Saturday, December 19, 2015

Our Retirement Home Part Forty (Kitchen Walls & Ceiling)

For the past month Marie and I have worked on finishing the kitchen walls and ceiling in preparation for the installation of the kitchen cabinets. Before putting up the drywall we had to run what seemed like miles of wiring and 1/2 inch pex for the numerous electrical outlets, sink, dishwater and fridge hookups, plus completing propane connections for the oven and stove. In all Marie put in 30 switches and electrical outlets, plus 14 pot lights. Once this was completed it was time to cut out the holes and hang the drywall. For the ceiling we used our handy lifter, a tool that has saved my back more than a few times. I seriously thought about hiring someone to do the taping and mudding but after slowly doing the entranceway closet over a 3 day period I felt I was ready to tackle this one job I hated more than any other! It took another 4 days to finish mudding and sanding then it was time to prime and paint. For the kitchen we chose Tarragon by SICO and Tamari Almond for the entranceway closet, two earth tones that match the general feel of the house.


finished entranceway clothes closet
 We had originally planned to have the cabinets in by the end of this year but due to delivery problems for the black walnut which was coming from Ontario we have resigned ourselves to waiting another month. We are having them built locally by Marc, a young artisan who calls his company Toutanbwa, a play on the words "tout en bois". Check out what wonderful skills he has on his web Needless to say both Marie and I are like expectant parents as we wait the arrival of our new kitchen.



water and propane connections

 It has been a vey mild December so far with temperatures that go up and down like a yoyo. We still enjoy walking around the property most mornings with our first coffee of the day. In the past this time of year we have had to strap on our snowshoes or stay inside because it has been too darn cold. El Nino is to blame they say and we are forecasting a green Christmas. We occasionally stumble across our resident red fox who has a den by the small frog pond behind the house and seems to enjoy our company.  I also found time to finish tiling and grouting around the fireplace and wood storage enclosure that I started in early November and am now ready to begin installing the ledgestone from the floor to the ceiling, a winter job that I will putter at between shoveling snow and visiting the offspring and grandkids.

We are looking forward to spending a week with all the clan in Montreal and Ottawa for the Christmas hols. It will be the first time in a while we haven't made any plans for heading south during the cold weather. My brother Rich and wife Rose have already departed the GWN and are spending Christmas in Florida, one of many spots they plan to stay for the next four months. Carolyn will be there too this week before continuing south to Mexico and her winter home until May. Dee will be trying out her new skis about now I imagine with all the snow in Utah now she no longer calls herself a Floridian - but she is very happy to be surrounded by her kids and grandchildren! This will be my last post of 2015 and I want to wish everyone a safe, healthy and happy New Year. gws
our fox dozing in the sun behind the house
and looking for squirrel lunch by birdfeeder

 and one last one.....

View from our bedroom looking south


Monday, November 9, 2015

Our Retirement Home Part Thirty-Nine (Kitchen Tiles)

The past three weeks I have been busy cutting and laying tile in the entranceway, closet and kitchen, This is a continuation of the large tile we put in the bathroom and pantry in June called Charisma Earth America. There wasn't a lot of cutting required but the few wall edge pieces were all done on my small wet saw. It  was the one I used for the stonework on the patio walls. All it needed was a new diamond blade and the little saw worked wonderfully. I neither chipped or broke any of these heavy 24x24 tiles and in the end had three left over for any future replacement. But first I had to lay down the Ditra uncoupling membrane to reduce any chance of cracks and lay out the most visually pleasing pattern. Basically this ended up as an extension of the bathroom and pantry lines, ending up at the front door. Next we chose a similar "natural stone" but smaller tile for the front of the fireplace and wood storage area to the right. This week I will be installing the ceiling and wall tile in the kitchen. Our order for cabinets is in so we have to push the petal to the metal and get the room ready before the scheduled Christmas delivery!  gws

Laying Ditra membrane over cement floor and around partial island frame

marking cutout for Jenn-air exhaust

positioning tiles

applying unmodified mortar, Mapei Kerabond

applying the grout

finished floor

fireplace front design (Sandstone Grigio tile)

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Thankgiving with William

During this year's Thanksgiving Day weekend we brought our little grandson William back with us to look after him for a few days while Phil and Fernanda installed their new IKEA kitchen cabinets. He was as good as gold for the three days he stayed with us and never complained once. He just loved the outdoors and never tired of climbing the stairs from the cabin to the house or walking down our long driveway. He is growing fast and is becoming a happy, confident and loving little boy. Thanks for the memories, dear William!  gws