January, 2012 - Time for a fresh start and a new year!


2012 started out like a lamb.  The temperatures were rather balmy and mild for this time of year.  The usual Texas January is wet and cold.  On January 1st, it could have been early Spring.


I drove over to T14 to find Walt had finished on the new floor overlay.  The existing flooring in the old structure section as not in the best of shape, so I had Walt purchase a complete floor overlay.  He and Jeff had started installing it just before year-end and he finished it up just as I arrived.  I noticed that he’d also already framed out the windows and doorways.


Not only will it provide better support, but it will add an extra layer of insulation to the bottom of the house.


Once again, I had to leave town on a long 2 week business trip.  One of the things that I wanted to do was to completely replace the old siding with completely new.  Although the original siding on the old structure was completely serviceable, I wanted to have the whole building covered with new siding and insulated with new wall insulation.  While I was away, Jeff and Walt pulled down the old siding and removed all of the old insulation from the walls.  Then, they put up new siding around the rest of the cottage.  About the only thing that I was going to keep from the original structure would end up being the frame and the roof!


When I returned from my trip, they had completed the siding install and had put in the bay picture windows that I had bought for just that purpose.  Also, Walt had pulled off the old doors and had replaced the frames and doors with the new ones that we’d bought.


Once I was back, I started on the part of the project that needed my personal attention - running the wires for the home stereo system along with networking and video cables for the security system.  I spent the next two afternoons pulling wire and routing video cables.  I even wired up one of the outdoor video cameras.  While I was doing my special chore. Walt and Jeff started pulling the electrical wiring for the rest of the house.


Initially, I had planned on just putting in a small back porch.  I had just planned on a 6x6 foot platform and stairs coming off the back door.  However, after looking at how nice the front deck looked, I asked Walt to go and buy enough wood to cover the whole length of the back side of the building.


He ended up building the whole back deck by himself.  In two days, he had completely finished it.  In another two days, he’d also completely built a very nice rail for it.  Walt is one of the hardest working guys I know.  He just went to it and got it done.  Now, I have both front and back decks to the cottage.  It looks so nice, too.  It’ll be a great place to watch the sun set on those long summer evenings.


It was time to get back to work on the inside!  I went back to Lowes and bought the additional insulation that we’d need to finish the project.  I didn’t have a lot of time but, on Jan. 21st and 22nd, I headed over in the afternoon and set to work.  For the next two afternoons, I hung as much of the insulation as I could - working until dark on each day.  I was able to get most of the front wall and part of the new ceiling installed before I had to leave on another business trip.


Even though the place was shaping up and the back deck looked beautiful, there was still something missing - an observation tower!  Walt and I had talked about it a little bit and we decided that it wouldn’t cost that much more to add it to our “feature list”.  While I was away on business, Walt went out and purchased the necessary materials and, by the time I returned, had single-handedly built a rockin’ awesome observation/control tower.  We’ll be able to sit up high and watch planes come in during our gatherings or watch deer and other wildlife during more quiet moments.



01-27th - Taking an overhead look at things.


This winter has been VERY mild compared to last year (or the past few years).  Temperatures have actually been quite balmy for Texas and it’s been good flying weather.  I decided to take my 1947 Stinson Voyager (N8902K) up for a flight around the airport to see how things were looking from the air.  It was nice to get up in the air for a while.







Text Box: 01-28th thru 29th - Finishing the Insulation and the Observation Tower

While Walt L. continued working on the observation tower, I continued putting in the insulation in the house.  Our buddy Jeff came by and, with his help, we finished putting up the insulation on the walls and ceiling.  Walt L. finished the observation tower frame and then covered it with siding.  It makes for quite a nice view.