Monday, June 6, 2011

House Gets a Face Lift

This week started out really hot and humid but ended up quite nice. We worked outside for the most part. On Wednesday, Chris trimmed up a tree in the backyard – its branches were getting very low to the ground.

We borrowed a large auger from a friend at work to dig holes for the garden fence. We had some issues at first trying to get it started but we were finally able to dig all the holes on Friday. It was tough work but it was worth it – it beats using a post hole digger. We put the posts in the ground but we didn’t have enough time to put up the fence yet – hopefully early this week!

A couple weekends ago we got a rain barrel from the county dump. We installed the hardware and put it in place this week. We know that it stands out a little bit but we’d rather start catching the rain for the garden than having it look pretty! Maybe over winter we can paint it a more natural color.

This weekend, we cleaned, painted, and hung the shutters that we got from our next door neighbors. They had been sitting in our garage for many months because they weren’t very high priority. We also painted the front porch railing – we had to wait a year for the pressure treated lumber to season. We think these two jobs make the house look very different. We obviously still have a lot to do in terms of landscaping but it’s getting better!

We had a few animal encounters this weekend. The first was a turtle that fell into one of our fence post holes. The second was a group of baby rabbits. Tucker was the one that found the rabbits hiding spot. Every time he went outside he headed straight for the spot. We were able to control him for the most part but one time he was incredibly determined. He wouldn’t listen to Chris and stirred up the nest and killed one of the babies. It was so awful – we’ll have to start walking him until the rabbits are big enough to run away from him. I know we can’t really blame him but it’s just heartbreaking.

We have known for a long time that we needed better ventilation in our attic. Our contractors put 2” vents between every third or fourth rafter – definitely not enough! On one of the 90+°F days Chris measured the temperature in the attic of 130°F!

We purchased 4” x 16” vents to put in every rafter cavity. This weekend we started installing them and its tough work. The hardest part is working above your head the entire time – Chris neck was getting really sore. We installed 7 of them before calling it a day – we’ll keep working on them a little at a time and hopefully our attic will not be so ridiculously hot!

I am always annoyed when screw heads stand out so I took some peg board, covered it with newspaper, pushed all the screws into the paper, and spray painted them all. It didn’t take long and now I won’t be annoyed every time I look up at the soffits!

Something we did this weekend had nothing to do with the house. Friends of ours had a lot of cherries frozen from last year that they offered to us a couple weeks ago. Chris wanted to make some cherry wine so we picked them up last week. Of course before he could start the wine making, we had to pit all the cherries. We only used 2/3 of the cherries we got but it took over an hour to pit them all – 27 pounds! The pits from the cherries came close to filling our colander. I just hope that this is good wine!

We only have two more weeks before we get a summer student staying with us – hopefully we can get a lot accomplished in the house by then!

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