Wednesday, 29 March 2017

You’re Kidding Me Chocolate Pancakes by Not a food blogger

I’ve never been and never will be a food blogger. But I do love cooking and baking and trying out new recipes and experimenting with different foods. So this morning when I came up with a healthy pancake recipe that actually turned out pretty good, I thought I’d share it because it can tick all sorts of boxes – it’s gluten free, could be dairy free, could be vegan…. you can tweak it different ways to suit your dietary preferences.

So here’s my recipe. Unlike most food blogs that have 58 pictures of the same thing from slightly different angles, I’ve just got one not-so-great picture of my You’re Kidding Me Chocolate Pancakes. Why are they kidding you? Because they’ve got a weird ingredient you wouldn’t expect in pancakes.

Keep in mind that I haven’t done any experimenting with it and I have no idea what the nutritional content is and I’m not a food blogger!

pancake recipe card

If you try these pancakes, let me know what you think.

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Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Whew! Big window job done!

I was sure there was no way we’d be able to install the second row of windows on the second storey ourselves. I mean, these windows are 20-25 feet above the ground, and we’re just two people – one of us being petrified of heights and not exactly an ironwoman. But then we got one window in…

first window in a

And after a few moments of feeling like I was going to barf, we got a second window in…

second window in

And then we had three windows in…

first window in

And then the fourth window was in and we were done! WHEW!

last window in

How did Brian feel about it?

brian tongue

Goofball! There was still some work to do after the windows were  installed, which I was happy to let Brian do. I wasn’t going out onto 4 levels of scaffolding and then climbing a ladder!

ladder on scaff

So happy that this job is done!

windows inside

windows outside

And without the scaffolding…

windows 2

windows 3

Now just 10 windows left to install and about a million other things to do!

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Wednesday, 8 March 2017

14 down, 14 to go!

The forecast for Tuesday was sunny, a little above zero, and relatively calm. Yeah, right – why can’t weather forecasters get the weather right?! It started off sunny, but was cold and the wind was NOT calm. But with the Tyvek removed from the window openings in the upstairs bedroom and snow & rain in the forecast, there was no choice but to forge ahead and get the windows in.

Here’s a look at what we were dealing with…

inside before

brian in window before

First, we had to take down the scaffolding from the front of the house and put it up at the end of the house.


Then we had to prep the window openings. Tape back the Tyvek on the sides of each opening, move it out of the way at the top of each opening, and attach sill flashing to the bottom of each opening.. Here’s Brian hard at work. Hey, somebody had to take the pictures!

brian working

And then the fun part – installing the windows. Luckily, I got to stay inside and Brian had to go out on the scaffolding. I planned that well ;-)

First window in!

first window in

And one side done!

done first side

Other than the wind picking up the the temperature going down, the installation went smoothly, and in a couple of hours we had all the windows installed. WOOT!

done from inside 2

done from outside

I love how the house is coming together!

done on angle

So that’s 14 windows in and 14 windows to go. I’m really worried about how we’ll get the upper row of windows installed in the bedroom – every time I ask Brian how we’re going to do it, he tells me “carefully”. That doesn’t help! At least once those ones are in, the rest should be fairly simple (relatively speaking!)

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Tuesday, 7 March 2017

You say soffits, I say soffshits

So in my last post, I talked about how installing the skylights was way easier than I thought it would be. We got them in with no injuries and no bad words – and no fights! ;-) The same cannot be said for the soffits – or as I refer them now, soffshits. Who knew that installing feather-light pieces of PVC would be so freakin’ hard!

The process sounded simple enough – measure the width of the eaves, cut the long pieces of soffshit down to the appropriate length on the chop saw, snap and screw each piece into place, and bing, bang, boom, job done. If only it was that simple… I kept cutting the soffshits too long, and it was way harder than I thought to slip each piece into the groove and snap it into place. I couldn’t see the groove, so I had to go by feel. I lost track of how many times I went up and down the ladder and how many screws I dropped. But finally, after 3-1/2 hours of frustration, success!

soffshits 4

soffshits 3

This, without a doubt,was the most frustrating job of the whole garage and house build so far. Even worse than taping the insulation in the crawl space in the middle of the summer, and trust me, that was NOT a fun job!

The good news is, this side is finished. The bad news is, there’s still the north side and the east & west ends to do.

So that being said, the next job is installing the second storey windows on the west end of the house… EEK!


Who thought that building our own house was a good idea?!

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Sunday, 5 March 2017

Let there be skylights

You know how sometimes you think a job is going to be easy, and then it turns out to be super-hard? And other times you dread doing a job, but then it turns out to be nowhere near as bad as you expected it to be? Well, luckily, installing the skylights was nowhere near as bad as I thought it would be. I mean, two of them are over 15 feet above the main floor floating in the middle of nowhere, how could they not be super-hard to put in?!

all skylights

All of our skylights from from Velux. I think they might be the most famous skylights in the world. I watch some home renovation shows from Australia and New Zealand, and they always use Velux skylights. In fact, that don’t call them skylights, they call them Velux.

We started with the skylights at the two ends. We just lifted them up through the openings from inside the house, then Brian went out onto the scaffolding, levelled them, and screwed them into place. We actually left one skylight opening as is so Brian can climb out through it to work on the roofing.


three skyllights angle

three skyllights

I was terrified about installing the two middle skylights. How were we going to reach all the way up there?

skylights middle

But as it turns out, the worst part was climbing up two levels of scaffolding, which really wasn’t so bad :-) I climbed up, and then Brian leaned a ladder against the scaffolding and pushed a skylight up in front of him. Once I could reach it, I pulled it up while Brian pushed, and we got it up onto the scaffolding. Then things were easy from there – we just removed the skylight from the box and dropped it right into place. Repeat for the second middle skylight, and voila, all done. WHEW!


And as you can see, Brian has also been busy installing the roofing. I can’t wait to see the whole roof done!

skylights from outside

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Wednesday, 1 March 2017

The Living Beach – March 1, 2017

Nature is a mutable cloud which is always and never the same
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

One thing that you can count on is that the beach will be different each and every day. Sometimes the changes are small, sometimes the changes are big. The snowstorms we had a couple of weeks ago had a big impact – the beach is way rockier now than it was a month ago.

hell point

straight ahead

gaff point

Can you believe this rock was completely covered by sand six months ago?!

brian and rock

So were these ones…

big rock 1

big rock 2

Let’s compare September 1st and March 1st… all of the pictures were taken at low tide.

September collageMarch collage

Where did all the sand go?!

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