Sunday, March 23, 2014

Spring 2014, Au Revoir Canada, Hola España‎

As we prepare for our last week on the mountain before heading to Montreal to catch our flight for Europe, winter has decided to send us off with another cycle of cold and snow. Hopefully when we return warmer weather will have arrived and I can put away the snowblower, remove the chains from the truck and sit outside on the deck again. I am going to try to continue updating this blog as we travel around so check it out after the first week of April. We will be gone from the 1st to the 29th. gws 

 'The deep roots never doubt spring will come' -Marty Rubin

tunnel from house to car

view from driveway

Toyota 4Runner

view from kitchen window

Monday, March 17, 2014

Our Retirement Home Part Thirty-One (Master Bathroom Part 3)

 As the winter from hell continued to blast us with frigid temperatures and another two feet of snow, while the Russians were pissing off the rest of the world by putting troops in the Crimea, and the 'Mary Celeste' of the 21st century, Malyasian Flight MH370 , was baffling all the experts I spent my days upstairs in the master bathroom continuing to tile the remaining three walls and shower enclosure. Cutting hexagonal holes for the light fixtures was a challenge but I ended up using a diamond blade on my angle grinder and being extra careful managed not to break the tile. The hole was way too close to the edge to my liking but as you can see by the photo it turned out great. I have no spare tiles so if I break one...Still can't say enough about my laser level which has really sped things up. Two more weeks before flying off to Madrid so lots to do in a short time. Oh and if anyone has seen any signs of spring please let me know and I'll be over to pick them up. Thanks. And Happy St. Patrick's Day! gws

2nd wall almost done (red line is the laser level light)

Nice job!

there's a generator in there somewhere

My trusty Ariens snowblower saved the day!

third wall and shower being done with tile and mosaic

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Le Chalet des Érables

This past Sunday Marie and I spent a cold day at Le Chalet des Érables in Saint-Anne des Plaines, half an hour north of Montréal, with all the kids and grand kids. We had a tasty and traditional Québécois meal - ham, pea soup, fried potatoes, eggs and pork, maple pie - then spent some time wandering around the park visiting the deer enclosure and other small barns with the usual menagerie of rabbits, goats, sheep and llamas. Amy, Isabelle and Sarah had fun on the rides and ponies- who goes on fair rides in -8 degree weather? Canadians! Joshua stayed wrapped up in his stroller, just a little too young to enjoy everything, but probably the warmest and savviest one there! We had to leave at three to get home before dark ( back to daylights saving time today) and will see everyone again at the end of the month before flying to Europe in April. gws

Lara, Joshua and Jesse chowing down

                                                                         Amy twirling

Me, Lara and Marie eating maple taffy (de la tire)

waiting for spring

Lara by the Choo Choo Express

Amy and butterfly

Christina, Sarah and Isabelle

Sarah, Amy and Isabelle

Amy and Papa Phil

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Our Retirement Home Part Thirty (Master Bathroom Part 2)

After what seems like an eternity I feel I am finally making some headway in the master bathroom, having almost completed the shower curb, the floor, and have got a fairly good start on the walls. As everything is being tiled I had to spend a lot of time leveling and preparing all the surfaces, cutting holes in the tiles for the toilet and bathtub drains, replacing worn wet saw blades (which are not cheap), cutting and adhering the Ditra membrane over the cement floor - this is supposed to neutralize movement stresses between the substrate and tile to eliminate cracking of the tiles -  and, after much exasperation with hand held bubble levels finally getting a 360 degree laser level. This has been an invaluable  tool and certainly will ensure a professional look when I'm finished. I will slog along for the next few weeks but don't expect me to finish tiling or even grouting before heading out to Europe at the end of March. This has been one hell of a cold winter and although we really only had two major snow storms up here on the mountain it has been too cold to melt. It will be nice to get away from it all but more on that later. But when we get back in May I don't want to see ANY snow! gws

cutting the Ditra uncoupling membrane
Ditra after laying with modified thin-set

Laying 12x24 tiles over DitraAdd caption

Cutting perfect circle in tile for toilet drain - damn I'm good!

shot of shower curb and tile work in process

CST Berger 360 degree laser level

playing with the laser 
tiling wall (24x12) and preparing level for glass tile

glass tile border

close up of shell inlay in glass tile

one side, three to go...