Roses, Stairs, Rowing Machine and Writing

Th title has 4 totally unrelated things done this weekend.
It’s October, just a week from Halloween and my roses are a wondrous sight to behold. I never grew roses before, until this year, and so I am not sure if they are supposed to bloom this late, but they look great. My favorite color is yellow, and boy are the yellow ones looking beautiful. I will have to research how to keep them alive through the winter, because I don’t want to lose them. Now I will show you some photos:

Beautiful single rose

Close-up. I think I may make this my desk top.
Close-up. I think I may make this my desk top.

I am having issues with doing this post as I can’t find my tags or other things I am used to seeing on the old dashboard. Blog-talk. Found them in Edit mode. Now where was I. Oh, yeah, roses. Here are a few more pictures of a red rose bush and my beautiful pink climber:

My pretty read rose bush
My pretty red rose bush
My pink climbing roses.
My pink climbing roses.
Had to get a close-up of this one.
Had to get a close-up of this one.

On to the stairs. Lynn spent the week getting the stairs to the correct thickness and cutting them to size. I spent the morning going over the underside of the stairs with a planer and wood chisel. Installed them then stained them. They aren’t perfect, but good enough for me. Much better than they were. There will be a runner down the center of them that will cover some of the imperfections and seams. But they are real stairs now. Only have 8 more to go. Right now, they are waiting on a budget increase. Remember this part is “a pay-as-you-go.” Maybe by Christmas.

A distant shot of the stairs I just installed and stained this morning.
A distant shot of the stairs I just installed and stained this morning.
Up to the first landing done. Visualize a carpet runner down the center. It will match the living room carpet.
Up to the first landing done. Visualize a carpet runner down the center. It will match the living room carpet.

P1020389

This has been a little progress on the house.  In between times, I am trying my luck at writing my second novel.  The first one is on the house and is a result of this blog.  It is what I did on NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) from last November 2014.  It is still in it’s revision stage.

This November I will be writing a novel on human trafficking and that is why I have been doing all the research for the last 3 years.  I will tell you more about that in a later post.  In the meantime beginning November 1, I will be focused on writing 50,000 words, so my updates may be a little slow coming in.

Whoops, I almost forgot the Rowing Machine, mentioned above.  Yes, about the rowing machine 😦

Lynn has decided that we needed to pull out the rowing machine that he has had in the storage shed for at least 27 years.  You know how you have the best intentions of doing exercise and you buy these machines that sit and gather dust?  Well, we have a few of those.  I have gone through this so many times with him, but alas, if he will use it, I can’t complain too much.  Can I?  I will let you know how that turns out.

On that note I think I will head to town to get a banana split.

Thank you for following my blog.  I am always open to comments and suggestions.

Annie, the Stairmaster.

 

Boiling Hot Washington Weekend

Happy 4th of July.

As you can tell from the title, we are cooking in Washington State and don’t see any relief until maybe Friday.  In the 100’s every day, after coming out of a week in the 100’s. This means that I didn’t complete the task I set out doing 2 weeks ago.  Weed whacking part of the back yard. Nor did we (Lynn) make any progress on the gate.

So that meant that I needed to get some inside work done.  The stuff that I have been putting off, and putting off some more.  So here is the progress report:

I had Friday off for the holiday. and was totally useless.  I tend to do that on 3-day-weekends.  My mind or my body refuses to work on anything, the first day.  What a lazy girl I am.

So I get up on Saturday, the 4th, racked with guilt because I wasn’t productive, decided to make up for lost time.  First on the agenda, while it was a cool 80+ degrees, I decided that I was going to get the outside in shape with my new handy dandy weed whacker.  I made it about 10 feet and it looped onto some electric fence wire.  A big bunch of wire.  Well I proceeded to get it all untangled.  That done, now we begin again.  Having an ear for this trusty little gizmo, it was sounding funny and wouldn’t run quite right, so I turned it upside down to see what was amiss and I couldn’t see anything wrong.  Luckily my son Steven was standing next to me and said “you broke the belt, Mom.”  I didn’t know it had a belt :(.  Did I mention I HATE mechanical stuff.  Well that ended any of the outdoor work.

Not one to be dissuaded, I figured we would go to town for groceries as it wasn’t getting cooler and we need to get back so Kinzie could come in the house out of the heat.  She can’t be trusted in the home alone as she is a veracious chewer.

Back at home, Kinzie safely snoozing on the floor in front of the AC vent, and I am ready to do some of the indoor work.  I have a mile long list, so I am not at a loss for things to do.  The one thing I have avoided for (well since we moved in), is putting up the towel racks in the master shower.  I don’t know why I didn’t want to do this task, but I just didn’t.  Any way, I had bought a 5/16 drill bit especially for the tile and I needed to find two spots between studs, to mount them with these drywall thingamajigs that really hold tight.  I found I liked using those, thingies, when I was installing the closets.

Well the towel bars were 24″ Moen (Vale style) brushed nickle.  They matched some of the other bathroom hardware.  Anyway, the first thing I did was use the template to mark my holes that I needed to drill and made sure they were level and that the holes would be avoiding the studs.  Figured that out with my handy dandy stud finder.

The marking and drilling went fine, and now it was time to put in the drywall thingies.  I don’t think the manufacture took into account the thickness of the tile, nor did little ole me, and the thingies didn’t want to spread out like they were supposed to, so it was a little tougher getting them in.  Then I had to pry one out, but eventually I was able to get them in after a few (alright a-lot) of mishaps.  Here is a picture of my progress:

If you look close you can see the little holes I drilled.
If you look close you can see the little holes I drilled.
Some tools and template
Some tools and template
Thingamajigs
Thingamajigs
First towel bar up
First towel bar up
My failures.
My failures.
The 2 towel racks installed and ready to be used.
The 2 towel racks installed and ready to be used.

Now I’m on a roll.  I have a toilet paper holder, a towel ring, and a mirror that needs to be installed in the 1/2 bath off the back door utility entrance.  This went very smooth (finally).  I installed a pivoting toilet paper holder, Moen (Vale) style.  That is the handiest thing!  I really like the style.  Have one in the master bath, and I need to buy 2 more for the upstairs.  They are about twice the price of a regular TP holder, but worth it.

I also installed the towel ring.  It is from Glacier Bay and it is White Porcelain.  I am not above mixing it up, if I like the looks of the accessories.

Now for the mirror.  It came with the vanity and I just haven’t gotten around to installing it.  It had two little wire triangles to hang it on.  We got this vanity set about 10 years ago when we saw it on sale.  Liked it then and like it now.  Hanging the mirror was a little tricky, but I got it done.  Now, I just cross my fingers and hope those little triangles hold it securely of which I am not too trusting.  If it falls, it will ruin the porcelain sink also.  Now for those pictures:

Pivoting Toilet Paper Holder
Pivoting Toilet Paper Holder
Nothing like a full roll
Nothing like a full roll
Towel Ring in the 1/2 bath
Towel Ring in the 1/2 bath
Finally got the morrow up.  Love it.
Finally got the mirror up. Love it.

Later in the afternoon we cooked out hamburgers with Steven and Leon and Sierra.  Steven did the grilling and we all pitched in and had a wonderful ending to the day.  Then the kids headed into town for the fireworks.

Had a wonderful 4th.

Sunday

Wanted to get out and mow the back yard before the weeds got too high.  Of course the gate is not finished so Lynn can’t get into the back yard to mow with the rider (which is now fixed) so I decided that I would mow it with the walk behind.  Haven’t used it since last year.  Gassed it up, checked the oil and primed it.  On the first pull it started right up and quickly died.  So in working the throttle, I discovered it was broken and not hooked up.  So I set to dismantling it.  Pretty simple really, just one bolt.  After a few tries, I fixed that.  But it still wouldn’t start.  So along came Lynn as the back-up.  By this time I was done with trying to get it to start, so I stomped (really stomped) over to Steven’s and borrowed his Toro as I knew it worked as he was using it Friday.  Lynn said he could get ours started so I let him try for the next 15 minutes without success.  I told him that oil was leaking out of the side so there was something wrong with it.  Not really wanting any mechanical input from me, he just shrugged and said do what you want.  Another piece of —-, not working.  Did I mention I hate mechanical stuff.  Ugh.

Well I got the Toro running without a hitch, but Kinzie wasn’t having it.  She doesn’t mind the riding mowers, but she hates the walk-behind-mower and the walk-behind-weed-whacker, and growls and barks and throws an absolute fit.  I have never mowed when she was in the back yard before as I would usually lock her on the porch out of the way, so I wasn’t prepared when she came up behind me and took a big nip at my bottom.  On reflex I turned around and swatted the heck out of her snout.  She didn’t break the skin because I was wearing jeans, but I don’t think she expected the mower to bite back… She gave me a wide birth after that.  Neither of us was hurt.  Except her feelings.  Nothing sadder than a collie with her head hanging down.  She has never bite me even when I am brushing her.  So it was a shock to both of us.  I think she saw me as an extension of the mower.

I mowed half of the back yard but had to stop as I was getting too hot.  So inside to the air conditioning I went.

Stay tuned for another update next week.

Annie, with her bottom in tact. 🙂

I so want to be done with this almost 20 year project. Ugh!!

I haven’t posted in about 3 weeks as I have been having very little movement on the part of the contractors.  This project, for them, is winding down and they have moved on with other projects.  As much as I try to focus on the positive and I love my contractors, I am beginning to get a little anxious.  So in some of this post you will sense my frustration with the process and how long it is taking.  But there are still things that have to be done before the final inspection.

The plumbers have got to hook up all the vanities, tubs, drains, kitchen sink, dishwasher and shower.  We ran into a snag when the tub was unpacked, it had a crack so it went back and we are waiting for its replacement which I hope will be in this week.  They worked last Saturday, but I had purchased 3 wrong faucets and had to return them and get new ones which I did immediately.  Tho they were able to get some of the other faucets and the water heater installed, they still need to finish.  Now I have the new faucets and am chomping at the bit to get done already.  They are supposed to be here on Monday.

Also the floor contractor has almost finished putting in all the carpet except the living room.  He has to also finish grouting the shower.  He will be here on Monday, also, and will be focusing on the living room carpet which is a floral design which will make matching seams a challenge.

P1020172

Shower almost finished

Living room carpet, and this carpet will be used as the carpet runner
Living room carpet, and this carpet will be used as the carpet runner
The carpet used in the rest of the house.
The carpet used in the rest of the house.

S & K Mountain Construction and Hays Electric have been wonderful, but some of the subcontractors are being a little challenging.  There was obviously some miscommunication with reference to the stair parts that were supplied.  The staircase is very complicated and now a question with reference to whether the full stair will be supplied or whether there will be carpet put there instead.  I thought when you purchased stairs, that meant the complete riser and bull-nose step.  They are telling me that they understood that I was going to put a runner down the steps and only furnished the end caps and that the rest would be carpeted.  This is where the misunderstanding needs to be ironed out.  But first we have to have a meeting to go over this, and the supplier cancelled (or was a no-show) to the meeting that was scheduled last Wednesday.

The key being the runner.  The runner I had in mind was bound along the sides and went over the steps leaving about 6″ on each side exposed.  But nothing can be decided until we meet so that is going to be my focus beginning Monday.  I will let you know how it turns out.  Here is where we stand now.

Stair treads.  Note the flooring guy was told to put those tack strips down, but they will be coming up.
Stair treads. Note the flooring guy was told to put those tack strips down, but they will be coming up.

In the mean time, I worked for about 3 hours today staining the railings that I didn’t get to before it was assembled.  That takes more prep work than I like, but it has to be done, so there you go!  Tomorrow I hope to finish at least that project.

Other things that are going on is building a fence for the back yard so Kenzie can be secured safely.  That requires post holes being dug.  Lucky me I have a well-able-bodied-post-hole-digger, Steven.  It brings back memories of when he was a teen, and the never-ending post holes that he had to dig.  He almost has it down to an art form.  We are talking big post holes for railroad ties.  I believe he has 3 or 4 left to dig, then muscling the posts into the holes.  I think that will be a two person project.  Then the 4 rails to match the front pasture.

I will post more pictures of the claw-foot tub faucets and the post holes and fence as it progresses.

That all for now.

Annie, the project sub-manager & stair-fighter.