Monday, February 24, 2014

crawlspace horror - part 1

jambaloney here!!!

first off - winter is still upon us... pretty though!!!

okay i left off my last post with a pic of a bottle jack - here it is...

where is it... under the crawlspace - i am finally getting to the job of  adding support to the older half of the manor.. you will see why i waited so long in a few... part of the job is preparing the footings. they will be slabs of concrete with pressure treated lumber glued to them - had to dry out the pt lumber as my `lumber yard lost the tarp!!

 k helped me draw out a nice plan of the floors and walls..

and i found the old plan for the greenhouse roof... ah memories!!

here is the upstairs it turned out, it was impossible to apply in the crawlspace - you will see why....

 oh - a tip to you circular saw users - this diablo 40 tooth blade it the best i have found so far - get one!!!

 see that buried phone pole?? it is holding up two railway ties which support the floor joists - this single post is carrying about 1/4 the load of the whole 1/2 of the manor - great job butt-head (previous owner)

so in we go!!! you can see the plug for the hotub and wiring for the bathroom heater - both my work and well installed!

garbage from previous owner..

squirrels have wreaked havoc on my insulation job... we had a weasel in the basement that i THOUGHT would keep them clear.. alas our young cat didn't take kindly to him.. nuff' said!

hey look - greywater from the bathroom sink!!!

 i |THINK this was supposed to be extra support - too bad it isn't!!

here is one of the middle railway ties connected to the concrete foundation with.. uh... ??????

oh yes.....  the concrete foundation, you might remember that buddy left all the framing in place to assist in collecting mold and rot  - the foundation is buckling a bit at the bottom - i will have to fix that later..

 look at this mess - i don't know where to begin - this is the SE corner of the manor...

LOTS of spiders..

 a COMPLETE pos (piece of sh*t!)....

daddy longlegs...

this single post sits in the middle of the whole half of the manor - two railway ties (only 1/2 thick ties)  the roof and stove are pushing down...

here is the middle of the end - at LEAST this post is in concrete (sorta)

back to the post at hand - here is another view..

the floor joists underneath the kitchen have little pieces of wood stuffed as shims - they don't go all the way under so 1/2 of this joist that is supposed to be sitting on the tie is touching nothing... i had to shim the other side of all of them (forgot to take pics - it is only about 15-18" high here - hard to take good pics)

above the post is this mess....

at the end there seems to be more support

i decided to prepare all the footings at once ..

the wood was dry - see that log? that is tamarack or larch that i dried - it is rot resistant - i will use it for support  in this pic you see the cement that our friend w told me to use...

here is the pt lumber as it was drying..

after it dried - i applied the cement to each piece and glued them to the concrete - they will keep the wood off the concrete footings AND keep the concrete from cracking by distributing the force with a BIT of give.. ( i cracked one piece of concrete under a jack when making the mini-cold storage)

i clamped them together for a day..

 and de-barked the larch...

i used the husky carpenters axe as it has a more squared blade - no drawknife yet...

and that is part one i wanted you to get a feel of the crawlspace - there is something wrong with you if you don't want a shower now ;-)))))

here is a nice sunset....

cheers all!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

fun weekend with friends!

on thursday we got nailed with rain, hail, sleet, ice, snow - you name it - we got it! but it's pretty tho!

we call this "silver thaw". it's when the rain and snow and everything else in the mix flash-freezes on trees, bushes and everything else.

i love the look of it on the branches and leaves. i must, as i was crazy enough to go outside and take pictures!!!

it did make for a beautiful sunset!

friday evening we went to our friends' c & b's house for supper before chase the ace. b's mom and dad were there too. b had told me that he made the best scalloped potatoes and that i had to try them. he makes some wicked good scalloped potatoes let me tell you! he put 3 heaping scoops on my plate and i ate every last bit!!! we brought some sweet and sour pork with onions and peppers, some rice, some teriyaki chicken and a dessert, the name of which i can't remember, and when i cut and pasted the recipe i didn't include the name. oh well, it seemed to be a big hit. it was a coconutty/white chocolate/dark chocolate/raspberry preserves kind of squares. i couldn't eat them - waaay too sweet!

we also made some meatpies to give to our friends. i'll be putting the recipe up on our recipe blog in the next day or two.


 we all ate till we were stuffed and near dying and then got ready to go to chase the ace. as b's mom and dad were going out the door, i hugged them as usual. b's dad who is a real hoot said that he knows how much i like to dance and asked if i liked to jig (dance) to fiddle music. i said of course i do! i love the fiddle! so he told me to stop in one evening, me and jam, and he will play the fiddle for me! i almost burst out bawling because i love the fiddle and no one told me that he played. i hugged him and kissed him and told him we would definitely stop in one evening.

now get ready for the Zinger!!! i went back into the kitchen and told b that his dad had invited us over and he would play the fiddle for us. b has a particularly cape breton way of saying "whaaaaa?" - then he said "don't be listenin' to him! he can't play the fiddle! he's pulling yer leg!" - oh did we ever laugh over that one. just wait until i see b's dad again - he is gonna get it! bahahahahah!

so we all headed over to chase the ace, raised some more money for our vfd and 2 halls and had a nice time socializing. then our regular crew headed back to c & b's, everyone chatted about our new fire truck that our friend s found for us - apparently it's a really good truck, it's in really good shape, it's got a honda 5000w generator with built-in outlets and is a lot more powerful than the old truck. once i get a pic of it, i will put it up on the blog.

now the extra money that we have raised will keep being added to so that we can get a dedicated MFR vehicle and other necessary equipment. we really need a dedicated MFR vehicle because we have an aging population in our 2 communities and as of right now, our MFR's use their own vehicles to haul around the equipment, which they first have to stop at one of our halls to pick up. we will all be glad when we have a dedicated vehicle.

another piece of equipment that we really want is a used jaws-of-life. even used ones are pretty expensive but if our fundraising efforts continue doing well, we should be able to get one in the next year or two.

well, because we were at c & b's, a party ensued as usual! it's always nice to spend time with friends, let your hair down, get crazy and all of that good stuff! speaking of getting crazy, we were all teasing my besty c when she got a little crazy at our friend's benefit dance the other week. she was sooooo funny! when the dance first started, i, of course, requested her favourite song which is "i gotta feeling" by the black-eyed peas. she and i were up dancing a scream and having a blast. about 15 mins later she's cursing and swearing that they haven't played her song??? i told her they had already played it and that we had danced to it. she wouldn't believe me, or jam or any of our other friends who tried to convince her that we had already danced to it - bahahahah! then she went up and requested it again and told the dj if he didn't play it, people were going to get murdered. a little while later, i sent jam up to request it again. jam went up and told the dj that people were going to be murdered if he didn't play the song again. the dj told jam that he had already been told that - bahahahha!

oh she is a scream that c!!! but even better was when jam had just gone in to the bathroom and had just unzipped and was just about to start his business, when c starts banging on the bathroom door yelling for him to come out and dance with her (they like a lot of the same 70's songs which i do not!). anyway, he zipped up and came out and she dragged him onto the dance floor by the scruff of the neck. i was killing myself laughing, couldn't hardly breathe and i turned to my friend s, huffing and puffing and laughing so hard and i sputtered out to her "c just pulled jam out of the bathroom"! s was laughing too and she said "i know! i saw it!" - we must have laughed for 15 solid minutes over that one!!!

like i say, whenever we go out with our friends - we have a hoot!

anyway, today was a beautiful sunny day.

we did our regular jobs, jam built us a new berkey water filtration thing and sprayed the underside of the truck to remove the salt - they use a lot of salt on the roads here so it is a good idea to get your vehicles undercoated, and if that's not possible, then simply spray the underside with water. i made some delicious salsa and guacomole for our lunch and did a big pot of broth - the house is smelling divine. we normally freeze our broth but we are going to try canning this batch to see if there is a difference in taste or not. we would prefer to can it as we don't like the broth taking up all that space in the freezer. i'll let you know how it goes!

now i'm off to visit some blogs for a bit.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

mid feb update

remember a couple of days ago when we were enjoying watching the snow melt?

it sure is nice to see patches of ground! but we woke up to this, this morning:

 so we went out together and shoveled the deck, the front steps, the cat paths. right now it's misty raining and the air is warm so there is much melting happening, thank goodness. this winter has been the most snow that anyone around here has seen in years! i am not complaining - we only lost power once but the other day our internet was down for a whole 24 hours!!! i imagine some people were near losing their minds without their internet - bahahahaha!

as jambaloney mentioned previously, he went to an ice-fishing derby on saturday. i went and spent the afternoon with my best buddy c in fourchu. we chatted at the kitchen table for a bit and then watched "marie antoinette" by sophia coppola - one of my all-time favourite movies. i love to read about historical figures and marie antoinette is one of my favourites, my favourite being, of course, Elizabeth I. i have a bazillion books on both of them but the majority of books about marie antoinette are not, shall we say, very favourable to her. i find that coppola's movie shows her in a much more believable and sympathetic manner. oh well, enough of my blathering. i had a wonderful afternoon with my besty and we went out to the ice fishing derby to cheer the men on. it was cold, slushy and wet, 3 things that neither of us care for, so we stayed for a bit and then went back to her house. her hubby b made a delicious hot roast beef sandwich for us, we had some of c's green bean casserole (it was to die for) and carrots and peas. when jambaloney returned later, they fed him, too. he was super hungry and i couldn't believe he ate all of the heaping, and i mean heaping, hot sandwich that b made.

anyway poor jambaloney is back under the house jacking up the floors. he just finished one spot that used to bounce when you walked on it (i know eh? jeesh!) but now it is solid as a rock - woohoo!

speaking of woohoo - how about a big giant dish of lasagna?

oh that baby was yummy!

well, we have been doing odd jobs around the house, keeping busy, playing cards on the plastic-wrapped porch naked when it's sunny out. just the usual kind of stuff.

i'll leave off with today's recipe over at the Framboise Manor Good Eats blog:

i call it "kick-you-in-the-head-hot/sour/sweet dressing or dipping sauce"!

well, that's it for now. jambaloney will have some scary posts about jacking up the floor coming soon!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

winter winter winter!!

jambaloney here.. miss me? ;-)

i know most of you have been suffering this winter - in truth we haven't had it THAT bad as, being canadian, we are accustomed to severe/cold weather, still, we are getting sick of this (pretty tho' it may be)

so what to do? how about attending an ice fishing derby yesterday - a window of nice weather sandwiched between storms...

after a couple of hours a beer is in order ;-)

kymber and our friend c came for a visit - it wasn't as exciting as they might have thought ;-) here they are, hiding in front of our friend d's ice fishing tent.

here i am using the 5-hook rig that our friend wildflower sent us -  i only caught 4 smelt as the sun went down, but there was only other guy who caught any fish - the rest got SKUNKED! i learned a LOT of valuable info and had a great time - next up - DOZENS OF SMELT FOR KYMBER!!!!!!

back at the ranch this afternoon, wind is a brewing... we had rain this AM and a massive rainstorm friday - most of the snow has melted again and you can see  where work halted dec 6 - been iced in place since - i am NOT very proud of the chaos, but hey, blogging is all about sharing, right?? (greenhouse is mint though ;-)

yep, carnage - that is overturned  furniture on the berm.

and 1/2 finished shelves behind vandura

honestly, i pack better than this but i thought i had all of dec to tidy the yard before spring...

lost the bbq cover friday, no clue how far in the woods it went..

my lumber yard cover is finally ripping apart..

some free stuff from the fire hall buried in snow..

more rubber hose - woot!

today was another episode of what i call "the curse of the plastic porch repair".  after a couple of years, the sun has taken is toll and the plastic gets brittle and the wind does it's thing and rips it, i have been patching piecemeal - this spring a full replacement... EVERY time i go out to fix it, the wind picks up and it starts raining - today was no exception... the instant i walked out with plastic wind went form 20 to 60 km/hr and it started snowing...

today's addition - uuuuuugleee isn't it?

hey a bonus form lobsterrus - they we ditching some old pvc - free for the taking - it will make nice hoop-house support!!!

wind is gusting to 80 now...   brrrr!

winter isn't all bad, i leave you with these pics from the inside of the greenhouse about a month ago when the temp dropped and the condensation made art..


every one is different!

pictures of leaves..

and art deco fractal patterns!

 these look like ferns!!

 these look like moss..

the whole interior was a temporary art gallery

i leave you with a tease of the ongoing work - nasty stuff... back to the crawlspace!!!

cheers all !!!!

btw - kymber has fired up the good eats again, here is her latest and MAN was it divine - i am a lucky man ;-))))