculously Accio went in the litter box in a matter of minutes so we finally got a sample out of him. The vet did a urinalysis and it came back as negative for any crystals in his urine. The vet was a little concerned that instead of blood mixed with pee he ended up urinating only blood and quite a bit of it.

After the urinalysis we had the vet do an x-ray to see if he had any stones scraping his urinary tract and came up with nothing on the x-ray. The vet came back and mentioned that Accio could have something they call "Chronic Urinary Inflammation" which is something the vet community has no idea what causes it but that it does happen and its not particularly life threatening, but needs to be treated to avoid other complications like a secondary infection. Accio may also have a Urinary Tract Infection to go along with this. She gave him an antibiotic and some anti-inflammatories and we've come home with him but she did say we may have to entertain the idea that Accio could have a mass, so in 10 days we're to take a urine sample and bring it in and then based upon the lack of blood or the presence of blood we'll have to make the decision to have him ultrasounded.

For now the beastly cat is living in solitary confinement in my room. As I type right now he is knocking things off shelves and occasionally lounging on the bed in his normal lounging fashion.

Aside from all the cat drama, tomorrow we are going to the other vets office to take the puppies in for their first shots, vet checks, and some talk about deworming.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Tile, Bathroom, & Some Interesting Finds

On Sunday we decided to bite the bullet and spend $100 to fill up the truck and drive to Olympia Tile in Toronto to peruse their tile collection and perhaps pick out something for the floor of the bathroom and something for the walls of the shower stall we're putting in. We'd initially thought about looking at some honed marble, probably a carrera or something along those lines. We found this brilliant marble that although didn't come in the size tile we wanted, which would have been 6"x6", and only came in the 12"x12" tile it was gorgeous! The label on the plaque said it was a colour called "Dolomite White," which I suppose one could describe as a soft white with a little bit of a creamy tinge to it. I had an idea that marble would be a bit on the expensive side but I had no idea they would be as expensive as the tiles turned out to be. We'd be looking to spend around $3000 for the entire bathroom floor and that doesn't even take into account the pencil tile border or the tile for the shower stall. Basically instead of doing the tile we had originally intended, marble laid in a brick pattern on the floor with a light blue glass pencil tile border around the outside, we had decided to change it up and use white matte ceramic tile (6x6) with black marble tiles at the corners.

Aside from that we started pulling out the floor and walls in the bathroom. We've found that perhaps the house really isn't double brick as we originally thought and that it might actually be single brick with some sort of wattle substance between the studs and on the inside of the studs there is probably 2 layers of barn board type wood. The fact that the house might not be double brick does make doing the front window a bit cheaper, but it also means we have to now stud in the walls in the bathroom in order to insulate the bathroom and put up vapor barrier. We'd consider strapping out the living room and having it spray-foam insulated instead to ensure we don't lose any floor space. Going to spray foam under the house too.

To keep you all here, a view of the bathroom straight to the toilet. You can see we took away some of the "plaster" which turned out not to really be plaster, its actually drywall that has been fully plastered rather than having the seams plastered and sanded. This was probably done in the 1950s when the floor was done.

And our finds for the week. We found these under the bathroom floor around the sink. Mum reckons that they were probably used to level off the floor a bit before installing the linoleum (green in colour). They're from 1952 and 1953 and there are some pretty awesome full colour ads.

The Beginning

In June of 2008 we moved (Mum, Fran - Dad, John - Brother, Kevin - and Myself, Stephanie) from a suburban subdivision east of Toronto even further east to a small hobby farm in some serious need of TLC. The house, first having been recorded by the town in 1872, looked sad and forgotten and the land had long become overgrown in the abscence of any farming or animals to keep it occupied and the jungle under control. Not to mention a resentful ex-owner who still tended a plot of land immediately adjacent.

Over the last year and in the years to come we will be renovating and working hard to transform this quaint country setting into a cozy, warm, and comfortable place to be. Nearly every single room in our 150+ year old house needs a complete over-haul plus the land and outbuildings.

Aside from renovations and wondering what to do next we are also owned by 3 Buff Orpington Ducks, 2 Horses (Mylie and Luna), 2 Goats (Cissy and Mione), 6 Chickens (Supermario & The Muffies, and Baldyhen), 7 Dogs (Nacho, Gromit, Quesa, Kitty, Lulu, Peaches, and Ginny), and 1 mental housecat, Accio.