Livingroom and Master Bedroom Update

March 7, 2017

Its been a while since I posted an update on the house build. We are back at work after our Mexico break and have a few projects in the works…..but nothing finished. I am a finisher. I like to start and finish a project and then cross it off my list. Ken is a starter. So..lots of projects started, nothing finished. But, we are making progress.

After finishing all the cabinets in the kitchen (Love my 100% finished kitchen. Its a dream come true.), Ken got going on the cabinet doors for the livingroom, and there is a lot of them. 12 bottom doors, 6 top doors and 2 false fronts to complete the west wall with the windows and window seats. Plus 2 weird shape doors for the cabinets under the stairs.

Livingroom west wall – almost done

This is the west wall today. The bookcases between the windows are complete. All the bottom cupboards have doors. Ken finished all except for one that warped bad after construction and needs to be redone.  The top cupboards in all three book cases will also have doors, and over the window seats will be false fronts. I made cozy window seats. The seats are a bit high but super comfy. There are lights above the window seats, so perfect for curling up for a read or looking out the window. Sox, the cat, loves this spot. (We have the vinyl flooring and baseboards stored in the livingroom right now.)

Mater bedroom ceiling, walls and floor done

Then he got sidetracked. Ken C volunteered to come help finish the pine ceiling. Once that was done, Ken decided now that the ceiling in the master bedroom upstairs was done, he’d like to put the hardwood floor. (The hardwood was another Kijiji find from a few years back that has been stored until now) So we mudded, taped, painted and put in the hardwood floor.

 

 

 

 

 

Mater bedroom walk in closet floor done

The bedroom still needs the French doors put in and the trim finished, but Ken decided to start the walk-in closet and attached bathroom as well. Finding the perfect piece of vinyl flooring on Kijiji sealed the deal. A great deal and enough for the walk-in closet, master bathroom, both dormer storage rooms and the porch floor. It is the fibreglass backed kind which is wonderful to work with and does not need to be glued down.

 

 

 

 

Master bathroom ready for vinyl

 

We had already installed the Enstrom subflooring in the closet and bathroom. It had been sitting on the veranda deck all summer after we finished the cork floor on the main level. With winter on the way, we figured we had better get it inside. Rather than store it, we laid it down. Now we had the vinyl so we installed it. There is still lots of build to do in these two rooms and we know the floor should be last. BUT, we don’t always follow the rules. So the floor is in and we are finishing around it.

 

 

Master Bath floor in

Hoping all the drywall will be up soon so that the closet can be taped and mudded. Ken does the mudding and taping, I do the cleanup and painting. He has the closet storage system almost finished but the room needs to be painted before it can be installed. Can’t wait to have a closet. We have most of our clothes still stored in suitcases. Whenever we have a special event, we have to rummage through them to find what we need.

 

 

 

There you have it, are projects started:

  • livingroom – almost done
  • master bedroom – almost done
  • walk-in closet – almost done
  • master bathroom – started
  • bannister – half done – still 2 sides to complete
  • dormers – drywall up
  • dormer storage rooms – drywall up
  • TV room – drywall up (but at least now all the drywall that was stored in here is gone!!)

March 7, 2017 Winter storm raging out my front door

I doubt we will finish these projects finished before the warm weather hits. However, given we are in the midst of a fierce winter storm today, you just never know when old man winter will give in and let spring come in. Once the snow is gone, we will head outside for landscaping. And whatever is not done inside, will just have to wait. However, keeping my fingers crossed that I can have at least one more completed project before spring.

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A Wedding and a Week in Buccerias Mexico

February 8 to 15, 2017

7_feb-10-2017_reception_entrance-table

 

We took a break from building to relax in the sun and celebrate the marriage of Kerry and Megan in sunny Buccerias, Mexico, at the Royal Decameron Resort just outside Puerto Vallarta. We stayed at the same resort last year, returning this year with the entire family. It was a beautiful wedding and a fabulous relaxing vacation. It was mega-grandparent time, spending a week with Jacob, Astrid and our two newest grandchildren, Megan’s children Katie and Tyler. All my siblings also came, so it truly was the ultimate family vacation. The pictures below tell the story.

The Happy Couple, Kerry and Megan

The Happy Couple, Kerry and Megan

The new family, Katie, Kerry, Megan and Tyler

The new family – Katie, Kerry, Megan and Tyler

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The wedding party

The wedding party

The Porter Family - Matt, Jacob and Kelsey, Ken and Darlene, Tyler, Katie, Kerry and Megan, Emily, Christopher and Astrid

The Porter Family – Matt, Jacob and Kelsey, Ken and Darlene, Tyler, Katie, Kerry and Megan, Emily, Christopher and Astrid

The whole family - Matt, Kelsey and Jacob; Dennis; Ken and Darlene; Beth; Tyler, Katie, Kerry and Megan; Sheila; Sheryl, Pat and Glenn; Christopher, Emily and Astrid

The whole family – Matt, Kelsey and Jacob; brother-in-law Dennis; Ken and Darlene; Cousin Beth; Tyler, Katie, Kerry and Megan; sister Sheila; sister Sheryl, Pat and brother Glenn; Christopher, Emily and Astrid

Jacob, the cutest little ring bearer ever, even if he would not keep the hat on.

Jacob, the cutest little ring bearer ever, even if he would not keep the hat on.

Kerry and her mothers, Darlene and Wendy

Kerry and her mothers, Darlene and Wendy

Ken, Kerry and Darlene

Ken, Kerry and Darlene

Jacob playing in the sand during the ceremony

Jacob playing in the sand during the ceremony

Jacob playing with the lighted balls at the reception

Jacob playing with the lighted balls at the reception

Reception on the grass at the Royal Decameron, Buccerias, Mexico

Reception on the grass at the Royal Decameron, Buccerias, Mexico

Fireworks

Fireworks

Baba Darlene with Astrid and Jacob

Baba Darlene with Astrid and Jacob

The Aubut Family - Kelsey, Jacob and Matt

The Aubut Family – Kelsey, Jacob and Matt

The Porters - Christopher, Emily and Astrid

The Porters – Christopher, Emily and Astrid

 

Love on the Beach

Love on the Beach

 

Fun in the Pool - Emily and Astrid

Fun in the Pool – Emily and Astrid

Fun in the Pool - Kelsey and Jacob

Fun in the Pool – Kelsey and Jacob

Fun in the sand - Jacob and Digo

Fun in the sand – Jacob and Digo

Boogie Boarding Fun - Katie

Boogie Boarding Fun – Katie

Boogie Boarding Fun - Tyler

Boogie Boarding Fun – Tyler

Time with the siblings

Time with the siblings

Surfs up - Boogie Boarders Extrodonaire - sister Sheila, cousin Beth and sister Sheryl

Surfs up – Boogie Boarders Extraordinaire – sister Sheila, cousin Beth and sister Sheryl

Relaxing by the pool -Brother Glenn and wife Pat

Relaxing by the pool -Brother Glenn and wife Pat

One too many buffets for Glenn

One too many buffets for Glenn

A puddle is all Jacob needs to have fun

A puddle is all Jacob needs to have fun

Or some sand and a pail

Or some sand and a pail

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What a cutie - Astrid

What a cutie – Astrid

Tyler fancy jumping in the pool

Tyler fancy jumping in the pool

Tyler gets some air

Tyler gets some air

Aubut family on the beach - Kelsey, upside down Jacob and Matt

Aubut family on the beach – Kelsey, upside down Jacob and Matt

The Porters introducing Astrid to the ocean - Emily, Astrid and Christopher

The Porters introducing Astrid to the ocean – Emily, Astrid and Christopher

Baba Darlene and Astrid

Baba Darlene and Astrid

Gido Ken and Jacob

Gido Ken and Jacob

Tyler constructing mega castles in the sand

Tyler constructing mega castles in the sand

Sun protection suit - cutest dragon

Sun protection suit – cutest dragon

Katie and Tyler climbing trees

Katie and Tyler climbing trees

Darlene and Ken celebrating Valentine's Day with Cupid

Darlene and Ken celebrating Valentine’s Day with Cupid

Baby sitter in training - Katie with Jacob

Baby sitter in training – Katie with Jacob

Katie with Astrid

Katie with Astrid

Sunsets on another perfect family vacation

Sunsets on another perfect family vacation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Pine Ceiling

January 28, 2017

There are always those jobs that you just don’t seem to get around to finishing. Small jobs that you just don’t want to do. For us, that was finishing the pine ceiling.

East side ceiling almost done

East side ceiling almost done

In October 2015, while I was off to BC to help out during Jacob’s birth, Ken had Ken C and Nestor over for a ceiling party. They put up most of the pine ceiling, but unfortunately, I had not managed to get enough boards varathaned before I left to BC. They did, however, manage to get the bulk of it done, and enough that the scaffolding occupying the living room could finally be removed. After returning from BC, Ken and I put up a few more rows, just enough to allow us to install the corner bannister posts, which run floor to ceiling. And since November 2015, those last five rows of pine on the east and west sides of the ceiling, have been waiting. And waiting. And waiting.

The Kens working on east side ceiling

The Kens working on east side ceiling

Putting up those boards is no walk in the park. I was pretty happy to see the boys complete the bulk of it while I was away and I know how hard they had to work to get those up. Overhead work is hard, especially when you are perched several feet up in the air. However, it had to get finished and we were very happy to have Ken C volunteer to come help. It really is a three person job – Ken C cutting and handing up boards, and Ken and I banging them in.

 

 

 

Pine Ceiling - South side over Media room

Pine Ceiling – South side over Media room

The east side was relatively easy, working on the walkway with the security of the bannister. The west side was scarier, balancing on a board without a bannister as a safety net. Thankfully, all went well and in a day and a half we had both east and west sides complete.

 

 

 

Pine Ceiling - North side and master bedroom

Pine Ceiling – North side and master bedroom

By finishing the main ceiling early, we were able to utilize Ken’s labor to bang up the pine ceiling in the master bedroom, a much easier task. The bedroom is 13 feet wide, and the pine boards are 12 feet long. To solve the pesky little one foot piece, the boys put up a spacer board on one side and the ran the 12 foot boards up to it. Then we nailed short one foot boards on the spacer board, just overlapping the 12 foot boards. It formed a small lip which we later finished with a trim board, which you can see in the picture below. It made quick work of the job and good use of the lumber.

master bedroom pine ceiling complete with trim

master bedroom pine ceiling complete with trim

 

 

 

Since the bedroom was all apart to put up the ceiling we have decided to get it finished. Besides Ken is only working on one project now – the cabinetry for the living room, and we all know he likes to have at least a couple projects on the go all the time. The room is now taped, mudded and painted. Ken did the taping and mudding and I did the painting. We are using the same brilliant blue as the downstairs bedrooms.

Now working on the hardwood floor in the master bedroom and the living room cabinets.

 

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2016 Year in Review

December 31, 2016

Another year has come and gone with more than its fair share of both happiness and sorrow.

joyce-coulson_2010The year was off to a rough start with my mother’s funeral on January 2. It is hard to believe it’s been a year she’s been gone. On the September long weekend, we held a big family gathering to celebrate her life and bury her ashes.  She would have been so happy to see her kids, grandkids, great grandkids, brothers, sisters, nieces and nephews enjoying a great visit. Thank you everyone who came out to bid her a final far

varadero_09_closeupWhile we were celebrating my mother’s life, my sister Laverne was in the hospital fighting for hers. Unfortunately, she lost the sudden and short fight and passed away on September 12. It’s a loss I still don’t quite believe and am still coming to grips with. Laverne and her husband Dennis had just retired and moved to Sandy Lake in August 2015. I am thankful to be living out here and able to spend that year with her.

 

 

Jacob 1 year old

Jacob 1 year old

 

The year, however, was not all sorrow. Our first grandchild, Jacob Peter, continues to be a wonderful blessing. We were happy to be in Kamloops in October to celebrate his first birthday with mom Kelsey and dad Matt. Amazing to watch how much they grow and develop in the first year. He’s no longer a baby but a little boy.

 

dec-2016_christmas-lightWe spent several weeks in June in BC, waiting for the arrival of our second grandchild who was in no hurry to make her entry into the world. Astrid Beam arrived safely on June 29 and instantly became the center of Christopher and Emily’s world.

 

november-2016_santa-claus-paradeAfter waiting so long to become grandparents, our blessings are overflowing. Kerry and Megan will be married in February, so Katie and Tyler will officially be joining our fast expanding family. 

 

September 2016 the Porter family (missing Matthew)

September 2016 the Porter family (missing Matthew)

 

 

We celebrated our 35th wedding anniversary this October and its mind boggling how our lives have evolved over the 38 years since we first met.

 

 

PV2016_Family picAs you can see family affairs kept us pretty busy in 2016; however, we did find time for a bit of travel. In February, we travelled to Bucerias, Mexico for some time in the sun and play time with Kelsey, Matt and Jacob and Kerry, Megan, Katie and Tyler.

 

Giants Causeway

Giant’s Causeway

 

 

 

In May, Ken and I toured Ireland and Scotland with an incredible group of people. We had unprecedented great weather and saw so many natural wonders and historic sites. What beautiful country and welcoming people.

 

 

 

houseeRetirement has been very busy for us, but we continue to make progress on our retirement home. Three and a half years of building and the first floor is close to completion. Major accomplishments for 2016 include a beautiful staircase to the second floor, cork  flooring on the main level, siding the outside of the house, a deck, balcony, foyer, vestibule, two main floor bedrooms, and the kitchen. The flooring was a major accomplishment and changed the house from a construction zone into a home, mainly because the scaffolding and tool collection in the middle of the living room had to go.

dec-28-2016_kitchen-completeWith the kitchen complete, we have just a few more main floor projects and then we can start finishing the second floor. 

With the house at a point where we have what we need to live, the building pace has slowed down leaving more time for recreation. While Ken did not play any baseball this summer (a very sad state of affairs for him), he did enjoy a number of golf games. And he still enjoys organizing group travel trips. In addition to his annual winter trip down south, he is also hoping to have a trip to England available for fall of 2017. 

I enjoy time for meditation, gardening and cooking. I am still giving plant based cooking lessons in Winnipeg and have a cooking blog ponderosacooks.wordpress.com. Check it out if you are looking for good vegan recipes. This year, I even had time to dust off the sewing machine and get a few projects done.  

photo by James Deng

photo by James Deng

Sox up a tree

Sox up a tree

 

 

 

 

 

 

And we both enjoy our furry companions, Sox and Hanna, who remind us to take a break and go for a walk twice a day.

We hope this year in review finds you and your family happy and in good health. Remember to enjoy each day as it comes and don’t worry about the past or future. Joy and sorrow are both part of life. Without the sorrow how could we appreciate the joy!

Wishing that 2017 brings you a year of peace, good health and happiness.

 

Sunset on the Ponderosa

Sunset on the Ponderosa

 

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A Complete Kitchen for Christmas

December 28, 2016

It has been a long time since my last post. We have been working on the kitchen and I was bound and determined that I would not post any pictures until the kitchen was 100% complete. Our goal was to have it finished by Christmas. And we almost made it, only a couple days late. At long last, the kitchen is complete and it was worth the wait.

dec-28-2016_kitchen-complete

The kitchen has been a work in progress since I retired two years ago, in January 2015. The journey has been amazing. Below is the layout of the kitchen.

kitchen layout

a15_Oct 25, 2014_stove completeAt first, I had the basics. The wood stove , a Kitchen Queen 480, was the first thing installed, providing us with a cookstove, hot water and heat for the house.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Temporary kitchen setup January 2015

Temporary kitchen setup January 2015

Next Ken built me a temporary kitchen with shelving to store all my kitchen stuff, an island work area and a sink wash station. At first the sink had no plumbing. We used snow melted on the wood stove and two five gallon pails under the sink to collect the dirty water. Chop wood, haul water were our daily tasks. I remember how wonderful it was to have this temporary setup, however primitive it might seem. In the picture on the left, we did not even have electric lights yet, if you notice the candle chandelier hanging above the island. The open doorway on the right is the future pantry.

Once the pantry was complete, we were able to move our fridge into the house. The fridge is housed in the pantry. The pantry serves double duty. It holds all my dry goods and by opening the window in it we can turn it into a cold room in the winter so that fridge does not need to run much.

Once the plumbing was hooked up to the sink and lighting installed, I had everything I needed – hot and cold running water, drains and no more slop pails to empty, a wonderful stove and a fridge. What more could a girl want? 

New Stove Hearth Completed

New Stove Hearth Completed

In May 2016, we removed the Kitchen Queen woodstove and redid the flooring under it, changing from black granite to a cream colored porcelain tile that does not show the dust and dirt.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Backsplash

Backsplash

kitchen after floor

Slowly more and more cupboards, drawers and finishing touches have been added.

The cork flooring, installed this summer, made a huge difference in the look of the kitchen. Bye bye plywood floors. The cork is warm and cushiony on the feet and easy to keep.

The last couple months have been consumed with kitchen construction.  Everything was made from scratch. The doors and drawer fronts were made from rough cut birch that Ken planed and fashioned.  He has become quite a drawer expert, with 24 drawers in the kitchen. The drawers were made from birch plywood and are designed to handle a heavy load. In addition to the mountain of drawers, the kitchen had 13 cupboard doors to be made as well.

Kitchen cupboards complete

Kitchen cupboards complete, just finishing touches left

In the last couple of weeks I have been having fun unpacking my kitchen stuff that has been in storage since we moved out of our home in Winnipeg. I have room for everything in my new kitchen, and even have one drawer left empty – for now. It’s amazing to have all this storage space.

 

 

 

 

 

Kitchen highlights:

 

Island drawers

Island drawers

The island has a beautiful birch butcher block top and nine large drawers for storage. And on the other side, the butcher block top overhangs a foot to create a seating area.

dec-28-2016_island-seating

 

 

 

 

 

 

photo by James Deng

photo by James Deng

Above the island hangs my pots and pans.

 

 

 

 

 

 

dec-28-2016_north-walldec-28-2016_sink-shelfI love the shelves along the window and the ledge along the top of the cupboards. A perfect place to display some of my Mom’s platter collection.

 

 

dec-28-2016_larder-opendec-28-2016_larderThe pull out larder is a great storage space. Its a Lee Valley model that we were lucky enough to pick up on Kijiji for a song. I love the handle Ken made for the door. He scoured the bushes looking for the perfect branch. Mother Nature’s artwork.dec-28-2016_larder-handle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

dec-28-2016_baking-sheet-cupboardKen made good use of a narrow cupboard space by creating the perfect vertical storage space for my baking sheets, trays, muffin tins and rolling pins.

 

 

 

 

 

dec-28-2016_cutlery-drawerI have the most fabulous cutlery drawer, with 9 cubbies for cutlery and serving utensils.

 

 

 

 

dec-28-2016_broom-storageAfter designing the kitchen we realized we had no spot for a broom closet. Since I don’t have need for a whole cupboard for cleaning supplies (I use Shaklee’s Basic H for all my cleaning), we decided to make use of the small space beside the back door. My nice red broom and mops are hung on the wall, and the rest of my cleaning supplies go under the kitchen sink.

 

 

 

dec-28-2016_spice-drawersI use two of the drawers for my spices, and yes, I have a lot of them, 62 to be exact. All organized alphabetically and easy to access.

It’s been a long slow process, two years from start to finish, to complete the kitchen. But it is definitely the kitchen of my dreams. A place for everything and everything in its place. Lots of counter space and everything easily accessible. And an island seating area so everyone can gather round in the kitchen to work or chat by the fire.

We may have missed our December 25 deadline, but it is 100% complete by Ukrainian Christmas (January 7).

 

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Visiting Astrid

October 21, 2016

Although both our kids, Kelsey and Christopher, live across the country from us, we very lucky that they live within four hours of each other. So when we visit one, we can usually visit both of them. While visiting Jacob to celebrate his first birthday, we also stopped in for a visit with Astrid, who is now almost four months old.

Astrid 3 months old

Astrid 3 months old

She is a very sweet little girl, so happy and content. She has just started smiling and loves when you sing to her. She is beginning to find her voice and jabbers away happily. We had a wonderful time visiting with Christopher and Emily and playing with Astrid.

Story time with Gido

Story time with Gido

Hanging out with Baba

Hanging out with Baba

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tummy time

Tummy time

Floor time

Floor time

 

 

 

 

 

 

Going for a walk

Going for a walk

 

 

 

 

Astrid telling us stories

Astrid telling us stories

 

 

 

 

 

 

Emily Christopher and Astrid October 2016

Emily Christopher and Astrid October 2016

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Jacob’s 1st Birthday

October 21, 2016

Jacob 1 year old

Jacob 1 year old

We are back from celebrating our first grandchild, Jacob’s birthday. It is unbelievable how much a child changes over the course of the first year. In one year he learned to smile, vocalize and walk. You can almost see the wheels turning in his head as he learns more and more each day.

Jacob 4 days old

Jacob 4 days old

Jacob 1 year old

Jacob 1 year old

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We had a great visit with Kelsey, Matt and Matt’s family. But most of all, we had so much fun playing with Jacob.

Jacob 1 year_Playing in the leaves

Jacob 1 year_Playing in the leaves

Pumpkin sitting

Pumpkin sitting

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eating Spagetti

Eating Spaghetti

Dancing Sailor Boy

Dancing Sailor Boy

Fun at the park October 19 2016

Fun at the park October 19 2016

Birthday Cake

Birthday Cake

In the tunnel at the park

In the tunnel at the park

Kelsey's decorations

Kelsey’s decorations

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Going for a walk

Going for a walk

Swing time with Gido

Swing time with Gido

 

 

Matt Jacob and Kelsey

Matt Jacob and Kelsey

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