27 June, 2008

Little Bits and Pieces

I guess this is my usual Friday routine, a virtual grab-bag of stuff - small projects that are in progress or completed and that seem to get attention drawn to them in time for the weekend or, at least Friday.

Again, I'm starting off with Dianna painting her trellises. This time it's the one in the raised bed. And she talked me into putting up our patio umbrella for shade.
The Artist At Work
The other trellises (trelli?) - on the side of the well house, Between the front stairs and the breezeway, and between the back stairs and the generator room.
Well House Trellis
Front Stairs Trellis
Back Stairs Trellis
Raised Bed Trellis
Say, speaking of the generator room, its contents... Our 5.6 Kw generator is up and functioning. I had to get a new battery for it. Anyway, for the hurricane season, I've got it on a weekly test schedule. Every Wednesday, I fire it up. Tomorrow, we're going to go over all the circuit breakers to see just what the load is and how we can best keep the place operating under generator power. Should be fun. The generator room works great. It holds down the noise and the smell and it's secure.

And another electrical item - the front gate... WORKS! Yea!!! After several months of wishing and hoping, Isaiel finally got all the bits and bobs welded to it, and by golly, it works. Pretty fancy. It came complete with two remots and a hard-wired switch in the kitchen. I have two more remotes on order. One for Cody and one for guests when we have them. Really beats getting out of the rig in the rain and opening/closing the gate.

Our other project that is mostly done for now is the gutters. As you can see below, we have gutters around all four sides of the house and they match the roof color. Then the downspouts (3" PVC Pipe), I'm in the process of painting to match the house colors. Where it's wood, I'll paint them a light brown.
Gutters and Downspouts
For the gutter on the back side of the house, I'll be putting in two 600 gal. Rotoplas plastic cisterns to capture the rainfall. the overflow from the first will fill the second. Then it's overflow will tie in to the French drain and go to the canal. I'll have a pump motor and a shutoff valve, so that if we loose well water, a simple flip of the valve, turn on the pump, and we'll still have water going through the RO system and the water softener. I have to build a concrete stand first for the cisterns to sit on, so they don't get punctured by rocks, etc. Oh, and buy the cisterns, too.

Speaking of draining to the canal, here's a shot of the 200+ foot drain pipe emptying to the canal. It doesn't look like much here, but naturally, before I got my camera and came back to shoot, it was going like gangbusters, shooting out about 2 1/2 feet into the canal, and about 2/3 of the pipe full of water. Wow! All that water won't be flooding our place no mo!
Water Draining to the Canal
Other stuff going on... Cody constructed another garden area with concrete curbing to route cars around the palapa, as well as putting a curb around three sides of the palapa to corral the gravel inside.
Cody Filling the New Planter Area
Vehicles Properly Bedded Down
Naturally, with the rainy season or hurricane season (samo samo), the weeds start growing with a vengence. Here's Cody mowing (or as it's called - "chopping") them down with his trusty machete. At first glimpse, it seems really hard to mow this way. But, it's really efficient and fast. And we don't have to buy a mower... yet.
Cody Chopping the Weeds
After the last rainfall during the week, and believe me, it rains. Heavy and hard. Lots of water. I mean serious rainfall here folks. Anyway, after the last few days of it, I noticed Dianna's hobby room was still leaking a smidge around the seam where the floor footing meets the wall blocks. So, I had Cody dig the gravel out from the wall, exposing the footing top and the lower wall. I went to Villa's Supply, and got a gallon of Dry-Lok (Thanks Twyla, for reminding me of the product name and where to get it). We managed to get one good coat on, and it had about an hour to dry before it started raining again.

I checked downstairs this morning - no leak. So, if all goes well and the forecast holds, I should be able to apply a second heavy coat Saturday or Sunday and then we should be good to go.
Cody Prepping the Footing/Wall Area for Dry-Lok
Let's see, what else? I made a short run to the Vet, Dr. Sheila. It seems Blue has a urinary track bacteria attack again. More antibiotics seem to do the trick and fast too; Canadian Bob has left for Canada for three weeks; Elsie's already there; We got her car back from Rick the mechanic - still full of glass. There's a new car wash place in town that does detailing. I'm going to take it there and have them go over it with a fine-tooth comb; I have to order a new keyboard for Dianna's computer. The "M", "N", "Enter", and a couple other keys just won't work. Hopefully, it's an easy fix. Speaking of, I got my computer working ok again, thanks to Roger Cookson.

Guess that's all for this evening,

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