Fat Lady wants to sing

And that’s a wrap, folks. All things requested by the buyer are completed. As I was coming off the ladder, a fat diva marched up to me and demanded a stage so she could sing her finale. I told her “Sorry toots, we got no stage and I’m not building one just for you. You can check with the Mrs in the house to see if dishes need done or something useful like that.” You can imagine how that went.

Yesterday, the mail man drove up and wondered just what the heck the long yellow strap was holding down. I told him that it gets windy in these parts and I wanted the roof to stay on until the new owners took possession. It was actually holding my ladder from sliding off the roof. I was going to use rope but these straps hold 3300 lbs and the rope we found was only rated for 200 lbs. Since I had 3 straps, 27 feet each, I hooked it to the ladder and ended up anchoring it to the wife’s vehicle. The chimney install turned into a day and a half of more fun than you can throw a stick at. In fact, so fun, I’d rather not do that particular job again, ever.

At the end of the first day I made sure the wife knew not to drive off without checking first to see if the car was connected to the house. She assured me that that would never happen, but earlier in the day, we saw a picture on the internets of some chick driving down the freeway with a gas hose still connected to her car. The wife then told me she almost did that once, hence my harping about making sure to drive away without dragging the house down the road, with her.

So yeah, I know, it’s been awhile since I posted anything. I’ve been busting my butt to get done and get outta here and not much time for anything else.

About a week ago, started training the dog to put away his wild coyote ways and transition him into a town dog. The first few days were confusing, but he’s always been good about learning new things and so far, he’s still a good boy. He developed a habit of mournful howling when he got left outside and wanted to come in. Since my idea of a town dog is a good boy and quiet to boot, we bought a training collar that prevents barking. It’s from the same people that made a training collar for long range control. We’ve already been through that program and this new collar is just like the old collar. Since dogs think somewhat logically, dog logic, this new collar, in his mind is the old collar with new features. The moment I put it on him, he became A Good Boy. Meaning, no running off, smelling this or that. Just sticking close and listening to me.

I have been putting it on him first thing in the morning and it wasn’t until yesterday morning that he discovered the new, no bark or howl feature. The collar has a learning algorithm and steps up the correction only if it needs to. Ole Sweet Pea was outside, in the early morning dark and decided to mournfully howl, just a bit to express his displeasure at being left out too long. I was upstairs, putting some heat on my back and heard him start his routine, which suddenly cut off, after about the third note. He didn’t make a peep after that. And since the collar had learned his voice, today when he tried to howl, he got a half howl out and stopped. Since he’s not yelping, I know he’s getting a vibration that doesn’t hurt him. Just like the other training collar. So we’ll end up with a good boy that’s quiet and well behaved and everybody else’s dog will be barky, jumping on ya, and general pains in the butt. Living in town is like that.

Win some – Lose some

After living rent free in my head for 8 years or so, I can cross the tile job off my list. It went way easier than it did 25 years ago, when I last lifted a notched trowel. Instead of damp sponging after applying the grout, we sprinkled dry grout over what I had just finished and rubbed it in with a towel. Did that twice for each go round, there were 3, and sat down at the finish line to have a cool refreshing barley beverage. If I’m not careful, I may just work myself out of a job soon.

Continuing on the winning streak… Are you tired of winning yet? The 3 orphan windows, with big sad eyes, found new forever homes, replacing the horrid combination pieces of crap, in the upstairs west bedroom in the wood side of the house. And the beauty thing of it was, I could do the whole removal and install from in the house. When I was 30, I thought nothing of hoisting a 300 pound roll of carpet on my shoulder and trotting up 3 flights of steps. Now, when I’m within spittin’ distance of 60, I tend to think twice about crawling up ladders with a 50 pound window clutched in my arm with the busted shoulder. Time and gravity will do you in, if you’re not careful. So, with age and experience, comes conniving and plain old cheating. Remember kids, if you ain’t cheating, you ain’t trying.

Got the 3 windows in, painted the sills and it was all done before the fat lady even came out of her dressing room. Fat Diva’s are really quite useless at home remodeling.

But, there was still a gnat in our brandy, so to speak. My truck was still in the shop and the mechanic was telling me he needed just one more drive around town to make sure it was working. Every time he drove it, something new popped up. My original complaint was with cruise control on, the overdrive engaged, all by itself and disabled the use of cruise control, which just plain sucks when you are driving the long and winding roads where we live. I told him the lack of truck was holding up the whole show. One more drive he said, and then come and get it. I did and on the way home, wait for it, set the cruise control and 90 seconds later, my old friend, Mr Overdrive, took charge and the rest of the trip home was laced with some inventively blue language.

So I can drive the dang thing if I don’t use cruise control which is kinda like living in Cuba, I’d wager.

Details for Jesus

One last door this time, sweet Jesus
What? Another door in line?
Wrapping my finger with duct tape, it’s bleedin
Just one last door this time.

Jesus was a carpenter, so I think it all works.
Those lines popped into my head and wouldn’t let me go back to sleep. Being 2:30 AM, that was a little inconvenient. At least the wife thought so.  And if you kids haven’t heard the song, here’s the real deal. One toke over the line

To say I am sick of installing doors would be an understatement. We are in the final stretch of getting this project finished and because my truck has still not come home from its summer vacation with the mechanic, I thought I would take this time to punch out some of the minor details needing to be done. Our original timeline had us running up to Menards with the truck to get the underlayment and vinyl for the dining room and a final piece of cement board for the tile in the living room. None of which fits into the wife’s SUV and without my truck, we be out of luck.

So close to finishing this project but can’t get the supplies needed to finish it. Without too much effort, I think I could wrangle a hit country song out of this deal, but I sing like a donkey braying and the dog howls in harmony, and who needs an earful of that, eh?

One of the other small details was the mudroom floor. It had not been installed with any degree of finesse and had then been treated poorly. The Mrs and I decided to try some self leveling floor and from the literature it sounded like it would do everything but whiten our teeth. We went about the job, mixing up small batches, ‘cause I don’t own a big enough drill to mix the whole bag, like the bag said I should. Doing what yah can with what yah got. Turns out the small batches didn’t like each other much and tended to ride over the top and well, all the holes and cracks got filled in and some of the floor even leveled out, but not enough that you’d notice it. I let the stuff dry overnight and sanded the ridges and filled in the voids with 20 minute hot mud. Then we went whole hog and splurged on a garage floor epoxy, with sprinkles, and now it looks pretty dang sweet, or as my Dad would say, “Like a diamond in a goat’s butt.” He always had a way with words.

Called the mechanic and he said what with the 4th o’July holiday, parts would be

late in coming and the truck wasn’t ready yet. Hmm. I had 2 storm doors waiting in my shop and they were next on the punch list. They always say that the first one you do is learning. You are getting schooled on how to put up with goofy instructions, missing parts and what to do when you have to make it up as you go along. And boy howdy, it was all that. The box says a 30 minute install. It took me all damn day. Shimming the door frame to make the new storm door fit was a lot of fun. The next day, second verse, just like the first, but now we got storm doors.

And if the truck don’t come home tomorrow, 3 orphan windows with big, sad eyes, are living in my shop, hoping for a new home. They might not have long to wait. At least it will be a glorious break from doors. Thinking strongly about renting when we finally move.

Portents in the Sky

I noticed an unusual cloud formation yesterday afternoon. The weather nerds had been claiming basketball sized hail, biblical rains and tornadic winds, like they always do, and as it almost always does, the sure to cause damage to life and limb weather missed us by a country mile. I wandered out to get a better look at the clouds and brought my camera, ‘cause if you don’t have pictures, it didn’t happen. Pro Tip garnered from numerous internet forums.

We have a whole passel of buzzards that like to hang around our place, and this year a breeding pair of Red Tailed Hawks has set up shop somewhere in our forest. That’s what the 1st Realtors claimed our place had. A forest. Only trees in the whole area, the one realtor chick claimed. The way they talked, I was wondering if I could maybe interest one of them big companies that clear-cut entire mountains to make a bid on our “forest” and we could skip the whole selling the place and live in high style with the…

Yeah, maybe not. Which is what I told them when they came back and wanted to list our place.

So, I was wandering down the driveway, looking at this cloud and next thing I know, I’ve got 7 buzzards floating directly over my head at a somewhat alarmingly low altitude, with the Red Tail Hawk just above them, screeching “Hey Dude!” For a moment there, I was wondering if the wife was going to collect that hefty chunk of life insurance I had taken out for moments very similar to this. Nope, turns out, the buzzards along with their new little buddy, “Gilligan” the hawk, were out for their usual afternoon patrol. They had launched off our silo and hadn’t quite hit a thermal to lift them high in the sky. Or, they were just being neighborly and saying “Howdy” before heading out for a snack.

I’m not quite sure how the hawk fits in with these guys. They eat old dead stuff and he likes live things that he has processed himself. None of them would sit still enough for a decent photo. I don’t really blame them, as I find it hard to sit still when I’m hungry too.

Gonna miss the friendly neighbors when we move. No, not enough to stay, well maybe if the Weyerhaeuser Company comes through with the big timber contract, but probably not. We don’t have chiggers in Minnesota and the catfish that everybody raves about down here, gets buried in the garden up there, where it belongs.