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Sunday, October 28, 2012

Organizing and Framing Up

So, between shopping for a car, fixing hydraulic leaks on the new (used) tractor, working, and entertaining visitors, I've not accomplished much around the house until this past week.  But it's coming along again. 

I managed to clean all the rain gutters.  I assume this was the first time they've been cleaned since I found roofing nails and bits of shingles in them.  I also repaired a seam in one of the rain gutters that was dripping onto the deck and ruining the eave.

I had a 5KW garage heater installed, because we store canned goods in the garage, and I'm not sure how well the garage refrigerator would work when the ambient temperature got lower than the temperature I want my food kept at.  So I set the thermostat for forty degrees.  I hope that works out!

And lately I have been (finally) trying to get the shop a little bit more organized.  It's a huge process, because half of what's in the shop either doesn't belong there, or needs some storage.  However I have made a start!  I wanted to begin by setting up my workbench and organizing the tools somewhat.


For the record, I am NOT a fan of pimped-out, polished diamond deck cabinets for my crap.  I think that's a relic of the housing boom easy-money years.  I'm miffed that I can no longer buy cheapie cabinets like these - just eye candy that costs 10 times as much.  Thanks a lot, you Martha Stewart shop rats.
Lastly, there is a big 15x30 foot room in the basement that we are having finished.  The exterior walls were not framed, so that is in progress.  After the electrician addes a few outlets to these new frames, the drywall can go on.  

 This will be a storage/exercise room after we have it completed.  I would have tackled this job myself, since I think I have the skills to get it done.  However, between work and the holidays, we would be halfway through 2013 before I would have managed to get it completed.  Instead, I hired the job out, so it will be completed in another week.
We want to paint the new walls, coat the floor with an epoxy, and add baseboards like so... 
...and then FINALLY get all these boxes out of the garage!  Ugh!

September-October Update, Part 2

The summer and fall seasons here, like much of the nation, were very very dry.   Up here in the forest, drought has more serious consequences than a lost crop.  If the dry forest catches fire, it can easily burn your home to the ground. 

In fact, there were a couple of nasty lighning-sparked forest fires upwind of us in the Okanagan and Cascades.  Most of the summer was miserable with smoke from fires over 200 miles away from us!  Nasty air...

Because of the drought, I became worried enough about how close several trees were to the house.  The recommendation is to clear trees for 30 feet, and to thin them out to 100 feet.  So I got going with the chainsaw.  I now need to re-sharpen the chain and remove the fallen trees.
We grew a tomato plant this summer from a small seedling.  It grew a lot of tomatoes, but they weren't ripening quickly enough to get any before the first frost would arrive.  We put the plant on a roller cart and started bringing it into the garage each night.  As a result, it was able to provide us with some wonderfully tasty tomatoes, and it still has a few ripening up!
Autumn arrived, and the fall colors have been beautiful.  I haven't had the opportunity to stop and take a picture of any of the aspen groves around here, but I did take a couple of the tamarack pines on the property.  I never knew any pine trees turned yellow and lost their leaves...

September-October Update, Part 1

I see it's been a while since I've posted anything here.  It's not that there isn't anything to post, but that life has been a bit full lately!

One of the big items we had to take care of recently was getting a new car for Corie.  She has never driven in the snow in her life, and I felt the need to get her an All Wheel Drive (AWD) vehicle before we get snow that sticks.  In addition, the old Explorer was having some issues that would be expensive to correct.  The differential was howling, and a damper inside the dash had come loose from its hinge.  The damper didn't reliably direct hot air onto the windshield, so the defroster would become a huge issue in the winter.

So we spent a lot of my days off in September and October test-driving new cars.  We also spent a great deal of time researching.  We test drove a Kia Sportage and Sorento, Ford Edge and Explorer, a Honda CR-V and Pilot, a Mazda CX-9, and a Dodge Durango.  We were almost ready to buy a Durango, when Corie spotted a Dodge Journey.

The Durango is a little bigger and taller, and felt a bit beefier.  However, it was based on a truck chassis and therefore was heavy and needed a larger engine.  We decided on the Journey over the Durango, primarily because of its better mileage and lower price.  Otherwise they were quite similar.

The dealership was trying to get rid of their last 2012 models, and so we got a great deal on a loaded R/T model.  It has way more gadgetry than any car I've ever owned, and it's the first new vehicle I've ever owned.   All the functions are accessed from a touch screen, which I find distracting.  On the bright side, it has a slot for a thumb drive, so you can play your own music. 

I'ts not a color I would have picked out, given more choices (metal flake black, LOL), but it works.  Life is full of compromises :)