Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Boys and Their Toys

Dave now has a new (to him) ‘toy’ to play with. Some of the projects around the Pashley Rd. estate require a bigger tractor than his New Holland. Jim, a friend of ours from Galway who works on loaders and equipment like this, had this Ford for sale and it suits our purpose to a tee. It is such a powerhouse that we have aptly nicknamed it Hercules. It weighs over 14,000 lbs. and makes short work of digging up the many old tree stumps around the yard and motorcycle shop.

Hercules has also been instrumental in moving junk motorcycles around, along with the old Pepsi truck body being used for parts storage, to make room for a side garage door access into the shop. Other jobs this fall will include guiding and falling the trees that we need to cut down and remove, along with making new riding trails.

Dave gets so much satisfaction out of digging in the dirt and making headway in these big projects. He has the biggest grin on when he drives his new machine. I can drive the New Holland tractor and one of these days I will have to see if I am coordinated enough to run this latest addition to the fleet. Now that will definitely deserve a picture and post on this blog!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Follow the Sun

It is rather ironic that we put up a lattice fence for the morning glories to grow on, since they have decided to grow on the opposite side of the fence than we intended. Here we thought that they would love the rising sun. They are called MORNING glories after all. Apparently they wanted to follow the sun as it made its way across the southern sky. They have surrounded our garden and yard implements, but my 'Tie Dyes' and 'Grandpa Otts' are really quite pretty.

Now that I think about it, these flowers sound like us in the fall, when we too reach out for the warmth of the sun and point our faces to the south. In fact we just purchased our tickets to Daytona for the end of October, where we will stay for a week or so before winding our way even further south to the Bahamas.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Leap of Faith

Dave was a brave soul to jump off this cliff in Lake George earlier this summer...or perhaps he was just walking on water?

I think it would be really funny to see him take this plunge in a movie played in reverse.

He is still a really good water skier too, and gave quite an exhibition....

Many thanks to the Rulisons for the great photos of hot-shot Dave!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Dandy is the name of our Abaco dinghy that we found a few years back in downtown Schenectady, of all places. We were thrilled when we saw this 14ft. wooden sailboat made by famous Hope Town boat builder Winer Malone. When we found out it was for sale, it took me about two seconds to whip out my checkbook and she was ours!

When we got the boat back home, and got over the fact that we finally had our ‘dream’ Abaco dinghy, we looked at each other and said, “Now what?” Since we were quite unfamiliar and naive about wooden boat restoration, we had lots of pondering, planning, and research ahead of us, before starting any work. At least the mast, boom, and sails are in good shape, but the hull had a few sprung planks.
We finally brought it up to our boat barn in Ticonderoga last year and have finally started working on her.

First, Dave made a hoist to get it off the cradle and turned it upside down to get at the bottom.

In the past few weeks we have removed, checked, and reinstalled all the bronze screws, replacing any that were stripped or broken off below the waterline. We both have the blisters and sore hands to prove it. Some screws needed to be longer or wider to grab good wood and fasten the planks to the inside ribs of the boat.

Next, all the old paint was removed with a heat gun and scraper. At one point I almost burned the boat up, when I left the heat on in one section for too long and it sparked a splinter. Oops! I still smell the scorched old wood. I can also picture the headlines in the local paper, “owner burns down garage with heat gun!”

After we were down to bare wood, we had to remove all the caulking between the wood planks. Boat caulking is different than anything I have ever seen before. It is actually made out of cotton, and then a sealer is put on top. What we have been pulling out is original and quite old, so it is hard and brittle. Now we have to take new cotton material and twist it to make it small enough to fit into all the grooves again. Then we will seal it, cover the recessed screw holes with wood putty, sand the whole boat, and paint her! The project won’t get completed this year, but I’ll keep you posted on Dandy’s progress.

Meanwhile, we think we have found out a bit of her history while talking to one the Hope Town Sailing Club members who owns a very similar boat. Every Abaco dinghy is a bit different, but Dandy and this other boat named Coconut are so close (the only ones made that weren’t painted inside) that they may have been built at the same time. No one knew what happened to the boat that we now have possession of, once it left the Bahamas. I believe it ended up in Michigan and the Great Lakes, but it has gone through several owners. We will take more measurements and pictures to compare to the one in Hope Town this winter, before saying if this really is the missing link.

In case you are wondering, we came up with the name Dandy after reading about another Abaco dinghy that used to ply the waters of the Sea of Abaco back in the mid 1900’s. It was lost in a storm one night, so we thought that we would bring this historical name back to life while returning our more recent Dandy to its former glory.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Spring Projects

Once we got settled into the Pashley Rd. house it was time for lots of projects, both inside and out.

Inside we installed a new water pump and whole house water filtration system to help keep the shallow well sand from getting into the lines. Both bathrooms have new toilets that were special ordered to fit in the tight area next to the walls. The cellar was completely cleaned out and reorganized with one side dedicated to a woodworking and painting department. We purchased a new washer and dryer, and the kitchen now has a new table and refrigerator. The living room and dining room both have new rugs and window treatments, along with a new sectional sofa in the living room.

Outside we made major upgrades, and couldn’t have done it without the help of our friend Bob Ray. We completed the pool house restoration, which we use as a garden shed and Dave's second work area where all his tools, etc. from the Saratoga Rd. house are now kept. The 'after' picture shows the doors before they were painted white. Before...
There is now another stall added to our metal carport.
Dave and Bob are now pros at concrete work and the pool house and carport have beautiful cement floors.

The concrete garage has a much needed new roof and garage door (we had snow flurries that day).

We also removed the old tin shed that was attached to the back of the garage, and the gables will soon be blue to match the rest of the garage and house, along with white paint to complete its facelift.

The New Holland tractor garage that is attached to the motorcycle shop looks so much better with its new metal roof, fence, and lattice. Before...
Even the wishing well got a new roof.
Although I don’t have pictures right now, Dave and I put up a white lattice on the garden implement shed that faces the road for my morning glories to grow, and they are thriving.

So this is the majority of what kept us busy this spring. This of course is in addition to Dave reopening the motorcycle shop, the normal yard work (both here and Ticonderoga), and trail trimming and upkeep. We still have lots of things we want to do, including landscaping, concrete walkways, and outside house, garage, and shop painting. There are so many possibilities for this property that I’m sure that we will never be done with our improvements.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Call Me A Liar!

I said I was going to keep the blog up and running during the summer, but that just didn’t seem to happen. I have become so behind in writing that I haven’t known where to begin again. Little by little I will try and get you caught up on our lives.

Basically, spring was busy with house and motorcycle shop projects and then these hot summer months have been great for fun on the water. I may end up jumping around with my subjects and events, but in the coming days and weeks I will elaborate much more and have plenty of photos to share.

Thanks for checking in and stay tuned for frequent updates.