Monday, October 20, 2008

Trellis Half Done

You may recall (or possibly not) that our house had, inexplicably, two breaker boxes: the main one in the mudroom and an ancillary breaker box in the crawlspace that was only reachable by wriggling all the way under the house. Not only is that (a) stupid and annoying and (b) unsafe, but (c) the box didn't even work, which meant that the pond, greenhouses, and sundry indoor outlets also didn't work.

So, subsidized by the New Job, we hired an electrician to sort this out, install a ceiling fan on the porch, and add some exterior outlets. Oh, and put in a front doorbell. The fan turned out great, and the exterior outlets are both exterior, and outlets, which I think is all one can ask. The front doorbell... I bought it cheap(ish) from a Home Depot that's closing, and I didn't get to hear what it sounds like before buying. But the description was all Deluxe, so what could go wrong? I mean, the thing plays something like 65 different sounds. Yeah.

Only after the electrician installed the thing did we discover that it has this awful electronic sound--like a ringtone from 2001. On top of that, every one of its 65 sounds is utterly inappropriate, from "Feliz Navidad" to "Dixie." We've basically installed the doorbell version of the Walmart Singing Fish. And on top of that, no matter which sound we set it on, the ridiculous thing always defaults to "Take Me Out to the Ballgame." Two less sporty people than Matt & me you could never hope to find, so this is especially cringe-inducing.

Matt & I were out of town this weekend for his brother Pete's wedding. Pete & Christi were married in an old church in Chappell Hill, which had a lovely ambiance. Matt's posting his pictures from the wedding (url to be added later). I got to spend some time with Ladonna's sister, Denise, and her best friend, Lucy, both of whom were absolutely delightful people.

Then on Sunday we stopped at the Antique Rose Emporium on the way out of town (where Matt & I used to work and, in fact, first met). The gardens are more expansive and mature than ever, which is nice, though they've rearranged the roses in a way that is more user-friendly to the average buyer, but is a little less precise, from the perspective of the dedicated rose fancier. We picked up 4 roses ('Climbing Cecile Brunner', 'Climbing Old Blush,' and 'Mme Alfred Carriere' for the gazebo; 'Souvenir de la Malmaison' because it's a gorgeous old thing), a deep purply curcuma called 'Raspberry Ginger,' and the crinum 'Claude Davis.'

Souvenir de la Malmaison

Glad to be home, though. Weddings can be a bit exhausting for an introvert like me.

Now that, uh, the check's cleared on the electrical work, we can turn our attention back to the trellis.

We put the antique fence pieces the Ks gave us as a house-warming present on top and the hog/goat/whatever-wire that came with the house as the bottom panels.

The trellis, in all its (half-completed) glory

The hardest part so far has been sawing through the wire and doing the math to figure out how everything fits together. You can see that the wire fencing is quite thick. We used up three reciprocating saw blades on this project--wore them down to completely toothless smoothness.

Wire fencing--very, very hard to cut, even with a reciprocating saw

Defunct reciprocating saw blade--click image to see full size.

We had to use 2 x 6s because the antique panels are wider than the hog/goat/whatever-wire panels--the wider frame compensates for the difference.

And we're sticking the whole thing together with these metal flange/bracket thingies (sorry to be so vague--no idea what their proper name is). You can see Matt screwing one on below.

Matt screws on the brackety-flanges

We've got one side done, and will hopefully finish the rest soon. Compared to all the tiresome sawing and multiplying and adding we had to do on this project, screwing in metal flange-brackets is really pretty speedy.

Last item: 'Ducher,' the only white China rose, has started blooming. It's the nicest, softest sort of lemon-chiffon-white color (not, frankly, well-represented by the picture below, but I'm too tired to try to photoshop it into shape).

'Ducher' rose.


Katie said...

After several years of your blogging, I think we should compile a daily quote calendar of your funniest turns of phrase. My entry for this post: "We've basically installed the doorbell version of the Walmart Singing Fish."

That just cracks me up every time I read it!

Elgin_house said...

Thanks Kate! I was actually kinda proud of that one myself.

Though when you're living the reality of it, it's really a bit more tragic. When you visit this Saturday, be sure to ring the front door and see what I mean.

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