October 03, 2015
Last Sunday was the perfect day for getting pellets into the house. My plan was to move 2 tons, then move the other 2 tons thru the week. I had to clean out the corner in the basement that I store pellets since I've been using it for storage while ripping apart other areas of the house. That would only give me room for a little over a ton (I already had a little over a ton there as leftover from last year) but with the cabinets for the bathroom in the house, I could start loading up the back wall of the garage with pellets.
Me and my trusty 4-wheeler (okay, it isn't motorized but it does have 4 wheels) started the project at 12:55 pm (first pic is at the very start of the project) got thru the first ton in about 45 minutes. Load 5 bags in the cart, move the cart to the door between the basement and garage, carry each bag about 40 feet (of course the storage is at the furthest corner from the garage) and place in a stack.
Then the second ton - the first 3 rows went into the basement and the rest went into the garage which much easier as I didn't have to carry them, just stack.
I decided I had enough daylight and energy to get the other two tons in so I now have a bit over 5 tons readily available for use.
I was done with pellet moving at 4:40 pm - not bad if I do say so myself.
Saturday I started dragging the future bathroom cabinets into the house. There were two reasons for this; I need room in the garage to store pellets and I had already discovered that the cabinets were not polyurethaned to my satisfaction. So I moved the smaller cabinets into the basement and gave them another layer of poyl so they can stand up to a moist bathroom environment better.
When I decided to go ahead and bring in the big piece, the 36" vanity, I moved the smaller pieces to the craft room and finished them with a second coat of poly there. But, when I removed the vanity from the packaging, this is what I found.
The carton was not damaged so I believe that this happened at the manufacturer. Monday I called HD and they reordered the vanity. The original pieces took 5-6 weeks. I got a message Thursday that the replacement should only take 2 more weeks - so there is that. They will pick up the cracked piece when they deliver the new piece.
I guess it could be worse, I could actually have a contractor interested in doing my bathroom project and have it on their schedule.
September 26, 2015
The Baby Harman Lives
Since selling the St. Croix Hastings last month, I have had the Harman P43 sitting in its place, but I didn't have the exhaust vent set up. With cold mornings forecast, I decided it was time to rectify the situation.
The Hastings was a true corner install but I didn't like that the hot air was directly aimed at a dead corner in the living room. I had to use a tower fan and doorway corner fan at the hallway entrance to move the warm air to the bedrooms and bathroom. The P43 is not as wide as the Hastings was, so I decided to set it up so that the blower aims the air straight down the hallway.
I've done a couple of test runs and so far am pleased with how the air moves without any additional fans. Time will tell if it works as well once the cold really hits. The stove is closer to the wall than clearances allow (the side of the stove gets really hot and clearance is 16" to combustibles, while the stove is at 13" to the wall. However, I just have to get some side shields to make it safe. I ordered those shields last week and will pick them up today.
Meanwhile, I've had the P61a (basement stove) going at night as we have been getting down in the 30's and the house had only been at 66-67 when I get home in the afternoon. Had to move a whole bunch of stuff as I've used that area for storage, but that was a minor inconvenience. Once I get the side shields on the P43, I can let the P61a rest for a while. Hopefully by that time I will have things squared away where I don't need a storage area for some of my stuff.
Another Hallway Option - Opinions Please
I finally got the rest of the "header" (actually just sheetrock support) down from the hallway entrance. Now I am unsure what I want to do. Although I liked the ladder look:
I also like the way the following makes the hallway entrance look even bigger than the ladder does.
That little stub could be sheet rocked the way it is (probably add one more cross member to even it up. I will change out that hanging light for a flush mount. The plastic over the air return for the air conditioner will also eventually go away (although the grate will stay there).
What look does the peanut gallery like?
Dark Corner Brightened Up
When I last left you, the dirt pile that I had accumulated from all the garden planting had been reduced by some nice young men. Last weekend I consolidated what was left, and moved the pile so that I could get some root bound hollies planted. I was amazed that I still have about a truckload left, but this is true fill with a lot of tree roots, so will be hard to get rid of. But that is not the point of this post.
Once I got the consolidation complete, I installed hollies in the back section. Since that area had been covered up most of the season I didn't have to remove any sod - just removed a bit of soil to make the area a bit more even. The hollies, from left to right: Blue Princess and Blue Prince hollies, then two sets of China Couple hollies
I planted the front row, then took a break to run down to the local Agway for mulch. Of course I found some bulbs to plant:
And, the final product. The front row of very small plants (they will grow to 2-4' eventually) contains two rose Cletras, two Cardinal Viburnum, and a Blue Princess holly. Hyacinths and other bulbs planted between
The corner these are planted in is fairly dark as it is shaded by trees most of the day. The red berries on the hollies should help brighten it up a bit. The hollies are evergreen and should grow tall enough to hide some of the buildings behind during the winter.
By far the easiest and fastest garden project this season.
Oh, and by the way, somehow I still have a bunch more plants still in pots (plus the 3 poor roses that are in large planters. Why yes, I did find a great sale online - LOL
In that shot (in no particular order) are Snowmound Spiraea, Indian Summer Rudbekia, Chadwickii Pyracantha, Rose Creek Abelia, Rumba Weigela, Dark Horse Weigela, Coppertina and Centerglow Ninebarks.
September 20, 2015
Proof You can get Rid of Anything on CL
With all the digging I've been doing getting in gardens, I acquired a very large dirt pile that I didn't know what to do with. So, I put it on Craig's List. This is how the pile looked on 8/22 and I added more when I put in the extension to the trailer-side garden:
This is how it looked Thursday night after 3 nice young men took a large truck bed full
This is after another truckfull left on Friday (same kid came over with his dad instead of his two buddies this time).
There is still a little more left, but it is manageable. I just have to get it all back into a pile, then I can plant some very root bound holly - they should be very happy!
All Set for Heating Season
The rest of my heat for this winter arrived Friday afternoon.
September 13, 2015
What do You Think?
I have disliked the doorway from the living room to the hallway (and the one into the kitchen, but we aren't discussing that right now). As an arch, it seems to make the hallway entrance look narrow. In preparation for other work, I have knocked out the arch.
The hallway has sheetrock for a ceiling, while the rest of the house has the POS soft ceiling tiles, so for now at least, I need a transition. As I took out the arch, I was really liking just having the ladder effect shown (of course I would take out the rest and make it so it is flush to the wall with the scenery). I could stain the wood, or paint it to match the ceiling trim.
Getting Ready for the Next Season
Since I was paying HD to deliver cabinets and such, I figured I would have them add in a couple tons of pellets so I don't have to pick them up 10-15 bags at a time (a ton is 50 bags). I don't have room for more than 3 tons in the basement and I have 1.5 tons left from last winter. Add to that I am preparing to sheetrock some walls, and everything not of immediate use is stuffed into the corner that the pellets are usually stashed.
So, two tons are sitting outside at the moment, until the garage is cleared of other stuff.
And, then Lowes got in some good pellets (compared to what I usually burn), and had $19 delivery (up to 6 tons) for up to 75 miles - so I have a couple more tons of pellets coming the end of the week. As long as I get it all moved before the sn*w is here to stay, I will be good.
And, here are some shots as to why the basement is not ready to receive any more pellets:
Yep, I tore out the wall that my workbench used to be on. The wood is holding up the insulation as I painted the sills today with waterproofer. I will eventually take out the whole thing. I have ideas on how I want to reconfigure it, but my real goal is for it to be ready for running electrical and then installing sheetrock along the wall that abuts the garage, and the foundation wall (which I had insulated last winter).
Finally - Glorious Rain
My little section of the world has been very far behind on rainfall. In a 3 week timespan, we got maybe 1/2" of rain. Funny as it sounds, I regularly drove/rode thru rain, and one night there were flash flood warnings for every town surrounding mine - but not mine (because the storms were going to either side). Other towns were dealing with cleaning up overrun culverts and drainage ditches alongside the roads, and I was watering my vegies and new plantings 4-5 times per week. I even had to water new plantings in the no-mow zone; which is a place that has always been damp. I water by hand as I find it very wasteful to water areas outside my gardens. And, I am not encouraging the grass/weeds to grow by giving them moisture. Fortunately watering is soothing, calming and lets me take the time to inspect for weeds infiltrating the mulch.
Well, Thursday into Friday we got a long drawn out rain. Probably only got 1-1.5 inches, but it was nice and slow so soaked in. Today it has been drizzly most of the day, and rain is expected tonight (assuming it doesn't go around us).
An extra 30-40 minutes per day gained in not watering is great!