Open Door

Open Door
Indianapolis, Indiana

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

To Mow or Not to Mow...

When I was a child we called our parents Mom and Dad. But we were lucky children whose parents read to them often, and one of my favorites was the Bernstein Bears. Because of that I took to calling my own father Papa Bear which I have done, on occasion, all of my life. Then, when my niece came along, she chose Papa as the designator for my Dad, and I began calling him Papa more often than not.

Well, Papa came over yesterday with his lovely big Dixie Chopper to mow my yards for me. Eric and I are very grateful to him for bringing it over every other week all summer long and keeping our yards mowed for us. Unfortunately, his lovely Chopper had a bit of a mishap and broke a belt. Now the yard looks like it has half a Mohawk, but hey, we’re not winning any beauty pageants any time soon anyway.

From this angle it is hard to see, but the yard in front of the Bungalow is done and there are a couple of stripes on the utility strip clean, but most of the yard is still overgrown.

On another note, we had to have Lee’s Complete Drain Service back out. The main line backed up again, just a week after the first experience. They came out on a Saturday morning, early and got us working again. Our current water use is extremely low and there is some problem with the main line where it runs under the house. So, since Lee’s doesn’t have a camera to see what the exact issue is we have to increase our water use.

Spring has hit with and we are back to long days and longer to do lists. More soon!


Well, I had to leave to meet someone to do some work at the BG house before I could upload the picture and post this. And while I was gone Papa fixed his Chopper and snuck in and mowed. So at least that part is done! The trimming still needs to be done, but with the spotty weather this week it might be a few days before we we get completely cleaned up.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Crazy Days

Things always seem to be a bit crazy around here, I guess we really can't expect anything less than that with the having our own business and owning multiple houses. But sometimes the crazy ramps up to new heights. A few weeks ago the doctors changed several of my medicines again and they will continue to change dosage for another few weeks. This wouldn't even be worth mentioning, but there have been a lot of side effects that are adding to my "crazy" and taking away whole days that would be better spent rehabbing Toad Hall. 

But as far as just packing it in the complications go, I think today stands out highly memorable. First,we had Lee's Complete Drain Service pay us a visit. He did a good job and charged less than the last time we had one of the larger National companies out to our house in Beech Grove. What was the problem? The main line (drain line that runs out to the sewer) was clogged. This wasn't a huge surprise as when we got the house the drain was running slow. Dad ran a snake down it then and got it running normally, but we knew that it could possibly clog in the future. Well, the future was today. Or rather, late last night.

 If you look very closely, you can see the animal on the eave of the house.

We also had another company pay us a visit today. That was Admiral Wildlife Services. They came to because I want to evict Bandit. Who's Bandit? The raccoon that's taken up residence in the eave of porch. Kirk checked out the attic to make sure that Bandit has been getting in, and there is no evidence that he has, so that was good news. Now we have a trap waiting for him, lined with marshmallows, covering his eviction papers, and once he's caught Kirk will find him a nice new home.

Meet Bandit. A very unwelcome guest.

Then, the real work begins. We will need to rip off the broken vinyl soffit, put up a plywood layer and then put up a new layer of vinyl. This will keep any of Bandit's friends from taking over his old home. And there are several other spots where the soffit is missing or broken that need to be repaired in the same manner. We were also told that we need to get a chimney cap and a cover over the attic vent as there is evidence in the attic that squirrels have gotten in through the vent before and we've had prior experience (very costly birds) with not having a chimney cap.

Bandit's new temporary home.

So today was a bit wild and stinky and registered very high on the crazy meter, but hey, the houses are still standing and the only animals inside tonight are supposed to be here.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Another Kitchen Surprise

The kitchen in the Bungalow has been an ongoing project. Our current goal is an interim state that will allow us to change our focus to the upstairs and come back to the finish work on the kitchen once we are fully moved. Between catching colds, the snow complicating outdoor work for the business, and having to clean the kitchen out before each time we work in there, it has been a slow process. (No matter how hard I try to keep it clean and empty, things like the coffee marker, bottles of cooking oil, and dog pans all tend to migrate back in there.) We are finally to the cabinet painting stage and so I started in on the old upper cabinets, the only ones that we kept, a couple of weeks ago.

The first thing that needed to be done was to remove the contact paper from the shelves. I had been avoiding starting on this because I had expected it to be an epic battle, but I was very pleasantly surprised to find that the glue was old and not holding very well. Then came the shock. As I was removing the paper from the bottom shelf of the center cabinet I found that it was stuck to a piece of cardboard. What in the world were these people thinking? So after yelling at the cabinet for a few minutes and getting Eric’s attention, he came over to see what the problem was.

That was when he pointed out to me that the cardboard had a purpose. It had been used to cover the large hole cut in the bottom of the cabinet. What? Seriously!?! Yes. Seriously. It looks like it was possibly used for the flue of a stove or something like that at some point. In all the time that we had been dealing with the cabinets we had never noticed the hole, as it could only be seen from the underside of the cabinet.  If we had seen it, we would have just ripped out those cabinets and replaced them when we replaced all of the others.

Here is the cabinet with the cardboard pulled up.

A closer shot of the partially scraped up cardboard.

This picture is from the underside of the cabinet. It's not very good and doesn't show the entire whole in the cabinet, but you get the idea.

For now Eric is going to cut a piece of masonite to fit in the bottom of the cabinet and it will become another “live with it.” Eventually we will probably replace these cabinets so that they match everything else in the kitchen, but for now I just want the kitchen done. As long as my dishes don’t fall out of the cabinet and it’s not all that noticeable, I am going to just move on. So I keep dreaming about the day that I can create my perfect kitchen in Toad Hall, and to appreciate the hard work that has been done to make the Bungalow not just livable, but nice too, and be happy with the blessings I have been given, hole in the cabinet or not.