p1010105_fotorExhausted – both of us. It seems that we have been cleaning forever.

It was late last night by the time we finished sanding the floor. Then this morning, while Simon washed the walls upstairs and cleaned the floor over and over again, I cleaned downstairs. And discovered there is a reason people use such things as dust sheets.

We did not.

I cleaned everything. I can’t count how many buckets of water I used on the floor. And I don’t even like cleaning. I dusted everything – which is particularly ironic because dusting is my most hated chore and in the past few days I think I have done more of it than all the rest of the days of my life combined.

Now we are heading out to the Christmas market in Silverton.

And then the Internet goes down.

Oh well then….

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Ceilings and floors

p1010375_fotor Given that a picture is worth a thousand words – here you go – five thousand.

Done. End of post.

Okay, maybe not.

So – this is the upstairs: the floor and ceiling, which Simon JUST finished taping. He has also just made the rash promise that when the floor and ceiling are completely done we are going to drink.

I did not argue with him.

You can see that the upstairs bathroom and closet are a tad crowded. Things were going to be much worse this morning with the delivery of the ceiling planks but sanity prevailed when Simon chose to store them outside under a tarp outside. They are 16-feet long. They also have to be stained or varnished or something.

We were also served notice today that Columbia Wireless will provide us with Internet service from 9 – 5. Who knew that the Internet was a union shop that had successfully lobbied for proper office hours?

The notice also asked Columbia Wireless customers to let them know if and when we can see the top of Idaho Peak. This is where the satellite and batteries are located and as long as we have cloud cover the helicopter can’t land there. Looking out the window now (and having been out earlier with the dogs) I don’t hold out great hopes of immediate whirlybird flight. The clouds are low and it is snowing. It is also grey.  Very grey.

I had to haul my butt out today on the trail – supreme mental effort that was worth it because being outside is always better than inside – well, maybe not always….

At any rate, we tried a new trail someone told me about that joins the awesome trail. It looked more and more promising as we walked along – until we hit the logging company caution tape: trail closed, which I ducked under of course, only to find that they really meant it. The clearcut had trees piled six feet high in front of me.

So I am spending the rest of the day inside, writing, cleaning, cooking and probably doing something with the floor later.

And then getting back online at 9 a.m. tomorrow.

p1010376_fotor p1010377_fotor p1010378_fotor p1010379_fotor

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Internet – up or down?


No – there was no blog yesterday. Once again, Columbia Wireless shut down the Internet from 5.30 p.m. – 9 a.m. We can only hope that this doesn’t become a habit. Certainly the people who work all day and come home to watch Netflix would not be pleased.

And this, of course, can only be blamed on global warming – rain and more rain and cloudy skies with no sun to power the solar panels. Everyone in the valley has said that this is very unusual.

We shall see.

It has been a mildly productive day with some good news. Yes, I filled more cracks in the floor. This too is becoming a habit, I fear but I dearly hope it goes away even faster than the Internet issue. Peter, the building inspector made his first stop here today when Simon had almost finished taping the celling. We’d been warned that he was tough – perhaps even a bit anal. People weren’t giving him what I’d call rave reviews.

But the minute he stepped through the front door with a big smile on his face, I like him. So did Simon. He stayed for almost two hours and nothing he said or did gave any indication that he was the adversary bent on giving us a hard time. I liked him more and more with every word he said. He liked the house and thought it was well-built. He was impressed with everything Simon had already done. He gave suggestions on how do things economically. He gave excellent advice. He was clearly doing his best to make everything work for us.

On top of all that, he’s a guitar and bass player who gave Simon names of guys he could jam with.

Simon was particularly elated after he left, at which point we got our asses in gear, hopped in the car and drove to Nelson to pick up the truck, which had been beautifully serviced by the splendid folks at Kal Tire. We did a modicum of shopping on the way home, including fresh organic greens which provided a fabulous salad for dinner to go with the fresh bread I’d baked that morning.

As you can see, it was a pretty productive day.

I think tomorrow is devoted to sanding the floor and perhaps even getting the first coat of varnish down. Also, the tongue and groove boards for the ceiling will be arriving. It seems the only place we can store them is in the basement stairwell, which will make laundry a very interesting chore. (washer and dryer are housed in the basement).

At any rate, we are proceeding. One step at a time.

In all this “house stuff” I’m pleased that I’m also finding time to write my book. Soon I will have to make time to hike, even if only up to the flagpole again. My body is not happy. It needs to move and work hard.

Some time this weekend, I will make it happen. And then I have to get myself on a regular hiking schedule. KMC events these days all involve skis. But snowshoeing will come up. Fingers crossed it’s soon.



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To Floor or not to Floor

p1010357_fotorDo you really want to hear more on floors? No?

Sadly, that seems to be the only thing I have to write about these days. Oh I suppose I could write about the snow – which is currently clinging to the tree branches but luckily not the roads – yet.

We got up early and drove to Nelson in two vehicles so that Simon could leave the truck at Kal Tire while they did something with some ball bearings or joints or nets – dunno – these are all technical terms I am unfamiliar with.

So tomorrow at the end of the day, we get to drive back again to pick it up! Yay! (note – I was using sarcasm font there)

I’m writing my blog early for two reasons – 1. our Internet is once again going to disappear for half a day because the satellite is perched on top of a mountain where it runs off solar power. Seems the panels have not received sun in a very very very long time (I can vouch for this) and so a helicopter has to fly in and pump things up with a very large generator.

Also writing early because in a few minutes I have to get myself upstairs where I will once again crouch down on the floor with filler and a putty knife until such time as Simon deems the floor to be adequately mudded and ready for sanding, which will once again rain dust down upon us.

The fun never stops.

I did get out with the dogs for an hour but my poor body is just not right. I am used to a lot of strenuous exercise. Maybe I should be pleased for the lazy break. And maybe I almost am – body is not.

Well – there’s always chocolate….


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On the Floor

p1010373_fotor-1 Again – no pictures of floors, nor should you expect them any time soon. It’s enough that I spent hours and hours hunched over a floor with a putty knife today – take pictures of them too? I don’t think so.

The photos are from the second best part of the day – getting out with the puppies – and the only reason I managed that was that I ran out of filler and Simon had to drive to Nakusp to get more. Oh no – there’s no simple solution like dashing off to the nearest Home Depot – not here. If the building supply store in Silverton doesn’t have it – and it’s not a very big store – then it’s off to some other larger town and that’s a bit of a drive.

At any rate, I am done for the day while Simon finishes up – oh yes, I should explain here that the best part of the day was waking up to Simon cuddling me. Soooo much better than the stupid bed in the dumb cabin – hard as a bed of nails and pillows made out of bricks. Worse than all that though, it completely lacked a Simon.

So – time to do some cooking. Tomorrow will be a whole other adventure. I believe it involves floors.

Oh boy!p1010374_fotor-1

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Floor me

p1010367_fotor See the pretty pictures of the dogs? So much nicer than pictures of floors – and what I did to them today.

To start at the beginning. I arrived back home permanently at about 8.30 a.m. The puppies were happy to see me. My sweetie was happy to see me, even though he immediately dashed off to pick up the second truckload of firewood for the day. His work this morning: loading and stacking firewood and building a firewood shelter of sorts. Also starting a fire (warmth is such an underated thing).

Me? I put stuff away as best I could given there is no upstairs to live in for a while. Then I took the pups for a hike on the awesome trail. Then – back home to wrestle for a while with computer upgrades, make lunch, do some cleaning and finally, tackle the floor.

I’m not sure I fully understand the idea behind building a house. I certainly would not do it the way it’s done. Seems to me it’s a make-work project. Let me explain. First, we sanded the floors – twice. That seemed gross enough given that once (or never) was far preferable in my mind. But I did it – I sanded. And then breathed a sigh of relief that it was done, knowing I wouldn’t have to painstakingly varathane the thing because no one who has ever seen me wield a paint brush would trust me with one – anywhere. (believe me on this)

Then Simon decided we had to fill all the cracks between the boards in order to stop the varathane from dripping down to the first floor – or something like that. So here’s what I’ve been doing for the past couple of hours: sticking this putty-like filler on the end of a plastic thingy that’s sort of bendy, smearing it over the crack and then scraping up the excess – and all of this about four inches at a time. In two and a bit hours, I got six board cracks done. Six!

I begged Simon to offer waterboarding as an option. I’m sure it would be far more interesting. He insisted that I could enter a peaceful Zen-like state doing this – aiming for perfection.

I did not enter such a state – instead, I went for the “I want to kill whoever invented this sort of mindless exercise in insanity-inducing labour” mode.

And that’s not all – after all of this is done, every crack has to be hand-sanded – and, of course, the resulting dust vacuumed up – and then goddess knows how many coats of varathane.

Really? With all our modern technology this is the best we could do when putting down floors? Let me put my inventive mind to this. I’m sure if I think about it hard enough, I can come up with a spray-floor-in-a-can that goes on in minutes and never has to be worked on again.


And now I’m back – I get the couch. Simon gets the floor. That way he can snuggle with dogs although I believe the dog beds are more comfortable than whatever he’ll be sleeping on – a deflating air mattress I think.

Life is just soooo fun. Tomorrow, if I have a choice – floor filling of water boarding. Guess which one I’m going to pick.p1010368_fotor

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Cabin Fever

p1010366_fotorThis is my last night at the cabin. I keep the heat turned up pretty high – so I suppose it’s alright to say I have cabin fever – literally.

It has served its purpose but I’ll be glad to be back home. It has felt decidedly weird to see Simon every day and then wave good-bye as I get into the car and drive away. The puppies have thought so too. They (especially Abby) have not been happy with the situation. But most of the very dirty work is done – pulling old insulation, wasps and bat’s nests out of the ceiling etc. – sanding (can you say dust?) and so on. Oh sure, there’s still a ton that needs to be done before we can move our bed back into the bedroom. I’ll be sleeping on the couch and/or on an air mattress and in a sleeping bag) for several nights. We both will be. But we are getting it done.

Tomorrow we’ll be filling in the floor so that the varathane doesn’t drip through. We are hoping that by the end of the week we can move the upstairs back in. On Thursday the home inspector comes. We are bracing ourselves while simultaneously crossing our fingers, toes and eyes.

Here’s my vision (and I am not setting a time line): an upstairs that feels as warm and homey and lovely as the downstairs. A completed upstairs and downstairs bathroom. I think that’s it: when these things are done, the rest is details.

I also desperately need to get out and do some serious hiking. But I am taking a deep breath and understanding the my current priorities are to get this house into shape. I will get out next weekend. This week I devote to work.

Today we drove to Nelson to get stuff to stick into floor cracks (technical term) and something or other that Simon is going to stick into the roof that has something to do with bathroom venting (also a technical term). When I left he was getting ready to do things to the ceiling (technical in nature I believe).

Me? – I am going to write because I am at a new section of my book that I like a lot. Besides, I have to write. The Internet is too slow for surfing and the TV has three channels that don’t work well and I have read all the books on my iPad and can’t download new ones (see slow Internet).

Forced productivity can sometimes be the best motivator of all.

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