Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Rowdy house gets a little Rowdy

I love dogs. I'm also allergic to dogs.  As such, the type of dogs I can get are pretty limited to things bred with poodles, and some of the terrier types of dogs. I also think adopting dogs is a really good thing to do.  So, starting when I bought my house, I had been trolling the internets for poodle mix dogs to adopt.  I really wanted a puppy, but any small-ish breed dog would do.  But they always went so quickly, and I could never just commit.

So easter last year, a little more than a year ago, I am visiting my grandparents, and Julia is visiting her parents (we aren't holidaying together yet).  Julia's friend Mary peruses the shelter listings for fun, and is a fairly frequent visitor at the shelter, and she stumbled upon a little, messy, hairy, matted black dog named Timor at the Wicomico County Humane Society.  The description said he was a cock-a-poo, and that was good enough.  So Julia tried calling me.  I didn't get the call.  And she filled out the form anyway, putting at the top that she could take Timor to work with her.  I had no idea really, I did get a call, and it sounded like a 14 year old girl screaming on the other end of the line, so I really didn't know what was going on.  I knew they were looking at a dog, and they were filling out an application, but I couldn't get enough reception to find out the whole story.

Two days later, Julia got a phone call, and we raced out to the Eastern shore, and got Timor.  We then decided it was a awful name, so after much debate (Dirtbike? Morgan? ...?), we arrived at Rowdy.

And this is Rowdy.  He's been with us for a year, and he's become a huge part of our family.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Prying back the Cold Claws of Winter

So, as we are still re-capping the last year of living in the house, we're only now catching up to spring.  Since the winter of 2010 was such an amazing winter...

...spring seemed really slow to come around.  The most interesting thing was seeing the transformation of the house as spring sprung. It seems Blanche (the previous owner) had invested quite a lot of time hiding flowers around the beds of the house, and it started to have a stunning impact on the way the house looked.  Not only were they everywhere, but they seemed designed to come out one at a time, the first starting to fade as the next came blazing into the sunlight.  First, the daffodils started to press up through the old mulch, and then, after the hard freezes passed, they raced towards the sky.
Next, the broad leaves of the Hosta.  I had no idea what these were. They appeared first as little reddish spikes rising from the ground, their tightly wound leaves spreading as they came up.  They are everywhere.  Mingled in between the daffodils, around the bathtub, in the borders of beds, surrounding trees, everywhere.

Then the azaleas came.  If we thought the Hosta were everywhere, and Julia certainly does, then the azaleas really are the star of the party.  Not are they only everywhere, but they are stunning.  They come in so many colors, surround the house, yelling that spring is finally here to stay.  

This spring is shaping up in much the same way.  Although, there used to be a lawn service that worked the yard before I moved in, so this is the first winter where many of the plants didn't have the benefit of a professional team trimming them where necessary, so we'll have to see how they do.

Next, the house gets a little Rowdy

Friday, April 8, 2011

The First Major Project

So, I'm going to go back in time to tell you all about some of the projects that we undertook to make this old house a home. When I first moved into the house, there was very little that needed immediate attention.  Sure, the water smelled of Sulfur, the only shower in the house didn't work, and there was no grass in the back yard.  To ensure that I could effectively carry out the work I needed to do on the house, I needed a workbench.  I've never been a fan of buying some things, I don't like particle board, and I like things that have a lot of hard wood and are very solid.  So I built one myself.

See, as I moved into the house from a smaller apartment, and I was moving in by myself, I had an entire concrete floored sunroom that was just begging to be a shop of sorts.  All it needed was every tool I could get my grubby hands on, and a centerpiece that held it all together.

So I turned to a book I found in my parents house.  The Small Wood Shop, the Best of Fine Wood Working. Great book, has a lot of projects and skills and tips that you could apply to your own shop, or small auxiliary room that you can cut out for yourself from the rest of the house.

This also gave me an excuse to use my newly acquired chop saw, circular saws, and my big drill, which hardly ever gets used.  Awesome.

Anyway, the table legs and trestles are bolted, there isn't any glue on the table, and the "shelf" is just 1/2" strips of whatever was cheap at home depot.

Now, the book calls for a beautiful piece of butcher block as the top, with accessory holes drilled in it for jigs and things.  It was great.  I didn't do that.  I used a nice piece of 7/8"great plywood.  Most of my various bags of tools and hardware fits quite nicely below the table.  I also added a vice (not shown) but the table was still missing something...


Next... Spring hits the Rowdy House.