Pleased...

Jun. 5th, 2011 04:32 pm
the_plan: (Seal Cove)
The septic contractors were good as their word and arrived bright and early yesterday (just as I was on my way out to 'Mom's Day Off').

James was very pleased with how they worked. Their attitude, care and professionalism was first rate! Despite having to wait on the pumping truck they got everything prepared and ready to roll, then got some lunch early while they were waiting. No time wasted. Unfortunately with the ceiling of the tank caved in they couldn't pump out the rocks that were in it. So the answer was to pump out the sewage, leave the rocks, dig a hole right beside the new one and rebury it, filling it in with rock and dirt (no more collapses!)

They had to move the pile of topsoil I had in the driveway for the flower beds, so they very kindly moved it all to the big empty hole at the back where the tree stumps came out (which was exactly where I wanted it). Couldn't talk em into digging the rest of the swamp drainage trench for us, but we're really gonna have to get the mini excavator again anyway to finish smoothing out the BIG hole, but all in all not bad.

They took GREAT care not to damage the flower bed out front, which was quite amazing, it was so close to the hole I figured it was a goner. Not a single flower disturbed! And despite all the digging they did a very neat job of cleaning up after themselves and smoothed the soil out very well. Yeah I've still gotta put a little topsoil down there to cover some rock, and seed it with grass seed... but it's actually quite neat, considering how much we'd had it torn up from the excavator last fall.

When I think about the disaster that the septic tank caving in was, I'm really very pleased and relieved at the eventual outcome.

For the local folks - if you've got an issue, I can't recommend Wade's Excavating and Septic Services in Flatrock highly enough. These guys were just great.


AND as a bonus, James managed to get the laser working again (we won't talk about how BIG a scare having THAT not work was! Fortunately it was a very short lived scare) and did them a sample glass. They then bought an order of 20 on the spot! Ya know we could really make a go of the whole laser, dye sublimation printing thing if either one of us had a clue about marketing or sales (but that's a whole other post ...)


More musings on gardening. Pretty much the majority of my landscaping budget had been spent and I wasn't really planning on doing a lot more to the gardens this year, but MUN Botanical Gardens were having their annual flower and cuttings sale. It was for a good cause and I hadn't seen the Botanical Gardens yet, I slipped a few dollars in my pocket and off I went. I probably spent another $50, and I still don't really have a lot of an idea what I'm doing. I've got a general overall idea what I want to accomplish; so I got some more ground cover plants; a couple kinds of phlox, needed some ferns for the great gaping hole by the forest, some other interesting bits and pieces. But the real value of the trip was the inspiration! They have some amazing shade gardens. The biggest pain for me has always been how much shade I have to deal with here, nothing is completely a 'sunny' spot, and I've always been kind of unimpressed with the plants recommended for shade gardens. What I discovered was "Wow a hosta I actually LIKE!" and that I can have bright colour in a shade garden. Lots to inspire me, but I was also rushing. I did get some lovely photos of the gardens before my camera batteries died. So I think another more paced trip is in order, especially as more of their summer stuff starts filling in, with full camera batteries and a notebook in hand.

where I get carried away with pretty pictures )
Now I think I'll go re-pot some tomatoes and herbs.
the_plan: (Seal Cove)
What knowledge and inspiration I do have for the gardens, has come from these that I turn to for answers:


Canadian Gardening subscription (although it does tend to be a bit Ont/BC centric)
Rodale's Illustrated Encyclopedia of Perennials (a gift from my Mom when my ex and I bought our first house in 1986. A good reference)
Reader's Digest's an Illustrated Guide to Gardening in Canada - it's a handy reference for the stuff I can't identify
Freeman Patterson's The Garden (a photographer, and philosopher, and spiritualist who finds photographs, life, and god, in his garden - my deepest inspiration)
Kitchen Garden A-Z (a cheapie I grabbed off a remainder table, or at Homesense, it has been helpful for information on edibles)

I like the idea of growing edibles as and as part of an overall untamed ornamental garden, (there's a wonderful article on 'The Edible Garden' in May's issue of Canadian Gardening I'm hanging onto.


This one was one I was reading at my mother-in-law's house the last time we were in Australia.


Apparently they keep rereleasing it every few years (I don't know what year hers is). I can't afford a new 2010 copy at $75, and it seemed rude to hint she might want to gift it to me. So after some hunting around and some patience I did find a 1989 release for $2.94 + shipping. Amazon has a few other Christopher Brickell edited gardening books that look tempting, most of them are new, too expensive, not relevant and reworks of the book I bought, but I did buy a copy of The Gardener's Companion for $4.04+ shipping as well. Together with shipping, they cost me $20. I figure that's not gonna blow my budgets too badly.

And I'm gonna keep my eyes open for any of Peter J Scott's books. They were recommended by a friend experienced in gardening in Newfoundland and he's retired from MUN where he was a professor in the Biology Dept - Botany.
the_plan: (Default)
The geek in me finds this abandoned Teleglobe Satellite Sation very intriguing.

(lots more pictures and stories)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/borderfilms/2853347314/in/photostream/
http://brnation.d2sector.net/ue/telezemecko.html

Heck 365 acres of beautiful Nova Scotia forest, $245,000 - it's a good deal
But what in the name of all that is good do you DO with it??

The geek in me loves this old abandoned relic of the cold war technology, loves the above ground tunnel, the astroturf tennis court, the ... *sigh* Honestly though, I can't think of a single thing you could do that wouldn't destroy the ambiance of it.

T'is a shame
the_plan: (Seal Cove)
Sooo with thunderstorms and rain I'm not out in the garden today, and I'm less interested in going walkies with the dogs (although I still might if it dries up a little this afternoon). So I've spent the morning lazing about on the computer, updating my long lists of 'Interesting Properties' and doing a bit of daydreaming.

Despite being thoroughly convinced that we really don't want to 'pay for someone else's renovation' every once in a while I happen across some listing over our price range an already renovated home that pings all my bells and whistles, or something so extraordinary it just makes me drool.

In the six plus months of doing this, I've only had 3. Came across the third one this morning. Despite a) not wanting to be in town/village b) wanting 35-300 acres c) wanting ocean frontage d) not wanting to pay for someone else's renovation: This property is damned near perfect. At almost 4 acres it's more than double what we have now, the house has been beautifully sympathetically renovated, it has gorgeous workshop/barn space, it has a separate apartment for the Feychild and her Pippin, it has it's own pond for Buddy, and it already has my three rail fence. It is delightful and charming. And it's $379,000

A few weeks back I bookmarked an oceanfront property in Gabarus Cape Breton. This house needs a bit more work than the other one. But dude! 161 acres of beachfront, 1500 ft of shoreline - of sand dunes and rocks and ocean for the puppers to play in! There's also a barn and fields for my gardens. An oh my word the privacy! We could be right good hermits there! Price? $390,000.

Honestly right now, if we $350-$400,000 to spend I'd be hard pressed to say which I liked better.

I did have one $3,000,000 marked, just because it's the only million+ property I've seen I actually LIKED. But do I like it better than these two... honestly I'd be hard pressed to say I liked it $3,000,000 worth more. After all for all the dramatic 4000' ocean frontage - it's only 70 acres and it's not as private as Gabarus. It's a nice house - biggish at 3300 sq ft, but we have almost that much now and want to DOWNSIZE (I hate cleaning 3000+ sq ft of dog hair). The house certainly isn't as charming in my mind as the Midway house. It's a bit more beach house than century character. And Midway has the charming barn and guest apartment....

Nope I can't see myself spending $3,000,000 on a house even if we DID win a lottery, I think I'd rather buy one of the others and spend a few dollars on it.
the_plan: (Bliss)
One of the problems with trying to chronicle this adventure that James and I have been on is well ... we're so busy adventuring it's hard to find not only the time, but the headspace to write about it.

One of the things I've been doing in my head - and I think this is a mistake - is planning on writing looooooooong posts when each job/room/project is finished. Kinda like DIY TV - see it go from drab to fab in 30 minutes.

But that was never really the point of this blog. It doesn't go from drab to fab in 30 minutes. I'm tired and I'm burnt out about a lot of things, and we still have so far to go, and yes - I've had WHOLE WEEKS of being a lazy cow and getting nothing done. Eventually though we move forward. And I think it's important to document the PROCESS. Whether that's a lazy day, or a full one. Whether I get one flower planted or twenty. This isn't all gloss and shiny and professional. We're just a couple of DIY hacks making do the best we can, sometimes that's better than others, but I think this blog has more value (well it has more value to me, I don't know about it's social value) if I record THAT part of it, the ALL of it.

And maybe you'll hear from me more often

And maybe writing the posts won't seem so long and huge and daunting that I end up putting that off as well.


In other news.. there's no news on the Western Bay property yet. Could be a few days, we'll see when we see.

Still we hope. Spent a large part of this morning discussing and researching the fencing project. This was the ONE job we really would have liked to do, but got cut for budget/sales considerations, however, if Western Bay does sell we're likely to stay here another year, and we'd really like to have the fence done, both for resale value and for the dogs. We'd have a budget for it.

It's a huge job though 12-1500 linear feet of fence. I wanted a nice 3 rail pressure treated wood fence. If the sale goes through we can afford the material - but I don't even want to think about what work putting in 150-200 fence posts in Newfoundland rock would be. It'd kill us both with only the two of us to do the job. Not gonna trade one set of heartbreaking stress for another. So I emailed a contractor, Avalon Rencing, I want to at least have them out for a free quote - maybe do the back sections in chain link and the horse yards in 3 rail, or maybe just get them to set the posts. I am presuming they'll have the kind of augers needed to go through the soil here. We looked at buying an auger ourselves and probably still will after the move, but for the job here, nothing we could afford would do the job.

Hopefully they'll get back to us in a few days. We haven't had much luck with contractors here, the landscaper came by for a look, never got back to us with the quote, the guy we called about the basement took 6 months to return my call with a "I understand you need a quote on a job?" - uh no... we've move on buddy, and now the septic guy... called him twice, he promised to be here before the end of the day, then the end of the week... that was LAST week - not even a call back. I really don't know what it is?

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