Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Hey, Strangers

So, I've been away from the blogosphere.  Actually, I've pretty much been staying away from the whole inter-web thing.  It's not that I've been avoiding it, just that there's been a lot going on.

Work on the house has been going like gang busters, which is good and bad.  It's good because we're making - very slow - progress.  It's bad because it's unsexy work... the kind of work that costs a lot, that shouldn't have to be done in the first place, and that nobody notices if it's done properly.  It makes me cranky that I have to do it at all.  And it makes me crankier that preparation for this work uncovered a bunch more problems.

I had the basement spray foamed in an effort to make this place a little warmer.  As a new house, it should be fairly air tight, but there are definite cold zones and breezes in the winter.  And I suspect that I found the reason for some of the cold zones.  When I pulled down the fiberglass insulation to get ready for the spray foam guy, I discovered things like this:

Apparently, the guy that built this house didn't want to let a pesky water pipe get in the way 
of his chosen route for the heating vents.   

Also note - everybody knows that duct tape isn't supposed to be used on ducts.
Except, apparently, the guy who built my house.
It was falling off like that when I found it.

I discovered this on a Sunday afternoon, the day before the spray foam guy was booked to come.  So, I had the honors of scrambling to learn to reroute air vents in 4 hours or less.  Luckily, my dad came to help and we figured it out in time.

The spray foam was done, and my basement walls now look like yummy purple marshmallows.  It's still warm outside, so I thought it was too early to know if it had worked.

Except, the house got kind of cold for a few days after the work was done.  Not horribly cold, but a few degrees colder than I like.  I kept jacking up the temp on the thermostat without paying much attention, but couldn't seem to warm up.  I was starting to wonder if I was sick, and then noticed that the furnace wasn't turning on, regardless of what temperature I set it for.  This morning, after spending an hour reading the furnace manual, learning all about pilot-light free furnaces but getting no where, I was about to call in reinforcements.  Then, I had an aha moment, remembered that there is a power switch a few feet from the furnace and that it was currently switched to the off position.  I flipped it to on, the furnace fired up and the house is finally warming up again.

It gets down to 5-10C around here at night, so if the house has managed to maintain a 19C temperature for three days, I think it's safe to declare this little project a success.

The "Old Dog Project" (aka - the new stairs off the back deck) is still in the works, but the guy I hired to make the stairs doesn't seem to have much sense of time.  I kept hearing great things about this company that makes stairs.  It's actually cheaper for me to have him make and deliver the stairs than it would be for me to buy the wood and make them myself.  But, he doesn't seem very good with his time management.  What he said would be a few hours to build the new stairs and deliver them has been a few weeks.  He got his last chance phone call this morning, and promises that they'll be here tomorrow. I'll stain them, and hope to put them up/build a bannister right after that.

Don't tell anybody, though.  I learned this week that apparently I'm supposed to have a building permit to replace stairs that are falling off the deck.  I'd have been tempted to ignore that, but I'm changing the length and height of the stairs to make them easier for Cotton.  That'd show up on my real property report, so I headed down to City Hall where I answered a bazillion questions and signed over my first born.  I'm told that a city engineer will review my plans and if they approve I'll be called to come pick up the permit.  I suspect that they're going to be amazed with my efficiency, because the stairs will be installed and finished approximately 5 seconds after I get the go ahead to proceed.

My insurance claim for the flood has still not been processed.  I'm a little annoyed by this delay.

Having expected to have received my insurance money by now, I had a shopping day planned with a good friend in Calgary yesterday.  We couldn't do the power shopping that we'd hoped without the insurance cheque, but got together anyway.  I've had a moratorium on new purses in place for some times, but since two old purses were destroyed the flood, I thought an exception could be made.

I am very particular about purses.  I don't like them too big, and I don't like if they only have one pocket that everything gets thrown into and mixed up.  My friend Kat was very patient as we went to all sorts of stores and I looked for a multi-pocketed purse that called my name.  It took a while, but I finally found one that I like.   As a girl who usually carries coloured purses and then has to coordinate her clothes to match, I thought I'd try something new and go with a neutral one.

Even better, having a slightly larger purse than what I normally carry allowed me to hustle down to the Fossil store and get me a new wallet (also a replacement for something damaged in the flood).  I like to have a wallet for each purse, and I really do love Fossil.   Also, Kat talked me into it.

I've got the rest of the week off.  I had hoped that the insurance claim would be processed by now, so that I could go out and get replacement storage shelves and cupboards and then start cleaning up the basement.  Everything is still in a big pile down there (even more so since the spray foam guy was down there) but there's no sense cleaning if I don't have anywhere to put things.  So, instead I might spend the rest of the week making crank calls to the insurance company.

Tallulah thinks that might be kind of fun.


  1. As I was reading all of this, I was all, "Oh my goodness! SO much going on all at once!" Then when I got to the part about cranki calling the insurance company, I bust out laughing! And Tallulah? Hysterical. I think you should let her make one, too. :)

  2. Re: The stairs guy; he must have come from my area and is still on what we call "mountain time". They give you a date and a time and then show up when they show up, if they show up.