Monthly Archives: August 2016

Tool Shed III (8/25/2016)

Another weekend at the ranch, but unfortunately, we had some weather events that hampered our progress on the new shed.

I went up early Friday morning, taking a long weekend due to Sheralee having Friday and Saturday off.  I arrived with the intention of installing the two windows and house wrapping the shed.  I got all I wanted done on Friday.

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All went well Friday.  Then Friday night, the rains came, and they came, and they came.  I should have added pontoons to the new shed, just in case.

Our plan was to head to Prescott Valley early Saturday morning for a shed material run.  That plan was quickly put on hold with the soggy ground.  Saturday day ended up a little warmer and eventually some sun broke through, which was good!

We tested out our new mud/snow chains on the jeep.
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They actually worked really good.  Sheralee put them on herself, and then drove us around.  To the point she took them off again and drove us back in 4WD.  All went well with that test.  Felt good.  What didn’t feel good is the lack of work done on the shed. ha.  Saturday night it rained for about 15 mins….and then it stopped.  Woke up Sunday morning to a gorgeous blue sky.  So nice to see.  That is a great thing about where our property is.  It might rain hard, but more than likely the next day will be beautiful, or close to.

Sunday, we made it into Prescott Valley for some needed materials.  I got what I needed to finish the shed, but unfortunately, not enough time left in the day to get started.  So, this coming weekend I hope to wrap up that project.

Oh, another modification made my Sheralee when I was away, and man it looks great.
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Originally we saw an idea where someone used an old toilet tank to store their dry material.  Sheralee kinda went with that, but with her own design.  It is awesome.  We just need to get some walls in there and boom, that sucker will be great!

Tool Shed II (8/19/2016)

Another productive weekend at the ranch.  We had some more weekend guests, great to see such interesting in checking things out, checking out exactly what it is Sheralee and I do each weekend! ha.  Ainslee and her friend Mario joined us, as they were down from Portland for a long weekend.  It was great having them both.  Sheralee, Ainslee, and Mario headed out Friday early afternoon to the property, and I followed them later on.  Of course, being monsoon season, the weather was not the best Friday, but we all managed to arrive safely.

Saturday we started in on our projects, Sheralee rebuilding our outdoor cooking stove and myself continuing on the new tool shed.

Outdoor cooking stove.  It was time to put a rebuild into our stove.  Sheralee moved it a little bit and we added a base of gravel to help with the slow, but steady, movement of the cinder blocks.

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Now, I will say that I forgot to stop to take pictures of the final product, but we aren’t quite finished yet.  Sheralee is still modifying it and we should have something more ‘permanent’ this coming weekend.  I promise to take more pictures.

I started off working on the tool shed, finishing up some window framing.  On both sides, there will be a 36×16 casement window.  The are almost 6 feet off the shed floor.  Got those windows in this week, so that is a next week project.
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On Saturday I was able to finish the back wall sheathing before the rain came.
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You can see some of the blah clouds in the background.  That storm had quite some power, but thankfully it never made it directly over me.

Sunday, I got a lot of work done, completing all of the sheathing.
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I took some inside pictures for Sheralee, as they had left previously.
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This was just before I finished off the roof.  Then this one was taking from within our second container, facing South, just past the solar panels.
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That was about it for me.  I got out of there ahead of any rain and headed back to the city.  Can’t wait to get back up there and continue on…this weekend is windows, housewrap, siding, and polycarb roof panels!  Waterproofing time!



UPDATE:  The Outdoor wood stove

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Tool Shed Beginnings (8/12/2016)

Sheralee and I were at the property again this past week.  We were up the weekend of the 5th, but Sheralee met me there after detouring in Phoenix with Baylee.  Unfortunately, we had some water/leaking issues to deal with over that weekend.  When we removed the loft we basically removed our roof from the add-on bathroom.  We weren’t very smart about that, and it rained a couple inches of that week.  I arrived on Friday, after work, and mud-going the whole way up.  When I got there, we had water leaking in from between our joined containers and the bathroom had been soaked, from water running down the walls.  We spent that weekend draping thick plastic over the entire roof.  Soggy stuff man.

Anyways, on to this past weekend, the 12th, we arrived after sunset.  I had hoped to catch some of the Perseid meteor, but no luck.  I did see one shooting start just before we headed to bed.  That was it.

Saturday morning Sheralee and I started work on our new shed, which will store all of our tools/hardware…hence creating some space in our container to install our wood stove and rearrange our living quarters.

The shed base is going to be a platform we put together last year for people to sleep on with a tent.  It was never really used, so I thought why not put a shed on top of that.  We planned out the materials we would need to level out the shed base (platform).

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After some shifting of gravel and leveling we finally go it right where we wanted it.  It is nice and sturdy.  Then I started off on the rear wall.  All of the material was coming from the loft we removed in past weeks.

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Turns out I should have done the construction opposite, making the front wall taller…having the rain water run off the back, but what does it really matter? ha.  The tallest wall ended up being the back wall and the water will run off the front.
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Since we have a left over pre-hung door we decided to use that in our shed.
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That was it for Saturday.  We had some company arrive at the ranch Saturday, Sheralee’s father Jerry and Baylee came up from Phoenix to stay the night.

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Sunday I continued on with the shed, working on the two side walls, measuring out for the windows that will be installed.

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I installed a couple of the ceiling joists, with the material/joist hangers on hand.  I got a lot more done than I thought I would, which was nice.

Sheralee created some new bench seating around our firepit, which is awesome!  We plan on having some visitors soon, and this will help with that

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What a great concept and thought out.  I was most proud of the use of the materials we have on hand.

That was about it for this weekend.  There seems to be a lot in play right now with things….around our ranch, so we might have some news next week.  We shall see.  Love up there and can’t wait to get back.  Should get most/all of the sheathing up on the shed, and I know Sheralee will be happy about removing items from our containers, once and for all! ha.

Loft Be-Gone (7/29/2016)

We made it up again this past weekend after a two week ‘moving’ hiatus.  Whew, glad to be done moving and able to visit our ranch once again.  We arrived Friday evening, right after sunset.  Not much we can do in the dark but enjoy the peace and quiet our property brings.  The sky was a mix of clouds and stars, with more and more stars as the night moved on.  I thought it would be a peaceful night’s sleep, but a nice storm rolling through had something to say about that.  Not much in the way of rain, I think it just missed us, but more wind like a storm was coming.  And then it just stopped.

Saturday morning we woke up and after a peaceful cup of coffee,  we got started on bringing the loft skeleton down.
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Our idea was to fix two ropes to the West and North sides headers and corner posts.  Then, attach those to the back of the jeep, taking up the slack.  Then we removed all of the big screws attaching the footers to the loft floor.
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Then we slowly pulled away and with ease the loft skeleton came down.  Just like that.
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Next it was time to start claiming all of that lumber/materials.  We ended up with a lot material, enough to construct our new storage shed just South of the containers.  This will allow us to clear out all the tools/hardware we are storing in there and start the wood stove move process.  We are truly happy the loft is down.  Sorry John, but now we don’t stand out above the tree line and currently have material to move on to other ‘pre-winter’ projects.

While I was working on clearing out the lumber (screws and nails) Sheralee moved our kitchen items from our outside storage shed, which served is so well, to a rack inside the container.  This will keep our stuff clean and easier to access each day.  It is like another ‘baby step’ in this big process, but a nice one.
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For us, this is huge….just nice to have our stuff inside!  That was pretty much it for Saturday, although after we emptied that little plastic shed, I moved it over next to the container to hold our dry material for fire building.  In doing so, I uncovered this little guy.
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I have seen tarantulas in AZ before, and they were always bigger down near Yuma.  This guy wasn’t huge, but he had a sweet spot under that shed.  Well, it was eviction time and he had to move on.

One other thing happened on Saturday.  With tearing down the left, we seemed to have disturbed a bee’s next somewhere, possibly either in the space between our loft floor and the container, or under the container…not sure yet.  Anyways, at first it was a few here and there, and then more…and then more. hahahaha.   Soon enough, both of us got stung.  So, we laid a trap for some of them.  We put out a bull of sugar water, and then a 1gal jug with some of the stuff in the bottom.
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These pictures don’t do it justice. The bowl on the left was drained after about 20 minutes….and bees lined all sides.  Then they moved to the water jug.  We capped it and I believe we sacrificed close to 150 bees in there.  Done!  Yup, we disturbed them again Sunday morning, but something we found that ‘might’ work as a natural repellent, is mint.  Who knows, but it coincidentally worked on Saturday.

Sunday, we were awaken by a pack of coyote’s really close to us.  No, not moving illegals across the border, the four legged kind.  I was hoping they would cross right in front of our patio door, but no such luck.

I continued reclaiming material from the loft, and Sheralee worked on bringing down our old chimney support with a goal to remove our wood stove from inside.  She pulled the stove out and started the cleanup of it, which will lead to a new paint job.  Sheralee also added an RV type vent that we purchased a long time ago, giving us a vent (with a DC fan) right above where the fridge will sit.

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That will be where the fridge goes, as this will eventually be our kitchen.  The RV vent fits perfectly.  All we have to do is mount it with some self-tapping screws and then caulk the crap out of it. ha.

I also added a ‘temporary’ water catchment off of our material shed, so we catch some of the rain from this week.
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I am not completely happy with this, so I am going to re-do it with PVC pipe and drain directly into the white 35 gallon tank that is there.

All in all, another great weekend, and the weather was actually really nice!  The heavy rain was just settling in as we left.  On our drive into Seligman, there was a lightning strike right off the road to our left and then the thunder from that scared us both…it was insane!  There should be good rain up there this week, so we are excited to see what kind of water we have after this monsoon week.