Saturday, July 26, 2014

Jamming, Staining, Sitting, Building and Camping....

Our great summer weather has returned.  And the long range forecast is for sun, more sun, more and more sun, and bright blue skies, with wonderful west coast type temperatures.  Between now and mid-September, our west coast summer weather tends to be sunny and mild.

Two days last week - Wednesday and Thursday - brought dark skies and plenty of rain.  That is when Jeanette decided to get 'jamming'.  She had picked several pounds of plums from a friend's home and purchased a couple of heavy boxes full of huge blue berries from a local blueberry farmer near us. 
Jeanette made jam with the plums....
.....and made jelly with the blueberries.
Check out the size of those blueberries!  They were huge!  They were also freshly picked, when Jeanette drove into the farmer's yard to pick up her order.
Mass production taking place in Jeanette's kitchen.
While Jeanette was busy with 'jamming', I was busy with 'staining' in our garage.  I needed to get more material stained. Two rain days were perfect to get that job done.  Just staining a 4X8 sheet of cedar lattice takes three hours of work; and that's for both sides!
Easton offers to help me move the cedar lattice into position for staining.
Time consuming work.  One cannot be in a hurry when staining lattice. 
Once the deck is completed, this lattice will extend the existing 8' pergola.  The big 6"X6" post, behind the lattice in the photo above, will complement the existing frame work.  I dug a three foot deep hole, on Friday, and placed the post with Jeanette's help.  Once leveled, 6 bags of 'QuickCrete' (post cement) were mixed and placed in the hole.  That post is no going to move!!!!!
Easton is reading with his Nana
Ginette and her two kids dropped by for a visit during one of the rain days.  The grand kids played in the sun room - out of the rain - while we visited.
Brie is quite serious when checking out the monkey that is hanging on to the rolling chair.
Ginette and the grand kids joined us for lunch on Wednesday.  We were thrilled to bits to take a few hours away from our self imposed chores to hang out and enjoy the time with Easton, Brie and their mom.
Brie is looking in on her brother as he enjoys playing with his favourite motorcycle on the road mat. Brie is already making effors to crawl.  She does manage to move herself around. 
Easton was curious about the circular chop saw and I gave him some lessons and reasons why one needs to be careful with power tools.
After our visitors left back for their home, Jeanette and I resumed our chores.  She jammed....and I stained.  She in the kitchen....and me in the garage!  We did get together again for dinner though!!!  LOL
Jeanette is enjoying a full day of fun with friend Mariette, downtown on Vancouver's waterfront, on Saturday.....!
Jeanette texted the photo above while I busied myself with receiving the second truck that delivered the balance of our deck order.  The driver was delivering our composite decking material.  With his truck mounted fork lift, he lifted and placed the load on our driveway. I began hauling the composite material to the back yard.  It took some time to get that job done.  Anyone who has handled composite decking knows that 16' lengths can be quite trying.  I got my morning walk, however.  I must have walked 90 times, between the front and back yard, while carrying composite decking.  Phew.....!  Great exercise though!

The new post installed, levelled and the hole filled with 'QuickCrete' cement.
Once all of the composite material was moved to the back yard, I began installing the brown composite outer 'picture frame' decking.  The inside decking material has a reddish hue and wood look.  'Picture frame' gives the deck a nice finished looked.  You will see once this job has been completed.
Adding a step......
Example of the picture frame brown composite decking.
It took quite some time to square everything off, make the 45 degree cuts, the 25 degree cuts and more angle cuts, just to 'picture frame' the outer area of the large deck, the smaller sitting deck by the pond, and the 4X8 lower deck along side the hot tub.  The inside decking material is reddish in colour and will complement the hot tub colour.  It should look nice once it is all done.  To 'picture frame' requires a lot more work to frame and to install decking.....but it is well worth the effort, in our view.

A close up of the upper and lower deck 'picture framing'.
The next several days will be devoted to completing our deck works and to build the pergola to extend with the existing one.  So...more work to accomplish but it's all going well.

Shortly after I originally posted this blog, our son - and his family - texted that they were on their first day of holidays, enjoying a camping trip  to British Columbia.  The left Edmonton, Alberta this morning.
In Sparwood, southern Alberta, their first night out.
Deni, Courtney and Owen are headed to the west Kootenays of British Columbia for a family reunion on Courtney's side.  Next Friday, they will join Jeanette, me, Ginette, Trevor, Brie and Easton at Trevor's parents' cabin at Barriere Lakes, north of Kamloops.  We are looking forward to that.And the long term forecast is exceptional! 
Nice, rustic campsite in the trees.  Good fun....and great weather too!
 Thanks for dropping in.


  1. Gotta love sun, sun and more sun. Great for building staining, fresh fruit, jamming and enjoying the great outdoors, keep having too much fun.

  2. That's going to be a great looking deck. Very large too!

  3. Well now you two have been very busy. We plan on taking a trip to the Island to retrieve some of their free Blackberries so I can do some Jamming as well.

    Your Deck is going to be beautiful. Nice Work Rene.

    As usual the Grands are so adorable

  4. All that hard work will have its rewards--relaxing on that deck with an adult beverage or enjoying your morning toast with some of Jeanette's jam!!

  5. That is going to be one nice looking deck when it's finished.

    I can't wait for blackberry season to come as we just finished our last jar of blackberry jam.

    Great pics of the grandkids!

  6. Wow, a great looking deck and great times with the grand kids too! Enjoy.