Friday, September 30, 2011

2011 - Was it productive?

Until a month ago when I started teaching part-time I had a lot of time available to complete projects in the house and the yard.  It seemed a good time to assess what was completed in 2011 and what I still want to do in order to get the property in the shape I want. 

Thursday saw fantastic weather, clear, sunny and mid-70’s, the first nice day in nearly two weeks.   I’ve been looking for ways to expand the growing space, now about 250 square feet in beds.  The tree shadows don’t allow for any more beds to the south of the existing beds, but the bed in front could be expanded on one side.  The triangular shape fits into the contours and also looks nice.  It should be a good spot to grow some herbs.  I started this project last weekend, was stopped by a rain shower, and finished it on Thursday. 

At the beginning of 2011 I started remodeling the master bath.  That project dragged on for several months.  I replaced the vanity and toilet, installed ceramic tile on the tub surround and new vinyl tile on the floor, put new casing around the doors, installed a ceramic tile baseboard and repainted the room.  It was a long job and ceramic tile can be very time-consuming for a novice but the finished results make it all worth it. 

In March the raised beds looked like this.  The cherry tree that I felled the previous autumn did not quite drop where I wanted it to fall.  Before I could cut it into logs the snows came and left me with this spring project.  At this time I’m splitting the logs for firewood.  The damage to the beds was not as bad as it looks here.

Another spring project were the shade beds behind the back deck.  The landscape timbers that formed the beds were rotting away.  The ground under the beds has a lot of slope, and the beds not only look nice but prevent erosion by terracing the slope.  When the old timbers were removed the soil actually held in place until I put in the pressure treated 4x4’s.   I tried to avoid walking in the beds when doing work, and finished this before the hostas came up.

Putting some flower beds around the front porch was another spring priority.  I used retainer blocks to form two semicircular beds around the front porch.  A foundation bed was built along the front of the house with edging blocks.  A yard of compost and a yard of soil/compost mix were dug it into the clay.  The beds were planted mainly with hostas and lillies.  The rhododendron is a little out of its comfort zone but has survived several hard winters in its south-facing location.

The ongoing project in the house has been the repainting of the interior doors and jambs and refinishing the wood trim throughout the house.  I removed the doors to the pole barn and painted them on sawhorses.  All of the door and window casing and the baseboard is varnished cedar which was only half-finished by the builder (shocking isn’t it?).  The woodwork was never sanded to smoothness and the original varnish had already soaked into the wood. 

 I removed the baseboards and the top and bottom pieces of the window trim, then sanded and revarnished them (two coats) in the pole barn.  Since there was some extra wood available I was able to cull out the wood that was off-color and replace it with better wood.  While the baseboard was off I repainted the walls in the walk-in closet, second bedroom and sunroom.  So far I’ve used six quarts of varnish.  

The sunroom was the most work of any room.  It has more windows than all the other rooms combined and more wood casing.  Here’s a picture of the almost finished sunroom with the top pieces over the windows being put back on.  That’s a glass of red wine next to the miter saw – I was finished for the day and thought a reward was in order. 

The chicken tractor and mobile henhouse projects were in earlier posts.  Here’s a basic workbench I built in one of the minibarns.  It’s hard to get work done without a decent workbench.

Can’t forget storage.  A double row of shelves across the back side of the polebarn provides a lot more storage space.

Now that I’m working part time I won’t be able to get as much done.  The one project I still hope to complete this year is the installation of a light tube in the kitchen.  Part of the kitchen never gets enough natural light and the suntube looks like a good way to light up a dark area.  Next week is supposed to have nice weather, maybe a good time to cut a hole in the roof. . .


Dirt Lover said...

Wow! Can I borrow you for a month or so??? I feed really well! You should be so happy with all you've accomplished this year. Nice job. Pat yourself on the back!!

kitsapFG said...

I think it is quite safe to say that 2011 was a tremendously productive year for you. I love the window framing work you did - really well done and so attractive. The work bench is a thing of beauty too! :D

Post a Comment