Its been another busy few weeks.. Grandma came to visit for 2 weeks and headed home. We had to take her back to Halifax to catch the plane which worked out well as we spent an extra day in the city to let loose and travel the Halifax portion of the Good Cheer Trail which is a kind of passport for the Breweries and Distilleries. At each stop you can get them to stamp your booklet and then submit the booklet online for prizes and, if you have enough stamps, a t-shirt. It was tonnes of fun and got to meet lots of interesting people! We even ran into a group of people taking another brewery tour and crossed paths a couple of times. They were a lot of fun to chat with before their tour guide dragged them away. You know who you are... ;-)
A few really neat spots to check out included Chain Yard Urban Cidery, Compass Distillers, Good Robot Brewing, and Garrison Brewing (my current fav is their Irish Red). I would definitely like to do the trip again. For those interested here's a map of our glorious walk on Google Maps
|Random Wall art in Halifax|
After that debauchery it was time to go home and recoup. While in Halifax we picked out the new kitchen from Ikea. Mum drew up all the plans and we spent about 2 hours re-inputting them into the Ikea computer. They have a pretty neat kitchen designer online even if it takes a bit of fiddling (like everything else it seems). I really liked the high gloss gray-turquoise cabinets but it's hard to justify spending another $1000 just for a colour so white it is. Right now the whole house is filled with boxes for the kitchen (over 100) and laminate flooring (50). At one point we had to move half of a pile as the floor started to groan about the weight!
We also bought a new fireplace hearth and installed it. So much nicer than the old bricks on aluminum sheet on plywood pad. We finally gave up on trying to find someone that can install a propane system and had the local chimney guy come in and take a look. Turns out there's no need for a liner as the one that's in there is good and just had to schedule him to swing by in the spring to do a bit of repair to the mortar before it becomes a problem. Mum's had the fireplace going a few times now (She's been itching for weeks to try it out) and hey look at that we didn't burn the place down! Still debating on if I'll replace the old fireplace with a new one or just leave it. The handle is a bit messed up and I need to find a metal works to see if they can fix it.
|New Fireplace hearth|
The other really exciting part is we managed to get two doors and two windows installed! The first door pictured below took us 9 hours to get it into place and still isn't quite aligned properly. We'll probably have to pop it out and reinstall it (ugh. When you get tired sometimes it's best to just walk away and come back to it the next day). But the second door went in much easier and works like a dream!
|Front door and brackets installed|
The two windows are both on the same wall overlooking the kitchen and front porch. I was actually surprised how easily the window installs went. The hardest part was making the rough opening the right size. But it was just measuring out a few 2x4s (OMG it drives me insane that a 2x4 is not actually 2" x 4" and is really slightly smaller) and screwing into place. There was a lot of back and forth and a few undos in there before we worked out the alignment and making sure to leave space for wall boards for the shingles to attach to.
|Mum as we remove the old window|
|The old window (and a new door in the background)|
|Getting ready for the second new window to be put into place|
|New windows installed!|
The kitchen window had started to leak and we were really concerned that the leak was coming in from somewhere above in the wall but I was woken up at 5 am this morning to my bed shaking as the wind pelts the house with rain. You can actually feel the deflection of the glass door in the sitting room as the wind slams into the side of the house. But good news... no leaks! And the whole place is noticeably warmer with 4 less draft sources.
You might have noticed the trim round the windows isn't an even width all the way around. Well looked at the wall and the shingles and decided in the spring we're going to have to spend a few weeks and replace the whole wall of shingles. For the meantime we'll have kooky trim.
It's still howling out there but I'll leave with a pic of the locals wandering though the yard...
|The locals passing through|