April 29, 2010

Spring Snow

 

Outside, it looks like this:

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But luckily, inside looks like this:

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IMG_1767 Looks like a sweet pea to me!

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And another one! (A blurry sweet pea.)

And the alyssum in the background is going gangbusters. 

As soon as it warms up again…we’ll be ready :)

April 28, 2010

Mid-Week Rambles

No fun projects to report here. I watered my “seven new perennials” today. Does that count?

Ok. I guess I was fishing for some ‘cred.

I also stomped all over the fluffy areas of the weed mat where the weeds are growing underneath. Hopefully they’ll get the hint, but I’m not holding my breath.

This weekend will be relatively uneventful. I’m looking forward to it. At the very minimum, I need to make sure I get some more mulch spread in the front yard and get that finished up.

Or else I’ll dwell on it alllllll next week.

I think I also need to bust out the Round Up and show the weeds growing in the rocks on the side of the house that I’M IN CHARGE. Otherwise….well, they’ll definitely be in charge. (These are different weeds than the pests under the weed mat, sadly.)

Getting the rest of the baseboards back on will also be a priority. I’d like the new floor project to be done with. Missing baseboards just look so glaringly unfinished.

It’s rainy and windy here tonight, and it’s supposed to be cool/windy/rainy (maybe even nighttime snow) the rest of the week. I want it to warm up! WARM UP, I SAY!

We recently signed up for milk delivery. Foo foo, yes. More expensive than Safeway…yes. Surprisingly amazing tasting? Like I-didn’t-know-milk-was-so-awesome amazing? YES! It’s yummy, and it supports our local economy too, so I feel pretty good about it.

PLUS….I bet I could go visit the cows if I really wanted to. Which I might. (want to). My husband thinks I should open a petting zoo. The cows might suffice.

Did I mention I had to wait for an elk to cross the road yesterday morning on my way to work? And that the group of horses grazing across the way were playing tag on my way home from work? Cute buggers, frolicking around.

Are you thinking I’m a loon?

Me too. Time for bed.

April 26, 2010

Adventures in Homeownership

We got some things done over the weekend.

Hubby fixed Leak #1 in the dishwasher.

Then, after the dishwasher sprung Leak #2, he fixed that one too.

He also busted his tail to paint the baseboards in the living room and reinstall them. Now we just have to paint and reinstall the dining room baseboards, touch up the wall paint in the living room, and caulk all the way around. (This picture shows where the old hardwood used to be. It was thicker than the carpet, so the baseboards actually slanted upwards to get to the proper height. This is the worst area in need of touching up.)

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Our old laminate flooring was adopted off the floor of our garage by its new owner! Hubby’s car now fits in the garage again.

I also bought more seeds (pole beans and jalapenos) . I’m growing marigolds, a few nasturtiums (only three out of 12 came up?), alyssum, sweet peas, and now jalapeno peppers inside. The marigolds and nasturtiums are companion plants for the veggie garden. I soaked the sweet peas overnight and I tried to file through the shell a little bit but they don’t look promising…did I do something wrong?

Here are the alyssum coming right up! The other side of the tray are sweet peas….

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But only one sweet pea is coming up right now…. (at least I think that’s a sweet pea…) Show us your face man!

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The marigolds are doing great ^

And the few nasturtiums are too…

IMG_1761I dug out the non-performing nasturtium seeds from the other side of this tray and now the jalapenos are planted there instead.

I pulled every weed and invading clump of grass I could find in the front garden. Then I spread two bags of new mulch. Two bags is clearly woeful. I think we’ll need about 4 more. The new mulch is really nice – it’s cut much finer than the old stuff. I like it :) And I noticed the old mulch that got mixed into the soil when we planted bulbs last fall is rotting really nicely under the surface. (only in the context of our awful clay soil would I ever use the phrase “rotting nicely”!)

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I “pinched’ (ok, snipped) the top sections of my mums which are now 4-6 inches tall (apparently the height when you’re supposed to do that….)

I planted 12 red daylily bulbs. Seven in front, five in back. I even mixed compost into their backfilled soil and sprinkled some more compost on top. I’ve heard plants really like the “compost tea” that trickles down from compost on top the soil. I’ve also heard you should keep compost away from the stems of your plants or it could burn them in the summertime.

Now the rest of my ordered plants need to arrive so I can get those in the ground too.

And now for the bad news. This makes me very grumpy. After major rain last week, we have a new leak in our roof, evidenced by a nice water spot on our vaulted ceiling in the family room. This is in addition to another leak (in the attic over the master bath) that was supposedly fixed last summer but we suspect is probably leaking again.

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And this is what the bathroom ceiling damage looked like when we moved in last summer (and the roof was THE first thing we had fixed):

ceiling water damage

Unfortunately, here’s how it looks now:

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I traced the stain last summer so we could see if it started spreading. It definitely got darker, but since the drywall was already damaged, we thought maybe it was getting darker just from the steam from the shower. But now it’s clear the damage is spreading outside the tracing. Hubby will stick his head up in the attic tonight to see if we can verify the leak is still there or not.

The bathroom will be redone at some point in the future, so this stain really didn’t worry us….until it started growing! The stain in the family room worries me more because I don’t know what’s involved with fixing it.

Grrr!

April 23, 2010

Renovation Realities

Has anyone seen that show? Where nothing goes right? And the simplest task seems to open a can of worms?

WELL!

Remember how I said the remaining items on our list to have the floor “completely done” included installing the new dishwasher? And remember why we bought a new dishwasher to begin with? (Because the old one required a bowl underneath)

WELL!

Here we go... (Tutorial on plumbing coming up! Learn from us Peeps!)

In a nutshell, we cheaped out and decided to install the dishwasher ourselves and save some money. We bought the special $20 GE installation kit (with the new connectors and water intake hose).

IMG_1731Apparently there are two ways to install the drain hose from your dishwasher to the actual plumbing under the sink. One way (the one that makes the most sense to me) is to attach the hose to a special place on the garbage disposal so that your dishwasher water actually drains through the disposal. This makes sense…..right? Because then any food particles will be subject to the disposal rather than going straight into your pipes.

Here’s a grody picture to show you what I mean :)

See the top input? That’s where the hose from the dishwasher is supposed to connect. Then the stuff flows back out (and into your plumbing) through the bottom connection.

IMG_1739 Our strategy was to install the new dishwasher exactly the same way as the old dishwasher had been installed (you know, since we didn’t know what we were doing). Except our old dishwasher used the ….ahem….OTHER way of connecting to the plumbing. Like this:

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Yes, that’s right. The output hose of the old dishwasher was connected to the bottom of that copper pipe. The copper pipe was then literally set into (note: not “connected to”!) the black pipe. Any bump of the hose could’ve knocked that copper pipe out of the black one and then we could have had a flood of dishwasher wastewater in our undersink cabinet. Joy!

We decided to install the new dishwasher so that it connected to the disposal. We felt this was probably the “right” way which should’ve been done since the beginning.

The problem now? The connection INTO the disposal has a plug in it, since it’s never been used. The disposal needed to come off and the plug pushed out with a screwdriver.

Taking off a disposal should be easy right? Everything we saw online indicated it was a piece of cake. RIGHT…

Here’s what we ended up with:

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Oh! You mean….taking off a disposal shouldn’t result in removing the entire drain!? Oops!

In trying to “unscrew” (yeah right) the disposal after we loosened the appropriate screws, we realized we were turning the entire drain basket as well. All the plumber’s putty was squishing out around the sides or flaking off completely. At this point, clearly we would have to completely remove the drain and reinstall it with a new seal. (I actually didn’t mind because the plumber’s putty was REALLY brittle and so were the rubber gaskets, so I felt like we were probably fixing a future leak before it became a leak.)

See that funny looking metal ring sitting next to the tape measure? That, ladies (and gents), is the MOUNTING RING. Took us forever to figure that one out. Ok, so now see the silver ring around the neck of the disposal? That ring connects to the mounting ring to suspend your disposal under your drain. We struggled and struggled to figure out how these two pieces came apart. Finally I took a hammer to the piece stuck to the disposal and knocked it sideways far enough that it would let go of the mounting ring and the disposal basically fell into my lap. (I just have to note that Hubs had been working on this for a while….I sat down with a hammer and was immediately successful! Yeah!)

Now we were left with a drain (which clearly needed to come UP out of the sink to be removed). But under the sink, the mounting ring was still attached to the drain. I twisted and spun that sucker trying to figure out how it came off. Turns out the mounting ring is held onto your drain by what’s called a SNAP RING. This snap ring doesn’t screw on or anything like that….it snaps on. (duh) Well, you have to figure out how to get it off in order for the mounting ring and the gaskets etc to come off so that you can then lift the drain up out of your sink.

Apparently, you use a screwdriver to PRY the snap ring off. Then it is ruined of course. Also something we spent FOREVER trying to figure out (and Hubby wanted to call a plumber at this point). Now we were drain-less, with a bunch of ruined parts.

BUT….never fear.

Your local home improvement store sells kits with the gaskets, snap ring etc that you need when you uninstall a drain like this.

We ended up using major force to get the plug out of the hole on the disposal. Hubs picked up the kit to put our drain back together (and reinstall the disposal), and he took some time off work yesterday afternoon to put it back together.

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One thing you have to do with the hose into the disposal is suspend it from the top of your cabinet, like this:

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And here’s our newly installed dishwasher!

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You may be asking why the bottom panel is missing.

That’s an easy one.






The new dishwasher leaks.




We’re on it.


I'm linking to:

Ok, so DIY dishwasher plumbing isn't exactly "chic". But it's cheaper than hiring a plumber and not that tough after you screw it up a few times - or learn from us screwing up ;)

April 21, 2010

We Have a New Floor!

There is still some put-away/put-back to do. And we’re dishwasher-less until tonight when the new one is delivered and installed (and the old one taken away!). And we still need to put the dining room and living room baseboards back on. I can’t wait to have a quiet dishwasher!!

But despite those little things, the big stuff is done!

Here are some before pictures real quick:

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My cute little spring hearth....next to some ugly carpet!

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My baby gate project marking the boundary between the old laminate and the old nasty carpet...

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Various shots of the pretty new peninsula...but I promise it's prettier with the new floor...!

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And now for the AFTER pictures! YAY!

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Disregard the junk on the counter please :)

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Floor Installer Guy thought quarter round would look good here. I agree! (And one less baseboard to paint!)

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Need to rearrange a little in here and find a little plant-stand type of table for the lamp currently hanging out on the couch (couch potato). Hobby Lobby here I come…. (the old table it was on was a aquare end table that was waaaay too big for its new location against that long wall, so it was moved to the basement.)

I’m thinking the rug and coffee table are looking a little smooshed right now. The rug was an old one we had stored in the basement. For now it works great but we’ll probably pick out a new one eventually (a heavier one, since this one wrinkles and bunches pretty bad.)

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IMG_1728 The orange cabinets look particularly garish against the floor color now. We’re planning to buy a sander this weekend! You know what that means…… :-) PAINTING CABINETS!

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We love it! It’s so nice and clean feeling, compared to that nasty carpet that had who-knows-how-many peoples’ and animals’ dirt in it. The cat doesn’t like the hard floor quite as much as the carpet. Even though her toys fly across the floor and are much more fun to chase, her “flying squirrel” act off the stairs results in her sliding into the far wall. Hopefully that stops, but we’ll see. I would think it hurts to land on a hard floor from six feet up from a full sprint?

Thanks for stopping by! Sorry no little projects to show you lately! Once we get this big one put to bed, I’ll have time to get back to the smaller projects on my list.

Have a GREAT day!


I am linking to

Transformation Thursday

so be sure to pop on over there and check out all the cool transformations!

April 20, 2010

Progress Looks Like…

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And we’re pooped.  Right now the living room floor is being installed and we can move furniture back and put the oven back where it belongs tonight :)

The new dishwasher is delivered tomorrow!

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