Monday, August 1, 2022


 One thing ARRRRMEEE Training taught me was the proper way to do paper work. Apparently that training is still functioning in my brain because even though Blogger "looks" like paper, it isn't.  So, Bottom Line Up Front.

LJD is doing well all things considered.  Little J and Wife spent the weekend in San Antonio in the NICU with her.  The Doctors and NICU staff are very happy with her progress.  She's gained about 1/3 of a pound, which doesn't sound like much, but it's about a 25% increase in body weight.  She's up to 6mL of Milk per feeding and the feedings have gone from every 6 hours to every 3 hours.  So....Progress!

I know many of you readers are praying for her and words don't begin to describe how much that means to us.  Thank you!

As I mentioned earlier this week, this post will be about a carpentry project I've been working on with some help from Little J.  As many of you know, we've got two guest cabins on our property.  They were built in 2014 and have been very beneficial financially as well as housing visiting family and friends.  A couple of years ago, Mrs. J (the brains in the house) decided that our well water was too hard and was making everything that came in contact with that water....Ugly.  

(Did I mention I take showers regularly?)

In any case, she decided we needed water softeners installed in the two cabins as well as our new house.  So let it be written, so let it be done.


Now, the cabins don't have a lot of wasted space in them, so the addition of water softeners required a bit of artistic license.  One actually had an out of the way space that could be used.  The other, not so much.  The softeners are installed and Mrs. J promptly declared them "Ugly".  

I thought she was talking about me at that point.  

In any case, she wanted something built that would hide them from sight.  Yay, I get another trip to Lowe's.  Off topic and in response to this post from Sarge about retirement, Lowe's is a large gap filler in my "what the heck am I gonna do to keep busy?" conundrum.  Mrs. J does a great job of filling in the rest.

Got some pine 2 x 4's and some cedar planks, and finished the job in a day or so.  

Yes, the wire hanging out the right side has been...beautified.

Spent a week or so in recovery. AKA, on the computer, then started trying to figure out how to do the second cabin. 

Made some progress, then gravity intervened, and the project went on the back burner.

Little J arrived just after LJD was born and after the routine of visiting her and LJW at the hospital was established started looking for something to do in between.  I mentioned the second project.  We went down to the cabin and I showed him what I thought we should do.

He came up with a WAY easier, more sturdy and nicer looking idea.  So...We started turning lumber into sawdust.  

Completed the side panels outside as there was no way to attach the cedar once the frames were installed in the bathroom.

Then we built the front frame onto the side panels.

At this point we realized we hadn't completely analyzed the project requirements. See the Culligan box on the right?  The one with the hinged lid?  I hadn't even thought about access to that in my original plan.  

Culligan might have gotten mad at me if they couldn't access their control panel.  Little J proposed an alternate solution, which I quickly approved.

At that point, husbandly and fatherly duties took priority and Little Juvat and LJW took the weekend off to spend quality time with LJD.  I gladly approved the leave and thinking that there was no way to screw this up at this point, continued the operation.

As I had run out of planed cedar, I brought the unplaned boards up to my work in progress work shop and planed them.  I was pleased with the baptism of cedar chips my work shop underwent.  Fortunately, the broom, dustpan and shop vac made short work of them.  Cut the boards destined for the lid to length and glued them to a plywood backer board and left it overnight to dry.

I went back to the cabin and was test fitting the remaining front planks when I noticed something. Somewhere in the front face is a 1.2o error off vertical over the 45" front.  After a few choice words directed at me by me, I decided to call it quits for the day.  

We don't have guests in the cabin til next Friday.  If it's a frame problem, I'll just cut a board to fit.  If it's a slat out of vertical, I'll consider rehanging them.  But might just cut a board to fit.  

It'll give our guests something to laugh about.

That's life in my world.  Ups and Downs, but still turning. Doesn't get much better than that.

Peace out, Y'all!

P.S. Mrs. J and I will be traveling to College Station today, to spend time with MBD and MG.  I'll be commenting from my iPad. So...Expect spelling errors and short and slow comments.

Cancelled due to changing circumstances.  But.....



  1. LDJ making progress.....excellent! Don't forget to ask Lowes about their frequent visitor discount...........:)

    1. Nylon,
      Lowe’s has a frequent visitor discount? Who knew?

      Mine should be rapidly approaching 100% off.

      Just saing!

  2. My brain wants the post title to read "BUFF."

    Then again, it can't always be about me.

    Glad that the little one is progressing, prayers continuing, of course.

    The water conditioner cabinets are coming together. Nice work!

    1. Sarge,
      I went to the School of Advanced Military Studies, not the School of Advanced Aerospace Studies. The latter was very much into “the USAF won the Gulf War” mode. The former was more in the “Air power did a helluva good job in battlefield prep, what should we learn from that?” I did spend a bit of time explaining how Buffs (B-52’s or Big Ugly Fat F**kers) could be used in Close Air Support)

      Thanks. Deeply appreciated.

  3. Glad the Littlest Juvat is showing every one she belongs in your squadron!! She's more like an A4 than an F4.... a Scooter! Prayers ongoing.

    "The softeners are installed and Mrs. J promptly declared them "Ugly". Of course they are..... It's contacting and fixing the water.... "everything that came in contact with that water....Ugly." See? Bound to happen.....

    Framing sets the stage for what comes after. Gotta get that right. Cabinetry is not the easiest skill to master. But pocket hole screws help out a lot! You may need to fasten some hot plates or a bear trap to the top of those cabinets to keep your guests from sitting, standing, climbing, humping or jumping on them. If folks are scaling the cabinetry to change router settings....

    Safe travels PIC (Planer In Command) Those cedar chips would smell mighty nice wrapped in an old sock in the skivvy drawer. Skivvy.... Drawer.... is that redundant?

    1. STxAR,
      I think the right side frame moved slightly when we screwed the cross piece in. Since the gap is at the top and that side of the middle crosspiece was screwed in last and was a "nice" fit, those circumstances best explain the issue. Best laid plans of mice and men....doncha know. I think I'm going to trim the width on 3 planks to fit the gap with the one on the edge cut at a 1.2 degree angle to fill the gap. I think that will be the best way to camouflage the issue.
      Cedar does have a nice smell to it doesn't it? Hadn't thought of that idea. Will next time.
      Redundancy is good, especially in jet engines in fighters. Ask me how I know.

  4. Great improvements all around.

    I should get some photos of my current cabinet repairs, while SWMBO decides what we want for a new kitchen.

    1. HTom,
      Thanks. Photos of existing conditions are always nice to have on projects. If only to remember how much better off you are now.

      Or. just in case you need to put it back the way it was. Not that that EVER happens. Nope Never!

  5. Thank you for sharing the update. Prayer, as one old time radio preacher said, changes things.

    I am feeling pretty good about myself this morning as I actually the question about accessing the unit about one paragraph before you wrote about realizing it - slow, but I am coming up to speed. It certainly looks great.

    1. THBB,
      I really had no idea that it opened up. Fortunately the first cabin it's in the back or I'd be in trouble. Little J is quite a bit more "how things work" savvy than I am and saved the day.

  6. I guess the Culligan man didn't tell you about the smaller sized units? Yours take up some significant space in that bathroom.

    C'mon LJD- we're all rooting for you.

    1. Tuna,
      Everything's bigger in Texas? Or maybe the water is just harder. They're the same size as the ones we had installed in our first house, now my Sister's house, so I don't know.

    2. Good job! Would have done it the same way myself (the design, not the woodworking). Then perhaps with hindsight, it might have been better if the cabinet was free standing (or minimally anchored) so that the whole works could be slid out and removed from the bathroom if serious softener repairs are necessary.

    3. Don,
      We thought of not securing it just in case. But we were concerned about people putting stuff on top and causing it to shift around. Because of space in the bathroom, there isn't much space between the wood and the machinery. Any movement of the cabinet might cause damage, so opted out of that.

    4. My own experience with Culligan was a couple nice guys coming to install a system like yours (instead of one of them humping a 100 lb rechargeable tank up and down the basement stairs). Sweet innocents came in with a couple wrenches to undo the old flexible connections and connect the new ones. A simple job. Problem was that the connections were made in 1976 at the latest - corroded solid. And they did not have a toolbox with. Always said they would have to back to the shop. Was a couple hour struggle with me helpfully lending them channel locks, vice grips, hammer and large pipe wrenches. Also supplied propane torch, solder, (and fine sandpaper to burnish the end of the fitting they melted off). They finally got it put together again with no leaks. No problems. Wonder if they carry a toolbox now?

    5. Don,
      Experience is a helluva fine teacher ain't it? Got a chuckle, thanks.

  7. Wow!! LJD has been upgraded to 6ml!! I had to smile--a shot glass is approximately 30ml. Good to know she is growing and progressing. Will be continuing the prayers--my logic is if ya bug God often enough, He throw up his hands and say "Alright, alright, I will make her be just fine!!" That is the progress and change I can get wholeheartedly behind. Then we can stop the nagging :)
    Enjoy spending time with your other gals today!

    1. Anon,
      Thanks. I knew it was a little, not THAT little. Still, you're right. Progress is good.

      I think your logic is sound and certainly hope (and pray) for that outcome.

      MBD had some work related stuff come up, so... I finished my project. Tomorrow is cleanup day. (Least favorite day of any project).

  8. Good news about the little one.

    When we lined the cedar closet, it smelled wonderful for a very long time. Great idea from STxAR about saving the planer chips for drawer fresheners.
    STxAR skivvies=drawers, good one!

    "The more skills you have, the more you will do, and that means the oopsies will be more interesting."

    This is way late to the party, and Tuna's comment sparked the thought, but was there any option so that one unit could have supplied both guest cabins?

    The pocket screws have worked our great on a number of our projects.

    1. JiP,
      Next to last first, I don't think so. The two cabins are about a hundred feet apart with the parking area in between.

      I like that saying. It certainly seems true.


  9. So glad LJD is eating and gaining weight!
    Prayers will continue!! ❤️🙏❤️🙏

  10. Glad to hear LJD is perking up and chowing down. I believe I mentioned my own little terrifying 2.2lbs bundle of joy some 15 years ago. I wish I could offer words of encouragement but when it's personal there's only so much comfort an outsider can provide. I get it. What I can say is that while there are ups and downs so long as there's progress the goals are continuous breathing, gaining weight, and generally speaking 4lbs or more before they leave. Now then, in order to keep a man busy and perhaps give him an excuse to ward off the more trivial of the honey-do list, I would opine that as a wood working man, every child needs a toybox. And what better toy box to make than a treasure chest? Complete with iron hinges and latches and rivets every few inches? I mean a chest fit for a pirate king! You have a bit of time, and the kids are so busy, yet the nursery needs to be outfitted. See? It's not only justified, it's practically mandatory! Prayers up for the little one, and the family.

    1. NBCK,
      I think that's a great idea!!! Thanks very much. As an added bonus, I've got a built in post on completion. Sweet!

  11. So glad for the progress of the new one. They are so precious to God and to us.
    Praying for everyone and this list, too, for that matter. These are trying times and we all need clarity of thought and deed.
    How often do you have to put salt into those water softeners? I am just wondering about the new technology.

    1. LtFuzz,
      3 or 4 times a year usually. Depends on our occupancy rate, which has been very good so far this year.
      Thanks for the prayers.

  12. Good news on the little one, prayers will continue!

  13. Awesome news on the little one! She's riding along in the brain housing group and the Big Chief is in the loop.
    PLF saves my butt on a regular basis as I also tend to get task saturated when I combine locomotion with pondering. When I think about it I always smile at how much better life is with the military training package installed. Even Aaaaarmeee training (I don't think I got the vowels right there).
    In this part of the world our ground water is harder than Chinese arithmetic from being filtered through ancient sea bed. Tastes great but it does leave an ugly mark.

    1. PA,
      As it was described to me, the emphasis is on the "R". Thus..."ARRRRMEEE training sir"
      Thanks for the prayers. They work.


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