Sunday, December 30, 2018

Survived another Christmas.

Hope everyone had a good time. Weather was actually perfect for traveling during holiday. Not much for a white Christmas anyway. About a week before heading up to northwest Indiana, I heard an intermittent grind sound somewhere toward front of truck. Figured it was either a wheel bearing or the four wheel drive actuator. It was only once in a while. Out of caution, I reserved a rental car for going up north. On my way to pick up the rental, the noise comes in fairly steady, but still not loud. I get rental and go up north. Upon getting back from trip, noise is steady now. I limp it back home. Now, this is my primary vehicle. The corvette is my backup which works in mild weather, not winter. I am going to fix the bearing or actuator, but, I decided to get another toy/back up vehicle. I researched and narrowed it down to two vehicles. A 2006 mustang GT with 49000 miles on the clock, or a 2013 v6 mustang with about 68000 miles. Newer mustang is loaded. Both have the leather interior. I love the 2006 retro look and wanted one when they came out, but didn't want for my primary vehicle. I did try and do the adultish thing, and buy the newer one, as it gets slightly better mileage and would retain value longer.
So, my day at the dealer. I head out check book in pocket ready to basically make sure it fit and drove to my satisfaction. I get there and tell salesperson exactly what car I want. He goes to retrieve it. Now, it's used and at the dodge dealer part of dealership, so, I go oogle the new Challengers. They are NICE, to say the least. After half an hour, another sales critter asks where my guy went. I told him he was suppose to be getting a car for me. He calls my sales guy. Fifteen minutes later, he arrives in a different car. There is a problem. The guy who cleaned and prepped the car doesn't know where he put the keys. They are still looking for them. We go look at car. It is extremely clean and sweet. Still can't get in. I am getting ready to leave and go to other dealer to look at other mustang. Sales manager says to stick around, it shouldn't be long, they got hold of the last guy who had keys. So, me and my sales critter kill some time. I take out a brand new Challenger. They are freaking roomy and awesome. This thing had every gadget you could imagine. Never drove a vehicle with heated steering wheel before. Had a power sunroof, leather interior. It was extremely hard not to drive it home. We get back, still no keys. At this point, I tell the sales guy I am going to see other car at dealer down the road. I tell him call if they ever find the keys. Still don't understand why they didn't just cut a new key using the VIN. They have a ford dealer in their complex.

On to next dealer. I drive in and parking lot is like most dealerships, hard to find customer parking. I accidentally drive down the row of used cars and find the mustang I wanted. It is mint. It is gorgeous. Being older, it doesn't have the Bluetooth and fancy accessories, but I will simply add an aftermarket touchscreen radio as I did in the truck. No problem. The only flaw on the car was the cheap home done window tint job. That will hopefully be remedied tomorrow. Buddy at work told me where to go for a good job. I will have them strip it and see if it needs tint. If it does, I am not going with the dark tint. Anyhow, sales team was great at this one, and they actually had keys to the cars. I took it out for a long drive. It is awesome. 4.6liter v8 has a good amount of power for a car that size. Went back and did the paper work. Had a sales guy follow me back home driving my new car as I had the Vette to get back home as well. Didn't expect it to be an all day affair. No sooner do I get in the kitchen, the phone rings. Sales manager from first place. Sir, we still don't have the keys, but if we don't have them Monday morning, we will cut a new key if you are still interested... No, that won't be necessary, I bought the other car I told you about that was at the dealer down the road.
I can't believe a dealer of that size is that incompetent. You can't tell me it would have cost the dealer much of anything to cut a new key, since one of their dealerships is a ford dealer. But, it all worked out. I actually bought the body style I like best out of the new mustangs. Spent all day driving all over burning gas and having fun. Did hit a gun show while I was out. Here are some pictures of my new toy.

Couldn't get over the low mileage. Car history verified no rollback. The car is extra clean. I feel bad that it will have to live outside this winter until garage is up. It has to be a garaged toy to have that kind of mileage. It is so immaculate.

Hope to get the tint removed tomorrow, if they have an opening. I plan on being at their door when they open. Nothing else I can get it scheduled.

Hope everyone had a great Christmas. I enjoyed seeing family, but missed seeing Mark and his family while up there. The timing lined up where the gun stores we usually hit were closed because of Sunday. Still a good time. Hopefully line up with everyone when I go up in the summer for the grandsons birthday. Take the Mustang up on that trip. see how she does on the highway. Should have the new radio with the navigation in it by then. Still have this coming week off, so hopefully I will get the truck back roadworthy again. I also bought gutter guards and will try and get some of them in during the milder weather.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Now that is a hard way to make a living.

The tree guys showed up today. WOW. It is really something to watch someone who knows what they are doing take down trees. I have power lines where the maple was. The guy scaled the tree like a monkey. Dropped the branches by rope to waiting helpers who promptly fed them into the biggest chipper I have ever seen. It took about two hours to get the maple, chopped up and gone. Bad news of the day was the oak tree. Cost me $2500 to drop it. That one they earned every penny. The other two trees  with the stump removal were $2200 total, so the oak really smacked the pocket book hard. They got the maple down, stump ground, oak down, and all carted off. I thought they were done for the day. Nope. They headed to the back yard and got the third tree just about cut down before admitting defeat. They will be back in the AM. It was really something to watch them take down trees. Made it look so easy. The house looks totally different now. I like how it looks from the street now. I will wait and see about the other maple. I may take it down as well. It would make the front yard look cleaner, but I will wait until I have the garage in and see what it looks like. I would hate to lose the shade, and with the garage in, the tree may look like it belongs again. It grew kind of weird seeing as how it was in the shadow of the much larger maple, so branches favored the side of the tree that the sun hit. It would work with the garage though, as the garage will go where the big maple was, so the existing maple would be leaning slightly away from garage and the branches grow away from where the garage will be. They should finish up really early in the morning. They are down to a small trunk to take down and some clean up. If they show up at 7 like they did this morning, hopefully they will be done by ten or eleven. I plan on hitting Frog follies tomorrow. Hope to get there relatively early.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

For real this time, maybe

The climber that cuts the tree and ropes the limbs down was out earlier this month with kidney stones, so they cancelled last minute. I start my mini vacation tomorrow and they are suppose to be here early in the AM to finally get the trees out of here. I won't believe it until I see it. Not getting my hopes up until they are climbing the trees. I can't believe I had to wait almost five months. All the tree places have a waiting list. I definitely wouldn't have picked these guys had I known how long it was going to take. They told me mid June originally. I can't wait to see what it looks like when done. Should make leaf raking a lot easier. Still have two maples and an oak, so, not easy, just easier.

I got the ceiling fan installed in the dining room during the week. It actually went very smooth. Thought I would have to put up a reinforced electrical box, but the old one is solid. The house was built in the 40s, and I pulled a small chandelier to put the fan up, so I lucked out there. Going to try and figure out a way to get wiring up to the middle of the living room ceiling so I can put a fan in there as well. There is a pair of light switches for a light in the living room, but they don't do anything. Going to pull covers off the outlets in the room and see if there is an abandoned switch wire in one or more of them. The old houses usually had one or more receptacles wired where the top plug was switched and the bottom wasn't. It would give me a decent start anyway. The attic access is ridiculously small. Have to send a toddler up to check things out. There is a weird storage area in the dining room that has an access door in the wall. I believe I am going to try and cut a usable attic access hole in there that I can actually fit my fat ass through. Want to put a fan in the bedroom and office as well. Can't believe nobody ever converted them before. Or put a decent attic access anywhere for that matter. Second house I had to do this to. I hate lamps and love fans in all rooms. Makes a huge difference.

Friday is Frog Follies again. Best car show around. Plan on checking out the car lifts while I am there. Hope to put one in the new garage next year. They usually run specials at the show, and the garage and trees are going to be enough of a burden this year. Get their recommendation for floor thickness as well as ceiling height. Suppose to be beautiful out Friday. Usually it is pretty steamy at the show. Nowhere to cool off, so I usually go sit in the truck after a few hours of walking and cool off in the AC. Shouldn't have to do that this year.

Probably spend the weekend trying to get the area where the maple in the front was, converted to parking area for now. I can move the railroad ties to frame it in and then start getting quotes for the garage. With the trees out of the front and back, and the sheds moved to their new locations, I can finally see which area is best for the garage. If I go in the front, it will probably be a 24x 36 or 40, depending on what is allowed. Limited by space between house and side walk. If I do it in back yard, I will probably go with 24x40, but I would put the doors on the narrow end and run it deep. I have a septic and need to stay out of the field. If I go with the back yard, I will still put a couple parking spots in front next to garage. Truck will probably live out there.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

I thought they forgot

I finally got a call today. The landscapers. They told me in april, it would be the middle of June before they could get out here. I called mid June, they said they would be out first week in July. It is now the second week of August. I was getting ready to call and ask WTH was going on, and they finally call. They will be out Friday. PERFECT... I am excited. I have been getting the weekend off most of the time, so, I will take a personal day Friday , as I have to be home for them to do it, so I get a three day weekend and get to see people take three trees down while I sip on coffee and relax. Should be something to watch. They don't use equipment. They climb and drop by hand. No heavy equipment tearing up the yard. I got home and moved the Mustang from the corner of lot to the area by the garage so it is out of the way. Total pain, as it doesn't have a steering column or floor pan in it. Steer with a crescent wrench on steering shaft under hood while towing with strap on truck, by myself. I managed to do it without damaging car, truck or house. I am anxiously waiting the removal of the maple so I can get to planning garage. Saturday I will move the railroad ties to where the garage walls will be so I can get a feel for if that is what I want. Also get an idea what it will look like. Once trees are out I can mark front and back yard where the garage would go and get quotes from builders so I can decide where to best do the build. I bought some of the paint they use to mark grass for events. I figure I can paint corners of garage area in the back yard as well as driveway, so I can get an idea how that would look. Hard to tell until the trees are out of the way and I can get a clear view of what it will look like. Getting to the finish line on most of the projects. Kitchen is done except for a few minor items. Hope to get finished pictures of before and after up soon. Only other project I have to get done yet is painting the floor and wall in laundry room and rerouting water lines. I replaced all rotten wood on the last of the three sheds and painted it last weekend. This weekend I am going to see if I can manage to turn them ninety degrees and move them over to the corner of the back yard. Should be interesting.

Only two more weeks until I get a minivacation. A Thursday, Friday vacation to go with the weekend. It is for Frog Follies. My favorite show of the year.  Should be starting to do more recreational stuff now that the work around the house is winding. down. Can't wait until my garage is done and I can finally start getting the mustang finished.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Almost done

Dropped the dog off at the vet for his physical, shots and such, which freed me up to install the kitchen counter top that has the sink in it. Easier to do without the dog trying to crawl in with me. It turned out really nice. Glad I installed the sink before putting countertop on. I found out I had to put pockets in the places the clips attach. I got brave and installed the drains and the faucet as well, so I wouldn't have to fight with it under the sink. I couldn't believe how everything fit perfectly. It was awkward doing it by myself, but I dragged it in and flipped it into place, and, it fit absolutely flawlessly. I was expecting something to be off a bit or otherwise hang. I got it all screwed together. Only thing I don't like on the new faucet is it comes with hoses preattached , and they were too short to reach supply. Like every other plumbing line I have encountered in this house, the supply line leaked a bit by merely touching it, so, I disconnected hard copper lines back to shut off and ran new. After a quick trip to the hardware store, which is only a few blocks away, everything was hooked up and leak free. I love my new kitchen. Still have to seal and install the backsplashes, which are also butcherblock. I also need to install toe kick panel on the base cabinets since I changed configuration around. Should be completely done by next weekend.
I do have a minor rodent problem as I found droppings under the sink. I set some glue traps and snap traps. I am not sure where they are coming in as I had new windows installed and have been around the house looking for any entry points. Everything looks secure. May call exterminator and have them look around and see what I am missing. When I moved in, they had a few spots by windows where something could enter, but I don't see anything now. I never leave the dogs food dish out after he eats, but he is bad for hiding cookies for later. I am going to have to throw those out and keep an eye on him. No food source and the mice should move on.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Back to work tomorrow. Wahhh

I managed to figure out what shape to route the countertops with.  Practiced on a scrap piece until I found a shape that I thought looked good. Got her sanded and the first coat of sealer is curing. Come home tomorrow and sand it and put the last coat on it. It needs to cure 72 hours before use after that, so I will put it in the dining room Tuesday so it can finish hardening and that will clear the sunroom so I can start routing and coating the second one. Went to menards and found the sink and faucet I want. That panel will be the trick one. Cutting the sink opening. The sink I like is really flat. Not sure whether to route the pocket to get the stainless steel perfectly level with the wood. May cut the opening and route the pocket for the sink on the underside. If I like it, I can do the top side. If I don't, no harm done, no one will see the underside once the sink is in. Hand routing it is a bit of a pain. I have a nice table saw with a router attached underneath that would work nice, but it is buried in the shed and would be a pain to haul out to use in the yard and put back when done. I can't wait for my garage to be done so my shed will be strictly wood working. I can get all the garage stuff out of the shed and actually be organized and be able to do anything I feel like doing.

This is the shape I picked to route the edge. Turned out pretty good. Would have been a bit nicer using the fence on the mounted router. I got a couple really small blemishes I sanded out. 

Here is the Harbor freight wood worker tool bench. Got it really cheap at their tent sale a few weeks back. Comes in handy. Vise and the clamp holes in the tabletop held the top still while I was working on it. I will eventually move it to the shed once it is strictly for wood working out there. It is handy to have right outside the kitchen now anyway. 

Turned out nice for the first coat. I like the color of the sealer on the wood. One more coat and she should be ready to move inside. Hope to start the second countertop Tuesday. With everything set, I should be able to knock the second one out and have first coat on it by Tuesday evening. Hopefully I can start to cut the sink opening on the third one on Thursday. I am just hoping that cutting the opening or the sink doesn't separate the individual pieces. may see if I can clamp it to the table squeezing the boards together while I cut the opening. Figure I can use a hole saw at the edges of the opening and then use my circular saw to do the straights. I have a clamp on saw guide that works well for keeping the cut straight. I can get it close with the circular saw and finish the last of the cuts with my jigsaw. Thinking of going with a clear urethane sealer for the sink panel. Figure waterproof is better than food grade safe like the other countertops. Urethane may help bond the boards as well since it has the big opening in it. Hopefully get it all buttoned up by next weekend. 

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Depressing. Only one day left of vacation.

It's been nice. I could get use to being home all the time. With pay coming in that is. I got a lot done. I finally got the cat urine smell out of the sunroom after almost a year of treating the concrete and stone walls. It was extremely bad. Previous owners had three cats they kept there. I think they used the floor and walls more often than their cat box. I got the odor down to barely noticeable and put a heavy coat of paint on the floor. It is normal now, finally. I set up a temporary wood working room in there as it is right off the kitchen. I can now finish the counter tops in there and carry them into the kitchen from there. That turned out great. Spent today installing the bathroom sink and vanity. Looks way better than the pedestal sink they had in there. Pedestal sinks are fine, if you run the plumbing for it properly. They didn't. Existing water supply came up from the floor fully visible going to faucet as did the drain. Vanity looks clean, and is a lot bigger giving room to lay out soap dish and such neatly. Vast improvement. It definitely looks better in the bathroom than sitting in the living room waiting to install. Picked it up over a month ago and kept putting it off. Also put a new chain on the chain saw. Cuts wood like butter now. Cut down the rest of the tree in back yard and cut the wood up. Still waiting on the people to come out and remove the three trees I want them to remove. Three months and counting. All the tree cutters down here are back logged. These guys are cheaper than any others, which would explain the wait, but my patience is getting thin. Been waiting since April forth.
Took the Vette out for a ride today and stumbled upon a great car show. Lots of old Mopars from the 70's, some Mustangs and vettes. Even saw an old AMC Javelin. They had it at an old car dealership that closed last year. The owner of the dealership kept the property and already had a car museum on it. He used the other building for the dealership. Once he closed the dealership, he turned it into another portion of the car museum. It is awesome. Has one of the Dukes of hazard cars. The Charger from the fast and furious movie. One of the old Herbie love bugs. There are many cool cars, motorcycles, gas pumps and displays. Hit the food trucks on the way out. Got some really good Chinese food for dinner.

                                        Herbie on top, Fast and Furious Charger underneath

                                                           Nice old GTO

                                                         Really sweet Bronco

                                        Even found something for the little grand kid

                                          Super clean Mustang. Absolutely gorgeous.

All in all, it's been a great vacation. Going to try and do at least two or the three countertops tomorrow. Have everything set up and one cut to the right length. If the weather is like it was today, it may just be a cruising and relaxing day.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Happy Forth everyone

Nice relaxing week. I always take advantage of the holiday and take a vacation that week. Been keeping busy on vacation. I repainted the floor in the sunroom. I picked up the butcherblock for the countertops. If the heat isn't deadly tomorrow, I will set up my wood working table and gear in the sunroom, which is right off the kitchen, and get the edges finished on the countertops and get at least two of them installed. I have totally disconnected two of the three countertops. One had a stove top in it. Hope to have them installed by weeks end. I have to treat them before installing them, so I can sand between coats. The sink countertop is going to be the hardest of the bunch. I believe I have decided on the sink. Hope to have it started by the weekend. Almost afraid to call the tree people again and see what the latest date estimate is for getting the trees removed. They are cheaper than the rest, but back logged big time.

Picked up a new big screen for the living room. WOW. What a difference a decade makes. Bought a new TV when I moved down here ten years ago. Can't believe the difference in clarity on the modern ones. New one is a smart tv, so I no longer need the roku box. Old TV is on it's last leg. Move it downstairs by the bar and exercise equipment until it dies altogether. May use exercise gear more with some entertainment near by. Right now, the house makes good on the exercise time. Want to get the laundry room floor and walls painted as well while I am off. Trying to knock out the work list. Counter tops will completely finish the kitchen. I want to get the bathroom sink done as well. That will finish the upstairs altogether.

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.