Thursday, June 7, 2018

Spring time fun

Starting my springtime vehicle maintenance. Went to charge battery on Vette, as it sits all winter. Two days on the charger, and it still wasn't charged. Not good. I pulled the battery and checked the date. June 2013. It is going to be close on warranty as it has a 5 year warranty. I hit Autozone. They check battery and it is DOA. They check records. I took it in yesterday, June 6th. I bought it June 6th 2013. It literally was one day past the end of the warranty. The manager came over and did an override. I got credited $49.99 on my new battery. It worked out great. I very much appreciated the effort. I didn't figure as far through the warranty I was, that I would get more than a couple bucks. I picked up the oil and filters for all the vehicles while there. I did get the battery installed and started the car for a bit when I got home. You have to remove a side panel to get at the battery. Not sure why GM had to make it that difficult. I had hoped to do the oil changes today, but gravity took over and I just didn't feel like doing much of anything. I hope to get that done tomorrow and start ripping the shed apart out back. It is past it's prime. More rot than wood. I painted the two I am keeping. Need to rip the old rotten one down, dispose of it, and move the small one over to where the rotten one is now. Want to get it done before the tree people get here and get trees out of yard. As soon as the tree people are done, I want to lay out where the garage will go and call the builders out to get an estimate and hopefully a build date. It is taking forever to get the trees out. All the companies have huge back orders so you have to wait in line. The guys I have coming are substantially cheaper than the rest, so while anxious for removal, I am going to wait my turn and save some money. Just can't wait until the trees are gone so I can move forward. Three month wait is ridiculous, but they should be out early July.
They have a steam show at the local 4H this weekend as well as a gun show at the armory. Lots to do all over the place, but I have to make sure I get my chores done. I have a bad habit of putting them off.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Expensive weekend

Had a plumber in to replace the hot water heater. It was about sixteen years old, and rumbling. Had me a bit nervous. Glad I had a pro do it. It got ugly. The previous owner skimped on shut offs. No shut off valve for the water heater. If water heater went, you had to shut the main off. Had to turn the main valve off coming into house. Water was still trickling. It wouldn't shut all the way off. He tried turning it back on. Nope, it was broke. I am a huge fan of the new shut off valves that are quarter turn on, quarter turn off. Hate gate valves. They always fail, always. I usually know where the main shut offs are for everything. I hadn't found the water meter and shut off yet. Grabbed a shovel and started tracing the area from street to line input of house. Found it. Under a couple feet of leaves, that were under the two massive thorn bushes in the front of house. Whacked the bushes back and raked up the leaves. In the interim, he had the water heater out, installed a shutoff valve for the input of water heater, and teed off of the gas line for my stove. I had him add to his work list adding a shut off valves for both the outdoor faucets. Had him install a modern new faucet on the rear of house. That one I use a lot. Would have had him do the front faucet as well, but, power company planted the gas meter smack dab in front of it. Not enough room to pull old and replace. It drips. I now have an inside shut off valve for it, so I can shut the water off completely in there when not in use. It is old enough, I may be able to replace a rubber washer in it to get rid of drip. I had him install a shut off in line for the ice maker on refrigerator too. I had it temped in so I could use it before. I don't like saddle clamps. I wanted it done right. The plumbing took all day, but I now have a new water heater, shut off valves where I need them, Ice maker hooked up right and a working gas range. It was an expensive day, but well worth it. Marked a lot of things off my to do list. I am also relieved to know where the water main is for any future emergencies. Next up is countertops. I am seriously thinking of doing the counter tops in butcher block. It would look nice and is rather economical. Found the faucet and sink combo I want as well.
Did manage to get out for a little, very little, yard work today. Trimming brush and removing dead wood. April starts spring yard waste pick up. They will pick up debris for four weeks. I am starting to get my pile ready. Lots to do. Try and stay on track and do a bit every day after work. A week from tomorrow is our first of two heavy trash pick up days. I am going to try and cut up the rotting 8x9 yard barn in back and stack it up for them to haul away. Hope to get the yard in shape this spring. It has been neglected, for years from the look of it. Going to try and get ahold of the garage builder again if the work part of the week goes well.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Making headway

I have a plumber scheduled to replace the water heater and run gas line for the stove. I will get the counter top ordered during the week. I believe I figured out which top I want. It is way too hard to pick from such a wide assortment. Trying to get  a builder out to get solid quotes on garage. Hard to get them to answer email requests. I am going to call the original builder I talked to last year. They do stick and steel garages. I will quote both. It is going in back yard, so I can do either. I can probably go bigger with the steel, and they carry a forty year warranty on the steel. It should outlast me by a few decades.

Miserable weekend. I missed work Friday. Used a personal day. When I got home Thursday, Spike was in pain. He had his leg up and shaking. He has back issues that act up now and then and I tried calming him down the best I could. Usually they work themselves out. He was howling when he moved most of the night, so I took off work and took him into the vet when they opened in the morning. I was extremely thankful they didn't have to put him down. They gave him pain pills and muscle relaxers, and took x-rays. He is doing much better. Not near himself yet, but it will take time to heal. I've been there before as I have torn my back up several times over the years. Hard to keep him from jumping on furniture or running when he hears the neighbor dog. Made for a horrible weekend. Spent most of it keeping him calm and resting. Meds help take the pep out of him. I need to look into setting up a ramp of sorts so he doesn't have to jump on and off couch. He must have landed wrong while I was at work. He sometimes likes doing laps around the hallway as well. Amazing how fast the little dog goes when he is outright running. Hardwood floors make the turns a bit hard for him. I look forward to having him back up to normal soon. Just wish there was a more permanent fix, but it is just a genetic flaw in the breed.

Not ready to go back to work yet, but I have to. Really want to get the garage on the schedule. You would think builders would call you back when you want to hire them to build a garage, but it doesn't seem to matter to the ones I have contacted thus far. I don't want to hire someone that doesn't call back promptly as I don't want to run into same issue when they are hired and not moving forward on job.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Taxes are done

Finally did the taxes. Hopefully much easier next year. Went as I figured. I put windows in last year. Big deal made out of tax write off. Tax write off was ten percent, up to a lifetime maximum of $200. That is two hundred dollars, total, in your lifetime. You move and do windows at new house, tough. Notice the WAS part. It expired. It is no more. I don't even get the lousy two hundred dollars toward windows. I usually manage to just miss tax breaks and incentives. It gets old. I do manage to get a refund from fed and state, and I am done for another year, so all is good.

Window got a good endurance test. Violent storm the other night shook a huge branch from the oak tree right outside my bedroom window. It dented the gutter pretty good on the way down and smashed into the window. Definitely a wake up call at one AM. I couldn't believe it didn't even crack the window. Screen got a little damage, but it is covered by window warranty. Need to call the tree guy out and get the tree either trimmed or removed. I hate to take a tree out so I am hopeful it can just be pruned of dead limbs and left standing. I am also very reluctantly going to look at removing the big maple tree in the front yard so I can put my garage up front on level land and not have to try and get it in the back yard. I hope to get the estimate this weekend if the guy is available. Weather is getting better, if not for the constant rain, which I am very thankful isn't snow.  Been an extremely easy winter. One storm with a whopping four inches of snow. I love it down here. It has been in the fifties and even hit the mid seventies in the last couple weeks. Trees are budding and the grass is already greening up.

Still working forty hour weeks. I have never done that in my life, ever. It has been almost two full months now. It is almost like having a life. It is freaking awesome. Getting use to it now. It is sure to change with the weather. Usually we get really busy about April and continue heavy through summer, when you really want off. Until then, I am enjoying the down time and trying to get some stuff done.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Refrigerator is here

Refrigerator is in and running. It arrived with a couple small dings on the freezer door. They offered 10percent off of the price, bring out a new fridge, or bring out a new door. Dings are tiny, but I know they are there, so I opted for a new door. I had the old refrigerator doors off and in the driveway, so I wasn't really leaning towards sending refrigerator back. Keep trying to talk myself into the ten percent off, but I believe I am going with new door. Refrigerator is out where it is seen in two rooms, so if it has a dent, it will be of my making. I really like the way it all looks together. Everything is either black or black stainless. I really like the look of the black stainless. Ice maker is still making first batch. Probably won't have usable ice until Tuesday. I think I found the color for the counter top I will get. I need to get the gas line ran to the range first. Been too busy with rest of kitchen this weekend. Wish I had a couple more days off to finish things up a bit.

Weather is nice, but doubt it will last long. Enjoying the springtime like melt off. We got about four to five whole inches of snow a week ago Friday. They don't plow or salt down here, so, it gets a bit sloppy, but not bad. What was bad was them not removing it and the subzero temps freezing the slush. Really wish they would learn to clear the roads and not wait for God to thaw them out. As luck would have it, it was in the mid 50s today and snow is gone. Maybe the kids will go back to school. They actually cancelled school all last week. The whole week. They cancel school if there is a rumor of snow. I think I could count on one hand with fingers left over how many school days I missed as a kid in northern Indiana in all the years I went to school on account of snow. I can't believe how they treat snow down here. Too many years living in the north where you just headed out extra early when it snowed. Several inches was normal, not gut wrenching. Hope for a mild winter as I hate snow and cold. Ready for spring. Lots I want to do outdoors now that the house is pretty much done.

I am ready for a relaxing day off now. Really don't want to go back to work. Spent the whole weekend working on the kitchen and around the house. Think next weekend is going to be a bit of fun and relaxation. I do believe they have a flea market and a gun show going on locally next week.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Almost there, on the kitchen

Dishwasher works great. Highly recommend Bosch dishwashers. My last house, I bought a brand new Whirlpool dishwasher as my previous one worked well. It was horrible. Had to rewash silverware and some dishes. It wasn't a cheap model either. I bought the stainless tub with the hard food disposal. Total junk. The Bosch cleans flawlessly. Everything comes out clean and spot free. Hope the other appliances are as good.
Today, I put up my Frigidaire microwave over the range area. Total pain by yourself, but I managed. Tile backsplash made drilling holes a bit of a pain. Need to get some decent masonry bits one of these days. I got that done, and the delivery guys dropped off my range. I don't have the gas line ran for it yet. It has been to cold to disconnect the furnace to tee off the gas line. It looks awesome though. Tomorrow, they drop off my new refrigerator. I just got the water line run for the ice maker. It is going to be great having ice and ice water through the refrigerator door again, as that is my main drink.
Still trying to figure out what I want for the countertops. I am thinking of replacing the counter where the electric range top was with a solid butcher block top. The other wall with the sink and range I will probably go either granite or solid surface. I like the built in sinks on the solid surface, just not sure how stain resistant they are compared to granite. They look sleeker as well. I am going to put some three inch spacer panels between cabinets and microwave and stove. Lowes had some that matched the cabinet wood grain really close. If I can make up my mind on countertop, kitchen will be done. Pretty much finishes up modifications I have in mind for the house. Still need to straighten office up, but after I get the kitchen wrapped up. Kitchen is looking great. Can't wait for tomorrow when refrigerator is here.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Gaining in bits

Back to work for two weeks now, and it sucks as bad as I remember work sucking. I am gaining quite a bit on the house. I mapped out most of the breaker box as it only had the 220 lines marked in the box. They are dropping by tomorrow with my new dishwasher. It comes with free install, not that they are difficult to install, but free hook up is good. I did get into the sink today and fixed the leak it had at the drain, as well as installed the garbage disposal. Previous owner must have had one at some point I would think, as there was a wire and switch for it, sort of. Took strainers out and found that they didn't believe in plumbers putty. I guess stainless steel strainer on a stainless steel sink is suppose to magically seal off. I took pipes apart and sealed the strainer that is going to stay, and installed the garbage disposal in other location. Recut and fit drain pipes to work. Went to install electric and found the owner was a believer in saving energy. Apparently, in his world, you can run a piece of romex from the switch right to the garbage disposal and it would miraculously work. I straightened the wiring out, installed a pigtail on the disposal, installed a switched receptacle down below and all works now. Scary the stuff you find on old houses. Especially when you have a person who thinks they can do it themselves, and can't.

Refrigerator is still a week away. This weekend I will run the ice maker line. I have the parts, just haven't done it yet. Still tossing around which range I want. Going to get a gas range, but I am thinking of bringing the electric oven up from the basement for a temporary fix so I can get the countertops ordered and installed. Running a temporary electric line is easy as the junction box is close. It has been freezing down here and the gas line I want to tee off of is the one running to the furnace. Have to break the line down from  where it enters furnace and back up to the elbow at the ceiling, tee it there, rerun line to furnace, then, install new line from tee to area where stove goes. Figure I can wait until the weather breaks a bit. In the meantime, I can get the counters done. This weekend, I also want to cut the wall behind and above the new range area and run 120 power for the microwave and gas range, as well as block off the original hole where refrigerator power outlet is, so it isn't an eyesore. Original power is about even with where they top of the range will be. Don't want it sticking half above the stove. I can salvage a few of the small tiles from hole I make behind range to cover old outlet hole. Kitchen looks a lot bigger just by moving the refrigerator out of old location and putting in new location. Opens up the room.