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Sunset, Lake Cowichan, B.C.

Sunday, 28 October 2018

A rainy weekend, first Strata Meeting and Psychocross at the park.

Saturday morning we woke up to very thick fog. You couldn't even see the other side of the lake. It was supposed to burn off  later in the morning. The fog lifted around 10 am off showing off a little sunshine. Kind of spooky, perfect for Halloween. See our gorgeous tree on the far right, it has now lost most of its leaves.


Here is what it used to look like just a week or so ago.



We had our first Strata Meeting at Mike and Deb's next door. Almost everyone attended, other than a couple that were in Mexico and the empty lot #2 people. Very low key meeting and it was nice to meet all of the neighbours formally.  Ray says lots of baking to enjoy too!


Not the best picture but I was being sneaky ... I don't think they even knew I took a picture. lol
The meeting lasted about 2 hours. After Ray had a bit of a lay down, after being forced to sit that long, and I messed about in the kitchen, we decided to have a campfire in the back yard for awhile. We managed about half an hour before the predicted rain began. It was nice anyways to get a little fresh air and Freya sure appreciates us being outside with her to throw her stick. The old wood stove we are using for our fires is great, as when we want to come in, we just close it up and don't have to worry about putting the fire out. Ray is burning all of the 2x4 construction ends. We get a quick hot fire.

Tonight we have been invited to Pat and Darryl's (next door neighbours) for dinner. They had invited Donna and Ron for dinner as well. All of us ate and drank well. lol Darryl did the cooking as Pat's hand is still healing from an injury in mid-September. Ray and I did not get home until 11:15 pm. Wow, the latest we have been up in awhile.

Pat, Darryl, Ron, Donna and Me

It poured hard overnight but had lightened up by 7:30 am when it started to get light. Ray went over  to the the park with Freya and noticed that they were setting up for this bike race. What a wet mucky day for them. lol




Ray went back later in the afternoon in between showers to take some pictures. The riders sure got muddy and unfortunately they have torn up the park where Ray usually walks Freya.



The guy behinds OH SH>>>T moment! ... a new type of "tree-hugger"!

And another one bites the dust ... er mud!




Yup the beach is a mess.


There were a few people in costume and a few things for kids.


Here is one of the few riders that dressed up a little.


All the trails are torn up ... I guess they are not worried as the park is mostly not used through the winter except for dog walkers. Hopefully we get some days soon for things to dry out (forecast shows five days of light rain). Ray said the riders that had finished were so muddy they were all being hosed off before they could change out of their clothes.  One decided the lake as a good option as well.

I saw a bald eagle this afternoon in a tree across the lake eating what I think was a fish, so the salmon must be making their way up the river to the lake.  There's a few boats trolling in front of us the last week.

Other than checking out the bike race, we had a pretty quiet Sunday with me catching up on some chores, i.e. ironing etc. Ray used the shop vac and vacuumed up the construction sawdust downstairs while I vacuumed a couple of carpets so we could roll them up out of the way before they start making more mess tomorrow. Unfortunately, while cleaning up I noticed that the plumbers put the kitchen plumbing in the wrong place for the cabinet to be installed ... they were following my old plan which had the masking tape on the floor instead of the new drawings from Coulson Design that Roger, our site supervisor should have shown them????? Geezzz.

Friday, 26 October 2018

Concrete Pour #2 and Week #8 of the Reno

A memory popped on Facebook today. Hard to believe 3 years ago we were at Canyonlands and Arches National Parks in Utah. Lots of things sure have changed since then. Especially the weather. lol
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Double Arch
On the weekend I managed to order at a great sale price, my stainless outdoor kitchen that I am using downstairs from Lowes. They had a weekend sale with no sales tax and they also match and beat other prices.(Home Depot and NewAge Products, the manufacturer)  I had done enough research that I found much lower prices on most of the pieces I needed so I probably saved about $1500 on the total sale. Yeah. This also includes free delivery. We have decided to go somewhat "industrial" downstairs, so if the lake floods the basement, all the cabinetry can just be cleaned up. Hopefully this never happens, but we are preparing for the worst. Also at Lowes, I was able to get 2 72" lengths of Acacia Wood countertops on sale for $112 each instead of $229 each.

I want all of the fixtures here so the crew can measure correctly with the walls and plumber and gas fitter will know where to install the pipes for the kitchen and bathroom etc. The gas range, microwave, bathroom vanity, toilet and bath/shower combo will also be delivered in the next two weeks. I have already purchased the free-standing propane fireplace too. It is all starting to come together. By purchasing these items myself we save the 20% added from David Coulson Design Group. Also, they cannot say they do not have the "materials" to keep working. lol

This week hopefully the deck will be finished and all the rest of the concrete poured.

Monday the guys showed up at 7:30 and waited for Roger to show up with his trailer to get started. It was really foggy out so we waited until it burned off to put the boat on the trailer for the season. Back all snug in the garage until we get an appointment with Monti's Marine to do some warranty work on the hydraulic motor lift and bilge pump. It was easy to push it into the garage now that the concrete is poured. Wanted it out of the water as the first of the fall/winter storms is forecast this week with some wind. After putting the boat in the garage the darn chain for the door jammed and we had to call out the garage guy so we could close it up. He is coming up with a new plan so this door will automatically go up and down as well. This will be a few bucks to put a new system in, but this jamming will just keep happening and at $200 per call out, a more permanent solution will be less expensive in the long run. All because we have a bunch of ducting running across the beam where the garage opener should have been installed.  That part is not designed well.

Today, Bernie worked on caulking all of the siding joints for bat and water prevention. The side of our house looks like a flock of birds used our house for target practice. lol  It will need to be painted in the spring. Apparently, the hardiplank was installed incorrerctly.  Plastic was also put up in anticipation of the concrete pour tomorrow for protection against the rain showers later in the day.


Chris spent the day framing in the basement. The kitchen is now framed and they have my design with the cabinets that are coming. Roger checked on our window order and it had been lost so it was reordered this morning.

My floor exercise!

And here is what our designer sent back. lol

There will 3 upper cabinets as well. Will be awesome eh Dianne!

This is what the cabinetry will look like below except it will have an Acacia Butcher Block Top.

Image result for images of newAge outdoor kitchen

Chris also managed to start framing the outside walls in the bedroom.



Need to box in the timbers and the heating duct. The built in part will be for a shelving unit.

Found out today that I can only have one sink in the bathroom due to venting issues so cancelled that double vanity from Home Depot and reordered one from Wayfair that mounts on the wall with one sink that is still 60"in length. Probably in the end a better choice as it will hang about 12 to 18" off the floor.
My head is just spinning around trying to think of everything that needs to be prepared for before it gets to the drywall stage and the plumber, gas fitter and electrician have already been through and done their jobs. It is one thing to build from scratch with everything loaded into the plans, but with a reno you have to add to what is already pre-done with only the basics in mind. We have a bunch of great ideas regarding design from the Coulson Design Group, but no one is telling me I should have a wall heater in the bedroom as there is only one heat vent in the ceiling in a very large room, or put in another duct line for heat for the bathroom as there is no heat at present etc. Our drawn plans from them are very basic with just measurements etc. with no detail for electrical, heating or plumbing. I don't want to have the trades keep coming back to fix things that have been forgotten. (Isn't the contractor supposed to do this?) It will cost us more moola than we want to spend. So, I will be here watching them and making suggestions at the appropriate times so it gets done to our satisfaction the first time. :)

Tuesday morning the pumper truck arrived late at 9 am due to a breakdown on the Malahat Highway, and the cement truck here shortly after. By 9:30 concrete was flowing. We used one full cement truck plus a little of a second truck. Luckily the rain held off today.

The "Butt Shot" !





Finishing off the brushed concrete.

I left shortly after to head to Duncan to get my return $$$ from Home Depot for cancelling their bathroom vanity and taps, grocery shopping, getting my flu shot and a pedicure. A girl has to do what a girl has to do. :) lol Ray will get his flu shot on Thursday. I also arranged for both Ray and I to get our Shingrix vaccination next week to prevent Shingles. Ray is in enough pain and more and more people are getting Shingles, he does not need to possibly catch this. After doing my errands I was back home at 3 pm to finished concrete all tarped up.

The plumber is here today installing a new sump tank for the bathroom and kitchen downstairs in the ground in the basement bathroom. The concrete was never poured over this area by the previous owner for this purpose. As our sewer line is on grade in the ceiling, we need to pump up the discharge water from the basement.


The dock guys also came today and put in our solar lights and installed 2 of our 3 new ladders. They are all fiberglass so no rusting and angled so I think the dogs can even climb out of the water. They tip up so they our out of the water for the winter. Unfortunately, Luke couldn't put the 2 new hoops on the 2 new pilings by himself so he will be back tomorrow to finish with an extra person.




Chris carried on framing in the basement after running around getting plastic ready to cover the pour. They have to frame around all of the timbers in preparation for gyproc later. With only one guy working on the framing it definitely takes longer. The roofers were called off today with the concrete pour so hopefully they come tomorrow.

Pat, our next door neighbour, called us last night ... the bear is back at the entrance to our road so be careful with Freya walking tonight. We really do live near the wilderness with the mountains really close. A cougar was seen at the Welcome to Lake Cowichan sign to town last week too.

It did not rain very much yesterday, just a few sprinkles, so great for our new concrete as it was all tarped up. Today, Wednesday, the major rain storm is not scheduled to begin until noon so at least we had almost 24 hours without moisture. Lots of low cloud though when we woke up and it started getting light out. Other than framing downstairs it should be pretty quiet around here as traffic in and around the house is hard to do until the concrete dries. Should be able to walk on it though.

Wednesday turned out to be quite a nice day. Our crew arrived at 7:30 and started working in the basement. Ray and I left about 8:30 for Nanaimo as I had to pick up the counter tops and do a little shopping. Ray came with me as we needed to order the glass for the timbers above the front door that we are going to get etched.

When we got back the dock guys had been here and finished up the piling hoops, extra ladder and the final deck lights. Hurray! We finally have something completed since June.

The electrician's were here working on running wire from the electrical panel in the garage, through the basement and up to the gazebo for the infrared heaters, lights and a plug for my barbecue. They need to run all wire to the outside before they spray foam  insulation up into the outside wall rafters from cutting into the house for the ledgers for the deck supports. They will be back tomorrow to finish.

Our crew spent more time framing in the basement, getting rid of all the dirt dug up for the sump tank. Now the bathroom waits to have concrete filled in over the sump.

Boxing in the support posts.


Bathroom doorway framed.

Bernie also dismantled the forms for the front driveway and cleaned up the junk in the garden. All the tarps were taken down over the concrete poured on Tuesday. They put up the tarp over the stairs that still need to be poured so when the concrete people have a little left over concrete in their truck from someone else's job they can come here and finish as we don't need very much to finish off. Quite a bit was accomplished today. The concrete looks fabulous.



To add detail the finishers did the brushed concrete sections in different directions for a cool look.

Ready for the Hot Tub Delivery next week. :)

As the day wore on, the black clouds thickened up and the wind also picked up. One of the first storms of the fall should hit us tonight.

Thursday morning it was just sprinkling. We heard it rain quite hard last night at different intervals. The new sundeck seems to be draining properly with only a little water puddling. Chris was the only worker this morning working on framing. Bernie was sent to another job site as they were missing 2 workers for various personal reasons. Ray is off to Duncan today for his flu shot, even though he was pretty sore first thing. Fortunately after walking the dog he loosened up somewhat.

At the end of the day, Chris had framed in some bulkheads, and doorway into the storage room.



He has used up almost every piece of 2x4 so hopefully Roger brings more material tomorrow.

The irrigation guy stopped by to blow out our system and the roofing guy came to measure up our snow guards for the roof that need to be installed. The deck guys did not come nor the electrician. Probably because the weather was so crappy.

We also received delivery of the tub/shower and toilet via a forklift driving up the street! lol  The garage is starting to fill up with building supplies. More to be delivered next week.


If Ray had not been so sore today he would have tried fishing. The lake was flat calm and you could see fish rising all over in between rain showers.

Friday, began quite cloudy but lightened up, no rain at least. Chris and Roger were here at 7:30 am. Roger was here to drop off the new propane fireplace for downstairs I purchased and pick up the trailer with the junk for the dump.

The electricians and plumbers (JS Plumbing), showed up at around 9:30. We had a bit of a site meeting so I could update Adam from Kurtis Electric with the total job, some for Coulson Design, some for me and some for Southside Cabinetry. Gave him a detailed list as who is to be billed for what so he can keep the job costing together for the appropriate place to bill. As they will be running all of the wire for the whole job's entirety thought it would be beneficial to let them know the whole scope so they could plan out the wiring in advance of any particular job. This house is really hard to run wires with all of the timbers in the way for structure. Good thing I did, because it has been decided to move the subpanel downstairs out of the bathroom to the hall so they can run a bigger wire from the panel in the garage to this panel that will supply all of the needs for downstairs. They did manage to feed the wire for the plug on the deck for my barbecue.




The plumbers showed up (Nathan and his buddy) to run the plumbing for the new bathroom and kitchen downstairs. Things are moving along. Another vent was put in for the kitchen/bathroom downstairs through our pantry in the kitchen.We had three sets of contractors all working over top of each other. Fortunately Kurtis Electric Crew and JS Plumbing often work together on jobs so "do the dance" around each other easily in small spaces.



Chris was busy framing still, and figuring out how we want the propane fireplace installed in the corner and frame it up. He took out all the forming 2x4's from the patio and was using them for framing. No waste.


Plumbing run for bathroom

Plumbing run for kitchen

New Panel Wired
Roger went out and picked up the stringers for the stairs from the deck so they should be going up soon. He did all of the measuring and design as to how they are to connect to the deck. Our inside doors should be back here soon. Ray picked up all the door hardware this morning and then returned the locking pieces to have keyed all the same. The stuff is here now so when Roger returns our inside doors the locksets can be installed.

Again, quite a bit got accomplished this week. One step closer to the light at the end of the tunnel.
Monday, the last of the concrete work, the stairs and the bathroom floor should be poured. The gas fitter should be here to run the propane lines downstairs. The mould spray guy should be also be here early next week to prevent any mould if the wood should get wet due to flooding in the future. Lots on the docket for next week. So we should have construction, plumbing, gas fitting and electrical contractors "doing the dance" next week. lol

Monday, 22 October 2018

Our super friends, Malc and Kathy come to visit

Saturday, Ray and I headed off to Duncan to scout the Home Show at the Exhibition Grounds. We found a few things of interest but it sure is a small venue. After a quick walk through, we headed back into Duncan to the Farmer's Market, where I get my weekly massage from a guy there. Ray always gets his breakfast from the bakery booth. lol We always seem to find something to buy. A great venue that runs 12 months of the year.

Ray and I have wondered what the food was like at Pho Vuong Restaurant that is located right at the Farmer's Market. Today was the day. The Pork Belly Pho was good. We look forward to trying other things there once in awhile. It is quite small and the staff are very friendly. We were told that it is the Restaurant's 30th Anniversary.


Freya was happy to have us back home for some outside time. Ray and I spent a couple of hours sitting on the dock. We need to get in the last bit of warm sunshine before the weather turns on Tuesday to more fall wet weather.

We were not the only ones enjoying the day. This houseboat spent a couple hours cruising around.


Sunday, foggy but the sun is supposed to come out later. Our friends Malcolm and Kathy from Victoria are coming to spend the day with us. It will be great getting our last visit in before they head south for the winter.

I spent the morning getting everything for dinner prepped so I could spend more time visiting when they arrive, which they did promptly at 2 pm. I had just sat down so perfect timing. Freya was over the moon that her "people" were here. She had not seen them since June. Malc and Kathy had looked after her in Arizona last winter when Ray and I had to come back to Vancouver due to my Dad's passing. They spoil Freya with lots of cuddles.

The weather was wonderfully warm and sunny so we sat down at the dock for an hour or so.

Freya getting her cuddles from Kathy


Lamb Shanks, Mashed Potatoes and Orange Ginger Carrots and Asparagus. Love my InstantPot
Malc went outside and took a picture of our house from the dock.



A wonderful visit. Love you guys. Safe travels and see you next spring.