100 0779 1024x768 Still

Sometime you just need to be...


We took a in-promptitude trip to San Fransisco and the west coast. We’ve been back a few weeks but I really do think that I left my heart there- it’s not hard to do.

Here’s a summary of the trip in photos!

100 0443 1024x768 Vacation

The gardens at Alcatraz are stunning!


100 0530 768x1024 Vacation

We stayed at The Palace - on Air miles would you believe?!

100 0506 1024x768 Vacation

We saw the wild parrots- Adam was beside himself!!!


100 0485 1024x768 Vacation

We climbed and climbed- our reward was getting to see the murals at Coit Tower, and burning calories from pasta lunch!!


100 0546 1024x768 Vacation

Breakfast at Boulette's Larder (Ferry Building)- Healthy!!!


100 0548 1024x768 Vacation

Post breakfast treat from Humphry Slocombes at the farmer's market outside the Ferry Building. Smoked chocolate with sea salt- perhaps a little too salty!

100 0556 1024x768 Vacation

The "Jellies" Exhibit at the Monteray Bay Aquarium is the best thing ever!!!

100 06111 1024x768 Vacation

The photo speaks for itself, doesn't it?


100 0659 1024x768 Vacation

We got a last minute table at Nepenthe !! Big Sur is amazing!!

100 0711 1024x768 Vacation

We headed back up north to Pt Reyes National Seashore. People don't know about this place. You have to go there!

100 0509 1024x768 Vacation

SF Moma - the gift store is a must!

100 0518 1024x768 Vacation

Sculpture at the De Young


100 0607 1024x768 Vacation

No we didn't go all the way South again, I just had to end with this photo.

There we have it. I have just found that you can’t link within photo captions- at least I couldn’t. I’d like to add a zillion links but I’m going to choose just a couple. When we go back to the Bay area, we’re going to spend more time here.

Last but not least, we ate awesome food. My husband researches prior to our vacations endlessly. He is a Chow Hound addict. My favorite meal was our last. This place rocked!





I Miss Tig

100 0347 1024x768 I Miss Tig

A pretty lady named Tigger!

We currently have no furry friends in our midst. Tigger went home one week ago. I will admit there was, at first, a certain sense of freedom. Tigger had become very demanding. We had discovered that she loved to be brushed and she started demanding it a few times a day starting with first thing in the morning. This has been her third winter here- truthfully she did almost spend the whole season as she arrived in early January. Since our kennel is not yet open (one day soon I hope), we decided to give Tigger her own room. It worked out quite well once we covered all of the carpets with big table cloths. This being because we found that hairballs and other brown matter (accidents…I think) stand out on cream colored carpet. Of course she only needed to be in her room at night and she could spend the day lounging in the living room. She rather enjoyed having her space though; often after being brushed and having a play session with the cat-nip mouse, she would disappear. I would find her curled up in her basket-sound asleep of course. She’s an older lady- nap time is important. Hope to see you next year Tig!

100 0353 1024x768 I Miss Tig

Play time for a lady!

Meanwhile the sense of freedom has been replaced by loneliness. We need a pet of our own. We’re not sure what that looks like but we’re going to find out soon.

Home Office Day

So our home office has been a disaster since we moved in. Cluttered papers, unpacked boxes, bare walls – you name it. No wonder I never spend any time here. Last week I decided to change all that. I took a full day and just worked on making it better. It’s not quite all done, but it’s a world of difference. You’ll see in the last shot why I like working at the desk so much more!!

100 0328 1024x768 Home Office Day

Trust me, this is not staged.I was doing a detox cleanse at the time and still am a week later!

100 03301 768x1024 Home Office Day

Had to do a close up of this delicious green drink


100 0354 1024x768 Home Office Day

Do you see what I see ?

Besides a way more organized, neater, home office. Ah yes, the chair. It was due time – my back was killing me and I never wanted to sit here. This was by no means a top of the line chair but it sure beats the last one.


100 02082 1024x768 Discouraged

Waiting for heat......and it's been a long wait.

Have you ever had one of “those days”? You know, when it starts out bad and then just seems to get worse. This morning seemed so promising. I headed to our tiny local community center for yoga at 9am. I was so excited. It’s my day off, there is local yoga and it’s not even expensive. I used to do Hatha yoga with meditation every Friday  morning and I loved it. As it turned out, this was not Hatha- it was Flow. The instructor was super sweet and the people there were friendly, but the floor was kind of cold and kind of dirty. I didn’t like the style of yoga nor did I really care for the way that she led her practice. I was so happy when it was over. I fled without really even thanking her because I feel guilty that although this first drop-in was free, I don’t intend on going back. To make matters worse, before I got to the class I did something to a little muscle in my lower back. My floundering attempts to get into some of those complicated poses only exacerbated the pain.

I arrived home to find that the plumbers were not here again.

Let me start at the beginning. Our new property was purchased so that we could expand our cat-care business and have a full-on boarding kennel. We only looked at properties that met with the local bi-laws for operating a kennel. This property met all the requirements. There is a workshop that is perfect and has radiant floor heating all piped in – just not hooked up. In hindsight perhaps I should have contacted some experts before we bought the property. As it turns out the electrical capacity of the workshop was not fully explained. We were told that it has 60 Amp power and it does- except those 60 Amps come from  the main panel in  the house and there is not enough energy to heat water for the boiler. So, we need to go with propane for energy. Not a problem and in fact it will probably, in the long run, be less expensive than hydro which is no doubt, going to go up in price.

I gave my plumber the go-ahead last November, a few weeks after we moved in. It’s now two months later and the job has just gotten started. In the meantime, I learned that gas-fitters, the tradesmen who we need for our job, are really busy. In fact they and septic tank technicians are very much in demand. So, that is why it is taking so long and that is why I am having to be very patient and not push the rope.

Sure, at times I have been so frustrated I have called the receptionist crying and at times I have felt like calling them up and just saying;”Look, I’m done with you-I’ll pay you for your equipment and your labor but I’m moving on.”

Where would that get me? I chose this plumbing company because I’ve used them for 10 years- they have been reputable and prompt whenever I have had a past plumbing emergency (and I have). That is probably why my job is taking so long- because it is a big, complicated job and not really an emergency- they get called off onto other jobs and then come back to putter away on this one. If I fired them, then I would have to get in another company’s queue – one that might not be so reputable. So I have  just dealt with it by keeping the  3 cats that I had already booked in the house and not going out of my way to promote our business. One little baby step at a time, even though, sometimes, it’s hard not to get discouraged.


100 0262 1024x768 Procrastination

Hard not to procrastinate when it looks like this outside.

100 0261 1024x768 Procrastination

View from dining-room - so pretty

Yes I’ve been procrastinating and it’s been having “not-so-good” results. It seems that life here is not as easy as I thought- but why would I ever think that it would be easy to own 5 acres. We’re so damn lucky- I cannot forget that. Last week I locked myself out of the house because I procrastinated doing a simple maneuver- replacing a spare key that I given to the carpenter. We’re pretty isolated here and I don’t know any of my neighbors. It took me a couple of hours and a lot of problem-solving to get back in to our nice warm house. I finally managed to convince a suspicious neighbor lady who did not speak fluent English to slip her cell phone out the side of her house so that I could call my inlaws. I don’t blame her for not opening the door, I probably wouldn’t open the door for a sobbing stranger either.That spare key has now been replaced so that will never happen again.

Last week also I had the pleasure of attending WordCamp Victoria. It was a day of inspiration and made me realise that I’ve been procrastinating writing this blog- I had even had some thoughts about ditching it. I think that this blog is going to have a change in direction. I’m not quite sure what it’s going to end up being but I am certain that I want to keep on writing and that this is the best platform for that. In the meantime I intend to post once a week- that I can manage.

So here is a list of  10 things that I’ve been procrastinated doing. Some are simple and will take  only seconds. Others will take longer. My plan is to try to get them all done today because I’m not going anywhere when it looks like the two photos above outside.

  • Send 3 important e-mails
  • make cookies
  • clean Tigger’s room
  • finish inspiration board
  • write “thank you’ card
  • do form for ING
  • take box of stuff to cattery
  • take out garbage
  • vacuum
  • Do a blog post yay!!!

And now it’s time to say goodbye…..

100 0158 1024x768 And now its time to say goodbye.....

A photograph of a watercolor that my ex gave us for a wedding gift.

Last January we announced to the family that this would be the year that we would sell our home and buy a property with the intent of expanding our cat-boarding kennel. Now I’m sitting in a new office in a new home. We moved here on October 28th. We still haven’t fully unpacked and there is a lot to do to get our cattery up and running- but we’re moving forward.

The hardest part is that we are pet-less, for now. Our Curtis passed a few weeks before we left. We really miss him, but I know that coming here at the end of his life was not meant to be.

Here are some last photos of our Esquimalt home. I hope that the new owners love it there-we sure did.

100 1499 1024x768 And now its time to say goodbye.....

The old cattery- lush and green with rasberries-lawn in need of a mowing!

100 1429 768x1024 And now its time to say goodbye.....

Front yard after a Spring rain

100 1387 1024x768 And now its time to say goodbye.....


100 0125 768x1024 And now its time to say goodbye.....

The last apple crop- they were really good but we tried to leave them for new owners.

100 1495 768x1024 And now its time to say goodbye.....

Arugula growing wild in our neighbour's yard- we were allowed to help ourselves.

100 0132 768x1024 And now its time to say goodbye.....


100 1123 1024x768 And now its time to say goodbye.....

A monkey named Spyder gets a brushing

100 15001 1024x768 And now its time to say goodbye..... Clematis in the Sumac tree.

100 10761 768x1024 And now its time to say goodbye.....

Two chubby brothers

10631 180388290265 629905265 4202015 552674 n And now its time to say goodbye.....

Cat sleepin


Dribs and Drabs

I mentioned in the last post that we’ve already been on our new place for five weeks. Moving takes so much energy that blogging was the last thing that I’ve felt like doing. We still haven’t fully unpacked. This blog is a keepsake, a memoir of the home that we left- I wanted to add a couple of stray photos for the sake of just being able to remember a few things more things.

We had a bathroom renovation months before we left. Hopefully I’ll be able to unearth some old photos to add later of the “before”- but here are some shots of the “after”. Note the floor. I got the idea for this floor from one of my favorite blogs. The floor cost me a fortune. They are called matte black penny rounds. I should have shopped around as I think that the store that I used cost too much- in the end that flooring cost me $1000.00 and it wasn’t a big floor. Just goes to show you how blogs really do help to promote products. Anna from Door Sixteen sure deserves a kick-back from that sale!! For a better photo of that flooring follow the link!

100 0149 768x1024 Dribs and Drabs

100 0148 1024x768 Dribs and Drabs

The relief from the subway tiles were meant to play off the penny-tiled floor- the photo doesn't do it justice.

100 0147 768x1024 Dribs and Drabs

100 0156 768x1024 Dribs and Drabs

This shot from the mirror shows the talents of Jay D'Ambrumenil-my contractor extraordinaire

100 0166 1024x768 Dribs and Drabs

I loved the shape of the upstairs master bedroom,

The last two photos are from our front hall. The lighting sucked that day as did all of my photos. I had to put up something. The light fixture was from Italy- a big steal as I got it for 70% off!!

100 0134 1024x768 Dribs and Drabs

100 0154 768x1024 Dribs and Drabs

Did I mention 70% off!

I miss my kitchen

100 00091 1024x768 I miss my kitchen

We’ve been gone 5 weeks. We love our new place but the new kitchen has it’s issues. Here are some shots of the old kitchen which I miss immensely. It wasn’t always perfect. Eighteen months before we left we did a renovation which created my favorite kitchen ever. Too bad that I didn’t have any “before” shots on this computer but basically we re-did the counter going from indescribable arborite to black tile and adding a double sink. If you think that living with a single sink was miserable- yes, you are correct- it was. Too make matters worse the old counter was not level so we had to have two rolled up towels on either end of the sink the sop up water or it would travel the length of the whole counter. Yuck- just gross! Adam balked at tile because the grout gets dirty-but the tile that I chose came in large pieces – so there were only 6 or so lines of grout. Our old kitchen never had any ventilation which resulted in having to repaint a peeling ceiling ever other year or so. We decided to go with having the ducts exposed- I think that it looked very sharp and our contractor did a fantastic job. I got the range hood on sale because it was a floor model- range hoods are normally very expensive so I was happy to get it for less than half price. The third big part of the renovation was covering up an obnoxious linoleum floor. We went with dark laminate flooring. I loved it, although it did tend to get scratched fairly easily. Luckily a brown felt pen solved that problem. One thing- a dark floor in the kitchen does tend to show up dirt- Adam whined about it insistently.

Originally I wanted to keep our  original color but as we kept going,our contractor pointed out that we really could use a paint job – so we decided to switch up the color going from this-to this. Although it took five or six coats “Tigris” was brilliant. Even the painter loved it- he was so bored from doing beige in every other house.

We didn’t change the cabinets because it didn’t make financial sense- we didn’t have the money and why would anyone want to tare out the original cabinetry given that it was so beautiful.I did change the hardware for a more contemporary look. We also added some stainless steel shelving and a stainless steel table to give more counter space. After it was all done I saw in a magazine that “industrial farmhouse” style was the latest trend in kitchens. I have some pretty darn good memories of that space.

100 0213 e1323469882966 1024x768 I miss my kitchen

I found an old photo of the original color- actually it was a great color!

The next few photos unfortunately are not the best quality- I was still getting used to a new camera and in the process of moving. They are the only photos that I have of the kitchen.

100 0011 1024x768 I miss my kitchen

They don't make features like this any more (the glass cabinets).

100 0945 768x1024 I miss my kitchen

A good shot of the range hood- the white stove was the last thing too go!!

100 0008 1024x768 I miss my kitchen

The black stove makes quite a difference. We bought the stove days before we listed.

100 0001 1024x768 I miss my kitchen


100 0946 1024x768 I miss my kitchen

We kept the hardware on the wall which meant was a specialty order. Not quite in line with the new sink but it meant not having to rip out more plumbing. Note the texture on the tile!

100 09481 768x1024 I miss my kitchen

The Little Bedroom

To have a full appreciation of the little bedroom you would have to imagine what it looked liked after being sponge-painted in a myriad of yellow, dusty-rose and mauve. Hideous. Now imagine that paint peeling off in several spots because the person who painted it,(she claimed to have once had her own painting company), chose to sponge on latex over oil. I ignored the room for a long time- it became a place to store stuff. Making matters worse there was also a carpet in the worse brown imaginable. The carpet was glued down to a porcelain tile floor which was glued to fir. We ripped off the carpet and scraped off the tile however we could not salvage the floor-so we chose to put on an Espresso colored laminate tile. It took months to repaint the room. First we had to strip off the acrylic. Some of it peeled off with ease- it had, in fact, started independently peeling off in large sections a couple of years after being painted. Other areas never did peel off and I finally paid somebody to come in and sand down the entire room-it took weeks!   Below are the before and afters of what the room looked like while getting ready to list the house. We painted it in Labrador blue-so calming.

100 1218 1024x768 The Little Bedroom

The outer door gives you a small taste of the original dusty-rose colour theme.

100 14331 1024x768 The Little Bedroom

The memory of this "pre-staging" chaos gives me instant anxiety.

100 1434 1024x768 The Little Bedroom

100 14351 768x1024 The Little Bedroom

Don't worry -it does get better

100 00031 768x1024 The Little Bedroom

I love Labrador blue

100 0099 768x1024 The Little Bedroom

This light really changes the colour

100 0101 1024x768 The Little Bedroom

This is such an odd little portrait-perfect size to cover an old electrical outlet though