Back At It

Back At It

We have had rain at regular intervals for the last little while, and the gardens are lush and flourishing. I cut peonies for vases in the living room and on the kitchen window sill, and love to look out into the back yard and see the Yellow Hawkweed dancing in the wind; we have had a lot of wind lately.

Peonies from my garden.
Peony june
Yellow Hawkweed in the back yard. I won’t let Attila cut the grass, not until the Hawkweed stops flowering!
Hawkweed June 2016

We are finally settled enough to approach items on our renovation list. It has been a long time coming, about a year since we tackled anything of note in the line of renovations. It was a year ago that I returned to the country house and we began the work of readying the place to put it up for sale. The summer was spent at the country house, keeping it spic and span and ready for viewing, and there were a lot of viewings. When it finally sold we had two weeks notice to get packed and move out. We managed that, taking Attila’s vacation time to do it, and squeezed our belongings into tiny Mist Cottage. During the fall, autumn, and winter, Attila first worked at his old job, living in Tank; then worked a temporary worker on rotating shifts, near Mist Cottages; then worked as a full time employee on rotating shifts; then worked as a full time employee working night shifts; and finally as of one month ago he is working as a full time employee working day shifts, with weekends off. Working days with weekends off has literally transformed our world, for the better.

Of course, all through this time we were busy at home either selling the old place, moving, or working on downsizing at Mist Cottage. We also searched for, found, and purchased the Rideau Camp this spring. We have accomplished much, but none of it was in the line of home renovation. Now we are well situated to continue with the projects on our list.

Attila and I both agreed that the priority project for this summer was to tear down and rebuild the garden shed. We decided also that this would be accomplished in the month of June, the worst month for biting insects at the Rideau Camp and outdoors in general. So, to kick off the renovation season Attila ordered the lumber for the shed this past week.

Yesterday when Attila got home from work he was raring to go on the shed project. After a quick supper, which I had prepared in the morning in the crockpot, he headed out to the back yard to begin, and down came the shed.

The garden shed yesterday afternoon. Note the door, a silly little thing cut from particle board. A previous owner loved particle board, and poorly understood its properties. The floor of the back deck, which we tore down, was particle board. It was worth life and limb to tread on it, it was so rotten! The door of the shed must have been built about the same time.
Shed June Reno 1
The shed with the roof and siding removed. Oodles of mildew from the leaky roof and the earth that had crept up the siding on the left side. Attila said there were mushrooms growing along the bottom sill plate there. The front left corner was eaten away by carpenter ants, long gone now.
Shed June Reno 2
Attila dismantling the roof, some of the wood was rotted right through.
Shed June Reno 3
Pulling down the walls. I found it interesting that Attila left the entire contents of the shed in place as he tore it apart. Nothing was damaged, which included the large panes of glass from the former dining room window.
Shed June Reno 4
In response to Bex and Wendy’s interest, I have added this photo of Attila’s progress. The old shed of this morning, no more! Attila decided to move all the contents of the shed this morning, to make it easier to move around on the concrete pad that will be the floor. He actually had to shovel earth/mushroom/rotten wood debris off the concrete, it was quite a mess. We also found items we had been looking for, like the old plastic toilet seat that will work wonderfully for our composting toilet at the Rideau Camp.
Shed June Reno 5

Attila, at my insistence, covered the contents of the shed overnight with a plastic sheet. My adamance was a good thing, because when we got up this morning it was raining cats and dogs!

The lumber and door for the new shed arrived early this morning. As soon as the rain let up, Attila began to set aside the salvageable materials from the old shed. The roof rafters that are sound will become a bin for our yard waste compost. The insulation will be cleaned, sanitized, and used somewhere in the house. There wasn’t much else worth reusing, so I researched methods of disposal. We cannot fit this much construction waste in a vehicle, so I am researching companies that will take it away. I would like to get rid of it before the Hawkweed stops blooming. I don’t want the construction waste to kill the grass beneath it. Attila seldom pays attention to these sorts of niceties, but I do. I find it expedient to keep adding my two cents worth to the project.

Worldly Distractions


Date: 12:00 PM EDT Saturday 11 June 2016
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 100.8 kPa
Tendency: falling
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: 15.2°C
Dewpoint: 13.1°C
Humidity: 87%
Wind: S 16 km/h


“Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence. True friendship is a plant of slow growth, and must undergo and withstand the shocks of adversity before it is entitled to the appellation.”
George Washington
1732 – 1799

When I read this I think of those with over 100 “friends” on Facebook, which has largely replaced face-to-face interactions between people. And I wonder at those with thousands of “friends” on Facebook. It seems the meaning of the word friend has been drastically altered by technology.


  1. I’m OK then, I only have 88 Friends on FB. 😉
    I love that Attila torn down the walls and left all the contents in place. Will he rebuild the shed right around the inside contents now? Lots of energy saved with that plan…

  2. WendyNC

    Another fascinating project. Like Bex, I’m intrigued with Attila’s ability to remove the building without disturbing the contents. I’m looking forward reading about the construction.

  3. Bex, I added a photo above to address your curiosity and mine about what Attila was going to do in regard to the contents of the garden shed. In the end it was in his way, so it was sorted and set aside by the back porch.

    At present he is sawing something apart on the roof of the garage where the garden shed will be attached. I don’t look until he calls me for a photo update!

  4. Wendy, I was surprised at how Attila did that, he originally said he was going to remove the contents, but I didn’t realize he meant after he demolished the building around them.

    He is seems very happy to be back at his projects. For this one I am supplying the meals, supervision when necessary 🙂 , and ice cream.

  5. Oh, this looks familiar. We tore down a garden shed a couple of years ago. It was partially rotten, too. Since we had a much larger, nicer one at the back of the property we didn’t need the small one, which was an eye sore and took up about half of our side yard.

    Now, the side yard is eye sore free – well, except for about 40 feet of scraggly bushes that need to be removed and replaced with some fencing. I’m hoping will get that done some time this summer.

  6. Teri, it feels very good to clear away that which is worn out, that is great that you already had a second shed! The fence sounds like a nice addition, but a lot of work to build.

    We have three patches of ugliness left at Mist Cottage, well two now, the shed was one on the three. The garage and the attic are the remaining two “ugly jobs” left on the list, and of those two the garage would be more important to tackle. Our garage was very poorly designed, so it has taken us a long time to come up with a way of resolving its many design issues. I think Attila has come up with a plan, it won’t be aesthetically pleasing, but the oddity of it won’t be seen from the road, or by the neighbours, or even us for that matter, so it is under serious consideration.

  7. Hi, Maggie. We have about 40 feet worth of property line where we want to put that fence. We have bylaw restrictions so right now we’re looking at a 3′ tall ornamental wrought iron fence that can actually be installed by pounding spikes into the soil.

    No, it wouldn’t be as sturdy as a fence sunk in concrete but it would be attached to our chain link fence at one end, and the poles for that are sunk into concrete.

    Hope we can get pics of the garage when Attila is done. I’m really curious to see what he’s come up with.

  8. Joan, the original garden shed was not functional at all, we couldn’t store anything of value in it, couldn’t stand up straight in it, and the roof couldn’t be touched, because if you pressed on it, your finger or hand would go right through it in the weak spots. The new shed will have a wide steel door, and we will store the snowblower, lawnmower, and equipment in it, making a lot more room in the garage for working on future projects.

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