House Painting Renovations

We’ve been busy painting! Well I SHOULD say my daughter Nellie has been busy painting. I tried to help her paint her room a few years ago and I got ‘fired’, sort of. She kindly asked me to sit down and relax and just watch while we listen to Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone audio book, hahaha.

Our recent painting blitz started all because of a flood downstairs – a pipe broke in the bathroom upstairs and soaked the carpet downstairs just before Christmas. We quickly moved four bookshelves full of books and all the furniture off the soaked carpet, shop-vac’d up the water, ripped out the sponge underlay, bought a carpet shampooer, and shampooed the carpet. Luckily my son Darin fixed the broken pipe too.

Now that the bookshelves were moved away from the wall and the furniture all moved around, Nellie said that it was a good time to paint! And so began the painting frenzy! She painted the entire wood ceiling by hand, twice. And the walls downstairs were painted a light grey. Darin, Taylor, and Nellie also finished the ceiling in an 11×11′ area over the bookcases, with a beautiful suspended ceiling (to allow us to access electrical and plumbing). I didn’t sit around watching either! My job was to go through ALL 8 bookshelves! I donated 22 boxes of books to the youth book fair and whittled my collection down to 4 bookshelves. I’m still working on trying to part with some of my collection of books and magazines, like years worth of Harrowsmith, Organic Gardening, and Mother Earth News.

After a break to help me garden, Nellie was ready to get back to painting. She finished painting the dining room and kitchen walls then made her way down the stairs painting all the wood pine paneling by hand – it looks so bright and fresh! We only had one mishap when one of our cats decided to walk on a newly painted counter then run all over the place leaving ‘kitty footprints’!

kitty paint footprints

 

We celebrated the freshened up house with new furniture too. Our old stuff was, well, old so it was time to retire it.  Nellie assembled all the furniture and tables that we bought at IKEA, too.

It looks amazing! I’m SO proud of her – she really has a knack for painting just like her Dad. I could NEVER have painted the entire house like she has. Next she plans to paint the pine kitchen cupboards white, which will be a monumental job. And after that, paint the mudroom mint green and spare bathroom leftover yellow.

Paint is the most cost effective change you can make to your home and it looks fantastic!

Here are some before and after pictures:

1Downstairs1before

Downstairs1 Before

2Downstairs1After

Downstairs1 After

3Downstairs2Before

Downstairs2 Before

4Downstairs2After

Downstairs2 After

6LR, ceiling beforeCR

Livingroom1 Before

8LR, ceiling AfterCR

Livingroom1 After

5LR BeforeCR

Livingroom2 Before

7LR After

Livingroom2 After

KitchenBefore

Kitchen Before

KitchenAfter

Kitchen After, with more to come…..

 

 

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March 2nd

Remembering Chris today 1960-2008.

1

 

We miss him every day

What a Year!

Christmas Letter 2016.

Grammomsblog

2016 has been quite a year for me. It began with a shocking diagnosis of cancer and is ending with family game nights and Star Wars movies.

But l shouldn’t get ahead of myself. Let’s review 2016.

Winter was quite mild with very little snow compared to other years. Taylor was home for the winter, staying here and in the city. We celebrated birthdays in January & February which brightened up the cold days. In early February, I was diagnosed with cancer – basal cell carcinoma – and was told I’d need surgery in ‘two or three months’. I thought, oh great, I’ll get it over with before summer so I can get outdoors and garden. Ah, nope, it didn’t go as planned. I waited for nearly 9 long months before I had surgery at the end of October.

1 Little snow at the end of February

In March, we sadly…

View original post 1,376 more words

Christmas Letter 2004

 

Over the past decades, I’ve always tried to write an annual Christmas letter to family and friends summarizing our family activities and highlighting our proudest moments. TODAY’S CHRISTMAS LETTER IS FROM DECEMBER 2004, word for word.

Seasons Greetings 2004!
This year was full of exciting events! Robin and Taylor both made it home from B.C. in 2004, although not at the same time…..

Wintertime found us enjoying our outdoor “playground”: a huge 65′ x 110′ hockey rink plus a full size curling rink and all surrounded by a huge skating oval – on the river! After Chris plowed the majority of snow off, it still took us 4-6 hours to shovel the remaining snow to bare ice. It’s great exercise – usually we’re too pooped to actually skate, but we do curl and play Bocce on it.

Our Skating Party was a great success again last February. Nellie’s entire class even came another day for ‘Operation Fun’. One night we even had a local CTV Ottawa weatherman do his 6:00 o’clock report right from our backyard rink! THAT was exciting!!

On March break, Taylor came home from Vancouver for a week and we really enjoyed his visit….. We also went winter horseback riding (my first in nearly 40 years!) at our neighbour’s sister’s farm – what a blast! Nellie took her babysitting course this spring and passed with flying colours. Melvin participated in all the school sports teams. Everyone passed and moved on to the next grade.

Marty still has a girlfriend, Tanya, and is now in his last year of high school. Kristi is also in her last year of university and is getting married to Mike next August 12, 2005!

In early July, I took a tumble in the woods across the road (which I’ve walked thousands of times in the past 23 years) and broke my left leg. I was in a cast until the end of August, so my garden took care of itself for awhile. I still have difficulty walking and am trying home physiotherapy to help my feet.

Robin came to Ottawa in July for a conference and visited overnight. Natasha stayed home in Victoria. He’s working on is PhD now – Dr. Rob, imagine that!  Chris was in B.C. for 3 weeks this summer on a job and got to visit with Taylor one night.

Our little “Munchie”, grandaughter Kalia, is so sweet.  She turned one in November and is walking all over the place! Darin and Amanda and Kalia moved to London, Ont. this fall where Darin accepted a job at a high-tech firm. We miss them a lot, but we talk every week and they’ll be here for a week at Christmastime. They are such great parents!

Well, I’ve mailed the parcels to B.C. and done most of the baking. Just a bit more to do before the kids get out of school in the next 3 days: Chris is painting the mudroom, we’re finishing up all the shopping, clean the house …… is there really any point!

I really hope that we see you all sometime in 2005 – or at least write or email us!
Merry Christmas!

 

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Christmas Letter 2003

Over the past decades, I’ve always tried to write an annual Christmas letter to family and friends summarizing our family activities and highlighting our proudest moments. TODAY’S CHRISTMAS LETTER IS FROM DECEMBER 2003, word for word.

Hello and Merry Christmas!

This year I decided to try a different strategy – get all my shopping done (almost), the Christmas tree cut -put up- and decorated, all my baking done (except the cherry cheesecake on Christmas Eve) and the parcels mailed to B.C. BEFORE I wrote my annual Christmas letter. So here are the highlights of this past year….

After my last year’s letter, I DID get the baking done and the parcels mailed to B.C. before everyone began to get sick.  On Christmas day, we ended up in the Emergency department of the Kemptville Hospital with Melvin who ended up in the Childrens’ Hospital in Ottawa for 5 days in January.  At one point, both he and Marty had pneumonia; Doctors thought Melvin had leukemia (he didn’t – just double pneumonia and whooping cough); then the next week they thought Marty had a tumor (the lesion on his lung was the size of a quarter and was a scar from Histoplasmosis, which we never knew he had years ago!).  So that’s how our new year began!!  By the end of January they were all back at school!!!!!!

Nellie turned 11 in January – she’s almost as tall as me now with beautiful long hair. She’s now in grade 6 at the same school in the little town of Kars that all her siblings attended. Darin turned 26 in January and he and Amanda still live in Ottawa.  Of course, you’ve probably heard of their new daughter, Kalia Emily, who was born November 15th.  She’s the cutest baby in the world – honest, I’m not biased just because I’m her Gramma!

Taylor turned 23 in February and he still lives in Vancouver – we are hoping that someday soon he’ll come home to visit.  He still works at the same restaurant/bar, ‘Avantes’.  Marty is now 17 and towers over me!  A few months ago he picked up a guitar and hasn’t stopped since!  He’s a natural!!  He’s in grade 11 and doing very well.
Kristi is 21 now and in her third year at Carleton University.  She still works in the ER at the Ottawa General Hospital and also for Foreign Affairs Canada on her days ‘off’.  Her and Mike are still engaged and hoping to get married in 2005.

Robin (now 28) and Natasha (29) still live in Victoria, B.C. where Robin is still in school pursuing a Masters degree.  I will never forget his first day of kindergarten – he refused to go and get on the schoolbus: he actually grabbed onto the fence and clung for dear life – honestly, I couldn’t unhook his little fingers, until the bus left!!  Now we can’t get him out of school!  Ha! Ha!  We are very proud of him – actually of all of our children.

Our little Melvin turns 9 tomorrow!  He’s in grade 4 at the little school in North Gower where all the kids have gone for the past 22 years.  guess I’m the most veteran parent in that school.

During the winter, we still enjoy hockey games with our friends on Saturday nights in our garage/party room and skating on our backyard rink on the river.  Spring, summer, and fall find us working in the yard.  The pond is nearing completion with the stream/waterfall which we accomplished this year.  Chris built a little arched bridge over the stream and several arbors/trellises for around the yard.  I’m forever planting and dividing/moving plants.  Our vegetable garden is being taken over with more perennial flowers which I’m trying to start from seed or find in a heap.

Well, I sure hope that you will come and see us sometime. If not, just write and keep in touch. Have a Merry Christmas and a wonderful New year.

Christmas Letter 2002

 

Over the past decades, I’ve always tried to write an annual Christmas letter to family and friends summarizing our family activities and highlighting our proudest moments. TODAY’S CHRISTMAS LETTER IS FROM DECEMBER 2002, word for word.

 
Merry Christmas!!
It’s been so long since I wrote a Christmas letter, I thought I’d better do one since my daughter began the tradition last year and put me to shame! What can I say – we’re all getting older and only some of us are getting better! Ha! Ha!

To start off the new year, we celebrated with our good friends and neighbours by hosting a New Year’s Eve Party in our ‘party room’ a.k.a. garage. A few years ago, Chris and Taylor put up drywall, some cupboards, added a woodstove for heat, and finished it with wall-to-wall indoor/outdoor carpeting. We use this space now for ‘overflow’, heating it whenever we have a gang for parties, Xmas, etc. but not usually for the poor Van.

Nellie turned 10 years old in January while Darin turned 25. Darin is the equipment manage of the Canadian Sledge Hockey team and traveled to Japan, Europe, and finally the Salt Lake City Olympics. I got to take the train to see my sisters, Faye and Betty, in Hamilton this month!!! Yeah – better than Europe to me!

In early February we held our annual skating party on the Rideau River in our backyard. As usual, we had a great time. On February 19th, Taylor turned 22 – he’s been living in Vancouver for a year and a half now and loves it. We REALLY miss him!

March began with a blast – Chris had a mini stroke which he’s mostly recovered from other than headaches which he never had, some memory loss, and slight loss of some small motor skills. However during the follow-up to find out what caused it, Dr.s discovered a hole in his heart! And he said he didn’t have a heart!! Not to be alarmed, though, since he’s probably had it his whole life and they’re just going to leave it for now. Poor guy – last year, after an ear infection (the only one he ever remembers having) he started to go deaf in his right ear. He’s mostly deaf in it now with some hearing loss in the other ear – he’s supposed to have an MRI, hopefully in 2003 (who knows with our health care system!).

We were distraught in April by the death of Grampa Bob Mellway. We will truly miss this wonderful Grampa, Dad, and friend. 😦

In May, I turned 49! – weeeeee…. headed for the big 50! Of course, the country held a national holiday for me and some babe named ‘Victoria’, so we celebrated with a bonfire and fireworks! Melvin resumed his summer schedule of wasp venom injections to build up his immunity to stings since he has a life threatening allergy. He even carries an Epipen in a waist-pouch where ever he goes.

We opened the pool and added the solar cover to boost the heat – I even went in during the heat wave!! I was briefly in the hospital for a heart scare. Chris turned 42 – I told him that once you turn 40 you are over the hill and start to fall apart! Everyone passed and was glad school was over. Darin graduated from Carleton University with a degree in Computer Science. Marty got a job at a local store and still works there on weekends.

The summer was hot and dry again. Marty went to summer school to boost his Math mark for a couple weeks. And Faye came up again this year for a week at the end of July. We always have a great time mostly just relaxing.

Kristi turned 20 in August, Robin turned 27, his wife Natasha turned 28, and Marty turned 16 years old! Whew! We traveled to Hamilton to Faye and Joey and Betty’s at the end of August. We took Faye and went to Niagara Falls and had a great time on the Maid of the Mist and the Caves Beneath the Falls – a must for any Falls tourist!

The kids resumed school in September: Melvin in grade 3 – his favourite subject is Math. He just loves to figure things out. He also loves to draw and is an avid outdoors player. Nellie is in grade 5 at the same school. Her favourite subject is Art. She is a social ‘butterfly’ and has many friends, her most special being Alyssa ( the one year old neighbour I babysat last winter). Nellie is almost as tall as me now! Marty is in grade 10 now and presently loves playing Playstation2. He wants to attend University of Victoria to study Marine Biology when he’s done high school.

Kristi lives in Ottawa and is in her second year at Carleton University – she maintains an A average, receiving a scholarship every year. She also works at the Ottawa General Hospital as a bilingual ER intake clerk, in her ‘spare’ time! The love of her life is Mike, whom she’s known since high school and now a student at Carleton University too.

Taylor works as a bartender in Vancouver and also does DJing, ‘spinning’ records at clubs whenever he gets a gig. His girlfriend’s name is Mary. Robin and Natasha live in Victoria, B.C. where Rob goes to U Vic and Natasha works. They say they love it out there, but it’s VERY far away……

Darin and Amanda got married this October 6th in a beautiful outdoor wedding. The day was absolutely perfect and they were so awesome – they honeymooned in Hawaii. At the end of October, Amanda celebrated her quarter-of-a-century birthday.

Faye and Joey came up for Thanksgiving this year and as usual we had a real nice time. The biggest surprise of the month was that Kristi and Mike got engaged!! They plan on waiting a few years while they finish University before getting married. Mike’s a really nice guy and the two of them are just like two peas in a pod – except Kristi does most of the talking!!

Well, November’s been an interesting month – Chris had a possible gall bladder attack (Stones? = ultrasound in December) and during the bloodwork they turned up some abnormal results, so they’ve run some further tests. He’s feeling better now, but still has constant vague discomfort. This weekend we are going to have a Canadian Football League Grey Cup party to watch the championship game – well, we don’t stare at the TV, it’s just an excuse to get together for a pot luck supper and good discussion while the football game is on!

December 19th, Melvin turns 8. But before that, I have to get my B.C. parcels ready to mail – which means making the usual Christmas cookies, squares, candy, and special surprises in early December. Oh yes, I still have to finish my Christmas shopping/decorating/creating – with 7 children, 2 daughters-in-law, and one almost son-in-law (let me see 7+2+1= that’s 10!) plus Chris, other family and friends, I’d better close this letter and get busy!!! I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and a blessed New Year. And if you find yourself in our neck of the woods, we’d love to see you!

Merry Christmas!
Linda, Chris, Melvin, Nellie and Marty

Christmas Letter 1995

Over the past decades, I’ve always tried to write an annual Christmas letter to family and friends summarizing our family activities and highlighting our proudest moments. TODAY’S CHRISTMAS LETTER IS FROM DECEMBER 1995, word for word.

It’s been a while hasn’t it! Where have all the years gone? Last year our greatest Christmas blessing was the birth of our little 11 lb. 5 oz. Melvin Ross on December 19, 1994. Melvin was a very high need baby for the first six months but now has settled happily. He’s working hard on his ‘transportation skills’ – almost walking and getting into everything.

Right at the beginning of the new year our Nellie turned 3 – she’s a lively, independent little rascal who lives to paint, colour, and more recently, cut up paper.

Darin turned 18 January 16th – he’s in grade 12 now and living at Dean’s in Ottawa. He’s working hard at playing sledge hockey, keeping his car on the road, working part-time, and keeping his grades high.

Taylor turned 15 on February 19 and was a cashier at a local grocery store for a year. A month ago, he suffered a concussion after being assaulted in school. He has since transferred to a smaller school where he seems much happier. Presently his hair (Mohawk) is blond and his greatest interests are his girlfriend Tina and playing guitar in his band.

In June, Chris and I celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary and Chris’ 35th birthday. And July, I realized I’d lived here for 14 years already! Again this summer, we raised our own meat chickens – there’s nothing like your own grain-fed, tender chickens – YUM!

August 4th brought another milestone – Kristi turned 13 – a teenager!! In June, she went to Quebec City with her French Immersion class and loved it. Kristi enjoys school – she’s an excellent student – bowling, skiiing, swimming, etc. In her ‘spare’ time, she babysits. In the midst of 5 brothers, her and Nellie are glad they have each other.

Rob turned 20 August 15 and still lives with Natasha in Ottawa. He’d love to hear from you. He’s in second year at Carleton University, loves to play guitar, and play Star Wars with Marty. Rob and Natasha get home once or twice a month for ‘refueling’.

Marty turned 9 August 18th. This summer he played on a soccer team again. He still loves to fish, makes forts, wade in the river, and take care of his pet Newts.

Labour Day weekend, we hosted a ‘Craig girls’ family reunion. All the kids were able to make it too – the older ones are all grown up and living away from home so we had to ensure our continued close ties. We had a great time swimming, eating, and making Bonfires.

This Christmas, all the kids will be here celebrating the season and skating on the river – we’ve had 156 cms. of snow already and winter has just begun!
I hope that many of you will come and visit us in ’96!

 

 

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