Tag Archives: projects

Because I sod we would…

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Rock wall repair completed, it was time to tackle the grass-less section of dirt. We’ve been abnormally dry for the past few months and our lush green lawn was anything but. The weeds? They’re doing just fine. 😡

We tried seeding the bald area, but of course the minute we did that… we had a gushing thunderstorm that washed it all into the ditch. Enter some strategically placed sod.

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I’ve never sodded anything before so the fact that it came in nicely rolled little burritos tickled my funny bone.

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The color doesn’t exactly match….

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But it’s close enough for a ditch and will hopefully blend over time.

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Trying to keep it moist enough to root will be a bit of a challenge with the drought….

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But for $40 it was a quick efficient fix.

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Because I’m evil that way.

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Since the husband wasted our entire July 4th holiday weekend rebuilding the stone wall, before his helper left on the last day… I had my revenge.

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And got them to put up the two missing shutters. You know, the ones that had blown off the house 4 years ago and the husband never got around to fixing.

That’s the husband stuck in the unforgiving shrubbery under the shutters.

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Getting a ladder in there was no easy task.

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But together they made quick work of it.

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And the (extremely old, faded, really need to be painted or replaced with new) shutters were back in place.

It didn’t totally make up for missing fireworks and alcohol fueled celebrations, but I take what I can get.

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Rock Steady.

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Day 4, the finale.

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And because no project ever goes smoothly at Casa River…. when they reached the end, something went wrong and piles of rocks had to be removed and replaced.

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And right after I filmed that utterly riveting video (that WordPress decided to cut and only load half, for which you should be grateful)? They disturbed a mouse nest and were attacked by one royally pissed off mother rodent. But finally… late that afternoon, it was declared finished.

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Okay, so it looks a little pregnant in the middle due to a slight bump out.

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But at that point I don’t think their aching backs cared.

Before:

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And though I do miss the curved corner, after:

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Before:

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After:

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Before:

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After:

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To be honest, he dug this one down too far as well… and I still wish it was taller on the high end of the grass. I’m not complaining just to complain…. but I’m the one who has to pull all the grass and weeds that blow in there from the mower because it’s too low.

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But it looks a lot better than it did…. and in 10-15 years when Maine’s notorious frost heaving and shifting earth crumbles this one? We’ll probably hire someone to rebuild it again because we’ll be too old and decrepit. Maybe then I can have a high wall.

🤣

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Rock on.

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Stone wall rebuild… Day 3.

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The end was in sight.

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And I thought they were almost finished…

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Until I caught them at the large (also slightly crumbling) stone wall behind the choke cherry tree.

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The dreaded cannabalization had begun.

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Robbing Peter to pay Paul….

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And now sections of the big wall look bereft.

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Good thing they’re almost done.

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Still rocking’….

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Day 2 of the stone wall repair.

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Did I mention the day lilies were blooming?

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Progress was made, but it was slow going.

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Building a rock wall is like assembling a giant jigsaw puzzle.

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Where some of the pieces weigh 300 lbs.

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One rock put in, two rocks taken out.

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It requires a lot of contemplation. And more silent cursing of the wife who made you do it..

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Holiday weekends rock.

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But at our house, not in the way you might think.

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This is one of our stone walls. It’s the smallest and has been falling in on itself for years.

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Mainly because when my husband built it 19 years ago, he didn’t listen to me and dug it level to the higher edge of lawn.

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You can’t tell but there’s over a two foot difference in height there.

Anyway… on July 2nd, the start of the holiday weekend, I came home from the grocery store and found this.

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Because the husband decided July 4th was the perfect time to redo the corner of the wall where stones were starting to slip into the ditch. He enlisted a friend, dug a trench and figured this jerry rigged engineering marvel would work.

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A slab of untreated wood, a line of black stakes and yes, God help me… roofing shingles to hold back the dirt. Not what I would call aesthetically pleasing.

There was a discussion. Followed by a heated debate. Which turned into the beginning of an argument. I offered multiple solutions and they did not go over well. Naturally the husband wanted to do as little lifting as possible because, you know… rocks = heavy. But if you’re going to rebuild a wall? You can’t just do one section, and after some (not so) gentle persuading, he finally saw it my way. Since the slipping stones were his main concern I conceded defeat on that point and we eliminated the corner.

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Filling it in with dirt which we will then seed or sod.

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And then the real work began.

If you’ve never built a rock wall? (And I mean a real New England cement free rock wall, with rocks of all different shapes and sizes and weights… not the nice flat ones you buy at a landscapers) Trust me, it’s work!

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Which is undoubtedly why my husband only wanted to do a corner.

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Silly man, he really should have known better.

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Day one? It went something like this:

Move rocks, install barrier, argue with wife, remove barrier, curse wife under your breath, fill hole with dirt, move rocks, curse wife again, start rebuilding entire wall when all you wanted to do was one corner, move rocks, curse wife under breath one more time because you can and she’s too far away to hear you.

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To be continued….

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Well, he tried.

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Last weekend my husband installed the downspout on our new back deck guttering.

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For some reason (Far be it for me to question his process. But I did… and was told to go back in the house) he decided to reroute the water’s path and secured the spout to the side of the corner post instead of the front.

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He was proud of how it turned out.

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And while it passed the water test as far as leaks go…

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With liquid gushing out the end freely….

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I did take issue with the placement.

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Because, call me crazy….

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But unless the rain is going to hook a 90 degree turn and drain into the pipe as it’s supposed to…. we’re going to have a mess.

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And then there was a television.

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Next up in the Barn Mahal remodel was the addition of a 50 inch flat screen on a swiveling wall mount .

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Husband laid out all the pieces and parts….

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While I laid out snacks and a beef stew with crusty French bread I’d cooked to bribe a friend for installation assistance.

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The thoughtful friend even brought me a bar christening gift. I love those.

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Installation started well… and then as is wont to happen whenever we work in the man cave… it went straight downhill.

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Nothing lined up as it should, so a little force majeure was needed.

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When they thought it was mounted properly, they carried the television over…

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Only to realize the mount was upside down.

Oops.

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When that error was corrected?

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They dropped two weird sized screws (not sold on planet Earth) which promptly rolled into the floor cracks.

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After I took pity and found them both…. mounting continued. Leveling the tv was easier said than done.

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And though the bracket was perfectly centered between the booze shelves on the left and the WWII propaganda posters on the right…. they didn’t take the swiveling arm into account, so when it’s flush against the wall as it needs to be to allow access to the bar?

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It’s too far to the left… which will drive me crazy for years to come because the husband says he’s not moving it.

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Oh, well. It’s mounted and seems to be secure.

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Now I need to schedule an appointment for Direct TV to come install another what do you mean the barn is too far from the house to run off the same satellite dish. I was really hoping that wouldn’t be necessary but they assure me it is.

Ka Ching!

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Because one day I might be under it.

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As previously reported, the barn bar construction is finished and now it’s just a matter of waiting for chairs.

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But on further inspection, I noticed this.

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Not visible until you’re slightly under it (which I may be some day in the near future, don’t judge) was an exposed lip of pressboard used to support the top.

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I wasn’t loving it and decided to turn it into a nice little black strip.

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What a royal pain in the ass that was.

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I didn’t paint the whole thing, just the trim edge. But it looks better.

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More finished.

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And it picks up all the other black accents in the room quite nicely.

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It took me forever, but there. Mission accomplished.

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We have a bar!

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An honest to goodness, sturdy and well built, fully stained and polyurethaned, ready to dance on (or fall under) bar!

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It was a long time coming but we’re pleased with the result.

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The wood grain is lovely, the top is smooth and shiny.

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And once the custom ordered chairs and shelves are ready, it will be time to get down to business.

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The business of mixing my first Barn Mahal cocktail.

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