Now they're on to the south side of the roof. (Thursday saw no roofing done, as it rained just enough to make and keep everything slippery.) The south side is easier (no dormers or porch roof), but there's a lot of vent stacks to work around, and a bunch of roof/attic vents that are being removed so there are holes to be patched. Still, they should finish today. Sunday when they were telling us that we were going to get storms, J and I pulled the ladders down. Then the storms were somewhat less severe than originally predicted (to be fair, the Weather Service downgraded the predictions as the day went on). However, we got a lovely out-of-nowhere storm with 30mph winds on Monday afternoon, so it was not wasted effort.

Saturday, J put in gable vents. Those things let a lot of air move through, and just doing that should cool the upstairs quite a bit. Then the ridge vents go on, and those should help even more. Putting the gable vents in included bonus 'can you climb this 30' ladder and pound on this for me' action -- J was creeping around in the attic (120F, dust & fiberglass everywhere), so I can't complain too much. Still, not my favorite thing to do.

Monday, we packed up the car with two saxophones, three music stands, two instrument stands and three people, and wandered off to Franklin (MI) to play in the Brigadoon band. The Franklin Community Band officially disbanded about 8-10 years ago due to dwindling numbers, but a friend from the Farmington band recruits a small group to play for Franklin's Memorial Day celebration. I took both the tenor and the bari because I didn't know which they'd need more. DB came along with a tuba mouthpiece -- it was surprisingly easy to get him to do so "hey, d'you wanna come play an old sousaphone? It'll only be an hour or so." "sure.". J came along to take pictures. (I saw him chatting with a reporter, so DB and I may wind up in the local paper.) I played tenor sax, and played TSax, baritone (treble clef), and 2nd Cornet parts, depending on what I had music for and what was needed more. In retrospect, I should have played bari on one of the marches -- it has a tricky tuba part, and DB was flailing, and it's one that I transcribed the bari part from the tuba part a few years ago. It's been two years since DB's played sousaphone, and other than that piece he did really really well. He said the hardest part was getting used to the weight -- the Franklin sousaphone is probably 80 years old, and is tightly wound plated brass. He said that he wouldn't want to march with it. :) (I suspect it's more tightly wound than current fiberglass sousaphones so that it's easier to wear.)

This year's recipient of "I don't remember planting this" is five oriental poppies in the side garden. They haven't bloomed yet, so I don't know what color they are.


May. 24th, 2017 05:32 pm
jennlk: (mink frog)
So the roof is coming down and going up. The old shingles are being removed and hauled off to the skip (by me, mostly); and there are new shingles going up. All while dodging rain, as one does in late May.

Also yesterday, I dashed off to town to say goodbye and good luck to the Theatre Guild advisor/director, who is moving to Hawai'i with her partner. I missed saying farewell to the middle school band director because it was at the same time. I'll have to track him down some other time. OTOH, I got to put my farewell note in the newsletter. :) It was somewhat distressing how difficult it was to get someone in the Music Boosters to write a farewell note -- he's been in the district for over 15 years, and every band kid has played for him; but getting anything other than a generic 'goodbye and good luck' out of anyone was a struggle (then again, that's why there was space for my comments). DB missed the Theatre Guild banquet because he was working the middle school concert; I had him convey my best wishes. :/

I planted the pansy I got on Mother's Day yesterday. It took me 20 minutes to clear out the ground cover in the bed where I wanted it to go. While doing that, I found that the sedum that I'd planted there was not gone, just overwhelmed.

The multifloral columbine in the front flowerbed has so far avoided being squished by shingles, and is looking quite nice -- lots of small dark red with creamy white center flowers. The coral bells haven't been quite so lucky, but they're just a little flattened. The bleeding hearts in the other front bed are quite battered, but they often look like that at this time of the year -- a hard rainstorm will often flatten them. I'm not too worried about them.
Saturday and Sunday, J and I moved that ton and a half of block. This time, it's in a wall. It got pretty squishy at the base of the wall, where it's just tamped dirt -- we got 2.5 inches of rain between when we laid the first course on Saturday evening and when we got outside Sunday afternoon. Now we get to figure out what goes inside the wall, other than "no chipmunks". I am creaky today.

The weeds are getting ahead of me again -- I can either move block or weed, and moving block has been winning or the weather's been unsuitable for weeding. Last week, when DB and I unloaded the block, it was 80+F; two days later it got up to 59F with drizzle.

The van is visiting the church parking lot, as there's a skip in the driveway -- the roofer starts tomorrow, weather permitting. He's expecting materials (shingles, OSB, ridge vent) to show up later today. (We've been in the house for over 20 years; can you tell? New floors, new appliances (and we're semi-looking at new fridges), new roof.)
Work progresses on rebuilding the rill. Yesterday, DB and I moved nearly two tons of concrete, 30 pounds at a time. (the blocks for the back of the rill had to be moved out of the trailer. each block weighs 17 pounds. and then there were the 14 pavers at 40 pounds each.)

J yanked out one of the volunteer junipers that was too close to the rill -- it was crowding the old rill, and the new rill will probably wind up being a bit wider, and shifted a bit -- so the rill looks even weirder now. The pump is currently running, despite the leak (I just water the pond every morning when I go out to feed the birds), but the rill is just naked liner on a stepped bed of sand.

We made a detour into appliances in the course of getting the block, and came home with a new washer and dryer. People tell us that we probably won't get 20+ years out of the new ones, but they told us that about the old ones too, and they're still going strong (we got them when we moved to Ypsi in 1993). The washer lid should probably be replaced, but other than that I think they'd run for another 5-10 years. (They might stop working tomorrow, too. One can rarely tell with these things. J's debating whether to pass them on through FiA or Stockbridge Outreach (they're better than no washer/dryer), or just disassemble them for the motors and recycle the metal.)
The cranes are still hanging around in the backyard. They're usually pretty quiet (not much to worry about if you're a 3.5 foot tall bird), but today they were answering the civil alert siren test.

I have mostly finished cutting back things in the garden -- the larger daisies still need to be done, as does the blanket flower, but leaving them uncut all winter doesn't do them any harm, it just looks ragged.

The tree is up but undecorated. We may get to it next weekend, we may not. DB will be working a show Fri & Sat, and I may be working the recount. That depends on the outcome of the suit filed against the recount petition. If it's on, I go in at 8am Wed and we work 10 hour days until the count is done. Including weekends, because we need to be done by 14 Dec. Training is Monday afternoon, and we find out then whether we're actually doing the count.

My back has been being variably cranky for the last month -- I think it will get better if the weather ever stabilises.
(the one I detailed a few months ago), albeit with a few modifications. The upholstered recliner is still downstairs, and will be moved upstairs after Christmas (the accent chair from the living room is in the den, rather than in the library at the top of the stairs where it usually goes for the holiday season). The mattress is actually under the futon, although that required J building risers (even a cheap mattress is 7.5 inches deep, and the base angle of the futon-as-sofa is 4.5).

The dresser from the nook went off to Goodwill -- it was SR's college apartment dresser, and then KM used it for a while, but we really have no need of it anymore. When DB goes off to an apartment, he'll either be moving out (taking his current set) or we'll buy him another dresser. It's not worth trying to store it somewhere.

I had a pretty shelf unit that I picked up at IKEA a couple of years ago, because I liked it and it wasn't clear how long they'd be making it. It's been sitting in the basement, still boxed, ever since, but now it's in the den, replacing a smaller unit that was crammed full. It looks much better, and I've even gotten a few more things out of boxes (from a few years ago when we redid the bookshelves upstairs, not from when we moved!).

We bought a Xmas wreath (from the Scouts) on Saturday because we were out anyway and remembered -- we don't usually get into town on the weekend, so I figured we should do it while we could. The wreaths are good for a couple of months, so putting it up now rather than mid-December shouldn't make any difference.

On Sunday, I played at church, and then came home and cut back perennials. The bleeding hearts are cut back, as are the peonies and the goldenrod. I left the dead nettle and the painted nettle because they're still green! The daisy stems should be cut back too, but I'd already filled the garden cart twice, and it's supposed to dry out again on Tuesday afternoon. I brought the garden decor in, other than the gate, which may or may not get into the garage -- it'd be fine outside, so it just may stay out.

The hawk has been lurking in the garden this morning. He looks wind-ruffled and damp. But he's still alert enough to sense me moving around in the house, so I haven't gotten a picture. :(
Roper posted about his game of furniture tetris, which reminded me of our next match. (to be accomplished RSN, but I need to finish an Edwardian skirt & jacket costume* first, and get either J or DB to help).

  1. shift the storage boxes away from the basement wall about 8 inches

  2. move the cheap mattress and bunkboard from the bed in the upstairs nook into the newly cleared spot; shift the boxes back up against them

  3. disassemble the bed and put it in the garage attic

  4. move the futon from the den up into the nook

  5. move the recliner from the basement into the den

  6. move the printer & its stand from the master bedroom into the den

Eventually, the plan is to be able to open the closet door in the den all the way, and make both the bedroom and the den feel less crowded. With SR gone, we can use her room as a guest bedroom, and the futon in the nook will be the extra guest bed it is now, but in a less central area of the house. (the basement is clean and dry and fully habitable (if a bit chilly), and is thus a safe place to store a mattress)

* Last Thursday, I got a call from the lead cat-herder for the historical cemetery walk -- one of the ladies had backed out, could I fill in? Sure. And then I realised that my Victorian peridot taffeta skirt would be a bit too fancy for a 1901 midwestern farmer's wife on market day. I have a skirt & jacket pattern, and the fabric (and a couple of white blouses in my closet that will work). I just need to put them together. But yesterday was picture day for the church directory, and J was doing pictures and I was doing data entry, which pretty much killed the day. Today I'm working on layout for a newsletter, and there's FCB rehearsal tonight.
No "a year of making" posts this year. I made the point I wanted to make to myself (and got into a habit, so I have some confidence that it will continue).

The Xmas Eve service was decent, actually. The minister (a former music teacher) selected and arranged all the performance carols to fit the personnel and skill-sets that were available. The choir was about as good as could be expected (which is to say, not horrible -- there are a few people that we'd probably be better off without, but that's not something you can do in a teeny choir in a small church). We had a HS bassoonist show up at the last rehearsal. He's played with us before, and he and I work pretty well together. TM arranged a accompaniment duet for clarinet and barisax that was a lot of fun to play, even though I did have to be careful to not outplay the clarinet

I got the holiday cards out on Orthodox Christmas, a bit later than I wanted to, but it took me a while to collect enough gumption to clear a space on the kitchen table.

One day last week, I finally got the pictures back up on the walls. I couldn't put the dining room ones back until the cabinet doors went on, so that was first. Then I fumbled the door handles, so I need to get some wood filler and try again. The hall pictures were stacked in the living room, waiting to be put into the new frames also stacked in the living room. There were eight pictures on the wall, six in matching frames and two in entirely different frames, and it looked really disjointed. There's space on the kitchen wall for the hooks I got at MuseCon.

Sunday, we woke to no power -- the rain that had been falling at bedtime Saturday had transitioned to snow (through freezing rain and sleet), and there was wind. There was no power at church, either, so that was cancelled. DB did work a church service in town though -- Chelsea has their own power grid -- and he said it took him 35 minutes to get there, normally a 12-15 minute drive. We got power back before noon, so I went downstairs to sort in the workroom. About 3pm, the power went out again. I was finishing up anyway (and that end of the basement has two windows in it!), so I was able to put away the last few things before I came upstairs. About 4:30, J went out and fired up the generator again because DTE had no estimate for restoration. We finally got power back about 10pm.

We got the tree undecorated and down on Sunday during the power outage, and I found the basket of things that went on the little shelf in the dining room. The Honeck dragons are off visiting Butch and getting refinished -- running water in the fountain caused a lot of discoloration and some corrosion, so they went off to the "spa".
Sunday was the FCB Holiday concert. There's a lot of notes in that there music. And I played nearly all of the ones in mine. I did miss a couple, but then, I think everyone did (as long as someone in the section/part got them, it's not critical). I was able to find a reed that allowed me to get all the notes -- one of my rehearsal reeds is just about used up, and it was being extremely picky about notes on Friday during the stage rehearsal. I no longer have that reed. :) The concert went well, I think. We had extra bonus 'move-those-chimes' action, as the band borrowed a set of chimes from Chelsea HS, so J and I got to load chimes after the concert and then unload them at CHS. DB was still there -- resetting the stage for concerts after the ballet (the middle school holiday concert is tonight, with lots of activity to follow. IIRC, the stage is in use every night this week.)

Also on Sunday we started working on the instrumental parts for the Christmas Eve service. Neither of the kids is playing hand chimes, but one or the other may be singing with the choir. We'll figure that out next week.

Friday the carpenters came and routed off some material on the front stiles of the cabinet. I can fit the microwave into the cabinet now. They also left me with paint to finish the routed edges. Whee. So that's today's project -- paint the stiles (I sanded them on Saturday - orbital sander for the win! It's a maple cabinet, so it's a very hard wood, and would be a pain to sand by hand).

natter, etc

Oct. 29th, 2015 10:46 am
jennlk: (Penguin)
I've been slowly working through the garden -- the sage in the NW bed is cut back and the chinese lanterns are thinned; the grass and iris leaves are out of the E garden; the bleeding hearts in the front bed are cut back, etc. I had to clear algae out of the pond pump again. blech -- it's cold and slimy anyway, and this time there was a dead frog caught in it. eeeeeew.

FCB Halloween concert was Sunday -- I wore the Victorian from September, because I still don't have access to the sewing room. I've been emailing the designer who sold me the cabinet, and we still have no solution. Yes, they sent me exactly what I ordered, but it's not what I wanted, nor is it what I told the designer I wanted. I'm not sure what my avenues are, but I will probably be escalating soon. I suspect we will not be using the local lumberyard for anything that we can't pick up instore. We've ordered two things from them this year, and both times we had to call to find out where our stuff was.

DB was a Headless Horseman at the concert -- we played Broege's Headless Horseman, and he has a stick pony left over from band. I'm sure you can see what happened next.:) I built a pumpkin head mask out of a craft pumpkin from Michael's (they make half pumpkins for hanging on walls/doors) and a welding mask frame -- J printed brackets to connect them. Gorilla Glue is the only thing we found that actually sticks to craft pumpkins.
Wednesday morning, I emailed the designer I'd been working with at the lumberyard, asking what the ETA on my cabinets was (they said 4 weeks when I ordered them 6 weeks ago). Got a call back "Um, yeah. They're in the warehouse. They came in the same time I had two big orders, and I missed the notice. Would tomorrow morning be good for delivery?" Thursday morning came and went, and just about as I was ready to call the lumberyard and ask, the truck pulled up. It was a Penske rental -- one of their trucks had not started that morning, so they got a late start on the deliveries assigned to that truck.

Oh look, it's in pieces -- 'sallight, I think we can probably assemble a base cabinet/upper cabinet unit.

Or not. The upper cabinet is not what I wanted -- the microwave may not fit in the space, and did I really order that bottom shelf? because that's so not what I wanted. A note into the designer, and we will see what happens.

We have placed the base cabinet and set the countertop on it. J will actually install the countertops today -- yesterday he was monitoring returns, as it's a quarterly due date.
There are now twenty(20) boxes of wood flooring scattered about the house. And kitchen appliances strewn willynilly (fridge and island cabinet in the living room, microwave in the den, dishwasher & stove on the deck). The installation crew will be here sometime today, and probably most of tomorrow as well. In a picking problem, they originally sent us paintable quarter round, and a quart of stain. Erm. I really hope that different people pulled them.

We have plugged the vent we don't want, and painted the walls behind the old hutch and behind the fridge and stove. The last time we painted, we did not disconnect the stove, just slid it out from the wall and painted down as far as we could reach. This time I painted all the way down. Primer sucks up paint differently than topcoat paint. (It doesn't matter, though. I think I've now used just over a quart of the kitchen paint.)

In theory, the cabinet and new island countertop should be here early next week. I have most of the new rugs we'll need [a new entry rug, as the old one is a)falling apart anyway and b)rubber backed and will discolor the new floor; a rug for under the dining table; a rug for the hall].

Ducks? Maybe?

Sep. 28th, 2015 11:20 am
jennlk: (sunflower)
The warehouse called early last week, and scheduled us for installation on October 1. We shall see if that actually happens. The crew will call early this week and schedule a time to drop off the wood, and then we have to move the appliances, finish painting (the cabinet wall and behind the fridge & stove -- didn't want to move them twice), and patch the vent we don't want. I should probably also find the decorative vent we have, but as it's the same size as the one there, it's not critical.

Theoretically, the cabinet should be in sometime this week as well. I hope they're willing to hold it until the floor is installed. I ordered these things four weeks apart, so you'd think I'd get some spacing in delivery, but it doesn't seem to be working out that way.

My weekend was eaten by the gig monster. Two FCB gigs, one in Westland, one in Franklin. Loaded the truck after both, and unloaded after Sunday's gig. Then I went out for dinner after, so didn't get home until 8pm either night. Whee.

And of course, that meant that I got nothing done in the garden. Today is cloudy and cooler, so it's not as much fun to be outside, but it needs to be done. "They" tell us that it will continue to cool for the rest of the week. The froggie count is 14.
The floor is at the warehouse. I don't know how long it's been there, because I didn't know it was there until I called. Ideally, they'd call today to schedule installation, but realistically I won't hear from them until next week. Cabinet/counter are due at the end of the month, and I expect that to be pretty much on time, but we shall see.

In other project news, it turns out that I will not be able to make the outfit completely from stash -- I need some netting to give the overskirt some body. Now that the cat is in, I can go out and get that. The jacket is about half done, the overskirt is just started, and the other two bits have been cut out. OTOH, the skirt will be easy, and the blouse isn't essential. I still want to get the jacket and the overskirt done by Monday.

There's a debris field in the easement again. That's the third time this summer, after 5 years of none. And we didn't even get hit by the main part of the storm. The new router is better than the old one -- it actually comes up cleanly after a power outage! (it was a 4second outage, just long enough to reset everything. :( )
Designer called counter fabricator, who said "huh. musta' lost that order, 'cause we usually get estimates out in 2-3 days". Whatever. Anyway, quote came in on Saturday, and I stopped by (I was in town for groceries anyway) and ordered the cabinet. Delivery in 4-ish weeks.

We were supposed to at least have scheduled the new floor by now, but that's not happened. If I don't hear from her by the middle of the week, I'll call and see if she knows where my floor is (somewhere between northern Ontario and here, I'm sure, but I'd like a little more precision).

In other project news, I have the bits (blouse, jacket, skirt, overskirt) cut out, and now all I have to do is sew them together.

The counting of the froggies is 12, and I saw some toadlings up by the house -- they're about 3/4" long. I have eaten some tomatoes out of the garden. The milkweed is setting seeds now -- it looks like we're going to have a good crop of milkweed fluff this year.

The wasps have moved in on the hummingbird feeders, so I've had to take them down -- I'll put them back up again in mid-September. I need to plant more late summer flowers for the hummers.

more ducks

Aug. 17th, 2015 09:43 am
jennlk: (sunflower)
Saturday, SR and I painted. Dunno if I like the color or not. It's better than what was there (the previous paint color was very very pale, and wasn't well done anyway), but the jury is out as to whether we actually like it. We'll wait till the new floor gets down and we get things back up on the wall as that will change the view.

I'm planning a victorian-ish outfit (ostensibly for a wedding in September, but it will also be useful for other things). The sticking point is that I only have a 72"x 66" piece of the fabric I want to use for the skirt (I bought all they had!), and getting a full or full length skirt out of that will be tricky. I may just go with a shorter skirt, and steampunk it up a bit.

I'm gaining on the basement re-sort -- cleared another two shelves and a crate last week. Progress will probably slow, as I really should get to actual work (not just planning) on that outfit. I also have plans for a early-1960's dressy dress as an FCB costume, to celebrate their 50th anniversary.
Yesterday, SR and I went back to the lumberyard with actual measurements(!) and made some final choices (countertop, cabinet finish, doors). Now we wait for that quote to come back. Also yesterday, I got everything off the walls-that-will-be-grey and washed them down. Today, I tape and spackle -- there's a lot of that to be done, so I don't think I'll get to the actual painting until tomorrow.

We still need to get knobs/handles for the cabinet, but that will wait until we get it in the house, because we'll probably wind up replacing *all* of the hardware in the kitchen.

The layout job is "done" -- as in, I laid out all the content I had. It's sparse, but I don't write the content (it's reports from committee chairs...). (In a "reading is hard" moment, I sent out a reminder to the chairs that I needed their articles for the newsletter, and I got a note back from one of them "have you sent the newsletter yet? because I haven't gotten it." Oy)

The counting of the froggies is 11. There is a lady Baltimore Oriole hanging around the yard. There were at least two hawks screeing at each other yesterday. The bluejays were squawking back.
The flooring is expected in the warehouse sometime in the next couple of weeks. Then we can schedule an installation date. We have a certain amount of work to be done just before they come out -- I want to remove a badly placed floor vent, so we'll need to patch the floor there. (We'll also need to remove the ductwork in the basement, but that doesn't need to be done before the floor goes down.) I expect that we'll have to do some subfloor repair in front of the dishwasher (there've been a few leaks, just before and shortly after we put the new one in), and perhaps a bit where the old cat waterer was(which was not as fully contained as one might wish). We also need to check the floor in the hall where the cats sprayed for a while during the settling phase.

The kitchen walls are now painted -- I probably could have gotten away with buying just a quart of paint -- when I did the math, I neglected to account for the 60% of wall that is covered by cabinets. Ah well, there's a laundry room and a basement stair to paint.... The accent wall in the dining room matches the one in the living room -- I did get just a quart for that one, as it's only 6 feet long.

The laminate samples are beginning to show up -- I ordered larger samples from the manufacturers, after doing a first pass using the teeny samples from the lumberyard. Still waiting on the cabinetry/countertop quotes, but they did say "up to two weeks", as they're down to one designer for the summer, and their shops are busy too.

And then we all ran away for the weekend! Musecon was fun. I really need to remember to set alarms so I'd remember to go to things I wanted to, but.... Did watch the blacksmithing, and spent quite a bit of time watching the saris and lenghees and kurtas and salwar khameez at the Indian weddings. DB was a guest/volunteer at the Kaboom! on Saturday night -- fun with liquid nitrogen!
Flooring quote received and accepted. We don't have an install date yet, because she needs to call the warehouse and the installer. The quote inclues tearaway and removal, so all we have to do is move the appliances and furniture. And paint!

Did the second round of paint selection today. SR was annoyed that I didn't get the sample I said I was going to look for. As it turns out, she was right, but it was really annoying how she kept going on about it. The hardware store in town has new owners and new Sunday hours, so I'll probably go back tomorrow for another round of samples. OTOH, we're picking three colors, so three rounds is not excessive (one color per round, right?).

We'll have to come up with some way to use all those sample pints and halfpints we've accumulated. We should be able to combine some of them and wind up with enough paint to do the laundry room or the stair enclosure in the basement....
(or maybe we're just finding the ducks?) Whatever.

Yesterday, the kids and I (heh. "kids" 18 & 23) went into town, and visited the lumberyard and the flooring store. The lumberyard is now preparing a couple of quotes for a kitchen cabinet and a new countertop for the island, and the flooring store is preparing a quote for the kitchen & dining room. (The floor in the laundry room is getting replaced, too, but that's going to be good sheet vinyl.)

Also yesterday, taking advantage of the lovely weather, J went up on the roof and replaced the sheathing and the shingles on the porch roof -- it was just tacked on (not very well) to the house roof, and 20 years ago we'd pulled it away a bit while we were putting the posts in, and the roof was sagging and leaking. The shingles don't quite match, but the entire roof is going to be replaced sometime in the next five years anyway.

I finally finished weeding the strawberries, and filled up the cart with weeds and trimmings from the E flowerbed (the one that looks like an English cottage garden). I hear that the chicken broil decorating committee may be stopping by to cut flowers on Saturday morning. It's possible that all they'll get is Queen Anne's Lace, as there's mostly buds and greenery in the gardens right now.

The counting of the froggies is nine!


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