Monday, 5 August 2013

On we go...

Time keeps ramblin' on and on... whether I want it to slow down or not. Funny how it seems time crawls when you're a kid but as you get older, it zooms by faster and faster. That is just soooo wrong!

But... can't do a damn thing about it, can we?

So Maart and I remain a hot item, and all is going well. Much better than any of the other relationships I have had in the past 6 years. That has to count for something, right?

Yesterday we went out quadding (that's riding an all terrain vehicle along provincial trails through the countryside, to those of you who aren't in the know) with 5 other people. The others each had their own ATV, while Maart and I rode in his RZR, which is a 2 seater (side by side type, not one behind the other). He had had a glass windshield and wiper put on it a little while ago, so we were stylin'!

(this is my artsy rendering using Photoshop Elements ~ cool eh!)

First time in my life I got to drive an offroad vehicle. It was a blast! I had been out with him once in June but was just a passenger that time.

(Maart and his RZR ~ a cool little 'jeep' like vehicle)

We saw deer, a couple of blue herons, lots of little birds (the swallows were out in full force devouring mosquitoes ~ yay for them!), beautiful green fields, acres of golden sunflowers, beaver dams, marshes, and babbling brooks. It was dry and dusty that first half of the trip and parts of the trail were black dirt, other parts gravel, so needless to say, we all got filthy!

(you want dirt? go ahead ~ click to make it bigger!)

We drove for close to 3 hours (yes, there were pitstops along the way for port-a-potty use, as well as the occasional cold beverage), stopped in a town for lunch and then headed back. The rain started while we were eating so the ride back was partially on gravel roads and not completely on the trails, as the others weren't prepared for wet weather, and two of the guys (silly men!) didn't even wear helmets. Besides being against the law, it also meant their heads were wet and cold in no time. Not pleasant for them.

Being the considerate guy that he is, Maart gave up his warm sheltered seat to the youngest member of the group (late teens, early 20s?) who was getting cramped hands from hanging onto the handlebars of her ATV in the cold and wet. She rode with me and I gave her my gloves to warm her hands. I also traded helmets with Maart, as mine has a full face shield and his is open faced. Since I was behind the windshield, it only made sense. Good thing my head isn't too much smaller than his! He had a pretty good red mark on his forehead from my helmet by the time we got home.

Maart and I were warm and cozy, with helmets, gloves and rain jackets. Yes, we got wet legs and feet, but being behind the windshield meant we didn't feel the cooling effects of the breeze as we drove. Not until we got back to his place and stood up did we feel the full effect of soggy clothes! Time for a hot shower to warm up after that.

And along with having fun, are the unforeseen catastrophes that go hand in hand with home ownership. In late July, I had a little family gathering at my place and Maart got to meet everyone (that lives here) plus a couple of cousins visiting from the Wet Coast. It was afternoon for the soiree and the beginnings of rain put an end to things only slightly quicker than would have happened on their own accord. We got a pretty good storm that night. The next morning, I found lots of water in my basement. A couple of days later, there was a repeat of both the rain and the wet basement. I was not a happy bunny!

Because the basement is fully insulated and drywalled, I had no idea where it was coming in. I suspected the little window in the laundry room that had been drywalled over but had the dryer, bathroom fan and central vacuum vented through it. I only noticed there was a window when looking at the outside of the house. Couldn't tell on the inside at all!

So down came the cupboard (that I didn't use) above the washer, as well as tearing out some of the drywall and insulation. But nope, the wall and the window were bone dry. So I went back outside to check around further and this is what I found:

(this is on the outside of the foundation)

Of course, this now meant I had to figure out where on the inside this crack was. So I measured from the window to the crack outside and went back inside and did the same.

The shower in the basement bathroom had to come out (which I had planned on doing at some point anyway, but not quite so soon). I took that out and Maart came over and helped me pull out the drywall and insulation, and the platform the shower had been on. So we could see this:

(see that blue bit in the middle of the bottom photo?
that is the outside world...)

The plan is to make calls tomorrow to four outfits to get quotes on the necessary repair. I have lots of questions about how this will be done, and whether or not digging on the outside is required. I noticed that my air conditioner is tipping towards the house a bit now as well (it's fairly close to the crack) so will need that shored up too.

Good thing I will be getting the money from my compensation claim for that shoulder injury from 2 1/2 years ago... Seems every time I come into some money, something happens that is expensive and needs to be fixed.

*sigh* So, on the one hand, life is wonderful! And on the other... not so much. But it all balances out, right?