Variety Pack Day!

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Wow.  It has been a good six months since I've variety pack'ed it.  Huh.  Well, variety pack absence rectified!

Through fits and starts, I'm coming down the final stretch on the hall bathroom.  You know how it always goes -- just when I think I'm getting ahead, doh!, nope, roadblocks.

roadrunner roadblock wile e coyote gif
Ping!  This is my life.
No worries, progress is back on track, up and running, and my goal is to wrap that hall bathroom as promptly as possible.

Ok, so you're wondering how I determined our master shower was leaking, yeah?  One major Captian Obvious was the water stain in the general vicinity of the shower on our living room ceiling.  Two actually.  One day I heard drips.

ceiling water stain leak shower
It's hard to see in the photo so I yellow bubbled it for you.
That is bad.  Very bad.  Very very bad.

The final nail in the this-needs-exploring-immediately-now coffin?  Floorboards were cupping a bit under the dresser in the bedroom.  That's what brought it home it for Mike.

(No biggie.  No doubt we'll have to offer refinishing the floors to the future buyer considering all the dog nail scratches we've got going on.)

I yanked the baseboard off the bedroom side, cut a hole in the wall I had just finished repairing for f's sake and yep, there was wet.  Ah sigh, dammit!  I am nearing hate on this flipper.

Here's the actual point of this though, how to get a water stain off the ceiling, or a wall, whatever.  Drywall.  Bleach.

Water down some bleach and with a paintbrush using a sort of dry brush technique, dab the stain.  You may have to repeat the process a few times but it will work.  You would never even know it had been there.  Whew.  Handy tip!

But so it's either happening in the shower floor (my suspicion is the drain - floor connection) or the whack-a-doo shower tower panel whoo-ha spa thing plumbing is awry.

Whaddya wanna bet....ha ha ha laughing but not laughing....when I start ripping apart that shower base that all it is is tile on top of oh say plywood or drywall with a sheet of rubber under it?  Not gonna take that bet?  I'll give you a gimme on the rubber.

No?

Ok.

During our block party, one of the plastic hinges gave out on this large Coleman cooler* we have.  Of course the thing was not inexpensive and rather than toss a perfectly good cooler, I discovered replacement hinges exist.

Right?!  Nice!

Metal ones* at that!  So that's what I purchased.  Wooo!  I was excited!

Is it scary that I'm excited by cooler replacement hinges?

coleman cooler hinge replace replacement plastic broke metal
Broken plastic hinge above before, split right across the middle there.  Metal replacement hinge after.  Why they don't put these metal ones on in the first place, Iiiii dunno.
Super easy to change them out and now our cooler has a long life of block party shenanigans ahead!  Thought that might be a nifty tip to file away.

Ah ok, plants update.

Remember I had planted some Joe Pye Weed over by where our extended downspout lets out?  Yeah, it got big.  Gi-gan-tic.  Which is great but unfortunately it wasn't.

joe pye weed plant overgrown large bees
Raaawwrr!  What you can't see here is that I had tied it up to pull it tighter together, twice.  For reference, that fence is six feet tall.
The flowers brought all the bees and wasps to the yard which is great but it was all the bees and wasps from a fifty state radius.  And Finn tries to eat them.  That's a huge problem.  Sadly, the plant had to come out.

So was trying to remove that root ball.  Ahem.

joe pye weed root ball anchored well established
Sooo, this is after at least two and a half hours of digging.  It's over thirty inches wide here.  Yeah, put your arms up and air measure....huge.  It did not want to come out.  At all.
It must've taken me at least four hours to get it out, it was sooo anchored and sooo everywhere, its tangle of root shoots in it to win it.  I near gave up I don't know how many times, it was utterly backbreaking.  Unreal.

Don't get me wrong, I greatly appreciate the plant gift; I tried to transplant stalks and the root ball over where we filled in with dirt, the east side of the garage.  Looked like the root ball portion was making a comeback so we'll see.

Though first I had to rid that gangway of the weedy jungle.  I had let it go too long.  I felt like an Amazon River explorer though sans machete.  Lesson learned not to let that get out of hand; it was another utterly backbreaking effort.

weeds gangway overgrown cleared
Ah, another embarrassement.  It was bad.  Then it wasn't.
So in the Joe Pye Weed place, as it was late summer, plants were on markdown...I found a cutie little evergreen bush on massive sale at Home Depot and a generous handful of crazy cheap flowering perennials at Menards.

Sure, I know, replacing one flowering with another flowering but these flowering will be manageable bee-wise, Finn-wise.  By the time cold weather blanketed the city for the season, everything had established nicely so I have high hopes for next spring.

evergreen perennials flowering yellow
Aww, isn't everyone cute here?  Those folded over plants are so happy now, seeing the light and breathing.
Our neighbor to the west mentioned to me one day that brick on that side of the house was crumbling in spots.  Nothing to panic about.  The brick is freakin' old.  1890's?  Yeah, I'd crumble too.

During the concrete quoting period, a couple folks gave pricing on patching that up which was wow, wow.  One guy said just do it yourself.  Regardless of askant eyeball from Mike my direction, I did.

In all the years here, we've never been down that side of the house.  Crazy, right?  The neighbors keep the gate locked so after a little coordination, I was in and ready with my hefty bag o' Crack Resistant Surface Bonding Cement.

crack resistant surface bonding cement bag patch concrete brick
Two employees watched me pick up this fifty pound bag, I think under the guise of helping if they had to but I showed them, ha ha.
With, heh, a notch-free straight sided tile trowel,* heh, I slathered and smeared on concrete pudding, filling in where brick was giving way.

Then the skies opened up with an unpredicted deluge and I had to dash.  Just at the exact same moment, I ran out of concrete so another bag for next spring to wrap up is on deck.  Our basement is noticeably less humid now too, or maybe that's because it's furnace season.

One of several areas in need of help.  Not the prettiest patching and the runs are from the rain but I'll touch up next spring.  And likely paint to match for an even appearance.
But it worked, worked well, and I saved us ga-zoodles of cash.  So proud I was, despite receiving another askant eyeball from Mike upon task completion.

So we had a snow.  Snow.  Yay.  Sad for the pathetic back door awning as I predicted.

snow weight awning bow diy
Wah wahhhh.
Yeahhhh, I need a better solution there.  Yeahhhhh.  Mike knocked the ice and snow off it.  Thanks, babe.

But shoveling the back door area and the rectangles?!  OOOOmg, I was elatedly rejoicing over a solid path that could be shoveled.  OOOOmg, I was sooo happy.  Yes!  So worth it.

backyard concrete walk path snow shovel cleared
Look.  At.  That.  My heart is bursting with joy.
Lastly, just the other day, for some bizarro weird reason, the more expensive Lutron low voltage dimmer switch* in the first floor bathroom went out.  Completely stopped working.  Stopped.  No light.  Quite confounding.

As a check to see if it was indeed solely (hopefully only) the switch, I popped in a cheaper GE spare one* that was laying around and tada!  Problem solved.  So weird.  Really scratching my head over that one.

wiring led xenon dimmer switch GE toggle
Even though this switch feels looser and floppier, I much prefer it as it's just a plain toggle, no extra lever to fuss and fiddle with.  One piece, one motion.
So all right!  Ok!  I need a recipe!  Granted you can swing by Flaky Bakers any time day or night for rockin' baking recipes, as you should.  But let's see....hm....Ah!  Here's a good one.  And oh man, if you ever get a chance to, get thee to Prime & Provisions where this Double Cut Pork Chops with Maple and Apple-Bacon Chutney recipe comes to us from.

House-Flared Thick-Cut Bacon, Black Pepper, Michigan Maple Syrup, Dark Chocolate appetizer?  Need I say more?!  (I know it sounds bizarre but it's insanely good.)  Whoooooo.  Whooo.

Ok, see you soon!

*The Coleman coolers, Coleman cooler hinges, tile trowel, and low voltage/LED dimmer switches are Amazon affiliate links.  Mwah, thanks!  Please see the "boring stuff" tab for more info.

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