Category Archives: Home Renovation

Side-tracked Again

We’ve been insanely busy!

I’d hoped to be posting about more progress on the Albacore but we sort of leapt without looking … right into a pool!

Just a few things left to do ...

What started as a benign comment (“Hey, wouldn’t it be nice …”) while browsing on-line progressed to “Wanna go look at pools?” one day not so long ago while driving by the store. In short order, we ended up with a pool … but also a mountain of red tape, regulations and permit requirements about satisfactory pool enclosure. This meant that the minute the installers left, we had to get busy building a pool railing and deck, due to the fact that it’s an above-ground pool.

Why above-ground? The astronomical cost of an in-ground just wasn’t worth it to us, given our short summers and the fact that, in our region, they are often a detriment when trying to sell a house. We’re not planning on it at this point but you never know down the road …

My main reservation about above-grounds was that they’re so often badly-placed unadorned beacons of ugliness, so we plan to deck and landscape (that one’s next year – I need a break!!) in a way that blends it nicely into the yard. I think we’ve made a good start.

We went with a 54-inch high, 24-foot diameter heated saltwater pool, tucked well back in the yard, and left the big maple tree … though I know we’ll curse it once autumn leaves start dropping in the pool. Perhaps some judicious pruning?

Anyway, after a week and a half of non-stop sweat and toil, the light at the end of the tunnel is growing stronger and I finally had my first swim yesterday – ahhhhhhhhhh!

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Renovation, Restoration, Sailing & Garden Salvation

Blogging slipped off my radar in recent months so it’s catch-up time …

Some major things happenings in the last while (apart from the day job, which has been INSANELY busy!) are –

Keelboat sailing lessons – now complete
Front hall renovations – almost complete
Albacore sailboat restoration – just begun

The keelboat lessons, somewhat inspired by the sea-faring voyages of Mike Perham, Jessica Watson, the Bounty Boat and the much-overlooked Alessandro di Benedetto (still out there), were a lot of fun! Though now inflamed with a burning desire to rush off and buy a keelboat, this is not the right time, however, I’ve still managed to spend countless hours looking on-line at boats ads and I’m convinced a nice little 26-footer is in my future. In the meantime, I’ll hone my sailing skills in the Albacore (a 16-foot dinghy) … as soon as she’s seaworthy again.

The front hall reno started as a straightforward tiling project, then grew. I’m very pleased with the (almost) finished results and somewhat proud of my new-found skills at tile-laying, bamboo flooring and crown moulding installation!

And then there’s the Albacore …

I knew when I bought her last summer she was a bit of a project boat – I just didn’t realize how much!

Our one-and-only sail last summer highlighted two things; one, I still have a lot to learn about sailing (having only started last year) and, second, there was more to do on the boat than first thought – and hard to know where to begin. Without a garage, the boat ended up parked for the winter in an inaccessible location that meant her restoration was on hold till spring. Spring came and went with too many other demands on our time and so, now back home in the driveway, the boat remained untouched.

I was also just a little daunted by what to do and how to begin but I finally took the plunge a few weeks ago and got started. The next post will be all about the Albacore so check back to see the beginning transformation. Now that I’ve begun, it doesn’t seem so bad – sort of the way it is with most things, the hardest part is getting started …

When life gets too busy, something gets relegated to the back seat and, sadly, it was the garden. I bought two tomato plants (I had grown my own seedlings last year) and then left them sitting in their tiny pots for weeks … finally planting them only last weekend!!

Those two poor tomato plants looked so pathetically lonely in their 4 x 4 raised bed but then I remembered the pack of scarlet runner beans I bought years ago. I found it, along with a pack of nasturtium seeds, and shoved some of each into the ground. And guess what? Bean plants, now about 4 inches high after just 8 days and the nasturtiums are poking up too! I may just salvage something out of this growing season!!

So stay tuned – more on boat restoration, home renovation and garden salvation to follow …