Sunday, May 29, 2011

Crabapple blossoms!

These photos were taken on May 20th,2011.

Close-up of the beautiful blossoms on our neighbour's crabapple tree.

This is the complete tree. The pretty pink flowers look a little washed out against the brightness of the sky.

My neighbour tells me that when the neighbourhood was developed, the developers planted the same type of tree in front of every house, so it would have looked really gorgous going down this street with all the trees in bloom at the same time. But this neighbourhood is 50 years old and not all the crabapple trees have survived. Lucky for us, the houses at the end of the street near our house all have the crabs still (except for ours).

The petals cover the ground with a pink snow.

And even get on your shoes...

Friday, May 20, 2011

Lights finished, but whoops!

Tawny likes sleeping on her bed between these two chairs. We have since rearranged the furniture a bit, but we kept this bed in this same general area and she really likes it for some reason. What a good girl!

I finally got around to putting up the pendant lights. The problem was that I needed to run a 3-conductor wire between the two boxes which entailed drilling a hole in a supporting beam between them. The drill bit went astray and made the hole in the ceiling.

This is a closeup. I will have to do a bit of drywall patching and then repaint. :(

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Rain rain go away

We've had so much rain lately that - when it stops and dries up - we barely have time to mow the lawn before it starts raining again. This photo shows the base of the maple tree in our yard, with a number of ferns at the base of it.

At the lower right of the photo, you can see part of the troublesome retaining wall that is collapsing and posing a danger.

This shows a larger view of the area.

This photo shows where the very large shrubs were that we cut down last fall. I say shrubs even though they were more like trees because they were supposed to be shrubs but the previous owners didn't keep them trimmed so they became overgrown.

Both darkness and rain make the worms come out - it was both dark and rainy when I spotted this big worm when I let the dogs out to do their business just before bed. I figure it was well over 5 inches long.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

An odd squirrell

Well, the chimney mason said he would be back on Friday to take the tarp down, but he never showed up. I guess I have to get the ladder out and take the tarp off myself...

Saw this funny looking black squirrel in the back year - Freda has seen him around several times before. He's missing about 3/4 of his fluffy tail -- wonder what his story is??

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Chimney repair

When we bought this house, we knew the chimney needed some work. The inspector said the chimney needed repointing and so that's what I got some quotes for. I had inspected the bricks when I was up on the roof to recaulk the flashing, so I was pretty sure that it just needed to be repointed. I had wanted to put a metal cap over the chimney too, to keep the water off the concrete. The first quote was $1600 for the repointing plus $400 for the chimney cap (plus tax, of course!), which I thought was very high since I thought it might be 4-6 hrs of work.

The guy who came for a second quote said the chimney needed to be taken down and rebuilt. I wasn't here when that guy came but I just didn't believe that because none of the bricks were loose. His quote was $2800 plus tax.

I didn't like either of those quotes, so I called another guy who came and quoted $450, including tax, for the repointing, including some areas in the carport.

Guess who I hired to do the work? Pretty obviously it was guy #3.

I took this photo after the mason had ground out the mortar with his diamond tipped blade. This cleans out the old, deteriorated mortar and creates a deep crevice so the new mortar has a good surface area to bond with.

This is the other side of the chimney. The metal chimney cap indicates the location of the flue from the old oil furnace. That is no longer in use so I just wanted him to remove it and seal up the hole.

There was a layer of mortar on top of the chimney concrete cap pieces that was all cracked and somewhat loose. The mason was going to remove that and apply a new layer of concrete. If needed, we can get a metal cap later.

This is the area under the car port and you can see how the brick is all wet, which I presume is because the chimney was full of cracks so water could penetrate it. Fortunately it didn't seem to come into the house. There were some large holes in some of the mortar here, so the mason was going to repoint those too.

In this photo, the mason has filled the gaps with the new mortar. He had to let it set up for a while so then he could tool it, to shape the mortar between the bricks.

This photo was taken after the mortar was jammed into the spaces between the bricks, but before it was tooled -- in other words, when the mortar was setting up.

It was raining quite heavily later, so I couldn't take any more photos. Because of the rain, the mason wrapped a tarp around the chimney to protect the mortar from getting washed away. He said he will be back on Friday to remove the tarp. I will take some photos then.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Too cold!

It has been so cold lately that the tulips don't even want to open! And to think that they had been finished for several weeks already at this time last year.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

More weekend accomplishments

When we had the granite countertops put in, the installer didn't have any of the sealer to seal the countertops. It took a few weeks for him to get it in and since we weren't home when he was going to come by, he put some in a bottle and labelled it, "Sealer - DONT DRINK". Freda applied the sealer to the counter and it looks (and feels) really nice now.

Another thing we did was install this storage cabinet above the toilet. It looks pretty good and frees up some floor space in the bedroom :).