Thursday, August 10, 2017

Household maintenance & chores

Last summer while the rest of the family was away in Chicago, I managed to get quite a bit done on the deck, though I remember by the time I actually stained it, I had the kids help a bit (so they had come back by then).  This summer, I probably should have tried to strip the bottom deck and stained it again, but there have been so few weeks with 4 or 5 days in a row that were dry and hot enough.  And to be honest I felt pretty lazy.  I think it will have to wait for next summer.

I gave myself slightly fewer discrete tasks this time around.  I wanted to put up a porch light, partly for those times I do want to be out back after dark, but also to get one with a motion detector to see if I can deter the raccoons at all.  I also tentatively agreed to put up a shelf in my daughter's room, partly because she is short-changed on storage space.  Though I didn't feel as obligated on this task.

Anyway, I managed to get the materials from Home Depot on Monday, but it was raining, so I couldn't work outdoors, and then it quickly got too late to put up the shelf.  (Since all the houses are so close together, even working on one's home tends to disturb the neighbours.)  So Tuesday, I tackled the porch light.  It ended up becoming an epic job.  First, one of the screws was rusted in place.  Even WD40 didn't do any good.  In the end, I actually tore off the cover plate (I guess the frustration gave me Hulk-like powers) and then finally was able to get enough leverage with the needle-nose pliers to get the screw out.  This took about 45 minutes altogether!

The culprit

Then it turned out that the new screws that they included with the light were just too long and wouldn't support the faceplate.  Since I had torn the cover plate off, I really had no choice but to finish the job, so I ran off to Home Depot and crossed my fingers that the new screws I bought would do the trick.  They seemed to work.  It was getting dark by this point, so I really rushed through the wiring and did that in about five minutes.  Then I struggled to mount the light, though I finally got it up.  What an ordeal!  It does look fairly nice though, and the motion detector appears to work.

That was definitely enough for one evening, and I crashed after that.  The following night I was at Factory Theatre for Summer Works, and I didn't get home in time to do any more construction.

Today I left work a bit late and then had to run to the library.  That didn't leave me a lot of time to put up the shelf.  However, I was fairly efficient in my drilling.  I'd say the whole thing went up in about 30 minutes.  The level is there to show that indeed the shelf is level, though the wood is very slightly warped.

That is definitely it for the home improvement this week.  I actually don't have a whole lot left to do, since garbage day was this morning and I've just finished the laundry, though I do need to make sure I get through the dishes and wash the pots tonight.  That's not so bad...

If I have any energy left I will either read another chunk of The Sound and the Fury or work on the quilt.  It is coming together nicely, and in fact, tonight I cut out the very last pieces (aside from the border), so it is just a matter of piecing it all together.  I think it will end up looking quite nice.

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