sarahmichelef: (Default)
Furnace estimates are both overwhelming and depressing.  Don't worry, it's not dead, we're not sitting here shivering.  It's just not a simple replacement job.  (Am I surprised?  Well, not really.  Nothing in this house is ever a simple job.)  The issue is that the new furnace will not be vented out the existing chimney and there is debate as to whether or not the existing water heater will create enough heat to burn off all the goo in its exhaust.  Suggestions for what to do about this range from hiring a separate company to rip out the existing (asbestos-insulated) pipe to nothing at all (with the middle ground being putting in a new, force-vented water heater or lining the existing chimney and pipe and that being sufficient to deal with those issues).

I think I need to call back the first estimator and get his opinion on the chimney issue, because he was the one who didn't even bat an eyelash at the pipe and chimney as they stand right now.  He made a comment about "Oh good, your chimney is already capped so that's not an issue" so I don't know what's up with that.  I wouldn't bother, but I think if I lay out the prices he's among the best.

Ugh.  Did I say that already?  Here, let me say it again.

Ugh.

Hilarous, though: one of the guys was about half an hour late.  Another of the guys was an hour early.  So they chatted in the driveway for a couple of minutes and early guy came back at his appointed time.
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sarahmichelef: (Default)
It is threatening to be fall here... needing a light jacket in the mornings; today I have on woolen trousers and long sleeves and I have not been swelteringly hot (though it was too warm for my awesome baby-blue trenchcoat by the time I left the gym at 10 am).  Somehow I manage to be surprised twice a year to re-discover that the winter->spring and summer -> fall transitions are my favorite "seasons".

We have a bunch of projects going on around the house. 
  • The bleeping leak in the second floor bathroom came back AGAIN and we threw our hands up and called a new plumber.  He took a look and discovered that there's a blown gasket on the drain overflow thingy at the very least - they're coming to cut up the ceiling, take a closer look, and fix it tomorrow.  That means that tonight M and I will be moving the bulk of the resident electronics (printer, my iBook, his old laptop, the video camera) to safer ground tonight and probably also the books that are scattered all over the place.  This is in anticipation of re-arranging the room in a way that will make it a less-private guest room but a better-functioning study (including, possibly, a networked printer, yay!).  And, sorry houseguests, but our daily use trumps your occasional use.
  • We are doing a very thorough weeding and mulching of all of the garden spaces.  On Labor Day, I planted a bunch of crocuses and 15 hyacinths for next spring.
  • Last night I did the final sanding on the drywall repair in the laundry room/future playroom and we have paint chips hanging on the wall in there so we can assess color choices.  If TRex had her way it would be a very mardi-gras room; the carpet is a kind of neutral green (more or less this color) and she does want it to be purple.  We are going to oblige her in that wish, but she is not getting the deepest purple on the paint chips like she wants.  I think it might be fun to do an accent wall in one of the slightly deeper shades, but I'm not sure M will be down with that.  Even if I do, it will be something of darkness number 2 on the card.  I am gravitating towards the cooler purple tones due to the green carpet.
I had other things I wanted to say but I forget them now.  Oh well.  Back to thinking about how bloggers define "private".
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sarahmichelef: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] relentlesstoil suggests a "hap-den".
blathering about reorganizing the sewing room )
And that's my story. It occurs to me that the only thing more pathetic than spending a Friday night cleaning and organizing is spending a Friday night cleaning and organizing and then blogging about it.

*Points to anyone who gets this reference.  And I suddenly think I've played that particular "guess the cultural reference" game before.  Oh well.
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sarahmichelef: (Default)
  • BRT yesterday, I already linked the pictures.  We had fun.  TRex refused to nap, like you do, and passed out in the car on the way home, like you do.
  • We had a small caulk failure in the upstairs bath.  I think I have licked it; we will know for sure tomorrow or Tuesday when I shower in there.
  • When TRex and I traded bedroom/sewing room, one of the challenges was closet space.  See, the closet in the small room (now my sewing room) is under the eaves, and the hanging bar is about 4' off the ground.  There is a row of hooks in the tall wall, though, and so when we first swapped I just put all of our long tunics on hangers on the hooks.  That proved to be untenable, though - if a garment was at the back of a hook, I couldn't get to it without taking everything in front of it down, and the clothes blocked access to other stuff in the closet.  So today I got a standalone rack and moved things around a bit to make space for the rack (the bookcase was in pretty much the only place where the rack could go).  Thus far, it's working fine - I'm reserving judgment because this rack got mixed reviews on the Target website.
  • There's something to be said for lounging in bed with a laptop, a beverage, and a sporting event about which you could not care less as background noise on the tv.
  • TRex has no school tomorrow.  It is supposed to be 90 again.  If we don't end up over at her friend J's house in their pool, I'm willing to put money on at least one of us being out in the sprinkler at some point during the day.
  • Oh!  Last week we got an e-mail from my FIL telling us that he (and all of us by extension) had been invited to join a nine-day trip to India over Christmas/New Year's 2009-2010.  At this point, it seems like we are going to try to go.  ZOMG!
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sarahmichelef: (Default)
This morning (it was after TRex was up, so sometime between 6:40 and 8:15 AM) I had a dream that included the following features:
  • Me hanging out in a hotel wearing no pants.  Along with a lot of UMass sociologists (many of whom were not identifiable as such).  They were all wearing pants, though.  There was no clear reason for my pantsless state.
  • Two job offers I was trying to weight the benefits/drawbacks of:  being assistant chair of the UMass sociology department, or being Barak Obama's VP candidate.  I ended up deciding on the latter, but then I realized that I would not be 35 years old at the time of our inauguration.  I told the campaign this and they explained that he wouldn't be, either, but there was a loophole where if you were found to be competent, you didn't have to be 35.
  • Somehow from this it morphed into something related to Sex and the City - Stanford was there.
I was all cozywarm because last night we put up thermal curtains in our bedroom - the window is pretty darn leaky AND our room effectively has 3 exterior walls (one truly exterior wall and then two that have crawlspace next to them.

Today we went and contributed mightily to the American economy.  See, my child flat out refuses to wear anything that isn't a dress.  She can occasionally be convinced to settle for a skirt, but she'd much prefer a dress.  So we trotted off to the outlets where we acquired a handful of dresses for her, some leggings and tights for underneath them (she's now allowed to wear tights to school because she can manage them by herself), and some stuff that was on superclearance for next year (size FIVE WTF???).  And I got a couple of shirts and new sportsbras.  So yay.
sarahmichelef: (Default)
We hung drywall today. We are INSANELY proud of ourselves, because this was a HARD patch job.

No more holes! (by sarahmichelef)

No more holes! (by sarahmichelef)

We are having to put on the drywall compound pretty thick to even things out, because it was ORIGINALLY on really thick, and also to build it out to cover the corner beads.  We're going to have to replace a bunch of the rubber baseboard, but that may have to wait until we've painted (we're using the drywall repair as an excuse to paint the whole room).
sarahmichelef: (Default)
Remember our basement drain leaking fiasco? The one that left us with destroyed drywall in the laundry room?

What did we do with our money... (by sarahmichelef) What did we do with our money... (by sarahmichelef)

We've finally acquired the stuff we need to REPAIR the drywall. Since they had to cut a portion of the stud away to get to the offending drain, we made a little frame of 1x4 that will substitute for stud. M was mister doubter about my measurements, but it fits beautifully, as I knew it would.  We'll anchor the frame to the existing drywall ABOVE where the repair will take place and then attach the new drywall to both the frame and the remaining stud at the top, and the frame and the corner stud at the bottom.  We're going to put in a removable panel in front of the cleanout that the plumber put in so that if things get mucked up again we can get in to at least that without requiring major reconstruction afterwards.

Prettier Holes #1 (by sarahmichelef) Prettier Holes #2 (by sarahmichelef)
Stay tuned for more pictures as we actually put in the new drywall and then new rubber molding and paint the whole room (which is ultimately going to be TRex's playroom as well as the laundry room).
sarahmichelef: (Default)
We scraped, sanded, and repainted the front stoop this weekend.  The project for the rest of the week (started yesterday, finishing it tomorrow) is the big living room window - its paint was badly peeling.  The wood underneath isn't in great shape, either, but we'll work with it.  I found a big ol' section of rotted wood that I've scraped out and will fill in and sculpt as best I can with industrial strength putty.  (Yes, <lj user="childsplay7">, it's the same window that I had to putty on the inside ages ago.)  We also had to caulk a bunch of spots where there were gaps that needed filling.  So right now it looks quite lovely, all sanded and caulked (with white, because it was what was in the gun, and we're painting it anyway).  Tomorrow I'll do the puttying and painting - since it's supposed to rain on Thursday, it really does have to get done tomorrow (because that wood getting wet would only make matters worse...).  I'll take pictures.  :^D
sarahmichelef: (Default)
A couple of weeks ago we got a notice from the city that they would be taking out one of our trees due to storm-related damage.  We figured it would be one of the ones out front (as seen in this picture) - one of them looked, to our eyes, to fit the criterion of "half of the crown damaged" that the letter listed.

This morning when we left the house, there was a notice posted on the tree next to the driveway - "No Parking - Construction - Tree Removal".  This tree had lost probably 3/4 of the branches on the street side, but was still fully branched on the other side.  It's the tree on the right in this picture; the one in the center of the frame is coming down today, too.

I'm kinda sad about this - it was our biggest tree; who knows when they'll get around to replanting (and we can't - it's in the easement, so the city controls that kind of thing).  On the other hand. we'll be able to seed some grass down there and when I get around to putting in a vegetable garden on that side of the driveway, it will get more light.
sarahmichelef: (Default)
We are going to be such homeowners this weekend... We have big plans.  Here we go...
  • Sand & paint front stoop
  • (maybe) sand & stain front door
  • Plant TRex's garden (I am SO looking forward to that part)
  • Hook & eye on bathroom door
  • Mow lawn (needs it desperately - but will have to wait 'til Sunday 'cause I dropped what little weed-n-feed we had left yesterday evening and we want to let it work)
Tonight we (mostly M, actually) fixed the doorknob to the downstairs bathroom - the lock was finicky and we kept having to unlock it from the outside since TRex's favorite game right now is slamming doors in our faces.  So we swapped out the plate (where the lock was) and tightened up the knob so it will actually, y'know, work.  But now that there's no lock, we need a way to keep it shut, hence the hook & eye.
sarahmichelef: (Default)
In November, we discovered that the floor in the laundry room was damp, as was the drywall.  Our plumbers (who we love, but who we see ENTIRELY too much of) came out and determined that a plugged floor drain wasn't sealing properly.  They shored up the plug and it seemed to fix the problem.

Until last week, that is, when I noticed that the carpet was wet again.  They came out last Friday and determined that it was probably the same floor drain and said they'd come back this week to get the old drain out and replace it.  Today, they have determined that there's a plug in the line somewhere between that set of pipes (which carries the wastewater from the kitchen and the laundry closet) and the main sewage pipe out of the house.  So they're clearing it out, putting in a new drain plug, and putting in an access point so that if something similar happens again, we won't have to rip out and replace the walls just to get to the drain.

We were planning to replace the mildewed drywall anyway.  I haven't been downstairs to see how much of it they've already taken out for us.  :^/
sarahmichelef: (Default)
Since it's spring break, M took today off and we went furniture shopping.  Furniture-shopping with a toddler is useless, by the way.  So we took the opportunity to do it without her.  We're looking for both dining and living room furniture - we're not terribly particular about which we get first.  And, as I told any number of salespeople today, we do pretty well on agreeing on what we DON'T like but not so well on what we DO like.  Funny how that works.

Anyway, we walked into a little local dining room place and fell in love with a 7-piece mission-style set that the saleslady said they were willing to deal on, because they have a warehouse of new stuff and need to make room for it on the floor.  We've checked out the store with the BBB and there haven't been any complaints about them in the past 12 months, and only one in the last 3 years.  And they're local, and have been around for 45 years.  So, yay?  No decision made yet, obviously, but we liked it.

On to the big stores... at Raymour & Flanigan we liked the Fontana set, the Journey set, and the South Beach set (currently on sale).  At Ashley we gravitated immediately to the Prairie View collection.  We sort of like the sofa and recliner, but the fabric is this fake-leather-looking stuff that we really don't like.  But we've been in the local Ashley store three times... and every time, every SINGLE time, we end up loitering around the Prairie View dining sets.  Except we don't like the chairs in those shots as much as these ones (which are also part of the Prairie View collection).  Also at Ashley we looked at the Durapella Celadon set - I really like the green, actually (I really liked the green of the South Beach at R&F, too).
So the theme on what we can agree on is: clean lines, with a strong preference for mission style furniture.  It should be noted that the only NEW non-particleboard furniture we've bought in the past seven years is our cherry-colored mission-style bed, and a cherry-colored mission-style futon.  You'd think that we would have clued in to this trend more quickly, but we're dense that way.
sarahmichelef: (Default)
Just mopped the bathrooms & the kitchen.  I mopped last Monday, too.  And today, the mop water was  BLACK.  Black like a fifteen-year-old goth chick's soul.  Black like good coffee.  BLACK.

I guess that (1) the old mop really did suck that much and (2) the new mop works pretty well.

And may I say, just for the record, EWWWWWWWWWW.
sarahmichelef: (asshole)
I had two house-related projects to do today:
  1. Frame & hang the prints we bought from [profile] relentlesstoil for TRex's room.
  2. Hang the full-length mirror.
BUT (you knew there was going to be a but):
  1. The frames are a very, very skimpy 8x10.  The won't work for the prints.  So I'm going to go back this weekend and get the other ones I was looking at - 11x14 matted to 8x10.
  2. I need to get a second set of hardware for the mirror - as it stands, it's possible to slide it out of the mounts, which isn't good since it's in a public (read: TRex-accessible) area.  So I have that one set of hardware up and it will be trivial to put the other set up, because all measuring and leveling and stuff has been done.  I just need to GET the hardware, and that's not going to happen until tomorrow or the weekend.
Grumblegrumblesnarl.
sarahmichelef: (fly)
It took me approximately 30 seconds to disassemble the Ugly Brown Thing.  It wasn't held together by anything other than notches in the legs and shelves.  Didn't even require any tools.  The shelves are now duct-taped together and it will be our piece of Large Trash for this week.
sarahmichelef: (fly)
I'm still going to do my big rant about the FlyLady system and the gendered division of labor, but not yet.

Or maybe I will, just a little bit.OK, rant over.  Today I cleaned up two major hotspots: the mail stand and the pile on the counter by the fridge.  Now we have to keep them from becoming hotspots again.  And after dinner, we did a really good cleaning of the kitchen counters (the  microwave was DISGUSTING), and agreed on a list of things that will be done to the kitchen as part of the after-dinner routine every evening.
sarahmichelef: (crazy)
to the store to buy garlic and OJ so that I can try out [profile] parsedgarnish's Garlic Thyme Chicken recipe which sounds just brilliant.  And since I don't have anything ELSE planned for dinner tonight, the timing is fortuitous.  (Oooh, SAT word.)

Also, you gotta love having a plumber who manages to come out for a minor problem the same day you call, even when they're still dealing with storm fallout.  If you have to call a plumber, that is.  (We apparently have a very small leak somewhere related to the kitchen sink, because we have damp carpet and drywall in the basement right below the kitchen sink.  Have I mentioned that I hate water?  I hate water.  Ever since the great toilet tank crack of Fall 2002 (I think it was 2002 - the last time that EK Crown was in Stonemarche), I hate water.)

There was some other inanity I was going to blather at you about, but I don't remember what it was.  So off I go to do the lunch dishes and then to the store.  And then home to wait for the plumber and work on my stinking lit review.  I hate lit reviews.
sarahmichelef: (emo)
There are three dumping grounds in our house: behind the bar, the sewing room, and the dining room. (These are, of course, the places that are completely off limits to TRex.)

I had gotten sick of the sewing room being a total disaster. (And I needed to clear floorspace to cut out my new dress, since I don't have a cutting table.) So I unearthed the sewing room. All of the fabric is back in its rightful place, the string is confined to a tub, the end table is cleared of junk in order to receive a TV as soon as we get around to swapping out the (newer) one that's sitting on the floor in there for the (older) one that's currently in our bedroom. Small SCA-related items are confined to a tub (a tub that's even IN THE CLOSET), mending to another tub, and fabric scraps to yet another tub. (Are we noticing a theme here?) I even managed to get the sewing machine box into the closet, along with TRex's birthday presents (the ones that aren't in the trunk of M's car).

I also was reminded that I have a problem. I hoard fabric scraps. "But it might be useful for something!" What, I ask, will a 3' long, 2" wide strip of white linen be good for? I don't know, but I clearly should keep it in case the day comes up when it is useful. *headdesk* I threw out a lot of miscellaneous small pieces of fabric and half-filled a large Target bag with larger but still technically small scraps.

I did a bit of final "unpacking" of the room, too - all of my various SCA-related tokens had just been in a pile - so I untangled them and hung them up on the unused curtain hardware. One bunch of Pennsic site tokens, one bunch of Northern Lights and St. Elegius medals, and one of personal tokens from various people (including, I discovered, one from [livejournal.com profile] mermaidlady - I think from Pennsic when I showed my green linen cyclas, but I'm not sure). Also the site token from EK Crown, Fall 2003 (the one that M & I stewarded), strung on thread dyed by [livejournal.com profile] ellid. One of my Manche scrolls is hanging up, and there's another nail right next to it that I'm going to put the other one on. I'll have to see what other scrolls we want to hang in there (we actually haven't hung ANY yet). And my apprentice agreement (written by the lovely [livejournal.com profile] parsedgarnish) is hanging on the door.

And then I read over the directions for my new dress, established that I'm going to have to go back to JoAnn's for ballpoint needles (no, I don't work with knits all that much, why do you ask?) and seam binding. I should check on my interfacing supply while I"m at it; I might need more of that as well. I got some 1.5" red grosgrain ribbon to make a sash with, but I'm not going to do it the way the pattern says to.

*Bonus points for anyone who can guess the provenance of this quote.
sarahmichelef: (Default)
I was getting bored with the old layout, so I'm trying something new... Jury's still out on whether or not I actually like it.

I'm generally not a Lysol-type-gal (I believe that germs in small quantities are GOOD FOR US) but DAMN does their mildew remover work. Our upstairs shower is all sparkly now. Yay. Next project: patching up some grout that appears to be cracked. This means that we will be showering/bathing downstairs tomorrow. We'll deal.

Now I'm going to go sit on the porch in the sunshine and read (academic stuff, even!). Go, me.

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