End of the School Year

We made it!

My four sons completed an entire school year as virtual learners and I made it through an entire year of teaching preschool in-person. I absolutely never want to experience teaching and learning during a pandemic – or any other crisis – ever again but I think we made it as successful as possible. The boys also had some opportunities that may not have been available to them in a regular year – such as participating in online film festivals and attending conferences. I think we can all agree, however, that this year was incredibly exhausting and that we were glad to get to the end of the school year.

We had another birthday to celebrate since I last wrote a personal blog post. Our youngest son turned 12 at the end of May. We were lucky to have some lovely weather which enabled us to celebrate with an outdoor activity. I would call this crazy golf but it is apparently known as mini golf around here. Thanks to some childhood experiences, I find crazy golf makes me feel stressed and anxious so I chose to spectate rather than actively participate. The course was fun, well-designed, and had an appropriate level of challenge for kids spanning the ages of my brood. The 15 and 12 year olds even managed to achieve a hole-in-one each. Everyone indulged in delicious milkshakes at the end of the course.

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Over a year of being largely stuck at home meant our tired and shabby family living room was really starting to annoy us so our Spring project was refreshing that room. You can see what the previous makeover of this room like in a previous blog post. We did not undertake any major DIY but we replaced the carpet – as we still had the carpet installed by the previous owners, one that was really getting worn and grotty – and bought new sofas. The whole room now feels much lighter while still being cozy. I have more DIY and home organization projects to undertake over the summer break – things I could not get around to while everyone was learning and working from home – but my first big jobs are turning all of our rooms back to domestic spaces. The makeshift classrooms descended into chaotic rats’ nests towards the end of the school year and I am more than ready to transition them back and reclaim them.

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I am trying to get back into the habit of making regular time for art. It was absolutely impossible in the last couple of months, however, as my schedule was ridiculously difficult to navigate. I would have needed to clone myself to make it work smoothly. I, therefore, continued with my Post-It note habit, still taking inspiration from the movies my kids have been loving. These two examples both happen to be from Japanese movies, ‘Good Morning’ and ‘Hara-Kiri’.

PostIt - Good Morning
PostIt - Hara-Kiri

Two of our kids are moving on to new places in their education. Our 14 year old is now done with Middle School and will be heading off to High School in September. He has been learning to cook over the past few months and especially enjoys getting up on weekend mornings to make chocolate chip pancakes for him and his brothers. He is also really into digital art now.

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The big milestone is that our oldest son graduated from High School. This was a whole new experience for us as people as well as parents. My husband attended an international school so he did not have the American version of graduating. There were no festivities for me when I left school. My “milestone” was simply leaving my last school exam. I snapped my pencil in half and walked home. No celebration of any kind. The whole graduation thing was actually pretty overwhelming. Despite opting out of lots of “side missions”, there was an awful lot to keep on top of and process. Every time I thought I had a handle on what was required, I would realize there was another piece of critical information I was missing or something I did not understand. There was so much assumed knowledge in communications about graduation with no accommodations for we ignorant immigrant parents. Keeping on top of all the moving parts was actually quite a slog. Even the evening itself did not pass off without a few glitches but we (just) made it in time and had a lovely time marking the conclusion to our son’s school career.

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First Day of Virtual School

Can I just state that I deserve all of the acting awards for insisting to my kids that everything about online education would be functional (I made sure not to oversell with superlatives I could not deliver on) while behind the facade I was pivoting between screaming panic and weeping skepticism.  As a parent, I am obliged to create an atmosphere of calm for my offspring but there was one day earlier this month where I hid out in a closet so I could weep tears of rage and frustration.  Weird fact about me:  I really don’t cry very often but, when I do, it is usually because I am a human pressure cooker and it is a release of frustration.  I have had to contend with a sudden influx of a gazillion emails per child, some of which has content so opaque that I needed to be an espionage level code breaker to figure it out.  And some of those emails also contradict each other and contain broken links.  So that’s great.  Meanwhile my gigantic kitchen pin board is so chock full of print outs of schedules and associated material that it looks like a crime solving board from a police procedural show.  All I need is the red string.

However, the boys each have a designated study area – or areas in the case of one child – and their own chromebooks so everything looks organized and ordered.  Calm space for a calm mind, right?

I now have a Senior:

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A High School Freshman:

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An 8th Grader:

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And a 6th Grader embarking on Middle School:

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And apparently Peanut decided it was his first day as Cheerleading School Mascot:

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Luckily I was home for the first day of school.  Going forwards, however, I am back in my preschool classroom so the boys will be flying solo at online school.  This should not pose too much of a difficulty for my older children but it is a bit of a stressor when it comes to my youngest.  He is not only transitioning to Middle School – having to navigate different subjects and teachers and stay on top of a schedule – but he is also a student with an IEP used to having support.  Since he has both autism and ADD (of the inattentive kind), learning through the medium of a screen is far from ideal.  I have reduced my hours at work for the short term (thanks to some understanding colleagues) so that I can be home in the afternoons to function as his aide.  Hopefully he picks up the routine and operating systems quickly.  I am also thankful to have sons who have agreed to check in with him when they have breaks between classes or study hall.

It is certainly going to be a memorable school year!

Our May in Lockdown

I mentioned in a previous post that our 14 year old was busy manufacturing everyone’s Christmas gifts.  Well, it turned out that he both didn’t have the patience and couldn’t contain his excitement long enough to wait for December so instead, on May the 4th (ie Star Wars Day), he presented us with the gifts he had made for each member of the family.  He had crafted recycled cardboard, hot glue, and paint in order to make us each our very own custom lightsaber.  He thought about our personalities and designed lightsabers that symbolised aspects of us.  He even inserted a kyber crystal into each hilt.  He wanted his 13 year old brother to have a lightsaber that came apart so he had niftily connected the parts with magnets so it could separate and click back together again.  And now he is coming up with ideas for Christmas gifts!

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I also got crafty in that I created a Flat Miss Laura for each of my preschool students.  I had been contemplating a way to create a digital version but I am a numpty when it comes to a lot of technology and my kids protested they were too busy to help me so I had to go for the low tech option.  I simply drew and painted a simplified self-portrait, scanned it as a PDF, and emailed it out to my students.  I had included supplies for making stick puppets in the packets I sent home with my students and some of them decided to make puppets of classmates and act out scenes from the classroom using Flat Miss Laura.  It was cute.  And, of course, I have also been working diligently on my challenge to draw 180 Star Wars characters.  My routine is to get the drawing part done while supervising my youngest son working on Math and then I paint when he is working on Reading.  I cannot get anything else done when he is working on subjects like Science but it seems to be a good system.

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Meanwhile the hard slog of distance learning continues.  Weirdly, my 14 year old is actually thriving in this system where he has more flexibility over his schedule and the order in which he works on different subjects.  While the teachers are all doing their absolute best with this unexpected challenge, my 17 and 13 year olds both feel they are not being adequately taught the subject content and are, therefore, largely self-teaching.  My 17 year old has also been taking AP exams online which presented us with a challenge since our electricity and WiFi kept cutting out (too many people all on devices at once in a house with 1970s electrics).  Thankfully we made it work and he has now completed most of the exams without any technical glitches.  As for the youngest, distance learning continues to be a challenge.  Since has has both ADD and ASD, there are some advantages in that he is not in a classroom full of distractions and sources of sensory overload.  However, as a student with an IEP, it is challenging for me as a non-specialist to figure out the best way to differentiate the work being set.  In addition to overseeing his academic instruction, I also have to deliver his social skills development work (which is kind of laughable in a context in which he cannot practice with anyone outside the nuclear family) and deliver his Speech Therapy work.  I would be lying if I said I was not counting down the days until school officially ends – except I am also trepidatious about how to create structure and routine during a very different summer break.

We have had some creative teaching going on, however.  My oldest son had to make tacos one Tuesday for his Spanish class and he made guacamole to go with it.  My 14 year old had to create a musical instrument that demonstrated different sound frequencies and opacities for science class.  I didn’t understand the lesson objectives either but he did his best and fulfilled the brief.  And my youngest has been doing all sorts of bonkers gym activities, including a Rubik’s puzzle inspired running activity and basketball with a balloon.

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We have also continued to contribute to any neighbourhood activities for the youngest members of our community when they are out on a stroll.  Our favourite was setting up a Zoo using stuffed animals displayed alongside random facts about each animal.  We have also been doing things like making signs expressing gratitude for essential workers.

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We also had two causes for excitement and celebration last month.  Firstly, our 14 year old submitted a short film to his school’s first ever movie festival.  He press-ganged his brothers into acting and cinematography roles and got very creative with our limited location and props.  We had to laugh while watching the festival because our kid’s film was so much darker in its themes than all of the other submissions.  He was inspired by filmmakers like Alfred Hitchcock and Robert Eggers and it was creepy, had zero dialogue, and was filmed in monochrome.  All of the students involved did a great job but we were thrilled when it was announced that our son was the winner of the festival.  He worked really hard on his submission and studying movies is a passion of his so we were really proud of his achievement and what it means for him in terms of encouraging his creativity and rewarding his film literacy.

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But the really big celebration we had this month was my youngest’s 11th birthday.  This is our fourth lockdown birthday.  We don’t have another birthday in our household until October.  Only time will tell what the context for that birthday will be.  The theme was cats because he is completely and utterly obsessed with cats.  Now that he is 11, our youngest child is now older than our oldest child was when we emigrated here.  What’s more, he is the last of our children in Elementary School and will be transitioning into Middle School in September – whatever school looks like then.  This birthday, therefore, feels like a big milestone for us as parents too.

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We went for a nature ramble with the specific aim of seeing some local wildlife.  We encountered several frogs, including a chubby bullfrog tadpole, turtles, and a snake basking on a log.  The latter was my first snake encounter of the summer.  I think it’s a Northern Water Snake.  We often have garter snakes on our property but I have not seen any so far.  We do, however, have some fox cubs who trot around our yard and recently there has even been a coyote in the neighbourhood – though I have not seen it with my own eyes.

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And, of course, I have to include some photos of the other members of our household: Satchi and Peanut.

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Kids and Cats in Quarantine

Since we obviously have not been on any family day trips or outings, I am not generating much blog fodder.  I thought, therefore, I would just share some of the things we have been up to at home in these last 6 weeks.

Distance learning has become a big part of our weekdays.  The homeschool day does not last as long as the actual school day but it is still pretty demanding and somewhat intense.  This is especially the case with adapting to all of the technology and software.  The older three boys are more used to using their chromebooks for school work but it has been a complete switch in modes of learning for our youngest son and he and I have been on a steep learning curve.  My oldest son has to rescue us at least once per day, usually more.  We are gradually settling into a routine and rhythm, however, and everyone has found their preferred space for working.

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My 14 year old is definitely the Pict family member who is making the most of lockdown.  He has almost finished making everyone’s Christmas presents already, he created some Mad Max inspired cars, and he made a large batch of beef jerky that should have lasted him and his brothers a lot longer than it did.

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We’ve been doing some goofy stuff, like messing around with the google animal photos feature, but we have also participated in some fun neighbourhood activities aimed at entertaining the youngest members of the community when they are on their daily walks.  We had love hearts for them to spot, an Easter/Spring themed hunt, set out teddy bears for “Going on a Bear Hunt”, and several other themes so far.

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I had to process the fact that my year with my preschool students had come to an abrupt end.  Then I set about making them “learning at home” packets and my oldest son helped me make videos of storybook readings.

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The cats seem to be enjoying having us all home 24/7.  Peanut, the ginger cat, is very much a people person and lap cat (or anywhere on your body cat) so he is in his element being permanently attached to someone.  Satchi, the fluffy, grey, three-legged cat, still picks and chooses when he wants to interact with us but he seems to be enjoying having more options throughout the day.  As you can see, he loves to squeeze himself into tiny boxes.

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We’ve played lots of board games, eaten a lot of home baking, the older boys have been indulging in movie marathons, and we are generally just keeping ourselves busy and balancing out time apart with time together.  We certainly haven’t grasped this as an opportunity for self-improvement (not so far anyway) but we are muddling along just fine.  Life is weird and strange right now, certainly somewhat unsettling, but life is also good and it is useful to stop and reflect on that now and again.

Basement Makeover

As you may recall, our basement flooded in late June.  We lost a great number of possessions, the damage was pretty catastrophic, and my stress levels were elevated for several months as we dealt with the aftermath, including a lengthy renovation process.

A week after the initial flood, our basement was a shell.  Most of the walls had been ripped out, the carpeting was gone, fried electrical equipment had been disconnected, but things were dry, our insurance company paid out pretty quickly (though the funds covered a small fraction of the costs), and we had accepted that we had a long road ahead of us.  Incidentally, we had to pay a fine for not having pulled a permit giving us permission to conduct the demolition – even though the insurance company, health and safety, and common sense required that we complete the demolition on far too tight a timeline for that to have been feasible.

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Fighting through layers upon layers of red tape was a persistent, aggravating, and stressful theme of this whole restoration process.  As with so much of our contact with bureaucracy, we found that we were caught in this perpetual Catch 22 of submitting paperwork which we were then told could not be accepted and filed because it was missing some components or that more detail was required but they could not inform us as to what we needed to do to successfully amend it.  Over and over this was our experience.  Thankfully the inspectors that came to the house were always pleasant and helpful but, man, there were a lot of inspections for us to get through at various stages of the work.  This, therefore, extended the timeline for the whole project as work would have to shut down in order for us to be inspected, submit the next permit, and be given permission to proceed to the next stage of work.  It was frustrating and mentally exhausting.

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As I wrote before, we were grateful that, while our basement was finished, it was overdue for a makeover.  I think the basement had been finished in the late 1970s with a bit of remediation work done some point in the 1980s.  We, therefore, decided to focus on the silver lining of having this opportunity to really turn this useful but dark and dated space into a light and appealing living space.  Having the space reduced to its bare bones even provided us with the ability to spruce up the electrics and the airflow for heating.  We installed two egress windows so that we could turn the basement into living space, including a bedroom, and those let in a whole lot more light than the hideous windows there before.

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Anyway, after all of the hassle, expense, stress, and frustration, we now have two lovely rooms in the basement.  One is a teenage hangout space for our four boys (which they are especially loving during this social distancing time) and one is a bedroom that means all four of our boys can now have their own bedrooms.  Our soon-to-be 13 year old has the basement bedroom and is loving it.

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We still have some decorating to do in the basement – pictures up on the wall and that type of thing – but that is all on hold right now because of the Covid 19 pandemic.  However, I am sure you can see from the photos how much the space has been transformed.

As a reminder, this is what the basement looked like not long after we moved into the house.

Before - Basement 5

And this is what it looks like now.

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Basement Flood and Absence

Apologies for being so quiet in recent weeks, not only on my own blog but more so on the blogs of those I follow.  Free time has been in extremely short supply and it has not been possible to find time to read blog posts or do any art or really do anything in my spare time other than flop on the sofa in front of the TV or collapse into bed and read until the book wallops my in my snoozing face.  Summer should be a more chill time for me since I am off work and the kids aren’t in school.  However, our summer did not get off to the best start.

As followers of my blog may know from a previous mention, our basement flooded.  We had a week of almost perpetual torrential rain during which our sump pump failed.  Consequently, the basement of our house flooded, something we discovered only when one of the boys decided to go down there for a video game he wanted to play.  This was not just some dampness either.  Nope.  We had probably five or six inches of water.  Thankfully I was not at work and the kids were off school because immediately it was “all hands on deck” to try and rescue what we could.  Our house has no attic storage so the basement is used for storing almost everything you can imagine and as a place for the kids to keep all of their toys, board games, craft supplies, and video games, a sort of playroom/hang out.

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Having rescued what we could, the next step was to try and remove as much water as possible.  Kind neighbours loaned us their shop vac and large fans.  I set to with the pumping and kept a measure of my progress by drawing a level with a marker on the now kaput dehumidifier – the irony – to keep myself motivated.  It took many, many cold and wet hours but by 2am the following morning, all of the water (at least of the properly liquid variety) was gone.  The next stage was to get absolutely everything else out of the basement.  The rooms of our house had fast become filled with the possessions we had saved or were attempting to save – my husband had his memorabilia drying out all over the living room and kitchen floors – so the patio and front porch became the dumping ground for all the possessions that could not be salvaged, including the furniture.

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As an aside, what in the world would possess a doorstepping, cold-calling sales person to approach a house with a porch covered in flood damaged furniture and try to sell the occupants windows?  I ask because it happened to me during this whole ordeal.  As he gave me his opening pitch, I looked dumbfounded at the guy –  my large forehead covered in sweat beads, my clothes filthy, objects being lugged in my arms and disgorged onto the porch – my jaw fell open, my brow furrowed so much I could see my own eyebrows, and I gestured to all of the ruined possessions that surrounded us.  I actually have no idea what I said to him but I know I mentally high-fived myself for not deploying curse words.  Whatever it was I said, the chap literally walked backwards and then scurried away.  Seriously, dude: know your audience.

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Anyway, the week proceeded with ripping off walls and ripping up carpet and thoroughly drying the space out.  We also had to have a new sump pump installed (obviously) and also a new water heater because the flood had led the one we had – which was less than two years old – being condemned.  Super.  We also tried to salvage as many possessions as we could, though the success rate was not superb.  The thing is, when you emigrate, you part with most of your worldly goods.  The only non-essential things that crossed the Atlantic with us were things that were irreplaceable, things that had sentimental value or meaning to us.  Therefore, when I mention that we tried to save what we could, that is because it wasn’t just a bunch of stuff we probably should have donated or recycled years ago, it was the stuff we had considered important enough to pack into a shipping crate and pay to transport across an ocean.

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So it has been a pretty dispiriting time and there is, of course, all the chaos and hassle, not to mention the stress over financing the restoration.  However, we have been trying to maintain perspective because truly we are in the privileged position that we only lost stuff and only in one level of our house.  People endure far worse during fires and natural disasters.  We have also endured the deaths of loved ones so we have appropriate perspective on losing things that are merely material.  I appreciate we are lucky to have what we do and that really I have such little cause to whine in the grand scheme of things.  Additionally, we are lucky that the basement has not been decorated since the 1970s so it is not as if we are having to rip out lovely new carpet and beautifully painted walls.  It was due for a refresh at some stage but it would have been so much nicer to save up to do it on our own timeline.  So we definitely have perspective and know things could be so much worse.  However, I would be lying if I claimed I was not stressed out of my mind by the current state of things.

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And did I mention that my dishwasher decided to shuffle off its electrical coil in the aftermath of the flood?  I mean, having to hand wash everything is the least of my problems right now but I seriously could have done without that timing.

And – on top of all of this – we were scheduled to go on vacation at the end of the week of flood recovery.  We were committed to going  – as it was too late to cancel and get refunded – and we knew we would benefit from escaping from the house mess but still the timing was stressful to handle.

So the explanation for my online absence is two-fold: flood recovery and travelling.  I will blog about the latter as time permits.  Hopefully normal blog interaction service will resume soon.

Hallway Makeover

Home projects have a way of snowballing and spiraling.  As I have explained before, much of our house had not been renovated or even redecorated since it was built in 1968.  The staircase banister was starting to show its age in a terrifying manner as it was rickety and wobbly and threatening to pull away from the wall any time any of my boys leaned on it.  Pretty terrifying.  It, therefore, jumped up to the very top of the list of home improvement priorities.  But removing and replacing a banister was going to damage the carpeting and the walls.  And if we were going to repaint all the walls then we were best to replace the tiles in the downstairs hall.  And if we were going to replace the floor tiles then we should do that at the same time as pulling out the old downstairs loo.  So that one problem with the wobbly banister Hulked out and became a major project.

I forgot to take Before photos.  However, these images show what the hallway and downstairs WC looked like when we moved in to our house in August 2014.  Not much had changed since then.  I was not going to miss those “crazy paving” vinyl tiles.

Before Downstairs Hall 1

Before Downstairs Hall 2

Before Downstairs WC

I don’t do well with chaos so the period of the project was something I endured rather than enjoyed.  As much as I knew the final outcome would make it all worthwhile, constantly having other people in my house when I got home from work, having building materials stowed in our living room, and just the mess and disruption made it all quite stressful.  There were three peak incidents of stress: the contractor ripped out the old banister early on in the project but did not install the new one until the very end which meant living for weeks without any barrier whatsoever on the staircase – and you can imagine that my sons took full advantage of that opportunity to freak out their mother; the second was that the same period coincided with some of our worst weather of the winter which led to snow days and the kids being home while the work was underway and, on one such day, the floor was retiled while the kids were trapped upstairs – with the bathrooms – while I was trapped downstairs – with no bathroom – for several hours; the third peak stress moment was the absolute worst and involved the stair carpet still being installed after 10pm – installation having started at 1.30pm – partly because the carpet fitter stapled his own finger and had to be taken to the ER by an extremely jet-lagged Mr Pict.

During Hall 1

During Hall 2

In the end, however, we are happy with the results.  We now have a much sturdier and much more secure banister, dove grey walls, dark grey floor tiles, very plush and soft carpet for the stairs and upstairs hall, and a fresh and more modern looking downstairs WC.  Now we can start to personalise the space by pulling out framed art that hasn’t been on display since we emigrated and some pieces that need to be framed and getting those up on the walls.

After Hall 2

After Hall 1

After Downstairs WC 2

Bathroom Makeovers

For the past couple of months, the Pict home has been upside down because of a major renovation project.  Our bathrooms were original to the house and, while I could live with the 1960s stylings, we could no longer deal with the stressful ramifications of maintenance.  When a toilet seat broke (thanks to a sleep addled child) we had to source a vintage one and even things like the washers were non-standard sizes so we had to seek those out online.  We decided, therefore, that it was only a matter of time before some aspect of the plumbing failed in spectacular fashion and that it was better to get ahead of it than to have to deal with the whole process on an emergency basis.  There was a point about five weeks into the project where I definitely thought and felt like we were deranged for having done so but we determined that we should have both bathrooms ripped out and reconstructed at the same time.  The time efficiencies and budget savings made it worth doing but it definitely was super stressful having six of us trying to live among that degree of chaos for a couple of months.

Just to add to the mess and chaos and clutter, our formal living room was the designated set down space for all of the construction equipment and materials so a huge percentage of our home felt like a builders’ yard.  And then there was all the noise and the dust and the dirt.  I eventually just gave up properly cleaning the house because it was a Sisyphean task.  The dust was breeding quicker than I could ever clean and it was depressing.  I had no peaceful, tidy, clean space to retreat into.  It was actually really stressful but – now that it is all over – I think the end results were worth it.

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I did not take great before pictures.  I actually entirely forgot to take some so the photos are from our moving in day three years ago.  The pink bathroom was our hall bathroom, primarily used by our four sons and occasionally by guests.  The turquoise bathroom was the en suite for the master bedroom.  I am sure they will give some readers flashbacks.

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12a Main Bathroom

3a Master En Suite

I hope you will agree that both bathrooms were transformed.  We wanted to keep things pretty neutral because we want these bathrooms to last a long time.  I pretty much never want to have to rip out a bathroom ever again.  The hall bathroom is the beige/brown one and the en suite is the grey one.  Also my after photos suck almost as much as my before ones because the spaces are small and I wobble when taking panoramic shots.

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Incidentally it turned out to be very fortunate that we chose the bathrooms as our next renovation project because, once the tiles were gone, it revealed that the floor was disintegrating in one spot and would have eventually collapsed through the ceiling and caused major damage.  Of course, now that we have brand, spanking new bathrooms, it makes the hallways look even more in need of resuscitation than before and my bedroom – always the worst space in the house – looks even more wretched.  Definitely way more work to be done in this do-upper of a house but I think we might take a pause before we launch into another major project.  I need time to recuperate from this first.

House on the Green Hill

The Art Journal Adventure prompt for last week was to use horizontal and vertical elements.  Perhaps it was because I had recently been reading Dylan Thomas’ poem ‘Fern Hill’ to my 11 year old son but the idea of horizontal and vertical lines automatically made me think of fields in a verdant green landscape and a little house nestled beneath a hill.  The idea seemed simple enough but it literally took me a full week to take the page from inception to completion.  Each colour of acrylic in the patchwork landscape represents a quick burst of art action in my daily schedule.  Worked on in such short bursts here and there throughout the week, it took an awfully long time for the page to fill with colour.  Thankfully, once all the painting was done and dry, the finishing touches were completed quickly.  That was just the case of doodling with paint pens while watching the news and drinking a cup of tea one morning.  It was those little details that pulled the page together and made it a coherent, stitched together quilt of a landscape rather than a chaotic mish-mash.

13 Green Hill Landscape

Wonky Home

Last week’s Art Journal Adventure prompt was “Home”.  That can be interpreted in many different ways, physical, emotional, geographical, and it is a theme that has cropped up a few times in my art journal since I started keeping one a few years ago.  This time, however, I decided to keep it super easy and just draw a house, just a quick and simple illustration without putting too much thought into it.  Partly this was so that it would be a challenge to me to work more intuitively and not get so trapped into my head trying to get an idea in my mind’s eye to appear on paper; partly it was because I was so short on time and so this drawing was done, from start to finish, in a mere twenty minutes courtesy of two pre-inked fountain pens (the inks being Noodler’s Bulletproof and Lamy Pacific Blue in case you are interested).  Since I knew I could not even attempt precision, I thought I would accentuate the inevitable weird angles and wobbly lines and produce an entirely wonky house.

12 Wonky Home