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Category: Home improvement

A Monday ramble

Actually, not so much rambling as sitting indoors under a tornado warning. The current twister probably won’t come near my neighborhood, but we have about 30 more hours of unsettled weather, so who knows what we might eventually see? And here I thought The Wandering Monk was joking when he said if a tornado struck the NW corner of the screen porch would be the safest place in the house. I may have to find out. —– Quite to my surprise, we are in the midst of National Unmarried and Singles Week. I had no idea, did you? How did…

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The rainy season returns

An hour or two from now, the skies are scheduled to open. They’ve been closed by clouds the last two days, and when they open this time it won’t be to reveal summer blue. We’re looking at a week of rain. Not Harvey rain, not Irma rain, but typical of this part of the world; once the faucet’s on, it doesn’t care to stop. I am SO not ready for this. I’ve been dashing-dashing-dashing to get the place ready for the wet. For a while I was roaring with energy. But my oomph ran out before the projects and cleanup…

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Happiness is another miraculously wonderful house project (mostly) done and ready to enjoy

The Wandering Monk visited the blog the other day. He says there aren’t enough pictures. So here you go. Not long ago, I gave you the tale of the west wall. Now here’s the north wall and how we (but as always, mostly the Monk) solved the Dreaded Drainage problems and created beauty. Few words, many pictures. Reduced out of mercy. Click to embiggenate. And enjoy! 2013 … 2015. After Handyman Mike’s dreadfully botched bathroom remodel. My heart sank. This photo also gives you an idea of the way the back of the house was sunk into the bottom of…

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You load 3.34 tons and whadda ya get?

Tired. Sore. And whacked out to the point your where muscles start quivering. That’s what you get if you’re me and not some muscular 20-year-old guy who works on construction sites all day. Three-point-three-four tons. That’s the weight of 2.2+ yards of 7/8-inch concrete aggregate rock (which I’m not using for concrete aggregate, but as the base of the patio/cure for drainage problems). I still have a bit more of that to move, which is why no pix yet. But the guy with the handy-dandy mini-dump truck also hauled out a load of 3/4-minus driveway rock. With the driveway rock…

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The joy of hard work

Well, maybe not joy, exactly. Maybe not even close. Yeah, not even. But I’ve been working outside for the last several days, driven by the pleasant September weather and the urgent understanding that this ain’t gonna last. Despite the sweat dripping into my eyes and the dirt on my hands and knees, it’s satisfying. I’ve shoveled and raked and poisoned and hammered. I’ve painted, hauled, trimmed, swept, pounded, wheelbarrowed, and just this afternoon was able to lay down plastic sheeting and landscape cloth behind the house where The Wandering Monk and I did our redneck earth moving last week. Tomorrow…

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Sorry for the silence and good luck Floridians and beyond

Sorry for the lack of blogitude. I’ve been minioning. Then when The Wandering Monk lost energy this afternoon, I sent him home and took over the last bits of earth moving myself. I’m beat; but it’s looking good. All that remains before I can cross that project off the summer’s list is for me to do a touch of final leveling (after spraying the area down this evening and seeing where the water tended to pool), then lay down plastic, then find somebody to bring in gravel that I can rake around that 12 x 24-foot nice, FLAT area. Easy-peasy.…

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Redneck earth moving

It ain’t pretty, but it works. Or did after some revision. This homemade harrow — created by The Wandering Monk out of items lying around the property — broke up the nasty, vile, gluey clay behind the house for easier shoveling and removing. It worked better after he added 5/8″ rebar to the small springy tines on the back of the pallet. A final refinement will be fixed bolts. And that should do the job. Particularly since the Monk also came up with a plan that eliminates the majority of the shoveling we thought we were in for. The Monk…

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The earth shall move

… though hopefully not in any dramatic way. The Wandering Monk returns today for a short but unpleasant project — removing the last four inches or so of soil from the 12 x 24 area between the north house wall and the gorgeous retaining wall we built a year ago. The mega earth-moving was all done last year. It enabled us to build the wall and begin the new drainage system. No longer is water freely running down hills on two sides of the house and pooling underneath. But the poor old guy with the John Deere didn’t get the…

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Because I’m avoiding the next house project …

… I thought I’d take the PITA phone out and attempt to get some pix of where things stand now. They’re not particularly good pix, and please understand that everything is still in progress. But here you go. North wall and exterior of the new screen porch as of today: For reference, here’s what the north side of the house looked like four years ago: The excrescence on the right is the infamous not-a-garage, gone but never lamented. The deformity sticking out on the left was … well, its purpose takes paragraphs to explain, but basically it was composed of…

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I hate it when that happens

Been dry and warm. I’ve been working on the outside of the house (north wall, exterior of screen porch; I’d have pix except for my camera having died and the phone cameras being a PITA). But yesterday was misty. Enough that the “mist” dripped from the eaves all morning. So I slipped under the cover of the screen porch and returned to shingling the wall between porch and bedroom. A small fear I’ve been nursing soon proved true: I’m going to run out of shingles on the last row. On the very last freakin’ row. I hate it when that…

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