Archive for May, 2009


I found these yesterday. On sale. Polished grey limestone with flecks of cream. I had been planning on hex tiles in this bathroom. But that would have been three times the price. And I can still have my hex in the downstairs bathroom and the laundry. It is important to be flexible:)

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Okay okay okay. I will consider the sage advise of Brenda and Blake. Consider a compromise position. Some modified form of kick plate that doesn’t look like a kick plate in areas where one might be inclined to stand a peel five dozen potatoes. I’m not ungrateful. I suspect you’re right.

I AM SO NOT OVER BEING ROBBED. I now imagine myself staring at windows all over Toronto over the next lord knows how many years looking for our windows.

AND. I’ll know them when I see them. So there.

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I was sad. I was feeling sorry for people who felt the need to steal. Now I am feeling heartache. And I do know that having things taken from one is a far far cry from the worst thing that can happen. And in the end it will amount to not more than a hill of beans.

But at the moment it has me weeping with the sadness of it all. And with frustration and heartache. They took our windows. Our basement windows. All five of them.

Our budget for this folly of an undertaking is so tight it squeaks:) It does not include two sets of basement windows.

Would any of our good neighbours on the Little Steet have noticed anything unusual beween about 730am and 830 am on this past Wednesday morning. This is when we think they did this. But it might have been overnight Tuesday night. We do know there was evidence of a break in on Wednesday morning. And it looks like they were disturbed by something or someone because they dropped a sander by the Johnny on the Spot.

Anyone see anything?

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Yesterday concrete was poured for the garage floor. By some of the best. By folks who know concrete. And of course this means some of the Angels were back. Got to love these guys … and Agnes.

Joe in the garage. Joe knows concrete. His son Mike was there too. He also knows concrete. (No picture of Mike – I took two but both were out of focus)


Joe says that he hasn’t had this many pictures taken since his wedding:)


This is Vito. Vito also knows concrete. (Not everyone does to be sure) And he is equipment operator extraordinaire. No contest. Here you see him wheeling clearstone. Which qualifies him for Angel status no doubt about it.





Agnes was back. In addition to the floor being poured, an amazing number of small but crucial jobs were finished yesterday. The extra clear stone was moved from garage to the basement. No small feat. One wheelbarrow load at a time. The sump pump was finished off. More sewer work finished off. An extension to one of the basement footings was poured. Lots of small jobs. Yay.

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So this morning. In broad daylight someone came onto our property and stole tools. It wouldn’t be fair to say broke in because really there is nothing to break into. But all the same.

They took an old skill saw. And two of our four brand new masonry hammers. Left two behind which was kind of them. Appears they were going to take the small palm sander It had given by H to her father for his birthday last year. Changed their minds and dropped it by the Johnny on the Spot.

So now we need to lock up everything.

The Little Street feels so dang safe that sometimes we forget. And revert to our country bumpkin ways. Coming from a place where we didn’t EVER lock our doors.

And it is okay. There is a balance here. We can’t be country bunpkins anymore. And that’s okay too.

It’s mostly sad. In the light of day they did this. Not in stealth. And they took things that essentially have little monetary value. And even more limited utility. I mean really. How many of you really need a masonry hammer? As a matter of fact several of you were going to receive them as Christmas gifts – as you never know when you might need to be chipping a brick.  Alas this is not to be.

They would have looked something like this.


So mainly it is sad. And reminds me of many many years ago. I lived with my family in Berlin. In a huge house with one of those curved staircases straight out of Gone with the Wind. And a turret thing from which, on a good day, when it worked, the Canadian flag would fly. (I would have a picture here but for the fact that they are all in that POD) And once upon a time we went on a holiday and when we came home it was to discover that the house had been burgled. And much small stuff was missing. All of my mother’s jewelry. But she was not a diamond kind of person. So there were pearls and turquoise and a fair bit of costume jewelry. Add they caught the men who did this. And one of the men had given one of the necklaces to his daughter. Costume jewelry. Fake pearls. And I remember. My mother weeping for the sadness of it all.


The Country Bumpkin.

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We think we have found Kitchen Guy. And accordingly I may be talking quite a bit about kitchens and Kitchen Guy in the next little while. Like most everything finding Kitchen Guy feels a bit like a quest. Please don’t misunderstand. I know it is not a Quest with a capital Q. Or an Odyssey with a capital O. But there are elements. Indeed there are elements.

From the outset I have wanted a 1930s era kitchen. And not just because of the age of the house. Mostly because I love these kitchens. Having seen a few original 1920s and 1930s kitchens in various spots in Toronto and having gazed lovingly at them knowing that their time was short – knowing that they would soon be ripped out and replaced with brand spanking new shiny particle board and glue. Oops – that wasn’t polite.

So I have spoken with a number (let’s not count) of Kitchen Guys. Who have this tendency to treat me as if I am a somewhat challenged and difficult woman (Moi?) who simply doesn’t understand the basics of kitchen construction in the modern age. I say, “You do make custom kitchens, correct?” They reply, “Certainly. Absolutely.” Etc etc etc. Then I explain. There follows questioning pauses as they gather in what I am saying.

“No kick plates?”

“Correct. No kick plates.”

“Everyone uses European hinges today. Everyone.”

“I know. I hate them. I don’t want them. I want to see my hinges.”

Here you have a pause. And then on it goes.

So our friends Dan and Kathy were in Stratford a number of months ago and attended the Stratford Home Show where they met a special edition of Kitchen Guy. And from there we started. And this special Kitchen Guy so gets it. Fitted cabinets. No rows of anything. Hodge podge. Balanced hodge podge mind you. No banks of drawers. No miles of cabinetry all in rows. And those beautiful hinges everywhere. And no kick plates.

Here is an example. Not a perfect example. But some elements. They have added a kind of a kick plate at the sink. I would get rid of this and simply do an apron of wood rather than a cupboard under the sink. But it gives one a bit of an idea. Still a bit too much studied balance for my taste.

About kick plates. See I think someone thought these up. Perhaps because Aunt Mildred stubbed her toe once. And then the kitchen companies figured out that we would all pay more for this. Made them into something really special. Something necessary. But if you think about it. I can’t imagine anyone being rushed to Emergency following an accidental collision between a toe and a cabinet. And there are a number of nasty things about kick plates. Not the least of which is dirt and grime. Enough said.


Now this is my idea of a kitchen. I have this book. You might have quessed that. And if I hadn’t lent my book to Kitchen Guy I could tell you all about this kitchen. Which in Bungalow circles is quite famous. Really.



Now these folks didn’t set out to create a complete 1930s look ~ so there are some things I am not keen on. Those dang kick plates again. Too much straight symmetry in the layout of the cabinetry. And the space between the uppers and the lowers is too high. This too is a bit of a modern trend. Designed to accomodate all those fancy gadgets. True height shouldn’t be much more than 12 to 14 inches. Trust me on this. It looks way better. But sort of an idea.



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Understood that one should not think too too far ahead.

However. Just pondering. All paint in not created equal. For example. In England, not only the home of Ty . phoo (a Truly British Tea since 1903).


In England one also finds Paints. Lovely paints. Old colours. Lovely old colours. The Little Green Paint Company.  




I truly truly love this colour. Maybe more than Ty.phoo tea.

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“I am submitting this photo into the www.iheartfaces.com Blurb Book photo contest. I am granting I Faces permission to use my photo in a printed version of a book for commercial use and possibly advertising of a photo book on both the Blurb and I Faces web sites.”

I Heart Faces

Oh dear. I wish I had considered this all more carefully:)  Book Blurb is a favorite of mine. I have used this program more than once and love their product.

This is a picture of our youngest doing one of her favorite things… swimming until she is water logged.


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Nothing has changed since Sunday. I took these pictures just because. The play of the light on the house once the leaves start coming out on the trees is so lovely. I JUST CAN’T WAIT TO BE THERE. But I will.


Yesterday Tim cleaned up the back yard where the Bee took place. He moved and buried all the mortar in the area by the back porch where we will put down a stone terrace. The ground is very wet and some stone will not hurt one bit.


Where the bricks used to be piled….


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So this was Kathy ‘s idea. A Brick Bee. Kind hearted folks, who likely had NO idea what they were volunteering for,  sat or stood in the sun on a coolish May day and cleaned 2,400 bricks. I kid you not. 100 year old (don’t quibble) mortar was chipped, banged, scraped and drilled off 2, 400 bricks. Did I mention two thousand four hundred bricks. A lot of bricks. After they were chipped, banged, scraped and drilled a skilled team of movers took said bricks and transported them over to skids where an equally skilled team of stackers piled the bricks ready for re-installation. Totally freakin amazing.


The pile was about two feet higher than this when we started. And somewhat broader. Gord standing and chipping. Dan and Mel in the foreground. Relentless chipping and scraping.


This is Mel. Grandfather to N & L. Relentless he was. I hesitate to think how many bricks this man chipped.


Mel’s daughter Lois. Which explains a fair piece:) And my friend. Who first chipped equally relentlessly and then organized the bee into a perfect orchestra of industry,  sorting and then delivering bricks to chippers and scrapers on demand.


A group.  Barb, in red, may have chipped and scraped, the single largest percentage of the bricks:) Relentless and fast. Paul, with helper diminutive and extraordinaire (not in picture as this is a blog after all) went like spit. Dan, is married to Kathy.   Who thought this all up in a moment of madness I’m sure. Dan, who brought supplies of everything you could think of and those you hadn’t thought of, to whit the drill. In the foreground is Liz who, unlike moi, refused to give up on a single brick.


Part of the group at work. In the foreground seated in red is N. N worked all afternoon lugging bricks and stacking bricks. And that was after a couple of hours of chipping bricks. Seated in green is our H who lugged and stacked and lugged and stacked all afternoon.


Gord chipping and scraping at original brick pile. All afternoon. Did I mention this pile is GONE.


Tim and Gord standing at the pile. Seated are Dan, Paul and Mel.


Mike, Brian and H at the first of the three finished brick pallets. Fair to say that Mike (the next Member of Parliament for York South Weston), standing at the left  in orange, almost single handedly moved ALL these bricks.



In the end there were three piles ~ 2,400 bricks. I will get a proper picture of them all today…. IMG_1957        Here they are.


At some point in the day I put my camera down and did not pick up again. And so some pictures are missing. Sadly. No picture of Kathy or Andrea. And no picture of Chris.  All three of these wonderful people chipped and scraped like there was no tomorrow. Then Kathy and Dan went back around the corner to their house in this wonderful spot on  the earth and got dinner ready for all these people, except Paul and M who couldn’t stay (Rats on that). And we ate and celebrated the Girl’s birthday all over again. And my dang camera never came out of the bag. It happens. Rarely. But it happens.

Thank you  good people of Weston and Country Folks and the W’s of Richmond Hill together with the VRs of the Junction. Kisses.

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