Two Days Of Vacation Left

9:30 a.m.

Attila goes back to work on Monday, two days of renovation vacation left. How much he will get done over the next two days has yet to be determined.

When I arose last night at around 1:30 a.m., to use the facilities, Attila was still up and at it. I ventured into the garage to see how he was doing. There he was, sitting calmly just out of the rain, under the new rafters, smoking a cigarette, contemplating his handy work, and figuring out what needs to be done. I think he went to bed shortly after that, although I was asleep again, and did not hear him retire for the night.

Garage sheathingThe rafters and sheathing on three quarters of the roof, the last section of roof in the foreground, which came down with the assistance of a winch, and the last bit of the garage open to the sky.

Garage tar layersThe old roof had to be cut into sections, through more than an inch of tar based material (shingles and waterproof membranes), and two inch thick solid wood roof boards and supports. It took ten Sawzall blades, and a lot of pain, to cut the old roof into 56 sections, each weighing between 75 about 100 pounds. If that roof had been designed properly, those materials might well have lasted a lifetime… but the lack of adequate support, and inadequate slope, meant that no matter what kind of money, time, and materials were thrown into making that roof waterproof, it could not be made so. What a shame.

Garage old roof downAnd there we have it, the last sections of the old roof, sitting on the floor of the garage. These monsters had to be rolled into the dumpster. I am so glad that we decided on the dumpster, and that Attila does not have to drive these sections to the dump and unload them! When I got up this morning, all of these sections were out of the garage, loaded into the dumpster as I slept. Who needs elves when you have Attila!

This morning, at his request, I awoke Attila at 8:00 a.m. After relaxing with his morning coffee and a cigarette, he changed into his work clothes and got right to it again.

One of the advantages of having most of the rafters and sheathing installed, is that there is now a dry place for Attila to set up his equipment, saws etc. He and his equipment can work comfortably despite the rain. He has one more very long board to cut in the great outdoors, the equipment won’t setup properly in the garage to do that cut, then he can move the equipment indoors. Up until now, all renovations have required Attila to work out in the open, in the back yard. That meant he had to put away his saws and equipment every time it rained, and set them up again when the rain stopped. He won’t miss having to do that! It rained a little bit this morning, and it looks like more is on the way.

I’m the “runner” again today, making another trip to the building centre, and to the grocery store, Attila has lists for both.

Last night’s dinner, Instant Pot Sweet & Sour Chicken with Vegetables and Rice, was a big success. I am using ground beef for tonight’s dinner, Instant Pot Sweet & Sour Beef with vegetables and rice. I have a quarter of a cabbage that I will shred and add to the dish, in addition to the frozen mixed vegetables.

6:09 p.m.

The Instant Pot has been in use every day since it came into the house. Tonight’s dinner was Sweet & Sour Beef & Cabbage With Rice and Vegetables. Hearty fare. I included five garlic scapes from our garden, which I snipped into pieces with the scissors before adding them to the dish, very tasty they were.

As I was eating my dinner, Attila was hard at work, adding the first sheet of plywood sheathing to the open quarter of the roof, having installed all the rafters earlier today. Now he is working on the next sheet, having stopped for a bite of dinner, of which I am glad because it was still hot. He loved the Sweet & Sour Beef dish, asked me to write down the recipe so that we could enjoy it again.

I have been making up recipes every night for our dinners. Such fun. Now that I have the timing and proportions of dry to liquid figured out, the sky is the limit. We both like rice, so I have been focusing on rice dishes. Tomorrow though, I am thinking of making a Chicken Cacciatore With Pasta, making up a one pot recipe for the Instant Pot. I will precook the chicken though, it is important that it is thoroughly cooked. Since the chicken will be pre-cooked, the cooking time can be safely based on the time needed to cook the pasta. My Tuna Noodle Casserole was a success, so I am optimistic that we will like this Chicken Cacciatore.

The migration of this site and others to a new domain host was so very easy. But, at this end, on this computer, I have been having issues with DNS caches, and after posting an entry, I lose access to my sites from this computer. There is a tedious fix, in Terminal, which I have to perform each time I post an entry. As far as I can tell, only I have this issue! The iMac, our entertainment unit, has no issues with accessing the sites, so I can still get in and do what I need to do on the iMac. Eventually I’ll figure out a fix on the fly, and  it will be so organic that I won’t even notice that I am doing it.  UPDATE: I couldn’t resolve this issue myself, it has to do with software on my computer tripping security measures at the host’s end, and locking me out as a result.  I will pursue this issue with the software developer, of the softeware I am using to upload the entries.

Renovations are slow going, they aren’t like new builds, one is always dealing with decisions made at other times, by other people, in other contexts. The garage is a funny affair. It is narrower at the front than at the back. It sits on a concrete foundation that was not poured square. The roof was almost flat, ergo the almost two inches of added waterproof membranes and shingles to try to keep it from leaking. All of these things complicate the job of renovating the roof.

It has been drizzling off and on all day today, but that hasn’t slowed Attila down at all. It isn’t very warm either, but he is working hard enough that he is quite comfortable in a t-shirt. My idea to run duct tape along the joins in the sheathing worked great, no leaks!

Attila plans on working into the night again tonight. He has set himself the goal of finishing framing in and making weather proof the small section of roof that is beside the new garden shed. That section must be designed to take into account the eves of the garden shed roof. It is a fiddly bit.

I noticed Chippy The Chipmunk clamouring up a board and hopping into the garage. The little monster thinks it is his. That will have to be dealt with once the roof gables, and the roof by the garden shed, have been secured. Until then, there will be no keeping him/her out.

I always thought chipmunks were cute, until I had to compete with them for possession of Mist Cottage. The rascally Chip n’ Dale were on the money, when it comes to chipmunk personalities.

Tomorrow we must go through the items in the garage to determine what must go into the dumpster, as it will be picked up on Monday morning. The old roof and all the water damaged items will be carted away. Worth every penny.

8:15 p.m.

Garage roof sheathing completeThe sheathing is done! This picture was taken before Attila applied duct tape to seal over the joins, to keep water out until the metal roof is installed. Oh happy day, this is a sight for sore eyes.

Garage roof sheathing complete interiorAnd here is it from the interior of the garage, high and dry! The old roof was level with the left wall, this photo shows how much Attila raised the right side of the roof, to create a much needed slope, to shed water and snow. It smells like new lumber in there! Wow!

I think this garage, and the rotting finished basement full of chipmunks and mice, were the reason this house sat empty for years. Mould and mildew are smelly and horrid. When we bought Mist Cottage the smell of animals, mould, and mildew hit your senses full force as you entered the front door. It was disgusting. It improved over time, bit by bit, so that by the time we moved here in 2015 the interior air was sweet. But until this week there were very bad odours in the garage. Fixing the underlying problems has been a huge amount of work. The basement and the garage are fixed now. We gutted the basement within weeks of purchasing the house, filling a dumpster with the contents, and shingles as we also put a new roof on the house. We hired a contractor to dig around the foundation of the basement, lay drainage tiles, and installed a membrane to protect the concrete from water in the soil. And now, at last, the old garage roof, so thick with hopeless shingles and waterproof membranes, has been ripped off, one small section at a time, to be replaced with a lovely metal roof, with a slope adequate to shed rain and snow. Mist Cottage is now, at last, structurally secure. If we didn’t do another renovation, we could live here quite comfortably.

Worldly Distractions


Date: 6:00 PM EDT Saturday 23 June 2018
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 100.8 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 17.2°C
Dew point: 14.9°C
Humidity: 86%
Wind: NE 10 km/h
Visibility: 24 km


“Out of the strain of the Doing,
Into the peace of the Done.”
Julia Louise Woodruff
1833 – 1891

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Wonderful progress! Well done, Atilla, with lots of patience and support from Maggie,


Such an appropriate quote! Hopefully there will be a bit of time tomorrow for Attila to just sit and enjoy the fruits of his labors. He deserves it.

Your meals sound really tasty, Maggie.

Bex Crowell

I learned a big lesson last night with my iPot. Make sure the cover is securely ON and LOCKED, before using it. Mine wasn’t, all my fault, and I thought it would explode into a steam mountain! Scared me to death.