One Man’s Junk

Like usual with house blogs I have so many options for titles.

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Loose Ends

I double checked and I don’t actually have a title that matches this. In all honesty I am a bit surprised by that. It’s seems like in late fall early winter we always clear up loose ends and do an odd assortment of tasks.

We had several early snow falls but fortunately October turned out nicer than September. This meant we got lots of little outside jobs taken care of. Ron switched the mower for the snow blower. While he was in the tractor shed he did some organizing. I got the hydrangeas cut back and built little boxes around them and filled them with leaves. I also managed to pull, dry and pack away some gladiolas. Sadly the snow and a bit of ineptitude on my part meant the dahlias died an ugly mouldy death. Despite what my children thing this was all accomplished without a single photo!

I added to the Something From Nothing with a a November remembrance element. This is something I’ve wanted to do for a couple of years. I’m very happy that I had some additional time to play around with making the poppies.

Then last week, when I wanted to clean up the garage so we could use it for parking (like a real garage) he was busy cutting and sanding. He wouldn’t tell me what he was building but I did know he was going free style. Which is pretty unusual for him; no drawing, no numbers and no hints. I must admit the four pieces of lumber weren’t much of a clue and my first two guesses were off. It wasn’t until I saw the 5th piece of lumber and the project was like 90% complete that I understood.

The hangers were a very early house warming gift. They are super cool as they are spikes from the last section of the Canadian railroad that have been reworked as hangers. Glad he created this unique and useful item from this thoughtful gift.

I’ve been working on a few projects as well. Slow progress though it seems but I almost always feel that way.

The original cupboard that I commenced stripping last summer is finally back in the house, sans doors as the hardware isn’t complete yet. But it looks good and once the doors are on I will be so happy I spent all that time on it.

A couple of years ago, just before Little A arrived, I bought a small table and 4 chairs. The colours don’t work so it seems like an easy change. Doesn’t it??

I’ve created a spray booth in the furnace room, with no ventilation. So it’s short bursts once a morning. The lighting is poor. A week on I’ve finished the table but I’m not sure I like it. The colour is good but it’s glossy plus I can’t do the chairs 2 tone if I use spray. So now I’m doing some pondering.

Fortunately Ron came up with 2 small easy projects. The kind I have a skill set for. I redid the material and stitching on one socket holder set and created a brand new holder for a different set. It was a fun little project.

Ron creates a little wooden crate for his tiling tools and I found a handle for it (not pictured here).

He used some ingenuity and found a material that worked for sealing the key holes on the doors. Every year from the inside we have to apply tape to keep the wind from whistling through those holes but he’s found a permanent invisible solution. Of course we still need to deal with the whole door issue but one thing at a time I guess.

It’s been a productive fall which is nice. Now it’s time to start a couple of Christmas presents and some winter projects.


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Shut Down

We weren’t really able to squeeze many work days out of September, mostly because the weather acted like it was mid October. Lots of cool cloudy days and several bouts of snow.

Which means we didn’t get where we wanted to be as far as construction goes. First it was too hot and then; boom too cold.

Ron did do a mix of mortar and get the rocks up one level higher but even that didn’t go well. The weather was cool and it took several hours for the mortar to set up. And then it cracked. And not in one place but in several. We’ve not had that happen before and needless to say the mason isn’t very happy. The plan is to run a smoothing coat over it in the spring. It’s not load bearing so at least it should not develop into a structural issue.

I also didn’t finish what I started. Not long after I got all the ceiling tongue and groove pulled out of storage I lost the weather for painting. I hope to still get the prep work done which is a lot of sanding as they are salvage from a house on University Drive.

Ron has found other parts of the verandah that he can work on though so we’ve made a bit of progress. The flashing arrived so he put that up and did 90% of the shingling. He’s waiting for one little flashing piece before he can finish it up.

It would seem we won’t be shingling the tractor shed or the kitchen attic portion of the house this fall. Don’t think we will manage to redo the 2 doors he had earmarked as well.

We’ve barely managed, between snow falls, to get the basic yard work done. The garden is all in and while the weather turned around on Sunday we did the windows and then the flowerbeds.

I’m happy to report that take 2 of something from nothing has turned out well this year. I love having something in the pots as the textures and colours are much more pleasing than empty big pots sitting outside. The corn never amounted to mix. In the garden so I’m glad to put it to use here.

I feel like it maybe a while before I blog again on the house site. Winter often comes with slow projects and not much to report. Although having said that we are still thinking about having a 100th birthday party for the house in October so there might be one more post soon.


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Screeching Halt

We’ve come to a bit of a screeching halt here right during prime construction season. First the weather was too hot for mortar and that slowed the progress right down.

Now the stone mason and his apprentice are down Continue reading

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First Time Ever

For the first time ever the construction delay was not the rain but rather the Continue reading

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Herbie to the rescue

For the first few months we spent a lot of time removing Herbie board. Well the real name is particle board but we nicknamed it Herbie board because he used it everywhere.

For some background Herbie Continue reading

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That First Step

It’s no longer a steep step out of our bedroom door! With Spencer’s help Ron got the plywood up to the balcony and secured down. A few more wind gusts and they wouldn’t have been able to do it. I was super happy when it was all up without anyone being worse for wear. In 1983 Ron and a sheet of plywood went off the roof of our city house in front of me. He was young and landed well in a muddy spot. Today it wouldn’t have been the same story hence my relief. Then we added one more layer to the bottom level. On top of the concrete we put the cinder blocks. The awesome part of this — from here up its wood! On top of the blocks is a wood header; you can see the hangers on the house already for the joists.

The amount of rock work on the front of here isn’t daunting at all. 8″ by 30′ – piece of cake after our crazy big walls. It also doesn’t come until near the end – lots of other details first.

By the end of the week the balcony will have a durable decking cover in a warm multi coloured tone. We will have two scuppers ** in place and the little curb wall when he shows up on Wednesday. Ron has already taken off the siding as the material goes up behind it.

That leaves the railing up next and we are working on getting prices on our rough draft design of it. Pretty sure we should have been on this detail a month ago but we weren’t so that’s life.

We are significantly closer to a material for the veranda floor. We’ve found some 4 3/4″ tongue and groove cedar boards at a small mill in B.C.. It will be shipped out this week along with our cedar shingles (that’s a whole different project). We also need to dig out the tongue and groove salvage planks for the ceiling so I can start painting them.

In the meantime, on the small landing deck, the trim boards are up and the painting is complete. Just need to install the pot lights. I’m quite sure we won’t get to the outdoor kitchen this year but with that landing complete we can now proceed with the stairs down the outside of the retaining wall.

I had better hurry up and hit publish because each day we get a little but more done and then the blog is behind.


** scuppers — I was so excited to learn this new building term.

A scupper is an opening in the side walls of an open-air structure, for purposes of draining water. They are usually placed at or near ground level, and allow rain or liquids to flow off the side of the open-air structure, instead of pooling within the walls.

There are two main kinds of scuppers:

1 Ships have scuppers at deck level, to allow for ocean or rainwater drain off.

2 Buildings with railed rooftops can construct scuppers to let rainwater drain off, instead of pooling within the railing of the roof. Scuppers can also be placed in a parapet, for the same purpose.

On a parapet the scupper hole is often disguised as a gargoyle! Kind of neat and I love the last photo’s caption!

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