The Lodge Log October 2023


10/3 Tuesday Depart 2338 to get an earlier run through rush hour metropolis.  Easy and uneventful  trip, usual stops.  Arrived at Lodge 1150 (took 301), unloaded, got settled, the usual.  Brought food and frozen food in cooler.  El Maguey:  Tips burritos (H), Tips enchiladas (T)


10/4 Wednesday Walmart–shop for misc and groceries.  Hardees biscuit on way home.  Picked up branches etc. from driveway, misc, powerwashed house in the afternoon.  Got in touch with several contractors (or at least tried).  Tony Melody going away to Texas, try next week.  Tom Hastings, Tommy, Nathan Iseman.


10/5 Thursday  Cut trees and brush on east side of house, near water.  Small stuff, vines.  Filled trailer.  Afterwards, went to Ace for paint and supplies for house.


10/6 Friday  0700-0810 First trailer load to dump.  Had problems installing hitch in the dark (should have hooked up yesterday), seemed OK, but on the way home (empty) on Cemetary road it bounced off the ball.  Safety chains saved the day.  No damage.  Returned home, dumped trailer off, and headed out to Lowe’s to pick up shutters, new ladder, misc.  Home about 1030 ish.  Dealing with Genworth issue–somebody uploaded an unrelated bill to our portal, wrote an angry email.  Got a call from Tom Hastings, who I’d been in touch with before (and on Wedbesday morning), he could come by in the afternoon.  Mason.  Didn’t really much care for him, gruff, single-minded, generaraly unhelpful (though surely good at masonry).  Pretty negative on all things, not a self-starter, would need plans, drawings so he’d know where to cut openings, over-explained how we’d need to remove the wall (like I was an idiot), talked about permits to make changes, blah blah.  Cracked through his tough shell a bit by the end, but the meeting caused to to vastly re-evaluate the project and decide to leave well enough alone and work with existing spaces and openings–sort of a relief, frankly.


10/7 Saturday  Cut up dead tree that had been leaning over by border fence but had fallen sometime since June–helpful.  Worked with H off patio–dead tree by water, big shrubby thing, various smaller trees, limbs from one of the pines, small trees to right of house (in Prettyman view). H cut more vines.  Also cut cedar tree and big shrub by gray shed.  Mostly filled trailer.  Later, hung new pictures in house (bedroom), misc chores inside and out.  El Maguey–shrimp fajitas h, quesadilla Texanas T (really good but on the small side)


10/8 Sunday  Change in the weather, dew point 37.  0900-0930 setup and prep for painting.  0930-1200 north gable wall (carefully around wires).  1200-1500 W wall (front).  1 coat 790 bayberry blue, flat (they didn’t have satin on stock), clark and kensington.  Looks great!  2 gallons used so far.  Meanwhile, H cut lots of “yellow stuff” from alongside the driveway, stacked it for loading.  Left lollipop sticks to be cut flush to the ground later.  


10/9  Monday  0730-1130 S gable and E wall to bathroom bumpout, used ¾ gallon.  Trip to town for another gallon of paint, quick Food Lion.  Pot roast in at 2, then we loaded the trailer with the yellow stuff H cut earlier.  I cut the lollipop sticks flush, a lot of them, probably 50.  Prepped trailer to go to the dump in the morning.


10/10 Tuesday  Dump run 2 0650-0800, then loaded on the way home with the rest of the cut yellow stuff.  0830-1000 finish painting the last bit of the house, used about ⅓ of the 4th gallon of paint.  (Note:  Later, I realized that there was a small gable end above the kitchen/office roofs, can’t see it from the ground, so the extra paint will come in handy for that sometime.)  Afterwards worked with H on driveway, cut several cedars (hatable), filled trailer again.  Then I painted window trim except bath and back room, where the blue paint was too fresh to mask.  Brightened things up.   Cleaned up and prepped trailer for dumprun.


10/11 Wednesday Dump #3 0655-0800.  Then errands:  Tractor supply for a lookaround and various things, Walmart, Taylor seafood (medium shrimp).  Lump crab $45/lb.  Called bundick for water test, got a clueless-sounding person but we’ll see.  Called Thornton Services re heat pumps, very helpful and professional, set up appointment for Aaron to come out Thursday morning at 10.  Later, installed new shutters on six windows, painted trim on bathroom and back room.  Painted front door and overhang trim, touched up blue.  Done 1615.


10/12 Thursday  Look into tax rebate programs for energy effriciency, i.e. heat, windows, etc.


Aaron here around 1030, very helpful and good info. Knew Dee from before.  Talked about three options–dutless, ducted (2 kinds).  Leaning towards ducted system.  Had estimates in email by afternoon–big price difference between these types, i.e. $9600 vs $15500.  Lots to consider.  


Cut three cedars by driveway end, huge improvement.  Filled trailer.  Cut walnut branch overhanging end of driveway, lots of small brush etc. along driveway till 1530-1600.  Piles staged along driveway.


10/13 Friday  Dump #4 0700-0815.  Picked up piles on driveway on way back.  NOTE:  6” diameter limbs max at dump, sign also says something about 12” stumps.  Prepped and painted pillars, 2 coats white on bases, white oil primer on balls, then red/green, and black on flat area.  H de-vined trees, limbed big cedar t ree by Prettyman’s.  Used timer and new trimmer head (plastic blades) to cut ivy etc. at end of driveway, worked great.  Later:  Errands to hw store and liquor store, then El Maguey takeout (H burrito loco, T Taquitos with side of rice and cheese sauce)


10/14 Saturday  Light showers starring at 9, then heavier and more steady during the afternoon.  MEasured for future bookcases, bedside tables, etc. that we might build over the winter.  Changed old hollow core bathroom door for one of the solid wood doors–decent fit, seems tight on width, will plan edge- at some point.  New hinges and strike plate would be nice.  Went to Exmore Emporium and next door MErcantile in the afternoon (nothing of interest, was hoping for another dresser or some such).  Back home, finished door, organized tools and spare parts, removed window trim from a window in the back room to see what framing is like.


10/15 Sunday  Rain overnight, cool and breezy.  Very high tide 1030 or so.  Spent morning prepping messages to send to vendors tomorrow, research LPC companies, email to Thornton with some questions.  Removed paneling and trim from Dee’s room around the window to check out RO there.  At 2, visited with Wallace and Grommit and RObert Charles at the house, looking good, got some good vendor info as well. Windows, Greenfront, fireplace info, Mike Lewis plumber.


10/16 Monday  Contacted Matt Mabalot electric, Mike Lewis plumber, Tommy, Sharp Energy, Loudoun windows, Nathan Iseman.  Paul–water test from Bundick–here for sample, was also able to take an extra sample for bacteria, which is really what we wanted.   Trimmed ivy and low brush in turnaround area, around house,  THen we cut mostly small trees left on right (N) side of driveway, leaving only the big trees.  Took down a very dead, but stil very hard, loblolly pine (southern yellow).  Filled trailer, took to dump #5.    Around 1230 or so back from dump.  Heidi limbed tall cedar by gum trees on driveway corner in preparation for taking it down soon.  I pulled stumps from the trees we cut earlier, took out another small cedar (H), trimmer will take care of remaining small stuff. 


10/17 Tuesday  Talked to Tommy, plans finally ready, will deliver later in the week (later said engineer will send them mail).  To Lowes to pick up second round of shutters I ordered for the remaining windows. Back 11 or so, installed 4 new sets of shutters, trimmed anotyher section of ivy etc. on left (S) side of driveway, then moved the woodpile by gray shed up to the other woodpile at the turnaround, cut the stump that had been holding it up.  H worked on de-vining.


10/18 Wednesday  Reorganized kitchen, moved microwave.  Set up new pantry shelving.  Called Sharp for hte second time (sales supposed to call back).  Called BUndick to pay for the water test.  Cut the big cedar at the driveway corner, then several smaller trees and other brush between the blue shed and the house, opened this all up.  Finished with trimmer for the small stuff and ivy.  DUmp run #6 1130-1200, then cut several vines and small trees halfway up the driveway including horribly tortured thing with huge canopy.  Filled trailer again, dump #7 1530-1630.  Stuff happening with Spectrum, marks and flags for cable run, Verison guy out to mark buried cable in driveway.  


10/19 Thursday  Prep for meeting with Matt Mabalot, prep for town to sign Thornton contract and pay deposit, breakfast at Exmore Diner.  Heat pump installation Dec 4-5.    Got rid of trash and recycling, filled diesel jug, hardwar store for chain oil, home 1030.  Cleaned out another section of left (S) side of driveway, small brush, small trees, weedwacked ivy.  Closest to gray shed.  Loaded another half trailer.  H cut more vines.  Found possible standpipe from septic system in the ivy.    Later, weedwacked the final section on this side (at least as far out as we’re going for now), finished at 4.  Field across the way being de-corned, two combines, lots of trucks, all day and still didn’t finish.


10/20  Friday  Continued work on south side, cut the last brush and trees, filled trailer, dump run #8 1130-1230.  Returned and cut a few remaining small trees, then two large hollies, filled trailer again and final #9 dump run 1445-1545 (Heavy!, too much weight at aft end, but OK).  Trailer roughly 14x6x3, 252 cu ft, 9 cu yd each, 81 cu yd. Total.  This side now looks great.  Still more to clean up towards Prettyman border.


10/21 Saturday  Started packing, packing records and reel-reel tapes, videos.  Gary Ulmer Loudoun windows 0950-1115, $4200 for 12 windows, #3300 for installation.  Two doors $4800, ouch, have to be cut down for door openings and floor ideas.  Will think about doors.  Need to confirm all window openings, consider awnings vs casements for kitchen.  Packed truck, cleaned up house, walked property, etc.  Windy day.  Finished the decorning.  Early dinner and bed for early departure.


10/22/23  Up early at 2330 or so, depart 0009 arrive home at 1110, easy trip, accident on 287, 2 minute delay a bit before 684 exit (car on fire, being doused). Stopped for wee james cooper rest area njtp (2nd one from Del, ist one closed), clean, diesel pump not working–guy kept trying to reboot it, then it took forever to reboot, so we left (had plenty of fuel left)  and stopped Gandolfini for fuel and dogs.  Then straight home.  Weather was good the whole way, started to cloud up in Portland, then rain between PWM and home, then rain all day once we got home.  Unloaded crucial stuff, left the rest for later.


Total trip:  2225.8 miles, 27.2 average MPG, 49.9 avg MPH