Friday, September 23, 2011

adieu Jasper...

Our dear Jasper, Marmalade's shy, handsome brother, was last seen on September 9 in the morning when we let both cats out.  An hour later Marmalade returned, but Jasper didn't.  We have posted notices, asked neighbour, informed no avail.  We really hope he has gone "walkabout" and returns, as he is missed a lot. 

On a happier note, the substitute teacher day bookings are steady and Brian is enjoying taking a paid course that will equip him to start the bed and breakfast business.

Marmalade has caught two bats recently while prowling around in the attics above the main house and the summer kitchen.  Thankfully, both were unharmed and we were able to catch them in a container and move them to fly away outside (where they probably promptly fly back into the attic via one of the several holes and cracks!).  That is the construction project for the close those access areas and put up a bat house along the eaves on the outside of the house.  They are amazing mammals, and the ticking noise an angry bat makes is very interesting to hear.

Brian has uncovered several beams and boards that have Roman numerals and symbols incised in them by the builders in 1760 when they put the house up, so I have attached a few photos of those.

The living room has now been completely gyprocked, and by doing research on the net and watching a few YouTube videos, Brian found out about a gyprock (plasterboard) hoist that made doing the ceilings a breeze.   He rented this rig, and as you can see from the photos, the room is now looking much different than a few months ago!  We had a fierce dominoes game with Aunt Marg and cousin Marcia in the living room with a fire burning in the wood stove to celebrate the coziness of the new insulated living room with double-glazed windows (Marcia remains the undefeated champion). Floor sanding is next on the list, and we should have a living room with furniture in it by Thanksgiving. 

There are approx. 25 adults and various littles coming to the Thanksgiving dinner here at the Valley House.  We haven't had one since Dad's death in 2004, so it will be just wonderful to gather here again.

Bye for now! 

Looking for her brother


A beam with the carpenter's marks

Brian contemplating the ceiling of the living room...will the hoist work?

On goes the gyprock, tilt it so it faces the ceiling....

Crank the wheel and up it goes!

The gyprock is held in place while being attached to the underlying strapping

A happy "gyprocker"

What a great job!

Full moon in September

Annapolis Royal taken from the Granville Ferry side of the Bay of Fundy

Loved this garnet coloured dragonfly

Sunday, September 04, 2011

A Sink Can Make You Cry!

Yes, when you have been washing dishes in a plastic basin filled with water from the bathtub, having running water (hot and cold!) coming out of a tap into a double sink can make you have a little grateful weep.  I would also like to add that my faith and feeling of not taking things for granted have deepened over the past few months as we have been on the edge financially a few times, and there have been some amazing things that have happened to prevent complete financial collapse.  Now that I'm getting all mushy, I would like to add that Brian's patience, sense of humour and skill at this renovation has impressed a lot of people (including me) and I am very proud of him. back to the usual bitter and twisted self.

In chronological order...Paint the Town was fantastic, and my cousin Ellen and I had a great time.  We painted in the beautiful historic gardens  We were joking about how one of us might fall into the lily pond...that didn't happen, but Ellen did fall off her stool into the bushes behind.  There were a few tourists watching her work at the time.  I heard a yelp and rustling from my location around the corner, but decided to let the handsome male tourist help her out.  Thought it might be a romantic opportunity!

Brian had to go up on the roof of the summer kitchen to patch a hole as I wouldn't let him hire a roofer.  I figured once he got up there, he could do a fine job.  He drove the car up close to the house, tied a rope around the axle, flung the rope over the roof, tied it around his waist and with this high-tech safety equipment climbed the ladder and scooted up to the ridge of the roof only to realize he'd forgotten half the essential tools.  I ingeniously put the items in a box, tied a string to the box, tied a heavy hook to the end of the string and threw this up to him so he could pull the box up.  I only hit him on the head twice and missed getting anywhere near him a few more times, but it did work well once he caught the hook. 

Brian's 55th birthday was celebrated on Aug. 27th with a great party here, and the new kitchen worked very well.  About 20 people new friends and family came and feasted on the pot-luck offerings.  

Hurricane Irene arrived last week, and it was a noisy night of high winds, but no rain.  The next day was very windy as the pictures show.

Brian and our neighbour finished the upper part of the house above the kitchen window, so we will be snug for the winter.  Climbing up and down the scaffolding has made Brian need to take in his belt another notch!

Cheap and cheeful!  Paint the Town silent auction...My collages were made of shingles from the house, newspaper images from the old papers from 1962 that we found under the living room flooring, and birchbark found under the trim around the windows circa 1760!

In the Historic Gardens

Ellen at work

Brian waving (not a Vulcan salute) from his not very comfy perch on the roof

Sweet peas beside the barn (before flowers/buds left)

We have never seen the River so choppy as seen here the day after the hurricane

Brian may have to climb up on the roof again!

At Port George with friends having a sausage roast

Trying to get the fire going again

Sunset over the Bay of Fundy

While lettinga cat into the house in the wee hours of the morning, Brian snapped this shot of the mist on the opposite shore of the river

New boards, housewrap and clapboard