Shangri La

Shangri La

Saturday, April 30, 2011

April 30, 2011

First 2011 overnight with the family; looking to install the backer board for the bath tile in advance of my father's visit in May.
Friday, 8:30 AM - we hit the road in two cars. I give the LSW the option of a quiet ride in the truck, but she opts for time with The Boy to keep her awake on the road. I'm not sure how I feel about this.
10:00 AM - jumping jacks by the LSW and The Boy at a scenic overlook in MA. The boy is just having fun; the LSW is trying to summon enough adrenaline to stop weaving all over the road.
11:45 AM - Shangri-la is about 2 weeks behind Trumbull in terms of spring foliage, but at least the snow is gone. I brought the lawn mower, but there's really no need. We move the dining room table inside, and find we have a place to sit after almost 2 years. Celebrate with roast beef sandwiches and chips.

3:00 PM - the tile backer board is down, with seams taped and mortared. I was afraid that this would be more complicated than it seemed, but - honestly - it wasn't. The LSW scooped the thinset mortar onto the floor, I troweled it, and down went the backer board. Screwing the backer board down took longer than laying it.

5:30 PM - the first two rows of shingles are up on the left side of the gable above the porch, and the porch floor is sealed. We retire to a cottage at the KOA in Dummerston, and then head into Brattleboro for dinner.

Saturday, 8:00AM - breakfast at the Putney Diner. Excellent spinach, mushroom and Swiss omelet. We indulge the boy in a piece of apple pie for breakfast, and the waitress scowls at our parenting skills. The Boy, however, cleans his plate for once, so its not for nothing.
11:00 AM - the only thing on the agenda is the front siding, so the LSW wears herself out in endless games of hide-and-seek with The Boy. When he decides to play whatever this game is, she is disturbed enough to begin placing a second coat of paint on all of the trim work...

2:00 PM - the front siding isn't done, but its damn close. I've spent more than 5 hours working on an incline, and my muscles are voicing their disapproval. The weather has cycled from between sunny and 65, raining and 40 and overcast and 50 about three times. The Jehovah's Witnesses have shown up to share the good new with us, and all of the trim has a second coat of paint. Not a bad half-day's work.

 I'd like to say that exterior is finally done, but we've still got to paint the front door, seal the eaves, and build the front steps, not to mention the rear deck, pergola, shutters and window boxes...

Sunday, April 3, 2011

The Opening of the Season 2011

Today was the first working day trip of 2011. The goal was to clean the place up, take some plumbing-related measurements, and work on...whatever.

Sifting through the remains of last year, I had enough materials to finally finish the shiplap siding on the South and North sides of the cabin, and so I got to work. Finally - FINALLY - I can say they are finished. Now I just have to finish the shingles on the front.

The North Side

The South Side

While I was at it, I cleaned the cabin of dust, debris, scrap wood and mouse droppings. The furry little bastards apparently decided to nest in my electrical supplies box and shredded my bath vent/light wiring diagrams for good measure. Just the English ones, though, so I'll be in good shape after my 'Spanish for Electricians' class.

Living / Dining

Kitchen / Bath

Spring cleaning over, we're ready to hit the ground running. My father has offered help in getting the plumbing installed in May, and I'm hard at work researching and accumulating PEX fittings for intake and PVC for discharge. Estimates for the plumbing (bath/shower, vanity, toilet, sink and external spigot) came in at about $1,300, and I was sorely tempted to farm the work out. The nagging thought, however, that I can save $500 - 800 doing it myself finally became overwhelming. Everyone says PEX is as easy as wiring, so we'll see.