Spring came in like a lamb and a sarlacc

I thought I would have spent this weekend raking leaves but instead the giant sarlacc pit/suckhole that is the sump hole and associated pump took all my time.

Sarlacc Pit star wars

I arrived at the schoolhouse to find water in the root cellar. It’s always such a treat to go down there on the best of days but up to your ankles in mud is even more fun. But we have to be careful it doesn’t rise too much as the electric water pump sits nearby and if that gets wet we are in trouble.

We enter our root cellar through a trap door in the kitchen floor. Then you climb a rickety wooden and by all accounts decrepid ladder and behind that you will find the sump hole.

It’s an unpleasant experience the first time you step down there and the tips of your rubber boots sink in. You think to yourself, “Other people have nice dry, concrete basements while we have something that could have been a backdrop in Deliverance.”

I poked and prodded but the idea of playing with an electric motor submerged in water (always de-energize people!) was not my cup of tea. I remembered my grandfather down there swearing and tossing tools up through the hatch up to the kitchen many times. Then I remembered my neighbour Ken had also been down there a few times so I gave him a call.

Thankfully he was able to help out. We dug out two buckets of sludge and rocks that had made their way in and made sure the bobber was able to do its thing. How they got there I’m not sure. How the acorns got there I don’t know. Or the peach pit. Or the piece of Lego.

Of course the pump is rusty and its covered in mud but it works for now. It’s got a few more years in it I think!

When you are working on a property, you need to know what to do in any eventuality and be prepared to change your plans. Raking the leaves off my newly sprouting plants in the miraculous-for-the-Kawarthas March sun would have been a treat. However I had to change my tack because a wet basement and the potential structural and electrical hazards that could have been produced as a result of ignoring the situation might have meant no more schoolhouse.

And remember, when you don’t know what to do, ask someone who does.

And for those of you who don’t know what a sump pump is or if you should have one, here are a few links you might want to check out.

Avoiding basement flooding

Sump pumps and well pumps

What is a sump pump

And if you don’t know what a sarlacc pit is…

Trip to the sarlacc pit

The panel is in: But not at my house!

And now for a rant about wood paneling.
Texture : Altario Buick Estate Wagon : Rotting Faux Wood Paneling [1 of 2]
No, never, nuh uh will you see this at my schoolhouse. Of course I mean once we get it all removed. The place is stupid with it now but we’ll be painting it over until we can tear it out for good. Unless I get a call to tell me the folks from SCTV need a wood-paneled backdrop for a new Bob and Doug McKenzie movie the wood is outta there. I believe I made my opinions clear on this in my older blog post about “bachelor board.

So when I read this article on wood paneling on Apartment Therapy I was angered. Then sad that I was angry about something so stupid.

Wood Paneling: The 60s Favorite is Back

Seriously? Do we have Don Draper and his throwback crew from Mad Men to thank for this? I actually love that show but it doesn’t mean I smoke at the office now and wear a bra that could push through concrete. Some things are better left in the past to be remembered and laughed at in a future conversation about dumb things we did back then. So I ain’t gonna follow this trend.

Alright rant over. As you were.

A tidy infographic

I’ve been putting off spring cleaning and its definitely starting to show.

Our condo is a total disaster and I can only imagine what awaits me in terms of cobwebs and other goodies at the schoolhouse. I’m sure I should be dusting and compiling my tax info instead of blogging but I am feeling particularly lazy about housework today. I’d rather just sit and watch the tumbleweeds of cat fur roll on by.

I did however, find this handy infographic that might help me tidy my house and finances. While it is US-based information, the general ideas still apply. Now where is my T4 and my duster?
Infographics: Spring Cleaning
Courtesy of: CreditDonkey

Framed up for naught

Well my grand frame idea was a bust.

I went to the pile o’ frames we have stashed away in the office closet and found a gold gilded beauty. However I was squashed as soon at Pat got home as he has now taken up my idea to post up a wall of photos along the landing of the stairs in the condo. Which means this frame is spoken for.

When I mentioned my idea Pat thought it was a little too 90s “Friends” and I am beginning to agree. So for the time being until I think of something else, I picked up this tree ornament thingy at Dressers’ on Roncesvalles Avenue.

An inexpensive trinket that will ensure people can find our door until the creative gods strike me with an idea!

Bain taithneamh as an deireadh seachtaine

OK so I had to look it up but that’s gaelic for “enjoy the weekend”.

Given that Paddy’s day is Saturday this year, I suspect many people will enjoy it. So in honour of St. Patrick’s day, and in keeping with the theme of the blog, I started looking up green decor. I’d love a green living room but methinks the English/French guy who lives here might have something else in mind.

We know from one of my previous posts, Infographictastic!, that green inspires health and tranquility. Now who couldn’t use a little of that?

In our condo a nice cool green would look nice with our floors. And since we are going couch shopping this weekend, I’ll keep green in mind.

I have found some neat ideas that might work if I can convince him. We waffle between bold and bland colours.

Source: coastalliving.com via Ariel on Pinterest

Source: apartmenttherapy.com via Ariel on Pinterest

Source: frenchbydesign.blogspot.com via Ariel on Pinterest

Each of these rooms has its own unique charms. The colours are rich and bold and each of them also uses a white or cream to offset the deep green. I especially like the use of green as an accent in the last photo and that map is awesome. Though I suspect my map would have to somehow centre on Buckhorn and Belfast!

Come and knock on my door

Ah Spring is here.

The robins are returning to the neighbourhood, the bulbs are starting to peek through the soil and the snowman-covered wreath is still on the front door of our condo.

I need a little something for that front door. I always like having something to spruce up the front door but here in condo land it also acts as a nice way to know which door is yours in a sea of sameness. Also handy for those nights when friends, who have enjoyed themselves and are staying over, don’t starting knocking at the neighbours.

Homemade welcome sign

Source: aglimpseinsideblog.com via Ariel on Pinterest

Uh well this is nice and all but I mean come on. Do you really see me with yarn and glue and flowery things all over the dining room table that culminates in a finished work of cuteness and creativity?

I think we need to think on simpler terms. What do we have lying around the house I can glob together? What do a picture framer and someone who works with words have lying around the house?

Picture frame door hanging

Source: bluecricketdesign.net via Ariel on Pinterest

Ah ha! Now we may have something. I have a couple of old frames lying around and some parchment paper. I think we may have something to work with. Just a little less cheesy and bland than these examples…

A little scholarly inspiration

I’ve been looking at photos of other schoolhouses for inspiration this week.

Now I know the final product is years away and we don’t even know what shape it will take—but whatever it is, there will always remain the essential vibe of a schoolhouse.

When I first started this blog I found a few ideas.

Where to begin?

That was helpful, so this week I started hunting around Pinterest to see what I could learn about schoolhouses.

Fissel’s Schoolhouse
Fissel's Schoolhouse (York County, PA)

According to Gregg Obst’s post on Flickr,

The Fissel’s Schoolhouse was built in 1896 and served students of the farming community of Glen Rock, PA not far from Shrewsbury and the Pennsylvania/Maryland border. It was added to the National Register of Historical Places on October 24, 1997. It is now maintained by the Southern York County School District as a museum. It is one of a small handful of existing Pennsylvania one-room schools that still have an original belfry and bell.”

Well that is a cool one.

Enoch Turner Schoolhouse

Even the most hip Torontonians may not know about Enoch Turner Schoolhouse. Tucked away on Trinity Street in a residential area, it is a great wedding venue.

I know because my pals Tom and Nicole (also know for their Travelling Family blog) tied the knot here. Now I’m not likely to turn our schoolhouse into a wedding venue but you can’t help but admire their efforts here.





Film shoot location, Hertfordshire, England

This schoolhouse has a lot of elements I would love to incorporate, right down to the full bookshelves and the Aga stove. I’ve always wondered what it would look like if we opened up the ceiling.

Well these photos give me something to think about…

Source: 1st-option.com via Ariel on Pinterest

The seeds are here, the seeds are here!

Hooray the seeds have arrived!

Now that was some mail worth getting for a change. My manilla envelope from OSC was sitting at my front door the other day mysteriously as the mailman doesn’t do house calls. Weird.

No matter. I have seeds and pots and now I just need some good dirt. Not who knocked up Snooki, but actual dirt that spawns good and natural things.

Better get these bad boys started. I’ve got plans for both the balcony here at the condo and our cottage garden.

Can't wait to get things growing!