Got it

Today, I took advantage of a much warmer day (we reached -7C this afternoon) before the temperatures plummet again, and headed to a nearby city to see if we could get a replacement hot water tank.

I’d already phoned and had instructions, but we’d never been to this location before, so my daughter and I took the time to look around. We have been discussing a building project for the summer, that I will blog about later in the year, so we went to see if we could price out stuff like mortar and insulation.

It turns out this is not the hardware store we could go for these materials.

Then I went to customer service with my sticker from off our hot water tank.

In maybe 5 minutes, paperwork in hand, I drove around to the back of the building, to a particular shed, where a new replacement tank was ready and waiting for me.

It now sits in our dining room, waiting to be installed.

It was so fast and easy, I wish I’d thought of going somewhere else, long ago! Not one person I spoke to thought of it, either. It was certainly worth the hour and a half total in driving time!

One of the amazing things about it is how light it is. Compared to the old tank that got replaced shortly after we moved here, which is so heavy I intend to dismantle it and remove it piece by piece, rather than risk damaging the stairs with the weight, or someone getting injured taking it around to the other basement and hauling it out that way. Assuming it could even be moved to the other side of the stairs in the first place.

My daughters and I had wondered about how the old tank was brought down there in the first place. It occurred to me that it was probably installed while the new part of the house was still under construction. The new part basement would have been completely open, except for the support pillars, and there would have been just a wood burning furnace in the old part basement on one side, and the stairs on the other. The tank was probably brought from the new part basement, through the space now filled by the electric furnace.

Getting rid of the damaged tank will be much, much easier!

So now we just have to pay for the installation. I suppose we could install it ourselves, but I want the plumber to look at our well pump, too. Now that we don’t have to come up with the money for a new tank (the price was $419, before taxes), on top of the cost of labour, we’ll be able to get it done at the end of this month!

I am so looking forward to getting that done!

The Re-Farmer

Assessing things

Yesterday’s plans to take my mother to visit her sister at the nursing home changed. I got a call in the morning, because she was worried about the weather. It was blowing pretty hard, and she was concerned. We ended up postponing for now.

When doing my rounds this morning, I found some minor tree damage from the winds.

Finding this branch was rather funny.

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And early start in the dark

Today was that day of the month that always reminds me how much I dislike shopping! 😀

Actually, it went very well, all things considered. So I’m happy about that.

I got an early start to doing my rounds, which meant it was still very dark as I switched out the memory card on the trail cam.

I also paused to take this photo of our lights.

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Bonus Critter, pre-op update and more

My daughter and I were coming home when I spotted something on the road, right at the corner I was turning at.

A red sided garter snake!

I was very happy to see it; I’ve seen so very few this year.

Unfortunately, it wouldn’t move away.

My daughter got out and tried to shoo it off the road, and at first it started to cross, but then it decided to go for the big shady spot.

Under the van.

I had just started to move again, too, but she quickly signaled me to stop.

The little bugger just curled up behind my tire and would not move!

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Staying cool

Today has been a day to stay inside, where it’s cooler – and to allow my body to recover from yesterday a bit more.

Which means I’m feeling decidedly unproductive.

I did manage to finally clean the windows on the outside, around the house, and on the inside in the sun room.

The kittens didn’t know what to make of that!!

I tried to get some pictures of bees, too. The problem is, with the bright sunshine, I can’t tell if my phone is focusing where I want it to, or not!

I did manage a good one, though.

This is a smaller variety of our native bumble bees. So pretty. 🙂

One of the things I tried to do today was remove those bottom hinge pins on the gate posts. We’ve been spraying them with penetrating lubricant regularly, in hopes that would help.

It didn’t. The hinges themselves can rotate freely, but those nuts are just not moving. My older brother had managed to get a few turns on this one, and that was as far as it would go.

I suspect they will need to be cut off.

The next thing to consider is how to clean these in preparation for painting. I’m hoping the detergent we got to wash the gates I’ve been painting will be enough to remove the lubricant.

As for the gates, they’ve been flipped in preparation to do the other sides, but if I am able to do it at all today, it will be after things start to cool down!

Looking at the forecast, it looks like we’ve finally reached that time of year where the only productive work outside will have to be done in the early hours, or the evenings, to avoid heat stroke.

The Re-Farmer

First Estimate

I called several companies to get estimates to get our roof done.

The first one came by today to do an estimate.

He spent quite a bit of time checking things out and taking measurements, after we did a walk around. During the walk around, we talked about the chimney from the wood furnace that will need to be removed. I couldn’t tell him, one way or the other, if the TV antenna would be going back up after the roof is done. There is an unused satellite dish to take down that he included as a removal, though my brother might take it down himself before any roof work is done.

Among the things he noted was that, whoever did the roof last time, did not do the valleys properly (I think the roof was redone by my late brother, with various family members helping out), which could be easily seen from the ground. When on the roof, he identified two leak spots that corresponded to leaks we’d found inside during the winter. I brought up the possibility of finding rotten wood under the shingles, so he included the rate per foot that would be added on, should any be found.

The guy clearly knew his stuff, was very professional and efficient, gave me a very detailed estimate, then took the time to explain some of it. Such as how the step flashing would not be under warranty, because they would not be able to install it properly, due to the existing flashing being under the siding. They’re not going to break the siding to install new flashing, so they would have to install it over the siding. A silicone bead would be run across the top that would have to be redone every year, until we redo the siding and the flashing is property covered. At which point, that flashing would also be covered by the 30 year warranty.

His estimate also included things like converting plumbstacks, applying and supplying ice and water shields, one and two ply underlay for the different slopes, and replacing the goose neck exhaust vent. Clean up is included, too. It was all quite thorough.

The final number was almost $8,500, plus 5% GST. Given that I am sure they will find rotten wood to replace, I would expect the total to reach about $10,000. Which is pretty much in line with what I was expecting.

I also got a call from another company my SIL passed our phone number to (someone she knows personally), so we should have a total of 4 estimates to go over, by the time all is said and done.

I expect the other estimates to be similar, except the metal roof one, which I expect to be higher. Those come with lifetime warranties, so it’s a longer term investment.

So now we have to figure out how to come up with $10,000, or more if we go with a metal roof.

Before it becomes a real problem!

*sigh*

The Re-Farmer

New toys!

One of the … fun… things about this old house has been the screaming bathroom fan.

Every time we turned it on, it would slowly start, making a whining, grinding, screaming noise, until it got up to speed.  Then the noise would stop and it would be the nice, rather quiet fan it was supposed to be.  Quieter than the newer fans we had in all three bathrooms of our old place (oh, for a second bathroom! LOL), in fact.

Well, it finally just up and died.

It was installed in the 70’s, so it’s had a good, long life! 😀

So my darling husband ordered a new fan.

Not just any, ordinary fan, of course.

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This baby also has a heat light built in.  Which should be quite nice in the winter!

Now, we’ve never installed anything like this, so I’m hoping my older brother will be able to give us a hand.  He’s worked with the wiring in this house for many years, and is familiar with this house more than any other living person.  I would much rather take advantage of his knowledge while we’re still so new here.

Along with the fan, a couple of other toys came in.  Including this, for me.

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It’s for when I’m out clearing the bush.

I can’t think of what I’d use it for with the work I’m doing right now, but…

Gosh, that’s pretty.

There was also hunting knives.

Six of them.

I’m not sure why there are six of them.  I’ll have to ask my husband when I get a chance.

(I just caught him on the way by; they’re not specifically hunting knives.  They’re intended to be used as throwing knives. LOL  Much larger ones than the ones I’m used to!!)

On the thought of finding things out, I sent photos of the new gate we built yesterday to my brother.  I also told him about the fence line I ended up pulling out along the tree line.

He tells me that the old fence line was likely more than 40 years old!

I have no memory of a fence line there, though I remember other things from that area.  I guess my thoughts that this fence was added after the trees were planted was backwards.  The current fence would be the one added more recently, to protect the trees from cattle, and the original fence is the one that was allowed to collapse and get buried in the thatch.

He also guesses that the old gate we replaced was about 20 years old.  So I’m probably right in that the posts and barbed wire pile I found off to the side were from the older gate.

There is going to be a lot of stuff like this we’ll be finding, fixing or replacing, over the next few years!

Though I would really, really prefer to be spending our pennies on getting a second bathroom installed. 😀

The Re-Farmer