Chronicling the cleanup and restoration of our house and property in northern Michigan

Chronicling the cleanup and restoration of our house and property in northern Michigan

Monday, August 2, 2010

Odd Jobs and Relaxation

We just arrived back in Ohio after a great weekend at Shangri La.  It was a shorter weekend trip than most, as I ended up working late on Thursday so we didn't hit the road until Friday morning.  We arrived at the house around 3:00 PM, and were immediately struck by how good the place is looking.  All of the hard work is paying off.  We were also struck by low hanging branches, so low that they were hitting the Explorer when we were pulling into the drive.  Add that to the to-do list.  We had some company on this trip.  Shelly's brother Jamie arrived shortly after us, and he brought three friends...Tony, Dan, and Dillon.

Following our last trip up, which was for a whole week, our to-do list for this trip was blessedly short. After getting our stuff put away, and having some dinner, Shelly and I dove into clearing the low branches from the trees bordering the driveway.    Jamie and his friends decided to try their luck at fishing.  After clearing the branches, Shelly and I headed to Ocqueoc Falls for a swim to cool off.  Great thinking, Shelly!  We ended up catching as many fish as Jamie and his friends, so I think we chose better.  ;)  :)  When everybody was back at the house we went out to the barn to take a look at the tractor.  At the very tail end of the last trip the tractor died while Kyle was cutting the grass.  It would run strong, but as soon as he'd engage the mowing deck the engine would shut down.  Tony volunteered to take a look at it to see what he could do. He dove right in and located a bad fuse in the fuseable link going to the PTO.  A new 20 amp fuse and she was back to life.  Thankfully, an easy and inexpensive fix!  Afterward, we hooked up the Nintendo Wii and went bowling.  All had a good time, and we got to know Jamie's friends a bit.  Good folks.
Saturday morning, and we woke up to rain.  Jamie was planning on doing some work on the deer blinds, and that now wasn't looking likely.  I needed to get the grass cut, and with the grass wet or dry that was going to happen.  It finally let up, so I headed out to get to work.  Jamie and his friends headed over to Uncle Donny's for a visit.  I got the grass knocked down and the weeds whacked, and about that time Jamie and the crew returned.  They decided that going fishing sounded like more fun than working on the deer blinds.  I can't say that I disagree.  :)  They got Jamie's boat ready to go, and headed over to Ocqueoc Lake.  Shelly and I hung back and just puttered around the place, doing some odd jobs.  Nothing too big, but stuff that needed to be done.  We just took our time, got done what we could, and enjoyed each others' company.

We still had three windows that had no screens, and with the mosquitoes up there that meant these windows weren't being opened.  There is a pile of about 30 screens out in the barn, so we measured the windows and I headed out to see if we'd be lucky enough to have any the right size.  Luck was with us...I found three perfectly sized.  They had a few holes in them, which we taped up for now.  The next trip up I'll replace the screening in the frames.  They fit right in like they belonged there, and with all of the windows open the place was much cooler.  

After this Shelly and I headed to the Ace Hardware in Rogers City.  We needed to buy parts to repair a leaky shutoff valve on the hot water heater.  I was hoping to be able to repair the valve, but that wasn't meant to be.  So, with plans to replace the hot water heater in the near future I decided to just do a quick fix.  Rather than replacing the entire valve, which would involve cutting out the existing valve and sweating in a new one I instead just cut off the shaft from the valve and screwed on a cap.  This means we can no longer shut off the water supply to the heater, but it's only a temporary fix until we buy and install the new water heater.  I'll replace the valve when I install the new heater.

After some dinner, which we ate outside in the EZ Up and screen room, we relaxed for a bit.  I was feeling a bit restless, so I grabbed a sledge hammer and set about busting up a pile of cinder blocks.  We needed to fill in a rut in the driveway entrance, being created by erosion from the rain.  The busted up cinder blocks filled that in nicely.  After that, I figured I was finally done for the day.  I got a nice roaring bonfire going, and Shelly and I just kicked back and relaxed.

Jamie and his friends arrived back from fishing, and they had a pretty good haul of perch and bass.  We figured that they'd hang around the fire for a while, but they decided that after cleaning the fish that they were going to pack up and go home.  They said their goodbyes, and left while Shelly and I were still lounging by the bonfire.  A bit later Shelly and I headed in and played some Wii bowling and some other games.  All in all, it was a very good day. 

Sunday morning, and time to pack up.  We woke late, and took our time getting ready.  I knocked down one more small job.  A pane of safety glass had been dropped and broken at some point, leaving a large pile of glass pellets in the yard.  It was finally high enough on the list of things to do, and the shop vac made quick work of it.  Shelly and I have developed a routine, her working inside the house, and me loading and securing the trailer.  With the house cleaned up and the trailer loaded we hit the road for Ohio.  We arrived home around 7:30 PM, unloaded, and relaxed with the boys a bit before calling it a night.

We're thinking our next trip up will be at the end of August.  The only thing high on the list for that trip, other than cutting the grass, is to caulk up anything that needs caulking before the weather turns.

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