It’s been a hectic year but I’m back.
We recently visited the beautiful island of Curaçao for a bit of a disconnect. It was a fabulous place to flop and you can read more about our trip in a post I’ll have done shortly. One thing we noticed, as in Puerto Rico, was the abundance of stray dogs. At first glance, these did not appear as neglected and abused as in Puerto Rico which was a terrible place for dogs; there is hope however.
A day or two after we arrived, we notice a tiny dog slinking around our place. She was gun-shy and skinny but had a bright eye and wanted to play. Two other women at the place noticed her as well. Little did I know that Josée was talking to both of them as well as a local animal rescue and shelter, CARF Curaçao. A little later in our holiday, I bumped into one of the ladies, from Croatia, who exclaimed “Oh you’re the Canadian who is rescuing this dog!!” Scheming Josée had worked some magic behind the scenes, setting the wheels in motion for the grand affair.
I’ll have a movie up soon with the whole story but basically within another couple days, we captured the dog, took her to the shelter, had all her medical requirements met and arranged the paperwork to get her on the plane to her new home in Canada. Westjet was great and waived all the transport fees so on our last day, we collected the dog at the airport, watched as she was loaded on board and then eventually welcomed her to our home in Comox. We named her Haven – as in ‘safe haven’. Hopefully she will have a long, fun, safe life with us on the farm.
This is the penultimate house update as we are literally a couple weeks from move in date. Over the last month, the beams were installed and kitchen cabinets mounted. In the mechanical room, we had the various tanks, boilers, wires and panels connected while outside the heat pump was delivered. I spent the last week helping the guys move the material for the sidewalks and patio so we have that mostly set up, ready to pour. Craig, Big Al and I moved some rocks, small and big, into various positions to form up the entry stairs and a short retaining wall. Overall, things are going nicely. The next update should be after the house is finished!!
Working on the entrance
Rain chain drains
My first draft of sidewalks and patios
Kitchen going in
Up they go
Kitchen boxes and ceiling beams
Ron working his magic
Busy day at the site
Working on the mechanical room
Martio helping with sidewalks
Main patio area
Getting the stairs ready
Forming the stairs
Main patio area
I’m a bit late with this update but we’re well past lock-up now, with insulation and boarding on the sched for the next couple weeks. It has been really fun to see the windows and doors go in; the plumbing and electrical complete except for finishing; siding basically finished and trim well underway. The front of the great room and the kitchen garden have yet to be sided but that will be done soon. Tom, Ron and Chelsea have done amazing work and Craig and Al have kept everything moving forward; they’ve all been a great team. So far, I think everything is on track for our move-in early next year. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone!
Rough in for the turn around
Framing mostly done
Front of house – looks massive but it is smaller in real life
View from on high…
Working on entrance beams (in foreground)
Entrance posts installation; good thing we had the excavator
Installation of entrance posts
Panorama of the back of the house
Great room with office on left of photo
I just starting digging the trench for the well connection
Well trench finished
Siding started on the back of the house
Window opening mechanism
Panel rough in – sea of wires
Great room beam work
Data and electrical
Looking into kitchen – beams in place
Starting on trim detail
My last update was when we had just finished pouring the concrete slab. Since then carpenters Tom, Ron and Chelsea have done a great job getting the house framed, walls up, trusses on and ready for the roof. Our schedule is to roughly be at lock-up by early November. Now at least the house has a shape and form. It is interesting to walk through the house, checking out the different rooms. The size and scale of the house changes with each new bit of construction – sometimes feeling way too big, other times just right!
Power and data underground
Office / bedroom end
From a distance
Starting the turn around
More turn around
Craig up high
Tom & Chelsea
From the dirt pile
Front of the house
Great room wall
Turn around almost done
Here comes Drillwell
Ready, set, drill
Office / bedroom trusses
Well nearly done
A short video of my annual fishing trip out of Tahsis, up toward the Brooks Peninsula. For highest quality, click the cog at the bottom right and select 1080HD. Enjoy!
Wherever you are in this world, Josée and I wish you a safe, fun and enjoyable Christmas season. For our friends in South East Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Korea, Canada, Tanzania, Holland and beyond, we miss you and we’re thinking of you! Keep in touch, stay safe and enjoy your friends and family. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and all the best for 2016.
Click below for a little newsletter of our 2015.
Christmas 2015 p.compressed
I just returned from my annual fishing trip to the West Coast all stocked up with salmon, halibut, rockers and cod. Thanks to my friend Captain Bud for taking me and my friends. Enjoy my video!
(PS..when you go to youtube and start the video, make sure you click the settings button in the bottom right (looks like a cog) and set your video to 1080 HD in order to get the good quality)
So part of my time thus far has been spent collecting names of reputable contractors, builders and service providers. Thus far, we’ve met with three builders, two interior designers, an alternate energy dude and an HVAC company. Tom and I visited the CVRD to discuss plans, zoning and environmental concerns. I’ve discussed grey water systems and had a fairly positive review of alternate septic options with VIHA/Island Health. Thus far, I have to say that most people I’ve (we’ve) dealt with have been great and it is making the decision making process difficult. I’m sure we’ll have dozens of meetings over the coming weeks and months but I think putting the time in to assemble a tight team is worth it.
Does anyone recommend local trades, suppliers, service providers and the like? Any feedback would be greatly appreciated! Onward we roll…
A couple months ago, Josée and I joined a few friends for a quick jaunt to Sedona, a town in Northern Arizona. We were going mountain biking in the famously beautiful red rock desert – hence, shred the red. It was an amazing trip, full of great trails and lots of fun with our friends. We will definitely go back. The video below is a compilation of a bunch of my videos from various trails. If you’re a biker, you might watch the whole video – if you’re not, feel free to skip through it! Enjoy!