Upkeep

Aug. 18th, 2012 07:20 pm
kauricat: (house)
Today we cleaned out the gutters. It did not start out well, because I wanted to use the ladder brace/stabilizer that I'd gotten months ago. We put it together (mainly Pres Man) and then tried it. The danged thing is not right for us. It does not have the depth we need to brace on the house and still get to the gutters. I suspect we're not using it correctly somehow, but we got frustrated and took it off completely. After that things went a lot better.

I have seen some pics online of how people use theirs, but I'm not sure it will work out for us due to the pitch of our roof and the overhang of our eaves. I may just sell it instead of trying to figure it out.

But the gutters are clean and I even picked up some sticks in the back yard (I usually ignore it since it's fenced in so the shame factor does not kick in). AND I cleaned up some newly-uncovered pieces of dog bed stuffing. The people who lived here previously had a large dog and apparently at one point the dog tore his bed to crap. As the weather works on the yard, more and more pieces of acrylic batting come to light.

I did not get it all, but it's better. Progress.

I'm glad the gutters are done. Now we're ready for the rainy season that usually happens in Manhappiness in the Fall.
kauricat: (house)
Despite not feeling physically that great (why so unhappy, tummix?), I am going to do some organizing tonight. Pres Man came home with lots of new plastic tubs today to house the things that were previously in cardboard boxes under the stairwell. All those boxes are currently in the middle of our storage room because water got under the stairs whenever it was that we had the pin hole in our hot water line in the laundry room.

Anyway, now we have plastic tubs, and I'm going to work on transferring things over to the tubs and getting all that stuff back under the stairs. That'll help the basement a lot.

Pres Man's back is still iffy from Saturday, so we're not going to put the craft area back together just yet (involves shifting large shelves full of stuff). But even without doing that I can straighten up some in there in preparation for sewing stuff.

Piewacket seems to be getting over an illness. I noticed the day before yesterday that he seemed to be a lot less evident. Then yesterday morning he barely wanted his cat grease (usually his favorite thing), and his chin seemed swollen.

I'm not sure exactly what was wrong; our vet was closed today so Pres Man just kept an eye on him and if Pie had gotten a lot worse, we'd have gotten him in at another vet. But he is much better. Maybe he had a loose tooth that got infected.

He's eating and drinking and he's out with the family all the time now, so he's pretty much back to normal. I'm still going to watch him but I think he's through the worst of it. Today he was purring and headbutting my hand, so that's a big improvement.

It rained a teeny bit today, but we would need a full inch to get to where we normally are at this time. Oh well, at least I haven't had to mow the lawn for a while.

We've still got some nice loud cicadas here. I love that. One of them apparently had an unhappy night a couple of evenings ago, though. All of a sudden we heard one right outside the front door, and it was not a "Hey, Baby, I Gotcher Hot Cicada Lovin' Right Here!" song. It was a "HEY OUCH STOPPIT THAT HURTS OWWWWWW!" sound. I know of what I speak, because I once had a cicada follow me indoors and fry himself on my halogen lamp as I cried.

Our porch light is a cool one, so this one did not burn up. We're wondering if he found out that our many spiders and their webs are a little more dangerous than one might think, or if maybe a nocturnal cicada killer got her baby's meal ticket.

It was a sad sound and brought up bad memories, but it didn't last long and tonight the rest of them are out in full force, so yay.

We've been watching a lot of the Olympics. There have been some strange (and wrong) calls. Overall I've enjoyed it.

My mother's myofascial release/occupational therapist volunteered to look at my knee. She wants me to take two pictures standing up, one from the front and one from the hurt side, in bare feet, so that she can see my knee. She thinks she'll have a better chance figuring it out from those pictures than a regular doctor would from x-rays and in-person poking and prodding.

And I know that sounds kind of crazy, but I also think some people have a gift for that sort of thing and I'm not going to count her out. I'm going to take those pictures and send them to her.

I got to speak to my sister today - my gifts for my nephew did not arrive yet! But I'm sure they will get there tomorrow (if not after I talked to her). I got him some flutes that you put water in to get different notes (they are a bath toy) and the Disney Tarzan DVD. I think he'll like both. And it's okay that they weren't there on his party day because apparently he did the same thing he did at Christmas, which was open one gift and obsess about it and not want to open any others. I think Mommy and Daddy opened most of them. LOL So he was not denied the "joy" of a mountain of gifts just because Auntie couldn't get her crap together in time.

I ordered some Halloweeny stuff. Well, costume stuff. I love The Nightmare Factory and they are having a sale right now. I got two Bajoran and two Klingon communicators because they were nearly half off. I got some color hair extension clips too. I plan to use the hair in my steampunkery. Put a little more punk in my steampunk.

I'm really trying to make it a goal to get to that con. I should bite the bullet and pre-register NOW. Maybe if I commit the money it'll make it easier to stick to my goals of getting costumes and accessories made.

I've contacted a plumber through their website (not the one we normally use, because I have a feeling they would say "YOU NEED A NEW WATER HEATER, STAT!") and tomorrow I should get a call from them. Meanwhile a bucket is handily containing the slow and intermittent water escaping from the relief valve.

Time to go do some plastic tub filling and stacking.
kauricat: (Default)
Tonight I watered the poor lawn. I think all my phlox and three of my hostas are just gone. It's sad. I did not realize that as the sun changed position over the seasons I would end up with quite a bit of sun against one half of the front of the house. Now I know. Next year I'll fill in the other (shady) side with more hostas (the ones there are sooo happy), and I'll find something that likes more burninating sun for the other end.

I think tonight I'm going to take the first steps toward sewing a top hat. Or two. I really need to get off my duff if we're going to have cool stuff for the con I want to attend.

The one thing holding me back was thinking "What if we finally get lucky and I end up pregnant?" Well, even if that happens at this point, I won't be huge and miserable at that point. Maybe miserable, but probably able to fit anything that I sew right now. Totally good to travel, okay to do lots of walking, etc.

So there is no reason to put it off.

My poor grass. It's looking so sad. Better than lots in this town, but still suffering. I soaked it tonight and will do so again tomorrow, maybe as soon as tomorrow morning now that Pres Man is out of school for the Summer (W00T!). We celebrated at Umi tonight and it was delicious.

I am so, so proud of him. He's awesome. He volunteered to go help people he did not even know, for hours and hours, to move their belongings. He did not have to do that; I was careful not to volunteer him. That's just the kind of guy he is.

And now he has found Netflix's Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies, which is the perfect way to end this evening.
kauricat: (house)
Today I got a text from Pres Man. It said "The good news is that I put the cover back on the basement window. The bad news is it was a day late."

Yes, we had water come in through a basement window in last night's downpour. We had taken the cover off the window well when the plumber came because he had to replace the spigot, which is normally under the window cover.

Annnnnd then we did not put it back. We keep thinking we'll find a different type of window cover, because Pres Man thinks the ones we have look ghetto. But our house apparently has a bigger than normal escape window or something, because all the ones we can find in the home stores are not big enough.

Anyway, it's back on now and Pres Man had already pulled out the stuff and sucked up the water by the time I got home. He also set up the dehumidifier, and everything looks like it's okay now.

Man, I think I'm going to sleep really well tonight. I am already feeling a little sore. But happy. I worked out! Again! And I was under my calories by a significant number.
kauricat: (Default)
Friday we got to see Prometheus. I really enjoyed it. It was richly textured, the base of the plot grabbed me, and most of the characters did not turn me off.

It's best to go into that movie not expecting any answers. That's how I did it, and I was pretty happy. If you need every single question answered, then you're probably going to be disappointed.

You also need to pay attention, because I am reading a lot of reviews that have gotten their details wrong. Apparently this movie has a quicker pace than I thought it had, because people are getting confused over what happens to which character, they are getting confused about motivations and expectations of characters, they are missing some pretty basic stuff (like effects of future painkillers), and they are ascribing some pretty easily explanable things to some pretty far out causes.

So just stay awake for it and make sure you don't blink or leave for a bathroom break and you'll probably be fine.

We saw the super-cheap showing (between 4 and 5:30 or something like that our theatre gives a price even cheaper than normal matinees), so we were out pretty early. We goofed around for a while (we were full of popcorn so we did not need dinner yet) and then went to Umi where we shared an entree.

I was super tired and thought I might go to bed immediately when we got home, but I managed to stay up for a bit.

Which may be why I slept for a LONG time Saturday morning (okay, afternoon) and woke up feeling a lot better. For some reason I needed a lot of sleep.

Saturday night at the game we played the new version of D & D. It was okay, but very very simple. I'm not sure how I like it yet. I'm mainly happy that so far I am having an okay time playing with the new guidelines and character features.

We got to what I thought was a good stopping place at 11, and then proceeded to go straight on to new fights. I started playing stupidly because I ALWAYS want to quit at 11, and we were at a point where it looked like both our party and the group of bad guys were going to try to wait each other out and THAT'S NOT THE WAY TO GET TO A NEW STOPPING POINT so I charged around the corner and nearly got my character killed.

But we ended around midnight, so it was all ultimately okay.

I've got to take a survey now to let them know what I think about the new game and we'll probably be issued new packets soon that have changes suggested by playtesters. I'm going to really suggest that surprise rounds work differently. I think the way they are working now is just too difficult for the DM to keep straight.

Today I had hoped to get up early and rent an edger, but that did not happen. It's over ninety outside and that is just way too hot. I am disappointed that my napalm spray did not work better. I guess I'll have to go back to Round Up, which is getting better reviews.

We might get severe weather tonight. I think I will probably water the lawn anyway. Trust in Allah, but tie up your camel.

Oh, during the game I got a lot done on my alligator bag. I've got the lining finished and now I'm doing the top edging of the bag. I am nearly halfway done with that part, and then it's time to attach the head and start the body.

I should take a picture of his head. I am ridiculous pleased with it.
kauricat: (house)
It was a good day. Warm but not burninating, breezy but not gale-force winds, and I got a lot done at work.

Tonight I picked up all the sticks in the front yard and the west side yard. There were a LOT! Many of them had been previously mowed over and were in smaller pieces, but I grabbed them anyway. I filled up my little bucket three or four times before I felt like I had gotten enough of them. I proudly showed Pres Man my haul later. He pretended to be impressed. That's love.

After Stick Patrol, I mowed the front yard and it was much better without all the stupid sticks. There are still places where the ground feels bumpy because we have grassy spots and then spots where the grass did not take and the ground dips there. Definitely need to overseed this Fall.

That robin was there again. Did I write about him last time? There was this robin hopping around the yard, waiting for me to get right up on him with the mower before he would move. I never expected that a robin would be gutsier versus a lawnmower than my cat would be versus a vacuum cleaner.

Robin was back today. He did not follow me around quite as much (or lead me, I guess), but when I stopped mowing he was all over that yard.

After mowing I watered the grass AGAIN. Robin tried to avoid it at first, but then danced around in the spray. I don't know if he found anything to eat or not. I'm hoping he really like slugs and roly polies. I need my earthworms.

But back to the watering: Seriously, even though we did it this morning, tonight the yard looked like we had not watered it at all. Our maple tree (Dick is his name) must be sucking up all the water. The non-Dick side of the yard looks a lot happier. The yard guy who seeded our lawn warned that could happen.

Dick is probably also the reason our water main broke a couple of years ago. He probably got thirsty and broke into it.

The good news is that despite Dick's unslakable thirst, the lawn is still looking okay. It is not turning brown or crisping up that I can tell. It's just not filling in. But like I said, I'm not even sure this grass it the type that will. I think it's bluegrass, but for all I know it could be a thin-bladed fescue.

The hostas are still happy and none of the phlox have died yet. The geraniums are still green and one of them even looks like it might bloom again soon.

The grass out by the street is suffering. Our main sprinkler does not get that far, and I would feel bad about making our sidewalk completely impassable anyway. I think I may have a tiny sprinkler that I could do a little area at a time with, but that will mean setting a timer and going out to move it every 20 minutes or so, and that means you have to keep the timer with you and you can't really go anywhere and if you're me, you end up getting soggy and dirty because when it comes to sprinklers and hoses, you always zig when you should zag.

I wish I had one of those tractor sprinklers. I would set it up to run along the strip of grass by the curb and then have it come up the side of the yard behind Dick, where it is also pretty dry most of the time.

But those tractor thingies can be pricey and they break. All the ones at the yard sales are broken (this is what I heard at lunch today from my friends who shop a lot of sales).

Tomorrow is going to be a very busy day. But at the end, we get to dine with Koganei and Kiwi, which will be fun. We have not seen them since last month.

I think we'll have to put off starting the gutters tomorrow night. I had planned that as The Next Outdoor Project, and it still can be, but maybe Thursday.
kauricat: (house)
Today marks our 2nd anniversary in the house. I am still so happy we got it. I like the location, I like the size, I like the yard (which is small and THAT IS GOOD), and I like the color (now). It's a happy little house.

For House Day, Pres Man decreed that we were not going to replace the inner workings of the toilet. I am in complete agreement. The reason is because we finally read the instructions and found out that this will involve several steps that would work better if they were spaced out, and we don't want to start today and have to finish tomorrow. So since Pres Man is off tomorrow, he will shut off the water, drain the tank, and remove it. Then when I get home it will be dry and we can put in the new stuff and seal it up with the silicone they recommended.

Overall, the instructions do not seem that difficult. I think we have the tools we need, all the parts, and all the associated gunk. I'm looking forward to getting it done.

Instead of bathroom work, I think I will mow the lawn again (or at least do stick patrol, preparatory to mowing), since it's looking shaggy. I guess this means our lawn is doing well, since I feel as if I just mowed it.

So far the new tubing for the AC is working fine. I put the new water alarm down there so if we get a pump failure or a big leak, we should know pretty much right when it happens. I'm so pleased that project went so smoothly. Makes me feel all professional and stuff.
kauricat: (house)
We did it! We replaced the tube that goes from the condensate pump (and wow, it still bothers me that it's not a "condensation" pump, but that's just me), and we did it right the first time!

We drilled a hole in the outside end of the tube we already had, tied our nylon rope through it, pulled it through, drilled another hole in the new tubing, tied the other end of the rope to that, and pulled the new tubing through easy as heck.

I really thought it was going to be awful, but it was pretty easy.

Having cell phones helped. When you have one person inside and one outside, communication is vital.

I watched it until the first cycle of the pump, and the connection did not leak. I think that means we're good. We'll see.

I'm very proud of us, and relieved that it is done.

I have not yet put the electrician's putty in the hole in the wall where all the pipes and tubes come out, but once we're really sure that this is okay, I'll do that.

Go us! We did something!

Tomorrow, the innards of the upstairs toilet, which has begun leaking water into the bowl. Still pretty slow, but it's really time to take care of that before it starts affecting our water bill.
kauricat: (house)
Today I went over my calories a little bit, but if my calorie counter is correct, I still came out ahead due to the yard work of digging holes and planting three more gallons of phlox. Thanks, Kmg, that mattock worked a TREAT. It cut right through the sod and into the clay. I think I would like to do a lot more mattocking. It's very satisfying work. Though it uses muscles I don't normally use that harshly, and I think I may be sore tomorrow.

But the phlox are in. YAY!

And another yay, because my calorie counting app always tells me "If every day was like today, you'd weigh ### in five weeks." Most days it gives me a number that is lower than where I'm at. On bad days, I get a number higher than I currently weigh (which is really good for making me eat better).

If every day was like today, I'd be down two and a half more pounds in five weeks. It's not a lot, but it is still a projected loss and that makes me feel like a winner. WINNING! Maybe I have some tiger blood in me.

I got some kind of bad news today; we have one day less than I thought for straightening up the house. My BIL and ALSO my SIL are coming to visit on Thursday night instead of Friday! OH NOEZ. I thought maybe I should abandon the phlox planting in favor of working inside the house, but Pres Man told me to finish the phlox planting and work on other stuff Tuesday and Wednesday.

He went down and attacked the library and apparently it's looking much better.

We're going after bedding tomorrow night, and then I think I will make the guest room ready, clean the main floor bathroom, and put a bunch of stuff in the nursery to get it out of the way. Again.

Wednesday can be dusting and vacuuming. Pres Man will probably take care of the kitchen and the main parts of the basement. I'll make sure to wash the kitchen rugs when I do the bathroom rugs.

It's doable. And then I can have my sister-in-law (The Woman Who Does Everything More Beautifully Than You Do) in my house (for the first time) and maybe not freak out too much. :)
kauricat: (house)
Yesterday we got a certified letter from the city saying our grass was too tall. The letter came after we had mowed the yard, so yay tax dollars at work. Also, you guys, it rained like every day! Hrmphf.

Today I planted my white geraniums in the urns and I planted three of the phlox that I had. Then I ran out of steam. I'm still trying to work up to going back out and planting the remaining three phlox. Digging is hard. Digging in our yard is especially hard.

We are catsitting this week. We've been over twice and the first time he was obviously holding us responsible for his owner's absence. Today was better; he wanted some cat pats and was less accusatory. Perhaps he has decided to charm his owner's location out of us. lol

I think I might be recovering from a sinus infection. For three days I could not completely bite down on the left side of my mouth. It was not a hurting tooth, it was my jaw that was the problem. I thought maybe I slept with my teeth clenched or something and that it was a pulled muscle. But yesterday I could finally close my mouth again and my sinuses on that side started going crazy. I still have some pain when I try to bring my back teeth together, but I am able to do it.

It's supposed to storm here tonight. I think it will probably hit us since I so diligently watered all my new plantings in. I need to make sure to water those hostas once a week. They are okay, but I think they could be super happy if I would give them a drink more often.

Oh, and I finally planted the pumpkin seeds today. Late, but maybe we'll get a pumpkin or two anyway.

I'm so tired.
kauricat: (Default)
Well, crap. I am sick. I have a sore throat and aches. I will not be going to the Parkinson's fundraiser tonight at the BBQ place, nor will I be marching in the Take Back the Night March at K-State. :(

On the plus side, being home allowed me to receive my Oriental Trading Company box AND I paid off the painters. We are 100% done with the house paintening, and I am so pleased.

They stayed with the number they estimated. I'm so impressed by that.

He told me to watch in the next month for peels; with a house that required as much scraping as ours did (the people before did not do a good job taking care of the siding), it is a possibility that the latex paint will tighten and break as it cures on some of the places where the old paint had peeled really bad. He said if that happens to give him a call and he'll come fix it.

He also said the paint will darken a bit more as it cures, which is why it looked lighter than I expected the first night. Awesome.

I can check another thing off my list of "first times" now. Whee.

As for the Oriental Trading company package, it was slightly disappointing. When I opened my lovely white lace parasol (I thought it would be a great Steampunk accessory), it came apart PLUS there was a small hole in the lace.

Do you know that Oriental Trading Company has online chat support? They totally do. I got a hold of Tiffany and she is sending me a new parasol at no cost to me, and they do not want the old one back. That's pretty awesome.

I got my other order yesterday, and I am so happy with my Statue of Liberty crown. When I tried it on, though, I thought, "That elastic is too tight. I'm going to have to fix that. I can't wear something that tight all day."

The I tried it on again in front of a mirror and the thread on one side snapped so the elastic is only attached on one side. I knew it was too tight! lol I have some black elastic I'm going to use to fix it. And then it will fit my head perfectly.

Sadly I am not up to going to the t-shirt shop tonight to get my shirt ordered. They are pretty quick though (usually same day service) so I am not that worried about getting it done by the 28th.

Pres Man came home today for lunch since one of his classes got shifted around, and he brought me some very tasty Arby's. I think the French Dip really helped my throat. It still hurts but I can talk more easily now.

He's so good to me.

Now that the painters are done and there will be no more banging and drilling, I think I'm going to go back to sleep.
kauricat: (house)
Tonight when I got home, I paused to admire the power-washed house and thought "I should take a picture of that!" I went inside and thought "Oh! Stale Coffee! I should wash that out and get the coffee maker ready for tomorrow!"

And then I thought, "Why am I hearing swiftly trickling water from the basement?"

It turned out that the hot water line that leads to our kitchen sink had given up the ghost. It had been patched in two places by previous owners, and replacing a lot of the pipes in our house has been on our "someday" list since the water main died our first Summer. It's just that it was never on top of the things we wanted to do. Other things seemed like more immediate needs.

Ha ha. Until today! I did okay with this emergency, I think. I turned off the water main, started cleaning up the water (which had LUCKILY dripped onto a pile of sweaters that had been layed out to dry and then got stacked up when they were dry and never got taken upstairs because it's not sweater weather anymore and I am lazy), and I realized the water was WARM. So I ran the hot water in the downstairs bathroom to make sure the pressure from the hot water was all gone. That stopped the leak nicely.

And we didn't lose anything. Unless my sweaters did not make it. We'll see. But it could have been so much worse! That counter where the water was dripping has my yarn stash under it! But it's all in plastic tubs and plastic ziplock bags, so it's all fine. I think. Whew!

Instead of working in the yard or do laundry or anything, we moved a bunch of stuff out of the way for the plumber, sat around waiting for the plumber, sat around waiting for the plumber to do his thing, then we paid him the bill plus about $100 MORE than it would have been during regular work hours (totally worth it), and now here we are.

We had to pay overtime since neither of us could be at home tomorrow and we did not want to go so long without water. I was sad about having a broken pipe, but as Pres Man said, that's why we put money away every month, so we don't even have to think about it; we can just get it fixed. It's nice that we are able to absorb an emergency plumbing issue. Though between this and the exterior painting, I think we're pretty much done with big ticket fixes for the house this year. At least, I hope so. :)

And now I'm going to go run a hot bath in hot water and enjoy the sound of no water going anywhere it is not supposed to go.

I cannot believe another day has gone by and I have not taken the picture of the house's exterior. I will have to try to do that tomorrow morning, I guess.

Piewacket would like me to tell you that he was (eventually) very brave and totally sat on the futon for most of the plumber's visit, watching him run in and out and up and down the stairs. Brave kitty. Who is now passed out against my side because being that brave is exhausting. :)
kauricat: (house)
The hostas are in the ground. The other shovel is THE BOMB DIGGITY (see what I did there? "Dig?").

I worked the soil some, mixed in the moss and garden soil (which was mainly decomposed wood/mulch, so more organic stuff for our clay), and carefully nestled each hosta into its new home. I watered them in and said goodnight. I hope they will be very happy.

Tomorrow I will plant the phlox. I had been planning to use the urns for that, but I recently remembered that it gets COLD here, and my phlox has a very good chance of freezing in an above-the-ground planter like that. So I may plant the phlox around the front of the hostas or around the base of the redbud and use the urns for their original geranium purpose. I do have white geraniums arriving in a week or two from that fundraiser.

So! Tomorrow will be phlox planting, mulching of the new flower beds (possibly with wet newspaper underneath, since I hear that helps), and then the front of our house should look a lot more respectable. Maybe we will also get the weed & feed on the yard.

Also, the painters should be working this week so that's awesome too. By the end of this week or next, it'll be like a whole new house! :)

I did not make it to Knitting, and while I missed seeing everyone I think it was better to get the plants in the ground. I'm a little worried about the hostas because they were so root bound. I hope they will loosen up and be happy now that they are in fresh dirt with room to breathe.

Gardening is a lot of work, but I have always wanted a place where I could decide what to do with the yard. I'm really hoping that in a few years, I'll have a yard that looks put together instead of like a messy accident.
kauricat: (house)
The blinds are completely done! And we got a new sparkplug for the mower, which we hope will help it last another Summer.

I have dug three of the six holes that I need to do for the hostas. I have not mixed in any new soil, sphagnum or anything. It was very hard work to cut through the grass, which is apparently doing VERY WELL in those spots. And then Pres Man said later, "You're using that shovel?" Apparently our OTHER shovel would be better for my hole-digging, so when I go back out I will use that one. Either way, I also bought some files today for shovel-sharpening.

It's not sounding good outside; at first the mower sounded really happy to get a new sparkplug, but now it's sputtering and complaining. Maybe the older gentleman who just came over from across the street will fix it for us. I don't know;I think this foe may be beyond any of us. Cleaning the carburetor last year helped, but not enough. It may just be that our cheap Walmart push mower had a planned obsolescence of 8 years.

Poor Pres Man's allergies have really been getting him this weekend; then he went out and mowed. Poor sneeze-monster.

I need to get myself ready and go to Knitting. Probably there won't be a lot of us there because it's Easter, but it will probably be good for me to go anyway. Even though I am pretty tired.

Our nice lady across the street had her whole fam damily here for Easter, and that's part of why I'm reluctant to go out and dig holes for hostas. What if that older man comes over and gives me half an hour of helpful hints about that? I'd get to hear "You're using that shovel?" again. LOL

Maybe it's enough that we got the blinds replaced this weekend. Now they are all clean, they all match, they all have turning rods (one was missing it before), and they will not jump off the window when you're adjusting them (this is a danger with the cheaper blinds when they lose their plastic sliders; our new blinds don't attach that way).

Pres Man pointed out that there is a sign in our neighbor's yard asking for renters. I guess the people who were there were not our real neighbors? I don't know.

We have had a lot of birds in our yard today. The cardinal was here, lots of littler birds (finches I think), a bluejay, some grackles, the stupid pigeon, and even some robins.

I'm sure the robins heard that we have earthworms. I found four today, which was four more than I thought we had in the front yard. I also found a slug, who went on what may have been a permanent vacation to the sidewalk.

I really need to find my gardening gloves.
kauricat: (house)
So far I have not planted anything. I had wanted to get that done this weekend, and there is still time, but Pres Man pointed out that it might be a good time instead to put up the rest of the new ("new" even though we bought them forever ago) living room blinds. We have two left to do, so that's good. We'll get those finished this morning.

Yesterday we also went after more mulch because I never thought I got enough for what I wanted, and seeing the bags in our yard proved that I was correct. We also got some pond "pebbles" that are huge rocks, which I am going to put in the urns for drainage. And some nuts and washers so that I can hopefully use to make the drain stopper in the bathroom work. The stopper works great, if you reach under the sink and move the rod manually. It's not connected to the piece that comes up behind the faucet. I'm going to fix that.

Eventually.

Maybe when I get into another faucet mood, and I replace our kitchen faucet.

So many things to do, so little time.

Oh, we also got some weed & feed, which we'll hopefully be spreading today. I plan to cover the hostas with bags for that adventure, just in cases.

It should be perfect weather for working outside. Yay!
kauricat: (house)
FIL got here over two hours later than he said he would, and to my knowledge we did not get a call advising us of the change in plans. Luckily, we are selfish people so after waiting an hour and a half+, we had dinner without him.

On my way home tonight I thought I'd get some cypress mulch at Home Depot, because it was on a deep discount this weekend and I hoped it would still be there today. Nope. All sold out. But I did get six rectangular pavers, six hostas, and a flat of phlox. Last year I remember thinking I should put hostas in front of the house, and I never did. Well, this year that is happening. I think I will put the phlox in my urns and when the geraniums arrive I will just plunk them in there if there is still room. If not, they can live in pots on the porch.

Pres Man and FIL are watching the KU game and I have been sent downstairs to do laundry and keep the cat company. During one of my brief forays upstairs to get more laundry, I greeted the dog and was told by FIL that when Jet saw our house, she nearly got away from him because she was so anxious to get here. I'm glad she likes us, but in a way that just gives him another reason to occupy our house again later.

Oh! I also got a water alarm for our heater/water heater room. That way if we have another pump failure, we'll know pretty quickly.

Today was a pretty good day. It was quite warm, so I did water the grass. I just do not trust the storm to deliver. I also put my new plants where the water could get them, so hopefully they will still be happy tomorrow when I go out to put them in the ground.

Pres Man says I definitely need to find some mulch now, because I need to put it around the plants I do not want mowed. lol My other mulch need is I plan to put it along the driveway by the fence, where the leaves build up and it's just icky/muddy when it's wet. I want to rake it all out, clean it up, lay down wet newspapers to discourage growth, and cover it with mulch to make it look clean and deliberate.

I did not go by the pet store, because I was so anxious to get my plants home. I'll swing by tomorrow after work and get the scooper/grabber. I should find my gardening gloves and throw them in the wash while I'm doing this laundry marathon. Then they'll be nice and clean for playing in the dirt tomorrow. Possibly with a friend, because S from Knitting volunteered to help!
kauricat: (Default)
Today was pretty good. Pie got a good report at the vet's. He's down 1.2 pounds since last year, which is awesome. Less awesome is that I had to point that out when they said "He could stand to lose some weight." I think I would have let it go if they'd said "stand to lose more weight." Pie deserves some credit; it's not easy being a starving feline.

Pie would like me to relate to you all that in addition to losing weight, he was very brave (and got "Good Cat!!" on his report), and that four hours is a LOT longer in cat-time than it is in human time. So even though I thought I was doing very well to get him at noon, he thinks I could do better. lol

Tonight we're going to finish the trim and then maybe I will go through a bunch of mail that has been piling up. Tomorrow night when the paint is safely dry we'll remove the drop cloth and clean it all up, and cram all our "homeless" junk into that room. Maybe I will take pictures first, but don't hold your breath.

It was hot today. I think I'm going to have to reprogram our thermostat; I left it on the defaults when it was installed (for Summer months) and that's a bit warm for doing any kind of physical labor. I mean, I notice that I get cold more easily now and I heat up over a longer period of time, which I attribute to the weight loss (nearly 20 pounds now), but it's still too hot for working in that room for more than about 15 minutes, which is not going to cut it.

I would like to give a shout out to Pres Man, who made sure to corral the cat with me this morning before he left for work. Couldn't do it without you, Babe.
kauricat: (house)
Here's what I did tonight:

Came straight home and painted all three doors, half of the windows (the trim, not the actual glass)(mostly), and I touched up some of the baseboards. I wore out my brush, because I have found that what I like best is a crappy foam spongy brush, and if you use those too long they start to fall apart and leave little sponge molecules on your wall. I stopped and Pres Man and I had dinner at LJS, which was OMG so delicious I cannot even tell you. I don't know what it was, but that really hit the spot. Probably the malt vinegar.

The wasp that was trapped in our nursery window found her way out tonight. She was in there for about 24 hours or so, but she finally calmed down and worked it out. I cannot believe I was cheering for a wasp. She watched me paint for a while, like "Okay, I'm trapped, so I might as well enjoy the show." So she sat there grooming herself and cocking her head politely as if to say, "I think that's a really nice shade of blue."

Speaking of stinging insects, we had honeybees on our redbud tree this weekend. I was really pleased to see them, since honeybees are in trouble lately. I wonder if they are a K-State hive.

We had a few tulips come up in the yard. They survived the Great Rototilling of 2011. I should mark where the daffodils and tulips are so I can dig them up and put them where they should be (not scattered around the yard) in the Fall.

Tomorrow night we should be able to finish painting. We'll do the other half of the windows, do the doors again, and go over the baseboards for real. And that's it. The rest of the week is getting ready for the in-laws.

Mainly by stuffing everything into the room we just painted and shutting the door. Hush, it's temporary. :)
kauricat: (house)
I checked the second coat of wall paint today and it looks fantastic. It was pretty damp in there yesterday (it was raining and we had a window open) and when we were done, we realized to our dismay that some of the paint seemed to be bubbling up in the corner. OH NO. But today it is nice and flat, so hopefully that was just the damp and it's fine now. Pres Man thought that's probably what it was, and we shut the window and turned on the house circulation fan and tada! Smooth.

Today we're going to paint the trim's 1st coat. I am not sure if it will be easy or backbreaking. Much less surface area. Much more detail and half of it is next to the floor.

It's not raining today, yet. We have rain in the forecast though.

I realized today that the color we painted the nursery is very similar to the color of the first alcoholic drink Pres Man ever made for me (a grasshopper. I guess that's kind of appropriate, in an inappropriate way. lol

As a reward for getting this room done, we have started watching A Game of Thrones. OMG what a letdown! Everyone said it was so awesome and it's just....mediocre. Maybe you have to be a big fan of the books to get the most out of it. However, I am enjoying Boromir, which means that soon I'm going to be sad.

Also, Peter Dinklage. He is pure awesomeness.

Anyway, Spring Break continues apace, sanding and painting and in general not "break"-y as much as it should have been. But we'll be done with the biggest parts of this project and then we can move on to the next one. Hopefully that one will keep to a better timeline. It would be a shame to work so hard to get a nursery ready and have it just sit there.
kauricat: (house)
So far Spring Break has been pretty lackluster. It has been raining since Monday and that makes it kind of hard to feel like doing anything.

However, we finished sanding the nursery, spackled everything, we covered the cracks, textured the flat spots, and tonight we finally put the first coat of paint on the walls. I cannot believe how much better it looks. It will definitely need a second coat, but so far it's looking MUCH better. I did not realize how much I disliked that pink.

I broke my mouse sander!!! The good news is that it broke after the majority of the sanding was done. We purchased an orbital sander to defeat the horrible plaster wall patch that would not die, and we used it to sand down the rest of the cracks that we saw (of course, we did not find ALL of them; why do they show up so well when you're painting??).

There's a service center for my mouse in a town about an hour away. We will probably send it in and have them send us a new one; the problem is that out of three supports, one of them broke, and now the unit vibrates way too hard and almost leaps out of your hands. Poor little thing; it had a brief and very hard life. I thought about trying to glue it back together, but I'm not positive that even my best adhesive could glue the broken piece back together and keep it together under the stress of sanding.

Pie is miffed (well, as miffed as he ever gets, which is not much) because we had the windows in the nursery open and we would not let him in. Open windows are for CATS, and we would not acquiesce. He turned it ears backwards and stalked away.

Of course, during the first coat all the things we did NOT fix on the walls jumped out at me. It bugs me that we worked so hard to smooth out the marred surface and there is still so much wrong with it.

I need to concentrate on the things we did improve. There are tons of places we fixed, tons of holes we filled, tons of holes in the trim that we filled, and those giant nasty plaster patches are smoothed out.

And it's not pink any longer. That's an enormous improvement.

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