I got to have a distance get-together with my friend Oliva. I miss her.
Things are moving along faster than we anticipated with the driveway/side yard patio. Initially when we confirmed with Johnny we were going ahead with the project we anticipated it being maybe a month or more as he sorted the through the backlog of jobs he had now that the government has given the green light to outside work again. The nice thing is our job – although big to us – is not that big for him so he can slide ours in more easily between big jobs he is doing. Danielle got a call from this week and he let us know he might even be able to start as early as the end of next week. (We’ll see if that changes with all the rain that we’ve had this week) That’s exciting as it means we’ll be able to enjoy the patio a lot sooner than we anticipated!
It also means we didn’t jump the gun on the furniture and replacement shed we got—which was our worry. No need tying up that money until we can actually use those things, right? With that upcoming work closer on the horizon and an extra day off with the Victoria Day long weekend, we decided to tackle another outdoor item that’s been nagging us for years: repainting roof trim on the porch and the mantel too. They were painted years ago (long before Emelia) and for the past few years have been needing to be redone as it was weathered and peeling. We decided we could no longer put that job off – especially now that we’ll soon have a new driveway and side yard patio.
Saturday’s forecast was the perfect weather for the job so we dug in earnest. Now, I am not a fan of heights (read: not at all) and Danielle is fairly comfortable with ladders so we decided she would be the chief painter and I would be the chief ladder steadier. Now, I did get up and do some scraping and used the air compressor to get all the dust and paint chips out of the way. But I was much happier on the ground. We were able to get all the parts that required a ladder done first and even got into some other sections as well before we called it for the day when the rain started. I was able to get the lawn done as well and we got some other yard work out of the way. By the end of the day we were both ready to relax.
The rest of this weekend we were treated to steady rain. As much as we would have loved to be camping this weekend as was the plan six months ago, the reality is when you’re not able to, and it rains for most of the weekend, you feel better about the not being allowed to part. Yesterday we got to experience the much slower velocity to grocery shopping with social distancing. What used to take us about an hour and a half between 3 grocery stores, took us almost 5 hours because of the precautionary measures in place. By no means am I complaining as it gave Danielle & I lots of time to talk about what we want to do with the patio while we waited in lines.
So, with any luck either later this week or next week our next major upgrade on the house will begin work. We’ve always loved our front porch as a place to sit out and enjoy either a coffee or a grown up beverage. The side yard has also gotten it’s fair share of use in the summer for patio BBQ dinners, but it’s not an area of the yard we have ever felt proud about. Especially around the back of the house as the deck that was built by two owners ago was never done properly and has slowly rotted away. I am over the moon at the amount of outdoor living space that we will be adding and that it will give us the ability to one day add a hot tub, which has always been a dream of mine and our year!
What a busy couple days! This backyard redo has taken a life of its own. The last couple weeks have felt like a whirlwind of activity. Our front porch right now looks a whole lot of ghetto with so much stuff piled on it to keep it safe and dry until the yard can be redone. We have outdoor furniture in the basement, the soon to be assembled shed boxes taking over the entire porch. The list keeps growing just to get this rotting deck replaced while I do not have to work around mini humans. It is going to be a very busy couple weeks but the transformation should be amazing.
So as we were finally dealing with the eyesore that was our backyard/deck we realized we needed to stop putting off the one big eye sore which was the peeling paint on the porch and some of the trim. The problem for us getting some of these projects done has been our conflicting schedules as well as working around Emelia’s sports, the little kids around the house all the time and well John and I work often opposite of each other. The one shining light of this pandemic is that John’s job has been a Monday to Friday work week for the first time since 2012! So we are finally taking care of all the nagging lists while at the same time being mindful that I am not on full income by far and that money could run out very soon.
We had decided when we were looking at the budget with our camping trip this weekend cancelled due to the pandemic we could take the money we would have spent on camping fees to buy paint and supplies to take care of the trim. It was a lot of work for what isnt a large area but the after pictures made it worth it for sure. I still have more work to do on the painting, I still have a few more hours of work do take care of but the weather needs to co-operate first.
The weather this weekend was about 70% crappy, Saturday was our only real good weather day. John and I spent most of it working outside but we did have one more fun things planned, something Emelia had been waiting for all week. About a week ago Stephanie (Olivia’s mom) and I were chatting about how much it sucked we were missing our camping trip and how much the girls missed seeing each other face to face, and well the grown-ups too. So we decided then we would have a driveway gathering. We would bring over our own drinks, own chairs, own snacks and keep at least 10 feet space between the families. It was amazing. We had such a great time, it was so great to see our close friends again and not only through texting. It did wonders for all our mental health!
The last couple days the weather has been crap so we took care of smaller things inside and continued to plan things out for the yard renovation. Yesterday John got to experince for the first time grocery shopping during the pandemic. I have taken the role of all the errands as well as sterilizing everything when it came home. John was originally going to be just the driver but then we opted with masks on we would go in together and get groceries done together as this was going to be our once a month big grocery stock up. What used to take me about an hour and a half ended up taking almost 5 hours from start to finish. Lines to get in, lines to get out, three stores, sterilizing everything when we got home and prepping. It is exhausting to say the least, but this is the new normal sadly.
Speaking of the pandemic next week parents are all anxiously waiting the government announcement tomorrow, the announcement that will determine the return of school and daycare centre re-opening. Most are fully expecting that the schools will be closed for the rest of the school year as it is far from safe. We have already told Emelia no matter the decision of the government she wont be returning to school this year, we are not prepared to experiment with this she can continue to learn safely from home. Online learning has not been ideal but we are all choosing safety over sending her back. Now to see if the government who has been saying they are taking a safe approach will do the same.