Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Three Small Things

Yipes - it's been over two months since my last post. As you can imagine, we rushed to finish the kid's room and then basically stopped everything housework-related. I got a tiny bit of yard work in, and then quickly got both too huge and too hot to do anything else. Then the kid arrived, and we spent a couple weeks recovering and learning to live with a newborn. Three very small things got done around the house.

1. A New Kitchen Light
Do you remember our Tiffany-style kitchen light? It dangled pretty low into the kitchen, which meant that it not only cast shadows around the room, but it reflected a really red/orange color as well. And because it dangled so low into the kitchen, it should be no surprise that it got bumped all the time. At some point, something wacked one of the lights so that it was bent out of position, and one day it started crackling and smoking. We quickly turned it off and went online for a new temporary, cheapish option. I always hated this light and wanted to get rid of it, but we were holding off for the big kitchen renovation that is coming eventually. So, in the short term, we just wanted something cheap, bright and noneventful. We found one, ordered it, and quickly installed it - following the same directions that I described here. The new one is so much brighter and makes the ceiling feel so much taller.

the old Tiffany light created shadows in the kitchen

the new light makes the kitchen so much brighter

new light is much closer to the ceiling and makes the room feel taller

2. A Hallway Runner
After we refinished the upstairs floors, we started noticing tiny little scratches in the hallway. After minimal sleuthing, we determined that the problem was Wally, the kitten who still lives with us. One of his favorite games is to suddenly bolt across a room at full speed and to gallop up and down the hallway. Not only does this sound like pack of horses running through the house (awesome at 6 am everyday), but it scratches the floors as he goes. So we opted to get a runner to help cut down the noise and protect the floors. We picked one from Macy's and then waited for it to go on sale. Once they started the memorial day sale, we finally ordered it. With a nice little rug pad, it now helps cut down on noise and protects the floor. The color is a bit different than the picture online, but it's close enough.

closeup of the new rug

Wally on the new rug
3. A New Toilet
Tragically, just after we returned from the hospital, a time when everything was completely out of control, we noticed that our upstairs toilet was leaking and running constantly. It seemed that the wax ring had busted, so the toilet water was slowly pouring onto the floor, creating a huge, nasty puddle in the bathroom. So, spouso ran out to the store and picked up a new toilet. The old one was old and inefficient, so we wanted to upgrade it anyway. Switching out a toilet should be a really easy job, except that we still have galvanized pipes upstairs (we upgraded the pipes in the basement, but not the rest of the house). He easily removed the old toilet, but had to work hard to bust off the old rusted, iron flange. In the process, quite a bit of the floor tile and substrate was broken loose, so he had to pour in some cement to support the new toilet. Meanwhile, I was completely busy with the new kid, so I didn't help at all (perhaps a good indicator of how difficult house projects will be from now on). The new toilet is much nicer, almost 5x more efficient, and most importantly, not pouring water on the floor. 

nice new toilet

So, that's it lately. Now that we're starting to get a hang of parenthood, I would love to get started on some of the bigger projects around the house.  Stay tuned.