With the nicer weather we are finally getting a little work done in the yard. Not that we can’t work in the rain. I just don’t want to.
First was to deal with the goofy soil available here. If you grew up in farming country it is not what you would call dirt. Very light weight with lots of compost in it. Maybe I should call it compostable material, because it has a way to go before I would compare it to the product coming out of my composter. The result is that the soil tends to disappear. Our garden beds probably sunk 8″ over that past two years. So, a couple yards of dirt to top up the beds so we can plant.
I also finally planted the apple trees we purchased a few weeks ago. These will fill up the orchard space and will likely be the last fruit trees we plant. Apples, crab apples, pears, peaches, cherries, sour cherries, haskaps, Saskatoon berry, and hazelnuts. Good list. Hopefully I get some produce this year instead of losing it to the raccoons.
Next up was to finish burying the bricks I bought to line the driveway by the lawn. I laid the first one 18 months ago. That’s embarrassing.
Of course you cannot only remove items from the list, you must also add new items. In this case we added a big one. Last month we scored several 8’x3′ double glazed glass panels and an assortment of single pane safety glass pieces for a ridiculously cheap price. They are currently stored behind the shed waiting to become a greenhouse. I hope to get onto this job in the summer. Seems like a good job to do during the summer shutdown when the fire department says no more using machinery.
With the weather getting nicer people are retiring to the great outdoors. For some the first thing they notice is the uneven ground they walk on as soon as the get out the door.
I finished two projects this week. First, new flag stone patio for Marshall. This is the same place we built the rock wall flower bed last year.
Very interesting stone here. It is chock full of mica and quartz so it is very sparkly in the sun. Does NOT behave though, had to use a saw to cut some pieces as they simply would not break clean.
Second project is re-levelling a patio stone sidewalk. This is an assumed job, as in I assumed it from someone else who disappeared part way through. I can guess why. The patio he laid on the other side of the house looks like a rollercoaster.
A buddy of mine just got a new”-ish” truck for his business and wanted to do some mods to it. First he wanted to swap his dump box from the old truck to the new one and refurbish the box. Over the years of dropping rocks into the box the floor was pretty much trashed.
Second, since the new truck is a cab over design the bed frame is quite a bit longer. He decided to use the extra frame to add a toolbox/mini excavator deck.
After a couple days in his yard we got pretty close to done.
Today is the first day we have had any accumulation of snow. Certainly not a lot, we had much more last year. Not a lot by other area’s standards either. But considering that we don’t see any that lasts more than 15 minutes on the ground some years it is always a nice thing to see.
I started a new project this week. I was asked by a lady to finish a repair to a home made kayak her husband started and was unable to finish before he fell ill.
He made two of these kayaks from plans in a 1986 Wooden Boat magazine article. They are made from door skin mahogany plywood. You can still find lots of these projects on the internet, usually titled as a skin on frame boat.
The task at hand is to replace the coaming. After that I think they both could use refinishing.
The deal is I get to use the workshop whenever I would like to in exchange for some handyman work and paying the hydro bill for the shop. Nice trade!
Painting over Christmas went well, with us finishing the kitchen, living room, dining room and bathroom. We are taking a small break before we start the hallway and the bedroom, probably in February.
In the meantime we have been looking for a shelving solution for the living room. Specifically we want something in the corner to hold a few books and decorative items. It is a small space; about three feet either side of the corner before the wall runs into the patio door on one side and a window on the other.
Kelly has developed a love for the Poul Cado Cadovius shelving/wall units. Unfortunately they are crazy expensive to buy and most are too large anyway. I have not seen one up close and personal but looking at images on the web I think the basic idea in fairly simple.
After a bit of paper noodling I think I know how to build a Cadovius inspired shelf . Here is what the real ones look like:
Here is a mock up from some scrap wood I had in the shed.
Obviously this crappy plywood and MDF trim is not what I would use, it’s just what I had handy. Even so I could exert 30+ pounds pressure and get a half inch bend in this sample shelf without splitting anything or having the metal rods pull out. Proof of concept verified!
Next is a trip to town to find some appropriate wood. Maybe Windsor Plywood will have something nice.
Over the past three or four weeks we have been receiving an average of three inches of rain each week. The average yearly rainfall here is 36 inches. The summers see very little precipitation. Most of it falls between October and May. Ten to twelve inches in a month is still twice the usual.
What we have not had is any snow. The last two winters we saw more than normal amounts of snow. This time last winter we had several inches of snow on the ground.
Hand in hand with the rain instead of snow theme is the temperature. Only three frost days so far, and wandering the yard the other day here is what I found for a New Year’s surprise.
I sit surrounded by toiletries. Yesterday we emptied the bathroom as the official kickoff of the whole house repainting project. By the time we are done, probably in early January, we will have painted all the rooms inside.
This is more of a decorating decision as opposed to a necessity. Some of the walls do have the odd ding and there are a few suspicious ‘I want to get my deposit back’ repairs done by one of the renters over the years. Personally I wish they would have left the repairs undone. I would have been less work for me to fix the ding then it will be to fix their attempt at a patch and paint.
We could easily finish the project sooner but the living room and dining room have wallpaper to remove and that is always a crap shoot. I once had to remove wallpaper from unpainted drywall. Lots of work, lots of patching. We are hosting Christmas supper this year and have decided to wait until after the supper before starting the wallpaper removal. We will paint these rooms in-between World Junior Hockey games.
We tried a new paint formulation for the bathroom. Benjamin Moore has a matte finish bathroom paint the store talked us into. Benjamin Moore is our favourite paint but I would have not normally used a matte finish.
First coat – looked like a primed wall Second coat – looked like a first coat Third coat – looked good and felt normal going on.
I do not usually need three coats on a wall. I am not sure if this is the paint or the wall. I am putting white over a colour but the regular Regal and Aura higher sheens cover better in my experience. I guess I will know soon enough as the bedrooms will be next and we will probably use a slightly higher sheen.