Springtime Variety Pack

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Well ya know, it's finally springtime, or it's kinda sorta a little bit barely trying to be springtime over here in Chicago.  And ya know, it'd be damn awesome if it would work itself out and be finally be spring, aka warm.

But.  Alas.  Chicago.  It is a fickle weather town.

I mean, yeah, forties are better than twenties but still, it's the end of April (when I wrote this) for goodness sake, we should be in the sixties.  Mid-sixties.....aaaaaaarrrrgggggg!!  Sigh.

Aw Mike bought us two pretty plants for the front porch!  C'mon spring!
Still tackling the list o' things to do that won't involve my stupid left shoulder too much or that won't hurt.  Which yeah, is tough.  I am determined though.  Got needled by the PT woman for the first time ever, and holy cats and dogs people, what a shocking, astonishing turn for the better that was, whoa.

Between dog park planning (now the president of the group) and work stuff and baked goods planning and life stuff, my butt has been securely planted in a chair.  Sittin' on my butt ain't no good.

Goodness, it feels soooo good to move and get things done.

Which brings us to a Variety Pack, as such, heh.  Yay!

First, lemme tell ya, holy wow, our new custom DIY blackout curtains work SO well.  SO!  What a difference.  Man.  Blinded myself the other day assuming it was cloudy but lo, upon opening, wincing, tears welled.

Of course the garage again exploded itself into a mess thanks to winter.  Crap gets dumped then ignored because it's too darn cold to do anything but run for the house.

I finally fixed the folding workbench though, that felt great.  Well, an inside heartwarming accomplishment great.  Don't ask my dumb shoulder.  Pushing things (and sometimes pulling) → bad.

I know I mentioned the breakage but can't find it.  Or maybe I thought I did.  Eye roll, great....an eye hook got tired of being circular and decided to go prone, resulting in an uncontrolled table drop (thankfully when Mike's car was not there), hence legs breaking away.  Doh.

Ah!  Found it!  Not crazy!

Over the cold, dark, dreary winter, I picked up beefier hinges, strap hinges,* the kind I should have used originally but was far too let's-get-this-puppy-built-and-up-Right-Now!  Obviously that worked well.  Not.

Ah.  Yes.  Better hinges.  Rawr.
A little disassembly, a lil' cleanup, some fresh Gorilla Glue,* a coupla longer screws, and the legs are back in business.  Woot!

Back out in the garage, all tucked under the table, I'm trying to attach the other half of hinge to the plywood top.  Hot tip?  Go back inside and get a drill bit and pilot drill out those holes.  Smh.  Otherwise, yes, you will be squished underneath that table swearing like a sailor every time the screw goes awry.

My poor mom, probably never imagined her sweet daughter would have such a potty mouth.

Then with a dual spring carabiner* and tough guy eye hooks,* the workbench is solidly secured and revived.  Just in time for who knows what project out there.  Yay!

Fancy schmancy carabiner, holdin' things tight!
Yay, back in business!
Like the Six Million Dollar Man, better than before.
Some minor tidying, some minor rearranging, some minor ladder climbing to store things overhead while pondering a slightly taller ladder purchase, and it's tolerable.  Not done though, I've got more coming.  Basement and garage, eternal projects.  Oh, yeah, basement on the near future docket.  Heh, again.

Mike took an extra day off work meaning he had two days off in a row which was fantastic as it always is.  He, HE suggested going to Menards and redoing the edging around our spiffy Japanese maple and cute pom pom evergreens.

HE did.  Right?!

Well who am I to say no?!  Pfffft, let's go babe!!

I was very well behaved at Menards.  Nothing extraneous ended up mysteriously in the cart and I stuck close, no wandering.  How hard was that....

My beleaguered Mike, felt my edging frustrations that day.  No offense here, but they're all so darn meh.  But that's all that's available.  When is someone going to come up with attractive edging?  Please!  Someone!

After pacing and circling and pacing, we culled to these red "Interloc" edger blocks.  Bleech.  But, he was bordering (ah ha, pun, border) cranky, his turkey timer popped on Menards so decision made, time to leave.

Of course we forgot to measure first.

We guessed and we got it spot on for two layers, no extras I think.  Oh wait, no, four.  We used those behind the tree to keep wood chips off the kittywampus concrete.

And then he was done.  Couch time.  But hey, something got accomplished and that is excellent!  Go team!

We both were doing the head tilt thing, I dunno babe, what do you think, I dunno babe, what do you?

"They'd be better in black."

"Of course they would be," he drawled, monster eye roll for added emphasis.

"Maybe I'll see if I can stain them a darker brown."

"They're all yours now, babe....." as he toddled off in exasperation.

Hm.  And waitin' on all my grass hard work to take shape.  Right now it looks like a sea urchin festival.
What else have I done?  Oh, I'm back fighting with the back door closer again.  Of course.  Because why wouldn't I be?  It's about due, yeah?  A-yup.  grumble growl bad words....

This time I'm starting all over.  Or near all over.  The base is bent, won't stay un-bent, the door never shuts, changing the thing to a different length has no affect, screws are popping out of the wall, it's just, it's, it's a train wreck and I'm sick of it. 

Sick. Of. It.

Took the whole thing off.  Thought about driving over it several times.  Jammed the wall holes full of toothpicks and Gorilla Glue, trimmed off the ends.

Gonna git you all fixered up ya darn thing.
Picked up a different brand of door closer and glad I did as it came with advantages the previous one did not provide.  Which is excellent as this door gets ridiculous use; it's essentially Finn's bathroom door and our main door.

Will you be my winner?
See, this one has a door jamb bracket, nice.  And the piece that attaches to the door is with two slots, two screws as opposed to one.  Makes a difference.  For reals.
Got this awesome gizmo for free at my first ever trip to Harbor Freight (danger zone, danger):  a magnetic dish.*  Like way ridiculously handy, oh my goodness.
Now we're in the get to know you phase:  minor adjustments and tweaks.  It doesn't pull the door to latched but that's ok.  Heh, ok for now anyway.

Ta da!  Please work, oh please work.
While I was back there, I dragged out the rotary tool* and reworked both the deadbolt and door catch holes.  Again.  The door definitely latches and now the deadbolt throws in and out super easily without having to yank the door closed tighter.

Behold the power of black spray paint, you now can't see the disaster that is this strip of metal.  Woot!  But if you could see, the holes are uglier and work better.
Sometimes it's handling those day to day nagging annoyances that feels The Best.  Amiright?!

And while I was in the back stair there too, I changed out the handrail.  Whaaa?  Yep.  Exactly like the one for our main stair, I purchased a stick of one-by maple, one by three to be precise.

Hey big boy, whazz up?
Stained it with some pickling stain* from Minwax, sealed it up with three coats of satin Varathane water based sealer* and I was off to the races.

Clamps are your BFFs when you only have two arms.
Heh, he did leave and come back several times though it only looks like he moved slightly.
Aaaannd, while I was back there too, I traded out the dusk to dawn LED bulb* in the above door fixture from the way too blue to a soft white and I am oh-so much happier.

Surprisingly the sensor is working despite the consistently-in-shadow location.  In spring, I should qualify.  When I changed it the first time mid-winter, not so much; it was constantly on.


Did Mike notice any of this?

Nope.  Nope, he did not.

Ah well, such is my lot in DIY life.

But ok, in all fairness, he did notice the handrail the next day ("Oh!  Oh!  This is nice.") and door opener ("Oh!," wiggling the door open and closed), adding with one foot out the door, "you gotta paint this stairwell, babe."  Mmm.  Mmk, thanks.

Oh!  I need a recipe for Variety Pack day.....Hang on.....I mean, other than visiting Flaky Bakers....Ah, Saffron Yogurt Chicken Kebabs.  Sooo easy, sooo quick whether you grill or broil them, and dang, sooo tasty!  Make extras, toss the chicken in a lunch container with hummus, cucumber slices, some basmati rice, add a pita and bam, golden lunch!  Mike loves these and I love how easy they are.

Mmk, hoping I'm on the right track now, stars are aligning, things are going to get done.  Here we go!

*The strap hinges, Gorilla Glue, dual spring carabiners, eye hooks, magnetic dishes, rotary tools, pickling stain, Varathane sealers, and dusk to dawn LEDs are Amazon affiliate links.  Mwah, thanks!  Please see the "boring stuff" tab for more info.

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