Wednesday, July 10, 2013

WNBP: Upgrades

Last summer, while I was lying on the sofa and pondering what to do with my day, I suddenly realized that the manse was looking a bit dated.  Shabby, if the truth be told.  Downright sad in certain infrequently visited corners.

So I decided to do a few upgrades.  Nothing major, mind you.  Just a coat of paint here, a foray into the technological marvels of the 21st century there and many, many trips to The Dumpster Where The Zombies Live.  (I always kick the side once or twice before opening it just to make sure they aren't home)

This would have been a great summer plan had I activated it in June.  Or even July.  Sadly, it was August before the Upgrade Fever set in and I had little time before school started.  The whole fervor lasted until about October and then I kind of fizzled out.  I spent the winter months staring at patched nail holes in drywall and not really seeing them  after a fashion.

This summer has gotten off to a slow start.  The first week was spent in the grip of a summer cold/sinus thing/allergy outbreak/plague to be named later.  The ensuing days have been spent dealing with the insomnia caused by a lingering cough and a sudden heat wave, complete with high humidity.  Getting motivated to finish this stuff while I still have enough summer to make it doable hasn't been easy.  Slowly, though, I seem to be making some progress.

Let's explore that in this week's Wednesday Night Bullet Post.  I'm hoping that by writing it down, it might seem like more than it actually is...

*Last Friday represented a surrender of sorts for me.  It was hot.  Very, very hot.

*I finally broke down and decided I needed some air conditioning.

*This required a trip to the store, though.  I needed a portable air conditioner, not a window unit.

*My reasoning for this is threefold.

*First, the wiring here at the manse is a bit dicey.  Circuit breakers are flipped if I try to live too far outside the building's semi-Amish code of conduct.  A portable unit would be easier to move to a different outlet in a different zone if needed.

*Secondly, my window units tend to drip in humidity.  I've had problems with that in the past.  Namely, my neighbors nicely pointing out that they do not care for my air conditioner dripping into their windows.  I can never seem to get the thing angled well enough in my window casing to avoid this.

*Thirdly, air conditioners are heavy.  Very heavy.  Granted, a window unit isn't as heavy as a portable air conditioner.  But I'd only have to lift it the one time. It will never have to be hoisted again, not even in the winter months. After it was settled into its new home, lifting would not be required again unless I move.

*And I have way too much crap here to consider moving.  I'm just going to live out my days in semi-Amish conditions and call it good.

*I bought the second-to-last air conditioner they had.  It weighed 70 pounds.  

*I got it to my car by myself.  

*I got it into my car by myself.

*I got it up the stairs and into my second floor condo by myself.

*I also may have peed myself a little bit doing this, but I'm not confirming that.

*I opened the box by myself and began setting it up.  By myself.

*Which was when I discovered that it was missing a part.  A very important part.

*I was not going to lug that thing back down the stairs.  It just wasn't going to happen.  I was out of clean underwear.

*And it was 95 degrees.  

*The store was just going to have to give me the part.  Which they were willing to do.  It was a simple matter of getting one from another air conditioner and giving it to me.

*Except they were sold out.  And rather unwilling to do much of anything beyond letting me return the unit for a refund.

*Which would mean lugging it back down the stairs and I think we have already covered why that wasn't going to happen.

*Fortunately, another store branch nearby had one.  And they were amazingly good about the whole thing.

*Once they understood, that is.  Twenty minutes of my life that I will never get back were spent explaining the situation.  It was only when I was standing in customer service with four FEMALE employees that I truly felt some kinship.  

*They knew perfectly well why I wasn't bringing the air conditioner back.  They didn't so much as question why I was only asking for the exhaust nozzle.  

*They got it.  I wanted to hug them all but I was kind of gross and sweaty from all the lugging.  

*Not to mention the stair climbing and strain-induced incontinence...

*I've had the parts to repair the drain plug mechanism thingy in the tub for months now.  

*But I just can't bring myself to do it.

*Drains skeeve me out.  Badly.

*When I was little, I believed a frog lived in the drain.  Or a toad.  I can't remember which.

*Or why I believed that.  It is possible I just made it up.

*It is also possible I was told this by one of my parental units.

*It is even possible that there was a frog in there.  Or a toad.  I swear I saw it down there.

*But I was four so I can't entirely trust my judgement on this.  

*I just know I don't trust drains.

*I'll keep working on it.  

*Meanwhile, the paper clip I'm using to hold the drain mechanism open is working nicely.

*I decided a long time I ago that I would use the paint left over from the accent wall in the living room to do one of the small walls in the kitchen.

*Open concept living plan.  Both walls would be visible and would look lovely together.

*But I wasn't going to do this until I dealt with the giant hole in the wall.

*The giant hole in the wall isn't entirely my fault.  I put it there, granted.

*But it isn't my fault.

*I am not the one who decided it would be super cool to put a cassette deck/radio unit in the wall.  That was the builder's decision.  And its lovely plasticized faux wood grain worked in 1990.

*Not so much after that, though.  It had to go.

*But that left a hole in the wall the size of a cereal box.  I covered it with a poster.  

*You can only live with a hole in the wall the size of a cereal box covered with a poster for so long if you are over the age of 40.

*Less if you are closer to 50.  

*On Monday, I finally decided to stop living like a frat boy and do the drywall patch.

*On Tuesday, I sanded the patch.  Then I didn't like the way it looked so I put more joint compound on and sanded again.

*This morning, I did it once more.

*Then I decided that it might not be a good idea to keep slathering stuff on the wall only to sand it off and called it Good.

*I primed the wall.

*Then I went to the farmer's marker for my weekly Visit With The Vegetables.

*I thought it would be dry when I got back.  It wasn't.

*There is humidity.  Humidity makes watching paint dry even more like watching paint dry.

*I have one coat of paint up, but another is needed.

*I'm estimating that it will be sometime around 9:00 this evening before I can do that.

*My smoke detector has been driving me crazy for the past couple years.

*It hates the humidity even more than the paint.  And it made its displeasure known.

*I have disconnected my smoke detector and I don't want to hear a word about it.  

*And before you ask, here are the answers to your questions.  I've already heard them a few times.

*No.  I did not check the battery.

*Yes.  I will be replacing it shortly.

*No, I did not consider that it might be carbon monoxide setting it off.

*Yes.  I realize I should have dealt with this years ago rather than just complain about it.

*No.  I do not believe that I am less safe without a smoke detector.  I am more safe.  I believe that relationships should be built on respect and trust.  

*And I did not respect my smoke detector, much less trust it.

*How can you trust a device that blares when you open the dishwasher two rooms away?  Or stand too close with a steaming cup of coffee?

*It was the reaction to my running warm water to wash my face the other morning that did it, though.

*I'd had enough.  I stomped off to the breaker box, shut down the circuit and disconnected the 25 year old nag.

*It takes me a while to work up to tasks involving wires.  And my ancient smoke detector was hard wired into the Amish circuitry.

*Which might explain why it hates hot water, now that I think of it...

*I'm getting a new one with batteries that I can easily replace.

*But now I have a hole in my ceiling.

*Which is much worse than a hole in the wall, but you have to look up to see it so it's not as big a problem.

*Has anyone else discovered SnapGuide?  I love SnapGuide.

*Once you reach a place where you can forgive people's shaky photography and typos, it is as addictive as Pinterest!

*And it gives directions which is better.

*Once you get past the aforementioned spelling issues.

*Perhaps SnapGuide will give me even more inspiration to tackle my upgrades!

*And maybe even some direction.  That would be good.

*If nothing else, I now know how to make a pinwheel...

So that's where we stand as of today.  I think the paint in the kitchen has dried enough to consider a second coat.  We are trusting that there is just enough in the can left to make that happen.  I'm sure it will all work out just fine.

After all, what could possibly go wrong?  Upgrades only make life better, after all!



daywoods2 said...

Exactly one night after I brought my hubby from the ER with a broken collarbone my smoke detector decided to go on the fritz. I had to be up every 6 hours to make him food, get him up, give him his meds and food, then put him back to bed. Had to go out to the garage & get the big ladder. You'd better believe I ripped that thing off the ceiling. Unfortunately, all of our smoke detectors are somehow connected, so if one is off, all the others start to chirp. So, they all came down (figured I would change all the batteries when it was light out and I was feeling slightly less stabby). Hubby didn't wake up through the whole thing. I know smoke detectors are necessary and good things, but they can also be quite evil.

=Tamar said...

Congratulations. You have done more in two summers than I have in 18 years.

mehitabel said...

Hey, I'm making pinwheels! Oh wait, I bet you mean the 3D spinny kind, huh? Mine are fabric and sorta look like real pinwheels if you squint hard and have the kind of mind that can see pinwheels in bits of fabric...

trek said...

Did I ever mention that we lived in a style I dubbed "Early American Plaster" for a bout 3 years at the old house? After pulling down all of the wallpaper all over we ran out of steam (heh) in our bedroom. Hence the "Early American Plaster" style was born.

Eventually you'll get to all of the projects. Go Sheepie!

Julia G said...

I think Snapguide is going to be my new addiction.... It's too hot this week to get any projects around the house started, let alone done. Stay cool and enjoy your vacation!