Saturday, May 31, 2008

Current Projects

We made a list.

The list is 2 pages, double columned, single spaced. A lot to do (and these are only inside projects).

Wayne appointed me project manager - I get to pick the order and he is simply the labour force.

So, what are we doing?

Wayne is back working on our new laundry area (formerly known as John's room) beside the kitchen. He has finished drywalling the ceiling and is now mudding the room. We've bought trim for the actual laundry area and once that is installed and that area primed and painted, he can install the dryer and then, we can attempt to locate a plumber to install the washer and laundry tub.

In the meantime, I am working on the on-going sealing of leaks from our "Energy Audit". One of the large ones was around the front window in our main guest room. Wayne removed the trim and we put in the expanding foam insulation. Now the trim is back, I have stripped off wallpaper on 2 walls (not the whole room since I love the light and ambiance of that room) and I am painting the walls the background colour of the wallpaper that is left (the colour is called "Untouched"). Then I must touch up the trim with white paint.

While paint and drywall mud dry (takes a day in Lockeport), we are starting to work on getting the library and dining room done. Wayne is demolishing the interior of the library closet, moving the light switch for it to the dining room as well as the doorway. Then we can fill in the library walls where the 2 doorways are being removed, put the window trim back, paint the room. Shelving and flooring will be later. In the dining room, we will paint and set up our office area with custom shelves for the monitor, scanner, printer etc.

The above should keep us busy for a month or more. Then if a plumber has been found, we can tackle removing the wall between the kitchen and old laundry room (since the pipes will be gone from the wall) and then move the fridge (wiring done already) so we can start working on installing a wood stove in the kitchen (which requires wall and floor modifications to meet fire code).

Excuse Me While I Rant!

One of the things I left out of my description of our "Epic Journey" down to the East Coast was our teensy weensy little problem with VISA.

On Sunday morning, we brought breakfast and gas in Ottawa (about $55 total). We then drove, bought gas in Levis around 6:00 PM - total about $110. We continued on to Edmunston where our hotel was charged sometime overnight ($125). Then we bought gas in the morning ($80) and went on our way. After the car problems, we went to a Shoppers Drug Mart in Grand Falls to buy some paperbacks ($23) for entertainment while waiting to get our van fixed - my VISA didn't work but the clerk said nothing so I just used another card.

That evening when we went to pay for dinner - another whopping $30 - the waitress told us she got a message that there was a hold on our card and to call VISA. Back at our hotel, I called and was told that since our expenditures were outside our "Normal Pattern", they were afraid our card had been stolen - once I proved who I was, the card was cleared.

This is the 3rd time this has happened to us - always when we are driving back and forth to Nova Scotia from Ottawa. Twice it has been VISA and once it was American Express. I would like to say that I appreciate the diligence of the credit card security staff BUT I DON'T!!!!

If sudden large charges were being posted, then perhaps they would have a point but SMALL charges for gas, a meal, a hotel consistent with driving some place should NOT trigger any action on their part. In each case, they have diligently phoned our home and left a message - fat lot of good that does you when you are driving across the country.

Credit cards were meant for convenience of use when introduced. I do not find it convenient to have to call a credit card company to tell them my travel plans so they won't put a hold on my card.

By the way, when we went to California in March and spent a LOT of money, far away, every day, they didn't put any holds on any of our cards. HUH!!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

My Loyalist Rug

Interior of the Ross Thomson store (1783) in Shelburne - now a museum.
Sharon was wondering how my rug turned out so here it is (before the backing was done). We have a good selection finished for our rug display in July and many more are under way. I guess we should have between 30 and 40 in total. Here's a picture of the store on which it is based.
I'm still working on our Loyalist costumes - mine is done, Wayne has a hat, shirt and pants and I've got his coat cut out - he'll need it since it's been chilly lately.

An Epic Journey

Our move down to Nova Scotia took a great deal longer than was planned. We went to Cora's for a farewell breakfast on Sunday the 18th of May, then packed up the 2 cars and left around noon.

It was a lovely day for driving - a few clouds, sunny and cool so the cars weren't too warm and I didn't have to run the air-conditioning for our cat (note: I ALWAYS get the cat in my car - I think Wayne thinks I only hear him half as much as he would (due to my deaf ear) when he howls (which he usually does for the first couple of hundred kilometres)). Anyway, the cat was relatively quiet, Montreal was a dream for once, at least for east-bound traffic - 40 west-bound was tied up at a couple of places, and we progressed nicely. A minor shock at Levis where the gas was $1.384/l. Then disappointment as Canada lost to Russia in over-time.

As we drove down #185 from Riviere-du-loup to Edmunston, I noticed a trail of liquid from the van (I was in the Caliber in the rear). I called Wayne on the walkie-talkie and he tested out assorted things - it wasn't brake fluid, it wasn't the steering mechanism and the car did not appear to be overheating. We made it to Edmunston and stopped for the night.

The next morning, Wayne added antifreeze as the level seemed to be down. After only a few kilometres of the hills of New Brunswick, the van began to overheat. We stopped 3 km south of exit 58 on the TransCanada. Now our walkie-talkies may have been useful to talk back and forth but they didn't help us call the CAA. I stayed with the van and Wayne and Tiggs headed off to find a phone - this required driving south until he found a U-turn spot (for official vehicles only mind you) and headed back to exit 58 (St. Leonard) where there are lots of phones and gas pumps but NO mechanics. The CAA said they'd be there in 1/2 hour. Wayne and Tiggs returned to where I was sitting at the side of the road watching red foxes cross the highway. Over an hour later, Wayne and cat drove back to St. Leonard and called again - it turned out the CAA 1-800 number had sent the tow truck to exit 58 on the old TransCanada - now #144 which is close to Woodstock, over 100 km south of where we were. Finally, a truck arrived about 10:00AM and the driver took us to Grand Falls to a Chrysler dealer which of course was closed for the long weekend - the sign said Tuesday's hours commenced at 8:00AM. So we checked into the Best Western at 10:30AM.

Grand Falls themselves are very nice and with the very high level of the Saint John River, the Falls were spectacular. We drove around the rest of town, bought some books in a Shoppers Drug Mart and relaxed. At dinner time, we chose a small pizza/chicken place which turned out to have a fantastic view of the flood waters rushing through a deep gorge - the food was good, so dinner was very pleasant.

Tuesday morning we were at the dealership at 7:40 - it turned out to be a very busy garage with a lot of staff. Fortuitously, one of the 8:00 appointments was canceled so we were taken right away. The problem turned out to be the coolant line to the rear heater was corroded so although we lost a fair amount of coolant, not all of it went so the engine wasn't ruined. The line was replaced as well as the back shocks which were upgraded to deal with the heavy load Wayne had crammed into the car. By 10:30AM, we were back on the road, reaching Lockeport about 7:30 that evening (Tuesday).

I flipped the circuit breakers which we had turned off in the fall, plugged stuff in, put the flannel sheets on the bed etc as Wayne unloaded the cars - rain was predicted overnight and Wednesday. By bedtime, we still had no hot water and in fact, we went 3 days without hot water before we got the hot water tank replaced. Our plumber had moved to Alberta, so we had to find another - we actually found a local "handyman" and he tried assorted things but finally had to replace the tank for us. At least our plumber had set it up to only require a few simple tools to change it. We hoped to talk this "handyman" into finishing the installation of our washer and laundry tub in our new laundry room - but he doesn't work with plastic piping so we'll have to find someone else for that. Sigh!

This year's outside renovation project (new garage doors, new garage window, soffit, fascia, shingles and a cement step outside the back door of the garage) was almost complete when we arrived and it now is done -yeah!

Thursday, May 15, 2008


This is the month of many changes - some good, some unknown as yet.

Bob moved in so we could move out - that will be happening imminently - maybe Sunday or Monday. Packing is proceeding sporadically as the spirit moves me. Whether this move to Nova Scotia is a good change remains to be seen.

Isla was born. Kate and Kevin are getting married on Saturday. Those both qualify undoubtedly as good changes.

Wayne is retiring - hopefully a good change! His last official day is May 23rd but with vacation days he's actually finishing up tomorrow - May 16th. In a few days he'll be happily moving dirt, cutting brush and grass, pounding nails etc. in Lockeport.

Right now the future looks very uncertain to me - I know I'll miss my family and Ottawa friends greatly. I hope life in small town Nova Scotia turns out to really be what we envisioned when we bought our house 6 years ago.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Isla May Rudnitski Cooper makes her debut!

Our new granddaughter, Isla, was born yesterday morning at the Ottawa Hospital's General Campus. She weighed in at 8 lb 6 oz and appears very healthy - parents both seem to have survived the ordeal well.

We took Will to meet his little sister and he seemed fascinated and gentle - let's hope that continues.

Congratulations to Chris and Kris!

Welcome to the family, Isla!

Love, Gramma