Time for a Little Variety Pack.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Mmk doke, all righty my friends, a Variety Pack!

Last month I was out in San Francisco celebrating my parent's fiftieth wedding anniversary (yes, five-oh! Many congrats!!)...

Goin' to California....
...and when I walked back in the door at home I was all eh ick our house feels bloated and messy and a wreck and eh, goodness help me so that was a hearty butt kick.

With the weather turning, it's time to batten down the hatches to indoor life.  Boo.  The coat closet, the laundry room, a smidge master bedroom, and the hall bathroom are all beepin' my radar.  Mike is surely scared now.

As such, I have way too many freakin' projects active in my head, I'm wearing myself out.  Must focus.  One step.  Go.  Oh look, shiny!

In the mean time, let's get to that pile of variety pack stuff then, shall we?

Oh.  Uh.  Hm.  It appears I don't have as many backed up projects to share as I thought I did.  Huh.  Well I suck.

Oh.  It seems most were outdoors, ah that's why, with the grass and the front porch and all the other outdoor stuff.  Hey, warm weather, can you blame me?!

No worries, here are few indoors:

So I made more fancy schmancy wood things for the spiffy restaurant/bar and came across this recipe for what the author calls "board butter."  Two ingredients,* super easy to make...

I have zero idea why, as a baker even, it took me so long to get a frickin' kitchen scale.*  This thing is awesome!
...it's inexpensive, if you buy a pound of beeswax* you'll end up with oodles goo, and it leaves a peachy finish.

 board butter wood sealer

Some went on our butcher block counter, some on the tv console thingamajig, and I gave some to my mom to use on live edge wood she turned into chichi shelves for her new kitchen.  She went with white if you were wondering.

Ooooh yeahhhhh.
Popped a dimmer into the master bedroom lights.

Don't get this one.  First one broke in my hand, shoulda been enough of a hint.  But do get low voltage for LED's*, fyi.
Ugh.  It's a piece of crap.  The bulbs buzz which is a instant sign of crappiness.  Plus we have to flip the switch all the way up then down to reach the desired light level.  Ouch, eyes.  So, no thanks.  Rats.

Oh, speaking of the master bedroom.....Yes, I am indeed working on getting the wall finished.  Finally.  It's taking layers and layers of joint compound before I dash off to rent a plug-it-into-my-spiffy-shop-vac sander.

At the same time, I should get that insulation patch in the hall ceiling handled too.  Um, heh.  Hmmphf.  Ahem, ya know, two birds, one rented stone, (hopefully only) one messy messy dusty day.

But ok, these scones I picked up oh I dunno over a year ago (on sale of course), I decided to install in here.  The original plan was for the hall bedroom but alas that room is a shoebox, these lights looked eeeenormous.  Gargantuan.  Kid you not.

You're totally checking out those sconces, right?
So up they went on either side of the headboard and yes, we're banging into them, getting used to them being there.  Like the faux bed frame thingie, traffic patterns will adjust.  Heh.

Crappy photo.  They don't look this bizarre in reality.  Boy, ok, they look real strange in these photos, maybe I should have a re-eval.
Speaking of that hall bedroom, yes, rotating the bed made a revelatory visual impact on the room.

hall bedroom move furniture
Ooooh-kay, on a crappy photo spiral I see.  Sorry.
It all went down because I found a swanky chrome wall light in my parent's basement.  Since I had to remove the wee Ikea one I had installed originally, it became an opportunity to experiment.  And experiment one should.

Bright daylight outdoors, eternally dark indoors.  But you can kinda see how much bigger the room looks.  And paw divots on the comforter.  Busted.  And yes, the floor is that not-level that the lamp on the cabinet leans that far.  Cool, huh?
Yeah, it's tight entering the room but so be it.  It'll improve when I take the floofy comforter off the bed.

Got the undersides of the kitchen cabinets painted black.  Heh, why I did not do them at the time, Iiiiiii dunno, I was not bright.

black paint kitchen cabinet
Before.  Yaaaahh, yikes.  After.  Betterrrr.
Ever since the cabinet task wrapped up, the undersides have been annoying the snot outta me.  Nice black cabinets, waaa waaa waaa, screaming light tan undersides.

I shortcutted a bit by not super scrubbing with the first step liquid but that's ok.  It was more of a visual issue and now that it's done, the kitchen is happier.  My eyeballs are happier.

Oh, a coupla follow up's on that humidifier fiasco....

Got a mini cap for the water valve.  I'm not expecting the thing to leak but better safe than sorry, amiright?  What's a few cents for peace of mind....nothin'.

Wee cap.  Used some teflon tape* for added leak-free security.  Good stuff.  Sleeping well, thank you.
The last guy out told me to get some moldable duct sealer to go around an A/C line leading into the furnace.  It had caused all sorts of green calcified drippies down the face of the duct which I cleaned up for the most part with CLR.*

Yay duct seal!
To stop the leakies and to eh ya know, just to seal up yet another hole in this house, why not?  An easy task.  Mush it like clay and wrap it around.  Bam.  Done.

Since we removed that dumb humidifier, I noted that for the rest of last winter, the humidity level was absolutely no different than when it was attached so do yourself a favor and do not, I repeat, do not get a Honeywell bypass humidifier.

I did recently purchase an Aprilaire 700M* but quickly discovered that it is larger and needs a larger hole (I'm an idiot for not checking -- I assumed it couldn't be all that different but you know what happens when one assumes...), that two A/C lines going into the furnace are in mah' damn way.

Do you know how excruciatingly, agonizingly hair-pulling it is knowing I have an awesomely rated humidifier sitting in a box inside our house which I got an excellent excellent deal on and it uh, won't fit?  So uhhh, yeah, check back later.

Head ---> wall.  Repeat.

While we're in the basement....

One of the simplest most boring yet most mind-blowing things I've done in this house to date was a mere six bucks and change.  It's a dryer vent draft blocker.*  And o.m.g., who woulda thought a lil' six buck chunk of plastic with a flimsy swingy flappy thing inside would make such a ginormous difference.

Do it.  Do it now.  Yeah, no, I don't care what you're doing now, get one.

dryer vent draft blocker

In chillier months, the inside of the dryer is a vortex of cold air which I imagine affects its performance too.  Somehow incidentally I came across these hunks o' plastic and thought hey, great idea since the vent cover outside is jacked.  But c'mon, could it really work?

So I bought one.  Scoffing, but bought one.

Of course it wasn't an easy-on thing because our flipper freakin' sucked at everything but after about ten, fifteen minutes, I got it crammed on the pipe and reattached the dryer duct.  Opened up the dryer, zero cold air.  Whoa!

Uuuuhhhhh, yeah, that happened.  Hey, look over there!  
But!  But.  Shortly thereafter I was up and down the main stair and noticed that finally, finally, the waterfall of cold air had ceased.  After years and years and years of trying to find and plug the source, it is gone.  No joke, gone!  Unbelievable.  Who woulda thought?!

Test it to ensure easy swing.
Cannot even begin to tell you how ecstatic I am, oh my goodness.  Best six bucks spent ever!

install dryer vent draft blocker
Yes I know it's supposed to be flush with the wall but there weren't no way I was trimmin' that pipe.  It's on there good.  Foil tape* lending a secure assist.  I know, I need to caulk.
So these little gizmos are highly recommended by me.  Highly.  Exceedingly.

The same day, man, I was on a roll and lovin' it....I got the tub filler off.                          Right?!?!

I about passed out, dumfounded in shock.  Got it off without damaging anything and it will go back on!  Holy cats and dogs, people!!

My first attempt, yeah, much like when I tried to get the one off in the main bathroom:  fail.

My second attempt involved dialing up that DIYZ app.  Sadly, I'm oh for two on winning answers now but I'm still recommending the app.  Bummer.  Nice guy though and I'm sure I'll dial in again.

Woe, teetering on the brink of defeated abandon, one adjourning internet search and lo, I came across a tip:  use a hair dryer, heat the tub filler, twist and remove.  Ha ha ha, really?  Thoroughly, laughingly dubious that it could be just.that.easy I thought, ha ha what the hell, ha ha ha, why not?

Guess what.  I ate my ha's.

remove stuck tub filler
Channel lock,* a scrap of rubber sheet* and lo, twisty twisty.  Poof, mind blown.
Yep.  After a few minutes of basking that filler in hot hair dryer air, bingo, it effortlessly twisted right off.  I could not, I...I just, I....I absolutely....jaw to floor.

remove tub filler
Oooooooohhh-m.g..  Ha HA!!
Onward and upward with my hall bathroom project!!  Woo hoo!!

Woo....oh wait, hoo, that's gonna be a sh*t ton of work.  Hm.  Well, it ain't gonna get itself done.

Today's recipe?  Back when Mike's niece was peddlin' them there boxes of trouble Girl Scout cookies, I made vanilla frozen custard and tossed in a whole box of Thin Mints.  Yeah.  I'll let you imagine how good that was and now here's your opportunity to make the same with this recipe for the custard.  (Use one less egg yolk, fyi.)

Have a great Thanksgiving, everyone!  Mwah!

*The mineral oil, kitchen scale, beeswax, low voltage dimmers, teflon tape, CLR, Aprilaire humidifiers, dryer vent draft blockers, foil tape, channel locks, and rubber sheets are Amazon affiliate links.  Mwah, thanks!  Please see the "boring stuff" tab for more info.


  1. Hi Becky! New to your blog, late congratulations to your parents on 50 years that is amazing! Awesome ideas in your blog but I dont know how you keep it all straight, hopefully reading your blogs will rub off on me and I can start some renovation projects in my own home. Keep up the great work!

    1. So thrilled you're here and thank you for all the super nice compliments! Sometimes I'm not sure how I keep it straight either but I try! Can't wait to hear about your projects! Thanks!


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