• Rae

Part 13: All hands on deck and... a difficult anniversary.

Updated: Dec 4, 2019

The drywall, taping and sanding gets done in record time. Grant and Adam from Grant Taylor's Contracting are real pros.

Adam adds a second coat to the workshop walls.

And then they complete all the painting. We chose a beautiful white for all the walls and trim (called 'Here Comes the Bride'), and a pretty mauve (Gypsy Caravan) for the bathroom walls and ceiling. We kind of laughed at ourselves because initially, we had planned to do the painting and trim work ourselves.


Oh my word... what were we thinking?! First of all, we have a business to run and our clients come first, AND we're in the process of networking and building our circle of business connections in a new province. Secondly, this space is BIG – it would have taken us weeks to do what Grant and Adam did in a couple days! Thankfully, Risser's were able to book them to complete the work – we think we may have crushed Grant's packed schedule but... in true Maritime style, he smiled, and did an amazing job! They used sprayers, and 2 coats later, the finish is smooth and perfect.


And one last note about the paint... Grant suggested adding a strengthener to the paint in the garage and workshop - it will make it more durable. Nice! Didn't know you could do that!


Fall weather has been quite lovely. A lot warmer than we were used to in Calgary. And the colours are so pretty, but it's the sunsets each night that continue to amaze us – often orange, yellow, pink and mauve. Wow! The sun has moved around and it now sets directly across the cove from us.

We finally got a dock builder to come round for an assessment! Travis from Millenium – really friendly guy and he had some great ideas! He's going to give us a quote and hopefully we can schedule him in early Spring to build us a wharf and floating dock! We have valuable waterfront property that we want to enjoy more fully next year and for years to come... and be able to drop our kayaks in easily.


Quite pleased with the yield from our test garden. We had several batches of tomatoes that we roasted for sauces and as it got cooler at night, I finally harvested all the green tomatoes.


I discovered that Green Tomato Chow (or Chow Chow) is a thing here... so I made some!

Now we need to make fish cakes to try it out in true Maritime fashion!


And then the tilers are here! Nicole and Bernd Krebes are an awesome, hard-working team (who incidentally own BernArt Maze which just won the Mobius Award!)

I felt so bad when they were partly done and we felt the black stripe of tiles was one row too low. They said, 'you have to be happy, so we will change it'. So awesome and now it's perfect. Love the vintage-inspired basketweave floor (Alan chose that!) and isn't the mauve colour pretty?


They also did the hearth for the wood stove in a gorgeous slate tile, and the same tile in the laundry room is ready for grout soon...

This is our hardwood flooring acclimatizing:

As planned, the beams are being built for the studio. Ryan came up to our office one day with a board of several stains to choose from, with a piece of our hardwood in hand to match. It took Alan and I all of 5 minutes to make a decision. We are so thankful that we have the same taste, and we know what we like (well, we chose each other didn't we? LOL)


So the beams are coming along and our studio is one big workshop at the moment. Ryan puts the core of the beams up and then the wood used to create the boxes are stained, then assembled.

This is where all the trim is being painted for windows and doors as well.

Our studio is making for a great work space.

Monday, October 28 and the last phase of the power upgrade is happening. The power was off for most of the day which allowed me to get some much-needed filing done. Adam, from Honneyman Electrical put in the new 200amp panel and a new mast was added which had to go above our roof for code. Kind of ugly but necessary, and when we paint the exterior of the house, this will all blend in. Nova Scotia power came back to connect the wires and we had power again.


We have noticed that all summer and now into the fall, the afternoon light hits our new build right where the courtyard will be. Next year, when we have finished the courtyard with a pergola and firepit, it's going to be so lovely. But right now, this fall weather has inspired comfort food...

No one makes a better mac n' cheese than Alan!

Alan has been super busy and it's so satisfying to know that it really doesn't matter where we are located, we can deliver high quality work. He is currently working on 3D animation projects for clients in Los Angeles, Monrovia, Ontario and Calgary. And I just started working with a client in BC.


We also placed a small ad on a Social Media post that Simple Local Life puts out each week. It's an ad for our Food Photography business – we had such great success in Calgary and we've been wanting to get going on some projects here. Happy to report that we got a response in the first week! A good meeting followed and we're hopeful to land our first project here. So exciting!


With the electrical done, lights start appearing inside the build.... let there be light!!!


October 30th and everyone is here! Rhyno's are finishing the install of the heat pumps and there is a lot to do. First of all, removing the old furnace and oil tank from our basement. Not an easy task since the oil tank is still half full. We tried to sell the tank, oil and furnace on Kijiji but the buyer didn't want the oil (and it's quite unsafe to transport...), so it had to be emptied. Thankfully, Rhyno's provides this service.

We hated having to dispose of the oil but at least we sold the furnace and tank to someone who needed it. We've had terrific luck with Kijiji - when we were moving and now, anytime we need to sell something, we always get a buyer.

Finishing details continue... Adam installs the outdoor lights and they are a lot nicer than I expected them to be; modern with a nod to nautical which we really like. They detect nighttime and come on automatically – which is a good thing since its pitch black out here at night.

The trim details are really nice too... I didn't expect ledges on all the windows (great!), and the trim around all the doors and windows is nice and wide.

So, at the end of October, a lot has been done and the finishing phase is on.

Here are all our bathroom fixtures in waiting... bathroom in a box!

The tiling will get finished this week we think and for now, Alan's workshop is a tile-cutting room; they have a nice view at least!

We're really looking forward to getting all the storage out of our house and moved into the workshop, garage, laundry/mudroom and studio.


We'll gain quite a bit of space in the house soon.

The beginning of November marks the last month of this build and they look to be right on track. We broke ground on June 24th and it's so hard to believe that all of this has been accomplished in just over 4 months and will be finished in 5. Now that's a well-organized contractor! Barrett and Melissa Risser and their entire team have just been fantastic!


And so, it's the 4th of November tomorrow… a very sad and difficult day for me and my family. It was 30 years ago on Nov 4, 1989 that I lost my mom. Hard to believe so much time has gone by… all the stages of our lives that we’ve missed having her with us. My mom was only 49 when she chose to end her life… she had struggled with depression and tragedy all her life. When someone in your family dies of suicide, you are left with the feeling that there must have been something you could have done or said to prevent it and it’s a very difficult thing to live with. There is much better awareness of mental illness now than there was 30 years ago, but I rarely mention how my mom died… I can see that it makes people feel uncomfortable and they just don't know what to say. As a society we are still not very good at talking about death and dying, and it’s so difficult to understand all the complexities of mental illness... and be empathetic.


Anyway, I dedicate this blog to my mom, Shirley Jean, who I miss with all my heart. I know she would have been so thrilled for me – finding such happiness with Alan and making this dream come true.


(To continue the story, click here for Part 14...)

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