My first sunset at the cottage
When people find out where I live, the first words out of their mouth is " you drive the Malahat everyday". I find the statement amusing, first off I dont work 7 days a week! Thank god those days are over. Secondly, yes, I commute, I love the drive. In fact, the Malahat is my favourite part, from Langford in...... sucks. Thirdly, there are many beautiful places on the island, most of that beauty is north of the Malahat.
My house is called Rennick Cottage, 11 years ago the house was bulldozer bait, it was ugly and neglected. The land was amazing. I offered to purchase the property before I entered the house. In all honesty, I really did not care what the house looked like, I could change it, but the view..... it was worth every penny!
Day 1 at Rennick Cottage
There were many reasons to move to the Cowichan Valley, but probably the most important is that I was closer to my parents in Qualicum Beach. My dad had been diagnosed with early on set dimentia, being one hour closer really made a big difference. I changed my work week to Thursday thru Saturday and Linda came on board to do Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday.
My neighbors thought I was crazy, a single woman from the city buying a tear down on a country road. My mom and Dad thought I was brilliant, and came to visit me every weekend during the reno's. This time spent with my Dad will be most cherished memories.
I acted as my own General Contractor.... something I would never advise anyone to do! I excelled at it, but really it's not for everybody. It was a domino effect the day the windows went in. If I do new windows, I should do new siding, which leads to new roof ( shingle roof never leaked), and the list went on and on.
When I said bulldozer bait, I meant it! Powder post beetle had eaten through the sill and all the load bearing walls, they had not made it to the floor joists. My carpenter told me it was the worst case he ever saw. I did not win a prize for that. The house is jacked up a small amount, as everything is replaced with new full dimension lumber.
The house gets a face lift with cedar board and batton.
Inside the house, new flooring, new kitchen, new bathroom, all new drywall, lighting, blah, blah, blah! I'm wiped out from making decisions. I take some time off and start working in the garden. I soon become a garden queen, I'm addicted, I now know all the plants names in Latin!
The cottage is stained Nantucket grey, and the metal roof is charcoal. The garden has matured in the last few years, and will be pruned back in the spring. This summer I worked hard to finish the courtyard near the front door.... that will have to wait for another blog. The projects continue, and I am now asked " are you finished working on your house?" The answer to that question is easy "never!"
Ida and Creamy curl up to catch some Fall sunshine on the front porch.
Country living is not for everyone. For me, living here, is perfect. I could not be happier, I have never worked so hard in my life! This summer alone I have slung 12 yards of compost, 11 yards of cart path, stacked 2 cords of wood, dry stacked a 100 foot by 5 foot rock wall, and Im quite sure I'm forgetting something.
My neighbors, whom I love dearly, still think I'm crazy...... but in a good way. There is a scarlett oak planted in the back yard in memory of my dad, he passed away 2 years ago. My mom drives down to check out what Im up to on a regular basis. This is home sweet home.
Love Where You Live.