Monday, August 21, 2017

Finally Complete! Flood Reconstruction Done

This post has taken me a while to write as the rebuild was completed in late May, 11 weeks after the flood, and I’m finally finding the time to write it.  I can’t express the relief that we felt once all of the rebuild was complete and our lives could get back to normal.

Our challenges all started March 8th when I walked into our home to find water streaming from the second floor down into the first then down from there into the basement.IMG_4495

I will say that once the rebuild started it moved at a great pace.  The delay to start was mainly caused by waiting for budget approval and then from there for flooring to arrive and once it was ready.  I hired the the company who did the cleanup to do the rebuild as they’d been so amazing with the first part!  They moved everything along at a great pace!

The first big fix was to repair the huge hole in the first floor ceiling.  About 6 weeks after the flood it went from this


to this one day 1IMG_4710

to this on day 2 as it was still drying.IMG_4717

When the ceiling was being sprayed little bits of it bled down onto the walls


which meant an unexpected surprise that the entire main floor would be repainted!  Woot!!  I chose to keep it neutral and just lightened it up a bit.


Once the painting was done it was time to install the flooring.  In order to do this everything needed to be packed up and I have to sing the praises of the restoration company as they came in and packed up everything in our entire 2 upper floors.  What a blessing it was to have this done for me and not need to do it myself!  Each evening Hannah and I would come home and guess what our house looked like.  There were only 2 nights that we needed to stay with my parents which was pretty amazing considering absolutely everything we owned was packed away.

Living Room

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Kitchen and eating area


Hannah’s room when it was being used for storage.  (LOL – yes, she made a game of making her way into the rooms each evening when we checked out the changes.)

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Then the following day as they were laying the carpeting in her room.  I can’t imagine how many people it must have taken to pack and move everything and it was all seamless to me.  I’d leave for work and it would look one way and I’d return to a completely new home.  All of this was coordinated by the restoration company and I am SO grateful!!


Friday night I was just hoping that we would be able to stay in our home for the weekend.  You can imagine my excitement and awe when we walked into THIS!  Yes….I cried!  Even the beds were made!  I was so relieved that after 11 long weeks our lives were finally going to be back to normal!

Hannah's Room - After

Playroom as a storage room

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The playroom


Mommy’s Room stuffed to the gills!  This was what it looked like Friday morning when I left for work…


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And this was what I came home to 9 hours later!!!  EVERYTHING was back in it’s place!!! There were more tears when I walked into my room.  (I’ll admit there were even tears the first night when I woke up in the middle of the night to use the restroom, just being able to FINALLY put my feet on the floor without having to find shoes or slippers first.)

Mommy's Room - After

The final room to be renovated was the washroom where the flood started.  The renovation company had hoped to keep a functioning bathroom in our house each night but the night I arrived home to this and I realized that that hadn’t happened!  This is what I saw when I opened my garage door.   LOL – of course this was also the night that my piano students were coming to my house for lessons!  Oops! I sent out some quick texts to let them know that the house would be without facilities. Winking smile  Then ran to a local McD’s to use their facilities as it would be an option for the next 3 1/2 hours!!


Because the bathroom vanity sat in water for over 24 hours the insurance company replaced it and what a treat it was to move from the 4 door cabinet


to a new one with drawers!  Such a treat and I’m so happy with this new piece of furniture!IMG_4863

The very last step was to have the new couch delivered that had been sitting in storage for almost 2 months.  Our former couch (aka: the Big Blue Sponge) was old; IMG_4497

the filler love seat was tiny; IMG_4717

but oh…the new couch (with recliners!!) is wonderful! 


It was a LONG, somewhat challenging few months as we recovered from the flood but now that all is said and done and it is behind us, it was a blessing in disguise.  I would not wish this on anyone but now our 20 year old home is fresh again and we couldn’t be happier!!

A big shout out to so many who helped us through this!!  There are too many to name (and I know I’d accidentally forget someone!) but, you know who you are and please know from the depths of our hearts, how thankful Hannah and I are!!

Friday, August 11, 2017

Cottage Time 2017 – Part 3

One of our cottage traditions is that Hannah and I make Monkey Munch/Puppy Chow together.  (Yes, she did her own hair!  LOL!)

(2010, 2011 with recipe)



Do you think she enjoyed this?IMG_5326

The 3rd weekend we went up to visit mom and dad we were able to stay longer as Hannah and I were at the beginning of a week of vacation together.  Such a special time!

The storms were gone.  The hydro was back and we were ready for lots of rest, relaxation and summer fun together!  My brother and SIL left the day we arrived but my cousin, his wife and son were now in the area so lots of family time and fun were just around the corner.

Hannah enjoyed feeding the ducks with Grandma.DSCN0062

I will never tire of this view from the cottage. 


Hannah and Nathan enjoyed the metal detector treasure hunt on the beach.


Grandpa preparing the evening campfire.  S’mores anyone?DSCN0080


My cousin Aaron and Hannah! Winking smile


Another wonderful summer of family time at the cottage at Muskoka Bible Centre is in the books. 



Until next year…

Monday, August 07, 2017

Cottage Time 2017 – Part 2

My parents rent a cottage for the first 3 weeks of July and Hannah and I enjoy going up to visit them each weekend.

The second weekend we drove up Friday evening after I finished work.  While we drove in beautiful sun most of the time, weather announcements on the radio often told me that there was a number of severe storms brewing around us.

About 20 minutes before we arrived at the cottage I suddenly began receiving texts from family asking where we were and if we were okay.  We were under a bit of cloud but there was sun all around us.

As we got closer to the cottage it became clear that quite a storm had just gone through.  It ended up being a localized storm but for as quickly as it came and went it left quite a bit of damage behind.  My friend TL had her car parked near the dining hall and after the storm this was what she found!



It’s hard to see here but my SIL took this picture from inside the chapel.  At this point they could not open the doors to the outside as almost a foot of water had quickly accumulated when the rain and hail fell.  You can see the benches in the back and how high the water was on their legs.


As we were within about 1 km of the cottage the roads and cottages got dark indicating the power was out.  Normally this isn’t much more than an inconvenience but it’s a challenge for me as I have sleep apnea so I must sleep with a CPAP machine.  No power = a rough night with many episodes of wakefulness and choking.  Ugh!

Thankfully my dad called to say that Dan, the cottage owner was going to bring an extension cord from his generator down the 50’ hill to our cottage so that I would have power for ‘Darth’, my CPAP machine. Smile  I was SO thankful for this as I really didn’t know what I would have done.  (Possibly had to turn around and drive the 2 hours back home.)  History has proven that power going out at the cottage is never a short lived experience and it often lasts hours. 

Even though we were oh-so-close to the cottage it would take us another 60+ mins. to get there as the storm had washed out the road and hill that I needed to get to mom and dad.  Thankfully the staff at the camp were quickly on cleanup and they graded a little bit of the road and hill to allow traffic to get through.   (This picture was taken the following morning showing the machinery used to re-grade the hill….a second time!  They had almost graded the hill the first time when the second storm hit and washed away all of their work! Sad smile )


Hannah and I finally reached the cottage around 11pm, gathered essentials from the car and made our way down to the cottage.  We chatted with mom and dad for a bit but then quickly called it a night.  There was a second thunder storm that went through that produced a lightening storm like I’ve never seen before!  2 solid hours of thunder and lightening every few seconds was surreal.  (Can you believe I didn’t even think to take video of it?  D’oh!!)  The storm finally passed around 2 am and I was able to sleep.  Thankfully Hannah slept through the entire storm!

Here’s a video of the first storm that my dad took from inside their cottage.  The white things in the air are pieces of hail.  It was about an inch deep everywhere once the storm passed.

The next morning we woke to a beautiful sunny morning but still did not have power so Hannah and I went on an adventure into town and picked up a shareable box of coffee and went to share it with family and friends around the camp.  Let’s just say we were pretty popular!  (Again, no pictures.  You can tell how everything was just a little out of sorts.)

Although the skies were sunny it was easy to see that something had happened the night before.

Dan and Marg’s hill between their house and the cottage is filled with beautiful hostas.  This picture was taken a few years ago.


This is a close-up of one of the hostas the day after the storm.  Sadly all of them looked like this!  They had all been shredded by the hail.2017-07-31_11-03-08

No power led to creativity.  Kallen created a decoration with the water bottles and played a game of ‘jump over the water bottles.’ 2017-07-31_11-05-29

No power also meant no water so we used buckets of lake water to flush occasionally.  LOL!


Thankfully the sun stayed out so we had a great day outside.



In the end the power was off for almost 30 hours!  It’s safe to say we were excited when it was back on at 1am Sunday morning.  Sunday also became the day that many BBQed everything in their freezers that had thawed during the storm.  Thankfully mom and dad didn’t lose anything as theirs was plugged into the generator.

Ah, cottage life.  Mainly wonderful and amazing but occasionally a little challenging too.  A weekend with a story though, that’s for sure!

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