WHY THIS BLOG?

I AM PARCA'S CHOSEN:
Parca is the Roman Goddess of Childbirth and Destiny and after you get to know me, you will see why I believe she has, without doubt, made me her Poster Child. I deal with the odd serious issue but for the most part, my posts are just some cheeky fun. You'll find satire with the odd parody tossed in....and most definitely a generous helping of hyperbole, with a dollop of facetiousness.

I am Canadian so expect a bit of politeness too. Sorry.

_________________________________________
1) MY eBOOKS CAN BE FOUND ON AMAZON HERE:
DENISE ON AMAZON
2) MY eBook Trailers are on YOUTUBE
3) My website:denisesevierfries.com
4) My Photo-Art Youtube Trailer is here too.

5) My old monthly column: The Lighter Side of Self Publishing



Tuesday, June 23, 2020

OKAY UNIVERSE. I'M LISTENING (but enough with the brain tumours already)

I have always believed in Signs. Oddball or stranger-than-usual coincidences that grab your attention, even for a split second, and you just KNOW there is a message there somewhere. 

How one is to interpret or read those Signs is another thing.

What the hell use is there of a message one can't understand? Ah...well, I'm beginning to think only age and experience can reveal that answer. Not a satisfying revelation, I must say.

Take, for example, the events of the past month: we all get good news and bad news, that's life, but how often do they come in patterns that repeat. It may be a pattern that has visited me before but I was too young and racing at Indie 500 speed to notice.

Youth doesn't pertain to me anymore. Speed isn't my friend.

So, here's the thing. Twice now, I have gotten either fun/good news that is immediately followed by truly harsh and unimaginably sad news. I'm talking within seconds of each other!

Just weeks ago, someone in my immediate family (cant say who cuz they would shred me) won a few coins in the lottery. $500,000.00. Quite a few coins actually. And within 3 seconds of hanging up the phone in wonder and awe of how many Creamsicles one could buy with half a million bucks, the phone rings to say our dear sister-in-law in Austria died of a brain tumour. Andrea was the beautiful wife of my husband's youngest brother Michael. She was diagnosed and hospitalized only 2 weeks before passing. It was a shock and sorrow double-punch to the gut. You reel back at the sudden tragedy and grasp for answers that nobody can answer. She was a kind and lovely soul.

And it feels somehow worse because Fate had made your heart extra happy first, lifting you up high so the fall is worse. Felt more keenly.

Okay I said.  That's just bad timing. Such is life. Deal with it and carry on carrying on (like the posters say). Struggle with the happy thoughts of the good news battling the tears of the sad. All day long. All week long....

But then today, it happened again. 

The Happy High wasn't a big lottery win (that would have made it a Proclamation, not a Sign) but a silly fun win. I had written the Chimes candy company weeks ago, whinging that my bag of Ginger Mango Chews ripped me off with an empty, air filled wrapper. It had been like the 4th time this happened and I was right pissed off! Trivial, perhaps, but it seemed unfair to not get what you paid for...so there ya go. Old People World Problems. Loads of Pandemic Time on my hands.

Imagine my surprise when I got a phone call from California (I am in Canada) from the Chimes company PR rep who apologized profusely for my deep suffering at the loss of my single ginger mango chew (with sincerity, not a trace of condescension) and explained to me that the weight of each bag is consistent, and the empty wrapper was common but irrelevant. Then he offered to send me some free chews for my trouble and sweetly said goodbye. Nice!

I clicked off my phone with a massive Cheshire grin, and immediately within seconds of hanging up, received the news that my son-in-law Duncan had died of a brain tumour. Duncan was the husband of my eldest daughter Chantal, and father to their three young children. My gorgeous grandchildren. It was another shock and sorrow double-punch to the gut. With the added shank to the back because, well... kids.

Ummm...hello? Universe? Are you trying to tell me something?

Admittedly, the Happy High wasn't as lofty as the lottery win but I was floating on a cheeky win nevertheless and doing the happy dance, then, well, you know. Devastating sadness. Unspeakable heartbreak. For everyone. And the loss of a wonderful guy. So funny, so smart, so good.

Okay I said.  That's just bad timing. Again. Such is life. Deal with it and carry on carrying on (like the posters say).  But now there is the added absurdity of that Californian sun-soaked voice repeatedly saying "I am SO sorry you had to go through that..." about a fucking piece of missing candy, while my mind sporadically spits out sparks of reality to my head about poor Duncan. All day long, making me fight tears that wont change a bloody thing.

So yea. This is a repeated Sign I have to figure out what the message is about. And soon. Or I just wont pick up the phone again.

Not worth the risk. ๐Ÿ’”

(๐Ÿ’ซBelieve it or not, I just remembered this pattern happened before: In Year 2000, we took the kids to Europe for 6 weeks on a first ever family tour, and when we returned, all Happy High, I called a best buddy Lana to chat about our amazing trip, she told me her husband Bernie, the most adorable man ever created, was diagnosed with a brain tumour just after we left, and died a week after we returned. Man...I need to process this...)

DONATE: If you wish, please donate what you can to the CURE BRAIN CANCER FOUNDATION (click capitalized name for email link). In memory of Duncan Cutler, Australia, if you like. THANK YOU.๐Ÿ’“

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Outbreak update - Canada.ca

Here is the link to the official Canadian website with tons of info, advice and interactive options to help you stay up to date...and safer.

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Outbreak update - Canada.ca


Wishing you all the best in these batshitcrazy times! Keep your loved ones close...but not TOO close! *forgive this poor attempt at humour... Lord knows we need to laugh now and then...especially now*


                                           My morning photo shoot on Vancouver Island


Saturday, November 23, 2019

BETTER HANDS ON A SNAKE: A Brother Broken By Disease and The Sister Who Picked Up The Pieces

Rhonda picked up Bob’s hand and placed it gently on the Stanley Cup.

 Splaying his fingers so they could feel its cool steel patterns, she helped them travel down the side and up again, allowing a slow and thorough sweep over the decades of engraved names.

She avoided looking at his tear-filled eyes, giving him a moment’s grace to enjoy a personal moment of wonder and awe, and a sliver of the privacy that his disease had stolen along with his ability to move or speak. Bob knew he could never die a happy man, but he and Bobby Clarke had touched the same Cup. That was happy enough.

Millions of people go to see the Stanley Cup. But how many people could say The Stanley Cup came directly to them?
                                                                            *

Born in a small prairie town in Canada, my brother Bob and sister Rhonda could not have been further apart. In every sense. A fifteen year age gap leaves a lot of dead space between siblings. The rare shared experiences don’t really stick. There is just a thin, shared branch of a family tree.

Where Bob was a tall, fit, Hollywood handsome jock with the kind of aloof self-assurance and blue eyes that melted chastity belts like chocolate bars on a July dashboard, Rhonda was a sharp-tonged girl with a pleasant face and our female family thunder thighs. Where Bob walked under a perpetual spotlight of attentive admiration, Rhonda was, I admit, largely ignored by her shitty babysitters (read: sisters, including myself). A household with six children is bound to have issues, and we had our fair share for sure, but we were always close-knit. We laughed a lot and went through more than a few decks of cards. That’s my memory anyway. Until that awful summer.                                                                                  
Most of us grown up and left home, going off to university, find jobs, get married or, in Bob’s case, to join an NHL farm team in St. Louis, Missouri, USA. Mom had a scrapbook full of Bob’s headline-news hockey career, and we were all mighty proud.

He was 19 when St. Louis nabbed him. 6’0”, 185 lbs, played Centre with a smooth/effective style. He played for the Billikens first, and then went onto play in Syracuse, New York, and a few other American teams. 

Like all his teammates, he was waiting to get called up to the big leagues. He had always been a topnotch hockey player and much of my childhood was spent as a rink-rat watching him play with the local Junior A club, The Dauphin Kings.

Captain Bobby Buchy. Always the star of the show. At least in my eyes.
Maybe not just my eyes.

Scoring 5 goals a game was not unheard of for him, and when a team in Montreal tried to trade 4 of their players for him, it wasn’t a surprise. They surreptitiously flew him out to Quebec to court him, but Steve ‘Boomer’ Hawrysh wasn't having it. He called them to block the steal and refused to let him go. I can’t count how many times the games were stopped so rink staff could shovel the ice to find Bob’s lost contact lens, the crowd cheering upon its recovery.
His dream, like most Canadian kids who slept with their blades on, was to play in the NHL and nothing was going to stop him.

However, Multiple Sclerosis had other plans.

I was 9 when Bob left home. He started his professional career with all the eagerness in the world, but all too soon, he just wasn’t doing as well as he knew he should be. He wasn’t feeling himself. Was it nerves? Not enough sleep? These things were never an issue before, so why now? There was nothing obvious to point to, so it must be that he just wasn’t as good as he thought he was. His stats began to fall and his confidence followed. He blamed himself. Who else was there? He then moved from team to team; his total points dropping while his penalty minutes rose. He was a lover, not a fighter.

Was.

Now the only life he had ever wanted was slipping from his fingers.

Desperately unhappy, with his self-assurance and dreams now shattered, Bob left hockey and entered dental school, trying to wrap his head around his massive loss and new reality. But his naturally positive good nature and instinct for survival soon helped him refocus and his new path began to look brighter.

And then we got the call.

I was 14. My big brother was my hero, and now my hero was blind and couldn’t move. MS had drawn his name on fight night and it was Round 1.

Sucker punched. A TKO.

He was sick for months, and then unexpectedly he went into full remission. But at age 24, he was forever a changed man.

He began the life of a Free Spirit. Quitting dental school, living in the bush up North, building log homes, grabbing at pleasure at every turn, doing whatever the hell he pleased and living in constant fear of a relapse. People who didn’t know him though he was a bit odd, a drifter, or a charismatic pirate who was quick to laugh and cheat you at cards. And steal your girlfriend. 

He wandered.

And that was Bob’s life until, 10 years later, MS rang the bell for Round 2. This time it wasn’t a TKO, but he was on the ropes. And he’s hung there ever since.

A lifelong, slow and unrelenting attack.

Playing cards at the kitchen table (a family tradition), Bob would sometimes stand up and his legs would wobble. Those long muscular legs that used to pump like an iron horse on the ice, thrilling us all with their smooth elegance, now barely able to push back his chair. Struggling visibly, he would shun anyone stupid enough to offer assistance, and then leaning on the countertops and walls, he’d drag himself, tortured step by tortured step, to the bathroom. The usual 10 second walk became a 10 minute ordeal. One way.

We would sit back and wait, feigning interest in small talk. An unspoken agreement to provide a half-assed background din so Bob wouldn’t be embarrassed by us overhearing his difficulty making it up and back down the hallway. Grunting. Shuffling. Heavy breathing. None of us making eye contact with each other, only half hearing each other talk, listening instead with perked ears for the dull thud of a fall. Or a call for help. Lost in our private anguish and anger at the unseen evil that was attacking our brother. All of us helpless to fight back. Not allowed to help.

He would make it back eventually, sweating and red-faced from the effort, and we’d start up again like nothing happened. Deal the cards.

A true warrior, he fought. And he fought. And he fought.

Much later, suicide notes were found tucked in-between book pages: I will NOT end up in a wheelchair. I’d rather die.

What does one do with old suicide notes?

Rip them up.

Cry.

Don’t tell Mom.

                                                                    *

Although my brother won his fight against Suicide, he lost his fight with The Wheelchair.

Rhonda had remained at home and soon, mom and dad couldn’t live without her selfless, invaluable help. It suited them all perfectly and they had their routine down pat.

Then at age 34, health worsening, Bob had to move back home. Rhonda was now 21.

Things slid downhill quickly after that.

Defeated and dejected, Bob was learning to cope, but our family home wasn’t very big and definitely not wheelchair friendly. His legs were near useless now and his hands were starting to numb. Mom catered to him devotedly but inside, she was crushed. And scared. Dad just lived in some kind of denial. Accepting the truth would have broken him. The weight of all that fear and sadness became tangible and the symbiotic nature of their home drastically changed. Duties shifted and allowances were made, whether they were welcome or not. Rhonda fumed. Bob fumed. Frustration and anger mounted. Clashes of personality began to hit hard and daily petty spats between Rhonda and Bob eventually turned into shouting matches.

I think it was Mom’s obvious distress that finally made them run up the white flags, and they finally recognized that they were just two people who were pissed off at what life had dealt them and they’d become each other’s convenient punching bag. The wall of contempt fell and the healing began.

It started with civility. No more name-calling or rudeness. No arguments. They ignored each other for a while but spoke politely when circumstance necessitated. And then one night during a game of Rummy with Mom, Bob couldn’t hold his cards anymore. His fingers could barely move so they called it a night.

Next card game, Rhonda unexpectedly joined them and helped Bob deal. When she took his cards and shifted them around in his hand with his instruction, he shook his head sombrely and said, “I’ve seen better hands on a snake.”

The laughter around the table was loud and cathartic. Like a giant chalkboard brush wiping the slate clean.

                                                                           *

Bob, ever defiant and hungry for independence, decided he needed to be on his own and wanted to live in his old cabin by the lake. How’s that possible, one could ask? Great question. How can a man who cannot walk or move more than a finger look after himself?

He can’t.

And so the charming pirate re-emerged and with assistance from his new ally and astonishingly resourceful sister, arrangements were secured to have help come up twice a day to 1)  get Bob out of bed and 2) get Bob back in bed.

In-between those times, he was all alone.

 It wasn’t ideal. We worried.

“What if a hungry bear comes by, or your cat curls up on your face and smothers you one night? ”

“Then I die. My choice.”

Freedom to choose saved him from despair. Life became tolerable.

Then years later, at age 58, his condition worsening, Bob finally threw in the gloves and moved back home. Our aged parents were a handful for Rhonda to manage, and Bob, now a quadriplegic, became a full time job in his own right.

He was in and out of hospital with so many near-death bouts of pneumonia, we lost count. We’d visit him in hospital and he’d whisper-sing, ‘The cat came back, the very next day…’

A cat with nine lives, indeed! But then the whispering stopped.

MS took his voice.

So Rhonda and Bob developed an exasperating and painfully tedious way to communicate: AlphaBlinking. When lip reading fails, Rhonda starts with ‘A’ and works her way down, all the while looking to see if he is blinking once for ‘yes’, and twice for ‘no’.  Spelling out his words.

YOU try it. Good luck.

Predictably, set routines drastically changed after he needed a tracheotomy: Feeding tubes; perpetual throat suctioning; nightly distress checks every 2 hours.

My brother and sister carved out a life for themselves with the tools they were given. Neither are prone to verbally expressing affection, but they give each other the gifts of kindness, laughter, and a love that is never spoken, but always shown. Every day.

I love getting pictures of his colorful birthday parties.  Hilarious Halloween costumes. Christmas celebrations. Day drives to the parks and lakes.

What could top that?

Well...there might be ONE thing.

                                                                       *

It happened on August 22 2018, when Rhonda gave Bob the most treasured gift of his life.

Any true fan would kill to touch the Stanley Cup, and one day, to Bob’s utter amazement, news hit that it was coming to the house.

His house.

Dauphin Kings Alumni and Head Coach of the Washington Capitals Barry Trotz brought The Cup to town to raise money. Hearing that he couldn’t possibly come to the fundraiser to see it, he brought Lord Stanley to see Bob.

Barry said, in a SPORTNET article: " [my] favourite player was a centre named Bob Buchy. He reminded me of Jean Beliveau — tall, graceful, skilled. Everyone has a favourite player growing up and I guess a lot of them are [NHL] stars these days. Mine was a player from our hometown.” (link to article CLICK HERE )

Carrying the large iconic trophy carefully in his arms, Barry walked up the wheelchair ramp and into our hearts. My brother’s eyes were as wide as any Knight newly gazing upon the Holy Grail.

Rhonda’s face split into such a wide grin, she found teeth she didn’t know she had.
A chat.
Pictures.
Pure magic.
They say that our experiences are like deposits that we save in the banks of our minds. The more we experience, the more we save, and then in our solitary golden years, we can make memory withdrawals, enjoying them all over again. My brother led an interesting life for a while, but MS robbed him from filling that memory bank. That special day did much in way of enriching that vault.

There may be a special place in heaven for people like my sister and Barry… but Bob? Well, I’m not really sure where pirates go…
                                                                           *
*PHOTO ALBUM: BOB, RHONDA, BARRY TROTZ AND LORD STANLEY
**Link to SPORTNET interview with Barry Trotz where he mentions Bob being his hockey hero:

AGE 19: CAPTAIN BOBBY BUCHY of the Dauphin Kings 


                                                                                 

   




Off to play in St. Louis: (Rhonda is in this pic too)







Handsome bugger!

In remission:


Many years later, already in his wheelchair:

                                        Bob and my twins Scott and Chaelan circa 1992


Bob with Mom and Dad:

Happy holidays and celebrations with Rhonda:








And my favorite:

Bob with Rhonda, Barry and Lord Stanley:



And finally...
                                                  Bob and Rhonda: THEN AND NOW




THE END? Nope, not yet...

Monday, October 28, 2019

ATTACKING UGLY ROOMS: DIY Small Space renovating

After a years' sabbatical on Vancouver Island, we returned to our old job managing a small, family friendly motel in the Fraser Valley in Southern British Columbia (yes, we are rated #1 thank you ๐Ÿ˜Š). Mainland grandbabies popping up left and right, with little hope of seeing them very often due to the expensive and time-sucking ferry over the Georgia Strait between us, made our decision to return easy. Orca, cruise ships and Island Life is amazing, but are NOTHING to soft and/or sticky grandkiddie kisses! 

Back in the saddle again, we assessed our old Manager's Suite: the renos we did in the former years stood up well, even though the temporary manager was neglectful and, well, a lazy dick. We had to scrub off a layer of dust and set things right again. 

I was able to load a section of ready-made shelves that were ' good enough for now' with a few of my favorite books and book series...




...but it was smack dab next to a room we had never before gotten around to tackling before...and it begged book shelves. 

Lots of them.

The old storage room off to the left of the living room was always cold and uninviting, with a boarded up window that protected us, and the glass, from the riff raff that sometimes trafficked the alley that bordered our left flank. The room was  inhospitable, and therefore ignored and all but left alone save for housing the usual junk one accumulates.

However, upon our return, and promise to remain until retirement in a few years, I decided, much to the chagrin of my Long Suffering husband Peter, that I needed a mini-office to inspire me to continue my writing, and it had to have it's own wee fireplace to warm my perpetually cold feet (Peter loves a cold house; I prefer a Dante's Inferno-like temprature...or warmer). It's the only thing we ever argue about in our 23 years together. ๐Ÿ˜ˆ

So, if I can dig up old pics, I will show you more thoroughly the transformation...but for now, imagine a small ugly room that you appreciate having a door to close on it. 

All the useless junk was thrown away, semi-useable junk was sold or stored in the basement for future considerations. The grotesque carpet was removed (I swear I hear it growl), new paint was applied, etc...and a home for the balance of our books was created! The boarded window presented a problem...but we would deal with it when need be...

Let the games begin: 
Mapping out the sized and shape of the room:



Painting was quick and easy, flooring more time consuming but no problem for the Pro (a.k.a.: my hubby). Then, the bookshelves were up next:



*BELOW: Please excuse the 'desk art' It's actually MY hand, preserved in stone for eternity, showing the world what I thought of it at age 19!



Opening the boxes and boxes and BOXES of books was better than Christmas! Missed them so much...


SLUGHORN, our comfy blue fireplace chair, was recommissioned to be the visiting chair for those (foolishly) wishing to interrupt my writing:


The ugly window solution: make it a centrepiece! We boarded it up from the INSIDE, making it a feature of a feature wall....


and added 2 of my oldest and favorite paintings, 2 Victorian Original Oils from 1835. Bought them at a yard sale for 20$ and had them appraised at 250.00$ EACH. Great find!


So... we now enjoy our little library as one our most favorite spots in the apartment! This my lovely wrap around desk....(found it for sale for $1.00 on a local Buy&Save site! It is brand new! GAWD I love a bargain... ๐Ÿ˜)



OH! And this a cool book holder I found for my new desk. A pair of wooden hands:




...and this is my new favorite view:



Some people like stark and minimalist dรฉcor, and some like it busy and thriving like a living thing. Like me. I love my years of collectible art around me, and the pictures of my kids and life. Its inspiring. But whatever your style, a small room can be your new sanctuary!

I hope you enjoyed this DIY adventure and wish you all the luck in your own!                                       *raises glass of Cape Ruby*

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

RENOVATION MADNESS 2: MY CULTUS MOSAIC (which is Latin for 'the loo'...which is British for 'the toilet'...etc...etc...)

Apparently I am a sucker for punishment.

No sooner had the cuts and blood-blisters healed from my first mosaic project (see here: Renovation Madness: My Rather Ambitious Mosaic Hearth Project  ) then my mind began imagining a mosaic for the upstairs Master Bedroom bathroom. It is an older style bathroom where the shower/tub and sink, counters, etc...are in one large area, and you open a door to a smaller adjacent room where there is a toilet and sink.

My DH (dear husband) Peter was nearing completion of said bathroom and I had a feeling the big bare wall in the toilet room needed a splash of fun. Yes...mentioning splash and toilet in the same line does not inspire pleasant imagery but I had to go there. *grin*

The first thing I needed to do was think of a design. I used our living room view as inspiration for the last mosaic, so I wanted something more fantasy-like for the bathroom. I hear many artists and writers get their best ideas whilst sitting on the Porcelain Throne, so why not make the room conducive to creating big things! (*Oooops...that didn't sound right, did it. *giggle*)

I sketched a few pics out...mermaids, gallant ships...trying to get a  feel for what moved me. (*okay...I am saying right here and now that if you see toilet humour in everything I say, its on you. I am NOT going there again...)

                                  *kinda looks Gustav Klimt-ish? 

                                   *kinda looks like Mae West-ish?



                                             *Ahoy Matee!

I was thrilled to find a box of black tile at the thrift store (ReStore, Habitat For Humanity) so I tossed around the idea of a silhouette mermaid or ship...and then I found some peachy/orangey tiles and decided on this combo...

... until it hit me how too Halloween-like it felt so I sat back and tried to come up with another idea. Like I have said before, the color and availability of tiles guides your choice of design sometimes. Professionals probably have all they need on hand for their creations, but weekend artisans like me work with what scraps come our way!

And then...the Gods of Tortured Mosaic Makers smiled on me that afternoon when a pod of Killer Whales swam playfully past my balcony and I got this shot, and my best idea for the potential mosaic:




I skimmed over the net and found some Orca pics and, as they say...Eureka! I sketched one I liked:




Satisfied that I was going to regret committing to another creative adventure that would cause me anguish and sore fingers (read the aforementioned virgin mosaic project to understand this fully) I began busting up and hammering tiles and setting up the work space. 

*Here is a before pic of the smaller bathroom (the place was badly outdated and disgustingly neglected...a renovators dream! I will post an 'entire house' reno blog when we are 100% done)) and then my initial sketching on the almost finished wall:





I won't rewrite the entire list of supplies and tools you would need to do this or another mosaic project but it IS in my first project (link above and highlighted).

Here is the space I was dealing with, and the mosaic area was about 3.5 feet by 3 feet:




Some material and tools on the ready:



*believe it or not, I used the thin bottom end of this tube of Blistex to scoop out glue in the tiny, thin spaces on the mosaic...go figure!

                 *glue and any handy old bowl...or cat dish, in this case



*notice how pretty this corner turned out...complete with 2 ceramic Orca! I found the vintage mirror in the thrift store I always go to. My DH is a Master Tiler and does amazing work on renos... *hearty applause* I just dabble in mosaics now...use his glue and tile cutter... and harass him to grout for me. *smile*

More pics as I draw on the base picture and start gluing:

 *notice how I altered the original drawing. Don't be scared to make a mess...it will be covered after all!





*I found a sheet of this glass mini decorative tile at the ReStore and stripped it for a cute border


*I like to use as many large pieces as I can first and then work my way down to smaller, then smallest pieces. Not always...I do find 'perfect pieces' and use them right away too... but large chunks make one feel things are getting done! Its psychological...I am not very patient. *smile*




I use pieces that don't need shaping first, as using the tile clippers/cutters hurts my weak, old hands...and I usually end up bleeding. And I don't really 'shape' much...just trim and break to try and fit in as best as possible. If I had professional equipment I could round pieces and cut easier, and fill in space better, but it is how it is and I just leave spaces that are too small or difficult to manage. I have decided to find this charming. *smirk*






And the grouting begins, with my long suffering DH doing the honors! It isn't easy to do well and crazy messy, with a fast drying issue that kills me, so I happily allow my darling man to help me out and be a part of the magic...



One has to dig out smaller or sunken pieces sometimes...



And then...all of the sudden, it's done!

*Still not done 100% with this small room...looking for accents and maybe a large red fake lobster or crab...or green starfish or cool pirate ship. I need a large color burst to offset the mass of grey...

In any case, I hope you enjoyed this journey with me...please pop back in a while and see if I have posted the entire house reno blog. It may take time as I work, but it will get done! It is been an amazing transformation and nearly done!