October 14, 2017

Don't Ask

Because I don't know why there were two police cars in front of my house last weekend when I got home from grocery shopping.

Police in front of my house 10-7-17

There was a car stopped and a woman was out standing beside the passenger's door when I pulled up. By the time I got inside with the groceries, and got to the bedroom window to look out, the car was driving off (who was driving I have no idea). I went and got my phone for a picture, got the shot and the police started driving off in random directions. However, I think it is important to note that the car stopped at the intersection was actually sitting there - this is not an action shot of either vehicle.

Wow, exciting neighborhood :)

 

Posted by Bogie on October 14, 2017 at 05:27 PM in At Home | Permalink | Comments (1)

September 04, 2017

A Lot of Short Projects

Even though the pellet stoves have been off since late in May, last Sunday I finally got around to cleaning the pellet stoves and their exhausts. In my defense, I have never had a last burn in May, so I kept waiting for that really cold snap in June (I've seriously burned as late as June 28). Then I ended up with having a massive amount of planned, and unplanned outdoor projects that HAD to get done, so the stove cleaning was not at the top of my list. The downstairs stove was relatively clean as it was apparent that I had cleaned it shortly before its last burn in the spring. However, since I shut of the big stove several weeks before I shut down the main floor stove, the other stove was pretty dirty so I spent a lot of time on the P43.

And, the cleaning was none too soon as on 8/31 the house was at 66* when I got home from work (the high outside had been 65* - and low that night was supposed to be in the low 40's). The main floor stove was also on most of the day on Friday, and again yesterday as the days have yo-yo'ed between summer and fall temperatures.

 

While I was cleaning out the stove exhausts with both a lint eater, then the LBT (Leaf Blower Trick), I noticed that the exterior paint on that side of the house was suffering. Since I was planning on painting the new porch overhang a second time, I power washed the siding so it would be ready for this weekend.

Saturday I painted and caulked the lower side of the house (the brown portion is still fine, just painted the cream portion), as well as all the way to, and around the front door. I painted the overhang last, and somehow forgot the caulking that needed to be done, so that part is still waiting for me.

Friday I had gone to a different H*me Dep*t than what I normally patronize and found a couple of trees (I was only looking for one - LOL). So, Saturday I got one of the trees planted - an Autumn Blaze Maple that should have orangish red leaves in the fall. This second mapleis an Acer Freemanii as opposed to Acer Rubrum that the October Glory is.

Acer Rubrums are in the general family of Red Maples, also known as "swamp maples". Red maples love wet areas so the October Glory is really happy in the lower portion that I planted it in and there is noticeable growth since I planted it two weeks ago.

The Acer Freemanii is a cross between Red Maples and (get this as an irony) Silver Maples, with the best characteristics of both. They have really nice color from the red maple side and faster growth from the silver maple side). They are very adaptable to soil conditions but are not good for wet areas, so it is perfect for where I planted it - just in front of the Willow stump.I was fortunate that the general area I wanted to plant the Autumn Blaze in was free of any huge willow roots. Previously I had stomped around to see if it might be possible (you can hear where the roots are if you stomp hard with a booted foot). The first picture is from the pen, the second from the living room window, and the third is of the growth of the October Glory (you may not be able to see the lighter green leaves at the tips of 3 of the branches - those are the new growth).

  Autumn Blaze Maple from fence
Autumn Blaze Maple from fence
Autumn Blaze Maple from fence

 

On poison ivy patrol I pulled some young shoots that had grown in the shrubs by the fence over on the other side of the house. Oh, and while I was painting, I found a vining poison ivy that had hidden itself in plain sight - in a rose beside the front door (which I never use, which is why I hadn't noticed before).

  Poison ivy in rose
Poison ivy in rose

And finally, the neighbor had gotten his truck moved so I mowed that area real quick since it was to rain on Sunday.

And that was my Saturday :)

Sunday was HOG meeting, reconcile checkbook (which hadn't been done since April), and some other indoor general projects. The remnants of Harvey were much kinder to us than to those in Texas, leaving 1.5" of badly needed rain.

Posted by Bogie on September 4, 2017 at 07:27 AM in At Home, House Work, Yard Work | Permalink | Comments (4)

August 20, 2017

Big Rain

Friday the roofers were supposed to finish up but Mother Nature had other ideas. It rained all day, but even so by the time I got home from work at 5:15 the rain guage only showed 1/4".

At 7:38 I took this picture, which shows about 3" in the guage.

3 inches at 738pm-trnd

At 8:18 the rain guage showed close to 4"

4 inches at 815pm-trnd

Saturday morning the grand total

4+ inches final-trnd

Pretty much what happened when i had the metal roof put on 3 years ago. However, this time there were no leaks in the unfinished area.

Posted by Bogie on August 20, 2017 at 05:47 AM in At Home | Permalink | Comments (0)

April 22, 2017

New Power Equipment

You might remember how my snow blower died in the middle of one of the biggest storms of this past winter - and how I was relegated to shoveling a wet, heavy 15-17" of snow. I was determined to take advantage of end of season sales, did research for weeks (I research everything to death), and on 4/11 found a deal I just couldn't pass up. Not only was the price right, but HD was offering free shipping too. SOLD!

Yesterday I got home just as the delivery guy was closing the garage door after depositing the pallet holding my prize. There is a slight bit of assembly to do - install the chute and the chute controller, but I have at least 6 months to do so. I am extremely happy with the heaviness of it - no plastic parts there. It is slightly bigger, a lot stronger, and can leap tall buildings, has a slightly larger chute rotation range, and should prove more capable chewing thru berms and heavy, wet snow than my broken snow blower.

Snow blower side shot
Snow blower side shot
Snow blower side shot

I will have a whole new set of controls to get used to, but if that is my biggest issue I will be a happy camper. It is a SnowTek, which is an off-branded Ariens, and it is rated as one of the heavier duty work-horses in its class (and the reviews rave about it). About the only way I could have gotten better was to go to much larger.

Snow blower controls

And, you probably don't remember that I broke my mower at the end of last summer. I have been perusing CL the last month or so to see if I could find a good used unit. Last Sunday night I came across the ideal - the same size cutting width, somewhat larger motor, the same brand and type as my old mower, 2 years old and slightly used - at about what it would cost to bring the old mower back to fighting shape. I emailed the seller within 3 hours of his posting the ad and asked if I could pick it up that night. I explained I couldn't pick it up during the week because of working days and nights.

Seems he has a soft spot for people with multiple jobs since he has done that for a lot of his adult life. So, he offered to hold it for me until Saturday morning despite the fact that a lot of people were interested (he actually under priced it as far as I was concerned). I picked it up at 8 this morning and am now the proud owner of this mulching, FWD, self-propelled, one pull starting beauty

New mower in truck
New mower in truck

In talking to the guy his MIL bought it 2 years ago, used it a couple of times then hired a lawn service, who used their own mowers. She then moved to Florida over the winter and asked him to either buy it from her or sell it for her in the spring. He had already gotten a new mower, so it was spring and time to sell. It certainly looks as if it has only been used a couple of times, and we started it before loading it in the Explorer, and it did indeed start in one pull (as it should). The controls are exactly like the old mower, so no new thing-a-ma-jigs to learn on this one.

I will get the old mower fixed since I am reasonably certain I know what is wrong, plus it needs a new blade and tune up. The old mower is a 5.75 instead of a 7.25 but fully capable of performing back up duty and mowing in the areas where roots and rocks stick up out of the ground - what, if my diagnosis is correct, caused the issue in the first place.

Posted by Bogie on April 22, 2017 at 07:15 PM in At Home, Yard Work | Permalink | Comments (3)

April 02, 2017

April Fools - I Wish

The March 30-April 1 snow storm dumpe about 16" of wet, heavy snow in my area. It was great that it didn't start sticking to the roads until I was almost home. I shoveled the first 3" Friday night, but the real accumulation didn't start until later that night. By 8:30 I measured 12".

I got the driveway snow blown, then started on the berm from the road plows

Berm at driveway
Berm at driveway

It was hard going and I was thinking how I loved that old snow blower for soldering on only asking that I put in gas and watch the oil level. Well, I'll bet you can guess what happened - I died. Oh, the motor runs great, just engaging the auger kills it. I can't find any reason so suspect either the clutch blew or some sort of bearing froze. The blessing is that it waited to die until I had the berm done. The bad news is that I had to hand shovel a path to the propane tanks and all the way to the back door. I declined to shovel the path to the front door or from the ramp to the mulch pile and where I dump ashes from the pellet stoves (and I have wasded thru the snow 3 times today to go out to that corner of the yard).

I also had to dig out the truck since the snow was over the bottoms of the doors. Also, I need a place for the snow that I pushed off the truck to land - otherwise the snow would have been window high.

Truck snowed in

I finally got to the point I could pull the truck into the driveway - I needed to load up the trash and do the dump run. I started the windshield wipers and the driver's side wiper shredded itself. So, on the way to the dump I had to stop at AutoZone and get wiper blades. The back wiper was in sad shape so I went ahead and replaced all 3.

April Fool's Day was not very kind to me, but I just had to laugh at everything anyway.

Posted by Bogie on April 2, 2017 at 07:05 PM in At Home | Permalink | Comments (2)

March 12, 2017

A Little Wind

We have had a very cold and windy March. Last weekend the highs were in the teens with single digit lows. The wind was also atrocious. I came home one evening, looked out the kitchen window and saw that something was missing

Thermometer Bracket - empty

Upon opening the back door, I found it

Thermometer on porch

On the bright side, several times I have thought about replacing it with a more decorative, less utilitarian design. The plastic cover was yellowed from age and it was exactly the most accurate thermometer. On the other hand, it worked, and I just used the temp reading as a general guide so couldn't justify replacing it. Now I have the excuse, just need to find one of the same general size that isn't utilitarian looking - a tougher prospect than I thought. Oh sure, I can find nice designs in larger or smaller specimens, but that particular size (which is perfect; not too big, but large enough for me to see without straining), seems to only come with the featureless white face. Granted, I have only hit several local hardware stores as well as home and garden stores, and I'm sure I can find something online, I just didn't think it would be a time consuming endeavor.

Although we had somewhat of a warm up during the past week, this weekend is much the same as last; single digit lows (5* right now - warmer than yesterday morning) and teens for the highs - with brutal winds. The forecast for Tuesday and Wednesday is for a Nor'easter with snow totals at this point projected to be 8-16" (depending on final trajectory). I blame the storm on my plans to pick up the bike at the end of the week. Guess that isn't going to happen.

It seems as if Mother Nature is realizing she pretty much skipped February and is making up for it.

Posted by Bogie on March 12, 2017 at 06:26 AM in At Home | Permalink | Comments (1)

February 26, 2017

Warm Weather

We usually have a thfebruary thaw, but this past week was just gorgeous! Many days were in the 50's or 60's and all of our larger cities experienced record breaking warmth Wednesday thru Friday. Despite all the warm weather, I still have a good snow pack although the iced up paths are now clear and have gotten wider. These pictures were taken yesterday morning.

Snow pack back 2-25-17
Snow pack back 2-25-17

Last night we had rain, and coupled with temps in the 40's there was more meltage. However, a cold front went thru last night, behind the rain, so we'll see what future systems do for the white stuf.

Posted by Bogie on February 26, 2017 at 10:42 AM in At Home, New Hampshire News | Permalink | Comments (0)

A Place to Hang My Hat

I have been planning on creating an area where I could keep the coats/jackets sweaters appropriate for the season so they aren't all hanging on a chair in the office, or in the office closet. I also wanted an area to hold my commonly used shoes, and where I could sit to put them on instead of the couch or living room chair where I had the coffee table in the way.

Last month I did a lot of internet trolling and found a bench I liked with the bonus that it had baskets to hold my hats, scarves and gloves. These were held in the magazine rack of an end table  that had been left in the house when I bought it. This is the bench I bought. It came as a kit and I put it together (picture doesn't show baskets installed below the sitting area).

Bench complete

I moved the drop-leaf table beside Birdie's cage and on which I had fed Fuzzy his canned food; Rita can't make the jump so I had been feeding her on the floor anyway, so I moved all the cat feeding stations to floor level. I have used the bench for several weeks in that spot to make sure it was where I wanted it. I  Last week I decided to put up the coat rack that Cop Car and her HH had given the Ex and me long ago.

Coat Rack
Coat Rack

I really like the way the set up looks and it is very handy and much more convenient..

Posted by Bogie on February 26, 2017 at 10:33 AM in At Home | Permalink | Comments (2)

February 18, 2017

10 Days and 2 Nor'easters Later

Three weeks ago, although there was snow on the ground, there was only 5-6" of hard packed and frozen snow. That has changed a bit as since just before Valentine's weekend we have had 2 Nor'easters and several snow storms.  These pictures were taken Valentine's day after I had cleaned up after a storm.

Truck in snow 2-14-17
Truck in snow 2-14-17

The day before Valentine's Day, I constructed a snow break for the back porch as the snow hadn't dumped off the roof, and we were expecting another 12-18" that night into Monday. When large amounts of snow dump it literally keeps me from being able to open the back door, so I wanted to mitigate that. The snow break as built using a couple of rail planter boxes as the base, two 2x4's, two 2x2's and a couple of pieces of plywood. Total $ spent = $0

Snow break-trnd

This picture was taken the next day after a mall snow storm. The little bit of snow under the snow break was wind-driven and was taken after the small slideage shown in the following picture. I was well please on the results even after the Nor'easter the next day.

 
Snow break-trnd

The snow dumped on the ramp was just a small slidage of a couple of sectionsthe morning of the 14th. A big dump will leave 6-12" (or more) of hard packed snow most of the way across the ramp.


Snow break-trnd

Today we had a nice sunny day and it got up to 53*. I was out in a t-shirt shoveling, breaking up ice and moving berms.

I shoveled the berm away from the ramp.

  Shoveled snow along ramp 2-18-17-trnd

Cleared off most of the snow from the top of the pellet pile. I used the snow shovel to scrape off the snow. I could have gotten the roof rake out to clear off the middle, but decided this was good enough for now.

Snow scraped from pellet pile

I cleared the roof dumpage berm as well as I could from in front of the Propane tanks. Tomorrow I will see if I can get more out of there as they should be delivering next week.

Snow shoveled from propane tanks-angle

I had to shovel out along the path on the other side of the house as apparently the roof dump had been pushed by the wind and completely filled in the area I had snow blown. I also shoveled a lot of snow drifts gathered at the sides of some of the paths that had been cleared.

While out there, I looked up in the willow tree to see if it had limbs hanging off. No limbs, but I was amazed that the gale-force winds we had sustained for a couple of days hadn't taken this down

Large nest in willow

That is a large nest. I don't know if it is a squirrel nest (I have a group of 3 sibling squirrels that run around here, as well as another lone squirrel that sneaks in when possible) or a bird's nest.

I probably got sunburned, but it was great getting out in the sunny, pleasant weather.

Posted by Bogie on February 18, 2017 at 05:33 PM in At Home | Permalink | Comments (4)

December 10, 2016

Hard Headed

5 minutes before I would have left my night job I slipped and cracked my head on the tile over concrete floor. Wow that hurt and made a loud sound! Sat up for a minute to see how I felt - yep, I'm good. Started feeling around the back of my head to see if there were any dents, yeah, I'll be fine. Then looked at my hand and saw a bunch of blood. Got up to grab a paper towel to soak it up, and looked at the floor - hmm, lots of blood there. Paper towels came away pretty soaked.

Night of firsts: called 911 for myself (called for other people, but not for me), got an ambulance ride, got a concussion (diagnosed). They asked about pain level; 3 - and I added that I used to have migraines so I tolerate pain quite well since they looked skeptical. I was given the choice of stitches or not, and I opted for not (the doc said if it was him, he wouldn't - it would stop the bleeding but not accomplish much more).

They took a CAT scan to make sure there was no internal stuff since I wouldn't have anyone to check on me thru the night. Finally my boss came and got me at midnight and I arrived home a little before 1 AM. Long day since it started at 3:30 AM of Friday

No lifting or bending for a couple of days - um, yeah right, there's a snow event headed our way and I'll be shoveling and blowing snow Monday. I won't be moving a ton of pellets today as a concession. I do feel like my mind is about 2 feet behind me - not sight-wise, but just a slightly distant feeling, but otherwise I'm fine.

Not the way I wanted to start the weekend!

Posted by Bogie on December 10, 2016 at 07:15 AM in At Home | Permalink | Comments (7)