Thursday, November 27, 2008

First Snow

On the 19th, we had our first taste of snow. It was amazing and the girls totally enjoyed being out and playing in the snow. They were out for more than and hour and had to be dragged in.

Our second winter and it's still as amazing as the first.

Unfortunately, the snow has since all melted due to above normal temperatures and we have Environment Canada warning us of a warmer winter this year.

Tsk Tsk. That will never do. 

Aaliyah's Room Update

As visible on the Project Tracker to the side, I have updated Aaliyah's Floor to 60% done. As of yesterday, I had mudded and taped the ceiling, primed and painted the walls and ceiling to match the original colors of the room.

As of this morning I had the Square Buff Sander in and sanded the entire floor with 60 / 80 / 120 grit paper. Sanding the floor was not as painful as lugging the unit in and out of the car as well as up and down the short flight of stairs from our main level to the bedrooms.

As of this evening I was down on my knees, finish sanding the edges with my palm sander and found myself covered in a fine film of Oak sawdust. Pictures of the floor will follow when completed.

Here is the room when we started to what the walls, ceiling & floors look like without the wallpaper and the holes.

(Bad Bulkhead!!!)

(Bad Idea!!!)


Sunday, November 16, 2008

How to Plug Holes in Hardwood Floors

Aaliyah's floor had 5 holes drilled through for whatever reason. These had to be plugged prior to sanding. The holes in these houses were generally made using a spade bit. These holes tend to be inaccurate and bear some ovality. The first order of the day, was getting the right tool. One trip to Lee Valley later and I am in possession of a 7/8" Forstner Bit as well as a Tenon/Dowel/Plug Cutter.
Forstner Bits (The Business End)

(Plug/Dowel/Tenon Cutter)

I enlarged the holes using the Forstner Bit which leaves a perfect hole with vertical walls and a square bottom.

Using the Plug Cutter and some spare offcuts of the hardwood, I cut plugs from the Hardwood and then glued them in place ensuring as flush a fit as possible. There are still some small gaps around the holes that were poorly drilled by the PO, but those will be filled with a combination of White Glue and some of the Oak sawdust that I saved when sanding Layla's floor.

Once the floor has been sanded and varnished, you would be hard pressed to find the location of the holes.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Chandelier Done & Hung Well!!

Here it is. The Chandelier painted in Rustoleum's Heirloom White. The jury is still out on whether shades will be put over the lamps to soften the glow.

Look!! No Hole in the Floor

Well. The hole in the floor is no longer. All that remains as evidence of its existence is the wallpapered walls (the wallpaper has since been removed)

The floor after the removal of the chimney stack.

I had to clear out the affected area to prepare to brace the sub floor

Bracing from below with a 2 x 8 sistered on the cut floor joist

Bracing visible from top. I did not photograph the plywood sub floor nailed in place

The floor completed. The visible paint marks will be history after the room has been sanded and varnished.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Wood Burning Fireplace - Burnout

A major part of redoing Aaliyah's floor involved the wood burning fireplace as the PO deemed it prudent (for whatever reasons) to send the chimney stack through the house instead of outside of the house.

Among what was wrong with the install, were the following - 

a. Not building the fireplace according to code
b. Sending the stack through the floor and the ceiling
c. Cutting a floor joist without proper support or compensation
d. No fresh air intake anywhere
e. cutting through the roof trusses

This Friday, with Avi's assistance we managed to remove the entire stack and dispose of it at the Brampton dump. Thanks for that Av.

So. here in pictures is what the room looked like and where we are at now.

The room with the bulkhead built to cover the chimney stack

The drywall removed to reveal a very shabby attempt at framing

Cool vintage wallpaper. This probably was a boy's room. (Most certainly was)

The stack exiting the roof.

Me. On the roof. There was a Fire Engine passing that piqued my curiosity.

Back on the inside. cutting the sections

Through the roof cap looking at the Birch tree

The stack gone

Lovely pristine hardwood, butchered

Looking down into the fireplace.


This morning I happenned upon the most amazing (for the price) light fitting for Aaliyah's room. If you look beyond the strange cooring and the chipped paint, this is a truly spectacular find. I plan to rewire the entire unit with new wires and spray it in Linen/Ivory White. The lampholders have a nice candle-esque look which is the only gold detail on the unit that I plan to retain. Watch this space!!

Detail of the bob├Ęche!

From the Mouths of Babes - Part V

Last evening Lynda was going over Laylas school work. She was learning about Continents and Countries. After poring over the books, she was still unable to name the third county after Canada and the U.S. in the Continent of North America.

I decided to assist.

Where are Chihuahuas from Layla?? I asked!!

Instantly she then named the 3 countries. 

Canada, United States and Beverly Hills!!!!

Vintage Shoes

This morning I woke up to the back yard strewn with leaves from the Beech Tree as well as Mr. Mo's Cherry Tree. Knowing that the grass would be wet underfoot, I decided to get out my 6 year old Harley Davidson boots that I didn't mind trashing in the yard.

Wow. Those shoes fit so well. and they even looked better that my Timberlands which are just two years old.

So later when I was sitting at the PC I looked over and saw the shoes where they lay and decided that they were photo worthy. Hence the above pic.

Lynda and Avinash think that I should get out more often!!!!!!

Scene & Heard

We were at the local Flea Market this morning to pick up our weekly dose of Piracy when what do we happen upon!!!!!!!

A girl/woman of African descent, voluptuous, (in the wrongest possible way) sporting a Denim Jacket emblazoned with the words 'Apple Bottoms' on the rear, and boots trimmed with fur.

Now what did that remind me of????

Oh Yeah!!!

Apple Bottom Jeans
Boots with the Fur
She had the whole club looking at her........

Ah! Brampton!!!!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Feeling Horny - Part One

At one of the garage sales of the summer I scored an excellent pair of Antlers that Lynda had been convincing me was all the rage. The only problem that it was mounted on a red felt base. That would've never gone with our bedroom palette.

This evening, with darkness looming on us so quickly, I took the piece in hand, ripped off the felt and then applied drywall compound to the chipboard. I will have to sand and reapply a couple of coats before I get it smooth enough for the primer and 'Linen' white that we have painted the rest of the bedroom accessories in. 

Watch this space for the transformation from Junk to Funk(y)!!!


Sunday, November 2, 2008

Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) or All Souls Day

Photographed at the Black Creek Pioneer Village

The Roman Catholic Church observes today as All Souls Day. In Bombay, Mum would make 'Atola' and we would have spent the previous day cleaning and decorating the family graves in Dadar and Bandra.

In our16 years away from our hometown, we've lost more relatives that we'd like. 

Listed here in no particular order is a list of my family members that have gone to the great beyond. I remember every moment that I spent with you. For those that I never had a chance to meet, I'm quite sure that you would've only enriched my life....

On my Dad's side

Passed away prior to my birth

Ashley D'Souza - Uncle
Carlisle D'Souza - Uncle

Passed away after I was born

Lena D'Souza - Grandmother
Gaspar Alexander (Downtown Alec) D'Souza - Grandfather
Edward D'Souza - Uncle
Giles Chaves - Uncle-in-Law
Wilma D'Souza - Aunt-in-Law

On my Mothers' Side

Royston D'Souza - Mum's Cousin
Athanasius Gomes - Grandfather
Clara Gomes - Grandmother
Martha D'Souza - Grand Aunt
Carlton D'Souza - Mum's Cousin
Winton Gomes - Uncle
Harris Gomes - Uncle

On Lynda's side

Noreen Fernandes - Lynda's Mum
Justin Fernandes - Lynda's Uncle
Bruna Smith - Lynda's Aunt

May they and the souls of the dearly departed, Rest in Peace.

Obama McCain Dance Off

This is wicked!!!!

Plucking Time out of Your Hours!!

November 2nd. Daylight savings time is over and I have (well, we all have!) a whole extra hour to waste away blogging. My PC tells me that it is 8 AM, but the clocks in the house that have not been set back as yet tell me that it is 9 AM. Yippee. I am celebrating this with a nice cuppa Joe. Guatemalan Blend for the Barista in you!!!!

Did you know that the Province of Saskatchewan as well as the communities of Pickle Lake and New Onsaburgh in Northern Ontario do not observe DST????

Happy Winter Y'all!!!!!

Saturday, November 1, 2008


Layla's floor is now all done with the installation of the baseboards. It was amazingly hard work (lugging the sander out the trunk and up the stairs all but broke my back) But the effort was well worth the trouble. The floor was pretty messed up with holes bored through the floor to pass network & cable wires. I had to cut wood plugs and glue them in place prior to sanding down and laying down three coats of urethane. Quite a difference as the following pictures will show.

This is not me, but indicative of the effort that sanding the floor was. Maybe the above pic is a tad bit over dramatized!!!

The floor with the room emptied and the baseboards removed


More holes

Very odd shaped holes
Missing sub floor and damaged strips

I do not even know what this is

The floor with 3 coats of urethane and 6" high baseboards

The floor in natural light, prior to bringing the furniture in. As Martha would say. "It's a good thing"


Yesterday was Halloween and the girls scored again as usual. Fantastic weather with no jackets required. We saw a lot of older kids with and without costumes with loot bags that seemed a bit too large for my liking. We also saw toddlers (barely a few months old), whose parents obviously needed the candy themselves. All in it was a great night with Aaliyah even bumping into friends from school on their rounds. 

Aaliyah went dressed as a medieval Queen with Layla as her Knight. I am so concerned that this will be the Status Quo for these two from now through Adulthood.

Here they are.......

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