Finally the Steps are Done
The weather was better than the forecast so Ed was back outside working on those darn steps. Once the steps were finished he decided to put up the barbecue gazebo. Now I just need some dry days to apply the stain.
Finished patio, steps and barbecue gazebo.
I took some time to look at the flowers in my garden.
The day started well. The framers showed up at 7:15 with roofing shingles and Ed was out shortly after 8 to fight some more with the steps. Then by 10:15 the rain started, first a drizzle and slowly it picked up steam. The framers left and Ed was chased inside --- so much for the productive day.
Zaph, on the other hand thought the day was OK. He met his buddy Zack (9 mth black lab) on the river trail where they raced around, found a dead animal to roll in and went fetched sticks while swimming. Later on the walk we went through the market where he got lots of attention and a little white dog came to say hi. He didn't care that it rained when we got home because he was ready for a long nap.
Framing at Last
The framers were suppose to come on Tuesday but surprise, surprise we got a phone call instead saying they were delayed and either Wednesday afternoon or Thursday morning and a 7:15 Thursday morning (today) they arrived ready to work. Work they did, three walls were erected, the sheathing put on the walls, the trusses put up and they started on the roof sheathing.
If feels like Ed has been building the stairs on the deck all week --- oh he has been. So much for the 2 day project. We thought the easiest and most cost effective change to the deck was to build steps on the patio side that matched the steps on the other side of the deck. A little bit of engineering was required to make sure the steps and deck were supported correctly but mostly a no-brainer (Ed's an engineer after all). When he pulled off the top boards he found rotting wood so more boards had to come off to find out how bad it was. Luckily not too bad, only a couple of supporting boards needed to be replaced. After lots of fiddling he was ready to put the step back into place --- oh no the step wasn't level, it tipped back allowing water to pool and thus rot the wood. This meant he got to pull another step off and bring it into level so it would match the new level steps he was putting it. A lot of three steps back one step forward. Hmmm, maybe we should have built a new deck.
Second wall going up.
Trusses are in place, now it's time for the roof sheathing.
Ed's sweeping the polymer sand into the spaces between the bricks --- suppose to stop weeds from growing between the bricks
The forever step project.
Off to the Resort
Our friends Anne and Victor are building a home on a 100 acre farm about 15 minutes north of us and as it was a beautiful day we were invited for a barbecue. The house is a work in progress given the nice weather they have started attacking the yard. Zaph likes to think of the farm as "The Resort" --- he gets to run free and there's a creek for swimming, can't get much better than that. I was happy to enjoy the view and watch the birds that came to the feeders. Saw the first hummingbird of the summer.
You can take the girl out of Texas but you can't take Texas out of the girl. I'm in my gardening attire --- the hat is the only thing that keeps my hair out of my eyes as it too short to be tied back.
Happiness is ........
Great fun --- first you run the down the steep hill then you launch off the rock and grab the block of wood as you hit the water, swim to shore then run up the hill and get ready to do it again.
Burn, baby burn. Ed and Victor burning some of the scrub that was taken down last fall.
Our friends Colin and Margaret and their two dogs Splash (a miniature poodle) and Mexi (they're thinking probably a Maltese though she was sold as a miniature poodle) came for a visit. Splash and Zaph go way back .... they went to Alaska together so they are good buddies. Mexi is just over a year old and has only seen Zaph a couple of times plus she's wary of big dogs. Zaph was doing a quick tour of the block when Splash and Mexi arrived so the girls came into the house to check it out in peace. Upon his arrival back home, Zaph, sensing there was company bounded into the house and the kitchen to find the girls. Mexi let out a blood curdling scream that stopped Zaph in his tracks. Colin knowing Mexi's next move is to bite, preferably a nose scooped her up. It took about 5 minutes but Mexi finally relaxed and decided that Zaph was OK as long as he didn't get too close to Margaret. Every time Zaph tried to say hi to Margaret Mexi would bark and Zaph would back off afraid of being attacked by the vicious dog. Aside from the dog dramatics we had a very nice visit though at point I thought Colin and and Ed were about to morph into aquatic life forms --- 2 hours in the hot tub.
Splash is curled up on my lap and Mexi the "vicious" dog is snuggled beside me. It's probably good that Zaph is a lover not a fighter.
What Else Can We Do With Paving Bricks?
It's not been a good weather week --- it seemed to rain every other day and temperatures were in the 50s F (low 10s C). Ed finished the bbq patio, then built a half circle by the crawl space door ---- something about not wanting to kneel in the mud when he puts or takes things from under the house, and built a path through the future garden ---- figured out the path from the workshop door to the garden shed. Still have some bricks left --- wonder what he'll build next.
I managed to get phase one of the garden done --- lettuce, beans, and snow peas, hopefully will get the rest planted this weekend.
Unfortunately the workmen weren't as productive as Ed and I were --- at least not on our addition as they are currently a figment of our imaginations. Maybe next week ..... we can only hope.
zzzzzzz..... beam me up Scotty...... zzzzzz
The patio --- still needs finishing touches but we think it came out great.
The walkway through the garden --- the line in the dirt denotes the edge of the garden.
The half circle
On Monday we went to the local brickyard and ordered the paving stones for the patio Ed is building in the backyard. They told us it would probably take two weeks to get the stones so we're we surprised when a truck showed up Wednesday morning with the entire order. Apparently the inventory on the computer was incorrect.
One day this week when Zaph and I were walking we passed a fenced yard that contained a Jack Russell. As most dogs do, this one started barking as Zaph and I approached his yard. What was different was this one was attached to a rope, the rope had gotten wrapped around a child's lawn chair so as the dog jumped around barking at us the lawn chair bounced around which in turned scared the dog who then jumped some more making the chair bounce and so on. As the dog was in a fenced yard I was unable to free it from the chair.
The master paving stone layer at work.
Mom and David stayed over last night and this morning we went to Dunkeld Inn for brunch. The inn is a beautiful old building and is currently run as a restaurant. They do a wonderful brunch but the one time Ed and I went for dinner we did not enjoy it --- not quite sure how that worked. Maybe we just ordered the wrong items for dinner. Oh well, we just keep going for brunch.
Ed was happy today as he was able to sleep in ... the guy didn't come to cut the concrete till after 9 am. Concrete is cut so if any cracking is going to happen it will happen in the cut and then you don't notice it. This was done to the concrete that was done 9 years ago and it must work as there are no visible cracks.
My mom and brother drove up to Walkerton today and had dinner with us in the "new" dining room. We all decided that the "new" dining room was an big improvement on the "old" --- no more crowded feeling. It amazing that moving a table about 10 feet can make such a difference but then the living room area is larger than the dining room area.
Nice and shinny --- the workshop floor looks like glass.
With all that dust the floor is going to loose it's shine.
Unbelievable --- Two Days in a Row
Yup, Ed was up at 6:30am again. The concrete floor was being poured at 7:30am and he wanted to be awake for it. The workers were here by 7:15am getting ready. It didn't take long to pour the concrete --- maybe an hour and a half but Dave (the concrete guy) came back several times over the course of the day to put the finish on it. A broom was run over the sidewalk and the "Mexican helicopter" was run over the floor to give it a shine. Once he was satisfied with the finishes a sealant was applied.
Today they opted for the wheel barrow method --- the two carpenter apprentices were working on their bi-ceps.
He's using a "Mexican helicopter" to give the concrete its shinny finish.
News Flash - Ed Up At 6:30am
The builder told us that the backhoe guy would be at the house by 7:30 to start back-filling. Ed is putting a gas radiant heater in the worker shop, so he wanted to up and outside to ensure that the gas guy came and pipe was buried appropriately. He's also working on a interlocking brick patio and fill was going to be added to this spot at the same time. Good thing he was up at 6:30 as the workers arrived before 7:15.
After the backfilling and compacting was done, the floor was readied for the concrete pour.
Already for the cement truck.
The concrete guys arrived at the house around 7am and removed the forms --- I woke Ed up and asked if he wanted to see what they were doing. After a moments thought he grunted, rolled over and went back to sleep.
I had told my mom I would go shopping with her today, so I packed myself up and drove 2 hours to Burlington. My mom had replaced the cushions on a couple of wooden rockers in her TV room and now the curtains looked awful so they needed replacing. At the blind store she found blinds she liked, so we "borrowed", with a $50 deposit (they really want the books back), a sample book and drove back to her house to choose the colour. It took a while but we were glad we had borrowed the book as the colour she ended up with was not one we had thought about.
Later in the afternoon I found myself in an interesting place --- I had put a lawn chair cushion on the concrete floor by the washing machine and was sitting on it with a large flashlight nearby, a book and reading glasses. Lucky me was babysitting a load of laundry with the goal of trying to determine where "all the water" was coming from. Every time the machine did something different I would grab the flashlight and peer in through the back panel and feel around for water --- no leak. I did notice drips on the taps where the water hoses were connected. Those drips ran down the hoses and when the machine went into spin mode were shaken off. Hope I found the source of the leak. Can't blame my mom for not seeing it as she's 84 and her eyesight is not as good as it use to be.
Pretty spiffy foundation.
The cement truck, snorkel truck (probably has a proper name) and workers were all here but 7:15am ready to go. I think they get to us first thing as it's a relatively small job and they can get us out of the way. Dave, the cement guy, had a choice of using a wheel barrow to move the cement or rent the snorkel truck --- obviously he opted for the snorkel truck. This truck has a long tube that allows it to reach over buildings to deliver the cement --- very elegant but definitely more expense than use wheel barrows.
The angle was better when the truck was parked in the neighbours driveway --- we have a very nice neighbour.
The "pour". By 9am they were finished --- the cement truck had left, all unnecessary boards had been removed and the workers were gone.
These construction guys are certainly early birds --- they were here just after 7am.
Putting up the foundation forms.
Forms are done now we just need cement.
As it was Sunday morning we got up and drove to the local airport for 8 am breakfast and chat session. One of the fellows who comes for breakfast farms and told us an interesting tale. Tony was planting his corn fields last Thursday and decided to quit around 9 pm as it was dark. A waggon with a tool chest, parts and 10 bags of seed corn was left in the field. When he returned at 6 am Friday morning the waggon was gone ... bags of corn seed and all. It's a pretty sad state of affairs when seeds aren't safe. Tony is going flying this morning to see if you can find his waggon --- doesn't think he will but you never know. The cost of the items stolen adds up to around $20,000.
If there's a way to be in the thick of things Zaph finds it.
"Men At Work". Zaph is great supervisory material --- lay down and look the other way.
Why does it always rain after you dig a hole and have lots of piles of dirt? About a half hour after the footings were poured it started drizzling and continued raining off and on till this morning. The good news is there is no water in the holes --- the sand we are sitting drains the water away. The bad news is it will a lot of work to get a lush green lawn. Oh, lush green lawns require a lot of cutting so maybe this isn't so bad after all.
April showers didn't occur this year so the May flowers really needed the rain.
Today was footing day .... the forms were setup and the cement truck was called. The cement truck can't make the turn by the maple tree to get into the backyard so they parked in the neighbours driveway ---- the neighbour's a nice guy ---- and used a conveyor to get the cement to the footings. Wow!!! two steps out of a few hundred --- the workshop addition will be done in no time. Actually I'm trying to be realistic and patient hoping they'll have the outside shell done by the end of May. Everyone who knows me knows patience isn't one of my virtues but I'm trying --- I am retired after all so whats the hurry.
Pouring the footings --- as not a lot of cement was needed the guys used the wheelbarrow to move the cement.
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