Surviving the heat (a visit to Dianna’s Pool)

The boys testing the waters at Diana's Pool in Chaplin CT.

The boys testing the waters at Diana’s Pool in Chaplin CT.

With the humidity somewhere well above 100% (at least in the house this morning) and the temperatures soaring into the 90’s (mid-30’s for those across the pond using Celsius) we decided to let the air-conditioning take a break from its thankless task and head north to find some shade and water to temper the heat.

I did some digging on the Internet and found a listing for Diana’s Pool – a spot on the Natchaug River in Chaplin, CT. We got to the pool in late morning, beating the crowds (and getting good parking).

It was a great place to get a break from the heat. The water was cool, there was plenty of shade, and lots of waterfalls to play around in. The boys claimed that they overheard some of the other visitors talking about how it got its name – the claim was that someone named Diana drowned there. Of course, I’m sure they heard it from the college kids that were playing around (and drinking crap beer – but of course I drank crap beer when I was that age) and a morbid story is always the better option. But an article from the Hartford Courant from about 2003 give many rumors on how the pool was named (and only one of them was morbid). We had fun, no matter how the pool got named.

The crowds picked up around 1pm, and we decided to head home around 2pm.  Now both boys are trying to beat the heat by playing Minecraft (with Ben live-streaming it on YouTube) in their air-conditioned rooms while I wait for the workshop to cool off enough for me to head out there.

Ben playing in one of the waterfalls at Diana's Pool

Ben playing in one of the waterfalls at Diana’s Pool

Will and Ben exploring the swimming hole at Diana's Pool.

Will and Ben exploring the swimming hole at Diana’s Pool.

 

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Working on Ben’s Boat

Susanna and Isabella departed for Sweden yesterday. Will is volunteering as a preschool camp assistant at the Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center all week. So, Ben and I get today and tomorrow to hang out together. Today we put some time into the boat. We are (still) working on replacing the stringers. We had replaced part of the center stringer two summers ago, but we didn’t do a very good job at it. So earlier this summer Ben and I cut out the repair and more of the rotted stringer.

Today we glassed in (partly at least) the new stringer. Tomorrow we will put another two layers of glass and cover the entire stringer.

Ben working the resin into the fiberglass matting.

Ben working the resin into the fiberglass matting.

The new stringer installed. We will probably have to rip out the other two and replace them as well.

The new stringer installed. We will probably have to rip out the other two and replace them as well.

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Using the Stanley No. 45 Plane

I’ve been pretty good at getting back into the workshop. I have the AC installed – and even though it doesn’t completely keep up on a hot and humid day like today, it helps. I’m currently building a case for my new workshop computer. The case will allow me to add filters to keep the dust out of the machine.

Using the Stanley 45 as a plow - cutting a rabbet along the grain on a piece of antique pine.

Using the Stanley 45 as a plow – cutting a rabbet along the grain on a piece of antique pine.

Today I’m cutting rabbets on the rails of the case to allow me to install the bottom and sides of the case. Normally I would set up the router table and use the router, but I need to go get longer bolts to attach the fence to the new table and I’m lazy. Plus, Izzy has been hanging out in the shop at times (in her pack and play), so I need to find ways to do things without power tools.

Which brings me to the Stanley No. 45 Plane. The plane came in a collection of antiques I got from my dad. It is in pretty good shape, though the cutters need sharpening. Last night I started sharpening the cutters.  The cutters are almost at a 30-degree bevel, but not quite and it took me a while to grind the proper bevel. So, after sweating at it for a while, I decided to only grind the 1/2 dado cutter. I’ll work on the rest as I need them (and in hindsight, I should have done one of the wider ones).

How did it work? At first use, it works well. I had to make two passes to get the width of the rabbet I wanted (hence, the wish I had sharpened a wider cutter) which made the finished cut a little rougher than I had hoped. Of course I didn’t do a good job cleaning up the rabbet either, but no worries – the rabbet will be hidden.

Now back to work – time to clean up the rails and glue up the frame. And maybe later to eBay to browse different cutters for the plane.

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North Lake

Enjoying North Lake

Enjoying North Lake

Family outing to the Submarine Base and North Lake.

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Saturday Pictures

The weather was perfect for a morning hike. Ben slept in, so we got our start a little later than I would have liked, but we were home by noon. The two boys and I took a 4.5-mile hike on the Narragansett Trail and Will only complained about half of the hike about the bugs.

Selfie Saturday picture while hiking on the Narragansett Trail.

Selfie Saturday picture while hiking on the Narragansett Trail.

A view from the Narragansett Trail.

A view from the Narragansett Trail.

Hanging out by the fire. On a patio that needs to be cleaned up and a yard that needs to be mowed. But, there is always tomorrow to do chores.

Enjoying the evening watching the fire on the patio.

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Father’s Day!

Picture time with Will, Ben and Izzy!

Picture time with Will, Ben and Izzy!

I had a great day. The boys came back early from their Mom’s house to spend the day here. Will came over pretty early and Ben followed a couple of hours later. Ben was sick last night and slept in late tonight.

This morning we had planned on doing a long hike as a family. But, Ben didn’t feel up to it, so we postponed the hike until tomorrow. We got to enjoy the beautiful day at home instead.

This morning I worked with Will on his mowing/trimming skills for the yard. His summer chore is keeping the front yard in good shape, which takes a lot of oversight to make sure it gets done right.

Ben and I worked on a quick project – replacing a the sill cock on the south side of the house. I have had the replacement. The old one leaked and was difficult to shut off. A trip to home depot to get the right connector for the PEX piping and some time in the basement clearing the spider webs in the way and the project was done.

Will trying out the cordless trimmer around the front of the house.

Will trying out the cordless trimmer around the front of the house.

The boys and I also disassembled the old microwave, throwing most of the parts into the recycling and saving a few choice parts for later projects (such as a couple of strong magnets Will pulled out – one of which he promptly broke).

New sillcock installed.

New sill cock installed.

It is nice that things are calming down – of course just as the school year ends and the summer starts its mad dash towards fall. I can tell when life is more relaxed; I write more. I have found time to post pictures over the past 4 months, but not much time to write.

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Tomato Cages (White Oak)

I’ve been trying to get back into the workshop. However, it has been difficult with a 4-month old baby and two middle-school boys here half-time. So I started with simple. I have lots of lumber around and found some extra wire fencing to make some tomato cages. The cages are pretty simple, made from 1″x1″ strips I cut out of a white oak board. They are connected using exterior screws (yes they are designed for pocket-holes, but they work fine here). They are finished with one coat of spar varnish (again, something I had laying around).

I made two cages from the board I cut up, and may have enough lumber left over for a third cage.  I don’t think they turned out too bad for a couple of short evenings worth of work.  Hopefully the white oak will hold up for a few years. I’ll have to see how the L-shape works for a tomato cage.

Detail on the joinery for the tomato cage.

Detail on the joinery for the tomato cage. You can see the discoloration from only having one coat of varnish applied – but they will be outside. I’ll have to remember to recoat the cages in the fall.

In place in the garden (although the legs still need to be pushed through the weed-block fabric).

In place in the garden (although the legs still need to be pushed through the weed-block fabric).

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Will being Will

Hanging out in the jogging stroller.

Hanging out in the jogging stroller.

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Saturday Morning Hike

This summer, Ben is spending three days hiking in the White Mountains with my Dad. He hasn’t been too active this winter, so now the warm weather is here, he has to get back into shape for the hike.

This morning we decided to do a quick (and short) local hike up Lantern Hill (1.7 miles). It was a good climb, and a chance for him to break in his boots on a steep hill. We finished the hike in about 50 minutes with breaks and picture stops.

Ben pausing for a picture at the base of one of the rock walls on the hike.

Ben pausing for a picture at the base of one of the rock walls on the hike.

Selfie!

Selfie!

Pausing near the top of Lantern Hill.

Pausing near the top of Lantern Hill.

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Selfie Sunday!

Hopeville Pond State Park

Hopeville Pond State Park

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