August 25-
     Uggg. I sure hate it when our internet goes down. It is amazing how utterly dependent I am on it for doing just about all of my work. I use it to gather all of my info as well as send everything out. Plus this site is 100% dependent on the internet. I am just very grateful that the good folks at the AmericInn in Calumet let me show up at a little after 4 in the morning and sit in the lobby and use their wifi. What ever has been going out on the cell tower we use better get fixed the right way this time, or I may have to start rattling some cages at the company that owns it. I'm about ready to ditch the mifi and go back to satellite. 
    Ok, enough belly aching. My internet is back (for now) and actually went down just as I was starting to write on Sunday, so I will just jump into the intro that I was working on when things went bad. Soooo.....
    As I sit down to write this week, I was thinking that typically this is the entry where I talk about how August is coming to an end and that in a week, September will be here and how in a month, there could a chance for the first snowflakes of the season in the forecast. Not so much this year! The thought obviously popped into my mind, so that thought process is still there, but is buried under all the other thoughts that are taking a higher priority right now. Those thoughts obviously pertaining to the addition. 
    It was another very productive week and I basically met the lose objectives I had for the week. It's funny, the past 3 weeks, I have actually had to go back and read parts of the previous journal, just to see where I was in the addition progress when I last wrote. Not only are the days all blending together, but the weeks too. One project gets completed and the next starts up right away. Everything is just blending into one. I am not complaining by any means, just trying to give an accurate picture of my state of mind. So, if I fail to say the exact day that a certain kind of work got done, you will know why.
    The week started with demolition work of the kitchen. The first things to be done actually took place on Sunday after I finished the last journal. That was to empty all the kitchen cabinets of their contents. Then on Monday I dealt with the electrical and gas shutting down and then I started taking down the upper cabinets and then the counter tops and lower cabinets. Before long, the kitchen was pretty well gutted
    With that done, it was time to take out the two windows on the west wall as well as the door on the west wall, which was done on Tuesday (I believe!) and then Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning was spent re-wiring. The re-wiring job was not a real big one. I had to move a few boxes around, take a few out, add a circuit for the dishwasher and a circuit for the island. The dedicated box for the fridge also had to be moved and I had to add a circuit for the stove. 
    Once that was all done, I took a look around and realized that things around the house were probably as discombobulated as they have been so far during this addition process. What was our kitchen for the past 7 years was down to a cabinet that held the sink. The living room had been relocated into the great room of the addition, but also shared the space with building materials and tools. The other rooms of the addition were semi-filled with building materials or things that have been moved out of the existing home to make room for the remodel. However, rather than get all stressed out about the state of things, I actually was excited. I realized that this was not only as discombobulated as things had ever been, but also as discombobulated as they would ever get. From that point on, every single step would be in a direct direction towards completion. Or perhaps better put, no more demolition, just building.
    On Wednesday, I finished up the wiring in the morning and then spayed the foam insulation into the walls. I use a different kind than the company that came to do the addition uses. Mine is a closed cell foam and has a much higher R rating per inch. It is actually R7/inch where as the other stuff is about half that. So my plan was to put 2 inches of the spray foam in and then finish with fiberglass bat insulation that was meant for 2x4 walls. I get all the benefits of the spray foam, but at a lower cost of using all do-it-yourself spray foam. My cost for doing it that was was about the same as having the spray foam guys do it. I had thought about having them do it, but wanted the flexibility of being able to do it right when it was ready. It took me about 45 minutes to put the 2 inches of foam in and when done, things looked like this. I then had to stop and wait until the electrical inspector came on Thursday to finish up with the rest of the insulation.
    With the rest of the afternoon on Wednesday free and the temps not too hot or the humidity too bad, my helper Sam and I took it upon ourselves to spread 12 tons of mine rock around the front of the addition to cover up the dirt and make things look a little more presentable
    On Thursday a friend of the site who is also a professional tile setter arrived with a load of slate for the foyer. He was kind enough to get exactly the stuff we wanted and also to bring all the extra materials I will need to install it, as well as give me some pointers on the install- all at a nice discount! It will be one of the last things I do so that it does not get beat up too much during the construction process, but am looking forward to getting it all done and seeing how it looks.
    I passed the electrical inspection with flying colors, so Thursday afternoon was a busy one putting up the fiberglass insulation, then hanging drywall. I have not hung much drywall, but things turned out pretty good. A few ugly cutouts for the electrical boxes, but all of the drywall work we did will either be covered by cabinets or backsplash material, so it did not have to be perfect by any means. Which is why I chose do do it, rather than have it done! If my hanging job was just so-so, my taping job was even worse, but got the job done and by Friday evening, the space that the kitchen would expand into was all ready for cabinets
    Nora's brother and his family arrived on Thursday to spend the weekend in the area, so Nora spent most of Fri, Sat and Sun with them. The events on Saturday were not something that her brother actually wanted to partake in and Sam said he would work on Saturday, so the three of us got busy Saturday morning hanging cabinets on the walls and then placing them in their respective spots along the walls. I got the cooktop set and hood hung on Sunday and some temporary countertop material down, so even though the island cabinetry was not in order, the rest of the kitchen was starting to really taking shape by Sunday afternoon.
    Quite a bit has happened since Sunday afternoon, but I will save it for the next entry!
    Aside from the addition work and my regular work, I have slept, ate and well... some other stuff I will not mention. As mentioned, Nora was able to spend some quality time with her family that visited. They went to the beach a couple of times and then on Saturday went to Copper Harbor. The went the route that takes you over Brockway Mountain and stopped to take it all in at the top. Here is a shot of Gracie at the top of Brockway. The good folks at Copper Harbor have been busy for some time raising funds for a brand new playground and all of that hard work led to the big day of assembly on Saturday. It had been published how they were inviting folks to come up and help to the install and had I not had a huge project of my own to get done, I would have been sure to be there. Anyway, Nora did snap a shot of things going into place at the new playground.
    We had known for a month or two that Nora's brother and family would be coming up and Nora's niece has a son who is about a year younger than Grace who's birthday is close to Grace's, so we promised Grace that she would have 2 birthday parties. One with Mommy, Daddy and the puppies and a bigger one with the trollatives (they live below the bridge in lower MI). So we saved some of her presents for the big party and she and her cousin were busy Saturday evening opening their presents. Grace also REALLY wanted to have a piñata for her birthday, so we save that for the big party too. She let her cousin have the first few whacks and then took a few of her own. A few others took their turn and before long, there was candy flying everywhere.
    The trollatives left bright and early on Monday and as mentioned, Sam and I have been busy yesterday and today working on things that need to be done. So far things are going well and with a little luck the lose objectives for this week will be met. I know I am looking forward to a holiday weekend. Not that I will be lounging around, but will get an extra day to be able to sleep in! Also, some nice cooler air is headed in over the weekend. We have been in the upper 80's to low 90's for the past few days, with dewpoints in the low to mid 70's. We even had a heat index of 100 on Sunday. Yuk! I am just thankful that I have been able to work inside in air conditioning. I am not even sure I would be able to do much outside in this heat and humidity. 
    Before I sign off, I have one last announcement to make. The Keweenaw Trails work session will be taking place on Friday and Saturday, October 25th and 26th. That is the weekend after the Milwaukee snowmobile show. The venue will be changing a bit, with the Pines and Lac La Belle taking the year off and the Trailside Lodge in Calumet stepping up to provide free lodging to volunteers. I will also be trying to get another lodging facility or two to provide lodging for the volunteers and when I do, will let everyone know. Because the lodging will be further south, we also plan to work on the trails that are in the Calumet, Mohawk, Lake Linden and Gay area. I plan to be done with the addition work and as long as that is done and I am still able to stand upright, I will do my best to smoke up some beef brisket and pork butt. 
Until next time...
Good night from the Keweenaw..
-JD-

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August 18-
    If you came to read this entry and thought that it was probably going to be mainly about the work on the addition... you would be right. It was another busy week, but we made some more good progress. I am down to having Sam, my helper, come only in the afternoons as football practice started this week and is in the morning. I still put in a few hours in the morning by myself- most days anyway (more on that in a bit), but it just seems like a lot more work gets done when it is the two of us.
    This week marked the start of the demo work for the kitchen remodel. However, before we could actually get started on the kitchen, we needed to pull off all the interior tongue and groove and replace the two front windows and the front door. So Monday morning, I got busy moving things around inside the front of the cabin and pulled some of the window trim off. 
    I then had to get back to doing my regular work for the midday and got a call from a visitor from a far away land saying he was making the rounds in sections of the Midwest as well as into portions of Canada and he was in town for a little bit and wanted to stop by. So I gave him directions on how to get here and just about the time I finished up with my midday weather work, he showed up and we visited for a while. Its funny how when you only see a person in a specific place for as long as you have known them and then all of the sudden they show up at your home and things seem all out of kilter.  That was the case with this visitor. I have known him for close to 10 years and spent many weeks combined with him, but have never had him in my presence when I am here at home. Two years ago he was in town as well, but I missed him as I was down in Rochester for my second open heart.
    So who is this mystery man I speak of? It is our faithful guide while out west at Togwotee snowmobiling. Lefty. He is actually from down state MI and was going to be attending a reunion down that way, so he decided to make a little trip of it and swing through some parts of the Midwest, touch base with some friends he has made while guiding at Togwotee and then attend the reunion. It was nice to chat with him for a while and catch up on things since we last spoke. Sounds like he has been busy too with his summer job and is looking forward to the snow to start to pile up and for him to get back on the sled and guide.
    About the time we were finishing up with our visit, Sam showed up to help work and I was going to see if Lefty wanted to stick around and help, but then I realized I only had left handed hammers around.  Sorry about that one, but it popped into my head not long after my chat with Lefty and I have felt compelled to use it ever since.
    Anyway, Sam and I got busy pulling the interior tongue and groove and then pulled the old window, re-framed for the new one and got the new one hung. It was also suppose to get down into the low 40's that night and the next night, so I put a little bit of the insulation back in temporarily.
    Tuesday was a marathon day, with us pulling more tongue and groove and then pulling the sliding glass door on the front of the house, then re-framing and hanging the new door. While in the process of pulling the tongue and groove and then the insulation, it was discovered that both a mouse and us had been very lucky a while back.  Pretty scary stuff, especially since most of their activity is in the middle of the night when we are sleeping. We do have hard-wired (with battery backup) smoke alarms, but it could have gotten ugly fast. So I was very thankful that no fire had started and pretty surprised that no dead mouse was found by the chewed wires. I had to replace the wires anyway, so no big issue in that regard and have since swapped out the breaker for that circuit with an AFCI one, so that if it ever happens again, it will hopefully trip the breaker before an arc can start a fire. The front and side walls that the impacted circuit ran through is also going to get sprayed with foam insulation. So hopefully that will stop any mouse from getting into the walls in the first place.
    We did not finish up with installing the new front door until about 7 pm on Tuesday and then on Wednesday, we pulled the other window, re-framed and installed the new one. We then went over and installed the sliding glass door into the opening between the master bedroom and the screened in porch. So now I can say that all windows and doors are officially installed! Thursday was spent pulling the window on the side of the house where the kitchen cabinets will be expanded into, as well as hanging some of the siding where it was pulled down to replace the windows and doors.
    I do have to say that on Thursday morning, after burning the candle at both ends for a few months, I finally ran out of wax. I finished up with my morning work, had breakfast, took a shower and then was getting ready to start doing some work on the addition, but as much as my mind thinking about all it wanted to do, my body flat out said: No Way. I ended up crawling into bed and going into one of those comatose sleeps for around 2 hours. Had it not been for the fact that I had been smart enough to set my alarm, I might still be sleeping! For sure I would have slept through my midday weather work. It did take me about 30 minutes to shake the cobwebs out of my head from my morning nap, but it did seem to help as I did feel a little more energized Thursday afternoon. 
    No construction or destruction work was done on Friday as Nora, Grace and I went to Marquette to get a ton of stuff for the addition. Things like bathroom sinks, vanities, shower surrounds, some more electrical and plumbing supplies as well as the laminate wood floors. I knew we had so much stuff, that we actually rented a trailer and had it as well as the back of the truck totally filled. It reminded me of 7 years ago when Nora and I took a similar trip with the old blazer and a rented trailer to pick up similar items. Only on the way back from that trip, we hit a rain shower that ended up warping some of the laminate floors and made it very hard to install some of them. No rain this time and even though we did not get back from Marquette until around 11 pm, Nora and I unloaded most of the stuff and all of the laminate floors to bring them inside. Here are the 64 boxes of laminate floor we unloaded in what seemed like the middle of the night to me Friday night. We ended up ordering more while in Marquette on Friday as we have decided to go with the laminate in the bedrooms and hallways too. So the only areas that will not be laminate will be the bathrooms and foyer. That 64 boxes should be enough to do the great room and master in the addition as well as the kitchen and rest of the front of the existing home.
    Yesterday and today was spent packing up all the contents of the kitchen cabinets as well as taking all of the hanging cabinets down and moving one of the base cabinets. So the kitchen is starting to get "gutted", but we have set up a makeshift kitchen not far away where we can still prepare some things. I think I also mentioned how I plan to keep the base cabinet that the current kitchen sink is in up until it is time to replace it with the new cabinet and sink. So we will not be without a kitchen sink for too long.
    The plan for this week is to get the rest of the kitchen demo done on Monday, then re-wire and hopefully re-plumb on Tuesday. Then hopefully get to hanging drywall on the side wall and tongue and groove on the front wall, so that the new cabinets and appliances can go into place Thursday and Friday. There will still be some face frame work to do as well as some doors and drawers to make. Plus once all the cabinets are in, the counter top guy needs to come out and take the measurements for the quartz tops and we were told it is about 4 weeks from the time he takes the measurements to when they are installed, so it will be a while before we can say that the kitchen is totally done, but the kitchen should be pretty functional in a week or so and then we can move onto hanging the tongue and groove on the ceilings of the addition and then the walls and then lay the floors and we will be just about ready for a move in!
    It's getting really exciting to be putting each major project behind me. There is still a ton of work to be done, but I estimate that we are around 2/3rds of the way done with all that needs to be done and once the cabinets are in, we will be around 3/4ths of the way done. Nora cranked on the painting this week and with the exceptions of a few areas that need some touching up, all the painting is done! Nora and I also love how the front of the house looks now with all the doors and windows matching and can't wait to see it without all the building materials laying around and also once it is all stained the same color. One of the major things on our list of things to pull off in this addition was to make both the inside and outside seem like the addition was always there and not an addition and it is looking more and more like we were able to do that.
    I can say that we did take a tiny bit of R&R late yesterday. After a cool start to the week (notice I was wearing a sweatshirt to work in when Lefty stopped by?), temps have warmed and it actually feels kind of good to have some warmer temps. The humidity has been pretty low, so the warmer temps have been very tolerable and it has cooled off at night nicely too. Looks like the humidity will jump this week, so the AC's may need to go on, but at least I will be working inside.
    Anyway, it was still warm enough yesterday evening that the family headed to the shores of the big lake for some fun. It really is a toss up as to who has more fun...Grace or the pups. I think it might just be a tie. It is also good medicine for me to see them enjoying themselves so much and to be able to have some non-work time with the entire family. I sure have been blessed with a family that is just rolling with all the adversities of this addition, but soon the adversities will be gone and we will be left with just a few inconveniences and not long after that will be left with just the positives of the addition. I know I am looking so very forward to finally being able to spend lots of quality time with my family in such a magical place.
Good night from the Keweenaw..

-
JD-
August 11-
    Whew... I am one tired pup, but it is one of those "satisfied" types of tired. A lot got done on the addition again this week and it feels very good to have what is done, done. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday was spent working on the fascia, soffit, siding and trim for the side of the addition. Of all the things I have done so far, I think that was the most physically demanding. I also think that there are no other projects left to do which will prove to be more- which puts a smile on my face. 
    The main thing was that it was not only off the ground work, but I did not really have the greatest staging to work on. It seemed like I was either straining to reach the area I was working on, or having to crouch down low to get to the area. That and because the side off the addition has the roof sloping, there was lots of cutting and figuring to do. I had to quit early on Tuesday to go to some meetings in the afternoon and I think we quit on Wednesday at around 3, but by the end of the work day on Wednesday we had completed all of the work on the side of the addition (picture to come soon).
    Nora was starting to comp at the bit to get painting and I had told her that I would use the spray gun and have my helper follow with a roller to do the priming of all the walls and ceilings and then the painting of the ceilings.  So we took the day off from outside work on Thursday to get all of that priming and painting done. The spray gun is really awesome and sure makes quick work of things, although I had not cleaned the spray nozzle good enough after priming and so the painting of the ceilings took much longer than it should have. I was hoping to be able to get onto the siding work for the first floor of the back of the addition Thursday afternoon, but the ceilings took all afternoon. Live and learn I guess! 
    At any rate, by the end of the day on Thursday, just about all of the walls and ceilings had been primed, with just a small section left to do by hand and two other smaller sections left to do because we ran out of primer. All of the ceilings got painted though. Here is a look at the primed walls and painted ceilings. Nora and a Friend then painted the master bedroom and hallway Friday evening and then Nora has since painted the master bath and Gracies bedroom. That leaves the closets, Graces bathroom, the guest bedroom and walls for the great room to paint and all the interior painting will be done! Rock on Nora! Oh, and Huck helped with the painting a bit too. It actually cracks me up to see Huck full of paint and Millie not a drop on her. Says a ton about their individual personalities!
    Friday morning we took care of putting tongue and groove up under the re-configured front gable of the existing house. We were able to get all you saw done in the morning and then we had to also re-do some of the soffit and fascia work in that general area of the existing home. I was hoping that it would not take too long to do that, but ended up taking the better part of the afternoon on Friday, but we took our time and did a good job and I am very happy with how the re-configuring of the soffits went. After that we did get on to working on the first floor of the addition a bit. We got most of the siding put up before quitting time and then I spent all day yesterday finishing up the first floor siding on the back. Things like the window trim, battens, one electrical outlet and one service cut off for the air conditioner unit to be installed NEXT spring.
    That left staining the lower half of the back of the addition as well as all the work we did on the side of the addition earlier in the week. So I broke out the sprayer (I made sure to clean the spray nozzle very good before putting things away the last time) and got up on the roof of the screened in porch and got the side of the addition all done and then moved to the back and got that all done as well.
    So, some big items were crossed off the to-do list this week. Most of them things that were not very high on my "excited to do" list either! The plan for this week and probably lasting for next week and perhaps a bit beyond is the kitchen re-do. It will actually start with replacing the windows and door on the front of the existing house to match the windows and door on the front of the addition. Then a full gut of the kitchen will happen, followed by some re-wiring, a bit of re-plumbing and then hanging some drywall and tongue and groove and then the cabinets and appliances can go in. My plan is to leave the current kitchen sink in place in what will be sort of a mini-island for as long as possible so that we can still do dishes and have water in the kitchen. Then pull that and replace it with the new sink and island as quickly as possible! I do plan to move the "woods cam" inside to cover that action. Because it will be aimed at our private living space, it will not automatically update, but I will manually update it as progress is made throughout each day.
    So not a lot more to talk about really. I have been putting in 18 hour days. Waking up at around 4 am to do my regular weather work, then spending around 2 hours in the morning doing work on the addition. Then back to the weather work for a few hours at the midday and then back to the addition for the rest of the afternoon. A quick bite for dinner and then back out for another hour or two before crawling into bed to collapse! 
    The weather this week was again spectacular for working outside. Very comfortable temps and most of the days the humidity was low. Although Wednesday was a bit humid. Not hot, just damp. My work glasses kept fogging up! The next 2-3 weeks will be all inside work, so the weather outside will not really matter too much. That will take us to the very end of August and we are usually running out of hot and humid weather by then anyway. So it looks like my days of having to work outside in any nasty heat and humidity will be numbered- as if I have had to deal with too many of them all summer anyway!
    The beginning of August usually signals a few trees to start changing color. Even though our peak color season is still two months away, we always seem to have a few trees that change early and this August is no exception. While having dinner the other night, I looked out and saw this tree starting to change. There are actually a handful more in our neighborhood that are changing as well. I know I really cannot wait for autumn to be here in full as that will mean we will be pretty much done with the work on the addition and one of the things at the top of my list of things to do when it is all done is to sit and watch a sporting event (preferably a Chicago Blackhawks game), with a big old bowl of popcorn, while sitting next to our new fireplace! MMMM. Can't wait!
Good night from the Keweenaw..
-JD-
August 4-
    Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you...Happy Birthday Dear Gracie...Happy Birthday to you! Yep, it's Gracie's golden birthday. She turned 4 on the 4th. Four years ago today, at this moment, I was on my way to Dallas to set eyes on her for the first time and my life sure changed for the better. That last picture, by the way, is one of my favorites of all time. I just love the look on Nora's face.
    If I had a dime for all the times I was told how fast she will grow up, I could be retired right now. I have to admit, the first two years did not exactly fly by. I was just so sick and every day a battle to just do simple things, that time crawled along. However, the past 2 years have flow by. Not that I think it has been too fast, or want to go back. But when I think about what we did last year for her birthday, it seems like a month or two ago, not a year. Each day is such a gift with her in our lives. Both Nora and I are so blessed to have her come into our lives. I'm sure that any parent reading this can identify with my feelings, but words really can do no justice to my gratitude for the path that life has taken me down these past 4 years. Health problems and all.
    The day started pretty early, but not as early as one might think with a 4 year old celebrating her birthday. I got up at 6 am to start my Sunday work and about 75 minutes later, she was waking up. She is not a real early riser, but also does not really sleep in forever if given the chance. Sort of a middle of the ground morning person I guess. Nora said that since it was her birthday, she could chose all of her meals. So it was pancakes for breakfast, peanut butter and jelly for dinner and chopped salad with rosemary focaccia bread for dinner. Yep, my little 4 year old really said rosemary focaccia bread! A night time ritual with her and Nora is to sit and watch episodes of the Pioneer Woman on the cooking channel. Guess she pays pretty close attention to the show!
    So after breakfast, we let her open up 2 of her presents. Here she is opening up one from Nora and I and here she is after opening up one from Grandma Dee and Uncle Eddie... A brand new purse with a wad of greenbacks in it! She's so cute and good with money. She understands that it is used to buy things, but when ever she comes into some, she always wants to pack it away in her piggy bank.
    After breakfast, Grace and Nora got ready for church, I took the Sunday off from church to do some work on the addition. I sure did miss it though, the whole congregation sang happy birthday to Grace and then there was a moment when the pastor asked everyone to turn to the person sitting next to them and tell them what they were thankful for. When Grace was asked by the folks right next to her, without any coaching, or hesitation, she said "My Home". Perhaps it was a good thing I was not there, I think...no, I know I would have lost it. My heart is still melting and I just brushed away a tear writing that.
    This afternoon, I took off from working on the addition and the whole family headed to the beach. Its been quite a while since we have gone to the beach as a family and it felt really good to get away for a bit. It was perhaps a bit chilly for most folks to think of heading to the beach, let alone hanging out in a bikini, but not Grace. She even braved the chilly waters of Lake Superior to play with the pups. Here she is helping Huck bring back the fetch toy. As I mentioned, it was nice to get to the beach. I even had a 5 minute spell where I got to lay down in the sand and just do nothing. It sure felt good and I think I could have done that for an hour or two, but it was time to head back and I will have plenty more opportunities to kick back and relax on one of our beautiful beaches up here.
    Switching gears to the addition work, it was another very busy week and there is a lot of noticeable changes that resulted from the work done. I had two local boys help me most of the week, except Wednesday when I had to get the stitches out of my thumb. Monday was spent with me and one of the boys working on the rest of the shingles on the front of the existing home, as well as heading over to the sawmill to pick up some of the rough sawn 1-by material for the siding. It then got laid out on the driveway so it could get stained before we put it up. A lesson was learned though. It really was not that much of a help to pre-stain the boards before putting them up. There was too much touch-up work that needed to be done once the siding was put up that it was like staining it twice. Plus, I had the boys using a roller to apply the stain, which worked good, but not nearly as good as I piston pump sprayer I had picked up years ago when we built the first part of the shop. I had never used the sprayer, so I had no idea how good it would work. That was until Tuesday evening, when I climbed up the scaffolding to use it for the first time to spray the cedar shingles. Ho-man! Did that thing work awesome! I think it took me all of around 15 minutes to spray the cedar shingles on the front of the house as well as all of the soffit area on the front of the house. In fact, it took me about twice as long to clean up the sprayer assembly than it did to spray the whole gable on the front of the house.
    The drywall crew also showed up this week and got busy hanging, taping and mudding and all that work was done and all that is left for them to do is to come tomorrow to sand down all of their work. Then all the drywall work will be done and Nora can get onto painting! Actually, the plan is for me to use the expected rain days this Tuesday and Wednesday to fire up the paint sprayer and prime all the walls and ceilings and then spray the ceilings and let Nora use a brush and roller to get the walls. It never ceases to amaze me the way a professional drywall crew can make the entire process look so easy. From the tiny bit of drywall work I have done, I know it is anything but easy, but when you know what you are doing, it does become way less difficult and the job is done with much better results. Here is a shot of the walls of the great room while looking back towards the addition and here is the view looking from the existing home.
    On Tuesday, one of the boys and I went back to the saw mill to get more tongue and groove. About 400 board feet of tongue and groove. They then moved it all into the addition and we covered it with a drop cloth to keep any drywall dust from accumulating on it. So I have a pretty nice stock pile to pull from when I need it. I will need to get about another 700-900 board feet to complete all I need to do, but it's nice to have a good supply on site right now.
    Also on Tuesday, we finished up with the gable of the front of the house by putting up and staining the trim pieces where the shingles meet the soffits. We then took down the scaffolding from there and move it to the back of the house so that work could commence on all the outdoor elements of the back of the house. That work started on Thursday and things went pretty smoothly. We got the fascia and soffit work done and started hanging some of the siding on Thursday and then finished most of the rest of the siding on Friday, moved one of the towers of scaffolding before quitting on Friday and then I hung the rest of the siding and did the touch up work on the stain yesterday and today. So that all of the siding work on the back of the addition that requires scaffolding is now done! 
    The plans for this week are to try and get as much of the outdoor work done on the second floor of the side of the addition tomorrow and then as mentioned, prime and paint on Tuesday and Wednesday and then return to the siding work Thursday and Friday. With a little luck, all of the siding work on the side of the addition and lower half of the back will get done and then next weekend I can use the sprayer to get all of that covered. The next item (as it stands right now anyway) will be to do the demolition work and re-building of the kitchen. That kitchen work will actually involve pulling all of the existing tongue and groove off the front of the cabin and the T/G and drywall off the side of the cabin where the kitchen sits so that I can do rewiring for the new kitchen and also replace the front windows and front door of the cabin with matching windows and doors used in the addition. After that, it will be to hang the T/G on the ceiling of the addition and once that is done, all of the really big jobs will be done. So if all goes as planned, in around 4-5 weeks, all of those major jobs will be done, but it already feels very good to have the scaffolding work done on the back of the addition.
   In preparation of the siding work to be done this week, I returned to the sawmill yesterday to pick up some more rough sawn 1-by. Filled the back of the pick up with around 500 board feet of it. The sawmill is a pretty cool place. For a fan of wood, it would be something of a Mecca. All over the place are stacks of wood. The pictures do not really do the place justice, as there are piles behind the piles and they are stacked around in all 360 degrees from where was standing, but here is another view.
    So that just about gets you caught up. I can report that the weather has been outstanding for most of this summer. At least from a comfort stand point when being physically active outdoors. There was the spell of heat and humidity around 3 weeks ago, otherwise the daytime highs have been in the 60's and low 70's, with night time lows in the 50's and even some 40's from time to time. Humidity has been low and we are still getting enough rain to keep things green. The forecast looks to bring us more of the same for the next week to ten days and that will take us into the third week of August. So as long as that forecast holds, the days of potential heat and humidity will be numbered, which puts a smile on my face.
    The blueberries, raspberries and thimbleberries are ripe and ready for picking and it seems to be a pretty healthy crop for all of them this year. The blackberries look to be ready in a few weeks and it looks to be a bumper crop for them.
    We are into August now, so that means the best time to come up here. The bugs are not bad at all. We were not bothered by a single horse or deer fly while there and the horrendous mosquito population that was around for June and most of July have all but disappeared. There are still a few, especially at dawn and dusk and in the deep woods, but I have not had to use any repellant in around two weeks while working outside.
    We had three visitors to our yard the other morning. It was a momma and her two little ones. They seem to like the grass that is growing over the septic. Fine by me, as long as they leave the peach tree alone!
    The 18th and final picture I have to share with you was not taken by me, but it was so good, I wanted to share it with you all and received permission. It was taken last night by a friend of the site that summers on 5 Mile Point Rd during a good northern lights show. There is also a lakes freighter passing though when the picture was taken. Very cool shot and I also have a full sized version for you all. I am using the FSV as my current screen background. What a magical place we live in!
Good night from the Keweenaw..
-JD-

 

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