Journal 2023

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Cabinet Shop
Custom Classic Construction, Inc.
Since 1985

Those of you not familiar with the term.

A Blog is a weB LOG. A journal or open diary

  A page 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

2010   2009  2008  2007  2006  2005

2011  2012  2013  2014  2015 

 2016  2017  2018   2019 

 2020  2021  2022


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 


August 15th..

Made some serious progress today.

The deck boards are all fastened along with the trim boards along the outer edge 

To finish off the day Jim got  the landing and its trim and deck boards  ready to screw off tomorrow;

Then we can concentrate on finishing up staining the post and spraying the handrails and spindles with our new tip for the spray gun.

I worked in the Greenhouse trying to caught up on months worth of neglect. The tomatoes are starting to ripen and we have an endless supply of cucumbers, hot peppers and celery right now 

I pulled the onions and left them to cure for a week or so. They are small this year but I am grateful for everything we get to harvest this year.

August 12th

Still working on the kitchen deck

Post caps and landing decking boards are ready for install

The last 2 posts for the stairs ready to install

A few more boards to pull 



August 10th

We were just starting to get into a rhythm of removing the deck boards, getting the screws removed, puttied. sanded, stain and installed when it began to rain

Got everything put away and headed to the shop to stain the handrails


That did not go as planned. We are not sure if it was the thickness of the stain or if there were clumps in the paint causes the blockage but the spraying was not going very well. 

We had to call it quits before we finished the last two. 

I will order fresh stain in the morning and pray it can be delivered right away.


August 9th


Back to work on the Summer Kitchen Deck

Reinstalled the freshly stained deck boards so we could move our flat top cooker out of our way so tomorrow we can start to pull the next 1/3 of decking

August 8th

The Handrails are sanded and ready for the spray booth.

Jim needed to change out 3 of the twisted  posts so he recycled a few of the straight  4 X 4's from the old screen porch which involved pulling lots of staples and filling holes before they could be sanded and stained.


I spent  the day cleaning and straightening up.

Converting a "Construction zone" back into our home.

Jim's Sister Rebecca and her husband Mike came over for dinner. It was nice to take some time  to catch up on things.



August 7th

Started my day with canning up some bone broth

It stopped rainy around 3PM so we were able to move the boards back  to the deck and get them stained.

First coat looks very good.



August 6th

We started tearing up the deck boards. Case hardened screws makes the removal task quite tedious.

The screw tend to either spin the head or break off and have to be driven out with a hammer and punch.

 Once in awhile one will actually back out intact, but that is a rare event.

We got 1/3 of the deck boards up  broken screws pulled from both the floor joist and the decking boards.

We puttied where necessary and then gave each board a good sanding and since we were expecting heavy rain over night we stacked them into the new 3 season room to keep them dry.

Took a few minutes at the end of the day and gave the stair treads a quick sanding also.


July 30th

Carts are done

Landing pad for the stairs

2 Kubota bucket loads of crusher run worked out perfectly




We plan on measuring the height once the wind dies down some.

They are REALLY tall.


July 28th

First coat of paint 


July 27th

 Jim was chomping at the bit so to speak to get to work so we choose a couple of easy no strain projects.

Fist one was to double up the beams on each end of the 3-SR ( aka 3 season room)

He said it felt good to finally check that off his list.

Second project is building two firewood carts:

The 5 " wheels arrived so he got started on building the carts this morning

Bases are assembled and ready for primer.



July 25th

With Jim recovering from his most recent surgery on his  kidney ( July 11th) it has been awhile since I have had anything worth posting

He is required to lift nothing over 10 lbs for 6 weeks.

I did harvest the first bed of new potatoes.

They have cured so tomorrow I will store them in our walk in cooler 


The cooler is clean and ready to start filling the baskets with produce.

 It is mainly use it for winter squash, root crops and potatoes.

One year we  had such a large crop of apple it is all I used it for.



No pictures of this but I harvested 3 times off of 16 broccoli plants yielding about 27 packages for the freezer.

Wild Flocks are starting to bloom

We needed a storage area for a load of crusher run we are expecting on Saturday morning so we cleaned up the equipment parking area 


and moved the balance of the pea stone that was stored there to the front of the house. 

This will help keep the mud down until if or when we get around to building the deck

July 9th

We chose Benjamin Moore color called: Dragon's Breath for the exterior doors

July 7th


Now more functional and much nicer looking:

Drip cap is installed

 7 pints and 1 quart of pickled beets

Harvested the last of the first cutting of broccoli 

Will work on that this afternoon while I listen to the thunder roll in this afternoon

Finish coat on the inside surface of three of the four doors:

We ended up applying 2 coats of prime over factory prime before the top coat. 


Walking back from the shop I spotted these beauties

July 5th

Today we said goodbye to our Sweet Handsome Boy Jasper:

No words can express our heartache for his passing.

Aug 24, 2009 - July 5,2023


Walking our trail called Maggie's Lane 2015

Hanging out in the shade with his sister 2016

Let the games begin 2017


Chilling after  a game of "Catch and Fetch" 2018

Winter 2019

Ready for action 2020

Spring 2021

Saying Good morning 2022

May 8, 2023

Rest in Peace buddy!







July 4th

Happy Birthday America!



Work continues

The hinges for the front door were a mess so Jim wire brushed them and applied a few coats of spray paint.

They look good as new.

The front door was also in dire need of work so Jim sanded it down and we applied the second coat of primer on it this morning.

We decided to enjoy our new space while we wait for the electrical work to be done


Early this morning I worked on processing some of our broccoli. With the cooler weather and planting them outside we have a really nice crop this year.

Thanks to Fred for bring us wonderful topsoil and aged cow manure for the beds.



July 1st

Enjoying  Summer









June 16th 

We got the Fascia boards installed and had enough time to mow the lawn before the rain started.


June 15th

Windows are trimmed and the battens are complete



June 14th

May she forever wave!

God bless America!

We got the corner boards installed and the window wrap on before the rain started.

Otto still comes around  every once and awhile for a snack.


June 13th

See sometimes I am caught working. I try not to let that happen very often.

Jasper and Ruby enjoying some quiet time.



June 12th

Starting to install the fascia, Window trim and batten boards

Jim gets a little help from the girls

June 11th

 Second coated all of the trim boards

June 10th

Worked on the 3- season room:

Jim ripped the boards for the trim pieces:

First coat of stain on the battens and fascia boards


Second coat on the building 


To end my work day I trimmed the fruit trees. We are keeping them dwarfed so no ladder will ever be needed to harvest the fruit.

In this small orchard:

2 Pear

4 Peach

1 Cherry

1 Stanley Plum

1 Bubblegum Plum

5 Apple trees

We will add fresh wood chips underneath the trees once we start on firewood.


June 9th

 Gehl  excavator arrived this afternoon.

Jim has wanted one since before we bought the backhoe.

 It has very low hours and came with a few nice extras:

 a thumb 

a trenching bucket 

and rubber tracks.

It is the perfect size for our needs of digging out stumps and creating trails and digging ponds.






June 7th

The foundation for the old screen porch is skewed on two sides and bowed on the third meaning Jim had to make several trips to the shop to customize the  kick boards to make the transition from the main house to the 3 season room smooth making for a very long afternoon.

While we waited for our paint delivery Jim applied and stained the casings.

I harvested enough beets to yield almost a 1/2 gallon a jar of pickled beets and for dinner I made "Moc" mac and cheese from our cauliflower.

 When the Sand castle stain arrived I double  coated the kick boards.

After it dried we installed the doors which went really well thanks to  all the pre work on the kickboard and threshold areas Jim had addressed. 

He also took the time to  reinstalled the temporary stairs on the front.

June 2nd

Two coats of stain on the windows



May 30th

Windows are installed


May 29th

I encourage you to Pledge Allegiance to our country ,put a flower or flag on a grave, say a prayer  and  to stop  at 3:00 PM  and take part in a moment of quiet remembrance. 


God Bless the UNITED STATES of America and those that gave the ultimate to keep us safe!

May 27th

  Finished up some of the incidentals and got started on the first coat of stain.

We still have a lot of work to do but we are getting a feel for what the overall project will look like 



May 22nd

We will pick up  boards for the  soffit window and door trim  corner boards and hopefully some of the  material for the battens in the morning!



May 21st

Cantilever soffit installed


Starting on the siding:



"The Kids" hanging out on the front porch:



May 20th

Making progress

The West and East walls are  laid out for a 36" Door and 2 - 36" X 48" Windows

I spotted  a few blooming forget-me-nots.

I always smile when I see them.

My Dad gave me the seeds over 30 years ago and they have been self seeding all over the property ever since.

In fact this year they popped up in a couple of  my neighbors yards.






May 18th

Ran to Lowe's for our windows yesterday. 

 They had 5 of the 11 we need in stock The rest should be here in 2 weeks.

Jim can start to frame up the walls.

First thing we wanted to do was to set a couple of windows to check for  spacing between and the height off the deck. 

Jim decided to move the window down 1/4" more and we like the double studs in between so now he can get started on framing walls.

After we primed the soffit boards we took a break to pick up some of the  siding material  and got a sneak peek at our soon to be new piece of equipment.

(More on that later)

When we got home I got on the mower for over 3 hours and Jim looked after Jasper while he framed out the north wall. 

North wall:

    Seven  36"Wide X 48"Tall windows


May 16th

Except for bringing home our five new Boven Brown pullets and getting them settled in to the chicken tractor with Meg the day was filled with boring tasks

 Jim got the deck screwed off and I did a major errand run.

One exciting thing did happen. We had a Mama Bear and her cub show up, Unfortunately I wasn't ready with my camera but we did enjoy watching them as they walked across the field on the far side of the pond. She was huge.


May 15th 

 Jim ran the ice and water shield over the entire roof to hold us over till next year when we have the entire house re-roofed by " Other" 


We torn down the scaffolding and cleaned up the area to get ready to frame the walls

May 14th


 A toast to my Husband. Best Friend and Partner

 Happy Birthday Jim!


May 12th

Good morning!

On my way to let Meg out of the coop. 



May 11th

Ran to 84 Lumber for 15 sheets of  AdvanTech. As soon as we got home we started  installing it.

Thank you Tony!



May 10th

Squaring up the roof to the deck and installed a few temporary studs to give us an idea of what our window layout will be

Removed the bottle jacks, cleaned up the area and got ready to start the roof



May 9th

Jim tapered the old rafters so we have a flat area for our new wall we have increased the depth of the room by 2 ft.

May 8th

Jim starts to raise the rafters and hears sounds that tell him to stop and re-evaluate how his attacks this step in the process.

He decides to remove the flashing and the short sections of roof plywood before he tries to jack up the rafters again

This is what he uncovered:



Two of the bearing rafters will need to be replaced


We did get the area cleaned up and ready to go at it again in the morning


May 7th

I spray foamed the gaps

Jim ripped the 2" foam board 

And then we installed them.

It went well.


Next job on our schedule was to install the OSB ( 3/4" AdvanTech chip board )

Jasper joined us for  our first break on the new deck.

He is one handsome boy

We stay focused and finished installing all of the subfloor.

The reason for redoing this room was for the view.

 Our pond is about a 1/4 to 1/3 of an acre and has lots of wildlife visitors throughout the year.

As a screen porch it only got used a couple of months out of the year


May 6th

Jim spent the day ripping and installing all of the support boards for the 2" Styrofoam and the blocking for the soffit


May 5th


 Jim had his bi-annual CTscan today  which cut our "work" day short, but we made some good progress in a few short hours.

 On the way home we stopped to pick up the decking and 2" foam board at 84 Lumber.


The "Inspector" Meg is here to check on our work

It has been a struggle for Jim to get "OUR" floor joists  level and square off the mess left by the previous owner. 

There is not one redeeming quality on anything he touched.

From the Guest house interior, to the kitchen porch, to the Glass room( which is now our dining room) to the Master Bedroom walk bay and now the screen porch.

Thankfully this is the last of "His" special add on projects. Just because you might own a hammer does not make you a Carpenter. nor does owning a wheel barrel make you a Mason. 

Fortunately the man that had the main section of the house built hired professionals. 


We stayed at it and ran the remaining joists, Snapped a line, cut the tails  and ...

ended the day with one section of the box installed.


From this point on we will be working off our OUR Framing.

May 3rd

Forecast calls for more RAIN

Ordered a Hammer drill from Amazon to drill out for the Tap cons.




May 2nd

Forecast calls for more  RAIN

Removed the L brackets from the support posts and cut the screening off.

Then we ran to 84 lumber for materials, 


Finished the day by raising the rafters and removing  several of the 4 X 4 posts

May 1st

Forecast calls for RAIN

Time to rip off the plywood

Easier said than done.



Got the first row off and it started to rain again.

Rain let up long enough to cut the tails off the rafters and install the sub fascia boards

The previous owner got carried away when nailing off the plywood.

We were thankful he did NOT use ringshank nails which we had to deal with  on other projects around here.

After having to wait out  a few down pours at the end of the day  the sun came out. 



April 30th

Forecast calls for RAIN

Gable ends removed and the last rafter extensions are installed

Jim takes a break to spend a little time with Jasper


April 29th

Completed the main run of rafters

Before Jim can install the gable boards we have to remove the bolts that hold the frame together. 

It is supposed to rain all day tomorrow so it will be a good day to work on them


April 28th

Forecast calls for RAIN

Shingles are gone.

 Plywood is in bad shape It will all have to be replaced

We gave some of the moss that was on the shingles  a new home around the fountain

Our Bostitch framing coil nailer needs to be rebuilt. We bought it for our framing crew in 1985.The gun owes us nothing we made a good living with it.

 We considered ordering  a new one and or a rebuild i our old one  but according to Amazon it would not arrive until the  second week of May so instead  we picked up a framing stick nailer at Harbor Freight 

and stopped for the rafter material on our way home.

After all our running around getting our equipment set up we got a late start in the day but wanted to at least get a start on knocking the blocking out and installing a few of the  rafter extensions.

 By doing it this way we can increase the depth of the room without replacing all of the existing rafters

.A win win  for our budget


April 27th

  Setting scaffolding boards

A quick walk through the Greenhouse




The fruit trees are starting to bloom


April 26th

We put the bug screening on the 2nd bed.

I planted Yukon Gold and Russet potatoes in the raised bed and  started another tray of seeds

Jim leveled out the remainder of the crusher run .

Then took the York rake off the International ,pulled the bucket from the Kubota and installed the forks

We even took the time to mow the lawn before we set up for the next project.

Next project is to the screen porch

Moved the scaffolding with the Kubota.

Since Jasper isn't able to run along side the Gator any more he rides along with his sister in the back when we are working outside.

As we finished setting the scaffolding  it started to rain so we called it quits for the day.



April 22nd

The crusher run is done and we have done a little more work on the Raised Beds 

A close up of the rails and brackets for the roll up bug netting.

We will cut the end pieces of netting after we cut and install the second bed's bug netting.

 It is too winding today and tomorrow it is supposed to rain.

The first bed is planted with English Peas, Diakon Radishes and  fancy Sunflower seeds. ( Normally I just plant black oil seeds )

The trellis will be planted with cucumbers.

The radishes are  starting to come up already

Walking back to the house I spotted some Mayflowers

April 15

Jim started his day by mixing the cow manure with the top soil with a fork while I worked in the greenhouse prepping a couple of bed and planting celery, spinach and onions.

Then he fired up the Kubota and  moved the gravel and got it spread out around the front and rows  of the raised beds.

Tomorrow he will finish up the back side.


April 14th

My Niece Tara popped in for a visit and she came bearing a gift. She lives and works in the New York City area as a makeup artist so we don't get to see here very often.

She brought us some New York City Bagels from her favorite shop.

I wrapped most of them for the freezer but we did have a couple of them while they were fresh.

DELICIOUS! Thank you Tara.


April 13th

Materials arrived

Ready to get to work

First machine put to work was the backhoe

Jim loads the soil into the beds and my job is to rake it smooth.

Best laid plans. The heat got to me and sent me to the shade for a portion of the day.

Jim worked through the day taking breaks as he needed to.

After he finished with the topsoil he used the Kubota to top off each bed with several inches of manure which will get tilled in tomorrow.

With the remainder of the topsoil he filled in the leach lines for the guest house that had settled over the last 2 years.


Using the  International that has the York rake he smoothed the areas out.


The pile of topsoil is gone.

We have enough of the cow manure left over for next year


April 12th

We ordered 

 1. Topsoil ( sandy loam)

 2. Cow manure 

 3. Crusher run. 

We will be mixing 60% sandy loam with 40% cow manure for each bed

 The  weed guard  is in place and the frames are  leveled and ready.

In the morning we will  lay down few layers of corrugated cardboard in the bottom of each bed. 


We are ready for our deliveries.


April 10th

Jim has been working on building the new  14' X 4' X 12" deep raised beds.

The Kubota is a blessing! It moved the frames from the shop to the site  quickly and  with hardly any effort from us.


We use the Japanese method of Shou sui ban also called yakisugi method of preserving the boards.

Inside the High Tunnel 


April 9th

Happy Easter!



I made a fruit flan for dessert. My sister used to make a fruit tart every year for Easter, Since she moved to Florida we no  longer get to  celebrate the holiday together so I decided  I would continue her tradition for our Easter table.

I started to set the table.



Key lime is  blooming. They give off a lovely scent.


April 6th

Picked up lumber for the raised beds and Jim got started on building a few of them in the shop on Saturday



April 5th

First outside project of the year 

We added drain tile to the south side of the High tunnel


After wrapping  the drain tile with landscape fabric and getting a 1/8" pitch Jim filled trench with peastone


March 17th

"May your Troubles be less.

And your Blessings be more.

And nothing but Happiness come through your door"

Happy St. Patrick's Day!


March 15th

Clean up

March 14th

Nor'easter arrived around 10PM the 13th.

According to the weather station up the road as of this morning we got 30" of heavy snow




March 4th

It snowed last night It was a very heavy snow. I didn't get a measurement but the weather station nearest to us said 14.2 inches and the next closest one say 10.4 so we figure we got something in between those amounts.

A rare sighting:

 Ruby knows Jasper is not feeling very well she is being a good sister and stays close to him.

February 10th

Spring will be here in 38 days. Time to move the cole crop seedlings into solo cups so they can continue to establish their roots 


February 8th

There was a few ripe tomatoes so I added them....


along with a variety of leaves from the lettuce.

A few store bought spinach leaves and some feta made for a perfect salad

February 4th

Woke up to see this:


Meanwhile on the Seed Starting Rack tomatoes are starting to ripen.

February 3rd

Jim's abdominal aortic aneurysm repair went very well and he received excellent after care from his  compassionate nurses on the fifth floor at Albany Medical Center. 

A special Thank you to  Dr Hnath, Dr Darling, nurse Anthony and nurse Gabby.

Jim was release this morning.. 

Now I have to try and keep him from overdoing for the next 2-5 weeks so he can heal completely.



January 30th

I bought this last year mid summer It was not in great condition but it was almost free so I thought I would "once again" try and grow rosemary. It lived in the high tunnel all summer and bounced back enough that I decided to try and keep it going until I could return it to the high tunnel in the spring.

 I have never had a Rosemary plant ever that flowered. I am hoping that this will  continue to grow into a beautiful plant 


January 20th

Yesterday I planted the last tray I have until my order arrives. This time it was a mixed of 

Flowers pollinators



     Red Robinson Chrysanthemum

Peppers: (never have too many varieties)

Thai Hot 

King of the North Sweet Red

California Wonder Sweet Bell

Antohi Romanian Sweet Yellow snacker





January 19th

Never throw out outdated Detroit Red beet seeds. I decided since there was plenty of time for failure I would use an overlooked package of beet seeds that were dated for 2015

It looks like almost all of them are up or breaking through.

Spinach is also starting to come up along with the Kohlrabi. I will see if the trays are worthy of a picture tomorrow.



January 16th

According to the Farmers Almanac and the moon it is time for me to start planting our spring crops.

We are expanding our garden bed and I do not have enough room on our current seed starting rack so...

Jim is building another one and I ordered another ten of the  10-20 trays and domes.

 I use the 36 cell cups for most of the seeds and 72 cells for beets and spinach

Got the shelves and lights installed on the new rack so I started planting our 10-20 seed trays

So far I have:

     Detroit Red Beets







      Jalapeno, Red Marconi, Anaheim, Cayenne


     King of the North (Red)

     Sun Bright (Yellow)

     Sweet Habanera (Orange)






     Salad Delight Red


     Nero Di Toscana Kale

     Rhubarb Chard 

     Noble Spinach

     Buttercrunch Lettuce





     Black Beauty



     Utah yellow

     Granex Hybrid

     Red Wethersfield

     Yellow Sweet and White Sweet Spanish

     Red Ruby

     Bunching onions










     Sparky Marigolds    

On the bottom of the furthest rack are 3 Pepper plants I decided to winter over from last years garden

They include a cayenne, Red Marconi, and Big Bertha. So far they seem to be surviving.

Close up of the lettuce shelf

And a close up of the Tom Thumb Tomatoes. 

reference the size the largest are about the size of a "shooter" marble at this time.



January 11

We spent a few days searching for a new clock for over the fireplace and nothing truly sang to us, but we did like that this one had a glass bezel. It also was the right  size and  we really liked the style of the numbers and hands but........

Not exactly what we were looking for so Jim headed to the scrape lumber to find an oak board long enough to make a surround for the clock

He had "just" enough for the top layer.

He added a backer of 1" MDF, this will allow the clock to sit flat against the wall that I will paint black

After a few trips around the  boards with the router we had a perfect fit to insert the clock. 

I love it!

We are not concerned with the color difference at this time  At this point there is only 6 coats of Danish oil applied to the clock surround.

 Jim built the mantle  in 1994 and it has at least 50 coats of Danish oil applied over the years. 







January 1

Good morning!


Happy New Year!

Tiny Tim Tomato 

Lettuce is doing well:

Otto still visits the pond once and awhile. 

I call his name and he turns his attention to me.