Tuesday, June 12, 2012

90 Degrees? Time for Hard Labor.

I have a knack for planning hard labor when the barometer rises....last week, I managed to schedule a sidewalk demolition and rebuilding for the hottest week of the year so far. Go me!

For years, the sidewalk leading from my driveway to my side door has been in serious disrepair. The first winter I lived at my house, my "eco-friendly" ice melt also managed to start melting my concrete. Once the process started it couldn't be stopped. A little bit like the Wicked Witch of the West.

You can see how all the rocks are coming up, its losing its....I dunno...concreteness? Does that make sense?

So, I did what any self-respecting Single-Female Homeowner would do. I called my dad. I said, hey dad, you know my concrete thats melting? Should I rent a jack-hammer? I think he was slightly afraid of the glee in my voice and quickly vetoed that idea and suggested a sledgehammer instead. I said to him, but daaaaaddddd, I don' think I have the brute strength for a sledgehammer. Trust me, I did whine several times throughou this entire process abou not getting to use a jackhammer. So, Dad got a sledgehammer and some other tools to use with it that I don't know the names of and we broke up some concrete on a beautiful summers day. It actually was pretty simple, once we got going and could get some leverage under the pieces.

No more concrete!

Oh, right...except for over on that giant pile...

Luckily my local handyman (dad) is also my local hauler and took it to the dump forthwith. Only $10 (which I still haven't paid him for....)

Next up...hole digging! We had to go about 7 inches down for the base, the sand and the pavers.

Lucky for you, there aren't any pictures of the hole digging. Let me give you an image. Me. Sun. Sweat. Sun burn. Shovel. Dirt. Very exciting, I know.

Day 3, time for the good stuff. I called in reinforcements. This time, lucky for me, my brother Carl let slip that he was going to be in town that evening so I called in in to duty. The man is a master. Not only did he do some master cuts with the asphalt saw (dudes, I rented an asphalt saw and CUT THE DRIVEWAY) he shoveled concrete like nobodies business. He had the hole filled in about 10 minutes. I'm pretty sure I didn't really need to be there at all.

They're such good workers! I'll keep em! (PS, isn't my Dad's new truck big pimpin'?)

Carl also manned the plate compactor. He got a little giddy when he started that bad boy up.

Work work work....all day long....

Until finally.....

So pretty!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Guest Posting at a Librarian's Lists and Letters

I guest posted over at A Librarian's Lists and Letters.

I first met Shannon the @BrassyLibrarian on twitter and I fell in love with her blog. I felt like she was writing my thoughts. Lucky for me, I got the chance to meet her when I was visiting my sister.

So check me out and then follow her. We young librarians gotta stick together!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

The Crafty Single Female Homeowner

To keep this mainly a house blog, I've created a blog just for my crafty side.  Mainly embroidery. Might also include a little more personal things, like work, love, etc.  Why the heck not....I'm a grown woman, I can do what I want!

Find my crafty goodness at the Crafty Single Female Homeowner!

Merry Christmas to all, and to all, a good night!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Well Has Run Dry

Of money that is. Not ideas....I've got loads of ideas floating around in my head. Unfortunately ideas and results can't pay the bills.

What I WANT to do:

Install baseboards - I found a cool idea on pinterest that would be cheaper for the larger size boards that I want. I LOVE the look of taller baseboards.

Do something to the basement. Not finish it by any means....but make it a little more waterproof, a lot less scary and improve the functionality of it as a laundry and storage area. Just not sure how to do it.... I'd love to get a utility sink installed and then some kind of counter and cabinet for all the laundry stuff.

Speaking of the basement, do something down there and in the garage for tool storage. I'm not sure where to store my tools so now they are all over the place....which means I can never find what I want when I need it.

Replace doors on 2nd floor from awful banged, beat up wood hollow doors to a nice bright, white paneled door.

What I CAN do:

Hang art work - I've been in the house for over two years and I really haven't hung anything up yet...I have nails and a hammer. I'm just really bad at making things level and even.

Clean out closets of clothes and STUFF and figure out what to donate and what to consign/sell.

Remake computer/craft room closet into sewing desk to make room for an air mattress in the room for when I have more than 2 guests - or parents and kids. The hardest part is electricity - I'd need to somehow get a light in there and an outlet. I've seen so many good ideas though...

Obviously I don't have doors and don't need all the elements...but I like the idea of still having room to hang things.


What I AM doing:

I am embroidering! Some of you will already know this...I just picked it up right before Thanksgiving. I'm having a great time with it and I really love it. Finally, a handcraft I can do (not like knitting or crochet!). I'm working through a Christmas present list....I'm more than halfway done with my list. I'm onto the hardest part of trying to sew some of the projects into tote bags. Sewing isn't necessarily the biggest problem....its the cutting and getting the stupid machine threaded.

I will share pictures of what I'm doing after they are gifted....

I just watched Downton Abbey. I highly recommend it. Now if they had a show like that set in the early 19th century....

Dating....dating and more dating.  Note to single men out there.  I will not respond if A) you have a shirtless picture; B) you have a picture holding a dead mammal as a trophy (fish are ok); C) you send me a generic message with some sort of sexual inuendo.  I'm sure there's more but those are the top three.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Knock Three Times....I'm a Believer

I'm pretty much to the point that whatever YHL takes on, I think I can do too. Except the crazy stuff with saws. And tile. Yet.

So, I inadvertently managed to get off work until Tuesday. Perfect since I have a house guest arriving tomorrow (YEA!), my 30th birthday BBQ on Saturday (!!!) and then my sister and her family arriving Tuesday after my first house guest leaves.  So, I figured today would be the perfect day to forget about all the cleaning I should be doing and instead decide to paint the side door hardware.

The brassy hardware has been aggravating me since day 1, especially after I painted the door. It was desperately asking to be changed. I had planned on just buying new hardware, because that is what I thought you had to do. But then John and Sherry came to the rescue.  I figured if they could do it, so could I. And my previous spray painting experience with the Adirondack chairs was so awesome I was super excited.

Here we go!


Brassy, right? Meh.  Door hardware is easy to take off. Just a philips screwdriver and a butterknife (it's important to use the right tools for the job :P )

I got all the hardware off and laid it out on a grocery bag. Gave it a wipe down with some 409 and just went at it.

There was a piece that was attached to the door, so I had to tape around it and I added some cardboard to protect around it too.

I also figured out a way to keep the knob from lying on its side - paper towel roll to the rescue!

Spray, internetting, spray, play words with friends, eat lunch, check hardware...reattach!

I managed to drop the knocker about 3 times while trying to reattach, so it got a bit...weathered looking. I'll wait before going at it again with more paint, just to see what happens.

Nice, huh?

The only problem is I can't get the deadbolt screwed back together....nothing a job superdad can't handle. Speaking of handles, I replaced the handle on my broken toilet with the guidance of superdad this morning.  And changed the vacuum bag. So, I wasn't a total loser....

Thanks for making me a DIY spray painting believer YHL.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Patio Fin!

Last weekend I worked like crazy and busted out all the remaining projects on the patio. Go me!

Saturday morning I got up and tackled the assembly of my privacy arbors. They were surprisingly simple.  I love simple in assembly.  I probably liked it because the directions were text based, rather than the photo directions that I usually encounter.  My mom, sister-in-law, and niece showed up as I was finishing assembly so I finagled them into helping me install - which just consisted of lining up and pounding anchors in. Again, way easier than expected.

That did it for Saturday, since I headed out to Wisco for a family reunion.

I got up bright and early on Sunday morning to tackle more projects.  I started with washing the plastic furniture pictured above.  I was ready for my first foray into spray painting. Again, I was pleasantly surprised by the ease of the project. The biggest problem I encountered was the ant pile I stepped in while spray painting *shudder*.  Plus the resulting yellow boogeys from spray painting.

But look! Success!

In between drying  coats of spray paint, I went out to the Home Depot and got some new plants to replace the ones that died in the planters during our heat wave this summer. I love fall blooms. The colors...*swoon*

After the planting and spray painting, my dad came by and helped me get the patio cleaned up for sealing.  But before we could do that, my aunt, uncle and cousin stopped by.  Uncle Keith just happens to be an electrician....and he happened to hear about how I needed help changing my light fixture. How fortuitous!

Bye bye brassy light fixture with wonky sensor....hello pretty black fixture that matches the light post on the side of the house.

In addition to that lighting change, I also picked up some more solar garden lights and put three on each side of the patio. Love the resulting ambiance, even though I have no picture to show you.

Finally, my dad and I got down to the main event, sealing the patio.  The sealer was a high gloss, to give the patio a wet look at all times.  Imagine nail polish remover. Times 10,000.  I had a headache the rest of the night that tylenol couldn't even kick.

But the result? Magnifico. Bellisima.

The end, patio!  It's been great building with you. *MWAH*

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

I'm 30. Now What?

I turn 30 today.  It feels like a huge milestone, something that should indicate a ginormous turning point in my life. How is my life going to be different now that I'm 30, rather than 29? Does it even matter? 
Sometimes I feel like at 30, I'm missing out on so much that my friends and family who have turned 30 have accomplished. Namely getting married and having a family.  But I've done so many things that other people couldn't have or didn't. I can't let what I don't have drag me down and diminish all the great things I've accomplished since graduating college: saving the world one illiterate child at a time, getting a masters degree, starting a career I love, buying a house and fixing it up....

There's a reason why my family and friends are proud of me/impressed by me/think I'm the best librarian ever. And it doesn't have anything to do about my marital state or lack of fruit of my loins.

Turning 30 can matter, especially if I make some changes, make some goals. I think I should have monthly goals, changing my life in small, meaningful ways. So this is kind of like a new years resolution, but not.

Month 1:
August 16 - September 15
Keep house picked up and kitchen cleaned. My house reaches a general state of chaos by the end of each week. A pit. The PIT OF DESPAIR. I hate it, but so far I've done nothing to improve it.  Henceforth, kitchen, living room, and foyer shall be picked up at least every other day.

Month 2:
September 16 -  October 15
My money managing skills are non-existant. At 30, I feel like I should really have a better handle on this. Month 2 will forever be known as the month I kept track of every single penny being spent.

Month 3:
October 16 - November 15
Now that I've kept track of my money, I need to establish a budget - a workable budget - and actually make it work. I've done a lot of things that are harder. I shouldn't wimp out on a budget.

Month 4:
November 16 - December 15
Time to learn something new - or re-learn something that I've forgotten *cough* crochet/knitting *cough*

Month 5:
December 16 - January 15
Make my bed every morning.  I remember reading about John and Sherry over at Young House Love doing this.  When I do make my bed, I love the way it looks and climbing into it at night. This will be especially good in the winter since I'll turn my electric blanket on and it'll be extra nice and toasty when I get in.

Month 6:
January 16 - February 15
Make a lunch/bring a lunch everyday to bring to work.  I waste so much money and eat really bad things for me when I'm not prepared for lunch at work. Time to stop wasting money and find some things I can really enjoy for lunch at work.

Month 7:
February 16 - March 15
The month for fitness. Usually by this time in the year its gross outside - been too cold for too long, the snow never seems to go away. But working out always makes me feel better in this weather. Month 7 goal will be to work out 4 days a week.

Month 8:
March 16 - April 15
Spring cleaning time! It's time to tackle all those nasty chores I haven't been doing all along (clean those windows girl!). This will take breaking it down week by week....
Week 1: Windows
Week 2: Cleaning out closets
Week 3: Organize pantry
Week 4: Floors!

Month 9:
April 16 - May 15
Spring planting! Time to get the grass ready to look good and flower beds cleaned up and planted. Out comes the patio furniture. Time to enjoy the outdoors again.

Month 10:
May 16 - June 15
Plan a trip. The trip doesn't have to happen this month, but I want to figure out a vacation to take. A real vacation, to a real vacation spot, for a real relaxing time.

Month 11:
June 16 - July 15
Be social. I tend to become pretty hermit like and sometimes it takes more of an effort for me to go out. Month 11 will be known as the Social Butterfly Month.  At least once a week I will do an activity with a friend (that doesn't include softball night).

Month 12:
July 16 - August 15
Explore the City.  There's so much in the cities that I haven't done, haven't seen. This time of year there's a lot of festivals, markets, etc. I should be able to find something to do at least once a week.