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
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Monday, October 27, 2014

Pictorial Ketchup...Catsup...Catch Up!

We've had a very busy summer, and it got the better of me as far as keeping the blog updated.  Rather than get all wordy to try to get things caught up, how about I just put captions on a bunch of pictures of stuff we did.  Cool with y'all?  Excellent...here we go, then.

Our last update was back in April, so we'll pick up there.  Well, almost.  We actually got a bit distracted in May and June, even managing to get a bit of camping in.  So, we'll be picking things up in July.

We put the Kubota to work, pulling a heavy steel bathtub out of our root cellar.
No.  That's not a typo.  A bathtub...in our root cellar.

Honestly, if it weren't for the Kubota I'm not sure how we'd have gotten
the tub out of there.  It wasn't cast iron.  It was thick steel.  There was
no way to break it up and haul it out.

If at this point you're really wondering, "Why in the heck was there a bathtub
in the root cellar?!" I'll clue you in.  The previous owner kept minnows in it
for fishing.  Seriously.

We contemplated making some kind of lawn art with it, but we decided instead
to make the local scrap guy's day.  :)

We had been wanting to build a fire pit for quite a while, but other projects have
been far more urgent.  This one required only a drive to the local Ace Hardware. :)


That's all we have for July.  Did I say we did quite a bit of camping this summer?  On to August!  We tackled a few more projects in August, both inside and outside.

Work on the outbuildings continues.  We added venting to both the gables and the
soffits, and powerwashed all the mold and old sealant.

The other side of the larger outbuilding.

The smaller outbuilding.  Both buildings are now ready for painting, but that's
work for another month.

The stairs and landing on the front deck were in extremely bad shape.
Like, "Holy crap, don't stand on that!!!" bad of shape.

The Kubota continues to earn its keep.  It took less than 10 minutes to do this.
The tractor can't take all the credit.  The whole darn thing was held toegether
with just screws.  We'd later discover the entire deck was held together
the same way.  It's now gone....like, we have no deck and that first step
is a DOOZY.

The previous owner's own private landfill.  At least he
put down a pool tarp to put it all on.  Oh, the pool tarp disintegrated,
so we'll have to dig everything out of the dirt and mud by hand?
One huge freakin' mess, and no fun at all to clean up.



All cleared away.  Again, the Kubota earned its keep.  We were able to
fill the loader bucket and dump it all right into a dumpster.  All those
blue scraps?  The aforementioned pool liner.  

This beauty, here?  That's our chicken coop, and is a tear down project for
some future month.  I took the picture of it, so figured I'd share.  :)

How 'bout we move inside.  This is something of a before and after shot.  These
are walls in our master bedroom.  That ugly pink is the original color.  [[shudder]]

The room got a complete re-do.  We bought new window treatments, replaced
all of the outlets and switches, dismantled and painted the baseboard heat
registers, and installed cork flooring.

A view of the rehabbed heat registers, and of the new flooring going in.

It was a busy August, huh?  :)  Onward to September!

The finished product on the large outbuilding, with a little before
and after action.

Ditto for the small outbuilding. 

We started cutting and clearing the woods around the house.  These were
completely grown right down to the ground, and were out all the way
to the driveway.  We did have some casualties on this project.
A family of bunnies had made a home in the overgrowth, and when
I cleared Peanut found them pretty quickly.  Oops.  At least they're
bunnies.  They'll make more.

Along with the landfill removal, we also had to dig this pile of scrap pipe
out of the woods behind the barn.  Again, we made the scrap guy's day.

That takes care of September, and brings us right to October.  Let's get to it.


A good bit of October was spent getting ready for the heating season.  We
wound up with two more rows on the inside of what you see, giving us
about six full cord going in to the winter.  Shelly might even let me
start the boiler up soon! :)

Y'all might remember that old ratty wooden car port we tore down.  I saved
the metal roof panels from it, and they've found several new homes.  Two
deer blinds now have metal roofs, and our wood shed now has the half
wall you see...with a matching wall on the other side.

As you can see, we were sorely in need of a door on our root cellar.  The
hinges were beyond repair, but after getting them off we were able to use
the threaded studs mounted into the concrete.

A view from the flip side.  We're figuring they used that half a hinge as some
kind of latch.

The door was an easy fit.  We just had to shorten the length on a pressure
treated sheet of plywood sheathing. 

We went with a pretty simple latch system.  We're not worried about anyone
breaking in.  We just want the door held down.  That's a section of treated
2"x6" mounted to a hing.  The hinge and the weight of the 2"x6" are plenty
to hold the door down.  

The new cellar door in all its splendor.  One thing not pictured, because it
wasn't done when I took the picture, is a hinged panel at the top of the door.
It covers the gap at the top of the door to keep out the weather.

So, that's it.  That's our summer of projects.  We did a few other things around here that didn't get their picture took.  Shelly worked her butt off in her garden...with great success, I might add.  I worked with a friend and the owner of the property attached to ours on restoring his deer blind and further reinforcing ours.  I moved my home office from the basement up to our spare bedroom, even replacing my plastic card table with a real desk.  We also moved our youngest son from Arizona back to the town we lived in Ohio before moving up here.  Our oldest son moved out, to move closer to his recruiter and to be on his own for a bit before leaving for the Navy in November.

Other than that, did I mention that we went camping this summer?  :)


Rustic camping at Tahquamenon Falls State Park

Until next time...and big changes are a comin' at old Shangri La.  Stay tuned!

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