Saturday, 16 May 2015

Year Two. Day Forty Six

A layout I made last year.

May 16, 2014

May 16, 2015

What you can see. New metal roof. Tore off awning and "dog house". Replaced with reclaimed cedar awning. Dead trees removed in foreground and background

What you can't see. Two new sump pumps working well. One new one on hand if needed. Basement drainage pipes replaced with ridged pipes that move water up and then out, instead of snaking around on the basement floor.Replaced furnace and hot water tank.

Upstairs, replaced four interior doors so that they are matching. Moved the placement of two of them to improve space usage.

Tore out wall board and drywalled the guest room. Counted 7 layers of paint and paper. Stole the closet space from bedroom three to make a full wall of storage.

Robin has been off work since September due to health. It is not going to improve and limits what he can do in a day. Not having his pay check also limits what we can do. Roof is almost paid for. I am thinking about paint to cover all that brown. Soft yellow or a stony grey?What do you think?

Monday, 7 July 2014

Day Nintyseven

Greetings dear reader. It is with great relief  that I can report that "THE MOVE" is complete. Well, almost and probably as far as it will be. There are still three large items remaining in the old yard and a plethora of perennials that may not get relocated, but physically, and emotionally we have said good bye to our old home.

Many shrubs and flowers have been rehomed. Yesterday we delivered a van full at our on-line auction meet up.

Robin's grandson joined us for a day of yard work. Together, they made a big dent in the jungle.

Removing the rock garden

View of house in May
View of house in July
The "dog house" is gone and the yard at the patio is presentable.


Dog House on right side.

Dog House, wonky wire fence and most of fallen tree; GONE!

The yard work day was followed by a rainy spell. Robin turned his attention to the electrical issues.

Is now this:
And this:
Is now this:
Which would look better if the TV stand was on an angle. However, the cables to the receivers on the roof were installed with NO SLACK! I guess the cable guy figured I would never want to move the equipment, out of the window and into the cabinet.

Another job that I have been working on has been filling the pot holes and soft spots in the driveway with pea gravel that was under our pergola at the old house. Doing a few pails, each time I was down at the old place, kept it from being an over taxing job. I finally scooped it all. Then a post on facebook, gave me a lead on more free pea gravel. So I continue to scoop a few pails, whenever I am in town.

Finally, this morning, when I cleared the cob web out of my ears, it was puzzling to me to hear the basement sump pump, running and running. It usually runs for less than a minute. A quick peek, down the stairs confirmed we had issues as there was three inches of water on the floor. A split in the hose was the initial issue. Then the main pump refused to turn on. Switched in a new pump, and it is under control again. On Robin's next days off, we will address the basement drainage system.

The forecast for this week is non-stop summer weather. That will keep the focus for me, on outside work. I am thinking a little fresh paint should be on the agenda.

Monday, 16 June 2014

Day Seventy Seven

The longer I wait to make this next post, the harder it becomes to get started. What have we done in the past 27 days? Lots and not much. Depends on my mood at the moment. How about another pictorial summary?

Tore out the dishwasher. Not only was there no shut off valve, but part of the incoming pipe was siliconed and duct taped. Why does it not surprise me that the unseen parts look like crap? If this was satisfactory work to the person(s) that first had the DW installed, I would hate to know what shape their knickers are in.

Tore out the dishwasher. 

 The kitchen sink got and R&R. The drains, pipes, and tap are all new. Problems still though as the pipes are too low for a refuse container to sit under the sink. And even though the packages were identical in the store, the drains are different. So the only real improvement here is that the dripping drain pipes have been fixed.
Out with the old

In with the new

Shiny new tap

Alas, unmatched drains and plugs
 This odd little fixture in the coat room.....
 Was replaced with one that works.

 My washer and dryer were bought, delivered and installed. While everything else about this place seems to be second rate or borderline hillbilly, at least I can gaze on this one little corner that is top end. No compromises here.

 Floor boards and trim for living room are painted.
 And partially installed.

More of the "dog house" was dismantled.

 The apple trees bloomed.
 And bloomed
 And for a brief moment, I didn't notice how awful the place really is.
 And then winter returned. On the day that the movers were booked, of course.
 And before the trim boards were down, the house was filled with possessions. Now it is going to be a real chore to finish.

Now the lilacs are giving their glorious show.

Through out the past month there has been great love shown by dear friends that gave their time and energy to help with packing, moving, and encouragement. Sometimes for an hour. Sometimes for a day. When I count my blessings, my dears, you are right at the top.

Robin will be home tomorrow. The focus of the next week will be to complete the move over. The house is nearly empty, but the yard and garden presents a challenge. Every time Robin is home it is raining. Here's hoping the forecast is wrong and we can drive into the garden to load up.

We are near the end of the move out. Who would have thought it could take three months? I have read that a household  accumulate 1000 pounds of possessions per person, per year. Someone else must be living the minimalistic life because I am sure we surpassed that statistic by many fold. The downsizing will continue for a long time, until we actually fit into this new space. 

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Day Fifty

Day 50, Tuesday May 20. Robin is on his way home from camp. The honey-do list is two pages long. And that is just the little, 15 minutes jobs. Truth is the 15 minutes jobs are actually about three hours each, by the time you gather the tools, supplies, answer the phone, and check what friends are doing on facebook.

But first, lets jump back and to a pictorial review of the last ten days.

Day 40, Living room floor, laminate is down.

Last bit of flooring goes down.

Called Barn Wood, or Driftwood, depending on which label you are reading.
 Day 41. Officially moved in. Our bed made the trip up on a sunny, dry day.
 Day 42, Much of the dog shelter has been removed.
Dog Shelter Before 

Dog Shelter After 
 Day 43 - 46 Prepping, priming and painting of living room walls.
Cutting in.
Day 44 Satellite TV installed. A total waste of money in my opinion, but Mr. B gets final say on this one.
 Day 46. Morning sun called me out to photograph the budding leaves. Spring is here.
 Also on day 46, Ran to city for more paint. Came home to find someone had taken a chain saw to the big tree. Still some large parts to cut. Going to need a bigger saw, I suppose. Thanks to the mystery woodsman.
 Cleaning up this place is going to take a long time.....but before the tree was cut up I couldn't even stand over in this corner to capture this view of the house:
Dog shelter, other view.
Day 47 The Living room walls got their 2nd and final coat of paint. Having some trouble with getting camera card to download so the pictures for the week sort of stopped here.

Also on Day 47 the ladies of the Colinton Anglican Church came to my old garden to dig perennials for their Annual Perennial Sale.  I hit an emotional wall at this point. We have worked very hard for six years on the gardens at the old house. I am angry at the family members that made it impossible for me to stay there. It was hard to watch the people digging up the flowers, but I kept telling myself that the plants will go to other gardeners. That is a good thing. They cannot stay, because there will be no one interested in looking after them. I am suffering a broken heart, over the gardens and over the lost family relationships. Well maybe not so much over the lost family relationships. More like grief over the relationships that might have been/never were. Dear friend D reminds me that this situation is not my fault. I shrug. I sigh. I pack another box to bring to new house.

Days 48 and 49, I continue to struggle with my emotions. Sometime I look at the new place and hate it, for the loss it represents. Poor old house. This situation is not her fault either. 

Friday, 9 May 2014

Day Thirty Nine

Day Thirty One. Shopping trip to city, alone. Ceiling paint, baseboards and casings, scoping out washer and dryer sets.

Day Thirty Two. Get back to work on living room ceiling. Continue to move stuff up, both into storage and the items that make the short list as necessary for survival, and familiar comforts.

Day Thirty Three. Second coat on living room ceiling. Got invited to turkey dinner.

Day Thirty Four. Sunday is my day off from OTU.  Storage Wars meet and coffee with friends.

Day Thirty Five. Started in on living room walls. Removing trim. Scraping the build up of layers of paint, filling holes.

Day Thirty Six. Had a session with massage therapist. Hopefully arm and shoulder will behave now let me get things done a little faster. Afternoon, Robin gets home.

Dogs have been running back to the old home, for no apparent reason. Have one tied up now, and maybe that will keep them both at new home.

Snoopy has moved to garage, but she has no plans to make friends with Jo Katt.

We are getting ready to welcome a third cat, Whiskers to the farm.

Day Thirty Seven.  It takes most the day to get started, because we need scissors, then a pen, then Tuc-tape, etc. One thing at a time, each trip between houses. But we do get started on laying the living room floor.

Underlay in Living Room

Laying laminate flooring

And just because life likes to keep throwing curve balls, Robin's son and daughter-in-law are relocating to Calgary. They have asked us to take their old dog Kiwi. She is a Great Pyrenees, as is Lucy. So what could we say but sure. We have the space. Kiwi is very low maintenance. As long as our situation doesn't change, we will be happy to add her to the tribe.

Day Thirty Eight. Of to city for medical appointment, and more shopping for trim, vent covers, and we splurged and picked out a Miele washer and dryer. I figure, overall this place is such a dump. Having top end, state of the art appliances will help me from sliding into a blue funk about living in this miserable hovel.

In the evening, we had a couple of friends over for help to empty the garden house. Followed that with drinks around the first fire of the season.

Day Thirty Nine. Our shed arrives. Well no, not really our shed. The one that we asked about, two weeks before we ordered our shed, arrived. Somehow the wires got crossed and our speculative questions were interpreted to be a definite order. Everybody is feeling bad about this. We work out a deal, and cancel the much larger shed that was to be delivered next week.  After small shed gets positioned, the garden shed gets loaded at the old place and is brought to its new location.

New shed arrives

oops. A little too small for this spot.

My garden house in its new location.
Today was the first day we have been able to work in the yard. I raked and burned grass and twigs and branches for most of the day. Actually made a dent in the  mess at the fallen tree. We will need a chain saw to fully remove it, though.

Lots of work ahead to remove this grand old crab apple tree.

Tomorrow, the plan is to get back to the living room floor.

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Day Thirty

First Sunrise at new home

Have arrived at the point that I can say I am living at the new house. Spent my first night here. Woke up to bad back, no dogs and the delight trouble of  seeing a red fox crossing through the yard. First thought, "How cool!" Second thought, "Bad for cats!"  I opened window, yelled and foxy switched into high gear as he shot out of the yard. A short while later, I heard a robin singing. Spring has arrived!

Day 24 Subfloor in living room is complete. Robin did measuring and cutting. Our helper drilled the screws in. I vacuumed sawdust, prepared lunch and made executive decisions. The one that bugs me still is Robin asking if the floor boards shouldn't run the short way across the room. When I get asked a question like this, I have to stop and think/feel what it would be like to do it this way. Robin thought they should run east west, so that the line continues through the breakfast room. The whole thought process for this had me incredibly unsettled, but I have to know why it upsets me. I like to spout out, "It's bad fung shui" as a reason but why is it bad?
Living Room Sub Floor
When I stopped looking at (picturing in my head) the living room floor and looked at the breakfast room, I knew right away why the floor boards had to run the long way, north/south. Because when the breakfast room is done, it will have the same floor as the kitchen and the boards will be running north/south. There! Executive decision, with a reason.

So why is it still bugging me? It's not the decision that has me on edge, but that Robin would come up with the idea. Not sure if he is thinking creatively or if he doesn't see the final  picture. I will have to be careful to not leave him unsupervised with finishing decisions.

Day 25. I had help from Miss B to remove wallpaper. She surprised us at how well she can handle a scrapper and how long she stayed interested in the chore. Also good friend MW arrived with lunch and stayed to help wash walls.
Miss B  stripping wallpaper

Grandchildren, Cohen and Rebecca are spending the weekend with us. It is probably the last time they will sleep in their rooms at the old house. Didn't seem to bother them much as they explored the new house, investigated the bedrooms and assigned themselves spaces. Empty rooms leave lots to the imagination. Games of hotel, house, and camping ensued for the rest of Friday and all of Saturday.

Day 26. Living room ceiling gets primed.

Then painted.

Yes, that fresh snow again. But not to fear. It is all gone by the next afternoon. While I was busy with the rollers, Robin switched out light fixtures and worked on small projects.

Day 27 With the help of our Philippian friends, Robin hauled several loads to the landfill transfer site. Abandoned appliances abound on this old farm. There was no charge, this weekend for stoves, washers, dryers, etc. Fridges still had a $10 disposal charge.

Day 28 We are bagged. It is the end of Robin's week off and he jokes he needs to go to work to have a rest. Temperature is in the teens today. We crack a beer and  spend some time exploring the farm and the buildings. We find more abandoned appliances.

Day 29 Robin is just ready to leave for work when he calls me to bring the pliers. Sassafrass has had a run in with a porcupine. She is none to happy to have the quills pulled. Each day, we move the dogs back to the new house. Each morning, they are back at the old house. Each afternoon, the  next door neighbour that is siding his house, stops to wave at our little parade of pooches being led by a slow moving mini-van.

Later in the evening, I wanted to give the dogs a bit of ham for a treat and I opened the door. Sass came up to the door and tossed  (yes, she flicked her head and tossed!) a dead mouse on the mat, at my feet. I screamed. Pointing and yelling didn't convince her that she had to remove her present. So I got a piece of cardboard and meant to flip it out the door. I flipped it into the open floor vent! Screamed again. What to do? What to do? What would McGyver do? I tried putting a sock on the vacuum hose but it didn't work. So I abandoned the sock and just sucked up the critter. Love my Dyson vacuum. So easy to dispose of the detritus.

Sass's feelings are hurt. I was so unappreciative of her gift. She is not talking to me.

 I have been moving smaller items into storage in the garage all month . Have not got as much as I would have like done. Then I remind myself, how much of the month was snowy, cold, slushy, muddy. There are  limitations to how much I can lift and carry in a day before I pay for it with reduced activity the next day. So I have tried to chip away at the job, without causing mess, damage (did I mention I got the van stuck in the mud in the yard  and had to call the tow truck to extricate it?) or injury. This day, I moved over my basic toiletries and my pillows and prepared to spend my first night in the new house.

It is also notable that today we had the internet moved to the new house. Bed, coffee pot, internet. What more does a person need to call it home?

Which brings us to today, Day 30.  The final day of the first month. (It will take some math from now on, to keep track of what day it is.) It is interesting to note that in the last week I have become aware that much of the move is not physical, but mental. While the stuff is still at the old home, I am ready to be here and start figuring out how we will live in this space.