Pumped

Today I took apart our pool pump to check the seals inside. It had been leaking recently and I was a bit concerned that it may be something bad.

After watching some YouTube clips, I realized that taking apart this pump isn’t that difficult. I also learned that the seals are pretty much the parts that fail the most on these. That was a relief. It only took about an hour to take apart and reassemble.

After putting it together, I filled it back up with water and fired it up. There was a bit of a leak along one edge, so I tightened a couple bolts just a quarter turn more and it seemed to stop. Now only time will tell.

I do like doing my own repairs, but plumbing is not one of my favorites. Hopefully this will be resolved for a few more years now. I guess we shall see.

Wreathing

Over the years we have made numerous Christmas decorations and wreaths. The wreaths are probably my favorite. This year we added two new ones.

The one on the right I had made about four years ago- Wreath Making on the Cheap. The Jack Skellington one was in the process of being made for a couple of years. Both are now hanging up on the doors to my wife’s office. Inside her office is a shrine to The Nightmare Before Christmas. I’ll share that in a future blog.

The wreath on our front door was completed last week by yours truly. Since our home is going more “elegant” it required me to take the red and green off of it. This one has a bunch of “picks” that are gold, silver and white in colour. Honestly, these were small decorations that we had sitting in a box and saved for years. Now they have a purpose.

I’m a fan of making decorations and homemade ornaments and such. Last year two of my favorite pieces were made: Upcycles Boards.

Do you make your own Christmas Decorations? Let me see in the comments. I love being inspired by others.

DIY Oven Range Repair

This is the second gas range I have repaired in my lifetime. The first one was about twenty years ago. In that time, not much has changed in the process. Except that I get overnight delivery at a fraction of the cost for the part I need. Having done this once before, I had my suspicions on what was wrong.

I shut off the power and pulled off the door. Then it was a matter of accessing the panel at the bottom of the range. At which point I removed the heat shield and saw the problem. Which is exactly what I thought it was going to be.

The igniter was on its last legs. When I touched it, the two metal parts crumbled. Time to pull it out and buy the part off Amazon. The part should arrive tonight by 10pm. If I’m feeling up to it, I’ll finish the repair tonight. Most likely I’ll do it first thing in the morning tomorrow.

If by chance I am wrong about the issue, I will have to go to the internet and scour some troubleshooting tips. But this part need replacement anyhow.

I love doing this sort of thing. Next is to figure out why my upstairs fridge isn’t making ice. I have a feeling it’s frozen solid. Which means I may have to thaw the fridge for a day or two. Thank goodness we have a second fridge in our basement. But that’s for another blog post.

Getting Stoned

Today I bit the bullet and went to get some river rock delivered for our home. I was surprised that they were able to deliver within a couple of hours of ordering.

I lay some landscape fabric down a few weeks ago. And last week, I had put the garden wall along the property line. The bark mulch garden islands were also completed last week.

I took me about three hours and twenty five wheelbarrows to fill the garden. The neighbors each came by and commented on the improvements and how hard I worked. One neighbor even brought me a beer. It was nice to get acknowledgment and approval from the neighbors.

Of course, I’m really proud of the work done over the past year. I’m also sore from the backbreaking labor- but it was all worthwhile. Now to hit the pool and find some advil.

Doing Things My Wife Will Like

My wife has taken our son away for another skating meet in Calgary this weekend. And like most times that she is out of town- I GSD. (Get shit done). Like most times when my wife is away, I take on projects out of boredom.

I fixed a rotten board in our deck. This took me a bit as I had to pull up a bunch of boards and remove the handrail. I also had to dig out the old boards that were buried in the dirt- hence why they were rotten. Tomorrow I plan on using some cement against the board in hopes to seal it and keep it sturdy.

I also picked up some flowers and dirt for the flowerbed that I Expanded the other day. With the swimming pool, we are trying to have a contrast of red and yellow flowers. These are perfect as they bloom late summer and required direct sun.

Beyond that, I am working on adding a border to the front garden between our home and the neighbor’s property. I am not quite done as I will need to go get some more stones as I only took what my car could handle. After the border is done, my wife and I will be looking to getting some river rock delivered to cover what was once our lawn. I’m not a fan of grass as I feel it’s a waste of water and energy to keep alive and green. Plants and flowers are so much nicer.

I also plan to get the Halloween decorations out so that our middle can decorate the house and yard. That way when my wife returns- our home will be updated and festive. I know my wife will be happy to see it.

Expanding the Garden

My wife and I decided that we wanted to expand our flower bed in the backyard. So earlier today I went to the local hardware store and picked up some matching retaining wall blocks.

It only took me a couple of hours to dig out the expansion that we wanted. The challenge was having the original wall meet up with my new one and still line up with the patio. All while trying to keep the curves to match up with the other walls.

With summer over, it is time to work on the yard in preparation for spring. In our expanded flowerbed, I’ll be adding some fresh soil and seeds and can’t wait to see the results next spring. Our front garden is going to be the next challenge. The goal is to get rid of the grass and just make a nice garden. It’ll definitely take more than just a couple of hours like today.

Toilet Upgrade…?

Let’s talk toilets and bums today, shall we?

I was so excited this afternoon. My Amazon package arrived and I had only ordered it yesterday! It was a bidet attachment for a standard toilet. It fits nicely under the seat with minimal effort to install.

I’m not going to lie, this has been on my wish list since our trip to Tokyo. As much as I wanted a heated one that plays music, this was an inexpensive option that works as a quick splash test. It took about 20 minutes to complete the installation. It was super easy, barely an inconvenience.

My bum was so excited that I sat down and tried it out once I confirmed there were no leaks. The water was cool as it hosed off my little chocolate starfish; but not frigid like I expected which was nice. It got the job done and cleaned my bum.

I’m probably the only one in the house who will use it. That’s ok. It does have a second spray for the female region as well as a self cleaning. Not to mention there is an adjustable spray force as well. Let’s just keep that at a low setting for now- I didn’t buy it to be an at home enema.

Do you have a bidet addition on your toilet? Perhaps the ever popular “Tushy” or a different brand like I picked up (Samodra if you are wondering). If there are any flaws, I’ll share that at a future date or in the comments- butt for now, I’m happy and so is my clean bum bum.

Gonk

So last week we returned from Disneyland and I was inspired by Galaxy’s Edge to finish a project I started last year. My own Gonk.

I had collected parts over the last year to create my little droid. Mostly greebles and a couple of tubs put together in a random fashion. I added hinges to the tubs so that I could use it for storage. I glued and screwed the parts together. I used some bondo on the sides to clean it up.

I put the little dude together and gave him a coat of grey primer spray paint. It already looked pretty good once it went grey. But I wanted to add some more detail in the painting.

I tested some coloring on the top and bottom in order to make it look like a rust bucket. I prefer the way the top half turned out. The bottom was a bit too much. So I’ll re-paint it eventually. But for now, my little Gonk is going to greet me in the garage whenever I return home. It just needs a name.

Free Coffee Table

I did something the other day that I said I wouldn’t do anymore. I picked up a piece of furniture from the side of the road.

We had been recently shopping around for a new coffee table. We wanted something small and oval shaped. This one fit the bill perfectly. I did a quick inspection before tossing it in my car. Glass was clear- no chips or scratches. The legs were chrome, but very pitted and rusted; and the wood was pealing. Nothing a little TLC couldn’t take care of.

I took the whole table apart, sanded the legs and wood. Then I stained the wood a light colour followed by a clear coat. I was unable to save the chrome legs, so I used a Rustoleum spray pant and made them a sand colour. The entire process to update the table took about 2 hours.

Finished table is lighter in colour and suits our decor now. I am happy with how quick it was to refurbish the table. Plus it saved us money- about $100. Not too shabby.

Garage Door

In true fashion- I couldn’t spend my last bit of time before heading back to work without accomplishing something. It was time to do a project for the garage.

Last summer’s heatwave made our garage heat up like a sauna. The winter had it freezing cold. My solution to all of this? I spent about $100 on some foam insulation for the backs of the garage doors.

As I was putting the two inch thick foam boards onto the back of the metal garage door, I could feel the sun beating down. It was heating up the metal doors like a frying pan. I was unable to place my hand on the back of the panels as the heat was impressive.

It took my about an hour for each door to insulate them. The foam was a nice, snug fit- so no glue or adhesive is required at this time. After only a few minutes of closing the doors- I noticed the temperature inside the garage was already getting better. This should help with cooling and heating of our home. And save us money long term!

One day I may insulate the attic space above the garage. But for now- that’s where the Holiday Decorations get stored. Hopefully our Christmas decorations don’t melt up there! They survived last year’s heatwave, so they should be fine this year. At least I’m out going up there any time soon.

But I am happy with the final results of the garage doors. Amazing how something so simple can make such a big difference.

Lazy Day Interrupted

My day was going to be filled with wearing pajamas and staring at my phone. I was doing pretty good and was about to write my blog about it.

I even took my photo and everything. I went downstairs to make a sandwich so that I could sit and write about how lazy my day off was going to be. I went to the garage to get a log of bread from the freezer when I noticed a spot of water on the ground near where my wife parks her car. Then I looked up.

Effing hell. The ceiling is leaking. Quickly I went into the attic still in my pjs. I found the spot where it was dripping from. Back to my bedroom and get dressed. It was time to go on the roof and find the location.

It was right at the downspout from the gutter as it hits the next roof. In the wisdom of the house being built- the flashing on the wall lines up perfectly underneath where the water spills out. Right onto the nail head, rusting it out. Aesthetically, it was a good idea. But it caused an irritant to me 11 years later. Time for some tar patch as a temporary fix. Which will hopefully last the duration of the roof’s life- until we need to replace it in another 15 years.

Like Red Green used to say- “If the women don’t find you handsome, they should at least find you handy.”

I guess I’m that.

Lazy Day Interrupted

My day was going to be filled with wearing pajamas and staring at my phone. I was doing pretty good and was about to write my blog about it.

I even took my photo and everything. I went downstairs to make a sandwich so that I could sit and write about how lazy my day off was going to be. I went to the garage to get a log of bread from the freezer when I noticed a spot of water on the ground near where my wife parks her car. Then I looked up.

Effing hell. The ceiling is leaking. Quickly I went into the attic still in my pjs. I found the spot where it was dripping from. Back to my bedroom and get dressed. It was time to go on the roof and find the location.

It was right at the downspout from the gutter as it hits the next roof. In the wisdom of the house being built- the flashing on the wall lines up perfectly underneath where the water spills out. Right onto the nail head, rusting it out. Aesthetically, it was a good idea. But it caused an irritant to me 11 years later. Time for some tar patch as a temporary fix. Which will hopefully last the duration of the roof’s life- until we need to replace it in another 15 years.

Like Red Green used to say- “If the women don’t find you handsome, they should at least find you handy.”

I guess I’m that.

Floating Table

Today I decided to do some arts and crafts. I had a project that I wanted to try and make for the summer time use. Basically a small floating table for the pool. That way we can play a card game that my wife and friends have nicknamed UNO MOIST. It’s really called UNO Splash- some plastic cards meant to be poolside.

The table was easy to build. A couple of pool noodles and a 2’ square foam mat. I cut the noodles so that the corners would meet at 45° angles. Then ran a slit on the inside of the noodles in order to slide the foam mat inside. Originally I was going to glue the mat and the noodles, but because of the porosity, there wasn’t much for the glue to hold onto. For now, I’ll leave the noodles to naturally grip the mat.

I do hope this works out, as it seemed to float without issue. If I need to adhere the edges, I will likely add zip ties to do this. Now to just wait for the weather to get better so we can enjoy it!

Spring Break Staycation

As my last day comes to an end, I think I had a relatively great staycation. A quick look back at the last ten days showed how busy it was. As well as how productive it ended up being.

We did a bunch of gardening, went to a speed skating meet last weekend, had a night on the town for my birthday, and built a gazebo as a family. We built some Lego, and our oldest came to visit and we all had a delightful time. There really isn’t much more I could ask for.

All in all it was a great birthday week. I’m glad I spent it with my family.

Pillars Of Excellence

We have had a couple of wooden pillars in our possession since my days of working at the Home Depot. I bought them for $5 for the pair- which was a great deal considering they were a custom order at $200/each but got cancelled and just sat in the store. The pillars just stayed unpainted and in the way in our last two homes. I never knew what I wanted to do with them.

My wife came up with an idea to finally put them to good use. So I painted them with a couple coats of flat black yesterday. I was glad to see that even after two moves and nearly 20 years- there was no damage done to them.

Now that the columns are painted, I put a piece of tile on the top of each of them and set them up at our front door. We bought a couple of small trees to put on the top. Next week we are planning to buy bigger (and nicer) pots for them.

In the end, I’m happy that the pillars got put to use. I like the idea of using them as a plant stand. They look great outside our front door.

Shelved

Our kitchen is larger than our last one. There is great use of space in most of it, and a beautiful flow making it easy to navigate. There are a couple of down sides however.

The first one is that the pantry is far smaller than we are used to. It’s basically a broom closet with shelves. This will take us some getting used to, but is completely manageable. The second was an empty space with just a countertop. It looks like the space was originally created a decade ago for a phone or computer. So it was time to do something with the empty space and make it functional.

My wife and I were trying to find cabinets that we would like. But with the world being what it is, most products were on back order or not what we wanted to match our home. Since we have a certain style, it was time to get creative. I love a good diy.

Since we love dark woods and the industrial look, we came up with a plan over brunch while out in Fort Langley. Why not reclaim some wood we have and build our own shelves? I made a farm table once before. This should be easier.

A quick stop at Home Depot for some iron pipes and connectors- and voilá- shelf brackets. I went with ten inch wide pipe and twelve inch for height, with a small bar at the top to finish it off.

I needed some help to measure the anchor holes prior to hanging it up. My wife also suggested that we measure from where the coffee maker opens to so we don’t have issues trying to make our favorite beverage. What a smart lady. It’s always good to have a second set of eyes on a project.

Oh and those wood slats? They came from an old IKEA bed frame. Soon I will stain the pine wood a darker colour to match the other stuff we have. With the cost of lumber these days, I’m glad we didn’t throw them away.

So that was my quick project for our coffee bar and cookbook shelves. I like the openness of the shelves and the industrial look that matches our tastes. Let me know what you think in the comments.

Organized Chaos

Even though we “Purged” before we moved, we still have a bunch of stuff that needed to find a place in and around our home. As fun as it is to fill the ,Garage, I like being able to park at least one of our cars inside. The other side will have to wait until the summer is ending in order for me to want to hit the attics again.

I took advantage of the nice weather today to hang up our kayaks and ladder on our back fence. At least it keeps them off the ground and away from moisture and dirt.

Last week I worked diligently on organizing the garage and utilizing all the available space. I went old school with a pegboard for my tools- which my son organized and put up. I also built a makeshift 4×8 suspended shelf for my wife’s fabric. I throw a couple hooks up for bikes and the car topper. It made for a ton of more floor space and easier to navigate around the garage.

While we still have a few boxes in our home to unpack, this is a great start to our new life. Unfortunately with things the way they are, we are waiting for bookcases and a hutch to become available in order for us to complete the house. For the time being, those items are off to the side and out of our main living area.

How organized is your home? Do you feel like you have too much stuff like we do?

Let me know in the comments.

Compressor Painting

I enjoy painting. Both artistically and otherwise. One of my favorite mediums is using spray paint. I have used it on Cosplay, wicker furniture, canvases, even my lawn. I find the use of spray paint very versatile.

Yesterday I finally bought myself a gravity fed paint gun. I’ve been wanting one for years and this little dude was only $65. Well worth a test drive into the world of paint spray guns.

I’m going to attempt to paint a couple of Muskoka chairs and see if I like the results. I figure it will take a bit longer than just painting them with a roller or brush, since I’ll need to thin out the paint in order for it to flow through the nozzle.

A bit of trial and error will be required to figure out the right consistency and pressure to use from the air compressor. But I look forward to tinkering with my new toy. I should be careful about the overspray and ventilation used.

Wish me luck!

Give It Away Now

It’s January! Just like everyone else- the start of the new year means time to get organized. Buying new totes for storage, drawer organizers, and packing up the stuff we hardly use. It also means donating and give aways.

Over the past two decades, my wife and I have collected items that we once thought we would use. Some we have even refinished and brought a new lease on life to. Other items fell by the wayside only to be a project that never happened. It’s those big items that we are about to list for someone else to give love towards.

None of these items belong in the trash. They’re just not suitable for our lives at this time. Hopefully this clears up some space in our house and make it feel more spacious.

Hours of house cleaning is behind us and hours more to come. Pretty sure our teenagers are getting frustrated, but they have stuff they’ve collected over the years that need to go as well.

Do you purge your home every January as well?

2021: Day 2

Yesterday was a washout to begin the year. So today my wife and I woke up early and began our journey into the New Year. There are plans in motion to fix all the little issues in our home. We started the day at my favorite place- The Home Depot.

Walking into the store for the stuff I need was exhilarating. Maybe it was not that enthusiastic. But we went in with a list and a plan to maximize our shopping and minimize the wandering. This trip was just for some basics to repair a few things around the house- not full renos. Since I had worked at this particular Home Depot many lifetimes ago, I knew exactly where to find everything I needed.

My wife was happy that we powered through the shopping. All that’s left now is to complete the repairs and get into the new year with fewer worries than before. I actually got everything done inside the home before dinner.

I feel more accomplished day 2 of 2021. I need more days like this. Hopefully it happens.

2020 Solstice Snow Chaos

After the chaotic snow storm on Monday, we did get power back on early than anticipated. That was a good sign. Until we began checking the yard for branches.

The snow and ice decimated our yard. After almost four hours of cleaning up the carnage, I’m out property was beginning to look better. It was a group effort, and I really thank the kids for all they did over the past few days.

I climbed up on the roof after to assess what the trees had done. There were two large branches above our living room, but luckily no damage to the roof. On the other side, above my wife’s studio was a different story. A three foot branch speared into the roof.

Quite the sizable hole remained. It seemed much larger than the one from a couple years ago- check out Roof repair if you want to see that damage. My son offered to help with this repair, so I took the opportunity to show him what to do and explained why it needed to be done that way.

Now we wait and see how the repair holds up. The last time was great- no leaks. We also need to wait for some of this snow and ice to melt so we can really clean up the yard. But we are all cold and tired. Time to relax and get ready for Christmas Eve Eve. Or Festivus if you wish.

Ahead of the Game

Yesterday I mentioned that I was looking for Christmas light clips in: Make it. That is because I’m trying to get ahead of the winter season. I like to put up my lights in early November, but I don’t turn them on until December. That’s because I don’t want to be freezing my fingertips or standing on the roof in the rain trying to put up lights.

I also sneak a couple of decorations out a bit early. Just because of the hassle of getting a ladder in the cold. We have four large baubles that hang from our ceiling in our main foyer. I hate putting them up every year, so I just git’r’done immediately after Halloween.

Since I am crafty, I also do something unique every year. This year is a couple of cheap wooden crates painted in red that will hold Christmas stuffed animals. We will put them underneath the stairs in our front foyer. I figured I better paint them now and let them dry 100% before putting anything inside. It also gives me a chance to decide if I want to add anything more to the boxes. Like a hand painted sign or fake holly. We shall see.

Are you getting ready for those winter holidays yet? Let me know in the comments. Plus I love to see what other people craft. It always brings me joy seeing stuff made from scratch. It always inspires me to do better.

BB-R2

I finally did it! I built an R2-D2 on my own. Sort of. I mean, it sure looks like an astromech droid. Only on a smaller scale. For ages, I wanted a 3D printer in order to build a life size R2-D2. But I needed to start smaller so as not to get discouraged.

I found a group on Facebook that creates droids for the 3D printers. They also offer plenty of advice for electronics, sound and lights to one another. You can join the group on Facebook and support the Patreon at Mr. Baddeley’s Printed Droid if you are interested.

I printed the parts over the past month in between all the other projects I had. My little droid was starting to come together.

Last week, I finished painting the droid. I used some acrylic paints that I had on hand. The metallic blue and silver completed the look and made it obvious that it is a droid. After my painstakingly careful paint job, I gave it a clear coat to seal the paint.

After weeks of waiting for parts off Amazon, I was finally able to assemble the droid over the weekend. I’m proud to say that my BB-R2 is completed. I added a remote control to it and he now moves and spins his head. Check out the short video below:

I’m extremely happy with the results. The files for this droid were top notch! I’ve learned a few things from this assembly… like patience, time and money are required… In January I plan on starting my full size droid. We shall see how long that takes. And whether my wife’s patience wears thin.

I Want It Painted Black

As the song goes- “I see a red door and I want it painted black.” I too painted our front door black. That was five years ago.

Looking at the evolution of our “curb appeal”- I love how the door creates the look in which every thing else follows suit. From our shutters to the trim to the curtains. We made black the accent colour of our home. Even the large chandelier above the front door was given an oiled black finish.

There’s something comforting coming home and seeing the front door with the light on. It’s all about knowing I did these changes on my own. Prideful moment.

DIY Dads

My friend Greg is a lot like me. He is always on the go with new projects and building stuff. Recently he began a project that was a far bigger undertaking than I think I could handle. But I’m impressed with his skills and the work done so far.

On Saturday I stopped by to offer some help. I was also curious to see how the project was going. He and his wife were given a travel trailer that needed a bit of work. There was a few bad spots where some leaking had occurred.

Instead of just throwing some duct tape and caulking on it, Greg peeled back the layers and began the challenge of fixing the trailer- from the frame out. What he has done so far is throughly impressive. He is hoping to have the outside of the trailer back together by fall. At the pace he is going, I imagine it to be completed.

Our buddy Matt has also been helping Greg along the way. Something about Dads and power tools… Building and creating makes us feel like providers you our families. Plus it’s fun to see sparks fly.

I now know that if I have a big project to do, I will summon the DAD PROJECT POWERS of Greg to assist me. I can already think of a project that will need his help.