Thursday, 7 November 2013

Weeks 48-52

We have windows! Skillfully installed and beautiful J The company did a great job, I’m so glad we went with them.

The bathroom floor is finally done! All tiles installed, grouted and sealed. I started installing the wall tiles but partway through decided that maybe painting before they are done will make my life a little easier down the road. What did that mean? Taping, mudding, sanding, mudding, sanding…it certainly is a messy and time consuming job! Once all that was done, the ceiling and walls got primed and painted, 2 coats of primer and 2 coats of paint later and they looks fresh as a daisy!  I’ve also finished the wall tiles so we’re ready to install the bath, toilet and sink! I still need to tile the shower and get it measured up for glass but since we have a shower downstairs it’s not urgent.
The border which made my life so difficult, it turned out well though...

All ready for the bath now!

We also framed up the doorways and hung two doors, sounds simple enough except we had to change the swing on one, install new hinges and also do a little jiggery pokery to get them to open and close smoothly. Hey presto, we have doors! I’m so glad we were able to reuse the original doors; it looks like they’ve always been there.
I have also ordered some custom made baseboards to match the ones we have, you just can’t buy 9”baseboards at the Home Depot! An added expense but one I feel is worth it.

More taping, mudding and sanding in the hallway and bedroom to be.  JM has been scraping and sanding the original walls- whoever had the bright idea of creating texture using tissue paper then painting over it needs to be shot! We can’t strip it so we are making it as smooth as we can without replastering. It won’t be perfect but it will be better and I can live with that. Once the bathroom is finished I can get on to this area and lay some flooring…

Outside the trees have all changed colour and have lost most of their leaves.  The pool has been put to bed for the winter, the trampoline is away and leaves were raked and collected for making a guy for Guy Fawkes Night. We had a late Halloween/early Guy Fawkes Night! Bonfire, baked potatoes, sparklers and fireworks, just like in England J
The kids with some 'guy'

Burn baby burn! A 'guy' in the fire...

Sadly, we had to bid farewell to Edmund the Rooster L He had a run in with the dog and he lost. On the plus side, we have acquired another pair of chickens so there is still a chance of chicks in the spring J

So here we are, one year after getting the house and much reflection on where we’ve come in that time. Lots done but still lots more to do, here’s to another year of achievements!

Monday, 23 September 2013

Weeks 37-47

Weeks 37-47
Yup, it's been months!

Callum’s room got a final sanding then I started priming…first the patches of drywall compound, then the ceiling and finally the woodwork. It was only when I was washing the walls down that I realised that all of the trim was a pale yellow! How could I have missed that? I gave the baseboards, window and door frames and the two doors a coat of lovely crisp primer, they will look fantastic when the walls are done. The discovery for this project? There was a square of wall paper on Callum’s wall covering a chimney hole! I need to make sure it gets blocked off properly; I’m hoping to use that chimney in the future. His new flooring has arrived and will get installed when the bathroom is completed.
What could possibly be hiding under the wallpaper?
Oh, a gaping great hole!

We finally settled on what type of tile to put in the bathroom upstairs. Light grey and white marble on the floors, with a Victorian looking border. Plain subway tiles on the walls of the shower and around the bath to keep it clean and bright in there. I’ve almost finished installing the floor ones, the border made it considerably trickier but we’ll get there.

We ordered new windows and they are being installed right now! After hours of meeting with different representatives we chose the one with triple glazing; with the size of the windows and the type of house I think that was the best choice.

James and I recycled the old barn boards from the kitchen ceiling and have built a deluxe chicken coop and run. It took a long time because it was done in multiple short stints but we completed it last week and it is now inhabited. Three hens and a cockerel named Queenie, Bernard, Bob and Edmund (in keeping with the Blackadder theme) and we were blessed with our first egg today Kaiya just discovered them yesterday and went crazy! Those poor creatures are going to get no peace and quiet now...
In progress
The finished product!

Our new babies...
Meet Edmund

Being summer, we tried to spend time outside and specifically in the pool whenever we could. It wasn’t the usual hot summer but we made the most of it and next year I’m hoping it will get a lot more use.
The weeds on the other hand had an exceptional summer! They loved all the rain and us not keeping on top of pulling them all out. The mowing did get done regularly and the garden was beautiful. The nicest surprise has to be the magnificent hibiscus bush out the back! It looked gorgeous for weeks.
View from the laundry room roof.

Lastly R.I.P… The vacuum has given up the ghost, as has our dryer. We’ve replaced the laundry pair but the central vac still needs to be installed so we are constantly having to sweep. The shop vac has certainly come in handy…

Summary, slow progress. It’s a 10 year plan, right?

I saw this squirrel climb the tree with the apple in it's mouth then it had a nibble and left it.

Friday, 12 July 2013

Weeks 28-36

So here we are again. I’ve failed to keep the blog up to date; partly because we haven’t been doing as much, partly because we had visitors so we took a holiday and partly because I just haven’t been on top of it.

Now where were we…

The washroom is now tiled, painted, wallpapered and installed with a mirror and a light. All it needs now is trim and a lock.

 The bathroom has the in-floor heating laid, self levelling concrete on top, more self levelling concrete on top of that because it wasn’t level(grrr!) and all the drywall up. The cement board is in the shower area so the next step is tiles. Ah, the tiles!  After much contemplation, I decided that I’d really like to do something in keeping with the style of the house. I think that small black and white tiles laid in a diamond pattern will look really nice. The only snag is that you cannot get small black and white floor tiles in Canada! I’ve been to multiple suppliers and followed up on their recommendations only to hit a brick wall. It seems my best bet is to order them through an American company and pick them up in Buffalo (incidentally they are shipped from the UK).What a palarver!

Infloor heating=warm tootsies!
Shower stall

Callum's room has had the wall fixed (where we took down a dividing wall) and been patched and sanded and patched and sanded and get the idea!


The pool took much time and effort to get it usable, many lives were lost in the process (chipmunks, squirrels and mice all tried to swim and couldn’t get out)! It is in need of a new liner ($$$) which we’ll have to live without for now. We did get a new filter since the old one leaked and didn’t really work. Now we can go for a dip whenever the weather decides to be nice, which isn’t nearly often enough for this time of year!

 Since the weather had been warmer, than winter anyway, there has been lots of activity outside: we planted our little trees, weeded, pruned many dead branches, took down a few trees and mowed and mowed and mowed! We’ve discovered apple trees and plants we didn’t know we had. Now that the plants have grown and filled out, everything is green J
Also, the septic guys came back to grade the soil...



Look at all this space!
On the wildlife front, other than the casualties from the pool, we’ve also had to bury a few squirrels and birds L
We had a couple of swallows build a nest on the side porch.

We had an up close encounter with a robin's nest, it was at eye level near the barn so we saw them grow from eggs to fledglings.

 A family of baby red squirrels were orphaned and we tried to help them but the dog killed two of them and one fell from a wire so only two survived(we think). Here (-well down there, this blog won't let me move the picture here!)is a squirrel house, designed and built by moi on the spur of the moment to give them somewhere to stay, not sure if they took me up on my offer.(Yes I may be just a little obsessed with these guys)
We also had a baby bat in the kitchen (I think it fell from the attic through the hole where the chimney used to be and the cats brought it down) which squeaked and squeaked.  We put it in the attic in a box and it was gone when we checked so we think the mum must have found it J
JM found some baby mice under the seat of his motorbike (newborn, so pink baked beans with legs!) which he had to fish out. The problem was that while making the nest, the mum chewed through some wires! We think they are all in tact, we’ve taped them up so fingers crossed…
On the whole, country living is all I expected and more. We’ve seen deer close up, as well as raccoons, birds, squirrels etc, oh and a tree frog. This is why I wanted to move here. The property is beautiful and the location is so convenient to everything. It has been a year since we put our Ayr house on the market, how time has flown!

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Week 27

Things are still coming along.

A bit more drywall, some cement board on the floor of the washroom and the shower base is installed (a long story that I won’t elaborate on). The electrician has finished the rough in for lights, switches etc. too. The electrical inspector has passed everything so we can move on…and we now have potlights in the soon to be washroomJ
One ready to tile shower base

Huge celebration…the last sections of the chimney from the kitchen stove have been removed from the attic and roof, the hole has been patched on the roof and we now have nothing stopping us finishing the bathroom. Hooray! Massive thank yous to Murray for providing all the gear and expertise.
This chimney is going down!

Helllooo down there...


We’ve also weeded a bit around the patio/pool area. Someone from a pool company came out to take a look at the pool and said it looked O.K. We filled it a bit to check if it leaks and the level dropped a small amount so we repeated the process and it didn’t seem too bad. Now we’ve put lots in and I fear it may have a leak afterall L Time will tell. If it leaks then a new liner will be needed $$$, although a patch job might do to see us through for a bit.

The septic guys (remember them?) came back to tidy up and grade the soil but were hindered by the moisture (the guy was sinking in the mud in one spot so machinery wouldn’t fare too well!) They did a little but can’t finish until the ground dries up some more. They did a good job tidying up around where the trench for the well was dug though. It is all progress…

More flowers are appearing daily, the trees are greening up nicely and we’ll be mowing the lawn before we know it (JM did a trial run with Shabana and cut a little strip).

This one is my fave J

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Week 26

Yes, it is a significant week, 6 months we’ve had this house!  Looking back we’ve done a lot but at the same time I’d hoped to be further along by now. Half a year and still living in mess. JM says we're a tenth of the way through our 5 year plan...

The drywalling has begun! We started in the main bath and have done the bath alcove. We’ve also pretty much finished the little washroom too.


We installed a ceiling fan in the washroom and have marked the position for pot lights, we’re now waiting for the electrician to come and get those in.

The shower pan has finally made it here so we can now get that installed and plumbed in.
The lawnmower has been given a test drive, the pool cover is finally clear of water and the warm weather is just around the corner, life is good.


Wildlife still abounds including a black squirrel and blue jays which haven’t visited before. Kaiya also frightened a poor raccoon, she must have chased it up a tree because she was at the bottom barking at it and the poor thing looked scared to death! While fitting the bathroom fan in the attic we had a bit of a look around and where there is some bat poop on the insulation, we looked up and there they were, a little family of bats hanging from the ceiling! I think we counted 7 but it was hard to tell since they were mainly huddled together (don't tell Shabana!). Time to get some bat boxes..

We’ve also had our first signs of flowers, a single daffodil is open, along with a couple of grape hyacinths and a whole bunch of violas dotted around. Finally feeling like spring J