Variety Pack Day.

Saturday, May 21, 2022

 
close up of cork lampshade
Time to catch up around the house with a Variety Pack Day!  Yay!  Variety Pack Days are fun.  Let's get going then!

In my never-ending quest to insulate this sieve of a house, it feels I am constantly doing something that involves weather-stripping or caulk or foamy things or whatever.

During nice weather, we lock the front storm door and leave the main door open for Finn to lazily watch the world go by.  Well.  Until he barks like a furious dog and hurls himself at the door.

In his quest to destroy whatever is outside, he destroys the weather-stripping stuff by clawing at everything like a deranged beast.  

Backtracking, the flipper found this door on the side of the road (presumably) and stuffed it here therefore it doesn't fit properly.  There are big giant giant gaps.  No weather stripping I've found fits; it's all too small.  Anything I find that works enough, Finn shreds and I am left frustrated.

The gaps are so big that when the door is shut and it's sunny out, or cloudy even, sometimes at night, I can see light around the door inside the frame.  Yeah.  Bad.

In examining the door one day, in yet another fruitless effort to insulate around this damn door, I noticed the bottom gap is vastly larger than the top gap.  Huh.

Thank goodness for the interwebs, amirite?!  Because I never knew you could shim up gappy doors.  Thanks to Family Handyman, I did just that.  Sooo simple.  This also will fix doors that stick.

Just loosen the hinge, the one that's at or opposite of your problem...in my case, I loosened the hinge at the bottom.

loosening hinge and adding shim to fix gaps
Left:  loosening the hinge.  Right:  adding felt weatherstripping to shim.
Cram a shim of some sort between the hinge and frame whether it be a piece of cardboard or wood or whatever, then tighten the screws back down.  

Check the swing, check the gaps and if need be, loosen the screws and squish in more or take some out.  

Crazy simple.  But what a feeling though, to have a door swing correctly and fix gaps, right?

fixing door frame gap before and after collage
Top:  before shimming.  Bottom:  after!
I'm still struggling with the damn stripping though.  Maybe this'll be the year we get new doors.....(subtle hints, subtle hints, ahem...)

Ok.  Variety Pack Day onward.

So our floor lamp had taken a turn for the worse which was a drag since I liked it.  That lamp lasted us wow, three moves and seventeen years?!  Goodness.  Way to stretch a dollar.

I had been watching Ikea for a replacement.*  Eventually the one I wanted came in so I made the long trek, completely forgetting the previous lampshade trouble.

Got home, assembled it then discovered the socket was entirely different, built-in and crap so I couldn't change it out.  Grr, dang it! 

The issue was in laying the shade atop and then screwing in the bulb; the bulb didn't make proper contact to light up.  I had to raise the bulb.

Hell-bent to keep our Target cork shade, I scoured Menards, picking up a socket adapter* and a socket enlarger.*  Why the two?  I couldn't find one piece that did the job.  It exists;* I think Menards was out.

adapting Ikea lamp to fit non-Ikea lampshade
But, problem solved.  Oh but yes, the shade was loosey-goosey for sure -- hacked it stuck with an old prop fallback, Mortite.*

So now I've given you two cheap ways to hack an Ikea lamp to hold a non-Ikea shade!  Sweet!
 
In the update department, it's time to check on the front stair, the rusting outdoor metal steps, if you recall.  

That was a spot of an endeavor.  At the time too, it was also a test to see if alkyd paint* was everything and a bag of chips.*

Overall, I must say, it held up infinitely better than any year prior with the always-fail Rustoleum.  Some rust came back, some paint randomly flaked off.

view of the metal stair out front looking down
Part of the issue may be that salt made it onto the steps once or twice over the winter which I avoid like the plague because it is wildly damaging to outdoor metal.  Not gonna point fingers but uh, let's just say it wasn't Finn.  Or me.  Nameless did have an excuse, I'll grant that.

collage of rust and flaking paint on metal stair
Anyway, some minor repairs to do which is not a big deal.  Alkyd on metal outdoor stairs grade?  A-, I recommend.

Speaking of outside, last fall, did I mention?, no I did not, we had gutter warmers installed.  Professionally.  Because, yeah, know where to draw your DIY lines, please.  

Six feet snaking around on the roof above Mike's office, along the length of the gutter then down the downspout.

outdoor parts of gutter warmer
These are the outdoor parts.  Inside the utility closet is a switch to turn it on and off.  Left:  thermostat that turns the system on under 40° if we leave it permanently on.  Right:  power indicator light.
How did it work out?  Exceptionally well.  We had zero ice problems, no icicles, no ice dams, zero, nothing, none!  Fabulous!

Not fabulous?  I ran it very sparingly and our electric bill more than doubled.  So, plus and minus.  Higher electric bill beats ice/water damage repair bill any day though.

Ok, more Variety Pack Day...

Oh!  Charlie Brown lilac has exploded!  My goodness!

Charlie Brown lilac bush explosion
I parked a slew of plants here and they're all, pew, overtaking!  Nowhere to put them....Our Japanese Maple looks a bit odd so far this spring, that's worrisome.
Thinking ahead to when the main stair is done, which hopefully is actually for real very soon (hallelujah!!), what project is next?  Iiii dunno.  I dunno.  Huh.

Since we've got a new couch arriving sometime this year and it's been forever and a day since I touched the dining room, I was thinking about paint.  Of course.  Shocker.

Not sure how the friendly folks at Samplize* knew this, but they sent me samples of their peel and stick paint swatches and how clever is that?  Large samples from four different manufacturers:  Farrow & Ball, Benjamin Moore, PPG, and Sherwin Williams.

Easy.  Peel.  Stick.  Decide.  No mess, no fuss, and if you opt out of painting altogether, you haven't painted blobs on the wall, you're not trapped.  Neat!

Last but absolutely not least, a reader sent me photos of his pegboard wine rack project and holy cats and dogs, people.  I fell out of my chair.  He took the idea and omg did he run with it and it is utterly outstanding.  I am seriously agog, it's incredible.

collage of pegboard wine rack room under stair
800 bottles.  Yes, this room holds 800 bottles.  What a use of space!  He said this project ran him only $400, plus numerous Home Depot clean-outs.  800 bottles!  I know, just...wow..., right?!
Right?!  Standing freakin' ovation and major congratulations on a job exceptionally well done.  Brilliant.

Ah right, Variety Pack Day!  Recipe!  Don't forget, baking recipes are at The Bake Dept so mmmm, go there.  Savory side, I recently came across this Crispy Curried Chicken with Cabbage and it's a total winner.

Ok!  That's today's Variety Pack Day!  Be back soon!

*The Ikea floor lamp is an Ikea affiliate link.  The socket adapters, enlargers, extenders, Mortite, and chips are Amazon affiliate links.  The alkyd paint is a Home Depot affiliate link.  The Samplize peel and stick paint swatches are a Samplize affiliate link.  Mwah, thanks!  Please see the "boring stuff" tab for more info.

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