Can You Dig It?

Just call me A Mess. After a near- recovery, I've slipped into relapse town. I don't know if this is allergies, viruses, infections, or just generalized internal chaos (great band name by the way) but I'm sick and tired of it. So sick and tired that I've resumed all normal activity - whether I feel like poo or feel like sunshine, I do whatever I normally do. I just have to. That's the bottom line. I can't stay stagnant for weeks on end.

Since the garage doors are in and working and since the remainder of my railings are still on back order, Mike and I have moved forward on other projects. Just last Friday I came home early and painted a lot of the farmer's porch trim and puttied some more nail holes. I still have the front facing, exterior farmer's porch trim to putty and paint - but that will have to wait until Mike sets up the ladder for me. Because I'm petrified of heights. (As my good friend Ryan put it, "I'm not afraid of heights - it's just that 'Woe!' feeling you get when you're on top of the ladder.")

Mike, meanwhile, continues to clean up his mechanical hoarding. Last weekend he gave away a set of rims and a giant tire.

And just this week, we're gearing up for warm sunny weekend weather with a couple projects in mind. Just last night, for example, I tidied the camper in preparation for its departure on Friday. Tonight, Mike will install his brake controller so he can safely tow the thing to our friends' house. (Yes, we share the camper.)

This move will free up the gravel driveway so that Mike can use his skid steere to remove all the rocks and fix the grade. (Out and away from the garage this time!) Once this has been accomplished, we'll order a dump load of loam and have it dumped right in the once-gravel driveway area. And this is because....

Next Sunday the 8th, Mike is borrowing a bigger machine from some friends of his to grade the backyard and spread the loam. (Nothing says Happy Mom's Day more then big machinery....) And I know we previously decided NOT to re-grade... but Mike has the opportunity to borrow the machine for free and we're eager to dig below and cover up any broken glass and debris leftover from last year's vehicle headaches and trash burying of years past. SO, there ya go.

Additionally, Friday or Saturday night, Mike is going to pick up stain and the porch staining machine. (Three non-rainy days in a row? Yup, I'll stain for that.) Tonight and/or tomorrow night, my task will be to clean off the porch in preparation. And hopefully with the machine, it won't take too much time once we get started either.

Stay tuned - this renovation freight train is coming through....

The Doors

It's been awhile. And I apologize... but I've been pretty much on my death bed for the entire month of April. First, as you know, it was the strep. Then I came down with conjunctivitis. Then I came down with some sort of bronchitis, from which I am still recovering by the way.

Mike got none of it - of course.

But despite my online absence, we've still been working. (And when I say we, I mean Mike because I've been totally out of commission.) 

Let me start first with our door drama.

As you know, the fam and I bought Mike a giant garage door for xmas. A giant garage door for our two-car one-door not-one-large-door-one-small-door garage. But due to inclement weather and misc sickness, it's been sitting around since January in boxes. The door itself, the hardware, the tracks, and all the accessories we purchased... just hanging out in the boxes.

A few Sundays ago, we were finally ready to install. And I mean, this was do or die. The previous Saturday night, Mike and a few of his friends cleaned out the garage, cut a gigantic hole, removed the old door, and pushed out the project cars. A door had to go in by end of day Sunday. Otherwise let me just put up a red flag and a sign out front: FREE STUFF! GARAGE NOW OPEN FOR LOOTING!

Sunday morning Mike went out to the HD and purchased the garage door opener. (Eeee! So exciting!) As soon as he arrived back home, the door dude arrived. The weather was beautiful, the pre-construction was accurate, and everything was perfect.... But we were missing pieces. Big deal pieces. The low headroom kit that would allow the door to open properly was missing.

I could've sworn we paid for that.

But we had no invoice, receipt, order confirmation, package inventory, or other manner of documentation could be found anywhere. I had an email, which I received after ordering the door on Home Depot's online garage door custom ordering website. You know what it said? "Thanks for ordering blah blah blah." Nothing about - here's what you ordered and here's the cost breakdown...


The guys went back to the DeepHo, purchased the low headroom kit in stock, and returned after all that to find out that it wasn't going to work. So the door was installed.... but it couldn't go up. (At least our stuff was safe though.... So safe, not even we could get to it!)

Now, at this point, I'd like to take a break in the narrative to talk about WHAT a difference the new door (working or not) has made to the garage. First, the outside. It looks like a real live two car garage now. A nice one at that... save for a little trim around the edges. And when you open the door... (not that it could be opened at this point in the story) the whole garage world is your oyster!

Inside, the white of the door makes the entire garage look bigger when the door is closed. Mike is thrilled beyond belief.

And now we fast forward to just last weekend. Mike called the door company and they confirmed that in fact we did not order a low headroom kit. (Uh-huh, is my response. I need to call them back to get an actual receipt.) So, back to the DeepHo. But the salesperson told Mike the kit he'd bought previously would work. So, back home.

Mike and the door dude make some modifications and at long last, the door went up and down! Mike installed the opener too - so just imagine, we hit the button and it opens! No more of this fumbling for the padlock key and trying to get the durn thing to open when it's frozen in the middle of winter. The garage door opener even came with a wireless keypad for the side of the garage. (Yet to be installed.) All these creature comforts! I'm loving it and I haven't even pressed my button yet.

Sick Like Winter

This is an April fool's joke, isn't it? First the snow, then strep throat. WTF?! Yes, sick again. The snow came first, tuned me into a minor cold which turned into major pain. And by last Friday, I was completely incapacitated. Saturday I went to the Minute Clinic - strep.

But I wasn't alone! The door dude called Mike. He was sick as well... sounded worse then I did, Mike said. (How that was possible, I didn't know.) The garage door installation was again postponed.

My good gal pal Heidi and her 4-kid crew were also supposed to come by for family hair day. (She does the hair, if you hadn't guessed.) Strep unfortunately canceled that date too. No need to expose two older kids, a toddler, and a newborn to ANYTHING like that.

Timmy, on the other hand, was healthy and well and arrived on Sunday around noon for more railing installation. (I was quarantined to the house as soon as folks arrived.) He and Mike (and Richard, who joined the party a couple hours later) wrapped the last full height pole and installed our last in-stock railing. (Two more on backorder, yet to arrive.) Then, they wrapped the three half poles of the side stairway. Ready to rock.

At the end of the day, the guys figured out how the front porch steps were going to go. Mike and Richard dug and prepared the stairway landing area for concrete. Pending a break in the rain, Mike will bring home the cement mixer and pour the front stair landing and the remainder of the side stair landing. (Which we previously - and accidentally - poured only halfway.)

So here I am on Thursday.... still having not posted the post that I started writing on Monday. Blame the sickness! (That's what I do.)

While I was busy not-blogging, Mike and Richard picked up the cement last night. Mike had brought home the cement mixer, but there just wasn't enough daylight and energy to make it happen. Plus, we had a little bit of rain. Tonight perhaps?

Meanwhile, I've been trying to research solar post end caps. And if you click on that nifty link, you'll see that Amazon has a wide price range of products. Some of these dang solar lit post caps are big bucks. Like this one for $49.99... IT'S ONLY ONE CAP, PEOPLE!
Home Depot has a 4" x 4" one for $3.99. Yes it's crap, but it's only $3.99! Compared with $50??? What's wrong with the world? If I had a 4" x 4" post, I'd buy a few for $3.99 and if they turned out to be poo, I wouldn't give a poo.

The thing of it is, the reviews for the expensive ones aren't that great. They stopped working... they came broken... they're not bright at all... etc etc.

Unfortunately for us, we have the harder-to-find 6" x 6" post. So I can't just pick up a $3.99 cap and call it done. In fact, I'm having a difficult time finding a 6" for a decent price. I found this one here, but I'm not really in love with the design. I more like the design of the $50 one. Not that it comes in my size anyway.

And other websites - deckdepot and decklighting and otherstoopiddecksites.com? Yeah, I've found that their pricing is NOT at all competitive, their sites have poor design and navigation, the information is lacking, the selection is limited, and overall - I've come to the conclusion that I probably won't be able to find these online.