This blog is about our travels in our solar powered "Airstream" and living off grid, in our passive solar home, near Bancroft, Ontario, Canada.

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Monday, 27 August 2012


We are entering the "grunt" work of this house building project.  There is a lot of hard physical labour ahead as we push to get everything done by the end of October.

One dirty job is sanding our nine foot ceilings smooth. This is a great workout for your upper body but my upper body tells me its not interested. Pushing a square of sandpaper stuck to a long pole across a ceiling that is over 1,000 square feet is exhausting, dusty, aggravating and something I would rather not be doing.

So most of this work has fallen on Mary's schedule with attempts made to minimize the dust and control the amount of dust we breath in. One solution was masks but they seem to restrict ones breathing and fog up ones glasses. An alternative approach is bandannas worn tightly over the head and face with just enough space to see through. So far it seems to be the best solution for us.

Yes it's a big high ceiling and we've just started the sanding process. We hope to be finished in a week but that will depend upon our strength and how our arms endure under this body building regime. Check back later to see if we have survived.

Once the great room is finished we still have lots more to do. By the time we are finished we should be experts. (with sore arms or big biceps) 

I went looking for a mixing drill last week when we were in Peterborough. I need a high speed rugged drill for mixing mortar and grout when we start to tile the bathroom floors and shower stalls. The gentleman at Home Depot recommended the DeWalt DW130V. Unfortunately they were sold out and every hardware store in town had the same answer,  "sorry, sold out".

So I sent an S.O.S e-mail to my sister and brother-in-law  asking them to check the Home Depot where they live in London.

Don and Carol set off on their quest to track down the drill I needed.  First stop was Home Depot but they got the same answer, "sorry, sold out". Next step was to check their computer. Unfortunately it showed there were no drills of that model in any of their stores in southern Ontario.

Undaunted, Don decided the next stop would be a "DeWalt" store but once again, "sold out" What's with this drill? Turns out it's no longer in production and it's replacement hasn't come out yet.

Ok, the last attempt was to ask DeWalt to check their computer and see if they could find the drill. Yea! There is one, but it's in Toronto at a little mom and pop hardware store on Lawrence Ave. That's a 3 hour drive but Don was relentless and if he was that close he was determined to get his hands on it.

Just to ensure the drill was still on the shelf he called the store and asked them to set it aside for him as he was on his way to pick it up.

WOW! What a brother-in-law. Thanks Carol and Don for going way beyond the expected to get us the drill.

Oh, yes Don got the drill but now he needed to get it up to us in Bancroft, another 3 hour drive. Fortunately our daughter Sherri and family were coming up on Saturday and could bring it with them.

A real team effort and so greatly appreciated. The tiling job will have extra special meaning knowing that so much went into making the mixing of the mortar possible.

So here's the drill just out of the box and not used yet.

This item you may not recognize. It is a key chuck, once used on all drills but seldom seen today as the cordless drills don't need a key to tighten the bit into the chuck. Maybe that's why the drill is being replaced, ............ old technology. Some days I feel like old technology.

Thanks everyone for all your help and check back often to see if we are surviving. 

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