Monday, October 4, 2010

Picking Grapes, Splitting Logs, and Moving In (Again)

A lot of this week was spent working on moving boxes around and installing bleeder valves on the radiators.

My parents and brother were coming in this weekend so we needed to have two bedrooms available for guests. If you remember, the medium bedroom was set up and then we turned into a storage room while we finished the floors. We’re happy to say that it’s back to a normal bedroom!

The hot water radiator system that heats our home has been missing some parts. Each radiator should have a bleeder valve on the high end so that you can remove air from the system. Chris spent a couple nights adding the valves to the remaining radiators in the main level.

After finishing the valves, we clean between the radiator fins. The ones we cleaned in the dining room had about a half inch of hair and dust in each one I don’t think they were ever cleaned and it was quite gross. Following the cleaning, we install the back portion of the cover. This involves pulling out the radiator enough to squeeze the cover behind – this is not as easy as it sounds! This back cover is screwed into the wall and then the bent fins are straightened. Finally, we put the front cover on. There are a lot of steps involved but it makes the heating system more efficient and much more attractive!

My parents arrived early on Friday evening. They brought with them all of my possessions from their house. It filled an entire 12 foot trailer. We unloaded all of it before going to dinner – I sure have a lot of boxes to go through! They also brought our dining room set. The entire set of furniture cost $200. We got the table, china cabinet, and corner cabinet for free and the 8 chairs were a total of $200. What a deal! I think the before and after pictures of this room are the most dramatic (probably because we have furniture in there now).

On Saturday morning, we all went to a winery north of Baltimore and helped with the grape harvest. The grape harvest was a lot of fun. After picking the grapes, the owners of the winery have a big Italian lunch with some great wine. It may have been slave labor but it was enjoyable.

My brother came down with his log splitter and Dad brought his chipper/shredder so that we could take care of the giant log and debris piles that we’ve had since we bought the house and cut down trees. Chris finally got to use his new chainsaw to cut down some stumps, Dad started chipping some of the huge debris pile, and Rob, Mom and I did the splitting and stacking. It took about 6 hours to split and stack all the wood (the chipper needs a new belt before we can remove all the debris). Afterwards we were all extremely exhausted but we’re very happy to have it finished. We now have a log pile along the back fence that is about 30 feet long and 6 feet high.

After dinner, Diane and Steve came over to see the house and watch Penn State lose to Iowa. We decided that we shouldn’t watch games together anymore because Penn State always loses when we do.

On Sunday, Mom and I did some electrical work and tool organizing while the guys worked in the basement.

When our contractor put in the plumbing for the half bathroom, they cut holes and notches in the joist in the basement. This definitely does not meet code. Chris and my dad had to install a double header and two joists on 16 inch centers. It is so much better this way and should have no problem passing our building inspection. Hopefully we can finish a couple small electrical items and we can get that inspection set for the same day this week.

Our next task is to unpack all the boxes that arrived…this could take awhile!

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