Saturday, January 23, 2010

Al Fresco

We got all the lumber to build my outdoor dining room table today. Yeah! I'm super excited. It's going to be narrow, and really long -- I'm going for a Tuscan feel. And, I finally had a reason to buy more wood clamps. I know, weird. Assembly begins tomorrow since it is raining today.

Monday, January 18, 2010


Depending on how I count them, we got either one, two, or three very dusty projects done this weekend. If you are a regular reader, you might guess that my motivation was once again an imminent bulk trash pick up day.

My house used to have one of those ventilation systems wherein you have a airplane propeller sized attic fan strategically placed over one ice house spear fishing sized vent in the ceiling in a central location of the house. At some point, a previous owner had removed the ceiling vent and sheetrocked over it, but had left all of the associated machine parts up in the attic.

All of that stuff had to go... (1) It was just junk, taking up space; (2) At some point I want to turn my attic into living space so I want it visually cleared out (3) in a month or so it's going to be beastly hot in the attic and I won't really want to be spending any time up there.

Along with the fan was a big, built in wooden box. I presume that at some point it housed the fan over the vent. It was about 8 feet long, 4 or 5 feet tall and 4 or 5 feet wide. And on top of that, about 80 years of dust, scraps from the roof removal and new roof construction, old lightbulbs, old roach motels -- all sorts of goodies. (Blissfully nothing that skittered under its own power!)

It didn't take a great deal to dismantle the box... but it did take many trips to the attic stairs and to the curb. The fan was another story. It was REALLY heavy. The fan blades broke off on the way to the attic opening, and once to the opening Tom lowered it down to my porch with a rope. More than once I heard sounds akin to him falling through the floor into my livingroom -- but no. Whew....

Next was the TV antennae. You know, the big metal kind you had up on the roof growing up? Ubeknownst to me, all those little arms fold in to streamline the thing. We dutifully folded them all in (okay, I bent a few) and then it was pretty easy to remove (see, Burly Boyfriend) and tote to the curb.

Literally before I could get the front porch swept, scavengers were at my curb and picked up the antennae and the fan. It's magic!

In the "reuse, reclaim, renew" category, I did try to find new uses for the old fan, but my internet research turned up nothing. I was able to save the wooden frame from the wooden box -- pulled out many many nails, and that will become kindling for fires. I suspect it is VERY seasoned... lol

Even though I don't spend a lot of time in my attic, mentally it just feels good to know that it's a wide open space now. I did not take a deep cleansing breath up there to take in the lovely newly cleared space, but I did do that after my shower -- downstairs.

An awful lot of fluttering going on...

You may recall the "Living with Wildlife" entry where I had sparrows behind the sheetrock in my livingroom over July 4th weekend. The Bird Man had told me not to worry about additional/new birds making their home there, because the family of sparrows who was living there had marked the entrance as theirs with their body oils. (He really did have some very interesting little known facts...)

Well, the oils must have expired (and not expired as in "shuffled-off-their-mortal-coils type of expiration -- more "your-lease-has-expired" type of expiration, because Tom noticed new sparrows been a little too keen on that area of the exterior of the house. That was over a week ago. We had talked about plugging that hole months ago, but... well, you know how that goes. I had even purchased the recommended steel wool and clear caulk... but somehow the ladder never came out of the shed.

So now it's done! We'll pay attention to the sparrows there in the coming days, and I will check the area again in a month or so to make sure the steel wool hasn't come out; I opted not to use the caulk -- only the steel wool. I did a few other under the eaves areas... and frankly could have gotten quite carried away... it was oddly gratifying. Unfortunately I didn't have a week to spare, up on a ladder with a tool belt full of steel wool and tools to poke it into holes with. And I don't think Tom could have handled me watching me tear steel wool apart for a week -- it has that "fingernails-on-a-chalkboard" affect on him. Ayeee!