Fun with meteorology

Here’s you:  What IS that?

Here’s me:  It’s a rain gauge, duh.

Here’s you:  A what?

Here’s me: Um … let’s let Chris explain.  Chris?

Hello !

Chris here. I have been a weather enthusiast for quite a while and getting a house with a yard gave me the chance to get a high quality rain gauge. The gauge I have is the exact same model the meteorologists at the National Weather Service and city utilities managers use, so you know its not only fun but deadly accurate.

I have been taking a reading of the gauge every morning at 8am , then entering the amount at the CoCoRahs website –  the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network. If you’re interested in precipitation data or joining the CoCoRaHS network you can find all the information and training you’ll need at their website : .  While you’re there be sure to check out my rain gauge readings — I’m station name NY-WC-11. Here’s an educational video to get you started :

Thanks !


Here’s me again:  You should totally watch that video.  It’s short and it’s also awesome.

Here’s you:  What is wrong with you people?

Here’s me:  Whatever.  I maybe got lead paint poisoning over the weekend, ok?  Give me a break.

Here’s me again, just real quick before I go:  That’s the rain gauge on its pole next to our new Leyland Cypress trees.  If this Hurricane Sandy comes our way this weekend, look out for some *very* exciting rain gauge updates next week!

(Also, a fun fact about Chris … He really is kind of a weather enthusiast.  He can generally guess the temperature to within a few degrees just by stepping outside.  This is not a skill that has brought fame, fortune or any kind of acclaim, really, but it never fails to amuse me…)


Train Delay = Wednesday morning art walk

Our usual train had mechanical difficulties this morning and after a few delay announcements, was canceled altogether.  We had over a half an hour until our next train, so decided to take a walk down closer to the river and see a few of the pieces that are on display as part of The Peekskill Project V.  It made a gray, rainy morning wait much more enjoyable.

Weekend Update: Raccoons & Pocket Doors

With our car in the shop, we were forced to stay home this weekend and keep plugging away at projects.  Chris got the porch cleaned up of the wood and tools that he and Kurt were using– looks WAY less Sanford & Son up in our parts.  I worked on starting to strip the pocket doors that separate the entry way and dining room.  I also started on the window frames.

view from the dining room out into the entry way. That white paint is getting STRIPPED!

other side of the door with some paint off … This is a long process, people!

While I worked on stripping paint, Chris discovered a  hole in the shed that a raccoon (or beaver?) had eaten through.  We’ve seen paw prints on the grill and other…. evidence that some raccoons were happily sleeping in the rafters.  The rafters are now covered with chicken wire and this entry way has been permanently blocked!

Yup. Those are chew-marks….

But the weather was amazing and the leaves are looking lovely.  Here is our view from the train station ….

And how was your weekend?

Please leave comments and like things you like!

Yankee Gutter Repair

This is DIY-with-a-little-(lot of)-help-from-your-friends….

The major project Kurt helped us tackle was repairing the rotten yankee gutters.  As you will see from the slide show, years of neglect led to lots of rot and water damage.  Luckily the damage was contained to the gutter area and did not get into the porch roof.

Kurt assessed the situation, created a diagram and got to work.  We used cedar lined with tin and the new gutters are a thing of beauty.

I’m going to see if I can get Kurt to comment on this post to talk about what he did in more detail — completely not my department, but he did an AMAZING job.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I’m on a podcast!

Yesterday I sat down with he very talented and fun Julie Fei-Fan Balzer to record her Podcast, “Adventures In Arting.”  I’ve known Julie for a long time — she has directed many of my plays and is the person who got me into paper crafting and scrapbooking.  I have a link to her terrific blog on my blogroll.  We talked about all kinds of things, from standing by your artistic choices to digging post holes.

about the podcast

You can hear the podcast by visiting

Please leave your comments here or on Julie’s page.  Thanks for listening!

Crafty Tale #3/ Lamp Makeover #2

We interrupt all this roofing talk (oh, but don’t worry, there will soon be more!) to bring you this tale of a bargain lamp, a new technique attempt and a (mostly) happy final result.  And now, I bring you another lamp story ….
I found this lamp at Pier 1, marked down to $27 from $60 and sold “as is.”  I made sure it worked and asked someone working there why it was marked down.

cute little lamp, right?

I was told that it was marked down because the shade was so stained.

I don’t think that’s SO stained, but I also like a bargain ….

I decided to attempt stenciling, which I am very inexperienced with.  This is really only the third thing I’ve ever stenciled, and the other two were flat.  So armed with some Martha Steward craft paint in colors I thought would go with my new pillows (see my “Thank you, Antonia” post), I got to work.

metallic silver and pearl yellow

on the instruction sheet, they didn’t cut the stencils apart, but I really saw no other way to tackle this ….

I mostly wanted to paint over that stain with silver, which I did.  I eyeballed the spacing of the stencils, so they are a little off and on weird angles, but overall, I’m happy with the result.  And, as discussed yesterday on a podcast with Julie Fei-Fan Balzer (to be posted shortly) — artistic mistakes will happen.  I can always buy a new lampshade, and now I basically know how to stencil!  What do you think?

the finished product!

Roof photos by Kurt

The fellas worked on the roof of the upstairs porch all day yesterday.  It used to leak, but now it won’t!  I will have to have Kurt in to guest blog and explain what he did… It involved sister joisting and membranes and some kind of rail and Yankee gutters.

Meet Kurt!

Everyone should have a friend like Kurt.  He is one of the kindest, most generous people we know.  In fact, he’s using a week of his vacation to help Chris with roof and wood projects around the house.  He arrived Sunday night and the boys got to work assessing the situation on Monday morning.  Check out what they found already ….


Hey, thanks, Kurt!


So …. any suggestions on how we should paint this newly uncovered decorative piece?