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.

2) MY eBook Trailers are on YOUTUBE
3) My website:denisesevierfries.com
4) My Photo-Art Youtube Trailer is here too.

Friday, May 7, 2021

CELEBRITIES TURNING 60 THIS YEAR and why it's really fucking up my day

Meg Ryan.

George Clooney.

Ricky Gervais.

Heather Locklear.

Peter Jackson.



FREAKIN' NADIA COMENICI ! (was I really her age when I watched her win 5 Gold Medals and earn the  first 100% score in Olympic history?)

So many accomplished, outstanding people are my age. 

MY age! (Well, one year younger but whatever....)

What, from the bottom of my heart, the fuck?

I feel gut punched. My tongue is rolled out of my mouth as I slouch my way over to the fridge like a dejected Quasimodo to check if there's enough wine in the box (yes I said box) to numb the pain of the giant LOSER sign nailed to my forehead.

It's times like these that make you question what the hell you've been doing your entire life. What have you created that is lasting and impressive?

Well, I have 5 beautiful children and they have given me (so far) 7 gorgeous grandkids...but that is, however lovely, not an especially headline worthy accomplishment. Sorry kids. The world doesn't share my feelings of your utter and complete uniqueness. 

And it's true that the model of my hand I made at my first real job as a 19 year old dental assistant (using a milk carton full of alginate ...the pink stuff used to take teeth impressions) is a classic 'rebellious youth' statue (also known in Canada as the Trudeau Salute) ... but one careless elbow can knock it off the shelf and ALAS! my legacy is lost.


I will have to do better these next 10 years so when the NEXT list is made, I will sit and take a peek through it and think "Whatever. Losers." and with my head held high I'll turn my scooter into the produce aisle and drive off to find an economy size bag of prunes.

(Below...the source of my angst!)

60 Celebrities Who Are Turning 60 in 2021 | Best Life (bestlifeonline.com)

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

A RADIO LOVE AFFAIR: the rekindling of an old, staticky flame


Back in youth...I'm talking the 60's and 70's...in small town rural Canada, the height of personal entertainment was the radio.

We would listen to our old radio in the kitchen a lot, but mostly it was turned on to 730 CKDM to listen to Bernie Basaraba "The Voice of the Kings" as he commentated the local hockey team who both of my brothers each Captained at one point or another. 

My social life centered on watching the games live when I was old enough to walk to the arena myself, but when I was younger (or older but babysitting my sister) listening to the game on the radio was pretty damn exciting! Games and the local radio station playlist was all we got, except on a cloudless night when we could tap into a Winnipeg station now and then. Scratchy, staticky signals weaker than a preacher's whiskey.

But those big radios were permanent fixtures in most homes, like ours in a nook in the kitchen above the counter, so privacy for listening alone was impossible. 

So, when I was given a small, hand held transistor radio, I was crazy happy! It made an indelible mark in my childhood. I listened to it pressed close to my ear so often, I'm sure you can still see its imprint some 50 years later.

I went to bed every night with that transistor radio next to my head on the pillow, or if my sister complained (we slept two to a bed in our big family) I turned down the volume to a ghost's whisper and slept with it under my ear. I learned to contort my body so my full upper-weight was on my arms under the pillow and the hard plastic radio was less painful under my head. 

That must be a mannequin's hand holding the radio pictured below because, trust me, 10 minutes in that position, your hand would we numb for life. 

It wasn't until I was about 19 yrs old (1979) when the Sony Walkman came out that earphones/headphones were common. There may have been something similar for transistor radios before that, but not in our house. None of that fancy stuff for us.... *eye roll*

When I happen to catch an old tune on the radio now, it immediately sends me back to my room at home. I can smell Mom's honey-dipped donuts cooling on the rack; I hear the boys arguing out back, fighting over who has to mow the lawn; and I see my posters of Donny Osmond plastered on my wall like love-sick, teeny-bop wallpaper.

Some of those early tunes are:

The Archies
Sugar Sugar:

Lay Down 
by Melanie & The Edwin Hawkins Singers:

Three Dog Night
Mama Told Me Not To Come:

Freda Payne
Band of Gold: 

The Guess Who
American Woman: 

I was so madly in love with Canadian singer Burton Cummings from The Guess Who, I told everyone my first baby was our Love Child. My husband at the time just smiled and let me have my fun. *smile*

So...the point of this post, finally, is to share with you an app I found called RADIO GARDEN. It's a mobile or webb app actually and it's bloody amazing! And it's FREE whether it be on your phone or computer

 "From the (click link in blue letters) Radio Garden app site on the Google Play Store Radio Garden allows you to listen to thousands of live radio stations world wide by rotating the globe. Every green dot represents a city or town. Tap on it to tune into the radio stations broadcasting from that city.“ The app designers are adding stations constantly. You might be surprised what stations you will find just in your area you didn’t even know existed. As long as you have a phone signal you can tune into Radio Garden. Just select a green dot or city, there is drop down menu for all the stations in that area on the app. 

For your computer just go here to radio.garden. Or just Google it yourself.

I just LOVE it! Sure, I have access to tons of music, but nothing beats listening to music (or programs of all sorts!) on live radio from ANYWHERE in the world, 27/7! You can be your own DJ!

And it looks SO cool. When you turn on the app, an animated planet Earth comes on your screen and it rotates and takes a few seconds for the bright green dots (the 'seeds' ) to get planted...which only means it's getting populated with the stations for you to use...

Then you can scroll around the world immediately listening to what looks like hundreds of thousands of radio stations playing LIVE in their towns and cities globally. You can type in the city or town etc...where you wish to listen, or look randomly, like I usually do, and listen to one of a gazillion stations in Brazil ...

...or the USA, or Germany, Iceland, Poland, Sicily...anywhere! I like to find a lone wee green dot in the middle of the ocean on an island somewhere remote and listen in on what some lonely Lighthouse Keeper in may be listening to...

I can't tell you the thrill I got the first time I played with that radio app. To listen to CKDM again in my hometown...

....or to the music my daughter may be listening to in Edmonton, or the news in German my sister-in-law listens to in her little village in Germany...or my grandchildren in Australia...it was mind-blowing!

I have travelled extensively in my life and it was just so beautiful to sit in my comfy chair outside in the sun last summer, close my eyes and listen to some tunes out of Jamaica, remembering the feel of warm sand at my feet and an ice cold Red Stripe beer at my fingertips. I could almost smell the unmistakeable mix of salt water and Caribbean blooms. Then, when I grew restless for maybe a talk-show in a language I knew nothing about, I'd spin over to Rome and find a channel that had some that passionate Italian spice I heard while visiting the Vatican in 2016... so many incredible memories!

And finally, I often seek out a radio station in Ukraine and wonder if it's the music I'd be listening to today had my grandparents not taken a leap of faith and left the Motherland for Canada. 

That always gives me the shivers.

I hope you find some pleasure in this new technology and awesome new means to 'travel' the world.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

IN TIMES OF GRIEF: How My Canadian Daughter Found Love and Support From Her Aussie Rugby Family


I am Canadian and know nothing of rugby.

Neither did my daughter Chantal until she married Duncan, an Aussie rugby fanatic. I knew she had grown to love the sport over the years (their boys played it, Duncan coached it, and their daughter cheered them all on) but I didnt know just how amazing the rugby community was until she lost her sweet husband to cancer a few months ago.

She started writing a grief blog about single parenting to perhaps help ease the trauma that has invaded her life, and this piece in particular is one that I feel not only rugby lovers and fans will appreciate, but anyone who has lost a mate and fought to move forward.

Living so far away, one feels helpless when tragedy strikes...but how very lucky my daughter and grandchildren are to be a part of this rugby family in the Land Down Under.

Here is the link if you wish to read it. It is very well written and will tug at your heart: One Parent Camping: RUGBY

Grandsons Max and Oscar

Chantal, Oscar, Max and Duncan
(missing from pic, granddaughter Alex. Probably off playing soccer!)

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. 💔

(💫Believe 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.💓

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 period of 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 to see 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 the meaty Ukrainian thighs the women of our family were legally required to own. Where Bob walked under a perpetual spotlight of attentive admiration, Rhonda was, I admit, largely ignored by her shitty babysitters (read: the sisters, including myself). A household with six children is bound to have issues, and we had our fair share, but we were always close-knit. We laughed a lot and went through more than a few dozen decks of playing cards. That’s my memory anyway. Until that awful summer.    
Most of us had grown up and left home...going off to university, finding jobs, getting married or, in Bob’s case, joining 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, he 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.

Well, 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. He was a joy to watch. And funny at times too: I can’t count how many times the games were stopped so  the rink staff could shovel the ice to find Bob’s lost contact lens, the crowd cheering uproariously 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 never grew and neither did his confidence. He blamed himself. Who else was there? He then moved from team to team; his total points dropping while his penalty minutes rose. At home he was a lover, not a fighter.


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 unfathomable loss and stark 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 thought him an odd duck, 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.


Don’t tell Mom.


Although my brother won his battle 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 blind 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 simply 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 regular game of Rummy with Mom, Bob couldn’t hold his cards anymore. His fingers could barely move so they called it a night.

Next game, Rhonda unexpectedly joined them and helped Bob deal the cards. After she took them and shifted them around in his hand with his instruction, he looked at the cards, 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. Complete autonomy became his standard. And 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. She became nurse, secretary, chauffeur, concierge, personal shopper, cook, maid and most importantly, lottery ticket and bingo card buyer, to them all.

Bob 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 Fred Penner kid's tune, ‘The cat came back, the very next day…’ and we'd laugh through our tears.

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. EVERY 2 hours.

If anyone asks Rhonda if she has kids, she doesn't know how to answer.

My brother and sister carved out a life for themselves with the tools they were given. Neither are prone to verbally expressing affection (NOT a family trait...the rest of us are embarrassingly mushy), 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 bright, colorful birthday parties.  His brilliant, hilarious Halloween costumes. Their lovely Christmas celebrations. Scenic 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 and Rhonda's house.

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

Why would he do such a amazing thing?  

Barry once 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 like a beloved shiny baby, 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.
Pure magic.

They say that our experiences in life 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 when its hard to get up from our rocking chairs, we can make Memory Withdrawals, enjoying them over and over again. My brother had led an interesting life for a while, but MS robbed him from filling that memory bank. That special day with Lord Stanley did much in way of enriching that vault.

There must be a special place in heaven for people like my sister Rhonda and Barry Trotz…but Bob? Well, I’m not really sure where pirates go…

                                     PHOTO ALBUM:

AGE 19: CAPTAIN BOBBY BUCHY of the Dauphin Kings:


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

 Number 19:

Handsome bugger!

Me and my Hero:

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: here in Christmas 2019

And my personal favorite:

Bob, Barry and Lord Stanley:

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

                                                                    Here in 2010:

THE END? Nope, not by a long shot...

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 😊). 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. 😈

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... 😍)

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 décor, 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*