Roses!

The rose bushes had an easier time this past winter than they did last year.

First roses of the season
First roses of the season

First roses of the season opened up this week, and there are a lot of them.

Lots of roses!

Work table storage

The indoor workbench (work table really) was in need of some vertical storage.  The table was starting to get cluttered with projects and parts and not many places to put them.  I also thought it would be nice to have some of the things I was always going into the closet for within easy reach.

Inside work table
Inside work table

I considered adding some shelves like I did for the closet but with the table being so deep (3′), I thought that would make reaching the shelves awkward.  Connie suggested getting some cheap bookshelves to make a hutch type thing.  Seemed like a pretty good idea (she often has good ideas like this), so I ended up buying some cheap inexpensive shelving units from Walmart: a 3-level cube shelf, and a three-shelf half-height book case.

Bookshelves
Bookshelves

Used some scraps of 1/4″ plywood as a back for the cube shelf (it only came with one cardboard square).  Secured the shelves to the table using screws that I put in from underneath.

Shelves attached to the table
Shelves attached to the table

Now I’ve got most of the things I reach for most within easy reach, and a little more space freed up in the closet.

Shelves loaded up
Shelves loaded up

Not quite sure what I’m going to do with the scanner yet.  I’ve got it sitting on the top of the shelves now.  It’s not something I use too frequently, so maybe I’ll just bring it down and plug it in as I need it.

Accessible freezer/refrigerator outlets

When the power went out during Hurricane Irma last year, one of the issues we had was reaching the outlets that the freezer and refrigerator were plugged into so that we could plug them into the generator.  The outlets are in the wall behind the middle of each appliance, so we have to pull them out to reach the plug.  Not so easy when you’ve stuffed the freezer and refrigerator full to help them stay cold/frozen.

With Hurricane Florence on the way, we wanted to make the freezer and refrigerator plugs a little easier to reach in case we need to run them on the generator.  The shortest extension cords I have handy are either 25′-50′ long, or not a heavy enough gauge to handle the freezer and refrigerator current requirements.

A trip to Lowe’s got me a couple of 2-foot long 12-gauge extension cords (similar to this one but without the circuit breaker) and storage hooks.

Find a wall stud that’s within reach of the extension cord, drill a pilot hole, and screw in the storage hook.  Plug in the extension cord, plug the refrigerator into the extension cord, and you’re in business.  I zip tied the extension cord to the hook so that everything would stay in place.

It’s a bit ugly, and we’re definitely not going to win any style contests, but it works.  Now when we need to plug the freezer and/or refrigerator into the generator, we can just reach over and grab the plug without having to move anything.

Once we get around to having a transfer switch for the generator installed, all of this will become a bit redundant, but that’s ok.  I’ll just patch up the holes and put the extension cords and hooks to use somewhere else.

Covering the garage attic opening

With the space over the garage insulated, that just left the opening in the ceiling that gets you into the attic space uninsulated.

I happened to have a section of peg board about the right size, so I attached some drawer pulls I found at the local Habitat for Humanity store ($0.50 each) and glued a couple of the extra insulation batts to the board.

Attic entry cover
Attic entry cover

It lays nicely on top of the attic entry opening.

Attic opening cover
Attic opening cover

Moving it out of the way is a little bit cumbersome, but easy to do. Lift it up, turn 90 degrees and set it down on the rafters behind you.

Not sure how long it will last with repeated handling. At some point I might decide to replace the batts with some pieces of foam insulation. I think this will work well for now though.

Garage insulation followup

Finally getting into some consistently warm and more typical weather for this time of year. It’s not getting really hot  yet, but it’s hot enough to tell that the insulation I put in over the garage seems to be helping quite a bit to moderate the garage temperature.

Up in the attic space, I was measuring temperatures in the mid 30s (°C) while in the garage it was in the low 20s. Much more comfortable.

If the temperature difference stays around 10°C during the height of the summer heat, insulating the garage will have been totally worth the investment.