Saturday, April 30, 2016

Well, it's been nearly a month since I asked you to stay tuned... I was hoping to post pictures of the completed siding the very next week, but sadly the construction business isn't all about me, and the carpenters needed to be elsewhere for a while, so the siding just got completed yesterday.

They still have a little trim to add, and of course all the yellow will become green like the rest of the house. Covering the pillars with tapered columns and stone bases is my job, so that may take a little while.  It's on my list!

It isn't like nothing got done for the last few weeks... we got:


Beautiful natural red oak, three inches wide.  Narrow oak hardwood flooring is what you found in old houses and bungalows, and since I'm trying to prematurely age mine, I had to have it.

Tile will go in the empty square, as a base for the woodstove.  There will also be some cool retro tile in the bathroom and laundry, and a material called Marmoleum in the kitchen and dining nook.  This is basically old fashioned linoleum.  Not that cheesy vinyl we all lived with in the 70s and 80s; real linoleum, made entirely of natural materials, right down to the jute backing.  It's said of Marmoleum that it came from the earth and can go right back there when you're done with it.  Hopefully that won't be in my lifetime.

The swirly stuff is the Marmoleum.  I chose a light oak color to kind of go with the wood, and the dining room will have a little red trim.


Kitchen and bathroom cabinets are my responsibility, so I've been working on them in the new shop. The base cabinet boxes are the first things that need to be installed, so I did those first.  I'll build doors, drawers, and wall cabinets next.

Taking up a lot of room in the shop
Sink Side
Here's what they're supposed to look like.

Stove Side

The bathroom gets a little vanity built low, to accommodate a "vessel" sink:


Some cool porch lights

Both the shop and the house get these.  Happily they come in 
two sizes, so the ones for the shop are just a little smaller than the ones for the house, which scales well with the buildings.


An attic ladder

And a little awning for the shop door.

Clashes a bit with the green paint, but it will come in handy in the rain.


Staining interior doors also became my job when I decided I wanted varnished oak doors instead of plain painted ones.  I rigged up a rotating jig in the shop so I can work on both sides at once.

There are fourteen doors!  What was I thinking??

I'm using a combination of shellac and gel stain to get a kind of two-tone "old door" look.

A new coffee roaster!

My old roaster was dying, so I decided to treat myself to a new one.  This one is much more civilized than the last one, which was basically a hot-air popcorn popper.  The old one served me well for many years, but this one is much more controlled and can roast up to a pound at a time.
Speaking of pounds, it came with eight pounds of green coffee for me to play with!

Grand kids

A couple of the kids came out one weekend for some target practice against the dirt pile, and Ace spent one night teaching me how to lose money at blackjack.  Beans and weenies for dinner.

Future Horse Arena
Ace is hopefully getting a mustang in June, and she asked for a big arena where she could gallop him around, so this was today's project with the old Ford tractor.

It's going on eight months since we broke ground for this project, and it's teaching me patience and perseverance.  I'm learning patience from these guys, who seem to travel enormous distances, a little bit at a time.

And for a lesson in perseverance and determination I was presented with this little bouquet growing right out of the solid rock.  It caught my eye as I was driving about half a mile from my place, and had to stop for a closer look.

So life is good in Sábado.  Molly and I take our walks down to the mailbox every day at sundown, and if the weather is nice, I toast the sunset with a glass of what my friend John calls "warm flat English beer."

Stay tuned!

Monday, April 4, 2016

Good Fortune to This House

Somewhere along the way, maybe when I worked in the boat yard, I learned that it was customary to put a coin under the mast of a new ship to bring good luck to the vessel.  I also learned that it was sometimes done with buildings as well, so about 15 years ago, when my favorite Brits John & Anne were building a new house, I put a coin under what would become their threshold.

Now that I'm building a house of my own, they've sent me a coin to put under my threshold.

To further ensure the future of the house, dear friends Sarah and Scott have also sent me a coin from Italy.

My oldest friends, Bruce and Nancy, who live in Washington State, sent me a Washington State quarter along with this Wikipedia explanation of the custom:

The ceremonial practice is believed to originate from ancient Rome. One theory is that, due to the dangers of early sea travel, the coins were placed under the mast so the crew would be able to cross to the afterlife if the ship were sunk. The Romans believed it was necessary for a person to take coins with them to pay Charon, in order to cross the river Styx to the afterlife and as a result of this,coins were placed in the mouths of the dead before they were buried.[3] Another theory for this practice is that the insertion of coins in buildings and ships may have functioned as a form of sacrifice thanking the gods for a successful construction, or a request for divine protection in the future.[4][5]

Bruce's coin has gone under the threshold of the shop, because since I'll probably spend most of my time there, that building needs protection too!

Lots of progress on the siding and painting.  By next week, both of those should be done.  Stay tuned for more pictures. Here's a sneak preview: