I stopped by a cafe today to visit a friend and we started chatting about our weekends… she spent it with old friends. Dear friends. The kind of friend that you don’t make in a day or a week or a year. I have a lot of those friends and feel very grateful for it. I spent my weekend with a number of those friends as well. One, who I’ve known since 2002 or 2003, her son, who I’ve known since he was born, and one who I’ve known since grade 7. So 1994 or 1995. We went cross-country skiing together on a school trip and I hurt my ankle and she didn’t really like cross-country skiing so we skied together. We were pretty much friends ever since, but not always the best of friends. We were quite different – I was into punk rock. She was into the colour pink. I was a treeplanter and lived in the bush. She went to Australia and New Zealand and became a teacher. I became a teacher. She had an old truck in high school that only had an am radio. His name was Bob. I have an old truck that has a cd player but shouldn’t. His name is Truckasaurus.
My friend and I have always been able to count on each other, but I forget about her sometimes. Not forget as in gone forever, but forget as in out of sight. She flew in from Calgary this weekend for Birthday weekend extravaganza take II (Take 1 was pretty much the best thing ever), and even though I came down with a cold and the weather didn’t really cooperate, so we weren’t as active, I think I may have even had more fun, because sometimes all you need to have fun is a mug of tea, a cupboard full of board games (or just 1 board game), and really good friends.
I hope that my friends know how much I love them, and how much easier this life is because they’re in it.
And I hope that Birthday Weekend Extravaganza has 50 other takes, in different months of the year, so we can eat birthday cakes (and oysters, even if we have to buy them) year-round.
**Jeremy just realized that he left one of our new headlamps in the chimney he put up today. It’d be really funny if he didn’t have to take the whole chimney down to get it back out… as it is, I still think it’s pretty funny, but I don’t have to take the chimney down…
The very first thing on my “to do” list when we moved into this house was to set up an indoor toilet, and I was ADAMANT that I didn’t want it to be a bucket. It took until the middle of the winter last year to get a bucket. We took it out for the summer, but it’s back in and I love it every time it’s too dark and cold and wet and rainy to head out to the outhouse. It’s our oak throne, made out of old oak cabinets.
The second thing on our “to do” list, which I hoped to accomplish last October (over a year ago) was to take down the unnecessary and imposing loft over half of our kitchen. We never used the space, the stairs took up a lot of room, and there was a skylight that wasn’t being properly utilized. Plus there were these 2 posts in the middle of the room that totally broke up the kitchen and made a bunch of unusable space. But then we got busy building a fence, starting a business, getting jobs, baking pizza (did you notice I used jobs in the plural?! Jer had his first night baking pizza last week and it was super successful, he’s a star and I’m so proud. Gush gush gush), killing chickens, moving woodstoves, painting kitchens and demolition just kinda seemed like a lot of work. Until I painted the ceiling in the lofts this weekend. Until Jer fixed the lighting way up top with some lights my grandparents drove out in the spring, along with canning jars we used up, a canning pot we did double duty with, and a treasure trove of other goodies, and took out the sketchy ceiling fan. Until we had 2 lovely friends come over with their bulk and their brawn and we said “Hey! Loft! You’re DONE!”
And then it was. It is no longer. Neither are the stairs, or the posts. And now we have this wall that’s super super super tall and this window that looks like it was built for an elf and these two power outlets 10 feet up on the wall and if I wanted I could build (who are we kidding here… I could have Jeremy build) bookshelves that needed a ladder on tracks to roll across the kitchen because THAT’S how awesome my house is.
I’m officially living the dream. The dream includes a bookshelf that needs a ladder. The dream needed a wall that was big enough. Now I got me a wall. This week our woodstove will get tiled and then installed. The ant-infested ceiling will get finished, and my house will be put back together. Like I said, living the dream.
Jer and I went down to Victoria last weekend for a semi-impromptu visit and I remember how much I love that city sometimes. Being in the city has gotten harder for me over the years – I actually was on the verge of having an anxiety attack in the Fairfield Thrifty’s Parking lot and grocery store after being surrounded by dozens of cars going around in circles, honking at each other before getting into slow and seemingly unavoidable accidents; children running through the store and their parents yelling, people everywhere, consuming and spending… I know that I sound like a whiny country brat. I know that I grew up in the city and Victoria isn’t a city. I know that I recently travelled and spent a lot of time in cities. I know a lot of things, if you haven’t noticed. But somehow a city that you know is more panic-inducing than one that you don’t (for me at least). But cities that you know also have lovely things called friends in them, and I had a really special birthday-themed dinner with a lot of really lovely friends on Saturday night, and I’d go through panic attacks, so long as they’re short-lived and not really intense if I got to hang out with all of those lovely people at the end.
You may remember that I got to have a birthday-themed weekend 2 weekends ago when my mom and stepdad were here, so I got to have my bday 2 weekends in a row. However, because we were in Victoria last weekend, I didn’t get to celebrate w/ any of my Island friends. So we’re having some friends over this weekend too. That’ll make it 3 weekends in a row. And then one of my oldest and bestest, who made my birthday last year into a birthday weekend extravaganza, is coming back again this year, albeit a couple of weeks late. So we’re going to celebrate again! That means I get to have 4 birthdays this year. That does not mean I age 4 years in 1. It just means I get fat from eating lots of cake.
When I got home (late) from school today Jer was out. I came in, fried an egg, sat down and started knitting. It wasn’t until almost an hour later that I looked up, realized there was no wood in the house and saw what he’d done today. He’s been working so hard on our renovation it’s crazy. He got the rest of the posts down today and the rest of the beams up. The way it opens up our kitchen into our soon-to-be living space is incredible. I haven’t shown you any pictures because the lighting’s been crappy (especially now that it’s always dark out), but this is worth taking pictures of, that’s for sure. I can’t wait until it’s all done, and the new woodstove is in, and it’s warm, and I’m warm, and you can see how pretty it is. Please tell me it’s pretty. I like having pretty things.