Thursday, January 23, 2014

Snow - Lessons - Progress - Snow

Winter is truly upon 3283.

It's stark.
It's cold.
It's snowy.
It's Beautiful !

A somewhat snow covered driveway.
Yes, that's ice on the lake...just about as far out as you can see...
Snow and cold are nasty things only if they prevent you from your daily routine. Retirement for me, at least for now, is absent of routines. So if we get 6-8 inches of snow, like we did yesterday I can sit inside and enjoy it.

OK, to the update:

In the last posting I showed the trim work done around the windows in the addition. Similar boards were cut, and ready for stain for the new bathroom window. Bobbie came here last weekend and one of our planned tasks was to be painting/staining the windows and trim. But as the Scottish poet Robert Burns wrote over 200 years ago -- "The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men, Gang aft agley (Often go awry),"  [Trivia: his 255th birthday would be this Sat, Jan 25.]

It seems we forgot that when painting the inside of windows it's not just the trim, and exposed frames that need paint....but also that little bit of wood that is hidden when the window is closed. With below freezing temperatures and snow forecast we abandoned that task. I guess it will become one of the first things to do in spring. But we did find some things to work on together. The new bathroom was without towel rack, tissue holder and cabinet hardware. We remedied that. Pictures below.

Bobbie's hands worked the allen wrench to attach the hardware for the towel bar and tissue holder.
I added the drawer pulls and door handles to the new bath cabinets.
Bobbie returned to Livonia on Monday. And I found another task to work on for a day or two. Faithful blog followers will remember that we replaced the windows and interior wall on the south side of the living room. Four separate windows were installed between about 24" on center studs. Insulation was blown in and drywall hung.  But the windows were still rough. And new windows in an old house meant the trim on the pre-hung windows needed to be extended and 'fit' to the new drywall face. I've been staring at the project for a long time. On Tuesday I selected my approach and began cutting trim boards. [ For the 'molding' at 3283 we have decided to maintain the cottage/craftsman style and use 1x4 boards to surround windows and doors.]

I worked slowly. Yes, even slower than usual. This isn't fine cabinet making but has much tighter tolerances than the rough carpentry I am more comfortable with. Tuesday I cut and fitted a few boards to make certain my scheme wouldn't go awry. And yesterday -- while it snowed all day outside -- I finished trimming out the living room windows. There are 'only' 23 boards that make up the interior trim. But, except for one 'gap' that I couldn't avoid, I believe the outcome was very acceptable. Unfortunately paint/stain will have to wait until spring.

During -- I built 'sub-assemblies of trim to cover middle studs.
Here's a close-up of how the trim fits against the window.
And a taste of the snow outside.
I couldn't stay inside forever. And snow is best handled incrementally after each snowfall. So this morning I ventured out with my shovel and cleared sidewalks and the path to garage and drive.  It is impossible to accurately determine each snowfall depth here at 3283. Drifting causes high mounds of snow as well as near bare spots.  My estimate of the average depth we received yesterday would be 6 to 8 inches. I'm not tired of shoveling it yet -- even in the 8 degree temperature we had earlier today.

When I was finished with the shovel I grabbed my camera and took some more pictures. So as not to completely bore you I've only included a sampling of them below. 

Before I shoveled.
Cardinals love this bird feeder.
Unfortunately they are easily frightened and I have yet to get a photo.
There's no place like home.
The pines looked great with the fresh coating of snow.
Sorry K-bergs but the snow wasn't consistent in its coverage.
The lattice around our shower is largely filled with snow.
The shoveled path.

Friday, January 17, 2014

First Month of Winter

Winter is the dormant season. Mother Nature slows down, cools off and rejuvenates herself for the coming Spring, Summer and Fall. 3283 has stood watch over cold winter landscapes since the 1920s. Its not something new for the structure. What is new is its occupancy. 3283 is habitable -- and comfortable -- for the first time during this Winter 2013-14.

It has been a month since I last posted. Work here has also been mostly dormant. On my 65th birthday I left 3283 and headed to Livonia to spend the holidays with Bobbie. I was gone three wonderful family-filled weeks. I returned last week and found everything here as expected -- the heat is functioning superbly, the water is flowing purposefully and 3283 is blanketed in [not so] typical Holland snow. Winter, so far had been colder and snowier than average. I'm not complaining since its giving our improvements a good test. Which, for the most part, they are passing.

Below are a few pictures of our snow-covered homestead. You will notice that I've been keeping our back walks cleared of snow. And I have shoveled paths across our unpaved drive area. The paths lead to our neighbor's garage. Since our drive and garage weren't yet ready for winter, Charlie and Laura graciously allowed us to park in their second garage. We can't thank them enough.

Work on 3283 has also been somewhat dormant. Though over the last week I did nibble off some items from the to-do list. Nothing earth shattering but report-able progress none the less. I finished painting the walls in the addition, cut and installed trim around the windows, completed the electrical outlets and installed heat duct covers. Pictures below. Bobbie will be coming tomorrow for two or three days -- I'm certain she will encourage more progress.

 Happy New Year to anyone still hanging on to this blog. I do promise to add postings when there is progress to report. Finishing up the living room wall, including the [relatively complex] trimming out of the new windows is probably the next project on the list. Then I will be installing the addition floor and hanging/trimming-out the two pocket doors. If anyone out there wants to lend a hand installing the pocket doors let me know.