Sunday, May 28, 2006

Day 7

Hours worked: 5 (2 pm - 7 pm)
Workers: Nola, Jackson and me

It's done.
It's all done.
After we got back from church we went to work on the last of the gravel and by about 6 it looked like this:

That's a nice picture.
We had a little too much gravel, better too much then too little.

The whole side of the house is gravel anyway so I just spread it out.

And it's done.
Of course if your a home owner you know that it's never really done.

The air conditioner is still strapped to the wall and I want to put a gate/fence up.

Then I want to build a shed it the back corner next to the tree. We laid down some gravel in the corner and I'm going to use some of the paving stones as the floor. I couldn't leave the paving stones on the grass so Nola and I moved all of them.
Anyway I'm glad that it's done. I figure I probably saved myself about $6000 by doing it myself. That said I hope I never have to do it again.
Thanks to Nola, Mom and Dad, Nig and Reeves (thought that counts) for all your help. I couldn't have done it without you and I really appreciate it.

So that's the end of our basement repairs. Now it's time to renovate the inside... eventualy.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Day 6

Hours worked: 7:30 (9:30 am - 5:00pm)
Workers: Nig, Nola and me (Jackson just watched - slacker)

Today was rather simple; shovel gravel into the pit. Lots of gravel. Nig came over and helped shovel for a few hours and we got a lot done.
I pretty much shoveled from 9:30 until 5 with only a stop for lunch. My hands and wrist joints are killing me. We almost got it all done today but 20 cubic yards is a lot of gravel. I forgot to take a picture until just now but I think we have about 3 or 4 cubic yards left.

I expect a few hours tomorrow afternoon and everything should be done. Thanks again Nig for your help.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Day 5

Hours worked: 12 (8:30 am - 8:30pm)
Workers: Dad, Nola, Jackson and me

We started out today cleaning out the bottom of the hole and making sure the wall was clean. For the patch to stick the wall and the bottom of the pit have to be clean. Then we tried to find the crack from the outside. Just like last fall we couldn't find it so dad went in and measured where it was from the inside and we traced a line on the outside.

Then I tarred the crack while Jackson and Dad prep'd the waterproof membrane.


Then I primed the wall with this awful solvent while dad applied the membrane. The solvent is so strong especially in such a confined space. They should put that stuff behind the counter with the model glue.

Dad had to leave to go run the fishing derby at the lake. I thanked him for all his very hard work. I tarred all the seams of the waterproof membrane and then put in the new weeping tile.

Now after all that effort to empty the hole, it's time to fill it up.
They dropped off 20 cubic yards of gravel on our driveway. It just fit.

To protect the membrane from being torn and damaged by the gravel that's being dumped against it we took all the boards we had been using the protect the grass and propped them against the wall.

They only need to be there for the dumping of the gravel but I'll leave them in. They're not hurting anything.
Now on to shovelling lots and lots and lots of gravel. By 8:30 we decided to call it a day. It looks like I've barely made a dent in the huge pile.


Tomorrow, all that's left to do is get all the gravel in the hole and put the top soil back for the 8 foot section in the back. That's it. And as huge as that pile looks (people point and laugh as they drive past) it goes pretty fast. Nig said he would stop by to help. Thanks Nig. So I think we will be total done by mid afternoon tomorrow. And it only took 4 days of digging and 3 bins. Not bad.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Day 4

Hours worked: 10(8:30 am - 6:30pm)
Workers: Mom, Dad, Nola, Jackson and me
Progress: 33 inches today!! for a total of 75 (out of 72 - that means were done digging)

I started today with my ankle feeling fine and an empty bin. We now had 4 wheelbarrows. Nola and I worked together and Dad and Mom worked together. We dug like crazy and by the afternoon both dad and I were at the bottom. We just managed to fit everything in bin #3. It was close but we got the door closed. Now we have to clean the wall and the floor of the hole. I've ordered the 20 cubic yards of gravel and tomorrow we'll tar and patch the wall. Once patched we dump in all the gravel and make it look as if nothings changed. It feels so great to have all the digging done, and on Thursday! We should be able finish most if not all of the work tomorrow.

Thanks Nola, Mom and Dad for all you very hard work.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Day 3

Hours worked: 9(9:00 am - 6:00pm)
Workers: Mom, Dad, Nola, Jackson and Gimpy McGee (me)
Progress: 15 inches today for a total of 44 (out of 72)

Today started out fine. I was digging while Nola went to the airport to pick up Mom and Dad. They went home to drop of their stuff and then came back to help. We dug for a bit, had lunch and we were ready to get going again. I was emptying my first load into the bin when I felt a pull in my ankle. I kept going but as I tried to dig more I realized I couldn't push off my back foot. I had stretched a tendon or something.
Now if today was the last day I would have kept going and taken it easy over the next few days, but today is Wednesday and I'm still predicting Sunday as my finish day. So I reluctantly stopped digging. I just sat there very unhappy and watched everyone else work. Stupid leg.
Anyway, dad dug like crazy and actually made it all the way down to the bottom on an 8 foot section. Nola and mom kept the wheelbarrows going and I just sat there thinking of how much more work we could be doing if my leg was fine.

By about 5pm we had a new problem. The bin was almost full. I had called Dave at lunch but he said he was very busy. He said he might be able to make it by the end of the day to pick up the bin but if not he would pick it up early Thursday morning.

By 6 he hadn't shown up and the bin was as full as we could get it. I called Reeves and Nig and told them thanks but there's no point in them coming over to dig. Mom and Dad went home to rest.

Even though I couldn't help in the afternoon it was a good day. Dad did great and making it to the bottom (even for only 8 feet) is encouraging. It was very hot again but at least it didn't rain. The next few days look great - low 20's and little chance of rain. Tomorrow should be a productive day. Mom and dad are over all day and we'll have a fresh bin. Hopefully my resting today will have paid off and I'll be back digging tomorrow.

The predictions

Predicted completion date:
Digging - (I'm sticking with it) late Friday
Everything - still Sunday.
# of bin loads - 5

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Day 2

Hours worked: 13 (8:30 am - 9:30pm but 1 hours was lost due to the rain delay)
Workers: Nola the Wheelbarrow queen, Jackson the foreman and me
Progress: 14 inches today for a total of 29 (out of 72)

We got an early start at 8:30am. No Nig today so I dug non-stop and Nola emptied wheelbarrows non stop. At about 11:30 Dave came and picked up our full bin. We had lunch and were waiting for Dave to return we suddenly it started raining. We flipped up all the boards against the wall to cover the hole and this kept most of the water out.

Dave got back with the empty bin around 12:30 but it was still raining hard. Desperate times called for desperate measures. A few roofing nails later and ta-da

The tarps allowed us to keep digging while it was raining. The rain slowed down by about 2 and stopped around 3. There was still lots of water on the gound but fortunatly almost none of it got into the hole.
Nola worked so hard. She was with me emptying wheelbarrow after wheelbarrow for almost the full 13 hours. She only took brakes to feed Jackson (who's been a saint and slept through much of this). Jackson observed and made sure everything ran smoothly.

So after the rain stopped we realy got digging again. But with all that water the humidity got pretty bad. The average high for May 23 is +20. Today, when you factor in for the humidity, it felt like +34. In fact right now at 10:43pm the Weather Network says it feels like +32. It's only supposed to get to +21 overnight so tomorrow should be a hot one as well. Also there are also lots of thunderstorms in the forcast.
Today was a long hard day. We did 14 inches today which isn't bad as things slow down the deeper you get.

Tomorrow Mom and Dad are flying in around 9am. Dad is going to get changed and then come help dig during the day. Thanks Dad. Then Nig and Reeves said they would stop by and help dig tomorrow after work. Thanks guys. I think tomorrow should be a productive day.

Here are my revised predictions

Predicted completion date:
Digging - (I'm going optimistic) late Friday
Everything - still Sunday.
# of bin loads - 5

Monday, May 22, 2006

Day 1

Hours worked: 9 (9:30am - 6:30pm)
Workers: My friend Nigel (thanks Nig), Nola, Jackson and me.
Progress: 16 inches (out of about 72)

Today is a holiday so my buddy Nig came over to lend a hand. Thanks man.
We worked hard while Nola kept us feed and hydrated. She also took care of Jackson. At the end of a hard day we had done 16 inches. That might not sound like a lot but the hole is 55 feet long and 2 feet wide.
Here's what that much dirt looks like,So that was day 1.
I am very soar and stiff. Tomorrow we have no Nig, but Nola and I will pick up the slack. I hope to get an early start at about 8:30 but we'll see how that works out. It's supposed to get to a high of 28 or something for both tomorrow and Wednesday. That will be no fun. Mom and Dad get in on Thursday so there will be some extra help for Thursday and possibly Friday.

It's allways hard to guage how far you realy are so I'm going to give you my predictions every day.

Predicted completion date:
Digging - Saturday
Everything - Late Sunday.
# of bin loads - 5

Digging up the basement wall

Okay, I'm digging up the side of my house. I've got a long horizontal crack that runs the length of the west basement wall and the south basement wall. When it rains a lot in the spring, water pools near the west wall and a little leaks through into the basement. I want to remodel our basement so before I start I want to make sure I have the leaking taken care of. I had three quotes to have the work done and they all came in between $8000 and $9000! Needless to say I'm going to do it myself. I had some extra vacation time so off I went.
Last fall Dad and I did the south wall on the front of the house.

That wall is about 30 feet long and we had to dig under the front steps. It took us 2 days of digging

Now I'm doing the west wall and I'm going to blog the whole thing with daily updates.
We had some computer problems so at least for the next day or two I might be a day behind or so but I'll get it all in.

Prep work
Before we started we had to get the Air Conditioner out of the way. I checked and it was between $300 and $600 just to have it discontected and recontected. I didn't want it disconected that bad but as we learned from the front step, tunneling sucks. So Dad and I came up with a solution:


Before and after. It's not perfect but it's better then tunneling.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Grandma at 95

Antonia Harbarenko is my only living grandparent. She is 95 years old. Her brothers and sisters from the Weslowski clan are having a reunion in Leduc Alberta. Mom and dad put this video together and sent it to the reunion as Grandma is not able to travel. In the video she discuses some memories from her life growing up in Alberta and then moving to Manitoba to raise 10 childern (including mom). Enjoy


Sunday, May 07, 2006

Jackson turn's 5 months!

Wow, I cannot believe Jackson is already 5 months old. Time as gone by so quickly and Jackson has quite the personality. This picture was hard to take as he loves to grab anything he can. He is a very curious boy and he wants to look at everything around him. Jackson has the cutest laugh, it is more of a deep chuckle, it is very cute. He has 2 teeth. That is crazy to me, and it also makes eating very interesting, I know when he is about to bite, so there is no fooling mommy. Jackson goes for walks almost everyday with me (Mommy). Jackson has made an new friend and her name is Victoria, she is 3 days younger than Jackson. They walk together and have good times. Jackson has started eating wheat and rice cereal, he prefers the wheat cereal, he opens his mouth very wide and loves to chew on his spoon. We will start on veggies in a couple of weeks, I cannot wait to see his expressions as he tries new vegetables.

We've also added a bunch of new pictures here