One month on Elma

We were taking Coco out for a walk last night when the lovely lady two doors down from us waved us over.  I had met Marion up on the hill a few weeks earlier but didn't realize that she lived so close.  She has lived on Elma for 20 years and absolutely loves it.  We had a lovely chat and she gave us a tour of her backyard.

"It feels so Zen," I shared.  She smiled, appreciating the observation.

A beautiful and winding stone walking path through the grass takes you to different folksy features like stained glass windows, ceramic pigs and a fantastic birdhouse, perched on a tall beam.

We took possession of this house one month ago today.  We've met many of the neighbours over that time.  Walking Coco three and four times a day helps.  We casually bump into folks and conversations ensue.

We have also met many of our Mother Nature neighbours.  In fact, just this morning a beautiful doe and her fawn were in the middle of our backyard, staring at me standing in the dining room.  Our yard also serves as a deer trail, which we think is super awesome.

So, one month into Okotoks, how are we doing?  Great question.  I think we are all feeling a sense of home, but itching to get into our work routines.  I am really feeling the need for the studio renovation to be done so I can get back into my painting groove.  It's kinda hard to get going when my stuff is all scattered and my easel is in a temporary space.

That said, Birdsong Studio is coming along beautifully.

custom cabinets for canvases, prints and supplies - done and installed

knockdown ceiling - done

painting of walls and doors - done

LED lights throughout the studio - done

feature walls - partially complete (ran out of hardware to finish all the feature spots)

The only things left to do are the floor and the installation of the bathroom stuff (toilet, sink, vanity).  The floor will be sanded and deep cleaned on Monday.  The sealer will be applied shortly after.  While waiting for all the renovations to be done is hard, the wait will be worth it.  Birdsong Studio will be ready to inspire creativity for years to come.

We have fallen into a very healthy routine here in Okotoks.  I get up around 6 am.  As soon as Coco trots down the stairs, I take him for a quick walk.  Heather is usually up and active before 7 am.  The consistent walks throughout the day to allow Coco to stretch his legs and also allows us to stretch ours.  As the yard is not fenced off yet, Coco needs to be taken out to do his business.  We've used more doggie poop bags in a month than we've used in an entire year.

The house at 74 Elma Street is turning into a home.  Small touches get added and/or adjusted daily making it feel more like us.  Heather was in bliss last night preparing dinner in the well designed kitchen.  There is much to be said for a kitchen that is both aesthetically pleasing and functional.  This is both.  She has also been working her magic in the flower beds.

"Where did you learn about all the gardening stuff?" I asked after watching tame the back flower beds.

"My parents for sure," she said.  "Also Uncle Daniel."  Heather's Uncle is an incredible landscape/garden designer who lives in Boston.

I cut the grass and use the weed wacker.  I leave all the green thumb stuff to Heather.

We've had family guests and we have more on the way in August and September.  We'll also be enjoying Dylan's company in a couple of weeks before he and I depart for Mindcamp in Ontario.  A home is just a house without the people.  We love having people enjoy this place and we're appreciative to all who have taken the opportunity to visit.


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