Friday, January 28, 2022

It's Time

Yes, it's time. You know the feeling. Antsy, anxious, you have a lot to do but cannot seem to get motivated or focus on one thing. It happens to a lot of us in the midst of winter. We need to get out of here for a few weeks! See different sights, focus on something other than working on the house, get away from snow and return when maybe, just maybe, all the snow will be gone and things will be greening up. 

So, what warm weather locale will we head to in an effort to escape the grips of this frigid winter? Why, the topics of Southern Oregon of course! Forrest had asked if we would come out and help out with a couple of projects he wants to get done so we are going to take a break on ours and see if we can cross off a couple of his!

Speaking of projects......What were this week's projects you ask? Well, it depended on the day. Nice days we were outside, cold or windy days we were inside. Outside projects included siding the wood storage shed and the wind block partition on the west side of the house where the grill is. We had enough left-over steel siding to get it almost all done. I only need to order 2 sheets to finish the back then all the siding is done!


Wind break.....done!
Once those were completed, I moved onto the F Channel that goes outside edge of the porch to hold the soffit. Not really picture worthy but nice to have done nonetheless. I was a couple pieces short there as well so that too will went until my steel order comes in. Next up in this area will be the soffit itself but that will have to wait.

On the inside, Barb worked on her bench. She is done with the bench part minus a little trim. Next up is the back wall and cubbies that go above it. 
I also started building the drawer boxes for our dresser. This is the first time I got the opportunity to use our newly purchased Kreg jig. I know what you are thinking, not many people have a 5x7 granite workbench for their woodworking projects. Barb just loves it when I take over the kitchen like this, but it is the only way I could work on the drawers and watch football at the same time!

Two down, six to go!
We even got a bonus project done when Barb and I got the moisture barrier and lathe on the remaining 135' of the house where the stone will eventually go. 

Well, that last picture is kinda "after", that was before I stapled the entire length every 6 square inches or so. That area is going to support a lot of weight so needs lots of staples!

And yesterday, we picked up our shower glass! At 40"x82" and 1/2" thick, this beast weighed in at 150lbs! I do not know if we will get it installed in the next two days but at least it is here.

This is the time of the year when the deer start losing their antlers, so Barb and the dogs have been out a few times searching for these elusive treasures. 

Now anyone can find the big antlers that drop in the snow and are easily visible, but it takes real skill to find the little ones!

We still managed to get the girls out for a walk everyday but mostly they just hung out on the couch and watched us work. 
This week you get two videos for a total of one minute, fifteen seconds of time you will never get back in your life. The first one is what we have to put up with every night when we try to go to sleep. For those of you how have had a dog that snores, you know our pain!

This second video is 15 seconds and is a short clip of what it is like taking Zoey to the vet to get her nails trimmed. We tried to do it at home a couple times but have decided it is just not worth it. It only costs $15 at the vet. They put her in a harness, one vet tech holds her head and talks to her while the other clips away. Believe it or not, this is the best she has ever done, the other times were a lot worse!

The next couple of days will be spent packing up the truck and trailer. Among other items, we are taking our table saw, miter saw and an assortment of hand tools.  No camper on this trip, breaking one of our own longstanding rules. We always like to have our own bed, and an escape pod for my self-imposed timeouts. That, and for the sake of the kid's privacy too. No matter how much they say it does not bother them, it is impossible not to disrupt a household when someone else is staying there. They need their privacy too.

So, here we go...... It is time. Time for a road trip, time for a change of scenery, time to spoil one of our grandchildren, time for our next big adventure!

Monday, January 17, 2022

Burn, Beetle, Burn!

We country folk have to do something to keep us entertained in the dead of the winter. Well, Custer came up with a way to do it in style. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Burning Beetle event here in Custer. We are usually somewhere warm when this life changing event occurs but this year we are here and are ready to have our life changed!

The dreaded Pine Beetle!

Dan and Bonnie joined us on our life changing experience. 

We arrived at the Custer High School prepared for the cold. Jacket, hats, gloves and all available pockets lined with beverages guaranteed to warm your soul. Having never been, we did not know what to expect but our expectations did not include a marching mob carrying pitchforks and torches chanting "Burn Beetle Burn!". Nor did we expect the huge fireworks display and ash from the burning beetle to shower the crowd.....Good times!

Dino, just for you, I included a video of the momentous event so you can see what you missed. Here is 2 minutes you will never get back! You'll have to forgive the watermark; I am testing a new version of Filmora. 

Once that was done, we headed downtown to the Gold Pan Saloon who had a small three-piece country band. They even allow dogs into the bar!

Then it was off to the Custer Beacon where things were anything but calm and quiet. They had a heavy metal band playing, the place with filled with metal heads of all ages showing off their dance moves. Three days later, my head still hurts! It was so good to see people out living their lives and having a good time!

Fun over and head pounding it was time to get back to work. The promise of another warm day has me looking forward to sunrise.  It is 33°F at 6:45am as I write making this the third day in a row with temps in the mid 40's! 

Work on the inside of the house is on pause as we take advantage of this respite from winter. I have been working on siding. My goal is to have it all done by the end of the week. The vapor barrier was put up in June of '19 when Jim and Diana were here for a visit. We should do a testimonial for Typar as it is holding up great after being exposed to the elements for 2 1/2 years!

We spent one day cleaning the garage. This has not been done since..... I don't know when, so it seriously needed it. Saw dust was everywhere, scrap pieces of wood, pieces of tile, you name it, it was on the ground there. Once we got it all cleaned and organized, we stepped back and reviewed our progress. For a 50x30 garage, it is still full! 

We had three big things we wanted to get rid of; the old fridge, stove and the table from the RV that we used during construction. Kevin is going to take the stove, the fridge and table we listed on Facebook Marketplace for free. That is when we learned a valuable lesson.... the whacko's come out of the woodwork when you list something for free on Marketplace! We started getting inundated with messages. A few said they would take them but could not pick them up until this weekend. One wanted it but did not have the gas to come get it, another wanted us to deliver them an hour and a half to Rapid City. In the end we got rid of both in a day. I ended up delivering the table and chairs to a mobile home about 5 miles from us. They were going to come get it but they have "the sickness" so I offered to just drop it off in their driveway. The guy who got the fridge also lived about 5 miles away and was in the process of building a house and needed a fridge, so it worked out perfectly!

Garage clean, it was clear for me to lay out some metal siding and make a mess again! The first piece of siding was one I had been putting off for quite a while. First of all, I needed the hip roof done before I could do it, secondly, it was 16' tall and included a part of a window, the stove vent and a water spigot. Kevin came over and helped me measure everything out then I went about cutting the holes and edges. Kevin then came over again and helped us install it. It took all three of us but we got it up and miracle of miracles, I had cut everything right!

That done, I could work my way up the hip to the end of the building! Next up was the opposite corner of the house where the other hip is. Another day of cutting and fitting and this end was done as well!

Meanwhile, inside Barb started another new project when she decided to make the bench for the nook in the laundry room. 

She is going to up a lift up lid on the bench to store the dog food, a fence board back on the wall and cubbies up above for hats and gloves. 

Sunday, I worked inside, watched football and worked on the dressers. I managed to cut and fit each of the pieces for the front face. Next up is the drawer boxes!

More old fence boards!

We have one more nice day tomorrow then the bottom falls out again with the highs in the teens. Maybe I will get those drawer boxes done this week!

Only one dog picture this week. As I was scrolling through some old pictures I ran across this one of Daisy and I at a happy hour down in Quartzsite. You can tell that Daisy and I are both riveted in the conversation. No doubt we were listening to either Steve or Harry telling one of their tall tales!

I know many of you were concerned about Barb's CAT Scan.  All went well, they did find two things; The first was that she has some kind of infection in her sinuses. This could be causing her headaches. The second thing....well.... I will just write verbatim what the doctor had written in the notes: "Portions of the brain are unremarkable". I really don't know what to say about that as I think everything about Barb is remarkable. 

Sunday, January 9, 2022

PBA Tour, here we come!

About once a year Barb and I get out bowling. Usually with one of the kids and grandkids but this week we went bowling with Kevin and Cheryl to show them our mad bowling skills. It is an amazing event to witness but more on that later...

Also, about once a year Barb and I go to the doctor. This week we both had appointments. We had scheduled them a month or so ago so they would be right after the first of the year. Having such a high deductible, if we were going to have anything done, we wanted it in the new year. My appointment went great. The doctor used phrases like; an amazing specimen, picture of health.... and the like. He even asked if I ever considered cooking shirtless in the kitchen! Funny you should mention that I replied....

Barb's appointment went well as well, but she has a few follow up appointments. A CAT scan next week and an appointment with a psychiatrist the week after....I knew there was something wacky going on up there!  (Okay, just kidding about the psychiatrist appointment).  

We both got our meds renewed. We sadly did not make it down to Mexico this year to get our yearly supply. So....if any of our snowbird friends are headed down that way, let us know and maybe you could pick us up a few things? And no Dino, they are not the little blue pills!

The weather this week forced more indoor work. We were not Minnesota or Wisconsin cold, but we were in the double digits below 0 a night or two. We had a fire going for several days straight keeping the house warm. 

Aa far as our progress this week, we still have a little bit of trim to do. Mainly upstairs. We did get the laundry room painted. That is the last room to get painted. Check that off the list!

We also started a couple of new projects. The first is Barb sanding and refinishing a chest that she had bought at a garage sale last summer. She completed that project in about 3 hours. 

Then Kevin came over to help get us started on tiling the dog wash. We "think" we can handle the project ourselves, but the most important thing is that you start off level and straight, so we asked Kevin to set the first row. 

Then I started on the built-in dresser in the bedroom.  The area started out like this.....

So far, I just have the frame built. I measured and furred out some boards where the outside drawer runners will go and built the center divider section where the inside drawer runners will go. Having never built a dresser before I have used my "Phone a Friend" lifeline a couple times calling Jim Belisle, cabinet builder extraordinaire, asking him a few questions along the way. 

Next up will be the material for the drawers and the face We have the material for the face but needed to run to Rapid for the drawer material. 

While I was working on that, Barb came in with a new friend. She was walking by the living room window and saw this little Nuthatch laying on the concrete. Since it was -12F she knew it would not last long laying there.  
As she was showing it to me, it started to perk up, lifting its head and looking around. Barb made a little bed for it out of a dog blanket and set it back outside. 15 minutes later it was gone. 

While in Rapid the next day picking up dresser material, we stopped by our favorite sushi place and used the gift card Dan and Bonnie gave us!

Thanks Dan and Bonnie!

Although we cannot get much further from the ocean, this place is delicious and fresh sushi!

The dogs have don't like the cold weather, but they like us being inside with them all the time. Zoey has a new sweater to keep her warm indoors and a new coat for her outdoor adventures....


Dakota keeps warm pretty much anywhere but has no objections when I invite her up on the couch or the bed for a little snuggle time!

With all that work we were due for a little fun! We skipped our Wednesday burger night and opted for a bowling night in Hot Springs. We bowled 3 games and made the most of it. We turned it into a drinking game where the loser had to buy a round of shots for the low score in the 5th frame and the end of the game. Only in Hot Springs will you find a bowling alley with an elk mount over the lane!

Cheryl showing off her mad bowling skills

Out of the 3 games, Barb is the only one who did not have to buy a round. Kevin was having a great time which is evidenced by this short clip!

In fact, he was having so much fun that he actually dropped the ball on one of his backswings! I wished I would have been recording that throw, we were laughing so hard we all had tears rolling down our faces!

Here is a picture of Barb showing off her form. But that is not the most important thing in this picture....

The most important thing in this picture is the score board above Barb. Of the three games we played this is the only picture of the score I am going to show.  Being the creator of the blog has its advantages!  
As the games (and shots) progressed, some of us got better and better while others deteriorated. At times we were laughing so hard there were multiple gutter balls. To be fair, I have to admit that Kevin and I did not partake in the shots the last two games as we were the designated drivers, so Barb and Cheryl took the brunt of the punishment!

Good times were had by all but now it is back to work. The temps this week are climbing into the 40's and even topping 50! Time to get back outside and do some work out there!

Saturday, January 1, 2022

Happy New Year!

This makes the 2nd New Years in a row that we have said good riddance to a year. First 2020, now 2021. Let's hope 2022 gets life back to some normalcy. Actually, we did not let the pandemic impact our travel plans too much this year. The main reason it was a hard year for us was losing Ms. Daisy. Almost a year later and pain still lingers. 

We traveled from coast to coast and even got into Canada later in the year! 

So, what do we have planned for this year? Much of the same except in reverse. We will head west in the next month or so to visit Forrest, Somer and Lily helping them with some projects around the house. Then we will be back here for a month or so before we start our big summer adventure! A trip we have had on the list for 3 years but keeps getting pushed back for various reasons. Well, this year we are going to do it!

We are heading north and east...and by that I do not mean to The Farm in Douglas North Dakota or another Undisclosed Location in Minnesota or even Pasha Lake Cabins in Ontario, all of which happen to be Northeast of us. Although we may stop by one, two or even all three of these locations, we are going much, much further north and east as we make our way to Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and maybe even Newfoundland! 

The official copilot and route planner has it all laid out, and if all goes well it is going to make for an adventurous summer! Our return route takes us down into Maine and eventually Pennsylvania to see our daughter Jessica and back west to South Dakota. To say we are excited would be an understatement! For those of you who have been in these areas we would be interested in your recommendations.

All this travel of course means that we need to continue with the progress on the house while we can! Cold temperatures kept us inside most of the week. Barndoors and trim was the theme of the week. Do you know how many lineal feet of trim are in a house? Even a small house? Me neither but it is hundreds and hundreds. To make matters even more fun, we are making our own trim out of 1x4's which means each board has to be ripped and planed before it is stained and varnished. 

But foot by foot we are getting there. The living room is done, the downstairs bathroom is done, and the hallway is done. 

Hallway trim....done!

Plus, Barb got the two closet barndoors in the bedroom done!

You can even see the barndoor in the hall leading to the laundry room. 

Now she is anxious to get started on the built-in dresser we are going to make for that space under the T.V. I don't see that happening anytime soon so in the meantime that old dresser will do. I did not have a "before" picture, but I did find this one in the archives to give you an idea of what the closets look like behind the doors. 

In our "downtime" we have gotten a little decorating done. I scored on a really cool book that I have added to our collection. The Legacy of Les C. Kouba.....Les is probably my favorite artist of all time with some old-time wildlife paintings that bring you back to another era. If you have any of his prints stored in your basement, feel free to send them my way!

We also picked up a sofa table the other day where I now have Les' book prominently displayed!

 We also go just the hooks we were looking for to mount the muzzleloader Dino gave me last time were at their Undisclosed Location. This thing is decades old and has never been out of the box. As soon as he gave it to me, I knew just the place for it!

Wednesday night, Dan and Bonnie along with our neighbors Jim and Carmen met us at The Pringle Bar to help celebrate my birthday! Kevin and Cheryl still were not feeling well and could not make it but we still managed to have a good time. Thursday was my actual birthday, we celebrated it at home with a feast of king crab legs, shrimp and a ribeye. We were both so stuffed afterwards that I think we rolled into bed about 9:00. So good!

New Year's night I cooked (that's right, I said "I"!) a very special dinner of Hungarian Partridge from our North Dakota adventures earlier in the year. 
3 Huns, you have to leave the wings on when transporting them
I don't get into the kitchen very often and I thought I was rocking it! As a matter of fact, this is how I pictured myself putting everything together. 
Barb was so impressed that she took a picture of me. That made me even more confident that I was rock'in the kitchen but when she showed me the picture, I just did not understand who that old guy in the picture was!
Maybe if I had my shirt off.....

Being so cold out, the girls have had a lot of indoor time. The lay together almost all the time but in this instance, Dakota was actually holding Zoey.

Dakota does not seem to mind the cold and runs around like crazy when she is outside. Zoe Belle on the other hand is a freeze baby and sometimes shivers even inside until we put a sweater on her. One time I took her out to do her thing..... and when she was done, she started walking back and froze up. Literally froze up! I stared at her a few seconds, called her but she did not move. I had to walk over and pick her up and carry her in. Note to self, put an extra sweater on Zoey when it is below 0!

Once or twice a day Zoey will be laying there and all of a sudden, she gets up and starts zooming around. She loves jumping from couch to couch to dog bed......Here is a 50 second example of her antics. 

From our house to yours, we wish 2022 brings you good health and many adventures!