Friday, November 28, 2008

A Flush Is Better Than A Full House

The week of the 17th, I went to see my kids for a few days, so Ed was alone, except for pet duty. My guess is, he gets more done when I'm gone, but the meals are worse.

There was a reason we went to college. It was so we wouldn't have to dig ditches for a living. Now Ed does it for fun! He had to dig a trench for the new sewer line to go out to the septic tank. The good news is..we have a good sized tractor with a backhoe. The bad news is..because of how the garage is situated, and the slope adjacent to it, we can't get it back there to help. So out came the shovel, and Ed went to work.
After hand digging a 40' trench, 4' deep, he figured he had his back and bicep workout in for the week. In went the ABS pipe.
He finished framing in the front and rear soffits, and the returns, and put the plywood up on them. It's amazing what a difference it makes. Then he started wrapping the house. That last window is still out because it is the only easy (a relative term) access we have to bring in the sheetrock.

The fireplace and the exposed plywood are wrapped. We've been pretty lucky so far in that the weather has held off. But any minute it could all change.

If you look at last month's entry, I added a picture of the valley dressed in her fall finery. Now most of the leaves have fallen. Usually hidden by foliage, we can see the creek in the middle pasture, and the west pasture is looking pretty bare.

But that's ok. It all has it's own beauty. In December we usually get a few days of snow, and the pasture is transformed. That little duckling turns into a beautiful swan!

This last week Ed took out the laser level to check the slope on that sewer line and decided to increase the drop. As we all know from poker night, a flush beats a full house.
My job was to do something with the fiberglass door. We bought fiberglass because the west side of the building takes a beating from the weather. In the summer the sun doesn't set until 8:30 pm, often hotter than one would expect. In the winter, the storms roar up the river gorge and the west side takes all the rain and wind. I saw a youtube video by Zar stains that said the textured fiberglass would take a wood stain, so I thought I'd try it. Actually the first half of the video is about faux graining a steel door, but in about the middle is the part about the fiberglass textured doors. So I figured if it didn't work out, I could always just paint it. Well I'll be darned if it didn't look pretty nice! You have to use a stain quite a bit darker than you would expect though. This is one coat of stain, and we'll apply two coats of sealer. We debated trying to put on a second coat of stain, but we were worried that it would dissolve the first, since the fiberglass doesn't absorb stain in the same way that wood does. I was just excited that the cats hadn't jumped up to take a look while it was drying!

Friday, November 14, 2008

An Electric Personality

The Genie garage door sensor replacement part came very promptly in the mail. Sunday as I headed off to church, Ed says "When you get home, I should have the garage door opener ready to go." OK! Two hours later, I come home and the garage door is up, so I think "Cool!"
It was raining too hard to work on the windows, and Ed was upstairs starting on the electrical wiring. This time of year, the sun sets at 4:30, and on cloudy days starts getting dark before that, so work days are short.

Monday morning Ed went out to start working, hit the button to open the garage door...nothing. So he goes over to the breaker box, and darned if the breaker had been thrown. So he flips it over and look out! Fireworks everywhere out of the master unit on the garage door opener. By the amount of smoke and stuff, we can pretty much assume the thing is fried. Thank goodness for modern electrical equipment, because short (little electrical joke) of a little smoke and sparks, everything is fine. No buildings were lost in the making of this episode.

For me, Monday was Theresa Goes Shopping Day. I pretty much bought out Lowe's. Ed gave me a list. We need 16 can lights, a wall heater for the bathroom, look at faucets, etc. etc. No problem! Silly me. I get to Lowes...who knew that can lights could be so confusing. 4" 5" 6" , black, white, 1" rims, 2" rims, fisheye, recessed, flush, kits, pieces. My brain felt like leftover jello. So I took the bit between my teeth, and started putting stuff in the cart. Then over to the faucets. Same, brushed nickel, bronze, 3" on center, 4" on center, 3 holes, 4, 5 holes. I'm starting to get a headache. I mean, it's exciting, but it's scary, sort of like when you're older sister teases you into taking that first roller coaster ride, and you get locked in your seat but nothing's moving that. But choose I did. Then on to Sherwin Williams for paint. More parts at the plumbing supply store. The jeep was full.

Monday afternoon and Tuesday Ed worked on putting in the wiring and outlet boxes. The local building inspectors, Mittens and Midnight, were helping at every turn. You can really have a lot of fun with the end of a wire if you're a cat.
All that work doesn't show up very well in the photo, but he got a lot of wiring up and boxes in. Tuesday it really started clouding up and raining. We were expecting quite a storm, and in fact in the 48 hours beginning Tuesday morning, we got 5.25 inches of rain. Rains here all the time...just another day in heaven.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Santa Drives an Econoline Van

Sunday Ed worked all day trying to re-install the garage door opener, which had to come out last spring when the roof came off the garage. How come they never go back together as easily as they come out? Apparently the sensor eyes aren't working and we had to order a new one. Thank goodness for the internet! It'll come in the mail.

Monday morning we were waiting for windows like kids waiting for Santa. Although this isn't a huge house, somehow I was expecting a truck slightly larger than an Econoline van. Whatever works..

Eleven windows, a patio door, and the entry door. Those doors are heavy!

It started to rain (rains here all the time) so we decided to go into town to talk to the plumbing and electrical supply folks. That pretty much ate up the rest of the day. We got home in the dark..too late to take the cats down to the barn. Lucky them..they got to sleep in the house.

Tuesday Ed pulled all the windows and the sliding glass door up to the second story with a rope sling. I don't have a picture of that. I was too busy biting my nails, and besides Ed was really straining to pull that sliding door unit up by himself. Far be it from me to diminish was darned hard. I got to help with the easy stuff. Ed built a temporary platform out where the balcony will be and we put the south windows in first.

The north windows went in much faster, mostly because there was a relatively secure place to stand while Ed was working (I got the inside part). Ed wants to keep the big central window open until after sheetrock is delivered. We'll probably order that next week.