Bed Nook: 5

With help from Sug and my son I have started to build a bed nook on the upstairs landing at the shore house.

The landing area is 114″ long on the window wall and 106.5″ wide.

In the fourth installment we built a shelf and headboard at each end of the bed.

The shelf and headboard are 1/4″ plywood.

The plan was to encase the entire project in a frame made of MDF.  We got started on it but ran out of steam when the measurements didn’t work out exactly right.

We also tried to install the front surround but ran into problems with a sloped floor.

During the most recent workday at the shore house, with a fresh mind and renewed energy, Sug and I actually made progress on the MDF surround.  I recut the right hand side frame to match the measurement of the headboard shelf so the under-bed drawers would be functional.  (My original measurements covered too much of the opening.)

Both the luan board and MDF needed a coat primer and multiple coats of semi-gloss finish paint.

While I was measuring and cutting Sug started painting the components which had already been installed with a coat of primer and 2 coats of white semi-gloss —  “Simply White”.

2 by 4 bed slats.

Bed slats replaced by thinner wood screwed in at the wall side to prevent falling through.

Another amendment I made before constructing the front trim was to switch out 2-by-4 bed slats with more traditional 1-by-3 stock which slightly reduced the height of the mattress.

After I trimmed and retrimmed the bottom of the panel to fit around the baseboard the panel finally fit snugly against the wall. (This photo is before the final fit.)

While intermittently painting Sug helped me set up the right side frame.

The central front panel hides the structural framework and needs to be painted.

Together we added a piece to hide the framing under the bed, the box spring, and part of the mattress — I held and Sug secured with screws.

The left side will also be enclosed and all exposed surfaces painted semi-gloss “Simply White”.

Unfortunately I was unable to finish cutting the left side piece due to the fact that we needed my strong son to lift the MDF onto the sawhorses.

The hole in the horizontal surface is to accommodate electric cords.

Sug also cut holes into the desktop at both ends so we could easily plug in a lamp, fan, TV, computer, etc.

A view from the far bedroom gives a good impression of the nook.

Next time I want to:

  • Finish the left side frame
  • Add a piece of cornice across the top
  • Add cove molding  (or shoe molding) to the sides
  • Paint all unfinished surfaces
  • Finish the desk tops with edging
  • Hang wallpaper inside the frame and on the left and right walls
  • Hang artwork, a mirror, and an ancient cabinet

Items in green below have been recently added to the plan.  The original plan with the finished items highlighted in pink font:

  1.  Choose a paint color for the ceiling and walls.  The trim will be Simply White semi-gloss to match the rest of the house.
  2.   Wash the windows and clean shades.  Measure to see if shutters would work.
  3.   Buy paint and prime and paint ceiling and walls. 

    Painting the room made it appear bigger and brighter.

  4.  Measure the room.
  5.  Draw a plan for the bedframe and nook frame.
  6.  Purchase and assemble under bed drawer from Ikea.
  7.   Purchase lumber for the project.
  8.   Build the frame and facing. Remember to move the electric outlet.
  9.   Paint the facing and visible frame.
  10.   Make the bed with fresh linens.
  11.   Hang art inside the nook.  Hang small cabinet.
  12.   Add a lamp to the nook — wall sconce or small brass lamp.
  13.   Wallpaper inside the nook.
  14.   Buy a rug pad and lay the rug.

The next step is to finish the frame then paint the wood and MDF white like the trim in the rest of the house.

Before

In progress

More progress.

This project is a little way more involved than I expected but we are making progress.

Jo

A Free Upgrade

My son has an open trailer that he pulls behind his truck.

This trailer looks like a float in a parade with the king-sized mattress filling up the back portion.

It was very useful when we wanted to transport a king mattress and a large cabinet from The Glade to the shore house.

The back opening is designed to allow a large ride-on mower to be loaded.

Unfortunately it wasn’t as useful for his landscaping business because leaves and debris couldn’t be contained.  So he and a friend recycled free wood pallets into sides for the trailer.

Not only an up-grade but a good place to hang business advertising.

I was very impressed with both the idea and the execution.

Jo

Repairing a Broken Leg

When I bought new dining chairs last year I was unaware of a broken rear leg on one of the chairs.

I bought 6 chairs for the dining room.

I waited until I had a weekend when I could concentrate on the repair.

One of the chair legs was completely broken in a jagged pattern.

I wasn’t really sure how to go about fixing this leg but my plan was to fit it back together like a puzzle AND strengthen the joint.

The joint was jagged and difficult to mend.

I removed the leg and carefully cut the bamboo wrap.  I found a sturdy dowel in my stash of supplies which made a stable insert between the two broken parts.

The drill was difficult to control due to the ragged nature of the splintered wood.

I drilled a hole into the chair with increasingly larger paddle bits until it was just about the diameter of the dowel.

I had cut the dowel to about 5 inches long.

I whittled down the circumference of the dowel to taper it. Then I tapped it into the hole with a  hammer.

Drilling the slender chair leg was more difficult than drilling the chair.

The trickier part of the operation was to drill a corresponding hole into the broken-off leg.  I let Charlie do the honors.  First he held it with his foot vertically, then I held it with my foot horizontally.

I used a round X-acto blade to adjust the hole in the leg.

Finally we had a hole into which the dowel would fit however the leg did not match up with the chair.

The dowel was inserted into the chair back such that I couldn’t get it out.

In addition to enlarging the hole in the leg piece, I also shaved off some of the dowel.

I added supportive angle irons to the inside and outside of the leg for support. I happened to have these in my supply stash also.

After adjusting the leg as best I could I hammered it snugly onto the dowel.

I used all 4 screw positions to give as much strength as possible.

Then I added angle irons onto the inside and outside of the joint.

After the bamboo wrap was arranged I covered with joint with packing tape to give it a chance to set.

Once the angle irons were screwed in I added some superglue to the joint and around the sides of the leg to help hold the bamboo wrap in place.

The chair is very sturdy now and is set at my place at the dining room table lest it break again.

While I wouldn’t say it’s as good as new, I think the repair is sturdy and hardly noticeable.  And we managed it at minimal expense for a change.

Jo

Unleashing Our Travel Plans

While Charlie and I have been doing some minor local traveling including a couple of carefully planned out-of-state trips, we are eager to get back in the saddle of seeing the world.

Our hot air balloon ride was magical.

I have been diligently watching all the updates from various destinations to see when we will be able to wander a little farther afield.

I’m hoping we can get to Iceland this fall to catch a glimpse of the elusive aurora borealis.

My immediate goals are:

  • a fall trip 2021
  • a late winter trip 2022
  • a spring trip (possibly) 2022

The destinations for this autumn are totally dependent on the let up of Covid infections worldwide.  Last fall we had planned to go to Iceland however, just when restrictions seem to relax a bit, the next report closes borders down again.

I’m planning to splurge on a handknit Icelandic sweater.

With a hopeful spirit I just finalized plans to travel to Reykjavik which includes buying airline tickets and booking accommodations.

We loved our stay in San Juan back in 2019.

In February or March, 2021, I would like to plan a trip to Vieques, Puerto Rico for a short week.  Both Charlie and I celebrate our birthdays at the end of February and the beginning of March so we have always enjoyed a quick trip to a warm spot in the last throes of winter.

I will try once again to book a short cruise from the port of Baltimore.

Then in late April (or early May), 2022, we would like to take a 5-day cruise (our prior cruises were canceled) to Bermuda.  If the cruise is still impossible then Sug, Charlie, and I will head to Seattle together.

Hoping that European travel will be possible in 2022 including a trip to Greece starting in Athens.

I have so many places to see and so many people to meet which has been curtailed by the COVID virus.  Now that we are all vaccinated, I hope to be able to firm up more travel plans including some day trips to interesting places.

Jo

The Swinging Bridge

Not far from our house is Patapsco Valley State Park.

Near the park entrance the Thomas Viaduct finished on July 4, 1835, spans the Patapsco River.

For a $2 fee I had access to playgrounds, hiking trails, wading in the river, fishing, birdwatching, etc.

This bridge, rebuilt in 2006, is not as swingy as I recall.

However, my purpose was to walk across the swinging bridge I remember from childhood.

The first swinging bridge was built by the Orange Grove Flour Mill for employees to cross the river.

The swinging bridge still crosses the Patapsco River near the ruins of the mill.

Although the bridge is much sturdier than it was long ago it still bounced when I walked across.

The water looks very inviting.

A little feeling of oopsy.

The first 88-degree day in spring had lots of families wading in the chilly water.

The view from the bridge is a calming glimpse of the Patapsco River which is open to waders and swimmers.

A good number of hikers and bicyclists use the paved trails through the woods yet there is a feeling of spaciousness.

While I walked along the paved trail on the other side of the river I kept my eye out for morel mushrooms which are in season now.  Alas I saw none.

The name “Patapsco” is derived from the Algonquian pota-psk-ut, which translates to “backwater” or “tide covered with froth.”

I walked back across the bridge and stopped in the middle to take in the idyllic view.

A view of the bridge from the parking lot side.

I’m planning a return trip to the park to walk the Cascade Falls Trail.

Jo

A Small Porch Repair

A few years ago we were surprised on our side porch by a snake lying in wait in a box.

The side wall of the side porch had some broken shingles.

We were all so frantic that I left the removal to Charlie and Sug. Inadvertently the side wall of the porch was damaged while removing said snake.

2 shingles have been broken on a sheltered wall on our side porch.

We have been hiding this damage behind a large vase for a few years now.

2 full size shingles have been removed.

I began the repair by carefully removing a half dozen nails which held the shingles on the wall and clearing out as many broken pieces as possible.

I replaced the lower shingle first.

Charlie went under the house to pull out a few new pieces of shingle which I cut to size with our circular saw and slid up under the unnailed upper shingle. While these cement shingles were difficult to drill, the nails easily penetrated the back shingle.

Cement shingles are very fragile so careful nailing is required.

I reused the nails to secure the shingles.

I plan to repaint the entire porch with Sandy Hook Gray by Benjamin Moore.

These small but necessary repairs seem to take on exaggerated importance.

Jo

May, 2021: Plans

May is a great month to make plans for the future.  All of my nuclear household has been vaccinated against the Corona virus so we feel freer to make some long-term plans.

I’ve had to rearrange my Bucket List more than once due to closures and shut-downs.

  1. Make plans for a fall trip.

    I’m hoping we can get to Iceland soon even though the country has closed its borders again until the end of May.

  2.  Remove one box from attic.
  3. Repair dining room chair.

    A broken leg on a dining room chair.

  4.  Work on a shore house project.

    Our current project.

  5.  See a movie:  Sleepless in Seattle.
  6.  Read a book:  A Long Day’s Journey Into Night by Eugene O’Neill.
  7.  NASCAR overnight trip with Charlie.

    We’ve been waiting a long time for this ride.

  8. Consolidate papers from house renovation.
  9. Pick a word to focus on for the month. My word: GROW.

    Charlie looks forward to planting vegetables each spring and I look forward to eating them.

  10. Write a goal list for June, 2021.

Jo

A Shockless Upgrade

The odd thing about the electric service at the shore house is that the breaker box is on the outside of the house.

The breaker box is on the eastern side of the house.

Although in a metal box it’s open to weather and animals and bugs, etc.

Breaker box under the electric meter

We have been wanting to cover this box to try and eliminate outages during storms especially since the water pump from the well is tied into the electric system.

Painted to match the house the box will be useful and camouflaged.

A member of the family was visiting and handily built a covering for the entire breaker box.  It protects it from the weather and looks nice to boot.

Thanks for your skill and thoughtfulness.

Next task:  Paint the box.

Jo

April, 2021: Checked

April was a beautiful month — blooming daffodils and dogwood.

We have been cutting fresh flowers from the yard all month.

In accordance with my word for the month: RENEWAL, we were notified that the contract for a new septic system would finally get started. Nothing could have pleased me more.

We were so excited when the sand for the “sand mound” septic system was delivered.

In addition to the numbered list below:

  • I added an air purifier to the master suite which has made a huge improvement in my breathing.

    The 21″ tall air purifier is tucked behind my Zoom corner chair.

    Upgraded Zoom Corner

  • I closed a bank account which had begun (without notice) to charge a monthly fee and opened a new free account with another local bank.
  • I ungammed my gammy right leg by getting cortisone shots in both my hip and my knee.  The reduced inflammation is such an improvement.
  • I lost 15 pounds.
  • I cleaned and descaled the espresso machine.

My espresso machine gets daily use.

Now on to the numbered list:

  1.  Celebrate Easter. We celebrated at home with a three-course meal.
  2.  Remove one box from attic. Charlie brought down a heavy box filled with old (1990s) swimming meet rosters.  They have been recycled along with the old box.
  3.  Refresh and relist all items on Marketplace and Craigslist.

    Selling spurs that jingle, jangle, jingle.

    I got started relisting old items and adding some new ones that I am eager to part with.

  4.  Work on a shore house project.

    Making slow progress.

    Sug and I returned once again to work on the Bed Nook.  We are making progress.

  5.  See a movie: An Affair to Remember.  This good, old, romantic movie was such a delight to watch. No smut just romantic and altruistic love.  I loved it.

    The Empire State Building figures significantly in the movie.

  6.  Read a book: The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain.  This book was a pleasure to revisit.  The resiliency of children in a cruel time was uplifting.
  7.  Take a day trip —  Rawlings Conservatory.

    The orchid room was the highlight of the Rawlings Conservatory.

  8. Continue to get rid of clutter in Treetops room.  I have removed more books and sports equipment.
  9. Pick a word to focus on for the month. My word: RENEWAL.
  10. Write a goal list for May, 2021.

Jo

Bed Nook: 4

With help from Sug and my son I have started to build a bed nook on the upstairs landing at the shore house.

The landing area is 114″ long on the window wall and 106.5″ wide.

In the third installment we built Ikea under-bed drawers and a bed frame from 2 by 4s.

Drawers and frame.

This past Saturday we added a shelf and headboard at each end of the bed.

Basic support is tied into the wall about 2 inches under the window.

The plywood is supported with 2 by 4s screwed into the wall.

The shelf will be useful to hold books, a lamp, a glass of water, etc.

The shelf and headboard are 1/4″ plywood.

A second piece of plywood was positioned at right angles to the shelf and cut out at the bottom to rest on the bed frame.  Small blocks of 2 by 4 secured the pieces of plywood at the corner. Both sides were accomplished with one 4 by 8 sheet of plywood.

We also tried to install the front surround but ran into problems with a sloped floor.

The plan was to encase the entire project in a frame made of MDF.  We got started on it but ran out of steam when the measurements didn’t work out exactly.  So we will make another trip to finish the construction portion of the project.

Shutters will eliminate the need for curtains at the windows.

I also tried an old shutter at the window for size.  I think it will work well but needs first to be painted.

The supply list:

  • 2 by 4s
  • 2 – 4 by 8 sheets 1/2″ plywood MDF
  • 1 – 4 by 8 sheet 1/4″ plywood
  • Long brads for pneumatic nailer
  • Pocket screws for Kreg jig

Here’s the original plan with the finished items highlighted in pink font:

  1.  Choose a paint color for the ceiling and walls.  The trim will be Simply White semi-gloss to match the rest of the house.
  2.   Wash the windows and clean shades.  Measure to see if shutters would work.
  3.   Buy paint and prime and paint ceiling and walls. 

    Painting the room made it appear bigger and brighter.

  4.  Measure the room.
  5.  Draw a plan for the bedframe and nook frame.
  6.  Purchase and assemble under bed drawer from Ikea.
  7.   Purchase lumber for the project.
  8.   Build the frame and facing. Remember to move the electric outlet.
  9.   Paint the facing and visible frame.
  10.   Make the bed with fresh linens.
  11.   Hang art inside the nook.
  12.   Add a lamp to the nook — wall sconce or small brass lamp.

The next step is to finish the frame then paint the wood and MDF white like the trim in the rest of the house.

Before

In progress

This project is a little more involved than I expected but we are making progress.

Jo