Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Tired Tuesday

Some photos of the great progress....on which we will dwell without thinking about the long list of things still to be done .... Feeling tired but celebrating the Big and Small victories ... 

In goes the last board 

Wondering why we chose dark brown

He's been a stressed out puppy with all the noise and action

Looking good!!

Off to the pub for a pint with friends.

Happy New Years Eve eve


Monday, December 29, 2014


We are oh so close to having the floor in! Despite a big non-work break in the middle of the day for me to have coffee in the village with new friends and Lindsay and Allan to pick up "shipments" in Point Roberts... We worked like crazy and 90% of the floor is in! 

Average sweary day.

Just a bit more in the family room to finish tomorrow 

AND that is not even close to the end of the story ..... There is still a bannister to make and install and baseboards to put in and lots of trim to stain and a fair but of painting left to do! 

BUT We are getting there......

Inspector Emily, our fearless friend who tells off rock stars and gets away with it, came by today and innocently asked "How do regular people do this kind of stuff... If they don't have your skills?".  

What she meant was "What crazy nut jobs do this to themselves?"

We just nodded and smiled. 

We have no idea either.

But we are still smiling....


Lots to do tomorrow.  Just going to finish me up this glass o' vino and hit my pillow.


Sunday, December 28, 2014

Ma Familia

We booted it down to Seattle this morning with a 20 minute pause at the border and a little longer for breakfast in Bellingham.

We arrived at Seattle South Centre Mall with enough time to do a spot o' retail before the Alaskans arrived! 

My sister, younger sister, only sister is in Seattle for my niece Amy (her eldest ... Eldest of 7.... Yup I said 7!) to see a medical specialist.   It's not a great reason but it was a good opportunity to spend 6 hours driving to spend 3 together. 

We had lunch and then the eldest girl cousins... Each of us girls had an eldest girl..... went shopping.... Precious cousin time together.

Then we did a quick and classy iPhone photo shoot in the mall thanks to the pouring rain in the mall parking lot...we are nothing if not classy and apparently I am the one in charge ( or so out server said at lunch lol... I have no idea how he came to that conclusion?)

We had to keep waiting for the background to clear which made for some hilarity ..

And then it was time for us to head north  again....leaving David behind to keep Amy company...

Life is so unpredictable ... It's crazy not to hug on your peeps when you get a chance.

It's been so many years since my Byres saw my sister and niece... Like 7 or more...

Lindsay noted that she will have seen both her Aunts... Allan's sister Wendy and my sister Jill in one year... 2014... We left South Africa Jan 2, 2014 hugging one Aunt and here we are Dec 28, 2014 hugging on the other Aunt...a likely unrepeatable event but both hugs much cherished.

A lovely day despite 75 minutes at the border coming home.

That's what you do for your family! 

Love y'all



Saturday, December 27, 2014


Today was hard. 

Setbacks that had to be fixed.

More taping, more painting, more tension, more swearing.

Allan grunts, groans and swears as he works.  It always freaks me out as I expect something bad has happened....which is only occasionally the case.

Finally we got to the floor that was the point of this whole exercise...,

And that proved to be the hardest of all. 

That first row of flooring took hours to get in ... Three doorways made life very sweary.... Allan I were on our hands and knees all afternoon.  He was laying floor and I was praying ... And helping... And staying out of the way, and cleaning.

And now at 8:30pm we have 4 rows in and are starting to see how it might all come together ... One day! 

We have made it to the other side of the hallway and the other 2 doorways so excuse me while I go and "help" so we can maybe get to bed at a decent hour before driving to Seattle and back tomorrow! 

The madness continues!


Friday, December 26, 2014


I am a really useful worker bee.

I can be useful when thinking or making decisions.

But when things get technical I am as useful as flip flops in a snow storm.

And today was a technical day in the reno.

The "easy" stuff is running out ... I painted lots of trim today, doorways and doors and Lindsay painted the hallway. 

It's so annoying to me that prepping takes longer than painting... I am having a love hate relationship with the green painters tape!

Allan wrestled with drywalling and angles and finishing strips today. And his glasses apparently ...

Lindsay was also the queen of nutrition breaks today with pancakes and ham for breakfast and these amazing cheese pretzels with mustard she made for lunch! So delicious I was sad when I was finished mine.

When it was clear my usefulness for the day was over I cleaned up Christmas chaos and reheated turkey dinner.

We are so close to laying the floor... Just a few more technicalities and a few more feet of trim and walls to paint and we'll be  flooring.... And by we ... I mean Allan.

We only have tomorrow as Sunday sees us off to Seattle to have lunch with my niece and sister in from Anchorage for a drs appointment. And we are leaving David there for two days with my parents so he can visit with his cousin so team
Byres will be one wheel short.  :( 

Shower, hot choc and some reading and then bed.


Thursday, December 25, 2014

A few of my favourite things

A very merry Christmas....  

After holding this 9 day old beauty on Christmas Eve .... World meet Olive ... aka Baby Jesus in the Christmas Eve church service!! I adored holding her for an hour ... She is delightful but her Mama would sure appreciate if she'd sleep a little more so we had a little chat about that! 

(There you go Ben... Blog Fame!)

Later we had tea and cranberry scones (made by David)  and did stockings with my Parents.... Where once again we proved we cannot (or will not) stick to the rules regarding item limits!

We then had a seafood feast with dear friends that was so amazing I totally forgot to take photos but suffice to say crab cakes, peri peri prawns, bbq'd squid for appetizers..... Clam chowder, salad and Salmon Wellington that was so sublime .... And then key lime pie and a delightful Chilean gift exchange.... Ai Ya SO amazing! A great great night!

We fell into bed around midnight very happy and very full!!

So of course we kicked off today with this 

And then the great gift giving ... Love and chaos and thoughtfulness and surprises and so much paper.... Joy!

So many lovely thoughts and gifts... My mom really took the list from Glennon Doyle to heart with maybe one modification.....
1. One thing you want
2. One thing the world needs
3. One thing to wear
4. One thing to read
5. Multiple other gifts I choose to bestow

So we all got Me to We Rafiki bracelets 

Lindsay got an Elephant

And between us we got a tower of books! 

A few of my favourite things showed up in spite of me being a miserable failure of a wish list maker.... All I can say is my people get me!

Allan cooked a fine looking and tasting local turkey and we had ham, veg and all the trimmings at a pretty table and our favourite cranberry pudding!

It was lovely.... Also exhausting for some...

Tomorrow the reno returns..... But until then we're spinning the Christmas playlist one more time, cleaning up a bit and digging into that pile of books.


Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Goodbye to the 70's

Nothing much to report on the reno front except THIS!

Bye Bye 1970's!

And this........

But then we had to focus on things Chrismassy......and foodie.......

I did the shopping (after a last visit to the landfill) which today was a valiant task needing a very strong constitution......and a lot of coffee......and patience......and much effort not to swear in mall parking lots.

We have been cleaning, cooking, wrapping, readying for festive times ahead.....

Boxing Day we will be back at it - painting and maybe even some floor laying.....anything but going anywhere near a shopping mall.

Merry merry Christmas friends...... May you all know Peace and Love and Joy.