Family visit and a visit to the park

My mom visited for the weekend. She arrived in the middle of our crazy summer (Sorry, mom!). On Saturday we had the Bross family (my Uncle Jim, Rhonda and Mary Ann) over for dinner (we went fancy, with hamburgers, corn on the cob and salad).

So in addition to getting to show off all the changes to the house that we made over the past year and a half, we got a little assistance in the garden. Much appreciated help weeding the garden from my mom, Rhonda and Mary Ann. Thanks for all the help.

By Monday, the house was empty of guests. Susanna didn’t have to work. The sun came out (for the first time in a week). We headed to Devil’s Hopyard State Park. The boys enjoyed swimming in the river (a nice change from the beach). After a bit at the park, we headed home, stopping to get ice-cream on the way.

The summer has been a bit crazy. I’m hoping next year I can plan the summer to be a little more relaxing.

Will enjoying Devil's Hopyard State Park.

Taking a break (and playing in the rain)

Will and Ben playing in the rain

We took my mom to the airport this morning after a nice (but short) visit with her.  For the next couple of days we have an empty house.  Rebecka flew back to Sweden on Friday; Linda and Sofia are visiting Niagara falls until Tuesday morning.

The summer doesn’t really slow down until after my trip with the boys next week, but a short break in the rush is welcome.

ABBA, William style

Will added entertainment on the drive home from Hartford. He decided to sing (yes, crazy to hear Will sing) along with the song Chiquitita:

Take your teeth out, tell me what’s wrong…..

Thanks to Sofia for the alternate lyrics for will to sing.

Random Posting… (a bunch of unconnected thoughts and teaching the dog Swedish)

The girls heading to NYC - It would have been flatteringto hang out with a nice attractive group in the city - thecost would be visiting sites from "Sex and the City" -definitely not worth it.

It is sometimes nice to just let the ADHD take over….  so here is a bunch of random thoughts/updates.  So, if either of the two readers of this don’t want random, I suggest you skip this post (Susanna excepted – she gets to read all my posts, good or bad).

In addition to enjoying NYC, the girls have been helping out around the house.  This week they scrapped the trim on the front porch – the most complicated of section of exterior trim.

So… Project updates:

-Sailboat: The trailer is making progress – I need two more pieces of steel to finish repairs.  Still working on the topside repairs and making trim for the interior.

– Kitchen Island: On hold until after the summer projects.  The lumber is milled, hopefully it won’t get too warped before I get back to it.

– House Trim: Only progress on the porch mentioned above.

In addition, we are teaching Targa how to “shake” in Swedish.  The command is “Vacker Tass.”  He is doing pretty well.  We decided that Tucker is a little too slow to learn Swedish this week.

Now off to the casino to walk around a bit…

Random enough?

O’Day 22 – Rewiring the Electrical System Part 1 (Battery Storage)

Measuringfor the placement of the structural support for the new battery

The original wiring on the boat was a mess.  I have ripped out most of the old wiring, and am in the process of replacing it all.  I also decided to replace the battery (I think it had one or two large batteries originally) with a small 35 Amp-Hour deep cycle AGM battery.  All the running lights and interior lights will be low-draw LEDs, so a large battery shouldn’t be needed.

The battery compartment and all the electrical switches are under the starboard settee.  I couldn’t figure out how the old batteries were originally restrained in the battery compartment.  There didn’t appear to be any place to connect a strap or any other restraining device.  So I am adding some support for the battery (with room for a second battery of the same size).  Yesterday I used epoxy and fiberglass tabs to connect three pieces of wood on the inboard side of where the batteries will sit.

Once all the epoxy has cured, I will run a 1×1 piece of wood across the inboard supports and one across the outboard supports.  The battery will sit between the supports, and I will use a strap to ensure the battery doesn’t move.

I am using fast-set hardener for the epoxy, so it should be ready for the next step this evening.

I am also working on constructing a new switch panel.  The old one had corroded to the point of not working. I have a hole cut for the panel and the piece of teak (I believe it is teak, but it doesn’t really matter) cut out.  This afternoon I will mark the cutout size on the back of the wood so I know exactly where all the hardware needs to fit.   I have the switches, fuse holders, and wire – so I should be able to finish the switch panel over the next couple of days.

I also worked on fiberglass repair on the starboard deck, alongside the cabin.  The wood decking core was wet when I bought the boat (years ago), and years ago I repaired the weak portion of the deck.  I had just never smoothed and painted the surface.  I’ll post pictures later today on that project.

Now for a quick dip in the (hopefully) not too cold pool.

Cutout under starboard settee for the electrical switch panel

Project Day

The girls all headed to New York City this morning. I get the day to myself – a quiet day with the dogs. It is a perfect day to finish project that have been hanging out.

This morning I’ll do a little cleaning (the house and the workshop). I already did some fiberglass work on the boat (building a place for the battery) – I’ll post on that later. This afternoon I’ll mow the yard, and hopefully get some of the woodworking done on the boat. I’ve done most of the trailer work that I can do without getting more steel square tube.

Six Flags and a nice Swedish Dinner

Family at Six Flags

Yesterday we headed to Six Flags New England for a day at the amusement park. We had a long, fun day in the sun – luckily it wasn’t too hot.

Tonight we had dinner made by Sofia and Linda, with dessert made by Rebecka.

Rebecka and I on the last ride of the day - "Scream"
Dinner after the park....
Rebecka making dessert.

A full house

Susanna’s youngest sister, Rebecka, arrived from Sweden yesterday. That brings the number of Swedes in the house to four, outnumbering the non-Swedes for now (unless you count the dogs). It is quite crazy with both boys here and three guests – crazy, but fun.

We have two days with a full house, then the boys head back to their other house. Today will be a “take it easy” day – the boys want to invite friends over (so we can have more boys in the house than girls – the normal balance of things) and have Sofia and Linda cut their hair. Tomorrow will be Six Flags.

This weekend it will just be four Swedish women and me. I’ll lock myself in the workshop. And visit the Sawyer farm – fewer Swedes there.

Boat Progress (a little at least)

Susanna's sister, Sofia, and Tucker inspecting the boat before the carpet is installed

Susanna and I have been making progress on the sailboat this weekend. Yesterday, Susanna cut out the pattern for the new carpet, and cut the carpet to shape.  I was able to drill all the holes needed in the new steel square tubing for the trailer (and prep the steel for painting).

Today, after a nice relaxing morning enjoying coffee on the patio with Susanna, I spent time on the trailer. The second wheel was removed and I cleaned and painted the fist coat of POR-15 on it.  I also removed the remainder of the old/rusted square tubing.  I spent some time painting the new steel, and cleaning the rusty old steel.

Susanna finished preparing the floor for the carpet, and just before lunch we were able to install the new carpet.  What a big difference.  Now to get new cushions (or at least one new cushion – we have one that sort of fits).

Tonight, if it cools down enough that I feel like working in the workshop, I will start milling more trim for the boat.  I have to make pieces to cover the joint between the hull and the deck.  I also need to make trim to cover the edge of the carpet, and some more trim for around the hatches…

Carpet installed...
Trailer in progress