September 2010

Last time we left off, the shed was looking clean and spider-less but still pretty fug.

Then I primed it and the door fell off for good.

Then I painted it at reattached the door.

See that paver under the left corner? Yeah, my nifty little base isn’t level. I wouldn’t even give two craps, but it turns out that doors need a square frame in order to shut. Who knew? So yeah, that means some more digging and raising the base for me. Joy.

I am liking the paint job though.

I do have some home projects to share with you guys, but I just can’t resist blogging about The Dirty Dash that we participated in this weekend.

Wendy, Carrie, Kristin, me

It was a hilly 10k with mud, obstacles, and more mud.

We learned teamwork…

… how to do awesome Wolverine impressions…

…and how to be just… awesome

This thing was a whole lot of fun, but I think it kind of helped encourage my cold along, so I’m home sick today with nothing better to do than blog and upload pictures to facebook. If you’re interested, you can check out the whole album here

And yes, I’m still finding dirt.

This morning I received an email from my uncle, announcing that his daughter (my cousin)’s boyfriend proposed to her yesterday and to “stay posted for wedding details”. Go Andrea!

Then a couple of hours later I got a text from Jonny saying “Andrea’s getting married today at 4 at the court house. Everybody’s invited.”

Okay then! So I’m going to a wedding today.

Andrea has always been a free spirit (I know I use that phrase a lot- I guess we just have a lot of those in my family) so I’m actually not really that shocked, and I’m really happy for her.

What do you guys think of last-minute/impromptu/courthouse weddings? Romantic and carefree? Crazy and reckless? I’m actually leaning more towards the “romantic and carefree” side of things…

You know how the newer toilets have that cool “double flush” feature, where there’s a flush for #1 and a flush for #2? Pretty cool, huh?

Well I thought it was even cooler when my friends over at Young House Love told us that any toilet could be converted to a fancy “double flush” one, for just a $20 part and a few minutes of work!

I’m actually not “green” enough to do this just for the helluvit, but that part of my toilet was already broken anyway, resulting in a not unpleasant singing sound and the toilet water running unnecessarily, and even “sneezing”. (Don’t worry- all water actually stayed inside the toilet.) Sometimes the singing and sneezing scared the guests, so I figured it was time to fix it and I might as well use the converter.

Anyway, the folks at YHL wrote a really good post alllll about it, so I’m just going to direct you over there (linked above) if you’re interested. The only real point of my post is to say that first I tried to find it at Home Depot and all they had was this $40-ish other version of it. So I ordered it online (this one) for $25 (guess they raised their prices).

Then I discovered that if you have one of those ball float thingies (actual term) like this:

not my toilet

… you have to buy the “Hydro Clean” too. Whatever.

So I went back to Home Depot and I discovered that since I’d been there before (okay, so it may have been a while), they decided to start stocking the Hydro Right- for $18! Guys, I get mad when I not only pay $7 more than I should have for something, but I had to WAIT for it to show up. Then I had to buy the Hydro Clean, which was about another $11. Roar.

But now my toilet handle looks like this (sorry, I did not take a before pic- we all know what the other kind looks like):

And the inside looks like this:

Pretty high-tech, huh? And now I can choose a #1 flush or a #2 flush. Gross. Sorry. Total cost: ~$36. Too much but what do ya do. At least the toilet is silent now.

The moral of the story for you guys is- BUY THIS THING AT HOME DEPOT, NOT AMAZON if you can. Also, they say it takes 10 minutes- yeah, maybe if it’s your job to install these things all day and you don’t have to read the instructions. And the no tools part- you’ll probably want something to help you unscrew stuff. Also you have to kind of fuss with the water levels and stuff. Overall, I would call this a success and would recommend it to anyone who needs to fix their toilet anyway, or maybe a family like the Duggars whose toilet is getting used constantly.

I’m a sucker for covers- it’s no secret. One of my facebook friends posted a cover of “Lisztomania” by Phoenix on his page, done by the elementary school choir PS22. Have you heard these guys? Amazing.

Then a couple of days later, Stan was working on something on his computer and listening to music, and I heard a familiar song- it was the original. I’d never heard it before, besides by the choir.

Naturally, I haven’t stopped listening to it since.

Sunny left a comment on my paver post that made me laugh. She said “We have used the children’s old wagon from time to time when Mom randomly wants a large pile of concrete shards to go from HERE to HERE.” As a kid, I totally felt like that was the purpose of yard work- to keep us busy and fulfill our parents’ every random whim.

Well, now that I’m grown up (ha!), I get to be the parent. Unfortunately, I still get to be the kid too. I decided that I needed the huge stack of pavers to go from HERE to HERE, but I was the only one around to do it. Besides the animals, who are pretty useless when it comes to yard work.

There actually is a reason to move them, and it’s because I’m going to be hauling in a couple truckloads of compost, and I wanted to be able to back the truck up as far as possible to minimize wheelbarrow labor. Funny enough, about halfway through moving all the pavers, I wondered if I was spending more time and energy on the pavers than I would wheeling dirt a few extra feet. I’m going to go ahead and say no, just for purposes of my own sanity.

So the next steps are:

  • Haul in some compost and spread it on the dirt
  • Till it in and level the ground
  • Build the pathway
  • Plant grass!

PS- Why are stop-motion videos so fun?

When I’m not creeping people’s blogs to find books to read, I’m swiping them from people. Sometimes they know it, sometimes they don’t. In this case, my Aunt Soozie (good thing she doesn’t read my blog, or spend any time on the internet whatsoever, for that matter) inadvertently lent me this book. Trust me, I’ll have it back before she ever notices.

Anyhoo, it was kind of nice because I dove into this book without really having heard much about it (aside from the raving reviews all over the cover). I was immediately sucked in, mostly by the scenery that Sara Gruen creates. The details of Depression-era circus life were fascinating. It really seemed like she had done her research. Upon reading the interview with her at the end, I found out that indeed she had done a lot of research, and parts of the story are based on true anecdotes that she picked up along the way. Very cool, but also disturbing and very sad.

The actual story wasn’t my favorite part. I liked Jacob (the main character) and I loved how she went back and forth between him as a young man and old man. Aside from a few smart-ass quips, he’s basically a humorless character, especially in his youth. This made it hard for me to really fall in love with him, despite liking him for some of his other qualities. I thought Marlena was  a little boring, too. I wasn’t expecting such a romance story, but I guess that’s okay. I don’t want to say too much. Book reviewing is hard.

The bottom line is that I would recommend this book to anyone, if only for the things you will learn about life in the Depression and in a circus. It was easy to read and held my interest, and had me gaping in disbelief at parts.

Anyone else read this/ planning on reading it?

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