Journal 2020

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Cabinet Shop
Custom Classic Construction, Inc.
Since 1985



this page is where we will share our thoughts, new ideas, frustrations and information with you.

 A personal view of us & our business


Click on a year below for older posts

 2019   2018

2017         2016        2015        2014        2013        2012           

 2011         2010      2009      2008     2007      2006      2005 

January 1st

Happy New Year!



January 8th

Don Swift

1950 - 2020

 After we opened our business in 1985  we sub contracted framing for several of his homes .

 In 1992 we no longer had employees and had switch gears doing the finish carpentry in homes  Don hired us once again. This time the Swift family had united and  the four boys worked with their Dad building homes.

 It was an honor to be a part of their quality built homes.

Don was a kind thoughtful man and he loved to cook. We shared recipes over the years and he even made me a cookbook of his favorite ones

I  think of him every time I open up that cookbook.


January 17th:

 Against my better judgment I planted during a waning moon.

I usually plant by the moon:

Waxing Moon above ground crops. 

Waning moon root crops.

I planted the following seeds

Seedling rack:

I still have beets and onion seeds to plant. You know the ones I am supposed to plant now under the waning moon,

I will get to them today during the snow storm that is due to arrive by 1PM.

And so it begins:

Our 2020 growing season:


In October I dug out a couple of pepper plants from the High Tunnel to winter them in the house.

They are doing great! I even have 4 peppers starting to form on the one plant

This is the largest of the peppers:

It may be small but it is a pepper.

January 23rd

Started clearing for a new pond and orchard area. 

Firewood trees are stacked and ready to be bucked up into rounds before heading to the splitter


January 26th

Now that there was some room to work Jim took down the 4 pronged Maple tree.

Some of the firewood  ready for the splitter

February 7th

We decided to give the CNC machine it's own place in the shop. This way when we want to use it we don't have to take the time to move it into place, level the table and align everything before we can use it. it is ready to go at a moments notice.

March 2nd:

My last shopping day until we get through this lock down due to the CoVid-19 outbreak. 

Canceled our luncheon with our dear friend Vic. We have lunch or dinner at least once a week since around 1988.

Since we rarely leave the property when life is "normal" we will weather this without any complaints, besides we have lots to do around here so no chance of us getting bored. 



Young Cole Plants ( Cauliflower -Broccoli - Cabbage ) plus Kale and Chard are ready to move to the Greenhouse in a couple of weeks:

 Anaheim and Poblano Pepper Plants are doing great. They will not go out into the Greenhouse for another month or so:

March 5th:

Crown of Thorns is starting to bloom:

Spring is on its way!

March 15th: 

Called all of our friends and neighbors everyone is safe and healthy so far.

Met with a new customer. No hand shakes and we kept our distance  leaving the door open to make all of us more comfortable. She was on the same page as us so it was a nice meeting.

We have a unit in the shop that is close to being ready to ship. Not sure when that will happen.

We pray you all are safe and  take the time to appreciate your family and friends and neighbors from a safe distance.

March 24th

March can bring all kinds of weather.....


and visitors to the pond.

April 18th:

 It snowed last night.

Inside the Green house everything is growing


Broccoli and Kohlrabi


Volunteer Johnny- Jump- Up


April 22nd

Bob Marini Sr

aka "Senior"

He always treated us with respect.

I will miss his contagious smile.


1946 -2020

May 2nd:

 Ready for transplanting.


Peppers and one eggplant

Pepper Seedlings started for a friend. 

 6 pack of Kohlrabi

2 Tiny Tim Tomato Plants


Out in the high Tunnel the Cauliflower is looking great

Kohlrabi is forming a bulb

Spinach has germinated

May 26th

High Tunnel update:



Ready to cut into bite size pieces to process for  the freezer

May 28th

2nd planting of broccoli 


Spinach is still producing:

Sweet Red Pepper

June 20th

High Tunnel update:


Peas are starting to form pods:





July 4th


God Bless America!

July 12th

What kind of bug is this????


 EDIT UPDATE:  I did get an answer to the question

 My nephew Ethan says it is a Juvenile Assassin Bug


July 19th

Time for a new project 

The weekend is going to have temperatures of 90F - 100F+ so it will be a slow go but Jim is determined to start it right away.


Before we pressure wash and re stain our small deck  Jim is putting a roof over it (aka my summer kitchen).

This will allow me to work out there canning and cooking in the heat or rain of summer and  eliminate some of the hand shoveling I have to do after every snowstorm in the winter.

First thing was to re-level the stairs


Next was to remove a few sections of railing and two of the 4 X 4 posts


The posts are replaced with taller posts to support the roof

 Setting the pitch for the roof 

Beam detail

 I took these  at 6:30AM this morning (07/19)

July 19th

Six trips into the attic over the shop in temperatures over 120 F to fetch the Bakers scaffold  Jim  took a well deserved break before setting it up along with the extension ladder with scaffold plank rack.

He was now ready to set the ridge board and rafters.


With the ridge board set about a foot below the window Jim has his work cut out figuring out the pitch of the new roof. 

Since he will not need my help I decided to start cleaning the redwood  railings.  Over the years of neglect they have started growing Lichen and algae.

The rails clean up with a water/ bleach mixture and of course some scrubbing with a stiff bristle brush..

The left stair rail is ready for staining. The post caps are also ready for stain

The sections we removed to install the new posts are cleaned ,dry and ready for stain. leaving me 4 sections left to do.


After several trips up and down the ladder Jim has figured out the exact roof pitch and rafter cuts . He called it a day after he got one installed .

July 20th

It was a short day! Just enough time to get the rafters on! 

July 21st

Scaffolding set

Half of the sheets are on 


Sheathing is done and trimmed Ready for tar paper, The fascia and soffet material is ordered and will be ready to pick  up on Sunday

Just for fun I did a walk around before the sunset.


July 26th 

Ran the rest of the trim boards and put together a list for the saw mill

July 30th 

   Shingles are done

Insert picture here

August 6th

We picked up more white oak from our neighbor's sawmill..

 Jim ripped and milled the boards  then waited for the hurricane to pass before starting up again

He  replaced the old rotten brickmould molding around the two large sun room windows  and started  working on installing the batten boards.

 He will go back and replace the moldings on the two small windows once our new order of lumber get milled.

We are using rough cut  so we will have to give the boards time to dry before we start staining.

August 7th

The project was coming along nicely.

The trim on windows on the south side was started but ran out of material.

Not a big deal Jim moved to the east side of the house. I will put in another order this week for more White Oak.

.Jim was really making some good time and ran the upper section of battens above the window and had started to install the first one under the window when .....

Disaster struck The screw felt like he had missed its mark but that was not the case. 



He removed the landing, The trim boards and the first decking board,  The rot was not only completely through the first layer but into the second of three of the Mirolam beams. They would need to be replaced before we went any further. Our projects are never without a few hiccups. This is why we NEVER took on any remolding in our business.

Needed to remove the siding and put in a few temporary supports while we replaced the beams.

Ordered and picked up  2 -12" X12 ft and 1 -12" X 14 ft

August 8th

 We were able to salvage an 11 ft 6 in section of the first Mircolam.

 We will put it aside for a future project

Hoisted up onto the scaffolding Ready to be set in place. 

Installation went well A few whacks with the sledge hammer and it was in place and screwed off.

26 ft span on the triple Microlam beams The second and third beams will be cut and removed from the middle support to the short support on the far end of the deck. These two I think will be a little trickier than the first one I am not worried I am sure Jim has a plan.



August 9th

Removed the last of the beams.

They were really rotten 

With the beams removed next up was to cut off the nails from the deck. The guy that installed the deck really liked to drive nails.

The best way to cut through them was with the grinder.

The last two beams were installed without any problems.

 To finish out the day Jim leveled the beam, secured the middle  6" X 6" post, removed the temporary post holding the deck in place and installed the flashing. 

After Jim  installs the tar paper, reinstalls the siding we will be back to the " original" project of adding battens and trim boards that has been on hold since August 7th when we found out the beams were rotted.

August 11th

The last of the broccoli goes in the freezer Total for the year is  9 lbs 8 oz of florets ( bagged in 8 oz packages) and 5 lbs of tender stems  that I will use to make soup this winter in the freezer and 6 oz that I will use for our pizza tonight,

Tomato puree 

So far 18 pints ready for the pantry and a new pot simmering on the stove now.

August 19th

 A gift from Jim's Brother-in-law finally gets a fresh coat of paint and placed outside the shop door.


 A project for a rainy day A neighbor needed their front door fixed.

 The 9 panel plastic window grid was in bad shape with too many pieces missing so Jim rebuilt the window pane frame giving  it a new look. One that will make cleaning the glass easier. We delivered and installed it primed a few days later.


Jim continues to work on the house rebuilding rotten windows. 

Since the library window had to be removed and rebuilt I sanded and gave it a quick coat of stain 


I also wire brushed and painted the hinges.


Jim  applied the flashing and continued to work on milling and installing the batten boards.


He ran out of materials so the project is on hold for a few days. 


August 25th

 South and East sides are complete.

Scaffolding is moved to the West side

Family room windows are a mess



August 29th

 Over a few weeks I have been working on the basement .A project I was supposed to tackle last winter,

Moved all of our "precious" stuff from the basement section into the garage. We hauled off two truck loads to the transfer station already.

I will be calling the neighbors to come have a look at what is left and take what they want the rest will go to the transfer station. 

Most of the items have not seen the light of day in years so I am pretty sure we know longer need them.

Even moved the freezer out of the basement area! 

Our little cube freezer upstairs is full. I need to work fast to get the freezer back into the basement and running soon. Harvest season is here

Jim installed new LED lights. They make a huge difference. We pressured washed the room degreased the floor and applied a fresh coat of paint to the walls. 

Still have to  paint the stairs treads and floor. Paint for that should be here early next week.

September 1st

Was able to get the first coat of paint on the floor this morning.


September 3rd:

Second coat of paint on the floor and painted the stair treads.

 Now we have to wait 5 days for the paint to cure then we can  start moving stuff that we are keeping back into the basement. 

I set up  a couple of fans and the dehumidifier to help speed up the drying process.

In the meantime I figured I should try to clean and straighten up the garage a little. It is near impossible to walk in there right now. 

Outside the  guest room windows are being rebuilt in the shop:

Windows are ready for the hinges to be reinstalled.


September 4th

Guest Room windows are installed 



Starting to set the scaffolding on the last wall.

Up next the worst window on the house. 


September 11th


 On this day in 2001 al qaeda terrorists hijacked four passenger planes.

Two were flown into the Twin Towers in New York City

One was flown into the Pentagon in Washington DC

One was brought down by courageous patriots in a field in PA

2,077 lives were lost as well as the 19 hijackers,

Among the dead were 343 Firefighters and 72 Law enforcement officers who braved the wreckage of the World Trade Center to try and rescue those trapped inside.


September 11th

The  guest room window took 24 hours to rebuild and 6 hours to install. 

It was a nightmare for Jim. 

By the end of yesterday it was installed trimmed out and works flawlessly.

September 18th

Work continues on the front of the house

Battens installed and the roof of the walk out bay window removed.

 Bay window roof is done

 We are very close to being done. The walk out needs corner boards and battens which can be installed using a ladder so at the end of the day we took the scaffolding down . 

Waiting on lumber.

September 21st

The windows are repaired with new sash seals installed  corner board and the Battens are done.

Working on our fall TO DO  LIST

 Between the shop and the house we use about 8 full cord. We took two days to move the firewood  from the bunks in the woods and on to the porches

Today Jim rebuilt the Tractor Shed door Bottom rails. 



A quick game of Catch and Fetch 

Then we are off to chip up our neighbors brush pile


 October 1st

Another project on our list for this fall. We picked up the materials for .....

 A Tool Shed for the Greenhouse:

Since our backhoe is way to big for this job we called our neighbor Mitch. He is bringing his "Toy JD" over  Saturday morning to dig out the area.

October 3rd

Mitch arrives. Isn't his tractor cute. 

A perfect size for this little job and Mitch is an excellent operator leaving very little to hand dig.

Ruby oversees the work

Mitch no sooner pulled out to head home and the girls moved in ( They have learned that equipment running equals SNACKS) 

Jasper puts his two cents in  to make sure Jim installs the ledger board correctly

Within seconds of taking this picture the sky opens up and it poured. We scramble to get all of our tools loaded up into the Gator and drove back to the tractor shed. The girls being very verbal (aka not happy) raced  behind us and headed into their coop 

4 hours later the sun comes out and we continue.

 Installing the final screws in the frame. Yes I said screws our 35 year old Bostitch framing nailer decided to malfunction after the first nail.

Finished the deck and called it a day.


October  4th

Work continues on the Tool Shed Door and windows removed


Ridge board installed

Rafters on


OSB done. 

Jim is making a material list.

October 5th

Gregg M. Shonyo

rest in peace my friend

June 22,1956  October 5, 2020 


 I took this on one of our many early morning heartfelt talks many years ago


October 13th

Canning Ketchup in the rain on the "Summer Kitchen" 

October 21st

Working on next years firewood 

A nice load of Ash

To give you a little perspective of the size of the rounds.

A rare photo with me since I am always on the other end of the camera

It is sad that all the Ash trees on our property are dying from "Ash Die Back" and the Emerald Ash bore beetle.

On the up side  this one will keep us warm many cold nights next winter


 October 23rd

 We had a huge scare. Jim had an (AAA) abdominal aortic aneurysm that we were totally unaware of.

 Friday morning it ruptured. He was airlifted to Albany Med where they saved his life.

 I cannot find the words to express how thankful I am to everyone that was part of  taking care of Jim during this emergency.

 From Dr Guiney's team at Cobleskill Regional Hospital's Emergency room to the Air transport team, Dr Darling and Dr. Hnath's surgery team at Albany Medical Center and the after care staff of the CCU and the regular wing of the hospital. I apologize for not remembering each and every one of your names but know that all of you will forever be in my prayers!

I would be remiss if I didn't include Dr Joyce Burton ( our primary care Doctor) Her call to us as soon as she heard the news was so reassuring and calming I still have it on the answering machine.

 On the 29th 

Jim was released from the hospital and is home on his slow road to recovering.

October 31st

Jim insisted I go out for my annual Gator Run on Halloween. I reluctantly went out for a little while. It gave him a chance to get some uninterrupted and needed sleep.

My costume choice:

 Betsy Ross 

I only have a few pictures and none of me in my costume.

I had a great theme ready to go but wasn't excited about nor did I set aside enough time to set up for my run so  I kept the decorations simple.

I will use them all another year.


and everyone got a Pinwheel


November 26th

 Happy Thanksgiving!



December 17th

I will let the pictures tell the story