Catch Up Blog

So I haven’t blogged in a while again. Sigh, blogging is hard when you have a very busy toddler running around. It’s only a matter of time before a hard book gets jabbed into my side and someone starts hanging off a shirt sleeve. I’ve also been absent for another reason, and that I will get to later.  I’m going to try to break this up into a few posts, but I’ll try to catch you all up as soon as I can.

Let’s start from recent events and work backwards.

So last weekend we held our second annual backyard summer bash. We had over 35 people, friends, family and neighbours join us for some summer fun, great food and a big bonfire. Hubby smoked pork shoulders into pulled pork sandwiches, we had everyone bring a little side or snack, and we had food galore. Hubby and our neighbour have been collecting pallets to burn and the fire went well into the night. We set up a 60 foot slip and slide for the kids (surprisingly no drunk adults used it), and we have an assortment of inflatable pools to keep the little ones cool. Hubby had old childhood friends join us, and I had a new friend, and we soon realized that my friend was related to one of Hubby’s friends. What a small world.

The dogs stayed inside since there was such a flurry of activity they were sure to explode from the excitement. I think that was just fine with them, since the day before we had our central air installed. Yup, that’s right, the heat wave we had a few weeks back hit us hard. I turned into a puddle and I felt like we lived in the basement for 2 weeks. We broke down, Hubby got an advance from work and we had a friend install our central air. Yes, expensive. No, we hadn’t budgeted for it. No, I don’t regret it.

The day after the bonfire party we had 11 morning guests who all helped to clean up the yard, and we all had a big pancake breakfast. We have realized over the years that the friends we have now are very respectful and even thankful for being invited. It’s nice for everyone to pitch in, these events can take a lot out of me, are quite expensive to host (I think Hubby bought 7 pork shoulders!), and I would have been picking water balloon guts off my yard for weeks had not everyone pitched in to help out.

Before the summer party Hubby and his cousin installed the fence posts for my garden. As I was feeling extra exhausted and Junior was being a holy terror, I had to retreat back inside and watch hopefully from the kitchen window that the fence would be installed to my liking.

Now I should explain that my family can be very anal retentive. We don’t know everything, but what we do know, we know well, we do it well, and we want it done right the first time. We can come off as control freaks and when we do something, it will probably take us twice as long as anyone else to do, but we certainly won’t need to fix or re-do it for 50 years.

Hubby, is quite different. And I know this. So it’s kinda my fault. But it is beyond frustrating to be “mom” and let “dad” do the heavy lifting and fence building if I’m the one being so finicky about it. I had tried to explain to Hubby that he should install both end posts, then string some rope from one top to the other. Since the holes were all dug (by myself), he would need to measure from the bottom of the hole, to the top of the string and that would be the measurement he would need to cut that post. Then he would level them and align them with the other posts using the string as a reference. From my view out the kitchen window, he appeared to be following my instructions. After a few hours the guys proudly exclaimed that the work was done, but since I was busy with making dinner I didn’t have a chance to go out to inspect, not that it would have mattered since every post was being cemented. But seriously how hard could it be after installing over 60 posts last year; he should be an expert.

The next day, while out wandering the yard with Junior I walked up to the line of posts. I started crying. Some posts were taller than the string, others shorter. Some were on the west side of the string, others on the east. I think I blind man could have installed them better aligned that that.  I’ll leave it at that.

I obviously had a few choice words for Hubby, but my comments were falling on defensive/deaf ears. He never wanted to install the fence in the first place, oh and it was my fault of the holes needed to be adjusted to make the posts more aligned. For days, the fence was not brought up again.

The other day I went out, finished back filling the posts and removed the string. Having Hubby remove the posts, dig out the cement and re –do it would probably cost us our marriage. And I certainly don’t have the energy or money to make it right myself. Luckily, from the house, you can’t see how wonky it is. We will install the wire and perhaps some wood rails in the near future. I will settle for my wonky garden fence, since apparently I’m just lucky he did anything at all to install it for me.

I’m the type of person that believes if someone does something wrong, or half-“butted”, they need to correct it themselves. That way they learn to take the extra time to do it properly. Although that logic is great when you are lecturing kids, this won’t go over well  for a husband.

Alright let’s go back to Christmas. You know, when Hubby and I decided to change our minds about having more kids. Yup that’s right folks it has happened. My cycles are way out of whack so we had no clue how far along I was, so we had a dating ultrasound and when we thought we were already at 9 weeks, we found out we were only at 6 weeks, the baby showing as only a tiny little blob on the scan. This weekend finally puts us at 12 weeks along. On Wednesday we have another ultrasound so we should be able to finally see some little limbs waving around and hopefully a head.

I’ve been dealing with some morning sickness, or as some ladies might know it as, all day sickness. I’ve only tossed my cookies once, but every day I have been plagued with nausea and an almost constant feeling of motion sickness. If someone flips the TV channel too fast I feel like vomiting. With Junior, when I was pregnant, I would jump out of bed to get to work, toss my cookies and get out the door to work and just be fine the rest of the day. Now, I waddle around the house avoiding extra movement just to keep the nausea at bay. It’s made me feel constantly hung over.  Oh and not to mention the bloating and gas, probably twice as bad as last time. Oh boy, am I not looking forward to this. (yes, I am, but seriously not looking forward to the birthing process).

So that’s where I have been these past months, wallowing on a couch, fighting off a toddler. Now that the nausea is, knock on wood, starting to pass, I hope to be up and about a bit more. I’ve got a business to run, a toddler to chase and a garden fence I need to finish. Oh and I’m sure at this point you are all saying…. “Well, you won’t have much time for gardening so what was the point of the fence?” Hubby and I agreed that since the garden will come, we can use the space for now as a toy friendly area of our yard. We currently have a sandbox, water table and a gazebo in there right now. But the dogs are allowed in to leave deposits and Junior still likes to make a run for the house. If we fence it in, I imagine having coffee next spring in the “garden”, our new baby sleeping peacefully in a basket next to me, and Junior playing safely in his toy area. Oh and there WILL be a small garden. I plan on moving my rhubarb and chives back there come spring and every year, as I gain a little more freedom, I can dig the garden a bit larger and plant more veggies as I feel I can work with. I figure by the time I am 70 I can finally have the entire garden operational.

It’s time.

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So, how about this weather? A bit hot, eh? Yup. We’ve had it up to here with this weather (imagine me raising my sunburnt arms way over my head wearily). I’m fair-skinned, a red head and lately I’ve had no energy. You throw in 40 degree weather and for some reason I don’t want to move from our very muggy basement, the only area of our house that doesn’t remind me of the inside of an oven. For the next two weeks we have Hubby’s cousin staying with us to learn about being a chef, and the three of us and Junior have been sweating it out in this non air conditioned house for several days now.

Neighbours across the street brought us over a window air conditioner and Hubby immediately installed it in our bedroom, but it certainly isn’t powerful enough to cool the whole upper floor. So ceiling fans and floor fans are working in overdrive, and the shades are drawn to keep out the hellishly rampant sunlight. I feel like a hermit.

I’m hard pressed not to simply live in our bedroom with Junior and the dogs, but I know I will go stir crazy, I’m already half gone as it is. There is so much yard work to be done and I had hoped with the extra pair of hands around here, we could finally, finally, get my garden fence up. But I won’t push the guys to work in this heat, which sucks the air right out of your lungs.

Yesterday Hubby’s cousin and I made a water table for Junior. I had found an old wooden kids table for 50 cents at a yard sale, and although it’s weathered and water damaged, it is now the perfect play area for Junior on a hot day. I picked up two dollar store plastic bins and used a jigsaw to cut out holes in the table top to nest the bins in. Fill with water, soap or sand, and enjoy! Junior happily splashed and giggled, our front porch getting wetter with each fling of a toy, but on such a hot day, the constant slew of water on our legs was relaxing.

Although I’m the one mostly stuck at home in this sweltering heat, and I grew up with nary an air conditioner, I have to admit, this is a bit much, and when Hubby suggested it was past due to install central air, I didn’t have the energy to fight about it. You never hear of anyone regretting getting central air. Perhaps their bills go up a bit, or the initial cost was high, but I have yet to hear anyone complain. And so, with a small advance from his work, Hubby brought home some cash, and the central air will be installed next week. And yes, we are aware that by then the heat wave will be over, but the cash is in hand, the wheels are turning, and I have already agreed to this new expense. Let’s get ‘ir done.

So please excuse me while I go fish through our deep freeze for the last popsicle and I melt down my stairs to the basement, I may not emerge til the final bolt is installed, and the cool refreshing expensive (but worth it) cold air is coursing through our vents.

Rear Garden

So I was able to get some gardening done. We’ve been alternating between hellish heat and constant downpour, so of course during a hellish heat day I was out back with the shovel digging up a new garden along the back of the house. I turned the soil and let the sod dry out before removing it, making it slightly easier to deal with. I also pulled out an old cedar stump that causes a headache each time hubby gets the ride on mower close to it. That dang thing was going to take out a blade sooner rather than later so I hacked at it angrily with a shovel until it popped out. This also made room for a better garden. We’ll eventually be putting in a large deck, but thats a few years from now, so getting this little garden in has helped with the look of the area, and as well, made it easier to maintain.

It’s not a recommended time of year to be splitting plants, but I couldn’t take it anymore and my hostas are literally taking over my front garden. I transplanted some hostas, so tall yellow flowers, some morning glory and some other misc perennials. Ive been able to keep the water on them so far and I think they will take. I’ve still got a bit more gardening to do on the other side of the deck, but it will just be hostas lining between the lawn and the little scraggly pine tree we have.

I told Hubby not to install the fence posts on his last day off as it was very very hot, and now I fear they may never get put in. We did cut down the wooden gates and they are ready to be installed, so that’s at least one less step.

Today I’m off to help a neighbour/friend on the next concession to paint her four month old’s nursery with a large white tree. She’s offered a little money and she will watch Junior as I work away with it.

Yesterday Hubby and I helped out the across the road neighbours and took a trailer load of shingles to the dump for them. They had cost out the rental of a dump bin and it would have been close to $500. But for only $120, the dump took the shingles and Hubby and I got a nice work out. They offered a little bit of cash for our help, time and gas which was very nice, but we would have helped them anyways.

So we’ve been keeping busy and if we could get this garden fence in it’s the last large project of the year. It will get done, it WILL get done.

Projects to Tackle

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I’m free!!  Okay, if I hadn’t mentioned it, I have been working on a very large order with my small business, and I’m happy to say I have completed it finally!  My main little business is with burlap. Rustic brides contact me for table runners, signs and buntings (little flags on string), but for the past several year Movember Toronto (the mustache-growing-fund raising people) have asked me to decorate their summer events. Each year of course needs to be different, which has me ever reaching farther away from what I’m actually good at. This year’s order should have probably gone to a screen printer as I worked with exterior paint on natural canvas. The paint seeped under the stencils, projects took forever to dry and I went through piles of brushes. In the end I don’t think I made a penny pf profit, but at least it’s for a good cause. I hope they enjoy them. I usually throw in some extra items, and this year was no different, 2 free pillows, which should get me on their good side. Finishing this order means I can actually do other things. I’ve of course taken a few nights to watch horrible romantic movies on Netflix but now that I have my evenings free, after 7pm when Junior goes to bed, I can finally conquer some home projects. Here is what we currently have going on:

  1. I picked up two free wooden gates that I want to cut down to size to use as garden gates. They came 5’ tall and they need to be 4’, but they came with all the hardware, which saves me close to $60 for all the hinges and clasps. I was so excited to pick them up.
  2. The garden fence. Nope, we still don’t have the fence poles in yet. Both Hubby and I dread digging those holes again. (I say again, since last year we actually dug most of the holes, then had to fill them in when the shed was delivered.
  3. The back of the house has practically no landscaping to it and the job of hand sniping the constant barrage of weeds is getting me, more so the fact that we don’t have time. The rest of our yard looks fantastic but right at the house under our tiny back deck the weeds are 3’ high. I want to relocate some of my perennials since they need to be split anyways. It’s not the ideal time to do it, but we have a bbq with friends coming up in august so I’m hoping if I do it now, they will take hold.
  4. On one of my garage sale hunting days I found a wooden kids table and two chairs, they need to be glued and re screwed so they are nice and tight. I might paint the table, but I’m not too sure yet.
  5. I haven’t had much of an urge to be baking since the heat is insufferable, but my rhubarb needs to be harvested. I can at least cut it back, chop it up and freeze it for some winter baking. It’s a shame to see it go to waste.
  6. An outdoor play area for Junior. Hubby is very tired of us keeping the little pool in the front yard meanwhile we have a huge back yard, but because of the ease of the location of the hose and the fact that one of our dogs would attack and maul the tiny pool to death, we play in the front yard, under the shade of our only tree. With the promise of the garden fence going up, I want to allocate a portion of my future garden area to be a play area, complete with sandbox, a small seating area and eventually the pool. I am on the search for some eaves trough to run across the back of the shed in order to hook up a rain barrel that will eventually fill Juniors pool on hot days. It will be years before I have the time and energy to actually garden the whole section we are fencing in, so it’s a great dog-free zone for Junior’s toys without the yard looking cluttered.

That’s all the major projects we have going on so far. I’m sure I can think of more later.

Gardening at 9pm

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I know, I know, too many posts for one day! But it’s a dream come true… Hubby is entertained downstairs with his buddy, the dishes are mostly done (bbq went well, albeit indoor eating for sure because of the rain) and Junior went to bed early. After our friends and their kids left, I slipped into my flip flops and braved a very wet flower garden. The rain has let up and I hope the kids in town get to see some fireworks, but for me the true excitement is getting to weed my garden. Yup, it’s still light out, and I have an hour to myself guilt free. So top of the list was my very neglected front gardens which are bursting with perennials. I split them last year and again this spring but they are all so huge. All the better to share, but the garden for sure is very full and almost at full bloom. I love my hostas when the spikes start emerging to show off tiny purple flowers, or the exploding morning glory. The yellow tiger lilies look amazing and we have a maple tree in our front garden that has had to be cut back twice as it spurts up in its fourth year of life. I have just come in and the wheelbarrow is filled to the brim with weeds, a great success. The dirt is still under my fingernails as I type since I can’t take the chance of missing a moment to actually post a blog in real time (imagine that!). Earlier today I snapped a picture of the bar which I am using as a garden work bench. I’ve added some peg board and have started to hang all my tools. Out of sight is a deep spice rack that never found a home inside our house, so I screwed it between beams in the shed and it now holds an assortment of bug spray and a few mason jars for pens and misc hardware. Oh and hopefully you can see in the picture there is a bird clock too. It was a gift from my aunt but since with every hour it chirps and whistles like the birds on it, it was sent to the garage to live a sad lonely life. Now it chirps proudly in the garden shed. I imagine large wicker baskets for the shelves or containers for bulbs. It’s surely coming along. The second picture is one I pulled from the internet. I’d like to build an outdoor potting bench with “functioning” sink. I imagine the water barrels hooked up to some rain gutters on the shed and since the bottom of the barrel has a tap, the barrel can be on the bench with the tap over a sink that I will sink into some sort of wood bench. The sink will then drain into a bucket I can place under neath, so that when I’m done washing up, I can toss the old water into the garden. The added height to the rain barrel will also make it easier to water the garden, maybe even hook up an irrigation hose. Who knows… so many ideas!

Oh I was second in line to receive a free rabbit hutch with 6 rabbits, and although I am not currently looking for rabbits, the hutch would have been a great chicken coop if I could have re-homed the bunnies. But all in good time. Still need a few good days to get my garden fence up.

Happy Canada Day

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Happy Canada Day! With gloomy weather predicted and an exhausted family, we didn’t pre plan much for our country’s birthday. We casually put feelers out to see if there were any takers for a bbq and finally pinned down a dinner bbq date with our friends in the country and their two kids. We later added in a co worker of Hubby’s and we had a menu planned of burgers, potato salad and cold drinks. Nothing fancy. We had hoped for good weather but when we woke up we discovered we would have none of it. So with a constant downpour of rain we piled into the car and drove to a local brewery that we love. Since I’m on a budget I was pleased to find a bucket of free buttons at the cash, so I snagged one for my sister and a few for Hubby. Hubby splurged on a few beer that could only be purchased there and Junior sat in Hubby’s arms, showing off their matching red plaid shirts. We then headed over to a cheese factory for some overpriced poutine (can’t get much more Canadian than that), although I found it lacking in the cheese curd department, which was a bit ironic. That’s okay because I splurged on some fresh curds and a small block of fresh cheese. We are now home, cleaning house, with Junior running around happily clutching his “soft blankie”, waiting for our dinner guests to arrive. Happy birthday Canada.

Father’s Day Update

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Wow, what a crazy busy weekend. So for Father’s Day, Hubby only wanted to spend time with us (myself and Junior) and build the ramp for the new shed. Sounds easy enough, but we found ways to complicate it all.

As usual, early in the morning I take Junior downstairs to play until Hubby wakes up, then we hurry back upstairs, Junior climbing faster and faster each time to reach Daddy. Father’s Day was no different and we waited patiently to hear Hubby stir before we all crawled back into bed with him, juniors gift to Daddy in hand. Since I’m on a tight budget I wasn’t quite sure what to get Hubby so I searched online for good gift ideas. I settled on a bleach sprayed shirt. I’ll have to get some pictures up soon, but I’ll try to describe it as clearly as possible.

  1. Purchase a cotton t shirt in a dark colour.
  2. Trace out an image onto sticky backed paper (found at the dollar store), and in this case it was an outline of Juniors hand.
  3. Place the image onto the shirt in the desired location, removing the protective backing so that it sticks to the shirt.
  4. Put about a cup of bleach into a spray bottle and spray once or twice over the image, allowing spray to hit the shirt wherever.
  5. Keep in mind that it takes a few minutes to see the bleach starting to settle in, so wait between sprays.
  6. Blot with paper towel and remove image sticker. Rinse, dry and voila…art.

I had such fun with the hand print that I made another shirt with images of ravens flying, and the mottled dots of the bleach spray gives it the illusion that the ravens are flying against a starry night. Hubby seemed to like the shirts, although who knows if he will wear them, at least they didn’t break the bank.

The day started with drizzles, many clouds and muggy temperatures that did not have us in a good mood to be sawing and hammering out at the shed. Hubby and I will never open our own home reno business as we would certainly kill each other. Hubby is the type of worker that likes to say “good enough” and I’m the type to overthink (usually after the fact), but I hate doing things halfas….half way.

We tried to find compromise along the way but it was hard, and with over $150 worth of pressure treated lumber it made a dent in my wallet and in our spirits. But in the end, we have a ramp, that works, that doesn’t wobble, and seems like it will hold up.

Now, I’m not one to leave the day as simple as ramp building, so I found a few things on kijiji for Hubby. Now that we have the shed set up, and in it, my gardening bench, I wanted Hubby to have the garage set up for his tools and he was definitely lacking in storage and work space. So into the big city we went (lucky we had my dad’s trailer on hand) and we picked up an old wooden work table and a wooden cabinet, but for $20. They are older pieces, and need some loving care, but for $20 Hubby gained a lot of space, plus along the way we found a garage sale that had ended and all items were free. Well now I’m sure you can imagine me screaming in pure glee at that find, but I held back and only snagged a wooden headboard that I can resell with my business as a wedding sign.

After we packed up the trailer with our goodies, we headed out to our old favorite Chinese food place near our old rental townhouse. It was quite the loop to drive but we knew their food was tasty and it would be a well-earned Father’s Day treat for Hubby. Keep in mind that all this time Junior is strapped in his car seat, so far keeping calm and happy. We pick up the food and head back to the highway to get home. Boy, were we hungry and all we could smell was our dinner!

20 minutes from home chaos ensued when a trailer tire blew while we were passing another car. We are sooooo lucky that the tire did not hit them since it went flying. I was able to pull over, and oddly, Hubby stayed relaxed and in a good mood (he would usually not be so impressed with such a situation). And within 10 minutes the tire was changed and with minimal screaming too (from Junior, not Hubby). We finally got home, scarfed down some delicious food and then my dad came to pick up the trailer. I think Hubby was glad to see it go. As the door shut behind them, I headed upstairs with a tired baby and Hubby’s socks and then pants came off as he headed to the mancave to relax.

Garage Sale Treasures

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I’m so excited. I mentioned the other day that I was going to go yard sale hopping with my dad, and boy did I ever come home with a treasure trove of goodies!!  I spent $35 total and found… 3 large glass carboys to be resold for wedding décor, 2 smaller carboys (large jars with narrow openings), some bike training wheels that will work amazing as further support for our double wide chain link gates, a hose holder, a new can opener (you can only imagine how mad I get when my old can opener stops working, half way around the can!), two little pairs of rubber boots and a handful of books for Junior, all of which are classics that I grew up with. The other few finds deserve their own little blurb.

Since the garden dream is soon to become a reality, I’m starting to think of what tools I will need to find to make my life easier. I’m a tall curvy woman, so spending hours and hours on my knees pulling weeds and back breaking sections of time tilling soil are not times I am looking forward to. I don’t know what the proper names of most tools are, but I know I wanted a narrow rake type tool on the end of a long handle. It was on my birthday wish list.

But there it was, at a garage sale in the big city. A rake type tool on the end of a long pole. I tried to look up what it was called, but couldn’t find anything. It looks like a mini version of a piece of farm equipment, made to till and turn up the soil. It’s rusted and the handle is well worn and smooth. I paid $5 for it.

My second find was a steal of a deal and I really felt like yelling “Start the car!! Start the car!!!” to my dad as we carried it back, nonchalantly to his packed van. A dust covered, spider web filled early era Underwood type writer, also for the new low price of $5. Now my little business is all about weddings, and trendy brides scour antique shops for just such a prize. It doesn’t have to work, it just has to look pretty, and add to the atmosphere of their big wedding day. I knew I could find a bride who wanted a vintage wedding. Picture this old type writer sitting on a guest signing table as an inspiration to those leaving notes for the happy couple. Within an hour of being home, and between reading Junior some of his new books, I had the little type writer cleaned up. The mud came off the keys to reveal vintage font, and a pinecone emerged from the inside, a left over from a squirrel’s cache. Missing two little legs, and the front ruler being damaged only made this little piece even more darling. I posted pictures and a very flowery description of it on the wedding selling site I’m part of and within minutes it was snatched up to the tune of $60. A nice little profit that I can put towards todays Father’s Day dinner of Chinese food. Yes, normally, the money would be spent on bills, but I wasn’t able to splurge on Hubby this year, and I know how much he would enjoy a meal like this!

My dad was well-behaved and quite reserved with his shopping. He came out with a new pair of wiper blades, a wine rack and some placemats. A good day with dad, and a perfect father’s day!

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Ask and you may receive

So with one income, it can be hard to get things done, finish projects or even splurge. We really need to prioritize where our money goes. I’m trying to find a way to still feel human out here with no guaranteed income. I’ve had to become quite resourceful. You’ve read before about how many people out here have embraced the art of bartering, and we’ve taken that one step further and have learned to ask for help, and even for items for free.

For example, since the shed has arrived I placed an ad on a local social media site asking for a list of items that people might have kicking around that might help us finish the shed and the projects surrounding it. The list varied from things we NEED to things that we WANT. There is no harm in asking. I also noted that we were on a budget and free would be awesome, but if not, to let me know their price.

Here is the list: 20’ of eaves trough, a single kitchen sink, a single step or wood to make one, can of exterior paint.

Within a day I had responses from locals who had some items laying around, so for FREE, I am able to pick up my kitchen sink, which I intend to make an outdoor potting bench with a sink to wash my hands (using rain water), and a set of old deck stairs that we can cut down to fit the smaller man door on the shed. Those people who contacted me asked for no money, and were genuinely happy to help, so if you go this route, you must then be genuinely happy to receive and of course appreciative. I’m planning on bringing them a coffee when I come to collect the items.

Another example of our thrifty ways out here is to borrow. From the lawn roller we borrowed from a co-worker, to the atv and trailer the neighbours let us use for the day.  The key is to return these items promptly, and in great condition. This reminds me to make some bread for the farmers as thanks.

Hubby and I have a wedding to attend in a few weeks and I’ve found that I still have quite the tummy (no excuses), so all my outfits made me feel quite slobbish. I had to be a bit creative so I went with two basics from my closet that I wouldn’t normally wear together, a black dress and a red blazer. Hmmm, now the hard part, I needed a piece of jewelry to make the outfit pop, but nothing I had matched. I couldn’t rationalize buying a new piece, since a nice statement necklace can run up to $25, I had to become even more creative. So I asked.

Back to the local social media site, I asked to borrow a statement necklace, and within the hour I had a young lady who lived close, driving over to lend me a selection of her necklaces. I genuinely thanked her and she brushed it off. It seems to be the way of the country. I don’t even know where she lives, but I have her necklaces in hand for the next few weeks and she isn’t the slightest worried I’ll run away with them.

Now, not all the items we get are free or borrowed, and we do spend on things we want and need, but we try to be reasonable. For example, for the shed, I wanted a gardening bench to go inside, for potting and for extra storage. No worries, I didn’t buy new. But locally I found someone selling an old bar which would have worked perfectly. I made an offer, but the seller asked for $10 more and I would need to pick it up, which is no small fee with the absence of a trailer.  Sigh, I really wanted it but would need to pass. A few days later I received a message from someone who had bought the bar for themselves. Upon getting it home they found their spouse quite disgusted by the purchase. They wanted to know if I still wanted the bar, as he would sell it to me for $30. I of course said yes, but told them I could not pick it up. No problem. They would deliver it for free. Later that night a young man pulled up with his pick up truck and he even drove it back to the shed to unload it. I offered him a few nice items we had left over from our garage sale a few weeks ago, a huge new candle and a beautiful carved candle holder. The items would have been dropped off at a thrift store anyways, so I offered them as a peace offering to his wife. He gladly accepted my “payment” for delivery.  Now I have an amazing storage unit for all my gardening supplies.

And don’t think I’m just a “taker”. I always thank the lender, giver, or seller with my thanks, a coffee, items I might be able to barter or services such as babysitting. From split hostas for someone’s garden, to a few hours of watching someone’s kids, I also provide for others, it’s what the community is built on.

Father’s Day

I smell a skunk. Seriously? We just got the shed and it seems a little bugger has been sniffing around the base of it. I’ve contacted another neighbour/friend for some chicken wire!

It’s Father’s day this weekend, and there are many dads to celebrate with. For my own dad, we’re spending some daddy daughter time picking through junk. Yup, we’re going yard sale hunting! I’ve saved up some crumpled bills and we’ll chart our course (seriously we will have a map of garage sales), coffees in hand (since it will be 7am) and try to find some awesome treasures in the suburbs around his house. My little sister will watch Junior while we’re out hunting. My dad and I are serious deal finders, thrifters, and treasure seekers. We may not have the money to buy all of the cool things we find, nor the places to store them, but we certainly try the best we can. My dad likes to search for tools and parts, and he always seems to have at least 4 of everything, which is a running joke in the family. Myself, I search for things I can resell in my business like metal buckets, or wooden ladders, and I now definitely need to find some storage for the garage and shed and some gardening supplies.  Oh and I have another kitchen storage issue I want to fix…I’ll save that for another blog though!

For Hubby I made some Father’s Day crafts with Junior which I can’t disclose til after the weekend in case Hubby plans to read my blog before he opens his gift, and we’ll spend the day making a ramp for the shed and perhaps for supper, if I haven’t spent all my crumpled bills on yard sales, we’ll splurge on Hubby’s fav, Chinese food.

Holidays like this don’t need expensive gifts to please the ones you love. Just simply give them a call, spend time with them or make a craft that they will appreciate.