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Monday, September 18, 2023

Around The House - Getting Ready To Go Camping Again

We decided to spend a few days at home, mainly over the weekend and get a few things done. We really don't care to camp on the weekends as people get too noisy. In the quiet places that we like to go, we appreciate the peaceful serenity of the woods during the weekdays. 

Since we were home for a few days, Steve decided to work some more on his garage project. He's been doing a little at a time. First he did all of the insulation. Then he sheetrocked everything. Now he is doing the taping and mudding and covering of all the screw holes. Sooner or later he will be painting. It's not that it needs to be done by any certain time. It's just a project he's working on a little at a time. It's the entire ceiling and walls in the 4 stall garage. 

We also cleaned up the flower beds around the house. Some things got a little overgrown while we were gone for a month. In no time at all we're going to have frost, so it's time to make some decisions about our outside flowers and plants. 

The three beautiful Boston ferns that I kept going all summer are so full and lush in their cocoa matte baskets. If I was going to change them into indoor plants, it would mean I'd have to get three big pots and transplant them. The cocoa matte baskets allow water to run right through them and would not work for an indoor plant. I guess I really wasn't keen on making them into indoor plants. Especially if we go south this winter them I would have to impose upon my kids or grandkids to take care of them.

So instead, I posted this pic on Facebook Marketplace:

I met a really nice lady who came over to buy them. She's going to keep two for herself and transplant them into bigger pots that can be used indoors. The third one she picked up for a co-worker. So now all three ferns will have a lovely warm home and enjoy being indoor plants instead of dying a horrid death from the wicked frost!!! 


We had a sassy little visitor the other night, who was very bold. Instead of feeding way out by the other bird feeders, he came up close to the house. He actually kept nudging that one suspended bird feeder with his nose, rocking it to and fro, and knocking more and more of the seed down on the ground. Pretty smart hey?

I took these blurry pictures through the glass window, but if you look carefully you can see his young buckhorns growing on his head.

Of course, Binney was very excited to have this guy so close to the house. It really fired her up and kept her barking for about 20 minutes. He realized he was safe and totally ignored her. 


Another project that I wanted to get done before the snow falls was the painting the columns on our pergola. They were originally pretty chipped up when we bought them. We found them CHEAP in an architectural salvage section of a antique store. They exactly match the rest of the columns on the front of our house. So we built them into the pergola and just gave them another coating of paint 3 years ago. 

Before the grandkids started school this fall, I had them over for one afternoon to let them chip all of the loose paint off the columns. They had a blast! They said it was like picking a scab, or picking on dried skin after a sunburn. They absolutely were focused and transfixed and trying to get more and more and more loose stuff off.

All three of them went to work and just were busy as little beavers. They didn't even want to take a break to eat supper!

Even after supper they went back to do some more. Chelsea was even reaching way up to get the higher up spots so we brought out a little ladder for Claire so she could help too. They were competing to see who could get more off which column. Girls against the boy. 

Well, since they got most of the loose stuff off, I figured maybe I could get some more. I tried first using this oscillator tool with a little chisel piece on the end-- similar to a putty knife. Really didn't work that well. 

I used work gloves and a good mask for the dust. 

Next, Steve picked me up a new "paint eater" disc. We used these years ago to remove the old varnish finish off our log home prior to selling it. They work pretty good. They can either be screwed onto a right angle grinder like this or actually installed onto the "paint eater" power tool from Wagner.

By now my arms were starting to hurt. The right angle grinder has a lot more twist and momentum when using it. So Steve took over using the power tool. Once he got any more loose stuff off, it was my turn to do the clean up and shop vacuuming. My neighbors must think I'm really nuts to be out shop vaccing paint chips out of our lawn! I had a really good Supervisor for my job:

It scratches up the wood a little bit but not too bad. At least it took off the loose stuff. The rest of it is dried on like concrete and I don't think it's ever coming off.

I figured it was as good as it was going to get. Now it was time to get a layer of primer on and a couple coats of paint. I had a beautiful sunshiny afternoon to get started.

Soon I had it all done by supper time I gave the final coat. I think it really look good and it is going to help preserve the columns for years to come. I hope. Binney says I did a very good job. But, I pay her with doggie treats to say that. 

Looked out in the backyard that evening and noticed we suddenly have gotten the pileated woodpeckers again. They've been missing for most of the summer and we don't know where they went. But they are back. Here are two of them, one on each side of the big cottonwood tree.

Well, that's about it for this blog. I'm actually dictating it into my phone while we are sitting up in the Northwoods. 

I will do my next blog about our campsite at Boot Lake. 

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