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How I Game Mundane Chores

I knew that buying a Bed and Breakfast meant learning to love household chores and maintenance even more than guest service. The truth is that most of my time is spent on tiny tedious tasks that could become mind numbing. Not one to dwell, I have learned to game my own system and embrace the reno, meditate with the nesting, exercise using window cleaning and be creative with the steam-punking. The WHAT punking? Very loosely defined, steam punk is the genre of literary, art and design that combines 19th century industry with futuristic/current function.

I own a Victorian home but do not love the typical overstuffed, dark and cloaked style of the time period. This calls for some décor inspiration and innovation. My current renovation involved tossing an ugly bathroom cabinet in one of the guestrooms. Yep, not in the ensuite bathroom...this vanity was in the bedroom. I figured, if you had to have a washstand in the room, it should be something interesting.

What I wanted aesthetically was a piece that was as authentic to the original as possible that functions perfectly in a whole new way. A conversation piece that would hold up to daily use for guests. Make no mistake, it would have been significantly less expensive and way less work to have found a simple upscale bathroom cabinet and marble countertop, but where it the fun in that?

In search of an antique piece to convert into a sink, we discovered a classic gas stove with teal blue taps the very colour of my logo. Having a handy partner who could visualize how to retrofit is a bonus. We removed the gas fittings and sourced an acrylic "counter top" in the same blue colour, a sink that could fit and taps that could be "wall" mounted. Engaging in such crazy town plumbing/fitting means pulling out the trial and error patience.

Sometimes punking a thing is cheaper than buying from a department store. For instance, I made a knife block using three Hardy Boys books bound together. It cost a couple bucks and gives me more pleasure and a whimsical grin every single day. A regular old knife block could never do that.

One of the other games I play with myself is to time the cleaning of a room...but not with a timer. I have set a playlist that is 25 minutes long, it is much like working out now when I bend and reach, sweep, fluff, scrub and dust. I also break up the big tasks by focusing on floors one week, everything from the knees to the shoulders the next and above my head for the third. This way, I rarely miss a dust bunny in its development or the dust on a ledge or a cobweb from the ceiling. If the name of the game is staying ahead of accumulation, I may as well be preventing fat from accumulating on my thighs and calves, then core and on up to shoulders at the same time.

The art of living is all about finding ways to have itty bitty joys that come from the most regular daily tasks. Nothing is mundane when there is creativity. Just wait until I choreograph a dance to do during laundry.

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