Thursday, July 29, 2021

I have air!

The electrician came out and fixed the tripping (biting) breaker.  I have the most important of the important things back up and running...however.  


I still do not have a dishwasher.  Or anything going to any of the kitchen outlets.  The ones just outside the kitchen work fine, though.  

And the electrician has no idea why the breaker's got power but the outlets don't.  His best guess was a short somewhere.  Or something.  But there's no way he'd be able to fix it for us today.  Or tomorrow.  Or this week.  Or next week.  Because their company's running all the electricians' legs off, trying to keep people's AC units from killing their house.  

The fix is going to be unhooking the current wire from everything, and running new wire.  He said it won't be nearly as expensive as it could be, because the kitchen is very close to the panel.  

So, right now, we're looking at mid-August, at best, before I can get that done.  And will be hand-washing dishes until then (and using disposables for absolutely everything I can get away with using them for).  

But this time, I have a stainless steel sink, and actual pressure in the pressure sprayer setting on my pull-down faucet for handwashing the dishes!  Joy!

Okay, sarcasm done.  That said, having a working sprayer does make things a little easier.  The old one...barely dribbled. 

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

New sink

So.  I now have a new kitchen sink.  Stainless, not composite.  New faucet (pull down sprayer head--which I like, and which works, unlike the sprayer in the old sink).  I no longer have a garbage disposal (which makes me very happy).  And, as I'd suspected, the drains were done wrong.  So, that has all been corrected.  

It came in over the bid by about a hundred bucks, but I'd already mentally accounted for that.  

Sink has four holes.  One is used by the faucet.  

Heh.  I now have pump nozzles that have a hose that runs down into the big bottles of soap under the sink.  One goes in the dish soap, and a second goes into hand soap.  

Leaves me with one open hole...which Odysseus suggested putting another soap pump into.  For Gojo.  

I admit it, I cackled when I got that email suggestion while the plumber was here.  He got...concerned.  Because I'm not sure I sounded sane.  I passed along the message to reassure him that I wasn't crazy, and the plumber thought that was a great idea, and he'd do it if it was his sink, and..."You're gonna let him, right?  Right?"  

I have a third pump system ordered.  

That's one thing dealt with.  

And another...went wrong, yesterday.  Morning.  Just as it was starting to get really hot outside  

I went into the kitchen to get some ice, and the dispenser coughed, went kerchunk, and then didn't do anything.  Neither did the water dispenser.  So I open the door, and...the light's out.  I figured the breaker tripped (but had no idea why, and still don't.  Not really).  Went to reset it.  And it tripped the breaker for the heat pump.  I reset that.  It...snapped (I got a small shock like static on a doorknob, because I was already pulling my hand back), and the whole house went dark. 

Um.  Yeah.  Called my other half* because I was freaking out (but trying not to let kids see, because they were already freaking out over lights and music going off).  I was expecting either a call back with "electrician's on the way" or a call back with "call this number" or something, so I was mildly startled when he pulled in about twenty minutes after I'd called.   

The house breaker got turned back on, and the heat pump breaker tripped.  Odysseus flipped it, and it kicked the house off.  And he flipped the house back on, the heat pump breaker tripped.  He...yeah, he left it that way, and flipped the breaker for the fridge off, then back on. 

Um...didn't work.  The fridge is still lights-out, and so was everything on the power strip to the same outlet.  O...kay.  

Checked the dishwasher.  It's out, too--the power won't come on.  So, it's the whole circuit.  Does not matter what position the breaker's in, nothing in that corner of the kitchen works.  

We have an "oh, shit, the AC's out and the heat index is going closer to the hundred-teens than hundreds" portable AC unit with wheels and a hose that goes out the window, now.  We didn't before yesterday.  

And I'm waiting for the electricians to show up.  Yesterday, they said it might be today.  

The fridge is currently plugged into a heavy-duty extension cord which is plugged in behind the washer.  Which was a brilliant idea Odysseus had...after we'd crammed all of our food into the overflow fridge and deep freeze.  So, the fridge is working, but not the dishwasher. 

But I have a new sink.  And the plumber that came out and put it in was freakin' awesome.  

*I called his cell phone at work.  I try to not do that.  But...the whole house going dark after I'd been shocked flipping a breaker warranted it, in my opinion.  

Saturday, July 17, 2021

Progress and...oof.

We've been working on the house this year.  Now that I've recovered from whatever hit me a year ago February, I got stuck back into the FlyLady system, and started figuring out what needed done, and in what order for taking care of the house.  First up was the roof (obviously).  That led us to another problem we didn't know about--the chimney for the fireplace had some bricks missing.  Missing, as in, missing entirely, no idea where they were, because they weren't anywhere around the house or on the roof. And that could lead to future leaks.  I'd have moved on that, but I didn't have any idea who to call about that. 

And then I remembered that my mother-in-law had had an issue with the flashing around her chimney causing leaks, and got the name and number of the guy she'd used.  And I called him last week.  He came out Thursday morning, and got up on the roof to look about it.  There are 22 bricks either missing or crumbling and in need of replacement.  The quote on that isn't complete, yet--the guy said he needs to look through the materials he has before he can tell us if he needs to buy bricks for it or not.  He gave me a ballpark quote that is well within range of what we can do, so I'll make sure and get that on the docket as soon as possible. 

Another call I made last week was to the plumbing company we've been using recently.*  They got one out to me the next day, to do a job and a couple of quotes.  The bathtub faucet (and the nipple it was attached to) has now been replaced with one that attaches to a shower head wand on a hose.  The bathroom walls are tiled to about half-height, including in the bathtub, so we'll be putting up vinyl panels between the tiles and ceiling.**  We may do a vinyl panel on the ceiling, too.  It depends on how things go.  

Had the guy do up quotes for us on putting a new kitchen sink and faucet in, and running new lines from the propane tank to the house with ways to hook up a propane cook stove and eventually a furnace.  No, I don't plan on fully replacing the heat pump, but the heat pump is not adequate for heating during winter temperatures.  Even if it does well enough for spring and fall, and does an excellent job cooling.  

That...well.  The sink will be done when they can get to us.  I've already accepted the bid, and acquired the materials (sink, supply lines, faucet, etc).  The significantly higher than--as in, about double--what I thought it would be.  

Unfortunately, the cost has pushed the propane line down the priorities list.  Because the carport needs dealt with, first.  I'd really rather not have it fall in on the vehicles.  

The last things that need done...we need four GFCI outlets put in.  One on either side of the kitchen sink, and one in each bathroom.  We might be able to do those...were it not for the badly done tile.  I mean, it looks good, but whoever did those jobs did not do a good job around the outlets.  And we need someone who knows what they're doing to work around the tile, or fix the botched job of cutting around the outlets.  

I think that's mostly it for the renovations that we need to have done by someone else.  

The floors are (rather miraculously, given my health issues) remaining uncluttered.  If we can keep the floors cleared for a full month, I do plan to get a self-emptying robot vacuum.  Because while I can keep stuff picked up and put up even when the CFS is kicking my ass, I can't necessarily keep up with floors as well.  And I hate that, but that's life.  

I can say that the FlyLady system does work, even for the disabled.***  My house isn't perfect, and likely won't ever be, but we're not tripping over clutter or displaced clutter, or slipping on avalanches of papers and other crap from every flat surface where we work or read.  I've still got areas of "oh, look at that--I forgot we had that" clutter, but I'm working on it a little bit at a time. 

*The plumber we used for a long time starting from buying our first house died just before we bought this house.  I cried over that.  The plumber we got in contact with and mainly worked with with following that...was arrested a year after we bought the place and convicted on child pornography charges.  And worse.  This company seems to be owned and run by a husband and wife team, and they have several younger plumbers working with them.  I'd honestly call it a mid-sized company, not a one-man operation (like the first) or a main guy and a couple of helpers (like the minor disaster).  

**I'm pretty sure we can do this ourselves.  So long as we can get the panels cut to spec at the store.  

***I hate being disabled, but I have had to admit that I am.  There are things that I can't do anymore.  Not "can do, just slower," or "can do, but carefully," but can't do.  Or, if I do, it'll be the only thing I do for several days to a week. 

Sunday, July 11, 2021

Need to re-measure some things, I think.

I have a gorgeous* house.  It's a ranch style house, built in 1970.  We are the third owners.  

I loved it on sight, in spite of the awful floors, the even-worse light fixtures, and the awkwardly-sized rooms (too big?  too small?).   I love that it's not really an open floor plan.**  I love that there are two living spaces.  I love that the kitchen is big enough for one or two people to work in, but no bigger than that, and has a lot of storage space.  I love having a dedicated, built in pantry.  

Before we moved in, we got rid of the carpet in the long, narrow, undefined extra living space--it's 24.5' x 11.5', and runs from the kitchen to the walls of the bathroom.  It was, quite frankly, awful carpet: the berber style, and snagged and running.  Coarse.  And glued down.  We put in hardwood look vinyl laminate, in there, and turned that one, humongously-long room into three with two braided-rag throw rugs that used to belong to Odysseus's grandma (if I recall correctly, and the colors are right to have done so) for the TV area on one end, and what is now a second, very informal seating area/kids' books library in the middle.  Odysseus's grandmother's dining room table lives in the last third of the space.  It's big enough to seat eight, if they really like each other, and four fit very comfortably.  Even six fit fairly comfortably.  

It's my library that I need to re-figure the arrangements on.  

Because I really need more bookcases.  A lot more.  And I can only fit something like four more in the room.  Unless I reconfigure some things...which may be possible.  

Part of the issue is with some of the vents, and where they're laid out.  Part of the issue is with one of the walls being only half-height, with the other half taken up with open shelving which Odysseus likes (and without which it really would be a lot darker in the library, since it's north facing--as well as colder in the winter, since the central heat is a freakin' air source heat pump that is ineffective when the temperature drops below a certain point, and the emergency heating elements are damn expensive).  

Yesterday, Odysseus and I found the last key piece of furniture I'd been searching for, for my library: a love seat.  It was waiting for us at this little flea market/antique store that happened to have been the second place we went after dropping off the kids at Grandma's for our anniversary (yes, yes--a bookstore was the first place).  It's exactly what I'd been wanting for this space for the last four years: a high-backed, old-fashioned piece.  It looks like somebody took a wing back chair and stretched it sideways to seat two.  And it even coordinates with all of the other colors I'd chosen for the room. 

But with it in place, it just points up that the rest of the room is...unfinished.  I really want to fix that.  Now. 

I think I'm going to have to re-measure some things, and pull out some graph paper to play with bookcases along the walls.  And play with a walk space for getting to the books, too.  

*I think it's a gorgeous house.  But then again, I really like the warm, light paneling in the secondary living area, and I like not having so many windows in the outer walls that I can't do anything but put up curtains on those walls.  

**I hate open floor plans.  I hate having nowhere to hide mess when people come over, that there's no separation between kitchen and work area, and where guests congregate.  I am easily distracted, and do not do well trying to visit and fix the food, and do not like having the mess showing when I'm done cooking and want to visit. 

Thursday, July 8, 2021


I woke up Tuesday morning with a mild, nagging headache.  And then, after Odysseus took the kids with him when he left for work (to drop them off at his mom's), it started getting worse.  Despite having taken a generic Claritin, and a dose of Tylenol.  

And then...I walked into a dark room.  And it eased.  

Migraine.  Damn it.  

So, I spent most of Tuesday hiding in a dark room (after I'd gotten my gotta-do-it-every-day chores done).  Couldn't even stand to look at the computer monitor, in the later afternoon, and could barely follow a sentence.  Same with yesterday.  So I went back to bed yesterday morning, and slept for a lot of extra hours, and that...helped.  Enough that I could follow a sentence (sort of), and stand to look at the laptop monitor with the brightness turned way down.  

I'm tracking a little better today, and can creep around without any lights on and do the gotta-do-it-every-day chores that I missed doing yesterday.  And I'll be climbing back into straightening up, but not...somewhere bright.  Not wiping down the fridge shelves today.  Not messing about in the pantry, where I need the light on to see what I'm doing.  Not doing much heavy.  Just...little bits.  In the dark.  

And waiting for the headache to fade the rest of the way.  It is following the normal pattern, so I'm predicting it'll be gone Saturday morning, at the latest.  I'll probably still be a bit light sensitive, but God's having mercy on me, there--Saturday's forecast to be overcast.  

Which is a good thing: I want to get out and do stuff.  It'll be the 17th anniversary of the day I married my best friend.