March 02, 2014
Stairway to Progress
This is a little compare and contrast post. Although it doesn't seem like much, I have been busy mudding and taping and mudding and sanding and mudding and sanding, and painting. To remind folks, this is what the view looked like when I tore out part of the wall between the livingroom and stairway. Keep the aweful green paint in mind.
The taped parts were bubbled and some non-taped seams had lost the mudding.
Also there was an area that had very obviously been patched - a horrible job too. I would guess the patch is from changing form an electric stove to a gas stove - but just a guess on my part since the stove is on the other side of that section.
I spent many nights taping and mudding. I'm not really good with mud (although getting better), so it took more time and coats than would normally be used. Here is the main seam running up along the patch after I finally got done (that was just a small portion of it though).
Monday night I did some painting. Didn't get teh cutting in done, but it looks much better from the top of the stairs.
Oh, and remember that horrid green that could be seen from the livingromm? It is a much nicer soft whith (same white chocolate as the kitchen).
Haven't had time to do any cutting in, or getting a second coat of paint on, but that is okay. In taking off the stair raling I had to destroy some sheetrock further down the stairs. Yesterday WS helped me get some sheetrock to my house, so I can do the repair to the stair wall then mud and tape that up before finishing the painting.
February 23, 2014
New Hampshire has seen plenty of snow the last couple of weeks. The berms have gotten so tall that if meltage hadn't occurred Friday and Saturday (and should continue today), the next snow would meen hand shoveling as the snow blower was at it's limit as to the height it could throw. As it was, it was a good thing the 13" of snow I got during the week was dry and fluffy, otherwise the shovel would have gotten a workout then.
Sorry the pictures are so dark, but I lightened them as much as I dared - they were taken thursday night when I got home from work.
With all the snow meltage over the last couple of days, I was gratefull to find that the sump pump is actually in working order. The garage floor has been very wet with seepage from the overhead door and it would be going into the basement if not for the pump. As it is, I have to squeegee the low spots so the water goes to the sump hole, but that is no big deal.
And the lights that Harry installed a couple of weekends ago do a great job. Once the vapor barrier and drywall are in, they will have LED, recessed lights, but for now I just have regular incadescents in there. There are 3 lights in all, which provides plenty of illumination.
If you made it all the way to the end of this post, with its stunning photos of sump pumps and light bulbs, then you really need to find better hobbies than reading my posts - LOL.
Care Package From Mom
When I was in Kansas for Christmas, Cop Car and I discussed what I needed for my home. She had plenty of tools for which she no longer had use for, and I gladly accepted her offer to pass them on to me.
Last weekend her care package arrived, and although I won't bore you with the details of what was in each package (I'm sure I'm the only one that really cares), I will share a few photos.
The first thing I saw upon opening the package was a sander. I had forgotten about it, was delighted to see it! I have a lot of furniture to refinish (most of it tables or items with large flat surfaces), and this will be much faster, easier and better to use than the small palm sander I have (in all actuallity, I'm not sure the palm sander is mine - I happened to pack it up with my things so WS may come to claim it one day). The drywall mud tools have already been used, and will see much use during the summer.
As I mentioned to a friend in a text, only my mother would use toilet paper as packing material! It did the job admirably and hey, I won't have to buy TP for a very long time now - LOL!
Cop Car was very good at labeling things - like what I should open first
And a nice "carefull" message (the retainer box made it thru the mail just fine by the way).
The care package was well appreciated and I will be using the paint mixer today. I will be posting pics of the latest project next week (assuming no more computer mishaps.
Hanging Vapor Barrier
Last weekend I decided to go ahead and hang some of the vapor barrier for the garage. The plastic came in an 8'6" x 100' roll that comes in a box about 2.5' long. The garage wall is 24" x 7"6"; a challenge when you are doing the job by yourself. To add to the challenge, the garage floor was covered with water from the snow meltage coming in thru the overhead garage door. I didn't want the plastic to get wet while I was hanging it.
I came up with a method that worked well for me. First, I decided I needed to hang at least two pieces of overlapping plastic instead of trying to hand 24' all at once. I measured from the back corner to the low-slung beam and cut the plastic.to that length.
I unfolded the plastic to the first fold, then taped the rest of the folds together at the open end.
Next I taped the corners next to the open end to make sure the insides plastic didn't slide out.
I placed a 6 foot ladder near the ceiling beam and draped the long end over it to keep it out of the water. Using a stp stool I was able to staple the plastic to the ceiling corner and then work my way across the top of the wall. After I was done stapling, I untaped the bottom, and let it unfold. I stapled down along every stud, then cut off the excess at the bottom. I did the same for the rest of the wall.
The system worked very well for verticle plastic hanging, but I didn't dare tackle the ceiling by myself, but felt good that I could accomplish that much myself.
February 17, 2014
Bird Counts 2014
Now that both the NH Audubon Society Winter Bird Count and the Cornell/Audubon Great Back Yard Bird Count are over, I can share my excitement over what I was able to record. For both counts, birds only made an appearance on 1 day (even the GBYBC, which last 4 days - they only appeared on Sunday).
Ror the Winter Bird Count, I was excited to have White Breasted Nut Hatch, Juncos, Cardinals (1 male and 1 femal) and the greatest sightings were cedar waxwings (3) and Eastern Towees (5). The Eastern Towess are rare for winter and I supplied photos to help confirm my identification. The towees were infatuated with my crab apple (or cherry - have to wait for summer to identify). Sorry the pictures are crappy, but they were taken thru plastic covered windows and at a high digital zoom, so you gets what you gets.
For the GBYBC, I had chickadees, titmice, the WB nut hatch, purple finches, juncos, downy woodpeckers (male and female) and another 12 Eastern Towees, 1 red bellied wood pecker and 4 chipping sparrows (rare for winter).
I was thrilled the birds showed up as I don't seem to have regualr visitors so far. The red bellied woodpecker was a surprise at the end of my watching yesterday and attacked the suet feeder with gusto (much to the woodpeckers' chagrine).
This bodes well for my summer bird watching, expecially since there is running water just over the property line which will help to attract them.
February 15, 2014
I was going to post about several things, but as usual lmy black cloud is following me around. My 1.5 year old desktop computer died. So, along with all the snow removal and trying to keep this place warm (can you say 1k worth of propane used in the last month? Not includint pellets of course). I will just go crawi in a hole and try to figure out what I did in a past life that was so bad that all this bad karma follows me.
February 14, 2014
2014 GBBC Starts
The Cornell/Audubon Great Backyard Bird Count starts today and goes thru Monday. Everyone in the world can participate and enter their sightings online. If I can just get lucky and get the birds I got last week (I'll post later on that), I will be happy.
I'm not a Jewelry Gal . . . But
Cop Car needs one of these!
Picture stolen from the maker's website. Although they probably think this is a man's ring, it looks just feminine enough for a woman to pull it off (heck I would get one if I won the lottery).
Found thru Buffy's FB page.
Hey, and speaking of jewelry; although I'm not one for rings, I did get while I was at the Winter Storage Party in January. I had been missing the ring that I wore for 28 years and even after months of not wearing it still reached for it on a regular basis to "adjust" it. Although I wasn't looking, I found a ring that I could wear, that my mind would never mistake for what it isn't, but could help me think of other thoughts whenever I look at it or 'adjust" it with my thumb.
It holds all kinds of symbolism, not only as a biker, but for me personally along with my future.
February 13, 2014
I just saw my two favorite veterinarians, Derek and Nancy of Tenney Fritz & Combs, on tonight's NH Chronicle feature of Monadnock Oil and Vinegar Company. They were tasting different flavors of olive oil. Nothing exciting, but it was cool to unexpectedly see them in a setting other than their vet clinic!
February 09, 2014
Garage Project Start
So this weekend's big project became the garage. "With all your heat problems," you ask, "why in heck are you worried about the garage?" Go0d Question!
Last weekend WS asked Harry to come up from MA and recommend how to get more heat upstairs. Harry came to the conclusion that getting cold NOT to come into the bedrooms and hallway and lower level would help aleviate a lot of the issue. Althought the garage ceiling was insulated to some degree, there was no vapor barrier and a drop-ceiling had been installed. Both of these conditions kept it from being very energy efficient and able to transfer huge amounts of cold air to the main floor.
Yesterday Harry and WS showed up to demo part of the garage. Prior to that I moved most of the stuff out of it - thankfully there isn't that much stuff; snowblower, mower, ladders, shovels, rakes and the like. Once they arrived, the drop-ceiling was torn down and then Harry inspected the wall between the workshop and the car bay and found there was zero insulation there, so that sheetrock also came down. Then there was a trip to Home Depot to see how high my credit limit was - ha.
While everything is torn down, the two lights (only 1 of which works and it is only on a pull stirng - at the far end of the garage so not practical), two outlets and other wiring needed to be updated to modern standards. So the trip HD ended up netting us Insulation for the wall (at 2-ft studs, hard to find), plastic for a vapor barrier, 3 recessed LED lights, 1 breaker, 100' of wire, 2 outlets and one light switch.
Then I realized that really, the door needs to be replaced as I have several layers of foam weather stripping around it to keep the worst of the wind out (and spray in foam around the frame); the door just bows more and more and will not keep out anyone who even leans on it hard. So, we got a door and odds-and-ends needed to install it.
Yes, the door bows that much at the top - a litlle over an inch. There are 2 layers of weather stripping although you can only see the top layer.
Unfortunately, I didn't take before pictures, but here is the results after stripping the ceiling. That is the original R-19 insulation up there. Today I will add another layer to fill the 2-3" gap to the bottom of the joists.
This is the wall between the interior basement and the garage (picture taken after moving stuff back in for the night).
Not sure if we will get the new door put in today, but Harry will come back this afternoon to finish wiring the lights and electrical outlets. After I get the insulation into the ceiling, we will also put up the vapor barrier, which will help keep any wind from finding its way into the house. The sheetrock will wait until later in the spring. We will still have to put up ducting to help move warm air from the stove the the bedrooms, thus we don't want to finish off the ceiling. But, it should keep things warmer overall with just the work we will have done by the end of today.
It is good to have friends willing to help on such a project - I would still be trying to get things demolished if it was left to me.