Monday, November 22, 2010

Welcome To My Latest Nightmare

Open up the walls in an old house that has been hacked at over the years and you find bad stuff. This addition (about 8'x6') to the back of my house is one such example. I am asking my brother Pat for help in shoring up some of the problems here.

In the mean time, I furred out the walls, plugged up sundry holes, insulated and covered the walls with cheap waferboard. Next year we'll open it all again and fix it, then tear out the rest of the kitchen and fix that, too. How long have I been saying that?

Monday, July 5, 2010

Garden Update

An earlier post shows the garden shortly after planting. Here it is today. We've already gathered zukes and cukes, and tomatoes are not far behind. We got one hot pepper, too, but that was a fluke. The squash & pumpkin are out of control, and I fear the pumpkin will crowd a lot of stuff out.

A butterfly on the butterfly bush! I don't know what kind it is.

It's really hot here. Dry, too.

PS: Ken, the octopus is doing fine. In fact, if you look closely, you can find him.

Monday, June 28, 2010


I can't get just the glass for the door, no; I have to replace the whole door. That's going to set me out $150. Grrrr.

If anyone has a theory as to how the glass could have broken (I know there ain't much to go on here), holler.

The observations made before the problem are that
  1. I used hot wash/cold rinse cycle, which I rarely do
  2. I loaded a few towels (not a full load, just three or four bath towels)
  3. Jennifer heard the washer being unstable, which concerned her enough to start walking to the basement, but she stopped when she heard it settle
  4. Judging by the fact that there was no water or soap on the floor, and that the cycle appeared to have completed, I think the glass broke toward the end of the whole cycle (final spin).
I wonder if the machine itself has become very unstable, or something to do with the load made it so, temporarily. If it rocked enough, would that shatter the glass? Could temperature fluctuation have done it?

Sunday, June 27, 2010


I went downstairs to check on the laundry and found out the circular glass door had shattered. How the hell did this happen? All that anyone heard was the washer going a little out of balance, and then it stopped. I don't know how it could have got out of balance (I was only washing a few towels), nor if that is the cause of the shattering or a result of it.

Time to order parts. Let's hope they make them in plastic.

Finn's Window, Again

Finished extending Finn's octagonal window, painted it, and trimmed it.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Minor Things

PVC is Lego for adults. Here's a new perch for the bird.

Two shelves for Finn's closet.

I extended the sides of Finn's octagonal window. It did not come all the way through the rough opening (A) so I added 4 1/2" wide, 1" thick boards to bring it flush with the wall. Eventually I will border it with some nice trim.

I thought it would be a major hassle to do this, but I only have to cut 45 degree bevels and nail the boards to the rough opening.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Almost As Much Fun As Watching Paint Dry watching me put up some shelves.

Our neighbor Jerry is moving soon and getting rid of stuff. He gave us a nice set of handmade dishes. We got some shelves at Lowes to put them on. They look rather pretty just sitting there.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Tearing Out The Kitchen (Poor Mark)

 Today Jennifer started ripping out the back hall of the kitchen.

Two odd photos show graffiti found underneath the paneling.

If you look at the other photos of graffiti from when we first started destruction (three years ago) you'll see that they really didn't like Mark. The big mystery to me: will the other wall opposite the door say "stabbard" (starboard)? It would be apt if one faced the front of the house from there.

We're back at it! It's gonna be a riot to see what kind of 'discussions' we have about decorating this room.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Garden And Other Stuff

The first photo is the vegetable garden. Click on it to make the picture larger and you can read the notes in there.

Following that are three different peonies from the front yard - photos meant for Junior. I did not know I had three different peonies.

After that is the back door, above which I primed the eaves and faux rafter tails. I put that up last year & never got to painting it. Now I have to because the carpenter bees are invading.

At last is the window to Finn's room, which I painted, and the birdfeeder we put up for him.

I would have captioned each photo but this new 'advanced' editor is kinda retarded, or I haven't figured it out, or both.

A Little More Work In The Hallway

Looks better already.

Saturday, May 22, 2010


We started work on the hallway again. in just a few hours before noon we did a lot that you can't see much of.

Bev/Ralph/Frank: Look for my other blog....

go here

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Home Invasion, Part II

For being a mere one or two ounces, a small bird can make a hell of a racket. It sounded like someone was chewing through Finn's floor this morning, so I went to investigate. I don't have good hearing to begin with, so echolocation is not my specialty. Luckily I was able to find the intruder and it's port of entry.

Nothing on my house is normal. The Bob Goddard who put the last roof on put 2x4s on edge running parallel to the lower edge of the roof, and papered over them. They effectively make a gutter at the line of the outside wall of the house, a foot or two before the very edge of the roof. I imagine this design prevents ice dams and icicles during the winter . . . but it means that downspouts must be directed through the eaves at several points. These intrusions through the roof are prone to leaks. In the case of one, at a valley between a dormer and the main roof, it goes through my son's foyer. You can see it inside the house. It exits below the foyer, which is suspended above the bilco door to the basement. In the gap between the downspout and the aluminum siding, you can see there is enough of a gap for a bird to get in, explore, and possibly nest.

I hope I scared it away. I caught all sorts of hell for waging war on a squirrel who was chewing his way into my house last year. It started in the winter, when I thought I could just chase it away with a long stick, and that seemed to work until the late summer when I could see him clearly entering and exiting his hole. So I got on a ladder, laid wood, metal flashing, then roofing tar over the hole.

Well, that pissed him off. He sat on the roof and barked at us for days. He got covered in the tar, which I am told burns them. Cara and Jennifer were pissed at me, and I was pissed at them for siding with the critter.

I got a pellet gun and scared him away enough that he stopped. When Cara saw the rifle (a daisy, about 700fps) laying on the bed, and me looking like Lee Harvey caught red handed, she freaked out on me.

Some people need to see where beef comes from so they can get a reality check. One side of my family comes from farming stock and I know a good deal of hunters. I was not unexposed to the sight of beheaded chickens, slaughtered cows or pigs, and suspended deer carcasses.

Anyway, Mr. Squirrel is now affectionately known as "Short Tail" as he and two of his friends ("Fatty" and "Long Tail") visit regularly for handouts from the girls. Cara was the first to hand him a peanut directly, and just recently even I got to do that. It is kinda fun to see them run up to you when you leave the house to go somewhere. Maybe this will keep them from boring into my house.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Signs Of Spring

This year I turned the garden over by hand, about 500 sq. ft.

The ornamental fruit trees are blooming.

The front garden is coming back up.

We're cleaning some junk out of the garage. I hung a cattle skull on the outside.

The girls set up the pergola, which they affectionately call "The Lawn Room".

Somewhere under all this is Finn and his friend.

I saw several small snakes today - this one I captured and put in a bucket. He was about five inches long.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Little Things Mean A Lot/Long Time

We're way behind. The building inspector will not issue me another extension, and I haven't had the electrical finished. So I called the electrician and made a little progress: three fixtures installed.

A light at the top of the stairs...

...a fan in Finn's room...
...and a porch light.

We have to catch up. This summer I will tear out the kitchen walls, fir out the walls, insulate, sheet rock, and rebuild the kitchen to at least be usable.