• copyright cjh beyondelsewhere 2019
    pook house,  the anomaly that is me

    thoughts, conflicted

    You know what I have wanted since I was a teenager? To move out of my Province and to another one. And it’s taken decades for this to become a reality, and it’s a precarious situation that I am still paranoid will fall apart. But here we are. Two weeks from our moving date, and two days from heading to the new house to await deliveries and internet set up. Yet… When we decided at the end of summer last year, that after a ton of crappy stuff was going on, that this was actually the best opportunity to make the change in our lives we have talked about for years… well, we weren’t expecting it to go like this. The house took longer than we’d hope to sell. But it sold. Yay! And it sold before the world turned upside down because of the current pandemic situation. But now, a move to another province, when everything is in lock down is just scary. And frustrating. And making me feel guilty for originally being excited that we are moving to Ontario, and that I’ll be closer to my mother! I can’t even see my Mum right now. Who knows when that will be allowed again. And we close on the house at the end of this month, but we’ve rented a place (for a year. Yet another thing that was not planned.) and we’ve got movers booked for mid-month. And I am so scared we will get a call that…

  • copyright cjh beyondelsewhere 2019
    pook house


    FINALLY! I mean, the stress and anxiety aren’t completely out of the picture, but at least our house is sold! That was a very long six months. I am so thankful to have a friend who is also a wonderful real estate agent, and is much better at being calm than I am. I am also thankful that we don’t have to go sit in our car for an hour, with two dogs and a cat, in some random parking lot so people can look at our house for 5 seconds. And so much floor cleaning. My gods. Not that we live in filth, but we don’t clean like someone’s about to judge our house from floor to ceiling every second day. The housing market here is much slower than where we’re heading to in Ontario. There, houses sell within hours. Crazy I tell you! The job hunt is in full swing, and the house hunt has run into an obstacle but not an insurmountable one. Looks like we will be renting a place while we wait for the perfect house to buy. It’s king of disappointing, and frustrating, but it’s not the end of the world. And it’s a normal thing that happens all the time. We simply didn’t want to move all our stuff TWICE in a short amount of time. (Hello, 300-pound treadmill.) But it’s better than ending up in a place we don’t really like, right? I keep telling myself that. Mostly, I am just relieved…

  • pook house

    classin’ up the joint

    When we first moved in, the first thing we did was buy a set of wood venetian blinds for the living room. (I thought I had a photo of when we got them, but I can’t find it in my archives, so here’s a stock photo from our second year in the house.) We loved those blinds and had them custom fit to our oddly-sized living room window. Just before Christmas the blind started to break. Something became tangled and broken inside the mechanics of it and we couldn’t open and close them. We had to do it manually, but mostly the slats were in a permanent semi-open position. Ugh. It just wasn’t something in our budget or a huge priority to fix and it really wasn’t hurting anything. It was just annoying and… not very pretty. But we rarely have anyone over and to be honest, our coffee table was already chewed up by Sophie, so people who did come over would be more likely to see the chewed table than notice the blinds. But the last couple of months, the strings that held up the blinds were fraying  To the point that one side was almost completely undone and the last thing we wanted was for the slats to come tumbling down on the dogs. So we decided we would go out and look for something to replace them. I did not want to spend another $300 or so dollars to have custom blinds fitted again. Especially right now while finances are rather…

  • pook house

    canadian tire makes me happy

    For a while now, we have been thinking of maybe moving our TV from the basement to the main floor. Not that we watch it. Heck, we don’t even have cable! We do have Apple TV and various gaming consoles, but we don’t go in the basement nearly as often as we used to. I hardly ever go down there anymore, except to shower (and since our shower is broken, I normally take a bath up on the second floor!). I have my grandmother’s old cedar chest in the living room. Sometimes I decorate it. Most of the time it looks like this… Not a pretty sight, you know? I have been lusting after those electric fireplaces forever… they would be great to hang stockings from with care! So imagine my surprise when I looked at the Canadian Tire circular this weekend and saw that they had sales one something that combined both a TV stand AND an electric fireplace! I like this one: (Link) And Shawn likes this one: (Link) They are both pretty expensive, but they are on sale until Thursday. Not sure what to do about it. Anyhow, we went and looked at them to get an idea of what they looked like in person. (Sort of cheap.) We also want a wheelie kitchen cart/island thing and the ones we keep seeing are SO EXPENSIVE! Ugh. Looks like you can’t get a nice inexpensive ones, but the ones we keep seeing LOOK and FEEL so cheap. Decor…

  • jinx's garden,  pook house

    jinx’s garden

    On May 12 I bought plants at the Farmer’s Market and planted a little garden in the back yard. Happiness in green. I bought one tomato plant, one cherry tomato plant, one box with some green pepper sprouts, one with red peppers, two tiny English cucumber sprouts and some herbs: cilantro, parsley, mint, basil, lemon thyme and, um, one other I can’t think of right now. Oops. Generally it’s not safe to plant anything before our long-weekend in May, which was the weekend AFTER I planted. I took a chance though because the long-term forecast looked hot and sunny. Such tiny little green things. May 21. Two weeks after I planted, I repotted the tomato plants and added extra earth to the “garden” plot. I was worried about my regular tomatoes because I’d gone too long between getting it and finding a bigger pot to plant it in. Thankfully it came back to life. It’s ALIIIIVE! I water the little garden every night that it doesn’t rain. After dinner I’d go out and hose the garden for 15 or so minutes to make sure the earth stayed moist and delicious for those plants. Then I started to notice something… This is my garden, Mummy. Jinx would also come out and do the rounds with me. He was very protective of this little garden. He’d follow me from plant to plant as I inspected, pruned and weeded. Once he’d finish inspecting the plants himself (each one) he’d sit back and allow…

  • pook house

    what i did on my christmas vacation

    I painted. I know I have uploaded photos to facebook and twitter already but because I couldn’t upload them to my actual blog server until it was fixed late this week, I’m finally updating my blog. 😉 This paint job took 4 days because our King size bed is too much bed for anyplace other than our bedroom. We took everything else out of the room, covered the bed with plastic and pushed it into a corner. We did two walls first and then finished with the rest of the room. This takes a while because paint takes a while to dry and we had to make sure that the old colour was decently covered. The old colour sucked. It suck, suck, suckitty-sucked. We never did paint when we moved in. Mostly because the bed was the first thing delivered and we only had the ONE bed and we were moving in right away. I didn’t want to sleep on the floor in another room while we waited for this one to be done. Plus? I had no idea what I wanted to paint. However after 4 years of restless sleep in this cigarette-butt orange room, I decided, ENOUGH! Originally we were going to paint last February but during the time I took off work to do this I had laser eye surgery instead. Plus at that time I wanted my colours to be navy blue and white. I think switching to the cooler blue was a better choice to…

  • pook house

    look what i can do!!

    I can load dishes into a dishwasher AND CLEAN THEM!! *dances* *dances some more* *dances with the dishwasher* If you don’t know the story, you’ll not understand exactly HOW BIG OF A DEAL this is. You see in early November 2008 the dishwasher that came with the house died a horrible, messy death. My father-in-law was very sick at the time so we never mentioned the problem as he would have tried to come over and replace it with my old (new) dishwasher which was sitting at the other end of the kitchen at the time. We didn’t mention it for a long time as he got better and then when we finally did mention it we just couldn’t get together for the time it would take to repair it. Never did I think it would take almost 2 years to replace! Good heavens. But today my in-laws came over with goodies – a new (to us) double bed, faucet for the kitchen sink and my father-in-law thought he’d take a look at the dishwashers to see what could be done. Just getting the old one (that came with the house) out was a trial. I thought that would be the worst part, apparently I was way wrong. When I bought my dishwasher in 2003 I was told all I had to do was take off the top and sides and it would fit into a counter space. Little did we know that the counter in this house wasn’t normal…

  • pook house

    the vegetation war rages on

    Wages on? Is it the war wages on? Stupid idioms. Anyhow, today I recruited Shawn to my cause – Dig Up Evil Vine Roots. The palms of my hands are bruised and swollen from Friday’s adventures in gardening and I am just not strong enough to have dug up that stupid tree-like root. Shawn almost wasn’t either but – we got it! Here is half of it. The root is so thick and goes so deep, we’re actually worried it’s made its way into our foundation. I was going to leave the middle vine as some sort of “greenery” but once we had the “oh, crap! The foundation!” thought, away went the middle vine! This one I let Shawn tackle all on his own. It was the largest clump but it came out pretty easily. This one also has thick, deep roots that will come back to haunt us. But for now it’s dead-ish. Pile o’ roots. Stupid blasted roots. And you’ll note the tissue box on the steps as well. My allergies are bad enough right now that I am quite foolish to be messing with the vegetation rather than staying away from it. But I want this stuff out of my yard! Jinx was helping us recycle our vegetation. Such a good boy. And after an hour of digging and root-pulling, we finally got this front garden part to look slightly better. There are still random roots taunting us by sticking up, but damn it! We can’t seem…

  • pook house,  the anomaly that is me

    what to do? what to do?

    So I am off work this week. Well, it’s only 3 days really since tomorrow and Tuesday work is closed due to the Canada Day holiday. Plus I’m about to celebrate my 3rd wedding anniversary (what? already??) but my point is this… I wanted to paint things this week while off. I wanted to finish the trim and baseboards in the living room (saving the ceiling for later when I am not alone and can fall off ladders – and yes the living room is still unfinished, but the walls are done, so who cares?). I want to paint the basement. Not the main room where we watch TV and waste our lives away on the computers, but the room, um, foyer thing, inbetween the stairs and this room. I don’t even know what it would be called. You know… THIS one… (just ignore the snowman decoration on top of the watercooler base… *ahem*) Anyhow… so I want to paint this room-ish place only I don’t know what colours to use (something light and bright and not too jarring for any potential home buyers when we might need them in the future) AND it’s so bloody humid with all the rain and heat and crap that I don’t know if the paint will even DRY in the basement. But I WANT to paint it. I NEED to paint it. I HATE looking at these awful beige-dirty walls and I want them gone! (One day I will also get rid of…

  • pook house

    what’s going on in my backyard – right now!

    You wanted deck photos, I got you deck photos – only it’s not finished so you’ll just have to be happy with what I have. The men are out buying more screws and I am in the basement appeasing my demanding readers! Note Foreman Jinx inspecting the work… Hmm, this seems to be level. Foreman Jinx is wiped out from a morning of supervision. And, more importantly my new hair cut (self-inflicted).

  • pook house

    sweat, blood & tears

    Three hours and one almost-severed finger later, we finally have a new BBQ. Seeing as how it tried to kill me it bad better make damn good food. RRRRAWRRR! Me hungy! Must! Eat! Fingers! RRRAWWRRR!!!

  • pook house

    85% finished!

    At least things are more or less back in place and we don’t have to paint those bloody walls anymore! Here are some shots of the more-or-less finished room! Still need to hang the elephant bums painting back up over the couch, but other than that, my living room-slash-dining room is back to normal! We’ve got the ceilings to do still as I mentioned and I can’t wait to take those stupid hooks out of the ceiling! Then I will plaster over the holes and woo! new room!

  • pook house

    hi! it’s me again!

    Can it be? Are our walls finally finished? I think so! Next step – moldings and baseboards! Whee! I was trying to find a way to show you the colours we are using in the living room-slash-dining room, but it was hard to get a good shot. However, I discovered that Behr has website where you can browse their colours! How exciting! So I did a sneaky little Print Screen and viola! The green and white we will be using in the room! The main colour is the Egyptian Nile and we’ll be doing the trim Cottage White (which looks much better in person that on this website thingy). The chianti is also cool, but I am not sure if we can use it for anything, though Shawn was suggesting the kitchen, I think it might be a little too dark even as an accent. I might go a little lighter with the kitchen and have the compliments white. Of course this would make our main floor sort of look perma-Christmas, and I don’t know how I feel about that. 🙂

  • life with dogs,  pook house

    then and now

    So one year ago, this was Easter weekend and I was moving into the lovely house I am currently sitting in and writing to you from. One year ago. Can you even believe that? I can’t. It all went by so fast. Granted, Leap Year happened at the end of February, as it tends to do every four years, and so the dates are all screwy. We moved in on April 6, 2007 and that was a Friday and now it’s a Sunday, but the weekend is the same! I was going to post some Then and Now-type photos but decided against it for now since the rooms upstairs are in a shambles as we were repainting that last wall earlier for what will hopefully be the LAST BLOODY TIME! (Though I don’t think so because I was just up there now and there are some pretty bad streaks. GAH! This wall will be the death of me!) Once the room is back together the way it should be (with streak-less walls) I will take a photo. Technically I could use the ones in this post, but the walls aren’t painted yet and it’s not the way it is NOW. So I can’t. Yes, I am that persnickety about things! I am most cranky about the streaks on the wall upstairs. I just put all the frickin’ paint stuff away, too! Argh! I am not impressed and I can’t just leave it like that, it’ll bother the heck out of…

  • pook house,  various & sundry

    spackling – my new calling in life

    I don’t think I have ever thought of spackle as something relaxing, but I swear to god it’s one of the most cathartic things ever to fill in little holes on the wall with plaster and smooth it all out. I was having so much fun! The painting, however? Not so much fun as… OW! Darnitall my lower back is KILLING me! I didn’t think I could get off the couch earlier this evening. Jeez. I woke up about a quarter after eight this morning (ugh, and it’s a long weekend, too!) my throat is still really bothering and so after I made my self a nice cup of tea, I broke out the painting supplies. By ten to nine I had taped the floor and the ceiling and put the paper and plastic cover thing down and started to paint. Shawn got up a little after ten and by then I had pretty much finished the wall by the backdoor and we started on the wall on the side of the kitchen. By 12:30 two walls were done – not even full walls and I was ready to collapse. Ugh. Of course I also hadn’t eaten yet… So we ordered chicken, watched some TV and then went back up around three to put on the second coat on the two walls. It’s a little difficult to tell how dark the new green is, but it’s really nice. As you can tell, the wall on the right of the photo…