Wednesday, May 31, 2006

May 31st thunderstorm and the disappearing Mount Berry

We had another terrific rain storm.

You would have been soaked to the skin in seconds in this downpour. This was three thunderstorms in three days...

The rain was pouring off the roof so fast that it created a vortex at the valleys.

You might need to blow this one up to see it.

This is a collage of Mount Berry, timeline is L->R, from top row. You can see how Mount Berry was higher than the bar for the transom window at first, and then you could see a bit of trees, and then the horizon, and now a lot of the horizon.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

The prime of Mount Berry

Despite the heavy rains on Sunday night, Steve was able to ship more of the rock from Mount Berry on Monday.

There were heavy rains again last night, so we hope the pile isn't too saturated, like it was last December...

Monday, May 29, 2006

Rusty pipes and bad parging

I had tried to post these first 3 photos before, but it failed for some reason. So here we go again. Much less text this time.

Here's the boiler. See the rusty wet spots below the boiler.
The biggest rusty wet spot comes from water leaking from this joint.

I think the rust is caused by bi-metalic corrosion, but the HVAC supplier is blaming the water. I find it hard to believe that water inside the pipe could cause that amount of rust on the outside of the pipe.

This is the pressure relief valve on the boiler. I guess we got a reject pressure gauge as it is banged up and there is no glass on the gauge.

The connector piece between the pressure relief valve and the gauge was replaced 2 weeks ago because it was all rusty. The valve is leaking from inside, not at the joint.
This is the parging. It looks pretty awful.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

The Wolf, the deer, and the flower bed....

Some good friends, Kevin and Nancy, came for a visit this weekend. We went for a walk yesterday and came across these deer. When I took this photo, the deer had seen us and froze because they think humans can't see them if they don't move. I guess they missed the bulletin that says people have colour perception!!
If you can't see the deer, look just above the left tree in the foreground.

Here is Freda planting the flowers in the new flower bed. We spent a lot of time today cleaning out all the various construction debris from this area, and digging out the dirt and rocks from around this tree at the front of the house.

Then we hauled some rocks to make a border for the flower bed, sifted the soil to remove sticks, stones, and roots, then went and picked up 8 bags of compost to enrich the soil, and the flowers of course! Freda is enjoying herself, planting her first garden here!

Freda and I had been talking about maybe putting some big rocks for a walkway at the front of the house, and then putting pea gravel around it. I dragged this one rock out and set it on some sand to see what it would look like. The verdict is that we don't really like it. So we need to investigate some other option.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Invisible people

An invisible man goes to see his doctor. The receptionist calls the doctor to tell him his patient has arrived, and the doctor replies: "Tell him I can't see him now."


It was a beautiful day today - a beautiful sunny day about 20C, which was a welcome respite from the previous 12 days of cold and rain.

Because it was such a beautiful day, the house was swarming with people doing their thing. This picture shows all the invisible people applying the invisible parging. You can also see the invisible people on the invisible ladders applying the invisible caulking. As well, the invisible roofers are using their invisible machines to form the invisible metal flashing for the tops of the columns and also for the chimney cap. Truly amazing!

One good thing that happened was that more rock from Mount Berry was taken away. In this photo, you can actually see the horizon now!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Last day for stucco

After 12 days of rainy weather, we finally got a nice day. It was cooler than normal, but it didn't rain, and I'm sure we got at least 8 1/2 minutes of sunshine today. (Tomorrow is supposed to be a normal day.)

What this means is that the stucco guys were able to finish the stucco.

All that they have left to do now is complete the parging on the foundation.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Critters & weather

This photo was taken on Thursday. The sky suddenly got very dark, the wind picked up and was followed a few minutes later by heavy rain.

This is the king of Mount Berry. He was trying, quite unsuccesfully I might add, to sun himself. This little critter is probably the reason why Tawny loves sniffing around the base of Mount Berry.

Helen and Steve and Alyssa stopped in on their way back from camp. Alyssa spotted three deer on the beach across the lake. By the time I got the camera out, they were heading back into the trees. Here, you can only see one on the beach and the back end of another. The picture is a bit washed out because the flash was turned on so it went off...

It was very cold today. The overnight low was forecast to be 5C and I believe it as we could see our breath this morning when we took Tawny for her walk. Freda wore her winter parka and I wore my tocque!

There are a pair of eagles that nest somewhere near here. They were flying around today, mostly gliding on the strong wind. This was the best photo I was able to get of them.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Some progress...

Some of the outside lights were installed.

This is the one over the front door. It's crooked.... (sigh)...

The stucco guys are almost completed, but the weather has been too cold and wet to complete the job.

These are the lights over the garage doors. They look pretty good, don't they??

Don't want to think? Learn a trade!

One thing you learn about the various trades, is that they don't think things through. They don't think about what someone else will have to do if they don't do things right, or if they mess something up and someone else will have to return to correct their mess.

This is an example. The electrician raised his box (between the door and the window on the right) above the level of the foam so the stucco guys could put banding around the box. He was thinking. The stucco guys didn't do that, so now they have to come back and remedy that situation.
Here's a second example, except this time it's slightly different.

The electrical box here was put half way between the stone and the stucco. The problem is, a band had to go around the door, and that band covers half of the box. Because the light fixture has to sit flush, the box has to be moved, and a piece of a band has to be put around it.

Here's an example of duelling construction codes.

The electrician put his wires for the generator plug and the a/c through the wall, and positioned them according to the electrical code. However, according to the gas people, there can be no source of ignition (such as a plug, or an air conditioner compressor) within 1 meter of a gas regulator. Why isn't this reflected in the electrical code? Now the wires have to be moved!

This photo shows that the arch transom window in the office has been replaced (it cracked on Christmas Eve) and the new curtains - with grommets!

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Sore muscles

This morning I started throwing rocks into this trench to start filling it in. A light rain started after I was at it for about 30 minutes. I was at it for several hours, and stopped when the rain started to get heavier.

The trench was between 2 and 3 1/2 feet deep, but the average is about 3' deep. Compare this "after" picture with the "before" picture, below, which was taken last year.

Freda tried to help me with the rocks, but they were too heavy for her, so instead she did a whole bunch of cleanup. Going around the house with the wheelbarrow, and filling it with the various scraps of garbage that the trades drop everywhere.

Sorry I don't have a before and after picture of the yard, but trust me when I say that it looks a whole lot neater with the various bits of plastic, styrofoam, buckets, mesh, metal, etc, cleaned up. Awesome Freda!

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Satellite arrives

Ron, the installer from Star Choice, arrived to install our satellite dish on Saturday morning. It was pouring rain at 8am, so he was lucky that it has basically stopped when he arrived at 11am. The rain started up again in the afternoon. It was pretty miserable weather.

You can also see in this photo that the stucco has been completed, including a little box behind the hydro meter base. The sill on top of the stone was wider than the stand-off legs on the meter base, so an extra piece of wood had to be installed to hold the meter base solidly, and then the little box was built on top of it.

Friday, May 12, 2006

RAIN today - Friday May 12th

I mentioned a few days ago about the 22 truck loads of rock that got hauled away. Here you can noticeably see (well, we can anyway! :)) that the top of Mount Berry has disappeared, and you can see a tree over it!

Just another 50 truck loads or so and it will all be gone! Haha!!!

The carpet was installed today. Because it is just the stairs, it is not a huge area, so we picked a really good quality underpadding and carpet. As a result, it looks and feels incredibly plush.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Stucco almost completed

The stucco guys were working hard today, to try to get things completed. They are also doing the parging around the foundation. They got as much completed as they could do. They still need to put the finish coat on the chimney and one gable, as that was just base-coated today.

The appraiser is coming tomorrow, to see if the house if at least 95% complete - it should be. Then we have a meeting with the bank next Thursday.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Stucco progress

The chimney, now covered in styrofoam. It still needs to be covered with mesh and a base coat, and then the top coat.

After that, a flashing will go over the top of it.

Drive-up, Wed May 10th.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

more photos

This photo was taken in the morning just after the stucco guys started.

This is view of our house from across the ponds in the back. Our house is in the tree line, about 1/3 of the way from the left edge of the photo.

More updates

This is the back of the house, looking through the space that was once occupied by some rocks.
Looking across the ponds at the back.
signs of some visitors! (deer)
A view of our house from the road. The stucco is not quite completed, but it looks like it will be ready very soon.

Roll that rock!

Steve, loading some of the excess rock behind our house into a truck. 22 loads were trucked away today.
This is what our house looks like with the stucco on. Way better, I think you will agree!!
Stucco completed along the north wall.
Stucco completed behind the great room.

Wrap party on Saturday

Here are a couple of pictures from the wrap party we had on Saturday.
From Left to Right: Sean (P. Diddy) - at edge of photo, Chris Scully, Chris' fiance Nancy, Cathy Irvine, and Charles Irvine.

From Left to Right: Freda, Colleen Ulrich, Heinz Ulrich (cabinetmaker), Margot Lajeunesse

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Shrek & Blandings Dream House

Tonight, Freda and I watched Shrek II. At the end, it said In Memoriam - William Steig. So I googled William Steig and found that he was the author of the 1990 fairy tail picture book "Shrek", which was the basis of the first Shrek movie.

Interestingly enough, William Steig also illustrated the 1946 novel "Mr Blandings Builds His Dream House". Read more about it here.

May 5th - Stucco progress

Drive up - Friday May 5th, 2006.

Stucco guys put the colour on the banding around the windows, well the banding that was in place. The full crew was not there so didn't look like much got done. The weather wasn't too great - on the cold side - so that was probably a factor.

We had frost on Sunday morning, and overnight low is forecast to be 4C for the next couple of days. (Must be at least 6C to apply the stucco.)

I expect the stucco will be completed next week, weather permitting.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

May 3rd - almost all of the back of the house has been base coated.
May 2nd - putting the banding around the windows, and preparing for the base coat. Posted by Picasa
May 3rd - the great room with all the scaffolding, base coat almost complete. Posted by Picasa