Thursday, March 25, 2010


I couldn't help but snap a photo of Brendon in the hopital bed. Take a look at what is says on his bracelet. The medical reason it says NUTS is because he has a serious allergy to all kinds of the dry fruit, except for almonds. On Monday when Brendon was in better spirits and under the influence of fewer drugs, he joked with the nurses about being accidentally shot up with peanuts. Today, the worst appears to be over. He came through the operation really well and now has screws holding everything in place. He came home yesterday and while he's definately still struggling with nausea and pain, he's on the slow road to recovery - six to eight weeks of crutches.

The deeper meaning behind the bracelet must be obvious to all of you - right? Well if you were thinking something along the lines of motorcycles, fair enough. But that's not what I'm getting to here. We'll have that conversation later.

NUTS is a good way to describe how others secretly feel about what we are about to do. Don't lie to me! I know what you are thinking. I have to admit, I've had the same thoughts you're having right now. It's definitely not the traditional dream. Not many people imagine themselves actively seeking to live two blueberry bushes away from their in-laws. The truth is that Brendon and I do feel a little NUTS taking this on. I'm in my 30s and I'm building a home in my partners' parents backyard. Everything about that sounds crazy and creepy.

So a good question might be, "Why are we doing it?"

Well our first goal is to have a home and Barbara and Roger have been generous enough to open up their backyard for that possibility. For those of you that are familiar with real estate prices in Vancouver, this aspect cannot be underestimated. A dump in a crappy neighbourhood starts at $700K in this city. Neither one of us want to live in the burbs so building a mini home means we can stay in the heart of Vancouver. Second of all, we want to build a green small home, one that treads lightly on the world and perhaps can help show others how to do the same. We have a lot to learn but I am really excited about how much we'll know one year from now. Third, having family close by has been wonderful and truth be told - we've really enjoyed it. Barbara and Roger have been amazing pillars of support for us and if we want to extend our family beyond our cat someday, having babysitters a couple of feet away won't be too bad either...

So call us NUTS. I know you're thinking it. Now you know that we know you've thought it.

P.s. Mom - You can post comments now without any restrictions.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Starting out

"Life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans." - John Lennon

We've been planning this day for months now, ever since we first decided that we were going to build a home in Brendon's parents backyard. Since October, several opportunities to start blogging came and went - like our first trip to City Hall to navigate through what we'd need to do to make this project happen, or the Saturday spent in Chapters pouring through Build Your Own Home for Dummies books and the first meeting we had with a financial advisor to figure out how to fund this project. But Brendon and I wanted to be ready and none of those moments were just right. Finally with winter nearing its end, we were starting to feel like we were ready to go public and start this project 'officially'. We had everything lined up. I had figured out the blog and we had gotten some great custom artwork done to add a personal touch to the web pages. (Thank you Jenny!) We had decided on a design/build company that we wanted to work with and had set-up a meeting for this afternoon. Brendon was to meet at Smallworks and we were going to begin negotiating the contract. All of this was going to be posted online by the afternoon. But then life happened.

I got a call from a good Samaritan about 30 minutes before we were supposed to be at our meeting. She was with Brendon who had been in a motorcycle accident. He was conscious but in a lot of pain and the ambulance was on its way. With the name of the hospital in hand, I quickly jumped into the car and rushed over to emergency. I found Brendon on a stretcher with a neck brace and a very swollen left leg. He had been hit by a car at about 50 km an hour and had flown over the hood and landed 10 feet away. Despite his injuries Brendon was in good spirits and had already wooed the ambulance attendants and nurses into helping him document everything via photos and video on his iphone. By the time I had come and gone to get him a few things from home, he had gotten even more comfortable - giving out several business cards to potential clients. That said, all is not perfect. Brendon broke his tibia and fibula and will be going into surgery tomorrow. I'll be with him and I'll let you all know how he's doing once he's out.

While this isn't exactly what I thought I would be writing about for the first entry on our blog, I'm so grateful that he's okay and I'm still going to get to build this dream home with the love of my life.