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Post Info TOPIC: Mike's Doghouse


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Mike's Doghouse


Theres a small farm down the road from the ranch where I grew up. The widow who lived there used to baby-sit my sister and I. As years went by, the place changed hands, the house burned down, and the general condition deteriorated. It had been bought by an old (80s), and I used to see him just standing out in the middle of the barnlot, staring off into the distance. One day, I stopped and asked him what he was staring at, and he told me Im just thinkin how nice itd be if we tore down these buildings and cut down these trees. I could have a better look around. Do you know anyone who wants an old building? I asked him which one, and he said How about that one? The building was OLD. Built in the 1930s out of recycled material, it was intended to be a granary / chicken coop/ storage shed. The 2x6 studs were sheeted on the inside only, built on 6x6 skids, and had a 6 hole in the roof. I asked him if I could have until Saturday. He looked surprised, and said OK. At 10AM Saturday, I showed up with a coupla helpers, a backhoe, and our old 4020 John Deere w/ our Hesston 60A tilt-bed hay feeder behind it, loaded with old planks and blocking. I picked up one end of the building w/the hoe, blocked it up, and tilted the feeder up, and while helpers fed planks in between the chains and the bottom of the building, I just backed slowly, and gradually set the tilt down. We were out of there in under an hour, leaving the old fella still standing in the middle of his lot
It was only 3 miles to our place, and the trip went well. We got home before my wife Janie could get out of the house to come over and take pics of the removal. It DID look a little rough, so when we rolled in and she said You are in the doghouse now! I replied Would you paint me a sign? Mikes Doghouse was born.
By 3pm, we had it set in our yard, and were busy remodeling it. We got a little more than we bargained for when we cut one of the outside walls out, we exposed a moldy pile of crap which included about 20 pounds of POISON GRAIN, old magazines from WW2, and a little basket of goodies. That basket made the whole thing worthwhile! Aside from the mementos from Occupied Japan, there were 2 railroad switch keys. One is from Sumpter Valley Railway here in Baker County, one from UPRR.
The wall we cut out was then laid flat, re-sheeted, and set up to became a stage. I ran power to it for outlets and lighting, and eventually re-roofed, insulated, sided and painted it. It has been one of my favorite parts of our yardscape, and, because we recycle, we only have $800 into it.


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Here' a more current pic. The Doghouse is on the left. ChefShack on the right. When we bought the place, there were a couple of odd buildings kinda cobbled together, that used to be set up with milk separators. Somewhat earlier, two large trees had fallen on them, from different directions, knocking one one way, and the other one the OTHER way. The discrepancies between the two were then compensated for with cardboard and staples. It kept the chickens and bunnies in, I guess. Again, I used the backhoe (what a TOOL!) to push each building back into place, using the tension of each to hold the other. Big screws, and several of em guaranteed the deal. Both buildings had, fortunately, been built on concrete slabs. When we replaced our kitchen window, strangely enough, it fit right into the rough-opening of the bunny-eaten one we took out of the shed.
The shed was beginning to look useable. It was sheeted inside with old-growth Fir tongue-and groove, so I hit it and the floor hard with TSP and the pressure-washer a few times, and with a coupla coats of white house paint, it was lookin like a kitchen! There was an old enameled metal sink cabinet in the barn, and some old doors we converted into counters. It took a few years to get water and sewer out there, but when we did, we put the power underground too which meant I had to upgrade the house service entry but its all good!
Its really kind of a weird building. The front is 10x12, then the back part is 8x12, then back of that is an 8x6 greenhouse. The 8x12 portion had been a real mess. I had a table saw set up in there, and the place caught all the crap we couldnt figure where to throw. Last February, I decided I had to use the table saw. By the time I had it dug out, it was obvious that I might as well do something with THAT MESS. One thing led to another, and I ended up with pretty much bare studs. I put it all back together, caulked and insulated, with a little Diner booth and a window..
The South end of the sheds butted up to our garden, and begged for a greenhouse. Then one day, a contractor friend called and asked if I wanted some windows. Well, SURE. There were a bunch of em, all the same size, aluminum double-paned double-hung. Theyre crap for a house, but just right for my purposes. That was all it took to launch another project. In two days, I built onto the south end, with a raised bed, and paver floor. Someone gave us a cheap tin storage shed that had been hit by a snowplow. I used it for siding. I cut a 40 French door into the shed, and its so much fun, we hang out in there regularly. Good place to in the winter, have a drink, and study Global Warming



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thats cool. do you have more pics.maby some of the inside.

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Yeah, that's a neat set up; and I applaud your inventiveness.

I've got to agree, too, that a wheel tractor with a backhoe is probably one of the most useful pieces of equipment to have; I wouldn't mind having a wee one here, and we only have a half acre.  But the picking and moving from one place to another is one of the things that keeps me slowed down, so a little Deere or Kubota would really be nice; we have a couple of yard fountains that we dismantled and brought with us when we moved here, but they were not a high priority, and so got left to wait for the right opportunity.  Only problem is, the move fairly well did me in, and I've just been slowing down more and more as time goes by; when we took the fountains apart, I manhandled them around and got them unloaded, but I couldn't pick one piece of one up, now, so something like that hoe or loader bucket would really be handy.

Only one question I have for you, Neighbor, just what is that white powder all over everything in that second picture? confusebiggrin  I have developed an extreme aversion to the stuff over the years; my work seemed to take me into the dragons lair most winters, when there would be a heavy fall in the Sierras, or an unusual one in someplace that did not see it very often and the lines and equipment were not designed for it.  Then, when we retired, we moved right into one of the worst places in the Continent for heavy and extreme snowfall: the High Sierras, about forty miles west of Lake Tahoe.  When we decided that enough was enough, we headed for warmer climes, and not being financially able, or wanting to return to the wonderful Southern California community hmm.gif, we ultimately wound up settling here in Las Vegas.  We closed on the house, and I came to take posession, got the keys, and started a painter to working on stripping wallpaper, and repainting the inside, and hung around for a couple of days, rooming in a local hotel-casino.  The morning I was going to head back to Cali, a few days before Christmas, I got up and got ready to check out, and the whole time, I was thinking in the far back reaches of my head that somthing was not as it should be.  I opened the drapes in the room, and looked out on a winter wonderland, one of a different sort than one usually thinks of; a blanket of snow gives even a gaudy and very commercial place like Las Vegas a different, and somewhat nicer appearance.  But I about dropped my teeth, because snow was one of the main reasons we left our beautiful mountainside hideaway in the Sierras; it was shockingly ironic, I thought, even though I know it is common, here.  One thing that many folks don't know abouth the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts is that they do get fairly regular snowfall, even down on the lower elevations.  The mean elevation for the Las Vegas Valley is about 2200ft, though, and we get at least one light, and often heavier snow almost every winter.

Keep writing about your place.  I, for one, enjoy seeing what other folks are doing with that sort of thing.

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I find I dont have any good pics of The Doghouse inside, although the old tongue-and groove wood sheeting is beautifully aged. Heres a pic of it at night, the first test, or, as some of the doubting Thomass quipped, possibly shakedown of the repurposed building. I think its89. At this point, the building was still pretty rough. We hadnt even fixed the big hole in the roof. It withstood the test, and proved to everyone around that youre never too old to rock and roll!



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Here's a pic of "The ChefShack" from the spring of '90. our first year on the place. Lemme tell 'ya. It wasn't pretty! I came into the yard with the "Hoe, and dug up 14 trees and/or stumps out of just the yard. That wasn't exactly clear-cutting, as we still had over 40. Over the years, we've lost several more, but have had a tree-planting program going, so we're probably still above 40. Look at the pic, and notice the considerable "dog-eared" look to the sheds. Broken rafters and such. Our poor lawn mower couldn't touch the lawn. We brought in a swather.

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Here's a pic of the "ChefShack" more recently. We hosted our daughter's wedding several years ago, so everything had to get painted. It was somewhat complicated by the fact that some of the buildings,(like the doghouse) didn't even have siding.  

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Here's the greenhouse I've been talking about, in progress... It coulda been a simple project, but I decided to change the gable end of the shed into a "false-front", so as to look integrated.

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took me awhile, but I found a good pic of the inside of the "ChefShack" This is the reason I wanted to get some heat out there. Got that propane wall heater working, and its awesome!

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Here's another of the ChefShack inside. Wanta have coffee? Winter's a good time to work on these things, 'cause you need to be using them in the summer. I called my re-do of this shed "My $300 remodel". I coulda done it cheaper, but I wanted the good paint, and I wanted it to match. Its all sheeted in CDX, and painted. I really like the contrast of the natural wood. I was gonna paint it too, but my wife liked it, and I agreed. All the wood is just #2 framing stuff. People ask me why I do these goofy projects, when our house needs so much... Well, I can go off and spend a coupla hundred bucks on materials, and without much discussion, can knock out something cool, and be done with it. Working on the house involves a lot more.... shall we say, "Tension"? Not to mention, there's not much you can do to a house for a coupla hundred bucks.

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heck, thats nice, i could live in it.!!!hummm, you like rock and roll too.dont get much better than that.

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Yeah, We're into music...Rock and roll, blues, and the like... I sing and play latin percussion with local bands occaisionally, and we host an annual blowout we call "Karmic Relief" over the July 4th weekend. The pic of the Doghouse at night was at our first one, 20 years ago. We generally have 4-5 various acts, with a heavy-hitter coming on to play late into the night. Local Bluesman Jimmy Lloyd Rea (and the Switchmasters) have played here several times. I went to middle and Hi School with him, and he and his band KICK ASS! We've had as many as 300 people, although its generally 100+. Its a pot-luck affair, where we supply the main course, (our team of Chefs barbequed 8 of the 11 turkeys we served one year) beer, music and "High-Density-Shade" for a $5 donation. People are invited to camp in the yard, or bring their RV's. Every year has a different theme. Our 40th anniversary celebration of Woodstock (OxStock) in '09 was pretty memorable... what I can remember of it... This year is our 20th anniversary of this gig, so it will be amazing. Come on down!

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Hey Meller Ya readin this??Right up your alley,, to bad you guys are so far apart,

Meller is a old Harp guy,,

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i pick a little. started back in 64. you think id be purdy good by now but.....i like old stuff.i friggin HATE rap. it breake me old in a rash.plum dang irritatin.

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I pick a little too but its called NIT PICKIN,, I learned from the wife,,biggrin

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Bad Rat wrote:
Hey Meller Ya readin this??Right up your alley,, to bad you guys are so far apart,

Meller is a old Harp guy,,


Well, ya got the old right anyhow.  Yuppers, I've been keeping up with neighbor but just reading and hadn't posted anything yet.  When I quit playing "out" a couple of years ago everybody just shook their heads in disbelief but I've only played once with my sons at a Jam at the oldest son's house and then once at his Church with them and some old friends.  For some reason I don't miss it but I still love listening to the blues artists, southern rock and R&B so the love is still there.  When I quit I was playing keyboard and blues harp but I still have my sax, guitar and fiddle just to look at every now and then.  Hey, Neighbor, if you have any videos or audios, why don't you post them up for us to enjoy??

Meller

 



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My Mother in law played blue grass/ gospel, and all kinds of music.. my wife has all her old instruments,  an really nice accordian, guitar. banjo, harpsacord,, fiddle and some other stuff..
I loved listening to her play,, even did the rub board

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I'm a music maker, too; well, actually, I just put a CD or some other such into a machine and listen, or sit in an audience.

I'm really one of those musically challenged individuals, with absolutely no sense of rhythm (whew, had to do a spellcheck on that one), so I worked really hard at learning to play piano, steel guitar, and tried out the fiddle, but all to no avail.  I can't/don't dance, either.  But, I do love to listen, and so I do - to almost any type of music..  When I was in high school in one town, I had a buddy who played in the band, and sort of became a roadie for them; I would go with Dave to the school when something was going on, just to be around and listen to even practice, and began helping carry and fetch for their set ups and trips, and after a few times, the teacher asked me to come along and help; I loved it, and got to go to parades and other events that I would never have had a chance to go to.

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