Motoring Along

I’m happy to report that things are motoring along on the veranda. There has been able

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Figuring “It” Out

It definitely qualifies as a work in progress, these stone columns. They have taken a significant amount of time and effort will all masonry joints being finishing ones. They are now complete except for the slate stone cap.

That’s the reference to “figuring it out” as the mason isn’t quite sure exactly what this cap will be like. We have the material and we know what it won’t be like as he did a test.

In the meantime he’s also started the steps when he did the last column mix. Prior to that we did the cutting of those stones and I will tell you that it wasn’t fun. Not at all. Those suckers are heavy, cumbersome and heavy (oh did I mention that?). We’re always grateful that our buddy Peter of Precision Paving and Landscaping is so supportive of our endeavours and loans us the tools we need.

He’s also started the front of the veranda facing which is very exciting. It’s all finishing work but bigger stones than the columns so we are hopeful it will go slightly faster. In the combined pictures below the top one shows three different options for the stair riser, again in the green slate.

Its now into August and I will admit we are not as far along as I had hoped. The days are decidedly shorter but the soccer schedule is lighter so perhaps we can “hurry hard” and be done before Sept long weekend. The painting is progressing well with only final coats on the veranda ceiling and crown moulding (once in place but that means the mason becomes a carpenter) to do.

Grasshopper is more impatient than Mr Rome.


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Need to Know

I love when we have company drop by. Not only do we get a break and good food I also get to hear the

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Masonry Medicine

The actual repair of the cracked mortar, in the big picture, took mere minutes. It was preceded by lots of on line research about what was the best product to use and then the gathering the correct supplies.

Half an hour later the repair was done. An hour later the mortar was repointed. It’s like it never happened. So now he can move onward and indeed has rocks laid “up” and ready to go.

I, on the other hand, have accomplished zilch so far towards the veranda. I’ve been focusing on the gardens and the saskatoons. Which are stellar as discussed here in a post called Bumper Crop. The painting isn’t holding up the carpenter as he’s busy being a mason again so it’s all good.

It truly is all good. We had friends out for supper last evening and the weather was so perfect that we sat outside and enjoyed the patio. The storm dumped half an inch of rain and that helps each and every tree.

The mason is going to change his professional work habits so he can do small mixes in the morning when it is cooler. He feels that the heat last summer was the catalyst for the mortar issues. Back on track and hopeful to accomplish lots before our lake time.


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Hard to Believe

It’s hard to believe that we’ve been at this restoration project for 12 years on site, 13 if you count the

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The bigger picture?

This weekend tested our nettles so to speak. Neither task that we were working on got accomplished and they are starting to feel endless. I honestly thought after the rock wall that it was all easy sailing and that this summer we would blaze through the balcony and veranda. The balcony we pulled together before we left and all it needs is final coat of paint someday when the weather is perfect.

The veranda isn’t going so fast. The first weekend was all about the garden and the yard. The last two weekends have not seen as much progress as either one of us would have liked. The beams are now covered, this took longer than planned. Mostly it seemed that the corners were a pain.

Then we started on the tongue & groove for the ceiling. They’ve been cleaned, primed and have the first coat of colour. Using salvage has several advantages but it has one huge disadvantage. It turns out that, despite appearances, the boards are not all the same width. Which we discovered after about the 3rd row of fighting with them. Every frigging board is a fight; over our heads and both of us nursing sore shoulders. The picture represents 2 1/2 days of time.

Then I look around and realize that the header board is going to be exposed. Not a big deal one would think as its been painted. But now it’s been exposed to the sun, wind and howling weather for a number of years and looks like shit. No other word for it. We aren’t even finished the first round of painting the whole bloody thing and I need to scrap, sand, prime and paint this section of boards AGAIN.

Shortly after that discovery we realized that the fight between the barn swallows and the F______ robins has taken a turn for the worse. The barn swallows have vacated annoying the hell out of me with trying to nest where we are working. Great except the robins won the territory and they have repeatedly flown into the basement doors and managed to shred the new furniture backs as well as covering it all in shit. There’s that word again but it’s true. Mad doesn’t even begin to cover it.

Add to that the weather; cold wind, no sunshine and no rain to speak of. Endless weeding in the flower bed between helping the carpenter and somehow I can’t seem to find the bright side between the back pain and the shoulder ache.

The bigger picture elluded me this weekend. Even the master planner seemed more than a bit frustrated. He’d thought by now this portion of the project would be passed off to the painter to finish up.

We’ve turned 60, we’ve been working on making the vision a reality for 12 years. I think we both honestly hoped that this would be the last big push year but we just aren’t getting up much steam, so to speak.

This isn’t a pity party; it’s just the reality of a couple of frustrating weekends. The bigger picture is that in 5 years the projects will be fun ones and not must do’s. The sun will shine tomorrow or maybe, better yet, it will rain. The days will march on like they do and we will continue to plod onward because after all Rome wasn’t built in a day. Meanwhile a late evening walk on the prairie, the gorgeous sunset and the garden check revealing plants has helped turned the frowns around.


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Coming Together

It was apparent when we did some research that we’ve been sadly lacking in project documentation. Like there are no

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