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DayCreek Journal

March 30, 2003

Pain in the Ash

Ever had one of those trees that you want to cut down, but don't know how to safely go about it? This tree had me stumped.

It was originally damaged back in the days that I was tent camping in the pole shed. I was trying to get some sleep when at around 11 p.m. a line of violent thunderstorms came through the valley. The sound of 75 mph winds and heavy rain blowing up against the pole shed was so loud it was impossible for me to hear the weather radio to find out if I was going to die or not! When I awoke the next morning (I never did die), there were quite a few trees that lost major limbs and this particular ash was one of them. A third of the tree ended up crashing onto on my carefully positioned survey stakes for the house.

I should have taken the whole tree down back then. I should have had the tree bulldozed while shaping up the front yard. There were quite a few should-of's, could-of's, and would-of's but needless to say I never got a "round tuit". The potential of it hitting the house was not that great, but sometime this spring plans call for the installation of an LP gas tank in the general vicinity of the tree.

Considering that I danced with a garden tractor last year, I wasn't going to attempt to bring this tree down myself. It was rotten in the middle, split in three places and by all that I could see, defying the law of gravity.

After a few phone calls, I was able to track down a tree cutting service in the area that came out Saturday morning and made a potentially dangerous job look easy. With a rope strategically placed and the cutting skill of a surgeon, Dave gingerly cut into the tree in three places and all at once the tree left out a mighty crack and down it came. So now I'll have to get my chain saw out and clean things up. There's lots of free firewood for next winter!

Sheet Rock, Wall Board, Drywall...
There's plenty of names for sheet rock, but sheet rock sounds the most manly of the names so I guess I'll use it. I really don't like sheet rock, but it's quicker to install than plaster and paneling reminds me of a stuck-in-the 60's smoke-filled tavern.

To this day, I don't understand why they don't make sheet rock with all four edges tapered. This would make life much easier for us weaklings that can only lift 4' by 8' panels. I always end up with taping seams that are not tapered. This leads to all sorts of fun feathering out the edges so it doesn't look like a mountain range.

After a few frustrating days the joints were sanded, and the sheet rock was primed and painted. It came out looking pretty good. I want the bathroom to be bright, so the walls were painted white.

Following the walls and ceiling, it was on to the doors. I originally thought about building them from scratch, but a sale at Menards changed my mind. These are pre-hung, solid pine doors. Since the doors were prehung this made my life simpler but it did require a bit of a trim of the jambs in order to reduce the gap between the bottom of the door and the floor. (No tile is planned for the floor—just the plain old concrete floor, acid stained and sealed.)

Finally, I closed out the week making the shelves located adjacent to the shower stall. The shelves are made out of the same type of cedar boards that I used for the ceiling but flipped over. This makes a nice cedar lined space to store towels, etc. The outside edges of the shelves are trimmed out in cedar as well. The end product came out looking quite nice. It was one of those spur-of-the-moment decisions to build them and I'm glad I did. They weren't in the original blueprints and if I had a contractor building the house, there would be nothing but sheet rock there. It never hurts to improvise as you build.

That's about it for now. I've got additional trim work to do and then it's on to building the vanity. Once the vanity is done, it's on to plumbing. I think I have finally figured out a plan for the cistern and well. Stay tuned...


Not as impressive as previous years, I was able to get a few good pictures of the Northern Lights on Saturday night.