Friday, December 19, 2014

A House is What YOU Make of it.

On October 12, 2013, Clint and I moved into our very first house...OUR home! We became home owners...sooooooo exciting. No more landlords, we can do whatever we want, paint any colour, hang up tons of art, have as many animals as we choose (I can't stand THAT much fur, so 2-3 is plenty! lol) and of course tear the ground out and build a veggie/flower garden. Hooray!! Oh wait...the fridge died ugh, the pipes are freezing ugh, oh man the floor is sooooo freezing when it's -30 outside (uninsulated crawlspace) and so many other things....ah, the homeowners responsibility! ha ha ha! And still...I am super stoked to be a homeowner.

Our house was built in 1919. It is amazing. Much of the original beauty inside is gone...covered up with drywall and layers upon layers of flooring. But it is exactly what we were looking for. It takes me under a minute to walk to the beach...VERY important to me! ;o) And, it is located in the downtown core and in the commercial zone. This will eventually make our dream of an in home art gallery/shop come true. When the previous owner showed the place to us everything seemed like it had been done. Well...everything had been covered up to make it look like it was done! lol Make-up, as we all know, can do wonders! Ay yi yi!

For the most part...when you are looking at homes for purchase, you will never find exactly what you are looking for. But I feel that is because most people can not see beyond what the present owners have done with the place. It could be as simple as wallpaper and gross carpet...that can turn a person right off. But remember, you will OWN the can do whatever you want to it. I would go as far as to even say that most people can be handy with a bucket of paint, strength to tear carpet out and the will to make it look like your home. It's amazing what a coat of paint can do to transform a room. That has to be the easiest renovation ever. :o) Look beyond what you are seeing with your eyes and use your imagination when checking out homes. I would suggest getting an inspection done on ones that you are REALLY hungry for. With this place we didn't do that...I regret it, in a way. But, also, this home, location and ability for great change made me want it so bad. Even though I could feel the uneven floor beneath the carpet...I didn't even say anything about that when looking. duh!! My bad. But still, I am stoked to have this home. And even more stoked because Clint knows how to do the renovation repairs himself. Saving us thousands of dollars in labour.

The first completion we have done already is on the outside. Being in downtown and our backyard facing a big open field that is used a giant parking lot in the summer, puts us right in the middle of some of the action. (this is a resort town and summers are very busy. Clint calls it Daytona Beach! lol) Our backyard was open to it fence. I LOVE my privacy. Nothing like sitting in the sun, relaxing with a corona and all the beach goers watching you as they pull all of their gear out of their cars to spend the day at the Beach. Seriously...stop starting at me!!! ba ha ha! Anyways...because we also have pets, I wanted a fenced yard to allow them outside and not have to be out there with them if I don't want to be at the moment. But, of course I LOVE being outside. So, this past summer, Clint built me a beautiful fence. (a family day at the house and my brother and brother in law helping Clint dig the post holes. you can make fun out of any kind of work day!) Even placed my painted stained glass window in the gate. Soooo pretty!!

Privacy at last!!!!! Thanks Clint! xoxo
 Now that it is winter at the Beach...we are indoors working on stuff. Our front living room will be transformed into a gallery space...oh yeah. So far Clint has ripped out three layers of flooring...plywood, 60's carpet and more plywood. Tons of labour...and tons of dust. Our living room is unlivable...a plastic sheeted wall encloses the "work area" and we have moved most of our belongings upstairs. Like as if we live in an apartment. Cozy and nice actually. And all good stories for after the hardest part is over. "Honey...remember when we lived in dust and wood chips and everything was upstairs?" It is a long process but one that will leave us smiling and happy with exactly what we have...what we have made!

Just as life evolves, so can our homes...but with our homes we are the evolution creator! Have fun...get some paint for your walls, build shelves for your walls, tear out some gross old carpet...make your house your home, exactly how you dreamed! Even if you don't know how to do can find tutorials of everything on YouTube!! ;o) (I wouldn't recommend touching electrical though! yikes!) 

And when you are looking for a home to buy...there are many ways to do it. You don't always have to go through an agent...there are always listings through sites like kijiji or craigslist or individual sites all across North America. Like, I can imagine finding your right home is a tough one in the big awesome city of New York...that place is immense. And, also has incredibly cool homes with much character. Imagine owning a Brownstone?! Oh, the things you could do in that place! Well, for all you who want to be in the city that never is 'Compass', a "NYC neighbourhood guide"to find the right area for you to live and then find the perfect house...and then make it your home!

Good luck finding a home, renovating your home or yard and just making your home yours! 

Most importantly though...Have a ton of fun! :o)

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Baby steps...loss, grief, responsibility, forgiveness...acceptance. Oh Larry Boy. xo

"It was his time." No...actually, it wasn't. It was cut short...too short. He may only have had a few months longer in him...but in actuality, his life WAS cut short. These words, just so y'all know, are not consoling to someone who is so full of grief and remorse. For I am in the middle of great pain and sorrow for what me and my Larry Boy just went through. Larry had been sick for a while...probably longer than we realized. But he never really showed it...he was such a good boy. We had been treating anemia and a deer tick parasite before we found out, through ultra sound, that Larry had a cyst growing on his liver. Upon the advice of someone who was supposed to know what the very best thing for my VERY BEST Friend was...I chose surgery. I chose to allow Larry's vet (who is a good vet and does have a love for the animals she treats) to perform an "exploratory" surgery, with hopes of cyst removal, on him. I had asked all of the right questions...especially the repeated one..."Can Larry's sweet little heart and body take it?" "Yes"...that was the response each and every time I asked. Right up to the moment when they carried his already sedated body out on a soft purple towel from the room in which I waited for over an hour...a room that felt so cold and tiny and dark underneath the glowing noisy fluorescent lights. I sat there hovering over my phone on which i had displayed the photo I just took of him while we waited for them to finish preparing for his surgery. I played "Beautiful Sun" by Little Miss Higgins...I sang along...I sang sweet music to my sweet little sunshine. The "Sun" who lived and breathed and loved in my home. My "Sun" that made me feel warm and bright every single day. It was me and and Larry against all odds. For the last 14 months he had been my closest friend. Most days my only friend that I spoke with. Larry and I, along with of course the amazing Clint and Wensday started a brand new life last summer. New adventure for all of us. With Clint gone each day it was me and Larry fending for ourselves. And we fended well having one another...we were side by side...holding each other's hearts close. he is gone. my days are very quiet with much time to reflect. But right now my reflections are sad. The loneliness is overwhelming. my sorrow is too heavy for my soft and light heart to handle. I can't figure out what keeps it beating right now. I am thankful I have Clint and Wensday and all the birdies and Chippy the chipmunk to feed. (I might build Chippy a nice warm, insulated home ;o) ) So was NOT Larry's time to go. He had much life in him and was just beginning to really feel the freedom he had been given for the past 26 months. Too soon.

"You gave him such a good life." Yes. I gave him the VERY best life. WE gave him the very best life. He came into our home...a new friend for Maggie May. A new friend for us to be there for the time coming up when we knew Maggie would no longer be with us. She was almost 19 when Larry came home with us. They were a team. They taught each other many was wonderful. It made my heart feel good. When it was Maggie's time to go, Larry was drowned in love and affection and ALL of the attention. And soon thereafter out to Manitoba we came...all of our belongings to follow suit. Our little family was on a mission...on a new adventure to start a new life. Oh man...did we have some adventures. Every single day was a day at the beach or laying in the grass listening to the birds. In the harshest winter of my life...there were days me and Larry did not venture out...except of course a quick run out and pee for Larry. We spent those chilly winter days holed up in the spare room...cuddled on the bed with Wensday and watching NetFlix. Larry loved movie time. Larry loved to relax...he learned that from Maggie. If we can't be running around outside we will cuddle inside. I still sometimes hear him breathing next to me when it is really silent. It is just that sound that was so natural and commonplace to me...strange that it is gone now. Oh...Larry knew he was loved. He knew he was loved beyond measure. Larry knew 110% that I had his back...he knew NO harm would come to him if mommy was around. I protected him. And last week...if I could have given him my life...I would have. His life was so valuable to me. Yes...Larry was a dog. But to me...Larry was also my baby boy. He was full of emotion...hidden for the most part...but I saw it all. He showed me. He trusted me. I DID in fact give him the best life...but this simple fact will not bring him back nor make me feel better right now. I am grieving...don't patronize me with words that are meaningless. Love is all I need right now...not advice that is moot in a time of tragedy.

For Larry I would have given anything for. I tried real hard to give him my breath in his very last moments...I didn't know what to do. How do you save someone whose lungs have filled with fluid? How do you save someone who was obviously bleeding from the inside out? I didn't know this was happening. I brought him home from the vet 6 hours after surgery. They said he was fine. She told me that he just had to take it really easy for 2 weeks. The drive home was sad...Larry was not himself. But he had just had's a big deal. Then I saw his first moment I regretted the surgery. 10" long...Throat to penis he was cut open. WHAT THE...?!? If she had told me she was going to splay my sweet Larry right open I would have told her to take her surgery idea and shove it right up her... (I am still VERY upset about this. I am so angry at myself for putting him through that ordeal. I am so upset I trusted someone with Larry's life. I need to forgive her...but I am not ready. I am so angry and hurt and tortured over that whole event. And it's just the tip of the crumbling iceberg.) We emptied out our living room to make it our bedroom for two weeks. Oh how much Larry wanted to be upstairs where we always went. Stairs were blocked so he could not tear open his large wound. The night was incredibly restless. Larry needing to go out. He would pee then walk out onto the field and just fall down and not get up. I would caress him and love him and beg him to get up. I had to wake up Clint twice to come out and carry him  back into the house. In my mind, because I was told everything was ok...I thought he was just struggling with coming out of anesthetics and fighting the pain with the morphine. He was internally bleeding and his lungs were filling up. He would cry and moan. I would lie next to him and calm him again. In the morning the moans were louder...sadder. I held him, he would settle. I went to my computer to update my status as I had been asking people to pray and send healing loving thoughts to Larry. I got off the computer to his moans and noticed his legs doing the "stretch"...he was suffocating. Oh my God...what could I do. I went to him...he looked up at me with such fear and begging me to help him. I held him...I screamed out...I loved him and kissed him...he died. Right there. I breathed into his nose to give him my gurgled. I screamed and screamed and screamed. NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! His limp little life left just laid there next to me. He was gone. NO! How do I wake up from this? His life began in it ends this way? How can this be? Who do I blame? I blame myself of course. I feel like I should have made different decisions. I want him back...impossible. I called the vet and cried. I called Clint..."Larry is gone...please come home." My sobs were uncontrollable. My heart was lying on the floor next to me, still, silent, beat-less and staring back at me with glazed open eyes. How was I still alive? I was dead. I am still trying to come back to life...I am trying REAL hard.

Clint came home...we cried together. I found a blanket to wrap his little body in. We decided where he should lay...definitely our backyard. (laws's MY property!) I took down the prayer flag that hung above his bed. I clipped some pretty flowers from the garden where Larry used to lie near when we sat in the yard to watch the birdies. Clint dug a hole and in it we laid our sweet sweet Larry Boy...prayer flag and flowers to keep him bright. Oh heart, my love, my best friend...I love you boy. May you rest in peace until the day I come to heaven and we'll catch up then buddy. Until then you hang out with Maggie...I hope Opi found you too. He loves dogs...he'll play with you guys, take you on walks and adventures. He was the one who taught me to enjoy those beautiful and simple the ones we shared daily, my Boo. I am sure Syder is with him too. So you guys will just have to wait for me. As much as I'd like to come now...I know I have lots more in me to give down here...even if I don't feel like it right now. I need to accept your are gone...I need to forgive myself (and the vet) for the decisions that were made that ended your life too soon. I will, as a few people have suggested prematurely, invite a new friend to live with us. It is going to take some time before I am ready...but, I WILL rescue another lost and needing soul. My heart IS big and has capacity to give out lots of love...but not now. My heart is still working on getting its beats back...i need my's lost right now...I'll find it. I will find it because of my love for you Larry. You also loved me and taught me so much. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you my sweet Larry boy. I love you forever. 

And Ever. 

Larry Boy
November 7, 2008-August 7, 2014 

I have made a wonderful playlist...all videos with Larry on my YouTube. He was so good.
RIP to the best dog, friend and animal child anyone could EVER have.

Peace & Love

Sunday, January 19, 2014

How I Love The Beach...

I have always loved spending time at the beach…who doesn't? As a kid it was to swim and play, as a teen it was to tan and get out of the city and as an adult it is to notice all of the beautiful objects and scenery that you will only find on the shores of a lake or ocean. I honestly could spend an entire day beach combing and staring out on the waters or laying on the warm sand underneath the heat of the sun. These days…being winter and all, there ain't too much laying down happening. There is a lot of "Larry, lets go walk on the beach for a little while before we get too cold!" We live 30 seconds from a great beach…and we can't wait until the water comes alive again. But for now we will walk the boardwalk and watch the skidoos speed by on the ice and snow covered lake. I'm actually very excited for the spring thaw to happen. There will be some gorgeous images to capture during that time. But for now I will just have to look at my pictures from this past summer of the fun times we spent on Lake Winnipeg taking notice of the special features surrounding us. ;o)

From the Summer, through the Fall and into Winter months.
The change is so beautiful.

Me and my "friend" hanging out On the Lake…that's right…there's about 20' of water underneath us!