Saturday, December 31, 2011

A cord of wood

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Finally, we got around to getting some firewood. On craigslist it's difficult to tell who is selling well seasoned wood that will actually burn. As long as it's been cut for 6 months you can call it seasoned. Bob from Northford says his is seasoned for 2 years. It remains to be seen however, we got 1 cord of wood and the first few logs have been difficult to burn. At least this will keep us going for a couple of winters.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

31 weeks

Sophie is looking forward to the arrival of her little brother. In the mean time, he makes a good pillow.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Carolina on my mind

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This is the perfect time of year to visit South Carolina. We spent a week on Hilton Head island and the weather was bright and sunny. The beaches are much quieter now that the school year has started again. Not too many waves but some body boarding was attempted. The majority of our time was spent relaxing and enjoying some down time, good food and a few drinks. The non-alcoholic versions for Jen of course, she was the designated driver.
Savannah is just 45 minutes drive from the island. We spent a day walking around the city, which has a very southern feel to it. A tall ship was docked in the harbour as well as a large paddle boat.
It didn't take long for Jen to sniff out a chocolate shop. They make all these fancy treats on the premises. We did not walk out empty handed.
The Savannah Bee Company has a couple of stores in the city. They sell a whole range of honeys and various other bee related products. We sampled the honey and bought a couple of jars to bring home.
 Relaxing in the shade with our purchases.
Common in South Carolina, these gnarled trees are covered with Spanish moss and give the city a rather spooky feel.
Back on the island, we didn't always go to the beach. Some time was spent by the pool. Not too busy either.
Golf was the sport of choice on a couple of occasions. Mini golf to be precise. Here, Pat lines up a shot for the green, while Doug's ball is in the rough.
Using the full extent of the course, Doug tries for the hole.
The concentration is intense. Keep your eye on the target, and not on the ball.
Rory McIlroy has nothing on this guy. Perfect form.
Pat tries for another trick shot.Off the wall, through the gravel trap and onto the green. Look out for the water hazard.
This would have been the preferred mode of transport on the island but unfortunately there were none for rent. This machine was parked in Savannah.
Instead we opted for this - a bicycle made for two. It took a while to get used to, but then it was plain sailing. The guy at the rental place was quite right when he said it's like driving an 18 wheeler. It doesn't quite turn on a dime.
Others gave it a go too, and seem to have enjoyed it.
This was a quick shoot late one evening. We weren't the only ones though. A bride was having her wedding photos taken just behind us. There are alligators in that pond.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Cabinet, Cabinet on the wall...

Last weekend we worked on getting the wall cabinets up and most of the base cabinets installed. Starting in the corner with the lazy susan, we worked outwards bracing and shimming as we went. It turns out our walls aren't perfectly straight, so it took a little tweaking.
 Clamping the face frames, we located screws that will be out of view once the counter top is in place. This cabinet also has an electrical feed for the oven.

 Of course, since the oven is exactly the same width as the cabinet, some modification was needed. With a flush pattern router bit the size of the face frame was maximized on all sides. That would leave about a 1/4" of space to slide the oven in.
Here's how the electrical work gets done around here. Next the oven needs to be installed.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Sticky Fingers

These little frogs seem to be attracted to our windows. They've got some pretty amazing stickability.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Sore Knees

We had a very productive weekend. The big job to tackle was the Hardibacker for the floor. Previously there had been a layer of plywood that the tile was adhered to, but the cement board will be a better substrate for when we actually get around to putting tile back down. Jen took on the task of troweling out the adhesive while I followed behind and screwed down the boards. By the time I was finished with one board Jen had the next area ready to go.
It's not a comfortable job working on flooring, and it took quite a few hours. It didn't help that our tolerance were a little tight so i had to do some trimming. Cement board is a hassle to trim, especially when you're just taking off a 1/4". We laid out the screws per the recommendations and ended up using a total of about 1000 in the floor. This is when i was glad to have a power drill, rather than relying on the cordless.
We even got around to building our wall cabinets
Just a small glitch with the gluing of the corner cabinet that left the face frame a little warped. Hopefully more wood glue and clamps will solve the problem. We'll see how that turns out in the morning.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Terrible Twins

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We've been puppy sitting for a few days and Sophie is loving it, even if you can't tell by her expression. Shelby will be staying with us for another week. That's Sophie on the left with the pointy ears. Shelby has more of a brindle color and her ears tend to be a little more floppy. They spend most of their time chasing each other around the house or sleeping. They've been eating and drinking a lot to keep up with all this energy they're burning.

Testing 1, 2, 3

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The kitchen is now wired for sound with two Polk audio RC60i 6" ceiling speakers with built in aimable tweeters. It turns out that it's much easier running speaker wire through the ceiling and walls than it was running the Romex. Installation couldn't be simpler - cut a six inch hole, connect the wires and mount the speaker. I also added a layer of sound insulation above the speakers to try to keep most of the stray sound out of the bedroom above.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Finally...a range hood

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So the kitchen project has been a little slow moving over the last month. We finished all the electrical work and all the lighting circuits are working as expected. As you can see, the range hood is now in place. The hood took a bit of work because we had to modify it a bit. Although the framework is adjustable for different heights above the counter, we still thought it looked low in it's shortest configuration. It looked feasible to adapt it, so we used a hacksaw to take about three inches off all the metal components and everything went back together quite nicely.
After patching the ceiling where we wanted to attach the hood, we were able get the mounting bracket attached and get the hood in place. A little bit of electrical work and we were in business.
Once we have the rest of the ceiling patched and painted, we will add the stainless cover above the glass canopy. On to the next task. Lots of drywall work.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

An Empty Room

All the cabinets are out and it's time to start building everything back up. We will still need to do a few things before we can actually put the new cabinets in. The ceiling will need to be patched up because we know that will be a dusty job. We'll also need to get the hardi-plank sub floor down. We bought the cement board this weekend so that we'll be ready to screw it down when the opportunity arrives.
This weekend we got a few more of the small odds and ends finished. A new 20 amp circuit for the island and a dedicated 20 amp circuit for the microwave. We discovered that the extractor fan that was in the kitchen had just been venting into the ceiling so we took that out. We ran the duct work for the new range hood and installed the vent in the exterior wall. We would have installed the hood but it turns out we'll need to make some modifications to get it to hang at the height we want.
These island lights are the first finished element of the new kitchen, even though there is no island for them to shine on. Hopefully we can get some other parts finished so that we feel we're making progress.