Saturday, August 14, 2010

Medicine (Cabinet) for the Micah

Well, I did it. I broke down and hired somebody to do something that was completely out of my comfort level. And then I watched him very closely so I can do it next time!

We have a "cozy" master bathroom, so having a ghetto, made-in-shop-class medicine cabinet hanging out six inches into valuable air real estate simply wasn't hacking it. I bought a beautiful mirrored cabinet on Amazon to cover the bare wall underneath. We needed the storage, but I didn't want to bonk my head or arms on it any more! I made the mistake of reading the instructions when it arrived and realized I would much rather have it recessed into the wall! Then I found the stud and the outlet and realized it was beyond my professional abilities as a home owner. So I found a handyman through and received a call within two minutes! He did the job in two hours, and I am tickled with the results.

After measuring twice and cutting once, Jerry (names have not been changed to protect the innocent) plugged through cutting out the 2x4 stud in the way, as well as relocating my outlet to allow for the new HUGE medicine cabinet to move in. He then installed new studs on either side of the cutout to mount the medicine cabinet and fit it into place. It's perfect and adds lots of storage space without potential bruises! I also like how adding an additional mirror bounces light around the cozy room to help it feel even larger. On a side note, Jerry accused me of being Canadian on the phone...dang my accent. I warmed up to him after I learned his dad was an airline pilot and retired on the 747. After Jerry left, I went to Home Depot to color-match some paint in order to touch up the work underneath. And voila! My new medicine cabinet! I think for how much we've improved on this house, it might be a miracle that I haven't had to hire someone prior to this. It was an investment, and I took notes. I am glad I did it! And I hope to never have to hire help again. I hate paying someone for something I (think I) could do! And now I know I can move outlets and cut out studs! Figuratively speaking, of course.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Ceiling Fan Fires Are Fun

Unfortunately, we are getting rather adept at fixing things at home in need of repair from problems long ago set in motion by other owners. Such was the case earlier this week when I was sitting at my desk in the office, probably looking for future furniture purchases for our home. All of a sudden, the ceiling fan behind me made a loud popping sound and turned off. A few seconds later, I caught a small scent of smoke. I thought I'd been shot but was mistaken.

This ceiling fan has acted up before and even caused some confusion during the home inspection. Once the circuit breaker is reset, the thing works like a charm until the sparks start flying again. It was an intermittent problem that "could not be duplicated," as they like to say in the aviation world. We've been so busy that we just left it alone for a few days while we worked on other projects. I'm having the time of my life getting this place put together. When everything else was done to perfection, John flipped the circuit breaker off and began his investigative surgery on the office ceiling fan. He had printed some instructions at work but didn't even need them. What genes in their bodies prevent men from needing instructions?

Buried deep in the ceiling fan, John discovered a post-market addition to the guts of the machine. The previous owners had added a remote control for the fan and light, obviously because it is so hard and so far to just flip a switch! It had been wired improperly and even had a few exposed wires dangling out for all to see! John removed the potential fire hazard and cleaned up all the other wires with some electrical tape. He's so handy! Before long, we were once again enjoying the motion of a fan in the office. He was quite proud of himself, and I was quite proud of him! I hope it's a while yet before we discover a previous mistake that has to be fixed. Luckily, I know just the guy to run to for help!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Valuable Tidbits of Acquired Information

Tidbit #1: Assembling a pillow-top queen-size mattress all alone is hard work. I had no idea how heavy those things can be! Especially when placed upon risers, only to be reminded how tall the bed was to begin and remember that risers were not needed. And then promptly having to remove previously-mentioned risers, one at a time, from underneath the newly-purchased and exceedingly heavy bed leg rollers. I kept smiling and giggling to myself to prevent an onslaught of frustration or broken arms. It was hard, manual labor. No thanks to my husband, who has a real job and actually works every day, I struggled under the bed for countless seconds to get the risers from under the legs. When I complained to John that evening about my strenuous time during assembly, he just smiled. You see, he moved everything I own about two years ago, all by his lonesome. I think he knows how heavy it is. Contrary to me, however, he has muscles... Do you like my make-shift cardboard covers to prevent my wall from getting scratched? Don't mind the painters tape...duct tape still hadn't been moved over.

Tidbit #2: Having house guests three days after moving into a new home can be hectic indeed. I kept apologizing for the mess and the intense lack of food in the fridge (or anywhere in the house, for that matter. And I wasn't about to show them my non-existent-as-of-yet candy stash). And then it donned on me that I didn't have to keep apologizing for a messy house and no food. I had just moved in! So I quit feeling bad about the woes of my guests and just enjoyed the continuing process of fixing up my new home. Have I mentioned how much I love this place?

Tidbit #3: When purchasing laundry appliances, consider selecting ones that play a song when the load is finished. I can hear it anywhere in the house, and the happy electronic tune always makes me smile. If, by chance, I wander into the laundry room during the song's enticing chant, I start to laugh and dance along. And then I promptly grab my keys and head out the door, because I've apparently spent way too much time alone in the house if I am singing and dancing with my washer and dryer. I'm just saying that singing appliances come highly-recommended by me. I've never enjoyed doing laundry so much. Is it wrong to get something dirty, just so I have an excuse to do laundry? And the nightmares of people knocking on my door to ask if they can borrow my laundry facilities are finally starting to diminish. I will never have to share a washer and dryer again. Excuse me while I wipe away a tear of joy!

Tidbit #4: Replacing old, nasty, paint-smeared brass hardware on doors can make a huge difference. My heart soars when I reach for these brand-new satin-nickel locks from Home Depot. We replaced all of the outside door knobs and some of the deadbolts prior to having our home re-keyed this past week. I rest easy at home now, knowing only John and I have keys to enter and not half the Valley's real estate agents. And with the security system installed yesterday afternoon, I can work away all day to my heart's content and not worry about anything. I am still paranoid from living in the ghetto, but no doubt this will soon wear off. We live in a much nicer area now, where we aren't constantly worried about what isn't chained down out front or how much paint will be necessary to cover some recent graffiti. I could get accustomed to this ease of mind.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Didn't Hug It Enough

John came home the other evening after dropping off the borrowed moving truck (thanks, Ben and Nanette!). He came through the door and casually said, "So the tree fell over." I doubt my face changed expression much, since we both knew it was only a matter of time before the held-together-by-previous-tenants-via-bungee-cords tree in our front yard finally gave up the ghost. If I was surprised, it was only because the falling down took place on a calm, wind-free evening. I didn't see it coming so soon!

We called John's parents and asked them to pack a bow saw, since they were coming for the weekend. Shortly after his arrival, Mick had the branch sawed off and neatly stacked in the front yard. He even took some bigger branches home to burn in his stove. All was right in the world again.

Until yesterday. We got home from church to find a HUGE branch on the other side of the tree had broken and was hanging out in the yard. Can you believe this thing? I didn't take pictures of that event, just to punish my tree. When I woke up this morning, Mick was out in the yard again, sawing and humming. Tell me again why he can't stay all the time?

Needless to say, the future of this tree is undecided. We might keep it, attempting to save it through excessive watering in an attempt to force the roots to start acting their age. Or we might preserve the sanity of our roof by cutting the tree down and digging it out. Looks can be deceiving, as I really do enjoy how this tree provides shade and nice curb appeal. But if it's going to kill me someday as I politely walk to my car, it might not be worth it!

Where the branch is hanging over the driveway? That's where John's car would have been parked had he been home. Corolla Sandwich, anyone? What a blessing that no cars were harmed during a pointless temper tantrum of our front yard tree!

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