Our Wonderful Followers who come back again and again to read about us...

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Two Hour Garage Door Swap

In my last blog, you may recall that I mentioned Stevieo had a new project on the horizon. Yes, we were going to swap out our garage doors. From the old wooden one with the windows to a newer all metal insulated steel door. He found a used one the right size on the local Facebook Buy Sell Trade pages,  It came complete with rails, torsion springs and a garage door opener.

Friday afternoon, Steve was done driving his Old Fart Party Bus about 2 p.m. So he figured it was a perfectly good time to start working on swapping out the garage doors. The weather was beautiful at the time, but it was due to storm and rain a few hours later, about supper time. I was a little concerned that maybe we would be partially done taking down the old door and not getting up the new one before the storms hit.

Steve wasn't worried about it at all.

He gathered all of the tools needed to do the job and by 2:30 we were ready to start. Here is the old door in place. I took photos so I could list it later on Craigslist and the local Facebook buy sell trade pages to sell it when we were done dismantling it.

We started out at the top, of course, where Steve undid the tension in the top springs by carefully using two rods. Then we were able to start unhooking all of the hinges and rollers and taking the door down one panel at a time.

I was the Gopher Gal, as well as the Nut Retriever when he dropped them and rolled across the floor. I was the Panel Grabber as each piece came down. I could grab the opposite end so we could stack them carefully in the garage. They were VERY heavy!

Using the electric drill with a socket on the end made quick work of removing all the nuts from the inside on every hinge. I had to keep up with him and also keep an eye on the weather.

The door panels were very heavy as we took each one down. Once he reached the bottom section, he had to unhook the existing cables and adapt them for the newer door brackets. This way we could use the existing track and tension springs from the old door on the newer door and not have to change over all of that.

When we go to sell the old door, we will include all of the tracks and rollers and spring that were included in the sale when we bought the newer door. 

Woohoo! We got the old door down in less than an hour!

The skies were clouding up and the storm warnings were going off on my phone.

Now I had to set down my phone to help figure out how to best put up the newer door. I forgot to pick it up to take pics while we were assembling it section-by-section. The top and bottom panels were easy to figure out, of course, because of the hardware and the bottom sweep. The two middle ones we weren't sure until we notice the stamped numbers on the hinges. Fortunately, the hinges were all marked with numbers 1 2 3 and 4 so we knew which panel went in which section. Easy Peasy!

Once we got it all together and screwed into place, I looked at the clock. It was only 4:30! Wowzers we got the whole new door up in just a little over an hour and all we had to do now was tension the spring on the top and adjust the cables correctly.

Once that part was done it was time to go make supper. Luckily I had some leftover minestrone soup I had tossed in the freezer, so a quick microwave zap and a pack of crackers and we were done with supper.

Now the storms rolled in big time!!!  The huge one with funnel clouds went just north of us and out into Lake Michigan.  Another one went south of us. People just 10 miles away had ping pong sized hail and shredded trees and cars damaged.  All we got here was some rain... no wind. Whew!

Now it was time to move over the garage door opener. The old position was offset so the opener could be attached to the door at a stronger point on the frame rather than over the center window. But now with this door, no windows, we can attach the garage door opener bracket in the middle of the door--- where the bracket is set for the most balanced lifting point.

Also, we examined our original Liftmaster garage door opener which was made in 2006. It is a chain drive type which is noisier, but it has served us well. It has three remotes, which we keep one in the house near the kitchen. It allows us to operate the garage door, if we wish, from inside the house. It also has a nice switch by the passageway door that is already wired into the system, as well as the sensor eyes down at the bottom of the door for safety.

We compared it to the Chamberlain one that came with the newer door which is a screw type design, which might be nicer and quieter. But since our garage is not attached to the house that is really not an issue. Plus, the one that came with the newer door was made back in 2003.

Added to that is the idea that our original garage door opener is already wired in with the door switch and sensor eyes on the tracks. All we had to do was move it over a foot-and-a-half. Versus ripping the whole thing down and starting over installing the other opener, wires and sensors.

We decided to keep what we had and just move it over.  We had that done in about half an hour and tested the door up and down a few times.   We fine tuned the travel length and tension.  Wheeee done!

I think it looks much better. 

Now Steveio can finish insulating the garage 
and add his garage heater for winter projects. 



Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Another Project on the Horizon

Ahhhh --- time for another Our Old House project!

Wellllll not so much on Our Old House, but on the garage.  Although our house was built in 1913, the garage behind our home was built in 1974.  It is wonderful--- extra wide and deep and has an additional workshop space to one side, along with two passage doors and five large windows on the door to let in the light.  The garage also has five additional windows all around the sides and the back too.

Steve enjoys spending a lot of time out there,
actually, as I type this, he is out there 
sorting out nuts and bolts and screws at his workbench. Seriously!

The current garage replaced this old garage, back then in 1974, which was hauled away and put into use at another residence here in Chilton.  Photo furnished by the previous owners, the Baldocks.

They evidently jacked it up, using some big timbers and a farm trailer... and away it went!

Back in 1974, this huge heavy wooden garage door was installed.  Over the last 44 years it has served well, but Steve felt it was in need of replacing.   He wants to insulate the garage for winter projects and wants an insulated door.   He wants to insulate the entire garage and install his heater which he already has on hand. Some day.

Just a few weeks ago I swabbed another coat of paint on it.  But the hardboard type panels are bubbling up and flaking a bit, here and there.  It's still okay as long as I keep sealing it up with new paint, but the humid summer weather takes it's toll.  It is still functional, just that he wants something better.  Sigh.

Because the door opening to the garage is also extra wide, the door is a special size... 18 feet wide by 7 feet high.  You know what that means, "special order", not standard.  We checked with Menards and an uninsulated one is about $800.00 and an insulated one (Steve's preference)  is over $1,000.00!

Now, if any of you know my Steveio, you know he LOVES reading Craigslist, and all of the local Facebook Buy Sell Trade pages.  Lo and behold, what did he find???   You guessed it!  An insulated garage door, the right size and color, in perfect shape!

A nearby couple had torn down their existing garage and were building a larger one with multiple higher doors and were not going to reuse this one.  They were also including a fully operational garage door opener, screw drive type Chamberlain with two remote controls! We have an older chain drive type Liftmaster that works okay, but this other one is better..

All for a mere $250.00 !!!!

Wheeeee we grabbed the cash from the ATM and drove on over to check it out.  It's in perfect shape, and because it is so long, (too long to haul safely on our trailer) the seller offered to let us use HIS trailer to haul it all back to our house!  Only in a small town, I tell ya.  They live about 4 miles away, but still. He didn't know us from Adam, and let us leave with his very expensive aluminum trailer!

We drove back slowly home with it and unloaded it quickly, 
to return the trailer back to the seller. 

Here it is, all spread out on my side of the garage, taking up my car parking spot. I know he is chomping at the bit to get going on it.  Today it was unbearably hot and humid, and he drove the Old Fart Party Bus for a few hours... so it was not a good day to get going on it. We will see how the next few days go, as right now we just had big thunderstorms move through the area, more to come.

We are kinda anxious to tackle this project and get it up. 
Then we can post the old door and old opener 
on the Facebook Buy Sell Trade to get rid of it too! 

Just two weeks ago, Steve and I helped put up another bigger garage door out at the Calumet County Museum with another helper. Got the old one down and new one up in 3 hours.

We also put up the garage door 
when we built the house and garage in Oconto as well.  

This project should be easy peasy! 
  (we hope!) 

Well, the storms are done, and the rain has stopped. It's only 6:30 pm and there is daylight left. I bet he wants to start working on the garage door. I better put on my shoes and go out and help.

Monday, July 3, 2017

My Mighty Fisherman is HOME!

My darling Steveio took off for 9 days....  (that is why I was working on a bunch of projects by myself!)

Once a year, he joins his brothers and father for an annual Father's Day Fishing Trip.  Sometimes they fly into Canada to a remote cabin, sometimes they go more locally in the motorhomes to northern Wisconsin or to the U.P. of Michigan.

This year, they added a nephew, Andrew, to the group... and he supplied us with some photos.  Once Pops and Pete get their photos ready, we should have a few more.....  Thanks Andrew for snapping some shots of your adventures with all your crazy uncles and grandfather!

 THIS is what it is all about.... Fishing! 

They were at a wonderful resort in Canada, about 165 miles north of the border past International Falls, MN.  It is called http://www.therriensforestlakelodge.com/   It was a total of 650 miles from our home in Chilton.  Our friends Jim and Norma go there every year (sometimes twice a year!)  and highly recommended it. They furnished Steve with lots of details and lists in advance of what to expect, what to bring, and what you didn't need to bring because the resort furnished it in the cabin rentals. 

I like this pic the best...
great shot, Andrew!

The resort is remote, private and has only about 10 cabins to rent.  You can bring your own food to cook in your own kitchen, or you can opt for the owners to cook meals for you up in the main lodge for an additional fee.

Steve poured over his shopping lists in advance, and planned all the meals.  Some groceries they could bring from the United States, but other things they had to pick up in Canada --- as certain items are banned from coming over the border. (like meats, potatoes, produce etc) 

They supplemented their meals with fish too, of course. It seems this province in Canada has some new rules. You are only allowed TWO fish per person! Even if they are cleaned and in the freezer you cannot catch more until you eat up the two of you have. So between the five of them they could only be in possession of 10 fish total at any given time. They did a lot of catch and release. And eating.

The owner's son, Blair, was hired to take them out and guide them to all the best fishing spots. He actually spent three days at different times taking them around and showing them good places for fishing.  He came and spent some time with them in their cabin too, for a few beers, jaw jacking, and card playing.

Steve said the loons were singing every morning and evening.  Andrew caught a few good shots of them close up from in the boat.

They brought along brother Pete's boat behind the truck so they had one boat up there for fishing, but they also rented another boat a few times so everybody could go out at the same time instead of taking turns.

The weather was pretty good, it wasn't too hot. They had a few rain storms roll in that splattered a little while, but then let up. All in all, Steve said it was very pleasant weather and not uncomfortable. Bugs were at the minimum too. The little cabins had a wood stove that you could light in the morning just to take the chill out. By midday everything was comfortable again for short sleeve weather,

The place has very nice facilities for fishing, docking boats, and even gearing up with bait and heading out everyday to a new area to fish. It is connected to a Forest Chain of Lakes known as Indian Lake Chain, with something like a hundred sixty miles of shoreline?

Right by the docks are two pet Muskies (muskellunge fish) . They float along and look totally lazy like a couple logs in the water. Until you toss in a couple of these little feeder fish, then you see them spring into action to eat. They know where the good food is, and they know that nobody's going to catch them or hurt them as long as they stay in this nice safe little area next to the fishing resort. A couple of spoiled rotten pet fish!!!

The guys got in a lot of napping, card playing, as well as farting burping and snoring. Typical guy time. While hanging out in Paradise!

Steve took care of most of the cooking, while the others helped with cleanup. They all got in lots of fishing, fresh air, eating, book reading and naps!

There was also a bear that was ambling through the camp from time to time. I guess Pete has some pics on his camera of it.

The prettiness and wilderness is just so pleasant. 

Of course.... 
This is what it's all about.. 
Andrew with a good one
Yes... it's all about the fish!!!!

And Pops, in his glory! 

Surrounded by his male family members: sons Mark, Steve and Pete, his grandson Andrew... enjoying his goal of fishing in Canada. After his knee surgery this past winter, he set the goal of being able to go fishing again. All through his physical therapy, the only thing he talked about was going fishing to Canada with his boys!

I even sacrificed celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary while Steve was gone. I said it was more important for him to be with his brothers, dad and nephew, creating memories. We are going to celebrate this week together instead. After 20 years of marriage plus 2 years of dating, what is another week?

I am so glad he is home again, and our lives are back to normal. While he was gone, I babysat Pop's dog, Millie. She took up Steve's whole side of the bed so I wasn't lonely.  But a dog snoring next to me just isn't the same as a husband, ya know?

Friday, June 30, 2017

Our Old House - Laundry Room Makeover

This week I worked on an Our Old House project.....

Originally, when we bought this house, this small room had been a pantry with a sink. The previous owners had added some modern light oak cabinets and also had the refrigerator and dishwasher in this section. There is a larger main kitchen that had only contained the stove and a small set of cabinets original to the home,

To me, it didn't make much sense to have the sink and fridge and dishwasher all crammed into this little pantry, but the stove out in the main kitchen with the table and chairs?  It was sunny and bright but tight quarters.  Only one person at a time could be in there cooking or cleaning up. 

This Part Happened Four Years Ago:
We decided (four years ago when we bought the house) to revamp this pantry room a bit. That meant moving more items into the main kitchen room.

First, we added more cabinets to the main kitchen. I found some beautiful 100+ year old ones that came out of a mansion in Fond du Lac. I lovingly refinished them and we installed them all along the north wall in our main kitchen.

We also added a large island of dark woodwork to match. Inside the island on the other side we installed the dishwasher underneath.  This is the way the main kitchen looks now.  Ahhhhh I love it!

Now back to that smaller pantry room----  our solution four years ago:

We pulled out the lower cabinets and sold them on Craigslist. We also moved the refrigerator and the dishwasher into the Main Kitchen leaving the smaller pantry room basically empty.  We laid new flooring to match what we had in the main kitchen.

Our plan was to now make this a First Floor Laundry Room! 

That is when we moved up the washer and dryer from the basement and the laundry sink too. The laundry sink is important because our washing machine has a wonderful feature called "Suds-saver". (I had this on my washing machine in Green Bay and loved it)  When doing multiple loads of laundry I can have the sudsy wash water pump out into the sink.When when I'm ready to start the next load I turn the switch to a feature which pumps it back into the washing machine. By creatively managing the loads, doing the least dirty light things first, the same load of wash water and soap can be used two or even three times depending on the items I am washing. Saves on water too. I used to use the third load for Steve's work clothes, which were usually pretty grubby. Now that he is retired, I'm only doing two loads lately.

Anyhow, the light oak modern cabinets always kind of bugged me. They were not original to the house and the woodwork didn't match. I am a "Matchy-Match" kind of girl.  See how they do not match the dark reddish brown original woodwork of our home?

Fast Forward to This Week:
I had considered going over the cabinets with a poly stain varnish to try and make them a darker like the rest of the woodwork. But the more I looked at them and how dark they were in that room as it was, I decided I would paint them white! Yes! From a person who abhors painted woodwork, I was going to take a brush and roller to paint over these cabinets. Blasphemy I tell you!

Steve HATES painting, so this project was totally all on me.

First I've removed all of the cabinet doors and brought them down to the basement and laid them out on saw horses. From there I sanded all the surfaces with a palm sander to rough them up a little bit. Then I gave it a coat of Liquid Sandpaper. This product helps prime the wood and makes the previous finish kind of sticky so the new paint will adhere better. I opened up the windows in the basement for fresh air to help with drying in between coats.

My prep work also included the front face frameworks 
of all the cabinets up in the laundry room too. 
I used a small foam roller to avoid any brush marks. 

 I didn't bother to do the insides of the cabinets. 
It's only pantry storage and laundry supplies in these cabinets. 

The Next Step was to apply a primer. Well I had this wonderful primer paint mixture that was for exterior painting. So I used that and I figured it should hold up pretty good. I gave it all two coats, thoroughly letting it dry in between. The last coat, I used some white enamel paint on both sides of the doors.

Now while that was drying, what I needed to do was to prep the walls and ceiling in the laundry room. They were a deeper golden yellow, not quite a Harvest Gold of the seventies but still pretty dark. I had half a gallon left from painting my sewing room... a soft pale lemon yellow.  Lighter and much softer and muted than what was on the walls and ceiling right now.

Up on the ceiling there was a little bubbled up area in one corner. I got up on the ladder and started chiseling away at it with my putty knife. Rut Roh! Here it was a big wide swatch of fibered seam tape. As I pulled on it a little bit I realized it was traveling across the entire width of the laundry room from one side to the other! It had been covering a long skinny crack. Well, there was no going back now. I had to pull the whole piece off!!!


So now, instead of just spackling one little area I had to do a complete plaster patch repair job. I hauled out a bag of plaster and the tools and mixed up new plaster. I eased it up into place and made it as smooth as I could.

While that was drying, I decided to go ahead with painting the ceiling and walls. I could paint up to the fresh plaster and just take care of the rest of it in the morning. I painted the upper portion of the walls that were original plaster.

On the lower portion of the walls, there is a kind of funky vinyl covered wallboard paneling stuff kinda grayish-white. I decided I will throw a coat of paint on that too. If it doesn't hold up, we can always yank it off. I would love to put a white beadboard wainscotting in here and it would really dress it up. That can be my backup plan if this does not hold up.

Also, as a backsplash when it was a kitchen, there is a wide sheet of a mottled printed cream Formica being used as a backsplash between the underside of the cabinets and the trim rail. I really don't like that color so maybe someday in the future I can add beadboard wainscotting back there to to match. That's where Steve can come in and use his talents by doing the woodworking for me. For now this is a kind of interim solution to improve the laundry room.

I cleaned up my mess for the evening, popped a couple of Aleve in my mouth and took a nice long soak in a bubble bath!!!

After the plaster dried the next morning, I used the sanding tool and took down the high edges and smoothed it out as best I could,  I put a coat of primer on the patched crack and now I was able to paint over it and make it match the rest of the ceiling and walls.  Voila!

Now it was time to bring up each of the doors and install them back into place. I had carefully numbered each one with a tiny marker on the hinge itself so I would know what order they went back on.

The original white ceramic knobs look just fine on the cabinet so I attached each knob back into place. Don't you know it, on the very last door, the very last knob would not screw back in properly. I tried to force it with the screwdriver (which of course it slipped) and jammed right up my fingernail! Owiee Owiee Owiee!!!

I got all of the doors back into place, put the curtain back up, attached to fire extinguisher back on the wall, and put up the hanging rail on the other side for the clothing hangers. It was originally a dish towel rod but it works well for hanging clothes as I unload them from the dryer.

It's hard to take pics in this room because of the bright light coming in through the window. So I pulled down the shade and now it appears darker than what it really is. Believe me, it's a very soft light lemony yellow and nice bright white cabinets to match the white washer and dryer and freezer.

There is a really neat swinging door that leads out to the main kitchen. We usually leave it propped open, but it is also handy to block off the noisy washing machine sounds from the rest of the house.  We also close off the dogs into this room when we need to contain them in one spot. They have not figured out how to push on the door with their noses, so it is essentially doubles as their little indoor doggie room too. 

I cleaned up and put away all my mess and tools. It felt so good too have a bright clean fresh light airy room. This is the last room in the house to get painted. So during the last four years every single wall in the house has been coated with a new fresh coat of paint since we bought Our Old House!

I would like to take this time to wish 
our oldest daughter a 

It seems like yesterday she was a tiny baby in my arms.  Awwwwww Erin and her happy family are on the road heading out for vacation with Waylen's folks in Oklahoma.  Happy Birthday On The Road!

What a beautiful, accomplished woman you have become! 

 First and Last Days of school....

One of my most favorite camping pics of Erin

 Where does the time go, sweet little baby girl? 


I just wanted to pop a few more pics on here.... I was sitting out taking a break in the front porch. I just LOVE how the clematis on the south side is climbing up, covering the windows.  I zigzagged thin white string across the window frame, wound around tiny white nails.  I looks so pretty, even from the inside.

Plus it makes a nice shade from the sun streaming in 
on the south side on the porch. 

I am also working on a new quilt... I got 8 blocks done, and it is slow going and putzy challenging, but fun! Nice to work on during the rainy days we have been having lately.

I am also keeping myself busy with some new rugs on the loom.....  My elbows both were suffering from a "tennis elbow" condition the past 6-7 weeks since we built the fence. Now they have healed enough to slowly weave and take it easy. It's hard, because I tend to push myself and overdo it.

 I am really liking this new pattern! 

Well, it is back to another doc checkup today.... 
all is well and I think I am doing fine.