Updates and Stuff and To-Do's

Monday, November 16, 2015

As things roll along, it's time for updates!

Yeah.  So.  Hey, what's up?  Heh.

Projects are in the works but I seem to be lolly-gagging so things are taking longer than I planned.  Sorry 'bout that.  I best not be getting the cold Mike thinks he might be getting.  Or there will be real trouble around here, dammit.

I keep starting projects at oh, say four, four thirty in the afternoon too which heh, ya know, doesn't help either.

Anywhoooo....Updates!

Mike chatted with the neighbor to the east one evening recently.  Super nice guy but he appears to be a wee stubborn.  And he's seeming kinda mad at us lately which makes us all sad face.

He's adamant that the water is coming from our backyard into his basement.  Which, I'm sorry, is just not physically possible.

He took Mike around to the east side of his house and showed him a drain in his sidewalk/gangway area, suggested we do that.  Or something.  I'm not sure, I wasn't invited to this discussion.

He said to Mike, "no camera snaking, that's expensive."  Henceforth, as such, Mike got the feeling that by his offer to help us in order to help himself, he is offering labor and/or moral support, not a share of funds.  Or something.  Mike was left unsure.

End result was that the neighbor wants the guy who has been doing work around their house of late come by and poke around.  Thing is, which Mike and I both acknowledge, is that he's likely not terribly versed in this particular area of expertise.  The guy's one suggestion, pitching our gangway toward the front (aka pouring loads of concrete), has not met my approval for a myriad of reasons.

But it's fine if he swings by.  I'm not big into wasting people's time, but, it's a step I guess we have to take.

Long and short of it is that Mike and I determined we should get the sewer snaked with or without the neighbor's help.  Too many things point to a crack in a pipe.  Believe me, not that we want it to be true, but all other plausible scenarios don't seem to add up in the same manner.

I mean, our sewer pipes are likely 125 years old.

So that's that.  For now.  And uh no, we have not won the lottery yet either.

I read a thing about not raking leaves and how that's good so I grabbed several bags worth of leaves from out front and dumped them all over the back yard, hoping to help amend the soil in however a small way that might be.  I dumped a bunch on top of the fancy schmancy plants too.

Yay leaves!  Finn says, "hey I chased those birds away good, didn't I?"  Boy, next spring, that "walkway"...
I sprinkled some grass seed down before the leaves as well.  Not much, just a bit.  More roots drinking water in the back seems a smart temporary idea.  Unless the birds have eaten all the seeds.

Pete the Sweeper, (ugh that post kills me knowing now what unexpectedly came two days later) who I think has been avoiding me since the block party, popped by all incredulously excited that I appeared to be cleaning up leaves.  He was surely disappointed that I allowed the city street sweeper machine to finish the job for me.  As evidenced by him sweeping crud into our curb gutter today.

Speaking of reading, I read this little ditty about dogs and touch versus verbal praise.  While it's a bit science-y, I thought it all intriguing.  Anything to help me learn about how dogs, especially Finn, tick.  And how Hailey ticked.  And how to improve their lives.

Poor Finn though.  Heavy sigh.  Riddled with so many issues, it's hard.  People are afraid to rescue for that very reason, and I understand.  But that only increases the need.  What's that phrase, if it's not hard, it's not worth it?

We're trying.  Ya know, at times it feels like when Mike and I try to take him a step forward, he takes two backwards.  We're trying.

Well, anyway.

Haven't finished the basement quite yet.  Sometimes just getting a project completely wrapped up is the hardest part, heh.  Right?

Mike liked the light fixture for the garage exterior sooooo much that he tasked me to find another for over the house back door.  Tricky prospect as Menards' inventory count online is typically correct 0.01% of the time and this fixture was on clearance with counts at stores of one, or two, or none.

Luckily for me, another Menards nearby actually for real had one very last one which quickly became ours.  And it is now proudly over our back door, thanks to Mike's assistance one balmy 70+ degree November day.  Yay!  It looks fabulous lit at night but that makes for terrible photos; you'll have to trust me.

Yes, I need to paint the black around the door again.  Just did it last summer though, heh.  And yes, we are totally desperately in need of some kind of not-unattractive awning over the door.
But ever since I installed the one on the garage, the fuse to the garage has been shorting out.  But also since that time too, the yard has been exceptionally wet.  Along with our pooling water issues is the matter of the yard never ever ever drying out.  It's eternally damp.  It's on the north side, hidden in shadow by the house so it only gets partial sun all of two months per year.

The power coming out of the house and snaking into the ground for the garage.
So I'm not sure if it's the light fixture or if the line to the garage is damp because, see, it's easy to assume Captain Ineptitude ran plain old conduit underground to the garage and who knows how well that holds up.

Scary prospect if the pipe carrying the line is degraded?  Deck.  Yep, the deck now hovers over approximately nine feet of line.

That lil' nubby thing next to the post against the garage, that's the power snaking up and in.
Sooooo, heh...trying to figure it out.  It's terribly frustrating.  Especially when you pull up in the alley, or you're running late to leave, hit the button and....nothin'.  #Firstworldproblems, I know.

I'll start by redoing the light fixture wiring and go from there.  Heavy sigh, please don't be the conduit!

Mike has a-ok'ed the replacement of both the front door and the back door.  Super yay!  Since they were either found in an alley and reused or fell off a truck or who knows what, they're in such pathetic beat up condition.  And, I'd really like the back door to have a window of some sort to bring light into the cave, er um, back stair.

Now to figure out how to do this on a budget.  Without ripping everything out.  Yikes.  ReBuilding Exchange is having a buy one get one free door sale so I may swing by there, test those waters.

I saw Twitchy just before Halloween!  Heh, with a clock selling on Etsy, a coworker of Mike's asked me to create a similar one for him.  I swung by Twitchy's to track down more mahogany pieces as Mike used the ones I had for the plant edging.

Amazingly, despite a year and a half passing and being all bundled up with a hat, coat, gloves, scarf maybe, he remembered me instantly.  I showed him photos of the pantry floor which he thought was neat, a hint of beaming pride for his pallet wood pieces all growns up and doing good in the world.  He mentioned something or other, handed me a caramel apple and said he had to run.  It was pretty cool.

Another topic jump....Mike and I agreed, the macrame-ish plant hangars are borderline too much, too busy, so they gotta move.  Also too because this year Mike wants the Christmas tree in that particular corner, by the window.

Buh bye.  :(
He has a thing for Christmas trees having to be in windows.  I have no idea where to put the plants, what to do.  Maybe the dining room?  That's not enough light I suspect.  If only giganto-Finnster would let them alone on the window sill....

Mmm hmm.
Backsplash tile was chosen, ordered, and delivered!  Way exciting, right?!  Way easy, weirdly not taking months of searching, and it was a Mike pick (from my pre-edited culled list of course).  Way exciting!

Well, except that of the eighteen sheets, nine were chipped.  Rats.  Slowin' my roll here.  So nine will go back.  I already ordered ten more.  Eight of the nine chipped ones came from one box so my fingers are crossed that it was merely that particular box.

At least Home Depot has a stellar order online/return in-store policy, very unlike Menards.  Plus I can use eBates* and get cash back on my order which is sweet.  What's even awesomer about that eBates whoo-ha, fyi?  You can shop online, pay, pick up in-store, and get cash back then too.  Granted, it's not a ton of cash back but it's better than no cash back, amiright?

Anyway, absolutely zero idea how I'm gonna accomplish the installation task.  It's a mosaic and it's also dimensional, so uh, yeah.  I do have that itty tile saw but uh, yeah.  That I've never used, uh.  Yeah.

But we have a funky plan for the grout!  That will definitely be worth tuning in for.  I hope to have all my fingers then too.

Maybe after I get the backsplash up and it's a roaring success, I'll have the confidence to start up with the first floor bath.

Steel weld epoxy?  Yep, yessirry, still holding!  Sweet!  Heh, I feel like I have to throw that in somewhere.

My folks have been living it up on the high seas and my mom started a new blog about it.  She's incorporating her artistic skills which adds an unexpected neat twist.  Check that out here.

Lastly, but certainly not least by any means, a reader named Dominic commented on our wood block headboard back in August, inquiring at first what kind of wood I had used.  He then said he and his girlfriend were so inspired they decided to make their own version.

And holy crap, it blew our minds.

Photo credit to Dominic
I mean.  Mike and I about passed out.  We're awaiting photos of it installed with all the pieces and parts, with bated breath mind you, but wow.  Utterly gorgeous, right?!

Photo credit to Dominic
Mike said with a bright happy smiley face that he liked Dominic's better.  Ouch.  I don't blame him for saying that as holy cats and dogs, it's jaw-droppingly stunning, but yeah, owie.  He did give me a conciliatory hug, patted me on the head, and said, "but I love ours."  Heh, jerk.

But in all seriousness, I am thrilled and terribly humbled that I, me, I, created something that inspired someone to do such fantastic work.  I get a little verklempt, heh.

So that's it for now my dears.  Back atcha' real soon!

*The eBates link is a referral link.  We both get a cash bonus if you sign up through the link then use it.  It's free and it's awesome.  Get cash back for shopping online?  Free?  Yes.  You should use it.  I've promoted it here of my own free will, fyi, because it works, it's 100% free, and it's great.

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