Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Update...long overdue

I realize that it has been a while since I updated this blog.  I didn't feel like I had much to say other than the plants are doing well.  At this point, we are having some gardening challenges.  I'll go into that another time.

On June 22, I officially finished my picture scanning project.  I sent a packet to some of my family members that contains some hard copy pictures, letters, and other memorabilia along with a thumb drive of pictures.  Whew!  After so many years of on and off work on the project, it is a strange idea to think I'm no longer the only one in my family to have the entire collection in one place.  Now everyone will have the pieces that are relevant to them.  I also decided to include a copy of piano music made my grandmother, Neva Simonsen in 1984.  She was an amazing pianist and these 13 pieces are a treasure.

This past week I have had two triumphs.  I built a pergola, and I put in an air conditioner.

The air conditioner, which I installed today, replaces the swamp-cooler-tower-fan that has been doing a very poor job of keeping the house cool.  With high temps in the 97-100 range, the inside of the house has been pretty toasty.  I'm glad to report that the install was easy-peasy, and plug and play cool air is so welcome!  I'm excited to get a thermometer for the inside of the house and see what temp feels comfortable to me.  I also need to reset my kill-a-watt to see how much electricity it uses.  
It is a 5000 BTU unit that is rated for rooms of 150 square feet, and cost about $130 on Amazon. Heavenly!

I've been wanting to build some outside shade for a long while and I finally did it.  I got some pallets from my friend Matt at Klein's Custom Countertops (love $free.99 wood), and another project was born.  PS. I also got the wood for my fence there.  This batch of pallets had 2x8, 2x6, 2x4, and 2x3.  I just love 2x3...not sure why.  ANYWAY, plenty of wood for the pergola and about a ton left over, not to mention about 15 lbs of nails.  Side note about these pallets...they are made for carrying stone of countertop size, are 11' long by about 3.5 to 4' wide, and they weigh about a ton a piece.  

They aren't the typical pallets you get from the back of the grocery store.  Also a warning...reclaiming this kind of wood is not for the faint of heart.  I recommend getting a pry bar or two and a rubber mallet. You will be happy you did.  
I spent at least two days taking the pallets apart. I still have quite a few nails to pound out, but I had the pieces I needed to make the pergola so I left the nail pounding for another day.  

Nellie hard at work.

Used 8 feet of the 2x8 and 2x6 for the corner posts, with the leftovers for the supports.

Standing up...

The 2x4's on the sides and over the top.

My neighbor in Ogden, Adele, had given me some really great outdoor fabric that fits almost perfectly. Still needs a little edge work. 

I used screws that I already had from building the house, so in total I spent $20 in gas to go get the pallets. Like I said, I love $free.99!

I'm still going to stain and seal the wood, so I'll spend a few bucks on that, but compared to the cost of purchasing the wood, I feel like I'm getting quite a bargain.  

I'll post again when I have more of the little details completed.  For now, I finally have some shady outdoor living space!  Bring on the garden party!