Saturday, September 24, 2011

Sarika & Dr. Suzuki Drop By!!!

We were extremely fortunate and honoured to welcome Dr. David Suzuki and his daughter Sarika to our home for a tour! They are travelling across the country gathering stories for the Suzuki Diaries- and highlighting some interesting finds along the way. They brought their crew of the Nature of Things with them and visited the Edmonton Waste Management Centre of Excellence the day before. They wanted to see our re-use of materials like the brick wall, sub-zero-fridge doors, church pews turned to door casings and window seats and particularly our experiment with carbonized wood! They were keen to see how we used low-tech solutions for more ecologically friendly building. We were delighted to host them for a tour, while all the work was going on around them. It was an amazing day. 

Dr. Suzuki & I talking about low-tech
solutions,  the brick wall- and thermal mass.

He signed our inverter "For Mother Nature."

Even John Malkovich stopped by.
[Sarika made good friends with Allan,
who seems to have an uncanny resemblance.]
Sarika loved the SubZero pantry doors.

Adar got one of his books signed!

Group shot!
End-of-tour beers on the balcony!

Waving goodbye!

We were still buzzing at night and went for a walk to see if
the adrenaline would die-down. Serena took this photo from
the Goldbar bridge.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

First Family Feast!

We had our first family feast last night- to celebrate my Dad and brother's birthday.  I wish it were in cleaner/tidier circumstances, but that's the way a sliding deadline goes.

** By the way, our blog posts are not as frequent as I'd like because we have no internet/phone connection at our new house. One of the stupidest, silliest mistakes was not to have a "mast & pulley" installed for the phone service. So, we'll see how much of an adventure that installation will be tomorrow.

Yum! bar-b-q dinner and more!
kids enjoying a make-shift bench.
Yay! Some siding finally on the south side. And look!
The metal is almost done too!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

What can we do with extra hard wood flooring?

There is quite a pile of off-cuts from our gym flooring installation. I'm wondering how we can best put it to use, as they are gouged, damaged or otherwise un-usable for a visually appealing floor...

So, do I lay them out on our garage floor?  Do I plane down the old varnish and use it for fire wood?

Or???  Suggestions please!

The pantry doors are in!

I'm hoping Serena is as excited as I am!  The salvaged glass fridge doors have been installed on the pantry cupboards! Yay! And they look awesome.

Serena pined about a pantry way back last September... you can read about it here:

Again, I am amazed that these beauties would have otherwise ended up in the dump.   * Sigh *

Now, just some interior shelve supports to put up and we're ready to load'er up!

The first laundry spin!

This is what we do for entertainment in a house with no TV. We watch laundry spin.  Yesterday, we hooked up the new washer and dryer and were excited to watch the first load... for all of two minutes. But it was a milestone nonetheless, particularly after the ridiculous failed deliveries, damaged delivery and the craziness with Sears. So, finally, as is nice and sparkling clean.

Monday, September 5, 2011

LVL as the bathroom counter!

The LVL that we re-used for the bathroom
counter turned out amazing. Dave found a
really cool way to bring out the wood ply in
the  LVL by sanding off some of the stain. Not
bad for a material that would otherwise be
discarded as an off-cut.
It worked so well, that we are going do the
stair treads the same way. 

Living in the basement!

We have now spent our first week living in the basement suite, as work progresses in the main part of the house. The fireplace was installed. Some more doors were put in. Trim work progressed. And we even hosted our first guests last weekend for a couple nights. Carina and Peter braved the off-gassing fumes, dust and construction zone and tested out our pull-out couch! 
Carina & Peter- our first guests!
The corrugated picking up the colour of
the sunset.
I love how the cedar screen creates
patterns on the corrugated metal at
the front door.

The pantry almost ready for supplies!
Child labour! Bringing up reclaimed brick for the hearth wall.
The brick is from the porch of the original house on the lot.
Putting the salvaged brick in "gabion" cages. I am dry-
stacking the brick behind the fireplace. Notice the metal
clip holding the cage to the wall- it was salvaged from all
the concrete ties found from the foundation stage!
Fireplace in place! and about 3 feet more of
drystack brick to go!
Yay! Basement countertops installed!
View from the pump-jack.
View DOWN from the pump jack scaffold.
Fun times.