374. Yard Clean Up and Old Friends

Re-established email contact with Holly yesterday! She is on the cusp of becoming “Doctor Holly, PhD.” Holly and I have been exchanging emails, and sometimes actual mail, off and on, since perhaps 2012 or so, usually lengthy and copious missives full of intellectual banter, real news, and total nonsense.

I am usually the one who drops the ball on the communication front.

Also email related: I was able to finish cleaning up my two primary email accounts. Yay for that.

I am also resurrecting my presence on Plurk.com, a short-comment format social media platform.

Today I managed to finish… for now, at any rate, until I find another hidden junk pile… cutting up the scrap lumber that was lying about into fireplace-length pieces. Much of the debris was full of nails and staples and screws, so it was a task not without hazards.

I shall include the image I meant to feature yesterday:

Construction debris to use as firewood

Construction and yard cleanup debris to use as firewood

398. Last Day of Summer

Tomorrow is the astronomical midpoint between the Northern Hemisphere Summer Solstice and the Northern Hemisphere Autumn Equinox. Despite what the news media tries to tell us, that the Summer Solstice is “the first day of summer” and the winter solstice is “the first day of winter” and the spring equinox is “the first day of spring,” the seasons traditionally begin at the astronomical midpoints between the solstices and equinoxes.

And fall begins tomorrow.
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606. Slow Going

Retrofitting: Making It Up As I Go

I’m attempting to retro-fit what amounts to an external wall around the studio yurt bathroom extension. I will fill the wall cavity with insulation. I hope this will reduce or eliminate the problem we are having with frozen water lines.

I’ve learned a lot, through trial and error… with an emphasis on error… about cold weather winterization. Bottom line: even too much insulation is not enough when the temperatures drop to single digits or below zero (that is, -12˙C or below, if you’re so inclined). The vacation rental yurt bathroom extension was not constructed to endure extended sub-freezing temperatures, and it was definitely not designed to withstand single-digit or sub-zero temperatures.

That’s what we get for hiring a handyman from Hawaii to build it for us.

607. Cold Walls

Rainy and snowy today. Finally got outside to work on the insulated outer walls I’m trying to add to the studio yurt. Made progress, but didn’t get it done.

I have so many topics I would like to write about in more detail, but by the evening my energy and enthusiasm have waned.

611. Insulation

The water supply lines in the studio yurt keep freezing, so I keep adding insulation to the outside walls.

Were I going to do it again, I would direct the water lines differently. At least now I have a better idea of how to factor in cold weather when I tackle another plumbing project.

Cutting Styrofoam Insulation Panels
Using a Hand Saw


201.2 lbs today.

Varnished the bathroom door. Sanded down parts of the bathroom door frame so the door doesn’t stick. Or at least, it sticks less.

Built a rack to make it easier to slide the kayak underneath the house. Yeah, after fifteen years, and with an offer in on the house, I finally get around to making it easier to access the kayak. Go, me!

Electronically signed some documents for the real estate transaction. E-signing is pretty cool! No more cumbersome mailing of documents back and forth.

Tomorrow night we fly out of HNL to SLC and then drive south to look at potential new houses.

DAY TWO: Done and Undone

What’d I get done today? It didn’t feel like much. I spent the entire day working on around-the-house projects, mostly painting-related. Over the past few days we’ve gone through 2-3/4 gallons of paint, two large tubes and two small tubes of caulking compound, a box of patching plaster, a pack of 60-grit sandpaper, and I wore out my shop vac cleaning up the stuff I chipped and sanded and scraped off the walls and windows. Continue reading