WASPS!

Today we were cleaning around the yard getting ready for a bbq party tomorrow. As my son was cleaning up toys, he got stung five times by a group of wasps. They even chased him into the house to get him the last two times! I went to check where the nest was and got stung as well for just being in the area. FFS!

Every year I usually destroy two wasp nests. Seems like I found the first one of the year. Last year one was in my roof and the other next to our awning. So my son and I went to the store and got our spray attack ready. We are prepared to kill!

These jerks won’t be stinging my guests this weekend after tonight. Once the sun goes down, death shall be brought upon the beasts! Why must wasps be so evil?

Go make honey like the bees you jerks.

Empty Threat?

My wife has threatened to remove my train garden if I don’t fix it up. So today I went to my local garden center that supplies G Scale trains. I brought with me some parts to get fixed and wanted to buy some stuff.

Sadly, the fellow that runs it is retiring within the year. That means no new stock or parts any more. And the stuff he has- is just getting cleared out. I had to make a decision. Do I buy some boxcars for a train set that doesn’t run, or do I walk away empty handed.

I left without buying anything. I texted my wife as well about the hard decision I needed to make. When I spoke to her however- it turns out she doesn’t want to lose the train. She was just making it as an empty threat to get me motivated again. Little did she know that the place nearby would stop supplying my hobby.

On the plus side- it looks like I can spend a “little extra” to get the trains running again. As well as throw a pond in alongside the tracks. Maybe I’ll go with a steam engine this time… I like Trains.

En Suite Bathroom

I began tiling our ensuite bathroom at the beginning of December. But I didn’t actually start on the bathroom in December. I started 11 years ago. It was bit of a production to get started. Removing the toilet and vanity, pulling out the shag carpet, repairing drywall, getting all the supplies together. Yes, there was shag carpet in the bathroom.

All of that took a couple of hours.

Then I wasted 10 years of not doing anything. Sort of. We were doing a master bedroom renovation that took the majority of my time. Plus other home renovations came first, always putting the bathroom on the back burner.

Besides tearing out carpet, there was no door to the bathroom. It was a sliding closet door with wood panel. I had to build an entire wall. Which was good because I also built a small closet and a place to put our tv. I finished the wall four years ago as part of our master bedroom renovation.

During my vacation break in December, I decided to buy the tiles and start to put them in. I measured where I wanted the tiles on the wall and floor. Then I measured again. I measured a third time and got it right. I put up the tiles on the walls and floor.Then I gave up.

Until yesterday.

When I lay in bed feeling blah staring into the unfinished bathroom. My wife never gave me heck for not completing the job. It was a constant frustration to me though. So I got the motivation to grout the bathroom. Once that was done, I’d be in the home stretch.

The progress of tiling was slow for me- because I wanted it perfect. I think it turned out pretty good in the end. Long subway times with a glass trim along the wall. As well as black and white floor times made for a classic and sophisticated finish.

Today I installed the vanity, new toilet and mirror. The bathroom is ready to be used! All that is left is sealing the grout, putting up the door trim and a toilet paper holder. Today went really smoothly. I’m wishing I had gotten my butt in gear sooner. But it’s done now (almost).

I feel better about myself and the final project.

Not So. So-so Day.

I had no desire to do anything today. I ended up driving my my son to school then came home and went back to bed. I slept until it was time to pick him up again.

As I lay in bed before leaving to get my son after school- I stared into the unfinished bathroom. The bathroom that I began to refinish 11 years ago. Ugh. I just wanted to go back to sleep after getting my kid from school.

Instead, I fixed the pipes for the sink, then grouted the bathroom. I probably should’ve started earlier in the day. It’s now 11pm and I just finished. Quick blog, an ice pack and some tv. Maybe I can finish one of my projects before vacation is over.

Bug Off!

The heat is on- On the street.

Summer has hit us early it seems. With this sudden influx of heat comes MOSQUITOES! Everyone is getting eaten alive! Time to bring out the bug spray with a lovely scent that reminds me of toxic chemicals.

We also have a couple of more tools in our arsenal to keep us safe.

The bug zapper.

This is more for larger bugs. Not sure how effective this is. I just enjoy hearing a BZZZZTTTT when an insect dies as we sit outside for dinner. Because of this I had to buy another toy:

A bug zapper fly swatter.

This is hours of fun. Swishing around in the backyard like a tennis racket. Catching swarms of bugs in the electrical mesh. Pop! Fzzzt! And small lightning bolts as the bugs die. My children have fought over who gets to use it the most. (I’m secretly waiting for one of them to touch the metal part with their finger.)

All of these are an excellent way to deal with the bug situation. I still smack and kill the blood suckers when I notice them. But these bugs sometimes outsmart me. Take a few minutes ago for example: Tonight I smacked at my crotchular area to shoo away a mosquito. Turns out hitting oneself in the testicles adds more pain than the lingering itch of a bug bite.

I won’t be making that mistake again any time soon. From now on I’m going to drown myself in Off! No more self-dick-punches for this guy. I learned the hard way.

Ever Build a Door?

The back patio door of our theater room is in need of replacing. Unfortunately, it’s a 12 foot long sliding glass door from the 1970’s. They don’t generally make these anymore without a huge cost.

Before I began redoing the deck, the outside pane of the middle sliding door itself shattered. It happened to be from a pebble that got fired at it from my weed wacker. This was in 2011, the night the Canucks lost and the riots began (today is the anniversary of that day). I remember it clearly because we had been watching the game through the window while doing yard work. Plus riots aren’t cool.

In 2015, another panel blew out. This time on the inside. No one was in the room at the time. It just shattered. We could hear it throughout the house like a gunshot.

It’s taken me about 5 years now, but I have come to a conclusion about the glass door. We generally keep the blackout curtains drawn, and with our poor luck of the glass, it’s time to build my own door. Only no glass.

The door leading into the theater room from our foyer is a solid wood pocket door. It is rather heavy and made from tongue and groove wood that matches the ceiling inside the room.

I figure I could create 4 door panels like this that lock in place with decorative hinges to make it feel like a carriage barn door from the outside. That way I could open it in the summer and we could watch movies from our deck at night.

I have ten days off starting next week. We shall see how close I get done with this new project. I am hoping to enlist the help of my father-in-law who built the majority of this home. With his help and my knowledge from working the windows and doors section at Home Depot years ago, I hope to pull this off.

Dad Duty

My wife is away for the next few days at a Summit for her work. That means I’m in charge of the household! It’s my job as a father- But I’m not called a babysitter!

Our kids know that they need to help out during this time. They are pretty good when we need them to step up. Our oldest will make dinner for the next couple of nights. While the other two help with chores and cleaning. I don’t think there will be much pushback or arguing from them. If there are any problems, we can keep it a secret from my wife…

My wife tried to keep her enthusiasm at getting away to a minimum. I could tell she was looking forward to a couple of days out of the house. Before she left, she tried to give me advice on how “she did things” in the mornings. It seems there is a routine that she wants me to follow. I figure that it’ll all be fine for when she returns home.

It’s rare for me to be a solo parent for days on end. In fact, I can’t really think of a time that this has occurred for more than 24 hours. This summer, I am planning on dragging the kids away for some R&R- most likely without my wife. A few days in a cabin on a lake. I’m looking forward to it.

As long as these next few days work out…

IKEA

Today I assembled a new bed frame for our oldest daughter. She is turning 16 next month and is rather tall- at 6’2″. Her twin bed wasn’t really fitting her anymore. Lucky for me- a friend was giving away a nice queen size bed frame a couple months ago. So I snagged it up.

It was great that he had dismantled the bed for easy transportation. All the parts were there when I started to work on it today. However, I had no instructions. But since it was from IKEA, how hard could it be? I’ve assembled my fair share of Billy Bookcases in my lifetime.

Most of the bed was easy to figure out. With only one minor mistake that I had to fix (one of the wood slats I had put in upside-down). At one point, I had to refer to the image of the frame my friend had posted just to make sure I was doing it right. After about an hour, the bed was built.

My daughter is excited about her new bed. I hope she appreciates the new bed. Maybe she will wake up in a better mood!

I’m An Electrician Too Now

Being a homeowner is a never ending job. Besides daily and weekly cleaning, there is landscaping, maintenance and home improvements. I don’t mind most of the time I spend on our home. In fact, I’m generally pretty happy with the results. It’s just getting to the right results that are tough.

I’ve mentioned before that I hate the Plumbing in our home. I’ve mentioned it on more than just that one occasion: Am I a Writer or a Plumber, Home Repairs. I’ve also mentioned home renovations numerous times such as in Making A Home and it’s a love/hate relationship some days. Today may be one of those days.

I’m going to embark on an electrical project today. We have an addition that was added onto our home back in the 90’s. A sunroom was enclosed from what used to be a deck. It looks wonderful and lets in a lot of light. However the problem is that *some* of the electrical is connected to our living room on one breaker. This means we have blown a fuse from time to time.

There is a plug outside the sunroom that is not working any more, so I need to fix that. We also have a light switch that is connected to an outside floodlight that we never use. So I’m going to re-wire it to be used for another socket instead.

All of this means I may have to turn off numerous circuit breakers to figure out which one is which and what is connected to what. I need to do this before I go in the attic and start to regret my decision to re-wire a switch.

We also have a workshop (aka mini barn) that has had the lights stop working. No idea how or why. It’s another project to get fixed so that I can clean the barn and fix the back wall that is rotting away.

Anyways, time to put on my electrician hat and see what can be done. Hopefully it’s all easy. But with a home built in the early 70’s- not likely.

The Pinterest Plans

A few years back, I was addicted to Pinterest. So much so that I’d kill the battery on my iPhone regularly. Then one day it stopped. I think it was because I had saved all these wonderful ideas, but never did any.

It has been ages since I’ve logged into my Pinterest account. However, I do remember certain things I kept looking for. Mostly to do with our garden and doing it on the cheap.

We have an acre to work with. Lots of old growth as well as large trees. I have taken the time to move things around in the yard and have cut back some of the overgrown parts. It’s a labour of love.

Even animals love to hang out on our property. Our dog Lex is super lazy and never chases the squirrels away. We have numerous bird nests hidden in places like the wood shed and throughout trees. So we have a bird feeder that is always filled to keep them happy. And the squirrels love to run along our fence and up the trees.

Like a regular Disney Princess film- we just need more singing in the yard.

Pinterest was always something that kept me creating visions for our property. “Up Cycling” is still a hot trend. We have a collection of junk that is turning into Instagram hashtags. All with stuff we had already in our possession. This year’s spring cleaning and yard setup hasn’t cost me a penny. Thanks to some old ideas from Pinterest. I did toss a couple of our old toilets. I wasn’t really wanting the white trash planters in my yard. I’m glad I don’t go on Pinterest anymore.

But I still think about making stuff from old pallets I have…