Came up a little after 4:00 pm with a full truck bed of tools and building materials. Warmer and more humid than I expected. I wasn’t here five minutes and a UPS truck rolled up the driveway. The experiment worked! Amazon and UPS consider this a valid shipping address, so I got a new TV antenna for my trailer delivered right to Puckaway. I unloaded my tools, the new storm door for my trailer, and the salvaged countertops I got for free on craigslist and went hunting for a pole I could use to hang the antenna.
I found three pipes of varying diameters and built an antenna mast. I drilled through the two larger pipes about two feet from the end and ran bolts through. This let the next smaller pipe “stack” inside and netted me about 30 feet of overall height for the antenna. I temporarily strapped the pole to the side of the deck, hooked up the TV, and scanned for channels. I was able to pull CBS, ABC, and FOX from Madison. Not bad for $30. I’m sure I could get more channels if I could raise the antenna even further, but I had more pressing tasks ahead.
First on the agenda was to finish up a project from earlier this summer. I cut the power to the pole barn and hooked up the new outdoor outlet. This one should be much better protected from the elements. After that, I refilled the bird feeders by my trailer and spread some whole-kernel corn. The feeders were empty and the corn from last time was completely gone, so the word must be out. Ran into town for beer and A&W around 6:30. The rest of tonight’s projects are all inside the trailer.
Dinner behind me, I began prepping the kitchen for the impending remodel. After clearing everything off the counter, pulling the drawers out, and disconnecting the sink, I pulled off the countertop. I also had to remove the small 45 degree section of panelling in the corner that hid the vent pipe for the drain plumbing. Thankfully, there was more panelling behind it and I can now have a normal, 90 degree corner. I briefly cut power to the trailer to disconnect the water heater. I’m glad I checked to see if that line was live before cutting it instead of just going with my gut that it “probably” wasn’t hooked up or I would have gotten an electric handshake. I took my cordless sawzall to the pipes and pulled the water heater out. The whole corner is a disgusting mess from years of mouse activity. It’s going to take more work than just spraying everything down with bleach cleaner.
I cut out the rest of the water supply pipes running through the cabinet, and it was around midnight before I called it quits for the night. I could hear a few owls calling while I was grabbing tools from the pole barn, but they kept their distance. At least it cooled down enough that it was comfortable sleeping without A/C.
Awake by 7:00 but not really up until 9:00 or so. This bed is really comfortable. Got dressed and headed in to Aunt Judy’s to have my usual. Already looks like it’s going to be another hot, humid day.
Once I got back, I put the kitchen project on hold to focus on the new storm door. Since cutting down the steel entry door to fit the trailer opening went so well, I felt pretty good about continuing that effort with a storm door. It installs directly onto the brickmould of the new door frame, so I just had to cut down the storm frame to match. The door itself is a solid wood core and the bottom sill height is meant to be adjustable anyway, so that part was easy. I took my time and pre-drilled every hole to avoid splitting any wood on the new brickmould, but was still done with everything by about 1:30. It’s really nice being able to leave the big door open to get the extra airflow and sunshine.
After a quick lunch of leftovers from home, it was back to the kitchen. I decided the best way to tackle the corner would be to completely remove the cabinet and pull up the old floor tiles. This proved to be a pain since most of the screws holding the cabinet to the walls and floor were old and rusty. Once I wrestled the cabinet free, I carried it out to the yard and gave it a liberal dose of bleach cleaner spray. I pried off all of the floor tiles and sprayed the subfloor with bleach cleaner, too. I had to leave for a while after it reacted with the ammonia left behind by years of mouse urine. I used that time to haul the cabinet over to the pole barn where I pulled every rusty nail and screw out and reinforced the frame with some salvaged wood and panelling pieces. I also scraped, sanded, and coated a lot of the frame with primer. It looks nicer and seals in any remaining critter smell that might normally be coaxed out by humidity.
When I went back into the trailer, I looked at the carpet and realized something would need to get done about it. It was cut off at a ragged, uneven edge to match the front of a stove that was no longer there. Further, the area under the fridge and cabinet was now stripped to the subfloor. I cut away the carpet to make a clean-cut, bare-floor rectangle out of the whole kitchen area and covered everything with the same linoleum I had used for the bathroom a few years ago. I replaced a wall panel that had a large hole cut into it to accommodate the bathroom plumbing with a new, solid piece. By the time all that was taken care of, the primer had dried on the cabinet, so I hauled it back in and installed it along with additional supports for the countertop in the area where the stove used to be. I cut down the countertop and set it in place. I had used the old counter as a template for placing the sink opening which worked out really well.
My pizza showed up around 9:00, so I took a dinner break. Pizza Factory in Princeton now takes orders all the way out here. This has been a weekend full of new and exciting delivery options. After too much pizza and just enough beer, I started work on the sink by removing the faucet and handles. No real need for them when you don’t have a water supply.
Installing a bottom-mount sink is a lot harder than removing one, especially if the sink needs to be supported during installation. I had to thread wire through the drain openings and use a ratchet strap suspended by the upper cabinets to keep the sink from landing on my face while I secured all the supports. Of all the work this weekend, this was the part that elicited the most cursing from me. Once everything was secured, I hooked up the drain pipes again. I then reinstalled the cabinet drawers and moved the fridge back in place taking care not to mark up the new linoleum. I’ll have to buy some edging for where the floor transitions from carpet to tile, but other than that, the kitchen looks (and smells!) so much better now.
I started heating water for a shower while I hauled all my tools back to the pole barn and all the burnable scrap to the pit. Much cooler tonight than last night, which is welcome. Got myself cleaned up and stumbled into bed around 12:30.
Woke up with a start around 7:00 as a powerful band of storms moved through. Lots of thunder, lightning, and a downpour. It didn’t last long, but I’m definitely glad I put everything away last night. After checking all the windows to make sure nothing inside was getting drenched, I went back to bed for a few more hours. The storms brought a nice cold front and it never got above the upper 60s for the rest of the day.
After a breakfast of leftover pizza, I finished putting the kitchen back together. I’d like to eventually pull the furnace out and use the area as open storage and a shelf for the microwave, but this is still an amazing improvement over what we had before and caps off a major source of critter infestation.
I started a bonfire to get rid of the old countertop, cabinet, and wall panel scrap, and pulled a few more junk pieces out of the wood shed. Farmer Joe came up around 1:30 and we drank a few beers and visited for a few hours. While I intended this to be a purely project-oriented weekend, it was certainly welcome to just relax and enjoy the place for a change. Joe left around 4:00 and after cleanup, packing up my tools, and making sure the fire was out, I left at 6:00. Things are really starting to take shape for Puckaweekend, which is only two months away.