Moving forward or standing still

Here’s an optical illusion for you that pretty adequately sums up my feelings about last week.  this is a PHOTO.. not a video or a GIF.  There is nothing moving in this photo.. but your eyes show a rotation don’t they?  Pretty cool.  I guess my week was the opposite really, if i think about it.  It often felt like nothing was happening, but in fact, it was.


The insulation happened as promised, and we were pleased with the great job.  Then it was drywall’s turn.   The drywaller promised me 2 full days, and he’d be done.  2 guys came late on Thursday, and left very early.. maybe a little more than 1/2 a day.   Then Friday, again, 2 guys showed up late, the owner joined them later yet, and then I got a text at noon with a photo I’ll spare sharing with you.. saying that the crew was going home because one guy had a rash on his back.  Seriously?  One guy down, everyone has to go?   Friday at noon… hrmmm..

No-one was willing to work on the weekend, or stay late to finish the job.. but i was promised they’d be done at Noon on Monday when the taper was coming.  Sure enough, Monday 5 guys were there, and they banged off the rest of the job.  And it wasn’t a clean job.  First time i’ve been disappointed with one of our trades.  My taper will take care of it, I know, cause he’s the BEST there is around.   But because of my respect for him and his workmanship, I wanted to give him a better canvas to work on.  And this isn’t it.  For each of these things, there was an excuse/solution.. “baseboard will cover it”, “Pete can fix that, no problem”,  “it’s in the closet, you’ll never see it”.   ugh…

But overall, it looks pretty good, and it’s exciting to see our new living space come together.

Bill’s Office – I love the light this room has.  It will be a bright cheery room, that I long to make into a reading room.  I can see spending considerable time in here in the Winter, soaking up Vitamin D through the South facing door.   I think our yellow reading chair with footstool will go in here, at least in the Winter months.


Our Bedroom (panoramic photo rounding the walls)  Lots more plugs and bigger closet (not shown)  HOPE:  I need your help organizing my closet with racks/shelves/rods… HELP!  And i haven’t even started thinking of window coverings!


Great Room from SE corner of room backing on main bath (standing in space that used to be spare bedroom)  Photo description from L to R: pocket door into laundry room/Butler’s Pantry, Kitchen wall (orange pail sits close to where the Dishwasher will be)  stove wall backing on new 2 pc powder room, front door, bay window, and on far right, the new large window facing East road allowance.  One comment I get often from people who walk through, (and semi-regret myself) is how small our kitchen window is.  I really wanted to maximize cabinet space.. after having such a small kitchen for so many years, not just in this house, but in my previous apartments, i was CRAVING cabinet space.. so I sacrificed window to get it.  This window also faces directly onto our driveway, and into the neighbour’s house.. so i really didn’t feel i needed more view. 🙂  We are putting in a considerable amount of potlights, so this should really help the light.  We have considerable natural light coming in from the North with the bay window & front door, and East with the new large window.


Great Room from NE corner (pano again) photo description from left to right:  Bill standing at new 90″ x 52″ window facing East on to road allowance, hallway to bedrooms, bath, and laundry room.  Pocket door to laundry room (the 2 dark doorways) Kitchen wall, powder room, front hall closet & front door, bay window facing North.


so, we’re not standing still at all it seems.  Pete the amazing taper is there today, and we continue to move forward.

Last night a new issue arose though.. and that is heat..  We had the gas meter turned off when we moved out of the house, against better judgment, and accompanied by a long story.. and now to turn it back on could be a big rigamarole (love that word) so we temporarily wired in an electric construction heater last night with the help of one of our guys (thanks Gerry!)  so that might be the next saga… stay tuned!


Passing the halfway mark

Bill doesn’t quite believe it,nor do a few other Naysayers in my life (notmentioninganynamesMom) ..but we laid out the schedule at work the last couple of days, and figured out all the timelines for the trades and supply, and it looks like will be returning home exactly 4 months and 1 day from the day we moved out. I was hoping actually for a week earlier, but it’s really quite unrealistic, especially when Lincoln Construction has so many other houses to complete before year end. Besides I kinda forgot trim in my schedule… whoops!

Insulation was completed today, (we needed spray insulation in the old existing 2×4 walls and that’s a separate installer from our Batt guy, who did all Roxul). and will be inspected tomorrow. Drywall has been delivered, and in the meantime Cotton poured the front porch and Bill’s new man cave.

Went shopping with my mom at IKEA the other day and saw some lovely drawer accessories that have me dreaming of organization.

Flooring has been measured and ordered, as has the trim. We’re going with Craftsman style, which looks like this.. minus the cove mold.

The excitement continues!! I can hardly wait for the next 7-8 weeks when we’re back home, ready to host family and friends.. but first comes unpacking…

Don’t get dizzy as I walk in circles

May I present a video walk through of where we’re at end of today? Rock wool (Roxul) insulation is all in, spray foam in back of house still coming next week.. but here’s the house today!

I started at the front door, then powder room, great room where Bill was vacuuming , kitchen wall, then a peek into laundry room/butlers pantry, The office/guest room with patio door, our room, then main 🚿 bathroom. The Rectangular cutout in the main bath to great room isn’t a window, that will be a shower niche. We also had Roxul installed in the interior walls for sound insulation. If you have your sound on, you’ll notice how effective it is to muffle the shop vac, even with doors open.

playing catchup

i know, i know.. .it’s been over a week since i blogged.  And it’s been a WEEK!!    a few more sleepless nights, trying to figure out insulation, how to get my plumber and HVAC guy to play nice.. orchestrating everything in time, ’cause my favourite insulator is going on 3 weeks holidays starting this Friday.. and in the middle of it, finishing some last minute framing…. then framing inspection didn’t pass.. i won’t say FAILED.. but there were just a few “minorish” deficiencies that had to be dealt with.  The inspector freaked me out a little talking about insulation well in advance, advising that what we were planning wasn’t good enough (even though it was well above code, but there’s no allowance for what we wanted to do in a very stringent chart)  I won’t bore you with the details.. needless to say.. a bit of a stressful week!

pictured below, main bath plumbing roughin started, new patio door in Bill’s office.  Plywood down on floors throughout.

Since we decided to go with 5/8″ plywood as our subfloor throughout to sturdy up the floor, we found the front door was installed too low.. and wouldn’t allow for flooring and a floor mat… so it had to be raised.  My shower niche got missed – and the small infractions (having more do with plumbing and HVAC plus a few window headers)  were all addressed, and this morning, we passed, just in time for Mike’s Insulation to come in and start the itchy stuff.

Pictured below:
1. electrical runs with my chalked notes on the walls (“Sparky’s” shortform beside it.. SSSP (switch x 3, plug)  I mean.. i could have said that…
2. view from our new East window (gorgeous tree and pretty old house)
3. the mesmerizing glass in our front door


We still have some plumbing and HVAC issues to resolve.. ie.. where the dryer vent is going, and correcting the location of the handheld in our shower (needs to be on the right of the main valve, not left.


Here’s where plumber & heating guy played nice and each took a stud space.  plumbing for sink in new 2 pc powder room, and cold air return for main living space.img_3305

more electrical pics, just because Bill is so enamoured with the work done.

and finally today, Mike the insulator got a great head start with the vapour barrier and insulation.  Tomorrow will look very different when interior walls start getting closed in and we have rooms again.


our insulator has a fabulous pair of legs. no, seriously.. he does.  Just sayin’ is all..


The first time I met Mike (after talking to him for years on the phone or by text) he was on these, doing a cathedral ceiling, and he sauntered over to chat with me on these crazy stilts like they’re his own legs.. it’s amazing to watch.. incredible tools i never knew existed!  (had you there for a minute, didn’t i.. .seriously.. i have eyes for ONE man’s legs only.. and he’s all mine. 😉

Here’s my new shower niche that Bill framed in tonite.


and a first look at Bill’s new man cave.  Hoping concrete is poured soon and it becomes more real for him.


one more pic.. of our laundry area, that still needs some plumbing remediation.   Nice high counter for folding or ironing, shelves will go in above and below over the stairs.  W/D to be stacked to the left with a laundry sink in between the stacked appliances & the counter.  Behind that is our bedroom.


Drywall starts end of next week, just a wee bit more framing to do (in our closet)  trim and flooring have been ordered, cabinets are in production, lighting is all in and being stored, as are all the plumbing fixtures.  we’re on our way!

there’s some real changes coming soon, and it will begin to look like a house again.  Can’t wait to share it with you!




The heart of the matter

Or.. the heart/guts of the house.. Bill and I have decided that his responsibility, or the things he cares about most are what’s on the inside, whereas I care more about what how it looks in the end.. the cosmetics. Don’t get me wrong, I still care about the guts, and he still cares about the looks… But together we have our priorities divided, so we’re covered.

Today was a big GUTS day. We had walk- throughs ahead of time with the plumber, electricians and our wonder team of framers: Josh and Austin.

I’m going to pause record what’s been going on behind the scenes in our personal lives. We’ve had 4 days of family parties and events, my last 2 uncles on Dads side from Kingston and Holland were in town, and we hosted them in the J lounge for the weekend. We’ve been sleeping terribly/very little.. at night I do my best worst thinking.

And way way too much of it.

Worrying and thinking 🤔 💭 planning each plug and outlet.. where I need 3 ways, dimmers, timers. I spent HOURS on paper and in my addled brain trying to figure it out. Then Jeff MacIntyre (best electrician around in my book right now!) did a walk through in about 30 minutes with me, and suggested all the things I forgot, affirmed the ones I had, and figured out everything I couldn’t. His main guy, Tim, accomplished more today efficiently on his own than our previous electricians could with a group of 2-3 guys in 2 days. Wow.

I got called to the job site this morning, and they were all there together. Plumbers, electricians and framers. The cacophony of compressors, nailguns, drills, hammers, radio and voices was almost too much for me to take, yet these guys were all working together in some beautiful orchestral dance with their tools, wires and cords.

I wish I had caught it on film, it was amazing, like a Raiders of the lost Ark maze they all got through working together. And they accomplished so much today!

Bill and I were so amazed when we arrived end of day. It’s cool to see all the guts inside the walls. I’ve seen it so many times before, in other houses, but it’s never been personal. This is OuR (God’s that we steward) house.

Have you ever seen a pocket door frame? Now you have.

I had to run home again at lunch to pull out all my tomato plants so the guys could start on our back patio door.. lotsa green ones going in paper bags for winter ripening. Half a cooler full!

During the next few days, the mechanical will be completed, inspections done, and insulation will start. We’re on schedule..if not even a wee bit ahead. I’m so very pleased. And thoroughly exhausted to the bone.

Windows to the soul of our new home

Josh and Austin, two of the greatest guys to work with, were at the house all day today. They nailed down the new subfloor, the windows were delivered, and they got in the two biggest windows and the front door. These guys have the best attitudes, work ethic, and work really well together. It’s a joy to watch them. So without further ado, (adieu?) here’s a view of what our new home will look like.

Just realized I didn’t take an overall look photo, I was so obsessed with the new windows and the front door especially!!

I’m so excited to have windows that open and operate! Especially on the North & East side where we get such lovely breezes. This will be a game changer for me. (Bill, not so much.. he doesn’t love open windows…I’ll work on him)

Here’s a look inside last night before windows were installed. (Top photo, the window on far right will be closed in.. that’s the old guest bedroom window)

I think I took 18 pics of the front door today, and just stared at it for a full 1/2 hr. I’m so excited about what we chose. It’s really coming together!! I’m excited also to host you, my family, my friends in our new home when it’s complete, where we’ll experience Bill and Amy’s new kitchen together.

Blessed & Thankful

At the same time we embarked on this project a couple months ago, we also lost 2 integral guys in our framing crew. I asked John (cousin/brother/boss), “who’s gonna frame my house?” He replied “I am!” John started framing when he was 16 yrs old, possibly younger.. I may need to check that factoid. He framed for a few years in Calgary, before returning to Jordan with his wife Helena, and firstborn son. He started his own business, Eagle Carpentry, doing cabinetry and renovations. He also joined the crew at Lincoln Construction, then owned and operated by my Dad. GST came in 1990, so at the age of 57 dad “retired” and John took over the business.

The last 12 years or so as LC has grown, John has moved more into more of a Developer role as well as General Contractor. He still picks up his tool belt now and then, but not nearly as often as he did in the early days. He tells me he’s really enjoying having the hammer back in his hand, tool belt on, having fun, and I think quite appreciating this change from the regular day to day.  I’m loving that he’s heading up the framing crew, and I believe the guys are also really benefiting as they’re learning side by side from someone with 40+ years experience, and a truckload of work ethic.

So.. this is what John and the crew did the last 2 days. It’s taking shape!

Tom, our really fantastic roofer also got started, delivering the shingles, and filling in all the old plumbing stacks and vents.  Today if the rain stops, our old shingles are coming off, and the new ones are going in with new ridge vent.

Bill is still demo-ing in the evenings, both bricks on the exterior, and trying to stay ahead of the framers in the interior. He’s working full time right now at work with many projects, also juggling family and church commitments, so it’s been a tough go. I’m so very proud and thankful for him!!

Verklemption. take a moment.. talk amongst yourselves…

At the end of the day, we celebrated my Wonderful brother in love’s 60th birthday. His claim is that behind every good man is a greater woman (my incredible sister Wilma). This generous couple is housing us right now as we do this Reno/addition and we can’t be more thankful or blessed!

Signing off.. a very thankful Amy who is blessed beyond measure, surrounded by incredible family. (pictured below with cousin John)

Toto? There’s no place like home.

What a day! What felt like Hurricane winds didn’t stop the guys yesterday from putting up the walls! As you can see, it’s a fun group I work with.

Before I got to the house to catch the guys lifting the wall, I was greeted by thawed meat in the chest freezer in Wilma’s garage, which totally thwarted my plans for the day. I did manage to get most of the laundry done, mistake was putting it on the line in the crazy high winds. Even though I had to retrieve some items tossed about the yard, and unravel several, it all dried fast!

Once laundry was going, and I’d visited the guys on site at the house, and the crock pot was going with pork tenderloins, I ran out to Costco to buy a new freezer and got down to cooking. Thankful for my sister’s chef kitchen. I had my toaster convection oven and crock pot going downstairs, and her two ovens and lovely gas stove going upstairs .

Salsa chicken, mushroom chicken, lemon garlic chicken, fried sausage for future stew or chili, massive pot of ground turkey with vegetables and marinara sauce, with which I made 3 pasta pies, and leftover sauce to freeze, 2 tenderloins made into mushroom pepper pulled pork, and a bag of wild rice mix cooked up while I had the stove going. Rice freezes well, and with a side of fresh veg, we now have about a months worth of dinners ready to go.

Early this morning the crock pot was going again, as was my toaster oven making bbq pulled pork,lemon butter dill salmon fillets., and lemon pepper rainbow trout

I ended the day yesterday with some deep belly laughing good ole red neck time with cousins and some chickens on a swing 🐓.

Bill took more bricks off the house, and is back at it again today. It’s really tedious hard work. I’m so very proud of him, and deeply in love. I didn’t catch it on film, but also very thankful for my brother in law, Dick who came out for a while to help Bill this afternoon.

At the end of the afternoon I took a drive by video, to give better perspective of the work done today.

Here we go!!

All of a sudden it looks like things are happening quickly. I’m excited and getting really nervous… cause like most of my family members.. I have a tendency towards being a micro manager..

Being that this is where I live, and money we’re spending.. it’s a bit scary. Even though I’ve been in Construction for over 12 years, and around it most my life, I’m realizing how little I actually know about the process of some things. I’m sure it will be beautiful and well built.. but I’m all about the details. So is Bill. And we want to make sure it’s right, and we understand it… so yah, we’re becoming THOSE clients… the ones that drive me batty. Trust is difficult.

So that out of the way.. here’s where we’re at now!

Bill took off the last few bricks under the front door yesterday so the guys could start framing the floor deck of the addition .. which happened today! Parts of the existing front wall came off too.

Oh and I got a peek at the NEW front door today! Much bigger than our existing door, with more glass, and 2 sidelights.

Framing continues this week, then new roof and mechanical starts! We have lots to do to plan for that.. like where we want plugs, switches, potlights, dimmers.. we’re thinking of having our feature light over the island, and potlights with wall sconces in the dining room rather than a chandelier. Reason being the dining table will move and shift depending on size of groups we have for dinner, and we don’t want to be restricted by a dining fixture.

We saw this light on Saturday which we think will be our Island lighting.

Ignore the fixture behind.. isn’t it pretty?

It’s 8 lights, and quite amazing. I think my Dutch uncle will love it, and my dad would have wanted to build it if he saw it.. you can see some weld lines, as part of the design. It reminds me of my Blacksmith/steel construction family.

Looking forward to what the next few weeks hold with much hope and trepidation!

Decision Fatigue

This morning I took my mom to a Drs appointment, then dragged her along with me to a granite supplier. I was pretty sure I had made the decision to go with granite counter instead of laminate in the kitchen.. cause I really want my farmhouse sink. Farmhouse sinks and laminate don’t get along.

So.. I walked in and fell in love. Turns out it’s the same name of colour (Fantasy brown) as one of our clients just chose from another supplier . Bill stopped in to see it after work, and he agreed with me, loved it and put the down payment on it. I guess we’re going Granite!

Then I drove around looking at stone for our exterior. This is where I’m really running into trouble. I have the interior of the house (except for lighting) done… but now I’m hitting a block wall.. figuratively and literally. There’s so many things to know, to choose… I just want to put it in someone else’s hands! We have a landscape designer, but so far, I’m feeling like we’re either not on the same page, or I feel like I don’t understand what they’re trying to accomplish.. and the exterior is so very important.. we’re spending money there, and it’s the first impression of the home, we need to do it right.. Definitely something we need to be praying about.

Here’s the biggest problem: we’re dealing with several different entities. The stone on the exterior skirt of the house is one supplier, the installer for the walls is one subcontractor, the stone cladding on the porch is one type and brand, the steps another and then the stone on the driveway another one again, and they all need to work together! I cant find the right blend!!! Argh!!

Decision Fatigue is one thing I warn my Clients about. It’s bound to happen, and yet somehow I thought I was gonna escape it.

Good news is.. our amazing concrete cutter did our egress window today, and he went above and beyond.. even taking out the old window, and placing in the new (not quite installed, but placed in). I’m so thankful that Bill insisted on this European style window.

Isnt it cool how it tilts and opens like a door? Love it! It will add so much light into our new basement guest room.

So if you’re reading this, and you are a pray-er, please pray with us that we make wise decisions, and that the timelines all still work. I love this view and can’t get enough of it.. but… there is no place like home.