Archive for January, 2009

So here it is. One of my favorite cities in the world is Hanoi.

And in that city there was a cafe named Au Lac. And a year ago we met with dear friends and ate lunch and drank in the smells and sounds and colours of the city. And I have just read that Au Lac has been torn down. I have nothing good to say about that.

H. laughing ..sitting in Au Lac, December 2007.


Our M remembers that we bought the beloved toy horse outside the gate of Au Lac. She says, “That place had memories of mine”. Darn tootin it did. I REALLY hate it when they tear things down. Really hate it.

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Flash of Beauty


H is working on a project for school with two other girls.  They are setting up scenes and she is taking pictures. Here is one.

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WHAT was I thinking?

There is a lot to do to put a wee house back together. Actually an endless amount to do.

All sorts of things that, should I have ever purchased them, I have done so in ones or twos ~ not dozens.

Door knobs.

Floor vents. Nice floor vents. Egg crate wood vents. Sure.

Door bell button. Okay. Okay. I’m stretching the point. But these things don’t get up and walk to the house. Ya have to find them. Then find a deal. HA.



Faucets, sinks, tiles, switch plates, shower fixtures. Oh ya. Roof shingles. Cedar shakes. Paint colours for exterior. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.


This is hope. View out of the dining room/livingroom window. Love these windows. Love this house.

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So today only two Angels. But amazingly six and a half pieces were dug out and formed. A lot of work considering that one is digging UNDERNEATH the house and that the earth is MUD. Heavy MUD. So we will be ready to pour, what a lovely word “pour”, at 11 am on Monday.

Al is new. Meet Al.


And Carmen.


So no doubt our gaggle of Angels is missed (they are off on other, albeit less saintly, assignments). But the ones that hovered over the little house today managed to complete almost a full set for the underpining dig. Amazing!


At the risk of boring you half to tears, this is a picture of what one of the underpining blocks look like. Myself I think they are pretty lovely:)


And again, at the risk of boring you to tears, look at that light. Really. Not bad for a basement. And it is not hard to imagine walls and floors, a fireplace and really comfy chairs.


I could go on and on about the light.  It’s lovely.

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You see. When it snows the Angels are BUSY.  Getting rid of the white stuff littering the roads until the wee hours of the morning. Hence sadly, very sadly, not available for the digging and pouring.


Most of the Angels are out driving this….

So what we need to do now is concentrate REALLY hard on wishing that the snow will STOP.


Friday. More Digging. More pouring.

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Well. It’s like this. It’s snowing and forecasted to snow more. So no digging = no pouring.


For today. Fish. Carp. Big package arrived from New York State somewhere. With New Year’s decorations. As all of ours are in the POD. With the Christmas decorations.  Happy New Year!

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Today. They. Started. To. Pour. The. Underpinning. YAY!!

All is well with the world.


Victor. Remember Victor? He digs. They are working on the dig for the first pour of the underpinning.


And then the dirt is moved … out.

If you recall the pictures from the first day of pouring and in particular the forms constructed. This is the result. An absolutely perfect LARGE concrete footing pad. They look like this:


If you look closely you can see, underneath all the stuff, parts of the largest footing pad. Plus note the beautiful light in the basement. YAY.





Walter’s back. And for reference Walter is 6′ 8″ tall. And Walter can now stand in the basement and his head, just barely, by a hair, clears under the beams. Ha!


Carmen was back.


Ok. This is a gizmo. And the gizmo vibrates the concrete to make sure it makes its way into every square centimeter of the dig. Like that.

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Best wishes for a happy, healthy and prosperous new year in this Year of the Water Buffalo.


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So today the concrete truck arrived. No more taking apart! It’s the beginning of the putting back together. After say hmmm… 7 months of taking apart and waiting, and waiting and waiting and then taking apart and waiting and waiting and waiting…

Here is the glorious truck…



The truck is backed up to the side door and the concrete went through the door and into the basement  ~ just like that.

Then the concrete goes in here ~ in many, many footings. Nice huh?



Victor placing re-bar inside the footings.

For those with expertise in this area. You’re right we turned right when the map said left and instead of a house it appears we are building a battleship.


You may recall my having mentioned the River that runs through it.









Ok. Ya got love this. Here is Carmen.

And here is the shoot coming down into the house. Now watch.


TA DA!!!!!!!



Ya have to admit this is pretty dang clever. And sure it’s not a pretty picture of floor going in or trim being installed or even walls going up. But beauty in my eyes. Pure beauty. Have no doubt.

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Make no mistake…

Today is a good day.


It’s been a long time coming.

Goodbye Mr. small shrub. Hey! We don’t EVER have to mention his name again. How good is that?

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