Monday, November 29, 2010

Week 9: Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

.: November 27 :.

This week's trip to the cabin wasn't planned until Thursday when Luke imparted the bad news about having lost his job. Although his former employer is a jerk, it gave us the perfect excuse to go to Twin Ponds because we were eager to share with him how good it now looks with the new floor. We therefore planned to leave around 8:00 Saturday morning so that Sim and Spencer could get back to Toronto in time for a friend's birthday party.

The three amigos
Despite the best of intentions we did not leave until 9:33. That was okay, since it gave Spencer a bit of additional time figuring out how to get a certain weapon in Fallout: New Vegas.

By 9:35 we were on the road to Burger King with Luke and Bandet in the back seat (and unfortunately sans Jasmine, for whom we did not have enough carspace). We got there and ordered our typical breakfast item in addition to what Luke wanted (which for some reason Spencer could not comprehend).

By the time we were westbound on the 401 it was obvious that the weather was turning bad. The sun had virtually disappeared and before long there was a fair amount of snow coming down. It wasn't enough to discourage us from forging onward, but it was enough to slow traffic a little and make us wonder what the remainder of the trip there and the trip back would be like.

The farther into the Guelph area we travelled the worse the weather became. By the time we stopped at the Home Depot the snow was coming down so hard that the windshield wipers were having difficulty keeping up and there must have been at least 5 inches of snow on the ground. We went in and procured a few items we'd be needing, including a big sheet of plastic and some caulk-type glue for patching the hole in the floor in the closet as well as a caulk gun.

We then stopped at the neighbouring Walmart because Sim wanted to get some slippers for inside the cabin. She initially considered getting some pink, fuzzy ones but decided against it when she realized that once their funniness wore off, she'd be stuck with them. So she got a pair of gray ones for her and one for Spencer (even though he didn't really think he wanted them at the time).

Winter wonderland
Soon thereafter we were back on the slippery road heading towards Twin Ponds. The snow was so horrible that Spencer had wondered aloud whether we should head back. However, we were looking forward to what we'd planned, so we pressed on. As luck would have it the snow finally stopped and for the remainder of the trip there the roads were in pretty good, if not even excellent, condition.

Upon our arrival Luke was clearly impressed by the quality of the gate. We proceeded down the path to the cabin and were amazed by how peaceful and beautiful the landscape appeared, the trees and ground having been laced with pure white snow. It was a glorious sight to behold. The cabin itself stood in the familiar clearing, the contrast between its wood and the covering snow making the structure appear to be an accessory to the surroundings rather than an integral part of them.

After admiring the view for a moment we entered the cabin and once again admired the impressive difference the new floor made. Spencer quickly plugged in and started the space heater and fired up the wood stove and it wasn't long before he and Luke headed out to cut some logs in the forest, which was the first in our list of tasks so as to ensure sufficient heat for the remainder of the day. Unfortunately that did not turn out well. Spencer tried for 5 minutes to start it and then realized it might be out of gas, which it was.

Lofty goal attained!
Easy fix? No. Spencer had for the first time forgotten the chainsaw gas/oil mix back in Toronto. And although he and Luke spent some time trying to cut some wood the old fashioned way, it hardly seemed worth the effort. They reluctantly bundled up what they had managed to cut and brought it back to the wood shed. And that, as they say, was that.

Which was just as well because there were things to be done inside. Our actual goals for the day included removing the mite and other creepy-crawly infested rug from the loft (what a NASTY job that was), discarding the carpet in the bedroom, and putting down tiles therein. We got the first two done (thanks in large part to Luke, who also completely cleaned the loft), but we didn't manage the third.

In the process of taking the disgusting, aged carpet out we noticed that there were two very large water patches covering the floor boards in the bedroom. This posed a couple of problems. First, we could not lay tiles on a wet floor. Second, we had to find the source of the leakage. Indeed, upon inspection we noticed water streaks along the wall boards beneath each of the back and front bedroom windows. We thus decided to go to the hardware store in town to get some sealant for the windows and some bleach for the floors (which seemed rather mouldy). Of course there's no guarantee the bleach will work, but for the price we figured we might was well try. Sim was ready for a break as well since she'd been cleaning and assembling furniture.

No rest for the wicked
In town we stopped at the hardware store (for the sealant and a shoe mat for the cabin's entrance), the supermarket (for bleach and a mop and bucket), and then Tim Horton's (for hot chocolate and donuts). It was a pleasant break. Luke observed that he recognized a number of people whom he had seen while staying with Amanda at the estate during a week in late October. No surprise there, given the size of the town. Spencer recognized the trainee serving them as the one who had served them the previous week. She'd been polite and eager, as well as a little tentative, while this week she seemed to have a little more confidence.

Chairs for all
After returning to Twin Ponds we set about restoring the fire in the stove and cleaning up while Sim assembled the remaining three of the four Ikea chairs we'd bought in September. Luke and Spencer did their best to prepare the bedroom floor so it would be ready for tiles on our next visit. Luke did a fantastic job of sealing the wood around the windows. Hopefully there won't be anymore water. They also patched up the hole in the floor so no more rodents or other creatures could get in as temperatures plummet and they start seeking refuge from the elements.

It finally came time to clean up, pack our stuff, and head out.

The weather during the trip home was absolutely horrific at one point. We could barely see in front of the car. Luckily, though, the snowstorm subsided (coincidentally with Spencer stopping for a Red Bull? We think not!). At one point we stopped at A&W so Sim could get a Mama Burger (their Spicy Mama Burgers were no longer available, to her chagrin) and we spent the rest of the relaxing trip listening to a part of the audiobook version of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows.

Overall while we were disappointed by our inability to get the floor tiles down in the bedroom, we were very enthused by our accomplishments.

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