Thursday, May 30, 2013


I wondered... what does the woman in the hot pink pants suit think of my outfit?

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Memorial Day

firemen in the parade
When this dapper fire captain hopped out of ranks to steal a kiss from his gal and then skampered back into line it was a sweet moment.
Thats my Bubba*.
And Bubba is happy.
Ah... spring is in the air and love is grand.

Happy spring Bubba!

*Bubba is my big brother.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Prodigal Free Dog

For reasons we cannot fathom, the Free Dog still lives with us down here by the sea.

Free dog is getting older and slower, as are we. So by the time we all smelled the skunk - it was too late.
And despite previous experience on both our parts - we all succumbed to rookie mistakes.

And so the next several hours into the night we washed and aired and washed again.

We spent the next day airing the house with the windows WIDE open.
Just in time for pollen.
It seems that ALL the pollen came off EVERY tree yesterday.
Our entire decor is now a lovely ochre.

Things are smelling better in here today. The odor is mostly contained to the basement where Free Dog has her bed.
Which is in my office.
Which is where I am now ... I knew I should have gotten a laptop instead.

Monday, May 20, 2013

If you want somthing done right...

First hire a professional, then redo the parts you don't like.

So last year we had the screen porch added.
from last year

We used it ALOT.

For the winter I got an idea to use these heavy clear tarps so we wouldn't have to store all the patio furniture inside somewhere else.

porch bubble
This was was both a swimming success... and a failure.

I say failure because these clear plastic panels were HEAVY, and difficult to put up. I could see right away this was not going to be conducive to my plans of aging gracefully.
That said - the porch was toasty warm on sunny days. Even tho there was tremendous air leakage - it was still very comfortable on some very cold days. This was a pleasant surprise.

So this spring we had two issues to solve.
First, my wife detested the way the contractor had installed the screens. The white outlined effect detracted from the simplicity of the room, and frankly looked cheap. She particularly disliked the white horizontal bar around the entire space just at eye level when seated.
I disliked the screens for the practical purposes of fixing and cleaning them.

So they had to go...
why does it always rain when i work outside

After removing all the screens and trim I reframed the spacing and added a sill plate all around the bottom and making the openings closer to four foot, vs. the eight foot spans originally.
still some landscaping in progress around the base of the porch
We are now ready to order some new screens.
I've got something in mind...
I hope this idea is better than my last.

Friday, May 17, 2013



I am back dammit.
I spent some time over the weekend using this very blog to research various important facts - such as the timing of the arrival of pollen dust, did we have ants in 2006, and how many years did I skip crabgrass control.
I am realizing I can't remember a damned thing.
But my blog can!

Today's tip is how to keep doing over-the-top, out of your league, DIY projects as we age.

I learned while re-framing our screened porch
yes...I said re-framing, and yes... we just had it built last year. what happens when you spend alot of money on something but you are really not completely satisfied with the result - well, just change it! I will post about this fun project.
I digress
So I noticed that its getting harder and harder for me to do heavy work over my head. Evidently I am not as strong as I used to be...or I am just getting noticeably lazier. Either way - placement of your ladder is key.
Say you are trying to screw in a fairly heavy pressure treated header with 3" deck screws -- so place your step ladder in a position where you are dead infront of the current screw you want to drive. Whats key is to place it far enough away so you can lean your weight into the drill. This will help drive it home. Move the ladder for each screw you need to drive instead of trying to reach. Reaching really diminishes your torque. Also don't forget how handy a good set of clamps are. This way you don't have to hold a board as you hold the drill.
These small changes to your work habits will get you through a project well enough ... at least well enough to still be able to uncork the wine later.