December 20, 2014

Floor Comparison for Ruth

Ruth was curious as to how well the oiling of my wood floors holds up. As I explained in my comment, I don't really have any "high traffic" areas. Being as I am always here alone, and especially since I no longer have a dog, my floorss are more gently used than most. Add to that is that I did the oiling after all the intense work on my house was done, my results may be vastly different from another's.

That being said, after I oiled my halway floor last weekend, I took comparison shots of the previously oiled rooms. Please not that the nly thing I have done to the oiled rooms is sweep (not even vacuum) and I haven't mopped at all, so dust is most likely present.

The most recently oiled floor was the craft room; that was done the weekend before Thanksgiving; about 3 weeks prior to oiling the hallway. The first picture is from the hallway into the room; the second pic is from the room to the hallway.

Hall to craft room floor
Hall to craft room floor

The bedroom floor was oiled a couple of months ago, and still looks pretty good - although it is evident where it joins the hallway. However, the flash makes it much more noticable than it is in reality. Pictures are in the same order.

Hall to BR floor
Hall to BR floor

For my lightly used floors, the oil is holding up well. The real test will be the living room and hallway as those floors see the most use.

Posted by Bogie on December 20, 2014 at 08:03 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)

Living Room Floor Work

I'm trying to get things in order upstairs, so that I can clean out most of the storage boxes downstairs. Howver, I realized that I really, really need to help out the poor living room floor as it gets the brunt of traffic and has the pellet stove constantly pouring out heat and drawing any moisture out of the wood. A couple of weeks ago I wiped down all the wood furniture with orange oil to help it retain moisture. So, I spent a good portion of last weekend vacuuming the floor then washing down, then oiling.

Vacuuming sounds oh, so easy. However, the living room floor had absolutely no finish left on it so sheetrock dust was ground between the fibers of the wood. Add to that that the slats are thin, not wide, there are what seems to be miles of cracks in which dirt, gravel and birdseed either dropped into, or got ground into. So, vacuuming is an exercixe in patience on my hands and knees, with a shop vac hooked up with a crevice tool. The first pass is just to get all the surface stuff off. Then another pass using the 14-in-1 tool that Cop Car got for me last year (one of the most handy tools ever!)

Crevice Tool
Crevice Tool

See the right hand corner of the tool? that used to be a sharp point. It was slightly rounded when I started on the living room floor, from doing other rooms that see less traffic, and needed much less elbow grease. I used that corner to slide between the cracks in the wood and lift all the drud out. The poor little shop vac was literally running for hours while I cleaned up the living room floor.

LR floor before

In the above picture, you can tell where I scrubbed the flooring with a water and orange oil mixture to start the process. The dark spot in front of the glass doors is from an oil spill a couple of weeks ago while doing furniture. The slightly darker area near the FHW register is a spot where the wood still had a very slight amount of finishing on it. I dworked on the floor in sections, so the wood could dry while I was cleaning the next section. 

I had to apply the grapeseed oil much more liberally than was done in the bedroom and craft room as the wood soaked it right up.

LR floor after
LR floor after

The wood felt much more "alive" under my bare feet when I walked on it about 20 minutes later. I can already tell that I will need to oil it again in the next several weeks. I don't know if it is because the floor was so dry (much drier than the other floors I've done), or whether it will be an ongoing project, and I will report back on that later. I also have two small sections left to do this weekend; under the couch and under Birdie's table, which should get done this weekend.

Posted by Bogie on December 20, 2014 at 07:14 AM in House Work | Permalink | Comments (1)

December 13, 2014

Perking up the Livingroom for the Season

Just to brighten things up a bit, I put up a few Christmas decorations. Of course I put up the trusty tree that I bought when I worked in Hollis. Last year it was in the entertainment center so this is its first year in the bay window.


On top of the entertainment center I placed the snow globe that Cop Car and HH presented to me last year (sorry for the crappy picture, the lighting wasn't good and the flash just made the globe a giant white spot).


Where the tree was last year, I placed decorative leaves, a spice basket (pinecones, cinnamon sachet and real cinnamon sticks), and Mr. Snowman.


In the enclosed space of the entertainment center are winter figures of wolves.


And a shot of the entertainment center that brings it together.

TV cabinet

I need to figure a way to get rid of all those wires that crap up the background!

That is my nod to the Holiday and winter season.

Posted by Bogie on December 13, 2014 at 08:16 AM in Seasonal | Permalink | Comments (4)

Kitty Pictures

Last weekend I was doing something, I don't recall what, which evidently made noises that Fuzzy didn't like. I only realized that when I walked into the kitchen and saw Fuzzy staring out the office door. How did that tip me off? Fuzzy never goes into the office as that is Tory's hang out.

Fuzzy in office

Tory was a little disgruntled that Fuzzy was in there, but he was more upset with what I was doing. I can tell becasue otherwise he would have either moved to the couch or confronted Fuzzy.

Both cats in office

After I finished my actions - ah yes, I remember now, I was cleaning the upstairs stove and using an ash vac that I had just gotten and it sounds much different than my tiny shop vac that I had been using.

Ash Vac - Shop Vac

The ash vac is the green one, the shop vac is the red one. I received the shop vac as my Christmas gift in 2012 when I worked for SG; There were a bunch of boxes and envelopes that everyone got to chose from, and that is what I managed to pick. Little did I know how handy it would turn out to be later! It has been cleaning sheetrock dust, saw dust, pellet stoves and goodness knows what else. It has been great, just it is very small and I would have to empty it as much as 3 times a day.

Anyway, once I finished with the pellet stove cleaning, Fuzzy came out into the living room (his usual haunt) and life for the kitties returned to normal.

Posted by Bogie on December 13, 2014 at 08:06 AM in At Home, Our Animals | Permalink | Comments (1)

December 06, 2014

More Finds

Let me just get this out there in front: I Love Craig's List!

I have gotten many good deals for items that I couldn't afford to buy new off the service. My livingroom couch (wood Futon), the livingroom chair (smaller wood futon), hanging cabinets for the office and kitchen, filing cabinet (for EX as I took the one from the house), upstairs pellet stove etc.

A couple of weeks ago I borrowed EX's leaf blower for cleaning out the pellet stove pipes (this is a video off of You Tube that shows the concept)

Yes, EX volunteered the leaf blower when I told him that I was looking for a used blower and why.

So, after cleaning the stove out, I hooked up the leaf blower and got the rest of the crud out. I then used the blower to get the leaves out from under the ramp and to chase leaves away from paths that I snow blow.

A couple days later, I was perusing Craig's List, and lo and behold the exact same leaf blower that I had used that weekend was on there for a great price. It was almost new, only being used for a couple of times. It had been on CL for 7-10 days so emailed to find out if it was still available. It was, I offered $10 less than the asking price, and the next day I picked up my new leaf blower.

Leaf Blower

Of course the next day it snowed, and has been snowing on and off since, so it won't wee any leaves before it sees a pellet stove vent pipe, but that's okay.

This past Wednesday, I was perusing CL, with a vague idea of getting wall cabinets for the craft room. Although I didn't find any, I did see an intriguing add for a "Spice cabinet", brand new, in box, for $20. I was actually unsure if it was for the cabinet insert, or for the cabinet, but either way I could make it work for that price.

Spice cabinet add 12-3-14

I contacted the seller. Thursday I went and picked it up. Sure enough, brand new, in a box addressed to the seller and to the address I picked it up at (I had been suspicious about it being a stolen item from the low price), and the transaction was made.

I now have a cabinet that normally sells for $200, and will be great for holding my essential oils and other bottled items that reside in the craft room. Those items are currently taking up a lot of room on a bookshelf, so now that can be cleared for actual books.

Spice front
Spice front

Now all I need is another floor unit (maybe with drawers) so that I can either make, or buy, a countertop. Of course I will be using CL to find what I need.

Posted by Bogie on December 6, 2014 at 09:13 AM in At Home | Permalink | Comments (4)

Let There be (Recessed) Light

Last weekend was small project time. Last winter, Harry and the EX helped me tear out the garage ceiling, install more insulation and install recessed LED lighting. I chose recessed lighting as the ceiling is short and I figured I would wipe out bulbs moving ladders or even gardening tools around. My choice was proven out as the EX managed to wack hanging light while installing insulation, resulting in a broken bulb. However, the lighting project couldn't be completed until sheetrock was installed, there have been incandescent bulbs hanging out of the canisters.

Hanging Bulb

This summer, I hired a company to install the garage ceiling sheetrock so there was no reason the final install of the lights couldn't be completed except my own nervousness working with electical stuff.

With the cold weather, I figured the open canisters were probably letting a lot of cold air into the floor of the bedroom and craft room, so decided to figure out how to complete the wiring for the LED's, and close the holes up until it is time to finish the ceiling (not a very big priority). Plus, I had energy saver rebates for the LED's that I had to send in by the end of this month and I needed the UPC codes off the boxes.

So, I took the plunge and opened one of the LED light assembly boxes. There were only two parts to deal with, and the instructions were clear. The first step was to adjust the clamp springs for a 5" cannister, instead of the 6" cannister it was pre-set for. Loosen 2 screws, push in the tabs, tighten the screws up.

At this point, things were going so well, I figured I would screw something up somewhere and make it a much larger project than it should have been. Down in the garage, I unscrewed the lightbulb then installed the adapter, which just screwed right in where the bulb had come out of.


Then I made sure all the wires stayed on top of the light assembly, sqeezed the springs to fit into the brackets, slid the assembly up, and voila', I had a completed light install. Of course I tested to make sure the light came on before installing the other two assemblies.

Light Together

I should have opened those boxes a long time ago and installed them. Really didn't know it would be that easy and no messing with wires.

Posted by Bogie on December 6, 2014 at 08:33 AM in At Home, House Work | Permalink | Comments (3)

Slow Work

After the clean up of the craft room, with all the room that was created, it came in handy for staining trim for the windows. I had sanded the trim a couple weeks ago, so I just needed a fairly dust-free place to stain and polyuerathane.

Long Trim Long Trim

Then I closed the door, and moved to the office where the new sheetrock still only had one coat of mud.

Mudding 2
Mudding 2

Tip: if you are used to using a certain brand of mud, don't change in the middle of the project. AFter finishing the bucket of one kind of mud, I had a horrible time trying to spread the second brand, which ended up in a whole lot of sanding work for me last night. I stil need to do the two corners one more time, which I should be able to do today.

This is the type of work that does not give immediate satisfaction as it takes so long to let everything dry enough for the next coat (of mud or polyeurathane). However, eventually it will all be good.

Posted by Bogie on December 6, 2014 at 08:11 AM in At Home, House Work | Permalink | Comments (4)

November 30, 2014

Craft Room Cleanup

I have been using the future craft room (also where all my bookshelves are) as a work center. I set up the miter saw and air compressor there while working on my bedroom and installing the crown molding for the living room. Last weekend I painted the base trim for the craft room to match the crown molding, which had been painted and installed previously. I had wanted to sand and stain it, but decided in the interest of time, and getting further use out of the room, just to paint it.

Craftroom baseboard trim2
Craftroom baseboard trim2

After installing the baseboard, it came time to move the bookshelves back against the walls and get the tools out of the way. Here is the mess that I started with (the first picture is from the doorway):

Craftroom mess
Craftroom mess
Craftroom mess

Before moving the shelves, I washed the floor then oiled it with grapeseed oil. As I moved furniture and removed tools, I did the same. Here is the progression of the floor transformation

Craft Room Clean and floor
Craft Room Clean and floor
Craft Room Clean and floor
Craft Room Clean and floor

During the move I washed down all the shelves and other wood furniture to get all the sheetrock dust, mudding dust and sawdust off, then rubbed them down with orange oil. Of course I'm not quite done with use of the room yet, so am not putting anything in its final resting spot yet, but at least it looks better and I can move around and find stuff

Occupied corner
Occupied corner
Occupied corner

And of course, with the open floor space, Friday I stained window trim tha I had sanded last weekend, and yesterday I started polyuerathaning it. Picture taken from the doorway shows how open it is compared to before.

Cleaned room with staining trim 

The craft room has certainly lived up to its name, even before being set up.

Posted by Bogie on November 30, 2014 at 08:27 AM in House Work | Permalink | Comments (3)

Cleared Porch

No, not my porch, but the resident squirrel has cleared his porch out. I noticed this, and know it is from the squirrel because I happened to chase him from my bird feeder on the ramp, and he headed straight to his hide-a-way.

Squirrel porch

Look behind the chair and you can see where the snow has been piled up or shoved back and it continues bdhind and around the rhody. Harder to discern in the picture is the packed path that leads beside the chair - headed straight for my back door. Especially evident when you look at the left side of the tree, in which none of the snow has been "shovelled"

Left of squirrel porch

Yes, I'm easily entertained.

Posted by Bogie on November 30, 2014 at 08:06 AM in At Home, Wild Animals | Permalink | Comments (1)

November 27, 2014

New Roof Report

During the summer I had the shingle roof stripped and a metal standing seam roof put on. I have a very low pitch roof that holds onto the snow, and I was hoping the metal roof would allow the snow to slide off so I wouldn't have to roof rake as much. Add to the mix that my house also has a eave on all 4 sides, and roof raking becomes a nightmare for basically 130 feet. We had done the same thing at the Deering house (which had more of a pitch than my present house does, and a conventional roof with eaves on 2 sides), and it would shed snow fairly well once it started accumulating.

Well, I am happy to report that it has exceeded all expectations. The snow started sliding last night over the backside of the house.

Roof Clearing

This morning, one side was almost clear - the side that has both pellet stove exhaust pipes on it, plus the living room pellet stove makes that room very warm (of which I assume at least some of that warmth makes it to the attic).  The front side still had lots of snow, even though I had to clean up  some that it had dumped overnight.

Right side almost clear

When I got home about 3 this afternoon, the roof had cleared itself.

Roof Cleared

For those wondering, Some of the simplistic theory behind a metal roof shedding snow is that sunlight goes thru the snow and heats up the metal (the darker the color, the better the heating). Plus, any heat that escapes into the attic warms up the metal. In turn, the lower level of snow starts to melt, making the roof a water slide for the snow. This snow was very heavy, which means it probably slid faster than if it had been a light snow - that is my theory anyway, and we'll see how it holds up as the winter progresses.

I have the only completely clear roof in the neighborhood, and there are some houses with mighty steep roofs. Of course that meant I had to shovel the driveway and front steps again, but I don't have to worry about the snow load on the house at all!


Posted by Bogie on November 27, 2014 at 07:39 PM in At Home | Permalink | Comments (4)