Thursday, August 23, 2018

Now that is a hard way to make a living.

The tree guys showed up today. WOW. It is really something to watch someone who knows what they are doing take down trees. I have power lines where the maple was. The guy scaled the tree like a monkey. Dropped the branches by rope to waiting helpers who promptly fed them into the biggest chipper I have ever seen. It took about two hours to get the maple, chopped up and gone. Bad news of the day was the oak tree. Cost me $2500 to drop it. That one they earned every penny. The other two trees  with the stump removal were $2200 total, so the oak really smacked the pocket book hard. They got the maple down, stump ground, oak down, and all carted off. I thought they were done for the day. Nope. They headed to the back yard and got the third tree just about cut down before admitting defeat. They will be back in the AM. It was really something to watch them take down trees. Made it look so easy. The house looks totally different now. I like how it looks from the street now. I will wait and see about the other maple. I may take it down as well. It would make the front yard look cleaner, but I will wait until I have the garage in and see what it looks like. I would hate to lose the shade, and with the garage in, the tree may look like it belongs again. It grew kind of weird seeing as how it was in the shadow of the much larger maple, so branches favored the side of the tree that the sun hit. It would work with the garage though, as the garage will go where the big maple was, so the existing maple would be leaning slightly away from garage and the branches grow away from where the garage will be. They should finish up really early in the morning. They are down to a small trunk to take down and some clean up. If they show up at 7 like they did this morning, hopefully they will be done by ten or eleven. I plan on hitting Frog follies tomorrow. Hope to get there relatively early.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

For real this time, maybe

The climber that cuts the tree and ropes the limbs down was out earlier this month with kidney stones, so they cancelled last minute. I start my mini vacation tomorrow and they are suppose to be here early in the AM to finally get the trees out of here. I won't believe it until I see it. Not getting my hopes up until they are climbing the trees. I can't believe I had to wait almost five months. All the tree places have a waiting list. I definitely wouldn't have picked these guys had I known how long it was going to take. They told me mid June originally. I can't wait to see what it looks like when done. Should make leaf raking a lot easier. Still have two maples and an oak, so, not easy, just easier.

I got the ceiling fan installed in the dining room during the week. It actually went very smooth. Thought I would have to put up a reinforced electrical box, but the old one is solid. The house was built in the 40s, and I pulled a small chandelier to put the fan up, so I lucked out there. Going to try and figure out a way to get wiring up to the middle of the living room ceiling so I can put a fan in there as well. There is a pair of light switches for a light in the living room, but they don't do anything. Going to pull covers off the outlets in the room and see if there is an abandoned switch wire in one or more of them. The old houses usually had one or more receptacles wired where the top plug was switched and the bottom wasn't. It would give me a decent start anyway. The attic access is ridiculously small. Have to send a toddler up to check things out. There is a weird storage area in the dining room that has an access door in the wall. I believe I am going to try and cut a usable attic access hole in there that I can actually fit my fat ass through. Want to put a fan in the bedroom and office as well. Can't believe nobody ever converted them before. Or put a decent attic access anywhere for that matter. Second house I had to do this to. I hate lamps and love fans in all rooms. Makes a huge difference.

Friday is Frog Follies again. Best car show around. Plan on checking out the car lifts while I am there. Hope to put one in the new garage next year. They usually run specials at the show, and the garage and trees are going to be enough of a burden this year. Get their recommendation for floor thickness as well as ceiling height. Suppose to be beautiful out Friday. Usually it is pretty steamy at the show. Nowhere to cool off, so I usually go sit in the truck after a few hours of walking and cool off in the AC. Shouldn't have to do that this year.

Probably spend the weekend trying to get the area where the maple in the front was, converted to parking area for now. I can move the railroad ties to frame it in and then start getting quotes for the garage. With the trees out of the front and back, and the sheds moved to their new locations, I can finally see which area is best for the garage. If I go in the front, it will probably be a 24x 36 or 40, depending on what is allowed. Limited by space between house and side walk. If I do it in back yard, I will probably go with 24x40, but I would put the doors on the narrow end and run it deep. I have a septic and need to stay out of the field. If I go with the back yard, I will still put a couple parking spots in front next to garage. Truck will probably live out there.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

I thought they forgot

I finally got a call today. The landscapers. They told me in april, it would be the middle of June before they could get out here. I called mid June, they said they would be out first week in July. It is now the second week of August. I was getting ready to call and ask WTH was going on, and they finally call. They will be out Friday. PERFECT... I am excited. I have been getting the weekend off most of the time, so, I will take a personal day Friday , as I have to be home for them to do it, so I get a three day weekend and get to see people take three trees down while I sip on coffee and relax. Should be something to watch. They don't use equipment. They climb and drop by hand. No heavy equipment tearing up the yard. I got home and moved the Mustang from the corner of lot to the area by the garage so it is out of the way. Total pain, as it doesn't have a steering column or floor pan in it. Steer with a crescent wrench on steering shaft under hood while towing with strap on truck, by myself. I managed to do it without damaging car, truck or house. I am anxiously waiting the removal of the maple so I can get to planning garage. Saturday I will move the railroad ties to where the garage walls will be so I can get a feel for if that is what I want. Also get an idea what it will look like. Once trees are out I can mark front and back yard where the garage would go and get quotes from builders so I can decide where to best do the build. I bought some of the paint they use to mark grass for events. I figure I can paint corners of garage area in the back yard as well as driveway, so I can get an idea how that would look. Hard to tell until the trees are out of the way and I can get a clear view of what it will look like. Getting to the finish line on most of the projects. Kitchen is done except for a few minor items. Hope to get finished pictures of before and after up soon. Only other project I have to get done yet is painting the floor and wall in laundry room and rerouting water lines. I replaced all rotten wood on the last of the three sheds and painted it last weekend. This weekend I am going to see if I can manage to turn them ninety degrees and move them over to the corner of the back yard. Should be interesting.

Only two more weeks until I get a minivacation. A Thursday, Friday vacation to go with the weekend. It is for Frog Follies. My favorite show of the year.  Should be starting to do more recreational stuff now that the work around the house is winding. down. Can't wait until my garage is done and I can finally start getting the mustang finished.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Almost done

Dropped the dog off at the vet for his physical, shots and such, which freed me up to install the kitchen counter top that has the sink in it. Easier to do without the dog trying to crawl in with me. It turned out really nice. Glad I installed the sink before putting countertop on. I found out I had to put pockets in the places the clips attach. I got brave and installed the drains and the faucet as well, so I wouldn't have to fight with it under the sink. I couldn't believe how everything fit perfectly. It was awkward doing it by myself, but I dragged it in and flipped it into place, and, it fit absolutely flawlessly. I was expecting something to be off a bit or otherwise hang. I got it all screwed together. Only thing I don't like on the new faucet is it comes with hoses preattached , and they were too short to reach supply. Like every other plumbing line I have encountered in this house, the supply line leaked a bit by merely touching it, so, I disconnected hard copper lines back to shut off and ran new. After a quick trip to the hardware store, which is only a few blocks away, everything was hooked up and leak free. I love my new kitchen. Still have to seal and install the backsplashes, which are also butcherblock. I also need to install toe kick panel on the base cabinets since I changed configuration around. Should be completely done by next weekend.
I do have a minor rodent problem as I found droppings under the sink. I set some glue traps and snap traps. I am not sure where they are coming in as I had new windows installed and have been around the house looking for any entry points. Everything looks secure. May call exterminator and have them look around and see what I am missing. When I moved in, they had a few spots by windows where something could enter, but I don't see anything now. I never leave the dogs food dish out after he eats, but he is bad for hiding cookies for later. I am going to have to throw those out and keep an eye on him. No food source and the mice should move on.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Back to work tomorrow. Wahhh

I managed to figure out what shape to route the countertops with.  Practiced on a scrap piece until I found a shape that I thought looked good. Got her sanded and the first coat of sealer is curing. Come home tomorrow and sand it and put the last coat on it. It needs to cure 72 hours before use after that, so I will put it in the dining room Tuesday so it can finish hardening and that will clear the sunroom so I can start routing and coating the second one. Went to menards and found the sink and faucet I want. That panel will be the trick one. Cutting the sink opening. The sink I like is really flat. Not sure whether to route the pocket to get the stainless steel perfectly level with the wood. May cut the opening and route the pocket for the sink on the underside. If I like it, I can do the top side. If I don't, no harm done, no one will see the underside once the sink is in. Hand routing it is a bit of a pain. I have a nice table saw with a router attached underneath that would work nice, but it is buried in the shed and would be a pain to haul out to use in the yard and put back when done. I can't wait for my garage to be done so my shed will be strictly wood working. I can get all the garage stuff out of the shed and actually be organized and be able to do anything I feel like doing.

This is the shape I picked to route the edge. Turned out pretty good. Would have been a bit nicer using the fence on the mounted router. I got a couple really small blemishes I sanded out. 

Here is the Harbor freight wood worker tool bench. Got it really cheap at their tent sale a few weeks back. Comes in handy. Vise and the clamp holes in the tabletop held the top still while I was working on it. I will eventually move it to the shed once it is strictly for wood working out there. It is handy to have right outside the kitchen now anyway. 

Turned out nice for the first coat. I like the color of the sealer on the wood. One more coat and she should be ready to move inside. Hope to start the second countertop Tuesday. With everything set, I should be able to knock the second one out and have first coat on it by Tuesday evening. Hopefully I can start to cut the sink opening on the third one on Thursday. I am just hoping that cutting the opening or the sink doesn't separate the individual pieces. may see if I can clamp it to the table squeezing the boards together while I cut the opening. Figure I can use a hole saw at the edges of the opening and then use my circular saw to do the straights. I have a clamp on saw guide that works well for keeping the cut straight. I can get it close with the circular saw and finish the last of the cuts with my jigsaw. Thinking of going with a clear urethane sealer for the sink panel. Figure waterproof is better than food grade safe like the other countertops. Urethane may help bond the boards as well since it has the big opening in it. Hopefully get it all buttoned up by next weekend. 

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Depressing. Only one day left of vacation.

It's been nice. I could get use to being home all the time. With pay coming in that is. I got a lot done. I finally got the cat urine smell out of the sunroom after almost a year of treating the concrete and stone walls. It was extremely bad. Previous owners had three cats they kept there. I think they used the floor and walls more often than their cat box. I got the odor down to barely noticeable and put a heavy coat of paint on the floor. It is normal now, finally. I set up a temporary wood working room in there as it is right off the kitchen. I can now finish the counter tops in there and carry them into the kitchen from there. That turned out great. Spent today installing the bathroom sink and vanity. Looks way better than the pedestal sink they had in there. Pedestal sinks are fine, if you run the plumbing for it properly. They didn't. Existing water supply came up from the floor fully visible going to faucet as did the drain. Vanity looks clean, and is a lot bigger giving room to lay out soap dish and such neatly. Vast improvement. It definitely looks better in the bathroom than sitting in the living room waiting to install. Picked it up over a month ago and kept putting it off. Also put a new chain on the chain saw. Cuts wood like butter now. Cut down the rest of the tree in back yard and cut the wood up. Still waiting on the people to come out and remove the three trees I want them to remove. Three months and counting. All the tree cutters down here are back logged. These guys are cheaper than any others, which would explain the wait, but my patience is getting thin. Been waiting since April forth.
Took the Vette out for a ride today and stumbled upon a great car show. Lots of old Mopars from the 70's, some Mustangs and vettes. Even saw an old AMC Javelin. They had it at an old car dealership that closed last year. The owner of the dealership kept the property and already had a car museum on it. He used the other building for the dealership. Once he closed the dealership, he turned it into another portion of the car museum. It is awesome. Has one of the Dukes of hazard cars. The Charger from the fast and furious movie. One of the old Herbie love bugs. There are many cool cars, motorcycles, gas pumps and displays. Hit the food trucks on the way out. Got some really good Chinese food for dinner.

                                        Herbie on top, Fast and Furious Charger underneath

                                                           Nice old GTO

                                                         Really sweet Bronco

                                        Even found something for the little grand kid

                                          Super clean Mustang. Absolutely gorgeous.

All in all, it's been a great vacation. Going to try and do at least two or the three countertops tomorrow. Have everything set up and one cut to the right length. If the weather is like it was today, it may just be a cruising and relaxing day.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Happy Forth everyone

Nice relaxing week. I always take advantage of the holiday and take a vacation that week. Been keeping busy on vacation. I repainted the floor in the sunroom. I picked up the butcherblock for the countertops. If the heat isn't deadly tomorrow, I will set up my wood working table and gear in the sunroom, which is right off the kitchen, and get the edges finished on the countertops and get at least two of them installed. I have totally disconnected two of the three countertops. One had a stove top in it. Hope to have them installed by weeks end. I have to treat them before installing them, so I can sand between coats. The sink countertop is going to be the hardest of the bunch. I believe I have decided on the sink. Hope to have it started by the weekend. Almost afraid to call the tree people again and see what the latest date estimate is for getting the trees removed. They are cheaper than the rest, but back logged big time.

Picked up a new big screen for the living room. WOW. What a difference a decade makes. Bought a new TV when I moved down here ten years ago. Can't believe the difference in clarity on the modern ones. New one is a smart tv, so I no longer need the roku box. Old TV is on it's last leg. Move it downstairs by the bar and exercise equipment until it dies altogether. May use exercise gear more with some entertainment near by. Right now, the house makes good on the exercise time. Want to get the laundry room floor and walls painted as well while I am off. Trying to knock out the work list. Counter tops will completely finish the kitchen. I want to get the bathroom sink done as well. That will finish the upstairs altogether.