Welcome to our travels and adventures

Welcome to our travels and adventures

And Away We Go

I have not posted lately for a few reasons, mainly because we have been extremely busy and too tired at night to type!

1408283 Aug 23 Terry Raking Gravel Away From HouseIn our last post, we mentioned that we were in wait 1408287 Aug 23 Terry Foaming Up Holesmode again but we still found something to do – our foundation, what there is of it, protrudes out past the walls in some places and with the cement poured after the house was built, it looks ‘untidy’. After discussions with a siding guy, we decided to ‘hide’ the ‘untidy’ look with a skirting of sort. So, while we were waiting, we went ahead and skirted around the entire house and we think it looks so much better now. We have even decided to hold off on the siding 1408288 Aug 23 Barb Cutting At Table Sawinstallation and1408292 Aug 23 East Side Front Finished with a fresh coat of paint and some new cedar shakes in places, it will look great for a few years then maybe we’ll consider vinyl siding – some interesting negative info about vinyl siding on line. Anyway, we went through lots of spidy spray so Barb could help with this project – there are millions of tiny critters in the gravel around the house and as soon as you step onto it, they scitter up the walls and you know where Barb is when they do! Even with all that, we still worked together and got it done.

1408328 Aug 27 Barb Removing Other Cement Block1408332 Aug 27 Barb Nailing Up Panels



1408341 Aug 28 Front Of House Up Close

1409006 Sep 01 First Project This MonthAfter we finished the skirting and we were still waiting, we 1409008 Sep 01 Barb Cutting In Mailboxdecided to freshen up the garage. There was too many weak boards in the existing siding that needed to be replaced and then having to paint it, we thought too big a task for this year so lets side it using the same material we used on the skirting and we’ll paint the trim. We got the front and a few sheets up on the sides in a day and ran out of materials so more to come on that.

1409014 Sep 01 Front Done Panels Finished

1409018 Sep 02 Chris Brodie Spraying CeilingsToday, Sept 2 is spray foam insulation day! Yippee, 1409022 Sep 02 Job Finished Doing CleanUpwe have been waiting for this to happen – we passed the electrical follow up inspection and had already scheduled the foaming and once this is done, we can start hanging drywall! The truck pulls up and the guys start prepping the inside, protecting the windows and anything else that should not be sprayed. Barb & I had taken all the tools etc out but the furnace and windows had to be covered. 1409047 Sep 04 A Kitchen In PurpleOnce prepped, they started spraying and thought they would be done by 2PM but by the time they finished and ‘cleaned’ up, they didn’t get away until near 4PM! We’ve (Barb mostly) been removing chunks of poly and staples ever since. Once the foaming was almost done, I called the town for the insulation inspection so we could start the drywalling. We did not expect to see them for a couple of days but they came over by noon the 1409037 Sep 03 Barb Taping Under Doornext day and all was good and we had the go ahead to cover it up – we’ve had excellent response from the building inspection team here in Fort Erie. So now we can start the drywall tomorrow, Sept 4th! In the meantime, we have capped all the skirting around the house to finish it off.

1409055 Sep 04 Barb Screwing Up CeilingThere is not a lot to say about drywalling – measure it, cut it and screw it down or up! We had to do a lot of MacGyvering to make pieces fit but hey, it’s an old house and the walls are not square. At the end of the day, we had the front room done and we had our new fridge and 1409058 Sep 04 Barb Holding Up Drywalldishwasher arrive – whoopie.



1409109Sep 10 Half The Ceiling Is Up



1409137 Sep 12 The Great Room Is Finished

1409157 Sep 15 Aster Woods Blue


That is it for this week and we hope all is good where you are….

More Waiting

We’re in a wait mode again, waiting for an electrical inspection and our foam insulation appointment next week.

Before I go any further, I want to mention – not that you don’t already know this but I am so proud and happy to be working side by side with my partner, Barb. I do not know too many other ladies that would or could do this kind of manual brute work. I don’t know how she does it but she even finds time to do a little quilting!

On Monday, we take a little break and head over the border for some cross border shopping and of course, the fabric store is on the agenda, along with Home Depot for a sun tunnel and Walmart for beer! All of which is way too expensive here at home – we have a budget to think about!

1408303 Aug 26 Drawing Circle On Roof

Back to work on Tuesday, installing the sun tunnel – you1408305 Aug 26 Hole In Roof might notice the knee pads and I just want to be clear, no I was not in need of begging, a little forgiveness maybe but the shingles were a little rough on my soft and sensitive knees. That took most of the morning with way too much indecision on my part – cutting into the roof is not an everyday thing and apparently, a leaking roof is not good.


1408306 Aug 26 Hole From Inside House

1408311 Aug 26 Look At The Light

1408309 Aug 26 Adding The Dome







The late afternoon sees us adding cedar shakes to the area where Terri & Barb removed the back window.

1408314 Aug 26 Barb Nailing Up Cedar Shakes1408316 Aug 26 Terry Nailing High Cedar Shakes

1408317 Aug 26 Small Window Completely Gone









1408318 Aug 26 Mandarin Bday Celebration Cheers Gerry


We called an early day as we were going out for dinner to celebrate our birthdays and decided to do it on Gerry’s (my cousin who recently passed) birthday and celebrated all three special days. Aww, at our favourite Chinese buffet with way too much good food and great company, what more can a guy ask for?




On Wednesday, we are scheduled again for our electrical inspection of the default1408346 Aug 31 Terry Turning On Lightss from last week. We are confident that we got all the issues cleared up but it is always nerve wracking to have someone else ‘judge’ your work. The inspector does a short walk through, checking out the issues and after giving us the thumbs up, he gave us some hints on what he looks for on the final – that was a nice heads up. Shortly after the inspection, our spider spray guys arrives. Spiders here are everywhere and you know how Barb feels about them, if the treatment works – no, he does not treat Barb, he sprays all around the house and trailer in the usual hang outs and that rids the creepy critters for 2 months. Money well spent I say. After all this excitement, we carry on – spider free which makes Barb so much happier.

All this activity and we have to replenish supplies so off to Lowe’s and Ikea to pick up some of the back ordered kitchen cabinets. This takes most of the day so that’s 2 days off this week! Whoa, let’s get back to work here, so we finish the outdoor GFCI outlets, get them connected and fired up so now we’re not so electrically outlet challenged – we’ve only had 2 to use this whole time and sometimes it can be a nuisance.

Well, that’s it for this week. We’re doing good and we hope all is good where you are…

Do Nothing Camp

This is going to be a busy week for us, we are trying to complete the wiring and request to have a ‘rough in’ electrical inspection on Wednesday and Nathanial, our grandson is with us for the week at Camp Nana & Bumpa’s.

1408192 Aug 17 Terri Barb Removing WindowOn Sunday, Aug 17th, with Terri & Mark still here, we 1408194 Aug 17 Everyone Doing Wiringwire the utility room and added some pot lights in the hallway. Terri & Barb removed the small back window and covered it with some plywood and made it ready for siding. Our other daughters, Corrie and Dawn arrived to celebrate our birthdays. After a tour of the ‘hobby house’, we all settle in for an afternoon of fun, chit chat and laughs, catching up with each other. It was a great afternoon and as always, ends way to soon and everyone has to leave for the long drive home. Dawn has to drive the furthest to Napanee Ont, just shy of 400Kms and having to fight traffic through Toronto.


1408206 Aug 17 Everyone Sitting Around Table1408211 Aug 17 Nate Jess And Lilly1408213 Aug 17 Kids At The Table








1408219 Aug 18 Barb Drilling Hole OutsideWe forgot (read that we thought the furnace guy was 1408222 Aug 18 We Have Wires Tons And Tons Of Wiresdoing this but found out it was our responsibility since we opened the electrical permit) to cable the furnace so out on a ‘quick’ shopping trip to get more wire and some other supplies so we could call for the inspection. Once back, we ran the cable for the furnace and started a review of the wiring so we could be confident that we were ready for an inspection. If we make any mistakes, it sets us back a week as the inspector only does this area on Wednesdays, no sooner! Nate is not too interested in our house reno so he comes in from time to time to make sure we’re still here.

Now, the day before our inspection and we ‘discover’ that some additional work needs to be completed as part of the ‘rough in’ wiring. Now we’re less than confident and a little under pressure to complete this extra changes to help us pass. This takes most of the day but we complete it and are now ready for inspection.

It’s Wednesday and we’re waiting for the inspector – we were only given a 4 hour appointment window that he would arrive in so we wait. He’s here and it was a quick walk through the house. He checks our work and I think he is surprised at the quality but does make a few recommendations that we have to address so he can pass us for next steps. To me, the items were pretty minor but still have to complete to meet the code for Ontario. Simple changes like a deeper box for 20 Amp GFCI outlets and moving the furnace switch to the opposite wall as it has to be in front of the furnace. If you were to see the size of our furnace room (2’x4’), this issue was a little nit picky but still had to be changed! As soon as he left, Barb & I smoked into making the changes that the inspector indicated. He said he would come back if he had time before the next scheduled visit to this area so we moved quickly – the sooner we get this done, then we can schedule the foam insulation to be done then onto drywalling!

So, Thursday morning we make the call for another inspection and were told it would be next Wednesday! I left the inspector a message on his voice mail. Crap, another week delay! Today though is an outing day with Nate. A picnic lunch, some geocaching and touring of the locks on the Welland Canal.1408246 Aug 21 Terry At The Wheel

1408244 Aug 21 This Is So Fun BumpaBefore we start looking for some caches, we stop off at the go-cart track in Niagara. Nate was too young so we shared a cart and had some fun zipping around the track.




1408253 Aug 21 Found The CacheWe picked 3 caches along the canal. The St Lawerance Seaway manages the canal and there is a walking/biking trail along side and we found parking at Allanburg, beside a lift bridge. So off to find the caches…. Our first one was on a slippery slope down to the canal. You’ll see the picture of the deep and heavy undergrowth so it was kinda hard to find but we got it! Barb stayed safely up on the path to warn us of any ‘muggles’ (a geocache term for non-geocachers). The second cache had a more difficult rating and several log entries of others not finding it and we were no different. We did not find it even after turning several logs and being almost eaten alive!


1408259 Aug 21 Nate Nana At Lift BridgeOn our way back, I was explaining to Nate how the bridge operated and as if the operator overheard me, it started going up and we all had an up close look of the process. All that for a sail pleasure craft! Onto the next cache before our picnic lunch. Following the geocaching GPS, we drove past it a couple of times before we spied an access for parking. We had to drive into Allanburg, make a couple of turns and voila, a turn around 1408265 Aug 21 Returning The Cacheto park in. Out of the truck and off again, but Barb & I could not find it. Nate just followed his GPS unit right to the cache hidden under a tree amongst some rocks – way to go Nate! Now we can eat… After lunch, I saw a sign that pointed us to the ‘Twinned Flight Locks’ – sounded interesting so we headed in that direction. Yes, you guessed it, with 3 sets of eyes, we missed the next sign and were on another adventure. After some turn arounds and guessing, we find ourselves in 1408273 Aug 21 Length Of The Cargo Shipdowntown Thorold and winding our way to Lock 7. There i1408277 Aug 21 Ship Comes Through Lock 6s a ‘bleacher’ stand set up for viewing and lots of people sitting and waiting but no ship in sight. We wander up to the info centre and learn that a ship is scheduled very soon so how can we speed the time up – yes John, we got some ice cream to while the time away. And it worked! We were no sooner done the ice cream and a ship was approaching the upper side of the lock. Once in the lock, it didn’t take a lot of time to lower to the next level. Once the front gates started to open, we drove down to the lower side of Lock 6 to watch the same ship come out. It was too much waiting for Nate and he lost interest but the adults enjoyed the adventure. Once it started to exit, we loaded back up and headed home – a nice day out, kick’n back with our grandson!

Friday was a slow down day, Nate was a little anxious to see his mom & dad. We decided to call our insulation guys to set an appointment for the Thursday after inspection but they are completely booked until Sept 2nd – so we book it. Looking at the calendar, we have a few days at a stand still waiting for inspection and insulation so we change pace and decide to put a skirting around the house to cover up the old foundation walls to clean up the look. We left early to meet up with Corrie & Dean and stopped to do some supply shopping for the skirting.

1408287 Aug 23 Terry Foaming Up HolesSaturday, we start the skirting – in places, the foundation1408286 Aug 23 Barb Using The Table Saw is further out than the cedar siding so more MacGyvering is required to get everything somewhat plumb and even. Shim is a very much under appreciated word but very essential when working on an old house! At the end of the day, we had 3/4 of the yard side of the house done. It does make the house look better – another smart idea of Barb’s.



1406132 Jun 12 An Afternoon Surprise1408292 Aug 23 East Side Front Finished

Well, that is all the excitement we’ve had for this week, we hope all is good where you are and you will come back again….