Friday, September 20, 2013

Still. Not. Done's been a long summer.  We had hoped to be done with construction and settled back in by the first day of school.  We are now 2 weeks into a new school year and while most everything is in place, many things are not.  For example, our contractor put in our new front door today...

Pretty, isn't it.  However, some crucial pieces were missing from the box containing the storm door, so that continues to sit in the garage.

Our counter tops also came this week so the contractor was finally able to install the cook top today.  Yay, pancakes in the morning!

The downside...I may have gone a bit overboard.  The gas line that feeds the boiler is now insufficient to run the cooktop and, you know, heat the house and produce hot water.  Luckily it's supposed to be warm this weekend while we wait for the plumber to come back and install a larger diameter line.

And alas, I haven't had running water in the kitchen since July 6th.  The sink FINALLY came this past week, attached to the countertop.  

Guess what's in the box?  The faucet, which will hopefully also go in next week.  

We've done pretty well despite these last few setbacks and really are down to a handful of knitpicky kinds of details once the plumber finishes up next week.  Since I just cleaned up a bit, here's a shot of the nearly finished project!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

We've been doing some other stuff too

I have to admit that even though we've been home for the summer and not really been traveling, we've been pretty busy and the time is really flying by.  Inside and outside projects are keeping our days quite full and we did manage to take the King out on a brief weekend trip a few weeks ago.   I was afraid we would have to pass this weekend up as the King was still transmission free 24 hours before we were supposed to leave, but the Husband and his friend came through, got the new transmission installed and the King through its New York State inspection in the nick of time.  The bucket of parts did keep me pretty nervous throughout the day:

Almost ready to test it out!

We spent the weekend at Jellystone Campground with the boys Cub Scout pack.  It was a great weekend, with lots of friends, campfires, good food and fun.  Our campsite was on "Sing-A-Long Avenue."  How could we not have a great time!

The boys had a great time with their friends!


The kitchen has kept us pretty busy too!  Everything on the first floor had to be packed up and I had to find a place to store it all.  I also had lots of help

We have boxes stored in every spare corner of the basement, under our bed and at my parents house.  We also discovered that the husband has a problem finishing what he starts, namely bottles of scotch.  For a time we were having groups of friends in for dinner and ending the evening with tastings of scotch from different regions of Scotland and Ireland.  We found several bottles, each with a small taste left in them, in the back of a cupboard in the dining room.

He also has a problem finishing beer...I bought them in December and found them in the refrigerator in the garage during a 90 degree July heat wave..

Merry Christmas!  If you need me I'll be "finishing" some things!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


Demolition of the kitchen is complete and we're ready for the contractor to get started on the re-wiring and plumbing that needs to be done before the wall structure can come down.  We are hoping that will happen sometime this week as our cabinets are done and ready to be installed and the appliances will be here in a week!  Here are some pictures of the destruction

We didn't find any real structural surprises.  Lots of wires to move, but nothing that we weren't really expecting.  We did however find some very interesting things as we removed the old cupboards, floor and drywall, including this coupon for Diet-Rite Cola

And this matchbox car

And some headlights for a model car

But the most surprising discovery came when we pulled down the ceiling.  We've never really been sure exactly when our house was built.  All the information on the survey recorded with the town indicate that it was built in 1959, but the deed lists it as being built in 1960.  Most of the other houses on our block were built between 1961 and 1964.  Then the husband found this wedged up in the ceiling when he took out the drywall

It's dated February, 1959.  I did a little research and according to Wikipedia, Rouge Magazine competed directly with Playboy and was published in Chicago from 1955 to 1967.  It contained both fiction and science fiction articles and over the course of its publication featured stories by Hunter S. Thompson, William Saroyan and Philip Wylie.   This issue does have some pictures of some fairly well known women, including Marilyn Monroe.  The advertisements in the back are awesome!  Here are some of our favorites

The Amazing Portable Radio

Possibly, my favorite add ever!  With a money back guarantee!

Some things haven't changed much in the last 54 years!
I'll admit when the husband first found it I headed straight for eBay to see if our find would perhaps help finance this new adventure.  Alas, most issues that I found, in good condition, were fetching a paltry $25 to $30 bucks.  Not exactly the gold mine we were hoping for.  So now we are trying to decide what to do with it.  We're considering purchasing a current copy of a magazine and placing both back in the ceiling for someone else to find 60 tears from now when they renovate.  If you have any suggestions, pass them along!  For now it's hidden under some tile samples, away from the 3 amigos.

Finally, here's a shot of the husband checking the attic where the chimney used to be during last weeks rain storm.  WooHoo!  No Leaks!!


Wednesday, July 10, 2013


I have a new app for the iPad that allows me to take pictures and blog in a more user friendly and immediate way, so this morning I thought I'd try it out.  When I left yesterday to go pick the little dude up from camp I entrusted the teen with a hammer and instructions to begin removing the backsplash tile.  He used the hammer and a sharpie to create this masterpiece...lovely.  

Monday, July 8, 2013

Summer Vacation

It's been a while...a very long while. Everyone here had a pretty good school year with only a few bumps along the way. School's out 'till September and I'm writing on my back patio, a cold Mikes sitting next to me, dinner on the grill, life is good.

Our original plan was to head out on another adventure with the King this summer and we were looking at doing a somewhat shorter yet fairly ambitious East Coast Loop. Alas, that is not going to happen, and we will be spending this summer at home. No worries though, the boys have several camps lined up to keep them busy and friends have been calling for get togethers. It's been quite relaxing actually. The husband also has several projects lined up and has been doing some engine work on the King. And we have also launched head on into a full scale update of our house (the one without wheels).

The first of the husband's projects is a new transmission for the King. He had a friend over several weeks ago and they took the old one out...and apart. I was very nervous when I saw all the pieces.

I had no idea a transmission came apart in so many pieces. The goal was to get it apart and see if it could be rebuilt or if it just needed to be replaced. Some of the parts were really quite warn and when we priced everything out, it was worth it to replace the whole thing, so the search was on. Who knew you could order a whole new transmission online! Ours came from a shop in Eugene Oregon and took a couple of weeks to get here. A great big semi brought it down our very narrow dead end street last Friday.

Here it is, all shiny and in one whole piece!

The husband's friend Charlie will be back on Thursday to put it in. Hope for smooth sailing because we are supposed to leave Friday morning for a weekend camping trip with the cub scouts!

Our other huge project this summer started out as a simple little update of the kitchen. When we decided not to travel this summer we thought it would be a good opportunity to launch into some home renovations that we have been putting off. Our house was built in 1959 or 60 and the kitchen, with the exception of the appliances, has never been updated. We started meeting with contractors in March and soon realized that to really update and end up with something we would really love for a long time we needed to work with the space on the entire first floor. So, walls are coming down!! It's been a long process and we just started tearing the old out today! I'll have more pictures later this week but for now, here are some “befores”

I know, it's pretty grim, but this project should keep us all out of trouble for the next 8-12 weeks, according to our contractor. I'll post some updates and lots of pictures along the way!

Monday, November 12, 2012


The King is in storage for the winter.  We took it there last night, after spending the last few weeks cleaning up, winterizing and repairing the damage from the blown tire.  New plywood replaces the floor where the hole was, so hopefully no small creatures will take up residence inside.  We have a friend with some land and some storage buildings where the King will ride out the winter months, freeing up some driveway space.  He really packs them in!!

The last few weeks of our trip really flew by, and I kinda fell behind with postings and pictures.  After Mount Rushmore we made a few more stops, at Wall Drug and Badlands National Park in South Dakota and The Dells and Oshkosh in Wisconsin.  We ended our trip much like we began, with lots of great visits catching up with family and friends.  Wall Drug was kitchy and fun!  We had breakfast there and spent some time just looking at all the wacky stuff for sale.  I think we were also able to convince the little dude that Jackalopes were a real animal, as he spent much of the afternoon looking out the window for them along the side of the road!

The Husband even made a new friend while we were there!

South Dalota was really beautifull and we loved Badlands National Park.  It is much smaller than many of the other parks we visited, and this sign kinda freaked me out a bit...

They were EVERYWHERE!! At the visitors center, trail heads and every few miles along each of the trails we hiked.  Luckily we had a rattlesnake free day and enjoyed hiking the trails and climbing on the rock formations.  They were very cool!

Our last stop before meeting back up with family and friends was Wisconsin.  We took a Duck Boat Tour and did some touristy things in the Dells,

 Then it was off to Oshkosh, and a visit to the EAA Air Venture Museum!  Loads of planes and history and simulators and cool things to see and do, the boys loved it!  But the highlight was when Ed took the boys out to Pioneer Airport where they each got a turn to go up with a pilot and fly an actual plane!!

How cool is that!  It may have been the highlight of their trip!

But, as all good things must come to an end, it was time to start heading back home, with just a few stops to visit family and friends.  We decided first to go back to the beginning and spend a night in Columbus, Ohio sharing our adventures with Aunts, Uncles and Cousins!

We made another stop in Central Pennsylvania to visit Grandma and to meet our new cousin Joey!!  Joey was born in July, I think while we were in Colorado.  He's super cute and really smiley!  The boys were so hapy to finally meet him!

Our last stop was Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, where we met up with the Boy Scout Troop and a bunch of wonderful friends.  What a great way to end such an awesome adventure!  First, we toured the battlefield on horseback.

Next, we visited the fabulous museum and the Eisenhower farm, where the little dude added to his collection of Junior Ranger badges and pins by becoming and honorary Secret Service Member!

We squeezed in some time for a quick swim in the campground pool before heading off to a haunted Ghost Tour of the town,

And ended with a driving tour of the battlefield monuments before beginning our long drive back to Buffalo.

The King was a bit of a wreck by the time we got home, but it was a wonderful trip, full of amazing memories, that ended with Grandma and Grandpa greeting us at our house with pizza and wings.  I can't think of a better way to end our adventure, and I'd do it all again in a heartbeat!!