Sunday, August 23, 2015

Home Improvements At Jill's House

When you buy a 1960's house, you can expect that there will be things to fix up.  It takes a while to get to some of them. 

First on the list of Jill's priorities was to take down the shed that enclosed the hot tub that no longer worked. The shed was on the deck and blocked much of the deck from the yard.  We did that over spring break. That led to the purchase of a new hot tub and eventually the replacing of deck rails on the newly configured deck. 

The rail project was done about mid summer.
 There was enough material from the shed demolition to do most of the rail work.  The interior of the shed had been lined with the same lattice that was used on the rails. 

Tom was the crew chief and Jill and the kids supplied much of the labor. 
 Rails completed.
 Now to widen the steps where the shed once was. 
 Isaac and Irene both got to use power tools!  Cool!.

The next priority was to attempt to repair the roof where is has been leaking. There is an expensive metal tile roof on the house, mostly in good shape, but several roofing companies were not interested in repairing it.  One roofer gave suggestions of how it might be repaired, DIY.

Again Tom oversaw the project with his crew.  Yes, Jill had her kids up on the roof working. 
 They removed some sections of tile roofing and worked in some flashing and a moisture barrier around the chimney where we think the leak was.  We'll find out when we get a big wind and rain storm.

School starts next week. Jill is a second grade teacher and has to go to workshops this week, starting Tuesday.  So the rush is on to finish projects. They were too busy playing this summer to get to it sooner. 

Next up is the deck painting. Tom, Jill and the kids began this morning. 

 Where  was I during all of this?  Well, I did not volunteer for the labor force.  Instead I kept up my morning walking routine and worked on little things at home. But this morning I baked a cake using the plums we picked from Jill's heavily laden plum tree.  At noon I brought the still warm cake over for lunch.  Well, lunch had to be fetched.  Here Jill is taking the order for Subway sandwiches, and then I made the lunch run.
Jill also hired a neighbor boy to paint her downstairs bathroom and laundry room.  That is going on at the same time.  Her painter joined us for lunch.

For dessert we ate cake.  Oh my, that plum cake was so good we ate half of a 9x13 size pan full. Sorry.  No photos of the cake, but here is the recipe card, written in my mother's hand, which means it is at least 40 years old. 
After lunch today Jill went off to play soccer with her adult team so there was a rest period.  Tom and his crew reconvened at 6:00 this evening to finish the first coat of paint on the railings. I finished up a few things at home and then went over to help a bit. 

It was about 7:00 when I arrived.  It has been very smokey in Seattle today.  The sun glows orange through the smoke which obscures what would otherwise be a clear blue sky. 

 We all worked about another hour, and celebrated finishing the first stage of the painting.
 Then we ate the rest of the cake!

I had promised a plum cake and plum pie to be made from plums I took home. Jill wanted the pie for lunch tomorrow, not for us to take to Whidbey Island, where we will be going for Gramma Camp while Jill goes back to work this week.  I asked "What do you want me to do, paint or bake?"  The answer was a resounding "Bake!' 

So that's what I did tonight.  The pie came out of the oven at 10:30.  They'll have it for lunch tomorrow.
 And there are still plums left for another cake, which I'll bake tomorrow to take with us to Whidbey Island.  
After walking and baking in the morning, I might even have time to do a bit more painting.  Or maybe not.  I might be packing to head to the island. 

I'm so confused.  Did that really all happen just today? 


  1. you are all so ambitious. plum cake and pie sounds/looks delicious!

  2. It never fails to amaze me at how crafty, talented and diligent your crew is!

  3. Wow! Now that is a full, full day indeed. And oh that pie looks so good. Not to mention how fine the project looks. Well done! :-)

  4. Wow, Jill...wonderful job on the deck and fun for the family to get involved. We have done lots of remodeling, so I can really appreciate the work that needs to be done.

  5. Leave it to the Reeder family to pack every day to the maximum. I'm impressed!

  6. I am glad your grandkids helped with the DIY projects. Mine are too young and would get into mischief. Lol.

  7. This is a super project. It's great to get the kids involved. they look very happy doing this activity. One thing I notice is that the ground doesn't freeze there so there some things you don't have to do.

  8. I am way impressed at your willing child labor. Those kids are amazing and this is something they will carry through life. They certainly didn't fall far from the tree. Loved the jubilation shot and that pie looked amazing.

  9. Wow, what a great deal of work and great that the kids pitch in like that. They are learning so much by helping around the house.

  10. Those are big projects! That pie looks really good and I bet it tastes good too. Have fun the rest of the week:)

  11. Oh, you have been wonderfully creative. I'm not at all hungry, but that pie made my mouth water.

    You can test out the roof by taking a hose up with you....after you caulk the flashing. :)

  12. All have done a great job to make it done. Your work looks great. If all join and work we will not know the stress in work and we will enjoy the work and do. Good combination of cake...

  13. I'm tired just by reading this. What a project! Good for Jill for having the kids up there on the roof and the on the porch learning how to do these projects and contributing to them. It takes patience to have the kids help. The takeaways will benefit them for a long time to come. Bravo to Grandpa Tom and of course Grandma Linda for doing all that baking.

  14. You always pack so much into your days! You're such a talented baker!

  15. I just love the way your family works and plays together. You make work look like fun. That pie looks delicious. The deck looks great!

  16. Wow, that’s a lot of work done in one day! I bet the kids had a great time as well, despite all the things that needed to be done. Well, at least they got rewarded by having plum cake and pie later on. The pie looks delicious, by the way. Cheers!

    Florencio Emanuel @ Kerrisdale Roofing And Drains

  17. Your grands are great kids! They are learning skills and resourcefulness.

    I've never had plum cake or pie - the pie looks amazing. When I saw the recipe card, it stopped me for a moment. Your handwriting (I'm assuming it's yours) is almost identical to my mom's. She's been gone for nearly 12 years so it was a bit of a shock.

  18. You guys are the BEST Do-It-Yourselfers around. You do amazing work and it looks fabulous and delicious!


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