Thursday, May 31, 2012

Our Retirement Home Part Five (The Footings)

Wednesday morning we were happy to see two big cement trucks arrive to start the pour in the footings. A bulldozer had shown up earlier to pull these two heavy beasts up our gravel road and into position and, after some minor troubles with the pump truck, the cement began to pour into the frames. I think at that moment Marie and I actually realized the house was now a reality! Friday we continue with the basement framing and more pouring. Now all we have to do is keep our fingers crossed the weather cooperates as we welcome June!  gws

Easy does it!

Almost there!

Now what - the pump has given up!

At last we have cement!
The final smooth with the bull float

Our Retirement Home Part Four (Breaking Rock)

Another beautiful start to another week here in eastern Quebec as work continued on our house. The contractor came up early Monday to resume breaking rock where the foundation will be in preparation for putting in the footings. The pneumatic jack hammer could be heard all over the Domaine for three days - we are sitting on a shelf of rock with very little earth or gravel. The pictures tell it all, from the heavy machinery slowly crawling up the driveway to the first dig into the ground (at last!) till the placing of the footings. It will take nothing less than an earthquake and hurricane combined to move the house once it is up! All that broken rock I had dumped where we plan to put in a garage as it will make a very firm base for the slab whenever we get around to it. Now the footing framing is done it is time now to pour some cement! gws

Finally! The first turning of the sod

Digging the perimeter

Hmmm time to bring in the jackhammer

Changing shovel to heavy duty rockhammer

This is going to take a while...

Check your measurements...again!

Day 2 and still breaking rock

Day 3 and ready for the footings!

Laying out the boards for the footings

Check your measurements!!!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Our Retirement Home Part Three (The Start of the Foundation)

Another beautiful week on the mountain and we are now hoping for some rain to fill up our two waterbarrels that we use for showers and washing dishes. Each morning Marie sits out with her coffee logging all the different birds she sees into her I-pod Touch while we are still enjoying the peace and quiet. Haven't seen a soul on the Domaine all month and sometimes think we are the only people in the world...Friday the contractors arrived to start the foundation, measuring and marking the footprint, then digging the footing. This involved alot of rock breaking and work will resume Monday. It felt good to see that first dig of the shovel into the ground to  officially mark the start of the house. The septic field meanwhile lays unfinished and no sign of the fellow we contracted....we never thought it would be easy! I will be posting pictures next time. Till then...Happy Memorial Day! gws

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Our Retirement Home Part Two (The Septic Field)

One scoop or two?

Moving septic tank

Tank in final resting place
Well finally! May is here and construction is under way! This month we began the job of moving the septic tank where it had been sitting all winter and repositioning it into a deeper hole and more in line with where the septic field will be located. The big equipment was brought in and with much gnashing of teeth and choice words we convinced the contractor where we wanted it. With bated breath we waited for him to drop it and smash it into a million pieces but all went well. He went home satisfied with his days accomplishments with many assurances that the field would be ready in time for the plumber to come and hook up everything next week.

The next day was hot and dry so I had a chance to clear some downed trees I had cut last year for firewood and bring down to the fire pit by the cabin. That morning before 6am I had stepped out to greet the sun and enjoyed the company of a chickadee who lighted on my head to look for potential nest materiel. Marie took a picture through the cabin window but you can still see my little bird friend in spite of the reflection. The birds here don't seem to fear us and keep us company during the day and very early in the mornings.

Satisfied that all would be well for the next stage – clearing the area for the septic field - we returned to Montreal for a beautiful hot long weekend – Patriots Day in Quebec – and Phil and Fer flashed up their BBQ for everyone – Christina and Patrick and his two girls and Lara and Jessie came over as well, partying into the wee hours of Sunday morning. Phil and Fer and Amy are off to Mexico this week so our thoughts will be with them as they travel. Early Monday we returned to the property to supervise the next phase...

Leveling sand for field

View of field initial stage 

Again the contractor seemed to be in a bit of a conundrum even with the ground plans in his hand showing the size and dimensions of the area in question. With two machines going at it, one bringing in sand and the other levelling the area, things seemed to be going well. Then I was called in to cut down some more trees – with more gnashing of teeth because I love my trees you understand. Yet this was soon followed by the shaking of heads and strange gurgling noises from the contractor and his sidekick and just like that resignation became the order of the day. Time to bring in the inspector to see if he could make a decision nobody else seemed capable of. At the time if this writing it is Wednesday and tomorrow the contractor is coming up to start the foundation. More gnashing of teeth from Marie...gws


Sunday, May 20, 2012

Muffy's Life

We lost our dear little Muffy this past week and wish to remember her as the most faithful friend we could have ever asked for. I have selected some photographs taken over the past fourteen years showing her in many places across the country and in the US and somehow - always in someones arms! She was the type of dog that everyone loved at first sight and would always show her love in return. We could not have asked for more and she never let us down. We will miss you Muffy and will never forget you. gws

to be continued....