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Monday, September 22, 2014

Home Improvement Project

Nothing so involved as my blogger friend Six has done in remodeling his home, but we did decide we were tired of the Three Musketeers Nougat* colored walls in the master bath.  It was time to paint the Reading Room!

We had attempted to find the right paint a year ago with no success. Our wall wore two sample squares of too yellow paints.  But DH got inspired recently and we found at last a paint and trim color we both liked.   New shelving was acquired, to provide space for the contents of the First Aid Bathtub. Clear plastic tubs were bought, to better see and organize the First Aid supplies.
The bathroom and all its accumulated clutter was emptied and cleaned.  Then it was time for the heavy duty "hiding" primer.  It works pretty well, and soon the nougat walls were buried under a layer of cool white paint. 

After cutting in the new wall color, DH began to roll it on the walls.  So far the paint has gone mostly on the walls, and not too much on us.  Oh and I managed NOT to deglove my ring finger, when my ring snagged on the top of the shower door track.  Ouch!   It is bruised a bit more than I expected, and I wisely removed the ring before it got swollen, but it would have been wiser still to have removed the rings before I started at all.

It's pretty difficult with the cellphone, to get a good idea of the new color, called Fresh Cotton, by Valspar.  The trim is not yet done, and will be a sort of honey-tan color.  Dark enough to offset the  main color, but not so dark as to be too bold.  That will get done tomorrow, and shouldn't take more than half an hour or so.  Then to cut and prime and paint the shelves, and hang them over the bathtub, ready for the onslaught of first aid supplies.

* The bath has been this color since we moved in, 11 years ago.  We did not paint it!  You should see the master bedroom color...It's the color of the gills on underside of a mushroom.  Yeah, that dark!

Friday, September 19, 2014

The Book of Barkley - A Review

Before I gush all over myself praising this book, let me just say I wish I wrote half as well as LB does.  If I could, I could make a good living at it!

The Book of Barkley...a book about one woman's black Labrador Retriever.  I'm a dog person...I more than "get it" when it comes to loving a dog, and what they can mean to you, their human.  But WOW!  LB has truly scripted a wondrous tribute to Barkley, and in doing so, brought out many aspects of growing up in the latter 20th century America.

This book touches on childhood bonding, adoption, love, faith, loss, broken hearts, and dog hair.  And bacon.  Always bacon.  And the JATO-like qualities of a canine digestive tract.

LB has a gift for light humor, as well as a gifted touch for the more heartbreaking aspects of life.  Barkley was both Court Jester of her home, and Counselor, the one being she could talk to any time, about any thing, even those things she could not tell her closest family.

Add to it, that LB is quite the photographer, sharing many photos of Barkley that could not be printed in the book (no pictures to keep costs down).  These photos and expanded stories are available on the Book of Barkley Blog. It's a site well worth investigating, especially for the photos of a handsome Lab.

This is a book about a life well lived--one human , one canine.  I am honored to consider LB a friend, though we have yet to meet in person.  LB, I want to thank you for sharing your stories of Barkley with us all, and for making my Christmas gift shopping so much simpler!  If you enjoy quality prose, and love a good dog, then this book is for YOU!

The Book of Barkley is available on Amazon (Kindle and paperback) and B&N Nook (and paperback) and on iTunes.  There should be a link in my side bar for Amazon, or you can go to the Book of Barkley Blog for more links in those other formats.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The rest of the weekend

There was still weekend left over after the Balloon Fest event ended.  There was also a lot of stuff that needed doing around the house.  DH hasn't been able to help out as much as he normally would, since his hip/pelvis is still very painful after the bike crashes, and this restricts his mobility.

Nevertheless, we started tackling the jobs around home after Sunday worship.  There was a plumbing job that needed doing, and an auto repair too.  To wit, one toilet was out of commission, and in a house of 5, being down to one working toilet is a bit of a crisis...just saying.  And the van desperately needed new rear shocks, which would improve handling and towing.

Now, I am the house-plumber in the family, while DH is normally the electrician.  We both work on cars, provided the job isn't too major.  Rear shocks on a Toyota Sienna are relatively simple.  Fixing a toilet usually isn't a major repair either...until you bust something you need.

We ended up starting in on the van before I tackled the plumbing.  I had intended to be the one working under the van to make it easier for DH.  But sometimes there is no substitute for muscle, so DH ended up under the van and doing most of the grunt work in spite of the pain.

It did take loading all three Monkeys and DH into the back of the van though, to compress one spring enough to get the shock seated properly.  Not a big deal, and after than it all went like clockwork.  A quick drive around the subdivision confirmed everything was reassembled ok, and that was enough to level the rear shocks to normal ride height.

Onto the plumbing.  All was going well until I encountered a fitting I couldn't loosen.  DH wedged himself between the plumbing and the sink cabinet and managed to loosen it for me.  Unfortunately for him, getting UP from there proved problematic, and irritated things internally.  During this, one of the internal bits in the tank I had not intended on replacing, broke.  Great.  I tried to Southern Engineer a fix with gutter sealant, but no joy.  It refused to set up firm enough to hold, but leaked slow enough to make the unit useable, at least in the short term.

Monday was DH's orthopedic consult.  This isn't as bad as it could be, since we both really like our ortho surgeon.  He's done quite a few repairs on us both (getting old sucks, but it beats the alternative!).  Once in, and the Xrays examined, Doc came in and began to poke and prod DH.  "Show me where it hurts.  What does it hurt like?  Here?"  as he pushes a thumb into DH's hip.  "No,that doesn't hurt."  "Oh?  How about here?" as he sticks his thumb higher up and more to the side.  I watch as DH suppresses a howl of agony, and restrains himself from decking the doctor he actually likes.  I note that the painful point is NOT DH's main point of contact with the ground.  After this, Doc simply says, "MRI time."

Monday evening saw me back doing the plumbing gig.  We had purchased the needed part after the Ortho doc appointment, and there was time between dinner and the MRI to get it done.  This time it went off without issue, and the Monkeys are happy to have a working toilet again, and so am I.  I'm not sure why so many folks think household plumbing repairs are hard/awful.  I understand copper pipe to be more difficult, but here, it's all PVC tinker toy stuff.  I might not 'enjoy' resetting a toilet on a new wax ring, but having seen it done, I could do it if needed.  And any other toilet repairs have no 'yuck' factor.

So Monday night, late, found us both sitting in the MRI office waiting room. At least they have a Keurig knockoff, and lots of tasty cookies for folks to raid.  It took an hour or so to finish up and then we left with a disc of DH's finely sectioned innards.  MRI's are kinda cool, especially if you once entertained ideas of becoming a body mechanic (aka doctor/surgeon).  We now just wait for the radiology report, and to hear from the Ortho again on what all is going on in there.

So, what level of household repairs do you tackle?

YAY!  The good news is there are NO fractures in DH!  However he is badly bruised, and it will take a fair bit of time to heal him.  He will be out from work for a bit longer,