Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Rehanging the Wood Storm Windows

The last two days have been spent priming, painting, and rehanging the wood storm windows.  We have two more storm windows to rehang before we move on.

I purchased new hangers because I wanted all the hangers to match.  R and I discussed whether we wanted to leave them unpainted, paint them white, or paint them black.  We both chose black, so I spray painted them with the same hammered black paint that I used on the faux door straps on the garden shed.

I was kind of stung by a yellow jacket today while painting the storm windows.  I think that he barely poked me with the stinger but didn't get any venom injected.  I immediately applied my glass of iced mocha frappe on my cheekbone (site of the possible sting) and then hit my inhaler a couple of times, just in case.  I think I'm OK because the one time I was stung, it hurt and burned like no tomorrow.

Soooooooooo, we had to spray the nest.  We covered up the honeybee hive after all the bees had returned back home from foraging.  I used a cotton rug to hang over the front of the hive and then we placed a large piece of cardboard over the top of that.  R couldn't use his bee outfit because you do not want to contaminate the suit with pesticides.  So we wrapped R up with several sweatshirts and just his eyes showing.  It looked like he was wearing a burka.   By this time it was almost dark.  He climbed up on the ladder and foamed those little buggers.  We'll know more tomorrow on whether we got them all.  But it started raining about three hours later so that will help wash off any residue.

As much as we didn't want to use any pesticides, we really had no choice.  I cannot take the chance of getting stung and they were getting more and more aggressive every day.  My local Ace Hardware was completely sold out of yellow jacket spray when I went there today to buy a can. So I had to drive to another store and they only had a few cans left for sale.  My Ace guy said that they have had a lot of people buying yellow jacket spray.  Fingers crossed that the honeybees were safe inside and unaffected by the foam.

If the cedar shingles are dry tomorrow, I will try and finish the grey paint on the dining room exterior wall. With the yellow jackets gone, I should be able to finish that small area in about 15 minutes. Then all that will remain to be painted on the dining room wall is the peak.
That very small area above the small window.  I am not looking forward to that.
I am looking forward to finally hanging the shutters that my father and I built,  I'll write more about those shutters when we install them.  Those shutters should really change the look of the house.

Grandma Cat update.  My mother called me early this morning to tell me that her cat has quite the personality and is sooooooo smart.  I have to laugh because she thinks she's training the cat and it's really the cat training her....LOL

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Painting Update

The weather has been perfect for painting.  Just warm enough and no wind.  I'm loving it.

On Sunday I should be able to get all the grey painted on the dining room exterior EXCEPT for the very peak.  That will leave the very peak and the final white top coat on the little window.

Today I was able to start the priming on the storm windows.  Remember the storm window that the glass broke during sanding?  Well, I took that in to my local Ace Hardware and it will be ready late on Sunday.

I also purchased new hangers for the storm windows.  This house had a variety of hangers of which some were severely rusted and some were broke.  We decided to spray paint the hangers black to match the black hinges and other assorted hardware.

We also worked on the sunroom exterior.  R sanded and I primed.  Tomorrow we will start painting the white top coat on the trim.

While waiting for coats of paint to dry today, I hauled out my tape measure and did a little measuring for the lumber list for the front door trim.  I am hoping to get started on rebuilding the door trim on Wednesday.  Monday and Tuesday are busy days for R and he will be away for most of the day.  So while he is gone I'll touch up paint and do a little caulking and maybe eve do a little window glazing.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

I timed my painting.....

......and I was surprised that priming was taking 3 times longer than the painting of the top coat.

This amount of priming took 1 1/2 hours because the shingles are rough and it's time consuming getting the primer into all the nooks and crannies.

This amount of final top coat painting took 30 minutes.

No wonder this painting is taking so long.

In between waiting for primer to dry, I pulled more weeds and dug up little tree saplings in the flower beds.  I had to wait for R to get back from mowing the rental house's lawn before we could dig up the Catalpa tree and transplant it.

The mowing took longer than expected because R hit a purse with the riding lawnmower.  Yup, a ladies purse that was under some long grass.  The wallet was still in the purse, along with her credit cards, but no cash.  R called the police and waited and waited and waited.  R finally gave the purse to a neighbor lady who also called the police but then drove over to the ladies house to give her the purse. The real kicker is that there are two local policemen who live on this street and one state policeman.

On tap for tomorrow is more painting on the peak and the little window, which R sanded when he came home.  Once the wood trim on the small window was stripped and sanded it looked pretty good. Its funny how peeling paint can make wood look real bad when in fact it's just the paint that has failed.

Grandma Cat news......my Mother thinks that Grandma Cat caught a cold when she got a bath at the kitty spa....LOL  And she wanted to know why the doctor (she refuses to call him a veterinarian) didn't do blood work on Grandma Cat.  We think that the cat learning curve might take longer than we thought. But until then......they are keeping each other busy.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Grandma Cat and more Grey

Since my Father's death in 2012, my Mother has been very lonely.  She drives and is in very good health for someone nearly 81 years old.  She's never been a pet person and it was only 3 weeks ago that she touched her first pet.  Well all of that has changed.

On Monday, R and my Mother took Grandma Cat to the vet for a physical and shots.  Then on Wednesday, R and my Mother took Grandma Cat to Paw Palace for the works.  From there she went to my Mother's house and Grandma Cat is now a condo kitty.

According to my Mother.  Her cat is beautiful and everyone thinks so.  Her cat is so smart and everyone thinks so....LOL  My Mother bought Grandma Cat an expensive bed but woke up this morning to Grandma Cat sleeping on the end of her bed.....LOL  Grandma Cat will have my Mother trained in no time.

While R was on Mother in Law duty I primed and painted.  I have the front of the sun room painted grey but still need to prime the windows and trim and then paint them paint.

On the remaining front of the house I have about a 1/3 of the peak of the dining room done.

Today I removed the paint from the trim on the little window in the peak.  Oh my but that is high up and I needed to use both hands...one on the scraper and one holding the heat gun.  I had to take it slow and easy so I wouldn't fall off the ladder but I'll be honest, I will be glad when this section is done.

While I gave my feet and legs a break from ladder standing, I pulled weeds and then decided on where I wanted to transplant a Catalpa tree.  When I finally decided on a spot, I dug the hole so tomorrow we can transplant the tree. 

Sunday, September 21, 2014

More storm damage

.....when will it stop?

We just noticed that the top of our sycamore tree is broken off.  I would guess at least 6 feet is broke off and hanging by a thread.  It's such a shame because it was a perfect shaped tree, too.

Unfortunately we had another storm tonight after sunset so I am bracing myself for tomorrow's discoveries.  The wind has been quite brisk the last two days and the amount of twigs falling from our trees has been endless.

The weather forecast today was for rain by 1PM so there was no need to try and paint today so we worked on trimming the fruit trees, climbing rose bushes, and cutting down the rose bushes along the sidewalk that leads to our kitchen door.  Those bushes have never been cut back and were getting to the point where they were starting to separate down the middle.  I was able to cut down half of them before the wind really picked up and the sky starting getting dark.

Tomorrow I'll try to finish the rose bush trimming get mentality prepared to paint all week because the weather is suppose to warm up and not rain.  Yippee.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Interesting honeybee fact

Interesting honeybee fact.
It's about that time again. When the weather gets colder and the queen bee cannot mate with the drones (male bees). The female worker bees kick them to the curb to conserve resources!

This made me laugh.  Probably not so funny for the male bees.  I wonder if they (drones) were the dead bees we saw the other day. The more I learn about these bees the more fascinating I find them.

Friday, September 19, 2014

We're loving the grey color but not the yellow jackets

We really love our color choice but those darn yellow jackets don't like me getting anywhere near them.  I zapped a couple with my can of aerosol hair spray.  I put the Final Net on them...LOL

R has the storm windows sanded but unfortunately one pane broke.  These storm windows have two large panes and of course the window that lost a pane was one that had a cracked pane and a good pane.  Guess which one broke?  Of course it was the good one.

So tomorrow I am going to prime them and if I have time I will give them one coat of the Ultra White.  I also need to paint the window box because it hasn't been repainted since we installed it.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Let the painting begin

Let the painting begin until it rains yet again.

The only thing that keeps me from screaming about the lack of painting is that I am not alone.  Many of my fellow Midwestern bloggers are also facing the challenges of rain and the declining temperatures and daylight hours.

Today I actually was able to paint some trim with a top coat of Ultra White in semi gloss and painted a few shingles with a top coat of Anonymous in a satin finish.

My painting layout might look odd and it is but I have to paint what I can from the ladder before I move the ladder which is heavy and awkward to move.  The bay window is very difficult to paint because of the curve which makes for odd ladder placement that requires me to place the ladder on already painted areas.  Because of this I have to wait a day or so for the paint to cure before I place the ladder on top of recently painted trim.

I really like painting the grey color because it goes on so nicely after the tediousness of priming. Once the primer coat is on the shingle it is much easier to paint the top coat because the shingle is smoother so the pant flows nicely.

R was busy sanding and removing old glazing from the storm windows while I painted today.  I will paint the storm windows indoors tomorrow if it does indeed rain as is predicted.

Several days ago, I had to relinquish my paint brush to R so he could prime around the area where the yellow jackets have been hanging out.  I usually don't let R paint.  He's a dabber and I am picky about my painting but since I cannot afford to risk getting stung, I handed over my paint brush.
R put on his beekeeping garb and painted away.
When he was done priming he handed me the brush.  He was so proud because I never let him paint. I had to throw the brush away.  He had paint ALL over the handle and the bristles were bent and broken and sticking out all over the place.  It was a sticky mess. So today I painted as close as I could get to the yellow jackets and when the time comes to paint the final coat, I will don the beekeeping jacket and paint the shingles myself.
I only have half of the white trim painted with the top coat but I like the contrast of the white and grey.
On the beekeeping front....we had a scare the other day.  There were about 10 dead bees laying on the opening of the hive.  Upon closer inspection they were just small exoskeletons and we observed the worker bees pull them out of the hive and fly away with them (usually a couple of feet away) and then come back.  We think that during the several days of rain that the bees just did a little house keeping during that time.  R did remove the roof to look in and said the hive is full of bees and that they have already sealed the inner cover shut with propolis.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

I'm blaming it all on McDonald's and the weatherman

Unbelievable.  Two steps forward and one step back.

Weather has made it slow going on the priming but I'll be back at it tomorrow.  Thursday was a very very hot and steamy day.  I was priming away but needed to take a lot of breaks to sit in the shade. R on the other hand was on his way to meet a guy who was interested in buying his race car hauler.  It has been difficult to get R to sell the remaining odds and ends of his racing equipment.  He has raced something with wheels since his teens and he's getting to the age where he receives AARP and social security literature in the mail everyday so to say his racing career was long would be an understatement.  Letting go wasn't easy but I had finally talked him into selling the race car hauler.

Notice the placement of the orange ladder near the peak.
He left the house and I climbed back up on the ladder.  Five minutes later my phone rings.  I almost didn't answer it but thought better and got down from my ladder to check my phone.  It was R and I knew right then and there that it was not good.  I called him back and he said he was in an accident about 1.5 miles from the house.  It seems that a lady decided to cross 5 lanes of traffic to go from Arby's to McDonald's and ran right into the driver's side front fender of his truck.  Totaled her PT Cruiser and did about 3K of damage to R's truck.  She was unclear WHY the cops told her it was her fault.  Because MI has no fault insurance and because the truck was a 2004 we only had PL PD on it and on top of that we have had it for only a month.  Geesh.

So I stopped painting and went to the scene of the accident, which was during rush hour in front of our county's largest hospital by the exit of I 75.  So you can imagine the congestion.  The good news is we were able to yank the front bumper forward so that we could drive the truck home.

Friday was no better.  The weathermen here in Michigan suck.  Their weather prediction is horrible. Storms were forecast for noon to 3PM.  It barely rained at 5PM and by 6PM they said it was over. We have been leaving the two extension ladders up against the house because the fiberglass ladder is extremely heavy and the shorter extension ladder is aluminum and I am currently using that ladder.

At 830PM we experienced quite the storm.  It was dark out but we figure we will at least have a few twigs to pick up.  My mother then called and said she was without power and she lives 7 miles from us.  So at that point we are happy to have power, cable, and Internet.  When the sun came up we see that our yard looks like a war zone AGAIN.  So all of today was spent picking up limbs and we are only 2/3 of the way done.

Just as we are getting ready to call it quits for the day R says to me "you're not going to like this."  I say "like what?"  He says "that." and points to the peak of the house where the ladder was leaning against the house.  The storm was so fierce that it moved the heavy fiberglass ladder and it was caught against the drip edge which it had bent.

So now we have to fix the drip edge that just two days ago was perfectly fine because we got a thunder storm after the weatherman said the threat of rain was over.  Alex who reads my blog and lives north of me commented recently about our weather guys and their inability to predict weather this summer. I love how they think they can predict this winter's snowfall when they can't predict rain within a 5 hour time span. 
So tomorrow I am back to priming and R will finish cleaning up the yard.