Glenlochan -The Beginning

Glenlochan -The Beginning
Glenlochan - The Beginning

Glenlochan Today

Glenlochan Today
Glenlochan Today

Friday, September 2, 2011

What Could Be More Fun Than Raking Leaves?

Raking insulation.  After the demo of the drywall and plaster in the main house, a lot of insulation lingered in between the studs in all of the rooms.  We tackled another multi-week project to get the insulation out of the crevices, swept and bagged up, and into the dumpter. 

There actually is a tool of choice for raking insulation.  (We have a patent pending on this handy tool, which consists of a small garden rake duct taped to a longer pole for reaching into the high ceiling pockets.)

Other useful tools for this major clean-up project:

Proper attire is also necessary.  Check out my nifty tyvek suit to keep the fiberglass particles off my skin and hair, and the breathing mask to keep them out of my lungs.

On humid summer days in the high 90's, sporting a tyvek suit and a face mask in a hot old house is not very enjoyable.  However, as I feel the sweat running down my body inside the suit, I keep pretending that I'm actually enjoying a high end spa and sauna treatment (it doesn't work, it's just darn uncomfortable).  Thankfully, the suits are disposable.  On days like this, breaks and fluids are important.

A little water makes everything better.

There was a LOT of insulation - so many bags that we lost count.

But the end result was well worth it. 

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Mean Irene

Glenlochan and the boathouse and our oysters all survived Mean Irene with flying colors.  No damage except for a few branches down in the front yard and some rain that came in the front of the house on both levels.  Here's a quick view of the branch clean-up ahead of us:

Unfortunately, our Richmond yard did not fare as well, but we were extremely fortunate that our home and cars were spared.  A large part of a tree came down right on our front porch during the first half of the storm.  Here's a view from our front door during the storm:

And here are a few other shots of the clean-up ahead of us.  The yard and driveway are so covered with branches and leaves that you cannot really tell where the driveway is.

We are also completely without power, as is most of Richmond, and the reports are saying it could take up to a week to restore power.  Minor inconveniences, really, in light of what could have happened.  We hope that everyone in Irene's path fared as well.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

No More Attic Floor (And a Job for Amee!)

Rob's been working on his own during the week to clear the attic of all ducts, electrical wiring, mechanical units, and floor boards.  Yes, floor boards.  When I arrived out at the house on the weekend, there wasn't anything left of the attic, including the floor - you can see all the way to the roof now (which leads to some potential interesting design possibilities for raised ceilings in the renovated home...).

All of this work in the attic led to an interesting find - a pile of old keys just fell out of the attic while he was working.  There are some interesting ones in the mix.

As he removed the attic floor boards, Rob had stacked all of them in a nice neat pile outside.  Not.

Each board was also chock full of nails.  My assignment was to remove the nails from each and every board and stack them neatly so that someone (probably not us) could use all this nice, rough cut lumber.  Rob even bought a nifty nail belt for me to wear for this particular job.  I actually suspect that he was just giving me busy work to keep me out of his way in the house, but I wasn't about to complain about being out in the sunshine, sans tyvek suit and face mask, and taking out my frustrations on the wayward nails and boards.  Of all jobs to date, this is the one I've enjoyed the most (notice the smile).

 Several hours of pounding and stacking later, and the boards were nail-free and in neat piles by size.

By the end of the day, my new nail belt was quite heavy with used nails and I was convinced I'd missed my true calling to be a carpenter. 

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Boathouse Blues

On a recent weekend out in Urbanna we made an unpleasant discovery about the boathouse while checking on our oysters - the floor was collapsing and the previous owners had left a lot of junk in the boathouse that was literally spilling out into the water.

We had to get the junk out of the water or risk littering and inviting a visit from the marine police.  Unfortunately, because the back half of the pier is deteriorating, the only access to the boathouse is via the water.  Luckily, Rob was game to jump right in, fully clothed.

The water was warm (like bathwater) and the jellies stayed away from him long enough to do a clean-up operation.  He pulled out the junk we could see floating and more kept following out behind it.

After about 45 minutes in the water on both sides of the boathouse he had handed all of the junk to me (I was nice and dry on the sturdy front half of the pier) and then we had to secure the floating floor.  Tide was low and the waterlogged wood was too heavy for me to get it up out of the water, so we settled for securing it to the strong part of the pier for now.  Clearly the boathouse will need a renovation of its own in short order.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Oyster Update

We've been oyster gardeners now for just shy of a month and we had no idea if our oysters had survived, died, served as food for a predator, or how they were doing.  Although we religiously flip the oyster bag over each week as we were instructed to do, the heavy growth of algae (which we were told to expect) makes it impossible to see how the oysters are doing.   So, on a bright sunny August day, we decided to pull them out, cut all the cable ties, and take a look.  Here's the algae covered float:

It was very suspenseful as we opened the bag...and much to our surprise, the oysters not only survived, but they seemed to be thriving in the water by our pier.  Here they are in the bottom of the bucket while we attempted (and failed) to get the algae scrubbed off the float:

In case you need to have your memory jogged as to our starting point, here's the size of the oysters we put in almost a month ago:

And here's where we are today - not bad at all!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

And the Walls Came Tumbling Down

We've been working on a multi-month project - the demolition of the plaster and drywall in the house.  In many cases, the walls and ceilings (as we had previously discovered in at least one room) were 2 and 3 layers thick, which did not lend itself to easy demo.  With help from a lot of people, we are "down to the studs" at this point in the main house and all that remains is a lot of insulation that needs to be removed.  The demo work was an absolute mess, and the weather this summer has not cooperated.  It's been a record hot summer and we just can't seem to catch a break from the humidity and heat index  - often well over 100.  In any event, here's some pictures of this long and involved (and hot and sweaty) project. 

First a few "before and after" shots.  Here's an upstairs bedroom:

The upstairs game room:

And the downstairs study:

The next few "stud shots" will illustrate the scope of this project.  With the walls and ceilings gone, you can see right through the house.  Here's two shots of the downstairs:

And one of the upstairs:

Of course, that much drywall and plaster weighs a lot, creates a big mess, and uses a lot of dumpters (5 and counting).  Here's a few shots of the debris created as the walls and ceilings came down:

The front yard at its worst:

And, finally, as you can see, we've made significant progress in the past few weeks getting the yard cleared and the debris into our revolving dumpsters (and I'm sure our neighbors appreciate us getting this done!):