Saturday, December 24, 2011

The Best of 2011 in Pictures from Our World

This year I am sending out Christmas and New Year's wishes along with one or two pictures from each month of 2011.  It has been a very busy year... and some months it is really hard to decide which photos best tell the story.

January sunset from our deck... we live in a ferryland... this proves it. There are two ferries busy at work and we never go anywhere without taking a ferry.

Some January days we spend in the clouds... and this part of our driveway we often use for walking or jogging, rain or shine.

In February Shelby and family came home for a weekend and we did the Edith Point hike together.

The hike provided many photo opportunities... hard to pick out the best... but I love this shot of our grand daughter Maizy at Edith Point.

This totem pole is inside the Sydney Ferry terminal.  We come thru this place once or twice every week of the year, but last March I captured this shot in the evening as I was killing time waiting for our ferry to  go home.

In March we took an 8 day road trip to California... to  PUC to visited my Alma Mater, our friends Duane and Mary Cronk and Myron Widmer.  We also visited nephew Donald Logan and family in Napa and my sister Dolores and husband Merritt in Sacramento area.  While there we toured the Crocker Museum where I took this photo of Shirley examining a painting.  She looks like she fits right into the picture, eh?

In April when Shirley went to Paris with her sister Marilyn and was joined a week later by her friend Gail Booth...

I spent a a lovely three weeks with Lorne Booth in Tucson playing golf and pickle ball... soaking up some sunshine.

Lorne and I drove together home to Alberta... on the way we spent an enjoyable afternoon at Bryce Canyon, waking up to snow the next morning.

We went to Kelowna for Mothers Day... and Shirley joined me climbing Carrot Mountain.  Only in the Spring is there water running beside the trail... plus a couple of waterfalls.  Shirley found the water shockingly cold.

Mayne Island has several great places to hike... so when Sherilee and family came home we all took a stroll to Bennett Bay.

Memorial Day weekend the whole family was home and we had endless fun and games together.

We even converted the tennis court here to play Pickle ball and really had a blast!

In June we spent a wonderful weekend with sister Rose and Morian in Abbotsford... we went to the Cirque du Soleil together... but we were not allowed to take any pictures of that event.  However, the most unforgettable experience was not even planned... Morian took us to the mission and this truly spectacular church.  In my book this is the nicest church I've seen in Canada... an amazing work of art in concrete and stained glass.  The town of Mission BC was named after this Catholic monastery.

In July we started in earnest to construct the carport/studio that would connect the existing house and garage.  I did all the excavation for the footings and foundation mostly by hand, using the tractor to take away the material removed.  Our place will never look the same again.

I made this scale model of what the addition would look like and from this made the drawings to get a building permit.  Because of the long spans and unconventional design the Building Inspector told me I had to have a structural engineer stamp my drawings and oversee the construction... all of which added to a big time delay in getting the first concrete poured.

 After getting the structural engineer involved the depth of any excavations that were not on bedrock got deeper and wider... this one ended increased from 36 inches square up to 52 inches deep with a 12 inch thick footing 5 feet by 6.5 feet.

We used the tractor to help us place the rebar cage into the hole... it weighted almost 250 pounds.

With the help of Brendan and my tractor, we put all the beams and TGI's into the project.  It took us most of seven weeks to complete the framing and get it ready for the new roof.

Our car can hardly wait for the carport to be completed... can you see the smile on her face?  Both the car and Shirley are very happy in anticipation.  Note the 16-inch deep TGI's on 12-inch centres.

We had not originally planned this dormer with windows in the loft of the studio... but the view was just too spectacular.  I was able to make the roof joists work in the modified plan and only had to buy a couple of 2 x 12's for the dormer soffits.

We were very fortunate to get our roof on the new part as well as all the existing shake roof removed and redone in a cold and rainy time of year with no problems.  The snow came and went the next day.

Since paint won't dry outside this time of year, Shirley painted all the facia boards in our guest cottage.  We had to have the facia boards on before the roofing could be completed, so we had to find a way.

We took almost a week off and joined our kids/grandkids at Cannon Beach to celebrate US Thanksgiving, several birthdays, Christmas, Sher and Alan's Anniversary and Kim's new US citizenship... there was always a reason for another party every night... and Sher would re-decorate the fireplace for each new occasion.

Sher and Alan made Thanksbirthmas '11 hats for everyone to commemorate our family time together this year.

Since this photo showing the pantry drywall ready for painting, we have almost finished the painting, put up shelves and the ceiling light. We have the tile ready to do the floor.  Shirley can hardly wait to get moved in and get this corner of our house back to normal.

December gives us some nice winter sunrises... and sunsets.  And as this year is drawing to a close, Shirley and I want to wish all our friends and family the very best of the Christmas holidays with a healthy and prosperous New Year.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Construction Update December 5 to 16, 2011

My wounds have all healed marvellously.  Isn't it wonderful how the Creator designed our body so it would mend itself... but when my car or a tool gets broken it stays broken until we get it fixed.

I think one of the most wonderful things is to have our new roof completed on everything.

When I think back over the past couple of months, it is amazing that these guys worked thru the rainy season...  with even some snow... and they got the existing house and garage done with no water problems.  This is Lance Vaesen completing the ridge cap on the garage.

Two of Lance's boys work with their dad... this is Kellen finishing off some flashing on our house.

Here Brant is working on a last piece of flashing on the highest peak... 29 feet off the ground.

After the shakes were taken off the garage the nails that didn't come out with the shingles got pounded into the strapping.  You can see how important it is to have a hat on as I was checking and nailing some of the sheathing that was missed during the framing.

The garage attic has never looked better since we have been here.  We totally cleaned out all the junk that used to be stored here...

And we have been running some new electrical thru this attic to a new panel on the back corner of the garage where our new service will soon be switched over to.

It took Wesley our electrician, Shirley and me, as well as a come-along to pull this heavy new service line from the back of the garage to the new panel location in our new closet.

I took the sheathing off the house to expose the old panel in the back of our closet.  All these wires will get moved to new panel on a dedicated wall of our new closet.  The day we do this switch over will be a busy day for Wesley and we will be most of the day without power.

Both telephone and BC Hydro power will come into this back corner of the garage... and Wesley installed a guy wire so the mast will be strong enough once the new line is connected.

We purchased three dozen pot lights at Home Depot...

and it is such a joy to have them working in the carport already.  Can you see the smile on our truck now that it can park in our new carport?

One of the items that the engineer caught was a double 2" x 10" beam that I didn't see in the drawing.  So, I had to cut in space under this window for it.

Once I got it all installed, with insulation behind, it looked like it had been there all the time.

Last week Thursday we picked up the drywall for the pantry.  On Friday I called the Building Inspector and asked permission to cover in this one room.  He suggested that I send photos of the room to the Chief Building Inspector and I may get approval to cover without waiting for the next week inspection.

So I sent off 15 photos with notes explaining all the steps I had done and by the end of the day I received a phone call from the Inspector with his approval to cover... and one of the nicest compliments with it.  He told me he had never seen a nicer set of photos.  That made my day.

Here I am last Saturday night starting to screw the drywall to the pantry ceiling.  Shirley should be in this picture too... but she was taking the picture.  Together we had the whole room done by Sunday noon.

I had never before used this cool corner bead that is designed to make smooth curved edges.

I didn't count how many screws and nails are in this arch, but I am sure there are more than a hundred in all.

By Friday afternoon I had the third coat on the drywall... so on Sunday with a little light sanding and a wipe off with a damp cloth we will be ready for the first coat of paint.

Shirley is anxiously wanting to get moved back into her laundry room, as well as this new pantry.  Every day it is a little closer.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Ouch, Ouch!

If bad things happen in three's... it made me hesitate to get out of bed this morning.  Two days ago I stepped on a board with a spike sticking up... and I felt it going in... and coming out.  I checked and it didn't come out the top of my foot, even if it felt like it might have.  Shirley called the doctor's office and went down to pick some antibiotic's for me.

Then yesterday as I was putting the last pice of facia board on one of the high sections of the roof, I was trying to pull out a nail when the wonder bar slipped off the narrow head on the siding nail and my hand slammed into the edge of the metal roofing.  OUCH!  It was a nasty gash and that finished me for the afternoon on that project.

This is the last piece of facia where I cut my hand.  Notice the little vertical guide boards that I attach to the facia board to hold it at the right height... it makes it possible for me to do this task by myself.  The roofers are basically done, except for some flashings and trim caps around the edges... a few vents and a couple of garage skylights to finish flashing.

I also want to do the wood shed with metal... but it is pretty small.  We are really happy with the new roof... the colour as well as the quality of the workmanship.

We hardly had any rain this week. What a joy to wake up to see the sunrise.  I called for a building inspector to come by... and on Tuesday Chris Watson came and spent almost an hour with me.  I had lots of questions and he helped me a lot to sort out some options on how to finish the siding, rock facing, flashings around windows, water screen and building paper applications.

It was the first time that Chris had been here since April when all I had to show him was a cardboard model of our dream... and he was quite impressed at the progress... he liked it.

He also told me what I had to do to meet code in the pantry.  He pointed out how to get roof ventilation... and I drilled some vent holes to allow air to pass above some solid insulation I am going to use.

The BC building code requires minimum R-28 insulation in all ceilings... so three layers of R-10 rigid foam above exceeds the code.  I inherited a lot of rigid insulation with the place, so am delighted to be able to finally use it where it counts.  The walls need to be R-20.

Wesley, the electrician came three times this week for half a day, so I could do the insulation and finish off this pantry.

It seemed like huge progress when I cut the opening for the arch doorway between the laundry room and the new pantry.

I made a mistake thinking I could have 2 x 4 walls here.  It takes a 2 x 6 wall for R-20 fibreglass insulation so I furred out the end wall with an extra 2 x 2.  It is so much faster to install fibreglass insulation vs the rigid stuff.

I had a call into Ritchie Smith, my engineer to come as soon as he could arrange it... and he called on Thursday to tell me he would be here on the first ferry Monday morning.  I am really going to push to get this pantry finished as soon as possible... it would be nice to have it done by Christmas.

That is probably not possible with the kind of cabinets we are now talking about getting... but we will know more as we make some calls this next week.  Plus, to get a dry wall finisher???  I may end up having to do this room myself... but I sure won't do the whole studio and loft myself.  That is a lot of hard work to install the heavy board.