Thursday, May 31, 2007

Hot Day

The triangles on the upper east and west walls are covered with the left-over reclaimed Douglas fir tongue and groove. These spaces were originally scheduled for wallboard, but we like wood!

The west side gets covered with finish siding. The tall evergreens provide good shade for this part of the structure, but make working on the scaffold difficult.
Tad is moving the table saw, and carpenter Kris Frisbee tackles the siding in the sun on the south side. It is warm and humid today making unpleasant working conditions. We were supposed to get dry-wallers today, but they are held up on another job and will not be here until next week.

Here's a nice clump of iris in the horse pasture, as seen through the fence. They were moved there inadvertantly several years ago in a hill leveling operation and have not only survived, but prospered!
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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Lots of activity

The dry wall arrives, and the installers are due tomorrow. At the bottom of the picture, the air conditioners are being worked on.

Kris and Chris work on fitting cut pieces into the triangles, while Tad and electrician Brett hard wire a smoke detector for the new room.

Two Betlam men work on reconnecting the air-conditioning units for the house, while the roof man hooks up lines to the air handlers on the inside of the building. Air conditioning for the new studio will be installed later.

Marcia begins the process of filling the various planters that we use on the deck. She also carried water to our tomato and pepper plants, planted the basil and parsley, and used the hose to soak three new blue spruce trees near the house -- A very busy day!
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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Another work day

Tad and electrician Brett Briendiscuss the new sub-panel electrical box in the celler. The air-conditioning units will be reinstalled on Wednesday, and the new electric lines need to be ready. The blue cables at right are computer connections for Marcia's new office space.

Carpenters Kris and Chris put down their hammers and grabbed shovels to move stone. The air-conditioner compressors will be placed in this alcove. Chris on the left is celebrating his birthday today.

The reclaimed Douglas fir tongue and groove serves as a wall extension. Framing for the windows will complete the interior north side. We have enough lumber to fill in the triangles at the upper left of the picture, and the carpenters will do so tomorrow.

The completed ceiling emerges. The large trusses will be sanded, cleaned and oiled to complete the overhead view. The upper portion of the wall at the back of the picture will be finished in reclaimed Douglas fir tongue and groove to match the ceiling.
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Monday, May 28, 2007

Memorial Day

The end of May marks the "safe" starting date for vegetable planting in our area. The danger of a killing frost is behind us. Pictured are tomato plants and sweet peppers. We will also plant some string beans and ornamental gourds along with summer squash.

Here Bill digs holes for tomato and pepper plants. We planted 60 tomato plants and 24 peppers. Each year we plan to cut back on numbers, but never seem to follow through. Part of it is habit and old patterns, but perhaps a contributing factor is the unconscious mind saying that doing less is a sign of mortality and weakening strength and resolve. We will have to re-read Freud and see what he thinks, although even the "old master" admitted he didn't fully understand the death wish!

Marcia is setting in the plants. The ground is very dry, and we'll have to water if we don't get rain in the next couple of days. The onion plants behind Marcia are off to a good start.

The varigated euonymous makes a nice hedge row along the fence to our formal perennial garden. Although susceptible to disease (scale), these plants have done well. In the front of the plants is the remainder of an old asparagas bed which is no longer producing. It needs work and replanting. We'll see!
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Sunday, May 27, 2007

Siding progress

The alcove connecting the "new" and the "old" takes shape. This area will also be home to the air-conditioning units. The three yellow electrical wire feeds are visable along with an equally yellow extension cord draped over the roof.
Inspector Suki sharpens her claws on the tree stump near the new addition. We continue to try to teach her the difference between scratching outside objects (OK) and inside furniture (No,No). She is learning --except when she wants to go outside in a hurry and no one is responding to her request!
A nice Siberian spruce stands in sentinel position at the entrance to our garage and on the path to the front door. Our landscaping is somewhat partial to pyramidal shapes!

Saturday, May 26, 2007


The siding is underway. The material used is a fiber-cement product that has become commonly used. It is purported to be rot proof, insect proof, fire retardant, and low maintenance. We'll see....

Tad is replacing siding on the west side of our existing structure. Here he is painting a primer coat before nailing. He wisely is careful to protect his hearing while sawing and using the air nailer.

Wild and wonderful wisteria. This plant thrives on benign neglect, flowers only when it chooses, and devours the supporting structure. We placed it several years ago on our gazebo as an adornment. It now rules the space.

Our friend, Monica, informs us that our unknown beauty is a Brunnera Jack Frost. She learned this from Bob Sittig @ Birchcrest Tree & Landscape in Webster.

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Friday, May 25, 2007

Ceiling installation

The ceiling, of oiled reclaimed Douglas fir tongue and groove, is installed. The carpenters select and determine the random pattern as they proceed.

A completed corner. If you click on the picture, you will get a close-up and discover that this is Marcia's corner office space. This will be her overhead view.

This is the scaffolding that supported the carpenters as they progressed "up" the ceiling (9 feet at the lowest point, 16 feet at the highest).

Of all the spring flowering plants, it's hard to top the azalea. It personifies the languid warm southern days and makes it easy to imagine sitting on a Georgia porch, armed with a gin and tonic, and reminiscing about the good old days.

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Thursday, May 24, 2007

Tongue and Groove

The outdoor roof overhang tongue and groove is indeed cedar planks from good old Kettle Falls, Washington. Painter Jim recommends that we add a coat of anti-weathering, mildew resistant finish. Sounds like a good idea!

Here the warm sun dries the oil finish on the interior ceiling reclaimed Douglas fir tongue and groove. The clear skies and warm temperatures made this step in the process quick and easy.

Jim is applying the oil finish. He is using a roller to apply oil to the edges and will use a brush to cover the surface of each 10-foot board.

The completed stack of ceiling lumber awaits installation. There are 4-, 6-, and 8-inch widths, and they will be applied in a random pattern. We look forward to the completed ceiling!
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Wednesday, May 23, 2007


The windows arrived earlier than expected. One of the south window units is shown. Let's hope they fit the newly framed openings!

The northern windows come in 3 units of 3 small windows. They are fixed in the closed position, and here Kris and Tad lift the center unit into place.

One of the south window units has been shimmed, leveled, and is being nailed in place. The center unit is fixed, and each side opens with screens to allow air circulation.

The south side windows are complete (including the frosted bathroom glass window at right). In the foreground, you can see oil-treated reclaimed Douglas fir on the left and the untreated ceiling tongue and groove on the right. The door for the south side is on order. The original unit was incorrectly assembled with the door hinged on the side instead of in the center as we requested.

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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Tongue and Groove

There was no activity yesterday, and we did not post a blog entry. Can you ever forgive us?
The outside roof extension receives its tongue and groove installation. The wood has a clear finish, and we may add another coat.

The lumber for the remaining exterior tongue and groove was delivered yesterday. We plan on letting this part of the finish to age without paint. If we don't like the look in the future, we can always add treatment. The white boards in the picture are cement board for the siding.

Inspector Suki takes a well-deserved break from her daily schedule as she languishes under a Japanese maple in the front yard. She assures us she will spring into action if her services are needed.

Tad delivers the interior ceiling tongue and groove by crane. He estimates we have a "short" ton of 10-foot planks. Jim Deacon, our long-time painter friend, will be here tomorrow to apply a finishing oil before installation.

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Sunday, May 20, 2007

After Burn Day

This is the remains of our burn pile 24 hours later. The partly consumed limbs and tree trunks will serve as the bottom layer for our fall event.

The perennial grass garden arises from its spring burn. These plants will soon be 6 to 8 feet tall and will create a spectacular tableau of varying colors and textures..

These are a stand of our everbearing raspberry plants. They will produce a continuous crop of red and yellow berries all the way through the first frost in October. They are very sweet.

Marcia is planting some lettuce seeds. The early warm weather of the past few summers has created difficult growing conditions for this crop, but one of the joys of gardening is eternal optimism.

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