Sunday, May 31, 2009

Wonderful Progress!

WOW! We have made some very important progress in the past couple days. This photo was taken on Friday, you can see how well the grass has come in out front. As of this afternoon, it has been mowed for the first time! That is progress after we endured all that dirt and mud all winter. We couldn't wait to have a nice green lawn again.

On Friday Poppy was busy with the plumber as they moved the water heater, water softener and well tank from their temporary spots to their permanent location in the new garage.
Here you see Chris working on connecting pipes and Poppy was busy hooking up the electrical connections for it all.

Here is the finished look. This wall of the garage was drywalled last weekend, but we still need to prime and paint it. There will be one more water heater eventually, as part of our new geo-thermal system, they have an extra water heater which basically stores hot water and makes the air conditioning system even more efficient. We will use very little electricity to heat water in the summer with this feature. Poppy's plans are to build this area into a closet sort of enclosure to reduce dust and dirt in these systems.
Yesterday we went and bought all the insulation for this project. So, when we got home we set to work. The pressure is on to have the two upstairs bedrooms and bath ready for occupancy this weekend! It will be pretty rough conditions, but they should have drywall and maybe doors, but not a whole lot more. But we would do anything to be able to have the family come, especially the two grand daughters!
Here I am, excited to finally be able to help a lot. I cut rolls of R19 into appropriate lengths for each exterior wall cavity. I was proud, I usually do not like razor knives, but I got very good at it.

Poppy was thankful for the help, as we made a pretty good team. He worked the ceiling cavities and I handled the walls. The back bedroom is about all insulated and the walls of the front bedroom and bath are all done. Hopefully tomorrow he can finish the ceiling so we can start drywalling!

Here you can see my work table and the work in progress. I hung about all the white insulation...

and Poppy did all the pink and the kraft faced on the ceiling. You can see, this room is about ready to drywall! Think we can have it ready for you to sleep in Friday night Amanda? This is your room!

One of the most important accomplishments this weekend was getting the washer and dryer up and running! It was in December when I last did laundry here at home. These beauties have been in storage since then. Today we got them set up and I have done two loads of laundry. What a joy! Of course, the condition of my utility room is rather rough, no drywall or flooring, and storage for the air compressor, but I sure don't care. The door between the utility room and garage isn't even installed yet, but no big deal to me! We will have to unhook them and move them again to put down flooring, but I sure wasn't going to wait on that. I just wanted the convenience of laundry here again. So, as you can see, we will be very busy all week. Tonight when we quit insulating at 8:30, we took time to carry the new toilet up to the bathroom so Poppy can get it installed. Pray we can get done with what we must have done. Friday will be here before we know it. Night!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

A Sad Day Here at Loon Lake

Sorry I have been absent from blog land, but things have been pretty busy around here. Today we had a sad day, as we spent the morning at the vet with our cat, Cassidy. She had quit eating about a week ago and we thought it was the loose tooth she has had. They were at the vet for yearly check-ups just 6 weeks ago with no problems noted except this tooth. After watching her lose weight and become quite weak, we talked to the vet yesterday. He suggested we bring her back in for some blood work and hopefully they could discover the cause of her problems. It did not take him long to find a large mass that had apparently grown very quickly in the last few weeks and appeared to have attached itself to her ribs or spine. After a needle biopsy of the mass, he came back with bad news. Things did not look promising for Cassidy and we were faced with the tough decision to relief her pain and let her go peacefully. About ten years ago we had to do this with the family dog, Puddles, who was 17 years old. Cass was 12 and had really wormed her way into our lives and love. We were two blubbering fools as we held her and said our "good-byes." We stayed with her with gentle words and comforting contact as the injection was administered by the very caring vet. We brought here home and she is now laid to rest out back under the branches of the apple tree. We feel sure tonight she is painfree and romping around a meadow chasing after butterflies as youthful as a little kitten. Here you see our faithful Cassidy.

In this photo, taken about three years ago, she was watching baby Elizabeth as she laid on the floor playing.
Here she is on a Christmas morning a few years back when we bought she and Sammy beds we found at Sam's Club. Cass loved her bed and was there more than not.
Lastly, here she is in her favorite spot. This was a rare photo op, as Sammy seldom joined Cassidy on the hope chest basking in the sun. I know that for the coming weeks, when I go up to the bedroom and see the hope chest, it will remind me of her absence. I have put the cat bed away, as I know it will only bring tears for the coming days. She will be greatly missed around here. A stray that was rescued by Shell and then left with us when she went to NC to college, Cassidy quickly became my baby. We now will doubly enjoy Sammy and her antics as she becomes our only pet. I imagine she will miss her "sister" too and we plan on giving Sam a little extra love and attention now.
In other news here, today we got the "OK" from the county building inspector on the rough plumbing and wiring. This means we can now start insulation and drywall. Our goal is to have the upstairs bedrooms "enclosed" by next weekend so family can come to see us, especially the grand daughters. Wish us luck as we are busy little beavers getting it all done.
Tomorrow Poppy and the young fellow who did the plumbing in the new addition are going to be relocating the water heater, well stuff and water softener to their new home in the garage. This will entail a lot of work, but when they are done the new bathrooms will have water and that will be done. This is a major step towards having company, especially the pregnant daughter who will sleep in one of those new upstairs bedrooms! A toilet near is definitely necessary at 6 months with child.
Lastly, we are thrilled that our grass is coming in quite well. It will be time to run the mower over most of it soon. The weather has been very cooperative for growing these past weeks.

Friday, May 15, 2009

A Busy Week

You may ask, "where have you been lately?" Can't believe it was over a week ago that I published the last post. But, the last two weeks have been very, very busy both here and at work. Grandmommy was able to pick up extra shifts and Poppy was meeting himself coming and going juggling his part time jobs. There was progress here at Loon Lake Lodge, but not near as much as we had hoped to accomplish. Between all the working, we were exhausted when we did have a few minutes here to think about tackling the wiring and work. Since Grandmommy works mostly nights, she spent way too much time sleeping the days away to catch up. But, as we close out yet another week, we do see good solid progress towards having the new space ready for summertime guests.

This was last Saturday as Poppy worked to wire lights and plugs in the upstairs bedrooms. When Grandmommy finally woke up she was able to help too, so it was fun to work together. The bathroom is about all wired and the back bedroom plugs are about done. Lights have been located in the hallway and fan/light boxes have been centered in each bedroom. Now we can wire those and continue to run wires in the other bedroom and hallway.

Here is proof that wires are ready to be connected and usable.

On Tuesday they came and hauled out the big dumpster we were so tired of looking at. Now all that remains is the work to fix the drive and yard from its mess. If you look back across the road you can see our lilac bush in full bloom and boy does that smell wonderful. Poppy brought some in for Mother's day, but they don't last long once they're cut. If you double click on this photo and enlarge it, you can see all our maple tree seeds that came down in the high winds the other night. Every spring we battle these little "whirly copters" that carry the silver maple seeds to the ground. They implant themselves all over the lawn and we always have a hardy crop of maple seedlings EVERYWHERE! If you want a silver maple tree, come visit us and you can dig up tiny saplings we will gladly give away!

The past two solid days have found us busy replacing the old breaker box with a new one providing more space for additional circuits. This ended up being a much more time consuming job than first anticipated. Luckily Poppy had two full days with no daytime work and was able to work non-stop. And work non-stop he did! Yesterday morning he turned off the main power supply and unhooked all the lines and there were wires sticking out all over this corner of the utility room. I should have taken a photo of it yesterday for the "before" and "after" look. This shows what it looks like tonight, all wires tucked in and connected properly. There are just three circuits yet to attach, as Poppy needed to get more of the new tandem breakers this box will accommodate. With this new, bigger capacity we can now start running the new circuits from the new rooms down to hook into power.

Here is the front view of the breaker box as seen in the garage. He is very proud of the neatness of his wiring and just the fact that it is finally done. Those huge cables coming up from the main feed are very difficult to work with and are at least as big as a man's thumb in diameter and very stiff. Cutting them, stripping them and connecting in took a lot of work by Poppy and the neighbor guy. Hope he never has to undo that again. The wires sticking up from the bottom and not hooked in are the wires we ran from underground to hook the back garage circuits up eventually. I know how thankful Poppy is to have this job done! Now we can really move forward!

The past week and a half have been pretty good growing conditions here at Loon Lake. We could have used a bit more sunshine, but as you can see, we have a nice crop of grass emerging from the straw. We are very excited to see this, as a summer of mud was not our desire.

The front yard is looking the best, but we are sure the back will catch up with a few more days of sunshine and warmer temps. We have had plenty of rain and are looking for more tonight. I am hoping we can get out and buy some flowers this weekend to plant and brighten up the front deck.
We look forward to three more full days of working together and hope that next week as soon as possible we can get the county inspector out to give us the "A-OK" on our electrical work. Then we can move on with insulation and drywall! Hopefully it won't be another week and a half before I have more good progress to report. Have a wonderful weekend where ever you are and know we hope to have you here to share our new space sometime very soon!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Busy Outdoors!

We have been blessed with some wonderful weather for the past week or so. The dirt all around the new addition finally dried out and we could work on the lawn. First we had to get the wire for the back garage across the road through the pipe that was drilled under the road. This took Grandmommy's helping Poppy to first pull through fishing line, then string, then finally the wire. To get the fishing line through initially, we tied on a plastic grocery bag and sucked it through with the shop vac. Worked great and from there it was just a lot of pulling to get the string, then wire through.

The next day we took the wire through conduit and buried it on up to the foundation and through the wall to complete the process.
Here you see the little stretch of conduit coming up from underground (right next to the dryer vent). It was a time consuming task! This is outside the back service door to the new garage. Now Poppy must attach that wire under the crawl space and to the breaker box to renew power to the garage across the road. But, getting this all buried outside enabled us to complete the grading and seeding of the lawn.

Yesterday we completed the raking and prep work, then Poppy spread the starter fertilizer and the seed. We also spread two yards of mulch around various spots along the foundation in preparation for trees, shrubs and plantings. Here you see Poppy shaking out the fourth bale of straw to protect the seed.

Here is yet another shot as he spread the straw in the front corner of the lawn.

It will be so nice to have grass back out front and we are anxious to get a few plantings in as soon as we decide what trees and shrubs to plant. Although fall is the best time to plant them, so we may just wait.
This evening I caught this shot of the finished lawn all ready to grow. When I left for work this noon, Poppy was just starting to spread the five bales of straw he bought today. How did we ever think four would cover the whole area?? He has the pump working to pull water from the lake to keep it damp and we are hoping Mother Nature does not send us heavy storms, but only steady, mild rains and lots of sunshine too. You can see in these photos how trees are leafing out and the grass is really greening up. Spring has definitely sprung at Loon Lake!
Now he can move back inside and complete the wiring he has partially done. Next big project is moving the water heater, well pump and softener into their permanent places in the new garage. Then he can hook up my washer and I will be one VERY happy Grandmommy!