Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Vacation…. And some more Renovations!

Vacation officially started three days ago, but I’m a little slow off the mark getting this blog post out – when I tell you why, though, I am sure you will forgive the delay.

The last really significant time (I mean more than a long weekend) I had off work was in November of last year – which is really a little too long for me to go without a break.  I get crabby and tired and have a lot of trouble focussing on the task at hand – because all I can think about is how much I need a break and how much I want to do stuff for me, at home!

I’m not terribly different from anyone else in this, I’m sure.

Anyhow, this particular vacation will be a dilly for me! I have two weeks off now - a week and a bit at the cabin (where I am right now) and then a little less than a week at home. Typically I try to work it so that I am at the cabin for the beginning of my time off so that I can catch the cat well in time to get home - and so that if I don’t catch her right away, I can come back in order to secure her and get her home before I have to go back to work!  This strategy was put into place a couple of decades ago, and due to experience!

Anyhow, this vacation has all the earmarks of being a great one.  My planned week (and a bit) at the cabin is promising glorious weather (for which I am grateful) and while I am here, relaxing and taking my ease, my living room is being gutted.

Ok – so to back things up – the windows project was left ever so slightly unfinished because the long wall, where the biggest of the windows was being replaced, was starting to bow out.  Yes, the wall wasn’t strong enough and the weight of the roof was bowing it out.  Instead of just putting the window into a wall that would eventually bow enough to crack it (and lets not discuss the safety issue of the weight of the roof on a wall that was starting to bow) I opted to put a hold on the final window until the wall could be dealt with.

I got quotes for two options: First, reinforce what is there; Second, gut the whole space (right out to the original 10-foot-high ceiling), build a wall inside the outside wall (which means some more wall plugs AND insulation!) and have the space all re-finished. Though the second was three times the first, that’s the one I went with – because it is a long term solution, and one that will take a few things off of my goals list.

Since I was having the room gutted and completely changed, I also elected to just have the carpeting done – better to have ALL of it done in one go - so when I get home, though it won’t be fully complete, by the time this vacation is over, my house will be looking almost brand new on the inside!

The prep work for this project meant getting everything (and I mean EVERYTHING) out of my living room. To help me with that, my parents gave up a day and came up to help me. In addition to the movement of furniture, though, they also helped me to fulfill another dream for the house – the beginning of the pantry project! Yes! The doorway has now been completely filled in, insulated, and vapour-barriered!

Work area
First a base was nailed into place
Then we framed up the door filler
THEN we used a sledge hammer to install it!
Dad nailing it into place
Plywood on, Tar paper going up!

Look at that - insulation and everything!

Done for now - the rest of the siding will
Go up in a couple of weeks
We actually completed that part first and then filled the new little room to the gunnels with stuff from the living room.
BOOM - vacation bomb has exploded!

Living room nearly empty. Jasmine is unhappy.

Last before pictures!

On the way out the door!
So while I am here, my house will be filled with noise, dust and production… and HOPEFULLY when I get home, I’ll be arriving to painting (and only painting – God, I sure hope the drywall sanding is done by then!!!) In any case, I’m finishing out my first 24 hours of the year at the cabin.  I had a great day today with some of my family (I got play time and cuddles with my niece and nephew) and I have my first sunburn of the year. 

With love across the waters…

Seed Sprouting

Today is the first Saturday in March 2015 – daylight savings time kicks in this weekend and I am looking forward to a sunshine-filled weekend!

Yesterday my latest purchase from Lee Valley Tools arrived – sprouting boxes for seedlings, the size of which will fit beautifully into my kitchen window. I spent a little time last night getting them all put together and later this morning (after the guys came to investigate and discuss the work that will be needed to deal with the challenge that the last window to be installed presented – more on that in another blog post to follow) I went and purchased a couple of bags of sea soil (to amend my vegetable beds) and a bag of potting soil to get my spring veggies started indoors.

They are made of some sort Styrofoam and weren’t difficult to put together – pretty interesting construction, to be honest! 

The idea is that instead of having to worry about direct watering while the seeds are getting going, under the soil plugs there is a water leaching mat that will draw water up from a reservoir base.  There are even little gauges with which to measure how much water is in the base!  Clear plastic caps cover and heat the apparatus like a greenhouse would.

With the new Garden Window in the kitchen, my plan is to get things started indoors now and then, in late April when all possible frost is done, to move everything outside into the raised beds.

So… now I have to figure out what I want to plant!!

With love across the waters…