Friday, February 25, 2011

Like getting ready for vacation, only not.

I've been cleaning for days, so the house will be spotless.  I've been cooking like crazy, so that I've got easily accessible meals.  Wireless Internet, DVD player and PVR are arranged for the bedroom.  There's a huge pile of books, waiting to be read.  I'm contemplating taking up beading jewelry again.

I worked my last day today for  the next nine weeks.
If we don't get another dump of snow between now & Thursday, I won't have to shovel again until fall.

As an aside, if you enjoy messing with your dogs' heads, try passing their leash over to a friend.  The 6 of us (2 people and four dogs) have walked together regularly for a few years,  but getting Tallulah used to walking while my friend Jen is holding her leash has been hilarious.

Tonight I made the frame for an ottoman, and hope to upholster it tomorrow.  (I'm guessing that reclining chairs are a little hard on recovering stomach muscles.)

The granny panties have not yet been acquired.

If you were going to be stuck inside your house for a minimum of 3-4 weeks, what would you do to prepare?

Sunday, February 20, 2011

On the other hand...

This aught to counteract yesterday's brag-fest:

The grocery store had a big sale on pop last week.  It was almost half price, so I stocked up.  I bought three 12 packs of lime diet coke, which I promptly brought inside and put away.  Then, a few days later I was back at the grocery store and I decided to buy three more.  I'm almost certainly going to drink it, so I might as well take advantage of the good prices, right?


When I got home, I had a lot to unload and a lot on my mind.  It was warm out last week (above freezing) so I left the pop in the back of my car.  I promptly forgot about it.  The temperature dropped to well below freezing, and I'm sure you can imagine what happened.  Yesterday I discovered  that 36 cans of diet coke had exploded in my car, and since I drive a Matrix (basically a mini station wagon, with no enclosed trunk), the mess wasn't contained.  Frozen pop is everywhere, from front to back and even on the ceiling.

I am an idiot.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

I am woman, hear me roar

Gather 'round, folks - I need to brag.

Because bending over will soon be a chore, I went looking for a pooper scooper with an upright handle.  The two part kind - one piece rakes the stuff into the box of the other piece.  I did find what I was looking for, but it looked kind of flimsy and cost $45.  To clean up poop!  I couldn't bring myself to buy it so I went down the road to the Mecca (AKA Home Depot) and picked up a dustpan with a long, upright handle.  I paired that with an old spade from the garden, and I'm good to go for $10.

I set up my own wireless network last night.  I'm pretty proud of that, even though it was dead easy.  My first wireless router/network had been set up be a very technically inclined friend, and it looked quite complicated while he was doing it.  I'd always figured I would need vast amounts of technical knowledge, and probably a secret handshake or two to do it myself.   It wasn't bad, though.  I plugged it all in, ran the disk, answered a few questions and Bob's my uncle.   Once I finally found a router that came with a setup disk compatible with Macs, it took all of five minutes.

I made pizza dough today.  I'm new to bread making, and have never successfully attempted pizza dough from scratch.  Knowing that I'm trying to learn, a friend passed on a no-fail (she says) pizza dough recipe.  Today, I decided to take a chance and make homemade pizza for my dad's birthday.  This recipe contradicted all my mom's advice (Mom is an incredible cook, and normally whatever she says goes.), but I trusted my friend - only called her in a panic once - and followed the recipe.  The pizza dough was a roaring success.  The pizza was worthy of my dad's birthday dinner.

Finally - this is the big one - I thought I was going to have to replace both of the toilets in my house.  After they are flushed, they run for at least 15 minutes.  They don't leak water, but the noise is beyond aggravating.   If there's one thing I knew I needed to get done before I have my surgery (before I'm stuck in this house with nothing to do and nowhere to go), I knew I needed to get the toilets fixed.   I looked into a plumber, and they charge $130 to walk through the door, and that doesn't include their marked up  parts.  So, when I went to the Mecca (AKA Home Depot) to get the dust pan, I stopped in the plumbing section.  I asked the guy there, and he sent me home with a $10 part.  $10!    This was a job I had to work up to... it was a little intimidating.  Even though I needed the same part for both biffies, I only bought the one until I was sure I could get this done.  But, it wasn't really that bad.  The hardest part was awkward angles because you have to work upside down and backwards while wedged between a toilet bowl and a cupboard.  I can assure you that F bombs were dropped and thrown.  But.  The new part has been installed.  The toilet flushes and then the water shuts off.  The silence is golden.  Granted, I am still running back to the bathroom every ten minutes to check to make sure that nothing is leaking; but if there are no puddles by morning, I'm going to declare this mission a success.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Baby, It's Cold Outside

Desperate times call for desperate measures.

And, yes.  Even poodles get hat head.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

On My Mind

  • I went out and shovelled paths in the yard for the guy who will be digging the sump pit this week.  The pit is going on the NE corner the house, but the pump will be draining water from the NW corner of the house.  He'll be removing dirt/concrete from a window on the south side of the house, out the gate on the SE corner and around to the side of the road.  He needs access to all that from the outside as well as the inside, and I didn't want him to trample the gardens, so I cleared the way around them for him.  I think I shovelled about 10 miles of paths in the snow today.  If it snows again before he shows up, he's fired.
  • Tallulah went to the vet on Friday.  They've got tv's in the exam rooms, playing little shorts about health issues for pets.  Tallulah watched them quite happily, which surprised the vet.  She said only 1 in 20 dogs can see the picture on the tv, and that the rest only see flicking light.  Tallulah watches tv all the time, but I didn't realize that others couldn't.  So, there you have it - yet another reason why my dog is the best.
  • After multiple failed attempts to purchase oversized granny panties online or in the store, I finally bit the bullet.  I went into Zellers and blindly grabbed the largest size of fruit of the loom briefs that they had.  I'm fairly generously sized, so I was both horrified at the size of what I had to buy, and simultaneously worried that I wouldn't be able to get anything large enough.  It turns out that I overshot my target, and brought home some seriously massive skivvies.  Not only are they so large that they won't stay up when I stand, but the waist line also comes up above my rib cage.    I've now left this long enough that buying them online so no longer an option, so I'm gonna need to work up the chutzpa to venture back to the underwear aisle and try again.    yea.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Not very sexy

My house wasn't built well.  It's disappointing, because I chose a new house over an old house to avoid having to make a lot of repairs.  Unfortunately, repairs have been a part of my life in this house.

I've tried to put a positive spin on it, and use each repair opportunity to change things up to look how I want it.

Replacing the crappy ceramic floor that had been installed directly onto the joists (not up to code) took three years of fighting.

I don't really have a good example picture of how the floor used to be.  It looks like mall tile, only cracked.

But I won.  The new floor is beautiful travertine.  (Well, it's porcelain, but it looks like travertine.)  More importantly, it was installed according to the Canadian Tile and Terrazzo Association's very specific instructions.  It's going to last.

Replacing the cheap, ugly track lights, all over the house (see first picture) wasn't difficult, but it was a pain.   Especially when I discovered that some fixtures had been installed without junction boxes.  (Also against code.)

The new fixtures are kind of sexy, though.  I'm glad I got to pick exactly what I wanted.

The mirrored closet doors don't break any code, but they were ugly.  And a sign of the builder cheaping out and taking shortcuts again.

Replacing those was a pain, but the new ones are kind of sexy.

See also - New light fixture

The front step used to be wobbly.  And it was so small that when I opened the front door, I pushed people backwards, down the stairs.  That made me crabby.

The new porch is pretty great, in my opinion.

Having to re-landscape the entire yard to accommodate water issues... not cool.
But I probably would have done some fairly extensive gardening anyway.

Now, the roof - the roof made me crabby.  A 5 year old house shouldn't need a new roof.
 But, damn, the new one is sexy.

You know what's not sexy?  Tomorrow I have to hire a guy to dig up my basement and install a sump pit and sump pump.  I've thought long and hard, and I just can't find a positive spin for this one. It'll cost me $1500, and all I'll have to show for it is that my house will be in the condition it should have been when I bought it.

Sump pumps.  They just aren't very sexy.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

"Stuff" isn't supposed to matter

...but for some reason, finding the right stuff makes me happy.  Especially when I find it on sale.

I went shopping today.  I had a long list of things I needed - none of which was furniture - but I was distracted.  I turned a corner between sensible and practical... somehow veered off course, and came across this little beauty.  40% percent off.

Pretty close colour match, eh?  Truth is, I'm a wee bit torn if the painted pattern on it is too much, but I'm leaning towards thinking it's on the right side of the tacky line.  (Please tell me if you disagree!)  

Then, as I was making my triumphant exit with the new bedside table, I stumbled upon this hot little number.  In the clearance section.  For $30.

Before you start asking yourself what's so special about that lamp, I'll show you my dining room fixture:

It's like they were made for each other.  Until now, I've wondered if the dining room fixture works.  It goes really well with the chairs, but all the other fixtures in the area are chrome.  Having them both in the  area (kitchen/dining/living/great room) helps pull things together and make it look like it belongs there.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Busy not moving

Our office at work was moved this week.  They need room in the hospital for clinical staff, so they moved as much of the IT department as they could to an office downtown.  This is no small feat, as you can imagine.  Some of us started packing well in advance.  Some procrastinated, and some of us didn't have all that much to move.

I threw everything into a couple of boxes, and Monday afternoon the movers showed up to disconnect me computer.  (Because, you know, the IT department can't be trusted to move their own computers.)  The movers were supposed to arrive first thing on Tuesday morning and we were supposed to be set up in the new digs by 10:00am.  That didn't happen.  The movers went MIA, and didn't show up until the end of the day.  I worked from home but didn't get much accomplished.

Wednesday, I arrived at the office to find my stuff and reluctantly started to unpack.  The new office wasn't great.  It's an old building that feels dirty, and the cubicles are tiny.  I didn't even have room to sit in my chair and spin around in circles.  (Yes, I do that!  Don't you?)

About an hour after I arrived, I was called into the big boss' office.  While I wracked my brain to think of what I'd done wrong, he informed me that he's worried about my allergies.  He said that it'll be difficult to keep the office relatively dust free because of it's age, and offered to have me moved back to the hospital.  At first I wasn't convinced I wanted to go - my coworkers and friends are there now - but it wasn't long before I broke out with hives.  Yesterday, I had a wicked, terrible case of them; worse than I've experienced in a long time.  So, back I went.

Today, we bypassed the movers.  I threw everything back into the boxes and we brought them back to the old location.  The move that took two days to accomplish earlier in the week was undone in under an hour.

And, I get a primo cubical this time.

(PS - Occupational Health and Safety have already been in contact with me.  They'll be visiting the new/old office next week for inspection.  While I may have been lucky enough that my allergies gave me a pass, it's really not healthy for the folks I left behind to work there either.)