Fall Clean-Up

Things have been busy the past few weeks, and weekends, for that matter.  Two weeks ago, Helen and I went to Florida for the AARP conference on behalf of one of my clients. The trip took it out of us. We had lots of fun with the oldies, and tried to have fun at Harry Potter World, but this is what actually happened:

Eek. Let’s just say Disneyland is a lot better.

Halfway through the next week, we both got sick from running non-stop, so we spent last weekend recovering.

This weekend, I was finally able to get some stuff done around the house, mainly clean-up.

I started early this morning by climbing onto the roof with the leaf blower and a gutter scoop, preparing to clean the gutters of the needles and cones from our neighbor’s deodar cedar and the leaves from our maples. Ugh. Can’t wait till we have these trees trimmed/removed.

I took the blower because there were cones and leaves all over the roof, so I started blowing them away, and was then planning to scoop the gutters by hand, but as I neared the gutter with the blower, magic happened. All of the crap just flew out of them. And a new method was adopted.

I went around the roof, blowing everything out of the gutters, and followed with the hose to spray out the muck. The whole job took about an hour and the gutters are spotless, and I didn’t have any slimy muck covering me from the neck down like usual. So much faster, and so much easier.

With so much time to spare, I decided to clean out the garage…

With all of the remodeling over the summer, it had gotten pretty bad. Pieces from the bathroom here, pieces from the front door there, trim all over the place, mixed with snow tires and camping equipment.

When we bought our house, I promised I would never be a homeowner that couldn’t park his car in the garage, so I bit the bullet and cleaned up.

I will probably have terrible spider nightmares tonight because of the number of them I encountered, but it was worth it.

And now, just in time for the first frost of the season, both cars can stay warm at night.

While I was cleaning up, I discovered a piece of trim that had covered the gap between the old door jamb and the stained glass window beside it. It was the perfect thickness to cover one part of the shelving unit that we had to cut apart while adding insulation during the front door install.

All of the other damage to the unit was fixed when I finished the wall off, but I cut too much of the paneling off of the part that faced the living room, and have been trying to figure out how to cover the gap for a few days.

To fill the small gap behind where the trim would go, I cut some 1/4 “ plywood into small strips and glued/bradded them into place.

Then I cut the trim piece to length. Because it was too wide (1-1/2” instead of 3/4” like the rest of the trim, I needed to split it in half. Since I don’t have a table saw, I decided I’d just score it with a utility knife, since the wood is pretty soft.

I set up a “straight edge” using the other half of the trim, and scored away… 3 passes, and it broke cleanly in half. Lovely.

I then put some glue on the plywood strips I’d installed, put the trim in place, and added some finishing brads for good measure.


Earlier this week, I slid the missing piece against the wall back into place, adhering it to the wall (even though its pinched in there really tight) with construction adhesive. I then glued the connecting pieces, filled all the gaps with wood filler, and sanded away.

All that’s left is to re-paint the thing. Before the surgery, it was a matte black. I’m trying to decide what color to go – maybe a dark grey instead of black? Ivory to match the fireplace stone?

Any ideas?

While I was washing the wood glue off of my hands from the trim job, I noticed that our strawberry bushes have put off a bunch of starts.

Since we only have two bushes, I took advantage of nature’s gift, and decided to separate and plant the starts.

I cut them apart.

Dug small holes.

Planted and watered them.

Hopefully next year we’ll have more than 7 berries.

Between all of that, we somehow managed to go furniture and paint shopping this weekend.

We ordered a new Simply Amish dining room table and chairs (it’s incredible) that will be here just in time for Christmas. And we picked out some swatches for the bedroom – I’m thinking a combination of Chelsea Grey (accent wall):

And Abalone:

Anyone wanna help?

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