Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Whale Of A Time!

Two large whales have been sounding between our house and the tip of Quadra Island for the last half hour or so. They appear to be heading north but have stopped in the tide rip for the all-you-can-eat seafood buffet! Too far away for photos, all we can see is a periodic spray of water and then the large black hump as they dive after breathing.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Lazy Summer Days

Lazy days here on the coast! The weather has turned good again so there are sunny days to look forward to. Short pants weather here but not the severe heat our Arizona friends are facing, I can't imagine 120 degrees plus. We would be running the A/C 24/7!

Our niece Robin and George from Alberta dropped by on their big Harley for a surprise but always welcome visit a few days ago. They were headed for the Port Hardy - Prince Rupert ferry where George wanted to follow the Yellowhead Highway #16 back to Edmonton, visiting all the places he worked during his many years with the railroad. They spent a couple of days here while they determined the weather had changed for the worse in the north and they would be riding in the rain all the way. They made the decision to head back south to Victoria and the Port Angeles ferry to Washington State and back home that way. They are like us, no schedules, no reservations and no worries when plans change.

Brooks called to say his trip up to finish the porch would be delayed a week which is fine with us. We are still using the old concrete landing and stairs so a week delay is no problem.

Norma is working in her garden and I am getting a few odd jobs done around the place as well as catching up on my reading. Lazy summer days!

Monday, June 12, 2017

Victoria

We just returned after spending a couple of days in Victoria visiting Norma's 73 year old brother who had a stroke a few weeks ago. He is in the hospital facing the confusion of having other people making decisions for him. He has a good support group of friends but was happy to have contact with his sister.

We discovered to our shock that the affordable hotels we have used in the past are now in the $200 per night range! We called Norm and Liz who we knew and worked with back in our political years. We spent a few hours catching up with each other's lives and solving the world's problems and then spent the night in their guest room. It was a very pleasant night!

Sunday morning we went back to the hospital to check in with Willea again and to make sure the staff had Norma's contact information. After an hour or so we headed back home, stopping in Qualicum Beach for a feed of fish and chips on the beach. It is about a four hour drive each way.

We are now in relaxation mode for a day or two before getting back into the job jar. We do not know exactly when Brooks is going to come back up but when he does he is bringing a roofing friend with him as Brooks is not comfortable working that high up. Things will go a lot faster with some help.

When I showed Norm and Liz the photos of our project Norm said, "You are building a Longhouse!"

Friday, June 9, 2017

All For Now

Now we can see a bit of what it will look like. Brooks and LindaLee headed back home just after noon as they have to get back to real (paying) work tomorrow and everyone was pretty wiped out from handling those very heavy timbers. I was out of commission with my ankle but LL and Brooks got all the trusses cut and two of them raised. They will be back in a week or so with a worker to finish up. So far it is looking very good! We are so lucky to have Brooks and LindaLee who gave up their "weekend" to work up here!


Thursday, June 8, 2017

End Of The Day!

End of the day! Got a lot done but I do hold Brooks back. My 72 year old legs just do not move as fast any more. Basic framing done!





Started!

Plans are written in sand, not stone and that is a good thing! We got the two main uprights dug and cemented in last night. It will be just under 200 square feet and will have a solid roof with skylights! Today we attach to the house and get the framing started. We will be short a few pieces but they will be hidden so the difference between the "store bought" and Brooks' full dimension lumber will not be visible.
Oh yes, the material is Douglas Fir, not cedar. My mistake. But Brooks assures me that fir is a very good product for the job and will last longer than me! :)
The rain woke me up at 5:00 am. I will try to go back to sleep!

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Porch Day!

Brooks is coming up today with a trailer full of cedar to frame our new front porch. It is going to get very busy around here! The "plan" is framing today, decking tomorrow and the roof next week. The roof is still being discussed. Norma wants an open, pergola style while Brooks is suggesting a closed, shingled style, extending the existing peak. That decision will be made tomorrow.

Before:


Thursday, June 1, 2017

Front Porch

Brooks just had a customer bail out of a project after the material was ordered and he is stuck with a trailer full of cedar that he thinks is enough to build a front porch on our house! He is bringing it up next week! 

The new porch will cover the small concrete landing and stairs currently at the front of the house and will extend out a bit and along under the living room window. It will have a pergola style roof and will be a great place to sit and enjoy a morning coffee or lunch!

Exciting times! I just have to pay his bill at the saw mill, buy the food and beer, pay for his gas and all the extra bits and pieces :). 

But we are getting a porch!

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Mazda Maintenance

Norma's 1998 Mazda 626 just keeps running and gets pretty much ignored maintenance wise. Oh, it gets oil changes, tires and whatever else it needs when something fails but it has never had a real tuneup and at 181,000 KM (112,000 Miles) still had it's original timing belt.

So a few days ago we decided to give it a treat and sent it in. Changing the timing belt involves getting inside the engine so as long as he was in there it made sense to change a couple of other things as well so with a tuneup it turned into a pretty big job.

The mechanic called at noon to say it was ready to be picked up and the bill was $1,120 CAN ($830 US). It runs the same as it did before but now it will be good for another couple of hundred thousand kilometers. Norma likes it but it's not my favorite car I have owned, that title probably belongs to my first car, a 1959 Volvo 144, the old fastback model I bought in 1963. the year I graduated and got my first full time job. It was a rally car, fun to drive and indestructible!