Friday, March 30, 2007

Spring is Here (for now)!

It finally feels like spring! I've been waiting for the sunny weather and the warmer temperatures and they are finally here - for now. Next week it's supposed to get colder again, but lets enjoy it while it's here.

The birds have been singing like crazy in the maple tree in front of our house so I thought I'd grab a quick picture of one.
And as any warm and sunny day deserves - here's Kathy on the porch drinking a beer - too bad we had to wait till we got back home to open it!

Monday, March 19, 2007


Still on my mind. Here is another segment of video from our slide show about Japan. This one includes a lot of our friends and things we did while we lived there.

The Renos Continue


As the two weeks went on, I continued to work on the room. Of course, it always gets worse before it gets better, and this was no different.

The insulation went in and made a huge difference (it's now the warmest room in the house). The electrical finally got done, and the boards went back up.

Next came March break, and the drywall. I thought I'd be able to get it done in a few days - drywall installed, mudded and sanded. Boy was I wrong. From Monday until Sunday of the break I worked about 12 or so hours a day. And it was only Sunday noon that I was able to finish the priming and start to clean up. It is absolutely amazing what a coat of paint will do to a room (and the feeling in the house). Everything is okay now. The room is not finished, but we no longer live in a construction zone. The house is really dusty and cluttered still, but the new room looks like a room finally. So I'm out of the dog house, and I've got some time now to finish the trim. (sigh of relief...)

One note for your interest. On Saturday Nathan and I took the last plaster and junk to the dump. We loaded the truck down until the box almost touched the back wheels and were completely surprised when it cost $89 to drop it off. I asked why - our load weighed 850kg! Both trips combined were 1300kg. That's amazing for two reasons - my beater of a truck can hold 1900lbs, and there are nearly 3000lbs of plaster in one room of a house! No wonder the ceiling joists are sagging.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Home Reno Advice

To all our faithful readers, thanks for waiting!

Kathy went to Winnipeg this past week, and I got it in my head to renovate the front room. We have always planned to make it into an office, and since I've been watching way too much Holmes on Homes and DIY Disaster, I thought I'd make it into an office while she was gone. What the heck was I thinking?

If you are planning to renovate, here's my advice.

I had a weekend, and then three days while still teaching. My advice: Don't do it - there's not enough time.

I had plaster walls behind the panelling. I knew that, but I didn't realize how horrible plaster dust is. My advice: Don't do it - plaster dust will kill you slowly while you sleep.

I had knob and tube wiring. I knew there was some in the house, but again, I didn't realize how much there was. My advice: Don't do it - it's just too complicated.

I asked a couple of guys from the youth group to help. And Nathan volunteered his expertise and time. My advice: Don't do it - no matter how much help you get. The truck just isn't big enough to hold all that junk!

Needless to say, Kathy came home to a reno only just started and, as much as I tried to clean up, dust everywhere. I've spent countless hours cleaning and re-cleaning the dust from everything. It's still here.

Don't worry - we don't have a dog, so I couldn't sleep in the dog house (and the couch was so covered in dust she wouldn't have me sleep there either). It'll all work out. The pot lights on dimmers took a bit of her edge off. Thank goodness for dimmer switches!

Since we are finding life back home a little less than blog-able, I'll use this page to show off a bit of the house renos as they happen. Keep checking back for more! I've got an ultimate deadline of two weeks to get the office up and running now - so you'll see the finished product in just a little while...