It's October 2007...
With a little forethought and trick 43 we were able to maneuver the 180 pound beams from the driveway to the slab for sanding/staining and then to the rack for winter storage. By placing a 2x6 stack at the 1/3 and 2/3 mark along the length of the glulam a double teeter-totter effectively reduced the lifting weight of each end to 60 pounds. Simply leaning on the short end with a fraction of our body weight allowed us to then lift the beams to any height and 'walk' them to any location. Where practicable we also employed a piece of ABS pipe to roll the beams along flat plains.

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In this way we proceeded to spend the first two weeks of this month hand-sanding and staining 31 glulams!  At first we were a bit discombobulated with the damage done in transport and some of the factory defects that slipped through QC at Structurlam. As we proceeded though we found that we were able to hide most of the major scratches and flaws in places where they would not be too visible and then applied a lot of elbow grease to sand out the rest.

The glulams came with a primer/sealer coat intended to protect them somewhat during shipping and installation. We found this coat to be more of a nuisance since some of the water stains, fingerprints and other markings were indeed imbedded under this coat. That meant before we could sand off the blemishes we had to sand through the sealer coat. Since the stain penetrates at a different rate on exposed wood  than it does on sealed wood we effectively found ourselves sanding most of the beam to insure uniform stain application.

Pouring that much love into our beams we grew more and more attached to them. We started with 60 grit sandpaper and finished off the sanding with a fine sanding sponge and a tack cloth. I applied the stain liberally with a rag pressing it into the grain of the wood. Laura followed me to rub it in deeper and insure there were no runs or missed spots. At first it was tedious but then we started to Zen it and marveled at how beautiful they will look in the house! 

The rains have come early this year so after we got the glulams stained and neatly tucked under our portable mini-trusses Laura was faced with a difficult decision. Should we push ahead and work through the rainy season or should we put the project on hold until the worst of the storms are over. In this part of the world November and December are dominated by one Pacific low after another sweeping over the mountains and across the Salish sea. The gale warnings are only briefly interrupted by a sunny day here and there, often weeks apart. Since we have a finished slab and no walls yet to deteriorate in the relenting onslaught of wind and rain Laura wisely decided to spend a little extra on interest and suspend construction until at least January. We still have a few things to button up though before we can nestle down to writing, baking, reading, and caring for our bodies this winter. 

October 13th - 17th

We headed over to the cottage for 4 days.  It was a warm, sunny day for the crossing although no wind for sailing so had to motor the whole way.  It felt good to be at the cottage; to reconnect, to putter, and to rest.  And we got to hook up with Rob and have a lovely dinner and visit and fun to watch a favourite movie (The Kid) with him .

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We also hiked Mt. Young, twice.  It had been a long time since I had and I actually had trepidations about doing it.  Ah, the mind can fool you sometimes... OF COURSE I was able to do it! with a few stops on the way up... and what a GREAT FEELING to reach the top, feel my heart beating quicker, my breath drawing deeper, and my muscles actually working!  Two days later we did it again and I didn't stop at all!  Here we are atop of Mt. Young after having an hour's nap!  It felt sooo good to be in the fresh air lying on a bed of soft moss.  Thomas is serenading me with his penny whistle!

We had an amazing sail back on Wednesday!  The 3ft sea state and 25knot winds from the south shot us across Haro Strait around the bottom and between Sidney Island and James Island - very cold but beautiful sunshine! We could see it pouring over the peninsula!  We got hit with it in front of Port Sidney for about 20 minutes en route to Van Isle. It was GREAT! makes you feel alive!
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