Thursday, February 11, 2016

New Doors

We have a wide selection of doors, as it is, already in The CoachHouse; regular doors, sliding glass doors, patio doors, a set of french doors off the garage, a cat door, a trap door for the bar, dutch doors, and even saloon doors.  They all open and shut, they add privacy, have some value of insulation too, and just generally do as a door should.  For the longest time both of us have been thinking about adding an interior sliding barn door on the inside brick wall in the living room.  We have the space, and thought it would look cool.  It may also add a bit of a sound barrier too.

Low and behold there was a feller in Blyth who could fabricate such a door, and the track system.  A few emails were sent back and for, he came to the house to take some measurements, we went to his house to shore up the particulars, and he even returned once more to remeasure and reevaluate the project.  In the end it would be two doors for us.
The second door would be in our bedroom.  It is the partition into the ensuite bathroom.

The big door is most impressive.  It is about 6.5ft x 8ft.  The track is about 13 ft long.  He used tongue and grooved worm maple wood, put a dark stain on it, and then a finishing clear coat so that it doesn't pick up finger prints and whatnot.  The perimetre is edged in steel.  It was heavy too.  Over 200 pounds....  Well over.  He drilled into the bricks rather then the mortar to set his holes.  He put a lead expanding tap into the brick, and then the track went up.  There are rubber bushings against the wall.

The door is on a bit of a hidden sliding track on the floor as well to keep it true.  Also, it is impossible for it to become undone at the top because he put some more rubber bushings up there so it can't get lift.  At each end of the track there are, again, rubber stoppers so the door cannot be slid off of the steel.  During the process he mentioned a couple of times that one really needs to know how to hang this just perfectly - and he was that guy.  If they aren't dead-straight, gravity will slide the door and it can't stay in a neutral position.  Also they can't rub on the floor, they have to clear trim, and so on and so forth.  Let's just say he did a super great job.

The bathroom in the bedroom is in need of a major overhaul = it was finished in 1982, and the tiles are falling down....  It is in a pitiful state.  The picture is just meant as a before and after reference...


So we are super happy with it - The colours and the nitty gritty were all on Shelly....  I probably would have choosen a darker honey coloured stain myself, but I really, really like the dark stain as it is.  I wouldn't change anything about how it was done.

Up next, at some point, is some bathroom overhauling.  They are in quite a state.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Halfway & Beer and Pancakes

Today marks the halfway point/portion of the time off of work.  I might be a day or two plus or minus, but it is the halfway point of the school year at least.  My friends Scott and Leanne start work today for the first time since last June, my friend April starts her half-year off today, and my buddies Rich and Joel are continuing with their full year leave.  It really has seemed and felt like an incredibly long time since July 1, and I just hope this second half feels as long.

There has been silly weather around here.  Quite a bit of rain, more sunshine then usual, and temperatures well above freezing.  I had an hour or two to myself yesterday afternoon and I was going to go for a run outside, but instead I jumped on the KTM and went for a spin around town.  It was nearly 9 centigrade!  The salt, sand, dusty roads and slippery corners are no concern for me.  Not many people would get out this time of year because of all the extra bits of stuff on the road which otherwise scuffs up the bikes and makes riding less (safe) enjoyable, but the KTM doesn't mind such infractions.

I have been running though quite a bit.   I ran every day in January except for 1.  Inside Monday to Thursday, outside for Friday and the weekend - I am pretty sure I have a race coming up at the end of May.  The last time I raced I said never again, why the hell am I doing this nonsense, but it is going to be a relay race with some buddies from university - out on the Cabot Trail, so it should be fun.

Everyone is good around here - School is going well for Molly.  I may have written this, but she seems to be doing very well with the traditional reading, letters, and math awareness - but her printing and letter formation, colouring, cutting, glueing - fine motor stuff, seems suspect.  There is a report card that comes home during the last week of February, so we'll see what it says.

Wally isn't walking unaccompanied yet.  Lots of pulling himself up and meandering around the perimetre of things.  He stands without an aid for 5 seconds or so...  But not walking.  He is always saying good-bye, mom, and dad, but nothing else really.  He is eating lots with his hands, and has 6 good sized teeth to tackle whatever is in his mouth.

Shelly is back at work.  As I wrote the new semester starts today and I gather her 3 classes are all music; a ninth grade instrumental, a guitar only class, and a senior level instrumental too.  Shelly and Molly are in music class on Thursdays.  It is a parent-tot class, a introduction and awareness to Music.  It is called MYC - Music is for Young Children....  They sing songs and get a feel for the notes on the staff, get an understanding of tempo and beat counts, and just get familiar with the discipline.  They both have fun.  It is an hour a week on Thursdays...  Wally and I wrench on the motorbike during this time!

That is about it - Just hanging out really.  I figure the day is only about 6 hours long with Wally; 9:00 am until 3:00 pm.  We are at the YMCA for 90 minutes, he'll sleep for two and a half hours, we eat, and soon enough we are back walking to get Molly.

This was years ago - over 12 anyway, but my brother told me a story about how, and I think this is how the story goes, he was at a tree planting camp and in some capacity they got to a point where all they had to eat/drink was pancakes and beer.  Morning and evening - beer and pancakes.  I don't really think it is that bad of a meal to be honest.  So the other day we had pancakes for dinner, and I just had to crack a beer and tell the family the story of their uncle Trevor and how he used to eat beer and pancakes at some tree planting camp of yester-year...

Tuesday, January 19, 2016


More then anything I am passing time with a bit of writing.  I have done my reading for the day - "Collingwood Fakeout" by a Windsor author Rick Hundey.  I love my Windsor authors, Collingwood is a decent enough town, and the recommendation said it was funny, witty, and had an element of mystery too.

Wally and I have been to the YMCA nearly every day.  He only cried for 30 seconds today apparently.  So good for him!  But it is just as Chris, the child minder, said = just keep trying and bringing him back.  So it is all good going to the Y, and running indoors.

School has been cancelled quite a lot in the past 7 days.  Brookside has crept up on 4 snow days....  So maybe they'll see double digits as per usual.  I kind of miss them to be honest.  It is a nice break in the action when working.  But seeing as though I am not even at the half way point of the time off, I am doing just fine.  Shelly's school has had the same 4 snow days, but she goes to work and there is more of an attendance expectation for in-town facilities.  She doesn't mind them of course.  Kids don't show up for studies, and therefore it gives teachers a bit of bonus time to check off items on the ever-expanding to-do list.

All in all the days are kind of long and dragging on, but I have been on-top of the music a bit more, and of course just chores around the house.  Wally has been sleeping from ten thirty to one thirty pretty consistently.  Or at least he is up in his room having a bit of alone and quiet time.  There is always a minor errand to run, which I can drag out and have it take up more time then necessary; going to the library, going to the bank, getting some milk, and the like.

So that is about it for now - Ever since Molly was a wee toddler she and I took off our shirts eating pasta/spaghetti.  It was originally because of the potential mess on the clothes.  There is still an element of that, but now it is kind of funny and makes a good picture.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

First Real Day of Winter

At 8:00 this morning it was about 6 degrees and pouring rain.  As I write, it is just after eight at night, minus 6 degrees, and it is snowing quite a lot outside.  The day sure has changed.

A bit of this and that so far for 2016; a back to school in the house, a birthday, some movies, swimming and skating at the YMCA, and lots of running.  (Although I did excuse myself in the rain this morning and I know Beaser was quite upset at me for doing so....)

Shelly returned to work on Friday the 8th.  I don't think it was much of a problem for her.  Apparently, however, her co-workers ditched her and left her hanging at the pub after work to drink alone.  Never to be alone, Shelly met up with some other friends by happenstance and had a welcome back to work drink with them.

On Saturday it was Wally's first birthday.  I remember Molly didn't have much of a first birthday as I was at a buddy's wedding, and Shelly was at an art show, so in similar fashion there wasn't much planned for the second born.  Molly and Shelly made a cake, I bought some hot dogs and chips, and that was going to be it.  I also called my dad to pop over, which he did.  Well it wasn't long before my buddy Drew stopped in with his kids with a bad of clothes for Molly, and Steve and Hellen were also in the neighbourhood.  Seeing all the cars, they stopped too.  Before we knew it there was a full fledged impromptu party going on. 

After that party was cleaned up and people had left, the door ringer is going off and wouldn't you know it, Shelly's folks came in to say hello. 

I went to London this week with my buddy Scott.  I had lots of questions to ask about his 40 day Africa and Asia trip, plus there was some consuming to do, dinner to eat, and a movie to watch.  We had a great day.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Blowing Away 2015

This will be it for 2015, and I can say for sure things will continue in 2016 here.

My buddy Drew said come on out in the afternoon before New Years and shoot away all of your/the troubles of 2015.  To be quite honest I didn't really have too many, but the invitation was all I needed.  I grabbed a couple of guns I thought would be needed, and headed out for a few hours.

I have got lots of running in the last month, and that has been good.  I have no running plans for 2016, but given the chance I would like to get into shape so that I could run 34 minutes or so for 10k.  That shouldn't be much of a problem.

I have it on my mind to get on a motorcycle trip as well during 2016.  It won't be until may or June, but that is another goal of mine to accomplish.

I have hit the piano again over the past 2 weeks.  I have quickly resumed to playing C, G and F chords, and am capable enough up to Happy Birthday/Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Easy Christmas carols, and the like....  So I hope to continue with the keys for 2016 and should post a video of my progress.

Finishing off 2015 the kids are super terrific.  I never thought I would write this but Wally has really made a turn for the better.  He is sleeping twice a day, eating a lot, and is mostly agreeable and quite fun to interact with.  What a huge change from the first 8 months of his life.  He loves the bath, but fights and squirms quite a lot while changing him still.  But really excited to see how 2016 goes.

Despite missing a lot of school so far, Molly has really enjoyed it and has improved in all those reading and thinking areas .  I would also say her knowledge of numbers is fine.  She can't really print letters all that well; forming them, their neatness, everything really, but I have a feeling that will change.  She really likes books, being read to, and can rhyme off a good list of 50 or so three and four letter words that are appropriate for her age.

Shelly is really looking forward to going to work next week.  She didn't teach a day in 2015, but will return just as capable as she left the profession back in December of 2014.  I can't speak for her goals for 2016, or her progress as a person in 2015 (though it was more then adequate), she said in passing that she might to a mini or sprint triathlon for fun....  It wouldn't be too much of a problem for her I am sure.

So as for the video, a few Ashfield Township thugs took a baseball bat to Drew's mailbox a few months ago and it was all beat to hell.  So he loaded it up with a mixture of this and that - store bought zombie boom or something, and a .223 round.  Looks like we got the last laugh out of the mailbox fiasco.

Saturday, December 26, 2015


On Christmas Eve we all went over to Don and Janet's, met up with the Coup's, and we had a big dinner.  The kids were at there assigned placings, adults in their spot, and I was wrestling with Wally.  It was just getting on six o'clock and he was absolutely losing his mind, patience, wits, whatever; he was so gone.  Shelly got a decent fill of food and gracefully exited, and Molly and I stayed for another 90 mins to finish dinner, have desert, have another drink, and so on....  We were home by 8:30, and Molly settled into bed after a bit of Santa prep such as writing a note, leaving some cookies, and getting some reindeer food in place.

Shelly and I poked around the house....  We were both quite tired, but thought we'd try a movie....  Asleep before the first antagonist in Die Hard made an appearance.

Molly had asked for skates, some Paw Patrol merchandise, as well as something from Peppa Pig.  She wasn't too specific other then that explanation.  As it happened, there was a sweet pair of Bauer hockey skates under the tree, some Paw Patrol books and toy box, as well as a stuffed Peppa Pig doll.  Molly had either been really good or lucky, we are not quite which.  Very happy with her presents, that was basically it.  There was the token underwear and socks, the toothbrush, and the accompanying paste which makes the gift complete, but it didn't take too long to get things opened.

Wally got a soccer ball, as well as some toys that have wheels and make noise.  He didn't really get too excited, but was a good sport considering it was his first Christmas.

We had a few visitors throughout the morning, I went for a bit of a run, and we had quite a feed.  The weather has been really nice, and there is no snow whatsoever.  I don't think the temperature has really been below freezing either.  There was also a full moon which hasn't happened this time of year for decades I guess.

In the afternoon we made our way up to Lucknow and had a meal with Shelly's brothers and their families, and of course the parents.  That was it.  8 adults and six kids - in a house with a wood furnace just a blasting away.  Some things never change.
My memories of Virgin Gorda continue because Santa delivered some hot sauce from the island, as well as a tea towel!
The one funny thing that happened was Shelly got into her one gift with scissors.  As it would be, the scissors did more then open the package, they halved her item!  She can explain it further if she wants.  It wasn't like it was super expensive or really unique or unusual, it was more the bummer of it....  Oh well, easy come easy go.  I do have the receipt, and the tags are on it still, so I will try to return it and get a new one.

Dam Christmas

Quite literally, and not too figuratively, we all went out for a nature walk on Christmas Day back within the 300 acres at Pierson's bush and spotted the actual Christmas dam.  Bank beavers are making this blockage, Shelly's dad figures there are about 5 or 7 of them, and they have been quite busy, as everyone is this time of year.  They mostly go at the poplar tree, but do not hesitate to chew on other species as well.  It is the municipalities responsibility to clean this up as the stream is part of its infrastructure to maintain.

We didn't see any beavers, but two animals were spotted running Christmas morning with nothing more then shorts and light jackets on.