Sunday, November 8, 2009

It's been a while since my last post . . .

We have been spending every possible moment working on our building and seems like it is taking forever. We are working on the steel now and getting what the 2 of us can do by ourselves. Sometimes on the weekend, we enlist some help. We pretty much have the interior framing done but can't finish it until we are watertight. The steel is going up slowly, thanks to the ever present wind we have. Seems like it is calm during the week but come the weekend when we have more time, the winds kick up.

Every weekend we try to line up some help to get the roof on. So far, still no roof, going to try to get help again next weekend. I don't see any way that Dan and I can do it by ourselves. The last pictures I posted were taken on Labor Day weekend so I'll just date the pictures and you can follow our progress.

9/27/09 - Painted Doors and and trim going on around garage doors

10/5/09 - Interior Framing

10/21/09 - Stairs to Mezzinine storage area

11/6/09 - Steel going up

11/15/09 - More steel but still no roof

Sunday, September 20, 2009

We've been busy . . .

I sat here 2 weeks ago and typed up the entire post with the Labor Day weekend update and then LOST the whole thing when I hit the "Publish Post" link. Frustrated, I walked away. I have spend another week in Mexico since and am finally getting back with the update.

In the pictures, you will see a man named Harvey, he is my neighbor and a great guy that gave up half of his holiday weekend to help us. He enlisted his 2 sons, their friends and another friend of his, Seth. With my SIL, Matt, and his friend Joe, at times, we had 10 hammers in action. I'll let the pictures tell most of the story.

My SIL Matt getting ready to anchor a truss.

L to R Harvey, Matt and Joe.

Trusses up and most of the purlins in place.

Harvey, Seth and Joe spend most of the afternoon in the air.

Joe, Seth, Matt and Harvey taking a much deserved break.

By Sunday afternoon, the roof framing was almost complete.

This view is my studio end, the 15 lite door is for the studio and the 9 lite door beside it will go into the garage. The 2 windows to the right will be in the office part and the other one in the studio.
Since Labor Day, we have been framing some of the areas that still needed it, painting doors and adding some of the trim pieces, getting everything ready to have a "Steel Hanging Party" Hopefully the same crew will show up and be ready to help. This project is taking longer that I had hoped but at the rate it's going, I'll have plenty to keep me busy this fall and into winter.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Ready for the Trusses

Moving right along. Saturday was my birthday so I spent it doing exactly as I wanted, working on this project. My son-in-law was back to help out and with the help of a man-lift that we rented for the weekend, we got the headers in above the garage doors. Those bad boys were about 40-45 pounds each and there was 9 of them going 12.5 feet in the air. We worked out a system where Matt (SIL) and Dan (DH) were on the ladders on each side of the man-lift that I used to hoist the boards in the air, then we just slid them into place.

On Sunday, I ran around in the lift marking and cutting the tops of the posts and setting the "hurricane" straps in preparation for the trusses. With any luck and the assistance of our neighbor (who sometimes gets to bring construction equipment home from work), next weekend's update will show trusses, windows and doors in place. Seems slow going when most of the work has to wait until the weekend. Once we are enclosed, we will have more jobs that can be worked on after work each day. You know, the "little" jobs like building interior walls, electrical, insulation, drywall, mudding and taping said drywall, sanding, painting, etc, etc. Now, I'm tired just thinking about it. What's really bad is when we are in the middle of a project like this, even in my sleep I'm "working" and wake up exhausted.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

I Missed the Concrete Pour

Due to another last minute business trip (second weekend in a row), I missed the concrete pour for our new garage/studio. Since I would be in Detroit, I asked my husband to grab my camera and click away to document what I missed. He took all except the last one in today's post.

Some friends of a co-worker agreed to float the concrete for us. Here they are doing what they are good at.

Now, with the floor height set we could frame out the windows and garage doors today. That's my husband in the last picture taking a break. There's no stopping us now. It is just taking longer than we expected. I may still be putting finishing touches on the studio at Christmas. Hard to believe it is almost Labor Day, not to mention me having another birthday next Saturday.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Garage/Studio Update

Just a quick post but I wanted to update everyone on the project status. Below is where we are on our garage/studio. If not for my son-in-law (Matt) and his friend (Joe) we would be where we are now. Those two strong young men lifted and stood our posts (the biggest was a 24 ft 6 x 6) up in the holes while we braced everything a couple of weekends ago. They came back yesterday to help nail some of the girts in place. As you can see, we are not done with the girts yet but at least we are building now. With luck, maybe we'll be pouring concrete next weekend or the one after. Pretty much all my daylight hours after work in spent working on this project. Since my husband is home all of the time, he is working outside when he is feeling up to it. We would love to have it enclosed by Labor Day. Wish us luck!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

On the move lately . . .

I know, it's been over a month since I posted. My posting seems to be getting worse instead of better. OK, here's why - my job - first on June 15th I flew out to San Antonio then drove on down to Eagle Pass to visit a supplier across the border in Piedras Negras, Mexico. On this trip I made sure I had my camera with me. Below is a shot I took in the Cultural Plaza in Peidras. You can see the rest from there in my Flickr set -
Then, instead of flying home on the 19th as originally booked, I was asked to fly on to another supplier in Obregon (Mexico) for a week. The visit was tiring but the trip home was the real adventure. To make a long story short. I left the hotel in Obregon at 6:00 am on Friday and arrived home at 2:00 am on Sunday. I missed my connection to Atlanta, had to spend the night in Mexico City (due to weather my plane was late arriving). Finally made it to Atlanta and missed yet another plane (because the airline lost the tag on one of my bags and I had to get it retagged). I managed to get a seat on the last flight to Indianapolis and finally got home at 2 ;00 am. Here is a photo I took in a small town near Obregon called Cocorid. More from the Obregon set are here -

I spent the next week back in the office counting the days until our summer shutdown then was asked to take a trip to Canada to one of our customers. Since I would be driving on this trip I definitely wanted my camera at my side. The location I was going to was Milton, Ontario which was about an hour north of Niagara Falls so I decided to take the scenic route home. Here is a panorama of the escarpment at Milton. More at -

I started back home last Wednesday morning, stopping by Niagara falls for a couple of hours. The skies were overcast then sunny so the light was constantly changing but I got some decent shots. Here is one of them and the rest can be seen here - next stop was the Naval and Military Park in Buffalo New York. Didn't take too many there, but here is one with the rest in my Flickr set - From here I headed west to Erie, Pennsylvania for a quick stop at the zoo. I love the face on this guy. His "friends" are shown here - spent the night in Cleveland, Ohio and then hit the Botanical Gardens before driving the last 6 hours home. Here is one of my favorites from the gardens. There are plenty more here -, I plan on taking the next 2 weeks off work to see how far we can get on the studio/garage. We still don't have the holes finished to set the posts and really are no farther than the picture in my last post. Hopefully, at the end of my "vacation" we will have more to show for our efforts. That's it for now, I need to gather some tools and go to my daughter's house to remodel a bathroom.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

We finally broke ground on the Garage/Studio.

I haven't posted in about 3 weeks since we FINALLY have gotten started on our building project. So, if I'm not at work, I usually outside playing in the dirt. On Memorial Day weekend, we rented a sod cutter to remove the turf and layed out the visqueen vapor barrior. Then Tuesday we had 20 ton of pea gravel delivered as a base for the concrete floor. The picture below is pre-gravel (that's my husband in the picture).

Last weekend we rented an auger to start the 23 holes we needed to dig. The problem is that the auger only got us a 36 inch deep, 12 inch diameter hole. We had a little over half of the holes done with the auger when my husband heard and felt his back go "pop". Now we had to return the auger on Tuesday morning and 9-10 holes to go so we called in assistance from our son-in-law. He was a tremendous help, after we finished with the auger then we needed to start widening and deepening the holes by hand. This is going to take us a little while. Just remember we are both in our mid to late 50's and doing most of this project with our own hands. To set the posts per code, we need these holes to be 52 inches deep and about 15 inches in diameter. We made decent progress last weekend but then the rain hit. Our area received 2-3 inches of rain over 2 days. I snapped this next picture with my P&S before leaving for work the next morning. You couldn't even see the holes anymore.

Since then we have been pumping water out of the holes so we can get back to digging. It looks like it will still be a couple weeks before we can get the posts in the holes and get the inspector out here and get the OK to pour the concrete floor. Once that is done, the weather shouldn't slow us down too much.

I did take a few minutes yesterday morning to relax and take a few pictures. The temperature was on the cool side so we had heavy dew and a tiny bit of frost as seen on the strawberry below.
I thought the dew drops on top of the tips of the strawberry leaves were interesting. What do you think?

The daisies are still blooming so I shot them also.

I'd better wrap this up since I have to run to town this morning and then get back to digging holes. It's not much "fun", in fact it's hard work but will be sooooooooooooooo worth it when my studio is completed.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Playing with macros

I took off a couple hours early from work on Friday so I decided to play with some macro shots. Nothing spectacular, but not too bad either. What do you think?

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Allyssa's 8 weeks old today

Here are the latest photos of Little Miss Allyssa taken today at 8 weeks. My daughter and family came over for Mother's Day but my son didn't make it. I told him I wouldn't hold it against him. Both of our kids live within a half hour so it's not like we never see them.

Just a short post tonight since I didn't hit Powerball last night (nobody did) so it looks like I have to go to work tomorrow. Maybe I'll have better luck on Wednesday. LOL

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Yes, I'm still here

It's been about 2 weeks since I posted and I don't have a really good excuse, just very busy at work. I would love to say I've been busy on our building project but everytime we get the ground almost dry enough to break ground, it rains again. We have a utility pump set up to remove water from the area, but still can't get it dry enough to remove the sod.

Yesterday I took the day off work to give myself a 3 day Mother's Day weekend and have been playing in the workshop. After seeing the 2 sided Senior sign that Marie was selling, I decided to make my own. I am almost ready to paint it, and will post a picture when I get it finished. I decided to go ahead and make it now since my Granddaughter called the other day and told me that she had a couple of friends that still hadn't have senior pictures taken. I told her that I would help them out, especially since they will be graduating in a few weeks. I am looking forward to shooting my first twins. I don't know if they are identical or not, but it could be interesting working with them.

While I was in the workshop, I decided to start the other project that I have been wanting to do. That is make some oversized building blocks for toddler props. I want to do a set with A,B,C on one side and 1,2,3 on the other. I also want to make a few more blocks with interchangable letters to use as initials or a short name.

After I put the tools away, I noticed the sun had finally come out and was lighting up the Irises so nicely. I grabbed my camera and took a few shots
and then one of my gold cats decided he was going to cooperate for a few more shots.