Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day et al.

One day the Grant Fugal home will be sold with proceeds divided among the children.
All of them have homes except Ruth, so she gets the cottage.
She's putting in a fence!  Love it!
 Note the weaved cobblestone.
The cement person promised a certain height underneath the ground level
but failed to perform as promised.
So Ruth rented a machine to cut change the height of the stones surrounding the posts.
This is where she will plant grapevines along the taller posts.
(And on the adjacent cement pad, she's putting in railroad tie garden boxes.)
More pictures when she gets more done.
Now she hasn't necessarily done all of this by herself - I see various siblings helping out,
but all of it she can do and has worked on!
She also re-cemented all by herself the wall stones going down the stairs to the dugout.
Wish I'd have had my camera with me when I took that tour.
In the midst of all of this, as luck would have it, she discovered a major leak
which turned out to be east of the house.
Ray came and fixed that.  (A "real" plumber would have charged her $1,500+.)
Dave McDonald (long-time Fugals employee) also came to add
his six cents as to the lay of the land.
(He was the one that tied everything off from the shops.)
He pointed out where the rock-walled well was.
(Wish I'd have been there -
I'd be most interested in what/where tie-offs occurred involving my house!)
Above, the best part of the Best of State gala.
Our third year winning, in a row.
Second best part - the beautiful gourmet dinner actually tasted good as well this year!
Jenny, the boss, sent Bill up to collect the medallion.
He was tickled.
 My african violets, in the pot Jewel gave me for Christmas.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Out with the old, la deuxième fois...

Expensive worry-reliever!

I have no idea before I moved in here how long the basement floor drain was a non sequitur.  Found out when I had a water softener installed several years into my residency, which necessitated having the drain routered so that its bleed had somewhere to go.  They informed me that they could barely get a water flow because the pea trap had such a sharp turn, and though they didn't have cameras, they could guarantee no other router company would be able to do better.  Made do for about three years, then it slowed to a stop, creating a) the worry of how sanitary/self-defeating is this air-drying rusting corrosion method?, b) was it going to have subsided enough by the next bleed?, plus c) what if I actually did have an emergency need for drainage?

Shopped around and settled on Ben Franklin Plumbing.  (And I've had plenty of practice runs lately.)  I highly recommend them except for their logo which is cheesy.  It's a chain across the nation.  They actually have a brochure that shows you how much jobs will cost so there's no question that the crazy gullible grey-haired old lady is a likely bilking candidate.  They give you a $25-50 discount if you authorize the fix on the first visit (assuming it can be fixed on the first visit).  They don't change the price if you say you have to think about it.  They do come out on time, even if they've already been there (so they actually know you are that crazy gullible grey-haired old lady). They answer all your questions.  They show you pictures.  They don't put stickers on your plumbing fixtures unless you actually want one. They clean up, even bring their own vacuum. They aren't cheap, but I guarantee they are cheaper than most and do just as good if not better job.

 Was pretty much clogged at this point, descending in thickness about 30 feet down the line, then clear to the main.
 Top view of pea trap (no, it wasn't full, just got topped off with chippings from the jackhammer).
Side view of (broken) pea trap.

... in with the new.

Can you tell I'm please?  It's been routered out to the main and should be good to go until I join ranks with it's dust.  And the next resident has access after the pea trap so bigger teeth can be used for a less frequent router need.  So the egress is taken care of, I have a whole-house filter for the ingress, and I'm also a lot less worried about the time coming to address the dissolving interior galvanized pipes now I've seen pictures of what they do:  they don't replace them, they reroute using plastic pipes. 

[Grant/Jewel, that pvc pipe that goes to the attic is an overflow drain that is now connected to the new AC system.  Also there is a downspot in front of the kitchen window - if ever water is coming out of it, means the attic AC needs attention!]

Hopefully I'm done for the year.  Other than I suspect I might need a bit of replacement wiring in the sprinkler valve boxes.  Again.  Next year I might explore concrete lifting....  Or not.

Another flower that will be gone by Memorial Day.
(All that's left is bridal wreath, so hello grocery store potted plants.)

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Out with the old...

... in with the new.

The AC system the fire restoration people installed was a mish/mash of odds and ends and the person I've had servicing it since I moved in said he was surprised it lasted as long as it had.  And that was two years ago when he warned me to start saving up, let it run till it died, might get two more seasons out of it, one more likely.  It almost made it through the second season, and I only had to live without it for about a month.  Wasn't about to call him to spend hours on end in that sweatshop.  When it was in its throes of death, it sounded like a jet engine up there!

It's a good thing there are people willing to do the physically hard things of the world.  Though hard things are not limited to that either, so it's good there are those willing to do the others as well.  I'm just going to say my prayers that I don't hear he has health issues as a result!  (Hard to listen to parts of this project!)  Whose idea was it anyway, to put big things in attics you have to repair/replace!

Looking forward to a more dependable and efficiently cooled summer.

Have I told you how much I love living here?  I don't mean my house ... I am pleased and honored to live in this house but I can't say I love its upkeep which will especially be true one day when I tackle the plumbing.  I mean living at the foot of the mountains.  There isn't anything that cheers me more than taking note of the drama that plays against it, from seasonal or weather changes.  And I'll have to be sure and remember that should I live long enough to witness the much overdue earthquake.  That is, if I survive the church's sprinkler system!  SIX heads on this tiny patch (as well as a cheap set-up which occasionally lets water run for days)!  Any wonder my cinderblock wall has been wet clear through and the guy who dug the driveway fence post holes said it was Soggy-Wet-Not-Normal!  Hummm ... I can see the news ... Old PG Home Swallowed by Sink Hole!  (Occupant Missing.)

Double hummm.  That might be even better than my pine box request.  And instead of my "She Died." requested obit, you can put "Presumed Dead." and you're done with it!
My new little Italian prune tree, direct descendant of it's mama.

Starting to bloom - probably gone by Memorial Day.
Definitely gone by Memorial Day!
Next two, taken a few days after the last post when they were more fully out.