Category Archives: home improvement

Fennel Is Produce, Fusilli is Pasta

A View of My Room

I just got home from Home Depot. Now I know what a man feels like when you send him to the grocery store for fennel and fusilli.

As I have written before, we have never done any home improvements and my best idea for a reason why is that we don’t want to.

Recently I’ve been on this crafts thing. I want to make everything. I have zillions of ideas for cool things to make and how to decorate myself and my surroundings more creatively. I would make a list of the crafts but it’s pretty much everything except ceramics. And soap carving. And macrame. But pretty much everything else.

So far I’ve been big on looking at books and websites and looking for classes. The only class I signed up for so far, sewing, was canceled in winter and not offered in spring so I’ve been meaning to go to the sewing store and just buy a bunch of stuff and try to make something see how I do. I’ve bought a few crafty things but I don’t have a good storage area so I had this idea that I would make over my closet with shelves.

Then I realized if I was going to do that I should at least paint the closet first. Then I realized if I was going to paint the closet, I should probably paint my whole room and now it’s turned into a Home Improvement Project.

I broke it down into small parts to keep from getting overwhelmed. I’m going to need to patch drywall. There are nail holes and some scuffs and one good sized hole the previous owners used for a cable. And there’s a large hole from what we will call, a situation.

Ewok Likes Home Repair Who Put Their Foot in the Wall?

I also need to remove wallpaper, figure out what the hell is wrong with this leaky window and fix windowsill and pull up carpet in closet and put something else in there. Then I can get started on the painting part. But I figure once I get my feet wet I’ll be inspired to do other projects around the house.

This weekend was the planned drywall fix weekend and I did my homework which involved looking at 3 different online tutorials and making a list of things I would need. Then I went to the store and looked at all the stuff and got psyched out and left empty handed. My next step was to consult with my next door neighbor and my Dad and this morning went to Home Depot (because we had a gift card there.)

I had to call Dad once from the store, but look at all the swell loot I got:
Home Despot Comes Through At Last

I didn’t get it in the picture but a very nice man named DW “found” me some drywall scraps. He asked me a few questions and quickly figured out that I don’t know what the hell I’m doing so he very helpfully made me two (2) scraps so if I screw up one, I have another chance.

A Girl's First Putty Knife

My First Putty Knife

Now I have all my stuff home and spread out on the floor. It’s more fun documenting this than actually trying to do the work. I guess I’ll try the small hole first and see how I do.

Stay tuned for updates.

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When Things Don’t Work As They Should, Part I

I unclogged my own sink this afternoon.

It’s been draining more and more slowly for quite some time. I put one of those enzyme drain openers in a couple weeks ago and bought myself another week but it quickly went back to barely tolerable. I could have called a plumber except we’ve had a plumber in here in the last 6 months and I hate being helpless at seeminly routine house problems.

I looked online for methods of dealing with clogged drains. Half the sites make it sound like it’s a psychosomatic situation. “Try flushing with hot water.” If that was going to work, the drain wouldn’t be clogged. The environmental people don’t want you to use drain cleaners because they’re hugely toxic and horrible. In my personal experience, there is no substance you can add to a clogged drain, toxic or not, that will do jack squat.

Regardless, I tried the non-toxic thing because that’s what I had in the house: baking soda and boiling water. I dumped in the soda and poured the water and was encouraged to see the fizzing action. Then the drain stopped up completely.

I went and got the plunger which I found two weekends ago when I cleaned out the shed in the backyard (there’s a story there too but don’t know if I will get to it.) I applied “steady, rhythmic, and forceful downward and upward strokes” until it felt like homeowner porn and my entire upper body got a cramp.

Normally, at this point I would have quit in a furious huff. I was furious and called my sink all kinds of very vicious bad words which I’m sure made it feel very bad but didn’t unclog it. I couldn’t quit because we have company coming over tomorrow and I can’t have a stopped up sink in my bathroom when company comes over. So I went to the next step and got a bucket and put it under the sink and futzed around with that trap or loop or whatever it’s called. It wasn’t pretty and I don’t think I’ll ever get the memory of that smell out of my head but I cleared my own effing drain.

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Friendly But Worthless

Today I went to the mall to try to get a few things for fall. I’m not going back to school, but I’m going back to cooler weather. I still have a hard time finding anything that fits. Petites are a wee bit wee, regulars are baggy and need 8 inch hems and Juniors large is way too small. Where are the clothes for the girls like me? I got a couple of pairs of pants for my hours of trouble. I still need tops and shoes. I had a miserable experience buying shoes. I was the only person in the store but could this gal have been any less interested in helping me find something that worked? She was friendly but useless.

In the meantime, we’re having a plumbing issue downstairs. When I got home Bob announced that we were getting a new water heater installed next week ($350). I asked him if he remembered that when we bought the house we’d signed up for a program where you pay extra on your electric bill and then the power company bails you out if your hot water heater goes? I’m not clear on the program exactly and am almost certain it sounds better than it is — but regardless, this had completely vacated Bob’s memory and I had to dig around in our files until I found proof on paper. So now we have the power company coming out to look at our water heater and hopefully save us a bundle.

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