Title of picture

Winter sunrise, Lake Cowichan, B.C.

Friday, 15 February 2019

Week #23 - Painters to finish this week.

Jason texted later Friday night that they had made it safely to Big White in Kelowna. for the bachelor party. They had an hour's delay as they were first at the scene of an accident before they could carry on... helps I guess to have doctors on board in the car.

Saturday morning we woke up to frigid temps with the wind blowing pretty good. A good thing we took Kristi's dogs... as of 8:40 this morning Kristi's ferry is just floating down Howe Sound,  It cannot dock at Horseshoe Bay as it could not make the final corner due to the wind. Apparently they are hoping the wind will die down temporarily so the ferry can get turned around to face Horseshoe Bay. As it turned out Kristi's ferry could not dock at all. The breakwater at Horseshoe Bay broke up and a bunch of boats broke free from the marina and floated into the ferry dock. The ferry after Kristi's was turned around as well. Kristi did not off-load in Nanaimo until after 1pm after being on the ferry since 6:15 this morning.



Two BC Ferries sailings are returning to Nanaimo after being unable to dock in Horseshoe Bay due to dangerous wind conditions.

Ray and I took a drive into Duncan to look at snow blowers. We are contemplating buying one as there is a bunch more snow in the forecast for the next two weeks. It was nice of our neighbour to shovel the inch we received.  With this "climate change" stuff and more unusual weather patterns and events, I bet we get more snow in the winters and Ray can't shovel and I don't want too. When we arrived at Canadian Tire, the power was bumped and their generators started. Nothing of interest there, so further down the highway we go to the Rona store. Power is completely out and nothing of interest there either. Quite a bit more wind down that end of the island. Back home the sun was out and the winds have died down substantially.

Kristi arrived at 6 pm. The dogs are thrilled to see her, not to mention Ray and I. lol  Made her favourite pasta, pesto linguine with a pork rib roast. Ate and talked until 9pm, when we all went to bed. Kristi's dogs wake us up a couple of times each night by touching us while we are sleeping.  Just  to make sure we are still there??? lol  Kristi needed her sleep as she had only 7 1/2 hours of sleep in a 48 hour shift.

Sunday morning dawned a beautiful but cold day ... the coldest yet at -10C! And there is another snowfall alert.

A low pressure centre forming just offshore this morning will move eastward onto southern Vancouver Island this afternoon. Snow amounts of 5 to 10 cm accompanying the low will begin in Greater Victoria and the Southern Gulf Islands this afternoon and end this evening. Snowfall over the Inland Vancouver Island will mainly be confined to the Lake Cowichan area. Rapidly accumulating snow will make travel difficult.

Yikes, I guess Kristi will be leaving for Nanaimo this morning before this happens. Down in Seattle where Ray's cousins live, they have issued a "State of Emergency" due to getting 10 inches of snow on Friday.  They have not dealt with this very well (people from North Dakota might say, oh boo hoo!) and more snow to come today. The news said they got the whole amount of annual snow in one day.

After Kristi got up, she went for a run with her two dogs. While out she received a call from her girlfriend that she went on the ferry with yesterday. Leila booked the heli-jet for Kristi and herself for 1pm to Vancouver today ... needless to say Kristi moved like lightening and headed back to Nanaimo. The big panic is that they were going to Vancouver for Leila's wedding dress fitting yesterday but she was able to reschedule it for today, so they need to get there. Hopefully the impending storm does not cause problems. Kristi took her dogs with her to drop off at home but her office girl (MOA) will let the dogs out if Kristi does not make it back due to weather. Jason is supposed to make it back to the island sometime tonight as well. Did not manage to get one picture of our wonderful daughter ... too busy talking.

Freya exhausted after her "pack" left for home after 3 days. lol
 Ray was busy putting up towel rods in our master ensuite and filling any "dings" in the walls as the painters are here for touch-ups tomorrow. Of course he managed an additional ding while installing the rods! I made us Navajo tacos for lunch, especially since he likes to put jam on the left-over fry bread. A good meal on a cold snowy day. It's leftovers for supper anyways, Kristi forgot to take her portion with her in the flurry of activity this morning.

The "King in his Kastle"!


 At noon the snow started ... at 12:30 pm this guy was certainly brave going out today.


By 2pm it came down really thick. As fast as I shoveled the driveway, the snow returned. We probably have an inch of snow so far in 2 hours. Can't wait to get a small snowblower tomorrow hopefully.

My "helper" NOT!
At least an inch of snow so far, maybe more. The top cap of the deck is 2" higher than the tiles.
Ray wanted to put up a Canadian Flag at the house since we got here... and today's the day.

Yup, definitely snowing.
At 4 pm the driveway needed to be shoveled again. 4 more inches fell. We now have six inches of new snow and it is still coming down with really big flakes. As fast as I shovel the driveway, it becomes totally covered again in minutes. We took the car out and turned it around so we have a straight shot out of the garage should we need to go out. You can barely even see the other side of the lake.


Hard to tell we just shoveled the driveway.



Just checked the driveway at 5:30 pm... another four inches since shoveling at 4 pm. Ray tried to help once by just pushing snow but leaving it at the edge to lift up.  No go for him after a few minutes, so I'm the designated shovel operator. I went back out at 7 pm and shoveled for the third time, took an hour. If any more falls I will worry about it tomorrow. The temps held at -3C all day so the snow at least is very light so far.

Monday morning I called an equipment rental dealer in Duncan who sell Honda snowblowers. By 8:30 I purchased one and Ray left to get it about 9:30, when the roads had a chance to be cleared. Forecast is for another 15-25 cm (5 - 10 ") tonight and tomorrow. While he was gone I shoveled some of the snow off the deck away from the doors and down the stairs in case we need to leave the house via the deck, safety first. :)

Our painters arrive at 8 am this morning to do all of the touch ups downstairs and stain our new fir doors. They will be back tomorrow to finish. Some of the jobs will have to wait until spring as it is too cold to paint the garage.

When Ray arrived back at 11:30, our neighbour Darryl come over and helped get the snowblower running. I called over first thing this morning and told Pat not to let Darryl shovel ... I had a snowblower coming. :) My deal with him is, I bought it and he gets to use it ... as well as doing my driveway. He loved the machine, a kid with a new toy. The machine works well in 8" of snow at his house. Our driveway was pretty clear from me shoveling it last night.

Okay let's see how she runs!

And Darryl is off.
I did give it a go on our driveway to make sure I can manage it and it is a piece of cake and easy to move.

It seems to be working well.


Made short work of his snow. I did show him how to adjust the hopper so he does not keep hitting his neighbour's house. lol
Since it worked so well we will let the snow accumulate overnight now and fire up the machine tomorrow morning.

Tuesday morning I was out at 7 am using my new "toy" to get the 8 inches of new snow off the driveway before the painters arrive at 8. It certainly makes short work of the snow and sure beats shoveling it! Received a text at 8:30 from Pat next door ... Darryl will be over after breakfast to clear my driveway! lol Told her I had already done it. :) He came over later and used the machine for his driveway and did another run on ours as it had snowed another inch since I had done it.



It is hard to believe that I shoveled the snow away from the doors yesterday on the patio and made a path to the stairs. This is what awaited me this morning.

What path???

The painters (Andrew and Mona) arrived at 8 am to start today.

Mona preparing to paint the stairwell.

Andrew staining the top of the posts we had the corners chamfered for safety.
More doors getting done today and more paint touch ups. These are my pantry doors and the new bedroom door. It needed the original stain as for some reason they did not open the door from the jam when they pre-stained it so 1/2 " of door and all the sides missed getting stained. My pantry doors are getting the old stain too as they have already been marked up by being so close to the stove with me cooking. :(  Safety reminder, no bare beer belly cooking of bacon after seeing how far it travels!




I invited them for dinner tonight as well as Pat, Darryl and their two grandchildren. What else to do on a snowy day? Tuscan Chicken on the menu. This is what it should look like when I am done except I need to use two pans to cook enough for 8 people.

Overhead photo of creamy Tuscan Chicken Thighs in blue pan

Ray worked on laying out the bed for downstairs and put his shop stool together. It took him three days to complete the bed with his back.


Ray and I are getting there. I cannot clean all the floors and get rid of the dust yet as it will fly and stick on the door painting project. Ray can't do any sawing projects either.  Andrew needs to put a second coat on all the doors, so this project will take a couple of more short visits.  The oil stain takes all day to dry after one coat and he cannot turn the doors to get the other side while one side dries. All of the touch ups and baseboards are done though.

We had snow flurries on and off all day with no accumulation, however at 3:30 the blizzard effect began again and now the snow is sticking. Forecast  more snow of 15-25 cm overnight. Don't care now I have my snowblower. 

At 5 pm our company arrived. We had a wonderful visit and my Tuscan Chicken turned out well.

Darryl, Andrew, Severin, Mona and Pat.  Missing Ashton upstairs watching TV.

The boys were exhausted with their snow day and Mona and Andrew were tired as well ... everyone was out the door shortly after 7pm. Another busy day and the snow is falling harder ...

Wednesday morning I woke up to another 6 inches of snow. I was out the door by 7 am firing up the snowblower. It finally quit snowing though. I did our driveway and sidewalk and took a break to come in for breakfast. Mona and Andrew arrived at 8 am to paint again, hence why I got our driveway done before they arrived.

After breakfast I was back out the door to shovel a path on our sundeck and clear off the stairs. Next up, I headed with my machine over to Pat's. Darryl headed to Victoria for work this morning at 5am so they needed to be dug out. Took me another 45 minutes and they were all clear too. While I was busy. Ray took some pictures of the snow.

No fishing today!

My stick's under there somewhere!



Our Chalet!
Andrew and Mona were finished at noon today and Andrew will be back tomorrow am to put a second coat on the 3 last doors.  Ray took me out to lunch at Jake's, special todcay beer and burger for $12. I was not into making anything since I spent most of yesterday afternoon cooking. lol Once back home, it was hot tub time. I got pretty stiff sitting down at the pub after working so hard this morning. Ray's back is pretty sore just from a couple hours in the basement the last couple of days.

Our lunch view. The lake is way down.
It will be a quiet afternoon for both of us. No snow forecast for today but it is supposed to start again tomorrow afternoon.  The roads out of Lake Cowichan this morning were horrendous Darryl told Pat.

Thursday, a cold clear morning at -9C. Our driveway is a sheet of ice. By 10:30 am round three of the snow began. I took a quick run to Home Hardware for the Alaskan Ice Melter stuff and threw it down on the driveway. I took two steps out there last night for Freya's last bathroom run and slipped and landed on my butt. Good thing it was me instead of Ray. Fortunately nothing hurt other than my butt. lol The snow is already sticking, so I imagine me and my snowblower will have a date first thing tomorrow morning. :)

Andrew was here at 8 am for only 45 minutes while he put a second coat of oil stain on the 3 doors that require that stain. He will be back tomorrow for the final coat and hang them. Ray finished putting the bed together and then it was my turn to clean the room and set it up with the bedding. It looks awesome. You have a great view of the lake from the bedroom window. The cellular blinds are ordered and will be installed in a couple of weeks to finish off the room. Ray is going to take some better pictures using his camera and tripod when the basement is totally put together. My live edge kitchen table should come tomorrow. Excited.




Here is our cozy little living room. We are getting blinds for the two side windows as well to add privacy from the neighbours but leaving the front window exposed to the view.



Ray took these next pictures walking Freya this morning. Definitely a winter wonderland.


This is our road up to the gate.
Tonight we went out for our Valentine's dinner at the Farm Table Inn. Ray and I decided to dress up and take a "new picture" of us in this house.


Kristi and Jason were planning on coming for the dinner, but cancelled yesterday due to the snow forecast.  The highway was not too bad as long as you went slow. We only had to drive 5 km to Skutz Falls.  Coming back was compact snow and limited vis with the thick flakes.


Dinner was awesome, way too much food for me so Ray will have a great lunch tomorrow.

Farm Table Inn

Ray having his non-alcoholic Pina Colada


While their chickens roamed outside the restaurant, Oscar the cat came in to warm up.

My 4th dish, dressed up as a chicken, as Ray's lunch tomorrow.
Every dish was delicious including their homemade bannock bread with garlic rosemary butter. A lovely outing. Many thanks to my Valentine.

Friday morning and only about 2" of snow came down overnight and by 7:15 am it was raining so I don't have to use the snowblower. Having spread the Alaskan melting stuff, it is already quite slushy and should melt in an hour or so. With the freezing temps, our heat pump froze. Looking up I can see why, the dormer window upstairs icicles drip right down on the heat pump. We may have to put a small roof over it for next year to prevent this in the future. With Ray's help, it did not take too long to unfreeze it using hot water. I was dumping it from our bathroom window directly on the top of the unit to melt the ice on the blades, while Ray worked on dumping hot water down the sides of the unit to open up the airflow. I have turned the fan on to run all the time right now instead of auto to prevent it freezing up again. Isn't google wonderful!

Last day for Andrew painting our doors this morning. he was in and out under an hour. He will come back tomorrow morning to hang them. I will be glad to have my pantry doors back on. Glad that job of the painting is all done. Now we will wait for the snow to go so the guys can finish with the last 10 deck tiles to be installed.

That was our week of "Snowmageddon 2019" as many people are calling it. lol We are such wusses here in southern BC.

Friday, 8 February 2019

Week #22 - A few things left before the basement is completely finished.

Saturday morning, the rain had quit. Both Ray and I are sore from cleaning up downstairs from all the dust.  The predicted cold weather started, with use at 0C this morning and snow in the forecast for tomorrow. We headed into Duncan to pick up a few things in case it does snow tomorrow. Ray needed a little outing as he has been home all week. I had two days out earlier to Nanaimo and Duncan for appointments so he was feeling a "little stuck". We thought that we might have a campfire this afternoon but the clouds moved in and the breeze is quite cool. At 3pm the sun came out so we decided to have a "campfire" on the sundeck instead. It was nice to just be outside for awhile.


The rest of the day was pretty quiet and we were in bed by 8:30 and lights out at 9pm. What a lively Saturday night. lol

Sunday morning we woke up to light snow flurries. It was not sticking yet, as the temp outside was just above freezing, but that is supposed to change through the day. Today is Super Bowl Sunday. I will be making Ray a bunch of appetizers for the game. A party for two! lol

Both Ray and I spent the better part of the morning working on cleaning up areas and sorting stuff out downstairs. The kitchen is outfitted with all of the dishes and Ray has the storage room vacuumed and put to rights, with extra building materials stored under the stairs. It lightly snowed off and on all day with very little accumulation. I also emptied out all of the boxes for the dresser and drawers in piles onto the floor.  So that when Coulson's come back to do the "dump run", all of the extra cardboard and packing materials go too. Kind of a mess outside under the sundeck.

I ended up inviting Pat and Darryl over for the game and most especially for all of the food. lol Her mom and partner were supposed to drive up from Victoria but with the snow today, it was not a great idea. We had a good time watching all of the commercials... the game was pretty boring with no score until the very end.

Picture is a little blurry. lol must have been the margarita!

A great day although we are sore and tired.

Monday morning we managed to sleep in until 6am. Still have snow flurries outside and -4C. Not much accumulating though, just blowing around. The 2 guys from Exchange Energy arrived at 8:45 am to start on the duct work. They could not believe that someone wouldn't have mentioned the duct work while they were insulating and putting in the T-bar ceiling. Neither could I...... well maybe not with all our problems.

The guys were finished in about an hour and a half. Turns out there were only 2 vents in the main area and one in the bedroom that had to be fixed. They could not center the ducts though with the tile, as there were joists in the way of the pipe. Oh well, most people don't spend time staring at the ceiling. lol



I spent about 4 hours cleaning my kitchen, fan hood and stove today. Yesterday's fry oil made the decision easy to get to it all cleaned up. lol While cleaning I put a bunch of leftover chicken and stuff into the InstantPot and now have a great chicken soup for a cold day.

We received a bunch of stuff from Wayfair today for the basement, so I put the dining chairs together. Ray spent a couple of hours in his workshop putting together the dresser. Again, getting all of the packing material in the garbage pile for pickup. Still lots to do but we have time now. Don't want to get too many things in the way for the painters next week.


After messing around for several hours it was hot tub time. So nice there is no one here so we can use it when we want. The sun is actually out but it is chilly outside, especially with the wind.


Tuesday, the coldest morning yet at -8C. Fortunately, we are all snug in the house. A beautiful day but chilly with mist on the water.


Ray is still spending time finishing assembling the dresser for the bedroom and organizing his equipment in the shop. I just puttered around. The kitchen table should arrive sometime this week. I can't do any more in the basement until the painters are done.  Then I will do a last clean of the floors and put the runner and carpets down and get the bed put together.

One dresser assembled. Two night tables to go, and the bed.
Headed over to Pat's for tea early this morning. What a view she has out her kitchen window too.



Around 10:30, Ray and I headed to Duncan to do a little shopping for bits and pieces for his shop. It was such a beautiful sunny day. Although only 0C it felt much warmer in the sunshine. He took me out for lunch at White Spot for the Tuesday special, the Legendary Burger. Back home for 2 pm as we had a meeting with Linda Gary regarding cellular blinds for the basement. (The same kind we have in the rest of the house.) They should be ready for install in 3-4 weeks. This was one last bit of stuff needed for the basement to be ready for guests.

The backsplash for the kitchen will be installed by Jason, our son-in-law at Easter. We found left over 12" square pebble tiles used in the upstairs bathrooms that will work nicely so no cost to us other than feeding Jason. lol

Received a call from Revy RV. Our window should be back ready for install Friday. We made an appointment for next Wednesday to bring the coach to Duncan. Finally it will be fixed.

Cooked Roast Beast for dinner, yumm. They had prime rib on sale at our little Country Grocer in town for $9 per pound. What a deal with today's beef prices.

My Dino Bone!
Wednesday, another sunny cold day. (-6C) Love the sun though. A good morning to enjoy the fireplace. So glad it has been fixed. I am using it every morning to help heat up the house faster with these cold temps.


Ray took a picture of the lake this morning.

We never get tired of looking at the "moods" of the lake. Love the pastel colours.

Roger from Coulson's called last night and he will be here in the morning to pick up all of the garbage.  Ray is taking off the last two damaged aluminum panels from the gazebo this morning so they can go too.

Bernie and Roger arrived about 8:30 and now all the garbage is gone except for the deck tile guys stuff. I had forgotten how big the concrete patio actually is. lol I gave it a quick sweeping to get rid of the sawdust, but will have to wait until it warms up outside to pressure wash it all and get rid of some rust stains. Plenty of room for our kayaks. Still no word from David Coulson as to when our window trim damaged/cracked from demo will be fixed. (The window behind the kayaks.) He says he is "working on it", his usual comment.


Ray puttered in his workshop putting together the night tables for the bedroom and we called it quits for the afternoon. It is beautiful outside but too cold to stay out there. The ground is hard as a rock.

I was bored so I made Valentine Brownie Cookies with white chocolate icing. Ray is enjoying them. :) I actually made them so I could give Pat's grandson's some as Ashton stayed home sick today. Ray will have to share. lol


That was pretty much our day.

Thursday morning cold again at -4C. Not much going on here today. Ray headed into Duncan to pick up some bits and pieces before the predicted snow starts tonight. I just puttered around the house. It seems almost weird that there is no one working here on a daily basis after 8 months of people here.

Ray spent part of the day puttering in his workshop and I decided to drive to Nanaimo to go to La-Z-Boy at their new showroom. When we ordered our chairs last year, the main factor was that the chair was comfortable for Ray's back. Of course I wanted one that matched, never thinking how it fit me. Since I hurt my neck last June, my chair has been not working for me, hurting my neck worse it seems. After going to multiple massage sessions, doing prescribed neck exercises, changing sleeping pillows as suggested, changing how I sit with my computer to keep my head straight etc. I have finally come to the conclusion that the chair is 90% of the problem as I am shorter than Ray and it pushes my head forward.  Sitting in it every day for several hours is not helping, so a new chair that fits me is in order. Mine will go downstairs in our new basement suite. It did not take me long to pick out a chair and I sat in it for an hour to make sure it "fits me" and does not hurt my neck. I briefly sat in the chair we already have to compare and instantly my neck hurt more. Half an hour later, with my wallet lighter I was going to meet Kristi for lunch.

However, Kristi is on call today and cannot leave the hospital at the moment, as she has a mommy ready to pop, so it we decided that I pick up take-out from Dairy Queen and take it back to the maternity ward. We shared some of it with the nurses as it was way too much food for us.

Kristi asked if I could pick up my grandpuppies on the way out of town and keep them for the weekend. lol Of course. Jason is heading tomorrow with a bunch of guys for Big White in Kelowna for a friends bachelor party (in the middle of the predicted snow storm) and Kristi is heading to Vancouver on Saturday for the day to help pick out a wedding dress. With the forecasted weather of snow and wind on Saturday she was worried she might not make it back from Vancouver and the dogs would be stuck in the house. Easier for me to just bring them now before there is a problem and we have to drive in the snow. Freya is very happy to see her pack mates.

Waiting for the leftovers from our dinner. (Athena, Zeus and Freya)
Friday morning at 6 am, still no snow here as predicted. Looks like we might have missed the first barrage. Now we will see regarding the winds. They are calling for possible power outages along the coast tonight.

The snow finally started about 7am, but it's not really accumulating too much. The dogs sure are loving it especially when Ray and I had a hot tub and they were just running around chasing each other in the yard. A good day to stay home with the fireplace on and relax. Here is the drivecam for the start of Highway 19 to Lake Cowichan. Apparently very slippery by Tansor Road with a car in the ditch.



The picture below is of the Coquihalla. This section of highway is not too bad for Jason's trip to Kelowna today.



Definitely worse on the connector to Kelowna though. Hopefully it will be in better shape by the time the guys get to this part later this afternoon.



The dogs are enjoying our "snow event"! Freya has her stick ... chase me.



And that was our week.