The chronicles of hardware

Did you know that if you want to return something you bought at Rona in Midland at Rona in Barrie, you can only do so for store credit? Neither did I, until recently.

I also learned that Home Depot doesn’t even need a receipt to do a full return, provided they recognize and can sell the product; that Canadian Tire has great deals; and that Home Hardware in Elmvale has the friendliest service in Simcoe County.

I used to be afraid of hardware stores, but now I think you could strap a blindfold to my face and I could still find the paint section. I’m drawn by the smell of fresh, plastic-wrapped brushes and frog tape.

It’s amazing how much crap you need to renovate a room — and how easy it is to buy the wrong thing. Did you know that vent covers come in different widths and lengths? Because I sure didn’t.

Owning a fixer upper has really expanded my handiness horizons. I can now use a drill, mud walls, and paint like a pro. At least I think I can. There may be the odd drip or extra hole here and there. Either way, you can call me a renaissance girl.

We’re hoping to finish the walls this weekend. I promise to post pictures soon. After that? Refinishing the floors. Eek.

Love Army

I am the luckiest, most blessed person ever. Lately I’ve felt so valued by my beautiful friends and family. I’ve also felt totally overwhelmed by everything that’s going on in my life. So basically, I’m joyverwhelmed.

Since I last posted, we moved everything we own into our new home, unpacked dozens of boxes, and painted broad expanses of cracked, uneven wall. I also celebrated my 29th birthday, organized a bachelorette party for one of my dearest friends, and started a new job.

Me, in the chaos of our kitchen

Me, in the chaos of our kitchen

In between all of that, we tried — and failed — to find time to do boring things like check our mail, do our laundry and pay our bills.

We also tried to settle into a new, Elmvale routine. So far our routine is: wake up at 7 a.m., put in a full day of work, have takeout dinner (note: it took us under 10 days to try ALL of Elmvale’s takeout), work on the house until 2 a.m., zombie to bed, and then do it all over again.

Under normal circumstances (note: nothing about August has been normal) I would have buckled under the magnitude and weight of all this change. It’s all good stuff, but sometimes it feels like a big, heavy pile on my shoulders. The thing is, I have a veritable army of people propping me up and keeping me moving. My love army.

Dozens of people have stopped by to say hello and lend a hand. Far too many to thank. My uncle Dan left half an hour ago after spending his whole night moving my washer and dryer.

My friend Cynthia was the first to strip wallpaper with me

My friend Cynthia was the first to strip wallpaper with me

Over 20 individuals came by on my birthday to help strip the acres of wallpaper that used to cover this house. Some — my dad, aunt Denise and uncle Dean — were here from 9 a.m. in the morning to 10:30 p.m. at night.

When the army took a break to eat Life’s a Slice Pizza (note: it arrived an hour late because the small Elmvale pizzeria had never made 3 party-sized pizzas at once before) I felt surrounded by love. It was in the gluten-free birthday cake my sister baked just for me, the aching shoulder our friend Donna braved to free our bathroom of sheep, and the bus ticket my old university roommate Steph bought to get here.

My cousin Duncan, sister Genevieve and mother Helena lighting my birthday cake

My cousin Duncan, sister Genevieve and mother Helena lighting my birthday cake

Without all of our loved ones, we would have had to fix up this big old house on our own. We’re not even close to done yet, but they literally saved us months of work.

I promise to post pictures of our progress soon. But before talking about our new space, I needed to devote a little bit of cyberspace to the unsung heroes of this brief, hectic period of my life. Thank you all for sharing in this transition. For helping me bear the load. And for loving me enough to strip wallpaper.