Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Igloo Time

 As she did last year, Brenda had students save plastic gallon jugs over the holiday season and then bring them to school in January.  With the collection of over 200 jugs, we spent a couple hours one evening creating this igloo.  The kids love it as you might imagine and they each are given time inside the igloo to read over the month or so it stays in place. 

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Suggested reading

I remember quite distinctly several surprises which have occurred over the years.

Surprises about a particular skill or ability possessed by someone I knew.  That is, I knew the person but didn't know about the talent.

An uncle who had the ability to have played the guitar professionally, but I never knew until I was late teens.  A friend who over 30 years ago shocked me by sitting at the piano and playing beautifully.  I still recall it vividly.  Another acquaintance who despite his short and somewhat stocky build astounded me on the basketball court with skills that belied his physique and I never would have guessed.

Recently I added another to my, "I never would have guessed" list.

If you are so inclined, MY BLOG LIST on the right side of this page shows one blog entitled, From Under My Hat.

I highly suggest you scroll down the page about 1/2 way and read a couple of these:

The Woodshed    story begins with "The evening air.."
The Eagle      begins "Grandad, are you awake?"
A few nights before Christmas    begins "It's very quiet..."

If you enjoy these writings only 1/2 as much as I, it will be worth your time.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Floor and roof

Kirk is busy placing shingles while I grab a few photos.  I found out throwing a bundle of shingles over my shoulder and climbing a ladder isn't as easy as it once was! 

The floor is ready for the concrete truck to arrive.  Unfortunately, I had an appointment and was away when this job was completed.  I wasn't any help nor did I get any photos taken of that process.

A few days later we removed the old door and wall so the old entryway now is part of the new addition.

I had thought we'd have to do some major sawing to get the blocks out and could only imagine concrete dust everywhere.  Fortunately, the sawing was minimal and we knocked out the blocks almost entirely with a hammer.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Destruction desists; Construction continues.

The old porch was left in place to have something over our heads at the front door for the time being while the concrete work was taking place.  Each part of the project takes place when ever the opportunity presents itself so we never know if the next step will be tomorrow or a week from tomorrow. 

So this is the day it's coming down and the framing starts.

And as usual, the yard is a mess.  Of course it gets cleaned up later in the day. 

 I think each day of this project we have worked in close company with the drizzle.  With mud sticking to the boots everywhere we go, the end of the day cleanup includes spraying down sidewalks, tools and even some of the wood with water.

We can still get to the front door throughout thanks to the old concrete pad.

The "box" starts to take shape.

Almost ready to place the sheeting on the roof.

Sunday, February 5, 2012


A couple courses of block are needed on the to get to floor level.

It's a windy, raw day but above freezing so we're OK. 

While I've been a do-it-yourselfer for most of my remodel projects, it was really nice to have
Rocke Brothers Inc. on this job.  They were done before I could have made a trip to town to buy the supplies!

Ready for the next step which will be to tear down the old porch - in the next blog.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

It must be time for another project

Many who have visited us in this house would know that once you step inside that red door you are faced with two stairs.  One going up to the main floor and one going down to the basement.  The worst part is the landing which is only 3x6 feet and a door that opens in - directly toward the stairs going up.  For 19 years the squeeze in that area has been tolerated but quite inconvenient.  Whether you were carrying a sack of groceries, trying to take off shoes, or simply trying not to get in the way of the rest of the family that was ahead or behind you, the cramped quarters were endured and the words often uttered, "It sure would be nice to do something about this entry way someday".

Someday has come!

After Brent helped me dig out the bushes which we hope to save, he hammers out some old sidewalk.

Measurements are taken and the lines drawn where the footings need to be dug as seen by the orange paint on the grass.  Brent (in red sweatshirt) cleans out dirt and checks the depth of the first trench

Just after lunch, the concrete is delivered.

The trench is full of concrete and the 9x12 entryway addition is in motion.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

New Years Eve Eve

Yep, since Friday night seemed a better option than Saturday night for a party, our New Years gathering earned the double "eve" moniker.  We sure enjoyed the company of all those who attended.

Kamela posted a number of photos of the event in her blog here and here so feel free to look there for more detailed coverage.

Several years ago we had a chili cool-off which seemed to go over well.  Someone mentioned recently it might be time to do that again so we decided to try a variation for New Years eve eve.  The theme was chili and soup. There was no contest this time, just a lineup of crock pots filled with a delightful variety of meats, beans and other assorted vegetables.  With a little planning and small portions, it was possible to try each and every one on the table!

I decided to try something different from my normal chili.  A recipe I'd seen for seafood chowder sounded good but there was no seafood readily available when I finally got started preparing something to take.  A quick look in the freezer yielded some venison cajun brats, a pheasant and smaller amounts of rabbit & squirrel so the seafood chowder turned in to a woodman's chowder.  There were enough people that tried some and enough compliments on the stuff I'd make it again.