Family outing to Sand Hills on PEI

The Summer continues with Action Packed Fun!

We just came back from a family reunion on Prince Edward Island (PEI). We packed about 5 days activities into 3 & I need some sleep!! Early mornings & late nights.

Today I’m doing laundry & we’re packing for a 5 day trip to a friend’s camp on a small Island off of the coast of Maine. Our family will stay in our guides tent so that means packing for a camping trip – but sparsely & dry bagging everything as we need to boat out. I just checked the weather & it looks fantastic; sunny, warm & light winds. The wind part is  important as the Island is about 2 miles out & some of the family will be kayaking.

The weather has been truly amazing this summer & has cooperated fully with our outings. I give daily thanks but wonder can it last into fall?

Speaking of Fall.

I’m contemplating going back to school to do a Graduate degreeSeriously contemplating it. I need to take a few remedial classes this fall & do a ton of self study to try & remember everything I learned when I was last in University. (I just did the math in my head & I’m not putting that number in print).

I just went on Amazon & bought 3 Calculus books for some Light end of summer reading. Calculus was my least favorite subject in school. In my defense though my Prof was not very good… Okay he might have been good if I could have understood him & by understand him I mean he did not have a handle on the English language & his foreign accent was so strong my ears just kind of shut down in class though he could fill a chalk board faster that the eye could read!

BUT! with books called,

  • Calculus made Easy
  • The Humongous Book of Calculus Problems: For People Who Don’t Speak Math
  • How to Ace Calculus: The Streetwise Guide

I should be caught up in no time.

So… I was feeling pretty good about things until my kids said, ” Mom, math isn’t the same as when you went to school in the old days. This is dating myself but I had a slide rule for my engineering classes & the first computer I used took up a room. We wrote code,  which got copied onto punch cards, we took out punch cards down 1 floor to the computer room & ran them. If there was a mistake, then back up stairs to redo the code & re-punch the cards.

School should be a zillion times easier now, with the time savers kids these days have:

  • Fancy calculators – no more slide rule
  • Computers
    • No more digging through tons of reference books at the library for an answer.
    • Google – need I say more.
    • No more handwriting papers. (Hello cut, copy & paste)
    • Classes can be taken online.

I’ll sign off for now. I have to fill out my online application now (oh the modern conveniences).

Let me know if you have any tidbits of advice & by the way, what’s the fastest way to get rid of brain rust?

The Stone Duck last weekend

You know the adage “Slower than watching Paint Dry”

I’ve got a new one - Slower than watching Wood Dry so you can watch Paint Dry! Soooooo……

We  took a break this week from the Beaver Renovation. The Wood trim is still feeling damp so we have it stacked so it gets good airflow & cover it when the rain clouds move in.

Dave wanted to go to The Stone Duck for the weekend  BUT I hauled Dave into Civilization kicking & screaming! (not a pretty sight)

  • I wanted him to sort through HIS stuff at our property for Sale in Lisbon.
  • He also needed to replace the kitchen faucet, our tenants called about. Now, as many of you know Dave is an EXCELLENT Biological Plumber but he also is just a good plumber. His Gripe was that he had just replaced that faucet less than 3 years ago & why can’t stuff be made to last!
  • He & our son, Matt fenced in part of Matt’s yard so Matt’s new puppy Maggie would have a place to roam freely.

Maine Coast

As a bonus, we decided to visit the Maine coast, meet up with friends on the southern part of the coast then hit the NH (tax free) liquor store.(To you Maine tax authorities looking to squeeze out every last tax dollar – of course we consumed all of the out of state alcohol – out of state.)

So all in all, a fun weekend & my informal survey says Maine is doing well with Tourism in 2010 as the cars going north to ME were almost at a standstill from the York Toll plaza right  into NH on Saturday ~ noon. FYI: To any tourist reading this blog – it’s totally worth it. Nothing like Maine in the summer & boy did we enjoy the warm salty ocean air and good company!

NOW, it is Monday.

Dave has escaped back to Greenville & I have decided to stay in Lisbon for the next 2 days to wrap up the cleanout – one warehouse& one small office bldg. We did the major cleanout last summer when we rented out our home & made the move to Greenville BUT we had massive storage in the office so the hard decisions were not made – JUST DELAYED!


  • 3 trailer loads of “junk” to take to the transfer station.
  • Salvation Army is picking up a truck load of “New to you” stuff today.
  • I am diligently sorting through all of the remaining items & asking, “do we really need this?” & when you now live in a 1300 sq ft home,  with 0 storage space, it’s a damn good question.
  • List some items which might bring some $$ on Craig’s List &/or ebay.
  • Property maintenance: mowing lawn, trimming hedges, making sure everything is in good working order.
  • Have the Property “Move in ready”

My For Sale By Owner website is seeing a lot more activity this summer. I think relisting on Craig’s List every week is helping, as I am getting more “hits” after the relist. I have had a few very serious inquiries this summer so we’ll see.

Our Grandpuppy Maggie

It feels good to be getting this done. We should have done it earlier but there is nothing like the “hint of a prospective sale” to get one motivated.

My friend Roger is also coming up to Maine for a visit & if I remember correctly, on one of his prior visits, he helped me do the cleanup on a previous property sale. What do you think Roger?


Heather on July 27th, 2010

Lots of Pressure in the final week!

All stained - trim waiting for stain in foreground

So much left to do & so few days left but we worked like maniacs & got the job done – more or less…. I was happy with the results & progress, Dave thought we should have got the trellis’s built, special  pergola type trim over the windows, corners & windows trimmed up. I reminded he also worked a full time job so we did damn good!

Anyway, the trim wood arrived wet, soggy wet & after 2 weeks of sitting it’s still wet so today we separated all of the boards & with the wind we’re having today they should get some good airflow. I always go by the golden rule - Don’t paint or stain wood unless it is good & dry or it won’t bond properly & you will be cursed with reapplication for the rest of your life!!

Heather Staining

Heather putting on the stain

So we’ll tinker away at the finishing touches & I’ll post pictures. Gotta say though that the Behr’s premium solid stain went on well over rough cut unfinished wood & the previously stained wood. The Woodguard was also easy to apply with a long nap roller & the rough cut pine soaked  up the stain well.


We spent last week up at camp – The Stone Duck & had beautiful weather.

  • Dave spent the week on the Rapid River helping Aldro French with The disabled Vets at Healing Waters project.
  • I had to leave Paradise & head into Lisbon to show our Property that is For Sale. The one I listed For Sale By Owner, after it was listed with a Realtor for 1 1/2 years. Keep you fingers crossed as negotiation is progressing! Craig’s List is giving me quite a few hits on my website.
  • We had the kids up on the weekend and Dave had a beautiful memorial service for Megan, our Golden Retriever, who we had with us for 15 years & passed on last July.

    Megan's memorial - special spot by the lake

Well, I’ll head outside & tinker.

Our garden is growing well & we have actual tomato’s on out tomato plants – this is very BIG for us! Beet Greens for supper!

Heather on July 14th, 2010

Well – we are on the home stretch but the weather & Dave’s work schedule have compromised our schedule.

Last wall.. almost there

The roof is done & looks great. The siding is almost finished just part of the narrow end left. It should have been finished yesterday but Dave worked a longer day than usual & we got a good downpour which brought us to full stop.

We head into camp (The Stone Duck) this weekend for the week. Dave is volunteering for Healing Waters down on the Rapid River. I won’t be doing any direct volunteering but will cook & send down some food.

Rockwall/Garden Dave built

Back to the renovation: We will need to rent another lift later in the summer as the trim work still needs to be done. I’m hoping to have most of the staining done – we’ll see how the weather cooperates.

Well, it’s a typical summer. We put aside a month for the project & I spent a week of it moving my step Mother-in-law, a week taking Colleen up to PEI to visit family & putting her on the plane to BC & we have to cut our last week short as we are going into camp. It’s amazing we got as much done as we did!! Thank goodness our son-in-law Seth was here to help with the project, he did an awesome job!

Happenings for the week:

  • Had to get a new vacuum. We had my step mother-in-laws electrolux  & she needed it back for her new place. Have you shopped for vacuums lately – there’s a lot of crap out there. I’m tough on a vacuum – hauling it around by the hose & basically abusing it. Most didn’t look like they would survive the week; I didn’t want to feel like I had been robbed over the price, Dave wanted something light. Good luck with that – your thinking! So, I found the Dyson DC24 (you know the Dyson with the ball) at BJ’s wholesale Club – marked down to $349.00 with 3 attachments. FYI: Walmart has it online for $318.00 – no attachments. Took it for a test drive yesterday & I love it! We’ll see how it fares after a few months of abuse!
    • Under 12 lbs
    • Stores in a very small space
    • Amazing suction
    • No bags needed
    • Great maneuverability
  • Showed our Lisbon property: for the first time though I have had a number of Inquiries since it went For Sale By Owner last month. Cross your fingers for me! I’m getting tired of travelling 2 1/2 hours to cut grass & perform minor maintenance.
Heather on July 8th, 2010

Our Home  “Beaver” has now entered week 3 of renovation & as you know from the last blog we only have the bucket lift for 4 weeks so we are on a strict deadline.

Beaver - end of week 2

You probably will know the next line before I write it - It’s taking longer than we thought !

Big Surprise! but we are making great progress. We have had some rain which has slowed down things & I am very thankful we do not have any gyp-rock anywhere as torrential rain has had water teaming through the roof in a few places.

Dave & our son-in-law Seth have been doing most of the work. I have been support staff as I had to move my step mother-in-law last week & this week I am up on PEI Canada visiting family& taking our youngest Colleen to the airport. Colleen flies back to Vancouver BC tomorrow.

We are really happy with our choice of  stain colour – Woodguard Tamarack penetrating oil & Behrs barn red solid stain on the trim.

We  agonized for months about:

  • The pros & cons of a penetrating oil vs latex stain. We chose the penetrating oil.
  • The Color. We tested about 15 different stains trying to find one we agreed on & one that would match the barn red trim stain. We are extremely happy with the result.

The oil goes on amazing well & easy. You apply to the point of refusal. We have been putting the stain on with a long nap roller til the siding won’t take any more stain & then back brushing it. It is a beautiful rich finish. A two coat system – one coat now then another coat in 2-4 years depending on how much weather the building sees. We were fortunate that we were applying the stain to rough cut pine boards, if the boards were planed, we would have had to prep the wood & open up the pores in order for the oil to penetrate.

We choose  solid stain for the trim as we need to stain over some existing brown trim & the Behr premium stain does a good cover up.

The one problem with this renovation is that we are glued to Greenville for the month. The bucket lift cost $$$ so we need to take advantage. I had really wanted to go to the North Atlantic Blues Festival this weekend on the Maine coast but we have work to do….

Okay don’t feel too bad for us – we live in “vacation land” & the lake is at our door step


I love the Blues – next year for sure!

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