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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Getting ready for CAMPING - and Our Old House Projects

Ooooh wheeee got the motorhome loaded up today.  In the morning we are heading out to High Cliff State Park for the Halloween Weekend Celebration in the park.  Our kids and grandtots are coming to camp with us on a double site.  I am sooo excited to see them and have some fun....   plus it's my birthday on Halloween to celebrate along with the the festivities.  Yeeeeee

Today I cooked up a big pot of chili and used the rest of the little tomatoes from the garden.  The colors were so bright and cheery before I chopped them all up and tossed them into the pot.

Also I did up a big pot of my calico beans, and a container of my tuna noodle pasta salad, and of course a pan of rice krispie bars.  Add in some hot dogs, brats, burgers, and munchies, and we should be all set! I figure if I get most of the cooking done ahead of time, that is less I have to cook at the campsite on the weekend, and more time to enjoy the kids.

The doggers are getting excited to go, as I went back and forth with loads of things for the motorhome.  They finally got underfoot so much that I brought them out to the motorhome and let them sit inside while I went back and forth. That made them happy!  And got them out from under my feet!

They made sure I packed a bag of their dog food, and a container of doggie treats.  Of course their harnesses and leashes, and doggie pooper pick up bags.  They are set and ready to go.

I have about 20 bags of candy packed for the trick or treaters... last year we went through over 1,000 pieces, so I hope I have enough. Some are 30 pieces, some are 70 so I hope it evens out.

Around Our Old House we got one project finished .. .and another halfway done.

Back when we bought the house, I found these century old oak cabinets taken out of a butler's pantry in Fond du Lac.  Here is the blog post I did about them: Refinishing my Kitchen Cabinets   I stripped them down and refinished them for our kitchen. This photo was from CraigsList with the seller in the picture.  (note the 2 bins on the bottom left)

The bottom row was a bit too long for our wall, so we omitted one of the pull out flour bins... and made the space into a pull out trash bin.  Here is the final result... it was okay. But, the new little door from Menards we put in place of the big gap was not aging the same color and same tone of the century old red oak cabinets.  It was from new unfinished oak, and even though I used the same stain and poly on it as the rest of the cabinets, it was not looking right as the year went by. I noticed it was darker than the rest of the cabinets.

We decided last summer to take the leftover bin and have the front panel cut down to fit the space instead of the new one.... That way the wood would match perfectly.  We dropped the bin at a nearby oak woodworking place to have it done.  (Steve no longer has access to mortise and tenon cutting tools like he did at his old job)  The guy just never got around to doing it....   so we stopped and picked it back up and did it ourselves.

Why is it that you can never get something done by someone else in a timely manner?  It wasn't a huge job, just one that we thought could be done by another guy with the proper tools.

Oh well.....  
We decided we could manage redoing it 
with some careful cutting.  
And we did! 

Steve got the panel off the front of the bin.  He then cut apart the door carefully along one side of the panels and cut it free from the rest.  Shortening it up to only 11.5 inches wide was a bit tricky. He had to cut out 6 and a half inches and make it look balanced.  Once it was done, I was able to stain and varnish around the cut edge and make it look the same as the rest of the cabinetry.  Steve installed back into place tonight after supper.  Ahhhh I think it looks better! 

I know it's night time and the photos don't do it justice being dark outside and only the overhead lights to shine on the cabinets.  I am glad we took the time to do it right and have it completed ourselves.

The other job partially done is reversing the door on the half bath.  We are making it swing outwards instead of inwards so it doesn't hit against the cute little corner sink we are putting in there. On Sunday during the Packer Game half time, Steve decided to pull off the trim around the casing and remove the hinges. 

He carefully pulled it away and wow oh wow were there ever long long finishing nails holding that trim on!  In 1913 they must have only had certain lengths on hand in our small town, and this is how they held the trim into place.  

 (back when we cut the hutch away from the wall in the diningroom, 
we cut through about 100 of these nails holding that hutch in place!) 

Once he had the trim off, then he carefully measured and penciled in the sections for the hinges to be placed on the outside.  Then with a wood chisel, he cut out each little section perfectly so the hinges would look as original as possible.

The door is in place now, and he made some tiny blocks to fill in where the old hinges and latch were on the other side.  I will get out my stain and varnish and finish them off to hide where they were. It will be so much better to not have the door swinging inwards.  It already feels larger in there.

The new faucet is due to arrive tomorrow, so we will get to that next week and finish up the sink.  Then our little half bath that WAS a closet with only a toilet will now have a toilet, sink, heat and an outward swinging door!  

Well, it's after 9 pm and I better get this posted before heading to beddy-bye.  We are looking forward to a great weekend with our grandtots at the campground.....

trick or treating... 
morning snuggles.... 

sounds like HEAVEN! 


  1. I'm sure Steve does a better job than anyone else would have. The result is just beautiful. You do a great job of staining - it's been years since I've tried anything like that and now I wouldn't even try.

    You have a wonderful Hallowe'en planned, and I know everyone is going to ernjoy being together. Nothing like family camping adventures!

  2. I think that instead of cutting down the size of that door, that you should have enlarged the house to fit the cabinet(grin)!

  3. Great job! Have a wonderful Halloween Camping weekend.

  4. Gosh your home is so beautiful. How nice that you both are so handy and can do those types of repairs yourselves! Have a great camping trip with the family!


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