Monday, February 15, 2016

thought for the day

so here is this great picture that needs a caption (or not, but I gave it one anyway), and that is the thought for the day, or your week, or your life! 

This my brother, Dave.
He is a great adventurer! He has been all over the world - Europe, Japan, South America, and all over the USA. I think he, and my other brother, Jeff, got all the adventure genes!

He took a kayaking trip to Bhutan in November of 2015  (If you want to see more, he has some videos of this trip on you-tube, MoabDaveRules). This picture was taken by Phil DeRiemer of Adventure Kayaking (if you are interested in taking a trip, go to

Dave is the person that took me on the two big travel adventures of my life. When I was home from college one Christmas, he stopped at the house to pick up some stuff for a trip he was taking to New Hampshire to spend a week with some friends at 'The Grant', a piece of wilderness belonging to Dartmouth College. They were going to stay at a cabin and do some cross country skiing.
He looked at me and said "do you want to go?" I still don't know what compelled me to say yes! I'm not crazy bout being cold or camping in any form. But I was 18 and I guess it sounded like fun at the time.
We grabbed some warm clothes and hopped in the car.

I had no skiing equipment, in fact, I had never cross country skied before. Dave said we could borrow some stuff from the college- skis, poles, boots and a backpack.
It was dark when we got there, and we had to ski a mile to get to the cabin. Remember, I have never done this before, and now I have a backpack on also. (never backpacked either!) I go about 4 feet and fall over sideways! They pick me up and I try again. I couldn't even make it out of the parking lot! So one of the guys skis in with his stuff, comes back out and gets my stuff and takes it for me. I don't remember how long it took to get to the cabin, but I got there!

The cabin was divided into 2 sections, the common area with a table, and (I think) a 'kitchen', and the sleeping quarters which consisted of bunks and a woodstove. There was an outhouse, but I have thankfully blocked that scenario out of my memory. It was COLD there, I think I shivered all night long!

The next day we skied to another cabin that was 100 miles away. Ok, it was only 5 or 8 or something like that. I did ok getting there, but I started getting blisters on my heals on the trip back. It was torture! Dave would ski ahead and come back to urge me on... he kept force feeding me cheese and gorp, his mantra was "EAT OR YOU'LL DIE"! And he kept saying "Not much farther, it's just around the next bend". NOT.
Well, I made it back to that cabin, but I wasn't in any shape to do any more skiing! I don't know what I did the rest of the week, but I remember being pretty ripe by the time we got back to civilization. My hair was really long then, almost to my knees, and I remember washing it 3 or 4 times before it felt clean again!

The next adventure was a motorcycle trip to Colorado. I had just graduated from college and didn't have any immediate plans, so Dave asked me to go west, young woman! Why not? Dave had bought a motorcycle from my other brother, Jeff. He went and got a motorcycle license just for this trip. We shipped a bunch of clothes via UPS to the house he was renting with some other people in Denver. And off we went.

The bike had only 1 muffler, it was very loud, and the chain had to be tightened every so often. We would ride about 8 hours a day, we stayed with college buddies of his on the way out. At the end of the 2nd day, we were at Bish Mumford's place in Indiana (I think) Dave said he lived on a pig farm. I pictured a farm like the one Wilbur lived on in Charlotte's Web. It was actually a commercial pig farm and it was huge. It was a beautiful place, big enough for Bish's mother to host horse jumping events. They were getting ready to host a wedding that upcoming weekend (we were there on a Wednesday), I would have loved to have stayed for it, the ceremony was going to be out in a field, with hay bales for seats. This was back in 1980 and I had never heard of anything like that!  Bish had a Rottweiler dog that was a real character, and he had his own place there with a pool and hot tub. We were there for 2 days, it broke the trip up nicely.

 The weather was good for the most part, but when we got to Kansas you could see the rain storm in the distance that you knew you were going to end up driving through. It was like those cartoon rain clouds!

I stayed in Denver for awhile (I really don't remember how long I was there, maybe a month?) had a sub-adventure of white water rafting, (I think it was a job that Dave was checking out, a rafting guide, which he did end up doing at a later date) which included camping in a tent and watching Dave get catapulted out of the raft when his paddle got stuck in between some rocks in the river, and he just waved and said "I'll catch up!" as the rest of us went merrily down the river, (while I was screaming "that's my brother!!!" and thinking I'd never see him again). He caught up and all ended well there.
He and his house mates did not have a lot of money, or stuff. They had a party one night and there were so few dishes and silverware that when one person got done eating, they would wash their dish and then pass it on to another person! It was quite an experience. He made guacamole for that party and actually got me to taste it! I'm glad I did, because I really like it. I'm surprised I tried it, because I am a really picky eater and guacamole is not the most appetizing looking food!
   I took a Greyhound bus back home which was WAY worse than the bike ride out!

I think those 2 trips got it all out of my system, because to this day, I am content to just hang out at home, no desire to go anywhere!

so, anyway, that's Dave. the most awesome brother there is.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

distillery doors

I can't remember why we started looking at doors so early in this whole project. That and the sink for the bathroom. The sink was the first thing we bought! More on that another time though.
So. The doors.
We found this awesome door on line called a speakeasy door. It was a heavy wooden door with a small window that had a metal grate over it. The ones we found on line were anywhere from $2,000 to $4,000. We went to Lowes and they did one of those estimates on their little computer design program, and when we got to the end of that process, the door was $4,900! We did look at some other entry door styles, but by now we've got our hearts set on this door.
Ok, we need to get creative, cause we are NOT spending that much money on a door. Besides, we need 2 doors!
Could I faux paint a plain door? Probably, but still not happy with that idea. Then I looked at our refrigerator, which we had covered with thin wainscott wood strips.

Maybe that would work, but would it hold up to outdoor conditions? We decided to do a 'practice' door on the back of our garage. There is a plain steel out-swing door that was just painted. So we bought some pine wainscott and I stained it with exterior stain and applied 3 coats of spar varnish. I think we did that in September, and it still looks great.

it looks pretty cool! even with that ugly door handle.

 We figured we give it a try for the distillery doors.....

We had to buy fire rated exterior doors that open out. These are steel insulated doors with the wire mesh in the glass window. Not very attractive...

We decided to go with the cedar wainscott instead of pine, we thought it might hold up better to the elements.

We laid out the panels and pre-cut everything to fit each door. I numbered and labeled the back of each piece so I would know which door the pieces went to.

The tongues did not fit into the grooves on a lot of the pieces, so Vince just cut the back edge of the groove off so they would butt up against each other. The front part of the groove still overlapped the tongue.

I put 1 coat of exterior stain on the back and 2 coats on the front, then 3 coats of exterior spar varnish. I also put 2 coats of dark brown exterior paint on the doors to help protect them just in case any water may get behind the wood, and if any of the door was not covered by the wood, it wouldn't be as noticeable.

We glued the strips of wood onto the doors with Gorilla brand glue, then put some heavy weights on there to hold it down while the glue set up.

We bought some fancy trim and cut that to fit around the window.

Stained, antiqued and varnished. Then we glued them to the doors.

Now to start the details! We bought these furniture tacks and Vince drilled tiny holes so the wood wouldn't split while putting them in. We added a dab of glue on the back of each tack for extra measure.

Drilling out the holes for the knob and deadbolt.

We got this garage door kit at Home Depot for $35.00. We had found some faux hinges on line but they were about $35 each! So we decided to go with these since the one kit would do both doors. 

I rubbed a little metallic copper paint on them to add a little character.

Vince had to chisel the wood out from where the door handle goes, the door was too thick for the latch shaft. We did not have that problem with our 'test' door on the garage. The deadbolt was fine.

The finished door, installed on the tasting room entrance. We are looking for a cool dragon doorknocker to put on it.

This the one on the distillery entrance, Vince put one of the door pulls on for a doorknocker.

We are really happy with the way they came out, they ended up costing about $650 each by the time we got done, not including the latches (they were $130 each). I think they will make a great first impression when people come up!