Friday, October 13, 2017

Sitting Ducks

Well, sitting pigeons anyway. The most peaceful feeders around our bird feeders are the pigeons. They do not hang onto the sides of the feeders, spilling seed all over but rather just hang around on the ground under them waiting for the Blue Jays to attack the feeders and cause spills.

That is what they were doing yesterday. One of them was calmly feeding off the ground when WOOSH a hawk came down out of the sky and killed it in about five seconds! The hawk then proceeded to eat it's kill right there! I got the camera and took a few shots through the kitchen window and then tried to open the front door to get a clearer shot. The hawk heard me, grabbed the dead pigeon and took off, leaving no evidence of the carnage except a few feathers which soon blew away.

Life is fleeting but hawks have to survive as well I guess. Here is Mr (or Ms) Hawk's version of Pigeon Pie

Monday, October 9, 2017

Vents R Us

One of the problems that was revealed when we had the roof vents added was that the dormer over the porch had no way for outside air to get in and the soffits we had installed did not reach up there. It needed some gable end venting. I ordered these a week ago from Windsor plywood and they came in on Friday. Not cheap at $65 each but nothing is cheap anymore. One would have provided sufficient airflow but it needed two to look balanced.

I climbed up, cut a couple of one foot square holes in the aluminum siding and screwed them on. It was not as simple as it looked and ended up taking most of the afternoon but what the heck, I am retired and my time is worth nothing. 😀

Saturday, October 7, 2017


Well, my vow to stop spending on the house lasted until the under cabinet light bar over the stove fell and broke. It was held on with double face tape and failed after twenty some years. Who would have expected that? Canadian Tire had some nice LED units on sale, $40 marked down from $60 so I bought two, one for over the sink as well to replace the dim one that was there. They were not simple to install, being designed to replace wired in units and me not being as agile as I once was. I had to sacrifice two short extension cords and add a couple of small switches I bought on a whim from eBay a while ago. I drilled a few holes and hid the wires inside the cupboards. They work great and give out way more light than I expected (900 lumens - whatever they are). They say they will last 32 years. Not sure I will! :)

Thursday, October 5, 2017

An Expensive Summer!

Wow, that was an expensive summer! We had the porch put on, the roof re-done and a new front door! Even with the HUGE "Brooks Discount" it still came to over $16,000 total. We managed to do it without dipping into the "Rainy Day Fund" but it was tough and I got a few glares from Norma when I told her we could not afford a few unnecessary expenses right now. But everything is done now and the house will last a few more years. The only things still outstanding is a new back door which will cost about $300 and I will install myself with the confidence I gained by closely watching what the front door installer did. We also have to add two gable end vents to the dormer above the porch. another DIY project.

So the decision to stay home this winter has several parts. One is certainly financial but that is not the most important factor. We could easily afford it if we dipped into the "Fund" for a few thousand. And yes, I agree that we are not getting any younger and should travel while we can.

The second reason is that we have not really been home for a winter or perhaps even more important, for a Christmas since 2002 when Norma retired. It is time to get together with family for the holidays.

Number three is our pending trip to Dublin, Ireland in July for our great nieces wedding. This has two parts. One is obviously financial as it only makes sense to stay in Europe for a while before or after the wedding and that will add to the bill. Maybe we will fly to one of the Greek Islands or to Malta and relax in the Mediterranean sun for a few weeks. Norma's dad is from the Isle Of Man which is just a ferry trip from Dublin so we will visit there as well. The other reason is Canada's rules about only being allowed to be away for seven months out of any twelve month period. If we are away longer than seven months we would lose our government subsidized health insurance.

Reason number four is TRUMP. I simply do not want to spend any money in the USA right now. I so disagree with everything this asshole does that I will not encourage him by adding to the US economy. US citizens, come to your senses!

So, there you have it. We will shiver in the cold this winter while giving Trump "the finger" from afar!

Friday, September 29, 2017

Door Done!

Norma finally got her new front door! She ordered it about a month ago and after several delays at the Windsor Plywood shop and trouble coordinating an installer, everything came together yesterday.

The installer picked it up and was here by about ten, expressing surprise that I had not taken the old door out already. I could have done that but to be honest, I expected another delay and did not want a hole in the house while we waited. As it turned out, everything came together!

He did a good job dealing with the old house where a level surface or square corner are very hard to find. It took him about four hours and his cost, including taking the old door to the dump was $320.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

It's Happening!

Work got started at 9 AM and it is now 6 PM and they are still on the roof. They have about 2/3 of the roof done. Brooks says it is going faster than expected and will cost less than they estimated! That is great news.

I just got back from a dump run where I paid $180 to dump about one ton of old shingles. I will have another smaller load tomorrow. Juneau the Husky went with me and got a treat from the nice lady because he did not bark! She says most dogs go nuts from the bear smells up there but not Juneau so he got a treat! Good dog! Now if he could only stop shedding on Norma's floors!

Off With The Old
On With The New

Angie Taking A Well Deserved Break

Even Juneau Needed A Break

CJ The Roofer At Work

How Is The Footing There CJ?

Brooks Protecting His Inheritance

Friday, September 22, 2017

It's A Go!

The guys will be here sometime tonight and they are bringing the shingles with them. I rented an equipment lift to get the shingles up to the roof. It was delivered and set up a little while ago and I was given lessons in it's use. Much easier than carrying them up the ladder a bundle at a timed

The weather looks good with no rain scheduled until Sunday night but we will have a brand new roof by then!

The Gods are smiling on our little project!

Thursday, September 21, 2017


For the first time is several years, I am sick! Sore throat, headache, sore eyes and just feeling weak and "Blah".

I better smarten up quick or I will be of very limited help on the roofing job.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

New Roof On The Weekend!!??

Brooks and the roofer have scheduled the new roof for Saturday and Sunday. I checked four weather sites and three of them are calling for rain while one of them (and the local news) is calling for clear.

This just sucks! If they come up and can't work I still have to pay for gas and some compensation for all the travel time. If we cancel and it turns out nice then that will suck just as much! Maybe more!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017


We spent a couple of days "Down Island". Norma's brother lives in Victoria and suffered a stroke a few months ago. He is now in a new nursing home and was having a small birthday party. Norma and I headed down, picking up our youngest granddaughter, Sierrah, along the way. We bought a couple of cakes, one regular and one ice cream, got to the residence and found Willea's room. It is a nice place if you have to be in such a place. His totally separate wing or "house" as they call it has twelve residents, each with their own room and a dining room. There are two male nurses dedicated to the wing and more support staff available when needed.

A bunch of Willea's friends as well as Norma's cousins, Al and Colleen from Nanaimo showed up for a piece of cake and some catching up. The leftover cake was taken by the nurses to the next wing to be shared. Happy 73rd, Willea!

We then went with Sierrah to the "Green Cuisine" vegan restaurant she works in on weekends for lunch. It was my first venture into a vegan sanctuary and was about as I expected. I had nut loaf, a couple of salads, kale, veggies and some other stuff I can't spell. It is "buffet style" where you take whatever you want, they weigh it and you pay by the weight. All three plates weighed $33, a good deal. Sierrah wanted to treat but Norma and I successfully wrestled the bill from the struggling part time working student!

We left Sierrah to meet up with her friends downtown and fled Victoria to face the "Calwood Crawl", the horrible, snail paced traffic mass leaving Victoria each day. An hour or two later we arrived at Brooks' home in Shawnigan Lake where we had a fun evening of pizza and couple of scotch.

We left early as they were getting ready for work and after I raided Brooks' burn pile, stopped at the Pioneer House for a delicious breakfast and got home before noon, exhausted!