Monday, December 24, 2007

T'was The Week Before Christmas!

Well we have saved our story of our adventure of the past week until now. The reason is, that I did not want to tell anyone until we were finished and all ready for the celebrations of Christmas.
We had a bit of a 11th hour emergency here last weekend in the middle of the big storm.

We dealt with it by ourselves and took on a project that both Carl and I were not sure we could do. But because of the emergency situation being so close to the holiday....we figured we would never get a contractor here in time to be finished before Dec 22, when the first of our family celebrations at this house was to happen.

Until Dec. 22, we had no water or shower in our main bathroom. Which meant some of us had to go to The Lyon's house to shower.

So now everything is done enough so we can have our celebrations and the food is ready and the presents are wrapped and the chores are done......I can tell you the story:

T'was the week before Christmas and all through the house not a creature was stirring....
'Cept for my computer mouse

A storm was raging
And the tree was all decked out
Christmas music on the stereo
And thoughts of watching a video that evening is what we were all about

When what do my surprised ears hear
But my name being called with an echo, I fear.
Up the stairs I flew like a flash
To main bathroom to find Carl abash

A wave of forelornment came over my breast
As I looked at the sight
I must attest

There sat Carl looking so down
His eye were filled up
So weapy he might drown

It started as a simple tub grout
When the tiles fell off!

We gazed at the mould and the wet
This is not what we signed up for, on that you can bet!

And as Carl carefully chipped away at the morter
So careful to take each tile off in order
Saving them all to repair the wall and re-do

With a crash! A tile fell off the wall into the tub and went SMASH!
Oh and now it is ruined, no chance of recovery
Boo Hoo!

The hours we spent being careful and cautious
Were in vein
For now no 30 year old replacement tiles remain!

At this point it was looking like Santa will never get to come
And Lynn looked at Carl and said, "Don't be so glum!
We'll rent the home depot van and get the supplies and do it ourself! Get Cameron up here and you two rip those walls out!
There's no turning back now, it is ruined and it has to be fixed, so we'll replace the whole back lickety split!:

Carl said, "I Can't! I don't know how!"
Lynn said, "I know how and I will teach you. I can no longer do the lifting and slugging, but I can tell you how to accomplish the deed. All you have to do is heed."

Carl and Cam ripped down the walls as the storm raged outside.
Got down to insulation and saw mould on that too, so vapor barrier and insulation came out too!

By midnight that Sunday the mess was removed and placed in the car for a morning appointment with the dump.
Then the adventure at Home Depot had our egos nice and plump.

It was decided the tub was too heavy to go in such a short time frame, it would effect the Christmas festivites. This was a race!
And a tub liner seemed the very best choice
And when there was only one in our colour to choose from in the shop
And it was the right colour......there was a cheer in our voice..hippity hop!

New fluffy pink insulation went up
Then new vapor barrier too!
And a waterproof wall board and prep for new taps Woo Hoo!

Lynn sprayed foam insulation in the corner units to make them strong.
Geeze those liner pieces are long!

The liner flat boards were glued and siliconed, and then they went up
Pressing and rolling for what seemed hours before we gave up

The holes were cut for the new plumbing
Then we gave it some time to cure

Now we were ready for the corner pieces
For sure!

The liner did not go up lickety split
It took some finesse
Actually it took quit a bit!

Pressing and alligning
And cutting and shimming to make a perfect fit.
By this time none of us were flexible
Our muscles were hurting quite a bit.

Lynn Tackled the plumbing and made it all fit
And the caulking would be next.....

And it had to be a special caulk....
Lynn taped the seams up so the lines would come out perfect and clean

By now the tub was looking quite a scene

White caulk all around and clear stuff for the joint seems.

And it is great that in the photos the liner just gleems!

So by Friday the tub was mostly all fixed
And only waiting for the caulk to dry was our next trick.
We put on the curtain and bath stuff.
The paint up top will have to wait
For now that is enough

So by Saturday we got to shower and we were all clean, so Santa will come cuz
Yuletide is here (and we don't smell)
And we are ready, and we had enough days break so we are not out of steam.

So I hope you all have great Christmas Cheer, for today is Christmas Eve.
It is already here!
We came through the disaster and we fixed it all ourself, and now we are ready for some celebration help.

The Tucker's wish you all a good Christmas, and we will have a toast to you all tonight.
Hug your families tight
And if you listen close on this quiet night you just might hear us here in Canada
With a faint Cheer.

Happy Christmas to You and to all a Good Night!

Christmas Eve Eve,

Well, this is the first year Amber has not gone home to Renfrew for Christmas. She and Alex came to spend Christmas with us! This is also the first Christmas Alex and Amber have not been apart for Christmas. The other years, they both chose to go home to their families.

So this is an extra special Christmas. Plus on Saturday we had the Tucker family here for our first Tucker family Christmas dinner. It was a great! There won't be photos because family members don't want to be on the net. And we respect their wishes.

I must say though, that the dinner was a smash hit! And it was great seeing my three week old grand-nephew for the first time. He is Edward William McGee. He is so good and so cute! He reminds me of Alex when he was a new born.

So Sunday was Christmas Eve Eve. How does the Tucker family spend it? In the ultimate geekiness. Playing Guitar Hero and building super computers!
What else?.......

This is a little balancing feat Cam accomplished in his office!

We got a new tree this year. We don't get a real tree, as I am allergic to trees. This tree actually looks real! And it is pre-lit! Folds out like an umbrella, and you plug it in and voila! Tree!

Here is a little video of the room all decked out!

The family room is all decked out and ready for Christmas Eve!
Family, Food, Friends and Yuletide Cheer!

Candy found some great places to hang ouot in the basement!

Amber playing Guitar Hero 3 in Hard Mode

Al is playing a video game on the super computer he built, Cam is watching Amber kick butt in Guitar Hero.

Ahhh Geekdom! That computer is the fastest you can get. Alex ordered parts from all over on sale here and there, and he asked if we could contribute to parts for his Christmas present.
So between our online orders and Alex's ones, being delivered.....The Purolator guy arrived every day for two weeks with the parts. There is a plexiglass wall in the tower so you can see through it and the components light up. Oh in the name of modding!
We are so NERD!

The computer has two high end hard-lined video cards in it for gaming and three fans and a coiled cooling system. The cooling system in this baby is almost the same size as the plenum on my house central air conditioning unit.

The suction power of the fans is so powerful it is suspending a "Magic" card on the grill.

Cam playing Expert Mode Guitar Hero3
See the home-made beer on the table! Carl's passion is his home-brew!
He is famous for it in our crowd!
This batch was bottled on Wednesday.

This video is of Cam playing Expert Mode of Guitar Hero

Carl playing Guitar Hero in Medium mode. I play in easy mode.
I do well in easy, but I don't play enough to do well in medium.

Cam Drumming to the Guitar Hero Tunes when others are playing.

Oh yes, we have a collection of Guitar Hero Guitars!
If you are between 40 and 70, and you have never played a video game, guitar hero is the one to try. It is really fun for everyone and you can compete with each other. The sessions are only as long as a song, so it isn't too draining, and the easy mode is easy to do after one or two tries.
We have the Wii version and Alex has the PC version. The Wii version is really cool because the Wiimote vibrates in the guitar, and it senses power thrusts.


Monday, December 17, 2007

The Winter Of Our Discontent 2007

So, last night was amazing! The snow fell all day and through the whole evening.

Just after dinner I went outside when the guys were shoveling, (I was baking cookies: How So-June Cleaver of me) While I was outside I got some great photos and video for you to see.

The snow was fine and coming down hard. That is how it was all day.
There was lots of wind and it was very very cold: -17C
I can't believe it could even snow at that temperature!

In the post before this, I show an example of what the yard looked like before the snow.
And this is what it was like last night.

The bush by are steps is below the height of the hand rails on the steps. The rest is snow pile that has fallen on the bush. You can also see my iron trellises (I didn't even get a chance to get them in before the snow bonded them to the ground in early November.) And in the pic in the last post, you can see so much more of the trellis.

Carl and Cam Shoveling:

These pics are without the flash so I don't pick up the glare from the flakes, and you get to see more snow!:

There are also some very pretty lights on our street:

This is the greatest impromptu video ever!
This is Cam and Carl shoveling at 7PM last night. It took them hours to shovel and it was so cold! Our neighbour had a better idea! They decided to pile into the nice warm van and polish their driveway instead! Stay warm, listen to tunes, and spin your tires! What more fun could anyone want?:(TURN UP YOUR VOLUME!)

I have to tell you that what I missed (cuz I was freezing and went in) was that they actually went around the block and tried to take a running start at the driveway, and got no farther.

If you kept saying, " I can't see the video cuz its too dark!"
Then click the video below and see the brightened and lightened version.:

Come back later and I will have pics of the Monday Dec 17th Snow Day!
The day after the storm of our discontent.


Sunday, December 16, 2007

The East Coast Of North America Is In A Huge Storm Surge.

What Happens To Ontario In Winter, When That Happens?

Snow! Lots of Snow!

We Are In A Winter Wonderland. A Week Before Christmas and 5.5 days to the Winter Solstice.

It is very cold here in the countryside north of Toronto. We are under about a 40 hr storm watch. We are in a lull of the storm right now, so everyone is trying to clean up the snow before the next wave of snow, and possibly ice.

We are beyond our monthly average of snow now. Plus we have unusually unproductive winters for snow in the past 15 years so for some living here this is the first time they have ever seen snow like this! It fine powder because it is so dry in the air and cold. But the powder blows in the winds and drifts.

This was what it looked like here before we got the new snow:

This is a video Carl and Cam driving in the snowy driveway today:

We have garden doors out to the backyard. I opened the door and this is how high the snow was up the door. This is about 19inches from the patio plus about 3 inches above the edge. So 22 inches up the door. This is blown and drifted. But the patio was shoveled before the snow started:

Our cedar hedge is almost covered:

The chimina fire pot is on the patio, and the edge of the snow mound from shoveling yesterday is barely visible:

Our roofs are piled with snow, and the icicles are left over from last week's storm.
The snow on the roof makes the houses very warm.
Lots of fireplaces burning today:

This is a video of the Neighbourhood Shoveling before the next wave of snow:

Check in later and see more snow! Plus look at the post below. I have a fun game for you to play to shake the season stress!