Remember I said these blog updates would be random? Well, nothing like silence after nine months and then the first house related post in four years. I want to share some details about our kitchen renovation experience because, during our process, I was constantly looking for real-world examples and I found other writers’ blog posts and photographs to be useful. So here goes mine.
Our house was built as one of several in an area of military homes in circa 1955. I always say circa because there are no records for the house at the land titles office until 1968, when the entire parcel of land that was owned by the military was broken up and sold as individual lots. In aerial photos of Hillcrest (my neighbourhood) our house is present as of 1959. When we started renovating and pulled down some walls, we found a a 1949 German Pfennig (coin) tucked in the ceiling. I usually split the difference between those two dates to come up with the approximate age of the house.
We knew that renovating the kitchen would be the most expensive and most time consuming, so we left this to the end of our renovations. There will always be little things to do (is it possible for that not to be true as a home owner?) such as better trim, a new garage door, shelves just outside the kitchen area, painting the exterior, improving the garden, extending the deck, etc., but the kitchen was the last BIG item.
Here is what it looked like the day we got possession in 2009.
Things were looking bad when I found myself at work on Thursday Googling “tips for surviving a half marathon you didn’t train for.” But the funny thing is, I rarely prepare myself for this event. The other weird thing is that even though it was painful, it has somehow become normal to just throw myself into random things like this and get ‘er done. It’s amazing what the human body is capable of if you just ask it. Don’t get me wrong – I don’t think this is a good way to race and it’s not like I did something impressive. The whole thing was also really quite painful: I rubbed blisters on the toes of both my feet and my left knee still hurts. I just find it interesting that we, as humans, can often do so much more than we think we can.
This past weekend was the annual Klondike Road Relay – a road running race that goes from Skagway to Whitehorse through the middle of the night. It was my 8th year participating and my third as part of the Whitehorse Hash team. Thank gawd those wankers will have me. I appreciate having a team to participate with where it is more important to drink beer than it is to run quickly. I ran leg 5 this year which leaves me with only legs 6 and 10 to go and then I will have run them all. It’s funny how running the whole thing has become a goal of mine by accident. I didn’t start out thinking I cared but, now that I am so close, I really want to complete it. Funny, but it is somehow the Yukon way: participate in a race that takes place in the middle of the night for which you haven’t entirely prepared and then do it again every September. It’s just something that people do here, which is both hilarious and awesome. I love where I live.
3:30am at the end of my 22.2km leg, where I look better than I felt.
Have you ever done something that makes you feel simultaneously like an adult and yet awfully childish? I did this week. I booked myself a solo trip to Palm Springs. I leave on Monday. The mature/immature tension exists because I feel awfully privileged and grown up to be able to do what I want, when I want, with money I earned and yet spending money and time on an unnecessary vacation just because I wanted to, without thinking it through, feels impulsive and self-indulgent, like children can be.
Vintage postcard used on the cover of Peter Moruzzi’s book about Palm Springs
At any rate, I am stoked about this. I have done very little travelling on my own, so I am excited and a little bit nervous about that. I’m also really looking forward to being warm, nay, hot for a few days. My plans are to look at mid-century architecture, go to the Art Museum, find some thrift shops, drink cocktails and ride a bike through Joshua Tree National Park. Can’t wait!