Saturday, 12 July 2014

Phase III: Foyer.c.

that piece over there on the left, isn't attached to a goddamn thing.
The Vortex:

It is time to talk about how 619 bends (affectionately referred to as the vortex).

Up until our floor-plan major re-constitution in the Kitchen and Dining, there was a prominent slump in the centre of the house. It has been determined that this is due to the idiots that lived here, and several events we have discovered while rehabilitating this beautiful old house (considering its exceptionally poor condition upon our arrival: worst house in best neighbourhood indeed).

The main beam had the load support removed at one time (suspect #1), the main floor supporting wall was literally just dangling 2x4's inside the plaster when we arrived (Dining Room/Kitchen), there was a fire in the Basement (bad bad bad Real Estate Agent did NOT disclose this information until we were being handed the keys) by which it's extinguishment methods further damaged & weakened the subfloor to the Kitchen/Foyer (as well as being a major contributor to the awful brittle state of all the wood trims & panelling), there were heavy smokers inside here long enough to saturate their stench deep into the walls and wood as well as poke holes in every fecking window screen, there is evidence of the appropriate past vermin infestation equal to the level of neglect, and as we repaired the Family Bath there is A FECKING JOIST MISSING (removed so as to accommodate indoor plumbing). Say whaaaaaaat? Yup yup... it's true.

Although these crimes have been repaired (the main support was teleposted before our occupancy) by our renovations in so far (wahoo for the Man & his mad skills!), and the over 6" slump in the centre of the house that behaves alike a sci-fi wormhole sucking into it's dismal gravity the walls/floors/ceiling/willtolive isn't vastly apparent any longer, it's still a part of our story and helps describe the desperate plight of rehabilitating this abode. That's right, bitches, GOLD STAR for us.

We (the adults) come from a generation of "the disposable" and have worked very hard at reversing our social programming to value 1. our planetary home 2. our fellow humans. Taking on this money pit dwelling is all about making things last a lifetime through repairing what's broken, and investing in it's future so as not to end up levelled for a new-build (to which the condition of this home was slotted for). So, yah, on the surface it may look like we're culprits much like the idiots that lived here as we rip stuff out to fix stuff right, but if y'all haters calm the f*ck down and read what we're up to here at the Erleichda house, you may get the relief of understanding we're aligned with good ole-timey values of quality and sustainability (or if anything, to unapologetically document the process of learning to lighten up!). Also, we like to make buttloads of money so we work our asses off taking the time and energy to fix shit by hand (infusing more quality workmanship the assholes who live here 100 years-in-the-future can rip out because they want a more trendy space #painfullyselfaware). It's a delicate balance between restoring and modernizing, being honest and embracing change, the enlightenment to hold two opposite thoughts simultaneously, and protecting our investment by honouring what resources are available/existing. Level up!

Seeing the burnt & rotten state of this subfloor is the first time, in all this time, we were brought to exasperated tears (and there have been some hard times, chronicled here on point if not demonstrated by our tough-yet-trying-to-still-find-the-light demeanour that has developed over the breadth of these renovations). No sobbing or tears-to-laughter brand of weeping, but a slack-jawed eyes wide silent tears of resignation. That bloody vortex.

So we fix this sh*t. Now.

Thank stars this is something we CAN fix.

Wish us luck, folks.

(And follow the Renovation Diary here)

Friday, 4 July 2014

Intermission: Summer 2014.a.

WMCI class of 2014. photo cred: Pops Irvine

double tap

619 kaleidoscope. photo cred: Melanie

Ms. Lauryn Hill. photo cred: Michelle Berg

Aside from the OMG THIS IS WHAT SUMMER FEELS LIKE WHEN WE'RE NOT RENOVATING EVERYTHING ALL THE TIME general tomfoolery going on over here, there's a load of this & that we're bouncing around.

The Big Projects: Packing up the other job from seasonal tours (the last ever, may we add!), handling the interactive Foyer project, picking away at the Basement, working on minor Exterior fixin' while the weather is appeasing, and hardcore saving pennies for the Garden because our transient ghetto garden in the hot mess of our yard is super fecking ugly (although it is also super fecking effective).

The Smaller Projects: our perfect & finished Kitchen and Main Bath are getting a minor facelift (the Bath just accepted hookups to a washer/dryer for when the Basement Suite is renting, which took out 1/2 the walls... so "repairs were a great opportunity for change". The Kitchen just kinda happened as spill-over from there). The Family Bath and it's adjoining Stairwell and 2nd floor landing are also in the process of becoming "lived in". Yes... General tweaking and putzing around is afoot. Which brings mixed feelings about how much we really love this house, and the inevitability that it isn't our forever home. So... focussing on gratitude that we are able to experience the privilege of living & working in this home for whatever time that may be, and enjoying ourselves. 

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Phase III: Garden.b. (Ghetto 2014)

the Ghetto Garden:
Due to ye ole "lack of funds" song & dance (that has become increasingly familiar as we now find ourselves living in an almost-finished-and-fecking-beautiful Interior), the Garden has been pushed around... leaving us without fresh aslocalasyoucanget produce to nosh upon for several years, which was insufferable for our idealist bullshit. So... Ghetto Garden was birthed. Walkin' the walk, y'all.

Yah... we also do that weeding by hand/chemical free/companion planting hippie crap. Oh quit it... with all the shitty side-effects on your health from the neurotoxins and other lovely mass-production methods that are destroying our planet those corporate farms use... you know you wanna too.

Researching for 15 years (since our younger days on the Farm) on the best container gardening methods was very darned helpful when deciding what exactly we were to do about our predicament. Now was the perfect time to test them out. We have the

1. Kiddie pools with Tomatoes (and Peppers)
Currently taking off. Yes, we've been warned of the effects of over-abundant tomato-production. Yes, we have a plan to offload our bounty if it becomes unbearable.
This method seems to be ok... but we've learned it's not specific to our mosquito-plagued climate (holes were drilled in the pools to render them useless as water-collectors of the "wicking" effect, so there's that), and also that the burlap coffee-sacs (totally sourced) are the perfect medium for a chia-effect weed partay (the bags sprout a zombie-apocalypse scale of weeds out their sides and if the weeds aren't pulled, create knarly holes in the sacs, so there's that too) that will ultimately render them unreuseable.
Oh... and it's really really ugly.

2. 5 gallon pails (with Squashes & Eggplants)
Our previously favoured container-garden method. We have tried it this time using sqaushes... which are growing like gangbusters, but we fear may become so entangled and overgrown to manage as the summer matures. We'll see!
Oh... and this is also really really ugly.

3. Reused palettes (with Greens)
This is working out as awesome as the re-useing palette trend is! Nice, neat little defined rows for the OCD gardener. It's a winner. And it's pretty! Hope to use this somewhere in the final-garden plans :)

4. Existing planter (with Cucumber, Tomatoes, Peas, Carrots, and Herbs)
We've used this planter every year for a few Tomatoes/Peppers and Herbs just to keep us in contact with dirt under our fingernails. It's difficult to believe why planting flowers is so popular (with the exception of bee or butterfly friendly flower gardens), when eating plants is so damn good.

We didn't get around to making the Potato box by the compost, setup for the Chickens or Mushrooms, and still working on hooking up the rain barrels/eaves. But, that's how she goes...

Currently enjoying from the (ghetto) Garden:
Basil (fresh, and made into Pesto). Green Onion. Oregano. Parsley. Rhubarb. Radishes. Rosemary. Baby Greens. Sunshine.

Thankful we are, for the journey & the work, and any potential future harvest.