Monday, November 14, 2011

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Batavia, NY and Niagara Falls

 
I accompanied Andrew to Batavia, NY for the Cummings & Bricker 50th anniversary expo and celebration. At the anniversary dinner, each table (I counted forty) got it's own cake. My kind of party. As part of the celebration, several of the vendors sponsored a race across the street at Batavia Downs.
 
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Since Niagara Falls was only another hour down the road, we decided to take a drive. It was cold and a little rainy, but worth the drive!
 


 


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The Maid of the Mist!
 
 A wedding!

 A rainbow!

Stump Grinding

Andrew borrowed a stump grinder from work so that we could clean up a few old and new stumps. We have taken down about 10 trees between our front and side yard over the past few years, but we waited until we had several stumps to do the cleanup. 


 


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Chimney Redo

While we had a mason on site, we decided to have some preventative maintenance done on our chimney. As you can see below, it needed a little help. The key word here is "little": take a couple of layers off, redo them, re-stucco, and call it a day. Upon further investigation it was determined that we needed to redo the entire chimney because it was not built correctly, or to code.
Before:


 
Andrew (yellow shirt) joined the mason on roof to confirm the poor condition of our chimney.



Out with the old....
 
 
The old chimney came down in less a day. It was like an episode of Holmes on Homes.

   


 
 The footer for the new chimney is nearly twice the size of the old.

...and in with the new.
 

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Apparently this is how real men mix cement. I gave it a try myself. Not so easy.

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 Laying the first new block.


 
Rain? No problem.
 This is what our original chimney did not look like. It was never back-filled like this, so the flue pipes wobbled around and smoke leaked through the entire chimney.

 

 After:
 
The blue stone cap is in two pieces, but each half is so heavy that it took a pulley system and five guys to get them to the top of the chimney. This is the same crew that topped the trees to open our view, so I guess they remembered how dissapointed I was that I didn't get to see the tree climber in action. Apparently these guys also noticed that I like to document our projects, so they brought a camera to the job-site specifically to take pictures for me! How nice is that?!?! Here are a few pictures from their camera


 The climber is on his way down. Can you see him?

 Our custom made cap. It's hard to tell, but the blue stone is about 4" thick.


Apparently they told him to "swing". I think this is a pretty cool picture.

 

Saturday, September 3, 2011

After Hurricane Irene

     We lost power in the middle of the hurricane, around 6:00am Sunday, so by the time the storm passed twelve hours later, we were anxious to get out of the house and find some coffee and entertainment. We found coffee, but just about every other business was closed for the hurricane, so we ended up in Warayas Park in Poughkeepsie. The river was still very high and had clearly spill out of her banks based on the debris all the way out in the parking lot.


   
 The wind was still blowing hard enough to take your breath away and make the water very choppy. We had making up stories about out all of the trinkets that washed ashore. 

 This bench was once bolted to the brick patio four feet in front of it.


 After a lovely evening watching the sun set over the Hudson River, we came home to this...


 Without a doubt, the retaining wall saved Andrew's work truck from any major damage. There were no broken windows or mirrors, just a couple of dents and scratches.

 



 
The result is more sun on my future garden and one less obstruction to the view.
 
Does anyone have a hickory nut recipe?