Thursday, June 29, 2006

Anonymous Comments, Round 2

A couple weeks ago I enabled anonymous comments so you could comment on each post. Since that time, a couple people have told me they couldn't post comments, but I got emails with the comment. I have tweaked the commenting a little bit and think this will be easier.

If you read this blog, feel free to post a comment to this entry just to see if it works.

Squirrels 1, Valerie 0

You may remember a certain member of my household has been having trouble with the squirrels at her feeders.

Well, the squirrels have won this battle, but not the war!

Seems as though they have chewed through the four layers of electrical tape and dislodged the linoleum. In fact, I think they were a little ticked off because they pryed open the steel around the feeder and poked another hole through it!

Right now, there's a 33% chance it will get fixed, 33% chance it will get tossed, and a 34% chance it will wind up on Long Island for a little welding treatment by our friendly neighborhood Mr. Fixit. Stay tuned...

Monday, June 26, 2006

Project Upgrade, Phase IV

With any luck, we're rounding the corner on the "initial" projects.

One of the cabinets in our kitchen is essentially worthless. It's about five feet high, but has no shelving in it. Sure, maybe good for a broom, but not much else. The other side has pull-out shelves that are very useful. About four weeks ago when we were in Home Depot, we talked to a kitchen designer and found out how to measure our cabinets so we could put roll-out shelves in them. We came home, measured what we needed to measure, and went back to the store to order them. Three weeks later, they were in.

I started putting them in last Monday night. I just got done Saturday. It was just like every other project in so much as it took about three times the amount of time and money I thought it would. Spent lots of time making braces, shimming this, trimming that, and screwed about 20 extra screws. I the end, found out the the drawers wouldn't open because the european hinges blocked the drawers, so I had to put external hinges on the doors.

In the end, they came out nice, gave us some extra storage space, and I got a table saw out of it.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Project Upgrade, Phase III

Phase three of the Kitchen upgrade is complete. We upgraded from a plain-jane Magic Chef oven to a KitchenAid convenction oven. The good part is it only took a couple hours to swap the old one with the new one. Next up, changing the broom closet to usable storage.

Triple thanks to J again for her discounting magic.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Landscaping the front yard

Last weekend we picked up a couple bushes that Valerie's sister was holding for us. We had the perfect place for them in the front of the house, so we planted them Sunday. Valerie decided to put her new birdbath in the center of the whole bunch to give the area a focus. We added a couple perennials and, voila! Instant landscape.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Project Upgrade, Phase II

The new Cooktop went in relatively easy. We replaced this older Magic Chef unit with a five burner Jenn-Air unit. We ended up with the Jenn-Air unit because I didn't really look forward to cutting granite and the Jenn-Air had the dimensions that would fit the best.

The electric connections were extremely easy since the old cooktop had the same connections. Only had to take one trip to Home Depot in the middle of the project to get the right connector.

Next up, the stove.

Double thanks to J for her discounting magic.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Things I didn't need to know

Got this from leahpeah.

Project Upgrade, Phase I

Why in a kitchen of dark granite countertops and black appliances someone decided a beige refrigerator would look nice, but who knows what the story was. We would have hung onto it, except when you opened it up, strange fuel-like smells from it. In fact, the ice smelled and tased like fuel. Needless to say, that had to go.

We researched various makers and with some advice from a family member in the business, chose a GE Profile. We ordered from Planet TV and the guys came in to deliver the new refrigerator and take the old one away.

We have ice again!!

Thanks for the tips and finagling J!!

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Woodchucks R Us

We must be living in the country, because we have 3 woodchucks who can be seen around the house at different times of the day.

You would think that such a squat, chunky creature would not be able to move very quickly. However, they are suprisingly fast and can climb rocks quite easily. One woodchuck was happily eating in the yard, but as soon as I slid the door open, he was off like a shot.

We both scared each other one day down by the pond - I did not expect him to be grazing along the water's edge.

Here is a picture taken from inside.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Valerie vs. Squirrels, Round I

Valerie has had a 16 year battle with the squirrels pillaging her bird food. She has tried all sorts of devices to keep the pests off her feeders. Eventually, they find a way to either get the bird seed or knock the feeder down trying. Her latest setback was with a thistle feeder. Seems something (she insists bear, but I think just a big squirrel) had opened a large hold in the bottom of the feeder. Not one to give up easily, we embarked on a 30 minute journey to try and patch the feeder. A rather ingenious solution if I do say so myself. We cut a piece of linoleum around the hole and wrapped it with about 10 feet of electrical tape.

She refuses to give up. "This will show them who's boss! Do you think we need duct tape?", she asks. Maybe Santa will find it in his heart to bring her a new thistle feeder.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Buried Treasure

The first couple times I put the mower away, I noticed something blue and shiny buried in the ground. Both times I had other things to do, so I passed by and didn't even think about it.

Being the curious person that she is, Valerie started picking at the blue shiny thing in the ground and dug out a whole bottle. It was caked with dirt inside and out. After two sprays with the hose and several washings, the bottle was finally clean.

It is a beautiful cobalt blue with the words "SQUIBB" on both sides of the top. On the bottom it says "DESIGN PAT 87401", "BOTTLE MADE IN U.S.A." and the number 2. (Here's the patent record) It had a funky minty smell to it when she pulled it out of the ground, so we're guessing some kind of antacid or something. The house was built in the middle 60's, so we're also guessing it's from around that era.

I wonder if there is a market on eBay for this kind of stuff?

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Return of the ducks

The pair of mallards that visited us for a few days last week are back. While working in the yard this morning, there was a splash in the water and suddenly, 2 ducks had landed on the pond.

Later in the day a third mallard arrived. His stay was very short, but perhaps he will come back and bring some friends.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Visiting Ducks

One morning we looked out at the pond and saw a pair of Mallard ducks floating in the water. We thought the algae might keep them away, but they didn't seem to mind.

The second day they were here, we decided to put out some whole corn for them and they seemed pretty happy with it.

The next day, they litterally jumped out of the pond and started waddling towards us hoping for a snack. At that point, we decided maybe it was better if they didn't rely on us for food.

They must have thought so as well, as they have moved on. We are hoping for another visit real soon.