Saturday, January 28, 2017

Quick Fix for Postal Problem

The little bit of snow we got in Omaha early this week didn't do much damage; schools weren't closed and travel was fine. The only casualty was our mailbox. Its pole was broken off near the base and its 2x6 structural pieces were splintered. At first, we assumed that the county snowplow was at fault but after finding a note taped to the now-upside-down mailbox, we had our culprit. Mail carrier Nate apologized for approaching too fast and skidding on the snow. He assured us that the U.S. Postal Service would be happy to reimburse us for the inconvenience. Scott called the number provided fifteen times on Friday before finally getting through to someone with the authority to tell us that our mailman could bring mail up the driveway until we could get our post repaired.
After lunch on Saturday, we went out to assess the damage.
It took a little prodding with the post hole digger before finding the original location. It didn't take long to figure out that the ground was too frozen to dig a new hole. We quickly came up with a good temporary solution that will work until warm weather returns.
Scott loaded the Ranger with three buckets of river rock and a bucket of sand to use to keep the post secure inside a galvanized trash can.
Who would think that a kitty litter box full of sand would freeze into a solid chunk when stored in the barn? Scott struggled to break it up with a shovel.
Once the post was centered in the can, Scott poured in the three buckets of rock. That post isn't going anywhere!
Ta Da!
Scott secured the World-Herald box to the post with a bungee cord and our little project was done! Please approach our driveway with caution when the road is snowy. If you hit that can with your bumper, you might have a problem (and I'm going to make you help pick up all the rocks that get scattered.)
Stay Tuned for Our Next Adventure!

The Eagles Have Landed

The other day, we noticed a dark "shape" on the south side of the neighbor's pasture; we assumed it was a dead deer. Friday afternoon when I drove by after work, the "shape" was being picked apart by a pair of Bald Eagles! They were back again Saturday at lunchtime, along with a few of their friends and an assortment of other birds of prey. Check out a few of the snaps Scott took from the property line with the telephoto lens:
It's too bad that it's so gloomy outside. The dark feathers against the dark tree background make the birds a little hard to see.
Scott saw a total of four eagles plus some other large birds we assume are turkey buzzards. These two are coming in for a landing near the carcass.

Even with the overcast sky, an eagle soaring overhead is an amazing sight.
Stay Tuned for Our Next Adventure! 

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Master Bath's Crowning Glory

I don't know what prompted Scott to want to <finally> work on projects in the master bath but I didn't want to squash his enthusiasm by asking too many questions. I was here to offer encouragement, take a trip to Home Depot, smile nicely - whatever it took to help him along. Lo and behold - three weeks later - the master bath's new crown molding is in place.
As the tile was installed, we didn't take extreme caution to keep grout off the ceiling. The top edge of the tile didn't match up evenly around the room. Adding a small crown molding would help cover both some grout stains and the uneven tile.
Pre-installation clean-up included washing the ceiling with a damp cloth which - shockingly - removed most of the stains. After spending about 5 minutes on the task, the ceiling already looked 90% better. The chunkier chunks were eliminated with a swipe of the putty knife.
Measuring was the most important step. Previous experience with molding at Grant Street taught us that it's not the easiest task but accurate measurements will ease the pain.
Of course, we drew a little floorplan on which the measurement of each wall was recorded. The small piece of molding in the top of the photo was cut from a piece we bought a couple of years ago during our (very slow) planning stage.
$48 later, the necessary molding was purchased and ready to be cut to length.
As each piece was cut, Scott wrote the name the wall on the front with a pencil. Luckily, we were able to erase all of this before the staining went on. Why do you need to write "southwest piece"? Why include the word "piece?" Sometimes his logic escapes me. All of the pieces were taken upstairs to make sure they would fit before the finishing began.
It felt pretty familiar to be back in the basement with some woodwork to do. 
First the sanding... 
 ...then two coats of cherry stain...
...then one coat of brush-on poly followed by a little steel wool...then two coats of wipe-on poly to bring the woodwork to the perfect finish.
Finally, installation took place this morning (January 21). After a little bit of "let's try that again" and brief moments of "why won't this line up?" frustration, the nail gun and the nail guy got in sync.
The long north wall was the final piece put in place. 
Ta Da!
After about one hour, two ladders, 52 feet of molding, one noisy air compressor and 100 nails, the project is complete. It really does make the bathroom look "done."  Good job, Scotty!

Now - what should we do next?
Stay Tuned for Our Next Adventure!

Ice Day = Work Day

Two things have been missing in our master bath since the construction in 2013:  additional towel bars and crown molding. Now, three years and some odd months later, I'm excited to tell you that progress has been made! Omaha was hunkered down during Winter Storm Jupiter on January 16, so we took advantage of the "snow day" declared by our employers and took on a project. Check out the story of the towel bar installation:

While we installed a double towel bar and two hand towel rings previously, we still had two towel bars to hang inside the shower. The 18" and 24" polished chrome Kohler "Margaux" bars had been in storage under Scott's sink for (literally) years.
The laser light level came in handy when Scott taped the template to the west wall of the shower. Sadly, being stored under a sink for two years wasn't the best for these paper templates. They were both a little too warped to be accurate.
So, once the first few holes were marked by the drill, Scott used a tape measure and the laser to mark the remaining hole locations. He used a diamond-tipped drill bit to get through the tile (I helped by spritzing the drill bit with water as it gnawed its way through.)
After two holes were drilled for each end of the bar, plastic anchors were inserted then the mounting bracket was screwed into place.
One down . . .one to go! 
With the bar in place, tiny set screws were inserted to finish the task. 
Good job, Scotty! 
Stay Tuned for Our Next Adventure!