Wednesday, March 31, 2010

It's not too big!!

Tawny took off around the lake on Wednesday. We were quite displeased with her, because Taz followed, of course. Taz is not supposed to do a lot of running because it hurts his knee, and he is limping quite a bit now. He was actually laying on the floor in the hallway, whimpering because he couldn't get up. We have had to put a number of mats and carpets down to give him more grip with his feet.

Anyway, back to Tawny. When we found her, she was very muddy and wet! We threw a stick into the water a few times so that she would swim to get it, and get a bit cleaner in the process. That worked a treat. Then she decided that she would show us what a good dog she is by clearing a huge log off the hill. I don't know how she could possibly pick the log up in her mouth, it is so huge!

Of course, Tawny has always enjoyed sticks. She once destroyed a mock orange shrub in our back yard at Speers.

Okay, the puppy photo isn't really Tawny. It is Chandler, but Chandler looks the spitting image of Tawny when she was a puppy. You can see more of Chandler here at the

Lake opening up

The lake is starting to open up. You can see quite a bit of open water at the north-west end of the lake (at the right of this photo). The prevailing wind is from the west and pushes the ice towards the south-east end of the lake (at the left edge of this photo).

If you click to zoom in, you can see some Canada Geese swimming in the narrow strip of open water by the shore at the bottom center of the photo.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Lost camera

Well, I appear to have lost or misplaced Freda's camera. That's too bad because I had some really nice photos on it that I took yesterday. :( Fortunately I still have my old camera which is somewhat functional. It takes decent photos still, but only if the zoom setting is in the middle. That will limit the kind of photos that I can take, but at least I can still take them. I do hope that I can find Freda's camera though, here's hoping... :)
I took this photo this morning so you can see the progress for the ice receding on the lake... I had guessed that we would see open water this weekend. It is still possible -- will have to see.
I have three wooden stakes that I cleaned up and am painting Fire Red. It is a rust paint, but it is suitable for wood also. Once I have put a 2nd coat of paint on them, I am going to use them to mark the back property boundaries.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

How things change in a week...

March 10, 2010
Quite a bit of the snow cover on the front lawn has melted already, but there are still a few inches of the white stuff left, although it is all very icy and granular.

March 15, 2010
Almost all the snow has gone, but a little bit remains.

March 18, 2010
The front lawn is snow free and is starting to get a hint of green to it. That's pretty good considering that yesterday was St. Patrick's Day... haha

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Lake panoramas

March 2, 2010
There is general snow cover on the lake and the hill.

March 8, 2010
Almost a week later, and the road (not shown in the photo) is completely clear of snow and ice. The path taken by the fisherman down to the lake is now almost snow free.

March 9, 2010
Notice how the lake is starting to get a blue colour to it.

March 10, 2010
Still a lot of snow cover by the lookout.

March 11, 2010
Some people are ice fishing. Probably the last time. Especially with the skidoo on the ice.

March 15, 2010

March 16, 2010

March 17, 2010
The hill is now snow-free, and the lake is starting to look dark on the far side of the lake.

Furry feet - views from the Back 40

Tawny gets a thick winter coat. That's obvious because of the amount of shedding that happens in the spring. One thing I had never noticed before was how thick the fur was between her toes. Amazing! Besides keeping her feet warm, it helps give traction on ice.

March 9, 2010
View from Howie Road.

March 17, 2010
View from Howie Road.

March 17, 2010
Taz and Tawny enjoying the warm spring sunshine.

March 18, 2010
Only a little bit of snow remains, and that is where it is in the shade in the afternoon.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Deer in the back yard

It is supposed to get to 16C today! That will put an end to almost all of the snow, I think...

March 12, 2010
A nice photo of some deer in the neighbour's back yard. Freda took this photo from the car - it really turned out nicely. Maybe I'll post this one on the weather channel web site again.

I was in the back yard with the dogs, having lunch. And suddenly they went crazy - exploding towards the fence in a furious frenzy of barking and flying legs! Ah, of course - it's a deer! Fortunately I had the camera with me, and I even had it turned on also. Can you see the deer?

From where Tawny is, look left along the ground by the fence and you can see the deer. It is on our back property but is not in the fenced part. Taz is in mid stride, taking a sharp left turn as he reaches the fence!!

A follow-up photo of Taz and Tawny barking at the deer (marked). Their barking spooked it and it turned around and returned in the direction that it had come from.

I did a panorama photo of the back yard so you can see how much snow has melted. It's a nice clear day so you can see the Gatineau Hills in the distance.

Monday, March 15, 2010

What a difference!!

We have been doing a major spring cleaning - including decluttering, tidying up, and cleaning. These are their stories. (Apologies to Law & Order.. haha)

This is the office. We have put a bed in their instead of the couch, and the office desk is pristine and neat, and looks much much better!

I got rid of a huge pile of papers and cardboard - which all went out to the recycle. The basement is now quite open and clean!!  I have swept the floor once already, but need to go over it with the shop vac so we don't track dust upstairs after being in the basement. 

Freda and I cleaned out some of the detritus of winter yesterday, including sweeping the garage. I moved the big piles of cardboard for the recycling before I took this photo!! The little pile of wood flooring on the garage floor, just to the right of the canoe, is going to a friend who has a wood fireplace and can burn it. It's a shame, because it's new flooring but it's only 50 square feet of it, which isn't enough to do much with... At least burning it is better than it going to to the dump.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Fixing the front steps

I really like interlock, but it has a problem that the stones can sometimes become uneven after couple of years. Fortunately, we haven't really had this problem, except at the top landing of the steps by the front door. This is the before photo. The stones are uneven around the perimeter, where the the smaller stones abut the larger border stones.

So I started out by taking out the uneven stones, which I lined up on the edge of the porch.

This photo is a composite of three images, because the camera doesn't have a wide enough angle to take in the complete view of the steps. I had to lift quite a number of the stones to relevel them - all the stones that I adjusted are indicated with an 'x'. I used construction adhesive for the large border stones -- landscapers use that to help lock all the stones together into one massive structure. I realized, when I was looking at this photo, that I put a few stones in upside down. They are indicated with a 'z'. Fortunately that isn't too obvious, and it's not horrible to look at even if you do notice it.

In order to compact the base under the interlock stones, you put a piece of wood on top of the stones and bash it with a hammer to compact the base. Using a piece of wood prevents the stone from breaking. You can see that I beat the tar out of the board that I used for this purpose. (It's complaining, "Ouch!")

After I re-leveled the stones, I had to fill the cracks. Landscapers use polymeric jointing sand to fill in the top half inch of the gaps because it holds the stones in place but remains flexible, doesn't blow away in the wind, and inhibits weeds. Polymeric sand has some kind of binder, or glue, in it that does the trick. It also is coloured, so it gives the path a more uniform colour, as you can see from this photo of the step.

I applied the polymeric sand to the path also. Here's a before and after photo, so you can see how it improves the look of the path.



After you apply polymeric sand, you are supposed to mist the path lightly so the binder in the sand can set up. Well, I don't have the hose out, because it is still officially winter, so I shoveled some snow onto the path. That should do the trick.

Oh yes, the wonderful thing about a self-cleaning oven is that it just leaves some ash in the bottom of the oven that you need to vacuum out. Easy peasy!

Thunder of a freight train!!!

A huge freight train roared by about 9am. Then I realized that it wasn't a freight train, but snow falling off the back roof onto the sun deck (by bbq). I shoveled the snow off the deck again when I got back from the walk with the dogs.

Panorama - March 8, 2010

This pano is composed of 34 individual photos. You can see that the grass on the hill is starting to be exposed - at center foreground. By the end of the day (it was +10C today), there were puddles of water on the lake. I will take another pano tomorrow morning so you can see the comparison.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Replacing the thresholds #4

For the fourth, and hopefully last time...

This is after the old threshold was removed. The piece of wood that stuck to the glue was the top little strip at the left edge of the photo. Fortunately, it wasn't damaged when the old threshold was removed and the floor guy was able to stick it back together after I thoroughly vacuumed out the joint. He applied a little wood glue (in the yellow bottle) to help it stick.

As a precaution in case the construction adhesive does ooze out and stick to the floor boards, I suggested that we wrap some doubled-up wax paper around the floor board. This photo was taken after I had done that. The little bit of masking tape is to hold the wax paper in place.

The next step is to apply the construction adhesive.

And then to put some weights on top of the threshold to hold it in place until the glue sets. And also we have to hold our breath until we can take the weights off.

Previously we left the weights on for 24 hrs, but the guy said 8 hours. I took the weights off after 8 hrs and I could move the thresholds so I put the weights back on.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Outdoor fun and yummy food!

We see these little birds frolicking in the snow every spring. We don't know what they are called. There actually must have been about a dozen or more of the birds, but I only managed to catch a couple in this photo (in the circles).

I tried to get an action shot of Tawny jumping the snow bank, and mostly succeeded!

After a hard afternoon of play, there is NOTHING better than a mouthful of nice, crunchy snow!

We had a special guest for supper, and so we barbecued salmon - with a maple chili glaze. I've made this before but this was the absolute best ever!! Lucky for our special guest!

Window fixed, but what about the wall??

So Jeff, from the window company, came to replace the broken bit of trim. When I moved some stuff so he could get at the window, I noticed a slight crack in the paint at the corner of the window. This is likely from when the window was leaking water onto the window sill, and some ran down and softened the drywall joint.

This is a closeup of the problem area.

The first thing I did was remove the loosened paint and any loose bits of drywall plaster, and then brushed it down well to remove all dust and other particles.

Then I added a bit of drywall compound. I will have to sand it tomorrow. Hopefully the one coat will be sufficient.