Sunday, January 29, 2012

Yea Jotul stoves

We had a Jotul coal burning stove in Delta years ago that we loved. We didn't have any way to have a stove in Pasco so we heated our house with an electric furnace and heat pump which raised our electric bill about 150 a month each winter. Well here in the east, with some of the most expensive electricity in the nation everyone heats with oil or gas and most spend 300 to 500 a month in the winter to heat their house. So we got another Jotul stove, this time a wood burner and it's been great! It's heated our house. The only time I have used our gas (LP-propane) furnace was a couple of weekends ago when I went to Utah for the weekend. We have an on demand gas water heater and gas dryer and will have a gas cook top when we get the cabinets done and the cook top installed but hope that use will be minimal. And around here with all the woods I've been able to collect all the wood I've needed, just had to rent a splitter to split it. The wood stove is a real blessing.

New family pic, I love Photoshop

Matthew and Nicole went to Utah for a vacation in January. They rented a house and we all gathered there for the Martin Luther King weekend. Naomi and her kids came down from Washington. The rest of our kids are in Utah except Katie's family. Unfortunately they couldn't make it (they're in Spain). So we took a new family pic. Chris set up his tripod and took three shots. Then I used photoshop to get what I think is the best shot of everyone. Here are some of the "out takes" plus the final project. Not a bad pic!

New house pix

Matthew came up from Florida and spent a weekend in December and hung all the inside doors except a couple of closet doors and 4 doors in the basement. Plus he trimmed all the windows. This was a huge undertaking since the first floor of our house has 13" walls (and 13" deep window sills) because it was first built out of cinder block then we furred out the inside walls with 2x4 walls so we could re-wire and properly insulate them. Plus we have quite a few windows upstairs. After he left I finished trimming a couple of windows and put down all the baseboards. I had 5 doors to hang. When I got done two of them didn't close right. Guess I won't give up my day job. But I fixed them. Our last two cabinets (that we had to special order) come in this weekend. Then we can finish the kitchen. Then all we have is a bunch of painting and the deck. Almost there. Here are some pics. The first couple of pics are of a snow storm we had last weekend that fell on Saturday and melted on Monday. Kind of like being back in the Tri-Cities. It's been unusually warm this winter. I think it's all that hot air from the politicians.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

scary pics

These are late Halloween pics. the first is of Sadie. I don't think we've ever posted any pics of her since she lost her eye. In case you haven't heard, Dedie was at her dad's and Sadie came to close to Dedie's dad's dog, Boomer when he was eating a bone and he reached out and bit her on the face and popped her eye out. Dedie made a quick middle of the night trip to the vet hospital at Syracuse. But Sadie has adjusted and is doing fine. Here's the best she can do at looking scary.

And this second pic is of me. We spent a day masking and today I used an airless paint sprayer and primied all the new sheetrock in our house. I guess I could have worn a hat but with everything packed I didn't have one I wanted to ruin so my hair gathered a lot of paint dust. When it was time to come home I could hardly get my sweat shirt on, the hair stuck to the inside of the sweat shirt like velcro. Scary!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Snow in October!

Saturday it started snowing and continued through the night. Snow is not unusual in New York. The problem was that it came before the fall leaves had a chance to fall off the trees. So the snow stuck to the leaves and many branches and trees came down in the road and sometimes across power lines. We finally got power this evening (Monday) to the apartment where we are living while our house is being worked on but we still don't have power at the house. This first picture is to show that the sheetrockers/tapers are almost done. The others are of snow and or trees. The final shot is the apartment where we are living.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Moving forward

Things are moving along on our house. There has been a lot of work done inside. The plumbers, electricians & HVAC guys have all done their "rough in" and the stairs were put in this week. As soon as the sideing is done we'll do the insulation then be ready for sheetrock. But this week there have been some dramatic changes to the outside of the house as well. Here are before and after pictures and other miscellaneous pics.

Dedie prepainted the trim boards in the kitchen/great room area of the house.

Front door and new stairway (covered with cardboard to protect it).

Jonathan Castro, who's staying with us for a few weeks, helped Dedie hang the tile on the front of our fireplace. The mantle will be added later. It looks great!

A new rock retaining wall. The rocks were all along the fence line in the back of our property (we have a "never ending" supply). The labor was provided by a couple of men who did a great job.

A 90 foot long, 18 inch deep ditch Jonathan dug to run electrical conduit up to the shed. This is hard digging. Lot's of rocks. Way to go Jonathan!

A couple of weeks ago we split all this wood. The pile we split and stacked is two logs (36") deep, 6 ft high and 25 ft long. A "cord estimator" on the internet estimated 2.9 cord. The whole logs to the left are some we got recently that I'll split later.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

West Point Bands Final Concert

Tonight was the final West Point music under the stars concert series and it was quite a show. But one of the first thoughts I had when I looked around was that it looked like an "over the hill" gang version of Woodstock.

The West Point bands are all professional soldiers who are permanently stationed at West Point to support the cadets by providing music for parades and drills and they also perform for the public as an extension of West Point and the Army.

The first group to perform was the "Hellcats" drum and bugle corp.
The narrator explained that many years ago drums and bugles were sounds that could be heard by soldiers above the noise of the battle and they played some of those bugle calls. It's amazing what they can do with an instrument witout any valves.

Then the Jazz portion of the West Point band performed.

Then the Concert Band

Then some members of the President's Own Army band from Washington D.C. performed some blue grass numbers. They were great!

Then the Concert Band performed their final number the 1812 Overture that was originally written to be accompanied by cannons at one point in the number. They had cannons and fireworks.

Then they played Stars and Stripes with more fireworks. I made a collage of several of the shots I got of the fireworks.