6/14 to 6/18

6/14 Thursday – Went to pickup the new filter system after work. As I was grabbing a sandwich in the mall I decided to open it up and take a look—good thing I did. It was missing the filter, mounting hardware, and instructions. I went back to return it and for some reason the exact same thing was $20 in store instead of the $30 I paid online. On the way home there was a lot of traffic so I tried to cut through a residential neighborhood. I got lost and as I was driving around there was a sign on the side of the road. My breaks squealed as I read ‘free firewood.’ I loaded up my trunk and back seat then headed the rest of the way home. I remembered seeing a sledge hammer and an axe in the root cellar so I grabbed those and got to chopping. On about the third log I snapped the sledge in half. I tried in vein to get the rest of the handle out of the head but now I just have a chisel stuck in there along with it. Tried the closer home depot for some random crap and possible a new sledge or handle. The sledges were all fairly expensive so I think I’ll just get a handle from harbor freight tomorrow. I did get a pegboard for the bench and some under sink fitting for the new system. Stopped home for a bit then went to grab the newest in the craigslist goodies, a practically new Kenmore Got home, finished hooking up the filter, and put the sink all back together. Another one in the bag. Mounted a garbage harvested wipe/bulletin board then started to put up the peg board but wasn’t up for it and finished up for the night. Tomorrow I work at the hospital and plan on going to pickup a green marble L countertop for $45. Give you one guess where I lined that up. It should cover the longer side of the counter (including the space needed for the dishwasher) to the left side of the sink. All in all it’s about 2/3 of the counter and I’m sure I can find something close for the rest, even if it’s a formica covering for the existing counter. over-the-range microwave for a scant $40.

6/15 Friday – Got out of work at the hospital around noon and headed to get the ‘marble’ counter top. Got there and it was marbleized formica covering. Debated whether it was still worth the $45 and decided to get it. Later on was thinking I’m sure I could have haggled down to like $30 for it. Brought that back on the roof racks which was interesting. The pools draining well enough that I was able to pull the cover off. The liner looks to be in pretty decent shape as does the whole pool, I just don’t want to deal with it. Should be easy enough to find someone to take it away. I brought Erik over to a pick-and-pull junkyard for a tire, though he wound up settling on a better donut and getting a new tire. It was $9 which got me to thinking I’m positive I could get a few parts and make a pretty decent markup on eBay. I think a donut in the shape that was in would got for $30 + $20 shipping pretty easily. I’m going to do some research on the best parts to do it with then probably get a load of $150 worth of parts or so to test the waters. Finally found a reasonably priced sledge hammer handle at Walmart along with some ripped bags of mulch for $1.50 each—I bought four. Back at the house I got to work splitting some more logs. My axe is now down to about six inches of handle left and it shot out of the log and caught me in the leg hard enough to leave a pretty good gouge. Paper towel and duct tape kept it under control until I made it into the lab later that night to suture it up. Spread a bag of mulch under the hedges and called it a day.

6/16 Saturday – Took the liberty of sleeping in today for a change. Went to Vic’s at noon to checkout the puppies and return a couple things. Decided to sweep up the root cellar. I got a lot of dirt up but there’s so much I think a hose and wet vac will be the best route. I want to get that room cleaned up so I can move some of the things off the basement floor and really go to work on that. There’s a concrete floor so it’s not like a dirt floor root cellar, though root cellar #2 doesn’t have that luxary. There was a decent size pile of bricks that I moved out to the front lawn to use as a garden border. You can’t beat free. On the way back from Vic’s I hit a couple garage sales; a $5 pull out drawer cabinet and a really nice 4’ x 4’ oil painting for $15 were among the highlights. I planned on refinishing the cabinet and took the belt sander to it but the paint just kept crapping up the belt—I’ll need to try some chemical stripping. I went to Home Depot and scored huge. The 5 gallon thing of drylock I saw the other day still wasn’t marked down but when I asked a guy he said he could do it then and take like half off (I was expecting it to go 10-15% off) so I now have enough to finish the whole basement including a second coat for $48 or about the what two gallons would have cost. The only thing wrong with the bucket is the spout broke off, not a big deal. I also picked up some stripping supplies, some stain, and a few bags of top soil. From there it was back to Vic’s to mooch a shovel. He also gave me a different striping solution to try as he said it was the best he had ever used, and he’s used a number. If it works I’ll buy some of that and return what I bought. Got back and dug up along the front porch for the garden bed. Then I layed down the bricks, spread top soil, and finally the mulch. Now I’ve got a garden bed that stretches across the front and runs down the side of the property along the hedges to the sidewalk. I must say for the $12 it cost me it looks very sharp. The neighbor checked it out and told me that’s the best the house had looked, ever. Still had a bit of energy so I cut up and bagged all the construction trash that had been sitting in the back yard. That did it for the day. Tomorrow I may pickup some annuals for the garden and strip the cabinet after I grab some gloves from the lab.

6/17 Sunday – Today I decided I was going to do a few ‘fun’ projects. I started working on stripping the cabinet I got. The circa 1850 stuff Vic gave me worked wonders, so much so I went out and bought another 4 liter can of it. Still, it took a long time to get through the whole cabinet. I was a little discouraged that it was actually a super shin sheet of veneer and plywood underneath that I kept digging through to with the sander. I got all the paint off still and decided that’d be enough. On the way home from Tara’s I’d hit Lowes to grab all the materials I needed to build an 8’ bench for the front porch. Also scored another 5 gallon bucket of tan tinted drylock for $25 and a small wet/dry vac for $15. I plan on finishing the unpainted part of the basement with the white, using the tan for a second coat, and taking the rest of the white around the base of the outside of the house. Anyway I got to constructing the bench and it took a few hours but came out really solid. Still had a little in me so I decided to finish the job in one swing and stain it too. The stain I had grabbed out of the clearance cart couldn’t have looked any better. It was a real deep red and made the bench look amazing. It looks like something you would pay a couple hundred dollars for in the store. I was certainly pleased and called it a day.

6/18 Monday – So I’ve got two major projects on the horizon but I need the hose draining the pool to get going on the basement and I need the chest cabinet finished to move the turtles out of the kitchen. I decided to stain the cabinet as it was one of the only easy short things to do. The stain didn’t take nearly as well as the bench did but that’s because the wood was pretty poor quality and the veneer sanded completely away in parts. In the end it could’ve looked worse. I left it to dry overnight so tomorrow the turtles should be on the move. The pool has another three inches or so to go too. I started to work on the website so that might be making its way to fruition in the not too distant future. Tara came over to watch a movie and we got about half way through when there was a knock at the door. It was some old man who said he grew up in the house and wanted to know if he could take a quick look. I didn’t see the harm (he was using a cane to get around) so I let him pop his head in. The next thing I know I’m standing there listening to his diatribe about the prisons he’s been in and his pain medication history for damn near a half hour. I kept looking at Tara and shrugging as there literally was no way to get out of the conversation. Like I said about a half hour later he wrapped up and I got him on his way. Tara was hysterical by the time he left and in tears about feeling safe in the house. While this guy was harmless everything I’ve heard about the boyfriend of the woman living here before points to him being a real dirt bag. Though I doubt there’s anything to worry about, a security system might be worth looking into. I changed all the locks with deadbolts and the only feasible window point of entry is the front porch, but it never hurts to be too careful.

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