Nov 25, 2008

A floor without glue...

...won't stick down. Yep, we ran out of glue. Poop.
We got 1/3 of the floor glued down last night. We would have had the whole thing done if we'd had the glue. We could have made the half-hour drive into town, bought more glue at Lowe's, and then made the half-hour drive back home. But Lowe's glue is $5.00 more a bucket than Surplus Warehouse glue and Surplus Warehouse closed at 5:30 p.m. Based on our calculations, we need six more tubs of glue. Oh well.
DH will pick up more glue today on the way home from work. He will save $30.00 and the time and gas for a trip into town, and we will get it done tonight.
DISCLAIMER: If you are doing a vinyl floor "right," you don't glue it down to OSB. You use something like higher grade plywood and you are careful to mask or match the seams of the plywood. You use a higher grade (thicker) vinyl over a wood subfloor. Our vinyl is thin enough to strain tea through which is what you'd expect at 44 cents a square foot. Or you glue it down over smooth concrete. We are not doing this floor "right." We are doing it cheap and temporary, and don't care that we can see the OSB seams under the vinyl. We only care that we can clean it easily. A 4' x 8' sheet of OSB was $6.28. The same size of "proper" plywood was $21.99 a sheet. This was a tightwad no-brainer.
Back to your irregularly scheduled blog post.
Here is a picture of what we got done. You can get the idea anyway. Yep, the vinyl floor is a fake wood plank pattern.
For the rest of the week, we will be engaging in Thanksgiving festivities in various places with sundry people. There will be turkey and talk of deer hunting. There will fishing. Hopefully, there will be stitching. DH hopes to actually deer hunt at several points during the weekend. I hope to get furniture into my den. We will see what transpires. I'll post if I can, but don't expect me back until December 1st. Y'all have a Happy Thanksgiving, and count your blessings!

Nov 24, 2008

Our weekend floored us

No, I haven't stitched all weekend. *whine*
Our den floor plans prior to this weekend were to caulk all the cracks between the den floor boards as a temporary one to two year fix (eventually, we'll replace the old floor with a new engineered wood floor). In preparation for this, I spent two days meticulously vacuuming crud from between the boards and then scrubbing the boards clean with a scrubber sponge and soapy water. The floor looked nice.
Then, we figured out two things: 1) prepping for caulking and doing the caulking would take us about 30-40 hours of time (ACK!), and 2) even with the caulk in the cracks, to keep the unfinished boards looking nice, I would have to scrub them at least every other week. Scrubbing them took me a total of six hours. I ain't gonna do this every two weeks. I like a clean floor, but I'm all about ease of keeping it clean and cleaning it easily.
So we put on our thinking caps. We decided to buy cheap vinyl flooring to glue down . Easy to clean, easy on the budget, and it would cover the cracks. Off we went to Surplus Warehouse for cheap flooring.
Then DH got to thinking again. We wanted to reuse the old floor boards and gluing vinyl down on them would make this very difficult. DH decided it would be best to remove all the old boards and underlayment, assess the sub floor, add a new sub floor as needed, and then glue down the vinyl. (One nice thing about that nasty polyurethane glue used to glue down engineered wood flooring, it will stick to vinyl so we wouldn't have to pull up the vinyl floor before putting down the new wood floor in the future!).
So that's what we did. Here is DH wrestling the old screws out of the boards before pulling them up.
The black stuff under the boards is tar paper. And see all that dirt and crud left behind after my meticulous vacuuming? YUCK!
Next, DH rolled up the tar paper.
We found a weirdly floor underneath. It was half painted plywood flooring and then half plywood and OSB over unpainted boards. We think the part with the plywood/OSB was at one time a porch floor.
We also found evidence of a previous owner, or at least painting helper.
So we covered the entire weirdly floor with a layer of new OSB. DH fitted it and I screwed it down. We ran out of daylight and energy, so we stopped here. Tonight, we will glue down the vinyl; a picture tomorrow.
Then, I will FINALLY be able to move in my furniture!

Poor, pitiful Emma!

(This is being reposted as Blogger ate the post when I tried to correct the typo in the title. BTW - Emma's toe is much better and she thanks you for your concerned comments!)
Several weeks ago, DH was throwing the tennis ball for Emma when she came up limping. She had injured the nail on one of her front toes. Well, it would get better and then she'd hurt it again. She'd gimp around on three legs.
Early this week, she went spelunking under an old shed on our property and hurt the toe yet again. So today, we went to the vet. The vet said the nail was dead and needed removing. He said as a young vet, he usually put animals to sleep for nail removal, but as an older and wiser vet, he recommended the "grab, yank, one yelp, and you're done" method. I opted for this method.
While the assistant held Emma, and I distracted her with a tongue depressor covered in Cheez Whiz, the vet grabbed and yanked. Sure enough, one yelp and it was over. Emma did sniff at her paw once, but then went back to the Cheez Whiz. She now has a nifty red bandage to wear for two days, and some pain tablets.
I gave her a tablet even though she doesn't seem to be too bothered by the toe. She still wants to play with her "Dirty Kitty," a toy so named because his middle is always dirty where Emma grabs him. She's killed the squeaker in it; it only clunks when she tries to get it to squeak.
Silly dog.

Nov 21, 2008

Knicker Knotter #7 - "Baby Needs New Shoes"

Many of the stitching message boards I read allow private individuals to post "for sale" notices. I don't have a problem with this at all. In fact, I've taken advantage of a message board sale on occasion.
What I do have a problem with is people announcing why they're selling something. "My kids need Christmas presents." "I need to fix my washing machine." "I got laid off and need cash instead of stash." "Baby needs new shoes." "My medications cost a lot these days."
Yes, these are all valid reasons for selling stash. But when this is the first thing I read before reading what the person is actually selling, it smacks of manipulation to me. "Buy from me because I'm manipulating your emotions into feeling sorry for me." It bothers me. And I usually read no further.
Maybe I'm overly sensitive to manipulative/guilt-tripping behaviour. Maybe I'm not. Anyway, just state that these items are for sale. Let the potential buyers decide if they want to buy based on the item's merit alone. Too much information is not a good thing, at least to this potential buyer.

Nov 20, 2008

Bad customer service

No, this is not my kitty. But she expresses my mood quite well. (I just love this picture!)
DH and I are in the process of ditching our bank, Compass Bank. They have the worst customer service. After dealing with them for three years, they pushed us over the edge last week.
When we moved here, I promptly spent half a day on the internet researching local banks. We wanted a bank that had interest-bearing checking with free checks and free online bill pay among other things. Compass Bank met all the criteria. Supposedly.
First off, we had a lot of difficulty getting the online bill pay set up. Every time DH would call the bank for help, he would be routed to ANY Compass Bank. He spoke to branches in New Mexico, Alabama, and all over Texas. The phone number we were given rolled you to whatever phone was available at ANY branch. Not all branches had online bill pay available. Everyone he spoke to was clueless. Finally, I went back to the local branch office and got it straightened out in person.
Then there was our ATM card. We don't use it very often, but it was also a pain to set up. They had difficulty spelling our names correctly and opting us out of the debit card feature. No, we only want an ATM card. Yes, we're sure about that. Yes, we'd like our names spelled correctly - we're funny that way. Once again, I had to go to the local branch in person to get this rectified. They ended up issuing us the cards FOUR TIMES before it was right.
At one point, we had two accounts, and wanted to close out one and change our checking account to one with more features. Easy, right? No. Of course not. We had major problems with this and DH and I both had to go in person to the local branch to get this fixed.
But last week was the final straw. We use online bill pay for every bill we receive. I schedule the bill to be paid five days before the bill's stated due date. Compass Bank paid our power bill late two months in a row.
We were able to resolve this with the power company amicably. When DH called the bank, they were clueless. They said they didn't know why the bills were paid late. Excuse me? They said it must be my fault as I scheduled the due date incorrectly. DH made them access our bill pay account and they admitted that the problem was not mine. However, they still couldn't explain themselves. So, DH called the bill pay service hotline. They were even more clueless. "This just happens." Two months in a row?! ONLY the power bill?!!
So we opened an account at First Victoria Bank, a bank local to central Texas with 143 years of service. The bank manager herself was the one who helped us set up our new account. We told her why we were leaving Compass Bank. She said she worked for them briefly but left because of...well, because. 'Nuff said.

Nov 19, 2008

The tools are in the shop (where they belong)!

I tried to post last Friday, but Blogger was being annoying and sporadic as was my dial-up ISP. I had been tagged with the "Six Random Things About You" list and was attempting to pass on the fun. Doing this with dial-up is a pain so it ain't happening. So if you got a weird comment on one of your blog posts from me regarding being tagged, ignore it.
And here are six random things about me: 1) I was thought to be twins. Twins run very heavily in my family, especially with firstborn children. My Mom and my Dad's mom are twins. Luckily for the world, I was a single birth. They determined this back in the early 60's by x-raying my mom with me in the womb(!), 2) My great great grandfather invented the horse-hay rake and he's mentioned in an old eighth grade Texas history book, 3) I graduated from Texas A&M's original sister school, Texas Woman's University in '83, 4) I am the only short, blue-eyed blonde in my family. However, I look just like my dad (in a short, blue-eyed blondy kind of way), so that negates speculation regarding my Mom having illicit liaisons with the postman, 5) My shoe size is 6.5EE which is why I own few pairs of shoes and go barefoot most of the year, 6) I do not have a palmaris longus in either forearm. This is a genetic trait; my Dad doesn't have them either. Bummer if I need a tendon transfer as this is the first one a surgeon will grab. The palmaris longus doesn't really do much anyway so not having one is no problem (unless you need a tendon transfer).
I have come to the conclusion that I will rarely have time to post on the weekends. In our new house, the computer is in a corner of the bedroom. DH likes to sleep in a bit later on the weekends, so I can't get on the computer while eating breakfast to post. And once he rolls out of bed, we start working on the house.
Speaking of which, BOY! did we get a lot done this weekend! No, the furniture is still out in the P.O.D.S., but I have an empty den! All the tools are out in DH's shop where they belong! Yippee skippy!
The long-range plan is to start on the new bathroom (currently a bare-stud room) after we get the furniture moved into the den. After the bathroom is finished, we will install the HVAC; the inside unit will go in the old bathroom where the tub is. We will move the water heater indoors at this point also. Once the HVAC is installed, we will gut the rear den wall, replacing windows and adding a back door. Then we will gut the front den wall, replacing windows and the front door. At that point, we will have all new sheetrock in the den and can mud, texture, and paint it. Then we will replace the den floor.
Next, after saving up the cash to do it, in about two to three years, we will rip the kitchen and utility room off the end of the house and completely rebuild it. It isn't as structurally sound as the other part of the house (we think it was originally a porch) and it will be easier to rebuild it from scratch than to try and make right what's really bad. We thought it was okay enough to fix before we bought it, but as the sellers really frown on potential buyers ripping out walls or floors for a look-see, we weren't sure. Once we owned it and were able to rip out walls/floors for a closer look, we realized it wasn't too great. Oh well.
We thought we were going to move in furniture, but we have to stop and caulk the den floor. The floor is made of plain ol' 1" x 6" unfinished pine boards. Over half of them have 1/4" to 1/2" cracks between them. Besides being unsightly, the cracks get really disgusting stuff down in them. I know this because I spent an entire morning vacuuming out the cracks and using a 5-in-1 tool to dig out the disgusting stuff before I scrubbed the floor clean with soapy water and a stiff brush. I ain't doing this every week when I clean the den. So DH called a flooring company to ask if there was a solution. The installer gave DH very detailed instructions on how to caulk the gaps. It will be labor intensive but cheap. And I will be a much happier homemaker. That will get done this weekend.
The den walls consist of thin inside paneling, wall space with no insulation, an outer sheathing of miscellaneous boards with shingles over that. Much of our weekend was spent trying to make the walls somewhat winter-proof on a temporary basis as we anticipate having them renovated by next summer. The results are workable but not very aesthetic. We used duct tape to cover gaps in the paneling, strips of OSB to cover gaps at the ceiling and floor, and a bazillion tubes of caulk to seal the leaky windows. Here are a couple of pictures:
At the ceiling by a window:
At the floor by the front door:
We call this cheesy cheapskate decorating (not to be confused with the honorable method of tightwad decorating). And no, I haven't stitched in over two weeks. Bummer.

Nov 13, 2008

Redbird Designs, a WIP, and cows

Public Service Announcement for all you Redbird Designs (RD) lovers: Lorraine is quitting the business and moving to New York with her family. I received this notice from a friend who received it from her LNS. ACK! Shops will be able to order through the end of November, so if you have RD patterns on your wish list, get 'em now!
I went on an RD spree yesterday at 3 Stitches and shot my stash budget through December as I bought all 15 patterns on my wish list. But boy! will I have fun fondling once they arrive in the mail!
And as THE SUN IS FINALLY BACK OUT AFTER FOUR DAYS OF BEING GONE, I was able to get a good picture of my WIP. I just have to fill in the stitches around the edges and top of the panel, and then I can finish it and hang it up (it's a bell pull)!
I wrangled cows again this morning. We've been cow-free since last week, but this morning, I was out wranglin' again. I enticed them back to their own pasture with a bucket of feed (our neighbor left us some feed just for that purpose). They are getting into our other neighbor's pasture and escaping through his fence. That's what they did this morning. I saw them hopping the fence down our driveway past our land and went out to fetch them home. Then I patched the other neighbor's fence with a piece of old hog panel. FYI - Wire snips won't cut bobwahr, you have to use bolt cutters.
I had strong words with the biggest black Angus cow. She will butt you in the backside real hard with her head if you are carrying feed and she wants it. She got herself elbowed in the cheek (on her face) several times before she realized that wasn't a good thing to do to me. I renamed her Yankee as she's rude and pushy. ☺ And I have extra laundry to do as the jeans I wore while wranglin' have cow spit and cow snot all over the backside. Whee.

Nov 11, 2008

A cloudy Tuesday

Well, it's still cloudy and raining here. The bump/hump on our driveway has become a car trap again. We parked the car/truck down past the danger zone and have to hike down to them in the mud and rain. It beats paying for a tow truck.
We had the bulldozer guy out this weekend to take a look and give us a bid on fixing the bump/hump. We are awaiting his bid. He concurred that the bump/hump was made of "Texas white clay that gets slicker than snot" when rained on. Yeah, we knew that.
Apparently, the locals all know about "that driveway" to our house. Even though many of them thought of buying this property/house for a weekend hunting cabin, none were willing to take on "that driveway." Our neighbor with the cows told us this. We figure the driveway problems are a fair exchange for the peace, quiet, and privacy.
DH (Texas Tech Class of '83) was able to "nest" in his shop last night. He made a start in getting it organized in preparation for getting all of his tools out of the den.
We closed on our house in May, had the shop built in early June, and then worked out here all summer, moving in on August 31st. When we first got the shop, we were moving shop loads out here as we were able and just chucking them in the shop. As DH did demolition on the house, he was also saving usable wood and cabinets. At one point in July, I spent an entire day organizing DH's shop just so we'd have room to move around and to store more stuff. As we moved more stuff in, that organization was lost. So, DH is (FINALLY!) starting to get it organized. Frankly, I don't care how he organizes it as long as he GETS HIS STUFF OUT OF MY DEN!
I was in a grumpy mood yesterday. So instead of doing more caulking as I couldn't see well in the gloomy and rainy daydark, I plunked my backside down and stitched the afternoon away. I am SO CLOSE to finishing my WIP! I just have fill-in left to do at the edge and top of the banding. I will post a picture as soon as I get more camera batteries.
As I have no camera batteries for new pictures, I will leave you with an older picture of Emma.

Nov 10, 2008

Monday musings - long

Yeah, I know. I haven't posted since last Tuesday.
Last week was a blur. DH and I were suffering with our annual fall/winter-seasonal-change-sinus-weirdness. This always happens right after we've had our first "cold front" of the season that lasts more than a week, and is followed by a week or more of much warmer weather. It makes our sinuses fritz out. We go around with a dull sinus headache and a Sudafed haze. It lasts about a week and then our bodies decide that yes, winter is indeed coming on, and they decide to get with the program and get on with it.
Right now, it is raining. I hate rain. I'm part plant and prefer sunny days. However, rain is necessary, so I allow that it must fall. And we are a bit behind on annual rainfall here in my part of Texas. Too bad I don't live in Camelot where supposedly rain only falls after sundown! And now I will have the song "I Wonder What the King is Doing Tonight" running through my head all day - happens each and every time I think of Camelot. I know the whole song and can sing it in an English accent.
We continue to make slow progress on the home front although we didn't get any furniture moved in this past week as you may have surmised as you didn't hear any yells, did you?! DH got Emma's dog door installed and I am no longer her personal door slave. But we had to spend the weekend reminding her that she had a dog door again. Reminding her consisted of one of us getting down on our hands and knees, sticking our head out the dog door, and hollering for her. At first, she would run around to the front door and wait for one of us to open it (the dog door is on one side of the house). Then it became a race to make it over to the dog door and lick the face hanging out of it before it could be pulled back in. Thankfully, she figured it all out pretty quickly. Once she remembered, she spent a lot of time going in and out. She seems quite gleeful about it.
I was going to take pictures of some progress (including my WIP!) but my camera batteries are dead and I don't have anymore AAs in the house. I have a battery recharger, but it is out in the P.O.D.S. somewhere. I'll get some new batteries when I go to town tomorrow. So look for pictures later this week.
Friday night we heard on the news that the bank we have our home loan with went under and was taken over by another bank. But "not to worry." Yeah, right. DH is calling them this morning to check on things.
Even though I am a Texas A&M Aggie fan, I will root for any Texas team (even tu) if they are playing a non-Texas team. And I'll root for any Texas team if they are in the BCS top 10 (unless the team is tu with another Texas team ranked above them). Right now, the Texas Tech Red Raiders are doing very well! They are ranked second and are ahead of tu. In fact, the Raiders handed tu their first defeat (bwahahaha!) and the Raiders are still undefeated! DH and I had a good time watching the Raiders beat OSU Saturday night on television.
We'll not discuss the Dallas Cowboys or the Aggies at this point.
DH went hunting on our land twice this weekend but didn't get anything. He did see several does, but he is not allowed to shoot does right now in our county, only bucks. He is not a happy hunter.
I haven't stitched since last Saturday, so I'm not a happy stitcher.
FYI - did you know that if you buy a cell phone to use with a certain provider (AT&T or Verizon for example), that the cell phone is locked into that provider?
DH and I have a pair of very nice Motorola V330s that we bought when we had to change to T-Mobile when we moved back to Texas. Then when we moved out to our new place, we had no bars and the phones would not work. So we had to switch providers. We got free phones, but hate them. Among other things, the clarity is terrible (really a problem for me with my hearing loss). We SOOOO wanted our old phones back.
DH heard from a co-worker that there are ways to unlock the phones so that they may be used with any provider. He googled "Unlock Motorola V330" and came up with several sites. Armed with this information, he talked to the co-worker who took it up as a personal challenge to get our old phones unlocked. (DH is computer and techno challenged - there is no way he could have done this!) The co-worker was able to log onto a site that gave her the unlock codes and 36 hours later, our old phones worked again! It cost about ten bucks - the fee for the code and a Starbucks coffee for the co-worker's time. ☺ So if you have an old phone you'd rather use, don't despair - it can be unlocked!
Well, I've rambled enough for one morning. I hope it stops raining at some point because it's as dark as a stack of black cats outside and in the house, and I've got things I need to do that require natural light. Phooey on rain.

Nov 4, 2008

Mysterious modem and a very long post

My modem went wonky on me last Wednesday and I was unable to connect to the internet. I couldn't take the CPU into town to my computer guy until yesterday. Thomas connected up my modem and it worked fine for him. So, I brought my CPU home, hooked it all back up, and my modem worked again. Who knows? All that counts is that the darn thing is now working and I can post again.
Saturday was bliss. I was able to make the IH35 Stitchtogether for the first time since July. It was really great to see everyone and to catch up on all the news. I also got to fondle and gawk at Mary's and Lynn's new stash. Everyone had lots of Show-n-Tell finishes (except me). I so enjoy seeing everyone's finishes. Peggy and Di brought framed finishes; it's always fun to see "completely" finished finishes. Gloria showed off the really cool frog fob she stole from LoriRay. She actually made it home with it as none of us were able to "acquire" it from her. But best of all, I GOT TO STITCH FOR A WHOLE AFTERNOON UNINTERRUPTED BY COWS!!!
We find it necessary to have lots of food available at our stitchtogether. We all brought stuff to eat. Unfortunately, the lady who brings all the cutlery, napkins, and plates had an emergency and couldn't come. So there we were with food we couldn't eat because we had nothing to eat it with or on! And wouldn't you know it, the library switched from paper towels to air hand dryers, so we couldn't even appropriate paper towels to use as plates! Gloria brought Schlotzky's sandwiches and we were able to munch on those, but the Snickers salad and unsliced bar cookies sat there temptingly with no way to eat them.
On the home front, we got a lot of things done on the house last week. The kitchen is 95% done. We just need to put a threshold down in the doorway, but must wait until DH can use his table saw (which is in pieces somewhere out in the shop).
I have one more coat of paint to put on the doorway molding in the bedroom and then I'll be done with that. In the past, I've always used inexpensive ColorPlace paint from Wal-Mart. Well, I researched paint and bought the pricier and "better" Behr paint to use on trim molding. It is awful. I hate it. It doesn't cover near as well as my old cheap Wal-Mart paint. It also doesn't brush out or feather edge well. I'm having to use two coats of the Behr paint on the door moldings because it didn't one-coat cover my spackle. Stupid paint. The next room I paint, I will be going back to using ColorPlace.
I had the brilliant idea of using plastic cable ties to hold the new hog panels in place on the fence railings until our friend can come out and weld them on. He was supposed to come back two weekends ago, but got called into work. He will be out in the middle of November to try again. Anyway, the ties hold the panels quite well, and after working on the fence all last week after DH got home from work, we are nearly done with tying it. We should get it finished tonight even if we have to do it by flashlight as we no longer have Daylight Savings Time (whine). Then DH will have to install Emma's dog door and I will no longer be her personal door slave.
Our neighbor's cows enjoyed freedom so much that they started getting out of our pasture and visiting a lot of other pastures. Three days in a row, they followed DH up the driveway when he got home from work. Then on Friday, we saw hide nor hair of them. Our neighbor called to report that a friend of his down the road had found them and put them in his pasture until our neighbor can secure his fence. He was going to come out this weekend until DH reminded him that it was the start of deer rifle season. It would not be a good weekend to be wandering a fence line in the woods. Indeed, at dawn and dusk all weekend, you could hear the frequent sound of rifle shots.
On that note, DH hunted on our land this weekend and got a nice spike buck that yielded about 42 pounds of meat before processing. My freezer and I are excited! And DH is no longer a gloomy hunter.
I really miss Daylight Savings Time. It gets dark way too early now. Yesterday, I went to Lowe's and bought DH two shop lights for his shop. He doesn't have electricity out there yet, but can run them off extension cords from the house for now. He needs to "nest" out there and get stuff arranged/rearranged before we can move all the tools out of the den. Hopefully, he can get that done and we can move furniture into the den this weekend. If it doesn't happen this weekend, I'm sure it will happen by the next weekend. You'll know when it does as you'll probably be able to hear my hollering for joy from several states away.
I ordered some stash this weekend. I saw this pattern by Twisted Oaks, "Trixie and Treat." Now, normally this type of pattern is not my thing, but this one struck my fancy so I ordered it. I also ordered Sue Hillis' "Yo Ho Ho Ho" pattern that I showed y'all several posts ago - the Santa pirate.
Well, I'm off to vote, and I hope you are voting today also!