Saturday, January 31, 2009

Toto, Are We in Kansas, Yet?

Saturday, January 31

Friday saw our happy, little crew putting up the trusses over the sun room and starting to sheet the garage walls. At +6, the cow pasture had gone from skating rink to mud pit. I bet you think I was just out enjoying the weather but, alas, I was digging a trench to take the ground wire for the electricity. Thus, I am intimately aware of the mud as is the washing machine.

Saturday ended up being only a half day of work as Jim and James (imagine our confusion some days) were nearly blown out of the house by the winds that were gusting between 50 and 90 kph. They were valiantly trying to get the floor down in the loft area and managed to finish about a third of it before they nearly took flight. Although the warm weather is lovely, the price we pay for it is the wind. Jim and James are both skinny, little dudes and the "Prairie Breeze" just has to catch their clothing to send them parasailing.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Rain, Rain, Go Away...

Thursday, January 29

It's above zero again today but the melting snow and rain are making the cow pasture a skating rink. Each day that the wind stays down, more trusses go up. Guests no longer have to tough it out in the basement bedroom as the upstairs front bedroom now has roof trusses and walls...what more could anyone want? A verandah, you say...well the trusses are in place for that, too. Two of the garage walls are up and ready to be sheeted and Rob and Perry are working on the wall that houses the garage doors. Soon, I'll be able to drive into the garage...that is if we had a floor and not a gaping hole. Honestly, if the contractor doesn't get it filled in soon, I'll be buying a hovercraft.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Our Brave Little Amigo's

Saturday, January24

I have been very negligent in posting to the blog, lately...I apologize. We have had some severe weather that prevented work in the cow pasture for several days...brutal cold and/or ferocious wind. However,the 3 Amigos Tyler, Ian and Coreen braved the frigid temperatures on Saturday to do all the electrician stuff to the house so that, as soon as the Battle River REA (our power provider) is ready, we can be hooked up to electricity. Tyler is a friend of Ian's who is also a journeyman electrician and graciously offered to help with the electrical in the house. As you can see we have a panel in the basement and all the accoutrement on the outside for the meter to be installed. Plus, they spliced extra power cable at the pole and ran it, in some conduit, part way up.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Abuse and Battery

Wednesday, January 21

This is the last of our glorious weather days. Back to the old, January grind tomorrow with cold, wind and snow. At least we had a nice break. As you can see, the main roof trusses are all in place leaving the smaller ones that go over the bedroom, garage, sun room and dormers. If you're very clever, you can just make out my new sewing room which is the cavity formed in the centre of the roof trusses.This roof has taken it's toll as we lost Rob yesterday and James today. Something about being worn out...backs done in...minor stuff...only worth one day off for each of them. We're not so sure the roof is to blame as they all went snowmobiling for 5 hours a few days ago. Jim has been at his inventive best by rigging up a winch that pulls the trusses up onto the walls saving the sore backs from getting worse but putting untold stress on the truck battery. It hasn't learned to complain, yet and days off are not in its contract.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Jim Has Gas!

Monday, January 19

Boy, there was lots of activity on site today. It was a balmy +9 and AltaGas was out trenching in natural gas. The gentleman operating the little backhoe was very kind and dug out a small hole for me (by the power pole as Ian needs to connect the power cable underground next to the pole) while he was working in our yard. They have brought the gas pipe right up beside the basement and the furnace will be placed not far away. The contractor who did all of our dirt work was back with his skid steer to fill in the garage floor. It was excavated a little too generously ...oops.

The boys continued working on the roof and, alas, they discovered yet another problem with the trusses. Leduc Truss has built all of our trusses (floors and roof) and, although they came highly recommended, have certainly been less than sterling in both product and support. Anyway, this time, all five of the half trusses are the wrong size and have to be rebuilt. The measurements they sent along were also wrong and, so, tomorrow the boys have to move some, already installed, beams over. (Heavy Sigh)

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Will 2 Sweet, Young Things Outlast 3 Old Farts?

Saturday, January17
By the end of Saturday, the five dauntless workers had the first set of roof trusses secured in place and the remainder sorted out and ready to go. Now to our question...The three that ranged in age from 43 to 55 were either tougher or too proud to give in and managed to out do the young ones.

Hail To The Framer

Friday, January 16
Steve and Ellie came from Winnipeg to help with the roof trusses. HOORAAY!!! Actually, Steve came to help as Ellie and I went road tripping to Cold Lake so that she could visit her brother and I could catch up with Ian and Coreen. Jim, Steve, Rob and Perry were joined by Rob's soon-to-be, son-in-law, James. Together they worked for two days in the gorgeous +6 weather to get the roof under way.

Not All Cranes Fly South For The Winter

Thursday January 15

Not only is the weather amazing, we had a great stroke of luck. A crane booked to lift a roof onto a house farther along the street took a wrong turn into our property. A little cash under the table later and some of the heaviest trusses were lifted onto the walls. We love cranes!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

I Am Going For That Open, Airy Look

Saturday, January 10

It was an absolutely lovely day, today. The sun shone brightly and, at +1C, it was a real treat to be outside amid the whine of distant snowmobiles. Jim and I were building interior walls and have two bedrooms and a bathroom done. We have been limping along without Rob as the flu has struck. I learned how to use the air nailer and only shot 1 nail across the room. It skittered about 10 - 15 feet before stopping. I missed the board and, trust me, I was much, much more careful after that. Luckily for me, the insurance is paid up. Luckily for Jim, he was outside sorting 2x4's.

Winter Vacation is Over

Friday, January 9
The roof trusses were delivered today, just in case Jim was running out of things to do. It was entertaining watching them roll off of the trailer. The trailer bed is a series of rollers and the truck driver brakes as he's backing up to get the load to start rolling off. Then he slowly drives forward and the trusses slide off onto the ground. This was not the only exciting thing to happen...

The soft southern breeze wafted Eau de Moo Cow over the pasture letting us know that the cows have returned from their winter vacation. 3:30 must be coffee break for them as they began singing and heading out for the bovine version of Timmies.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

The Power Struggle Nears An End

Thursday, January 8
Jim made me post this entry in the hopes that someone would have sympathy. We had a bit of a snowstorm today and we decided, early in the afternoon, to call it quits before it became a blizzard. We got all packed up, secured the site and the sun came out. Doesn't it just figure. We went home anyway. Jim had been working on interior walls but the BIG news is the power poles were put in today. That means that lines and transformers are not far behind. It will be a good day when we can plug into an outlet rather than start up the generator.

1,2,3...Stand Her Up

Wednesday, January 7
Rob's son, Perry, has come to help raise the walls. By the end of the day all except the rake wall (the sun room south-facing wall) had been lifted into place and braced against the ever present wind. There is now room on the floor deck to build the rake wall.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

No More Plywood Windows For Us

Wednesday, January 5
The windows arrived today and, after checking them over carefully, we are happy to report that everything that was ordered has arrived in good condition. We have a front door, a back door and 23 windows. There are more windows that have to be ordered but they are a special order that will go in the sun room and the All Weather Window people have to come out and measure before they can be ordered. For the time being, they will all be stored in the basement.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Help! Mother Nature. Help!

Tuesday December 30 saw Allan joining us again to help get more walls built. They (the walls, not Allan) are all resting on the floor deck awaiting decent weather so that they can be sheeted before lifting into place. New Year's Eve day was too cold and windy to sheet so Rob and Jim worked at getting all the floor joists installed in the basement. We took New Years day off. This shouldn't be news worthy but getting Jim to shut down for some much needed rest isn't always easy. January 2 was very cold and windy with the wind chill at -41C. Rob and Jim, again, escaped to the basement...out of the start putting the plywood down. Pictured is the basement bedroom. When you come to visit, I promise that the plywood window covering will be replaced by something a little more stylish...a window and curtains, maybe? Today is January 3 and work was called off due to hell having frozen over. It was -41.9C at the airport this morning before wind chill. We're only 15 km due east of there and by 9AM the thermometer read a balmy -40C. I know...I know...we're such wimps...true prairie people would have laughed it off and gone to work in shirt sleeves as an act of rebellion against mother nature. Better luck tomorrow.