Sunday, November 25, 2012

A Beautiful Fall

Marie in the kitchen

eating breakfast in the living room

Marie putting up cell booster

after sanding the bathroom...too much mud maybe?

Thursday, November 15, 2012

November Days

Marie and I made another trip with the truck and trailer to Montreal for the weekend to pick up some more furniture and see the family. Starting to think the Ram could find its own way there by itself....Of course we spent as much time with little Amy as we could and enjoy every second with her! Phil is busy as usual between work and remodeling his living room. He will soon become the official landlord of our place once we make the final move out of there, although we haven't yet set a final date. Sunday afternoon we met  Lara and Jesse at their favorite pizza  place, Pizza Fiore, in Cote-Des-Neiges where we had some of the best pizza in a long time and I had a chance to feel my little grandson kicking up a storm. Lara is doing well and certainly enjoying her pregnancy!
  Here on the mountain we are plugging along, yesterday running CAT 6 wire in the attic for the TVs. I cut the lengths a little short - doh -but hopefully we can still use them. Today I  put on the second coat of mud on the basement bathroom walls and ceiling and laid the front deck cedar boards. Had to get a hold of CAA to haul away the Dakota as the tranny lost all her fluid last week - probably when I backed down our driveway into the ditch... We finally got the metal stairs installed on the hill coming up to the house and this hopefully will allow us easier access from the cabin to the house should we decide to walk up in the wintertime. Alex and Rafael finished what they could on the siding and will return when we get the last bit delivered.
   We had a summer day in early November this past Monday and took advantage of it by doing all the outdoor chores I had planned last week. Damn near broke my back digging a hole for the grounding plate besides the generator - the ground there is full of rock and I had to go down almost three feet. It was bad enough digging that one but it was the second hole to dig as the first one was too far away for the copper wire to reach! We ran up the genny for three hours to put it through its paces and except for some niggling warnings on the display panel that I could never clear (thank you Marie) it seems to be ready for the winter. It is set up to automatically come on when the solar batteries fall below 46 volts. That could be because of excessive usage or a few days of cloudy weather.

But now we are into a stretch of cool days and cold nights where the temperature goes below freezing. I am happy to see the house which we heat with the fireplace at the moment during the day and till 8 at night retains heat exceptionally well and when I come up in the morning to clean out the ashes and build a new fire the temperature is around 12 to 15 degrees in the living room. We are still sleeping and eating in the cabin but by the end of this month we will have to seriously consider moving into the house. We are putting it off as long as possible as the place is a mess and not very accommodating to live in. Once the siding is on there should be little mess generated except for what Marie and I make ourselves - sanding, cutting tile and the like. Will be nice to be able to watch TV again - we watch movies on the VCR and monitor in the cabin but miss the big screen. Still miffed there is no hockey and I missed the baseball playoffs but being as busy as we are we are usually ready for lights out by 9PM! The days are getting shorter and dark here by 5 but the morning sun streams through the window early on the mountain and another busy day begins...gws

Mama Lara enjoying her pizza

entranceway roof

me walking up our new stairway

looks like there is a big rat in the attic

new cedar deck
basement bathroom

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Our Retirement Home Part Eighteen (Siding)

After some delays due to the delivery of the wrong colour and windy weather, the Maibec siding began to go on this past week. We hired two contractors, Alexandre, who had installed our chimney and fireplace, and Raphaël  another local homme à tout faire for the job. It will take at least three weeks for the two of them to finish the job, including putting aluminum around the basement windows and patio doors and installing downspouts. We chose Maibec as we wanted a solid wood siding with tones that would blend into the natural surroundings and, as well, it would match the cabin. Weather -wise it as been on and off this week with the cold and we did get a few centimetres that hasn't hampered the work at all. The mountains off to the southeast and in Maine look nice in their white caps as they are higher than us and got more snow. It is supposed to warm up again next week  into the 60s so we are looking forward to doing some outside work then. Among things I have to do is to dig a hole to bury the metal grounding plate for the generator, winterize the cabin, install a cedar deck in the main entranceway along with two cedar posts, and spread some sodium on our road to help pack down the gravel. Next week after returning from Montreal we plan to move up to the house for the winter. Hopefully the warm weather will last till the end of the month! gws

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Post- Hurricane Sandy

Well that was fun. Wind gusts to 60 mph and a bit of rain but other than my shelter which wrapped itself around some trees we came out of it in pretty good shape! I was worried sick about the solar array and the panel on the cabin but they held up very well and we are now back to normal up here on the mountain! Cold weather ahead and more work - next post will show the siding going up (finally) and damn it looks good! gws

ouch...there goes $250

late afternoon from the porch

there has to be a pot of gold down there!

view from the trail to the cabin

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Pre-Hurricane Sandy

view of the house through our trees along Chemin Maxime

The last few days leading up to the arrival of Hurricane Sandy were hot and sunny here on the mountain and we were as busy as the proverbial Canadian beavers taking advantage of the good weather. As you can see by the photos below we worked our little beaver tails off! While Marie controlled the operation from her corner office in the basement I supervised the proceedings from the outside - directing the arrival and placement of the siding, overseeing the team from BelOWatt who were up to connect the generator to the solar system, advising the best place to put our metal stairs that would enable us to get up to the house in the winter if we wanted to walk up from the cabin, helping install iron supports under the main entranceway to better hold up the roof and deck, and taking the opportunity when I had it to drive across to Maine to pick up some packages and cheap gas. We also had time to do some plumbing in the basement bathroom as we intend to have this ready first. Once the temperatures get too cold to live in the cabin we want to be able to have a workable bathroom with toilet, shower and sink! At the end of the week we headed to Montreal for  a few days with the truck and trailer to bring back a Compaq cabinet Phil had got for us from one of his job sites and alot of boxes to put into storage. We saw the kids and had a chance to babysit Amy - what a joy she is to be around! But we couldn't stay long as we had to get back to batten down the hatches as Hurricane Sandy had decided to move northeast and our property in the mountains was right in her path! We knew at our elevation of 2000 feet we had one advantage to the poor people on the coast who were madly sandbagging - we certainly wouldn't flood!  gws

Captain Kirk

picking up stuff at the Maine border means waiting in line...yawn

crimping PEX

parts of our metal stairs ready to be installed



Mathieu, Luis and Mathias

bringing in the big machinery to move stairs

Denise wishing she hadn't ever met us!

Maibec siding arriving

there looks good Rene

working out again

putting in the BIG bolts

that won't move!

putting up shelter for the siding

Luis on cabin roof re-positioning brackets for solar panel for winter sun

catching the rays

Amy, 9 months