Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Shortest Day of the Year

Here it is December 21...the winter solstice... the shortest day of the year. Our sunrise was quite spectacular even though it didn't occur until 8:47 AM and the sun will set again at 4:17 PM. With only 7.5 hours of daylight, no wonder we feel depressed. Our daylight hours will gradually increase until we finally reach, approximately, 17.5 hours at the summer solstice.

Given the diminished daylight, my Roma tomato plant is doing quite well out in the sunroom. We will start a new tomato in late February and hope that the existing one keeps producing until the new one can take over.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A Tiling We Will Go, A Tiling We Will Go...

I know it's been awhile since we last updated the blog but honestly, nothing has happened. However, it is time to get busy and finish up all the outstanding jobs, inside, so that, should spring ever return, we'll be ready to turn our attention to the much needed landscaping. A friend reminded us the other day that we don't have a single tree or even a weed large enough to be called a shrub, on our property. He thought we were taking the "bald" prairie a bit too far.

Currently, Jim is working on the tub surround in the ensuite bathroom. We decided to use white, subway tile and in a herringbone pattern. We knew it would be more work than putting it on in a more conventional fashion but, we didn't know HOW MUCH MORE! It is very picky,fiddly work that requires a great deal of tile cutting when you get to the edges but it will be worth it. Jim seems to be unusually happy, lately...could it be because he doesn't turn on the vent fan while using all that glue?

Monday, November 8, 2010

Railing ON!!!

Completed the deck railing on the weekend. Stairs etc will be in the spring after I figure out how to tie them in with the garage pad area.

Happy Halloween

Had a few visitors on Halloween.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Calculated Wrong

Made a mistake in number of boards required to complete the deck, they are now on order and deck will be completed soon.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Preparing for winter.

Back filled next to the garage pad and relaid the side walk stones.

Front steps are now in place and the front door has been painted to match.

Back deck material has arrived but they failed to send along anchor clips. Deck top installation has been delayed until they arrive, Monday/Tuesday. We hope to finish the deck by the end of the week.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Parking pad - check

We have completed the parking pad in front of the garage. Kathleen can now wash her car on dry ground.

Built the front steps, one more coat of paint and they are ready to be installed.

Sunday, August 29, 2010


Deck being built.

We installed 3/4 inch spruce plywood over the 2x10 floor joists. The floor joists were installed with a 2 inch slope so that we obtained good drainage.

Applied roof membrane to the top of the plywood.
This method will make the area below totally waterproof. On top of this membrane we will install composite decking. Composite decking does not require refinishing which this south facing deck will require. I will install it on pressure treated sleepers which will allow space for water to run off the deck/roof.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

In Case The Weather Ever Smartens Up...

Last Wednesday, the Air Conditioner was installed. Of course, we haven't had any warm weather to try it out and this will likely be the cause of an early winter. Oh well, maybe someday we'll hear it humming away.

Bob and Allan joined us for the weekend and there were great plans afoot to get the deck built. Alas, as usual, it rained so much on Thursday that the back still wasn't dry enough to get started until late Sunday. At least they managed to get the posts set. It really irks when you can't work the volunteer labour into the ground. Better luck next time.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Nothing Like Three Projects On The Go At The Same Time

Now that the floor in the garage is done, Jim is starting to get the driveway ready for its cement. There is a fairly significant drop-off on one side that will require a retaining wall before any more cement can be poured plus gravel, sand and re-bar must be positioned.

Meanwhile, the deck material was brought around to the back and the handy-dandy scaffolding has been assembled so that the deck construction can begin.

And the area has been graveled ready to take the air conditioner when it arrives.

Concrete, Beautiful Concrete

Bright and early on Friday morning, John from Hay Lakes Concrete, started working on our garage floor. By the end of the day, he had finished with the floor, the pad that will hold the front steps and the three piles required for the back deck construction. THANK YOU, JOHN!!!

He toughed it out on a very hot day with swarms of mosquitoes to fight off. This should put a stop to all the sand getting tracked into the house.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Jim-Bob, Is That You?

Yes, Jim is in his glory in the neighbours Bobcat. Finally, it is dry enough to fill in the hole holding the sonotubes (and corresponding big foot forms) that will form the foundation of the back deck.

No more grave-like structure at the back of the house.

When he was done with that chore, Jim came in and began assembling the raised "bar" that will finish off the kitchen counter. Jim the drywall mudder must return before the unit is finished.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Pad for Front Step

Finished the rebar for the garage pad, had to do a couple of changes that were recommended by my structural engineer neighbor. (Sylwester)
Then covered in the front of the front deck and dug out and prepared the area for the concrete pad which will go under the front steps.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Garage Floor

Deck hole still has water so we are working on the garage floor, so far we have installed the styrofoam, the heating pipes and most of the rebar. I need to purchase more tie wire to complete the rebar.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Drinking water

Due to the on going rainy season, we had one of two things to do, build an ARC or install the Reverse Osmosis unit. I opted for the drinking water.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

We now have a swimming pool!

Almost had it ready for back filling, before we went to Cold Lake for a few days.(work) We now have a swimming pool with a very iffy diving board.

When it dries up we will continue.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Busy Busy -June

Sorry about no up dates. Have started working for others and have not had time to do a lot on the house.
The floor in the garage has been prepared for styrofoam, rebar, hot water piping and cement. Waiting for the water piping to arrive.

We arranged for a contractor working in the area to dig a trench to put in the footing for the deck piles. He did that work two weeks ago, when we were away, however he was two feet short in length. So we had to wait until today when the machine was back in the area to get it done right.

The weather has not helped, as we just received another rain and the hole is now full of water.

Plan is to have the footings done and back filled ready to started the deck next week, weather depending.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

What's Behind Door No. 1? The Master Bedroom Closet, Of Course.

As it rained, or threatened to rain, most of the week, Jim was forced to continue with the little bits and pieces that are left to do on the inside of the house. He painted and installed closet doors. It never ceases to amaze me the difference that these small touches make. Also, the material to build the deck and to prepare the garage floor for cement were ordered and delivered.

We are almost at a halt with the outdoor projects as we require a skid steer to do a little dirt moving and we are waiting on our neighbour to get to the point where we can both get cement at the same time...both of us for our garage floors...the price is a little better if they can do 2 floors at the same time.

Monday, June 7, 2010

The Last Piece...Well Almost

Yeppers...on Saturday, Jim dragged himself up and down the scaffold and managed to get the last pieces of siding on the rake wall. That last one was a bit of a stretch.

Now on to the back deck...but first, we have a little rough landscaping to do to fill in some of the settling and to prepare for the interlocking patio stones that will create the patio off the back door (under the deck).

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Mother Nature Has Brought Us To A Halt

Nothing much has been going on in the cow pasture as the weather has been appalling. On the good side, the drought of many years may be on the wane as we had 4.5 inches of precipitation prior to yesterdays rain and then snow which, obviously, was heavy at times. If it wasn't the rain/snow it was the seemingly, ever present, wind kicking up. Jim and Allan brought home the final pieces of siding but haven't been able to do anything but look at them gathering snow on the ground.

At least this lull has allowed us time to do some planning for the upcoming shop, extra storage in the basement, retaining walls, etc.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

High Hopes with Low Tech

It was a beautifully calm day in the cow pasture so Jim and Bob decided to tackle the daunting (and some might say terrifying) task of finishing the last bits of siding on the sunroom. The scaffold was set up, three layers high, tied off through the sunroom window. Jim perched atop while Bob cut pieces of siding... put them in a bucket and Jim pulled them up to the peak and nailed them on.

Once the left side was finished, the scaffold had to be taken down, moved over to the right side and re-assembled. All was going so well when...they ran out of material.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

It's A "Complete" Week

Kathleen's brother, Bob, came this week and we completed a few things
- soffit and fascia-completed
- the siding on the east side of the house - completed

We had an eavestrough company come and carry out their install - eavestrough - completed

We installed the posts and hand rail on the front veranda.
Have to find a company that does metal cladding and have them come and cover the posts and beam area.

Wind is up, so siding on the South side by the sun room, still has to be done.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Basement Stairs

Installed lino on the basement stairs and completed more siding on the outside.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

More features completed

This week, we worked on the additional electrical plugs in the stub wall. We found that we did not have enough outlets in the dining room/kitchen area due to furniture locations, so we added one to the kitchen side and one to the dining room side of the stub wall. We will order the counter top on Monday, so until it arrives in, we will wait on installing the drywall and counter end piece.
Then we will have a nice two person snack counter between the rooms, to sit on stools at; or as Kathleen says more counter top for Jim to clutter up. OH well!!

We installed the crown molding and rope lighting in the sun room. We installed similar lighting feature in the house in Ottawa and quite liked it, so we did the same here. It provides nice background lighting.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

On going

Well it has been a busy couple of weeks.

Completed my last bathroom reno of the three. Turned out to be more time than planned but looks pretty good, the people of the house say it is the best looking room of the house.

Repaired and painted up an old dresser for Kathleen's sewing thread etc now installed in loft along with a cup broad unit Kathleen's mom used to have in her apartment, which works great for her patterns.

Spent last Saturday and Sunday helping brother David move to Windemere BC.

Completed the crown molding and trim in the kitchen, today.

I am presently working on the eating area counter for the kitchen, stub wall is in and next is additional electrical outlets.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Holiday Over - Back to work

We had a lovely holiday in Cuba, attended a friends wedding and enjoyed the sun and sand.

Built Kathleen a material table for her sewing room upon our return.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

We are feeling very lofty!

Loft was repainted to acceptable tone, and trim was installed. Switch covers and final paint touch up to be done and the room is complete.

Jim decided to do a test drive on the patio swing, caught in the act.