Thursday, September 16, 2010

Summer was too busy to blog!

And fall's not much of a letup!

What's been happening?

  • Debbie had her surgery, recovered most of the summer, and is now doing OK, except that she still can't stand up all day to teach, and needs a high swivel stool in her classroom to teach from (luckily we had one already.)

  • The truck I had for sale didn't sell yet, but that's good b/c the engine on my '68 truck blew and is having to be rebuilt, so I'm back to the yellow Ranger for awhile. Guess I'll keep the jumper cables handy.

  • I finally got up nerve to investigate replacing the windows in our house, starting with the one in my bathroom. Not finished yet, but was pleasantly surprised to learn that it won't be as hard a job as I thought! I'll post pix when I finish.

  • We had a great week at MissionFuge camp with the youth this summer, their band continues to get better and better (now with a name--Souled Out.)

  • Got tired of people not recognizing the mountain in our church logo as the "M" initial letter of Morganton, so I redesigned the church logo.

  • And lots, lots, more...have a lot of folks at the church sick with cancer, and one stalwart member passed away after a short, hard struggle against lung cancer and other complications.

Y'all come see us!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


Texas was a great trip. Brenna's growing up SO fast! I put together the major play set that her other grandparents had bought for her, plus figured out how to add the zip line that someone else had given her for her birthday. Hope to have photos soon, and maybe videos of her playing on the structure.

My yellow truck is for sale now, in order to pay for the repairs needed on the truck I bought back in April. It needed--
  • Carbueretor rebuilt
  • Master Cylinder and main lines for brake system (someone had redone the brakes at the wheels recently, so those were fine)
  • Rebuilt transmission
  • Replaced flywheel
  • Intake manifold gasket (which meant valve cover gaskets, too)

But it's coming out of the shop next Monday, I think! I'm excited.

Debbie went to the orthopoedist today, and will have to have arthroscopic surgery next Tuesday to try to get a loose hunk of tissue out of her knee. Having cortisone injected into her hand (for 'trigger finger') while she's under anaesthesia.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Carport's Clean!

Debbie's breathing a sigh of relief after about two years--I finally got all the construction tools and materials cleaned off the carport. There's still one wagon load of stuff to take to the shop building, as soon as it quits raining.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Chevy that was a Ford

Several weeks ago I was talking to my friend and former co-worker David Nelms, and somehow the conversation turned to their selling off some items from his late father-in-law's estate. Among the items was a one-owner 1968 long bed truck. For some reason, I thought the truck was a Chevy, but when I went to buy it, it was a Ford. That was fine, since this is the fourth Ford truck I've had.
The first one I owned was a monstrous 1976 F-150, black, with a stretch cab and lots of dents in the side where the former owner's daughters had learned to drive on his pine-tree farm. My 3 sons all did part of their learning to drive on that truck, but it finally gave up the ghost.
The second one I owned was also black, a 1990 Ranger that Nathan was going to trade in on a car, but let me buy from him instead. It was the one that had an oil leak and ended up burning up on the side of the road during our move from ATL to Epworth.
The one I own now was one I swapped for...BJ's Acura Integra that wouldn't pass ATL emissions anymore for a garish yellow Ranger that had been in an encounter with a deer. BJ's driving that one right now, but it has a mysterious electrical drain that causes the battery to go DEAD in a couple of days if the truck isn't cranked. Several of BJ's friends have expressed interest in buying that truck (I think because of its color), so we may get enough from that truck to pay for this truck.
This one is also a 'Ranger' but it's from the era when that still meant a full-sized pickup. In fact, I think this model was the precursor to the F-150, back when most trucks were just F-100's. It's not been cranked up in about 2 years, so it's at the shop right now being 'gone over' by my mechanic. I'm hoping that all it needs is new gas, some hoses/belts, etc. The battery, believe it or not, still had enough juice to honk the horn and run the brake lights when we were loading it the other day.
Thanks to Jon Clore for helping me go get this powder-blue beast, and to Chad Ray for checking it out for me. I hope to be able to haul things again before long!

Sunday, March 28, 2010


I remember years ago, at my first pastorate, we were building a new pastorium, and the final trim things took longer than all the framing, brick work, etc. I feel that way about my storage building.

How long have I been working on the thing now? 2 years, or was it just last spring that I started building the frame? Anyway, I'm determined to get the last of the ceiling insulation up and install the ceiling panels this week.

Debbie is determined that I get my "mess" out from under the carport before her Dad/Ingrid arrive for Easter next weekend.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Propane and Snow

Back in January, one of our local propane companies had a great sale on little wall heaters that looked perfect for my storage/shop building. So I bought one, and scheduled the installation of the gas line for "early February." HAH!
They were supposed to come with a trenching machine and cut the 100 foot ditch needed to bury the propane line...but it rained, and snowed, and snowed, and rained. Upshot was that they never had enough dry days in a row to cut the trench, since the machine is heavy and would have "got maaahrd up," (as the guy from the company said.)
Finally they told me that if I dug the trench, they'd come "right away" and put the line in. So that's what I hand. And then they told me it would be the best part of a week before they could come put in the line. Last Monday, they at last got it installed, and the little heater really works well.
When heavy snow fell Tuesday, it was cool to look out the back window of the house and see that snow was NOT sticking to the roof of the shop, as it had previously, since the little heater was puffing away. Of course, that was also bad news, since it meant that the heat was going out through the roof. I still have to get my ceiling insulation and ceiling panels in place, but I'm probably going to have to wait until Matt or someone else can help me put them up.
In the meantime, I've got almost all the panels in on the walls. I lack two sizable panels under the shelves in the storage area (I built the shelves first so that I could hook the supports for them directly to the building framing--they will be holding a lot of weight. I also have a couple of small areas to finish near windows, doors, and previously-installed panels. I hope to finish all that this weekend and maybe, maybe begin moving things from the basement (and the living room!) to the storage area.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Snow = progress on the building

Yesterday we cancelled all services at church due to the snow. So I had something like a second Saturday to spend on my building.

Saturday I had spent a good deal of time putting up insulation in the walls. I'd finished the back right corner, because I wanted to get the small wood heater installed (it's really COLD in the building with no heat!) With walls a bit over 10 feet high, it takes a full batt of insulation, plus 27" or so additional, to fill each space between the studs.

I had acquired some Hardie-plank soffett boards from the Habitat store, and was planning to use these cement-based boards for wall backing behind both the wood stove and the small propane heater I bought in January. But I also had to build a box with no insulation in it roughly 15"x15" and faced inside and out with Hardie-plank to take the place of a 'thimble' through the wall.

Cutting the outside square of plywood was going to be a big problem, until I remembered my electric chainsaw. That did the job in a couple of minutes. Cutting the round holes for the stovepipe in the Hardie-plank squares was a good bit harder, involving power and hand tools, since I couldn't locate my jigsaw. Then I managed to mis-cut BOTH the wall panels that surrund the place where the pipe went through the wall.

Getting all the stovepipes to work right was a pretty good job, too, as was placing the completed stovepipe atop the outside elbow. I think I'll have to go back later in non-snowy weather and place at least one more 2-ft section onto the pipe outside, to get it well above the roofline.

I was able to burn one of those fireplace logs in the stove, but it didn't do too well. I'll have to see what the problem is--either the log doesn't burn well in the stove, or the stove doesn't allow enough air onto the log.

I managed to get the wall panels up to protect from the heat of the stove, but the firelog never got hot enough to even really heat up the stovepipe! And I got the insulation and paneling up so I could mount the propane stove, too.

Today I plan to get the rest of the wall insulation up, if I can locate some T-50 staples. Using my air nailer doesn't work too well, since it's so powerful it sometimes drives the staple all the way through the paper. I may have to try a trick with a string that a friend showed me, if I can't find the T-50s for my hammer stapler.

Getting the ceiling insulation in place looks to be a two-person job...any volunteers?