As of yesterday, here's where we're at with the siding project at the museum.
We probably could have finished installing the siding -- the west wall is essentially done, most of the front is done, and the east end has been started -- but the minion got sick and had to leave at noon, the weather turned hot and sticky, the S.O. had stuff to do at home, so we decided to hang it up when the museum closed for the day (and the 2015 season) at 3.
It is looking like I did good at estimating the amount of siding needed for the 3 walls. I ordered 10 squares and at this point it appears we're going to come pretty close to finishing without having to order more. Which would be nice, but we're probably not going to be that lucky. More likely, because weirdness always happens, we'll end up slightly short -- which is better than ending up with a surplus. It's much, much easier to order an additional 40 or 50 linear feet of siding than it is to try to figure out what to do with leftovers.
The overgrown junipers are gone now, too, although the stumps and a small amount of brush remain to be hauled away. We've already filled an 8-foot pickup box with two loads of branches from those junipers -- calling them overgrown was a bit of an understatement. In the spring we'll figure out what to put in that space, if anything. I lean towards doing a native shrubs and flowers garden, i.e., some wild high bush blueberries, black-eyed susans, daisies, etc. No exotics, just stuff that grows naturally around here, complete with little metal name tags to identify the plants. It would tie in with the teaching mission of a museum. We shall see. . . it's quite possible that by next May I'll be perfectly happy to let that space revert to lawn.
I think my next endeavor in grant-writing is going to be trying to get funding to enclose our front entry or at least replace the existing double doors. They no longer fit quite right, probably from the combination of the slab moving when the ground under it freezes and thaws each year and the wood building warping and shrinking over time, so we lose a lot of heat through them in the winter. They're also a little quirky when it comes to locking and unlocking. We volunteers have learned to always keep the key in our pocket because the doors have been known to re-lock themselves for no apparent reason -- people have stepped outside to sweep the sidewalk or wash windows and found themselves locked out of the building. It would probably cost about $1500 to replace the front doors -- we have to have a double set with no center post just in case we need to bring in large objects and the doors have to open out to comply with fire codes for commercial buildings, two factors that up the cost of doors considerably. I've also been thinking that turning that front porch into an airlock entry would be a good idea, too,for multiple reasons (reduced heating costs, better climate control in the museum, a little more square footage for display space). We shall see. . . .it can be tricky finding grant money for construction. Most of the funding sources for nonprofits like museums want to underwrite programming and events, not improvements to buildings. We got lucky with the KBIC funding but having gotten money from the tribe this year it's not going to be our turn again for awhile. Oh well. . . who knows? Maybe one of these days we'll come across something stashed in the attic or hiding in the storage that doesn't fit in with our mission but can be sold for a small fortune on Ebay. Stranger things have happened.