the new roof leaks


a little…. actually snow blew in one of the whirlybird ventilators and a little puddle stain appeared on the old tiles of the  kitchen ceiling…. roof  was done this  fall. …. a call to the roofing company got them out first thing this morning…they popped the bird and inspected, reattached and added more caulking…..if the problem reoccurs we mayhave to go to the ultimate winter solution, a green garbage bag over the whirlybird.

I have put up a warning sign forbidding heavily laden reindeer hauled sleds from landing.

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This Old House, sort of


Today is new roofing start day. Part of the old house saga around here.

The past year has been one of catching up on deferred maintenance.  Starting last fall with the fill the dumpster episode (memorialized in this entry –   ) and followed up this summer by the hunt for real roofers.  Also dialed in was structural repairs to the old wheel chair ramp and the wide steps to the back deck. And then there was the painting. First staining by me using a long extension handle for the paint roller.  We used REZ opaque Redwood stain. Involved a little ladder work, something I have never been crazy about.  To finish off the soffit and fascia boards and to paint in white the wood trim on the remaining original windows, we hired painters. Over half the windows have been converted over the years to energy efficient models.

The local handyman carpenter wannabe designed some nice looking wide stairs for the back deck. I call them the back deck although they face the road and most people call that the front of the cottage. But being contrary and since it is a lake front property, I always think of the lake side as the front. He made a bad decision in the design he came up with. Instead of starting the top step to match the level of the deck, he dropped it down one step. This meant that he fastened the steps to the deck by screwing the deck upwards into the side plate of the deck, a vertical 2×10.  Over time the stairs dropped down a bit coming loose on one side. My interim solution was to drag and position a 12 inch cement block under the side stringer. A band aid solution.  Hired another fellow to fix the problem. When we took the stairs apart, we discovered that it was being held up by just two deck screws. Although my first carpenter had come back to repair it and had talked about using carriage bolts, we found none. So effectively the stairs were being held up by two screws and the two hand rails. The stairs (three) are about 8 feet wide. Not a very solid arrangement. The solution was to raise the stairs. The stairs have an extra deep tread almost double normal. A new mounting plate the entire width was added behind the top step. Multiple long screws (16) were added to fasten the stairs to the deck. New veritical hand rails were cut and added.  It all turned out well.

I found out that it is better to have a floating deck. That is one that is not attached directly to the cottage. The local township will add square footage to your residence if the deck is attached. Therefore increasing your taxes.

The old satelittle dish (a large one) is being taken down by the roofers. 18 years since the shingles were done.

old and new



old and new

Originally uploaded by canuckshutterer (W.J. Gibson)

Staining the cottage. it needs it badly. the first time i did this i was 18 years old and it was a three stage process. 1. shellac the knot holes to seal them. 2. brush on wood preservative chemical, pentox (nice name, eh?). 3. brush on Rez stain. 14 foot high peaks on three sides, it is an L shaped building up on a cement block foundation built in 1969.

Fumes from the stain mean the windows have to stay closed, which is a bit of a problem with the hot weather this week. The new coat of stain looks goooooood.

snow, snow, and more snow


Not world record setting but a lot has fallen in the past 24 hours and the forecast calls for more. First thing this morning I went out to brush off my various bird seed feeding spots and surfaces in the back yard. Yesterday we set a record for the most mourning doves feeding at once, 21.

This morning after clearing about 6 inches of snow, an hour passed and the seed was lightly covered. By the afternoon, another 4 or 5 inches had fallen. I saw a black squirrel covered in snow who had been digging in the snow on the old wood bench to find bird seed. So out I went with the dog to brush off and reload the seed. The temperature was about -15 C but with little wind it still didn’t feel all that cold. More like a couple of degrees below freezing not 15. Maybe I am just getting used to the lower temperature.

Our forecast is for snow each day for the rest of the week. I am going to try and get some photographs. Although to keep my digicam safe I may limit myself to shooting from the car. Hope my power windows don’t freeze solid.

One thing about this kind of weather, it makes me appreciate summer. I stand on shore and look out across this narrow end of Georgian Bay and see the snow over the solid ice.

It is hard to believe that not so long ago the water was open and flowing and not so long before that I was swimming out there. That my dog was swimming. That we both will be out there again. He has done that for 8 years. This summer will make it 9. I have swum in Georgian Bay every summer since 1970. We used to rent a cottage near here for several summers in the 1960s.

In 1955, we rented a cottage near here. On the day before we left to go home, we stood on the dock and threw pieces of bread for the sea gulls. I must have enjoyed this a lot. The next day, when my Dad was off visiting someone, and my Mom was packing up things with some help from my sister, age 5, I went back out to the dock. It was wavy that day, the dock wet. I went out on the dock and fell into the water. I was 18 months old. Apparently I had enough sense of self preservation to stand up and hold onto the side of the dock. My head was above the water. I was strong enough to stand up to the waves. My Mom looked out, saw me and ran out to pull me up out of the water. She told me later that when she lifted me up I was completely rigid. Once in her arms, my entire body went limp.