Fences and Toasty Tootsies

I’m a little late on my posts as I intended to post this Saturday or Sunday.

Where I left off.  We had finished the one field fencing that took us 3 weeks.  But at least it is done. Now we have to work on the electric fence around that same middle pasture.  Remember Lynn was having a hard time trying to keep it working which prompted fixing at least that one side of the pasture so the horse couldn’t escape to the neighbors and possibly the highway? Well we are back to trying to get the electric fence running. I had a guy that helped me out when I needed the painting done on the trim of the little house we were selling.  He does odd jobs on his days off and after work sometimes. He came by and used his tester on the fence so we know that it is working to a point, so at least we have a point to start at.  Lynn will be running some new wire tomorrow and if he doesn’t finish it when I get home, I will.  Then maybe we can put the horse in the back pasture and start working on the front fence. The broken one in the paddock. That has to be fixed as that is April’s winter home.

Speaking of the front fence, we bought the lumber this weekend so at least that is done.  That worried me because it meant we had to take the flatbed trailer and go to Home Depot and get the lumber, 20 miles away. And I have never driven a trailer and I didn’t really want to learn. The problem with doing this was getting Lynn in the frame of mind to hook up the trailer; get the tail lights to work; unload the lumber (scraps) he can’t bring himself to part with; drive it to Walla Walla; then buy the lumber and load it on the trailer. We succeeded and I memorialized it in photos.  Which I will post shortly. That means that maybe next weekend we can, maybe, put the horse in the middle pasture, and begin fixing the damaged fence.  More pictures will come when we start doing that. I’m thrilled. Lynn not so much. He always looks forward to Monday’s when I have to go back to work and leave him in peace.

Oops!! I have the lumber pictures in my phone and don’t know how to get them downloaded.  Sent them to my email, but they haven’t arrived yet. Where is a teenager when you need them.  I will post those later. I will load what I have from my camera.

My handyman Martin, is going to change out the Chandelier in our entry.  We bought it years ago, (maybe 10-15 years) when we were buying things we liked to eventually put them in the house. Well through the years, our (my), tastes have changed and after the Chandelier was installed at great risk to the electrician. It was 20 feet in the air and the railing on the stairs wasn’t put in yet so they used scaffolding and ladders. I didn’t watch and I am so glad I didn’t as I would have had heart failure. But they took pictures and showed me later. Risky is all I could say, they were really brave. So how could I say, um, I hate that Chandelier, take it down and risk life and limb to put up another one, when I didn’t even have another one? So my dilemma, buy another Chandelier, which I immediately did.  One that really fits my current tastes. And it is now almost 3 years later. My handyman Martin is an electrician and he just looked at the job and we have a plan to get up there and change it out. Then that will be another job I can cross off the never ending list. I am excited that that will get done before winter gets here.

Now for the other thing that we got accomplished this past week was the tanks and stove was installed.

I am thrilled with the stove.  It is a Lopi which I purchased from Blue Mountain Stoves out of Milton Freewater OR. It is gorgeous and the installation was done in one day. (I could really get used to things getting done quickly). I recommend them highly, as the owner, Jerry, did everything that he promised.  They installed the stove and then the tanks were installed by Morrow County Grain Growers out of Pendleton OR. Then Jerry came back and lit the stove and made sure that it was running good. I couldn’t be happier. Bow Sewell of Cowboy Enterprises did the carpentry which took a little bit of work to vent the stove.  His work was great. He really paid attention to the little details. I recommend them both for a job well done. No more cold feet for me.  Yeah 🙂

They did an absolute awesome job. I am still learning how to set the thermostat but I want to tell you the heat is wonderful. It is a propane stove as we decided that we were getting too old to haul and chop wood, and pellets were heavy also. Since it isn’t our primary source of heat, it just makes it more comfortable in the living room. I will let you know how it works at the end of winter when we have had a good chance to put it to the test.

Last year we had a rough winter.  It didn’t get below zero much but consistently stayed in the single digits long enough for pipes to break and for me to think I would never get warm again. The heat pump bills were so high I thought I would have to take out another mortgage to stay warm. I am prepared this year.

This has been a busy summer and a lot of things have gotten done. Still there is more to do. Stay tuned.

Liking my new stove, fits just right in the corner.
Our new stove. We get propane tanks on Tuesday. Looking forward to firing it up.


Cozy fire
My beautiful view out my office window. I will be able to mark the seasons from these windows.

The wind was actually blowing through that big cottonwood tree. So peaceful. A river runs about 100 feet past the tree.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog.

Annie, Getting it done.


Stairs; Posts; Ribs and Iris’

How is your weekend going?  I would say mine is going way too fast.  Posting about the Dream House has been sparse as I haven’t been making a bunch of progress, but I thought I would give you a little update.

The stairs have really been a challenge for me.  A little back ground for all those that haven’t read all my posts.  My husband (Lynn) built the framework for the stairs which is sturdy and strong.  A mite complicated for me, but then I am only a novice and have been in this apprenticeship program for only 20 years. 🙂  Anyway, the contractor put down temporary treads and risers made from OSB.  They had a sub that gave an estimate for the stairs along with the railings.  What we got was the railings and just the stair overlay for the railings, with about a quarter of a stair.  A picture will help you get what I am talking about.

Railing and quarter step
Railing and quarter step

This was not what we thought we were getting.  We thought we were getting a full stair and installed.  Guess we needed to read the fine print.  Even the general contractor was surprised.  First by the fact that that was all we were getting, secondly, that the sub wasn’t installing it.  Which meant that the general contractor had to install it.  It was not what either of us thought we were getting.  The general contractor was awesome because they knew we were in a set budget so they did it.  They were the greatest.

I spent several unsuccessful days arguing with sub about this.  They said because I was going to have a runner that they thought the carpet was going to be from the 1/4 stair to the wall, so that was what their estimate assumed.  Unfortunately, I lost that battle.  When you think you are getting stairs, you don’t expect them to be a portion of a stair.  Hemlock was the wood that was used in their overlay and it was 1/2 inch.  They gave me an estimate of about $12oo to furnish the remaining false treads, and we still needed to install them ourselves.  It was very frustrating arguing with them because I truly felt like I was being talked down to as they told me that putting on the false tread, then putting the runner over it would not be as strong as just putting the carpet to the wall.  What!!  I know he was handing me a load of crap, and I told him so in a in a nice way, but it sure got my hackles up.  Made me bristle, so there was no way I was going to spend another dime with them.

Okay, now I am left with needing to find something that would match with what I had.  So, I went to my “go to place” Home Depot online and found false treads for stairs made out of oak.  Actually better wood, the only problem was that they were 11/16 inches thick.  I had concerns about the grains matching and how to get them to be flush with the 1/2 step ends that were already installed.

I ordered one-step-set to see if I could make it work before I purchased all of them.

They stained beautifully and they will match when I put another coat on the ends.  But the thickness was a real problem.  Here are more photos of what I am looking at:

Stairs with bottom step just laid on.
Stairs with bottom step just laid on.
A better look at the bottom step
A better look at the bottom step
The seem that will be covered up with a runner.
The seam that will be covered up with a runner.

I was only looking at the solution from one angle (taking that 3/16 off the OSB) until yesterday when I was doing massive amounts of work to make them mesh.  My initial thoughts were to take the OSB thickness and sand it down 3/16 so the seams would be flush.  I started out with a palm sander (easier for my small hands).  That didn’t do very well with 60 grit sandpaper.  Then Lynn has an orbital sander (heavy duty) with 40 grit, so I tried that.  That thing would get away from me.  I was covered in sawdust even with a face mask, then a scarf tied around my nose and mouth.  You know like the cowboys wear when they are robbing a stage coach.  It was still taking forever, plus it left the corners to be sanded.  Next I tried a Dremel tool that I bought just for this purpose, but using it a slightly different way.

Tools to handle the stairs.  Palm sander; rotary sander; Dremel Oscillating saw tool
Tools to handle the stairs. Palm sander; rotary sander; Dremel Oscillating Saw tool

I planned to use the oscillating saw to actually remove the OSB step and replace it with a thinner piece.  That was my first idea when my co-worker, Preston, said that it would weaken the stair because it wouldn’t line up over the stringer on the balustrade side when I replaced the OSB.  He understands my brain and how to explain things so I understand them.  Okay, that option out the window.  Besides they glued the steps down and they would be a challenge to take them up.

So yesterday, while covered in saw dust, I was seriously considering taking that mill sub-contractor to small claims court.  I am not a litigious person but the harder I had to work to get this done right, the madder I get.  Lynn and I were thinking of other options.  He thought about making a pass on the false tread with the table saw and then I could use my Dremel tool like a chisel and match it.  Which would have still been labor intensive.  While he was explaining that to me, I had an epiphany.  The idea was to take his dado saw on his table saw (which I don’t think he has ever used) and set it to take off the 3/16 to make it the same thickness.  I had discarded that option originally as the steps come with a bull-nose cove molding and a lip that hangs over about a 1/2 inch.  But by adding a strip to stabilize it, it can be run through the table saw and adjust the fence each time until you get it cut down.  That is doable.  I have used a table saw, but it was many years ago, so I defer all the sawing to Lynn.

Now we have a plan that will keep Lynn busy this week, cutting the boards to size and thickness.  I will then stain them and put them on.  Now the trick is to get Lynn to actually go out in the shop and do it.  I’ll let you know how that goes.

Also, today I decided to go outside and trim my Iris’.

Trimming the Iris'
Trimming the Iris’
What a job.  Love my Iris' in the spring.
What a job. Love my Iris’ in the spring.

Got a little bit of that done, but got sidetracked with replacing fence posts and cutting down star-thistle around the stock tank.  My son and grandson, Steven and Leon, did all the heavy lifting and digging on the posts.  Then they hauled some boards from the side of the porch.  Gotta put those boys to work when I can.  Can’t let that opportunity pass.  Now they are watching the Seahawks game and we have ribs in the oven.  So this is going to be a good day.  🙂

Okay, I’m back to finish what I started a few hours ago.  Had to take time to eat those ribs and fried potatoes.  The boys have gone home to chill out.  I tried to get some photos of them, but Leon really wouldn’t cooperate.  Wanted to get a picture of them with the posts that they put in.  All Leon wanted to do was show me his back side, as he said, his good side.  Kids they never cooperate.

Steven and Leon.  Leon's shirt has the letters DGK and he told me what it means, but I forget.
Steven and Leon. Leon’s shirt has the letters DGK and he told me what it means, but I forget.
What I really like is the story about the letters on the shirt, his mother bought for him, thinking the plants on the shirt were Japanese Elm leaves.  Um, nope, that not what they are.  Tae is such a sweetie.  Though the leaves really do look like Japanese Elm leaves.
What I really like is the story about the letters on the shirt, his mother bought for him, thinking the plants on the shirt were Japanese Elm leaves. Um, nope, that’s not what they are. Tae is such a sweetie. Though the leaves really do look like Japanese Elm leaves.
Having a hard time getting them to pose for photos.  Oh, well, Leon is studying his football plays.
Having a hard time getting them to pose for photos. Oh, well, Leon is studying his football plays.

Well, that puts me at the end of this blog post.  Thanks for stopping by for a visit.

Annie, the stair master.

Happy Memorial Day

I hope you had a wonderful long weekend.  It is now coming to an end and it will be back to work again tomorrow.

How about this year?  Is it going as quickly for you as it seems to be going for me?  Busy busy busy.  So here is the progress that I accomplished this weekend.

Spent Saturday painting boards, putting up fences, and moving earth, from one spot to another.  Our mower is broken and the weeds are getting higher by the day.  We have about 7 acres of tall weeds.  It is really beginning to bug me.  All the money that we have is going into the house now and there just isn’t room in the budget for another riding mower, this year.  Hopefully, between Lynn and Troy, they will figure it out this week.  In the meantime I am still working on the fence.

Sunday was about the same as Saturday.  Except that the light fixture in the other house blew the breaker and was smoking.  Not a good sign.  Oh, did I mention, I don’t do electrical.  That and skill saws.  Nope, I don’t do either of those.  Apparently Steven doesn’t do them either.  So this appears to be a job for Lynn, so on Monday (today) we headed to our favorite spot, Home Depot, for a new fixture.  We should have taken the old fixture off first to see what was needed, but that would have been too easy.  Got the wrong fixture, so it’s back to the store tomorrow.  Ugh, I hate taking things back.

On the plus side, I found a lucky penny, so maybe that will count for something.

So actually, my weekend was busy and boring.  I hope to have more to write about next week.  Take care and here are some pictures, I snapped today.

My first yellow rose.
My first yellow rose.


This is a maple tree we grew from a sapling.  Getting big.

My first pinkish rose.
My first pinkish rose.
This is a big deal for me as I have never been able to grow roses.  Especially yellow, my favorite.
This is a big deal for me as I have never been able to grow roses. Especially yellow, my favorite.
5-24-15 some progress.  But I got them a little out of line.  So some will be a do-over.
5-24-15 some progress. But I got them a little out of line. So some will be a do-over.
A view from a different angle.
A view from a different angle.

Well, that’s all folks.  Hope to post more progress next week.

Annie, the crooked fence builder.

Caulking and Washing Windows

Good Evening,

Didn’t get to spend as much time as I wanted to this weekend, working on the house.  Yesterday we picked up the French Doors that will go to the Bonus Room upstairs, and 4 toilets.  I think when the toilets go in we can say we are almost ready to move in.

I caulked the trim and baseboard of two upstairs bedrooms and the hall.  I checked with Preston, my do-it-yourself-go-to-guy, and asked him if there was a good way to caulk.  The way I do it seemed so labor intensive.  So here were his instructions:  Make a small whole in the caulking tube, at an angle of course.  Have a container of water which has a edge that you can clean the caulk off of your finger.  You will put a small bead of caulk then smooth out with a wet finger and scrape any excess off your finger on the edge of the water bowl.  It works great.  I am still slow, but that is just me.  He suggested I use Spackle to fill in the tiny wholes of the finish nail gun.  I tried that but the wholes were so small that i just used excess caulk and wiped the excess with a wet cloth.

During the time in each room, I wanted to wash some of the windows as they were so dirty from before the house was closed up tight.  That was only accomplished this past July when we hired the contractor.  Then everything was closed up and no more birds could come inside and build their nests and poop all over everything.  Thank you, Thank you S & K Mountain Construction.

While washing the windows, I had time to reflect on when we ordered the windows and purchased them from Home Depot.  They are Jeld Wen windows.  They are vinyl or plastic clad.  With the front of the house getting so much weather out of the south, wood windows were not a good choice.  It is really hard to keep a finish on the wood.  We are known for getting lots of wind and it reeks havoc on painted wood finishes.

One of the reasons we chose Jeld Wen Windows was because they were affordable and they came double-hung so that the upstairs windows could tip-in for cleaning.  There is a total of 44 windows in the whole house.  We purchased the lower windows first and installed them.  A couple of years later we went to purchase the windows for the upstairs.  That is when we had a problem.  I had picked up a brochure which touted the double-hung windows that would tip-in for cleaning, but when I went to purchase them, they said they were not available on the west coast only in the east and midwest.  I was not a happy camper.  That was the reason that I went with Jeld Wen Windows.  The clerk at Home Depot took my number and said the Rep would be on Monday and would give me a call.  The Rep did call me and he then spoke to the home office and explained the situation and they shipped a special order of double-hung windows to complete the upstairs.  Now it doesn’t get much better than that.  They were courteous and helpful.  They kept in touch and delivered them without shipping costs.  What an upstanding company.  I would do business with them again.

Also when washing the windows, it struck me that we, Lynn and I, have really worked at the house.  Kinda like an inch-worm these last few years, but we installed the windows.  We used the bucket truck to install the upstairs windows.  So the bucket truck did come in handy, but once it was broke, it was really broke.

Now for some of the pictures:

Master Bath Vanity
Master Bath Vanity
My Jeld Wen Metal French Doors that lead onto the upper deck.
My Jeld Wen Metal French Doors that lead onto the upper deck.
North Bedroom with the two closets.  All caulked and ready to paint
North Bedroom with the two closets. All caulked and ready to paint
By Pass Doors for one of the closets.  Oh and they are Jeld Wen also.
By Pass Doors for one of the closets. Oh and they are Jeld Wen also.
South East front bedroom.  My Jeld Wen windows.  The double-hung ones.  There are bigger double-hung windows in the South West front bedroom, but I didn't get that far today.
South East front bedroom. My Jeld Wen windows. The double-hung ones. There are bigger double-hung windows in the South West front bedroom, but I didn’t get that far today.
Toilets for the 3 baths.  2 upstairs and one off the utility room.
Toilets for the 3 baths. 2 upstairs and one off the utility room.
The Master Bath Throne.
The Master Bath Throne.
The interior French Doors (the glass is covered with plywood)  That may be Jeld Wen, but I'm not sure of that.
The interior French Doors (the glass is covered with plywood) That may be Jeld Wen, but I’m not sure of that.

It has been a busy weekend.  Started packing up some things also in the dining room.  Next on my schedule is to get an estimate from a mover.  I don’t think we will make it into the house until after the first of the year.  I am trying to get some of the trim caulked and painted before the carpet goes in.  I will be on vacation during Thanksgiving week so I should be able to get more accomplished, either packing or working on the house.

Oh, I almost forgot we went shopping at Sears for the appliances.  Delivery is tomorrow.  We did get a water heater that works in conjunction with the heat pump.  That is more efficient that a regular hot water heater.  Bonus, Pacific Power and Light gives us a $600 rebate so the actual cost will be approximately $300.  We need every savings we can get as I am already making my banker nervous.

Annie, The Caulking, Window Washing Queen.

The Doors and Trim have arrived

On Thursday the doors and trim were delivered for the house.  They are being furnished by Pro Build and the doors are called “Santa Fe”  They are two panel with groves inside the panels.  At first I was going to get the six panel colonial style, but at the last minute pick the Santa Fe for the same price.  There will be grooved trim with corner rosettes.  They are all pre-primed and ready for the final finish.  I imagine they will start to go in sometime this week.

Baseboards and Trim by Jeld Wen supplied by Pro Build
Baseboards and Trim by Jeld Wen supplied by Pro Build
Now the doors, also by Jeld Wen (Santa Fe) style.  Furnished by Pro Build.  They are all primed and ready for the finish coat.
Now the doors, also by Jeld Wen (Santa Fe) style. Furnished by Pro Build. They are all primed and ready for the finish coat.
More prehung doors, Jeld Wen in the (Santa Fe) style.  Can't believe how it is all coming together.
More prehung doors, Jeld Wen in the (Santa Fe) style. Can’t believe how it is all coming together.

Tomorrow the tub finishers will be here to refinish the claw-foot tubs.  I am using a company from the TriCities called Dura Glaze they have come highly recommended.  Also the tile setter will be here to work on the shower.  Conner’s Mr. Carpet will be handling that job.  All a bit overwhelming.

Then this week they will be laying the laminate flooring and also the vinyl planking in the bathrooms.  Things will be coming together fast.

Oh, and I did manage to get two more posts finished and set on the front porch.  Only 2 more left, but I don’t think the weather is going to let me finish those this year.  Also, I may need to shift gears and start painting on some of the interior trim, hopefully before the floors go down.  I’m pretty flexible and will do whatever is needed when I can.  Unfortunately, my real job will still have to be done so I will have to work on weekends and if I can force myself, I may get some done in the evenings after work.  Oh, Lynn doesn’t paint.  So his job will be to make sure he receives all the deliveries and keep the mowers running.  He put the second starter in one this morning.  I don’t do mechanical!!!

Most all of my light fixtures, vanities, tubs and sinks will be ordered from Home Depot.  They just delivered the 76″ vanity for the master bedroom.  370 lbs.  Now to figure out how to get it in the house.


Everyday is like Christmas at my house.

Annie, the flexible shopping queen 🙂

Busy – Productive Weekend

I intended to make this a productive weekend.  Yea!! And it was!!  Never get as much done as I want, but that is just my expectations, which don’t always go with my endurance and capabilities.


Got up early and went to Home Depot for siding which will be put on the ceiling of the back porch (in the house we live in) rebuilt last year.  Yep, still haven’t finished that project yet, but I am in the process of remedying that fact.  Lynn cut a whole for the back porch light (that’s progress) I have only been reminding him every weekend for 6 months.  Bought 6 pieces of siding.  One to complete the wall and the other 5 to use for the ceiling.

Bare ceiling.  Going to remedy that.
Bare ceiling. Going to remedy that.

Then we stopped at the Sun Rental Center and rented a sheet-rock lift to help hold up the siding while I nail it on.

First thing was to paint 1 piece of siding white to finish the walls of the back porch.  Then I had to put 2 coats of ceiling paint (kind of a dark greenish gray) on the remaining siding.  Only got 2 of those completed.  After each coat of paint I would do yard work while waiting for them to dry.  Got a lot accomplished.  Exhausted when I finally went inside at 5:30 and made hamburgers for dinner.

Unpainted siding
Unpainted siding


Got up early to go grocery shopping.  While waiting for Lynn to get ready, I was able to put 1 coat on the next piece of siding.  Went shopping, dropped some groceries off at work for lunches next week, got my car washed and finally made it back home.  Quickly put the groceries away, dropped a load in the washer, changed into my painting clothes, and was back at it.  Got the remaining boards painted, again doing yard work while they dried between each coat.  Wow, the yard is actually looking like someone takes a little pride in their home.  I hated all the things left outside when my porch project finished last year.  Due to running out of time and all the back and forth trips to the hospital with Lynn, many things were left unfinished.  But it is looking better now.

Last thing I accomplished this weekend (besides the domestic duties) was to assemble the sheet-rock lift.  The nice guy at the Sun Rental Center showed me how to put the 3 pieces together.  Still had it in my head, so I wanted to get it assembled before I forgot what he showed me.  That little gizmo is heavy and complicated, but I hope it works.

Sheet-rock lift
Sheet-rock lift

What I thought I could accomplish in a weekend, is going to take me a week.  Ugh.

I’ll rest in December 🙂

Annie, the novice ceiling hanger

ps:  More on the dream house later this week.

Bitting the Bullet to Finish the House


Lynn and I have come to the decision that we are no longer able to work on the house.  His health won’t allow him, and going it alone doesn’t work for me.  Our original plan was to build it ourselves and, therefore, be mortgage free when we retired.  Best laid plans of mice and men.  Now we  just  readjustment our plans.

There are still things that I will have to do, and it is going to be a long hard summer.

We have started getting bids and I will be speaking to the bank next week.

In the meantime, I will be camping out at Home Depot and various internet sites to get the lighting, plumbing fixtures, flooring, doors and a multitude of other things we will need.  I am checking with 2 heating and cooling companies and I have a cabinet estimate that will need revising.

Then there is always the worry that I won’t qualify for the budget that will be needed to complete the house.

Stay tuned, more tomorrow.


Well since I wrote yesterday, Lynn and I spent the better part of 2 hours on Saturday and I went back alone today.  I am a bit overwhelmed.  Trying to organize and get all the estimates I need together before I go to the bank.  I think I will need to spend next week getting more organized.  After reviewing the contractor’s estimate, Lynn and I were not on the same page, so I will need to contact the contractor and get some revisions.  It is so hard for him to accept that he can’t do it all.  Nor can I.

Stay tuned, I will be updating regularly and let you know how it is going.

Annie, the overwhelmed novice carpenter.


I Made a Gate!!

The weekend started out slow as I really didn’t want to work on the porch yesterday after grocery shopping and going to Home Depot for 2×4’s, and to two different pharmacies for pills for Lynn.  But I managed to move the big ladder and put up a post and one railing which actually took me all afternoon.  So I planned to get up early Sunday and try to make a gate, now that I knew the size of the opening.  I had Lynn give me detailed instructions last night on how to figure the angles.  He is still under the weather, but hopefully Wednesday he will be better.

Sunday – Today – I got up, ate a little breakfast, put on some warm clothes and ventured out to the porch.  I worked this all out in my head last night.  You know I don’t use skill saws and Lynn is not able to help, so I decided that I could use the chop saw to get what I needed done.  I’m not afraid of a chop saw or radial arm saw, just the skill saw.  Also, I will needed to use the band saw on some of the long angles.

First I laid out the rails and stiles to make a square, and I needed to check it for “square.”  Norm Abrams taught me that.  I watch the Yankee Workshop!!  So the first picture is of me making it square 🙂

Checking for Square.  59" on each angle.  Not too bad.
Checking for Square. 59″ on each angle. Not too bad.

In doing this, Lynn wanted me to use some wood screws with the slotted heads.  That’s not what I wanted to use, but I deferred to his decision, at least for some of the project.  It took trying to drill pilot holes first and I tried 3 different sizes of bits before I found the right one.  I still don’t think I got it big enough because I had to really work the driver and put my weight behind it.  Hehe.

This is the thing, the chop saw was in the house that we are building and I had to make several (lots really) trips to get the boards the right size.  Measure once and cut a bazillion times.  It is about 200 ft.  so I got lots of exercise.

Drills and drills are not created equal.  I bought Lynn this 90 degree drill or Christmas one year and I love the way it feels in my hands as it “fits” my delicate palms.  But it is not a variable speed and does not like the bigger drill bits.  So I had to bring out the heavy duty variable speed drill/driver.  That baby worked, but it meant changing out the bits all the time from drill to driver.  Nothing is ever easy.  Ugh!

Drill not strong enough, have to get the heavy one with more torque, and variable speed.  Ugh.
Drill not strong enough, have to get the heavy one with more torque, and variable speed. Ugh.

Still hating these heavy slotted wood screws, but making do for now.  But I will be changing to the deck screws which are easier to handle and I won’t need to drill a pilot whole.  More better 🙂

Now for the angles.  I picked out the pattern from some gates that Lynn made for the horse paddocks but I needed to adapt it for a porch gate.  Put the diamond pattern in next, and that is where the angles came in.  That is where the chop saw came in.  The angle that worked for me was 35 degrees.  Love the chop saw, but I need a new sharper blade, but that isn’t my job. At the moment anyway.  So here is the Skil chop saw, I think I bought that one Christmas, for Lynn, but can’t remember when.  I know he has another saw that is still in the box.  That man and his toys.

Chop saw.
Chop saw.

Again I made a multitude of trips to the house to cut and re-cut the boards and get the angles just right.

Then, was the time to fill in the holes with yet another angled board, had to use a handy dandy little angle thingy to figure it out.  Forgot to take a picture of that.  By this time Lynn made it out to the back porch to see what was going on and lend some of his wisdom to the project and show me how to use that angle thingy.  Don’t ask me what angle, because I haven’t a clue, it just fits.  Now this is where the band saw came in.  I had never used a band saw before, but no time like the present to learn.  I just had to find the on and off switch and put the wood through really slowly as I am not real good at following a straight line.  But I did it.  Made 1 board to fit and then cut 3 more just like it.  I can rock that band saw!!

Sears Band Saw, Lynn bought in the 60's.  Still going strong.
Sears Band Saw, Lynn bought in the 60’s. Still going strong.

Now for the reveal.  Of course, I couldn’t wait to hang it.  I really should have primed it and painted it first, but I have been wanting this done for 5 or 6 months.  I hated that big board up there keeping Kinzie from guarding her fiefdom.  Now she can see every cat that saunters by.

Gate from the inside
Gate from the inside

This is from the porch side.  This is the birds-eye-view Kinzie will be guarding.

Gate from the outside.
Gate from the outside.

This is the one from the outside.  I know, I should have waited until after it was painted, but a little blue tape will mask it off and all is good.  How do you like the heavy hinges and latch?  I put those on too.  Now I just have to caulk all the mistakes and prime and paint it.  2 more side balustrades and that part of the porch is done.

Lynn will handle putting in the light by the door, the ceiling fan and the flood light for the driveway.  Just a couple of weekends more and I will be closing this project down for the year.  When I get some painting done, I will post the before and after pictures.

Thanks for following my blog.

Annie, master of the band saw 🙂

The Roof is Going On, Yee-Haw!!!

I haven’t posted on the blog in a few weeks, because I was disheartened with the progress and had my focus on Lynn’s health.  I really felt I was loosing ground, and Lynn’s ego – that he could do it, made for a balancing act for me.  Knowing he was not able and that I just needed to hire someone to finish that part of it was a battle of wills.  If he was in good health, I know that he could do this and much more, but the truth is very hard for him to face at this time.  We have danced around this particular item all spring and summer, until I told him last night that I had hired someone and they would be over at 11:00 a.m. this morning.  Oh, did he balk, but when it came right down to it he relented and was satisfied that he would instruct on how he wanted it done.

I received a call from Lynn about 4 hours later, just amazed that the fascia board was on and the roof was sheeted and the tar paper was on there and ready for the shingles.  He was so excited that so much was done.  The worker had to stop as we didn’t have the shingles yet.  Wahoo, I am a happy girl.

Tomorrow we will go to Home Depot and get the shingles and the step flashing, and he will finish the roof.   Lynn is happy that Kinzie has a dry place to lay.  She loves laying on the back porch in front of the door.  Guarding her people.  If dogs could smile, she was smiling.  And I was doing a happy dance in the back yard.  I will save you the description of that.  Frightening 🙂

This has brought back my enthusiasm for continuing to work on it.  Lynn has the task of doing the wiring and making the gates on the railings.  That may be awhile as he was feeling really bad today.  Had a lot of pain today.  But those are things that I can do.  He seems to be okay with me doing things, with his guidance, of course.

I’m praying for a nice weekend so I can do the clean-up and finish the railings.  I took a few pictures tonight when I got home.  The scaffolding is crooked, so it causes the porch to look off kilter, but I will take better pictures when it is removed.  Use your imagination, it is going to look awesome.

Sheeted & tar papered
Sheeted & tar papered
Kinzie checking our her perch, now she can stay dry
Kinzie checking our her perch, now she can stay dry
From underneath
From underneath

Annie, the happy dancing novice carpenter

Working Our Way Up the Porch

The railings are starting to go up.  One at least.

Lynn went to Spokane this past week for his consultation on getting a pacemaker.  He is a candidate for the modified pacemaker, but to satisfy the insurance company they have to monitor him for the next 3 months and then get another heart echo, before he is eligible.  Irregardless of the fact, that they have been trying to control his arrhythmia with medications for the last 5 years.  The doctor also changed his heart medication and that has really caused him to be extremely tired and lethargic.  Hopefully, after the pacemaker is in, and functioning well, he can get off of some of the medications he is on.   He feels he is over-medicated, but which one do you get rid of?  Alright this is a blog about DIY Building projects, just thought I would let you know that my significant other has not been able to get into this project, too good.  I am amazed at what he can do, as he will be turning 74 in a couple months.

We didn’t get the scaffolding moved like we wanted this weekend, so I had to settle for working on the railing.  I really wanted to work on the porch by the stairs leading from the side yard, but we have some other things that need to be done first and that involves the scaffolding.  Next week we will tackle that.

Our do-it-yourself center that is closest to us, is Home Depot, so that is where we buy all our paint and most other building products.  I have found that their paint is good if you use a good foundation primer.  I prefer the Kilz Premium Primer as it works the best.  It is worth the extra money if you want the finish to match.  I had primed the balustrades and the 2×4’s before putting them up, then quickly put on 1 coat of the Behr Semi-Gloss White.  It will need one more coat.  Hopefully, I can paint the whole porch before bad weather sets in.

I guess I will be in the roofing business one for time before I hang up my hammer.  We have decided to put up asphalt shingles to match the rest of the house, if we can match the color.  If not, we will get as close as we can.  I would have like to put up metal roofing, but that should be done professionally, and that isn’t in the budget.

This particular blog will be short as I am pooped.  Gotta fix supper, do sock fairy duties, take a shower and get ready for another week at the salt-minds.

Take care,

Annie, the porch wizard.

Storm rolling in from the south on 9-5
Storm rolling in from the south on 9-5
First railing goes up
First railing goes up
Kinzie the building inspector, fell asleep on the job.
Kinzie the building inspector, fell asleep on the job.