Wednesday, August 28, 2013

This 'n That...and Another Project

These past few days have included a mix of activities.  Some were easy and carefree and others were physical and taxing.....or, as some would say, back breaking!

Starting with the easy and carefree, we enjoyed meeting our good friends, Lorne and Mariette, at the Domaine de Charbeton Winery, in south Langley, for lunch and to celebrate Lornes' birthday.

Domaine de Chaberton Estate Winery - Langley, Vancouver - Fraser Valley in British Columbia, Canada

Blow up of photo
The the vineyard.
Thursday - Mariette and Lorne....the birthday boy!
We sat outdoors and enjoyed a fine lunch while enjoying the vineyard view.  The lunch menu here is great. We enjoyed a fine couple of hours visiting, tasting some fine white wine and enjoying a superb meal.  Happy Birthday Lorne!

Friday - Parked on a dock along the Fraser River
We decided to take a ride while the weather was nice.  We heard that rain was in the forecast so with little else on our agenda, off we rode.  We didn't have a planned destination in mind.
A small Government of Canada dock.
A cedar shake and shingle mill on the north side of the Fraser River.
Several members of the Fraser Valley Antique Farm Machinery Association delivered some old equipment to one or our favourite farmer's market in Abbotsford.
From the river, Jeanette and I rode east through some nice countryside before arriving at Lepp's Market in Abbotsford.  Here for lunch, we also observed some fine old farming machinery being set up.  The threshing machine is fully functional and will be used for demonstrations to the visiting public.
Jeanette recalls her father owning and operating one of these when she was a young girl.  It brought back some fond memories.
An old - renewed  - hay and straw baler.
After leaving Lepp's Market, we rode further east through back roads into the eastern Fraser Valley.  Again, with no destination in mind, we simply meandered our way along some fine country roads.
Little to no traffic.

All of these plants and trees are slated for removal....
The process of doing that.....
In earnest - this past Saturday - Jeanette and I began the bull work of removing all the trees and plants - transplanting them into pots for future planting in the yard - somewhere else - and preparing the ground for our future hot-tub.

 Sunday was reserved for our weekly 'Open Mic' while enjoying coffee and listening to the banter from our regular attendees.  Once done with that, I headed back for home before driving to the local lumber yard to purchase some materials for another home improvement project we had to complete.

There is an empty lot near our home and the owner allowed me to dump some of our unwanted dirt in some of the uneven ground on his lot.  That was handy....but it was a good hike with numerous wheelbarrow loads I had to make.  My arms were searing by the end of the day.
With the Monday ground works somewhat level, we called it a day.  On Tuesday morning, my plan  was to cut, level and frame the pressure treated 6" X 6" footings to support the new hot-tub.  The weather forecast called for late afternoon I worked non-stop to get the job done.
Saturday evening....and all is ready for the framing work.
Although I knew better, I forgot to turn off the automatic sprinkler system and, overnight, it sprinkled and turned the hot-tub area into a shallow swimming mud hole.  Aaargh!  Silly me!  That was not such a big deal after all.   I brought out my pump system and within a few minutes, the water was pumped out and I could begin the footing build up as planned.
Should have shut down the sprinkler system......
The pressure treated 6" X 6" timbers were heavy to work with but I developed a good system to make my job easier.  Within a couple of hours, the pieces were cut, placed, leveled and, using some substantive hardware, all pieces were attached together. 
Bulky and heavy 6" X 6" pressure treated lumber.
Once satisfied that all was level and stable, I then proceeded to infill the area with crushed rock to a depth of 5" or so.
Project is completed and ready for the hot-tub. A bit more work is required on the landscaping and that will be completed once the tub is set in its rightful place.
Once finished, I showered before heading to Corix Water Systems, in Langley, to purchase two new replacement sprinkler heads to prevent watering the new hot tub once the irrigation system is turned on again. When I installed the garden shed, I meant to change out the sprinkler head near there too.

Two older sprinkler heads to be replaced.
Now was a good time to get that done.  The new sprinkler heads shoot water at 90 degrees; replacing the previous 180 degree heads.  No need to waste water shooting on the shed and the hot tub.  Each new sprinkler head cost $1.05....for a total of $2.10 (taxes included).  It cost me far more in fuel on the drive to pick these up.  I would not have guessed the really low price to replace the two 'Rain Bird' sprinkler heads.  Back home, the old heads were removed and replaced with the new ones in the space of five minutes.  Nothing to it!!!!
spa shot
Similar to our new tub...!  Interior colour of our tub is Silver Swirl (whiteish interior) and the skirting is a cherry coloured composite material.
The new hot-tub is to be delivered tomorrow (Thursday) afternoon.  I called our electrician and he'll let us know when he can free the time to come over and wire it up.  Once the hot-tub is in place, a new composite material deck will be built over the concrete and level with our sun-room.....extending down to our newly re-worked and much improved pond.

We had a hot-tub at our previous home, for over 18 years.  Unlike many who purchase and install systems like this and who rarely use them, we used our tub a lot.  We made good use of it and it served us well.  We only had to have two service calls, for very minor fixes, during those 18 years.
Trevor and Ginette enjoying the hot-tub at our previous White Rock, BC home.
When we moved to our new home, we thought it best to wait a year  or two to see if we really missed having one.  Well you now know the answer.  We look forward to many years of hot-tubbing.  The new tub is smaller than the former seven person unit.  It is considered a three person tub with two loungers but it can seat four comfortably if necessary.

So....another of the long term, long planned changes in our current back yard nears completion.  There are more projects on the list and they will be accomplished at some point down the line.

Thanks for dropping by.

We'll post some photos once the new tub arrives.


  1. you are just a man of many talents, Rene! nice work on getting the spot ready for the hot tub!!!

  2. Work projects never seem to be over do they. The prep work looks good though.
    Lepp's is a great place, isn't it. We like heading there when we're in the Fraser Valley, and buy Christmas gift certificate there for Sylvia's folks, as it's not a store where they'd shop themselves regularly.

  3. Project is looking good! You are quite the handyman Rene!

  4. Another great project almost completed, I know you will enjoy the hot tub.

  5. You have been very, very busy as usual with your home improvement projects.

    Nice work on preparing the site for your new hot tub. Can't believe those sprinkler heads were so inexpensive.

    Nice pics of the old farm machinery too.