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Category Archives: Garden

the problem with garbage

No one ever told me this before we started reno-ing (I’m sure I’ve used that before, but is that even a word?), but getting rid of stuff is really freaking expensive, highly annoying, and incredibly time consuming.

Last year we got a huge dumpster and filled it in about a week – which totally amazed me.

We took down one wall, removed some plaster and some flooring and $600 later, the dumpster was full.  I never would have imagined we would have generated so much rubbish, but there ya go.

But this time, getting a dumpster was out.  I didn’t think it was necessary, I didn’t want to spend the money, and we’d also created a nice garden area so there wasn’t room anyway.

(and yes, there is a glimpse of the hammock – successfully installed on a real post! – more on that later…)

Of course, then we inherited a mountain of crap in the flat upstairs.

We did put a lot of stuff out on garbage day, as Halifax has one of the most generous garbage policies of any city I’ve ever lived in.  Every two weeks you are allowed six bags of garbage – yes, SIX – plus one ‘bulky item’.  I called them and asked, ‘Surely by bulky item you don’t mean something like a stove do you?’  Oh yes they do.  Not that it even made it to garbage pick-up.  We put that sucker on the pavement and it was gone within half an hour.  Amazing.

But there was still a ton of stuff left.  We moved everything into one room and piled it up (thanks to Sam’s years of professional furniture stacking skills) so we could start working, but it was still annoying (and I should have taken a photo of the stacked room of furniture but sadly didn’t – just imagine the room above stacked to the ceiling).  Actually, it annoyed Sam more than me.  I still had visions of reclaiming some stuff, maybe taking some to a charity shop, putting some in the basement for future projects, but Sam, rightly, argued that all that would probably take just as long as the reno itself and we really didn’t have time – plus, there was very little of it that anyone realistically would have wanted (30 year old mattresses anyone?), and then there was the little problem we have of not even owning a car to take stuff anywhere.  So before I really had a chance to argue, Sam had called some guys with a truck, paid them $275 and POOF – it was all gone.

It was a real relief to be honest.  We now had space to move and work and some of the skanky smell had disappeared.  Horray!

We’re creating more garbage now though as we’ve finally decided to tear down the plaster on the one wall that was beyond repair.  We had a brief thought that the wall could stay as is in a sort of ‘shabby chic’ look.  Actually, I just googled ‘shabby chic’ and that is definitely not what I mean.  I don’t know what you call it in design-speak, but basically it’s that ‘this old house is so awesome even the peeling paint looks good’ look, but one that also says ‘we live in a climate that rarely falls below freezing so don’t worry about artistic holes in the walls’.  So that was out.

So now I need to figure out what to do with all that plaster.  I’m going to bag it up and see how much I can get rid of today (it’s garbage day tomorrow), but the rest might need some more drastic, and yes, costly solutions.  I just called the city though, and see that old toilet?  It is also considered a ‘bulky item’.  It’s going out on the curb!  One problem solved.

So today is a very glamorous day of breaking down and bagging up all the various piles of stuff around the house…

We’ll see how long I last before the hammock starts calling.

(and no, I’m not showing the whole hammock as there’s a load of other reno garbage under the deck that also needs attention…to be dealt with, later…)


how many art students does it take to build a picnic table?

In case you were wondering, it takes four.

Including me to supervise of course.

Actually, we were only putting it together, not technically ‘building’ it.  But the instructions got wet (I didn’t actually realize they were there with the wood and left them outside) and were pretty much indecipherable, so it took us a few (embarrassing) hours.  God knows we’d still be out there now if we had to build it from scratch.  ‘Media Arts’ does not prepare one adequately for basically anything of a practical nature.

You may notice, however, the newly improved, not falling over hammock post in the background.  Horray!

I keep meaning to post pictures of the hammock ‘in action’ so to speak, but as ‘action’ means lying in it and falling asleep, I haven’t yet managed any photographs.

Unfortunately, I think my lazy hammock days (well, there were two) are officially over as the reno has been kicking into high gear.  The electricians have been, done their thing, left holes in my walls, and gone again, and the plumber is here as we speak.

I love trying to be cool with the trades guys: ‘oh yeah, 7am would be totally fine.  I’m always up by then…’

hammock post – epic fail

As most of you will have gathered by now, this is not a ‘how to’ kind of blog.  If anything, it’s a ‘how not to’ or ‘oh look, we messed up but it turned out ok anyway’ kind of an adventure.

Which brings us to our latest project: hanging the hammock.

Without trees in your backyard it’s kind of difficult to find an appropriate spot.  We have a very sturdy fence, but it was put in by the neighbour before we moved in, and as he yelled at me for leaning an old door against it last summer, I somehow doubt hanging a hammock would go over well.

So, hanging it from a post seemed to be the answer.

We dug a hole:

We (well, Sam) took out the nails from an old wooden post leftover from our demo:

We poured concrete:

How do you choose the right concrete?

Well, I was won over by the lovely gender-neutral dude/ette on the bag looking super happy and content with their concreting efforts (remember, this is not a ‘how to’ blog).

We even, like the dorks we are, put our initials in the wet concrete:

The next day, we hung hammock…

and the post fell over.

Epic. and total failure.

So – after some swearing and a few beers –  we dug further.

We found coal…

…and we bought a bigger, better post:

Fingers crossed…

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