The Shed Rehab: Finally Doing It!

June 26, 2019

Time to spruce up the ol' shed.  I forget exactly when I built it, but it was at least 15, if not closer to 20 years ago.  That's really quite amazing because I built it on the cheap, back then we really had to pinch pennies.  But the shed has held up well all these years!  Two years ago I put a new roof on, but only for aesthetic purposes.  I had a plan then to spruce up the shed, but work and school really got busy, but with school we go!  Originally, the back yard was much more open, but the fence was a thousand years old and we had a plan for what we wanted.  Here's a picture of the corner where the shed is now.  Early after buying 173, we put in blackberry bushes, but sadly they had to go.  And look at that old flag pole.  The Moshers had a cross bar at the top, and the clothesline pulleys were mounted on it! 

Here's a little wider shot.  By the time of this picture I had replaced the flag pole and planted a maple tree.  Bad idea!  I had not really thought that out, and it eventually dawned on me that a maple tree grows huge and would eventually take over the whole back yard.  So when it was time to build the shed - out came the tree.

I have no progress pictures from when I was building the shed, we didn't do much of that back then, but here is a shot of the newly built shed.

And here's yours truly, apparently happy that we had a shed.  Amazing how seemingly empty the shed was back then!  Oh!  And there's the yard tool organizer I made out of scrap 2/4s and some furring strips!  

Pretty crude but it's still going strong!

Here's a wider shot of the interior, and yes - I ran power to the shed!

Here's a look at the other end...

But the work is going on outside the shed.  For the last couple years I tried to convince myself that it was looking rustic, but the fact is, it's just wearing out a bit (and no, it's not crooked, the photographer is!)...  

Here's a closer look - see what I mean?

I started with the window.  When I built the shed, I didn't put a window sill in, no idea why, but I didn't...

So I decided to put one in now, I think it gives it a whole different feel...

I finished the trim tonight, except around the door, need to pick up a couple more boards, but finishing that off won't take long...

And that's where we leave off for tonight...I'm hoping to get this project done in short order, that'll depend on the weather!

Dirty Little Secrets at 173

June 16, 2019


Doesn't this look like a beautiful ocean storm scene?  The clouds, the white-capped waves - stunning!

Ah, but don't be deceived.  This is actually a cropped photo of a dirty little secret here at 173...

That's right - the kitchen windows here at 173 have been a dirty little secret for years!  The louvred windows were probably pretty cool way back when, but the fact is, this particular set hasn't been opened since probably around 1998.  Yup, 1998.  The problem was the lever that opened them had broken long before we bought the house, and in the beginning we could push them open and pull them closed. But it came to the point that they couldn't be closed tight enough to keep the air out in the winter, so they were pulled as tight as possible and weather stripping, lots of weather stripping was used to try to keep as much arctic air out as possible.  However, that was pretty much in vain, to the point that when dinner was on the table in the winter, whatever was closest to the window got cold mighty fast!  Hand to God - true!  And for years I would take pictures strategically in an attempt to hide this embarrassment!

That was probably '98 or '99, always long shots, windows covered as much as possible, etc.  Oh, and there's a set over the kitchen sink too!

The problem was I could figure out how to remove those old windows without destroying stuff,  Every so often I would study it out and think - in a couple more years I will have gained more knowledge and skill and then I'll do those windows.  Ha!  I had a serious case of avoidance!  

But then last fall I ran into a neighbor who said he could help.  Of course there were hangups,  He had to have surgery, so we missed the fall window, and I wasn't going to take windows out in the winter!  Then there was a delay at the factory in having the windows fabricated.  I was worried it wasn't going to happen.  Then it did...

The old windows came out pretty quick, and the new ones went in even quicker!!

WIth the back window I pulled out the trim and the sill...

So I made a new sill, here's the specs for future reference (who knows when I might need to do another one!)...

Here's where we are now.  I have another project in store, so hopefully in a few week this will look altogether different!  And no, the window isn't crooked, the photographer is!

The side window didn't need as much though...

And installed - just a little more trim work to do...

Here's a couple interior shots...over the sink:

And the breakfast nook:

And this is the last shot, the breakfast nook again.

I don't have another of the window over the sink, but I'm sure it'll show up - no more dirty little secrets to hide!!

Das Beisler Grill House!

Nephew sent a picture this weekend that, #1 - made me hungry and, #2 - made me jealous!  I'll explain but here's the picture:

The hungry part is obvious right?  I mean, as a New Yorker, pizza has always been my kryptonite, and would you look at those?  The one on the left looks like the cook had a couple too many hefe weizens but as we all know - it probably taste just as good as the one on the right!  But here's the thing, look closely below the pizzas and you'll notice some wood, and a wheel, all of which points to a barbecue grill!  I knew Nephew had built a grill house, so I thought this was a good time to post about it.  I asked nephew to tell the build-story we go...

In a clear example of the difference of generations, Nephew flew a drone over his property to figure out the best placement of the grill house, in this case - the pink area.  What a great idea to use a drone, besides - don't we all want to play with one?? He sent this picture, which makes me think he probably graded the area before construction...

Of course, getting to use a backhoe is yet another thing that makes me jealous!  But alas, so ist es!  Once placement was determined, Nephew hand-dug nine pier footers, each 2 feet wide, 2 feet long and three feet deep.  Just to rub it in I think, Nephew mentions that while digging the footers he had pulled pork grilling, which was a motivator for him.  Kudos for his discipline - smelling pulled pork all day would have been a real distraction for me!

The posts are 6-inch galvanized steel, and he used a little over a ton of concrete (2,315 pounds) to set the posts!  Already I'm seeing the difference between German and American building!  I probably would have used post holes and a support like this:

Considerably different than Nephew's job!  Next, the posts themselves were installed...

Nephew explains that all the wood was painted (I'm thinking some kind of deck stain) with three coats before being put in.  Then came the headers:

Of course I look at the quality of that wood and think - where can I get that quality?  Seriously, the best I can get around here, that I know of, is from Lowes or Home Depot - have you seen the quality of their wood?

Man!  That's going to be a serious grill house!  I mean, look at this thing!

I love how seriously built this thing is!  

For crying out loud, when re-building the carport here at 173, I used plywood under the corrugated metal, Nephew used what looks like quality boards, and stained them all!  This is the family:

At least I can rest knowing metal roofing is metal roofing!  And here's the first look at the Gabion walls Nephew chose to go with.  I love the choice!!  Wait 'til you see how they came out!

Stunning right??  This is like the perfect grill house isn't it?  The combination of stone wood and metal gives it some serious gravitas!  But there's more!

The shutters fit right in with the style and give it a really detailed, finished look.  But...there's more!

Really, what could possibly be missing??  Why, overhead doors of course!  

And, drum-roll she is!!

Absolutely amazing!  Nephew can visit 173 anytime!  Hint, hint, hint!  

Spring into Summer - 2019

June 2, 2019

I haven't gotten much done yet this spring/summer.  I think most of the reason for that is it has rained rather significantly here almost every day for the last month.  I need to work on the windows, and I want to replace some of the fence panels, but the ground has been soaked and I'd probably just make a huge mess of the yard.  However, the rain has been a boon for the yard in the sense that everything is blooming and beautiful!  Here is the beautiful Moutan peony in the front yard.  It was transplanted from a neighbors yard a few years ago and this is the first time it has bloomed since!

And here are the Chinese peonies in the back yard, which Mosher graciously left for us from when her grandparents planted them at least a few decades ago!

Spring here at 173 seems to be awash in purples!  From purple irises...

To the back yard and one of my all-time favorites, the common purple lilac.  Who doesn't love that scent?

And the French lilac in the side yard...

And we can't forget the allium!

Then we have the whites, represented in spring with one of the great beauties - the spirea...

The spirea is also an original here at 173!  Here's a little closer shot:

And the Garlic Mustard, which I'm still not convinced isn't a weed, albeit a pretty one!

And the interesting white lilac in the backyard, kind of intermingling with the common purple lilac.  The reason I say it's interesting is that before we put the lilacs in maybe back in '98 or '99, that particular area of the backyard was just grass, obviously mowed all the time.  The one year, after the purple lilacs had matured a bit, there appeared what seemed to be a volunteer sprout of a white lilac.  Come to find out, the Moshers used to have white lilacs in the very same place we planted the purple.  After all those years - there it was.  Interesting!

But we had a casualty over the winter.  Another of my favorites is the honeysuckle.  We put that in probably in '99-ish, and it was always just this humble little surprise of a corner.  

But, like I said, this winter did the ol' honeysuckle in.

I don't know why that one is so fuzzy!  Nonetheless, I had to go out and find a new one, the thought of the oriel without the honeysuckle just didn't mesh with me!  Off to Hewitt's and found the very last one they had.  Hey - there's Cid!

And here it is planted.  WIth any luck, the honeysuckle will make great progress up the side of the oriel this summer!

(huh - another fuzzy shot).  Anyway, here's a few bonus pics!

The Kwanzan cherry tree:

No idea what this one is...

And coreopsis, also known by the interesting name of large-flowered tickseed!

Just a fun angle...

I have no idea what this one is, but it's in the front yard and has the most interesting cones on it.

Always fun to look at some of the vegetation here at 173!

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