Fall Planting, Projects, and … Beer

Posted by Nate in Beer, Home Improvements, Landscaping.
Wednesday, November 8th, 2006 at 8:24 pm

Decided to ride my bike to work today out of respect for national "You Should Probably Start Some Rehab On That Knee" day.  (That and the fact it was almost 70 degrees (!!!) today.)  It went well, mostly, some tightness on the way in, pretty ok on the way home, and now it’s kinda sore – but I still think it’s the right thing to do.  Gotta strengthen up the surrounding muscles, especially considering I haven’t done anything more strenuous than walk the dog since the injury…

11-7-2006-8-38-23-am_0001.JPGThe plant nursery at Karen’s work ended up giving away all their remaining stock with the disclaimer that plugs planted in the fall have probably only a 70% chance of survival.  Of course she snapped up as many flats as she could and proceeded to shove them in the ground all over our yard!  At left is the new view of Duoteam HQ from the front.  My biggest concern with yards I see with native plants all over is that I think it really enhances credibility ("No, really, our yard isn’t overgrown, they’re native plants!") if there’s a clear demarcation and sense of "order" to it.  So I pulled a bunch of leftover concrete pavers (?) and made a border along the walk.  Needs some touchup in Spring, but pretty sweet.  10-30-2006-6-36-10-pm_0002.JPGThe next night Karen planted the rest in the back yard, and since it gets dark shortly after 5 now I rigged up some work lights for her.  She’s crazy – but it should look great next summer!

Inside the house I continue to put off the basement.  (This weekend, really.)  But in the meantime I knocked off a long-time item from my list: shelves in the office.  Floating shelves, no less.  I pretty much followed the outlines described here, and it was actually pretty easy once I got started.

11-5-2006-2-23-56-pm_0003.JPGBasically you slice and dice a hollow-core door, attach a cleat to the wall, and tie the door section to the cleat – voila, shelves!  Above you can see the door cut and the cardboard "honeycomb" being knocked out.  At right is the cleat on the wall.  I feel really good about the strength of those cleats – two11-7-2006-8-12-28-am_0008.JPG 1/4" toggle bolts with the toggle grabbing onto the wood lath behind about 1/2" or more of plaster, so I was able to crank them down pretty well.

Cutting the cleats was the hardest part.  I needed a board 1 1/8" thick to fit exactly inside the door, but had no easy way to cut one accurately.  I knew the frame on my circular saw cut 1 5/8" from the edge…  And I had some 1/2" MDF left over from the kitchen shelves…  So I screwed the MDF onto a 2×4 with another board attached for the fence and ta da!  1 5/8" – 1/2" = 1 1/8"!  11-7-2006-8-31-36-am_0012.JPGIt worked perfectly, and after a good dose of wood glue and some 1" brads, those shelves are as strong as possible.  Still can’t load them up with a full bookshelf or anything, but they should handle a lot.

11-5-2006-9-23-36-pm_0005.JPGFinally, I took Karen on a mystery date on Sunday, which ended up being a Belgian beer dinner at the Birchwood Cafe.  Five courses, five beers, an accordian player, and it was all organic / local food!  At the end there was a secret bonus beer and we got to pick out a glass to take home – Karen grabbed hers early and is flaunting it in the picture.  After all that work, it was great to just relax, eat, and drink!

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3 Responses to “Fall Planting, Projects, and … Beer”

  1. MJ Says:

    Way to go Karen–I always knew you were a smart kid–must take after your mother.

  2. mps Says:

    what great stuff. i am anxious to see your yard this spring, it’s going to be beautiful! the shelves are very nice looking. you always find a different way of diong things, nate. and yay! for the surprise date and dinner – looks like you guys had a great time!

  3. Troy Says:

    It looks oh so nice. I am excited to get back up there and see it!