New Kitchen Ceiling

Just in case you thought we were finished all of our trailer projects for this year, we have one more to share.

Kat was never fond of how the paneling on the ceiling turned out when we redid the kitchen area in the trailer. We had put up some thin panels and painted them white. It was fine and it worked, but some of the seams were unseemly, as it were.

In any event, after we refinished the bedroom area in the trailer last year with pine tongue and groove boards, there was quite the contrast between the kitchen side and the bedroom side. So we decided to rip out the kitchen ceiling and redo it to match.

Here is the start on the south side, working towards the north.

We worked in sections, stripping off a row of the panels and then putting up the tongue and groove boards as we went. The first section was a bit slow as I was working by myself for that part, but Kat joined in for the other sections so it went much quicker.

Here is the start of the second section, just after we had ripped off the ceiling panels.

We were anxious to get that center section done in one day as that is where all of the lights are mounted. Not that we haven’t spent time with no lights before, but it would be better if we could get passed that all at once.

I was doing all of the cutting outside while Kat was doing most of the nailing inside. We would both help to put the new pieces in place, as they can be a bit unruly, especially the longer ones.

We were successful in completing the center section in only one day, though with the daylight hours dropping as we approach winter it was getting a bit dark in the trailer when we got to the end.

With nothing to do on a rainy day, I took it upon myself to rip out the rest of the ceiling on the north side. There are no power tools involved so you don’t use up any battery power getting that done.

It wasn’t long after that we hunkered down and filled in the rest of it, leaving us with quite the nice new ceiling.

We even put some of the pine around the inset for the vent box.

There are still a few minor details to take care of in terms of putting in the trim pieces, but the major work is now done. The hardest part was ripping out the old ceiling. It was stapled and glued so we made quite a mess pulling it down. Then we had to chisel off the glue and any remnants that remained before we could start putting the new stuff on. Your arms do get tired after you have been holding them over your head for quite a while.

All in all, it wasn’t a necessary change, but it sure does make the place look nicer.

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Kitchen Counter, reprise

Okay, way back in July I posted about finishing the kitchen counter around the sink. In case you forget, this is what it looked like:

As you can see from that picture, there was still some work to do below the counter: namely build some drawers and cupboards. The drawers were finished fairly soon after the counter but we had a few delays with the finishing of the whole thing.

Let me share that particular adventure.

After we had put the counter in, I immediately went to work on the new drawers. I used the same technique I came up with while working on the kitchen cabinet. So it wasn’t long before I had the basic drawers constructed and ready for a fitting test.

Here is Fizgig trying out the first drawer.

He had to try it while it was pulled out as well. He matches the wood pretty well.

The high back on that drawer will make more sense in a moment. Moving along, I made the other two drawers that were to be installed above that first one. We put them in and it all looked good.

Of course, after that they headed out to the staining department. Our staining department (Kat) was also busy working at her new job this summer, so finding time for her to get some of these projects completed meant things were delayed more than once.

In any event, the drawer interiors were all stained a nice red and put back into position.

At this point, I also installed the interior hardware for that bottom drawer.

Yes, we made it a drawer for all of our baking trays and cutting boards. It is awesome because those types of things are a pain in the butt to put in a stack in a cupboard. If you want one close to the bottom, you have to shuffle through the entire stack. We knew when we had put in a drawer like this when we lived in Ottawa that having a similar drawer in the trailer would be really handy.

After that, we needed to put the drawer faces on along with handles and knobs. We also needed cut the pieces for the cupboards, put their edges on and finish them as well. You wouldn’t think that would take very long, but it did.

The drawer fronts didn’t take too long, but the cupboards sat around for quite a while. Part of that was Kat working, distractions of other projects and the fact that several measuring mistakes were made. The cupboards were cut to fit the space, but once you put the hinges on it forces them to sit within a certain small area. I ended up having to trim and redo two of the cupboards because they ended up being too big to fit once mounted to the hinges.

This also meant that Kat had to refinish the edges that I trimmed, which delayed things even further. As a result, it was the third week of October before we reached this stage.

We finished all three new cupboards and everything looks rather nice now.

There is that small space between the center pair of cupboards and the one on the right that needs to have something put in it. I do have a plan for that, but as it is cosmetic, it may wait until next spring as we do have some other things that we are currently working on.

I should mention that the cupboard on the right holds a little secret: I mounted our recycling bin to it and it is hinged at the bottom.

You pull it out and have easy access to the recycle bin, and it’s also kept out of sight which helps to reduce the clutter. You can see I put in some stops to prevent the cupboard door from dropping to the floor (they’re just below the white recycle bin).

In addition to this, while we’re getting caught up on things, remember that bed frame with the drawers we built last year? It looked something like this:

It sat like that for quite a while, with no faces on the drawers. That has now been resolved as well.

Kat painted them green and I put them on sometime in August. It’s so nice to have handles on those things, having scraped the flesh off my fingers a few times trying to get the drawers open without handles.

That gets us caught up with the kitchen and bedroom. We have a couple of other things going on, but time is rapidly running out. It is getting colder, we run the fire quite a bit now and we’ve even had a bit of the white stuff.

We’ve also started into more cloudy weather, so we’ve been trying to conserve our solar power to make it last as long as we can. This means no long days using power tools.

Winter is coming. Are you ready?

Maynooth Wildlife

So occasionally we manage to take pictures of things that are alive that aren’t plants. The following is a small collection of critters that we have come upon this year, so far. I will warn you right now, if you don’t like things that have more than four legs you might want to bypass this post.

Let’s start with the ant colony I discovered while sorting through my wood pile. They had carved up several pieces of lumber to create themselves a cozy little home. It also created a rather fascinating set of fins in the wood.

Perhaps some artistic wood person can find a use for something like that.

Remember that post about us having a new door installed on the trailer? Well while we were working on that this guy came to visit.

It kinda looks like a giant house fly, but actually it’s a cicada. It would fly around us any time we used a power tool, like the skill saw or drill. I’m guessing it was attracted to the noise and vibration, thinking we were a mate. I’m not sure I have seen one that close up before so this was a rather unique experience. We didn’t have much cicada noise this summer, what with it being so cool.

Next up, we have Mr. Dragonfly. This particular one was sunning himself on a fir tree. His wing span probably would exceed that of a hummingbird. We love these guys as they really help to keep down the biting insect populations during the summer.

Following that, we have Rita. She’s a big ass spider. If you know how big a dock spider gets, she’s about the same size.

And then there is Ben. He’s the same type of spider as Rita. They share the space inside where we keep the batteries for the solar panels.

I don’t know what kind of spiders they are, but I can say we have quite a few of them. Usually we find them in or near wood, especially in the fire wood pile. If you think the pictures of them are creepy, try doing an image search on the internet for “large brown spider”. That will make these guys look benign. The closest I found was a dark fishing spider, but these guys are no where near water so that isn’t right.

If you’re tired of bugs, we can move on to other things.

This, for instance, is a blue spotted salamander.

That’s Kat’s palm he’s resting on. You usually find them in warm wet places, like under a pile of decomposing straw bales, or perhaps your compost pile.

To top it all off, today as I was heading into town, I hadn’t gone half a kilometer before I came upon this girl.

She was just lazily wandering down the middle of our road. I stopped quite a ways back to take her picture and it took her a few seconds to realize I was there. After we stared at each other for a few more seconds, she turned and trotted down the road, after having moved to the right side. I was wondering if she had moved over to let me pass.

I followed her at a fair distance for a bit and then I just stopped and let her do her thing. She continued down the road and then scooted into the forest.

If you’re not from around here and you have no idea what that is, it is a female moose.

That’s all the time we have for wild life today. I wonder what will happen tomorrow.

Autumn 2017, part 2

I was driving home today from visiting family during Thanksgiving (yes, that was today, if you’re Canadian) and it started out rainy, but as I got closer to home it cleared up and was a really nice sunny day. I also noticed that we have pretty much reached the peak of the second round of autumn colours so I decided to take a walk around our property and shoot some pictures to share with all of you nice folks.

Actually, this first one is from last Thursday (Oct 5th). It’s the standard view looking over the trailer roof. You can compare it to the other pictures I from my previous Autumn 2017 post.

Now we move on to today’s batch. There are some real doozy’s in here that I’m sure you’ll enjoy. All pictures can be clicked on for larger versions.

As I said, it was a really nice sunny day and we’re big into the golds and bright oranges now. There are still some reds around here and there, but most of the reds happened earlier.

I also happened to be up at the family cottage during the last week of September and I snagged this awesome sunset picture over the lake. It also has the extra added bonus of having a flock of geese flying through it. You will most likely need to click on the picture for the larger version to see them, though.

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