Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Do As We Say...

...not as we do.

We're slowly getting the house in shape.

And we caught Brynna trying to climb the bookshelves earlier today.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Budding Engineer

Brynna has discovered blocks. Her favorite thing to do is build towers with Alex. She's almost tall enough to finish off this set...but she needs a little boost for the last tier!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Trick or Treat!

Brynna was a big fan of Halloween. (Yes, that was 3 weeks ago, but at least we're blogging about one holiday before the next arrives.) We didn't get her a little costume— just decided to hang out at home and greet the goblins. It was a beautiful warm evening, so we sat on the doorstep with a basket of candy. We turn out to live on a very busy street for ghosts and monsters. Brynna quickly learned that when an oddly-dressed person approached, she should take something out of the basket and hold it out to them. It was adorable, and she was much less afraid than I thought she might be. The only costumes she was unsure of were the ones with masks, especially scary ones.

Brynna also agreed to pose with a pumpkin—it's harder to get her to hold still this year than it was last year!

She and Alex practiced the approach to the house:

Brynna did some sampling, and her favorites were definitely the Kit Kats:

Fifteen months old—look at her go!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Brynna's Autumn Walk

We've been a bit lax with the blogging lately. Life gets busy sometimes. To help make it up to you, dear readers, enjoy this new video of Brynna enjoying a fine Autumn day.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Manly Tools

I love the power! It feels so good.

While my folks were in town this past weekend, my Dad labored hard to prepare a garden bed for a batch of raspberry bushes my folks have given us as a housewarming present. With advice from my semi-professional landscaper cousin, we picked up lumber, hardware, and fill and set to work.

My Dad, bless 'im, spent most of Saturday afternoon in occasional drizzle digging up a patch of earth and trenching the base timbers into place. These were to be spiked into place using 3/4" diameter x 4' length of reebar, and we'd picked up a massive drill bit to match. The only problem, we discovered, is that my modest cordless drill only has a 3/8" chuck, while the bit required a 1/2". It's just as well, my drill wouldn't have been able to supply the necessary torque for the job in any case.

The solution? Craigslist. In about five minutes' searching, I found a guy just down the road who was offering a slightly beaten up corded power drill with the requisite 1/2" chuck, for a whopping $20. He even threw in a mud mixer attachment for the drill and a handful of large lag screws.

So now we could drill through the 4"x6" pressure treated lumber, but how to get these large bits of steel through them? How about a nice new 4.5-lb blacksmith hammer? About 40 or 50 whacks per bar really made the forearms stiff. A bigger and heavier sledgehammer would have been more efficient, but stood a fair chance of breaking some bones.

Those lag bolts the drill seller gave us came in handy - we used them to tie the timbers to one another. But how to drive the 3/4" hex heads? How about an upgrade to my lightweight socket wrench set? A set of large-diameter deep sockets and a 3/8" ratchet should do the trick.

Yes, it was a fine weekend for spending money on tools.

Unfortunately, the weekend is only so long, so there's still a bit of work to do. For one, the tool rental places in the area are closed on Sunday, so we couldn't rent an auger for digging the post holes for the trellis. There'll be some painting to do, as well, since the appearance of pressure-treated lumber, even after aging, is just atrocious.

Oh, for the love of raspberries!