3 steps of renovation

I have 3 pictures of the livingroom wall that show the progress of our restoration of the wall the first is when we had our second walk-through at purchase.

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The second is after we took the paneling off.

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The third is after we finished repairing the plaster and have the fireplace finished.

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This is an older house so the walls are all lath and plaster rather than “gyprock” drywall wallboard that would be in new construction. Plaster is cement based somewhat like the stucco you have on exterior walls. The problem with this is that if you put a nail in the wall through the plaster it will often chip and crack and you end up with a piece falling out so you have to be carefull. When repairing it is a more complex process than with drywall. We are very happy with the result. The next step in this room will be painting. Before that happens we will refinish a couple of other rooms. The work is ongoing.

 

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Winter continues

It is now almost the middle of January and we still have snow. Usually we get snow in December and after a day it goes away then we will get periodic snowfalls that stay for a few days and then the snow disappears. This year we had snow in December and it has stayed with us. There have been a few days when it warmed up and most of the snow went away and I started to think about spring and then it would snow again and we would be back where we started or worse as it is starting to accumulate. On the bright side the yard does look very pretty. The rest of my life is still moving along nicely. We have moved the restoration from the living room to the dining room. When we took the paneling off the wall we discovered that the door to the kitchen used to be another double french door now it is a sliding pocket door. we will have to decide should we restore the french door which would make more light but reduce the wall space in kitchen and dining room or keep the pocket door but change the style to match the french doors. the second option is what we will probably go with. This wall will be more work but easier than the living room wall that was a lot of filling and sanding. Our restorations are a slow process we often get sidetracked with other things in our lives and our visitors just have to overlook the things that are unfinished.  Eventually it will be all done and then what will we do?20180112_164755

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for some reason the last picture turned out darker than I thought. notice the cat asleep in the window. that is now one of their favorite places since I put the bird feeder outside the window.  20180113_113605

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the first week is over

I have had the whole week off of work so it has been a kind of lazy relaxing week. I have mixed feelings about going back to work, on one hand I am enjoying the slow start to the mornings and not having anything special scheduled for the day, on the other hand I miss the routine and having a reason to get going in the morning . The Fire dept. is off to a busy start with 4 calls in the first week, nothing serious. The weather is a mixed bag the temperature is right around freezing so there has been some thawing and then freezing. the snow is gradually leaving. Yesterday I felt sorry for the birds so went out and bought a bird feeder and a pole to hang it on. The metal pole and hook is very sturdy so I think I will get another. They are supposed to be pounded into the ground but right now it is frozen so that part didn’t work too well but I can see when the ground is soft the hanger is going to be very good. I also happened to see a remote thermometer that was on sale so I got that as well . I had been looking at them on-line in the morning and thought it would be good to know the outside temp. and then saw this on sale at the store. The thermometer reads inside and outside temp. Today is a typical quiet Sunday. I was watching some motorcycle travel videos to get myself in the mood for travel which will have to wait untill spring. For the past 3 years I have ridden my motorcycle every month of the year up untill now and now I missed December and it looks like I may miss January as well

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A fresh start

I have decided to try some new things this year. I wanted to do something different so I am starting small. I decided to wear my watch on my right hand instead of my left. I did this just to do something different, a couple of years ago a decided that for that year I would not wear a watch, that actually lasted a couple of years so this year it is just a switch. As I always say I want to post more on my blog we will see how I do with that one. I watch a lot of you tube vlogs and I would like to post more videos however that entails me doing more riding which I guess is another thing I want to accomplish this year. There are so many projects around the house that I want to get done I don’t know how I am going to fit everything in and still live in the slow lane. I am happy with this slow lifestyle and don’t want to get into a place where I am constantly rushing from one thing to the next.

My life is not without struggles but I like to focus on the positive things in my life not the negative although some of the things that go wrong are more hilarious than the things that go right the first time, at least when you look back at them.

For example when we were preparing the livingroom fireplace  for the insert we had to find a way to run a gas line from the basement up to the fireplace. My idea was to run the line up the ash clean out that ran from the fireplace to the basement. I don’t think it had been cleaned for many years and was jammed with fine ash that had to be chipped out by me getting into the fireplace and using a poker to poke down the cleanout that was in the floor of the fireplace. This cleanout is a hole 6 inches by 12 inches at the back of the fireplace it goes down about 8 feet into the basement where there is a horizontal tunnel about 2 feet long and 8 inches square that goes from one basement wall to the base of the chimney. The idea is after you have had a fire you sweep the ashes into the cleanout where they drop to the base where you then scrape them out with a little scoop. This is a great idea as long as you clean it out but if you let it accumulate untill it is full and then pack some more in and maybe a splash of water to clean the fireplace or maybe some water comes down the chimney the result is close to concrete. Needless to say this was a difficult job and I had a great idea of using my shop vac. to suck the ash up as I chipped my way down which actually worked fantastic untill something, a piece of ash or a nail ,something sharp poked a hole in the vacuum bag. I was working on my hands and knees with my head and shoulders in the fireplace and I had to take a break when I turned around I couldn’t see anything,  the ash I had been vacuuming up for the last 10 minutes had gone into the vacuum and back out and was now a cloud covering everything, walls, furniture, the brand new drapes my wife had just hung that morning.

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to say we were not happy campers might be an understatement. After several cleanups and the passage of time this is now hilarious to look back on our reactions to what some would consider a disaster. We did get back to cleaning the clean out and got our gas line in and the fireplace working just like we had wanted. I am sure we will have more adventures in the coming year and eventually we will look back and laugh. I hope everyone can look back  at the events in their lives and say well it’s funny now.

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2017 review

My third attempt

the first big event of the year was my appointment as Fire Chief and being awarded a medal for 25 years serviceBob Graham medal-2

our next event was the purchase of our new house and the ongoing restoration process20170325_111808our restoration started with the pool being changed to saltwater and the pump and filter being changed and a solar cover being added.20170702_190407 the restoration included a new septic system, and inside the removal of some paneling and the installation of a new gas furnace and gas fireplace inserts.20171221_095354

20171206_161819the work continues with lots to do both inside and out. I have been busy all year with the fire dept. flooding in the spring and grass fires in the summer. now we are ending the year with snow. One of the very few things on my list of things to do this past year that didn’t get done was an extended motorcycle trip, it seemed that life just got too busy to get away. Now I am looking forward to a new year.

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Christmas time

There has been lots happening since the last time I posted I did try about a week ago but the post got lost somewhere and I just got too busy to redo it. The fire dept has been busy with our regular duties and also with some special events, we had our annual drive through breakfast which was as usual a great success. Now we are busy every night from the 18 to the 23 with our Christmas fire truck where we go around to different parts of town each night with the lighted trucks and Christmas music and Santa giving out candy. This is now a town tradition that the whole community looks forward to. We started the month with the town light up and fireworks now we are driving around the town. It is looking a lot like Christmas now that we have some snow on the ground. santa-2-lightssanta-1-lights-1044x150020171219_091255

We finally have both of our fireplaces complete and working they look and work great they add so much to our rooms it is really enjoyable . This is the living room fireplace.20171221_095354.jpg

the door molding will go up today then this room will be almost finished except for a new coat of paint which will happen in the new year

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this is the one in the den just after it was installed before we cleaned the mess that was left after installing it. We got a little more snow overnight and this is my last day of schoolbussing for the year now it is time to relax and enjoy the season

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just for me

I usually write this for myself as it is an easy way to check back to remember what was going on at a particular time several years ago. I do keep a journal but sometimes it is easier to look for pictures here. like when was the first snowfall of the year or what did I dress up as on Halloween . occasionally unsuspecting people find the site which is ok but it is really not the first reason for writing . To day we put up our Christmas tree , this is really early for us but this year we bought an artificial tree. We spent a lot on this tree but it looks like a real tree and has lights already on. so it is up with lights on and the cats havent really tried to attack it. they all have layed on the cloth skirt underneath but that is all they wanted to do. perhaps it was because they caught a mouse ,yes a real live mouse in the house but the brave hunters that they are they caught it and took turns playing with it (terrorizing it) untill it managed to escape under the stove and find a hole in the floor. Life is good for everyone I have a story, the cats have a story something to dream about ,and the mouse can go back to its family with an adventure story to tell.

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