Variety Pack Day!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

And a fine how do ya do!  It's time, folks:  I'm baaAAaack!

Oodles of things are in the works, omg.  I have major scatterbrain:  start this, start that, finish that, work on this, oh shiny, oh look squirrel!  Hey, what can I say?!

To lead things off today, our latest installment of "WTF, Flipper?!?!," an ongoing reality series in its second and a half year....

On our most recent episode, we find Mike and Becky at home outdoors with big Finny boy (happy one year adopt-iversary ya big dork!) who promptly takes off down the gangway.  As he jumps frantically on the chain link gate at passer-by dogs/cats and we worry he is going to hurt himself, we follow.

Finn in the gangway
Hey, it's a Chicago gangway!
Passing one of the built-over windows, Mike happened to randomly look up.  The window was open.

Open.  The window.  It has been open for over two and a half years.

That would tally three A/C seasons and two heating seasons, in case you're counting.  So much for inspectors...

Jaws to concrete.

We did the slow-mo turn towards each other, facial reactions of sheer disgust.  Un.Real.  Who does that?!  First they built over three windows which is egregious to begin with but the bozos didn't bother to shut the window before drywalling over.

Idiots.  Utter idiots.

After scooping our jaws back up, Mike promptly located the ladder, shimmied himself up, and shut that sticky bugger.  Needless to say maybe -- I no longer feel that waterfall of cold air coming down the stair.

view of window on the side of the house
The now closed window.  SMH.  Ugh!!!!
Idiots.  SMH.  Jeez louise.  Seriously?!

This concludes our evening's offering of "WTF, Flipper?!?!"  Stay tuned for more!

On happier notes, my handy dandy super sweet miter saw has been getting a stellar workout.  Yay!

It appears as though I've spent all my waking time in the basement since the pilot job ended.  As such, it was duly noted (by me) that I had left the space in shambles.  Oops.  So first order of business was tidying up, yet again.

Then somehow someway who knows how I discovered myself working on the walls again, trying to get that finally wrapped up.  And by golly, I'm so close I can almost taste it.  And yes, it tastes like joint compound.

view of basement wall repaired and painted
Wall to the left of the door finally done!!
I just need to move two freezers, yank off the last remaining bits of gawd-awful chair rail, patch, sand, paint, and the horrid reds are gone.  Gone!!

flipper drilling holes in wall to find studs
There were like forty+ more let's-find-the-studs holes along that wall above.  The worst of the stud finding game yet.  Probably why I was avoiding the patching task.
And thanks to my field trip to the Chicago ReStore last week, I found a mirror to replace the broken one for the bathroom so I patched the walls more, sanded, painted and put up the mirror.  Yes!  Just a wee more sanding, patching, and painting and that room is a-ok passable enough!

update on the basement bathroom
Sooooooo close!!
Oooooh, but ooooh!  Yes, outdoor stuff was still on sale, 75% off, so I grabbed four colorful planters for the deck,

new planters from Habitat ReStore

two larger ones for our weird balcony out front next season (likely after a spray paint job),

Finn sniffing planters

and found, yes, found a planter trough, the whole purpose of this excursion.  Time to plan the dining table for the deck, woo hooooo!

Finn bombing the camera
"Whatcha doin' Mommy?  Huh?" 
Even bigger oooooh?!  I seem to have insane mirror luck at ReStores.  I found a huge 36x42 wood framed mirror for a whopping $20.  What.A.Steal.  It's amazing.  It weighs a ton!

big mirror from Habitat ReStore
I originally thought, oh, library!, but I'm not so sure anymore.  Now I have about thirty other spots in mind.  One was the master bathroom which would be AWEsome but in thinking ahead to selling, marking it as an exclusion or reinstalling the mirror I originally purchased, nah thanks.  So location is still TBD.

close up of mirror corner
Noticing a theme yet?
But since yesterday was likely our last nice weather day until spring, I changed the light fixture on the garage exterior.

Random, yep, sure.

I had been eyeing this one (Patriot Lighting Jeston Black 10.5" 3 Tier Dark Sky Wall Uplight -- what a name, holy cow!) and it finally went on clearance, half price.  Suh-wheet!  Got the semi-elusive Mike Approval and bought it.

garage deck light before
I was looking for a fixture that threw a more controlled dimmed light about.   Plus duh, one with more pizzazz.  The flipper installed one that was much too bright, too everywhere uncontrolled light, and of course too ubiquitous for me.

As is par for the course, it was not smooth sailing as Nothing in This House is Ever Smooth Sailing.  Even though it should have been smooth sailing.

Of course the junction box wasn't squared, of course there was a ton of gooped up messy caulk at the top of the old fixture because they couldn't get it flush to the siding, of course they didn't bother with electrical tape.  Outdoors.  Of course.


So I unbox the new fixture and whoa holy cats and dogs, it's huge!  I hadn't realized, yikes, I hope Mike doesn't revoke Approval!

After futzing and fussing and fixing and futzing, even snipping away the siding a bit (yikes!), sweating and fussing, dropping a screw, a washer, and three other things through the deck spacings, it finally went on nearly flush.  I added some clear caulk around the top and sides to assist in moisture avoidance in there.

deck light after
Holy huge looking!
Friendly tip?  Place the empty light fixture box under where you're working to catch anything you drop.  Thankfully I got smart and finally did so -- I dropped two more (vital) things after, right into the box.

Super up close and way personal the light is huge.  From the yard, hey!  I think it looks great!

view of deck
Ahhh, not so huge, whew.  Hard to really see it in this photo though, I know.
As soon as it gets dark, which oh, should be any minute now mmm fall, I'll flip it on, see how it looks serving its purpose.

Finn on the deck
Preview of the lit fixture before darkness befalls.  And yes, today's photo theme has been Four-Legged Furry Shadow.
Little by little, slowly but surely, this one spot is coming together, becoming more ours.  Yay!  We like that.

Like a bonehead, I hit the garage door button to go recycle the box and leave the old fixture out for someone to steal for reuse.  Huh, why won't it open?  Oh, duh ya butthead, power is off.  Eye roll.  Yep.  Not caught up on sleep yet.

I did bump into the neighbor to the east who wants to get together and discuss the backyard-pooling-water-issue-after-rains thing with us.  He said he's getting water in his basement and wants to work together to find a solution.  Will do for sure.  So that moves up the list.  Yikes.  We've known something needs to be done; I don't even know where to begin with that though.  Which is why nothing has been done.

Ok, all right!

Rats, I totally meant to make Finn a happy one year adopt-iversary cake.  I got my dates mixed up.  I found this one and think I'll give it a whirl, sans carob chips as he doesn't need any extra stuff in his delicate tummy.

This recipe came to my inbox the other day, thought I'd try it for dinner tonight.  My assigned mission has been to make dinners that provide ample leftovers so Mike is relieved of purchasing lunch at work.  We'll see if it's a hit!

Lots o' goodies ahead so stay tuned!


  1. Ok well now I'm totally did you not ever see that window?? And I'm with you...Wtf flipper??!!


    1. So sorry if I was confusing! The flipper drywalled over three windows, one of which is behind the wall in our kitchen. That was the one that was open -- we can only see the window from outside which is why we never knew. Plus, the window sill is about 7 or 8 feet up from the ground outside making it easier to never notice.

    2. Well I understood about them being drywalled over on the inside of the house but I didn't understand why you never noticed them from the outside. I guess just because they are so high up. We don't have houses like yours where I'm from... so tall and narrow... and so close together!! I guess since you can't back up (because of the closeness of the neighbor's house) you can't get a good view of your own house... on the sides anyway. :o)


    3. Oh ok, gotcha now -- yes, with the windows being up so high and the neighbor's house so close, it's hard to see the windows. We haven't ever been along the west side of our house (probably a bad idea considering) since our other neighbor's gate is locked. The house is right on that property line. Thanks Tania!

  2. I grew up in old houses with gangways.One of the reasons you can miss things in gangways is because people usually dont walk through them. It is like an unwritten rule or something.
    They covered your windows? They need to be stopped immediately. They are probably ruining a myriad of historicalish houses all over Chicago.
    I found your blog via hometalk and I am enjoying your posts so much!

    1. Yeah, we don't traverse the gangway much but it seems every time we do, we find something awry. It blows my mind too that someone would cover over windows. I'm shaking my head as I respond to you! I wish something could and would stop this guy.

      I'm thrilled you found my blog, have read so many posts, and are commenting! I'm loving your comments! Thank you so much!

    2. You're very welcome. I think a posse should be formed and this guy should be duct taped to a grade school fence during the height of winter so that little children can line up to give him face washes and throw snow balls at him until he gives up his tool belt for good.

    3. You're very welcome. I think a posse should be formed and this guy should be duct taped to a grade school fence during the height of winter so that little children can line up to give him face washes and throw snow balls at him until he gives up his tool belt for good.

    4. I totally agree and am more than willing to lead that posse!


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