Too Many Projects

I have had so little time over the last several days to get work done on my room. Instead, I’ve had to focus on getting some things around the house taken care of that have been a bit neglected. And it seems that every time I turn around there is something else that needs my attention and time.

Yesterday, I started the chore of finally getting the new garage door painted. Unfortunately, it is stupidly hot and humid out and there is only shade on that side of the house until about noon, so I only have a few hours to work each day. All I was able to get done was a single coat of paint on the main parts of the door. The second coat will go on today, then I have to do the pain in the butt trim, which will almost definitely need two coats as well. I’m looking at at least a couple more days before it is finished.

The plan was to work on the garage in the morning and the basement in the afternoon, but the heat zapped me and I had no energy for much. It isn’t helping that I’ve reached a stage where I feel like a permanent sore muscle and every single thing aches every day.

I’m also trying really hard to not spend time focusing on the massive list of projects I have yet to get done, some of which I’m on a deadline for as they are in preparation for MCG moving in this fall. There are way too many and I really need to keep my focus and attention on the basement right now, but I’m starting to stress about getting it all done.

The low energy and the extra distractions have just been killing any progress on my room. I’ve gotten the touch ups done on the installed cabinets and painted all but one of the beadboard panels so they are ready to become doors. That’s pretty much it and it’s annoying me that I’m behind where I want to be.

I’m hoping I can be more productive today than I have been, but I’m not holding out much hope. The heat has already hit the miserable mark today and I haven’t even started working yet.

 

New Plan

Is it a surprise to anyone that I’ve had to change my plans for this week? Anyone?

Yeah, I didn’t think  so.

We got our garage door replaced yesterday. I had kind of forgotten that it would come unpainted, but remembered at the last minute and scrambled to go get the paint I needed. Guess what I’m working on now?

It isn’t my craft room.

I spent a chunk of my day yesterdday getting some much needed running done for BG and to get the paint. The rest was spent up and down a ladder getting everything caulked up. Which was so not fun as we found that some of the trim around this door isn’t in great shape as it has a few too many soft spots. It really probably needs to be replaced, but we aren’t doing that at this point.

It most likely isn’t the only trim on the house in such a state, which is laughable as we were told, repeatedly, while the house was being built that this type of trim wouldn’t rot even if you left it unpainted. I want to do bodily harm to the people that built my house over all the things that are messed up with it. The trim issue is only one tiny reason I feel that way. Seeing this yesterday is just one more drop in the ocean of frustrations we’ve had with our builder, even 17 years later.

I had planned to get a few things done in my craft room this week before the true chaos of recital hits toward the end, but this door is taking a whole lot more time that I anticipated. Because it has wood trim on the steel panels, I have to caulk every single edge and seam, and there are a lot, before I can paint. Just the bit I did yesterday, going up and down the ladder, has me feeling it today. I really don’t want to have to attempt to haul a thousand pounds of costumes and shoes around while even my teeth ache, so I’m only going to finish up the caulking today and call it done until after recital.

As much of a pain as it is and with the extra work, I’m glad to finally have the new door, even unpainted. I hated seeing that gouge every time I stepped outside. Unfortunately, now that we know what a major pain it is to do anything with these doors, I’m going to be a nervous wreck every time the neighbor has his yard mowed.

Well… Okay Then

I was scheduled to get my vaccine today. I was originally set to get the Johnson & Johnson one, but after the CDC and FDA recommended a pause because of potential clotting issues, my state has canceled all J&J appointments.

So, I won’t be getting the one and done but, thankfully, I was able to get a different one scheduled for later this week so I’m not delayed too much. After seeing the news this morning, I’m not too upset that I have to get stabbed twice instead of just once.

On another positive news front, the roofers were out to inspect our roof yesterday to try and figure out why we had water come in. Turns out that the water we got wasn’t from rain, but from condensation in the duct work from high humidity settings freezing during our insanely cold snap that then melting and dripped onto our ceiling.

Apparently you should turn off your furnace humidifier when you are going to see below zero temps to avoid this. I did not know that was even a possibility.

So instead of worrying that we were going to have to need the roof replaced (apparently ours is still in really good shape, so not even a concern for the near future), I just have to repaint the ceiling. I will take a little paint over a new roof at this point.

Considering our insurance is going to fork over a few thousand dollars to replace both of our garage doors because of the mower fiasco, I’m grateful to not have to have a second claim right now.

While things feel a little crazy right now, it seems to be a good news kind of crazy. I’m good with that.

It’s Been A Day

Really, it would be more accurate to say it has been several days of “one of those days.”

I think I mentioned before that we’d had water come in one of the bedrooms from the roof. I finally got around to calling insurance about that and set that ball into motion. That was prompted because I needed to call them about ANOTHER issue.

That issue is thanks to the landscaper/mower that our neighbor hired to mow his lawn. Guy somehow managed to mow over the access for the water shut off, something that is covered by what looks like a mini manhole cover. A nice solid chunk of metal. Instead of it damaging the mower, the mower apparently managed to shattered that sucker.

The result was pieces went flying and one managed to slam into our garage door, leaving about a 3 1/2 inch gouge behind.

Garage Door Gouge
Garage Door Gouge

We have custom doors because our builder screwed up when framing the foundation and made the opening on one of them too small and a standard door wouldn’t fit. This is already a problem for replacement or fixing, but it turns out that these doors aren’t made any more so we can’t even get a replacement panel. These are metal with a foam core, so it isn’t like you can just patch that. We have to replace the entire door.

The custom design adds a massive cost (something we only paid a small difference for originally because the initial problem was the builder’s fault) and we are looking at a couple thousand dollar repair. All because some jackwad ran a riding mower over a metal manhole cover instead of going around it.

While there is a chance our insurance can get either the mower’s or the neighbor’s insurance to pay for this, I’m not optimistic. I doubt the mower has any kind of insurance (doesn’t look like he was from a company) and the neighbor is apparently having financial problems and is why he is finally bothering to fix up a property he has been renting out for the last 10 or so years. It’s probably going to come down to everyone putting the blame on someone else and no one taking responsibility. And that’s why our insurance company is involved.

I’m immensely grateful that neither of my kids were heading out to the car at the time or that no little kids were outside playing at the time because someone could have been killed. That isn’t an exaggeration. That chunk of metal is really heavy and could have done so much more than damaging our garage door. I’m shocked that the mower had the power to throw it as hard as it did.

I’m pretty sure it narrowly missed slamming into the back window of the kid’s car. Granted, that probably would have been a cheaper fix.

I have to talk to the adjuster and see what they are willing to cover or not on this. Considering we still have the issue with the roof to deal with and the cost for the rest of my materials for my basement, this is going to be a VERY costly year. Seems par for the course for us as our air conditioner went out just a few weeks after we had our windows replaced a couple of years ago.

Joys of home ownership.

On the craft room front. I have my stain color down. FINALLY!! The color in the photo is WAY off. This is a much cooler gray than what it looks like here.

Final Stain Color Sample
Final Stain Color Sample

The larger piece in the above photo is a floor piece. The smaller piece is my sample. I still have to do a top coat, but I’ll work that one out later. I think I’m going with a clear poly, so it shouldn’t change it much. Even if it does a little, it should still work.

Today, I started cutting the pieces for the lower, back wall cabinets.

Set Up For Cutting Cabinet Materials
Set Up For Cutting Cabinet Materials

Trying to get these much larger pieces cut has been a bit of a pain, but I pulled it off with a little help on the biggest pieces. So far, I have the pieces cut for the corner cabinet and the first shelving section.

I realized when cutting the pieces for the shelf that I somehow missed adding the pieces for the second section to my layout, so I goofed that one. Thankfully, they are all smaller pieces, so I’m just going to get a smaller sheet or two of plywood for those instead of dealing with another huge one.

For now, I’m going to work on painting what I have cut and getting those put together before I move on to the next segment.

Busy Bee

I was perfectly content with the amount of busy I was already dealing with. Really. I was. I absolutely did not want or need any more busy or stuff. That could have waited at least a week, right?

Apparently not.

The day before yesterday, our garage door wouldn’t open. We unhooked the opener and managed to get the door lifted manually, but it was way off and not sitting straight. Got someone out to look at it and somehow the shaft the spring is attached to is splitting, something the guy said he’d never seen before. Also something that couldn’t be fixed that day.

It was something so unusual, the guy was wanting to check with all the other people he works with to see if they’d seen anything like it. Kind of like that rare medical scenario that gets doctors salivating over writing a paper on it.

Being unique is cool and all, but I’m totally fine with just being normal.

Then… yes, more! I’d been sitting in the hot car in nearly 100 degree heat, sweating to death even with the air running, waiting for BG to get out of dance yesterday. I just wanted to come home to the cool house and get my body temp down from surface-of-the-sun levels. I get home and… the house really isn’t all that cool. I go to look at the thermostat and the screen is black. No power. Check the breakers. Check the main switch. Nothing. This is a system that is barely under 2 years old.

Call our guy, he informs me that when the UV bulb in the air scrubber goes out, it tends to blow a low voltage fuse. A bulb that tends to only last about 2 years. Hubby had to make an emergency run last night to get a new fuse so we can at least get the unit back up and running without the air scrubber.

I now have two different repair people coming out today to fix all this stuff. This was my ONE day I didn’t have a ton of stuff going on.

And that is only if they can get a new UV bulb because they are in high demand with the virus right now.

SO much fun!

On a recital note, BG and I sat down and figured out what time she needs to be getting up so she can get ready and get to the venue in time. She will be up around 6am and not getting home until close to 11pm both days. Guess who gets to do those hours with her? Yay!

Laundry Room Project

We have been in this house for a little over 15 years now. I have spent the entirety of those 15 years irritated as hell at myself that I didn’t demand a better design in the laundry room. It is plenty big, just a little poorly laid out so that there is a ton of wasted space.

Hubby and I discussed having someone come in and do some work, including building a pantry cabinet and adding a couple of other shelves. We even started looking at people to do the job. Then we realized that getting our back door and framing around said door replaced couldn’t be put off another year or we would potentially have it fall out of the house because all the wood around it is rotting out. Have I mentioned that our builder did a shit job (I’ve lost count of the major issues we’ve had in this house)?

I did some math (yes, it actually hurt to do the math part) and some planning and decided I could hold off on a bigger project for a while if I could just get the shelves in because attempting to keep everything on the tiny little counter or the floor just wasn’t working. Those issue get made worse every time laundry is done since both BG and I hang up a huge portion of our tops and other things rather than dry them in the drier.

So I really had two different issues to solve. The first was shelving to get some of the stuff off the counter and floor. The second was figuring out a way to expand the room for hanging clothes up.

Laundry Room Project - Before Clothes Drying area
Laundry Room Project – Before Clothes Drying area

Again, this space is decent, but it isn’t well used at all. I did some research and found an expandable drying rack that you could mount to the wall. Once I got it ordered, I discovered it has the same problem as most wall mount products. It does not take into account that the wall studs you need to mount it to aren’t in the location you need. To fix the issue, I got a large 10 inch wide board that I cut to length, painted and attached to said studs. I was then able to mount the rack to the board without any worry that this is going to get ripped off the wall the second a couple of shirts gets hung on it.

Laundry Room Project - After Clothes Drying area
Laundry Room Project – After Clothes Drying area

The fact that this is expandable means that I can keep it against the wall when I don’t need it or if I have something long that needs to be hung up.

Laundry Room Project - After Clothes Drying area
Laundry Room Project – After Clothes Drying area

Expanded, this gives me probably close to twice the space, if not more, than what I had before. It also means that there aren’t shirts hanging off of every available surface on laundry days, including laundry baskets and over the small step ladder I have in there. That leaves barely an inch of space to get to the washer.

Laundry Room Project - Before Sink Area
Laundry Room Project – Before Sink Area

Ignore the mess, that is part of the problem, as you can see. This is the second part of the project. I wanted a small, shallow shelf directly above the sink for all the smaller things I use most in that area. Detergents, stain removers, a couple of cleaners and a few other small bottle type things. I also wanted a much deeper shelf higher up that would span the entire space so that I could store some bigger things, often the back up items or bulk items I use to refill smaller bottles (like cleaners).

Laundry Room Project - After Sink Area With Shelves
Laundry Room Project – After Sink Area With Shelves

The smaller shelf is only about 8 inches deep and only goes across the space above the sink. It was fun attempting to get it to work with where the studs were, but I managed to pull it off. The higher shelf is a 12 inch deep shelf and needed additional support in the middle because it is much longer. I did use a support that can hold a bar if I decided I still need a bit more space for some shorter hanging things in the future (BG’s dance clothes would be perfect for that space).

Both of these were made with really inexpensive lumber that I just painted with my trim color so it would blend with what I already have in there. I probably need to caulk up a few places (where the screws are and a couple of bigger gaps in board seams), but for the most part this is completely done. I am going to add a no slip liner to the smaller shelf to help protect it. I was also able to get it all done in a day, painting, cutting and mounting all boards. I do still really want a cabinet in there, but this is already a hundred times better than the mess I had before.

As with pretty much every single project I work on, I now feel like I’ve been hit by a truck. It also means that I didn’t get to read because it did take all day. At least the temps dropped a bit so it wasn’t crazy miserable in the garage while I was working.

The next project is going to be that back door, but that is way outside my DIY ability and I have some great guys scheduled to work on that in August.

One of Those Days

The picture here is of some flooding in the area and fits perfectly with how I feel today… overwhelmed with just too much!

I had a plan for today. I had a list of things I needed to do and was well on my way to getting them done. Mostly basic things like getting some cleaning done because MC is having his crew over for a gaming event/night. I also had an appointment to get a bid on one of two needed house repairs (that of course cannot be inexpensive ones). Then I get an email from the school.

Actually, Hubby called to ask about the email because he got it first. It was about getting MC’s senior pictures taken, but it was incredibly vague other than dates (tomorrow and Thursday) and a phone number. I was in the middle of cleaning and said I’d deal with it when I was done. Then MC is coming and saying that his friends are telling him those are the actual picture days. Mind you, this is the first and only senior picture communication we have gotten from the school.

I finish what I’m doing and call the number. Sure enough, some brain trust set up automated appointments (meaning they set them up for you and you are just supposed to show up) for all yearbook photos in the middle of summer and don’t bother to let anyone know until the day before you are required to show (two if you are lucky). This isn’t in any newsletter or email from the district. It isn’t on their website or calendar (I looked), it doesn’t exist outside of this one email. I did get them to say they would be at the school again in August where students would have to leave during class or lunch and get their photos taken then, but… missing class, having to wear the photo getup to school and keep it looking decent until photo time, not a great option.

Since MC is so not a dress up kinda kid, that meant a rush shopping job so that he actually has something to wear. Did I mention that there was zero information included in that lovely email? As in, not one word about dress code? When OC went through this a few years ago (same district, same school), there were some very specific rules on what could and could not be worn for these photos. Granted, those rules really do not fit with kids these days and, from the pictures in last year’s year book, they have not been enforcing those rules, but I had no clue what to get. I cannot imagine MC in a suit and tie or even just a shirt and tie. He couldn’t either, so we just decided to go with it and he found a nice polo, which is still dressier than some in the year book. I can only hope this does not cause problems.

I also have to get his hair trimmed up tonight since his friends will be here tomorrow and overnight. And I still have a couple things I need to do to get ready for that crew. We kind of lucked out on this for a couple of reasons. 1) We are here and can actually make his scheduled appointment. I feel bad for those families that are gone on vacation right now or those that have to work and can’t get off because they have no options other than the August date. 2) These are only for the yearbook photos. You can work with them to set up a time for a longer, more personalized session, but MC decided months ago that he wants me to do his senior portraits for him (not that I’m thrilled with that as I don’t do photos of people well, but… I’m gonna give it my best), so we only have to worry about the yearbook photos.

What is really stupid about this whole mess is the utter lack of communication or any kind of standard process. The district has been using the same photography group for years, so why in the hell have you not established a regular, workable plan and stick with it? The kids told me they did it entirely different last year, which was different from when OC did his. I get it. Most families around here go with their own photographers for senior sessions (if they do them at all) and only use the school photographer for the yearbook photo, but you can still not make it into this convoluted mess to get those done.

How The Dog Instigated Chaos

The day started with Hubby giving the dog a chew treat this morning when he went to fix us coffee. Turns out, that treat ended up making a nasty mess on the carpet in the living room where she decided to chow down on it. I go to clean it up and I now have a lovely clean spot in a mess of a high traffic area. Typical me, this doesn’t work and I just decide to bite the bullet and just shampoo the whole living room as I’ve been wanting to do for a while. Noticing a pattern here?

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Ahhhh! Cool Air!

Upside… We have a working AC. Downside, the temps dropped and it hasn’t needed to be turned on yet, though we did close up the house and turn it on to test out how well it removes the humidity even when it doesn’t need to cool (awesome, awesome, AWESOME feature).

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Oh, Come On!!

Yesterday, I moved the small, portable AC my guys dropped off for us into the living room when the kids got home because the house was up to 90 inside. Get it set up and running and I go to move the fans around and the unit dies, my ceiling fan stops and I’m thinking I tripped a breaker. Go to reset it and all the breakers are on. Nothing has tripped.

I unplug all the fans in that room and move them to other areas I know are on a different circuit, unplug the unit and as soon as I do, my ceiling fan starts back up. Everything runs fine for a while. It isn’t until hours later that I realize my fan is off again. At this point, a storm had moved through and dropped the temps drastically, so I just unplugged the unit. Fan starts working again.

Hubby goes to shut down some things outside for the night, comes back in and tells me the lights are off on the chlorinator for our pool. That is on its own circuit so it shouldn’t have been affected by whatever was going on in our living room. Checked that breaker and it is also not tripped. Even try flipping it off and back on, still no lights. So, we either have yet another piece of equipment in our house that just decided to up and crash, or we have a nasty electrical problem on top of EVERYTHING else. Or, quite possibly, both.

Enough already!!

Semi-Repurposed Rain Gauge

A couple of weeks ago I had ordered a new rain gauge online. The day it was supposed to show up, I get an email saying I needed to authorize a change and that I’d be lucky if I saw the thing by the end of September. I had thought when I saw it and the ones like it that there was zero reason why I couldn’t make my own other than needing the right materials, so I just decided to cancel the order and figure out a way to make my own.

Continue reading “Semi-Repurposed Rain Gauge”