Well this is an official vacation day. Had lots of plans today. I always have lots of plans to get lots of stuff done. Spent the last two days pulling weeds and hoped to whip my yard into shape. Slow start with a quick finish. Remember in a previous post when I showed you a picture of my weed whacker aka “big wheel trimmer”. Well, that is what I blew up today. Before you say anything, Lynn put oil in it yesterday. So I escaped the “I told you to check the oil” speech. It leaks oil, but I was hoping to get one more year out of it. I was using it along the parameter of the front pasture when it started making a funny noise and before I could shut it down, the side exploded. Well, it didn’t suffer, it went quick. So I took that as a omen to go in side and sit down with a glass of ice tea. Any excuse is better than none, right?
Now for the update on the house. The carpenters just left and they put the upper redwood deck on. I’m sure the railing will follow later this week.
I also told you I would show you the furnace in the utility room. There is still room for a freezer, so we’re good.
How about an updated picture of the finished utility/mud porch? I really like this. That is what the railing will look like on the upper deck. I’m a southern girl, I gotta have a porch.
This is going to be a short post, because I have to get something done, so I can say I had a productive day.
Well today’s weather was cold and windy. On these days I tend to hide in the house, but decided I had too much to do to hide away.
Remember my two month project last spring that went on for about 7 months? The back porch? Yep that one. Well I didn’t get it finished then and really didn’t want to work on it this spring either, but I can’t stand to leave things undone. Didn’t get all the railings on, nor the fan, nor the light, nor the ceiling installed. Unfortunately, no little sprites or fairies finished it either, this winter, so it is left to Annie the novice carpenter.
Decided to tackle the railings. Discovered as I was shutting the project down for the winter, that I had made a few mistakes on installing the railing. Lynn said he would never have noticed if I hadn’t told him. But I knew, and I couldn’t let it go. Not that it is perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but didn’t even measure up to my lowly standards. So I had to take off two of the railings and put them on correctly.
What was the first thing I did, in the first 5 minutes? Hit my d*** finger with the hammer!! I hate short nails. I hit it a good one too. Said a few words that would have made a sailor blush. Man, that baby throbs still and it looks like it is going to be black, or have a huge blood blister. Klutz, that what I am. Not only should I not play with power tools, I need to stay away from hammers and hammers on ladders. If it is within 10 feet of me, I will get hurt. Moving forward.
One of the things I did remember today, after hitting my finger, was the little tricks it took me 7 months to learn last season. Like pre-drilling, or punching a starter hole with a longer nail. Better late, than never, as I still have a few digits that are not throbbing.
Didn’t quite get it done still, but should be able to finish up in about an hour tomorrow, then it will be ready for primer and paint. Maybe pictures tomorrow.
Oh, and by the way, we will be contracting out the rest of the Dream House, and could have it done by Christmas. I am still overwhelmed with all the decisions I will need to make in the future. Over the last 15+ years, the decisions didn’t need to be made in a hurry, now that will change. Wish me luck, and I will keep you updated.
Well today did not go as planned, but that’s the way it usually goes. Awoke to rain and wind. So much for finishing the porch today. That job will have to be done later this week or next weekend.
So what to do with all my excess energy today. I have oodles of indoor projects, so it was just a matter of getting to it.
Guest room. That is a project that I started about a month ago. Having company in about 2 weeks so that project can’t be put off. Painting an old chest of drawers that Lynn said he bought 51 years ago. How does he remember those thing. It is a kind of blond wood, and not very attractive. Tried stripping the dresser that went with it and that didn’t go too well, so I have decided to paint it with white paint and re-use the decorative knobs. First I primed all the drawers and the chest, then I have one of two coats of semi-gloss white. Looking good. Will post a photo when I get it finished. Also, the porch when I get the railings done.
I have curtains to make and hang then that room will be almost done.
The weather here is awful now with 22 mph winds. The weather station said that this week will be warmer and clear of course during the week when I have to work. Ugh, that is something of which I can’t control, so I just move ahead. It all needs doing, so it doesn’t really matter in what order it gets done.
Oh, and the update on my finger. That baby is red and swollen. That, I do have a picture of:
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 🙂
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!
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.
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!!
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.
This is from the porch side. This is the birds-eye-view Kinzie will be guarding.
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.
Well I’m back and been a little bit busy, that is why I skipped posting last weekend.
Last Friday morning I took Lynn to the emergency room and he spent the night in ICU so they could get his heart back in rhythm. That was a little scary for both of us. It has been a week since they have tried to get his medication to stabilize his heart. Next Wednesday he will be visiting with his heart doctor and we will see where we go from here. But this blog isn’t about Lynn’s sickness, but then again it is.
Lynn is a very or should I say varry stubborn Scotsman. This porch would have been done a long time ago, except Lynn felt he could do it with me, and we wouldn’t have to “pay someone to do what we could do.” Well, try as I might, I tried to make that so. But we are now headed into the rainy and cold time of the year, so we had this long heart to heart, and he has, kinda consented to letting me hire someone to finish the porch roof.
I think the clincher for me was when I came home from work on Wednesday and my poor Kinzie was soaked to the bone with water and mud. She has a dog house, but doesn’t know what to do with it. I don’t believe she has ever gotten in it. There is also a shed that doesn’t have a door and she could have easily gotten in there, but nope, not gonna’ happen. She has to be on the porch sleeping by the back door so she can protect her family from wayward pigs. That’s right a very big pig. Never know what you are going to wake up to in the country.
So, where was I… Oh yeah, we are going to hire someone to finish the roof. I still need to do the railing and painting and putting up the picture rail, and Lynn will do the minor electrical, maybe. But I am waiting on a contractor to call to give us a quote. Shouldn’t be very much and they can probably whip it out in a day. We gotta keep our puppy dry.
Speaking of puppy (aka Kinzie), today is her birthday and she is 2 years old. Our pets give us so much unconditional love, and they live in the moment, something we should all practice.
Stay with me an I will update you on our new journey.
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.
Looked forward to making some progress on this 3 day weekend. I am happy to say that we did make some noticeable progress. Still a little bit more before we can start sheeting the roof and put the shingles on. Sprinkling when we stopped working. Looks like it might rain on Wednesday, but we will not get to the roofing part until a week or two. Need to set up the scaffolding to be able to have easier access to the roof. Neither of us bounce anymore and doing it from a ladder, isn’t going to do it.
Saturday I did a little bit of painting to areas I knew I wouldn’t be able to reach when the roof starts going up.
Sunday, Lynn put up the roof rafters and I began putting on the clips. There were two rafters that had a twist in them so they are not battened down just yet, but when the scaffolding is put up we can tackle that job. It was hard on Lynn, but he managed to do them with a lot of resting in between. I am so proud of him. I know he doesn’t feel good, but he will not let me hire it done. He doesn’t want to hire anyone to do what he feels he can do.
Today, I spent the morning putting up the ceiling joists while Lynn used the nail gun on them. We stopped around1:30 as we were both tuckered out. This is all that will get done this weekend.
Tomorrow, Lynn has a consultation with the doctor that will be placing his pace maker. I hope all goes well at that meeting as they have been unable to regulate his heartbeat with medication. His heartbeat is always racing 110 to 140+ beats per minute, and that is the resting heart rate. No wonder he feels exhausted all the time. This has been happening over an extended period of time, so he hasn’t felt well in a long long time.
Things left to do are, sheeting and roofing, building the balusters, and making gates or doors. Then a little more painting. After that I need to finish taking off and replacing the crown molding and fascia on the side of the house, that needs to be done before winter. Then I will be moving inside for the winter. I can work outside in the heat, but I hate the cold.
Well, the porch has taken a back seat to a waterbed change-out and cleaning up the paddock for our new colt. As much as I wanted to work on the porch, I had to take a detour. We will start with Saturday.
Saturday was the day we planned to empty the waterbed and change it out to a Nautilus Air Bed. I know you are thinking who has a waterbed these days? Well, that would be us!! My darling husband gets attached to inanimate objects. He has loved having a waterbed and said that it actually felt good to his back. Even after his back surgery in 2004. Well I hated it, but he was the one with the bad back. Once about 7 years ago, we decided to buy a Nautilus Bed, with the comfort select for each side, hoping to make us each happy. (Those babies are expensive). Anyway, we emptied the waterbed and put up the new expensive Nautilus Bed. That lasted about 2 months, with his constant complaining that he could hardly walk, and that the bed hurt his back, so we packed up the Nautilus bed and put back in the waterbed. To my chagrin. 😦
Now he can hardly get out of the waterbed because of back pain, and said he wanted to try the Nautilus Bed again. Visions of the last change-out made me hesitate. So I let him grumble for a couple of months. Those darn waterbeds are hard to empty and heavy to get out. So, short of making him beg, this was the change-out weekend. It was as miserable as I remembered. Lugging out the waterbed and being a contortionist trying to hook-up the airbed, made me long to be younger and more flexible. By the time we finished with that I was done for the day. Remember “I am OLD.” My physical therapist is going to have a hay-day trying to get me somewhat back to normal. I wander does this count as exercise? The bed was in and I slept just fine, Lynn, on the other hand, growled all night. But he didn’t remember that this morning, so it sounds like he is going to make it work, because he said he’s done with the waterbed. That remains to be seen.
My back let me know that I overdid it yesterday, but time is running out for all the other things we have to get done this week. We are going to pick-up our little 4 month old colt next week so we had to get the paddock cleaned up and ready for him. I am so excited that I popped 2 Excedrin and hobbled out to get started. We had lots of Elderberry plants growing wild in our paddocks and I don’t think they are good for horses. Our other horse and the Llamas ignore them, but I didn’t want to take any chances with the new colt. So my job was to get the handy dandy electric chain saw out and cut those suckers down. Having never used a chain saw before, I was a little hesitant. Now, guess what, Mamma has a brand new toy 🙂
I did have the foresight to take a before and after picture. Yeah. Six hours later, and we are almost ready. We still have a lot of yard debris to haul off, but it is now ready for Mr. Lynn to go in and fix all the broken fences. There are a few boards that need replacing and the guy wire put back on the gate. He will be handling that side of the work, while I am basking in the air conditioned office sitting on my rump.
What was Lynn doing all this time, you ask? He finished replacing the floor in the horse trailer and took all four wheels off and repacked them with grease. At least I think that is right, I don’t do mechanical stuff. He also worked on the brakes. We haven’t had the trailer out since before the flood in 2006, so that needed tending too. He will be testing all the trailer electrical stuff tomorrow.
About the porch. I absolutely hate not finishing a project before starting another project. That was what I did when I was a teenager. I made a concerted effort, as I got older, to complete one project before starting another one, so this bouncing around is out of my comfort zone. So stay tuned as I will be back hard at it on the porch in a couple of weeks, as winter’s a comin’.
Took a much needed vacation from work to celebrate our 25th Anniversary and to work on the porch and maybe a little rest. The weather has been in the 98-100 degree range so that has hampered some of the work on the porch. I love it, but Lynn, not so much. The mere mention of the heat and he is hunting for a cool corner, man cave, with a TV.
What we have done since the last blog post, isn’t much to write about. We went shopping and got more lumber. 2x6x8 and 2x6x10 for our roof rafters and ceiling joists. More of those doohickeys that go on top of the posts and joist hangers, and ordered some crown molding that will be used on the trim on the house. Not able to match the existing trim so we will just have to make due. Picked out a sagey greenish grey for the trim. Home Depot called today and said it will not be until Monday, so I won’t get to paint and instal it until a week from Sunday. Ugh, I hate waiting.
What I did manage to do was put up a trim 2×4 and clean and prime and paint the fascia board underneath. We also got some aluminum to put under the drip edge to further sheet the water from going down on the crown molding. The actual trim board around the house is not a good design to keep the water from rotting it. Living in a very dry climate most of the time tends to help it last longer. So the aluminum will not be all that great to look at, but it will function better and besides, you really aren’t going to be able to see it that well, and it is only going over the back porch roof.
One of our main goals is to make it functional, nice to look at and keep the critters out. At one point a few years ago, we had a family of squirrels living in our attic not to mention a very large (vacant) bees hive. So what we intend to accomplish in the time remaining before the rain and winter weather comes, is to get the roof on and the molding replaced at least on the east side where we get lots of weather. And call it good.
Lynn is actually incapacitated with his back, so we are basically at a dead stop at this time. As much as I know about what to do, I don’t have the muscle to do it alone. I did get some of the hardware on the posts, but we discovered that we actually need to cut a foot off of the posts to make the ceiling and roof rafters where we want them. It will still make for a shallow roof incline, but it will shed water and snow. Also, it needs to be high enough for a ceiling fan, that we plan to put on the porch for ourselves and for Kinzie (our collie) to bask under. The only thing I can promise is, it will get done before fall.
In the meantime, I get to kick back and read. I most favorite thing to do.
Well, I have the next 7 days off and I’m hoping to get some progress on the porch. Though the temperatures will be in the upper 90’s, it is at least a dry heat and we can somewhat work in the shade. Went to Home Depot yesterday and picked up more lumber and paint, plus ordered the crown molding that goes on the fascia.
Today I was excited about cleaning the house exterior which will actually be covered up. Then preparing the eaves by washing, scrapping and painting. Didn’t get too far in it when I was moving the ladder with the hammer still on the top. You guessed it!! The klutz that I am, the hammer fell on my head. Couldn’t believe I did that. I said some pretty awful swear words and got a gash of about 1 inch with lots of blood. Maybe the elderly shouldn’t be allowed to have sharp heavy implements. Or should be monitored closely. Remember a couple of weeks ago when Lynn accidentally hit me in the head with the 4 foot pipe clamp? Well, I had just gotten over that. Now this. Ugh, I think I will be getting a head ache from this one. I’m just glad it was my little hammer verses Lynn’s framing hammer.
You know when you are working on a 100+ year old house, you are going to find some remuddling. Well we didn’t escape that. Where the fascia boards and crown molding will go, the carpentry was cobbled up. it appears that maybe they couldn’t do it right from being on the roof so there is about a 2 inch difference in the opening from one end of the porch to the other. It is something we will have to just do some adapting because to do it the way it should be done would require reworking the whole roof on the house. That isn’t happening. The part that will needs to be modified is not structural. Somewhere along the line, someone put a pony wall in and laid the roof rafters on that which is well done. It was cobbling the extension of about 6 inches to accommodate the crown molding that is done incorrectly. The underneath fascia is straight and level, so that will stay. When you find something level on an old house you want to leave it alone. So I did get more old rotten trim boards off and a couple more will be coming down. So I washed then primed the fascia board with Kilz Premium Primer, (the best primer) and put one coat of paint which is a sage green/grey. I Like earth tones. I hope it will all come together in the end.
While I was doing the cleaning, scraping and painting on the eaves, Lynn was replacing the floor in our horse trailer. That needs to be repaired before we go on our trip in August to pick-up on 4 month old colt. We are naming him Cheyenne. I will post a picture of him when he was just a few weeks old. What a beauty he is. It has sparked some new life in Lynn. Something to look forward to.
Speaking of Lynn, we will be celebrating our 25th Anniversary on Tuesday. With all our projects and working on building our dream home and all the other projects in between, I am surprised we haven’t throttled each other. Those 25 years went really fast as I look back on it. We lost both our mothers, survived a major flood in 1996, back surgery in 2004, heart surgery for a stint in 2008 and numerous other life events. But the fact that it appears to have gone by quickly says that it was a happy 25 years.
Happy 4th of July America. This holiday gives you pause to count your blessings that we live in a country where we have all the freedoms we enjoy. If you work hard you can achieve your dreams. You know we are not wealthy, but we have our health, a roof over our head, food in our belly, and the right to worship as we choose.
Building our dream home is one our dreams. Granted it has taken a looooong, time but we have worked hard and have enjoyed the fruits of our labor. With a few detours. The present one being our back porch in the little house we live in. So now that I have led into that, here is our progress for today:
A day off work at the office, but a day of work on the back porch. I did take some pictures as I wanted to record this project and have a look at the before and after pictures. Today Lynn put up another trim board and cut away some of the obstacles to it laying flat. Then he cut the deck boards to size, about 10 of them, then went in to get out of the heat and recuperate. That is when my job began. I drilled pilot holes so I wouldn’t split any of the boards then screwed them down with 3″ deck screws. Love to see progress and watching the porch be transformed from something that I was ashamed of to something that I am proud to show off.
My two week project has turned into March, April, May, June & July, maybe August project. Not regretting doing it. Just sometimes get impatient with myself that it takes me and Lynn so long to do any project. We always envision the projects going much faster and smoother. I guess it teaches us patience. I should be about finished with learning patience, and I am ready to graduate.
Lynn managed to mow the weed infested back yard on Tuesday. Looks so much better. It is dried out weeds, but at least they are all the same height, so it doesn’t look so bad. Looking at the back yard and front yard, just lets me know what other areas of this house have been neglected. My wish is that someone stops me the next time I am in Home Depot and offers to do a yard makeover. I want a rich luscious green lawn with underground sprinklers on a timer and well groomed flower beds with beautiful butterfly bushes and humming bird feeders. Weeded and no fox-tails in the lawn as they burrow under Kinzie’s fur. I absolutely hate fox-tails.
Nodded off for a minute in dreamland, but I’m now back awake. Well maybe someday that wish will come true, but I don’t think it will happen this summer. Ho hum. I will just have to settle for a beautiful porch.
Our plan for this weekend is to finish up the deck of the porch and begin the railing. Back to Home Depot to get the railing material and I will then get out my trusty paint brush and begin more painting. Oh, I can’t wait. But for tomorrow I am back to work at being a paralegal and loving that job too.