Welcome to our travels and adventures

Welcome to our travels and adventures

The Short Strokes Now

1410601 Oct 12 Thanksgiving At KristysNot! It’s Thanksgiving Sunday and usually we are looking forward to a wonderful meal with our family and this year it was in the Ottawa area. We had planned on meeting up with some RV friends on the Monday, taking a few days off from our project. Unfortunately, Barb came down with the flu and was flat out for the past few days – even unable to help out with our exterior painting marathon yesterday – she was not happy! Barb loves this holiday, seeing all the nieces and nephews and their families. So, I plug along, cleaning up some of the odd jobs that need to be done – re-hanging eave down spouts etc.

1410083 Oct 13 New Paint From Front Of House


On Monday, Barb was up and moving around a little and feeling a little better but still not 100%. I continued to apply more mud to the drywall and sand some that was dry. It’s looking better every day – even for us amateurs.

1410084 Oct 13 Terry Sanding The Ceiling In Great RoomTuesday, with Barb feeling better, we finished sanding and washing all walls for priming. Once done late in the day, we were off to pick up our primer and finish paint supplies. We picked up a 5 gallon pail and a couple of gallons of ceiling primer, thinking we would have plenty with left over. Another late evening and we drag our butts into the trailer but anxious to get started in the morning – another mile stone, getting closer to the finish line!

1410090 Oct 15 Barb Mudding Corner


With different light, we see a few flaws in our drywall work and add more mud before we start priming – this is one task in this project that is definitely not one of our favourites! After a lunch break, we finally start our paint priming. The lack of light makes us put the brushes and rollers down and clean up – not ideal in the dark!

Thursday was an Escapee Chapter luncheon at the Mandarin in Hamilton – can’t miss 1410107 Oct 16 Colors In Abundantsa lunch at the Mandarin so off to Hamilton and  we also head into Ikea in Burlington to purchase our lighting. I got the time wrong and we were late but still managed to over eat! Not Barb’s favourite place as they decorated the entire place with spiders.  We won’t be going there again in October.  On the way home, we stopped off for more paint supplies.1410093 Oct 15 Terry Pouring Primer Paint

On Saturday, we signed up for a laminate floor1410096 Oct 15 Barb Paints Over Closet laying workshop. We’ve done it before but just thought we might hear something new or a reminde1410098 Oct 16 Paint On One Great Room Wall Driedr of how to do it. We have a few problems that we know will come up when we start laying the flooring and thought that we might find solutions to some of our issues – uneven floors, low clearance on the front door since we raised that floor area and walls that are not so square! Well, we did find a solution and it is not wall to wall carpet! During the workshop, the instructor touched on vinyl plank flooring and it solves two of the three issues and hopefully the less than square walls will not be so noticeable. Once we got back home, we smoked into painting to finish off the primer coat. Wow, the house is now looking great, even if we do say so ourselves!

That’s our excitement for this week, hope all is good where you are….1410088 Oct 14 Fall Color At End Of Street

The Worst Part of a Reno

1409352 Sep 29 Barb Gouping Around ShowerLast update, we had lots of help hanging the last sheets of drywall but where is everyone when we do the worst job ever, putting on the mud? I’m kidding of course, we really loved having Norma, Randy, Terri & Mark working with us. There are some jobs that you can have too many people and applying the joint compound and sanding is one of them. We had started t1409314 Sep 25 Gas Line Runs Along Househe taping on Sept 22nd and our 1st coat of mud on the 23rd. It has been a slow but steady progress, apply mud, let dry, apply the next coat, let it dry then sand. The drying has been a little slow, we still do not have a functioning furnace yet although they have put the gas lines in and we have hot water now. The cool nights and rain has had an affect so we put an electric space heater in the house to help but it is slow.

1409349 Sep 29 Terry Installing Furnace DoorThere are other jobs in the mean time. Barb keeps an eye 1409350 Sep 29 Furnace Door Closedon the mud and records where we are so we do not miss anything and we peck away at some of the other jobs that also need to be done – install the pot light fixtures, a door on the furnace ‘room’ and the water valve for the shower. We also worked on the outside, blocking the windows so the siding guy can cover them with aluminum and seal them up for the  winter. Barb put on some more cedar shakes and I sealed them with shellac so the knots would not bleed through and they would not soak up the paint. We had planned to put vinyl siding on but out of the budget this year so replacing shakes and a coat of paint will have to do.

1410011 Oct 01 Barb Adding Shakes Under Bedroom Window1410001 Oct 01 Terry Shellacing The Cedar Shakes

1410026 Oct 06 Truck Ready To Go To Dump


All this activity creates waste so off to the landfill with whatever we can fit into our truck. We did not keep records on the weights of waste we have taken or have picked up in the 2 dumpster loads, it would have been interesting.




1410033 Oct 07 Its A Dirty Job But Someone Has To Do ItThere is not much one can say about finishing the 1410034 Oct 07 Barb Sanding In The Kitchendrywall for painting – no mud fights although, lots of mud hit the floor when I was slapping it on! Barb used a garden spade during clean up to scrape it off. One of our highlights was installing the shower doors – the installation instructions were not written for a couple of oldies with poor eyesight and it took us longer than we expected but we still managed to get them on the shower stall and working good – now we’ll smell better at the end of the day.

1410043 Oct 08 Barb Shovelling CompostWhen we were at the landfill, we learned that they were giving away compost material for gardens and we could take as much as we could get in the truck but we had to hand bomb it ourselves – must be a liability issue. Anyway, Barb & I went over while the mud was trying to dry and we loaded up the truck. Barb worked on one side and me on the other. Lesson learned, when one has to take the stuff off the truck, load it as near the tail gate as you can! In order for the compost to stay where it is, we bought some sod to hold it down but we were short a few rolls so off to get 3 more but the garden centre had sold out in the 20 minutes we took to lay it down and drive back! Oh well, another day.

So Thursday, Oct 9th, we start what we hoped was the last coat of mud. After about 1410041 Oct 08 Terry Mudding The Great Room Ceilingan hour, Barb sits down on the scaffold and was looking a little green around the edges. She hurries off to the bathroom to be sick and then to bed! She was down for the count. I must have worked her too hard and weakened her immune system. I continued to apply mud or sand, added some shakes around the back door and other small jobs while checking on Barb.

Saturday, Terri & Mark came up to help out again but Barb could not get her head off the pillow. Our task for the day was to paint the exterior of the house. We started at the rear of the house in case we picked a colour that did not work for us but it was perfect. So, even with a ‘man down’ as Terri said, we still got the whole house painted – even though near the end, it was working with the help of the street light close by!

1410066 Oct 11 Terri Filling In The Edges1410070 Oct 11 Mark Works Up High1410077 Oct 11 Mark Paints The Front Of The House







So this brings us up to date of the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend. We hope all our Canadian readers had a bountiful feast with family or friends. Until next time…..

We Love Volunteers

1409162 Sep 15 Norma Randy Holding BoardThe week of Sept 14th was a fun week. Randy & 1409160 Sep 15 Norma Hands Terry The Nail GunNorma – friends we met at our park last summer in Waterdown – came up for a couple of days of work and play! We started them off with the easy task of siding the rest of the south side of the garage. Barb & Norma cut the boards while Randy & I placed and nailed them down. The last one had to be ripped length wise so the boys helped a little with that one. Next, we moved to the front deck, we had 1409163 Sep 15 Norma Randy Help Terry Cut Panelto move the deck closer and add a deck board 1409164 Sep 15 Side Of Garage All Panelledbetween the house and the deck so no one will slip between them – hummm, slip between the cracks – sorry. Anyway, Barb & I thought it might be too heavy for us 4 ole folks but when we lifted it out of the deck blocks, it wasn’t too bad at all so we quickly got that one done too. Wow, in a short time we were just ticking off the job list. Next, the 4 of us built a small deck to 1409167 Sep 15 Adding Scab To Back Of Porchcover the su1409173 Sep 15 Norma Barb Cutting Woodmp pump at the side of the house. These may seem like small jobs – and they are but with Randy & Norma’s help, we were able to get them completed and off the project time line. Wow, 3 busy jobs done and now it was happy hour so time to sit back and swill a couple. Soon, our energy returned and we dug out the bean bag game and the men whooped the girls handily.

1409180 Sep 15 Cheers To A Good Day


1409188 Sep 16 Norma Barb Hold Up DrywallOn Tuesday, we moved inside. We had to build a 1409193 Sep 16 Terry Randy Cut Out Sun Tunne;ceiling support structure in the hallway – it is a bit lower than the bedroom and bathroom ceilings so the hall ceiling would be flush with the header dividing the hall and the great room, you’ll see later what I mean. Before we could do that, we had to finish the bathroom/hallway wall. It was already constructed but not in place so we could do HVAC, plumbing etc but now it goes in so we 1409200 Sep 16 Barb Playing Golf Ladderscan work on the hallway. Anyway, we couldn’t strap the hall ceiling as usual so we constructed a 2x4 arrangement to lower the ceiling and lifted it in place, the girls held it while Randy & I secured it up. Next we strapped the bathroom ceiling and were soon hanging drywall like we knew what we were doin’! Again, jobs well done and Randy & Norma were a great help. Happy hour again and this time we brought out the golf ladder game and again, the men were in command – what is the common element you say, well the first game we played with bags and the second was with balls! Sorry for the humor….1409223 Sep 18 Barb Sits In The Shower

1409213 Sep 18 Bathroom Ceiling Finished


The following couple of days, Barb & I hung more drywall, shopped for supplies and installed the shower. That was fun for us but we managed it and now anxious to get some hot water and try it out.




1409232 Sep 20 Mark Cutting Nails From WallTerri & Mark came down for the weekend to help out too. They arrived after dark Friday night and after a quick tour, we surprised them on how much work we had done since their last visit.

On Saturday, Mark & I took out a door and installed 1409235 Sep  20 Terry Mark Discussing Door Framea window on the garage while Barb & Terri put up some cedar shake siding in a couple of places. Once Mark & I completed the door/window, we had to remove some old plants 1409240 Sep 20 Terri Cutting Cedar Shakesfrom the side of the garage so we could finish the siding. We had a thorny plant that was too big to dig so we used our truck to pull it out. Mark had a rope but it did not stand up and broke quickly. Next we used a chain and out it came - of course there was a lot of plant stuff 1409244 Sep 20 Terri Barb Rejoiceleft behind but I let the younger of us to do all the digging and slugging while I cut the plants up and put them in the paper bags for pick up.  Guess what was hidden in all the overgrowth, poison ivy and we caught it.  Once we got the ‘garden’ removed, Barb & Terri helped us with the siding and soon it was all done. Now the garage looks great. Daylight was running down so time for happy hour and a game of golf ladders – yes, the men had it handled!

1409248 Sep 20 Mark Terry Cutting Panel - Copy


1409250 Sep 20 Siding On Garage Half Done - Copy1409255 Sep 20 The Window Is Cut Out - Copy1409260 Sep 20 Terri Nails Up Last Cedar Shakes At Back






1409281 Sep 21 Terri Barb Putting Up The Walls






1409277 Sep 21 Starting To Drywall In The Utility RoomNormally, I stop at Saturday but this time, I will continue so you can see our accomplishment with our helpers. Sunday we move inside and Mark & Terri tackle the drywall in the furnace room. This room is 2 feet by 4 feet and neither Barb or I could twist ourselves in there to put up the ceiling or the back wall so we purposely left that job for Terri & Mark – yeah guys, thanks for that. Once that was done, we put drywall up on the ceiling and walls of the mud room at the back of the house

1409286 Sep 21 Terri Mark Putting Up The Drywall

It was a busy week but much was accomplished so thanks to Randy, Norma, Terri & Mark for helping to move our project forward with large strides. Hope all is good where you are….

1409269 Sep 20 Barb Throws Her Golf Balls