Monthly Archives: April 2014

Z is for…

zombieflamingos  Zombie Flamingos

So, the end of the A-Z Challenge is here. And I am bringing it full circle, so to speak, with my blog theme and my A-Z theme (well, it was eventually my theme) in the same picture.

This is what started it all. Well, not THIS picture, but the zombie flamingo my friend Judy Somers made for me that graces the header of my blog, and which gave me the blog title – do you know how hard it is to decide on a blog title?

Anyway, the “real” zombie flamingo was followed quickly by this picture which was a birthday card she made for me last year (I am pretty sure her hubby Gord More had some input too, so thanks to him as well). I especially love the kitties in the windows – 3 in the living room window, and one itty bitty kitty face in the Master Bedroom window!

My goal one day is to have a real picture like this to show! There will be more zombie flamingos in my future, and more Zombie Flamingos blogging too! Thanks Jude for the inspiration!

Y is for…

y  Yes, we do have stairs

Reaching? Yes I am. But I only have 2 letters left, and not a lot of house left to show you. So, here is the stairway from the main floor to the second floor.

Here is the bottom of it.


And here is the view up.


Ok. Not a lot to see. First, notice that there is that ugly green carpet again on the stairs. The stairs are unfinished underneath, so someday we will probably just replace the carpet with a nicer runner. Refinishing stairs is apparently not a fun thing to do, even for the experts!

Second, notice the wallpaper. Yes. Wallpaper. The same that was on the walls in the main floor hallway, and also papered over layers painted-over paper and plaster. This hallway scares me. I want to get rid of the paper, but don’t want to have to stand a ladder in the stairs getting it off the really high walls. But I can’t in good conscience paint over paper. Although, that would be in keeping with the stairway’s history.

zfstairway4  zfstairway5

You also notice that there was a hole in the wall.  Was something cool or sinister hidden there?  Alas, no, and our drywall/plaster guy repaired it for us before we moved in.

zfstairway1  zfstairway2

The best parts of the stairway, though are the light fixture, which matches the one in the main floor hallway. We got these on Used Victoria – a STEAL of a deal, and they are vintage fixtures that really work with the house.

zfstairway6  zfstairway7

And the stained glass window. We did have one of these panels repaired when we bought the house. There was a small crack, but we found a great stained glass guy who took it away and fixed it. He also reinforced a couple of panels of the stained glass in the living room which was beginning to bow. We do love our stained glass.

zfstairway9  zfstairway10


So, future for this staircase would be a new runner and painted walls. When this will happen? Well, probably not until a lot of other things are done, so see you in a few years!

And now, one letter to go!!

X is for

x  eXtra pictures of things that were in the house that we don’t have any more

Ok, I was going through all my pictures of the house, and since I seem to have run out of rooms, and since X is a really hard letter (well, it is…) I am going to show you some pictures of pieces of furniture we got rid of after we took possession of the house.

We kept a couple of things (well, I should say that I let my hubby keep a couple of things, as I didn’t want to keep anything being a non-packrat), but most of it either went to auction (all the wood tables and knick knacks which I don’t have a lot of pictures of) or to Used Victoria, or to charity. We did give away some the beds for free on Used Victoria because it was really hard to find someone to take the beds. Can’t say I DON’T get it, but it was really frustrating at the time.

Anyway, here are some things we don’t have any more.


chair1  (living room)

chair2 (bedroom that’s now the pantry)

chair3  chair4 (both of these were in the Master)

chair5  (in what is now the Dressing room)

chair6  chair7 (in the Spare bedroom)

chair (I think this one was in the foyer)


couch1  couch2 (both in the Living room)

couch3 (in the Den)

Chandeliers – there were more than this, but here’s a sampling.  Don’t remember which one came from which room now…

chandelier1  chandelier2

chandelier3  chandelier4


lamp1  (there were 2 of these)

lamp2  lamp3

lamp4 (there was another one like this, but smaller)

Other things

dresser  (dresser)

ottoman (ottoman)

wardrobe (wardrobe – we have another one like this that we kept…for now)

bookcase (bookcase)

piano (piano – gave this away to our realtor’s girlfriend who paid to have it moved…it was VERY heavy!)

There was a lot more, as you can tell from the pictures of the various rooms, but these are many of the pieces we sold or gave away ourselves.  Many of the other pieces went to auction right away.   Kevin doesn’t like to see pictures of all the things we gave away – it brings back regrets of not keeping more, but I’m ok with that!

W is for…

w  Windows

Of which we have many, some original double-hung, and some really ugly replacement aluminum ones which we will eventually replace with nice wood windows. Why wood? Because we are a Heritage designate house and need to maintain the character. But, let me tell you, in this climate, double-hung wood windows with storms, not so bad! We had wood windows and storms in Regina, Saskatchewan, and if we could live with them there (check out the winter weather in Regina!) we can live with them here. And they look nice too.

So, so far, we have fixed windows in 3 rooms – fixed them meaning some were broken, and rotten, and none of them opened (being nicely painted shut). So, the windows we have fixed were in:

The living room

livingroomz 2  zwindows12

zwindows13  zwindows14

zwindows15  zwindows16

And the piano window in the livingroom:

zwindows6  zwindows7


The den

zwindows18      zwindows24

zwindows20  zwindows23

zwindows22  zwindows21

The spare bedroom

zwindows5  zwindows4

zwindows3  zwindows2

This year we are hoping to fix the other original windows which are in the office, the dining room, and in one of the bathrooms. Then, we are hoping to see how many of the aluminum ones we can replace. The Master Bedroom for sure, I think, and maybe the other ones upstairs, and then the pantry. The kitchen is harder. They are very large and are not straight, since the back corner of the house has sunk a bit.

Guess we’ll see how far we can afford to get this year, and I will keep you posted!

V is for…

v  Very ugly basement

Running out of rooms! Oh no! Now you have to see the basement, which is a mess and needs to be completely gutted and re-drywalled and re-floored. Kevin also thinks it’s creepy. I don’t. Except for the dark part under the front porch which needs to be cleaned out because there’s a lot of old junk in there, but I don’t like being in the dark where there are spiders…

I have no “before” pictures, and you can’t really tell from these pictures because of all our crap everywhere, but it’s a big space. There were two bedrooms, a kitchen (decommissioned by the authorities 10 years ago) a bathroom, living room and laundry room and storage down there.

This was the living room area:

zfbasement1  zfbasement2

zfbasement3  zfbasement4

This was one of the bedrooms:


This was the kitchen:


This is the laundry room:

zfbasement8  zfbasement9

And this is the entrance where Kevin parks his bike:


There was also mold (and maybe still is…somewhere…).  Here is a before and after of mold under stairs.  The previous owners had drywalled a closet into a space under stairs outside, which had not been sealed, and were leaking nicely onto the drywall…hence mold.  The basement in general had had lots of water in it due to the perimeter drains not really existing (there was a kind of perimeter drain on one side of the house, but it didn’t actually drain anywhere, except back into the yard).  Again, hence mold.


We had the mold specialist take out the worst of the mold (meaning the stuff we could see and that he uncovered), and got rid of a lot of junk down there. There is STILL a lot of junk down there. We also put in a newer washer and dryer, although someday we hope to move the laundry up to the second floor near the bedrooms. That would be nice.

Eventually we hope to be able to use this space for more than just a place to keep all our junk that we don’t use anymore. Or that Kevin says we may use “some day”, which I have told him if I hear, that’s my cue to put that item up on User Victoria, or in the box for charity! It’s on the list, but after the outside of the house is fixed and painted, and after the deck has been sorted out. At least, that’s where it lies on the list today. So, someday I may have real “after” pictures for you. And I promise, when I do, they will appear here!

U is for…

u  (Un)dressing room

Not much to say here. It was a bedroom, but because of the ensuite, we thought that someday we could punch a hole in the wall (through the Master bedroom closet) and join the Master and this bedroom to create a BIG Master with “walk-in closet” and bathroom. In the meantime we have added a wall of closets and some other wardrobes, so this is our main closet for us.


zfdressingroom1  zfdressingroom2


After the move:

zfdressingroom4  zfdressingroom5



zfdressingroom7  zfdressingroom8


We have done nothing else in this room, but we have added a new toilet to the bathroom, and new light fixtures. This is the other room with wallpaper – I forgot that. Someday, it will go, and someday we will likely redo the space so it has a nice shower, etc. in it.  It is a BIG bathroom!


T is for…

t  The Dining Room

Ok, I don’t have another “T” room, and I really wanted to show pictures of the dining room, otherwise known as “Gord’s Room” in honour of our friend Gord More (hubby of Judy Somers) who said, when he first saw the house right after we took possession, that this was his favourite room in the house. It’s also one of our favourite rooms, with the big windows, the gorgeous wood, and the fireplace.

zfdiningroom1  zfdiningroom2

zfdiningroom3  zfdiningroom4


Then we moved in…slowly…

zfdiningroom6  zfdiningroom7

zfdiningroom8  zfdiningroom9



Nothing has happened in this room, aside from getting rid of all the old furniture, putting in our own, changing out the light fixture, and adding blinds.

zfdiningroom13  zfdiningroom14

zfdiningroom15  August42013

Someday we may paint it, but for now we think it looks pretty good!

zfdiningroom16  zfdiningroom17

zfdiningroom18  zfdiningroom19

There is one built-in missing from sometime in the past, but the other one is still there. And eventually the carpet will go, but right now underneath the carpet is old linoleum which is probably asbestos laden, so someday we’ll have someone come in and tear all that out and put in hardwood. This year we will be fixing the windows so they can open, which will make eating in there in the summer a bit more pleasant.

All in all, a lovely place for entertaining in front of the fire!

S is for…

s  Spare Bedroom

I am very disappointed. I don’t seem to have any pictures of this room when we bought the house. Doh! It had 2 beds and assorted little bedside tables, and a chair, and this dresser. Which we still have, but I don’t know for how long. There has been talk of turning it into a vanity…someday…


Anyway, this room hasn’t had a lot done to it. The floors weren’t too bad, so we left them.

zfspareroom4  zfspareroom3


We changed the light fixture (as we have in most of the rooms), and I am still in the process of taking off the wallpaper (NOT over unpainted drywall, so coming off pretty well), and once that’s done, I need to finish prepping the walls and then paint them. Soon…

Here it is after we moved in

zfspareroom5  zfspareroom6


I guess we did have the windows fixed so that the glass is not broken and they also open now. That was nice to have done.

zfspareroom9a  zfspareroom9

And here it is today (well, there is a LOT less wallpaper today – this was taken several months ago):

zfspareroom10  zfspareroom11


So, that’s it for now in this room. Another room where I have to promise to show FINAL after pictures – I promise (that’s for you, M-R!)

R is for…

r  Reading room

Otherwise known as our “den”.

The den is on the main floor next to the living room, and across the hallway from the dining room. I imagine when the house was built, a tea room or a smoking room or some such sitting room. We have installed in this room our bookshelves, and a few pieces of furniture, as well as our ex-feral cat Nicholas, who likes to keep to this room as much as possible, hiding behind and under the couch. Since Elliot has turned into a hate-on for Nicholas machine, Nico doesn’t venture out much except when Elliot is sacked out upstairs. Nico loves his other brothers. Maybe someday this shall pass…one can only hope.

Nico and Dexter

Enough of our dysfunctional family. Here is our den, aka reading room:

Here it was when we first took possession:

Den1  Den2

Den3  Den4


And here it is after we moved in:

Den6  Den7


And here it was after we unpacked

Den9  Den10


And here it is today after having the windows fixed

Den12  Den13

And the blinds installed


That’s it for the den, until we decide to paint.  It would have been nice to see this room, I think, with the original ceiling and hardwood.  The wood is painted now (the only room in the house that has its wood painted though) and there is a drop ceiling covering the original ceiling, which is the same as the ceiling in the foyer area.  So, perhaps one day the drop ceiling will go too.  Time will tell!

Q is for…

q  Quaint front Porch

Yes. Our quaint front porch where we had (and will have again) bench to sit on to watch the tourist horse and carriages go clop clop clop down our street.


I say “had” because for the past several months, our front porch has been undergoing extensive renovations by our one-man team carpenter (an expert in historic houses, and also the man who fixed the wood windows in our living room, den and spare bedroom, and who we hope will fix or replace the remaining windows in the house). We aren’t just having the porch repaired. We are also having the siding on the house repaired as well, but the porch has been taking the longest. There were structural issues in the basement (the porch is over “living space” down there), and a lot of the great siding was rotted.

Anyway, I am going to post some pictures here of the before and “not quite after”.

Porch1  Porch2

Porch3 Porch4


So, one of the problems with the porch was the lack of eaves, which we now have.


In addition, the drainage was crappy, so hopefully now we have resolved that issue as well.  No more drain dripping down the side of the porch (yes – the drain was cut through the side and water just dripped down the side of the porch…).  Just a properly sloping floor!


You’ll also notice that there were windows in the porch. Those were NOT original, and were installed poorly and causing all kinds of trouble. We decided to take them out as it would be much easier, and cheaper, to NOT put in new windows. And it also takes the porch back to its original state.

Porch10  Porch11

Porch12  Porch13


I am realizing now that while I took a lot of pictures of the outside of the porch, I did not take any before pictures of the sitting area. But here are some pictures. You can kind of see above  the grey-painted plywood which was the before, and then the red wood which was more original (wish they hadn’t covered it!), and now the original floor is gone (it was in really bad shape), new plywood is down, and we are waiting to order vinyl to protect the floor from the elements.

Porch15  Porch16


And, someday when it’s all done, I will definitely post the final pictures.  This year when it’s done, it will be primed, but not painted.  And then next year (I hope I hope I hope) the whole house will be painted and look fantastic!