Dirty Window

Sometimes I can feel the world that I want to build with words. I see glimpses of it now and again, and it excites me. But these glimpses, they are flashes only, without substance. It’s like looking through a dirty storefront window, hands cupped around your eyes, so close you can smell the grime on the window. It’s in there, and it’s awesome, but I just can’t see it…

Bathroom Lights

Added more recessed lights to the house. Went up in the attic to add two cans for the closet and run the wires for those and the light over the tub. The tub had a retro-fit, no way I could squeeze over there for a new construction can like I used in the closet. Installed a new switch box, again retrofit.

Also, got a new washer after fixing the old one, only to have something else go wrong with it. Cut my loses and got a new one. A few days later and it no longer plays its pretty song when I turn it on. Not cool LG.

 

Solar

solar panels photo:  3.png

So excited, just got a call from Reliant, then transferred to someone at Nrg. They are offering a lease for solar panels on our house.  We pay nothing down, but have to pay a monthly lease amount. But the lease, combined with the energy provided by panels, will still be less than our current monthly bills. In theory anyway, I have to talk to someone else who has all the details.  But apparently, they provide all the upkeep and maintenance, repairs, etc.

So I asked what was in it for them – a 30% tax credit from the government! Sounds like win-win. The downside? It’s a friggin’ 20-year lease. I don’t want to commit to anything that long, but damn. The rep told me the solar panels were long lasting, 10% degradation after 20 years. Not sure I completely believe her…

Overcome when they realize…

I love these videos. Imagine, someone singing your music back to you for the first time.


Singer flustered after crowd sings the band’s lyrics during their debut.


That moment when the lead singer of a band realizes they’ve “made it”.


It’s a bit hard to sing when your audience does this…
I think I saw somewhere they when Lara Fabian sings “I love you”, the audience is singing “we love you.” And I love how the piano player just rolls with it.

A Sign

The other day while browsing at a large hobby store, I came across a poster, basically a picture of a sign. Whether it was a real photo or one dreamed up in PhotoShop I didn’t know, and didn’t care. I knew it would be better as a real sign. So I pulled out my phone and snapped a photo. I knew I had similar colors from previous work and decided I would only use things that I already had on hand.

The first step was assessing the board to use for the sign. I had an eight-foot 2×6 along with some 1×1 just begging to be used.

After a few hours work, I had a start to my sign.

The cuts weren’t perfect, but perfect for what I wanted. I sanded with 120 grit paper, then again with 50 grit paper. I brushed on my left-over paint, then repeated the sanding process.

Here’s where I broke the “only-what-I-had-on-hand” rule. I needed stencils. Or rather, I wanted stencils. Hand-lettering was not something on which I was willing to spend time. Found some at Wal-Mart (Lowes? Really? One set of stencils?)

I settled in to add my words of hope to the wood. I got out white paint and stenciled away.

But the color didn’t look right. I found an old can of paint that had hardly been used; a coral-pinkish color. I proceeded fill in the inner portion of the letters with this darker color. So much for no hand-lettering, but at least now I had a guide.

Then I sanded yet again, to give it that weathered look.

Screwed these boards to the 1x1s and bam, there’s a sign!

I debated whether or not to add polyurethane. I tested on one of my pieces on which I experimented with green, decided I didn’t like it, then tried to add the coral on top of that. Nyet. But it works for testing! Poly doesn’t look too bad. (But now my sign has no hope.)

I decided the polyurethane wasn’t bad, so slapped a couple of coats on the front.

Next I’ll sand it with some 220 grit to remove imperfections, then hang it on my daughter’s wall.

 

Pavers

What an incredibly productive weekend I had!

Saturday I started out by spraying all my plants with an organic fertilizer. That’s something that I started this spring, and I only did it because I found three sprayers when we cleaned out a house we’re selling. Now, I love it! I try to spray every Saturday morning before the sun hits the plants. And then I took more photos. I must really try to restrain myself with the camera. However, I did capture this nasty little bugger eating the hell out of my canna.

I spent the rest of the day crawling around in the attic. I installed 3 LED recessed can lights in the upstairs hallway. It’s tough to get a good photo of lit lights, but trust me, they look awesome! It does point out how much I need to replace the carpet and paint the walls though. According to the box, the lights put out about 575 lumens, the equivalent of a 65 watt incandescent bulb, while using only 9.5 watts. I think they underestimate the amount of light they put out. Our hallway is now brightly lit, and all three combined use less electricity then the CFLs they replaced.

Sunday was spent “encouraging” the kids to clean their rooms. The rooms look much better now!

Monday I fixed the downspout on the rain gutter that had come loose and mowed/edged the lawn. I also got a great start on my patio expansion. What we have is just a small concrete area. I’m going to expand the small walkway on either side. It never grows grass, I might as well convert it to a nice pavestone where I can store the grill.

 

 

Spring Garden

Ah spring. The temperatures have warmed enough to work outside, but have not soared into triple digits as they so soon will. Rain still happens occasionally, and after it does the soil is allowed to hang on to the moisture for awhile. The sun is our friend, not yet that merciless bitch that will fry our skin, our plants and homes.

Time to do some digging!

Clearing off what’s left of the mulch before I dig.

Some clay, but not bad.

Smooth it out…

Add verbena.

Replace the mulch…

And on to the next section.

And with canna.