I’m sitting here in our downtown apartment in Ottawa sipping the soup we had for dinner at the cabin last night. I’m showered and in intact, non paint-splattered clothes. I don’t smell like sawdust and my head is uncovered (I wear a head wrap or cap at the cabin for ticks). Yet my brain is totally back in the woods. It’ll take me a few days to get my bearings, I’m sure.
So, this was an exciting visit. It was a longer stay (4-5 days) and it was eventful!
Liam had a lot of marking and prepping to do, and spent a good chunk of Monday in town to make calls, do emails, etc., but we still fit in some good long walks around the property. The walks were inspired by a visit from Ernie, our “country neighbour” whose son is our actual neighbour, who told us that we probably own more land than we originally thought. Last visit we had discovered a new pond by following some old snowmobile trails that Ernie told us he had made years back. Ernie says that’s all our land (looking at our various maps, that would make sense), but so is a whole other area beyond there. He took Liam way up the road to show him the property marker (supposedly ours) and told him in detail about this and that landmark showing the boundary line (an old rocking chair, a bear’s den, a pine stand, etc.). Pretty neat stuff.
The next afternoon we went back to that spot and walked along what seemed to be a barbed wire boundary line fence. Following it through creeks and forest, we lost it for a while (and also didn’t find all the markers Ernie had told us about), and then found it again about 100m from the old snowmobile trails we’d walked last visit. It’s conceivable that that additional chunk is ours, but it doesn’t entirely match up with some of the roughly sketched property maps we have. In any case, it was a fun outing. We took some pictures and headed back along the trails toward home. With no bugs and little mud these walks are the BEST.
Walking is fun, but meanwhile, I went to town on the cabin interior. That’s the real juicy stuff. First, the small successes:
And for the grand finale… the laundry room! I’m referring to what was previously the bathroom/catch-all area in the back left of the picture below. Since the cabin is too small to have junk-filled spaces (and we don’t actually need an indoor toilet), it’s getting converted. This is how it started:
The idea was to make this space (previously roughed in for a shower and toilet – draining where, you ask? We’ll never know) into a laundry room, using the big cast iron sink in the alcove (last photo), and pantry, with shelves all up the wall with the mirror (second-last photo). I also wanted a peg rail for a broom, towels, aprons, and other Shaker-type things (my latest everything inspiration) that are awkward to find good homes for.
The plan also included a tiled floor, which is where this story begins and ends. Not coincidentally, I had been stockpiling tiles since we bought the place, thinking we’d put a wet room into this space. That changed with the installation of the outdoor shower and the ripping down of the wall and door (we loved the open space to much more than the wall that was there before. Privacy be damned!), but I still had the tiles and a bunch of tiling tutorials under my belt that I wanted to put to use.
Enter: Project Laundry Room. We started by ripping out the sink and all the unwanted pipes (after checking under the boards to see where they came from and went), and laying a new layer of plywood (with luan over top, which the Home Hardware guy recommended. I still think I should have laid cement board, but too late).
The above part took the better part of a morning or afternoon (don’t remember which). Then it was time to get tiling…
I was really happy with how it was looking and left the mortar to do its business for a day or two, then I went in and grouted – to perfection, I might add. My great grandpa was a bricklayer, dontchaknow.
Man, I’m good. Look at those lines! Such great lines. I’ll be going back in a few days to seal it and maybe build that corner kitchen cabinet because I’m obviously unstoppable now. Here’s how it looked after I threw up some shelves and a peg rail (that I made in the dry time between coats of poly on the dresser – no big deal).
The last question (for now) is: keep the red rolling cart thing or use the two little white cabinets (photo below) that I’d be paint some great colour? I like the rolling thing because I can put a board over the top and use it a a chopping block and rolling island. BUT I also like the cabinets because they’re adorable (like the little handles I added? I found them at Home Hardware for 99 cents the other day), sturdy, and mouse-proof-ish. Ah the decisions…