Friday, 3 January 2014

Our 14 for 2014

Since my friend Gretchen over at Boxy Colonial posted a goals for 2014 list, I though, what the heck, lets follow suit. My list of stuff I really really hope gets done in the next 12 months. I am confident about 3 of these will actually be completed. OK, maybe 2...

1. Open up a doorway between the hallway and Dining room.

When we bought FrostHaus, the previous owners had just installed a new kitchen (Yay!) in order to maximize counter space, they deleted the doorway to the dining room. This seriously limits flow through the house and creates a dead pocket in the dining room. In order to open up the dining room, I need to cut a door in the hallway and relocate a cold air return. Its doable, but its likely more than  weekend's work.

2. Family Escapes

In the past we have enjoyed family getaways to things like Winterlude in Ottawa, or camping in Algonquin Park. This year I really want to plan an escape every month. Not necessarily big stuff, but just getaways to enjoy. We've got stuff booked up to March already, but April is a bit of a stumper. Maybe a trip to Sudbury for Science North? Its been a few years since we visited there. Maybe Great Wolf Lodge? I am losing sleep over this, and I shouldn't be.

<EDIT>The Destinations Planned...
  1. January - Cobourg DONE!
  2. February - Buffalo Outlet Shopping 
  3. March - Algonquin Park Yurting
  4. April - Letchworth State Park Cabin
  5. May -Darlington Prov. Park Camping
  6. June - A cousin's wedding at the Royal Botanical Gardens!!
  7. July - Mississagi Provincial Park - Camping
  8. August - Montreal - Boston - Atlanta Road Trip (???)
  9. September - Niagara Falls (???)
  10. October - TBD
  11. November - TBD
  12. December - TBD


3. Build stuff

Now that I have a decent assembly of tools and equipment in the garage, I need to dedicate some time to creativity and production. Once a month I'd like to turn out a project to be proud of. I have a couple things underway already... Which brings me to goal #4.

The building list as stolen from another blog post...
  1. Bathroom Mirror and cupholder - I know this is on the 'finish stuff' list, but it really shouldn't be since it isn't even started.
  2. Bathroom storage crates - SWMBO has wanted some simple Milk-crate looking storage shelves in the bathroom for a while. I should probably get busy making them.
  3. Basement storage shelves DONE! and screw holder thinggy - the opportunity has come up to build a couple shelf units to store our paint and my fasteners a little better down there.
  4. Toy room storage unit - while we were talking about he shelves in the utility room, SWMBO pointed out to me that big toys like firetrucks and Octopods need homes in the toy room.
  5. Master bedroom reading wall. I mentioned this briefly to SWMBO about a year ago, but never made any progress. I'd like to find a way to integrate the headboard into it. 
  6. Garage workbench - another item that I found plans for a while ago, but never got close to building.
  7. Wooden toys for the boys. My grandfather gave me some wooden toys when I was small, and I loved them, it would be nice to pass this forward to my kids. Maybe a train or some cars. I dunno. Definitely not another crossbow. Its fun, but I have welts, and the dog is getting fat.

4. Finish Stuff.

Over the past year we have started a bunch of projects that have never reached fruition. I am much better at starting than I am at finishing. I have about 3 garage/woodworking projects that I need to complete, as well as a couple house projects. I am counting these towards goal #3, and need to finish them before I start new stuff.

 For Completion:
- Ironing Board
- Kitchen hardware  DONE!
- Towel Bars  DONE!
- Marshmallow shooter DONE!
- Closet doors - Boys room DONE!
- Fence for Pool
- Mirror & cupholder in Master bathroom
- Play Kitchen Sink, stove, & countertop

5. Re-Knob-inate the kitchen. DONE!

This is one of those little things that ought to have been done long ago. I hate the knobs on our kitchen cabinets. About 2 months ago, I picked up an assortment of about 30 knobs at Lee Valley and chose the knobs of our dreams. Now I have one cabinet with nice knobs on it. I need to knob-inate the rest of the cabinets with those knobs. Lee Valley is an hour away. I have about 28 knobs to return before I buy the new knobs. Also Lee Valley is a dangerous store to walk into. It can get real expensive, real fast.

New Knobs!!

6. Clean out the garage, and create a working floor plan.

Right now a trip to the garage includes an obstacle course of garbage and recycling cans, toboggans, bikes, hoses and extension cords snaking around my ankles, and sawdust everywhere. I need to revisit my arrangement of tools, build a shop bench (see item 3) and do some wiring out there (already underway - see item 4DONE!. I need to build outdoor garbage can holders and hose reels, and an outdoor water hookup. With that all done, I should be able to fit a car in the 'other side of the garage' (see item 7) and still have functional shop space.

7. Get the old (new?) car functional.

This winter we picked up a old 1981 Mercedes 240D as fun beater car. With Chuck learning to drive, I wanted a tank with a stick-shift in it for her to learn on. Just one problem with this particular tank - it has rust issues that need patching before we can license it. It also needs the speedometer rebuilt and a few other small fixes. I am hoping Chuck learns a little auto repair from this, but with the current cold snap and no space in the garage, the car is just sitting. (I am excited to get driving this thing. It's as slow as a S-L-U-G, but its a pile of fun too)

8. Add a gas stove hookup in the kitchen and heat in the garage.

I like our current electric stove, but I love the gas stove I've lugged around to every house I've owned in the past 10 years. Since we already have gas to the corner of the house where a gas stove ought to be, it would be nice to hook up the stove. While I had a gas fitter around, it would also be nice to install a garage heater so that i can work out there in the cold months. Not sure if SWMBO would be on board for this, and its really low priority. But it would be nice.

9. Re-roof the House.

Our roof is showing early signs of needing a redo. I don't know how old it is, but the cracking shingles and loose aggregate up there makes me nervous. I am told it could last another season or two, but why risk it? I'm not sure if this is a project I could tackle on my own or not, but the more I look at it, the more I think its doable. Biggest problem for me is settling on a shingle design. I think our place would look awesome with Cedar or another natural product, but my budget screams out asphalt or fiberglass. What do you think?

10. Sell the Boat.

I love Iris and she has been a great boat, but its time to move on. Sailing has become my thing and the family needs me around the house more than the boat needs me out on the lake. I'm hoping to sell the boat early in the season and then crew occasionally with other folks. Maybe with the boat gone I'll use the pool more. I dunno.

11. Make some (any) progress on the basement.

The day we first viewed FrostHaus my comment was that the place needed a bathroom in the basement. It still needs a bathroom in the basement. In order to make that bathroom a reality, we may end up doing some pretty extensive reno work on the rec-room. We could end up pulling down the ceiling, rewiring the whole basement, redoing the bar, and then putting in the bathroom. It's the job that keeps on growing. I should start by pulling out everything in the bathroom corner and at least getting wiring, plumbing, and framing up on that end of the room. I could conceivably put up a tarp and create a workzone that is somewhat insulated from the rec-room and do this with minimal disruption to the rest of the basement. Maybe.

12. Paint the master bedroom.

We have been talking about painting the master bedroom since day one as well. Right now it is something between purple and brown, with a floral border at the ceiling. While neither SWMBO nor I particularly care for this design, we can't settle on a colour/theme that we both like. The biggest challenge is that the border won't come off without a fight. That combined with the disparate design ideas we each have has stalled this room out entirely. We need shelving in there of some sort (as evidenced by piles of boxes) and possibly a more functional furniture layout. I'm not sure where we'll end up though.

13. Fence the pool

Last spring I did a piece on installing our fence posts along the edge of the pool deck. Then I got sidetracked with pool repairs, concrete work, landscaping, etc. and never returned to the fence (see item 4). Those posts are still standing, but they are doing a whole lot of not much at all. In the fall I mentioned to SWMBO that it might be cool to establish another espalier along that side of the pool to act as the fence between the yard and pool. I think she's on board.  If that's the case, I'll get out there this spring with more wire and turnbuckles to install another 50 feet of trees. likely pears or cherries along this side though - we need some variety!

14. Involve the kids.

Through many of the project we have done, we have worked around the kids where we could have pulled them into the work. I have had buddy run the drill press, and he liked helping shovel gravel when we did the retaining wall. Now that Cuppa is getting to be pint-sized he could help a little too. Sure the work will suffer, and technical or strength based tasks will be beyond them, but there is no reason that they can't help slap a base coat of primer on a wall, or help demo drywall. We do pretty well with involving our boys, but i think we can do it a little more, and a little better.

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