Monthly Archives: June 2016

Weekend of Doors (6/24/2016)

It was truly a weekend of doors.  Over the past weekend, we moved two doors, and completely re-did our bathroom ‘barn’ style door.  All three turned out better than we could have hoped.

Saturday morning we got up and got to work right away.  My job was to remove the front door we have been using and demo that framed in wall.  This was installed by the person we bought the container from originally, so he had put in a not-so-great 4×4 window, and a decent pre-hung door.  We wanted to install that pre-hung door in the entrance of our new container, facing South.  While I started the demo, Sheralee started reconstructing our bathroom ‘barn’ style door.   We had already installed a version, but after some thinking, Sheralee came up with a much better style door.

First though, our morning started watching this little guy try and eat a bigger moth that just couldn’t get off the ground.  Well, this little lizard was way over his head.  He tried several times to take this moth away, but no doing.  The moth was just out of his league.
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Not much we could do but watch.  Eventually the lizard moved on to other less daunting creatures, and I moved the moth to another location.  I am sure he ended up the breaks for another lizard in the end…because there was a larger one watching the whole scene playing out. ha.

First, the door removal and demolition.
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This was not the easiest demo, since there was a lot of wood glue and spray foam used, on top of a nail gun and screws. ha.  It took a while, but I finally got it all cleared out.  Next, we brought down the patio door that we had removed last weekend.  Just a note, patio doors are NOT light, even though they are just vinyl and glass.

I framed in the new patio door in a great way.  I used the two studs our guy had bolted to the container wall, and then since we were not centering the door, slid it over to one side and framed around it.  Perfect!

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That pretty much took up our Saturday.   A full day, but very very product.  Now we have a complete floor to ceiling view of the hill behind us.  It is awesome!

Sunday morning, we first attacked the barn door hanging.  Sheralee had completed the door on Saturday, so that was all ready to go.  I just had to remove the metal track, and rework some studs to accommodate where the track would reside.  It seemed to go really well.  We had to go with the bigger lag screws that came with our kit, but that just made it easier.  It is sturdy as can be, and looks AWESOME!
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Sheralee used the 1/4″ plywood we had originally used, but she added 1×8 common board around the inside of the door,  as a frame, and then stacked them on the outside of the door.  Just looks wonderful!  We are much happier with version 2 of the door.

While Sheralee finished up the door with trim along the sides, I got to installing the pre-hung door in the new container.  I had framed it out months ago, so that made it easier.  I just had to make two small adjustments, but overall the door just fit right in the space.  I mean, after a fiasco of a time with our original front door, this was a piece of cake.  Couldn’t have been happier.

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We ended up with a great door and finished it off with some sheathing.  Door wise, we are set.
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Next weekend is all about windows, or a window I should say!  Very exciting times.

Loft De-Construction (6/17/2016)

We were up last weekend and had a couple tasks that we wanted to work on.  They were simple things that we wanted to do, but ended up doing more and more. ha.

We wanted to work on our firepit, I have this idea of shallowing it out and securing the rock walls with cement.  We also wanted to finish off some paths to our outdoor shower, since it would definitely be used during the warm weekend.  The last thing on our list was to finish off the one corner of insulation we didn’t get to last weekend in the second container.

Well, we did those and more. ha.

We started with 4 bags of quick set cement mix in the firepit.  I emptied the pit, removed the loose rock, and added some rebar/rocks on the bottom for strength.  I mixed up all four bags, and didn’t get anywhere near where I wanted.

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I added a platform in the rock wall for setting pots on and whatever.  I used all four bags on the bottom, and securing the one platform rock.  Not nearly enough to raise the floor of the pit to the level I wanted.  We are adding more this weekend to the walls.  Then raising the floors later on.

We did add some of God’s mulch to our shower path.  God’s mulch is all of the tree debris around big tree trunks that has collected for years and years.  Perfect stuff for paths.  Sheralee did a great job bordering in all of the paths with rocks…more great physical labor in the high temps.

Speaking of temps, and outdoor showers.  We purchased a single water mister on a stand.  It is awesome.  We can sit in our chair and turn on the mister and be cooled down, with a cool drink.  So awesome.  Well, until the water pump box malfunctioned on Sunday.  We were enjoying the mister when all of a sudden…”POP”, and the water died.  What the heck?  Turns out the 1/2″ vinyl tubing I used in the pump box had swelled and exploded.  Imagine Elmer Fudd’s shotgun with a carrot in it..and it explodes. That is what the tubing looked like…and expanded way beyond 1/2″.  So, that is a project for the next weekend.

We had some unexpected bird visitors that were obsessed with our stainless steel chimney, and since we are reconfiguring that wood stove, Sheralee took it down.  Along with that, we ended up removing the patio door from the loft.

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There it sits, for now.  We are going to work on it’s future permanent home at one end of a container.  Framing out a new wall for it’s installation this weekend.

Besides this work, in the hot hot sun, we decided to get up Sunday morning and go on a little walk.  We went East on our pipeline road to the next hill and check out the view from up there.  Spectacular view looking East towards Flagstaff.
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We also managed to get a quick shot of us.
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Then in turning around and facing West…looking back towards our place…there is one thing that sticks out in that wonderful view.
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Yup, that is our lovely loft in the distance there.  Oh that thing needs to come down.

It is also the time of hummingbirds.  They are just fascinating to watch.  The energy that is expelled in order to protect their tree is amazing.
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I think that is it for this week.  We are heading up this weekend again for some big project work.  Working on a new bathroom barn door and framing in and installing our patio door.  Oh, and fixing the pump box of course.  We need that mister….mister!

Insulation and Driveway (6/11/2016)

We headed up Friday after work, arriving roughly around 8pm.  Just enough time to unpack and start a nice fire for the evening.

Friday night was crazy, weather wise.  When we sat by the fire, there was some massive lighting East near Flagstaff.  Well, that crazy lightening/thunderstorm finally made it our way during the night.  It was very windy and raining really hard, and our loft has this one roofing panel that would flap horribly in any wind was going like mad.  So, our first task Saturday morning was to remove that damn roof panel and since our ‘noisemaker’.  Task completed!  Since in the wind…whew.

We then wanted to remove some of the loft insulation and use it in our second container.  We found last weekend that with the summer here that new container gets ridiculously hot first thing the morning as a bare wall faces East.  That would cause our refrigerator to work harder than it should.  While Sheralee took the insulation down, I used our remaining 2×4’s to frame in that wall.

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We added insulation where we could, and Sunday morning you could immediately tell it is going to make a huge difference.  So awesome!  Nice and cool in the morning now.  One funny thing was that when I took the tarp off of our generator, to use our miter saw, there were some mice young’n using the generator/tarp as a home.
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I helped relocate them and then on to the framing.

Another long term task we are working on now is moving our driveway, to help accommodate future pasture land.  Our current/old drive wound through the Northern part of our driveway, trying to avoid trees/rocks.  In the future that will all be part of 4 acres pasture land.  So, we needed a new driveway that would run not through that pasture area, but rather along side it.  We started driving it a couple weeks ago, but we would dodge around trees that need to be cleared out.  Sheralee and I had marked out our drive way, and marked groups of trees that need to be cleared.

I started clearing some trees this past weekend.  I don’t think I got a picture of this first tree, in it’s full state, but I did end up hacking it up and then finally got at the trunk.
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What I would do is dig around the base to allow the chainsaw to cut the trunk below the ground level.  Here it is after I have cut it away and smoothed out the ground.
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You can see the tree pieces beyond this area, using it to border our Eastern edge.  More to come on that.  On Sunday we continued clearing more trees that are along our new driveway path.

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This was a great start.  It was a small clump of four smaller trees.  One thing I learned quickly, make sure your chainsaw patch is clear of rocks. ha.  In cutting one of the trunks my chain tried to cut through a rock.  The result?  No more cutting with that chain.  So, I swapped out the chain and we moved on in our progress.

We also cut through another area, without removing any of the tree trunks, but we have enough room to get through.  We are definitely getting there, but I don’t think we will be completely clear until we do a large equipment rental over a long weekend.

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We are on our way to a straighter, better, driveway.  Hard work, but rewarding for sure.  This weekend will be another 100 degree weekend…thankfully that outdoor shower is running great!

Two Weeks Of Updates (6/3/2016)

It has been a little while since I have updated.  Basically two week(ends) of trips to account for.  Last weekend was Memorial Day weekend, a nice 3 day weekend.  We had a great visitor for the weekend, my daughter Katherine came up from Phoenix to hang at Rebel Ranch and check out all the things we have done.  It really was good times.

Sheralee and I drove up Friday after work and arrived about 8pm.  We got to see some deer, Sheralee’s first sightings I believe.  First a group of three (pictured) and then another group of three closer to our property.
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And no, since some of you will say it….these are not the eatin’ kind. As long as Costco still operates, these guys are safe with us. ha.  Saturday morning we got up and FINALLY, just ask Sheralee, took the top off the Jeep.  I think we have had it almost two years and this is the first time off.

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We went and picked up Katherine a little bit later in the morning, ‘cool wind in our hair’…that kind of thing.  Like a terrible father….I didn’t really get any pictures of the three of us.  I seem to take pictures of deer and Jeeps, but can’t seem to remember to grab one of us enjoying our time on the ranch.  doh!  I did get this dark grainy shot at night Sunday. hahahaha
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Next time for sure!  On Sunday we jumped in the jeep and drove North to the end of Ranch Rd. on Westwood Ranch.  It was some good times, and I do believe we found the ‘end’ of the road.  Just more desert/trees everywhere. ha.

Katherine decided to head back to the valley Monday morning.  After dropping her off and watching her go, we headed back up to the property to get a little work in.  We are in the process of changing our driveway, and one of starting points was first laying out the driveway, but then removing an old fallen tree and a Juniper.

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The last picture is right as we were heading out.  It is going to be a great driveway, and eventually divide our living property with our pasture area.

That brings us to this weekend.  Yup, we escaped the 110 degree heat of Vegas, for the 100 degree heat of N. Arizona…whoa.  It was warm up there.   We did a couple of really cool things, in our minds.  First, since it was going to be summer shower days again, Sheralee had a great idea to move our outdoor shower to a new location, which complete makes sense.  In the future we will have a guest cabin just north of our home, and that is were the outdoor Loo is, so why not situate the new shower (spa) near there, and that is what she did.

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Once we settled on a new location, she attacked the limb clearing with gusto.  She created a new path and new shower basin. The basin is the same as before, a pallet with some fake green grass, but it is surrounded by large rocks and then a whole is dug underneath, filled with smaller rocks, for drainage.

You can see from the pictures above, she then had to hall of that white rock, and pavers, up to our new shower location.  It really started to take shape.
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Not that easy to see with the tree shadows, but our pallet is in there, with our fake grass, the white rock and pavers, and our ‘spa’ chair.  Trust me, that outdoor shower is the best thing ever…especially on these hot summer days.  Nothing is better than a real shower after working all day in the dirt.

The week prior we decided, “why not use the water we have in our tank?”.  I mean we had close to 700 gallons sitting there, and more rain to come this year, why not use it instead of lose it….so that is what we did.  I had PEX coming from the current tank, after re-doing the valve and insulation…  I added a hose spigot to the cut end so we could connect a hose and draw water from our tank.

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We pumped that water up to our 65 gallon tank that we use to shower with.  Worked awesome and so nice to have all that water!  The 50′ hose goes from our tank to our shower for a nice warm/cool shower. ahhhhhhh

Sunday morning, Sheralee fortified our shower, adding in a wall of trees for future use, amongst company.  ha.  While she worked away at that, I finally tackled a project that I have had to do for a while.  Finish the bathroom vent conduit to the outside.
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The vent has been installed and working for a while, but the air goes nowhere.  So, it was time to add the ducting to the outside.

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Now we have a functional bathroom vent.  woohoo!  It works great!  We will be heading up again this coming weekend, if nothing more just to take an awesome shower. ahhhhhhhhh

Until next time.