Saturday, April 27, 2013

A Mesabi Black Granite countertop install

When we built this house a few years back, we went with a nice wood edged, laminate surfaced countertop. 

Recently, I was called back to look at replacing the counter-top. The wood edges were now scratched and worn quite a bit and the laminate surface had chipped around the edges here and there.

Granite was the preferred material and after looking at some options we decided to go with something from right here at home...

I am a huge fan of stone countertops and one of the coolest things mined here on the Iron Range, I think, is Mesabi Black Granite, quarried just down the road near Babbitt Minnesota.

In a world where so much of the granite is mined and shipped from places far away, it is really nice to be able to use something that is so cool yet sourced right here in our back yard.

I called the guys I usually work with when it come to granite, the guys down at Laurentian Monument Granite and Stone. These guys have done quite a few jobs for me over the last few years and I keep calling them because their work is excellent. They are also very nice guys and extremely easy to work with.

Here are some pictures:

Cherry cabinets,
This is the kitchen with the Laminate counter-tops before the change.

Countertops removed from the cherry cabinets
The old counter-tops have been removed...
Moving a slab of mesabi black granite,
Jeff and Carlos of Laurentian Monument rolling in one of the slabs of Mesabi Black granite. This, of course, was one of those April days when we woke up to another 4"-6" of new snow... wait, I think every day in April was like that...

Ely minnesota cabine, granite countertops
The newly installed granite countertops.

under-mount stainless sink in mesabi black granite countertops
An undermount stainless sink...

Mesabi, black, granite, ely, minneosta
The peninsula top with overhangs for seating...

mesabi, black, granite, ely, mn, minneosta
Mesabi Black Granite, quarried in Babbitt Minnesota.

granite, black, mesabi, ely minnesota

cedar and stone, cabin, ely MN
The stone and cedar cabin on a warmer day...


Saturday, April 20, 2013

Snow day 4/19/13

It was a snow day yesterday. They had predicted 4-6" the day before, but it started snowing hard in the later afternoon and by the time I went to bed, (I'm and 8:30 bedtime guy), there was pretty much no doubt that this was going to be a big one.

Friday 4/19/13, school canceled... so I had some help shoveling.
Patrick made the first attempt to move beyond the doors of the house and shoveled this path out to the shop:

Then we started thinking about the next step, getting my wife to work. There was no way her car was going anywhere. It does great in the snow with it's new snow tires, but this was way beyond just having some good tires. I was wondering if it was even a good idea to try it with the truck, but we decided to go for it....

Once we got down the hill we found the neighbor on their way out too, apparently his wife was also an enthusiastic and dedicated team member at her place of employment. Unfortunately there was an unexpected obstacle in the form of a plow truck that had, in it's attempts to move this wet heavy snow, had become quite stuck in our path.

We all spent an enjoyable half hour or so, shoveling and trudging and digging, maybe even cussing a bit... you know, real guy stuff... good times.
We eventually got him moving and we were able to make our way to town.

Sometimes people wonder why calender parking stays in effect until May...

I spent the next few hours with the snowblower, clearing off the driveway.

After noon I had to go check up on one of the lake places that I look after.
The road in was not plowed at all. I decided to get in as far as I could before starting to walk.

I was pretty sure this was not a good idea, but I had fairly new tires and it felt OK. My front license plate was plowing about 6" of snow. I went as far as a dared like this and then got out and walked.

This would have been a good day to have some snowshoes in the truck. I trudged the half mile or so in to the house. It really was a very nice day in the woods and out of the wind and I enjoyed the walk once I realized I just needed to take it slow... Funny thing about a snow day, if you can just step back and look at it, you realize there is really nothing else you can do except just live and breathe.

...seems like the forecast changes about every 5 minutes but we are all hoping for some warm weather real soon. As fun as all this snow is, it's time for spring. By the time the high school baseball team can get on the field we will have lost over half the season...


Sunday, April 7, 2013

A snowy spring day and other things.

6 or 7" new snow yesterday. Wet stuff. Hurts your back just to look at it knowing it's just a little too much to just leave and wait for it to melt. But I am done doing super clean-up jobs on these snow falls... I will do just enough to get by... Hopefully it will be gone by the end of the week.
Ely April snow storm 2013

Ely April snow storm 2013

Ely April snow storm 2013

Friday, April 5th, on the other hand, was a perfect spring/end of winter day. A clear blue sky and temp in the low 30s.I had an opportunity to be down at the sea plane base on Shagawa Lake and watch a Beaver on skis  take off...

This is probably not a big deal to a lot of people living in Ely. Most people here seem to be around planes a lot more than I am. I have never been to the base there and other than seeing these planes take off from near by at the beach, (when the kids were younger and we used to go to the beach), I don't get a lot of opportunity to see these sorts of things close up.

So it was nice to be down there. We met the pilots and I was able to take some pictures. Apparently it might be the last time they would be taking this plane up with skis this winter as the ice around the slip would start softening up soon... They would soon be putting the floats on for summer use.

I am not an airplane expert or even novice, but I do like cool machinery and engineering and it's always amazing to see and learn about stuff that is going on all the time around here that I don't really even know anything about. Here is a little bit about the de Havilland Beaver.

...and here are some pictures I took on that beautiful April morning in Ely.

de Havilland Beaver, prop, Ely Minnesota
The machinery...
de Havilland Beaver, Ely
Getting ready in the hanger.

de Havilland Beaver, Ely Minneosta
Pushing it out of the hanger...

de Havilland Beaver in Ely Minneosta
...into the sunshine and on to the ice... look at that sky...

de Havilland Beaver, Ely MN
Ready to go

de Havilland Beaver, Shagawa lake, Ely MN
a view of the base from out on the lake with the plane ready to take off.

de Havilland Beaver taking off, Ely Minnesota
A distant view of the plane getting started down the runway picking up speed... look at the sky... clear blue Ely sky.

de Havilland Beaver, landing in Ely
This is the plane coming back in from it's flight just before the skis touched the ice.

de Havilland Beaver on skis landing in Ely MN on Shagawa lake
...a few seconds later...

de Havilland Beaver on skis landing in Ely on Shagawa lake
...and a few seconds later, a close up of the plane as it continued down the runway back toward the hanger. the midst of a busy life, it was nice just to take a morning like this and enjoy something a little bit outside my regular routine...