Archive for category outside

Paint goes on…

There are four sections of exterior wall that still need painting, and the plan is that they will all be completed this summer – maybe even this month if the weather continues to cooperate. All are second-story sections, three on the west wall (the windward side of the house, so these probably should have gotten attention sooner; at least the shingles are in good shape) and one on the east.

Other things have happened on the house since I last wrote, of course, but today’s *fretfully* exciting update is that one of the four sections – the smallest, easiest to tackle, and least in need of tackling section, that which is north-most on the west side) is almostverynearlynotquite done! All it needs is to paint the five foot by one foot section that looks remarkably like the outline of a ladder’s top.

Also, I swear to some overhead being that the gravel driveway expansion is nearly finished and ready for testing. In the words of Hamlet’s father: SWEAR!

Update (Tuesday night): The five square feet of unpainted wall have been painted. Tada!

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Today you may have seen me:

  • Drilling holes in the bookcase beams
  • Moving more gravel – I think it’s just about done
  • Trimming a tree
But only if you were walking down my street at the very moment I was doing those things. For the rest of you – trust me; they happened.

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Up and at ’em

This morning, accomplished a few things, which is good because my afternoons are all Hamlet and my evenings are becoming time for other things. Plus no one likes hammering in their neighborhood at 7pm.

  • More leveling and gravelling – almost done, maybe, I think, perhaps
  • Nailed part of one wall of shingles, almost ready to paint.
  • Transplanted another tree from the edge of the new parking spaces to replace the old dying walnut in the backyard. We’ll see if I didn’t kill this one like I did the last. Note: When digging up a seedling, always dig wider than you’d think, then deeper than you’d think, to avoid the taproot.

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Did some scraping on the west side of house to prep for nailing and maybe painting tomorrow AM.

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That is all.

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More stuff

A gravel expansion of angled parking spaces next to my still technically gravel driveway continued apace today. Details and pictures soon, when it’s complete. So maybe not so soon, really.

And also today, two revelations about mulberries:

1) They are delicious. I knew they were edible, and had even started looking up things one can make with them online, but hadn’t actually tried real nice ripe ones until today whilst wandering around the yard talking on the phone with an old friend.

2) They stain things. I knew they stained my hands and the tarps on which they’ve fallen over the last few years, but I just realized that maybe they could also stain wood. This could add an interesting, very purple, twist on projects in the future.

Related – noticed that the black walnut by the driveway is bearing fruit this year, so homemade stain plans are definitely back on the agenda for fall.

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It continues to be the little things…

  • Shopped for flanges for this really clever bookcase thing I’m building. No really, it’s going to be awesome. Someday. Particularly if I can find the pipe fittings I want ideally a) with a patina and b) for not $10-20 apiece. Someone just suggested the local Habitat ReStore which I’ll need to look at soon.
  • Moved things about in the shed. Again. I really should have built a garage. Let this be a lesson to all new homeowners, especially those who like to build things like I do. You’re going to need space for the tools and supplies. More space than you think.
  • Measured the doors I rescued from a house that was slated for demolition to see if I can swap any in for my upstairs bedroom doors. The upstairs doors need restoration attention, which they probably won’t get for a while, so meanwhile I think giving them temporary replacements (and similarly old replacements at that) is a good idea.

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Back to the small stuff

In an effort to keep myself blogging, but also to demonstrate to anyone reading this (Bueller?) how it’s a lot of little things that eventually get you a really nice looking old house, I’m going to try and post, often sans pictures, what I’ve done on the house each day, even if that’s just prep or minor work.

Today –

  • replaced several shingles (there’s a post in itself…)
  • prepped a bunch more for painting
  • marked off the beams for an all-reclaimed-materials bookcase
  • got the drill press running and did a test drilling for said bookcase
  • trimmed off some old shingles so they can be reused
This was a day off from OSTF, though, so no promises anything this exciting will happen the rest of this week…

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Rabbit-proof fence?

Another old project which I am only now posting. With plans for some garden space (in place of lawn) came the realization that there are rabbits bounding about my town much of the year. Some fencing was in order.

First, to prep the space… I pulled sod in a roughly 8′ x 4′ rectangle next to the existing flower beds, and I think I came across a footer or something connected with the old old old porch stairs that likely came off the front under the peaked roof.

With the space cleared and major rocks and roots removed, I laid a ‘path’ using salvaged bricks so I could access both ‘plots’ easily.

Fill in with several inches of topsoil…

And now for the fences. These held up fine in the ensuing winter, but they were definitely a temporary solution – although a good way to use existing materials, I think. I started by pulling the screen – some fiberglass/nylon, some maybe aluminum – from the frames of old storm windows I hadn’t yet dragged to the scrap yard.

Once again, my 1″x1″ poles were turned into stakes with a quick miter. I then cut the screen maybe 5 inches wide and attached the runs to stakes with ye olde staple gun.

As with the raised beds out back I found it easiest to attach no more than two walls at a time, and then complete the sides after the first walls are in the ground. You may also want to carve some trenches along where the screens will run first (you want them to be even a little bit underground so gaps don’t open up between earth and barrier) to make it easier for yourself as you lay in the stakes, the screens, and then refill with some dirt.

And here’s what you get when you drop some plants in your now rabbit-proof plots:

And here’s about half of the unused tomatoes at the end of the season. Half. The rest went to a friend who swears she could live on fried green tomatoes, and had to prove it after my delivery.

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Plant IDs, please

Before I start slicing down even more things in the backyard, I thought I’d double check.  This is buckthorn, I’m quite certain:

 This I’m 90-some-percent certain is also buckthorn:

But these flowers that have suddenly appeared in various parts of the property are new to me.  Anyone know what I’m looking at, and especially if it’s an invasive?

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