September 09, 2017

I'm Just a Bit Slow

It has been over a year since Cop Car and her HH came up to NH and helped me move the new vanity into the bathroom. I kept thinking I would call a plumber after I obtained linoleum for the bathroom floor so s/he could plumb in the sink and remove the toilet (for the linoleum installation), then reseal it. However, last week I realize I was going to be another year at the rate I was moving, so I took the first step and bought a lenght of pipe along with the fitting and P-trap.

Last night I started putting it all together. I got the drain in and tested both the drain plug (you can see residual water in the drain in the picture). Then installed the p-trap.

Vanity drain attached and tested
Vanity drain attached and tested


At which point I realized I was short a reducer for between the P-trap and the waste drain going to the sewer line. Today I went to Aubuchons and found the reducer but never got back to the project until this evening (I was painting the foundation block while it wasn't raining). After managing to hook up the water lines backwards, then correcting them, I tested out the final product and found there were no leaks.

Vamity drain all hooked up

This is strange to start with; I used the restroom then headed for the kitchen sink to wash my hands - half way there I realized what I was doing, turned around and use the bathroom sink. And I'm sure tomorrow morning I will be bewildered when I start looking for my contacts and they aren't next to the kitchen sink, nor  my toothbrush and paste :D

Posted by Bogie on September 9, 2017 at 10:13 PM in House Work | Permalink | Comments (4)

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 27, 2017

Roof Repair and Other Work

As I had stated in an earlier post, the roof was finished last Saturday but I didn't get to take pictures until after the post. So, here they are.

The left side of the roof is where the repairs took place. Approximately half that side was damaged toward the edge.. You can also see the overhang.

Roof repair side

In this picture you can see the overhang much better and tell that it is a little wider than the porch part. I should have no issues with snow sliding off the roof and hemming in the storm door.

Roof repair side

From underneath. I painted it soft yellow yesterday so that it would match the siding and be protected from moisture.

Roof repair side

Since they were working on that side of the house, I had to find a new project to work on. I had several shrubs in my holding garden, along with some flag iris (siberian iris - whatever you want to call them), and I thought they would make a great addition to my sitting area.

From front to back; Flag iris, Variegated Weigala, two Ninebarks (I've lost their tags - they could be Coppertina, Centerglow, or one of each :) )

Ninebark-variagate wiegala and iris shrubs

The next day I went to Home Dep*t to pick up other things, whcih I didn't find there, but I did find other things to bring home. Mums were in, and I had been looking at the planters by the back door thinking how sad the summer flowers looked, so I figured I would bring some home. I got them planted the same day.

Mums in planters

The other prize I brought home was an October Glory maple, which also got planted that day. I placed it below the stump from the willow (a couple of feet lower), so it will take quite a few years before it can provide any shade to the house. However, unlike the silver maples in the back, which only turn a pale yellow and then directly to brown, this will provide some nice fall color. The first picture was taken from the yard, the second from the living room window so I can compare year-to-year growth.

October Glory maple tree from yard
October Glory maple tree from yard

I did manage to get some more pea gravel while I was at HD, so other than staining the landscape timbers, the fireproof area under the pellet stove and dryers exhausts is complete. Yes, I realize I made different patters. No, it wasn't intentional but these pavers were drops from cutom cutting for a pathway, so I had to work with the sizes/shapes I got (that's my story and I'm sticking to it ;D )

Pavers under pellet stove exhuast
Pavers under pellet stove exhuast

Posted by Bogie on August 27, 2017 at 05:29 AM in House Work, Yard Work | Permalink | Comments (2)

August 05, 2017

Truck Housing

A couple of weekends ago I emptied out the shed, prepared a new, level rock base closer to the tree, and set up a sliding system to get it there.

Shed move set up front
Shed move set up front

Last Sunday, a crew of guys came in and moved it into place.

The reason I wanted it moved was because I had arranged to buy a couple of Concord Hog Chapter members' used tent garage (and she is in LOH too). The deal was I would pay them to deliver and set up - oh, and move the shed since it sat square in the middle of where the garage would go. The Hog members had used the tent garage for years, and ordered a new cover last fall, which arrived in January (it was special order for a discontinued frame so it took months). In the time it took for them to finally get the cover, they decided to install a real metal garage, so the tent garage was no longer needed. I had been looking at both tent garages and metal garages anyway and overheard a conversation at a meeting about how they were going to put it on CL after the metal garage was up. I expressed interest and went to look at it in April (I think - early spring anyway). I explained my needs and we agreed upon price, and the rest is history.

So, once the shed was in place, they proceeded to set up a tent garage.

Shed moved and garage frame started

Blake, a HOG member is next to the metal shed in this pic
Shed moved and garage frame started
Shed moved and garage frame started
Shed moved and garage frame started

In a couple of hours the garage was complete and the truck was safely ensconced in it. This 13 x 20 tent garage will save me so much time in clearing frost, sleet and snow off the truck. And added bonus, as a "temporary structure", no added taxation :)

Tent garage with truck complete


Posted by Bogie on August 5, 2017 at 05:14 PM in House Work | Permalink | Comments (2)

June 10, 2017

New Look for the driveway

I decided to widen the driveway a little as well as make it so I can back the truck to the shed during winter without having to snow blow an extra 20 feet of berm that the town's street plow leaves at the side of the road. This meant getting rid of the lilac tree and the forsythia. Additionally, I wanted the two stumps pulled, one on either side of the driveway, from the cedars I had cut down in 2014.

I hired a local guy who does hardscaping as an evening/weekend job. He started on Monday after I left for my night job and he worked in the never ending rain. This is what I came homer to (before and after pic shown)

Driveway head on - before
Driveway head on - before

Mound of dirt from rocks-stumps gone

He did not get to work on Tuesday as it was raining even harder, but he resumed the work removing the rocks that were jumbled at the side of the driveway. By Friday it had really taken shape and everything was done except bringing in hard pack to fill in between the retaining wall and asphalt, as well as a "parking pad".

Rough rock wall
Rough rock wall
Rough rock wall

Today he finished up so that the hardpack is down and he even brought in a load of loam to lay over the areas of disturbed dirt. I no longer have to pick which side of the truck I can access if I need to back up to the garage door (like this afternoon when I brought home some plywood). And now, the truck is on the parking pad so I can move the car out of the garage in the morning without shuffling vehicles.

Parking pad
Parking pad

Oh, and added bonus, after complaining thru their website about the propane tank STILL being there, they came and picked it up on Wednesday so the view from the back porch is much better. Today I spent some time digging a trench to remove the 25 feet of gas line from where the tank had been and the house. Then, of course, I filled the trench back in and used a tamper to solidify the ground.

Propane tank gone

So now, planting stuff in the area cleared during the driveway renovation is hopefully, coming soon.

Posted by Bogie on June 10, 2017 at 08:56 PM in House Work | Permalink | Comments (2)

May 29, 2017

Window Treatments

At the beginning of the month we had a couple of sunny, 95*+ days. I started thinking of ways to keep the house from heating up so badly and the simplest is to keep the sun from coming in the windows to the east and south side of the house I had already taken care of the west side bay windows. My house being older, does not have "traditional sized" windows so I had to special order. Fortunately, H*me Dep*t had a 20% off sale going for Bali window treatments, so I took advantage.

For the south facing window in the living room, there was special consideration to be given since it is just behind the pellet stove. Technically, it should be fine with any type of window treatment, but why take chances? So, I went with a metal blind. I got really lucky as the color I picked closely matches the bay window curtains. I ordered a cordless blind so there was no potential for cats to get themselves in trouble (the white item to the right is a plastic stick that opens/closes the slats).

Window Blind behind stove

For color comparison, here are the drapes on the bay window

Living room drapes-curtains2

For the window above the kitchen sink, I wanted more of a shade. Then I ran across shades that I could see thru - icing on the cake. Of course, I can only see thru it when it is lighter outside than in - and the see thru works opposite; people can see in if it is lighter inside than out. But I don't worry about people being able to see my microwave on the opposite wall, so it was perfect. The see thru picture below was taken this morning - a very cloudy, dark, gloomy day where it is just slightly brighter outside than inside with the lights off.

Window shade above kitchen sink
Window shade above kitchen sink

I still need to get a treatment for the bay window beside the refrigerator (south side), but that is shaded most of the day by the willow tree and it has large plants in it to also help keep sun out. Plus, I am having difficulty figuring out what to put there since access to open/close is not good and I can't place the rod above the window as it would interfere with opening a cabinet door.

UPDATE: Well, that was quick. While I was thinking of it I measured the actual space needed and found that I could indeed install an outside mount shade to the kitchen bay widow and the cabinet door would have just enough room to open all the way. So, while the sale was still going on for Bali shades, I ordered the same type as I have on the other kitchen window, except motorized so I'll be able to use a remote. I got a bit of sticker shock with the motorization, but then adding up the costs for the motorized  drapes in the living room, found that it was  in the same ballpark. I will just have to make sure that I keep the plants trimmed so none of their branches/leaves stick outside the plane of the shade.

Posted by Bogie on May 29, 2017 at 08:17 AM in House Work | Permalink | Comments (4)

May 27, 2017

Once I get Started . . .

 . . . I just have to add on. About 3 weeks ago I installed some flooring where I store pallets of pellets in the basement. Well, I decided while there were no pellets there that it would be the perfect time to put up some sheet rock over the rigid foam insulation and Reflectix foil. This all sounds good in theory, but that wall had never been framed in and with all kinds of plumbing hanging down along the wall I couldn't really install a 2x4 along the sill. Add to that that I have never done framing of any sort, much less that had to be anchored to a concrete wall and I was feeling that the project was probably beyond my abilities.

And then, somehow, some way, I ran into metal furring, also known at hat channels and after some research possibilities opened up. Happily, I work with someone who would lend me a hammer drill so all I needed to buy were materials. Two weeks ago I went to pick up the furring materials, which come in 10' strips. I found that from the dash in front of the passengers seat to the far back corner of the truck was just under 10' and made for a nice snug, secure fit against the hatch just below the window. I couldn't quite close the window but had it secured with rope for the 30 mile trip home.

  10 ft strapping to dash

10 ft strapping to hatch-trnd

Hatch not quite closed-trnd

Drilling holes is no fun even with a hammer drill. But I got it done and last weekend I had a full wall of furring strips, plus the started furring strip for the wall behind the stove. Additionally, I had one of the 4.5" PVC "trim" board installed at the bottom for the sheet rock to rest on so it is far away from any dampness from the floor.

  Metal studs along wall to safe
Metal studs along wall to safe

Sunday evening I installed the other PVC board and got up two sheets of sheet rock but decided the pieces that would go behind the safe would have to wait. These would be difficult as at 800 pounds, and being anchored into the concrete, I was not moving it (I tried before doing the flooring - it's the anchors that kill the deal).

First 2 pieces of sheetrock

Last night, being the first Friday night I haven't worked (filling in at another place), I decided to tackle the part behind the safe. It was a bear wrestling those things in as there was just enough space, but finally I persevered. And, I got it taped and first coat of mud too.

Wall by safe sheetrocked

 I'll only get one piece of sheet rock installed on the other wall, but that is all I need before lugging in 3 tons of pellets - if it ever stops raining that is.

Posted by Bogie on May 27, 2017 at 09:04 AM in House Work | Permalink | Comments (1)

May 13, 2017

Basement Flooring

Last summer I installed flooring in half of the basement. Since the floor is damp during the spring I had to put in an Air Gap system, then install the plywood on top of that. A couple of weeks ago since the pallets of pellets I keep in another corner of the basement were pretty much empty, I decided to do the same thing.

First I cleared out the 10 bags of pellets, the pallets, and other miscellaneous stuff from that corner.

Bare basement floor
Bare basement floor-side-trnd

.Then I installed the Air Gap system

Basement floor w air gap-trnd

Then I covered with plywood. I was pretty proud of myself for doing a "once and done" cutting of that piece with the hole for the floor drain.

Basement floor w plywood-trnd
Basement floor w plywood-trnd

I also covered the rest of that Air Gap with another piece of plywood for now. It will probably come back up as I will need to have a fire proof material there in front of the stove. In fact, I may be cutting out to the drain for that reason, but the stove is off for the season, so it makes walking on it easier to have it all the same height.

Maybe next summer I will get the rest of that basement floor covered :)

Posted by Bogie on May 13, 2017 at 08:05 PM in House Work | Permalink | Comments (2)

May 06, 2017

Yard Work When It's too Wet to do Yard Work

When I bought this house, the mailbox post was sitting in a metal pail which had been filled with concrete. The pail has always been rusty, but this winter it really started falling apart. Last weekend I pealed off the rusty pail parts and the concrete stayed pretty much in one piece. So I bought a planter and just stuck it in there, filled the remaining room with rocks from the yard, and voila, it's not only stable again but looks pretty good too.

Rusty mail box pail parts
Rusty mail box pail parts

And, I didn't stop there with yard work. Although it was too wet to mow, I got the worst of the leaves and the rest of the bigger branches loaded up and took them to the town dump's brush pile.

Truck filled with leaves-back
Truck filled with leaves-back


I was hoping to mow and use the mower to mulch more leaves this weekend but it rained a lot last week and then we had heavy rains last night and earlier today, so the jungle continues to grow.

Posted by Bogie on May 6, 2017 at 08:32 PM in House Work | Permalink | Comments (3)

January 28, 2017

Adult Coloring

I am experimenting with a piece of trim that I am going to use as a detail piece in the bathroom. In putting in the vanity, I needed to offset it from the backing wall in order to line up water lines and to cover the hole in the sheet rock that the lines run thru. So I installed a filler strip that the vanity backsplash would butt up to. However, it needs something on top so it doesn't look awkward, hence the need for the detail piece.

Joint between vanity and back wall

I got an unfinished trim piece that has leaf/vine pattern

Bath finsh piece raw

I wanted to color the leaves in autumn hues. Of course they don't make stains the colors I would like so I had to figure out something else. Well, as luck would have it, I have a collection of something like 60 markers so I decided to experiment with mixing their colors to achieve the results I wanted. After coloring in the leaves and letting them dry I stained the background with the stain that I custom mixed for the bathroom door trim, which closely matches the cabinetry.

Bath finsh piece 1

Bath finsh piece 2
Bath finsh piece 2

Here is a panorama of the piece. Since I didn't keep the camera level while taking the picture, it makes the wood look very warped. Rest assured, it isn't :)

Bath finish piece panorama

Now I just have to figure out what to do with the "dots". I am pretty sure I will try a very small paint brush to insert the stain, but may try some colors too.

Posted by Bogie on January 28, 2017 at 07:35 PM in House Work | Permalink | Comments (2)