At home, at work, and at play

So here it is almost summer. Time has been flyng by and it has been quite a long time since I posted to the blog.  It’s time to catch you all up on what we’ve been doing.  If you remember we arrived back home the first week of April.  It was nice to be home again but there was much to do.  We live in a century home and old homes tend to require a lot of upkeep.  

My first job was to replace our old knob and tube wiring with all new wiring.  Before we headed off to Arizona in January I went to see our Insurance Agent to find out what they required in terms of someone checking on our house regularly while we were gone.  While I was there they wanted to update some information about our house.  Oh Oh…   The first question was “Do you have any knob and tube wiring in your house?”..  Umm… yes.  Well that was the wrong answer.  They told be that I would have to have it replaced in order to keep my insurance with them.  They gave me a year to get it done.  So that is now my first project.  For those of you who don’t know what knob and tube is I’ll explain it simply.  From the early 1900’s to about the 1940’s, homes were wired with this method.  All the wiring is just 2 conductors (no ground).  Instead of the wires being together with a plastic sheathing around the outside, the wires were separate and were attached to opposite floor joists using ceramic insulators. Most electricians will tell you it still safe but the problems occur when modifications are done to the wiring.  The other issue is that the receptacles have no ground prong.  Nevertheless most insurance companies are now requiring it to be removed and replaced by new wiring.   So as you can imagine this is a very labour intensive job in a house with finished walls and ceilings.  My job was to fish wires through those walls and ceilings.  Our house is 2 stories high so without describing in detail the difficulties I’ll just say the task was very daunting.  In the end of it all I think I ran about 400 feet of new wiring and replaced many old receptacles and electrical boxes.  At some points it was very discouraging, especially at the beginning faced with such a huge task, but with Kim’s encouragement I took it one step at a time and managed to get it done.  I think it took a month to do and I spent much time on hands and knees in the attic crawl spaces.  In the end of it all I’m quite pleased with what I accomplished.  In the beginning I was thinking I was gonna have to open up walls and ceiling to getting the wiring through but I managed to keep any damage to a minimum with only some damage to walls around the receptacle boxes.  A little patching and some painting still to be done.  I saved myself a ton of money doing this myself and I’ll have an electrician come in to inspect my work and make any corrections.

Once I was done working on the wiring in the attic, Kim began to reorganize it.  We have a walk up attic and sizable area of it is finished.  But like most storage spaces they get cluttered after a while so she wanted to sort through some stuff and clear some space.  Her goal was to clear a space as a play area for our grandsons when they come to visit.  

On May 12 we attended the baptism of our niece Ashleigh’s son Robert.  The baptism was at the Anglican Church in Lambeth and quite a few family members were there.  We all went out to eat at the Mandarin Restaurant in London afterwards.  The Mandarin is very nice and the food is very good, but it’s a little pricey.  We found ourselves comparing it to Lin’s Buffet in Yuma Arizona.  We raved about the food at Lin’s in one of our blogs back in February or March. 

Next on the agenda was some outside bush and tree pruning.  Kim is the gardener so she has spent a lot of time getting the gardens cleaned out.  We have many gardens around the yard so it takes her quite of bit of time in the spring getting those ready.  We had an old yew bush in the front yard that had gotten very overgrown and this spring I cut it down to the ground.  I still have to remove the stump but that can wait a bit.  We had a Wisteria bush along one side of our front porch that had just gotten too big and woody so that has come down too.  I left the root so it will probably grow up again if we let it.  We like the Wisteria but they are very aggresive so we’ll see.  

time to relax

I bought a Polisher for the Motorhome to see if I can buff out the oxidation on the exterior of the coach.  I managed to do a very small section while I was learning how to do it.  It does make the Coach look nicer going by the small area I did.  I’m sure it has never been done before and its going to be a time consuming chore.  I’ll continue to work on that over the summer amoungst all my other projects.  

I got the pool opened up in the middle of May.  It’s not a difficult process but it takes time to drain the water off the winter cover before removing it. Then hooking up the filter hoses and the clorinator and refilling the pool.  The water was pretty clean this year so just a matter of adding clorine and cleaning up the dirt in the bottom of the pool.  It’s still been cool this this spring so even up to the point of doing this blog I still haven’t been in the pool.  Aden, our oldest grandson, wanted to be the first one in the pool this year so when they were here at the end of May he jumped in.  In and out, faster than you can blink an eye, well almost.  I think it was 10 seconds.  That’s a brave boy, I think the water was only 64°F.  I’m usually the first one in each year but he beat me this year.

In May, in Canada, we celebrate Victoria Day with a long weekend, which is the weekend before the US Memorial Day weekend.  It’s commonly referred to as May two four or May 24th.  I went on my annual fishing trip with friends from work. This tradition has been ongoing for me for about 13 years.  Some of the guys have been doing this trip for 25 years or more.  This year, like all the rest that I’ve gone on, we went to Madoc Ontario to fish on Moira Lake.  This is a great Walleye spot and we’ve always had pretty good luck.  This year there were 14 of us and we rented a couple cottages for 4 days.  Lots of great fun and lots of fishing.  We had pretty good weather again this year.  It was a little cooler than some years and very little rain.  Our last full day there I do a huge fish fry. When I say I do it I mean I do the frying and some of the other guys do all the prep work.  All the fresh cut french fries and beer battered fish you can eat, and 14 guys can eat a lot.  It’s quite a feast.  But like every year the weekend is gone in a flash and it’s time to head home. 

While I was gone for the weekend Kim had 2 of our grandsons visit her for a couple days. We have 3 grandsons but only the 2 oldest came this time. We enjoy having them visit and they always jump at the chance to come. They always have a good time together.

We managed to get some time to take the motorhome to Rock Glen (our home park) for a few days after the long weekend.  George and Suzie Yates were there so we had some time together with them at happy hour to catch up.  The weather was a little cool but that was okay.  Nice to get out in the RV again and great to catch up with friends.

We only spent a few days at Rock Glen because our daughter Sarah was coming to visit for a week. She arrived on the 24th of May (not to be confused with May 24th weekend), and we picked her up at London airport. It’s always great to spend time with Sarah. She came alone this time. Our son-in-law Jacob stayed behind in Puyallup, Washington. Kim and Sarah spent a few days shoping together which they seem to love….go figure. Our evenings together we spent binge-watching the TV series X Company. Kim and I had seen it before but Sarah hadn’t and we enjoyed watching it again with Sarah. It’s a Canadian show so she can’t see in the USA. Sarah was here for a week but the time flew by and too soon we were taking her back to the airport. Hopefully we’ll fly out to see both Sarah and Jacob in the fall.

Kim and I celebrated a milestone on June 2 this year. It was our 40th wedding anniversary. So many years it doesn’t seem quite possible. But if you were to compare our wedding pictures with what we look like now you would believe it. Not Kim of course, she’s hardly aged. Sorry no wedding pictures will be included in this blog, you’ll have to take my word for it.

Our house is brick exterior with wooden windows and trim and we have a large front porch with a lot of exposed wood.  It’s time to repaint it all so the first job was to clean the wood.  The porch especially, was very dirty and I started to power wash it.  That is until I blew up my power washer.  So I finished the rest scrubbing by hand.  Not fun!!  Next up is to do a lot of scraping and then the painting can begin.  That will be an ongoing poject throughout the summer.

This past weekend we attended the wedding of Alyssa Winegarden and Brandon Humphrey. Alyssa is the daughter of our good friends Al and Mary Winegarden. Al and I worked together a Cami Assembly General Motors for many years and have become great friends. We enjoy spending much time together with Al and Mary and have gotten to know their family quite well. The last few years we’ve taken our Motorhome up to the campground where they have their trailer for the Labour Day weekend. That’s always a lot of fun.

Kim has been working pretty much each week since we’ve been back from Arizona.  She is self employed as a bookkeeper and does the books for Maple Grove Christian campground just outside of Thamesford which is only about a 15 minute drive from home.  When we arrived home in April she put in many hours to get ready for the annual audit, but once that was over she is back to 1 or 2 days a week.  She makes her own schedule so it gives us time to do what we want, when we want pretty much.  She likes the work so for now she’ll keep doing it.  She likes the extra cash too.  

We’re back at Rock Glen for a week.  We’re here til Tuesday.  George and Suzie are here again too so we’ve shared a couple happy hours together.  Yesterday was a nice sunny day so we drove into Grand Bend for a short time and walked on the beach for an hour.  Kim was searching for sea glass.  Quite a few people on the beach but not many venturing into the water.  It would still be a little chilly in there.  So today has been on and off again rain.  It rained most of last night.  Right now though there’s no rain but kinda cool outside, so we’ll stay inside.  A good day for writing a blog I guess. 

So you’re pretty much up to date with us now. We’ve got a busy summer ahead of us.  Lots of tasks still to be done around the house.  We have plans to be out and about in our Motorhome at various times throughout the summer. I hope you are all doing well and I hope you’ve enjoyed catching up with us.  Have a great summer and hope to see some of you soon.

Ken 

8 thoughts on “At home, at work, and at play

  1. georgeyates

    Thanks for the update on your blog and have been enjoying happy hours with you guys here as always. Always so many things to do when we are back in Ontario again for the short summer months. Keep on enjoying the good life and getting your motorhome all shines up like new.

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    1. A rainy day is a good time to catch up the blog. And yes, lots of to do and get done while at home. I’m trying to enjoy the good life, not sure i’m gonna enjoy shining up the motorhome though..

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  2. Nice reading your update. The precious times are with the Grandchildren.
    Have helped several people rewire their homes getting rid of the old Knob and Tube.
    Be Safe and Enjoy shining the Motorhome.

    It’s about time.

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  3. prichie

    So good to read your update! You do have a lot of things on the go and that is true about keeping a house – not even a century home like yours. My daughter and Chris are learning that too not far from you. I’m sure you are pleased with your wiring accomplishment. Big job.
    Glad your fishing trip was a good one, nice that you each get some ‘fun’ time away from each other too. Nice job on the attic, Kim!
    We are looking forward to spending time with you too over the summer, you will need breaks from your work!
    Hopefully the weather continues to warm up, we’ve finally had some nice days.

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  4. Skay kay

    Great update! Congrats on 40 years, that’s a great pic of the two of you! I can tell looking at your porch that would get us into trouble with Happy Hour and front porch sitting! Beautiful! Great job on the wiring project! Kim did an awesome job in the attic! Looks like your fishing trip would have been a lot of fun and great eating! Nice that you guys get together like that every year! You two are certainly keeping busy! Glad you’ve got a few days of down time, so you could update! Love the bag and cards..special daughter you have there!

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    1. Thanks Shirley…. We do enjoy the front porch, but we also have a pool and big deck in the backyard so in the summer we tend to use the pool area more than the porch. The fishing trip is something I always look forward to. Its a big group and people come and go but there is a core of about 8 or 9 guys who have been good friends for many years. Some of us have retired and some are soon to retire so the trip is a really good way to stay connected and catch up. Sarah designed our cards and had them printed for us. She did a great job! You and Ken have a great summer!!

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