Things are looking different.


In a way I feel like building this house has become like a recreation project.

We are taking this old house, that has been neglected and misused and bringing it back to life – but first it has to be gutted, pulled apart, and emptied.

Kinda like me sometimes.

After we have gutted the room we can start putting in new lumber, we can plan out a new layout, we can make new plans. Our house has gotten it’s first new studs.

I suck at self-reflection. But in moments when I can find some piece I often think about how I would like to proceed in life, what are the next steps I want to take, how do I want to change. Sometimes change requires us to go back and start over, or like this house, do some major renovations. It’s not easy.

But oh how wonderful the finished product will be.

There are a whole lot of exciting things happening around me.

The house is gutted and we are making plans for what this new home of ours could look like.

demo day two

I have a good job with a very supportive work environment.

change conference

I have husband who wakes me up every morning and makes me coffee. every. morning.

driving in new orleans

I have the BEST friends – too many to even talk about in one post!

Roommates from University who have, and always will know every embarrassing and weird thing about me.

anne's wedding

Childhood friends who are basically my family…

the night before my wedding

Friends from my Camp days who I have done the most RIDICULOUS stuff with…

mush it up

Neighborhood friends who make up this amazing community I live in…

new years - taken by alyssa bistonath

And despite all of these things it is still easy to feel slumpy. Maybe I should start taking Vitamin D again.

Sometimes, i think, it is hard for us to realize how blessed we are, how much awesome stuff is happening in our lives, especially when it’s cold out, and were tired, and staying in bed seems pretty much the best idea ever. Accepting defeat is too easy sometimes.

So today – I got out of bed. And that my friends is my accomplishment for the day.

Everything else I do is a bonus.

So ticking off even just one little item from my to-do list today makes me productive. Cleaning just one dish from the pile of dirty ones gives me a sparkling clean house. Answering one email makes me an administrative pro. Taking one shirt from the floor and moving it to the dirty laundry basket makes me the BEST housekeeper ever.

It’s the little things my friends.

And this – is how you survive slumpy hump day.

That and eating yesterday’s KD and hot dogs.

I don’t want to take for granted for even one minute the privilege and blessing it is to be able to own a home. So I have decided that I will compile a list of important reasons why owning a home is a good.

1. As I mentioned in this post – I see what owning a house can be – what I can do to share my house with others, but this week Occupy Bay St. started. and I feel conflicted. More than ever it seems important that we are INCREDIBLY responsible with our money, even our pennies. A world in economic crisis is not a safe world – and I just as much as many of you want to respond to the economic injustice we have seen explode around us. While I have been lucky enough to slowly climb out of years and years of debt, and suddenly find a little gem of a house that was magically priced and sitting lonely on the housing market with not even one little offer – many many people don’t have a safe place to live, a roof over their heads, the comfort of a warm place to relax. I want to be a part of making that right. This is why I hope that my house can be a safe haven, a resting place for others, that it will feel like home for me, but for many others too. One of my friends said that us buying a house is kinda like were all buying a house. I like that. I like that a lot.

2. Owning property means you can do whatever the heck you want to it. I have been trying to grow things around my apartment, but I am currently limited to growing in containers – but with a backyard and a front yard – all my wildest urban garden dreams can come true!

Just like these guys – anyone want to grow mushrooms?

3. You can make a wall entirely decorated with paintings that you have gotten for free from dumpsters and garbage piles. My goal with this house is to not only get as much building supplies as possible from the Habitat for Humanity Re-Store, but to salvage as much as possible from our own house and from garbage dumps everywhere! I totally believe that you never have to pay retail price for anything. Some call it salvaging, some call it recycling, some call it freeganism, I call it awesome.

4. If a zombie apocalypse descends upon us at least we have somewhere to hide, until the zombies get smart enough to use tools to break our walls down. Then well drive into the bush and become hunter gatherers.

Thanks for all the warm wishes and heart felt congratulations!

People get really excited about houses – Honestly though, Dave and I never expected to. We were renters to the core – because we felt like buying a house in Toronto would never be possible, and moving to a neighborhood we could afford away from our community didnt make sense either. We had the BEST rental apartment with an awesome landlady – who gave us the place because she liked our vibe. Yeah – it was that awesome. But then she decided she wanted to sell – find something with a new vibe – so we started thinking – what would we do? Buy? Find another apartment? Move?

Personally – I didnt like ANY of these options. Who knew I was such a home body – I love my apartment, I love my neighbors, I love my street, seriously – I did not want to find a new convenience store. You know what I mean. You have your places, your people, your sounds, and you like them. Our convenience store is so awesome – when I forget my wallet Adam tells me to pay later.

The idea of moving was what had me the most freeked out – I am all for adventure – but I like feeling like I have a home – and more than that – I like having a place to cook and invite friends to sit around the table.

But then I saw this picture….

and then this one ….

and that was it.

Suddenly the idea of creating my own place – my own home – seemed exciting! Scary! but exciting. Buying a house isn’t just a good investment, or something you “should” do when you are a certain age – it has to be the right choice for you and for your bank account. We were lucky that we found our little granny house at the right moment. She had been sitting on the market for a whopping 18 days (that’s years in suburban time) – had no offers – had never been renovated – and the market was in an end of summer lull. I don’t really care that much about owning property – but I do care very much about making a home. A place for friends to come and stay – sleep, eat, and spend time.

So thank you for your well wishes! and you excitement! Cause for me – this is all about you! I cant wait to make you dinner at my house – just give me – oh a couple of months to build a kitchen!

ok ladies and gentlemen – i have been the WORST BLOGGER IN HISTORY.

seriously – they actually gave me an award.

but I have news.

boy do I have news – news so delightful and thought consuming and stress inducing that it will be the focus on this blog from here on in!

I made whispers of this news on the ol’facebook – but now that it is increadibly official – I will make it known to the world, I want to shout it from a mountain – but I dont have a moutain I have a news room – wait – strike that -I dont have a moutain I have a blog!


Oh and not just any house – a house that needs more love than your sweet little grandma – in fact she is a grandma – built in 1911 BEFORE ELECTRICITY WAS IN HOUSES! I have to shout that because it means we need to re-wire that sucker – the old knob and tube death trap must go. Also it has three bedroom but one has cupboards and a stove – oh and even better – the basement is the most sexadelic swingers pad you have ever seen – leather bar, pink walls, mirrored tiles. hot.

So I was thinking I would document some of the things that happen when you buy a house – for some to live vicariously, for some to keep their own fears of buying a house alive, and for some an explanation as to why Mel and Dave and always frazzled and eating take-out/dry cereal.


Here’s our little Granny : ) We love her even though we say bad things about her!


today i did something so unorthodox’s so totally not even close to my usual behavior that I shock even myself that it actually happened.





i woke up and put on some cotton clothes and my running shoes (which haven’t been warn since Nov) and i ran.

it lasted for a total of 13 minutes. i ran up the street, through the park, and straight home.

it is clear, to even me now, that i am older, my body is heavier than i remember, and it has been a very long time since i did anything that strenuous.

reading through this blog, and thinking about this past winter, i feel like i just gave up a little.

i succumbed to the luxury of my couch, the comfort of netflix, and spent far too much time inside.

things have been changing, and as the snow melted and the the leaves came out, i think i woke up.

my husband and i have been making some very grown up choices lately (dont even get me started on how scary being a grown up is)

and i have been realizing that i need to take control of lots of things – so i will list them here in this semi-public place – so that even I have to be accountable to them.

1. i need to take control of my time – i have far too  much work to do to waste it, i have far too many friends to see to squander it, and there are far too many fabulous books to read. this means – less internet.

2. i need to take control of my money – hubs and i are talking big life grown up stuff these days, and some of the things we are deciding about require us to figure out some serious money stuff – so we are budgeting. i have a monthly value-village budget now. but it feels so good to get a real picture of where we spend our little dollars. we want to keep it simple.

3. i need to take control of my body – my body has gotten away from me. perhaps its been a good thing, for once in my life i stopped caring about what i thought i should look like and just LIVED – i enjoyed, i didn’t obsess, i didn’t compare – i am lucky to have married a fella who loves a ladies curves – but now i feel like i dont know my body anymore – maybe i got a little carried away with the freedom – and as husband and i decide a few more scary grown up things, i want to make sure that i am healthy. so i have done two radical and ridiculous things (see subsections A and B):

a) i joined weight watchers – my most excellent friend the Anglican priest was in town and she wanted to hit up a WW       meeting so I joined her and LOVED IT! and thus far I have lost 11.8 pounds – it feels good – and I still have donuts sometimes.

b) i have been walking lots with husband – big big long walks, and as i mentioned this morning i began my foray back into running. its hard. my body is creaky, but i think with a little more exercise i will feel so much better.

There are many more things that I am thinking about – but in efforts to not waste time on the interwebs i will end here.i want to document a little more, reflect a little more, so maybe i will write a little more here….and if you find it and happen to read it, awesome, if i am write to myself – that works too.




Lent is almost over and I am seriously feeling the need for some new life.

This winter has felt too long and I have been far too attached to my couch – the slump has been mighty persistant.

I have also neglected my blog, along with my body, my ambition, and my backyard.

I am kinda over public blogging – maybe it’s just not for me – it felt too much like attention seeking.

So I am going to write here – and you can read it – but you might have to find it first.

I have some thoughts I want to explore, things I want to write, and I need to be creative, and I need to feel alive.

But like this brown wet spring I am not seeing those buds of new life yet –

maybe soon.

week 1 of lent is almost over – and i for the large part – have cheated. a lot. read about my lofty ambitions in the previous post.  trolling the internet has perhaps become a larger habit than i realized – and i am finding hard not to automatically click on every thing i find interesting – like a raven. OH! something shiny! = distracted. all. the. time. so I am working hard at being productive – and today I “meant” to go into the office to work for a couple of hours – but that friggin time change had me all screwed up and i thought it was much earlier in the day than it really is. so forget that. despite the time change, the distractions, and my inability to even really believe that spring is actually EVER going to happen – I have actually had a really great day.

And so I give you this monday’s magic – brought to you by all of the above.



Yesterday I spent several hours reading my blogs (wow that sounds way too much like “watching my stories”), catching up on a few online tv shows, visiting my favorite websites and putting things into my cart that I will never buy, and the obligatory facebook creeping. It was Mardi Gras after all – a day of indulgence and celebration! And I wasn’t in New Orleans this year so I was pouting and looking at pictures of when I was there. Like this one – BAHAHAHAH!

But I have a confession to make – to me – it’s Mardi Gras everyday in Internet land. Everyday is catch up on all the blogs, look at all the new fashionsess, watch all the shows etc.

In reality it’s not Mardi Gras but what I like to call Trolling.

Trolling as defined by the Oxford Dictionary:

// 1. fish by trailing a baited line along behind a boat:we trolled for mackerel (or celebrity gossip, or high-waisted jeans)

2. search for something:a group of companies trolling for partnership opportunities[with object] :I spent tonight trolling the Internet for expensive lighting gear (oxford dictionary is ahead of me here! i totally love expensive lighting gear?!?)

3. [with object] informal send or submit (a provocative email or posting) with the intention of inciting an angry response. (ohh this is a juicy one – perhaps I am not inciting angry responses, but I like when you comment on my blog)

4. [with adverbial of direction] chiefly British walk in a leisurely way; stroll:we all trolled into town (i like trolling into cougar town, and gossip girl town, and 30 rock town, and community town…)

5. [with object] sing (something) in a happy and carefree way:he trolled a note or two (i LOVE trolling for 80’s songs to troll?!)

Clearly – I loves me some internetz. I am sure you do to – seeing as you are spending time reading this – and subsequently looking up more pictures of Trollz dolls. But here’s my problem – IT’S TOO EASY TO WASTE TIME!!!!

For me – the internetz can provide hours and hours of entertainment – but those hours and hours I waste leave many other things undone – things I like to do. The internet is like a never ending bag of  Ms.Vicki’s Sea Salt and Vinegar Chips resting on your belly 2 inches away from your mouth. It’s the convenience of those chips that makes me forget that I also like chocolate and carrots.

Lucky for me there is a thing called Lent – an old school tradition of restraining. I am not sure that restraining is an art that is practiced a whole lot these days – but for me, each year (or almost) I try to pick something that I really really really love and stop doing it, eating it, using it, eating it etc.

Lent is a special time in the traditional Church calendar when we try to get ready for Easter – for me the whole Jesus being raised for the dead thing has always been a mystery. In a way it’s kinda like Sweet and Salty popcorn.

For 40 days leading up to Good Friday – Lent – is like the Salt – not really that good on it’s own. Lent is hard because your actively restraining, putting yourself through something hard on purpose, in church we stop saying Alleluia because we are walking with Jesus into the desert. We cannot rejoice because we are waiting for death. I think that Jesus felt that heaviness in a very real way – he knew that he was going to die, that it was going to be a hard journey, but he chose it anyway. CLEARLY me giving up frivolous internet trolling is in no way a comparison to the suffering of anyone who is walking towards death, but in our overly indulgent culture perhaps it is as close as I can get for now.

These are the rules:

1. I am permitted to check my email and facebook as much as I please.

2. It’s ok if I update my blog – it will be interesting to honestly document my lent experience. BUT I cant troll the internet looking for pictures/video’s to post – I can only post pictures/videos I have taken myself.

3. Sunday’s are general Feast Day’s** during Lent – (**read CHEAT days) so if I have time I am allowed to troll – that being said – Sunday’s are generally – church – egg’s benedict – volunteer – hang out time – so I might not even have time – and the aforementioned activities come first.

The only times I have actually felt the fact that Easter is coming (besides feeling the extra 5 pounds thanks to Cadbury) is when I have practiced Lent.

Walking in the solemnness of Lent, experiencing the sadness of Good Friday – the weird waiting on the Saturday – actually makes Easter Sunday a serious celebration – and saying Alleluia again is a release, and it’s exciting, and we have champagne at Church! It is the only time that I have actually felt real excitement and emotion for the things we celebrate in Church. It makes the ritual and tradition full of life for me. It is the Sugar.

But if we only have Sugar – we indulge on it, we rejoice in it, we eat entire bags of Mini Eggs, but the sweetness also gets to us, which is why we need the Salt. Together Lent and Easter make sense, alone they are meaningless. Which is why I am going to put myself through this restriction, because I know it will end, and that I will be free to look up cute pugs again, but more so because I know that it’s good for me.

And that is how I was able to compare Sweet and Salty Popcorn to the Divine Mystery of the Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

The End.