March 12, 2017
A Little Wind
We have had a very cold and windy March. Last weekend the highs were in the teens with single digit lows. The wind was also atrocious. I came home one evening, looked out the kitchen window and saw that something was missing
Upon opening the back door, I found it
On the bright side, several times I have thought about replacing it with a more decorative, less utilitarian design. The plastic cover was yellowed from age and it was exactly the most accurate thermometer. On the other hand, it worked, and I just used the temp reading as a general guide so couldn't justify replacing it. Now I have the excuse, just need to find one of the same general size that isn't utilitarian looking - a tougher prospect than I thought. Oh sure, I can find nice designs in larger or smaller specimens, but that particular size (which is perfect; not too big, but large enough for me to see without straining), seems to only come with the featureless white face. Granted, I have only hit several local hardware stores as well as home and garden stores, and I'm sure I can find something online, I just didn't think it would be a time consuming endeavor.
Although we had somewhat of a warm up during the past week, this weekend is much the same as last; single digit lows (5* right now - warmer than yesterday morning) and teens for the highs - with brutal winds. The forecast for Tuesday and Wednesday is for a Nor'easter with snow totals at this point projected to be 8-16" (depending on final trajectory). I blame the storm on my plans to pick up the bike at the end of the week. Guess that isn't going to happen.
It seems as if Mother Nature is realizing she pretty much skipped February and is making up for it.
March 04, 2017
Getting Ready to Roll
for bike season. Last Sunday I conditioned my leathers. My chaps are fairly new so conditioning them don't make them visually different. My vest, although only perhaps 7-8 years old is very weather worn, and has lots of cracking, especially on the back. However, it has held its black color well and with all the patches and pins no one notices anyway.
My Jacket however is somewhere between 16 and 20 years old. It has seen a lot of rain, a lot of heavy, driving rain, a lot of cold, a lot of brutal sun, and even some hail (on 3 occasions that immediately come to mind). Added to that is it gets stuffed into saddlebags when I've gotten warm enough, so it actually bakes in there. It is made of very heavy leather; I had to buy a man's jacket to get that heavy of leather, so it has worn pretty well thru the years. However, it does turn from black to a brown by the end of the season. So, when I condition it, the change is quite noticeable.
Ready to roll! Except, that the brutal cold that wasn't very evident in February has made a March appearance (high of 15* today - with full sun), so I won't be using it very soon. Still, nice to know it is ready at a moment's notice.
February 26, 2017
We usually have a thfebruary thaw, but this past week was just gorgeous! Many days were in the 50's or 60's and all of our larger cities experienced record breaking warmth Wednesday thru Friday. Despite all the warm weather, I still have a good snow pack although the iced up paths are now clear and have gotten wider. These pictures were taken yesterday morning.
Last night we had rain, and coupled with temps in the 40's there was more meltage. However, a cold front went thru last night, behind the rain, so we'll see what future systems do for the white stuf.
A Place to Hang My Hat
I have been planning on creating an area where I could keep the coats/jackets sweaters appropriate for the season so they aren't all hanging on a chair in the office, or in the office closet. I also wanted an area to hold my commonly used shoes, and where I could sit to put them on instead of the couch or living room chair where I had the coffee table in the way.
Last month I did a lot of internet trolling and found a bench I liked with the bonus that it had baskets to hold my hats, scarves and gloves. These were held in the magazine rack of an end table that had been left in the house when I bought it. This is the bench I bought. It came as a kit and I put it together (picture doesn't show baskets installed below the sitting area).
I moved the drop-leaf table beside Birdie's cage and on which I had fed Fuzzy his canned food; Rita can't make the jump so I had been feeding her on the floor anyway, so I moved all the cat feeding stations to floor level. I have used the bench for several weeks in that spot to make sure it was where I wanted it. I Last week I decided to put up the coat rack that Cop Car and her HH had given the Ex and me long ago.
I really like the way the set up looks and it is very handy and much more convenient..
February 18, 2017
10 Days and 2 Nor'easters Later
Three weeks ago, although there was snow on the ground, there was only 5-6" of hard packed and frozen snow. That has changed a bit as since just before Valentine's weekend we have had 2 Nor'easters and several snow storms. These pictures were taken Valentine's day after I had cleaned up after a storm.
The day before Valentine's Day, I constructed a snow break for the back porch as the snow hadn't dumped off the roof, and we were expecting another 12-18" that night into Monday. When large amounts of snow dump it literally keeps me from being able to open the back door, so I wanted to mitigate that. The snow break as built using a couple of rail planter boxes as the base, two 2x4's, two 2x2's and a couple of pieces of plywood. Total $ spent = $0
This picture was taken the next day after a mall snow storm. The little bit of snow under the snow break was wind-driven and was taken after the small slideage shown in the following picture. I was well please on the results even after the Nor'easter the next day.
The snow dumped on the ramp was just a small slidage of a couple of sectionsthe morning of the 14th. A big dump will leave 6-12" (or more) of hard packed snow most of the way across the ramp.
Today we had a nice sunny day and it got up to 53*. I was out in a t-shirt shoveling, breaking up ice and moving berms.
I shoveled the berm away from the ramp.
Cleared off most of the snow from the top of the pellet pile. I used the snow shovel to scrape off the snow. I could have gotten the roof rake out to clear off the middle, but decided this was good enough for now.
I cleared the roof dumpage berm as well as I could from in front of the Propane tanks. Tomorrow I will see if I can get more out of there as they should be delivering next week.
I had to shovel out along the path on the other side of the house as apparently the roof dump had been pushed by the wind and completely filled in the area I had snow blown. I also shoveled a lot of snow drifts gathered at the sides of some of the paths that had been cleared.
While out there, I looked up in the willow tree to see if it had limbs hanging off. No limbs, but I was amazed that the gale-force winds we had sustained for a couple of days hadn't taken this down
That is a large nest. I don't know if it is a squirrel nest (I have a group of 3 sibling squirrels that run around here, as well as another lone squirrel that sneaks in when possible) or a bird's nest.
I probably got sunburned, but it was great getting out in the sunny, pleasant weather.
January 28, 2017
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.
I got an unfinished trim piece that has leaf/vine pattern
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.
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 :)
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.
January 22, 2017
Winter Storage Party 2017
My dealer had its Winter Storage Party yesterday so I got to visit the bike. This year she was on the ground row just inside the door between Service and the storage area so she was easy to find.
At the end of the party they pull tickets for door prizes. I was the first winner and got a drag Specialty sweatshirt. That is cool, I had no sweatshirts related to bikes. Now I can wear it instead of Iditarod sweatshirts to HOG meetings.
Speaking of HOG, only a couple of members were there this year and only one other LOH member attended. A lot of HOG members don't store their bike at the dealer, but I was surprised that several that are at the party every year chose another activity. After all, the big door prize is for a $400 gift certificate, so that is much coveted. However, there was also an outing scheduled for the Ice Castles up in Lincoln, NH so they all probably went to that event. Unfortunately the original date for that activity was scheduled for last weekend, the same evening as the Patriot's play-off game, so they moved the Ice Castle outing to yesterday.
It was good to see the bike and sit on her for a minute or two, plus get out and do something other than regular trips to the grocery store or Big Box Home Improvement stores (which I did do before the 2 hours I was at the WSP). Next month HOG & LOH meetings start back up after a 2 month hiatus so I have those to look forward to to pull me out of the house for a couple of hours a month.
January 14, 2017
Before Christmas, one of the NH members of a pellet stove forum I belong to was discussing that he needed to install a second stove as his current stove is too small for all of his heating needs. He was also talking about having to wait until he got the funds for exhaust pipe (it is rather expensive and comes in very short sections so you have to buy lots of individual pieces). This is a guy that lives about 15 miles away and I met for the first time when I posted asking for a helping hand to pick up the P43 the spring of 2015. Despite having no knowledge of me (he was a new member to the forum), he volunteered his time and equipment (dolly, straps etc).
I have never forgotten his jumping in to help, so I let him know that I had some pipe left over from my installs. Some new, some used (it came with a used stove), some connections I thought I would need but didn't. He was welcome to it if he wanted it. after all, it gets tiresome moving it around the basement to get it out of my way. Oh, and if he wanted the pipe, he could help me move something while he was here :0
Today he made it over here - and he brought presents (5.5 bags of pellets of different brands - any pellet head will appreciate that!)
Then he helped me swap the "old" vanity counter - old being the original 48.5" counter
For the longer, 55.5" counter that I decided would go better. If you look at the shadows, you can see a 7" space between the counter and the wall. The new counter spans the entire width - even after I moved the cabinets over towards the door so that the left-hand cabinet door wouldn't bang into the wall that juts out.
Oh, and Cop Car - please notice I got the door trim up too (I had removed it for when I did the mudding/painting of the ceiling and left it off until the counter was in).
I offered the "old" counter to the forum member. It had never been plumbed in, just used as a base covering, so was still in new condition. He gladly accepted as his wife has been bugging him to put another bathroom in the house (which I knew from forum chats, so the offer wasn't a stab in the dark). I was happy it and the exhaust parts were going to someone in need, who is a good guy - and I'm sure his wife is lovely too, and someone I "know" thru the pellet forum.
So, now I just have to see if the plumber I used for installing the tub is still doing side work so I can get the vanity plumbed in and then make a final decision on flooring to finish the bathroom off. And, bonus, that big honking 65"W x 30"W x 20"T box that held the counter is out of the basement as well as two smaller boxes of pipe is gone.
I'm making progress!
January 07, 2017
Living Room Bay Window Complete
Cop Car and her HH don't know what they got me for Christmas, so now they get to find out :)
After getting the window trim done my "curtains" in the living room bay window looked rather, should I say, Trailer Trash-ish. The previous curtains, that had come with the house were sheer lace, so for a while I had a blanket up there to keep out the sun in summer and cold in winter. Then I had new windows put in in 2014 and I didn't want to put holes in the wall, and having left over foam board from insulating the basement, I used those in that window. I was looking online for a nice curtain rod and ran into a nice traverse set up which I ordered just before Christmas and came in about a week ago. I have also been looking at lined curtains but needed slightly longer than the normal 63-65" that are common, but shorter than the 86" that are common for drapes. I finally found some I liked that came in 72" and they were waiting on my doorstep yesterday when I got home.
So, I got to work and finally got the traverse rod up - I was nervous at getting it in the right place so the curtains dropped to just at the bottom of the bottom of the window trim. But I also didn't want them lower because they would mess up the FHW baseboard heat if that was used.
Then I put up the curtains (yes, they are rather wrinkled). They are a nice, deep navy blue with a satin sheen - almost too upscale for my house
But the cool part is this
Yep, remote controlled. That way I don't have to get behind the furniture to open / close the curtains.
January 01, 2017
I got the office windows trimmed today. Took forever because they are side-by-side so I had to figure out how to work with the common side. So here is the finished* product.
*Finished as in there is only one piece of trim missing; the left side of the right hand window. Of course I didn't have 51.5" left of on outside corner (at least not the size that worked). That is why that piece of cove is leaning on the window - waiting for its companion piece before it can be installed.