Tag Archive | construction

Too long since I made sawdust


Naps – yes to all

House – looks like we had 8 kids over 😉 

Beard – Lars is still hanging onto it… still

Ice – Friday I intended to mention it was dangerous, back to small dog only status but then it was -6 degrees for 2 days so back up to crazy people


Over the summer Niamh and Zoe spent a TON of time on monkey bars.  As a result both are very strong and I’ve been trying to think of a way to add back monkey bars into our winter life.


My first thought was ceiling mounting but that just is on the crazy side since I’m not a fan of holes in the ceiling and patching a popcorn ceiling in the future is worse.


Today I found this as inspiration.  Why didn’t I think of just building up?  That’s why it’s called inspiration.  I don’t really think what she did design and space use wise will exactly work for our house but I can change for our space.


The plan is to create a base on one side around 4 feet tall.  It will be game/toy storage inside with DOORS to hide whatever is in there.  On top of the base I’m gong to create a bit of a reading nook, using the necessary supports to host a book ledge and the girls requested curtains.  The other side will actually semi integrate the massive media cabinet we have already.  I plan to build supports around it and on top of it will be another nook.  In between will be a 7 foot span of monkey bars.


Lets see if I can get this done, in my head it seems like a good idea and I can tell you that I have three very excited fans.


Today’s building update

I woke up this morning with the choice – clean the house or finish the next building project.  Clean houses last about 10 minutes and building is forever….  Want to guess what I’ve been doing since 11am?

I had a false sense of accomplishment because I got a ton done in my first hour.  Complicated cuts done, all the things laid out…  Then I started putting it together and things, well, shifted (or something, maybe it was faries, I don’t know…)  So the re-design as I go turned into the method of choice.  Those who plan early plan often right!


There were some slight miscuts that I drove myself nuts about but since this thing is a FLOOR in the GARAGE I don’t think it needs to be Parade of homes ready.  I also plan on painting it so I hope the sub-floorness of it is not so noticeable.

The point of this project is to create a nice walkway from the house to the pantry.  Over the winter we used a little plank that was just fine but nowhere near a good solution.  It did work well to tell us where exactly we could ‘floor’ and still park 2 cars in the garage.  I had enough leftover studs and plywood from the old shelves and some planned over plywood from the new shelves and it worked out very nicely.  The pile of wood has now turned into a floor!


And you see that tool right there in the middle?  That is a router!  I actually used my router to make the edges look nice 🙂  I also filled every single gap with goop, but not just any goop – the pest resistant goop so die mice die!

Now I need to clean but I need a break more.  I took a break for lunch and I was done by 2:30 so 3 hours from zero to paint ready.  I think I’ve finally gotten confidence with the circular saw and thanks to Norm on youtube I figured out the router.  I might even router the new shelves too, it was way easier than I thought and looks nice too.

So thats the major thing I did with my day, how about you?

Happy Mothers day!

Yesterday was the gorgeous weather day and we all played and rode bikes and I only did a little bit of construction that was on my facebook/instagram and garnered many good natured comments as to my workplace safety.  I say I should get credit for safety glasses, pants and closed toe shoes!

Today I did something I said I would not do – ask Lars to mind the kids the majority of the day.  I did spend plenty of time with them as they came out and “helped” me plenty but I have a timeline to keep in making garage improvements that have been on perpetual hold waiting for decent weather.

I think I used my mothers day well – first I cleaned all the assorted junk that accumulated in the winter.  Then I finished mudding the outside of the pantry


mud mud mud

I procured all the wood for the project.  I have perfected the balance of assertive + female to get the most helpful help from Home Depot.

solo trip because no people would have fit in the car.

solo trip because no people would have fit in the car.

I build all the frames including rebuilding a bit of what was supporting the existing shelves.


does not look all that impressive from this but it was a bunch of work and included bolts and hardware and all sorts of level using….

Niamh, Zoe and Fiona all took turns helping with things like handing me screws or moving bits of wood to the bit-bin.  They lost interest and drifted away but eventually all came back.  Lars fed them pizza and I gave them all baths yesterday so now that I’ve used up two drill batteries I figure it’s time to eat the dinner Lars has on deck and drink the red wine breathing on the counter.  (he also cleaned the kitchen!)


Maybe not the most traditional relaxing day but it was productive and fun and possibly memorable for them~

P – is for a Plethora of P

I have been thinking of P things all week, it is one popular letter in my life.


P – “Painting in a private collection” – that is how this painting is labeled on the artist’s site.  It is in MY collection!  This piece of art was created by a friends father, I’ve been collecting and sending him landscapes, barns, interesting clouds for a couple years and so he Presented me with a Painting.  Ironically, no part of this particular painting is from material I sent him.


P – Plated – this was actually a surprise add for today, we finally broke down after all the target marketing and got a box.  It is Pre-Portioned ingredients for higher end meals.  That appeals to us since we don’t get to go out much and Lars is much more into cooking.  We do live within range of very good markets so we can get most odd ingredients but not having to treasure hunt, or, deal with the leftover bit or whatever seems like a good idea.  I actually like the look of Blue Apron a bit more but they are not in our area yet.  When they are I’ll give it a look.

IMG_5090 IMG_5092

P – poison and Play – as in I accidently poisoned myself yesterday at a play!  I am intolerant/allergic to cranberries and boy do I sympathise with all the allergy moms out there because the all natural dried fruitbit gummies have zero mention of cran but I ate one single gummy and had an instant piercing puking migraine.  I happened to be out with the girls at a Play, put on by the facility of the district, and Niamh’s teachers act was last.  Overall it was a good show, really not a play but a collection of short pieces so good for short attention spans.  A few were painful, a few were really good, the other in the middle.  It was cool to sit up front and Fiona really get into the dancing


P – projects – A never ending string in my world but right now I finally got my ‘custom’ curtain rod up and the curtains are on deck to be sewn.  Yes, that is electrical conduit – For $8 I got a 12f long bay window rod – just had a little DIY time.  I actually don’t have many big Party projects cooking  but I still have a week.  I’m also eyeing the garage and yard for projects that had to wait for decent weather.  I’m going to hold back until after the parties but I have plans~


P – Pantry – I don’t know if I ever put a decent picture up, it is really hard to take a decent picture of the inside of a 7×14 room…  This is what I can do 🙂


P – Party!  2 for 1 party weekend is in 7 days and I need to get the house in party order.  I really really wish that RSVP etiquette was a bit more on people mind – I have no idea if I have 4 or 20 kids coming to Niamh’s or 2 or 10 to Zoe’s.  Bright side is that their best friends already replied yes so I’m sure they will be happy.  PS. Pray for good weather Please

P – Potty – checking in on the status of my littlest.  She is getting there but I would say just needs to mentally get on board 100%.  Being sick every other week isn’t helping but it is a positive that she tells me when she has to go (sometimes).

That is Plenty of P things.  I am sure I’m forgetting a few that were on my mind, I should probably make a list for things like this.  Hope you have a fun weekend and see you Monday with Q (a letter I need to give some thought to…).

I wish Menards served coffee

With any project you end up at the hardware store…. often….  I call it good when it is only once a day.  I have been at menards 3 times in 3 days.

Today I had my trump card(s) with me, Niamh and Zoe had off from school (because of arctic weather) and we rolled around going right to the spots we needed but with two kids in tow I got away with quite a list;

1. asked for someone to bring the cabinet I wanted to the front

2. got wood cut down for me

2a. didn’t even have to go out into the cold yard, or, carry it myself

3. Someone else loaded my car for me.

On the other hand, getting the wood cut was a mixed blessing.  I need 80in shelves, the wood comes in 144in (12f) and that is just too big for the car.  After 20min of waiting the guy comes back with 3 80in pieces of wood.  I’m like; “um… where is the rest?”.  He just figured that I didn’t need the other 40% of the wood I was buying.  I sent him back for it~

So with my trumps, I avoided some heavy lifting but I had to prove that I did actually want all the wood I was buying and it took an extra 30min.  I think I came out generally ahead.  I would have been totally ahead if menards had good coffee brewing somewhere, then that 30min would have been a break not a wait.

Next thing is to paint the newly acquired shelves and cabinet and I’m hopeful that will happen before night tonight.  I’m putting both girls to work!

Slalom to work complicated by illiterate drivers

I’m from NY – a state that specializes in traffic (among other things). I have no idea if I learned how to correctly use the ‘zipper’ method from my NY experience because NOBODY there will sheep into a single lane at the first sign of a ‘merge ahead’ sign, or, because my good education gave me the ability to both read merge ahead v merge now – and – comprehend the difference. Maybe it is the reading thing because most of the time the signs are not even vague, they say merge in 2m, then 1.5, then 200f… to a crazy amount of detail I wonder if there is a job to just make merge/distance signs (or maybe there is a big warehouse all organized by exact distance and a road crew can select what they need).

Anyway, you might have guessed there is a bit of single lane driving on my 12 whole miles to work. This has caused many near accidents as people aggressively try and make sure I can’t drive in the lane that is still open for another whole mile. Yesterday was bad, stupid truck panicked because he actually wanted to exit so he went into the shoulder, figured out that was a bad idea and merged at me not looking from the right when we were already in a single lane. Yesterday I also had the thrill of two different merges within that 12 miles and to blow people’s minds, first the left two lanes were closed and then the right two with about a mile of clear highway in between. MNDOT, you should have just done a cattle shoot because there was mass confusion.

What lane should I be in?

How can I self-righteously glare and/or attempt to ram or block others if I don’t know what lane is right

How can I pre merge at the very first sign when that happens to be in a zone where the other lanes are closed?!?

I could see panic….

I just keep my eyes open for stupid and so far so good.

This morning this post was percolating in my head and I wanted to link to something that says that the zipper (take your turn at the merge point) method is right and road engineers have been doing this a while, if they say merge in 5 miles they don’t mean do it now, they have the huge sign and cone inventory that if they meant now they would say now. Messing up the highway for an extra 5 miles is something they avoid but the public isn’t not always trusting in their plan. So, gooogling googling I find this in the top 10. It is a women complaining about the exact same thing just a different section of 35. She writes a very good description of the dumb that bubbles to the surface here….

So not to say NY is better, I actually think they are more dangerous and many decide the zipper method should extend to driving in the shoulder too (wrong also) and people will aggressively try to jump line in the zipper but that is a rant I don’t need to have really because it has not happened to me in nearly 10 years.

In the end, I am very glad that this bridge is almost done and soon it will snow so road season will be over and when I say Slalom to work that will imply snow not radical lane changes.

Ps. How can I take a better photo while driving then Lars can standing in our Kitchen?

PPs. Since I know I have a MNDOT reader, can you confirm or deny the warehouse of every distance merge sign? Or do they change them on site?