Monday, November 14, 2016

What we’ve been up to…

So we haven’t been working in the garden very much this year but we HAVE been working around the house.  In fact we’ve done quite a bit of sprucing, tidying and gasp, yes, even decluttering.  Knowing that we were not keeping a garden up this year, we put our energy into doing projects around the house that both needed to be done and put us further along towards our goal of having an intern and a training program.  I will share more about that idea in later posts, but for now, here is what we did accomplish.

I will begin with the outside of the house.  Our garage door needed to be replaced.  It was heavy, rotting, and despite being painted many times, the paint was peeling off.  Wanting to lighten up the exterior of our home, I wanted a white garage door.  The dark green looked black to me, especially since it was on the north side of our home and rarely received enough light to be seen as green from any distance.

The cardboard is covering up the dog door hole to keep wind out.  You can see where the paint has bubbled off over rot.  This is in early April and the trees are just starting to bud.

The new door came in a two boxes… great big long heavy boxes.

There isn’t much Sir T can’t do….  He just needs some tools.  I do have to give my Father-in-law some credit for this handiness.  It is genetic I think but also taught.  One of T’s assigned projects as a teenager involved two junker cars with the goal of making one that worked.

More evidence that I picked Mr. Right.  The garage door did not come with all the necessary hardware for the door opener (discovered after one opened the box and read the fine print in the instructions).
Sir T MADE them out of some extra metal he had.

It works!  The scariest part for me was the winding of the tension coil spring.  This makes the door easy to lift up and down for the door opener motor.  The instructions were very specific about damage to life and limb if not done properly.  One slip and the pry bar could whack you good.

Tada!  Oh boy, now that the door is pretty, the siding is extra grimy looking.

In June we had a new roof put on by two of our friends who do this for a living.  They are very good.  Sim and Eric came and within the span of a few days, we went from old brown shingles with a second layer of red shingles beneath, to a lovely gray.

Those shingle packs weigh about 75 pounds each. During this part, I was in charge of taking pictures.

We chose the grey shingle in an attempt to help with heat control in the summer.  Dark material heats up faster and there are studies that prove a lighter colored roof helps bring down the temperature in the attic.  We also had a ridge vent installed along the entire roof line and a warped roof board replaced.  Because T and I helped with the de-shingling process and clean up, we also got a little discount.

Peeling shingles and pounding in popped up nails

They cut the roof boards for a new ridge vent.
This will help release heat from the attic in the summer time and help keep the house cooler.

Looking into our attic through the hole where the warped roof board was removed. Sir T filled it with insulation several years ago but I have never climbed up in there to check it out.  My first thought was, “WOW, no way am I ever going in there!” followed by, “Wow, he did a good job getting all that in there with only a couple feet of clearing through the trusses and not falling down through the drywall ceiling.”  Erik is the one inside securing a roof board and Sim is on the outside.  Erik does not like his photo taken so this is probably his favorite one of himself.

Our beautiful new grey roof!

When you give a mouse a cookie…  now that my roof was lovely again, I went after my dark green shutters and doors.  I really liked the color of my indoor potting bench that Sir T made me and he suggested it for the outside of the house.  But first, the house needed a bath.  Thankfully we had lovely warm weather this past July and it was pleasant, despite soaking oneself in soapy water while scrubbing.

First you scrub with soap and water… Sir T took the high road, I took the low and together we took off years of grim, mold and spider webs.  We discovered that the extendible snow brush worked great as a scrubber.

Then you rinse.  We borrowed a power washer from Mom and Dad C. and it was a blessing.

T took off all the shutters and they were given a good scrubbing as well.  I was surprised to find that they were just hollow plastic forms rather than the wooden panels I had thought them to be.  I suppose that it is better to be light and impervious to the elements but I was careful to not damage them with rough handling.  Next came the painting of which I am most definitely in charge of.  Not just because I might be better and more particular about it, but rather because T hates doing it and because I love him, I don’t ask him to pick up a brush.  He says I can paint anything I want as long as he isn’t involved.

Yep, I did actually do stuff despite this being the first picture of me working.

So for a recap, here is the before picture taken several years ago when my plants were smaller.

And here is the after picture:  My “new” house! 

Next week, I’ll give you an update on the inside changes and my incredible new garden workspace.  Happy happy, joy joy!


  1. In the "new house" picture the shadows line up with the garden rows. Glad to see you working at least once. [wink]

  2. wow, lots of work but the finished product is beautiful....well done!

  3. Gorgeous! & Well done!! When can Dad & I move in? Hee, hee, hee!