Another Dusty Weekend

We spent another dusty weekend in the basement, trying to get the drywall done. Not quite there yet – lots of finicky bulkheads and a couple of other small jobs to do – but here are some pics of the latest. The main room downstairs is the size of our living room, dining room, kitchen and entry put together, and now that the boards are mostly up, it looks very bright, spacious and perfect for entertaining. Eventually. You just have to imagine some furniture and a baby grand piano to go with the pool table. We expect to finish the last of the boarding this coming weekend, and have the mudder/taper in next week. Not sure what more has to be done before we have the advisor come in to do phase 2 of our EcoEnergy assessment, but we’re close, and really looking forward to the grant cheque! Drywall – maybe primer since we’ve got some on hand and we have a sprayer – is about as far as we’ll get for now. Our focus has moved outside… wait ’til you see the changes in our back yard. We’re going to have a lot more fun this summer! And someone pointed out we’ll have a good backup plan if it rains on the August long weekend. Yes.

It Followed Me Home, Can I Keep It?

No, I’m not talking about Chris and Dagny’s new French bulldog puppy. Lulu just likes a photo op. What followed Richard home on the back of his trailer (because there’s no way it would have made it here under its own power, had it even had wheels) is a 1969 Kaiser Jeep CJ6. (I wanted to say, “what’s left of it” but Richard was deeply offended.) This rare pile of red scrap metal is actually the ideal foundation of Richard’s next 4×4, something that can still drive on the road (when mated to a 1994 Jeep YJ), has the requisite long wheel-base for our favourite rock-crawling locales like Moab (where we’re headed next month), but won’t do the kind of extreme trails Mechano used to (ie, Missezula) in favour of more leisurely wheeling. Poor, beaten-up Mechano will one day rise again as pure extreme event buggy – and I will revert back to camera-lugging superfan on the sidelines. Buggies go faster and I much prefer tortoise speeds, thanks. But we’ll have the Jeep for trail rides, and aside from having to re-learn using a clutch, I’m psyched. Mind you, the CJ6 won’t be done in time for Moab, no way. For this trip, (my third or fourth?), we’ll take the YJ “donor” truck, which other than engine issues is working well enough, and doesn’t have to survive past the last day of wheeling in Moab anyway since it’s going to be chopped up for parts. It’s a much better solution than the steep fees to rent a Jeep there for three days of wheeling! And if I end up denting it in a few places, it won’t matter a bit. I’ll be missing Mechano’s squishy 44” tires, and probably its long wheel-base and airbags as we rattle along in the YJ, but as long as we can get through most of our usual trails, it will still be a Moab adventure. And Richard has a great long-term shop project to alleviate his stress the way gardening does for me. Just not yet, because right now we’re dry-walling and landscaping and the temporary YJ has to be running in 4 weeks!

Nesting Season

Yesterday morning I was eating my breakfast in front of the kitchen windows when I noticed two black birds (sparrows? starlings?) come fluttering around under my eaves. They spooked when they saw me through the glass. I saw twigs and thought, oh no, they’re going to nest under my eaves. In a second I was out my back door to check, but there wasn’t any sign of a nest. Back inside, I moved to a different vantage point where I suddenly noticed more twigs, sticking out the back corner of my barbecue. Hm. My slow brain goes back to Tuesday, when I cleaned a few strands of garden debris out of the BBQ when I made lunch, and believing the only openings were slits too small even for rodents, had chalked it up to the last windstorm. I went outside again to pull the twigs from the back just as the birds arrived again and aborted a BBQ landing! I opened the lid, and saw this….