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  • Rae

Part 10: Windows, doors, shingles, floors...

Updated: Jul 20, 2023

On August 21, we finally did the Gaff Point Trail! It was a beautiful Wednesday night and after finishing our work for the day, we grabbed some sandwiches and headed to the beach. The trail starts with a really pretty walk on a stony path along Hirtles Beach.

A very beautiful start to a lovely hike!

We've been on Hirtles Beach so many times and did not realize how pretty this hike would be! It's gorgeous, with great views out over the ocean. We watched lots of seabirds and the fin of a porpoise (probably) darting in and out of the water. It was the first time we have seen the famous Nova Scotia Blueberries! It's a beautifully maintained trail with stone paths, wood paths, and these really cool split log paths.

We were just finishing our hike as the sun was going down. It was still a very warm evening – perfect for a quick swim and a dinner picnic, as we watched the waves and the birds diving for their dinner. I cannot think of a better way to end the day.

The addition is really progressing! Suddenly, the doors and windows are installed, and before we know it, they are starting to add the pine shingles!

It's funny... when we were designing this addition, I was so set on having vintage wood doors and reclaimed flooring and big wooden frame windows... and the reality is, the humidity is REALLY high here and we're near enough to the ocean to get some salt in the air – not great for hardwood... so, we have listened to the advice of Rissers who have lived here all their lives – and we are going with modern technology and materials that will last!

Okay, can we talk about the ART of applying wood shingles?? I'm fascinated by this technique – each row has a levelled piece of wood tacked in place so that the rows are perfect, and they shave them to fit just right. The overlap pattern doesn't seem to have any rhyme or reason to me, but obviously they know exactly what they're doing, because the end result looks perfect. Looking at the original shingles on the house and what is being done now, well, it looks exactly the same.

It's a time-intensive process and sometimes there are 4 guys working together like this...

They've been working on all sides, slowly crawling up the wall and we love the look!

On the weekend of August 24, we decided it was time for another day trip! So off we went, straight across the province to Annapolis Royal. A very pretty town, with lovely historic homes – one of the first areas to be settled back in 1605.

We were most interested in seeing Port-Royal. We both remember learning about Samuel de Champlain when we were kids and the reconstruction of his 1605 fort did not disappoint!

17th century techniques were used to be true to details and it really feels authentic. We loved it. I especially liked seeing the fleur-de-lis carved into the doors, and wondered if maybe one of my French ancestors had been here back in the 1600's?

It was my first chance to see the Bay of Fundy. Alan's parents lived on Grand Manan, NB for several years, so he was familiar with this body of water, but I had never seen it.

The Bay of Fundy near Port-Royal

Our road trip took us along the coastline as far as Middleton with great water views, rolling hills, historic homes and farms – we had hoped to find some orchards open, but we think we were a bit early. Not too sad about it...this calls for another road trip in September!

We have been pining to get out on our own cove and we don't have a wharf yet... making it too difficult to get my really nice kayak in the water easily, so.... we decided to buy a couple of light-weight, indestructible kayaks. So glad we did! They are super fun, turn on a dime and it will always be great to have a couple extra kayaks around for guests.

First night out in our new kayaks!

It was another glorious, warm evening with a light breeze. We went all around our cove and got a nice close-up view of the two-mast schooner called Tillicum in our bay - it's actually an AirBNB!

I've got to talk about our social media campaign (while we are building our studio, we are trying to create interest and a following, so we will have an audience to invite to events like house concerts). Well, it's starting off slowly... at first I felt quite frozen –I just didn't know what I should post... what will people find interesting? So I had another chat with Jen from Simple Local Social... and she gave me a couple of good tips, and presto, we now have some followers! Yay!

People have been so supportive and welcoming. It's really nice! So, I've got to keep it going now; doing my best to keep things interesting. You can check us out if you're interested: and

Back to the build! The plumbing is in, and our second inspection passed without concern. Next thing we know, insulation is starting upstairs.

One day we were working away and came down for lunch... boom! the ground floor is insulated, plastic barrier and grid in place – ready to be poured!

Meanwhile, the shingles continue and our storage closet and bathroom upstairs are taking shape. The space for the studio still feels nice and big, and the light streaming in from the big windows is lovely.

Storage closet and bathroom framed in! We plan to build barn doors for the closet.

Well, here it is the end of August. We were expecting a big storm the other night, but all we got was some much-needed rain; not even any wind. The South Shore doesn't seem to get much of the bad weather that other parts of the province do. At least that's been our experience so far. Nice.

It's Friday and we are at the start of the long weekend. The only person we knew before moving here –my high-school friend Deirdre –is coming for a BBQ on the holiday Monday; so looking forward to having our first guest visit! Tonight, we are going to Petite Rivière Winery to see a concert. The last time we were there, the concert was amazing, so hopefully, this will be too.

We're hoping the lovely weather continues. We're getting to the beach as often as possible, and the evenings are so pretty... often pink and orange in the sky.

Our build is going so well and we just can't say enough good things about the crew, a really nice group of guys, and Barrett and Melissa Risser – it's been so exciting to watch the process and we're looking forward to having our metal roof done.

We have a couple of adventures planned to explore more of this beautiful province, and we're told that the Fall is a beautiful time of year here. Well, the summer has been spectacular, so bring it on!

Happy Labour Day Weekend everyone!

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