Wednesday, 29 June 2016

We have the beginnings of a house!

It happened under the cover of darkness…. or so it seemed! One day we had a lonely garage on a cliff in Nova Scotia. The next day, our garage had a buddy!

foundation and garage


It started with the footings, and then the forms went up and the foundation was poured. We’ll just have a crawl space, not a full basement. There’s just way too much rock to break through to get down low enough for a full basement.

foundation forms

foundation forms 2

Then the forms came down and the sealer went on. as well as the insulation around the stairs.

sealer 3

sealer 6

It was a couple of weeks before the excavator came back and did the backfill. I literally stood there all afternoon watching the excavator doing its thing!

ex 1

ex 2

ex from garage

That was close!

here comes the shovel

I missed the day the sonotubes and big foots went it, and of course Brian didn’t think to take any pictures – DOH! This is what they look like – they’re the footings for the joists that will hold up the deck. Each of these babies is filled with about 1,500 pounds of concrete!



Yesterday afternoon the concrete truck and a crew of three guys came to fill the them, and I was there for all the action. It’s amazing the things that entertain me! :-D The tubes on the water side had to be filled with wheelbarrow after wheeelbarrow of concrete. The guy carting the wheelbarrow back and forth is going to have some serious pipes by the end of the summer!

concrete truck 2

The sonotubes on the side closest to the truck were filled right from the chute. The operator has a remote control that he uses to choose the direction that the mixer spins – clockwise to mix and counter-clockwise to dispense the concrete – and to control the flow of the concrete. As long as the truck is running, concrete can be mixed and poured :-)

concrete from chute

A piece of rebar goes down into the concrete in each sonotube and a smaller piece goes into the top. These ones will hold the metal brackets that will hold the wood joists.


It didn’t take long for all the sonotubes to be filled. Which was a good thing, because right around the time they finished the rain started.

filled tubes 1

filled tubes 2

And now we’re completely up to date on the house progress :-)

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Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Build journal – Garage shingling is DONE!

Wooohooo! Yesterday Brian hammered on the last nail way at the top of the north-facing wall. WOOT!

Here’s Brian up on the scffolding… I tried to get up to the third level, but I just couldn’t do it.

brian on scaffold


north end almost done


north end done

And all the other sides…


south end

north end and back

south end and back 2

south end and front

Now there’s just the little matter of shingling the roof…. that’s totally a Brian job, I just can’t bring myself to climb all the way up there!

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Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Home tour – A look back

Although we’re happy and excited and relieved that our house in Ottawa is sold, it’s kind of bittersweet. We lived in that house for 13-1/2 years and really put our hearts and souls into making it our own. After my last post about packing and stuffing all our things into boxes, I thought it would be nice to take a look back at our house in all its clean and tidy and ready-to-sell glory. Because trust me, our house never looked as good as it did when it was up for sale!

There’s a story behind every room, but if I tell each story this could end up being the longest blog post ever! I shared a lot of these room makeovers on my old blog, so if you’d like to read more about a room, click the picture and if I blogged about it, you’ll be taken to the blog post.

Loft/Home theatre

loft 3

Main floor

living room 1

dining room 2

kitchen 4

family room 3

hallway 1

laundry room

bedroom purple

bathroom purple

office brian

master bedroom 3

ensuite 4


basement 1

basement 4

basement bedroom

basement bathroom

basement office

craft room 1

Wow! When you put pictures of all the rooms in our house together, you realize that there are a LOT of rooms!

A big thank you to our real estate agent Eric Perron for working so hard to sell our house. We met Eric and his family when they adopted our foster dog Sophie and and we’ve been friends ever since :-) If you’re looking for a great real estate agent in Ottawa, he’s your guy :-)


Next up, more progress on our Nova Scotia house!

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All photographs by Greg Tilley

Monday, 13 June 2016

Catch up time – SOLD!


It took a year, but in mid-May, we finally got an offer on our house. Three offers in one day, in fact! We accepted the best of the bunch, and we can finally call our house SOLD! Then we had only two weeks to pack up and move everything from Ottawa to Nova Scotia. EEEK!

I flew to Ottawa on May 19th to start the packing. In my mind, there wasn’t much to do – after all, we’d done a lot of packing and purging before we put the house up for sale last May. Ummmmm…. wrong! SO. MUCH. STUFF. EVERYWHERE. Even after selling a bunch of stuff, there was still way more stuff to pack than I thought there would be.


packing 1


packing 2

packing 3

It was a LOT of work – luckily interspersed with fun with friends and my dad who came for a few days to help. Thank you Rona for all the help with the kitchen packing!

kelly and rona

Then  I came back to Nova Scotia and Brian went to Ottawa to finish the packing. Seems I had underestimated my packing accomplishments, because Brian still had a crapload of work to do. Plus he and his friends had to pack up the moving truck.  A 26 foot long moving truck, and it was literally packed to the max!

truck 3

28 hours after leaving Ottawa, Brian got back to NS at 1:00 in the morning, and then spent half an hour backing the truck and trailer into the driveway. With just some minor damage to the lawn – Oopsie!


It looks so innocent just sitting there in the driveway…

truck and trailer

And then this happened…. a U-Haul explosion! And these pics don’t include all the furniture that went right from the truck into the basement for storage.


boxes 1


boxes 2


boxes 3



empty truck

Take my advice – don’t move unless you absolutely have to. It’s really not much fun!

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