Journal 2022

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Cabinet Shop
Custom Classic Construction, Inc.
Since 1985

 A personal view of us & our business



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I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, 

and to the Republic for which it stands, 

one Nation under God, 

indivisible, with liberty and justice for all

December 25th

Merry Christmas!


December 15th

free-indifferent-smileys-746No cookies this year...I have been baking cookies as treats for my neighbors for decades and never had any problems until today.

First batch I forgot the eggs. They crumbled into dust when I took them off the tray. No fixing that...I took a break and went back at it.

Then this happened on the second try

I have  no idea what I did wrong this time.

I smelt burning sugar opened the oven door and this is what I found. In under 3 minutes in the oven it was a puddle 

Frosty with a patriotic theme.


December 14th

Growing some lettuce and tiny Tim tomatoes under lights 



December 4th

"Otto" the otter is so entertaining and photogenic.

Another video of one of Otto's visit to the pond

Click the link:


Rebecca ( Jim's sister) surprised us with one of her beautiful hand crafted creations on Thanksgiving.

 Today we gave it a place in our sunroom. We love it! 



November 23rd

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and we are going to celebrate it with Jim's sister Rebecca and her husband Mike.

I am putting together a fairly simple menu 

 It of course will all be made from scratch and CARB heavy but that seems to be what the family enjoys.



Shrimp cocktail

Crackers and Cheese


Main Meal:

Turkey with Gravy

Mashed Potatoes

Sausage Herb Stuffing with apples celery and onion


Cranberry Sauce

Parker house Rolls



Rex-Goliath Pinot Grigio 



Apple Pie with Vanilla ice cream

Cherry pie bites

For me Thanksgiving is more than the festivities as much as I do enjoy cooking and entertaining, it gives me time to ponder upon what lessons I've learnt and to look back at all the great memories and good people who brought joy into my life.

Happy Thanksgiving!



November 11th

On the 11th day 

at the 11th hour 

in the  11th month

 of 1918

 The Great war ended and this day would be called Armistice Day

On the 11th day at the 11th hour in the  11th month we take a moment of silence to remember all of our Veterans.

To all that have served  past and present in the armed forces to protect my liberties.

 I thank you for your service.



November 10th

Today is my  friend Bonnie birthday.

 She not only shares the same birthday as our Marine corp.  Her son Christopher enlisted in the Marines after graduation.

Semper Fi Marines

Thank you always being there

For your sacrifices while keeping us safe and protecting our liberties!

 Happy (247th) Birthday to our brave men and women that make up our  Marine Corp



November 9th

Right in the middle of processing pumpkin for the pressure canner  I hear water dripping under the sink Fortunately I keep a bucket under the drain line so I did not flood the cabinet

The connector from the sink to the drain link had rotted and completely separated from the sink. 

It was installed when we remodeled the kitchen  in 2008 Just another example of the inferior quality of stuff today.

We had a leftover cap from another job and started to install it when the drain pipe crumbled ( nothing is ever simple around here) so ....... off to my "favorite" store Phillips Hardware in Guilderland Center, John the store manager looked at our bucket of cracked and broken drain pipe pieces and quickly set  us up with parts needed to repair the sink drain.

Jim went right to work on getting me back up and running.

I got back to work on processing the pumpkins.

6- quarts of cubed pumpkin

1/2 gallon plus about a pint of roasted pumpkin puree that today  I will make  a few pumpkin breads, a couple of ziplock bags for making pumpkin pies this winter  and 2 cups will go into tonight's dinner.A recipe ( new to me) from Racheal Ray called "Pasta with pumpkin and sausage".



November 8th 

Unfortunately this is the only decent picture I took while I watch the eclipse unfold this morning.


Blood Moon lunar Eclipse!


November 1st


Happy Birthday Kim!


October 31st

Happy Halloween!

Gator is ready for Jim to work his magic



October 22nd 

Looked out this morning and we had a visitor at the pond.

A short video of his visit


He hung around all morning. When I spotted him grooming and basking  on the bank I was blessed to be able to snap off a few more photos. He was very cooperative.

Sadly I noticed in a few of the pictures when I zoomed in that he had been attacked by something that left several bite wounds in his hind quarters. 

He has moved on and hopefully ate enough of our crayfish and frogs to help him in his recovery .


October 21st

Every chance we get we work on firewood for the 2023/2024 heating season.

We need a total of about 6 1/2 cord to heat both the house and shop each winter.


Picked up some straw for our Autumn display Very pricey this year at $9 per bale. Fortunately I only needed 2.

On my  walk around the pond. I am always in awe of what I see. 



October 13th

Colors of October after a very dry summer are absolutely beautiful


Another shade of  orange. This time it is from our first carrot from our third planting in the greenhouse. 



October 11th

Columbus Day

A day set aside to acknowledge Christopher Columbus's landing in the new world on October 12, 1492 on an island in the Bahamas. 

 There is only limited knowledge of what pre -Columbus America was like but it did include war, slavery and plenty of brutality. History is the story of conquest. 

We may not like it, but it is our shared heritage .

We should all agree the best parts of humanity include that sense of discovery and the spirit of exploration.

It took tremendous bravery to sail off in the unknown as it did for the Native Americans that walk the land bridge from Asia to the new world. 

The holiday needn't be a battleground, but a chance to celebrate the best within us.


October 1st

Talked to my sister They are ok! Never lost power but they have no water and cell phone is sketchy. 

They lost a few tiles from their roof and lots of trees down in the neighborhood but overall feeling very lucky.


Sept 30th

Installed the kick plate on both front and back doors.

 Stained the snow shoe rack and the bench  cobble brown to match our trim

Spread out a few more loads of crusher run to make the step off the porch comfortable.

For the landing we decided on a stone from our collection of flat rocks that used to be part of our original kitchen path


September 28th

My sister and her husband live in North Fort Meyers (at about 27 ft above sea level )They are hunkered down with their 2 cats and my niece's dog to ride out Ian 

She sent me this image as we were talking about this massive slow moving almost a CAT 5 hurricane.

Our Mom was our Girl Scout troop leader so in general we are always thinking ahead and have supplies at the ready for most emergencies situations. 

No last minute running around  for her only to find the shelves empty or people in a panic with attitudes..

Our prayers go out to all of the people that will be effected by Ian.


September 27th

Storm Doors are installed

Sept 25th

With Hurricane season upon us We wanted to get the dry firewood to the Shop porch before it rained.
6 trips with the Gator equals 1 cord This wall holds  5  loads

The posts are 8 ft apart which means another full cord of dry firewood

It took us 6 1/2 hours to move it.  

We can check one more thing  off our winter prep list. The house and shop are ready for the coming heating season.

Jim  filling the Gator with the last load to complete the stack

Sept 23rd

Jim installed the deck boards and touched up the stain on the house and barn beam.

The ramp is temporary. It will be replaced by a lower deck that we will do later.


No matter what the project Jim not only concerns himself with structural integrity but the aesthetics  

 He even routed the edges of the end grain. 
"Fit and Finish" Another a beautiful job!

Meanwhile I was able to process some our our pepper harvest. I put together a small batch of  Cowboy Candy

A few jars of my version of Frank's Hot sauce

and froze sliced sweet peppers that I will vacuum seal in 1/2 lb bags in the morning.

Sept 21st

Leveled out the area with crusher run and started the rebuild. 

At that point I took a tumble in a "gopher " hole and twisted my ankle. Jim finished leveling off the stone and built the frame work for the new deck by himself while I iced down my ankle.

He also  temporarily laid down the planking and reinstall the ramp at the end of the day for Jasper since we knew it was going to rain all day on Thursday.

Sept 20th

Over the last 3 days we moved 3 1/2 cord of wood to the woodshed

Next project is to tear off the old front porch 



September 16th

Today Jim built the potting shed a rack to store all of the seed starting supplies.

I weeded, harvested carrots. peppers and cabbage for the freezer I also prepped  the beds  for planting

Pulled a few of the tomato plants that were done producing and cleaned up the south side of the center bed.

Spent the balance of the day getting the carrots ready to process for the freezer in the morning.


September 12th

Finished the trim shortly before the clouds rolled in and it started to rain.

We are done with stain for the year.

Waiting on the storm doors before we can remove and refinish the front door.


Potting Shed

Compost Bins

Kubota Shed


Sept 11th

God Bless America

Sept 7th

September 1st

Adding to the pantry every week I am able to cook off tomato sauce 

And  today I made a big batch of salsa



August 30th

We still have the deck roof fascia and deck boards to stain but since we have not settled on a design for the railings  we moved to the front to keep our forward progress going.


August 24th

 Before we could paint  the three kitchen windows they needed some repair.

While the windows are out  Jim replaced the gaskets.

Broke down the scaffolding and moved it to the front of the house.


August 20th

Reset Scaffolding and stained the short wall

Painted the foundation


August 19th

East Wall



Removal in 2014

Video: Chimney take down 

Fixing fascia board where our decommissioned Monarch side by side wood furnace's  chimney was strapped against the house

Ready for trim and foundation paint


August 17th

Today after we  finished scraping peeling paint and removed the old window gaskets on the two windows on the south wall. Jim gave them a coat of  of the cobble brown trim color stain.

Then we tore down the scaffolding and reset for the east wall

It was a shorter day but Jim did get the fascia boards and windows caulked. All of the equipment moved to the deck and  we are ready for 1st coat of stain in the morning.

August 16th


We are waiting on the paint for the basement windows

August 15th

Mortgage lifters:

San Marzanos 

We are craving BLT's for dinner.

So I started the day by baking a loaf of bread.


August 14th

And the staining begins. I spray and Jim back rolls. it is a good system for us:

The mason scaffolding works great for terrain with no more than an 16" drop so at the end of the day with a little creative thinking we set up for tomorrow this way.



August 13th


Ready for stain


August 12th

After looking at the "chaos" Jim decided we needed to make a change so ....


We ran for lumber and started to enclose the area

Removed our 'Catch all" bench. We will rethink the area and perhaps add shelving later.

Tomorrow we will install the battens and layout for the windows



August 5th 

The Black eyed Susan's are thriving in the heat

Tomatoes are  starting to ripen. 

Our first batch of sauce went into the water bath canner  this morning.

Cooled and ready to go into the  pantry.



July 26th

 Getting the scaffolding loaded  up so we can get started on  our next project.

The Kubota is a blessing! It makes quick work  of moving the parts needed  and saving our energy for erecting it.

Jim has been experimenting with different products to fill the voids  in the redwood siding and repair any rot or  bee damage he finds in the trim. 

Even in the shade it has been very hot so time working outside is limited to a couple of hours each day.

July 21st

Getting started preserving our harvest

Starting with a batch of Polish Dill Pickles

The last of the road lily flowers

Not really a flower but sure is a pretty sight. This is the first time I so far am having success growing Red Cabbage.



July 14th

Since we still have to purchase and install  cap shingles we decided to leave the scaffolding set up.

We were finished by 1:30


With several working hours left to the day Jim got the CNC operating software working correctly. For the last 2 weeks we thought it was an issue with my design software. Very frustrating.

With the CNC machine functioning properly it was time to do a test run on a sign I had promised to make for Boy Scout camp.

 The  first step was to write a surface plane program for the  rough cut pine board.

And then a letter test run on some scrap MDF checking size and spacing.

I think it will look better if I make the letters a little thicker and a double space between the rows.

Funny how I can clearly see my vision in a cabinet design on paper but this sign making is new to me and will require more practice.


July 13th 

Today has 2 meanings for us,

#1  Our wedding anniversary 

#2  The start up of  our business  37 years ago.


 With the beautiful weather forecasted it would be a great time to start on the shingles.

 We set the scaffolding.


We are glad we do not have to be motivated by our working years motto of "Time is Money".

 Now we go by "Slow and steady".  It took 5 1/2 hours to install a little over 2-1/2  square of shingles.


July 10th

Lettuce box 




July 4th

Today marks the birth of the greatest nation in the world!

Happy Birthday America!



 Signing of the

Declaration of Independence!  

as read by Max Mclean



July 3rd

Finally done with staining a few of the buildings 

Jim cutting in the last of the trim color


June 28th 

A quick walk through the high tunnel







Using some left over rough cut pine  Jim put together a  Box that I lined with plastic to use on the seed starting rack.

 Head lettuce struggles in the greenhouse so we decided to grow it under lights inside where it is much cooler.

So far so good.








June 25th

We were finally ready to start spraying stain Jim manned the spray gun  and I followed with a 6" roller driving the stain into the wood. It was a long hot day in the sun.

 First  coat is completed by the end of the day on  .....

The Tool shed

The compost Bin:

And the Kubota Run-in 

We will take tomorrow off to recuperate and I will order more stain on Monday.

June 23rd:

Sunrise this morning was spectacular


June 17th


Robin babies fledged this morning!




June 14th

 A day to honor our national Flag! 

May she forever wave!

June 6th 

Over View of the Greenhouse


Second planting of Broccoli


Ground Cherries

First pod has formed


 Mortgage lifter Tomatoes


Cucumber trellis


May 30th

Lest they be forgotten


May 23rd

Greenhouse update 

First some pretty flowers to attract the bees.



Navajo Sunset Agastache


North side:

South side:


May 22nd

Working on the drywell

New  10 ft section of pipe was needed.

Since we are mostly clay we were advised to increase efficiency of evaporation to add a larger stone holding area around the tank for the kitchen sink and dishwasher waste water to flow into and this time we will add a layer of fabric before replacing the soil to keep it from filtering down into the stones and ruining the system.


Ready for me to order a load of #2 stone



May 20th

It was time to fill up the truck and a few gas cans.

Need I say more ............


April 17th

Happy Easter!



April 7th

The Greenhouse:

Raspberry bushes:



Tophat Blueberry Bush is in flower


Garlic: Planted two beds last fall


Lettuce for "cut and come again" is up

Spinach is starting to germinate



Transplanted the broccoli, cabbage.cauliflower and beets:



Cauliflower are already starting to form heads



Dill  self seeded from last year




April 2nd 

I made some fresh baked torpedo rolls for our Grilled Sausage with onion and pepper sandwiches. we are having for  supper.

We spent the day working on taking down two damaged Aspen trees and getting them bucked up into lenght, split and stacked for firewood. We yielded enough to fill one bunk and started the next one.



March 31st

Continued progress on the Master bedroom


As of this morning:

Still have to rewire all the outlets

And for the ceiling we are ordering Armstrong's tongue and groove planks to cover the existing  1970's vintage Popcorn ceiling


March 21st

First attempt at fresh milled hard white wheat bread

The loaf was very dense and to dry for our liking.

I have a lot to learn.

Next time I will substitute  a cup or two of all purpose flour along with a  few tablespoons of  vital wheat gluten in hope that will make the dough softer.


March 18th




March 17th

"May your Troubles be less.

And your Blessings be more.

And nothing but Happiness come through your door"



March 12th

Over the last few days we got the  master bedroom painted and the  bay window completed except for the cased opening trim 

We again could not find the moldings we needed so Jim ordered the cutters to make up the baseboard, plinth and base blocks 2 different style fluted casings and the head pieces. and a new spray tip to paint all of it along with the shelves.

 We also still need prime and paint the actual crank out parts of the  windows but that will have to wait until warmer weather when we can leave them open to dry 


March 10th 

Snowed last night

Sometimes I prefer Black and White.

March 4th

Dropping the ceiling down to give us a way to finish off the cased opening Jim fabricated 6" V groove boards

At the end of the day the ceiling is installed the head board over the window and the sill is done

Still have to install the apron for the window and case out the opening,

We can not find anyone that has our fluted casing so  Jim ordered a set of cutters to make them.

Tomorrow we run for paint.

This entire area will be painted the same white we use for the casings and baseboards.

The walls for the bedroom will be

Benjamin Moore Classic Rockport Gray HC-105

March 3rd

Next up the left side 

Here is the area. That triangle area is the siding on the house No insulation at all None in the ceiling either.

The reveal on the window verses the cased opening area is not equal. Jim will have to build out the opening to square it up

The previous owner simply cut the bookcase shelves out of square and cleated them to the wall to fit the space.


Left side had to be built out 1- 1/2" to square up the opening to the window.


 The previous owner  paid attention and got the right side much closer. A few shims and Jim got the new bookcase squared up,


Case installed and face frames on


March 2nd


There are so many 'issues" with the walk out bay area The bookcases have to be built in place in order to make the many adjustments to the face frames to make the area something we can be proud of.

We believe that they should make a  "must be licensed" to work in the home building field mandatory. You cannot practice medicine, law  or even cut hair without one. This walk out bay area was a homeowner add on and it is a mess.

None of it is level, plumb or square

 8 hours later at least a dozen trips to the shop to mill up pieces Jim has it under control and it is coming together well. The easier of the two sides is built.





March 1st

Sleep eluded me last night so instead of tossing and turning I decided to just get up and bake. 

Black Bottom Cake

Cheese Crackers

And torpedo rolls.

Now I am tired.

February 28th

Sorry no pictures of the work so far

We are remolding the master bedroom. We started by removing the original 1970 carpeting, wallpaper and paneling. 

Then proceeded to rip up the particle board that was under the carpet and ran hardwood flooring.

Jim  skim coated the walls. They were in rough shape from sanding the adhesive that was used to glue the paneling to the wall.

 Over the weekend we primed the walls


Seed rack is looking great!

Cauliflower, Cabbage and Broccoli have adjusted to the transplanting into the solo cups.

Beets are up


January 25th

The spring growing season starts. 

Planted 3 starter trays during the Wolf moon ( January 15th)

Broccoli, Cauliflower, Cabbage variety of sweet and hot peppers and a  variety of Lettuce

First of the seeds have germinated


Started my day by baking a loaf of crusty bread. I will use any excuse to turn the oven on when it is this cold.


Happy New Year!