Custom Classic Construction, Inc.
A personal view of us & our business
Click on a year below for older posts
I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America,
and to the Republic for which it stands,
one Nation under God,
indivisible, with liberty and justice for all
No cookies this year...I have been baking cookies as treats for my neighbors for decades and never had any problems until today.
First batch I forgot the eggs. They crumbled into dust when I took them off the tray. No fixing that...I took a break and went back at it.
Then this happened on the second try
I have no idea what I did wrong this time.
I smelt burning sugar opened the oven door and this is what I found. In under 3 minutes in the oven it was a puddle
Frosty with a patriotic theme.
Growing some lettuce and tiny Tim tomatoes under lights
"Otto" the otter is so entertaining and photogenic.
Another video of one of Otto's visit to the pond
Click the link:
Rebecca ( Jim's sister) surprised us with one of her beautiful hand crafted creations on Thanksgiving.
Today we gave it a place in our sunroom. We love it!
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and we are going to celebrate it with Jim's sister Rebecca and her husband Mike.
I am putting together a fairly simple menu
It of course will all be made from scratch and CARB heavy but that seems to be what the family enjoys.
Crackers and Cheese
Turkey with Gravy
Sausage Herb Stuffing with apples celery and onion
Parker house Rolls
Rex-Goliath Pinot Grigio
Apple Pie with Vanilla ice cream
Cherry pie bites
For me Thanksgiving is more than the festivities as much as I do enjoy cooking and entertaining, it gives me time to ponder upon what lessons I've learnt and to look back at all the great memories and good people who brought joy into my life.
On the 11th day
at the 11th hour
in the 11th month
The Great war ended and this day would be called Armistice Day
On the 11th day at the 11th hour in the 11th month we take a moment of silence to remember all of our Veterans.
To all that have served past and present in the armed forces to protect my liberties.
I thank you for your service.
Today is my friend Bonnie birthday.
She not only shares the same birthday as our Marine corp. Her son Christopher enlisted in the Marines after graduation.
Semper Fi Marines
Thank you always being there
For your sacrifices while keeping us safe and protecting our liberties!
Happy (247th) Birthday to our brave men and women that make up our Marine Corp
Right in the middle of processing pumpkin for the pressure canner I hear water dripping under the sink Fortunately I keep a bucket under the drain line so I did not flood the cabinet
The connector from the sink to the drain link had rotted and completely separated from the sink.
It was installed when we remodeled the kitchen in 2008 Just another example of the inferior quality of stuff today.
We had a leftover cap from another job and started to install it when the drain pipe crumbled ( nothing is ever simple around here) so ....... off to my "favorite" store Phillips Hardware in Guilderland Center, John the store manager looked at our bucket of cracked and broken drain pipe pieces and quickly set us up with parts needed to repair the sink drain.
Jim went right to work on getting me back up and running.
I got back to work on processing the pumpkins.
6- quarts of cubed pumpkin
1/2 gallon plus about a pint of roasted pumpkin puree that today I will make a few pumpkin breads, a couple of ziplock bags for making pumpkin pies this winter and 2 cups will go into tonight's dinner.A recipe ( new to me) from Racheal Ray called "Pasta with pumpkin and sausage".
Unfortunately this is the only decent picture I took while I watch the eclipse unfold this morning.
Blood Moon lunar Eclipse!
Happy Birthday Kim!
Gator is ready for Jim to work his magic
Looked out this morning and we had a visitor at the pond.
A short video of his visit
He hung around all morning. When I spotted him grooming and basking on the bank I was blessed to be able to snap off a few more photos. He was very cooperative.
Sadly I noticed in a few of the pictures when I zoomed in that he had been attacked by something that left several bite wounds in his hind quarters.
He has moved on and hopefully ate enough of our crayfish and frogs to help him in his recovery .
Every chance we get we work on firewood for the 2023/2024 heating season.
We need a total of about 6 1/2 cord to heat both the house and shop each winter.
Picked up some straw for our Autumn display Very pricey this year at $9 per bale. Fortunately I only needed 2.
On my walk around the pond. I am always in awe of what I see.
Colors of October after a very dry summer are absolutely beautiful
Another shade of orange. This time it is from our first carrot from our third planting in the greenhouse.
A day set aside to acknowledge Christopher Columbus's landing in the new world on October 12, 1492 on an island in the Bahamas.
There is only limited knowledge of what pre -Columbus America was like but it did include war, slavery and plenty of brutality. History is the story of conquest.
We may not like it, but it is our shared heritage .
We should all agree the best parts of humanity include that sense of discovery and the spirit of exploration.
It took tremendous bravery to sail off in the unknown as it did for the Native Americans that walk the land bridge from Asia to the new world.
The holiday needn't be a battleground, but a chance to celebrate the best within us.
Talked to my sister They are ok! Never lost power but they have no water and cell phone is sketchy.
They lost a few tiles from their roof and lots of trees down in the neighborhood but overall feeling very lucky.
Installed the kick plate on both front and back doors.
Stained the snow shoe rack and the bench cobble brown to match our trim
Spread out a few more loads of crusher run to make the step off the porch comfortable.
For the landing we decided on a stone from our collection of flat rocks that used to be part of our original kitchen path
My sister and her husband live in North Fort Meyers (at about 27 ft above sea level )They are hunkered down with their 2 cats and my niece's dog to ride out Ian
She sent me this image as we were talking about this massive slow moving almost a CAT 5 hurricane.
Our Mom was our Girl Scout troop leader so in general we are always thinking ahead and have supplies at the ready for most emergencies situations.
No last minute running around for her only to find the shelves empty or people in a panic with attitudes..
Our prayers go out to all of the people that will be effected by Ian.
Storm Doors are installed
With Hurricane season upon us We wanted to get the dry firewood
to the Shop porch before it rained.
6 trips with the Gator equals 1 cord This wall holds 5 loads
The posts are 8 ft apart which means another full cord of dry firewood
It took us 6 1/2 hours to move it.
We can check one more thing off our winter prep list. The house and shop are ready for the coming heating season.
Jim filling the Gator with the last load to complete the stack
Jim installed the deck boards and touched up the stain on the house and barn beam.
The ramp is temporary. It will be replaced by a lower deck that we will do later.
No matter what the project Jim not only concerns himself with structural integrity but the aesthetics
He even routed the edges of the end
"Fit and Finish" Another a beautiful job!
Meanwhile I was able to process some our our pepper harvest. I put together a small batch of Cowboy Candy
A few jars of my version of Frank's Hot sauce
and froze sliced sweet peppers that I will vacuum seal in 1/2 lb bags in the morning.
Leveled out the area with crusher run and started the rebuild.
At that point I took a tumble in a "gopher " hole and twisted my ankle. Jim finished leveling off the stone and built the frame work for the new deck by himself while I iced down my ankle.
He also temporarily laid down the planking and reinstall the ramp at the end of the day for Jasper since we knew it was going to rain all day on Thursday.
Over the last 3 days we moved 3 1/2 cord of wood to the woodshed
Next project is to tear off the old front porch
Today Jim built the potting shed a rack to store all of the seed starting supplies.
I weeded, harvested carrots. peppers and cabbage for the freezer I also prepped the beds for planting
Pulled a few of the tomato plants that were done producing and cleaned up the south side of the center bed.
Spent the balance of the day getting the carrots ready to process for the freezer in the morning.
Finished the trim shortly before the clouds rolled in and it started to rain.
We are done with stain for the year.
Waiting on the storm doors before we can remove and refinish the front door.
God Bless America
Adding to the pantry every week I am able to cook off tomato sauce
And today I made a big batch of salsa
We still have the deck roof fascia and deck boards to stain but since we have not settled on a design for the railings we moved to the front to keep our forward progress going.
Before we could paint the three kitchen windows they needed some repair.
While the windows are out Jim replaced the gaskets.
Broke down the scaffolding and moved it to the front of the house.
Reset Scaffolding and stained the short wall
Painted the foundation
Removal in 2014
Video: Chimney take down
Fixing fascia board where our decommissioned Monarch side by side wood furnace's chimney was strapped against the house
Ready for trim and foundation paint
Today after we finished scraping peeling paint and removed the old window gaskets on the two windows on the south wall. Jim gave them a coat of of the cobble brown trim color stain.
Then we tore down the scaffolding and reset for the east wall
It was a shorter day but Jim did get the fascia boards and windows caulked. All of the equipment moved to the deck and we are ready for 1st coat of stain in the morning.
We are waiting on the paint for the basement windows
We are craving BLT's for dinner.
So I started the day by baking a loaf of bread.
And the staining begins. I spray and Jim back rolls. it is a good system for us:
The mason scaffolding works great for terrain with no more than an 16" drop so at the end of the day with a little creative thinking we set up for tomorrow this way.
Ready for stain
After looking at the "chaos" Jim decided we needed to make a change so ....
We ran for lumber and started to enclose the area
Removed our 'Catch all" bench. We will rethink the area and perhaps add shelving later.
Tomorrow we will install the battens and layout for the windows
The Black eyed Susan's are thriving in the heat
Tomatoes are starting to ripen.
Our first batch of sauce went into the water bath canner this morning.
Cooled and ready to go into the pantry.
Getting the scaffolding loaded up so we can get started on our next project.
The Kubota is a blessing! It makes quick work of moving the parts needed and saving our energy for erecting it.
Jim has been experimenting with different products to fill the voids in the redwood siding and repair any rot or bee damage he finds in the trim.
Even in the shade it has been very hot so time working outside is limited to a couple of hours each day.
Getting started preserving our harvest
Starting with a batch of Polish Dill Pickles
The last of the road lily flowers
Not really a flower but sure is a pretty sight. This is the first time I so far am having success growing Red Cabbage.
Since we still have to purchase and install cap shingles we decided to leave the scaffolding set up.
We were finished by 1:30
With several working hours left to the day Jim got the CNC operating software working correctly. For the last 2 weeks we thought it was an issue with my design software. Very frustrating.
With the CNC machine functioning properly it was time to do a test run on a sign I had promised to make for Boy Scout camp.
The first step was to write a surface plane program for the rough cut pine board.
And then a letter test run on some scrap MDF checking size and spacing.
I think it will look better if I make the letters a little thicker and a double space between the rows.
Funny how I can clearly see my vision in a cabinet design on paper but this sign making is new to me and will require more practice.
Today has 2 meanings for us,
#1 Our wedding anniversary
#2 The start up of our business 37 years ago.
With the beautiful weather forecasted it would be a great time to start on the shingles.
We set the scaffolding.
We are glad we do not have to be motivated by our working years motto of "Time is Money".
Now we go by "Slow and steady". It took 5 1/2 hours to install a little over 2-1/2 square of shingles.
Today marks the birth of the greatest nation in the world!
Happy Birthday America!
Signing of the
Declaration of Independence!
as read by Max Mclean
Finally done with staining a few of the buildings
Jim cutting in the last of the trim color
A quick walk through the high tunnel
Using some left over rough cut pine Jim put together a Box that I lined with plastic to use on the seed starting rack.
Head lettuce struggles in the greenhouse so we decided to grow it under lights inside where it is much cooler.
So far so good.
We were finally ready to start spraying stain Jim manned the spray gun and I followed with a 6" roller driving the stain into the wood. It was a long hot day in the sun.
First coat is completed by the end of the day on .....
The Tool shed
The compost Bin:
And the Kubota Run-in
We will take tomorrow off to recuperate and I will order more stain on Monday.
Sunrise this morning was spectacular
Robin babies fledged this morning!
A day to honor our national Flag!
May she forever wave!
Over View of the Greenhouse
Second planting of Broccoli
First pod has formed
Mortgage lifter Tomatoes
Lest they be forgotten
First some pretty flowers to attract the bees.
Navajo Sunset Agastache
Working on the drywell
New 10 ft section of pipe was needed.
Since we are mostly clay we were advised to increase efficiency of evaporation to add a larger stone holding area around the tank for the kitchen sink and dishwasher waste water to flow into and this time we will add a layer of fabric before replacing the soil to keep it from filtering down into the stones and ruining the system.
Ready for me to order a load of #2 stone
It was time to fill up the truck and a few gas cans.
Need I say more ............
Tophat Blueberry Bush is in flower
Garlic: Planted two beds last fall
Lettuce for "cut and come again" is up
Spinach is starting to germinate
Transplanted the broccoli, cabbage.cauliflower and beets:
Cauliflower are already starting to form heads
Dill self seeded from last year
I made some fresh baked torpedo rolls for our Grilled Sausage with onion and pepper sandwiches. we are having for supper.
We spent the day working on taking down two damaged Aspen trees and getting them bucked up into lenght, split and stacked for firewood. We yielded enough to fill one bunk and started the next one.
Continued progress on the Master bedroom
As of this morning:
Still have to rewire all the outlets
And for the ceiling we are ordering Armstrong's tongue and groove planks to cover the existing 1970's vintage Popcorn ceiling
First attempt at fresh milled hard white wheat bread
The loaf was very dense and to dry for our liking.
I have a lot to learn.
Next time I will substitute a cup or two of all purpose flour along with a few tablespoons of vital wheat gluten in hope that will make the dough softer.
"May your Troubles be less.
And your Blessings be more.
And nothing but Happiness come through your door"
Over the last few days we got the master bedroom painted and the bay window completed except for the cased opening trim
We again could not find the moldings we needed so Jim ordered the cutters to make up the baseboard, plinth and base blocks 2 different style fluted casings and the head pieces. and a new spray tip to paint all of it along with the shelves.
We also still need prime and paint the actual crank out parts of the windows but that will have to wait until warmer weather when we can leave them open to dry
Snowed last night
Sometimes I prefer Black and White.
Dropping the ceiling down to give us a way to finish off the cased opening Jim fabricated 6" V groove boards
At the end of the day the ceiling is installed the head board over the window and the sill is done
Still have to install the apron for the window and case out the opening,
We can not find anyone that has our fluted casing so Jim ordered a set of cutters to make them.
Tomorrow we run for paint.
This entire area will be painted the same white we use for the casings and baseboards.
The walls for the bedroom will be
Benjamin Moore Classic Rockport Gray HC-105
Next up the left side
Here is the area. That triangle area is the siding on the house No insulation at all None in the ceiling either.
The reveal on the window verses the cased opening area is not equal. Jim will have to build out the opening to square it up
The previous owner simply cut the bookcase shelves out of square and cleated them to the wall to fit the space.
Left side had to be built out 1- 1/2" to square up the opening to the window.
The previous owner paid attention and got the right side much closer. A few shims and Jim got the new bookcase squared up,
Case installed and face frames on
There are so many 'issues" with the walk out bay area The bookcases have to be built in place in order to make the many adjustments to the face frames to make the area something we can be proud of.
We believe that they should make a "must be licensed" to work in the home building field mandatory. You cannot practice medicine, law or even cut hair without one. This walk out bay area was a homeowner add on and it is a mess.
None of it is level, plumb or square
8 hours later at least a dozen trips to the shop to mill up pieces Jim has it under control and it is coming together well. The easier of the two sides is built.
Sleep eluded me last night so instead of tossing and turning I decided to just get up and bake.
Black Bottom Cake
And torpedo rolls.
Now I am tired.
Sorry no pictures of the work so far
We are remolding the master bedroom. We started by removing the original 1970 carpeting, wallpaper and paneling.
Then proceeded to rip up the particle board that was under the carpet and ran hardwood flooring.
Jim skim coated the walls. They were in rough shape from sanding the adhesive that was used to glue the paneling to the wall.
Over the weekend we primed the walls
Seed rack is looking great!
Cauliflower, Cabbage and Broccoli have adjusted to the transplanting into the solo cups.
Beets are up
The spring growing season starts.
Planted 3 starter trays during the Wolf moon ( January 15th)
Broccoli, Cauliflower, Cabbage variety of sweet and hot peppers and a variety of Lettuce
First of the seeds have germinated
Started my day by baking a loaf of crusty bread. I will use any excuse to turn the oven on when it is this cold.
Happy New Year!