April 6, 2019:


The income taxes are finished and were taken to the Post Office yesterday to send out via certified mail, which now costs nearly $16 for two 8 1/2 11 envelopes with return receipt. Yikes! But worth it because I have proof positive once I get the little green cards back that the returns were delivered and received. And just in case, there are tracking numbers that I can also tap the U.S. Post Office for to verify that delivery was made. In these times, it's better to be safe than sorry

I have been working in little bits and pieces outdoors whenever a window in our crappy weather has presented itself. Today, however, was the first day where I was able to spend an extended period of time outside. First, I cleaned up areas on the sidewalk and driveway along the edges where pine cones and branches tiny branches blown off during the seemingly wind storms we endured over fall and winter 2018-2019. After resting for a bit, and removing the winter hat, gloves and jacket, I moved to the back yard because I'm sick of feeling sick to my stomach every time I look at it through the patio doors in the dining room and window above the kitchen sink. This winter left it a true disaster zone. I worked steadily raking small areas and filled two trash can size black trash bags full of debris blown down from my arborvitaes and neighboring trees over the winter, in addition to about half a ton of nut shells. The nut shells are my fault because I feed all the neighborhood squirrels. They are so entertaining, and very smart! I also made a small dent in starting clean-up of the flower beds, where the "mild" (ahem) weather and thawed earth has encourages perennials to start popping through, whether I'm ready for them or not!

All in all, a somewhat decent start to making a larger dent in clean-up operations. I worked outdoors about 4 hours off and on. I didn't want to overdo it, and truth be told, I'm pooped! It's humbling to not be able to work as long or as hard as I used to. I can get it done, but I have to take lots of rest breaks so it takes quite a bit longer now. Good thing I'm retired


Saturday, August 9, 2014

Little Things Mean a Lot

Hola everyone!

Well, I'm stealing a cue from Suzan at Simply Vintageous (those of you who read her blog will know what I mean; she's got the music in her...)

Little things, like this little thingy, which is supposed to function as a door stop but failed utterly because of the kind of door handle my sellers had installed on their bathroom door when they remodeled (hint: it didn't stop anything):


You can see the dent in the drywall (on the right) from the lock knob, LOL!  It was driving me nuts.  First thing I did when I moved in was put a cotton ball underneath a bandaid and plastered it over the lock knob.  Yeah, crazy, but I didn't want any further damage done to the wall!  Sure looked silly, but it did the trick :) 

So, today Kevin the Handyman was here working his way through a list of things (more things to come, there seems to be something every time I turn around in this place), and addressing the bathroom door stop issue was the first thing he did.  And he discovered -- a hole at the bottom of the door after he'd removed the circle door stop.  (An aside:  I had attempted to yank [I yanked and yanked] and then tried to twist the little sucker [no go] and pulled and tugged with NO results, until I was ready to tear down the door with my fingernails, but couldn't budge the door stop.  It came right off for Kevin.  It was a "stick-on" thing, with a sticky backing.  Geez - I am obviously avalanching into old age when I can't even manage to remove a "stick-on" door stop!  Or maybe Kevin's big honking hands terrorized that door stop into instant surrender.  He's got Godzilla hands, people.)

Kevin figures that there was probably an old-fashioned solid metal doorstop on the former bottom trim behind the bathroom door (before remodelling removed and replaced it with the white painted trim), and someone unfortunately opened the door with a little bit too much oomph once (or maybe several times), it hit that solid metal stop, and it punched a hole through the thin veneer of the hollow-core door.  The half-circle door stop was purchased to cover up the hole rather than  -whoever - taking the time to repair the door properly and replacing the stop!

So, after the new door stop was installed (a springer doorstop, so no danger of punching a hole through the hollow-core door because the door knob lock stops a good distance from the wall and if the springer stop is hit too hard it just goes BOOOIIIIIIINNNNGGGGG):

Kevin rummaged around in his van and found some wood filler.  He filled the hole in the hollowcore bathroom door (it's a new door, they replaced the old one, I can tell because the stain finish is absolutely uniform):

Kevin will smooth it out on his visit, probably next Saturday (more cha-ching!!!) and use some left-over bathroom stain (courtesy of Mr. Seller)  to cover it up.  I could do it myself, especially since it's at the bottom of the door and whoever, really, will notice it, but since Kevin is coming anyway to complete the current "to do" list, he'll take care of that, too.

 That was Happy #1.

The next "to do" that Kevin tackled was taking down the ceiling fan in the dinette (see prior post), then taking down the ceiling fan in the mistress bedroom and putting it up in the dinette!  I cannot begin to tell you how thrilled I was that it fits the space perfectly and, I think, is actually a smidgeon smaller and more in scale with both the size and my style of the area than the former fan (which I thought had a country-ish vibe, just not me):

I am liking the bedroom fan in the dinette!  OHMYGODDESS, LOOK AT THAT WAVY WALL TO CEILING PAINT LINE!  YIKES!  Something MORE to be fixed. 

The former fan went into a box:

The glass shades are sitting in a safe area on the kitchen counter, as yesterday was recycling pick-up and all of my newspaper is gone until the Sunday paper comes tomorrow -- so, nothing easy to use to wrap the shades in (I don't feel like wrestling with bubble-wrap since this won't sit long in storage):

That was Happy #2.

One of the items on a future "to do" list will be installing that fan (former dinette fan) in the bedroom that will eventually become my den/library.  There is a little kidlet-type fan in there right now (dig the chalkboard paint race track!):

Happy #3 was, perhaps, not such a little thing.  Kevin put my new canopy bed together, whoop whoop!  For the first time since I moved in, I will actually be able to sleep in my mistress bedroom tonight!!!

Since the first night here on July 7th (the day of the pro movers moved my big stuff), after a long hard day of unpacking essentials, I made up my bed and was so eager to ease my weary, aching-from-moving-body into it. The bed collapsed!  Yes, it did, darlings. You can read about that here.

I've been sleeping either on the sofa in the living room or in the guest room since then, but really neither arrangement is satisfactory for everyday living.  Most of my clothes and all of my other things (undies, socks, and such) are in the mistress bedroom, not the guest bedroom and, of course, nothing like that in the living room.  I knew it would be a temporary arrangement, so I just grit my teeth and muddled through it.  I have since developed an intense hatred for the guest room mattress. 

Tonight, though, for the very first time (DRUM ROLL, please) I will sleep in my brand spanking new absolute princess-style canopy bed, woo woo!  I'm pooped!  Been up since 5:30 a.m. and working outside and then inside (nonstop cleaning, geez, how many times do I need to scrub the bathroom floor grout before it doesn't look black in some areas anymore - like it got a case of mold, and what kind of sealer do I need to apply to it...)  I'm sunburnt (look a fright) after doing all the out-front yard trimming this morning as the Sun swung around from the east to the south, sure enough, hitting me full on, while Kevin Handyman was working away inside, I have too much grey hair is showing (been too tired to expend the effort to re-color, which should have been done 2 week-ends ago), and I'm running low on wine, so I will probably need to hike to the Pick 'n Save once the sun starts sinking in the west.  Right now it's just too damn hot outside for me! But, wine trumps hair coloring every time.

So, what is that, you're wondering (I hope).  That, darlings, is the little ceiling plaque I purchased from Home Depot online to cover up the "hole" I new would appear where the ceiling fan in the misttress bedroom used to be. It's not too big, and not too small, and definitely not heavy. I had bought a packet of two-sided Command tape-ons with velcrow, and Kevin knew just how to use them to attach the plaque to the ceiling. 

That dark grey metal thingy in the lower portion of the photo, that's part of  the "crown" portion of my new canopy bed, woo woo!  For now, since the room is an absolute mess (but I made up the bed beautifully, can't wait to lay my aching bod down on it tonight and it sure as hell better not collapse), I won't be showing any photos.  No great reveals of that room (or bed) any time soon.

Next on the list was getting my new mirror hung in the bathroom.  I have no idea why, but Mr. and Mrs. Seller removed the bathroom mirror when they moved out.  As it was not permanently anchored as a "fixture" I could not legally and wasn't going to make a fuss about it anyway, but it seemed a little bit of a chintzy thing to do.  Anyway, I measured and measured and purchased a mirror online from Bed, Bath and Beyond that I thought would fit.  And it did, beautifully!  Except the hangers on the mirror shoved it up about six inches BEHIND (UP) the light fixture, arrrrggghhhh!  I did not have the tools, nor the stamina needed, to try and rehang the mirror (but I did give it a college try before deciding, wisely, that this was a Kevin project). 

And so, the "hanging mirror on bathroom tile thingy" was added to the Kevin-to-do list. He made short, beautiful work of it.  Tape measure, zip, zap, power drill screw driver, zip, zap.  Done!  TA DA!  He also mixed up some grout to plug in the holes left by the screws he removed upon which the former mirror used to hang.  He got gunk all over the sink, the baseboards and the floor.  He asked for a small vacuum, which I provided him (a Dirt Devil), and he diligently vacuumed.  He missed most of everything.  He definitely gets an "A" for effort, though. After he left, I went in and vacuumed thoroughly and wiped everthing down with a wet cloth (several times), and then vacuumed again, for good measure.  Beautiful!

 I erased Kevin's fingerprints on every single square inch of the mirror (how do guys manage to do that?) in short order with a power cleaner and it's gorgeous!

Kudos to Kevin, who wondered how on earth I was able to get ready for work in the morning without a full working mirror in the bathroom (we girls have our secrets, don't we...).  That mirror hanging was Happy #4. 

Happy #5 was relocating the shower curtain rod 2 inches higher.  I was sooooo disappointed when I at last uncovered my former main bath shower curtain (the "Antoinette" toile pattern in cream and black) amidst the tons of packed boxes and large anonymous black trash bags filled with soft items, and eagerly hung it and the behind plastic waterproof curtain up on the lovely bowed-out shower rod in antique bronze Mrs. Seller had selected to be installed.  Gorgeous!

Only to discover that somehow my shower curtain had grown too long.  At the former Maison Newton it had hung perfectly, not quite touching the floor, leaving room for a cushy bath rug underneath, but not so here.  It was all too long.  I told Kevin "this has to be raised two inches" in my FIRM voice.

Kevin was good enough to admit, afterward, that he was skeptical of the "2 inches" command; he thought it would be raised too high, and for a brief moment or two, he thought about putting it up less than 2 inches.  But he relocated the rod 2 inches higher and the result -- perfect!  He said "that rug of yours just fit under.  It's good."  High praise! 

No photo of Happy #6, but my right hip sure is thankful this afternoon.  Kevin replaced the too large door sweep on the side garage door with a metal threshold, and then he also made the deadbolt easier to use by drilling/cutting out something or other (I don't know precisely what he did as I was scrubbing some of the black grout in the bathroom at the time).  He also did some waterproofing stuff.  I no longer have to bang my right hip against the garage side door with much force 4 or 5 times in order to get the service door fully open, hooray!  Kevin, my right hip thanks you mightily. 

What I figured -- he saw a mouse as I hit the auto open on the garage door.  LOL!  I think he was more shocked than I about that, as during the very first showing of the house I could clearly see piles of mouse nests and mouse poopies along the south interior wall of much of the garage.  Sellers did not bother to clean that out.  Personally I haven't seen a mouse, not that they scare me.  They can live in the garage, just don't come into my house, I WILL KILL YOU WITHOUT MERCY IF YOU DO. 

Cleaning the mouse stuff out of the garage and spraying all along the foundation with expanding foam and then paying Kevin to caulk the remaining nooks and crannies is lower on my list of priorities. That will happen some time in October, I think. Right now, I have about 100 boxes yet to be unpacked, curtains to hang but I need to buy double curtain rods - drat! (online shopping tonight).  Probably a thousand yards of curtains, etc. to iron before hanging, once I have aforesaid rods installed (and what a PAIN IN THE HANDS THAT IS, let me tell you!) Carpeting needs a serious cleaning, I am discovering more and more things for Kevin to do around here so yes, I probably should have married the millionaire back in 1976 when I had the chance.  Priorities, darlings, priorities!  Inside of the house must be somewhat settled first, garage a far second down the road. 

Tomorrow Laurie-Broker and I are going flower shopping!  So excited!  I make an exception to the "outside" thing for my gardens :)  Will be shopping for hardy shrub roses, peonies, straggly greatly-reduced perrenials that will survive in sunny parched conditions, and autumnal annuals to fill my new planters... 

All in all, a productive day.  Right now, I am going to go out and enjoy the shady part of the day in my otherwise very hot and sunny back yard on the patio, whilst listening to the Packers premiere pre-season game on WTMJ radio (AM).  I'll worry about hanging curtains and such in the mistress bedroom...later...

A lot of happies today!  A Packers pre-season win would add a happy :) 

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