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"Life doesn't have to be perfect to be wonderful."
- Unknown

"That which does not kill you, makes you stronger."
- Handed down through the ages.

"Life's tough. It's even tougher when you're stupid."
- John Wayne

Where Did I Leave Off?

Wow. It feels like I've been gone so long from writing here that I hardly know where to begin to make an attempt at catching up! But, let's go back to a week ago Saturday where we left off. It was the cold rainy day we cut the tiles into the house floor as well as the 6th anniversary of us becoming the proud new owners of our cozy little Hastings-on-the-Lake.

Sunday the 25th was a much lovelier day, and we started out by first accurately placing and then ever-so-carefully cutting the surprise I'd created for Tom into the floor (he was banished during all of this). It's always been a bit of a running joke with us that Tom doesn't know which direction is which when we're in the woods (or at our building site, for that matter), so I designed and cut out a simple template for a compass rose. Not only does it accurately point (theoretically, anyway) in the four directions but it's a symbol for what we've been striving for: "We are here. This is where we've always been meant to be."

I called the 2nd-in-Command timber framer to come confirm my N-S and E-W directions before I traced it onto the cement, and, in the process, we discovered a heck of a situation! All the rebar (steel which provides the reinforcement) in the cement was causing the magnet in the compass to go all flooey. So, point being, our directions are FAIRLY accurate . . . but don't set a course for the North Pole based on them!

Our timberframer-turned-mason made the cuts, and it turned out beautifully, if I do say so myself. Following that was the most thorough sweeping and then cleaning of the cement slab possible . . . in preparation for the acid stain we would apply that afternoon. I'd chosen two colors to apply together for a mottled effect that would hopefully emulate a warm, earthy-toned glazed tile: Vintage Umber and Malay Tan. When they are applied, all the acid colors are a greenish tint, and so it's nearly impossible to see what it will really look like until the acid reacts with the cement and dries. We finished the application just as the sun set, and none of us could wait to see the results that morning would bring!

(And, if I may, a very belated Happiest of Birthdays to my aunt in California who celebrated on September 25th! Tom still has you beat by 3 years! Well, 2 1/2 really.)

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