Blog Archive

Monday, May 11, 2009

Manual Labor

I really don't know where the weekends seems like it was just Thursday night and Dave had just arrived back here in Davis. I guess when you're super busy time really does fly by!

Our routine lately has been that we figure out what projects from our looming to do list we're going to tackle on Thursday night and then we spend most of Friday shopping for the items and getting set up. Normally I put in a few hours at school on Fridays but last week turned out to be a hard week so I only went in and started a run on the thermal analyzer on the way to Home Depot.

We bought all the tan retaining wall blocks in stock (only 50 or so), which got us a long way towards finishing the front yard's wall. The extra pallet of blocks comes next weekend so we'll be totally done with it soon enough!

We also bought a bifold wooden door for the hallway/living room area. Of the 4 that were in stock all of them were either cracked or had grooves in them from rubbing up against something during shipment. The sales lady gave me 60% off one of the lesser damaged ones. Not bad! This doorway is so gross--there are gobs of paint and the exposed edges of the sheet rock are uneven. Hopefully the new door will improve the appearance. My hope is that this door will cut down on the noise between the bedrooms and the living room/kitchen areas of the house for when little Eddie is napping. Surly he'll get used to the dogs barking after a while but the door should help a lot.
Saturday: Dave worked on extending the existing wall while I worked on digging the ditch around the planter bed under the living room window for a new wall. It was slow going because it was so hot and I'm nearly 6 months along but I did get my ditch completely dug before digging the rest of Dave's while he laid the blocks. I'd rather dig any day than hunker down and heaving those 23 pound blocks around!

We had plenty of help throughout the day from our darling doggies. Ruby practically filled-in part of my ditch by lying in it and she also took refuge from the heat by nestling down in my flower bed.
Here's Potatoes not helping his Daddy but cocking his head when I asked him if he was "such a goody boy":
I know people say that a person can't know what true love is until you have a baby...I'm sure that's true but I can't imagine feeling anything stronger than what I feel for Dave and my pooches. Our dogs are our babies at this point and we love them so much. How could you not love something as cute as this?

Dave is so proud of his perfectly level block-laying skills:
Anyway, we wanted to get the kitchen cabinets finished around the new oven this weekend, too. But then I noticed this scary warning on the top of the oven that I hadn't seen before. It states that the oven should not be installed below the 36" level (counter height) and should not be installed underneath work surfaces (like counters). Crap! That was our plan all along.

We think this warning has to do with the intensely hot flue at the top of the oven--it is clearly a safety issue but could also damage the counter top material. Given that we will likely rent this house to tennets before we sell it, we're having a baby who we don't want to get burned, and I have to get a permit signed-off for this new appliance installation, I decided it'd be better--groan--to install it according to the manufacturer's directions. And that means on top of a cabinet like a wall oven ought to be.

Knowing this change in plans would be result in more work for Dave, I actually considered ignoring the warning but my instincts told me not to. He is of course understanding, but I can tell that he doesn't like the idea of another day or two of reworking both the upper and lower cabinets. Poor guy--I kept apologizing and telling him that if I'd known it wasn't supposed to be installed under a counter then the originial plan would have been for it to be wall-mounted.

I honestly don't go around looking for things for him to work on--all my requests are logical and usually stem from wanting everyday chores in this household to run as smoothly/safetly as possible while also making our home look presentable. Considering I will be a single mom during the week, he's very willing to help me get the house in order for efficiency with cooking, cleaning, laundry, etc. If only he could find some way to prevent the dogs from shedding...

So next weekend we'll be finishing that cabinet/oven project. At least we only have to buy one additional cabinet for this last-minute retrofit. The wall cabinet that the oven will displace will be moved into the hall bathroom to hold all of Eddie's diapering/bathing supplies above his changing table (which is perfect because we weren't sure what type of cabinetry/shelving unit to install there and it is nice to avoid building something from scratch).

Sunday: I planted some ferns in the utility yard that I'd divided from the bed in the front yard. Hopefully they survive! I also put a small length of fence up near the boat to (hopefully) deter the dogs from plowing through my still-unplanted garden bed and spreading dirt all over our nice clean gravel paths as they dash to the fence along the park to investigate noises.

Dave painted the doggie door as well as painted and installed a bi-fold door between the hallway and the living room. It still needs some touching-up and some minor adjustments...not to mention some trim but is off to a very good start.

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