Donna’s ramble - final update: August 28, 1013

     Happily, under Cam’s direction, things continue to move right along on the site.  The newly added and well insulated internal walls, as well as the interior walls, are up.  The drywall is in place, awaiting paint.  

 

      As readers are aware, I tend to concern myself with the sustainability side of things and, in that regard, our crew, consisting of Spar, John and Cathy continue to keep the travel portion of the carbon footprint very low. Two of the three walk to work and the third is just a few minutes away by car.  Some of the trades are local as well: furnace technician, Brad Skaug of Dr. Comfort, just up the road and around the corner; plumber Mike O’Connor from the McDonald’s Corners area; Mike’s wife, Judy Hitchcock, completed the concrete for the 25 X 34 foot steel garage and Crain’s, from nearby Elphin, did the ground work for the garage and the septic upgrade and Paul Cameron and Jim, his helper have done an amazing job on the welding for the exterior and interior railings and the spiral staircase, which looks awesome. While Crain's were onsite they removed the topsoil for an eventual garden. Cam has already dug around a boulder that wouldn’t budge and which will now form part of the patio pond on the south side of the building.  All to say that there is less and less lawn to cut.  We are blessed to have so many talented people so close at hand. The garage went up last month and the paneling is almost complete. This week we will place the kitchen and order the counter.  Brad is back working on the heating system and the plumbing and electrical are all but complete, as well.

     Keeping with the sustainability concept, some great Kijiji deals from near and far continue to come our way, the latest involving a trip to Orillia where Lisa was happy to pass along a great Whirlpool Duet washer and dryer...the dryer already converted to propane.  Those who have been reading this rambling will know that a full kitchen, some light fixtures and hardwood flooring came from the Kanata area, while the spiral staircase and railing originated in Wiarton.  Travelling east to Kinburn, we scooped some bathroom fixtures and west to Peterborough, where we found a beautiful purple (the picture below, shows it as much bluer than it actually is) Kohler cast iron kitchen sink and a six foot soaker tub.  More recently we travelled east of Ottawa and scored a brand new Mirolin Shower for 1/3 of the sticker price.

     A nice deal on a good set of scaffolding and specialized tools, necessitated a couple of trips to Ottawa and area, as well.  But the crown of the deals so far is still the purchase of a Heartland 5100 propane stove that is my heart's delight.  It came from Scott in Cannington...Thanks Scott.  While it isn't the Elmira wood cookstove that I've dreamed about since I was 22 (that's a while back, now), it has the same beautiful look and it saves us putting in a chimney and oodles of cash, which will be used, instead for, thermal hot water and heat.


    While these purchases have, by necessity, involved some travel, that is more than offset by the fact that we are not buying new and, more often then not, have other reasons to travel in those directions. Rather, we are re-using, keeping in use resources that already exist, thereby not creating more of a burden on an overburdened planet. I was unable to find a suitable vanity and so far that and a toilet are the only new purchases.

     Consideration of all of the 4 R’s - reuse/regift/restore/ recycle - is being taken into account in other ways, as well.  Examples include the air pump equipped, church organ gifted to a local musician, who will put it to very good use. Another organ remains, and will make a spectacular addition to the interior design.  Still on the church theme, while visiting the Lilac Festival recently, we happened on a magnificent 11 foot oak pew from the Franktown church. As well as providing an abundance of seating, it, along with a pew that, in 1983, had been replaced by those from the Poland church, will be returning and will add nicely to the decor.  Helen, next door was pleased to have it return from whence it came.

     In order to build the new steel studded walls, the original wainscoting had to be removed. Most of it went to the local re-use center, but a section was retained and now graces to walls of both of our office, which look into the main part of the space.  The no-longer-needed, furnace venting also landed in at the reuse center, to be given new life by a happy new owner. Some of the original lumber that has been taken out to make way for new door openings and the like has made its way to the wood stove for warmth on the still damp nights. When enlarging the septic bed, two thirds of the lilac bushes had to be dug up and will grace a couple of local lawns in the years to come.  The beautiful stain-glass windows, while not at all efficient, remain and new energy efficient argon gas ones have been added inside, allowing for both beauty and good R Value. Much of the left over cuts of the Roxul batts went across the road to help with insulation values there.  As you can probably imagine by now, I could go on…..

     And then, because of Cam’s diligence in comparing prices, there are the amazing deals that he is finding for various materials, including posts, beams, decking and the like at a not too distant lumber yard in Killaloe.  Our local yard closed recently after many decades of service to the community.  It is missed. Such savings, along with those gleaned by buying used and making do with what is currently available, help with keeping the budget in line, especially when some of the more recent design decisions necessitate added dollars.  An example of the latter is the decision to possibly go with Thermal Solar heating and hot water.  More money will be spent at the outset, but, as hydro bills increase over the years, there will be ongoing and ever increasing savings. 

     Thanks for your interest in the project and feel free to contact us if you have questions or thoughts that you’d like to share.