Ottertail Country

Ottertail Country
Ottertail South

November 11, 2011

One big catch-up post......


I guess we need to reach way back to the end of September to get this right.  Peg and I both had birthdays in September, and here is one of the 'birthday apple pie's, complete with its own candle.

We had a visit that day from Dawn, Donna and Russ B.  A little spaghetti, a little accordion playing, etc.

Here's a view from the top of the stairs, looking at the area that used to be occupied by the metal fireplace.  This pic was from a while ago, the new heater core now stands there, about 95% complete.

We cleaned and painted the wall that used to be behind the metal chimney.  See the little scorched spot on the beam near the end of the railing?

We went through the fall busy but taking enough time to enjoy our surroundings a little.   This day was in early October, bright sun, frost on the grass.

One of those days you could just sit out there with a cup of coffee and listen to the drops of water hitting the ground as the frost melted off the trees.   Every now and then you could hear the 'knick-knock-thud' of another black walnut bouncing off a couple of limbs on its descent to the ground.  Lots of walnuts ended on the ground.  It's odd, but I didn't think there were many on there.  I guess they blend in really well with the leaves when all is green.

A rather appealing path to the north field.

A good combo, the scarlet maples in front of the pines with that monster elm as a backdrop to it all.

Besides preparing for the masonry heater install, I have been designing and building a new stairway for the house.  With the new heater needing a larger bit of space than the old fireplace, we explored ways to get the heater in and still leave room to get around the 'kitchen-dining area-stairway' area.

So I am building a stairway that will start near the west door, go up to the south to a landing, turn left and head up to the bridge at it's south end.  The quarter turn iron stairway will be taken out, but we definitely are thinking of where and how we can re-use it..

Lots of parts and pieces and sawing and gluing and sanding..... one can not be too impatient when doing a project of this nature.  If you look close, you can see the motorcycles in the background.  We did not get to use them much this year..... next summer will be less hectic, I promise!!

Here are a couple of views of the landing.  I'm putting one angled tread on that landing to save a little horizontal distance on the main stair.  I copied this idea from my brother Tim's stairway.

Nephew Paul has been up twice to work on the heater.  A couple of weeks ago he was here for a long weekend, last week a rainy day down south allowed a day trip.  That day the core was nearly completed, only a couple of courses of fire bricks left to do up there.  Today Paul is heading up with face brick and we are going to get a start on the exterior.  We are expecting Ivan to show up on Saturday to assist with the bricklaying.  He used to do masonry work for a living.

Here is a little preview of the heater project.  Having access to Solidworks (3-D design and drafting program) has been indispensable on this job.  The heater in the picture looks shorter than real life, due to the angle of sight.  It will actually be a few feet higher than the bridge to the left.

So there you go, more later...............

I gotta go, Carlo



Anonymous said...

Hey, Cuz... Enjoyed the update! When does the heater project get completeed?... Hopefully, before it turns really cold!
Is Tim up here yet?
Thanks...keep us all posted!!!
Barb :)

Mike said...

I'm always amazed at how cool your house is. What bikes are hiding in that photo? I've not been out on my motorcycle as much as I'd have liked to have been this year, but hopefully I'll get out more next year!

Anonymous said...

You have been busy!!! And it all looks great!!! For those of us who are visual learners, the 3D drawing of the finished project is amazing! Thanks for keeping us posted!