April 05, 2014
Walking the Dog
With warmer and sunny weather for most of the week, I have been taking Prince for a walk (but not today - cold, cloudy and windy). With the rain earlier this week and some snow meltage, the river, which is 3 short blocks away, has risen a bit. It isn't at flood stage, but still loud and impressive to behold.
Looking forward to more nice days to come!
Animals of the Wild
Saw a tom and his hens crossing the road at Deering Town Hall the other day when I was headed to a job fair.
The tom was all fanned out and there were 10-15 hens. You can only see one hen to the right of the nearest tree, but trust me, there were a bunch there. They were crossing the road as I was getting the phone out to take a picture.
I got a peanut feeder in an attemp to keep the multitude of squirrels off the birdfeeders on the back ramp. It is working as long as I keep it filled.
Since we are just now getting thawage down to the ground, there are no flowers yet. Humingbirds start appearing in April so I made sure to get a feeder out for any early migrators. I had to get a new pole to put the feeder on and chose one that I could attach to my railing so it will be close to the house - both for viewing and for a bit of protection by the roof from predator birds.
I'm loving the area I am in as there is a large variety of birds that use the trees in the backyard and the shrubs in the swampy area just to the side of my property.
March 16, 2014
Had a cardinal visit the other evening. He was sitting on the crabapple surveying his kingdom.
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.
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 14, 2014
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.
February 01, 2014
Call Me Dr. Destructo
This is what I did over the last couple of nights
Yes, I tore out part of the wall that seperates the stairs from the living room. I spent all of last night (3+ hours) cleaning up the mess created in the living room and kitchen (behind the other stair wall).
I was hoping it would help the heat rise from the basement. I had partial success - at least it helped even out the temps between the kitchen, office and living room. The kitchen was always warmest, then the office second warmest, then the living room. Now they are pretty much the same temperature. The living room was actually 67.8 degrees this morning when I got up. Of course the low was only 18, so that doesn't really mean it will be warm on cold nights. Plus, with all the fans going in the living room, there is a wind chill.
Oh well, it was worth a try anyway. I had been toying with the idea of taking out that portion of the wall anyway and putting in a railing so the living room looks a bit larger. I just ended up doing it sooner than I would have otherwise. I'll have to move the wall socket and the doorbell that is plugged into it before I do the railing, but that is minor stuff. Also have to figure out how to neatly disguise the electric cord going up to the attic. I will definitely have to paint the ugly green stairway wall. I've also toyed with covering it with metalic-looking backsplash material or ceiling tiles to give the room a little warming color. But, once again that isn't a priority.
I also may be demolishing some bedroom walls to put in insulation. Have a couple of guys coming over this afternoon (maybe) to see what my options are since the walls are only 2x4. I would like them to be upgraded to 2x6 so I can use the insulation I got for the floors (R19) instea of the R11 or R13 that would fit in 2x4 walls.
Still debating moving the stove since without the heat rising very well, the insulation probably won't produce much of a noticabla differentce (if any - so far they stay between 56 and 60). Plus it is so noisy in the house from all the fans pulling air thru the registers; moving the stove would help reduce that sound (I hope) although the stove has a blower on it. The blower is on high at all times, and being upstairs I could probably put it on low. And, if I put it in the craft room, walls would shield the sound some too. However, that also means the heat would be mostly in the craft room, which is not really my first preferance.
One day I will get this heat thing figured out. Meanwhile I am getting rid of a lot of aggression and stress by tearing things apart :()
January 19, 2014
Heating it Up
Last Friday I stayed home and triple tasked; I was working on the back brakes to the Jeep, installing a pellet stove, and working from home (consisting of several conference calls, database management, another database update and creating procedures).
Okay, so the Jeep was in the shop getting new rear brakes. It had gotten new front brakes in the fall, but I had held off on the rears until now. While in the shop they found that one of my bearings was also bad, so repalced that. Holy cow has the Jeep gotten quieter with that bearing fixed! WS helped me drop off the Jeep on Thursday night and Jimmy helped me pick it up Friday night. Our local (kind of - Antrim) guy is so good, honest and priced well below a dealership. Plus, he's local so I don't have to spend hours at the shop waiting for the repairs.
And of course I didn't install the pellet stove, two nice men came and set it up and showed me how to use it. Bonus, they also stacked my pellets. I had expected them to drop the pellets off in the garage and then I would get exercise this weekend hauling the 2 tons of bagged pellets in. Maybe they felt sorry for this poor old lady, or perhaps they do it for all their customers. I do know that when I expressed surprise they told me if the owner was doing the install, I would get them dumped in the garage but they were more than happy to haul them in. Probably didn't hurt that they only had to carry them 40 feet without any stairs. Anyway, the guys were great!
So the stove is up and running. However, the hot air is not making its way upstairs as well as I had hoped. So yesterday I removed some of the insulation off the ceiling (tha stuff I had worked so hard to install back in December). And then last night I started cutting holes in the floor and putting in registers.
I only have two done so far, but I only had two registers - that was all the local hardware store had. WS picked up more registers while he was in Concord, so I will start installing them today. Now I know how handy jigsaws are; I borrowed WS's for this job and can see several places where it will come in handy with future projects. I am getting to be quite the tool geek lately!