Check Off the Trade Offs!

Productivity was at an all time high this Sunday/Monday as the guys commenced with their October Trade-Offs...

I don't know why I had it in my head that they weren't going to get started until after Halloween. So you can imagine my excitement when I found out. Imagine, all this stuff done - before Halloween. Nothing short of a miracle there, really.

So TJ was over on Sunday and Monday working on the siding. By Sunday's end, he was up to the top of the windows. (Yeah, this pic was taken in the late afternoon - he's almost there!) And by Monday's end he was to the top of the ridge vent.... which he replaced with the new and freshly painted ridge vent. Manwhile - yes! Manwhile! (That was originally a typo, but I'm going to roll with it because this is manly stuff here.)

Manwhile, Mike fixed TJ's truck and had it finished by Sunday's end. Monday Mike was supposed to move on to my truck.... but unfortunately his truck all of a sudden decided to blow a couple of critical parts. (Grrrrrrrrr!) And he had to spend the day taking care of that. (Womanwhile, I have to drive my old and also not-working-right truck for another week until he can get to my new truck hopefully this weekend. Grrrrrrrrrrr2!)

Monday afternoon, our plumber Brian came over to do the third zone... but he didn't. Upon inspection of the baseboard in Mikey's room, he said it was too low to the floor. (We did just put in that new flooring last winter.) And I guess this low placement can effect the effectiveness of the baseboard. (Who knew?)

So they raised it.

At first I was totally t'd off because I was thinking, "Sure, that'll fix the 'too cold' problem, but what about the 'too hot' problem?!" But Brian made a totally obvious point that I'd never thought of before - close the flap! You know, that flap on the baseboard to control the amount of heat coming out. DUR! I'd never even considered that option. So we'll see how it goes. Last night it seemed to work much better and the room was the same temp as the rest of the house - even with the door closed.

And when it comes right down to it, this fix is much more affordable and labor effective than having to go out, buy a buncha new baseboard and another thermostat and all that la-dee-dah. As long as it works - why mess with it?

So with those projects completed... or at least mostly in the case of the siding... we can focus on getting this whole vehicle debacle taken care of. And after that's taken care of.... well, I'm not even going to venture into my winter list at the moment. I've got too much on my mind already.

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Hey housebloggers - If you love my son Mikey in this picture:

Than you need to vote for him as your next Baby Idol!

Yes, our Mikey is baby #197 in Fun 107 FM's Baby Idol contest - and he needs your vote to win! CLICK HERE TO PLACE YOUR VOTE!

Ok, so it's a little silly, entering him in a radio contest. And in the actual pic, they cropped out the beer, which is the cutest part... but what they hey, right? We could win if you all just vote! And vote a lot - as many times as you want! Vote 10 times a day - it's fun!

Thanks everybody!

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October Over - Let the Trade-Offs Begin!

It's the 21st. Of October!! When did that happen? I suppose somewhere between four or five rainy weekends in a row, marathon friend events, and a certain adorable 5 month old, time got away from us.

And I know - excuses excuses. I'm not one to make 'em. And now I'm looking at a 1/2 sided house thinking, it's not going to be done in time for our annual Halloween party. *sigh* And I'm looking inside and thinking, I'm going to be lucky to finish my decorating in time for the party. And it all makes me want to make excuses.... in fact I could probably bake you a half dozen right now. I've got all the ingredients.


Would you believe, just as I was writing this yesterday, an incredible stroke of luck struck me over the head. We learned our carpenter and very very good friend TJ was in a jam. (If you recall, he built our farmer's porch, leveled our house after the house lift, helped with the hardwood in the baby's room, installed our new front door, and more and more) Anyway, TJ's truck is in bad shape - nearly undriveable in fact. And yesterday he received a repair quote of about a million bucks... not really. But it wasn't cheap. Repair places are all trying to grind out profits now adays you know.

So when I learned, I immediately thought - trade off! And what better trade than the rest of the siding, which Mike didn't really want to do anyway. (Let's face it, the shape of our house plus the windows, plus the height.... the remainder of the siding is a difficult measuring/cutting job.) The guys talked about it last night - we'll pay for the parts and do the labor on the truck (or Mike will... I'll be babysitting, but no big deal) and TJ will finish the siding.

Hallelujah! (I had a hellofa time trying to spell that by the way...how often do you have to spell Hallelujah?!)

I'm so excited I can barely wait! I had just gotten used to the realization that the job wouldn't be done until next Spring... and now it'll be done in time for Winter. Woo to the Hoo!


I nearly forgot about another important trade-off that Mike solidified just this past Sunday!

Ok, so we've noticed that poor little Mikey's room has trouble maintaining temperature. It's either too cold and won't warm up or the door is closed and it gets too warm. Seems like a contradiction, but here's why:

We only have one heating zone downstairs and believe it or not, the longest baseboard is actually in Mikey's room. So, when the door to Mikey's room is closed and the heat kicks on, the room heats right up and it's too toasty, since the smaller baseboards in the rest of the downstairs are trying to maintain the temperature and that big baseboard in Mikey's room is just jammin, but it's closed off from the rest. It's hard to explain, I hope that's clear.

But - and here's the but. If the heat doesn't kick on and the door to Mikey's room is closed, his room will not warm up. I would wager a guess that this is due to the room's placement at the front of the house, which doesn't get very much sun due to the shade of the farmer's porch and fall's shorter days.

Either way, the situation just isn't good. Anyone with a baby will tell you, you shouldn't be covering them with heavy blankets at this age - it just increases the risk of SIDS as they could pull them over their head and start rebreathing too much CO2... that's the theory. And best not to risk it. Plus, if the heat kicks on then the poor kid would get too hot anyway. So it's a no win scenario.

Blah blah blah Jess, get to the point. OK, I hear ya. The point is - we need a zone in there. Problem is, we're severely lacking in time as you all know.

So over the weekend Mike talked to our other good friend and master plumber Brian. (He helped us install our new boiler and our two current zones.) Turns out, Mike has some engines or lawnmower parts or something that Brian has been after.... trade off time once again. They both came to an agreement and soon enough, Brian will come over to take care of the 3rd zone installation for us.

Ahhhh, the great feeling knowing that siding and heat will be AOK and ready for winter. You have no idea what a relief it is.

Speaking of which, with November on the horizon, let's take a moment to reflect on Winter Time Project Goals. (This will be fun because come March/April we'll just see how much we accomplish.... Why do I love lists so much? It's sick. I get that from my dad, I recently learned. My mom noticed a list in my kitchen and asked Mike, "Does Jess make lists?" To which he answered, "Oh yeah! Big time!" To which she replied, "Because Bill makes lists..." Wow we are waaaayy to alike, it's scary.)

Winter Time Project Goals
Winter Time Project Goal Timeframe: November thru March

1. Complete hardwood flooring in the living room!
Project scope: Rip out old flooring, install 3/4 plywood, reinforce underlying floor beams in the basement, repair living room drywall, repaint, install new hardwood, install baseboard trim

2. Complete hallway/stairway!
Project Scope: trim out the new front door and install baseboard and stairway trim, install iron balusters and stair railing

3. Complete mudroom!
Project Scope: purchase and install laundry closet doors, install baseboard and window trim

And I think that may be more than enough to keep us busy throughout the winter season. The good news is - we already have all of the hardwood and some of the plywood needed for the living room! And we already have the railing and the balusters for the stairway! So most of the big purchases have been made - it's now just a matter of time.... which hopefully we'll have this winter, pending completion of fall projects of course...

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Orange You Glad I Didn't Paint It Bananna?!

I swear I've titled a post "Orange You Glad I Didn't Paint It Bananna?!" before... and wouldn't know you it, I know I've painted my hallway before too! Deja-voo! Must be the Halloween spirit getting the best of me.

Yes, it's true - I, ME, actually accomplished something on Saturday all by myself. As soon as the baby went down for his morning nap - I was off like a prom dress, grabbing the paint brush, roller, pan, paint, drop cloth... I finished just as the little guy was waking up.

I think it's the fastest prep and paint job I've ever done! But believe it or not, it came out pretty good too.

As you can see in the pic, Mike put up my nice Czech Mucha print again. Check that one off the list.

Now it should be back to the siding... although now I have to compete with Mike's new project Dodge, which has taken over what little free time he has. Hopefully I can convince him to do some siding this Sunday though... that is, after we attend our friends' son's baptism. Busy busy busy!

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No More Hairy Grass

You know that point in which your grass is just waaay too long? It looks like hair, neatly combed down the hillside. Yeah... we've been at that point ever since the beginning of the summer when Mike fixed a lawnmower for our neighbor and then tested it by mowing the hill.

Well, lucky for us we now have a push mower to take care of that. Figures right? All the lawn tractors in the world - even one with a motorcycle motor on it, and not one of them is manly enough to mow the hill... it's just too steep and uneven. So our new, self propelled push mower is just the solution. That and the weed whacker - you know, for those hard to reach places.

Check yet another task off of the Why-Haven't-We-Had-Time-To-Do-This-Yet list!

Speaking of the WHWHTTDTYL, I'm proud to announce that we finally finished the hallway drywall! You may ask, what? Well, this was so long ago that I'm too ashamed to even look it up in the OneSixty blog post archives.

A long time ago in a galaxy far far oasis, we had a harry potter closet under our stairway. Then we raised the house, poured a basement, and built a staircase to the new basement under the old staircase... thus obliterating said closet space, leaving a gaping hole in the hallway drywall. We lived with the hole for who knows how long until our neighbor Rich helped us patch it.

And then... well, it sat more than half finished for I don't know how long. I'm even more ashamed to report that it took Mike about 10 minutes to sand and finish it, and another 15 minutes to prime it... and that time includes a trip to Benny's for a new paint brush!

Now we just have to paint it - hopefully this weekend, although you all know how that goes lately....

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