Of Doors, Skylights, and Stinkbugs………I’ll Have the Ultimate Burger!

“If we cannot go over the mountain, let us go under it. Let us go through the Mines of Moria.”

“Moria….You fear to go into those mines….The Dwarves delved to greedily and to deep……You know what they uncovered in the darkness of Khazad-Dum.”


Gimli’s response to the obstacle put in front of the Fellowship by the wizard Saruman the White….and Saruman’s response to what Gandalf the Grey must be thinking.


Hmmm. Yeah. Probably not such a great idea going through the Mines of Moria. Hindsight is always twenty twenty though right???? Lord of the Rings geek coming out of me a little bit.  I’m going to have to sit down one evening and relax with a gin and tonic and watch the Fellowship of the Ring for the 98th time. It gets me in the right frame of mind for working on a Hobbit house.

That’s all.

It’s my inspiration.

Welcome friends! Glad to see ya. Thanks for stopping in as per usual.

Now for the bad news. Yeah had the misfortune of having to take my Mother-in-Law out to dinner Saturday night. Not something I look forward to but is a necessary evil if you will. We went to Mckinney’s which tends to be a bit pricey. I wanted to go to a cheap Italian place in Brewster but that plan got kiboshed for an unrelated reason so I steadied myself to go a little deeper into my pocket for this event.  The Editor and her sister were going to get what they call the “Ultimate Burger”. Okay it’s a fancy burger with some specialty stuff on it to make you feel okay about the $22 you’re about to pay for a hamburger. (Just so you know the “Ultimate Burger is the cheapest thing on the menu.) So the conversation once we sat down went something like this.

Sister-in-Law: I’m getting the burger!

Editor responds: Me too!

Mother-in-Law: I wouldn’t be caught dead paying $22 dollars for a hamburger!!! (Saying it loud enough so everyone in the place can hear her I might add)……I’m getting the duck for $32 dollars!!!!

A big cheshire cat smile crosses her face as she looks my way.

Me: I’ll just have a water and some bread.

The whole thing went downhill after that. I got through it though. What was that old saying my Father used to tell me? Something about no matter what happens the sun will come up tomorrow…..Hmmm….Can somebody out there check and see if it did for me please.

Check this out.

The resident stink bug.

So this is our other pet. Sort of. We have this stink bug who has been hanging around our house it seems forever. I think everybody in the house has actually put this guy outside of our house at least once to quote unquote, “Get rid of him”. He always manages to get back in though. There’s something about a stinkbug that doesn’t let you kill it though. It’s not like a fly  or a mosquito. There’s a difference. (Not really sure why I’m telling you this.) Anyway. I think the stinkbug figured out how to use somebodies cell phone because a bunch of his relatives are now living here too.  How else would a stinkbug show up in the middle of the winter???? Yeah that’s right. Something’s weird. Anyway I picked up one of these guy’s the other night to “Get rid of him” and I think they know what’s happening. So I take him outside and put him on the porch railing and say my goodbyes.  As soon as I turn my back on him I think he flies and lands on me to get back inside. I turned to see if he was where I left him but he was gone and as I walk in I see a stinkbug flying in front of me! I’m not sure but I think the stinkbug flipped me something as he was flying away. If you catch my drift.

Okay it was a little long but that really happened. Stinkbugs are a crafty bunch.

Back to the Hobbit already will ya!

So I worked almost exclusively on the front door all week. It really was a lot of work. A lot of little things as well go into it which are kind of technical but it took a lot of effort to get this done. Let’s go to the pictures shall we.

Door in shimmed and spray foam the gaps.
Air seal the door.
Marking the wood that will surround the door.

So I used a ship lap cedar siding for this part of the door. I primed both sides with an oil based primer and then temporarily nailed them in place and scribed the radius of the door trim onto the back of each piece.

The scribing continues .

Once this was done I took the pieces down labeled them as I did and then painted them. Then I installed them the next day.

Beginning installation

Almost finished.
Setting up to cut the radius trim.

So I cut the trim out of 3/4 inch Azek. Setting this up, cutting the pieces, dry fitting them and then painting them took a whole day. I installed the trim the following day along with the lanterns.

Not 100% sure I like the lanterns I picked out. They’re the right size but a little dark.

Also worked on sheet rocking the skylights. Very slow as well. All extension ladder work. Had to frame them, insulate them with styrofoam, spray foam the gaps, then sheetrock them. Four in total.Check it out.

Skylight ready for taping.

I used MR boards here cause it gets a little stuffy up there.

I had Ethan securing the cement board around the skylights. So what will eventually happen around the skylights is the stone guy is going to put up 1 1/2 inch thick veneer stone onto the cement board. In order to do this we had to secure the cement board to the skylight a lot better than it is now. We used half inch threaded rod epoxied into the concrete. Remember there’s 10 inches of styrofoam around the concrete. Here he is having at it. Quite a few days work there when all was said and done.

Ethan working on the skylights.
Three days later it was 80 degrees out! Amazing!
Cement board on skylights secured.

That’s all folks!


PS: Just wanted to take a picture of an architectural detail that’s in Mckinney. Look who photo bombs the picture! Jeez!

Mothering-Law photo bombing my picture!

9 thoughts on “Of Doors, Skylights, and Stinkbugs………I’ll Have the Ultimate Burger!”

  1. Oh skylight, how joyful can it be. When the sun is out, and the birds chase each other through the air, the skylight reflecting on their wings. Just a minute ago I watched a hawk soar above me with the skylight on it”s feathers. Wow, skylight.

    • Hey Mike. I didn’t know you were a poet? Who knew? Middle of May beginning of June: Hobbit House open house. I’ll let you know specifics when I have a better idea.

  2. Jim,

    Looking great. At first I thought I disagreed with you on the lanterns — they look fine. But the more I look at them, the more I am leaning your way. Maybe something in antique copper or bronze to bring out the brownish hue in the stone…

    Cool door trim at the restaurant. Too bad craftsmanship like that is so hard to find today. The detail carvings … wow.


    • Yeah Frank. I kinda rushed picking something out cause I wanted something up there so it would be done. Haste makes waste but I really wanted to have a finished product to look at that day. I’m going to keep looking.
      Thanks for writing!

  3. Son-In-Law,
    Your lucky I know you love me,but boy do you go after me in this blog.Well I must say the DUCK was delish as was the desert you captured me stuffing in my mouth.When I say everything was delish I mean it,it tasted so much better because you paid for it,by the way when will we do that again.
    To get to important matters the place is looking great,you are doing a great job along with my handsome grandson Ethan,and the other 2 when they are home, keep up the good work.
    Seriously had a great time Saturday night,but then I always do with my family.It was a wonderful way to celebrate your 28 years married to my beautiful daughter.

    Love ya

    • Dear Mother=in=Law: Have you ever heard the saying “When Hell freezes over” before? Well that’s when we’ll be going back to McKinney again. You nearly broke the bank! It was a nice dinner. Really nice. I’ll see you soon.

      Love ya,


Leave a Comment