Well now, it's been a fascinating 2019. Overall I think we made some good progress around Tanglewood together with a couple of setbacks, but progress none-the-less.
The year began with my calculating the weight of the chandelier and then finding enough "stuff" to hang from the mount to ensure it couldn't possibly fall. My biggest concern (I found another a couple of months later) was that the old ceiling fan was lighter than the chandelier, and that the chandelier might be too heavy for the mount. That turned out to not be the biggest problem...more on that later....but the good news was that the mount was very firmly anchored and never provided an issue.
In February I had a couple of things happen. The worst was that one of my charge controllers apparently blew up; suddenly I had power from two of my charge controllers with a corresponding decrease in overall power production. Fortunately since I have three charge controllers that wasn't a huge hit, and I of course contacted Solar LeRoy who came up to replace the dead one. Found some badly melted wiring in the lower box.....two feeds that were a bit too close together....but we got it all properly fixed up. I also got a bunch of curtains properly installed and did some finishing work on some of the furniture I had inherited (but which I didn't actually want).
March found me continuing to hang up some curtains and getting some of the old furniture stained and cleaned up. I also got some parts ready to get the chandelier up; this required acquiring some bolts and hooks and such so it would hang properly. A couple of weeks after that I managed to dodge a near disaster, when I found out that the "ceiling fan ball and socket" hanger had stretched and wouldn't support the weight of the chandelier. Fortunately we found this it out while trying to winch the chandelier up--we put a winch on the line to haul it up and almost immediately the fitting was pulled right out of the socket. IF we had actually gotten the chandelier up there it almost certainly have crashed down about five minutes after we got it up there, which would have been DISASTEROUS! It took me a bit to figure out....
In April I spent most of the month doing exactly that, figuring how to properly and solidly hang the chandelier. I decided that rather than mount it as it was meant to be done (deep wood screws into the rafters) I instead elected to drill holes all the way thru the rafter and use long lag bolts to anchor the whole thing from the top of the mount. That way there was no possibility of the whole thing falling short of the rafter itself shattering. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that the builders of Tanglewood went over and above, installing a 2x6" cross-beam that was a significant upgrade as the Arlington called for.
May was something of a wash; I did a bunch of prep work for the chandelier, getting the parts and test fitting them. A couple of pieces had to be spray painted, and I had to spent a good weekend cleaning out the old (bad idea) hay we put in to try to keep some flowers overwinter. That generated some really weird mushrooms though....
Our big event in June was the arrival (very late in the season due to weather) of the honey bees! We'd been wanting honey bees up here for years and even did a trial run a decade or so ago that didn't work out very well, but this month we got them up and running and sure seemed very happy. There massive plethora of flowers up and down the canyon made them very happy I'm sure. Honestly the bees kept me pretty danged busy, but fortunately.
July kept me pretty danged busy with work and figuring out ways to keep the ants away from the bees, so that pretty much up all of my time. I got a couple more curtains hung at least as well as a couple more pictures properly put up in various locations.
August was the most significant month IMO, as Tanglewood's Crown finally was installed! Yes, the chandelier was properly put up securely and firmly......it was a triumph and the capstone of a long journey. I was happy, Colleen was happy, everybody was happy. It looks absolutely gorgeous. We also had more fun with bees, and some baby turkeys made an appearance several times, and generally we had a solid end of summer and move into fall.
September allowed me to get a lot of the smaller jobs done now that the chandelier was up. I cleared up all of the old plywood left over from the old shed and hauled it up to the house to be chopped up and burned. Solar LeRoy came up to tweak a couple of the parameters, and I installed some big bookcases that had been somewhat waiting in the wings until the chandelier got put up.
September thru October was starting work on laying out additional drainage around the house. I knew I couldn't do the full up install I had talked a couple of years ago with just a couple of months of good weather left, but I could at least get some of it done. That's exactly what I did, installing the drains immediately behind the house and filling up the trench I'd dig a couple of years back. I ran the pipe back around the house and then down to an outlet to the creek. I also walked around to mark where the drains will run when I pick this all back up again in the summer. In between I got some more curtains up all around the house, moved a bit of furniture around, checked in on the bees, and finally figured out what was (probably; I wanted more testing yet) causing the leak that I'd talked about so long ago. I'll have to be sure by letting the winter snows and melts perform a proper test for me, but if that all goes well I may be able to at last work of repairing the ceiling there on the second floor.
November saw a lot of work on the narrow windows once all of the curtains were done on the regular windows, and by the end of the month they were all properly installed and covered. The remaining two windows, the big octagonal windows on the second floor and overlooking the Great Room, are the only two left. I also got all of the radiant heat tubing all properly insulated, which should help overall efficiency of the heating system a bit. I then got a mattress and springs and whatnot that had been sitting in the garage just taking up space moved up to one of the bedrooms where it belonged....that took all day, but it finally got done at least.
And that brings us to December where a bunch of little things that needed doing got done, nothing worth a journal entry per se. I got a new UPS installed for the solar system, worked (unsuccessfully so far) on getting a personal alarm system up and running for my mother, and generally just goofed off more than not. It was a fine and good stand-down, and I have no regrets.
So here we are, at the Closing of the Year. I think 2019 has overall been a pretty danged successful one, with the highlight far and away being the Chandelier. Looking ahead to 2020, I plan to work on extending out the drainage a bit. Those two final oddball curtains need to get put up. I want to pull up the rest of the computer room flooring to be replace it with some type of tile and double check how the radiant heat under there is installed. I've also been pondering a couple of ways to tweak the placement of the solar panels so as to optimize them a bit for the winter weather....gotta think some more on that yet.
Looking forward to it.....I do believe 2020 is gonna be GLORIOUS.....
Steven in Colorado
My Construction Website
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