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What's New...

12/24/2009: It's Christmas Eve. We'll know the furnace installation is done when the check clears. Meanwhile, a video of ice fishing on Higgins Lake from last March 3, then a cool ariel slide show of the ice melting around the lake last April 9.

12/8/2009: George sent photos of the fall cleanup, and the finished deck trim work.

Also, the furnace installation is underway, it should be completed in a week or so. Here are the specs: A complete hot air heating system. Goodman furnace #gmh950703bxa 95 percent efficient this furnace qualifies for the one time federal tax credit, 9 hot air openings 4 cold air returns all gas piping and wiring custom duct work all material included for complete job, 10 year warranted on all parts and lifetime limited warranted on heat exchanger recommends installation in crawl space also includes the plentem for central air conditioning that could be installed later if you felt you needed it.



This natural gas furnace can be installed Upflow or Horizontally
Convertible to propane with part# LPM-05


• Quiet furnace operation
• Virtual elimination of the stagnant pockets of air that can form when the furnace stops running
• Increased air filtration providing improved air quality
• TuffTube™ Aluminized-Steel Tubular Primary Heat Exchanger; Stainless-Steel Secondary Heat Exchanger
• Durable Silicon Nitride Igniter
• Two-Stage Gas Valve
• Powder-Paint Finish
• Corrosion-Resistant Vent Blower
• Insulated Cabinet
• Electronic Ignition Control w/Dual$aver Technology
• Multi-Speed Blower
• W=17-1/2", D=28", H=40"
• Heating Capacity (BTU/h), input = 69,000, output = 66,400
• AFUE % = 95. Tons A/C @ 0.5 ESP, 3
• Nominal CFM 657 - 1,201 @ 0.1" ESP

10/12/2009: We were on the peninsula visiting friends this weekend, not far from the bar stool store. We decided to pop our heads in for a look and found the 24" counter stool we were looking for, but had no luck online. A sturdy metal frame, large seat that swivels, micro-fiber upholstery that can be redone, and a short back.So we ordered 3. The 3 in the banner above were staging furniture. I'm going to have to update those pics. Next summer. The truck is starting to fill up already:-)

10/9/2009: Breezy gets winterized next week. And, we'll be getting a quotation for installing a gas furnace (with at least 31,000 btu heating capacity), in either the coat closet next to the pantry, or preferably in the crawl space. George removed the wall mounted gas heater from the living room wall nobody trusted, before we arrived this year. We aborted our plan to install a vent less fireplace based on the information you get when you research that idea properly. It will be nice to know we could stay warm in the winter there, in case we decide to do some snowmobiling:-) Here's a brief video of the work that got done this year, taken the day before we drove away.


9/10/2009: The decks are done except for final trim work that will occur after some time has past when the materials have had time to dry out. We've called the building inspector for the final inspection. It's sad to think about leaving it all for the winter, but we plan to hit the road back to CA in 2 days. The following pics are more deck.

9/1/2009: The decks are done except for some trim and finish work. We built a fire in the fire pit in back and ended up sitting on the back deck to watch it instead of down by the fire. This got us thinking about a comment George had made about getting a fire ring and burning out the tree stumps near the deck. Here are some pics of the fire ring and front deck.

8/29/2009: I picked up a quart each of the outside paint and trim. I'd never watched a color match machine before, which was fun because I used to mix paint at the hardware store where I worked while in high school. Before computers...

House paint color: ACE Royal Exteriors House Paint, Flat acrylic latex. 103A320 Midtone Base, 1/48 values = C - 24, L - 27, V - 10.

House trim color: ACE Royal Exteriors House + Trim Paint, Semi-gloss acrylic latex enamel. 159A340 Neutral Base on can, B-1Y44-1/2.

8/26/2009: Added this vegetable soup recipe to the recipes page.

8/25/2009: Work on the front deck replacement has begun, here are a few photos.

8/16/2009: With the deck in place, Marsha was able to start getting her exhibit ready for the art fair coming up over the labor day weekend. We also discovered the canopy will make a great shade for the deck when it's not working. Here are a few shots:

8/14/2009: More great progress yesterday. The bench and some finish trim will happen next week, but there's enough done now to start using the back deck, and enough done to make the front deck look sick in comparison. Can you guess what's coming next?

8/13/2009: The weather's holding. More deck work did get done yesterday, plus log splitting to complete turning the trees that got cut down last year into firewood. If all goes according to plan, the deck should be finished this afternoon. Pics below, including one of the deer that just roamed past my office window.

8/12/2009: After a great visit with friends Jim and Jo Callan that involved a lot of good eating, tennis, and fly fishing on the Au Sable River (sorry, no pics), the rainy spells subsided and the deck work continued. The two pics below are of the state of the deck yesterday morning, then at the end of the day. If the weather holds, more tomorrow.

8/5/2009: Updated the recipes page with a pizza dough and sauce recipe. Using a bread machine to make the dough rocks.

8/2/2009: More progress on the living room and the deck. The living room now has a rug, pillows, and end tables. We've applied 3 coats of polyurethane to the baseboard wood, they are ready and waiting to be installed to complete the floor project. A couple of days into the deck project, the cement for the posts is in, and the outer frame is in place. It's supposed to rain Monday, so hopefully the rest of the framing will be done on Tuesday. I'll then need to get the building inspector out before we can finish. Here are a few pics:

7/29/09: Things are moving on the deck project. The rest of the wood arrived over the weekend. Monday, George sent me down to the Gerrish Township offices with a sketch of the deck to apply for a building permit. While there, I discovered there are two tennis courts in back of the building that are open to the public, 1-1/2 miles down the road. Below are a couple of photos. We've been so busy working, and visiting our relatives that we haven't had a day without plans since we left CA on June 26. We finally have this coming weekend without plans, and guess what's happening on Saturday, -- Bud Bash.

7/23/2009: Oh yeah, did I forget to mention we're in Ford Country?

DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) -- Helped by a lightened debt load, Ford Motor Co. posted a surprise second-quarter profit of $2.3 billion Thursday, following the worst loss in company history a year earlier. Shares rose 9 percent in afternoon trading.


7/23/2009: The next 4 picture show a couple of "Before" deck project photos, and a couple of "Beginning of the deck project" photos:

7/21/2009: Next on order, from no less, a round rug.

7/20/2009: Drum roll sound, the couch is here.

7/15/2009: Here's a quick video walk through tour after the initial dust settled, before the furniture arrives.


7/14/2009: The refund for the La-Z-Boy happened, and we found a sectional that would fit the same dimensions in stock at the Furniture Outlet in West Branch. It's Cagney-Olive, by Ashley and scheduled to be delivered this week.

7/9/2009: It would take more time than I have right now to log the trip out. I plan to shoot a video tour and post it in a few days. It was similar to the trip in the 36' Pensky we drove here last year, except a loaded Ford F-150 drives and rides like a Cadillac. We did the same route in one less day. When we got here, we learned the truck was about 3" too long to fit in the garage:-)

Some sad news arrived with us, the La-Z-Boy sectional we ordered was destroyed in transit to the local store that it was being delivered too. They refused to accept it and sent us some pictures:

We think it got impaled with a fork lift, even though the box says Do Not Fork Lift. We're still waiting for the refund. Meanwhile:

The new floor is beautiful.

6/24/2009: It's getting down to the short strokes, as they say. We did laundry for the last time before leaving, the rest of the clothes go with us. Now I can't order anything online until we get to Breezy and have the mail forwarding there stop, and get a mailbox.

6/19/2009: We start packing Smoky, our Ford F150 truck tonight, with a plan to hit the road to Breezy on the morning of June 26. You can find our GPS tracker at the top of the main page, Our log entries for the rest of the summer, until we return to California, will be here.

5/5/2008: We loaded up a drafting program called qcad to do a layout of the main room so we could work through some spatial thoughts about the design. It helped us think about rugs, TVs, and fireplaces. More to come, but here is the first layout.

4/25/2009: We went to the La-Z-Boy store today...

Imagine the left side with one of the center pieces missing, then duplicate the same on the right side. Then imagine it in the corner of the third picture in the header above instead of all of the furniture in it now, underneath the windows, around July 1st.

4/1/2009: We ordered the materials for having hardwood flooring put in the living room and kitchen last week. Home Depot is running a 20% off sale on Bruce flooring. This sale was on last October, we were almost ready to buy the material then, but the economy problems halted our spending momentum. Hopefully everything is on the road to recovery, charge ahead...

CM3710 Kennedale Plank 3/4X3-1/4 Maple Country Natural
2" Coarse Drywall Screws - 5 Lb.
78# Red Rosin Paper
15GA 2" Flooring Staple 7700 Ct

The materials are due in a week or two. It will replace the flooring in the two rooms in the banner pictures above. It will likely make the counter tops clash, and we'll likely replace them with granite or coriander, but not until we've spent some time working in the galley.

3/13/2009: George sent us this photo of Breezy in the snow, from the last week of February. Still looks inviting, makes me think of snow removal equipment. The roof doesn't seem to pile up (like the front deck). Heck, if the zone heaters and new internet cable are in good working order, hmmm. Needs more trees...