September 13, 2014

Wild Bug

Saw a caterpiller on the suet feeder the other day. Not sure what kind it is, but it was cute.


He probably didn't pick the best place; right next to a bird feeder, and there was no suet so he was tempting fate. i looked later and he was gone, kind of hoping he found a safer place to do his thing.

Posted by Bogie on September 13, 2014 at 09:17 AM in Wild Animals | Permalink | Comments (0)


Just in time for my need for a huge project (LOL), the sheetrock has been installed. They put on the tape and mudded the first time, but the rest of the prep-work before paint is mine. I need to sand it all down, then mud again, then sand some more. Then, if I haven't messed it up too much, paint. However, I expect to have to do at least touch up work before painting. However, with just the rock up, it looks so different compared to all summer when I was looking at the outside plywood and then the insulation.

Dining sheetrock
Dining sheetrock
Dining sheetrock
Dining sheetrock
Dining sheetrock

Amazing how it echos in the house now, after having the insulation swallow up every sound.

Hey, and they put up the plastic on the garage ceiling then sheetrocked it and then finished off the wall too (it was sheetrocked around the door, but that was it).

  Garage ceiling sheetrock
Garage ceiling sheetrock

I won't be working on the garage as the inside of the house is what I am most interested in getting done. Gotta get the living room done first so I can hook up the little pellet stove - winter is comming fast; temps in the high 30's this morning and the house at 62. Definitely need to be able to take the chill out of the air before I worry about the bedroom.

Hey, wouldn't want to actually use the BR - have only used it maybe 2 months, if that long, since I've been here :)

Posted by Bogie on September 13, 2014 at 09:11 AM in At Home, House Work | Permalink | Comments (2)

August 31, 2014

Changing Furniture

I have been in the habit of looking thru Craig's List a couple times a week; looking at freebies and cheap, but good condition items. If you recall, way back last year, CL was where I found the futon that is my couch/bed for very cheap and it was used in the EX's apartment before I moved into my own house. I also found other stuff for both EX and me - filing cabinet and dog pen come to mind - for very little $$.

I have been wanting to get rid of the 2nd couch, which I got for free from the side of the road when I worked in MA. The couch was ugly and very used, but mainly it was too big for my real needs. It also had no legs, so picked up every dog hair, cat hair, bird feather and other detritus that came within 2 feet of it. Oh yeah, it was useful. It did a great job holding the cat bed, my leathers when I got home from work and the plethora of throw pillows, but since I never have any visitors, that is all it was useful for.

I wanted something smaller, chair like, but bigger than the standard easy chair. I also wished for another futon, just because they are so handy being convertible (cousin threatened to come from Chicago with his sons - not that that will probably happen, but one never knows). So, I got to investigating futon chairs. Much to my surprise, they make them much like my wood fram futon couch. But dang, the price tag for a new one is very steep, so I couldn't justify getting one.

Well about 10 days ago, I was on CL and I searched for futon chair, and lo-and-behold, one had been placed on the list just a couple days before. After accertaining that it was still available, I offered less than what they wanted, the offer was accepted and last Saturday, I went to Nashua to pick it up. To fit in my Jeep, we had to disassemble it (no surprise) and after I got it home, I got it reassembled in only 2 tries (first time was completely backward. I had contacted EX to see if he would help me get the old couch to the dump, and he came by that afternoon. This is the last picture of the couch taken the night before (I had already taken the pillows and throw off of it)

Last pic of freebie couch

So, here is my newest piece of furniture (I think it is actually younger than any of the furniture I have, excpet my linen pantry, at 10 years old). Notice that Cop Cars old pillows and runner actually go pretty nicely on it. I was considering getting a new cover, but I think it is fine - I will need to use a different throw for protecting the seat portion though)

Futon Chair

The cats started exploring once it was in place. Fuzzy just jumped on it and was laying beside a pile of pillows when Tory attacked him from the floor (summertime the cats are not the best of friends). I looked up from reading just in time to see the pillows fall around Fuzzy, protecting him from Tory's jabs. Tory was befuddled at what had happened to Fuzzy (he couldn't see hmi from the floor), so stalked away.

Fuzzy buried in pillows

When the coast was clear, Fuzzy took control of the cat bed (he is the only one that uses it anyway) and settled down for a nice long nap.

Fuzzy in cat bed

I already like the replacement as it is nice and firm to sit on (I use it when putting on my boots), and widens up the path between the front door and main part of the living room. Should last me a good long time, and hey, it's wood framed, can't get any better than that!

Posted by Bogie on August 31, 2014 at 04:31 PM in At Home | Permalink | Comments (4)

August 23, 2014

Not Plan A

I was not supposed to work on my bathroom this year. I had planned on getting to it in about 5 years (or sooner, but figured 5 years). It needs extensive work, the linolium is horrible, the plastic sheeting walls are ugly and show every patch, the sink is broken, and although the oversized shower is nice, I wanted to put in a tub. Unless I want to pay big bucks for a built-to-spec tub, I would have to rearrange the whole room; tear out the wall that is between the shower and toilet, move the door, place the tub where the vanity is, move the vanity to where the shower is etc.

Well, with the water damage to the ceiling, at least part of the plan has been moved up. My reasoning is that when they replace the ceiling with sheetrock (instead of the acoustic tile that was used on the whole house for the ceiling), that would end up covering up the side wall coverings. If I wait to do the side walls then I would end up damaging the new ceiling - not the optimum outcome.

Water damage above shower
Water damage above shower
Water damage above shower
Water damage above shower

So, I asked the roofing contractor to hold off on replacing the ceiling until I have removed the wall coverings. I started ripping out the bathroom walls this week (I had ripped out the exterior wall for the window instal and insulation project). Here are a few before pictures

Vanity - before

Above bath door - before
Above bath door - before

 More interesting things were found under the plastic sheeting.

Like the 3' x 8'  area of the wall between the shower and the toilet. It had, 17 pieces of various types of sheetrock, plus a piece of laminate behind the plastic wall.

Between shower and loo - before

Side wall of shower - 17 pcs

I couldn't get far enough back to get a picture of the whole wall, but trust me, there were 17 pieces, all nicely screwed in (at least that made it easier than nails). Se that bottom right corner? See the large patch of white? See that small strip of non-white between the floor and that patch of white> Well, that small strip was a separate piece of sheetrock, the white spot another, etc. etc.

Then the odd pieces of trim filling in around the shower enclosure.

Trim behind sheetrock by shower
Trim behind sheetrock by shower

Oh, and the beer can walled in above the doorway (Edgar Allen Poe anyone - LOL). My guess is that there were a whole lot more cans involved in the building of this house.

Beercan above bath door

I still have a couple places to tear out - mostly behind the vanity. However, I will probably try to just take out the top coupld of inches so I don't have to remove the medicine cabinet and light yet. I am thinking at the very least I can turn the sink 90 degrees so it's back is to the wall that is presently at its left. That will gain me enough room to actually open the door all the way (It now hits the center of the sink.

But, the end game is to get the ceiling up and enough sheetrock to protect the walls, without doing too much that will be ripped out later. So, that nice shower door project will have to wait. In fact it may never happen (means I have to get it back in its box and store it somewhere until I know for sure).

Ahh, boredom, at least, is not my enemy.

Posted by Bogie on August 23, 2014 at 07:21 AM | Permalink | Comments (5)

August 17, 2014

A Roof Over my Head

Last Monday, the roofers showed up and started stripping the roof. Surprise, surprise, there were two layers of shingles, so those companies that quoted as being able to lay the metal over the shingles (2 of the companies bidding), were full of it. Laying metal over one layer is okay, but it is a definite no-no to lay it over two (same with regular shingles).

Roof start

By Tuesday they had the roof totally stripped and the weather tight membrane in place. Good thing because Wednesday was a rainy day. In fact, there was a small issue with a leak that followed my vent pipe to the bathroom - I will be getting a new bathroom ceiling installed in the future (It wasn't horribel, but he did come right out and make some adjustments with the underlayment when I got home and discovered the issue).

Ceiling Damage in Bathroom

Thursday they were back to work and they finished up yesterday.

Roof Front
Roof Front
Roof Front

I am quite pleased with the results, and my selection of color (yeah, I know, after all the bitching I've done about the green paint in this house). I had originally thought to pick a color that would come close to matching the bay window trim. Then I thought that would be too light, so maybe go with a brown to match the top portion of the house. But when it came time to give him my selection, I typed out Forest Green in my email - glad I did!

We agreed upon a hold back for when he comes back to do the bathroom ceiling. He was willing to do it right away, but I want to get the rest of the walls at least partly stripped. My reasoning is that the sheetrock (I'm replacing the crappy soft tiling with sheetrock) will but up against the walls, so if I don't at least tear out the top portions, when I go to really do the bathroom, the ceiling would get damaged anyway. Yeah, because I was running out of projects - not.

Bathroom ceilin aside, I am quite pleased with the guys, and they were very responsive when I did have an issue. Hey, and they let the dog out at least once a day, so Prince didn't have any accidents while they were here :)

Posted by Bogie on August 17, 2014 at 06:48 AM in At Home, House Work | Permalink | Comments (3)

Window Decorations

Last weekend I happened to go out to the front yard when it was getting dark (I think I forgot to grab my mail). As I was coming back up the driveway, I looked up and saw something amazing.

I have a blanket hanging in the living room bay window until sheetrock is installed. The pattern is to the inside, and the side facing the outside is white. It looks that way all day long, but once it is dark, and I have the LR light on, transformation:

Continue reading "Window Decorations"

Posted by Bogie on August 17, 2014 at 06:33 AM in At Home | Permalink | Comments (2)

August 10, 2014

Would a Thimble Make You Nervous?

I have one exterior wall to finishup before I can have sheetrock put up. Yesterday, I tackled the job that had me nervous, but I had to complete before I could finish up the insulation and plastic installation; installing the thimble for the small pellet stove I got last spring for the upstairs.

Why did it make me nervouse? Because the stove is pretty much in place, so I would have to move it to have access to the inside portion of the wall. Because I had to cut thru the exterior wall. Because I had to use a sawzall, of which I have never used before. Because it was something that people would be able to easily see if I messed up badly. Because there would be no re-dos. Because it was something that was not related to anything I had ever done before. Becuase there is a shortage of how-to videos on the interwebz (the few on there involve cutting thru concrete, or completely skip the step of cutting thru siding). And becaues this had to be placed just right to go between two specific studs, that were exactly the right distance apart to just fit it in there, but the majority of work would be on the outside.

Here is the stove as it sat in May, on the left side of the picture:

Small Pellet Stove

I had previously asked EX to help me with it, and he agreed. Unfortunately he has had to work the last several weekends, and at this point, this was the only thing holding me up (ok, I could have worked on the bathroom, but that also has issues that I need a hand with).

Another issue with this particualr thimble is that it has two holes; one for the outlet pipe, and one for the fresh air intake. The large hole for the outlet is the part that is centered between the studs. I got the stove moved enough that I had a little space to work. Then I set up the pipe from the stove, so I would know where the thimble should be placed. I traced the outline to the outlet hole on the plywood with a Sharpie marker, then drilled  a pilot hole in the center of that circle. The pilot hole was really a location marker so I could tell where I needed to work on the outside.

Then I went outside, placed the thimble against the siding and traced the placement of both holes on the siding. In the picture, I had already enlarged the hoile to accept thte drill bit for guiding the 2" hole saw.

Pilot Hole for thimble cut

This gave me enough room to get the sawzall blade in and have room to work.

2 Inch hole

I used the sawzall to cut the hole to roughly the size I needed, then used an oscillating tool to do the precision work. It didn't matter so much on the siding, but I wanted the plywood hole to be just barely big enough for the thimble flange. After that, I cut the small hole with the 2" saw bit, and enlarged it to guide the corrogated flexible air inlet hose into the house.

Once I had the holes all set, I turned to cutting out the siding so the thimble base would sit flush with the siding. I put it in place, then traced the outline with a utilitiy knife. Then I used my oscillating tool to cut thru the siding, but not into the plywood underneath. this was the work that had me really nervouse as a major mistake here would be readily apparent.

However, after taking my time and many dry fits, the thimble was finally in place.

Outside thimble installed

i wish I had taken more pictures, but as it was it took me about 5 hours to do a very simple job. But, I got thru it with a slow and carful pace without making any major errors, so I am happy with the results. Now I just need sheetrock so I can install the inside portion.

Thimble inside
Thimble inside

I will also have to caulk around the outside, but that is an easy project that will get done when I do some other outside caulking. I can finish up the insulation and platic install on this wall, which will take place next weekend.

Posted by Bogie on August 10, 2014 at 07:03 AM in House Work | Permalink | Comments (5)

August 08, 2014

Hand Sign Singalong

For Cop Car, who should appreciate I'm pretty sure is a fan of the movie and song.

Originally shared by a FB friend, but I had to go find it on HuffPost to one of their posts to find the youtube video (couldn't find it thru Google - my Google-fu was not strong this evening)..

Posted by Bogie on August 8, 2014 at 06:23 PM in Music | Permalink | Comments (3)

August 03, 2014

Great Stuff and Crappy Stuff

My goal last weekend was to get the office wall and long wall of the craft room plasticed - mission accomplished:

Plastic CR - back
Plastic CR - back

I got absolutely nothing done during the week, unless EX coming over to bolt down my long gun safe to the basement floor counts :)

Unfortunately, this weekend is commited to getting a whole lot of little stuff done, so I'm not going to get much sense of accomplishment; I've already replaced the minimum fiberglass batting insulation over the livingroom bay window and door with foamboard, sprayed foam around the front door frame and the window in the bathroom, given all the front windows 2 coats of polyeurathane, and taped the joining edges in the plastic to the BR and CR.

I also spray foamed around the frame to the door to the garage that was put in last winter. Unfortunately, I used a different type of foam than I did for the front door (although one supposedly for windows and doors, that wouldn't put pressure on the frame), and now the basement door sticks badly. I'll have to figure out how to dig the foam out, but it really ticks me off and will tell you NEVER use Touch-n-Foam No Warp! Only use Great Stuff brand Window and Door as that worked well for the front door even though I over filled it (heck, the basement door frame gap is only half filled and the TNG stuff still turned a nicely working door into a barely useabe door)

Here is the note I sent to the TNG makers thru their website, "I am extremely disappointed in your "No Warp" window and door. It turned a nicely functioning door into a barely functioning door. I would have understood if I overfilled the gap, but the gap is only filled half way. I used a competitors formula on another door, way overfilled the gap, and the door is still working nicely. Now I have to figure out how to get your stuff out from around the door frame so I can actually get the door to close without slamming it so hard that it shakes the whole house."

The only reason I switched to the TNG stuff was that is what our local hardware store carried - I got the Great Stuff from one of the big box stores. Guess I learned a lesson the hard way.

Posted by Bogie on August 3, 2014 at 06:55 AM in House Work | Permalink | Comments (5)

July 27, 2014

Break Time

I took a long break from working on the house yesterday; 2 hours of mowing then 2 hours of cleaning up my bike. This pic was taken after washing, but before "polishing" with Bug Slide (not a true polish, just a spray-on protectant that keeps grime from sticking too badly).

Cleaned bike 7-26-14

The bike hadn't been washed since I picked it up from storage in the spring. As much rain and wet roads as I have ridden on, it was filthy and needed a bath. Add to that the lovely day (low 80's and lo humidity), and I decided I couldn't stay inside all day - expecially since today is supposed to be rainy / stormy so I wouldn't get the chance to get outside if my house work goes more quickly than I expect.

And, as a finale, I actually got a picture of Tory.

Tory on deck

He doesn't venture out the door much, and when he does, he sticks close to the door, but he does like to survey the backyard every once in a while.

Posted by Bogie on July 27, 2014 at 08:04 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)