Happy Earth Day

Happy Earth Day!!

Lil’S woke up first thing this morning and scanned the yard for litter.  She somehow got it into her head that that was what we were supposed to do for Earth Day – pick up garbage.  It is not that that is a bad way to honour the earth, but I was imagining something more along the lines of THIS fine idea by the folks at Imagine Childhood.

There truly wasn’t much garbage to pick up so that activity was short-lived.  Next J and the girls then met up with some friends and walked down to Queen’s University to check out some flying squirrels as part of their earth day celebrations.  Lil’S tells me it looked like this:

And we went for a walk (how happy does a baby carrying, dog-walking kid make this mama?):

Lil’S stopped to practice drawing the flowers she saw:

Which she then used to make this (gotta love the studious approach to creating):

All in all a pretty nice day.  We are quite enjoying the activities that abound here in Kingston on days like these.  Speaking of, I didn’t have time to blog about the Earth Hour Celebrations put on by Kingston Unplugged a little while ago but I did want to share with you how wonderful it was…and suggest you definitely attend next year.  It was magnificent!

Laughter is the best medicine…


I always knew looking back on my tears would bring me laughter, but I never knew looking back on my laughter would make me cry.”

~ Cat Stevens

This is why I went home.  This is why the tears came the moment I heard something was wrong.  This is why it was so easy to hop on a plane…  Maybe it was to make her laugh.  Maybe it was to hear her laugh.  But I know for sure it was her laugh.

My littlest sister is one of the strongest, smartest, most amazing people I know.  She is also the funniest.  I used to be the funny sister.  I taught her everything I know.  I’m like SNL.  She is like Kristen Whiig.  There is funny.  Then there is incredible talent.  Damn funny this girl.

It is so hard to live far apart in moments like these.  I wish we lived closer.  I wish I could hear her laugh more.  I sincerely wish she had more reasons to laugh right now.

So after a weekend of navigating the health care system, putting things in order, having friends fill a freezer full of tasty food, hugging and kissing my niece and nephew with as much love as I could put into those hugs and kisses…I found myself here:

…in my sister’s hospital bed.  Two grown women fooling around just like we did when we were kids.  I’m not sure I could explain exactly what we were trying to do nor why we have a picture of it…but it was funny, I promise.

…And it felt so good to laugh…with her…not something I’ll ever take for granted again.

 

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and you might enjoy these other great moments in a not-so-great time:

…a game of Go Fish, or “Goldfish” as D liked to call it.

…I brought C to the hospital one evening for a quick snuggle with mama before bed.  I love that kid!

Closet Office DYI: for $25

After:

Just before we moved into this place, I thought I had it all figured out in terms of what would go where.  One item of furniture that did not fit where we imaged it would changed those plans and we had to do a quick rethink.  The rethink has worked but it left us without an office space.  Enter the hideous closet/pantry/???

Before:

I can’t really call these “true” before photos.  They are lacking the white MDF boards of various sizes that were hung across the wooden “DYI shelf-holder-uppers” that you see in the photo above.  The top shelf had three of these MDF boards making up a top shelf that was so deep you couldn’t reach what would be at the back.  There was also a clothing bar across the closet.  We couldn’t tell if they had used it as an actual closet for clothes or a pantry.  It wasn’t in the kitchen (but kinda close-ish), it wasn’t near a door to the outside so it couldn’t have been used for those kind of clothes, it wasn’t in a bedroom…

Since we couldn’t figure out what to use it for, it became a sort of catch-all (never a good thing).  One day I cleared out all of the junk we had put there “to be sorted later”.  I stood inside and realized that it was actually quite large.  It took some convincing, my J eventually saw that my office space idea was genius.  So J repaired the walls and painted it with the last few drops of paint left over from painting the living room, dining room and addition (= no extra cost, yay!).  The electrician happened to be doing work on the rest of the house that week and we asked her to put in a plug-in for us.  We took off the hideous closet door you can sort of see in the above photo…

…and we got this far : ).  We found our old cork board in the basement (which originally had been free).  J cut a door out in the garage to fit and it became our desk.  The chair you can barely make out in the bottom right hand corner got a make over (see very first pic…ASCP in Pure White).  And you can see…it turned into a catch-all once again.

Slowly progress was made.  Remember the Chalk Paint we used to upcycle our metal shelves?  Well, there was a bit more left so we painted the desk with it…which makes it free in my mind.  We also used it to paint an MDF shelving unit from my youth so I’d say we are definitely getting our money worth with this stuff.  We also used the Annie Sloan Soft Wax to protect it since the desk is likely going to see a lot of traffic.

More progress…we painted the same wood pieces that they had been using to hold up the shelves before with some left over paint from when we painted our old place before we moved.  Then we were actually able to re-use the white MDF board that they had used as shelves…just needed a good cleaning!

Now this is where the cost of $25 came in.  This wire file folder from Home Sense was PERFECT for this space.  It just fit into the space off to the side and it is very functional.  I think it makes the space.

I painted the cork board with the Chalk Paint as well.  Nothing is perfect in this room but I think it is an amazing transformation!

The fact that this closet is so deep makes for a really great desk surface…so much room to do work on.

Unfortunately the plant can’t live in here…it looks great but there is no window and the light from the other room doesn’t reach it well enough to sustain life.

And since I took you on a “light tour” of our house, this post wouldn’t be complete without a pic of the light in the new office.

So…what do you think?