July 22, 2010

The Sun sets on another lovely vacation

As the sun sets on our ninth day of vacation we reflect on nine fun filled days of home renovation and a pre-inspection walk through by the city inspector. A lovely time was had by all, sanding, digging, priming, and running around shopping like chickens with our heads cut off. (do they really run around? I have always wondered!)

By Monday morning we were ready for our walk through and our inspector was incredibly pleased with the work that we have completed so far. Scott Ward, a fine gentleman and a scholar, went through the house with a fine tooth comb and listed items for us that needed to be addressed prior to "close-up". Close-up being that time in which we actually can start to seal up walls and begin the re-trimming process. There were only 12 items on the list for the whole house and at least four of them did not affect our "close-in" sign off, things like stabilize the front porch and finish the heating and air conditioning.  He was so impressed by Phillips electrical system that he said he would tag the panel for power up! Yeah... power! Lights and plugs without extension cords running everywhere for miles. So around the back of the house we marched so Mister Ward could place an "A-OK" sticker on the panel. We all paraded to the back yard and turned to face the panel, slowly every set of eyes traveled up the foundation and then up the outside wall of the breakfast room to finally settle on the main circuit panel... twelve feet in the air. Well apparently you must be able to access the panel in an emergency, who knew! So no power, no lights, and no plugs, until we build at least some of our deck under the panel and add a set of steps to climb up onto it. Now mind you, the deck was not on the financial plan until somewhere down the road, so far down the road that I couldn't even tell you where the signs pointing in that direct might be. But build we shall. First there are seven huge holes to be dug and filled with rebar, and concrete, and that is just for half of the structure. Then we will get down upon the earth, bow our heads low, and pay massive monetary homage to the Simpson Strong Tie Corporation. That wonderful company that makes all of those beautiful metal brackets, hold downs, and supports that are an engineers wet dream. By that I mean they are uglier than hell (I was going to say shit, but I wasn't sure if I could say that here) and cost two arm, two legs, and the rest of your hair. But, by the end of this weekend we shall be able to walk to the back door of the house via the back steps and pass right by that lovely main electric panel, which will hum with electric life the top of next week.

This past week we also added a new addition to our family. It big, and slick, super heavy, and shiny white. Phillip has been in charge of the procurement and installation of this beauty, which now sits proudly on its  concrete base awaiting the flowing liquid of life. Please meet, all 75 gallons of...

Mister Water Heater

In preparation of the hook-up

Garry was with us during our vacation and he tackled the last of the windows on the ground floor, those being the bay window in the former Library, now known as the Drawing room. And when I was not pouring over the engineers drawings, desperately trying to understand them, I was working on the exterior of the Drawing room bay window. Just like the one in the Living room it came completely apart and was reassembled.

Before we knew it our week was up and both of us had to go back to work. Garry headed off into the sunset for Los Angeles, and our home is once again quite during the day. But come 5:30 in the evening, every evening, we can be found once again sanding, hammering, and priming away.


  1. Hi Mark! Thanks for stopping by my blog. I can see you certainly have your work cut out for you restoring this historical home, but I'm really looking forward to seeing what you do with it!

  2. garryinlb@hotmail.comJuly 25, 2010 at 5:46 PM

    I love you boys SO MUCH and can only say that I am so proud to be part of this momentous part of your lives. Thank you so much for helping me out financially by employing me, when you can, to be part of what will be a singularly amazing space in the world where friends can come to escape their urban lives and reconnect with you two most caring and supportive friends. I love you both so much. xxoo Garry


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