August 19, 2017
I got to sit down with the contractor and look at a program that puts the siding on my house digitally. This is not a perfect representation but it is close to how the house will look when the project is finished.
My loan has been “conditionally approve”! I just need to sign a few government required paperwork saying I haven’t been foreclosed on and I’m not trying to “Launder Money” via a refi. I don’t think a criminal or a terrorist would answer such questions truthfully but I guess these things are all about “Playing the game”. Sort of reminds me of the old Soviet joke, “We pretend to work and the government pretends to pay us.” If everything is good I will get the loan by the end of August and start the siding/window replacement work in September.
Got some shopping done today. Added two more pressure treated 2×4’s and four more 6′ foot cedar fencing boards for the garden “board walk” project. That should be enough materials to complete about half of the job I have in mind. Eventually I want the boardwalk to be a walkway around all the raised beds that the wagons and wheel barrow can maneuver easily, plus block the weeds and stop my dogs digging around the beds.
I bought another of the Commercial Electric 8.5 inch LED portable task light for $20.00 at Home Depot. I love these little lights because the have rechargeable batteries and with the USB charging port they can be recharged via battery banks or even a small Solar panel setup for charging electronics. Two features I really love is the lights have magnetic attachments so they hold great on a fridge or metal door. So the lights are very easy to stick on surfaces around the house were you need light. The second feature I like is the lights have 3 setting from high (reading or work light) to low that works as a slightly more powerful nite light. The magnetic mounting brackets have worked great when mounted to wood cabinets and I’m now testing how well they stick on drywall.
I finally found where where the mice died and it was in my pet’s 72 hour bag. Oh my gosh the stench was vile! I saved my water bottles and some rope but the backpack was tossed as I could not contain my gag reflex long enough to clean it. My BOB seems to be okay though it is now sitting outside until I can go though and check out the contents. Score one for the Army’s use of CORDERA material for backpacks! I’m going to place my bag in a hard side container or plastic bin to insure the mice and critters can’t get at the contents or simply die in my backpacks. I know some have had plastic containers attacked by mice and it is not a perfect solution. Through out my little mice infestation problem all of my plastic totes had no mice inside. Bags and cardboard boxes got infested. Live and learn if you are lucky and especially learn from my mistakes and the stuff that works out right.
So to wrap it all up or TL:DR
- The house is getting a new exterior and new windows installed.
- Building the cedar boardwalk around the garden
- Mice are not cute and are vile vermin that must be eradicated in your home.
- Now I know why our ancestors used metal and glass to deny all vermin access to food and water.
August 17, 2017
I was a bit peeved when Mom got some more pallets but it has helped getting stuff stored above the waterline if the shop gets flooded like it it did last winter. I see how I can use the rest of the pallets as well as the broken down shelving from the basement demo to make the shop better for storage. It has been difficult to redo the storage as neither Mom nor I anticipated two plus years of her storing stuff in the shop nor the shop getting flooded this last spring. Honestly, the cleanup we got done today and adding in more pallets we actually have more space to work with/in. Of course I’ll need to set up a few more shelves and stuff to complete the project.
I got a couple of electric snow blowers this year and with the addition of the ice melting torch, we should be better prepared for this winter. I added a small 6 pound splitting maul along with my ax for my fire wood cutting tools. I need to build a cutting sawhorse for my chain saw for the larger chunks of wood.
Great news Mom’s knee is up to 45 degrees of movement in just two weeks working with the new physical therapist! Between the new shoe inserts and the therapist, Mom is moving around much better than I have seen her walk in over two years. Mom has finished up all the requirements of her Master Gardeners class.
I’ve hit my “time shift” thing again as I do, once or twice a year. I tend to be a night owl and staying up till 3-5 am playing on the PC is not a big deal but is not optimal, if I want to get stuff done during the day. I’m trying to reset my body clock.
The eclipse “madness” has begun here in SW Idaho and SE Oregon. I’m just going to set up a couple of lawn chairs a half block away with a semi clear skyline ( minimal trees) a thermos of coffee and just enjoy. There is literally bumper to bumper traffic into Pineville Oregon today 17 August 2017. I got my safety glasses and if I’m correct, we should see about 1 min. 45 seconds-2 minutes of totality locally. The eclipse is a cool thing to see but getting crazy over it, is kind of silly. I’m a bit peeved the local gas pumps are jacking up prices to “Profit” from all the people wanting to see the eclipse, but I don’t blame them either. From my stand point it is just annoying not an “End of the World” rant.
Last but not least my kitchen fridge went wonky and the freezer did not keep things frozen. This is an old fridge and I moved it around after I removed all freezer food it started working again! I’m going to switch fridges this weekend with my small new fridge that is in the shop. I have no idea why the fridge started working again so this fridge will become the new “beer fridge” in the shop. Since we cleaned up the shop this should job should be simple if not easy.
August 10, 2017
Gosh the smoke from fires has been kicking my ass. Fires are common in the west but having the valley fill with smoke for this long is unusual. So I have been indoors and feeling less than spry about the situation. I have added new filters to all the Holmes air filter systems in the house and that has helped a lot on making me breathe and feel better in the last few days.
I have been moving forward on the house window and siding project. Would you believe the contractor and the Mortgage finance guys both left the original companies I contacted and now I’m having to redo some of the paperwork to get things done? I’m moving ahead and with a little bit of luck, I should get the loan finished up this month and get the siding/window work started in September.
I am “solar powered” and get to be a very grumpy gus when confined to indoors for whatever reason. I have been getting a few (prepping) additions done on a small scale. Mostly just rotating food and adding some items that sort of low. When I cleaned the basement and added shelves I saw a few weak areas that needed to be address. Nothing big as the 55 gallon drums are a good to go and my water supply is solid. I just need to build up some of the everyday items I let get a bit low or out of date.
My new snow blower arrived today! This weekend I’ll put it together and see if it functions. I suspect another “hard winter” will happen so I’m trying to get ahead of the game with the small electric snowblower as I can’t shovel snow before I got disabled. I’ll be adding a lot of salt for the front sidewalks and sand for the backyard along with a massive propane torch to melt the ice build up.
Some great news on Mom’s ankle and heel problems. The physical therapists are working on her knee as well as the foot problem and her knee is gaining a lot more range of motion. Mom’s knee has gone from about 10 degree bend to over 40 degree bend in just a week! Plus she does not hurt so bad overnight.
Life has been a bit rough here at Casa de Chaos but things are looking good for the future. Hell if it was easy everyone would play the game!
July 23, 2017
I removed the last of the old shelving unit made of leftover “hollow core” doors. I can tell you right now those doors do not make the best shelves for heavy items like cases of food or water bottles. I have a request for the trash guys to come and pick up all the old wood doors, the pallets from the old compost pile and the old futon from the RV. I could cut some of this junk/trash wood up, but I just want it gone and don’t want to put any more effort into trying to salvage this old, junky wood. The trash guys will haul all of this stuff away to the dump or recycling for only $13.00 which is a good price for me.
I set up two of the new HDX plastic shelves in place of the old “door” shelves and it has really opened up that area of the basement for storage. I have a large plastic bin I want to store some of my pans and plastic food bins to keep them protected from any mousy poo in the future. The last area to clean up is the stuff Mom stored in the basement when she moved here after the divorce. That will be a big job and will have to wait until Mom gets healed up from her foot problems. My hope is that a couple of weeks of the “boot” and the new insoles will get rid of Mom’s foot pain.
We got a few more dead mice this weekend and I vacuumed under Mom’s bed which had some mouse nest looking spots. The big Shop vac made pretty short work on the clean up. This big shop vac has been one of my best purchases this year. It did a darn good job on sucking up the water of my flooded shop in the spring and it has made cleaning up the basement mouse dropping easier this summer. The shop vac is a very nice to have prepper tool.
July 21, 2017
One major thing I noticed with having the house sprayed for insects inside and outside is the flys are not so abbundant. I have not sat outside much and tested id mosquitoes are less abbundant. Getting rid of most of the flies was a big bonus all by itself! Bad news is we do have roaches but Mom cleaned all the shelves and we have spread DE everywhere and have added boric acid in areas safe for pets and ourselves. Early days, but I don’t see nearly as many roaches and the bugs I do see are young critters. So I think we are doing pretty good so far with the DE and adding in the boric acid in pet safe areas to get at those buggies in the nest seems to be working. This is a long term project of several weeks/months in order to kill out all the roaches. Already I can see that we have screwed up the roaches feeding and water access and the DE and boric acid is starting to eliminate many of the bugs.
Honestly I think Mom and were starting to get on top of the mouse problem before we called in the exterminator. Our method was not fast but it was persistent. Of course washing/bleaching all your cabinets and basement is not easy but it does make rodent infestations less likely and is a lot of work. Another bonus of clean up/organizing yor preps is you now get to save what you want and get rid of all that stuff you stored “Just in case you might need it”. I saved everything when I started prepping and there is a lot of crap I had on hand that was stuff I never used but I did not eliminate. Don’t store something just to have it. Be ruthless and store what you need/use because storage space for everyone is limited. I have cleaned out a lot of items that I stored that no longer are needed in my preps. Now I have more room for the Items I want to have on hand.
Mom is in a foot boot with a suspected Achilles tendon problem with one foot and plantar faciaitis problem with her heel. So Mom is gimpy at the moment, but I did learn a lot about some foot problems and some corrective measures. If the corrective measures work I will share them with you. The first day but Mom really likes the new Cadence foot insert after a long day along with shopping. Buying one $50.00 insert that works is much cheaper than buying multiple “cheaper inserts” that don’t relieve the foot pain. I get to play cheuffer for at least the next week. I don’t mind but driving around tends to wear me out. I’m stronger than Mom on many jobs but I have no stamia. I’m good for about twohours then I need a break. Mom and I make it work.
Good news it looks like the loan/refi is a done deal and all that is needed is an inspection. I’m not going over board on the loan, just enough to get the job done and keep the same interest rate. Keeping my house payment low is critical to me. While I want the work done on my house, I don’t want to become a prisoner of my house. I think the setup should get the work done, save a bit of money on utilities and make this a home I can live in for the nest few decades.
July 16, 2017
Another old shelf cleaned off and removed! The people who owned the house before me used nails for every thing except for this shelving so rather than busting apart the shelves I need to unscrew those big freaking deck screws that they used on the shelving. Honestly, it will be easier now that I know it screws holding the shelf together. Low light levels and assumptions have made some of my demolition a bit more difficult. Heck, it was only one board, so I guess I should not complain too much!
Good news is Home depot has the shelves I like on sale till the 19th and I can add a couple of more without breaking the budget. I really like these HDX shelves as they are super easy to put together and the 44 inch height works great in my basement. Since I have added more shelving and organized my preps I am gaining a lot more space to work with and can add more preps. I think my basic food preps are solid, now I can add more of the health, tools as well as use the space more productively. One thing I can say is it will be much easier to get things stored properly and keep the area clean in the future.
The focus for the next week will be clean up of all sorts. I have branch piles, wood pallets and even a quilt that needs cleaned via an industrial size washer and dryer. The plan of attack is to work on yard cleanup during the cooler part of the day and then shift to the basement when it gets to hot to work outside.
Last but not least Mom picked up our solar eclipse glasses. We will get totality for a minute or two, though not quite as long as folks a few miles north of us. Since this eclipse is happening in summer we should have clear skies in the morning to view it happen. The last solar eclipse that happened in Idaho it was a cloudy winter/spring day in Lewiston and it got dark and quiet for a couple of minutes. The Mt. St. Helen’s volcano eruption was more intriguing from 300 miles away.
Anyhoo to wrap this all up the basement is getting cleaned and organized. The bug killing apocalypse continues on and we are still working on cleaning up stuff. Once all the paper work is done I’ll post up some before and after pic on the house.
July 14, 2017
I got the estimate for siding and replacing all of windows and the cost will be around 20 grand. Not a total surprise but a bit more expensive than I had hoped to pay. I can’t say I’m surprised as the house is 100 years old so it needs some heavy duty maint. to get her everything working properly for the future. There are several bonuses on getting the siding and windows done that will pay off each month.
- The outside of the house will close all mouse and buggy holes. Trust me eliminating those access areas is a very critical thing for me.
- Additional insulation: This will really help in summer/winter costs and I will no longer have to put up plasic on my crappy windows.
- No more painting. All I’ll need to do is spray down the house twice a year to keep it looking good.
Downside is I am adding debt but the house will gain value “supposedly”. Well I don’t want to move so I suppose that is a bit of a wash overall. This is my home and not some sort of investment. But if I can get a low priced loan and improve the the home for me I think it is a good trade off. If it all works then the house exterior will be solid.
Basement cleanup is moving along though I may need to replace some of the fiberglass insulation. I have done all the cleanup, I can do and we still have bad aromas. I like the IDEA of installing thermal barrier but it would be cheaper to replace the bad/mousy fiberglass insulation in the basement.
Overall I don’t recommend going deeper in debt but you have to adapt to your situation. I’m disabled and having a low maint. home is almost required for me. Heck if you are young, strong and getting skills building or retrofitting a home, my choices could be a bad choice for you.
One size fits all solution, seldom fit anyone in real life.