Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Today's Public Service Announcement

Made a discovery this morning that I thought would be useful to pass along.  If you're bleary-eyed early in the morning and you press the start button on your Keurig coffee maker without putting the cup in place, the tray beneath where the cup sits will hold the resulting brew.

True story ... 10 ounces of coffee in the tray, instead of all over the counter and onto the floor ... and I'm thankful that whoever designed this thing planned ahead for situations just like this.

(I'm feeling fine today, though my face is still swollen from my dental surgery on Monday.  No pain, though ... thankful for that, too.)

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

All "Gummed" Up

I had dental surgery yesterday afternoon, a procedure that my periodontist calls 'ridge augmentation'.  It involved an hour and a half of cutting, scraping, grafting, sculpting, and stitching to correct a depression at my gumline that was caused by removal of a defective crown.

 [photo of Sunday morning's sunrise]

In the beginning of it all, this was supposed to be a simple matter of removing the crown in question, extracting the remaining root of the tooth, and placing an implant to support a new crown.  One fake tooth out, another fake tooth in, easy as pie.  Two bone graft surgeries later, and two years have elapsed, and there wasn't enough bone formed to support an implant and I had to face the fact that I would have a bridge to span the gap in my smile.  To make the bridge look natural, my gumline needed work ... which is what yesterday's surgery was all about.

I feel pretty good.  I spent yesterday evening and overnight on good pain meds ... deciding this morning that I don't need them anymore.  (Maybe one more pill tonight at bed time.)  I've been icing my face like I was instructed to do, but the swelling is still pretty technicolor.  Considering how much time I spent with my upper lip pulled up to my nose, so the doctor had access to do his thing, it's no surprise that it puffed up like it did.  The same thing happened with the prior two surgeries, so I was expecting it.  Hopefully, I will look more normal within a couple of days.  Sorry to disappoint you ... no photos of my puffy face will be posted.

Doctor's orders are for me to take it easy today and do as little as possible.  You all know me well enough by now to imagine that I'm going crazy having to be still like this.  So far, I have spent most of my time sitting on the sofa watching TV with the dogs.  Found a morning marathon of HGTV's 'Sarah Sees Potential' and that helped pass the time.  (I love everything about Sarah Richardson!)  

My doctor assures me that this latest procedure is going to do the trick, and that I can soon be fitted with a permanent bridge.  I sure hope so because I really want to put this prolonged dental nightmare behind me.  

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Sunday Snapshot ... Preparing Siding for the Shack

Working on an outdoor renovation project is challenging in winter ... especially when that project requires paint (which cannot be applied outdoors when it's cold).  What's a girl to do when she is facing a stack of a whole wall's worth of siding that needs to be scraped and sanded and primed and painted?

She works indoors where it's warm, of course!  These pieces of siding are ten feet long, five-and-a-half inches wide, and my basement work island can hold five of them at a time.  

For each board, I have to:
1.  Scrape off as much paint as possible, using my trusty Bahco carbide pull scraper.
2.  Fill the nail holes on the bottom edge of the board and sand the board smooth with my orbital sander.
3.  Prime with stain sealing primer.
4.  Apply one coat of good quality exterior paint.

From left to right:  untouched board, scraped, sanded, primed, and painted.

With this process, I can do five boards per day ... allowing time for drying for the primer and the paint.  I haven't worked on this every day, though.  I sand outside, and we've had a couple of rainy days, so I gave myself those days off. 

The pile of finished siding boards is getting taller! 

Soon I hope to have pre-finished a large enough stack of siding, and primed and painted the boards that will be used for corner and window trim, and it shouldn't take long to get the siding put back onto north side of the shack.  Then, when the weather is warmer, I will caulk and apply a final coat of paint.

Before we know it, The Shack will go from looking like this:

This is what it looks like right now.

To something this:

Photoshop mock-up done by my talented husband.  Our son-in-law said that the arched clerestory windows look like the back of a 1963 Corvette.

More updates on The Shack as progress continues.

Happy Sunday, Everyone! 

Sunday Snapshots are posts that are devoted to a moment in time that represents a slice of life in Hartwood, or wherever else I happen to be.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

One Year With Winnie

Yesterday was the one-year anniversary of Winnie's Gotcha Day ... the day that she came here to be our dog forever.  It seems impossible that it's already been a year and, at the same time, it's hard to think of a time when she wasn't part of our family.  

She has changed so much in the past year ... gaining a bit of weight (which she needed), growing a thick, soft coat of fur, and blossoming into a very confident little dog.

This is the photo that started it all, taken at the animal shelter and shared by a friend on Facebook.

Her second day with us.

Toward the end of her first week.

One year later ... what a difference!

Not too happy about modeling her Christmas sweater in December.

She has fit into our family almost perfectly, learning exactly what is expected of her here, and has found that there is fun to be had, too.

You stay on your side, Dorothy, and I'll stay on mine.

But, Mom, I don't want to share my bed with Maggie.

Helping out around the house by making sure that Ruby's dish is perfectly clean.

Rolling in the grass on a sunny day.

Learning to share her mama's lap with the cats, and to not growl or try to bite them.

Sharing time with Ruby on the porch.

When people hear Winnie's story, I get all sorts of praise for adopting her, this elderly little critter who had been neglected and dumped.  Instead of thinking about what I did for Winnie (which is what any animal-loving person would do), I focus most on what Winnie has done for ME ... I can't accurately describe it, except to say that I love this little dog with my whole heart.

Proudly displaying her 'I am a Therapy Dog' tag.

Snuggled underneath a blanket ... as she almost always is.

Listening for intruders (the UPS man, in this case).

It's been an awesome year, Winnie!  Happy Gotcha Day.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Sunday Snapshot ... Blogger App

few weeks ago, I found out that there is finally an iPad app for Blogger.  Before now, attempting to compose a post on my iPad was a frustrating combination of three other apps, and it wasn't worth the effort.  As a result, I bring my heavy laptop along when I travel, so I can blog while I'm away from home if I want to.  If I get good at this, I may not have to do that anymore.

This is a photo that I just took of Winnie ... She's under there somewhere.

So far, using this new app hasn't been too painful.  The font looks a bit off, and I'm not sure the photo is centered the way I usually have them, but I'll keep at this and see how much more I can figure out.  Maybe an old dog like me can learn this new trick.

Happy Football Sunday, Everyone!

Sunday Snapshots are posts that are devoted to a moment in time that represents a slice of life in Hartwood, or wherever else I happen to be.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

North Windows ... Done!

My husband and I took a bit of time this afternoon while the temperature was above freezing, and we finished the other two windows on the north wall of The Shack.

No Photoshop here, like with my husband's little mock-up from yesterday's post ... just a couple of hours of good, honest hard work.

Next step ... I'm scraping, sanding and priming the siding that we removed from this side of the building.  There's nothing interesting about this, and it's going to take me a while.

Friday, January 16, 2015

A Small Bit of Progress on The Shack

It's been really cold for the past week, with days of clouds, rain, and snow ... definitely not conditions for working outside to continue our renovation of the north side of our Shack.  Today, though, temperatures moderated a bit and the sun was out (not that we got any of it on the shady side of the building).  My husband had some time this afternoon, and he and I worked to install windows.

(End of day photo, 1/16/15)

It took us a while to figure out exactly what we were doing, since we're pretty much making this up as we go along.  Renovating this existing building with salvaged items like these windows isn't as straight-forward as new construction, and it takes us a bit longer when we first start a new part of the process.

We should move along a lot quicker next time, installing the other two windows ... whenever we get another day to work.  Maybe tomorrow.

Edited to add:  My husband used Photoshop to do a quick mock-up of what this side of the building will sort of look like when it's finished.  I like it!


Sunday, January 11, 2015

Sunday Snapshot ... Finished Portrait!

I told you in THIS post about evolution of the design of the portrait that my husband is painting of our greyhound Daniel and me, and I promised to show it to you as soon as it was finished.  It's finished ...  What do you think?

Makes me all teary when I look at it, because this image perfectly captures the relationship that Daniel and I had.  The look on my face, the way he is listening as I was whispering to him ... makes me happy and gives me a lump in my throat all at the same time.

Happy Sunday, Everybody!!

Sunday Snapshots are posts that are devoted to a moment in time that represents a slice of life in Hartwood, or wherever else I happen to be.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Meanwhile, Back at the Shack

I'll bet you are wondering what I've been up to and why I have neglected the blog the way I have.  Been spending time elsewhere ... namely, the real, hard-core construction on The Shack has begun!

This is my Before picture.

We will eventually rework this entire building, doing so one wall at a time.  The object of our attention now is the north wall ... the wall that's getting huge new windows that will overlook the winery next door.

First step was to remove and save all the siding on this wall.

Whoever built this little building put the siding on totally wrong ... lining the courses up along a single stud instead of spacing the joints around.

My husband was the lead guy for siding removal, while I was in the basement workshop repairing/priming/painting the windows for this wall.

We had already done some reworking of the framing ahead of time, before we opened up the wall.

Next step was to finish the framing for the new windows.

New framing going in to support a picture window.

Test fitting a picture window, to get a feeling for how it will look once it's installed.

With framing finished, it was time to sheath the wall with 1/2-inch OSB.  This building never had sheathing originally, and it will be a lot sturdier now. 

Here I am, using a circular saw to cut out one of the window openings.

It's unusual to have pictures of me working.  I'm almost always the one behind the camera.

One opening cut ... one more to go.

My husband cut the second opening.

Two window openings cut ... more sheathing still to go.

Next, we propped one of the arched windows into place ... so we could add framing to hold it and to scribe the curve onto the sheathing.

You can sort of get an idea of what this wall will look like with the new windows.

I couldn't imagine how much longer it would have taken to do this if we were hammering nails instead of shooting them with a nailer.

Just a little bit more to go!

This is what this wall looks like right now:

Sheathing is finished, but no windows yet.

It's too cold for us to work outside right now, and things will stay this way till we get a warmer day.  This is the north side of the building, remember ... so there's no sunshine to help warm us up while we work.

The windows themselves are all finished and they're safely stored in my basement workshop.  (this is another post for later.)  I can't wait to get out there and install them!

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