The Lighter Side of Laundry

There’s nothing quite like climbing into fresh clean bed sheets baked on the laundry line in the summer sunshine. Crisp linens, towels and under garment are one of the benefits of hanging your laundry to dry. The other huge benefit is the energy savings from not using your dryer.  As well, if like us, no air conditioning means no unwanted heating from dryer or oven when temperatures hit the sweaty level.Laundry 1

Today, as temperatures far exceeded the sweaty level, I noticed a load of laundry had finished its final cycle. Call me crazy, I jumped for joy. Not for the realization that my 19 year old son was doing his laundry without a word of prodding from me but that I could hang these damp clothes with the clear blue sky and sunshine!

A clear sky is key to a relaxed laundry day for us line users. One large dark cloud can have us running with empty basket and pin bag at break-neck speed screaming… “It gonna rain!!!”

Breaking up laundry day throughout the week is a good tip… if you can. Sheets and towels can fill that line up pretty quick. Luckily they dry rapidly when you have full sun and humidity levels are low.  wind-power-clothesline

Weather forecast for tomorrow says partially cloudy with chance of rain… So I’ll go to work instead. No need to call in sick for laundry tomorrow!!

Show us your laundry line.

Designs From the Mat… Returning Home

NestedGreen-Katherine-Yoga

It feels like I’ve been off my Yoga mat for years. It has been a very long winter with a previously busy autumn. Our cottage renovation clients have kept us rocking over this past year, for which we are very grateful but to schedule an interior renovation project to be completed over the Christmas holiday season is not a great idea. Seems like everyone came down with one sort of illness and then another. Not to mention our hardworking suppliers and tradesmen taking their holidays… they are allowed to do that at least once a year. Tales of faraway travels to sunny destinations are not always welcomed listening when bathroom remains bare bones and wanting attention.

Our team did pull through despite snow storms, delayed deliveries and those mentioned illnesses. We are coming down to the finish line, which despite what is displayed on TV design shows does not all appear overnight from the back of a large truck and then set up magically and camera ready. Products are out of stock, discontinued, arrive late, not what you ordered, damaged and so on… the good news… as we always assure our clients… It is going to look fabulous when it’s done.IMG_20150220_133825

Spring has been late arriving in our parts but our clients’ baby came early… another scheduling hiccup. A pleasant little mister who we hope enjoys his newly renovated crib… meaning the home, not the bed. Hopefully we will have the stunning freestanding bathtub installed before he’s in need of its use.

Our lovely clients and their new babe (and older K9 babe) spent their first weekend in their nearly completed renovated cottage these days past. As the snow slips off the roof and into the lake, dreams of skiing and snowmobiling drift into thought of picnics, boat rides and water skiing. Plans for decks, landscaping and hopefully a screened dining porch loom in our future.

What a wonderful year it has been for us. Although, after this winter of winters I’m ready for some hot Hatha Yoga to warm me up and work the kinks out. Time to prepare to be mindful for our next projects!! Welcome home!! Namaste.

Clutter Out… Calm In… Removing the unnecessary to see the important.

Mud room, custom organization system

In northern climates, as the blanket of brown snow recedes, thoughts of Spring bring with it a sense of re-birth and a chance to start life anew.  Spring also signals the time when many of us look around our winter encrusted entryways and dread the scraping of mud and salt off the floor tiles.  Piles of lone mittens, out-grown boots, sports equipment and water-logged school reports may also be a burden needed to be dealt with.  There’s a reason why “Time for Spring Cleaning” is on everyone’s lips and minds, whether you are the one designated to perform the task or not.  Clearing out the clutter, especially after being shut-in for what seems like an eternity, not only removes the safety hazards that have been building up but allows for the calm and restful feelings that an organized and clean space brings to us.

The physical act of removing clutter from your life is quite simple, there are a multitude of web-articles that will list how you should go about the task.  It is the mental aspect for many that becomes the challenge when deciding to throw-out or donate perceived precious items.  When beginning a lifestyle change like loosing weight, you would clear out your pantry and refrigerator of toxic and negative food, this is true of our possessions too. IMG_0519

The front entry of your home is a great place to start your new diet.  When we come home at the end of a long day at work, the last thing we need to be greeted with is clutter.  “That which clutters the floor, clutters the mind” I always say… usually to myself.  We contemplate, “How did it get this bad?”… “Didn’t I just clean this yesterday?” … “Why is the cat napping on my favourite scarf?” … and then we look for someone to blame… one may scream out the injustice of it all but no one listens… ever.  Then we formulate a plan so this never happens again… but always does.  It may seem like a useless task to take control of the mayhem but when your mother-in-law stops by unexpectedly and notes what a lovely floral display you have on the entry hall table… all is right in the world.

 

Gravel underfoot gone.  Lone mittens gone.  Salt stains… gone.  Sanity returns. Hellooooo Spring!!

#clutterlessnest  #nestedspringcleaning  #nestmess  #nestedsanity

 

 

 

Living with Multi-generations Under One Roof… How to Get Along

It was only suppose to be a temporary situation… maybe a few months at the most. Almost 8 years later and we’re still living in my parents home. I bought a house in the town where my parents retired to. For me and my two children, living near their grandparents was going to make life easier for me, a single parent, to be able to pursue my career in the city an hour’s drive away. Knowing that my kids would have breakfast in the morning and dinner at night, as well as, to and from school safely while I battle rush hour… making the drive a little less stressful. For my parents and children, with son in elementary school and daughter in high school, getting to know thier grandparents on a personal level was priceless.
The house I bought was a real deal, a handyman-special for sure… as were all the properties I looked at in my price range. To my benefit though, I knew what I was getting myself into… so I thought. On the surface the house looked liveable but I didn’t need the house inspector to tell me that there were problems. Most century homes that haven’t been renovated in 40 years usually have issues. I’ll save the details of my reno at Helen Street for a series of blog posts I’m planning for later. So we settled into my parents house for what we thought would be a short term…. but life happens and plans change with or without your consent. Lost jobs, lacking consistent income, parent illness and subsequent death, started and failed business, depression, loss of relationships, new relationships, found self, launching daughter, comforting mother, guiding son… life happens and everything happens for a reason.
I’ve come to understand there is a difference when a living situation is thrust upon you or if you are allowed to choose the living situation carefully. In this case, with me and my children moving in with my parents … we didn’t have a choice of living situations when the house we want to live in was and still is unliveable. I understood this completely when my daughter who was recently married, talked to me about her and her new husband starting a family and worrying that they wouldn’t have much flexibility in thier activities with little ones around and no help. Quickly I said “I’m your go-to Grandma!!”, then added that life could be even easier for them if we just lived with them. So I suggested we look at pooling resources and coming up with a plan of action. Who pays for what? How would things get decided? Who cleans the toilet? The list goes on, but at least it is discussed. Time to finish the repairs and sell that house the we have never lived in.
Multi-generational living is not a new concept. In fact, it wasn’t until the 1950’s when the idea of the “Nuclear Family” was being widely promoted. What it meant was that smaller family units swarmed into suburbs and out of the cities and left aging parent on thier own. There are many cultures living in North America that for them having many generations live under one roof is very common. Typically in North America, if you still live in your mom’s basement, people may think there is something wrong with you. There is even a term for that… failure to launch. More and more families every year are embrassing age-old communal living. Whether it is for financial reasons or for built-in security, there has been a surge in the past 5 years of multi-generational homes.
Successful communal living starts with planning the living spaces where everyone will have thier own zones for functionality, privacy and noise control. Everyone needs private and quiet sleeping spaces. Not all are on the same sleep schedule so planning these spaces are very important to the success of your living situation. If time and budget aren’t a huge barrier for you, designing and building a home specific to your families needs would be ideal. If a new building is out of the picture for you, consider hiring a designer to organize your existing property to get the most efficient living spaces out of it.
The Players and Other Considerations:
Pets … who’s pet is it anyways? cost, allergies, cleaning, feeding, poop, noise; Small children … noise, toy management, bath time, quiet sleep space, discipline rules (Mom & Dad get to set them), little friends, babysitters;
Pre-teen & teens … video games, friends, partying, latenights, electric guitars, loud music, eating right, privacy, sleep-overs, emotions, more discipline rules (Mom & Dad still get to set them);
The Parents (and thier partners and extended families) … long work hours, meal making, chores and the division of work, privacy and intimacy, discipline of children, financial obligation, retirement, travelling, entertaining;
The older parent(s) … noise (24/7 TV on top volume), hobbies, meals and the difference of taste, health issues, sad widow(er), sleeping hours, mobility issues, special equipment;
Dealing with Stuff … material stuff and emotional stuff… and the laundry;
Storage… and enough pots in the kitchen for everyone!!
Some Benefits of Multi-generational Living:
*  Extra eyes on the little ones… and not-so-little ones;
*  Consolidating resources and decreasing costs such as utility bills, insurance, mortgage, rent, vehicles, commuting, child and elder care;
*  Sharing of household duties (more hands to wash dishes and toilets);
*  IT problems will be resolved quickly (as long as you’ve got techies around to hit re-boot);
*  Increase of familia bonding through meals, activities, chores and play time… quality time!

Every living arrangement has it’s pluses and minuses… we choose to dwell on the positive. Having your aging parents close to you can be a comfort knowing that they are well taken care of by all of the family. There are so many benefits but like any relationship, communication is the most important tool for multi-generational families to live successfully under one roof. I’m looking forward to my next living arrangement!!