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Fall Colours on the Cowichan River, B.C.

Saturday, 8 December 2018

It's December ... Week 14 of Renovations

Sunday was quite foggy until around 11 when the sun finally broke through. After laundry and baking Christmas treats, Ray and I went outside for a fire to get some fresh air. Definitely cool out there at 3C, but we bundled up and sat very close to the fire. The lake level went down a couple of inches in the 2 hours we were outside. Always amazed how fast this lake rises and falls for such a large body of water.  However, just like gas prices, it goes up way quicker than it goes down!

Homemade Turtles

My cleanup crew!

Onto the next ... sugar cookies, picture taken by a sneaky photographer!

This morning Kristi called. Jason has possibly broken his foot while they were out getting their Christmas tree in the forest. He went later in the afternoon to Emergency and he is to wait 24 to 48 hours and if he still cannot weight bear then go back to the hospital for an X-ray.

Drywallers were here at 2 pm until about 3:30. Tomorrow should be the last day when they sand everything. There will be lots of dust again.

Monday, once daylight started the fog developed again, kinda spooky on the water. Colder today, the grass is crispy and there is frost on the ramp and dock. At 8:30 you could see patches of blue sky as the fog dissipated. It will be a cold sunny day.

Around 9am I saw this out in the lake ... at first glance it looked like a kayaker but it turned out to be a huge tree and stump floating by.

Les, Paul and Kristy arrived at 7:30 to sand the basement today. They will be finished except for their cleanup guy who will come tomorrow first thing and clean up. They get drywall mud over everything!!! Can't believe their Dewalt Stereo actually works. They will be back after the painting is done to install the T-Bar ceiling. Dan "the clean crew", also came briefly to finish sanding in the master bedroom. We are all ready for paint on the main and upper floors starting at 8am tomorrow.

Ray was out the door at 8am to take the car into Ford to have this leaking problem with the sunroof addressed. Apparently they will have the car for a week and are giving us a loaner truck to drive in the meantime. He has some "Christmas Chores" to do. lol so won't be back until after lunch so I will stay home and manage the "fort". With it feeling like -2C outside, I am happy playing in my kitchen. He came home with an F350 diesel pickup that they loan out to contractors ... what a pig to drive. Hopefully our car comes back soon because I don't like driving this truck. When we had our F350 six years ago it drove a whole lot easier than this one and it was even a long-box dually. 

Bernie arrived at 8:40 am to put the shelving units back together in the boat garage and put things back in the car garage so we can move around in there, especially accessing my fridge. Again, the sound of drilling and hammering noises echo through the house.  Also on the agenda is to finally finish the downspout from the sundeck as Roger finally bought the fittings. Freya was unsettled again with all the noise coming from the garage so I put her new "Thunder Jacket" on and she settled right down. Marvelous. Friends had mentioned that it might help after her getting upset with the smoke detectors last week. Bernie was all done just before noon and left.

Shelves back up, now Ray can organize it again for the third time. lol

Freya and her new Thunder Jacket.
When Ray got back at noon, we put everything back on the shelves that was on the floor of the garage including my canned food that was in grocery bags in the dining room. I lifted all of the heavy stuff for him. Another tidying job done. Now there is room for the boat to go back into the garage.

This afternoon, Ray helped me decorate the sugar cookies I made yesterday. A new Christmas thing for us to do together. Our kids will be amazed. :) I have not been much of a baker ... but am learning.  We managed to get half of it done and will do the rest tomorrow ... too much sitting for Ray.

We finally sat down at 3:30 pm. Definitely a busy day for us both.

Tuesday morning the painters were here at 7:50 am. Good thing we were up and dressed. lol Shortly after the drywall cleanup guy showed up to sweep up the mess downstairs. Took him an hour or so. He did not do a very good job. No vacuuming just sweeping.

It was very cold out this morning at -3C. It stayed pretty crispy all day.

By 11:00 am Mona and Andrew finished the hallway, pantry and living room. So we are finished in the main living areas ... yeah. Mona was working on our master bedroom applying 2 coats to the new closet and all the other touch ups on the walls and bathroom.

Now we are ready for Chris, our carpenter, to finish putting in the shelving, trim and doors on the closets our room and en-suite will be finally be done. I texted Roger that I would like Chris here tomorrow to start the finish work and he replied that both Chris and Bernie will be here as we are getting some cupboards, shelving and doors delivered here tomorrow. Wow, we should be back in our own bedroom in a couple of days.

While Mona worked on the main floor, Andrew worked on the two upstairs bedroom closets and then moved downstairs to prime the new gyproc. At this rate it looks like they will be finished with painting Friday afternoon. These guys are awesome. They sure pay attention to detail with no over painting of any timbers unlike the previous painters.

Downstairs kitchen ... starting to look more finished with the primer on.

Master bedroom closet.

 Garrett's closet.

Backside of Kristi's closet.

Ray phoned the Rock guy, Derrick, as we had not heard anything regarding when he is coming. He's bringing a crew here on the weekend to put back the rocks on the back of the house, rock our fireplace in the basement and lay the ceramic tiles on the sundeck. Apparently Roger was supposed to tell us .... didn't hear a thing.

I spent a couple of hours wrapping all of the Christmas presents I purchased. Mostly done other than a few odds and ends. Good thing I had cookies, as Pat brought her 2 grandchildren over for a quick visit before she takes them to karate. The boys love playing with our old lego too.


Wednesday, -2C outside but feels like -6C Yikes. Took the dog out and the skies are crystal clear and full of stars.

Andrew and Mona arrived at 7:30 to start painting the first coat of paint in the basement. Kurtis Electric will come sometime today and disconnect the big plug for the drywaller's heater so it is out of the way for the painting. Currently the plug is hanging out of the electric panel .... Adam was in and out around 10:30 am.

At 10:45 Chris and Bernie showed up with the Windsor Plywood delivery truck. They delivered our fir trim, a bunch of closet doors and the cabinets Chris built for the closets at the Coulson shop. Bernie's task is to paint all of the trim using the basement workshop downstairs so it is ready for Chris to install. We were told the staining would be done at the shop.  Chris spent the rest of the afternoon fighting with our master bedroom closet ... none of the walls in the existing closet are plum so lots of trimming for the shelf he is trying to cut to fit. I hear some growling!  He spent 2 hours ($100) trying to scribe the back of the shelf to the wall instead of just cutting a 1/4" off, in a place we'll never see... unbelievable!

 All of the fir trim boards for Bernie to stain.

 My new pantry door in front with our Master Closet doors in behind.

 My new ironing board cupboard upstairs in Garrett's room.

 The start of the built-in closet in Garrett's room.

One of two sets of upstairs fir closet doors. Absolutely gorgeous. They definitely match in with the other doors we have in the house.

Mona and Andrew finished the second coat in the basement today so the room is finished at the end of the day. Paint was $500 in total and they have one left over primer that they will paint on in the car garage for us once it has been emptied, at no extra charge. It's been wonderful meeting this couple as they live in Lake Cowichan and are relatively newcomers here.

All painted and ready for the rockwork on the fireplace hearth this weekend.


Bedroom with the cut outs for the 2 built-in bookcases.

The built-in bookcases, Chris has built for the space.

Received a call from a freight company out of Ontario asking me what customs house do I want to use to get my ceiling tiles??!!!?XXXX WHAT. Anyway, called Home Depot here in Duncan to figure it out. I purchased the tile through them online with free shipping to my house. So we shall see. After talking with a department manager around 4 pm as I had not heard anything ... she called the website and found out that I am supposed to ignore the call and if I get another one to call their website customer service immediately. This order was split into two deliveries. One will be arriving shortly via UPS and the other one is currently in Chicago and will get here by the 17th of December. 

Mona and Andrew came back for dinner and we spent the next few hours sharing stories and getting to know each other. A wonderful couple and we had a great time. Dinner turned out great too. (InstantPot shortribs)

Mona and Andrew, our painters extraordinaire!

Thursday morning I was out of the house by 7:45am with Freya for her Vet appointment. Certainly was frosty outside. Bernie arrived at 7:30am and Chris shortly after. Bernie staining trim boards and Chris starting to assemble our upstairs closet.

Got another call from that freight company but gave them Home Depot's online customer service number as I was told to do. Never heard anything else the rest of today.  Turns out the shiper put my name on the shipping document instead of Home Depot.

Chris managed to almost finish one of the upstairs bedroom closets today and Bernie got most of the trim painted. Unfortunately the house really stinks from the stain. I had to turn off the furnace, open all the doors and turn on the fireplace which thankfully now works. Both of us suffered headaches and Ray felt dizzy.

 Closet getting there. Now for the doors and trim.

This will look great framed out with natural fir.

Thursday night, Roy came over to measure up the stainless trim I need between the stove and counter top to stop food dripping down the stove.

Friday morning a balmy -6C ... Had to turn up the furnace even though it's still smelly in the house from the staining yesterday. I texted Roger last night and told him he needs a plan "B". No more staining in the house it is making us sick. Roy also commented how bad it was when he came over last night.  He also said that doing the staining here like Coulson did, gives contractors a bad name.

Chris arrived at 7:45 and started working on putting in the doors on Kristi's closet upstairs. Roger and Bernie are to come later with the trailer to pick up the construction waste and take the wood to stain at the shop, not here. Ray is fit to be tied.....WTF were they thinking.... oh ya THEY WEREN'T.

Kurtis Electric arrived shortly after 9 am to put the plugs into the receptacles downstairs and left around 1:30 pm. They noticed the mudders/drywallers made some cutting errors around the bathroom pot lights. This will be fixed next week when the T-Bar ceiling gets installed. (Les of the drywall team confirmed this.)

South Shore Cabinetry came at 10 am to install our bathroom mirrors, we have a completed bathroom again.

Bernie arrived about 12:30, and Roger about 1pm. First Bernie helped Chris put our bed back together and then began picking up the construction waste for Roger to take away in the trailer. Yeah ... back in our own bed after about a month or so.

Chris spent the rest of the day finishing Kristi's closet, installing the doors and putting in the baseboard trim work. He also put the trim on the inside of our en-suite so the room is almost totally finished. He will work on our master bedroom closet on Monday.

 The doors are gorgeous, just needs to be trimmed out and stained.

Ray picked up our car from Ford around noon. Hopefully the sunroof is fixed this time. Apparently the roof glass repair we had done earlier this fall was done poorly, broken clips not replaced and not sealed properly. It is nice to have our car back instead of driving that "pig" of a truck.

Our house has finally aired out enough that I could put the furnace back on. Tonight we met up with Andrew and Mona at The Cow Cafe for their Chinese food buffet night. Yum, great food and great company. After dinner we came home as Andrew and Mona work tomorrow.

Sunday, 2 December 2018

Yeah, the drywaller's are here. Week #13 of Renos

Monday the wind ramped up about 3 am this morning and woke the three of us. Managed to sleep  until 5:45 before waking. What an ugly day. It like a making soup day. lol It poured all day and night with quite a few gusty wind events.  Everything stayed put here ... including the new dock and gazebo.At least our fireplace seems to be working consistently now. Yeah.

Today the drywall crew from Gordon and Gordon Interiors arrived at 8:45am. Scott and Will will be doing all of the boarding and Dan arrived about 10am to do the mudding and sanding. He started upstairs first with boarding the closets. Roger came at 9:30 and gave this crew instructions as well he met with the glass guy who is making something to enclose our front arch from the bats. So far today things are a thumbs up.

Scott and Will managed to board up half the basement today. Dan did the first coat on all of the cutouts and new gyproc installed for the closets upstairs.

Upstairs closet sheeted in.

Bedroom closet.


Tuesday, we woke up to rain but it started clearing by 7 am. Bernie caught us in the hot tub kissing and smooching at 7:30.... Oh Ray he did not!  hehehe  He's here to move the stuff in the garages to make room for mudding the gyproc seams.  We needed to seal the garage to prevent fumes coming into the house. We moved the boat out and covered it and what we didn't take inside, Bernie moved into the middle.  Now I have bags of tins cans in the dining room waiting for new shelves in the pantry. More mess.

Roger arrived by 7:45 to use some fasteners to secure the dentix (concrete board) to the concrete The gyproc will be glued to this along the bottom pony wall.  The drywallers were concerned there would be movement in their seams otherwise. I asked Roger the status of the rubber feet for the deck tile, and apparently the adjustable ones we received apparently won't work and there are new ones on order.  (or so he says).  Roger waited until about 9am and then left as the drywallers hadn't shown up.

Went down to the dock to check the water level. It's risen 4 feet from all the rain in the last 2 days!!

Water is up to our landing from the beach.

Water is up to the rock ballast, holding up the yard, under our ramp. (We have wrapped that tree with wire to prevent the beaver from taking it down this winter.).  The other one isn't ours.
When the rain quit this morning, Ray took Freya for a trip to Skutz Falls to see the volume of water coming down the Cowichan River.

This picture from today, November 27/18

Here is a picture of Skutz Falls this summer


He also managed to get a couple pics of a Great Blue Heron.

The drywallers were here until around 4pm. All of the boarding is done including the bathroom ceiling and the arches in the garage. Apparently some Jr. comes to get the enormous pile of cuttings in the middle of the room. The first layer of tape and mud was done upstairs. Things are moving along. Now the next few days will be mudding, taping and sanding. Oh Joy. I have scheduled painters for a week tomorrow, so hopefully they will be all done.

Kitchen and hallway



Bathroom ceiling

Boat Garage 
Car garage, they had to climb up the kitchen cabinets to reach.
This morning I worked on putting the lights into our Christmas Village. It's starting to look a little like Christmas around here.

Kurtis Electric showed up to put in our surge protector into the panel and asked us if we wanted our panel to be properly labeled. Well ya.... especially that damn smoke detector. They ran out of labels so will be back tomorrow to finish. There are a few other "jobs" for them to do as well such as installing my lights into the ensuite vanity and a GFI plug on the outside of the car garage for Christmas Lights.

This afternoon I decided to tackle the setting up our new Costco artificial  tree. This will be our first
"fake" tree, we have always purchased or cut a fresh tree. The box is heavy, so one of the drywallers help me excavate it from the garage.  I then pulled it on a mat to the living room. Once the box was opened it took me less than 10 minutes to set it up. It looks and feels like a real tree just pre-lit. Bonus!!! Garrett suggests I buy those pine tree scent things from the gas station and stick it in the tree. lol Ray helped me decorate it. With the lights already on it only took about half an hour and we were done. I am still missing a box of Christmas decorations, my tree topper and mantle stuff. I know where it is but that will take another excavation in the downstairs storage room after everything we practically own was stuffed in there for the work. I gave away a bunch of stuff seven years ago but it seems we have enough for our new tree, just don't look at the back of it, other than the lights it is a little naked! lol Also missing my tree topper.

Before it turned dark I went out to take another look at the lake, up another foot for this morning.

Rained on and off the rest of the day. Forecast for tomorrow is for a little sunshine. Fingers crossed.

Tuesday evening the rains continued all night. I did hear some wind as well. For this storm we seemed to be somewhat protected as the highway in to town was quite windy according to Roger yesterday. There are Wind Warnings up for the coast.

Wednesday morning we were both up at 6am. Temps outside 2C. There are flurries in the forecast on Monday. Thank goodness our snow guards were installed in the nick of time. The rain seems to have ceased for now but is forecasted to shower this morning with rain again this afternoon. The only break from this is not until Saturday when the sun will shine on us again. As soon as it was light, I went out to check the lake levels. Yup the water is higher.

Matrix Marble arrived this morning at 8am to install our quartz countertop and cut the holes for the taps on our ensuite vanity. Looks fabulous. Just need the plumber to hook up the sinks and Southshore Cabinetry to box out the top drawers around the installed plumbing and install mirrors.

All taken apart to be put back together. lol

Glad it is not us trying to put that sink in. lol

Adam put in the vanity lights now we just need the plumber.
Dan showed up at 7:30 to tape and mud the main floor and upstair bedrooms. They sent two new guys, Les and his brother Paul to do the taping and  first coat of mudding downstairs. Also they had a cleanup guy in to take away all of the gyproc scraps as promised.

Boat garage all sealed up now.

Car garage all sealed up, a little tricky with all of the cabinets etc stored there for downstairs.

Downstair kitchen area

Living room area

Bedroom area showing where the built in bookcase will be.

These guys are also measuring up for the T-Bar ceiling ... apparently it could be 4 to 6 weeks for tile! Damn Coulson's again. Anyways the guys are trying to source something that will be acceptable that is in stock somewhere close. They finished up about 1 pm and will be back every day at 8 am for a few hours to mud some more and sand. They should be finished on Monday.

Adam and Nick showed up at 9:30 am just in time for letting Les and Paul know where all of the pot lights are downstairs ... currently all covered up with insulation. They need to know to plan out their grid pattern for the T-bar ceiling. The electricians had a full day installing gazebo lights, an outside plug for Christmas lights, lower outside plug from above basement door, put lights in ensuite vanity and a new fan timer in powder room. They were missing some lights so will be back around noon tomorrow to finish up.

Outside plug and motion light installed

Outside plug for Christmas lights.

Moved plug under patio from top of door to a better location.

Gazebo track lights, still need to add one more.
Another busy day here at Kyle's Kottage. Managed to find the missing box of Christmas Decorations ... it had been split into two rubbermaids instead of one big box it had resided in for years after the move and I did not realize it as storage is "Ray thing". lol The mantle ornaments have been put up. Unfortunately my angel tree topper does not fit our new tree, also difficult to light up with a prelit tree. I will have to buy another one. lol 

She looks pretty sitting on the speaker beside the tree.

It is definitely feeling like Christmas around here now.

Thursday morning, the lake only came up a little overnight with the rain event mostly over. The forecast after tomorrow is sun for the next 6 days so that should enable the lake to drain quite a bit.

The drywallers, Les and Paul with Paul's wife Kristy arrived at 8:15 to continue mudding downstairs. They also gave me options for the T-Bar Ceiling ... we shall see how soon that gets installed. Dan the other drywaller arrived shortly after to do the mudding upstairs.

At 9:30 I went to Duncan to pick up some groceries and ended up taking my neighbour Pat with me. We spend a couple of hours having fun shopping. I did get a new "star" for the top of my tree.

The plumber showed up around 10 am to hook up our ensuite sinks and install the taps. Yeah one step closer. All done except for the mirrors that were measured today.

At around 1 pm Adam and Nick arrived to finish off the last light in the gazebo and replace the broken motion light. Nick also climbed up our extension ladder to take the battery out of the hardwired smoke detector mounted 25 feet up in our ceiling so we can just shut it off with a breaker. Since the ladder was there Ray went up to put up a Christmas Wreath that a friend of ours, Sue Krog, made for us as a housewarming gift for our Nanaimo home about 12 years ago. I even had to climb up to straighten up the ribbons .... reminded me of Ray and I being volunteer firefighters in the Queen Charlottes. lol It has been a loooonnnngg time since I climbed that high on a ladder.

The last hour they spent marking out the breakers on our electrical panel so there is no more confusion. It was never labeled. Won't see these guys back until the ceiling is up in the basement for them to finish the pot lights. While they were testing this and that, of course the beeping of the smoke detectors upset Freya. She decided she was a lap dog as she shook from head to toe.

As they say ... once your baby, always your baby. lol
At 1:30 pm Jim from Southshore Cabinetry, showed up to take out the back piece of granite so we can slide my kitchen range closer to the back wall. Next up was boxing in the two upper drawers of the ensuite as the plumbing was done. Finally, he measured up for our mirrors.

Another busy day. When everyone left, Ray and I managed to get in a hot tub before dinner. By the way, the lake is only up another inch or so and hopefully start receding as there is an extended period of sunny dry days in the forecast.

Thankfully we have air conditioning in the upstairs bedrooms ... we had to turn up the heat in the house so the mud would dry downstairs. We put a portable radiant heat dish and an oil heater downstairs, (borrowed from my neighbour Pat) but they did not seem to heat up the space very well. Hence we turned on the furnace for the house  up to 22C/72 F and of course heat rises with our vaulted ceilings. Normally we have the house set at 20C/68F.

Friday only the drywallers coming to apply another coat of mud, upstairs and downstairs. Hopefully with the heat turned up it all dried from yesterday. (Checked it most of it did dry, only a few damp spots so I cranked the heat some more this morning.) Only one of the drywallers came today to sand the walls for the closets upstairs and the drywall repairs on the main floor. Dan also brought a heater for the downstairs. Only one spot in our bedroom that needs attention on Monday and the bedroom closet and walls are ready to be painted.  The room definitely needs cleaning though from all of the dust. So in about a week we can put our bed back up even if the closet is not finished.

Les, one of the drywallers on the downstairs team (they are on contract while the upstairs guy Dan, is hourly, I am told.) Anyways, Les has figured out the T-Bar ceiling and I am to personally order the ceiling tiles from Home Depot ... done. They should be here in the next two weeks or less. Les said it will only take 2 days to install the T-Bar and the ceiling tiles, we might make it yet before Christmas.

At Rogers request we also had a guy stop by at noon to look at the rock work that needs doing. This is to put the rock back on the house that had fallen off during deck construction and fill in the spots where timber posts were concreted to the house. We have a lot of leftover rock laying around from the previous owner, so we should have enough. Derrick will also rock our fireplace in the basement and put slate on the hearth for the new propane stove.  We are mimicking the rock fireplace upstairs. While Derrick was here, Roger also texted him to check out putting the ceramic tiles on our sundeck, mentioning the wrong feet received as well. I guess Coulson's are farming out the work instead of Chris and Bernie doing the work.  Turns out the feet hadn't been ordered. Fortunately Derrick knows of a supplier with three types in stock.

So things look to be moving forward. The downstairs team for drywall will come tomorrow to do some more work. I guess I will be "Molly the cleaner" tomorrow to vacuum upstairs and get rid of as much drywall dust as I can.

I spent the morning baking for Christmas and Ray put out some Christmas Lights. The lake is now receding and is down at least a few inches.

Saturday morning was cool and cloudy with a sprinkle of rain when we got up. Noticed the tops of the mountains across from us have a dusting of snow. Winter is here.

The downstairs drywall team arrived at 8:15 am and were done by 10:15 am. I left around then to head to Duncan for some last minute shopping. Boy was it busy in town ... not really compared to the lower mainland, but enough you had to be patient at traffic lights and parking spots. It was sprinkling rain in Duncan but much lighter skies by the time I arrived home at 2:30 pm.  A quiet afternoon with a dip in the hot tub. Well deserved after another busy week of renovations.