12 June 2007

Renovation Update

Let's see... what have I gotten done lately... Lots, actually.

- finally replaced my front porch light. It had been nonfunctional for several years, from shortly after I had my siding put in. I had actually assumed that it worked but that the wires had come loose due to sloppy reinstallation by the siding guys, but when I went to remove it, the wires were connected. So I presume that there was a short in the light somewhere (possibly due to rough handling by the siding guys; possibly due to age). Anyway, it's rather nice to have a working porchlight again. Naturally I picked one with a vaguely Asian flair. I think I bought it last fall and never got it installed. One very nice feature: nothing to remove when I need to change the light bulb.

- finally repaired a damaged cabinet found on clearance at Pier 1 several years back. It would have been a lot easier if I'd realized what the problem was when I first started trying to fix it. I thought that a crossbar was sticking out too far and not allowing the door to close properly. To that end, I attacked the crossbar with a chisel ...blanking on the name... It's got a screwdriver handle and a sharp blade at the end...you can hit it with a hammer... if I think of the name, I'll add it in later. This was not the primary problem, though it may have been a contributing factor. The real problem was that the wood in the door had warped enough that the part with the latch was unable to connect to the other half of the latch and keep the door closed. That was easily fixed by moving the latch down to where the door was still flush. Then I had to figure out what to do with the crossbar that I'd attacked. Luckily, when the door is closed that damage is not visible, but I didn't want it looking horrible when I opened the door, either. So I finished attacking the crossbar, to get something close to the same width all the way across, and glued on some black felt. Not perfect, but it looks much better than it did.

- put a bamboo blind in the window in my office, to help block/absorb heat in the morning. They say that eastern windows are "safe", heat-wise. They're wrong. My house gets constant sunlight through its eastern windows all through the morning and it heats up the house horribly in the summer. The bamboo blinds catch a lot of the heat. The cotton curtains can be closed over them to catch even more. I've done the same thing to the western window in my meditation room, for the afternoon sun. Also I've planted a maple tree in a spot where, eventually, it will shade the western window.

- planted two rows of carrots (I might have mentioned this earlier; I'm too lazy to check at the moment). They're not up yet, but several of the herbs I'd given up on have started coming up. I've got a row of basil, for sure. I'm not entirely sure what the other two rows are, but it's clear they're relatives, as their seedlings are nearly identical. So maybe some of the other herbs will come up. That would be nice.

- moved some of my red corn plants, as enough came up that they wouldn't grow well unless I spaced them out. They all seem to have survived the move, much to my surprise. (red corn: the seeds came from some ornamental ears that I picked up two falls ago. No clue how they'll taste fresh)

- the kittens can purr now, and can do some climbing. I've only seen one get out of the box on her own so far. I've been taking them outside in the mornings most days.

- the more recent damaged Pier 1 purchase is in the corner of my meditation room, making it look a thousand times neater. All the stuff on the bench/cupboard went onto its shelves. The stuff on the floor also found a home. I've even got my little "fountain" set up now. I like listening to the sound of the water when its running...though I suspect its lights look rather odd to anyone glancing towards that window at night when it's on.

I think that might be everything. Then again, it might not.

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