Monday, 1 August 2016

Snippity



Tanner will be six months old in a couple weeks. Well, on the 17th-ish. Being a rescue as a baby, his exact birthdate is unknown, hence the -ish.

And he is going in on Friday to be snipped before he realizes what his man cat parts are for.

But isn't he just the handsomest little guy?

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Addition

I've added to the little herd of felines in my house. This is Tanner:


I picked him up from a local animal shelter at the end of May. At that time he was 3 1/2 months old. He is now approaching 5 months and has almost doubled his weight. He's really a cute little guy who is full of beans most of the time but when it is time to have a nap, he loves to come snuggle on me. Even when he is playing he often does "drive-by" face rubs: he will run up onto me, quickly rub his face on mine, and then dash off to play more.

Of course, I have lots of photos. And if he were human, I'd have ammo for those photos shown at your kid's wedding that everyone gets to laugh at.

Like this one:


No, he does not have deformed legs! He'd been sleeping and stirred as I reached for my phone so when I snapped the photo, he was stretching those skinny little legs out. Plus he'd just had a big meal, so that fat little belly is full of kitten kibbles.


Pips warmed up pretty quickly as you can see here, which is a week after he moved in. She thought nothing of squashing him as he napped as he was taking up her space on the top of the cat tree. She is the queen of the household after all (and I am just the staff).


She plays with him quite a bit and they go careening around the house, chasing each other. She will put him in his place if he gets too rough or wants to wrestle when she doesn't. So there will be hissing and smacks on his head. This morning, she pinned him to the bed with his head under her chest while she chomped on his back legs... he had pissed her off. His response? "Bring it on, old lady!!!"

Lila has started to warm up a bit too. She lived in the basement for the first few days he was here (and he was confined to the spare bedroom), silly chickenshit girl that she is. But now they kinda play but if he tackles her (which he does, of course), she will hiss and jump up, whack him on the head and run away. Guess who gives chase?



But if neither of the girls wants to play, he is quite willing to keep himself occupied by flinging small toys and bits of cardboard rolls around. No matter how much you spend on toys, they always seem to like the bits of paper the best. When I am working in the kitchen, he has to bring his toy of the minute to my feet so he can chase it around me. To avoid puncture by claw, I will pick it up and fling it elsewhere. I think he is training me...

And one final pose, just for the laugh value!





Saturday, 7 May 2016

It's been, like... forever!

I haven't blogged since February.

February!!

I have been wandering around, though, reading and commenting here and there. Just haven't gotten my act together to throw something up here. Been working overtime, and picking up extra shifts (the first for my bank account, the second goes towards my retirement hours) so have spent a bit less time at home in front of this laptop.

Plus... I replaced the sink and vanity in my bathroom. I figured it wouldn't be TOO much of a hassle. This is what it looked like before:



(which is AFTER the original 2012 reno to make it usable!)

And now... it looks like this!




Of course, all did not go as I thought it would. That old sink has a drain pipe. And the idiot who put it in (the pipe, that is)... (this is not the 'original" one that was put in when the house was built) decided to take a major short cut and just poke a hole in the heat duct to run it down into the basement. This resulted in a cascade of things that had to be done, because the original cast iron pipe, that is still in the wall, turned out to be so full of rust that it was about 90% occluded and totally useless! 

So on the 'bottom' end of things (meaning in the basement); this is what had to be done (after yanking out that ugly sink and vanity first):

1. cut the ABS pipe below where it exited the heat duct in the basement.
2. pull the heat duct off and cut it down smaller (that galvanized steel from 60+ years ago is seriously tough stuff!) so that there was space beside it for a new drain pipe.
3. put the newly reformed duct back on ~ no mean feat because one of the screws (on top) meant using a baby screwdriver that is only about 3" long in a space between the top of the duct and the floorboards.
4. dry fit the new drain pipe and mark exactly where it had to line up to get the two angles correct  (45ยบ up and to the right but also slightly to the back as well) and then cement all the joints (and leave to cure for 24 hours)
5. repair the hot water line where it T's off the main line because the soldering was all corroded and the shut off valve would not turn

Then the upstairs stuff, in the bathroom. The new sink, as you can see, has a lovely single lever faucet. That I bought about a year ago because it was exactly what I wanted and happened to be on sale at the time. I mean, really on sale! Like 40% off. Couldn't pass that up. Well... it is 7" tall. And the new sink and vanity stand 36" tall. (Look back at the before and after photos. Look at the sink height compared to the toilet in each. Yeah, that.) The old one was 31". And see that medicine cabinet on the wall? It was too low for the new sink and faucet height. Which meant this had to happen before the new sink/vanity combo could go in:

1. remove the cabinet from the wall.
2. remove the light fixture (I know you can't see it in either photo, but it was lower and to the right side in the first photo ~ although I had replaced the light during the 2012 reno, I had not centred it on the wall)
3. measure the sink/vanity/faucet combo to determine new placement for the cabinet and the light
4. do a drywall patch over the hole in the wall from the very original built in cabinet from way back when, that I hadn't bothered with in 2012 because the new bigger one covered it ~ and moving it up meant the hole now showed...
5. curse yourself for not remembering that new 1/2" drywall is not the same 1/2" as old 1/2" drywall... and spend a few days building up the area with drywall mud
6. cut a rectangle of drywall from the box of the current light location to the next wall stud to the left
7. move the box to that stud and up a few inches then secure box to said stud
8. run the wires back into the box
9. patch the wall by flipping the rectangle that was previously cut out ~ I did this on purpose, because I had to move the light both to the left and higher, so the hole was still in the right spot for the box by just doing a 180
10. do all the sanding, priming and painting required
11. put the new heat vent cover on the new duct, which is now down at baseboard level, rather than stuck in the wall where the vanity sits
12. replace the shut off valves on the sink water lines with those nifty shark bite ones that just push on. the hot water one was pretty straight forward... (with water main turned off) use pipe cutter to slice off corroded and rusty valve... push new valve into place and voila! there you go... attempt to do same with cold and find that the curvature of the pipe as it comes through the stud from the basement has caused the pipe to be oval and not round, which means the shark bite thingy won't seal... so this requires the purchase of a couple of shark bite elbows and some PEX tubing... a trip to the basement, the slicing off of the cold water copper pipe off the main line, sticking on one elbow to the tubing and then to the copper, running it up next to the hot water line, sticking the other elbow on, another short length of tubing, and then the shark bite shut off valve... secure to stud with a piece of metal strapping
13. put the anchors in the drywall for the screws that will hold the cabinet on the wall... I measured numerous times to make sure this would be high enough for that faucet!
14. haul that 36" x 30" steel box up to the wall, standing on a step stool and try to find one anchor to get a screw into... and then proceed to lose my balance and take a tumble right into the tub... with that steel box over top of my head... landing with my knees on the mat in front of the tub and my hands in the bottom of the tub... and that steel box punches a corner into the acrylic tub surround... and the only injury I got was a skinned knuckle... yeah, I know... I got horseshoes!
15. go in the basement and find a strip of plywood 4' long and about 8" wide to use to support one end of said metal box. This actually worked like a charm, as the plywood was flexible enough to allow me to move the cabinet around while keeping it supported and preventing me from doing another header into the tub (and not have my horseshoes kick in) so it was installed without further incident
16. reinstall the light fixture in its new location
17. put the legs on the vanity, affix vanity to wall, plop sink on top of vanity and check for fit, then remove it, run a bead of silicone along the edges and replop the sink, then run a bead of silicone along it and the wall... and wait another 24 hours for the silicone to cure
18. install the faucet, and also the drain and trap under the sink.... and fiddle and adjust to work it around the shelves inside the vanity... thanking the reno gods that rubber connectors were invented to allow for joining pipes that don't quite line up straight
19. clean up all the mess... and
20. sit back with a sigh of relief that the whole project only took two weeks!

And here are some of the photos of all the stuff I had to do.








And of course, all work was professionally supervised by our favourite black and white cat!



How cute is that!!!

Sunday, 14 February 2016

Thursday, 31 December 2015

A New Year

As 2016 is looming right around the corner, only about 13 hours away, I have been thinking on what things I need to accomplish. I've never been one to make resolutions. This is more of a list of Things To Do.

I have a Plan.

This Plan has a Timeline.

Because of my health issues, I must plan things out, spaced so that it is reasonable that I may accomplish them realistically. My energy level isn't the greatest, but it is a bit better since I surrendered Teak back to the shelter. (That was a very difficult thing to do, but I have seen him several times since then and he is doing well, although still not re-adopted.)

The 5 year term for my mortgage is up in September 2017 and I plan on selling the house so that I will not have that huge debt when I head into retirement. When I had first moved into this house, I had a lot more energy and thought I would stay here but I now know that is not possible. As I get older, I realize that the physical upkeep just isn't going to be possible for me, so my efforts are going into doing the renos that will be possible for me and to increase the value of the house in that time frame.

I need to finish the basement that has already been started: complete the drywall, then paint and put in some flooring. I may have to do a little concrete levelling as the 60 year old floor isn't in the greatest shape, but at least it is not cracked and leaking, just a bit crumbly and dusty in spots. I am going to leave the ceiling open and spray paint all the joists and ceiling a flat white. It is a low ceiling (only 7 ft) so reinstalling drywall just makes it even lower. So visually, it will be more open in all white. My electrician has given me the go-ahead to do so on all the wires and junction boxes. The little half bathroom down there needs a new toilet, sink and vanity. I have already bought the sink. That won't be too bad as I already know how to do all that. Where the shower stall was in that bathroom (torn out to repair that big crack in the foundation wall), will become a built-in work bench in the furnace room. I will  just move the existing wall forward into the bathroom to make the bathroom smaller and use that space for a work space. Easy to build with plywood and 2x4s.

Because of the saggy main beam in the house, and the installation of steel teleposts to correct that, there are many cracks in the drywall upstairs that will need to be repaired. That of course means more painting to cover the repairs. After that is all done, I will install the rest of the new flooring (just like the laminate I put in the bedroom) but want the work on the walls finished so I won't ruin the floor.

The biggest project will be the kitchen. It is old. It is soooo inefficient. I have planned it all out and will take down the wall between the living room and kitchen to open the space up, with a peninsula counter that will have two chairs for eating. This house doesn't have a dining area and the kitchen is too small for an eat-in area, so this will give more space for that. The appliances will be relocated, and I will install an 18" dishwasher (yes, that is small but a full sized one won't fit here) that can have a front to match the cupboards. It will improve the house so much!

The bathroom needs a new tub and there is a company here that scans and measures your existing one and makes a new one that fits right over top, which means the bathroom won't need to be gutted to get a new one in. I've already replaced the toilet, and have a new sink and vanity ready to go, so that won't be too bad. They will do the installation of the tub so just the sink and vanity for me to do. Piece of cake!

I will look at the cost of new front windows, as the existing ones are original and crap! They are double pane but the seal is broken and so there is some moisture build up between the panes. Also need a new front door as the existing one is 60 years old and is quite warped. Very drafty in the winter! Brrr...

I am also going to be going through all my stuff and downsizing drastically. Once I don't have the house anymore, a lot of the tools will no longer be needed so I can sell those. Same with the lawnmower, trimmer, rakes and such. I am a bit (ahem!) of a pack rat and have accumulated all kinds of stuff that I just don't use anymore. Now that is going to take a lot of time and hard decisions!

I guess this is more than enough for one year, and I do have until the summer of 2017 to get it all done, but it is a plan nonetheless!

Wishing all of you and your families all the love, health and happiness in 2016 and always.

Happy New Year!!