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Saturday, June 13, 2015

Our Old House Stuff - Mulch and Pipe

We woke up to a dreary cloudy morning with the threats of rain later on.  Since it wasn't raining yet, I set out to finish my project from yesterday.  After a few gulps of coffee, I donned my rubberized gloves and headed out to the garage.  Loading up one bag of 20# of black mulch at a time onto my "mulch wagon"  (a.k.a. Grandtot's Radio Flyer)

The mulch is dyed with a harmless food coloring that won't hurt anything.  I went out to my newly trimmed flowerbed.  I like having the nice white scallops lining the walk, and keeping the mulch back into the flowerbed.

I cut the bags open to flip a door back onto the side of the wagon to help keep the messy mulch sliding down a chute into the flowerbed area instead of making a mess on the sidewalk.

Oooohie I LOVE how that looks! It really makes the coleus and the heuchera plants really stand out.  Once the coleus takes off and starts growing, it will be striking huge mounds of fuschia, magenta and bits of pinks in intervals along the side of the house.

I managed to get four large bags of the mulch spread before it was time to head back in and refill my coffee cup!   Soon I was able to peel off my work gloves and sit back to admire my work. Ahhhhh

I had a little bit left over to spread around the impatiens under the cherry tree.  Take note, these are the NEW impatiens that Steve helped me plant after he killed the last ones with overspray from Weed N Feed last week.  Ack!   We dug out the dead plants and old toxic dirt, sprinkled some lime, and put in all new fresh potting soil before planting the new ones.

Now with the side flowerbeds completed and trimmed and mulched, I am able to enjoy my yard and the blooms throughout the summer.  I am glad we went through the work to finish putting the scalloped edging along the south side of the house... now it matches the rest of the flower beds on the front and around the weeping cherry tree.
(I like things that match, I guess) 

Around the back yard, when putting away my tools, I noticed that goofy Hens N Chicks plant has bloomed!  I think it kinda looks like E.T.  ya know.. the movie?  "E.T. Phone Home" .... (not on MY Verizon minutes you don't!) 

I did snip off some of the "chicks" from this plant and put them in some cactus soil in planters in the house.  I am not sure if they will take off and root or not.  I read that they are easy to propagate, so we will see.  (The center planter is a different kind of succulent I keep in the same window) 

Speaking of Verizon and minutes.... I was keeping an eye out for the Fed Ex truck today.  Last week I had shipped them my tablet for repair and or replacement through Verizon under warranty.  Although it took longer than originally promised, it did get shipped back to me from Tennessee on Friday morning.  Wow... it was here in Green Bay by Sat morning at 4 am and out on a truck for delivery today.  

We did run a quick errand to the neighboring town for some plumbing supplies, but having my phone with me and signed up Fed Ex updates, I could see if the device was delivered or not yet.  We do live in a small town with very little crime, but a nice little Fed Ex box sitting out on a doorstep can be tempting to a passerby I suppose.  I had forgotten to unlock the outer front porch door before we left, so he couldn't leave it inside even if he wanted to.   

Just as we got back from the hardware store with Steve's plumbing parts (our local store didn't have them in stock)  I saw the truck pull up. There... safely in my hands and no worries about it setting on the front steps!   I unwrapped it and spent the next hour reloading all my apps, settings and wifi passwords.  They said they replaced the motherboard, and I know it's my same tablet because I recognise the jaggedy cut I put in the screen protector with a scissors to get it to fit right.  It's working now, so far so good!  Thanks Verizon! 

Rain was threatening, but not quite yet.  I took a pretty picture frame outside to spray paint it for our half bath downstairs. I taped off the glass and had just enough paint leftover from the ottoman to get the frame finished up.  There... I set it in the garage to dry.  That is another project done that I had been thinking about for a while. 

Steve had been thinking of cutting lawn, but just as he started up the mower to take a few swipes, whooosh instant downpour!!!!   On to Plan B....

Time for him to cut out the huge old cast iron drain pipe where it is cracked and leaking. He had opened the wall up yesterday and found where the leak was. He got out the Sawzall and a handful of blades.  He whirred and buzzed and roared his way through two batteries and three blades to finally get the pipe cut free! WHEW! 

While he had the pipe out, I stuck the camera up in the space alongside of the chimney. It was like looking into the secret innards of the 100 year history of our home.  I know it's only bricks and mortar, but the last time someone touched those bricks was 100 years ago as they built this house.  Then that space was closed up tight, not to see the light of day again until today.  Silly, I know.  But I feel such a connection and love for this home, that even something as trivial as unveiling a hidden spot is kind of a thrill to me.

I LOVE LOVE LOVE that Nicole Curtis show on HGTV called Rehab Addict.  In the opening credits she is slamming a hammer in to a wall and trying to unearth the brick behind it to expose and let it become a design feature of the home.  She hollers "I JUST WANT BRICK!"   Well, Nicole, here is my brick!  But it is located behind a swinging door that is normally stuck in the open position and covering this wall of the laundryroom.  Guess we don't need a design feature of exposed brick in here.  Once the pipe is in place, we will close the wall back up the way it should be.

Steve put the new pipe into place, with two rubber boot devices called "fernco"s to adapt it from the old cast pipe to the new PVC pipe.  He determined the water service lines going up to the bathroom were in fine shape and didn't need replacing.  Now that he knows he can get easy access in the future, we will take care of that at a later date, if need be.  

Once he was all done, he took a shower to test the drain.  No leaks!  What a guy.... for a $20 hunk of pipe and two $10 fernco's we were back in shape, with no more leaks in the basement.  Ahhhhh

The rest of the day was pretty damp, dreary and wet.  We didn't get much more accomplished other than the morning tasks.  I reheated my good homemade chicken veggie soup for lunch and we had time for a little nap.  

For supper I whipped up this new little cucumber salad I found on Facebook:

It came out really good! 
Added a couple ears of corn,
some BBQ chicken breasts
and we had a nice meal. 

I wonder what we are going to do tomorrow? 


  1. a salad similar to that is a summer staple for us...

    1. my mom used to make one similar but with mayonnaise milk and sugar. I think I like this one better with the oil and vinegar!

  2. Crikey .... you two keep busy, aye?? I love your Grandkids radio flyer. Mum could take me for a ride in that. It's good to see you put it to good use. Dad uses our Grandpeeps skateboard thingoe to move heavy things. Works well. Your house is beautiful. No wonder you love it so. The garden looks really nice with the matching border. So neat. My Mum loves neat things. I'm pretty neat ....... must be why she loves me, aye??
    We had to google Verizon. Just like our Telstra. Mum likes the look of that salad. Me not so much ...... I'll just go for the BBQ chicken thanks.
    G'day Binney and Finney ...... wanna go to the pool?????

  3. Whew, Charliedownunder is right! You two are busy! Your yard looks beautiful, Karen; well done! Steve is sure handy--Jim is too. I consider myself extremely fortunate to be able to say that. And oh yeah! I L-O-V-E Rehab Addict! She rocks a sledge hammer doesn't she? I loved the episode where she raises an entire house just so she can put it in a good basement. We don't have live TV but that's the one show I would watch if we did. Maybe I can find old episodes online. Take good care--hugs to you both!

    1. Dawn..we don't have cable or dish either.. You can watch a lot of her episodes on YouTube, just do a search.. .also on HGtv website they have older clips of certain things. I find many full episodes on this site: http://www.ulive.com/rehab-addict She sure does things the way I like it on old houses!!! Especially keeping the old windows and fixing weights and not just ripping them out for new vinyl/aluminum atrocities !


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