Tuesday, December 29, 2009


As the year winds to a close, our cabin lay snug in its new outer coat: a new roof, siding, and windows! The siding sports a light gray primer, it will be a darker gray next spring. The focus now points inward: we need ceiling insulation in the addition, and a ceiling throughout most of the cabin. We can't afford to completely sheetrock the place - holy cow is that expensive!!! So we're painting the paneling (wood lover that I am - I never DREAMED I would paint like this). First, two coats of Bins. Smelly stuff, but very affective. Then two coats of latex satin paint. Aaaahhhh! The ceilings in the den and the entry kitchen (when you first enter the cabin) are existing old stuff that is filthy and would be difficult to replace. So: two coats of Bins and some ceiling white, and an amazing transition!! Heck, I even slept in the cabin this past weekend. And I survived with all digits intact! We're headed back down in a couple of days - to celebrate my birthday and dig clams for three straight days! Yahooooooo!

Monday, December 14, 2009

A Year in Review...

Earlier this year we started out here... Now look! This past winter..... And now! Another older view....notice Michele's respirator! And now.... And now the work inside has also begun....Binz (or however it's spelled) - think super killz odor/mildew/ super sealer.....applied in the old den (soon to be guest room) The den....at the beginning! Just look at it now!!!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

All Done

Originally uploaded by spinpygora

Here's the new fireplace door all installed. It has two bifold glass doors and that chain-mail type curtain inside (cuz you can't have a fire in there with the glass doors closed!)

I uploaded this iPhone photos to Flickr, then tried to paste them into my blogger software. This used to be very easy to do. Apparently too easy and caused problems, so now you have to link your Flickr acct to the Blogger account and you end up posting single photos in a blog entry.

I am NOT liking this! Photos look much better uploaded to hardrive,. then uploaded to web server. What a pain.....

It's About Time!

Originally uploaded by spinpygora

I've not been to the beach cabin since September. Holy cow! My work/personal schedule for October was horrendous...and I've nobody to blame but myself for the most part.

The siding and window job has not yet begun. I know the contractor wanted to be helpful, but sheesh, if you're not going to get to the job until after hunting season - TELL ME! Believe it or not, I'd rather have the truth the first time rather than after the fact. Needless to say, when we stopped by to talk to the contractor at his place of business.....I stayed in the truck. That was probably better for all parties at this point(!)

So the siding/window job is starting on Monday (it'saboutime!). They really do wonderful work - I just hate slipping deadlines. Also getting a quote on insulation/sheetrock for the ceilings.

We did go to the beach this past Wednesday. I took a day off, partially because I wanted to go to the beach, and partially to spend the day with Gary. Between my work hours and his hunting schedule, we'd not had a decent conversation for two weeks...and they'd had 100 mph wind gusts at the beach - we were concerned.....

The cabin survived the high winds just fine. We did have some water on the new subflooring in front of the fireplace and on either side. We'd taped up the opening of the fireplace with heavy plastic, but it was not enough for those strong winds. Lucky for us, our new fireplace door had arrived, and we spend the morning installing it!

Friday, October 9, 2009

As Promised...

A photo of the new roof....and the rotten siding.......and the jungle of vegetation...... New siding begins in two weeks! Yay! That includes new windows!!! We cannot keep grinning at our new roof!!!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Ruh-Roh! Or Maybe TMI??

Ok, that is Scooby-Doo for "uh-oh". I've spent the better part of my entire life on septic systems. Hmmm, that previous sentence sounds like I've got medical issues..... What I mean to say is everywhere I've ever lived (college and Longview being the only exceptions), my places of residence have been on a septic tank/drainfield. This is not a hardship as long as the system is properly maintained. You know what's coming here, don't you? A little voice kept whispering to me that the beach cabin septic system has likely not been maintained (a fair assumption given the physical condition of the cabin itself). When we removed a portion of the floor in front of the fireplace, we both scooted underneath looking for uh, more boxes, and perhaps buried treasure. My dad had been told his father's silver dollar collection was underneath the house. No treasure (how sad....) or boxes (thankgoodness!) but off in the distance towards the back of the house, I could see a small pile of what looked like, uh, toilet paper. Ok. Fine. Let's call the plumber. We are NOT going to deal with this ourselves. Yep- the sewer line under the original cabin is in good shape, the sewer line under the addition was not glued together and has come apart under duress. Duress? Oh yeah, a MAJOR case of ivy in the sewer lines has caused our plumbing issues. Where is that septic tank, anyhow? Just north of the deck. Where are the cleanouts? Oh yeah, UNDER the deck. Guess who has a new trapdoor feature to their deck. Uh-huh, that would be us. This is not a casual ivy problem, this is largishly thick woody stems in the septic tank and into the sewer pipes. This has been an issue for several YEARS by the look of things. The tank itself is in good shape with a rather thick and sturdy metal lid which is in remarkeable shape considering its age! The plumbers, bless their hearts, dug deep holes beneath the house and removed "the evidence". The bathroom smells much nicer - oh, especially after the plumbers removed the toilet (it was merely sitting on top the pipe, not fastened (!), installed a new flange and wax seal before properly seating the toilet. So, in my best "bathroom humor voice" I am happy to report we have an audible water-feature sound....at least until the tank fills up. No photos for this post! Roof photos coming later..... We are on the contractors list for our new windows and Hardie plank siding! Yay!!! I feel like renting that Tom Hanks moving "The Money Pit".....

Monday, September 21, 2009

September Update

The summer is almost over. It's been an interesting one, filled with numerous trips to the transfer station (sounds much nicer than dump, doesn't it?). I continue to be amazed that it took us an entire summer to empty the cabin. It's not entirely empty, there is some furniture and a smallish collection of boxes. "Smallish" is a relative term - but believe me - this is smallish! I want to restate that I am a packrat. Yes, I am. Yet this cabin has cured me. I never dreamed I would be so toss-happy. My grandmother would be horrified and I remain a bit surprised myself. It has been a loosely organized tossing - some items being immediately tossed while others kept for awhile before being classified as needing-to-be-tossed.
Michele likes Gary's new tool kit!
I am happy to report that we've moved into Phase Two: cleaning and ripping. Our many thanks to fellow family members for all the labor day weekend help. They claim they didn't do much. We feel much differently about that! Any and all help is extremely appreciated!! I know they wanted to do more - ripping and tearing and helping us get squared away before winter comes. However, the dreaded M word became a reality. M=money, or lack thereof.....
Mom & Bruce removing the old, smelly ceiling tiles in the loft
Jon & Bruce removing more ceiling tiles - they're all gone now! (the tiles, that is...)
Yet, with a leaking roof, cracked windows and rotten siding - we felt the need to borrow money to get the little cabin secured before winter. Now we have remodeling money and our help has gone home. Let nobody ever accuse me of good timing. The roof is to be professionally installed within the next two weeks. Then siding and windows. Even with this on the horizon, we felt the need to make some emergency repairs - some of which can be kept as permanent repairs.
Gary undoing some wiring before we begin ripping - right wall
Left wall - before rippping
Yes - our little beach cabin lost some of its charm this past weekend. Oh, I can still foresee many great beach weekends with family and friends - these outings will be made much richer knowing we busted our butts to make it all happen.
This is why we were ripping.....
I was reminded this weekend how much I dislike carpentry. With sewing and knitting there is ease. Not so with plywood, floor underlayment, and hardi-board. But the large gaping holes in the floor/walls needed to go. I'm not excited about having another Willard siting and I'm thinking Gary isn't, either.
All the yukky stuff is gone...but now we must work fast before night falls!
But we're now relieved we made these repairs - the house smells even better now - sort of like a lumberyard. The moldy, rotten floor underlayment was smelly!
Ripping up that floor was NOT fun - and it took the Fein tool, the sawzall, and the skill saw! New wood looks (and smells!) nice!! Look, ma! No holes!
The last item we had to complete? The HUGE hole in the floor where the mover fell through when packing up grandma's things. I remember her being sooooo indignant when he damaged her floor! Sheesh! And finally (and we do mean FINALLY!) ALL DONE! Ok, except for leveling the floor surface and recovering it with something....Gary's leaning towards Pergo - and I'm unsure about that.
(ignore the plastic leaf bag nailed to the left window - it's a temporary location for garbage collection) Did I mention we are extremely happy this is behind us?????

Saturday, August 22, 2009

rippin' and a grinnin'

Ok, maybe not grinnin....

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

You Know You've Been to the Dump too Often When...

You bet your spouse for who comes closest to the total bill. And you get pretty damned good at guessing the amount. We broke our personal best on Tuesday. The dump personnel recognize you and ask if the cabin is empty yet??? Seriously! We thought we were done with major dump hauls. Not so - we had forgotten the rotten cans of fruits and veggies and meat in the meat locker. There was also at least 20 POUNDS of white sugar in gallon mayo jars. Yeesh! That was a seriously barfy load. I'll spare you the gory details. It was NASTY! Just when we thought we had a load, we discovered at least 20 small boxes up in the rafters in the bedroom. No kidding. It is just insane! We found about 10 rolls of adding machine paper. Heh. And all but 4 boxes went straight to the trailer to haul away. Old styrofoam projects that were not completed, mice/squirrel-chewed boxes of ribbon, and my personal fav: the disco Christmas ball (large styrofoam ball covered in Nyquil-style clear medicine cups, edged w/glitter). The four boxes we kept? Old glass Christmas ball ornaments. Some very 60's and look more like easter eggs than Christmas ornaments. Oh, and we have two artificial Christmas trees (I think...) Gary was trying to figure out how to get beneath the new section of the cabin. I suggested cutting an opening in the meat locker floor. Seemed like a good idea - great plumbing access. Well, after we cleared enough crap that we could actually SEE the floor, aha! I had such a good idea, somebody else had beat me to it. Behind the meat locker door is a trap door for entering the crawl space. The funny part of the crawl space is....... .....yeah, Gary spotted another BOX! And, ahem, several empty whiskey bottles!!!!! Photos soon, I hope.... Terry

Monday, August 17, 2009

I just can't believe it....

There's stuff in the rafters!! We found a real gem yesterday..... One of those old thick albums full of cabinet cards!! Too bad it's not the Harris side... It's the Pearce side...

Friday, August 7, 2009

What's Missing, Part 2

I meant to include some photos - but not yet - takes too much time I don't have right now. Went back to work yesterday - right into a 16 hr shift (and I'm getting too old to pull 16 hr shifts!!!). (stupid blogger - even tweaking the html code, this stupid thing won't break into separate paragraphs!!!!)
Ok - the dead refrigerator is gone! We had not even thought about the washer/dryer, but we'd tossed enough crap that we could finally get to them...the washer had "clean" clothes in it. A 5 yr old load of laundry(!). The dryer was completely rusted inside....ick.....and I had found the receipts for all three of these appliances! They were purchased in 1971. When we'd moved the washer aside, you could see where the gearcase oil had dumped all over the floor. Ok - that was it - all were destined for our favorite destination: the penninsula transfer station!!!
We hauled countless books (I LOVE books - this about killed me) that were moldy beyond mention. We also tore down the old pressboard wardrobe in the bedroom. I had emptied it of clothing and knew it was falling apart and moldy. I had no idea that it was contributing about 95% of the mold smell in the bedroom!
Both defunct music organs are gone, the couch in the study was extremely gross! Hairy white mold all over the back of it (barf!) - ditto with the old tv unit. I was not happy about having to toss this stuff - but it had become quite clear that they were ruined beyond the point of rescue -how horribly sad....
The net result? We got up Wednesday morning and went to the house to make morning coffee. Wow! While there is still a very slight musty odor, it is such a huge improvement that made all this work worthwhile. We both felt pretty satisfied with what we've done and both feel more confident we can rescue this old cabin!
Next trip: tearing out the ceiling tiles in the addition.... Estate situation: still fighting MLynch. Sending income tax stuff to CPA. Likely will have to pay some State of Oregon Estate tax. Both atty and myself hoping for dispursement by Dec 09 at the latest....

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

let's play what's missing!

We're hoping to have made the last of the "major" dump runs! The house is actually becoming more bearable. Oh sure, there is a slight musty odor, but what a huge improvement!

Am going to see if any of my photos can be uploaded using this new app...
Can't get photo part to work just yet. Guess I'll have to do that at home.

And I say, the more, the merrier - hoping you can all come over for the holiday weekend!

Mobile Blogging from here.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

blogging from the beach

Just checking out my new blogger app for the ever-handy iPhone.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Odds & Ends...

The conservators have finally turned the whole estate over to me. Oh joy. I have expired checks to deal with. I have two brokerage firms to deal with. And I found more money. It was shockingly simple. It's a wonder the conservators didn't find it - it took 5 minutes on the computer. Heck, they could've billed us for an hour! There is a website within the WA DOR (dept of revenue) - am sure there's something similar in OR and ID (I did check) for unclaimed money. According to the nice lady at the bank, Grandma had a CD there. It had matured, so they sent her a letter. Then they wait a year. No response? Send another letter. WA state requires them to do this 3 successive years. If no response, the money is turned over to the state. Just another sign of how far grandma's mental health had slid. WA state is sending the estate a whopping $119,000 or so within the next two weeks. Too bad I can't have a finder's fee!!! Hmmm, what else? I am waiting on the two brokerage firms to assess the value of the accounts on the day of grandma's death. Then my attorney can set the value of estate - and see if it falls into any higher category of estate tax (hope not). Then, while my tax person files her income taxes - then I believe the monies can be distributed. Whew! Of course I'm also waiting for numerous checks to be reissued (the conservators let them expire - they were horrible!). Oh, the two safe deposit boxes in Long Beach? I had keys for both (thankgoodness!). Heh. Both were empty....?? And we did get to chat with the gal that lives across the street from our cabin. Apparently approx a year ago, there were some "squatters" who did, indeed break in through one of the windows. She had called the police. They were there only two days - maybe they were partially responsible for the mess inside?? We have secured the windows, so that won't be a future problem. And that old pillbox style toilet and corner sink? G-O-N-E, GONE!! Off the Portland with a very nice gal!! Woo-hoo!! Gotta love Craig's List!!!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Conquering the Kitchen

My grandmother liked to cook - up until she began struggling with poor health. I'm guessing there were at least 200 cookbooks at the beach cabin. Lucky for me, my brother-in-law is a major foodie and I let him have at the cookbook pile! He took what he wanted, I took a couple of the leftovers and the rest are in a couple of boxes, still at the cabin... When I think of weekend retreat, cabin-style, I'm not thinking of lots of creative cooking. Not.at.all! Yet I could, there are many unique, and rather dated pieces of equipment at our disposal - I'm especially fond of the food grinder... Not sure about the mixer, though....or the vintage corning warmer set.... Yet, amongst these old relics, we have a fairly new stove at the cabin. But it was a mess, and we were unsure about keeping it. (ok, someone at work told me a horror story about somebody fixing up an abandon cabin and used the oven. To their dismay, the mice had made a nest in the insulation in the oven walls....really, really smelled awful.....YUCK!). The oven itself inside was quite clean (don't think it got much use). The outside was a disaster and we both thought it was severely pitted with rust dots. Gary offered to attempt to clean it while I was cleaning another box of dishes. You can see towards the back of the photo, the stove is coming CLEAN! Hmmm, perhaps all that crap on the stove is food residue....eeeeewwwweee..... Just look at it now!!!! And we actually used it last weekend.....!!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Old Beach Photos...

We spent a day and a half at the beach during the 4th. I didn't have to work all weekend - just part of it and had to check-in semi-regularly. Ugh. Anyhow - we took the camper to the beach, set it up, and for once enjoyed being down there without working at a grinding pace. More about that in my next post. I remember being at the beach for the 4th of July one year - can't recall what year...1969? 1970? And I have few memories. I do remember it being quite fun. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves this year: two lawnchairs, a sleeping bag (it was COLD), some nice wine, sitting on the beach, enjoying everyone else's firework displays. It was awesome!! Then when we'd had enough, we picked up our stuff and toddled back to the camper. Perfect!! I found some old photos of a visit to the beach cabin labeled June 1970. I do remember being there when our cousins were there as well. Grandma had remarked on these photos - that this was the last time the whole family was together (except my cousin Lori). Loren and Leon weren't there, either, so not sure what she meant.... Anyhow! Here is my dad and grandpa Walt. These photos were taken at the cabin BEFORE the addition was put up. So...these two are standing in the front area between where the washer/dryer are now and the big stainless sink! The breaker panel is behind where my grandfather is standing... This next photo is of myself, my little sister Kris, and our two cousins, Gerry and Terry Lee. This is outside on the nw corner of the cabin. Wow! You can see the ground!!! No jungle yet!!! The last photo is of my other sister Michele. She is having her hair combed by aunt Millie. The really cool thing about this photo is that she is sitting at the tiled counter on one of the metal stools still at the cabin. But look behind her! You can see the old fireplace stand right in the middle of that area - and to the right of the photo, you see the wall - there is no opening to enter the fireplace area - because it hasn't been built yet!!!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

You Never Know....!

On a lark I placed our "pillbox style" vintage toilet and tank on Craigslist. Why not? Heh. It took a grand total of two days to get a hit from a lady in north Portland. Hmmmm....cross your fingers! We need to raise some cabin-repair money!!!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Fun Never Ends....

Last weekend we took a well-deserved break! I went schlepping fiber down to the Black Sheep Gathering in Eugene while Gary went "June hog" fishing. We were back at it again this weekend - and the weather at the beach was glorious! The detached shop was in camouflage earlier this year... Then Gary did the weed-whacking magic. Oh look, there's a big pile of gravel....hmmm...looks like WAY too much to shovel manually (ugh!). So we took Mr. Kubota to the beach. Now look at the shop! Wow~ For those who failed to notice in the previous post...that hot water heater inside the house does NOT have a safety relief valve. Someone removed it and inserted a pipe plug. Brilliant. Time bomb! So we leave the power off to that baby for now! We were happy to see the hot water heater in the meat locker does, indeed, have a safety relief valve. However! We didn't think it would leak on us so soon.....good thing the floor needs replaced anyhow... I found a rather ancient fan upstairs - and wow! It still works - and dried up the floor almost all the way over the weekend. While Gary was cleaning up the back driveway, I went forward and scrubbed the kitchen. I did not get done...and uh, I did SCRUB that floor. Still looks dingy. It will likely come up within the year - I dislike floor tiles with indented designs in them - they collect dirt and are difficult to keep clean. I like SMOOTH, FLAT floor tiles. Just sayin'.... Here's the before shot (ICKY) Here's the after....(that dark crap on the counter above? Years of instant coffee spills...gag... Then there was the front bathroom. We had the proper tools this time and managed to remove all the fixtures!!! Yay!!! Oh, and my grandmother had kept sort of a household inventory. There was an "overjohn" cabinet in the bathroom. She acquired this lovely item in 1974 from "Green Stamps"! Here's Gary after removing all the fixtures... There is alot of mold in here - heck, even on the wall behind the toilet tank... We now have some temporary lawn ornaments: And then there was more plumbing...... Outside, under an old cover we discovered this relic... and after much head-scratching and sand digging, we are happy to know that this is an old water source from a sand point. Whew! The ugly outside water pipe wrapped in a blanket, tied with electrical tape had to go. Gary installed a new hydrant. How can you tell if you have a water leak? You check the water meter, of course! And, at the end of a very long, dirty day....you celebrate! Who picked out the wine? Gary did...he liked the label. And yeah, you guessed it. The beach cabin is now dubbed the "Fish House". And yeah, it's a pretty good Chardonnay from Walla Walla. What's up for next weekend? Numerous dump trips (again)....