Saturday, July 30, 2011

Getting Back in the Swing of Things, Again

We had a lot of fun on our trip, but it goes without saying that it sure feels good to be back in New England, a sentiment voiced to me by many people on the plane. The heat and politics of AZ just don't mesh with me.

On that note, there is much to do. The grass was growing out of control when we left, and now it is even more out of control. I am almost done with relocating the wood, and should finish it by this week, opening the door for me to receive the next 7 cords of logs. I could even theoretically start cutting the logs this Fall, but let's not get ahead of ourselves. Then there is the barn.

Since the kid's activities are winding down, sort of, I hope I'll have more time to work on that darn barn. BL the plumber called before we left and said he's open to work on Sundays. HH is pretty much out of the picture, I think she dislikes working with a rank amateur as myself, plus she has other life issues to attend to. I was thinking of calling JH and his magic bag of tools, but he's busy, as well. Looks like I'll be riding solo on this one.

Finally, there are many projects to do on our home, the most immediate of which is getting the flashing to do the roof. This is going to be a bit of project because it will entail getting on the roof. Also, I need to borrow a big ladder, which always makes for some drama, but what's life without a little drama?

Until then, thanks for reading, and thanks to Christa Richert for the pic.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Disaster Strikes

It finally happened, something I’ve heard about since we moved here. Our wood pile collapsed, and unfortunately, it’s not something I can ignore, because not only is it wood that we’re going to burn in a few months, but my whole darn wood pile seems to be leaning forward. Disaster impending.

I don’t know I have what it takes to straighten out the entire pile, but something’s gotta be done. For now, I’ll focus on just fixing the end, but hopefully the pile will hold up until cooler weather. Unfortunately, the other end of the pile is leaning, as well. What was I thinking when I stacked that thing?

Until the next time, thanks for reading.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Can We All Just Get Along?

We have a woodchuck, I see him almost every day, but truth be told, he has not entered the garden, and so far seems content to eat whatever is growing on the lawn. I realize that it may be an eventuality that he’ll find his way into the garden, but for now, as long as he is just eating weeds, we can all get along. Hopefully it’ll stay that way.

Besides, if I set the trap up outside the garden, there is always the valid problem of catching a skunk, and we don’t want to go there again.

Until the next time, thanks for reading, and thanks to Stephanie McKendrick for the pic.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Another Roof Option

After talking to HH about my plan to flash the side of the shed dormer in the back of the house, she told me of another option. At first I thought I’d just use aluminum flashing and then either leave it at that, which would look bad but would do the job, or paint it. I have the paint, but she said paint would chip off over time, and the thing to do would be to contact the roofers, Iron Horse, and get the actual metal that they used to flash it. That would be a perfect match, and I might even be able to get it cut to size, which would be about 4 inches.

She also mentioned contacting Bethel Mills, who might be able to pull it off, as well. The advantage of BM is that they could probably send it to Britton’s, making obtaining it simpler. IH, on the other hand, is out in Tunbridge, though they might be able to deliver.

Either way, this should be interesting. Until then, thanks for reading.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Closer to the Soffit

Yesterday HH came over and we crammed in about 3 hours of work on the barn. It had been awhile, and she was ready to work all day, but I had other things that needed to be done, so we had to cut out early. I think she was disappointed, because she was prepared to get more done. Sorry. On the bright side, she brought her kids and dog over, and they all had fun with N. Plus, they went back over to their house for swimming (they have a small pool), so N had a blast and I’m glad for that.

I wrestle with this because these seem like things I could do on my own, and yet they never get done because I never seem to have the time. Funny how that works. This time around, I’ve resolved to be more diligent about it, because in the end, it doesn’t take that much to just chip away at the stone. Just a little bit at a time, and before you know it, things are moving along.

For now, I need to finish drilling the holes in the soffit board, then cover them with screen. I should then install the strapping on the other side of the barn and cut holes in the soffit board for that. That’s plenty of work until the next time HH comes over, and hopefully I’ll get it done by then.

Thanks for reading.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Finished the Blocking

The next time HH comes over she won’t think I’m a total loser, just a partial one, because I finished the blocking. Sure, it wasn’t a huge deal, but it’s something. When you’re a real-man in training, you’ll take what you can get.

Once I got started on it, it wasn’t so bad, and had a day a few hours to dedicate to it. It wasn’t a fun job, and my Mentor wasn’t even sure if it was necessary, but some people felt it was important, and once I got the suggestion in my head, I felt like it was the proper course of action. After all, I’ve got plenty of free time on my hands, right?

Either way, at some point I was going gangbusters on it and then ran out of wood. Consequently, I completely ran out of steam and it all came to a grinding halt until I could get the wood. I didn’t need much, just about 8 feet of 2X6 board. It was really a transportation issue.

A few days back my Mentor kindly helped me pick up some pipes for the plumbing, and at that time I got the board, which sat for about a week until yesterday when I had a free 45 minutes to cut the wood and set in it place. One day I’ll get around to nailing them in.

Until then, thanks for reading.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Tackling the Garden

All things considered, the garden does not look half bad. R has been doing a great job. This despite the fact that we’ve had lousy weather during the Spring and for much of the Summer. This past month has been fairly sunny, and this late push has been enough to get the veggies to grow. Unfortunately, it also has encouraged the weeds to thrive, as well, and once again they’ve taken over the spaces in between the raised beds.

While we got a weeding tool that looks pretty cool and was given rave reviews by our friend CH, the weeds are pretty deeply rooted and really hard to dig up. The best way we’ve found to deal with it is to just go through and mow them down with the weed whacker. It would be even better to just use the mower, but it would be a bear to get into the garden and then move around. The weed whacker is a little more work, but works fine, at least until the weeds come back.

For now, the garden looks like a garden instead of a tropical rain forest. Until the next time, thanks for reading, and thanks to Enzo Forciniti for the pic.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Only the Beginning

Started in year two of our wood, and so far, so good. When you look at the wood pile, it’s hard to imagine that it gets done, much less burned, but Summer is the time to make things happen, because once that thermometer drops below 20 degrees, you sure are glad to have that beautiful wood pile.

With that in mind, it’s important to keep your feet moving. I have to confess to succumbing to complacency now that this year’s wood is done, but I figure if I slowly and gradually put the second pile together, it should get done before the end of Summer. We’ll see where this goes. The nice thing about stacking wood is that the kids like to help, so it’s a win-win situation.

Until the next time, thanks for reading.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Getting the Pipes

Thanks much to my Mentor for helping me to get the plumbing supplies that we’ll need get the bathrooms started on the barn. I had a list from BL that was kid of extensive, and not necessarily written in layman’s terms. BL offered to pick up the supplies or go with me (he’s a great guy), but also said that it would save me $$ the more I did myself. Say no more, I was going to Home Depot. I initially wanted to go to LaValley’s because I always feel like a real contractor going there, but Home Depot is moving up the ranks in terms of the quality fo the experience.

Of course, once we got there, some of the stuff was hard to define and if I’d been alone, I’d never found any of it. Amazing how much pipe stuff goes into doing the plumbing on the house, and this is just the tip fo the iceberg.

Either way, I just wanted to point out that we got excellent customer service at Home Depot. The sales guy was extremely helpful, not to mention knowledgeable. He knew the stuff we were looking for, and we found everything. I also scored the final board I’ll need to finish the blocking.

We stopped off at Fore-U for some ice cream to reward ourselves for a job well done, though in the end, I didn’t do much.

Until the next time, thanks for reading.

Burning Wood

Sorry for the absence, but I've been holed up at home making dumplings, and before I know it, the day is over.

Now that it's cooking hot, it's hard to imagine that just a couple of weeks back, we actually burned some wood in the stove in the middle of June. The weather has been gloomy and damp, with seemingly non-stop rain. In addition to the coolness, it really gets you down when it’s a bit chilly, so we decided that if it was going to be gray and miserable, at least we could be warm. We fired up the stove, and since it wasn’t really freezing outside, man did that stove get hot. A little disconcerting, actually, but it sure felt good to be warm.

Until the next time, thanks for reading.