Just back from the holiday break. The trip up this time was a bit different: we made a stop-over in Montreal to see the Cirque du Soleil. First time ever for us. Definitely not the last. It was absotively a-m-a-z-i-n-g. We arranged for the dogs to spend time getting bathed and in doggie daycare at Montreal Dogs while we were at the show. We were able to leave the car there, walk 5 minutes to the Metro, and with no transfers, straight to the Bell Centre. Everything worked out perfectly. We were very pleased with Montreal Dogs and it was inexpensive, compared to what we usually pay. $100 had both dogs taken care of from 2:30 to 6:30 PM, with playtime with other dogs, and both bathed. Usually, a bath alone for the big guy would be $70.
DS had requested a R&R vacation. So, no work was done on the upstairs bath. I, on the other hand, got a lot of little things done: The 'wagon wheel chandelier' is down, and has been replaced by a ceiling fan that pretty much matches the light fixture family we have chosen. Luckily, the plug box was easily replaced with a fixture box, and was sited directly below a truss, so with 4 screws into the joist, it is very firmly attached.
The wheel itself was hung by some fairly substantial chains and eye-hooks. Problem is, we learned once we removed the first of them that all but one of them were only long enough to pierce the drywall. What were they thinking? This thing could have come crashing down at any moment! Not to mention, we just happened to leave the only solidly attached hook to last, by sheer luck. Had we worked in any other order, the whole freakin' thing would have just fallen onto our heada. And it is a 52" diameter solid oak 8-spoked wheel, not a lightweight!
I also changed the ceiling light in the hallway to a semi-flushmount like those that replaced the LR chandeliers. I tidied the tool area and compressed it a bit, so got 6" more space in the bedroom half of our room. Doesn't sound like much, but it makes it a lot easier for the dogs to turn around on my side of the bed.
I also moved the cable running from the satellite to the decoder to the attic. No more worries of it falling down onto the baseboard heater and starting a fire. And no more unsightly wire. This, along with the wagon wheel, were both bugging the crap out of me.
Since the septic system had been installed, the lights on the lake side of the attic had not worked. DS and I assumed that the electrician, in doing his wiring, had simply cut the wiring going over there. I got around to testing and futzing in the attic to see if I could rectify the problem. After an hour of turning off breakers, re-connecting disconnected wires, testing, with no luck, I solved the problem: the bulbs were burned out. Occams Razor at its best!
Let's see, what else got done...I removed a baseboard heater in the hallway just outside the kitchen that did absolutely nothing except collect dog hair.
I put a second coat of drywall mud on the old fireplace ceiling patch, and patched the ceiling where we removed all the paint when we pulled tape off. I patched and mudded the tiny miscalculation in the ceiling drywall when we built our bedroom last year. And I patched the holes left by the wagon wheel we took down.
We realized we had some more rodent visitors, and that they were accessing the house through a couple holes in the ceiling of our bedroom, so DS foamed those and I set out traps. We got two mice on each of the first two nights, then nothing, so I guess that's that.
I got the horseshoe I bought spray-painted. I chose a brown hammered finish and it looks great. Also, I finished painting the old kettle, pot, and two lids, so they're back in their proper places near the woodstove, and the effect is exactly what I was seeking.
And, I finished reinstalling the heat-shrink plastic on the four windows from which it had been removed over the course of the summer.
Snow conditions were absolutely perfect, so we went snowshoeing a few times, including a night-time trek with friends by the light of kerosene lanterns just before midnight on New Year's Eve. The weather was great, and it was something I had always wanted to do. Definitely a do-again.
We snowblowed on the second Monday. DS did the drive, and I did the parking area. We've been having problems with the snowblower since last winter. I suggested we bring it in in the early fall, but DS said it was fine. Well, after my little wrestling match with the thing on the Monday afternoon, I issued DS an ultimatum: bring it in for repairs (the transmission is f*cked, I'm sure), or else she'll be clearing the snow on her own or paying the guy to do it out of her own pocket. I think I got through this time :-)
The weather played us a bit of a trick, though. Right up through New Year's day, the forecast was for a trace of snow on the Sunday of departure. It began snowing on the Friday, and didn't stop 'til some time on Sunday night. Between Sunday morning and Saturday afternoon, we didn't check the weather station. Saturday afternoon, all of a sudden, there's this heavy snowfall/weather warning. We ended up having to call our plow guy to clear the drive before we could get out. Thank goodness he is responsive!
The sugarbush beside us is still for sale. The price is now $209,000. We have decided we are going to find a way to acquire it. Somehow. Land beside and behind us, and across the road, 156 acres all told. A couple shacks, the sugar shack, and a 4-season cottage.