Friday, August 09, 2013

Property Management

With the pleasure of home ownership, unfortunately comes the pain. That translates to three lawns in five days. I love mowing lawns. Not really of course but it must be done, such that one doesn't fall prey to the lions laying in wait amongst the overgrowth.

Last week in addition to the other projects, which I honestly do really like, I decided to attack the briars and brambles that had grown in the past few years since last I got after the front property in Maine. To set the stage, this is the land that sits over the leach field and isn't exactly pristine lawn. No, in fact it had grown up with all kinds of choke cherry, pine and especially, blackberry bushes. I preemptively hit everything big enough to cut with the chainsaw including a 25' pine and also pruned out all of the hardwood trees that I wanted to save. This made for lots of slash and resulted in a substantial brush pile. Bonfire?

Imagine this but covered with overgrowth.
From there I took out the eleven year old, $99 from Walmart push mower and started using it with some vengeance as a BushHog. Back and forth, back and forth, mulching the 5' high brush and 3' high weeds as well as some stumps, rocks and roots. That mower owes me nothing at all. The way that I have treated it, I fully expect it to explode, raining shrapnel into vital organs, seeing it revenge once and for all. I've literally never changed the oil and only this past week finally cleaned the air filter out. Wow. I mean wow that was a mess.

About four hours later though the difference was amazing. The front now actually looks good. It sort of makes me want to get some fill and loam brought in to smooth it off and then plant some actual grass. Of course, then I'd have to mow it.

Pine it is and shall be.
I also spent some time last week and then early this week working on the shed project. It is still coming along, slowly. I managed to completely rewire both the old shed and the new shed. This was, like everything, a bigger chore than I'd envisioned. I should have known better as it always is. That said it is done and it all works as designed. Next I started insulating the old shed/new studio bunk house thingy. Nearly two days of playing in the pink fiberglass and I had it completed.

Along the way we decided to change what we put on the walls and use all pine in the form of 1x10" T&G laid horizontally.This made things way easier as the person who framed the shed might have been drunk or at least unable to locate 16" on center. It also gives the look of finished log cabin, which is kind of nice and appropriate for sure. I also realized that the pine, which I could get locally, was only a few cents a square foot more than the 7/16" exterior grade sheathing I'd planned to use yet was way easier to work with. Sold.

Not. Very. Happy.
I've got the two ends set and have started one of the long sides. Still have the ceiling and another long side to do as well as finish the remaining long side. I'm thinking two days then another day, day and half to trim the windows, door and corners. Then lay the $.69/sq foot faux wood floating floor and slap a little sealer on the wood and the project is complete. Well, except for building a spiffy bunk bed and furnishing it.

Jumping around a bit, the second set of projects were in VT. It had been a few weeks since we'd been to camp and guess what, the lawn needed some attention. Fortunately we have a sweet ride lawn tractor that came with the place. It makes relatively short work of the rambling lawn space we have amongst the three acres. We also installed a neat new refrigerator that we purchased and transported from Home Depot in MA. Fun way to spend money but at least the beer stays cold now.

Cold and damp AM in VT.
This was also the first time we took the cats to VT, a trip that they were not exactly happy with. Worse yet, the smells of the wild had them spending most of the weekend tucked under the bed. Can't say that I blame them. Lots of changes in a short amount of time. By taking them there it meant we needed to cat proof everything so as to make sure that they couldn't get into too much trouble. We did some extensive cleaning resulting in a plugged vacuum cleaner, which when cleaned out promptly burnt down. I'm having some bad luck these days with things.

Last Saturday I built a quick and dirty step for the shed, which before had a rotten pallet piled on some wood scrap covered in a sheet of rotten plywood. We also started tidying up the outside. This effort ran well into Sunday. When we were done however, the place looked loads better than before. Almost presentable in fact.

Top of the Kirby Mtn climb.
As soon as I get the Maine projects completed, likely this fall, I will start in earnest on the camp. My plan is to tear the sheetrock out one wall at a time, insulate that which is not, rewire a few things and then go back over with 1x10" T&G pine. Yep, then it will really look like a camp in the woods. Honestly, I can't wait to get into that one as I have a vision of what it will look like in my hear and am ever so anxious to make it happen. Lots of projects in store indeed. I've got no shortage of things to do and life is good.

Oh, in between rain showers we also got in a few excellent dirt road rides right out of the camp. Big climbs, big views and big fun, right out the door. Now we are back home and the projects here are underway. That included, of course, the lawn. It also includes a new dishwasher which we need to buy in order to fix out broken one. Sure, I could gamble on fixing the old one but I have not had the best luck with that game recently. Tax free weekend here in MA though so get on out there and buy, buy, buy. Keep that economy and the landfills moving along.

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