Saturday, February 26, 2011


In between digging up the mailbox and propping it up in the snow, we did find time to patch a few holes in the T&G paneling.

In a perfect world, we would have replaced the whole board but the kitchen is not perfect. If we replaced every board that had a bad spot, we would basically re panel the whole kitchen. As Norm Abrams says...."it's an honest patch." We are not trying to fool anyone. We will fill and sand and hopefully it shouldn't stand out like a sore thumb....maybe a sore pinkie but not a thumb.

The first patch was where we removed an unneeded outlet in the wall we partially removed. Here is before the patch.......
.....and after the patch but before filling and sanding.
This is another unneeded outlet that we removed in the same wall. This wall had three sides and each side had an outlet.
This photo is during the process of squaring up the hole and before we inserted the patch. BTW every outlet hole looked like it was cut with a hatchet. A total hack job.
In the case of this patch or should I say patches. We decided that since this particular board had two patches and that they would be in a prominent spot, we bit the bullet so to speak and removed the entire board. Here is a photo after the board was removed.....
....and after a new board was installed. We still need to cut a thin strip to finish off the corner.
We also removed miles of unused wiring, both knob and tube and some second generation wiring. At least we know that the kitchen is free of unneeded old wiring.

Tomorrow we will finish patching the wall we cut off. I am also hoping that we can install the cap that we made. We glued two 1X 10's together to make a 2X10 that will sit on top of the wall. I have some left over small cove molding that I will put underneath the overhang. Should have about 3/4 to 1 inch of overhang. We glued two boards together instead of buying a 2 X 10 for several reasons. First, all the 2 X 10 looked like construction grade. Second of all, we felt the wood would be more stable and less likely to cup and warp if we glued two boards together. We were able to find some nice pine boards that were nearly knot free.

On a side note....R doesn't like to play Driving Miss Daisy. I don't think he realized how much running around I have to do every day. There is absolutely no way we could get by with one vehicle. I haven't decided what type of vehicle I am going to get. I need something I can haul wrought iron furniture with. That way.....when I see a piece I like....I can just buy it and bring it home. Currently, I have to go home and get R and his pick up truck and then go back and get it.
What's so bad about that? Well, I have to listen to him complain all the way there. "Where are you going to put this piece?" "Don't you think you already have enough pieces?" "How much is this piece going to cost?" And my favorite...."Just what we need, another #$%^ing piece of wrought iron furniture." I let him stew a bit and then remind him that we didn't have to drive to Milwaukee to get this piece.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Adding Insult to Injury

While I was wrecking my SUV 3 miles from home because the township hadn't plowed or salted the road...........the snowplow was busy doing this to my mailbox.I am so over this weather. I thought that damn Phil the Groundhog said spring was going to be early this year? Early my a$$! Enough already!!!

Monday, February 21, 2011

The 3 C's are now the 5 C's

I spent Sunday with my sister and niece, doing what we call the 3 C's.....crepes, cupcakes, and coffee.

We started the day with crepes. I had my favorite Monte Cristo crepe.
Then it was on to cupcakes and coffee. After we grabbed our drinks we hit the road for Pinconning. My sister suggested that we go to a place called Northwood's. She was driving and I was riding, so off to Pinconning we went. Moose trap?

This place had everything from a pink butterfly net.Frying pans...anyone?Carhardt or Dickies?
How about some Koegels Viennas? Only the world's best hot dog. How about some cheese? Because when you think Pinconning...think cheese!Of course you need some of this....And don't forget a jar or two of this....No frogs were harmed in the making of this jam. FROG stands for figs, raspberries, oranges, and ginger.

After we left Northwood's, we headed to the Cheesehouse for curds and cheese.
Then we hit the road for home.
It was slow going with many accidents along the way. But we made it home safe and sound. Full of crepes, cupcakes, coffee, curds, and candy!!!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Gear Acres Is Getting Custom Pavers

Currently somewhere in Indiana, custom pavers are being pressed out and embossed with the words Gear Acres.Wildcat Creek Brick Company in Flora Indiana have pressed out the pavers and they are currently drying before they can be placed into the kiln. Bill Hendrix, the owner of Wildcat Creek Brick Company also has a blog that you can visit or check their Face book page.

Bill tells me that the brick will shrink as it is fired in the kiln but should end up the same size as my other vintage pavers. The photo at the top shows a vintage POSTON paver and our freshly pressed Gear Acres paver.

Below is an early phase Gear Acres brick that Bill pressed out. We later decided that we needed a larger brick that was vintage paver size. Isn't it great that someone is carrying on the tradition of hand pressing and firing bricks and pavers? Once you have seen an old paver up close and seen the amount of detail that they put into these utilitarian items....well, you'll never want a paver from Home Depot, again.

Visit Wildcat Creek Brick Company and tell them Gear Acres sent you.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

T&G Repairs In the Kitchen

I am so glad the snow is starting to melt. The breeze actually felt balmy today and not stinging cold. Maybe old Punxsutawney Phil was correct and we will have an early spring.

We took the day off from sanding and scrapping. Instead, we started fixing the wall where we removed the partial non loading bearing wall in the kitchen. This area needs to be covered in tongue and groove paneling like the rest of the kitchen.

First we shimmed out the wall so the new T&G paneling will line up with the old. The old T&G is sitting on top of old plaster so we needed to shim the area where the partition wall was located. But first we insulated that area with pieces of rigid foam insulation.

We recycled some old T&G that we removed from the small ceiling area by the ovens. We cut the pieces to the correct size and test fitted them but did not nail them in place.

One of the old pieces of remaining T&G is damaged so R used the oscillating saw to cut out the damaged we. While he cut, I looked for an old piece to use to replace it.

Tomorrow, we will cut the remaining pieces and then nail everything in place permanently. This should take us to the afternoon when we will get ready and head to Detroit to pick up my latest Craigslist find.

My latest find is a steal and will save us hundreds of least $400.00. This will also give us higher quality XXXXX than if we bought new.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Scraping and Sanding

This post is specifically for a fellow co worker who has chastised me for being a slacker when it comes to blogging. Yes, Bobo, I'm talking about YOU!!!!! LOL

We really have been working...a lot. In between work, we went to a lecture at the planetarium on how a black hole could kill you. It was kind of like Spike TV "1,000 ways to Die' meets Nova and narrated by Carl Sagan except without the "billions and billions" and Carl Sagan.

I think R enjoyed it. It is much easier to learn without the sword of Damocles hanging over your head in the form of a test. R's been throwing around words like Quantum Theory, event horizon, folding space and time, and GRBs (gamma ray bursts) but I think he has already forgot what they all mean. During the Q & A someone asked about the flux capacitor and everyone laughed. R turned to me and said, "What's so funny?" I said, "think Delorean." He replied with, "Oh, OK I got it now." Always best to explain everything in automobile terms when it comes to R.

At the last Star Trek movie I took him to, he must have asked me ten times, "what's so funny?" How do you explain 40-50 years of Star Trek and all the possible story lines in one sentence? So I just answered, "I'll explain later" and then never did.

The reasons for the lack of posts has been that we are currently engaged in some very very boring work......scrapping and sanding. Previously, this area had a tile back splash. To accommodate the tiles they used some sort of adhesive to adhere thin plywood to the wall and then tiled the plywood. Tiles came off easy, plywood came off easy, adhesive......not so easy. I'm manning the heat gun and trying to scrap off as much as I can. R is sanding with coarse sandpaper to remove the remaining residue. Afterward we will need to re sand with finer paper to blend into the texture of the untouched part of the wood paneling.
I've taken photos but they really don't show much of a difference, which is disheartening because my shoulders are killing me and R's thumb throbs from all the work.I promise more exciting posts in the future. We have exciting things on the horizon like installing bead board on the ceiling and laying granite tile on the counter tops!!! Fun times.

Later tonight I will post about the brick pavers that are being made for us here at 'The Gear'. They are going to look great!!!!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Baby, it's cold outside!

What can I say about the snow and cold that hasn't already been said, many...many...times.

I can say this.....we are running out of places to pile the snow. We have a vast expanse of driveway that seems to attract snow drifts like lint on scotch tape. R spent the better part of two days out on the lawn tractor pushing snow off to the side of the driveway. He had to hand shovel the opening to the driveway because the plow had the snow piled 4 feet deep and 4 feet wide.Ironically the last two days have yielded more sunshine than we have received all winter thus far.

What I would give for some 40 degree weather. Let's keep our fingers crossed that old Punxsutawney Phil was correct and we will have an early spring. Heavens know we deserve it.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Flint Michigan's Third Gem

If the Flint Institute of Arts (FIA) is Flint Michigan's first gem and the Longway Planetarium is it's second gem, then the Sloan Museum is Flint's third gem. Most people in this area only visit these three gems as children, never to return once they leave elementary school. What a shame, they are missing so much.

Tonight we went to a members only preview of their latest exhibition, CSI...Crime Scene Insects. It was an interesting evening of interesting facts and ironically tasty tidbits catered by Fandangos.

After we had a nosh, we walked around the new exhibit looking at various insects and photos of decomposition. It was very interesting despite the subject matter.There was also a painting of Alfred P. Sloan and a little paragraph or two about his life. He was Chairman of the Board of GM from 1937 to 1956, the golden years of GM. Along with being Chairman of GM, he also set up the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Through his foundation he donated millions and set up the Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Research Institute.
The Sloan Museum also has one of the greatest car collections available to the general public. It also has a large collection of photos showing the Flint area over the years. Some of the photos reminded me of places I hadn't thought about in years.

There were photos of long ago drive in restaurants, drive in movie theaters, and clothing stores. But most important...there was a lot of Buick related items. You just can't be from the Flint area and not love your Buicks.