Nov 29, 2020

Fence and related issues resolved

Tuesday mid morning we had a meeting with our financial advisor. Sadly he is permanently retiring, he was semi retired and had kept us on for the past two years.  News to us that was rather unexpected. He invited us and his admin ( who is also retiring ) for lunch at the Kelowna Yacht Club.

We all wore masks until seated and we were appropriately distanced because of the large table. Just after this photo was taken Colin’s phone rang.  It was maintenance giving us notice that they were going to be working on our property. We had been told on Monday that we would get at least one days notice, before they started digging. We just got a one minute notice! So we ate quickly and drove home.

This was taken from the car as we came down our street. Where were the workers. No one was digging.

Oh but they were, on the other side of the fence! But why I asked. Well they just thought it might be easier to start there. This was our first indication that the fence might be in the way. Colin spent hours laying new landscape cloth and levelling his cement slabs to match the concrete. I mentioned before that our plan is to push the shed closer to the fence in the spring.

Quite late in the afternoon they started to dig on the correct side of the fence. Ever so carefully they pushed back the rocks and removed the landscape cloth.

They set out tarps and very carefully shovelled the under layer of small rock on one side and the dirt on the other. It looked very neat but I figured that would not last. It turned out that I was correct.

They left at 4:30PM as it was starting to get dark. At this point we had no idea what was going to happen the next day, on Wednesday. Needless to say I was upset at my yard being dug up. Colin was more like ” nothing we can do about it” and decided to put the tree up and sort out the branches. My heart was not into Christmas but after a glass of wine I redid what he had done and fine tuned it a bit, bending branches here and there. We took no photos as we were still dazed from all the unexpected activity. Neither of us can remember if we put the tree lights up Tuesday or Wednesday. We do recall the Colin made creme of leek soup from a Knorr package.

Later I read and enjoyed eggnog with rum and a piece of banana bread.

Wednesday was all about digging and more digging. Before noon they knew that there was a five foot diameter concrete top that went under the fence to the second hole on the other side of the fence. Fortunately the found a smaller diameter opening and eventually were able to get it open.

There was a lot of rock, mud and some twigs.There was no sign of a pipe coming from the drain in the road. So they started to remove the mud and rocks. They were gone a good part of the day but came back to do more digging. Lots of breaks and a one hour lunch. At the end of the day they said that in the morning ( Thursday ) they might need to remove the fence including the steel posts and the cement used to keep them in place. Again more shocking news.

I did contact our fence builder and he was not available to come until Friday. So we decided that no one was going to take our fence apart except the builder.  Meanwhile I started to put out some of our Christmas cutsies. Things that were not going on the tree.  Thinking back as I type this, I am pretty sure that we did put up the tree lights Tuesday. However neither Colin nor I can recall what we had for dinner Wednesday night. Our minds remained in turmoil.

When they left for the day they once again said that they were not sure what would happen with the fence the next day. They still had not found the pipe.


Thursday morning was spent making the hole deeper. They took away two loads of rock. Paul is actually standing in the hole.  They tried using a shop vac to suck the mud.  Took about two minutes for it to clog.

Having removed a good deal of rock they tried an experiment. Insert water into the pipe within the drain.

And water began to run into the hole. The found the pipe.  It had not collapsed but was full of mud and debris that went down the drain from the road.

Mission accomplished, sort of.  None of these fellows had been in the park with this dry well had been installed.  They could not believe that whoever had built this had filled it so full of rock. They hope that it will fine now. So do we.

They began to put things back together by putting soil into the hole. That confused me as they just shovelled dirt out.

New landscape cloth was laid and bit by bit it all came back together. They did say that it was impossible to level the cement slabs behind the fence. Colin said he had done it and expected it to be done. It took a while but did get it levelled.

They did a good job of cleaning up, better than I expected anyway. Our patio, the driveway and the street are covered with splotches of mud.  The fence has dirty handprints all over it.

I was called out for a final inspection. The wind was blowing and it was cold.  I didn’t have time to put a jacket on.

It looked good but not as perfect as it had been when we finished the big clean up last Saturday. The best part is that we did not have to take the fence part. We still need to wipe down the fence and the gate and move some of the landscape rock.  But other that putting the outdoor Christmas tree back to where it should go ( more or less ) we left it at that.

Colin went out to pick up Chinese take out for dinner. It is time to get back to our regularly scheduled life.  I took part of Friday off and all of Saturday to just sit and read most of the day. Today I am feeling more like myself. Hence this post which took a few hours to edit photos and write this synopsis. It really could have been worse but it was bad enough to shake me up. It has just been thirty days since we took the hedge out and it has not been an easy time. Time to get on with Christmas.

A very special belated Happy Thanksgiving to my American readers. I’m sorry but I totally forgot about your Thanksgiving. I hope that each one of you had a very special day and dinner.










Nov 27, 2020

We are doing just fine

The problems we had were addressed and completed by end of day yesterday. I needed today to get myself back together. Will post soon with photos and the story.

Meanwhile the numbers here are going up everyday.  Please stay safe.





Nov 24, 2020

We were both shocked and upset to say the least

Yesterday, Monday, we had chiropractic appointments in Vernon. Afterwards we returned our Charlie Brown tree to Canadian Tire. We never even took it out of the box but by accident last Friday ( we had a quick 20 minute stop at Walmart ) we found a much better one and taller for the same great price of $39.99. After Canadian Tire we did our large biweekly shop at the Vernon Superstore, so very much larger, newer and with lots of space within each aisle than our local Kelowna store. Next stop was a big wine stock up and fuel top up as the gas prices are cheaper there. So after a long day  ( we were gone close to 5 hours ) and a very full car we came home. As Colin was backing in, I said, “what happened to our landscape rocks”?

This is what we saw.  I felt violated. Why would someone do this to us?

I asked him to call the front office and security while I ran over to a neighbour to see if they knew what had happened. Sadly they did. We have been having drain problems which have become much worse the past few years.  Maintenance tried to fix it a few weeks ago to no avail. Actually they have tried for several years to get this sorted out. Yesterday they brought in a huge truck which sent a miniature camera down the drain and along its length.

There is darker square about 1/3 down from the top right, in the middle of that dark triangular patch.  The dark square is the drain underwater. From that drain you can see two parallel lines that run to the bottom left of the photo.

Those two parallel lines end up at our property and is marked by the orange paint.

Apparently the remote camera only got as far as halfway up our area in front of the new fence where it saw a collapsed pipe. They could not find out where that pipe led.  They think that is comes under our yard and empties into the lake. Maintenance came by to speak with us and that is how we discovered this much.  At that point we explained that there was no exit from our property to the lake. Were we sure, yes we were certain. We explained that in the 17 years we have lived here ( in both homes on opposite sides of the road ) that we always were told that this drain went over to the neighbours ( the ones close to the fence ) and drained out to the lake behind their home. Apparently the mini camera was used from the drain on the road side of our neighbours near our fence and also from the lake to the road and that pipe was clear with no obstructions.

The tiny remote camera also had some sort of GPS or something ( we were not here so don’t really know ) that shows above ground the area where the pipe collapsed. So someone painted where they need to dig.  Yes dig!

So it appears that from the road to the fence it will all be dug up. They may even have to go under the fence or move the fence. We don’t know. No one knows until the digging starts.

We got to enjoy our completed fence, properly placed landscape cloth and new rocks for exactly one full day. Can you imagine how upset we were? So sometime within the next week our front area will be dug up, we will be dealing with a huge mess and likely lots of mud from the rain. Management came to see us today ( at our request ) and promised to put everything back as it was. Have you ever seen anything put back correctly when something like this is done? In fact I could not figure out why our gate was full of mud. Apparently several people were traipsing through our yard look for a place to see where the drain ran into the lake. So if they make a mess of our gate I can only image what is coming next.

One of the most upsetting parts was was seeing the neon orange paint splattered up onto our four day old fence.

Maintenance came this morning and removed most of the sprayed rocks ( they can’t be cleaned ) but still many remain as was seen by management when they came by closer to noon today. Most of the paint came off the fence with a special cleaner but not all of it is gone. You can see a larger grey stone placed near the fence to mark ‘the’ spot. A much neater and less destructive method of making a mark.

We were extremely upset when we returned home yesterday afternoon. There was not enough wine to cope. Today we remain disappointed that so much of our hard work is going to be dug up. We have no choice but to get this done but we don’t have to like it. As you know we are perfectionists and we know that it will never be the same. We have requested that we be given at least a days notice so that we can be here to supervise. The last thing we need is to have a backhoe damage the fence. Next week I have my final vein treatment, a chiro treatment and a massage but I can cancel the last two if needed. Likely they would prefer us to not be here, but if we can we will be.





Nov 23, 2020

Let the holidays begin!

Now that the fence was complete and the landscape rocks were in place, it was time to begin with some Christmas magic.

Of course everything here is a first for decorating, both outside and inside. So last Saturday was the day. It wasn’t raining nor snowing and the sun was out.  Some would’ve called it warmish.  I wore a pair of long johns under my pants and was warm enough.

First we put up three strings of icicle lights. It actually was a challenge to get them to stay tight. Colin used bungie cords to secure them to each of the fence post tops. The awesome thing is that these three sets of lights are exactly the length we needed.  Even more amazing is that we found these in a bin under the house the that we packed up 20 years ago. Neither of us have any recollection of having used these lights in the past.

Next up was setting up our new outdoor tree.

Thanks to a very special fellow blogger who has become a very good online friend in the past years and in particular these past months. She mentioned this particular tree on a recent blog post.  Her blog can be found here. The tree is everything we hoped it would be and super easy to set up. The third step of our outdoor set up required us to somehow attach three sets of lights on the inside our windows.  Easier to do from the inside ( less damage ) but much more trying on the nerves, but we did get it done.

Certainly not a good photo but you get the idea. My only complaint is that the new coloured lights we purchased for inside the windows are a different colour than the tree lights.  However in the whole picture of life this is nothing.  Bottom line is that it all looks great and festive.

The lights on the two trees on this side of the fence. Isn’t it great having that slice of moon up there?

There is a reason we are all being locked down yet again!





Nov 22, 2020

The end of the story

We have gained close to three feet of yard.  As you can see that area is a mess of old landscape cloth and a mix of pea gravel and other stuff. The plan was to wait until spring but Colin wanted to fix it right now.

So even as Frank was finishing the fence on Wednesday, Colin started to lay fresh landscape cloth. This way nothing will grow up out of the ground.

He worked tirelessly. It was so cold that the best I could do was pop out onto the landing and take a few photos.

We had made arrangements for Oyama pink shale to be delivered  first thing Thursday morning.

We wanted 5 yards and ended up with 5.84 metric tonnes.

A lot of shovelling involved which neither of us were going to do. I went online Wednesday morning and found a handyman to come and fill the wheelbarrow and to move  the rock where we asked. And repeat and repeat.

All together we have 142 linear feet of new fencing. That bit to the left is a mini garden area for ‘things’. We will cover that with fresh Oyama pink shale as well.  Too windy to grow any flowers. We tried over and over and gave up. So I have put my Dad’s fossils there and a few other things there.

It was so cold that I never ventured out to get photos. Yes I am a wimp, while these two are out there working so hard. Tony, my handyman, did the hard part. Colin raked the stone where needed, added more landscape cloth and also shovelled shale as needed. All I had to do was open the door and say, more there or rake that area higher. So you can see we three all worked hard, I was the warmest though:)

We were out most of the day Friday. So yesterday was the first opportunity to take photos of the completed project.

The lawn ornament is covering the spike that comes out of the ground that our piece of art sits on in the summer. Knowing me, Colin decided to cover it  with this guy, so I did not trip.

A cool Saturday but what a wonderful blue sky. So we have an 8′ height from left to right.  Then we drop down for one section to 7′ and the last section ( in the shadow because we angled the fence at that point ) down to 6′.  As per our revised arrangement with the neighbours ( giving them 2.5 feet of our property ) we can move that last section up to 7′.  Even then they can see into our home. But every inch helps. We would love 8′ the last two sections but felt it only fair to give them more of a view from their home.  As per our agreement, they wanted more of a wide view and did not care about the height.

From inside the yard next to the shed ( which will be moved in the spring ) and the gate.

We like the look, 8′ high along the side and then down to 6’6″ in front plus the 3′ high, 8′ long mini fence, just to complete the project.

From the driveway going into our yard. Definitely a doxie proof gate.

From the front steps looking down the yard to the lake. Neat that you see both rain chains and the back steps.

The pink shale looked white. Likely from the crushing. Once washed by the rain and snow it will all look like the top four pieces. I love the colour, it looks so alive.

Many of you have expressed concern as to how close our fence is to the neighbours home. They only purchased in June and they always planned to build a new home in the large part of their lot.  Only recently they have decided to move this older house and place it in the wider part of their lot and have it renovated. So please don’t worry, this has all been done with their approval and all the official checks. Not our fault that the previous owners somehow managed to get more space towards our property. We were not living here then. Not only did we give the new owners the extra 2.5 feet lakeside, they also received an extra 4 inches the entire length of the fence. They are doing well because of this fence.


Stayed tuned for the next project.  Christmas may be involved 😉




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