Saturday, February 28, 2009

Asthetics vs Mechanics

Isn't it fun to to browse through the latest design idea magazines, come up with what you think you want, and insist someone else put the pieces together? Reality check, folks! Those lofty ideas remind me of congress..who needs to read the directions? And the magazine designers have budgets riviling the stimulus package.

Our apartment is just under 700 sq feet, and the kitchen area has an island with a breakfast bar.

Dream: Let's put the the cooktop in the island and I won't have my back to the room when I'm cooking.

Reality: It has to be vented somehow.

Dream: I didn't want a vent hood over the would take up so much room visually.

Reality: That, boys and girls, means downdraft venting.

Dream: I can store stuff in the island cabinet.

More Reality: The motor and stuff for the vent eat up the entire cabinet space.

Nightmare: I'll need an oven..somewhere..

Reality: Better start doing your homework.

After a foray into the internet world of appliances, I figured out that the only folks that make a slide-in downdraft glass topped electrical unit with an oven is.....Jenn-air.

I show Ed all the stuff I found out and he says, "Great. Jenn-air it is. Where do I put the cutout for the vent?" Um..... I dunno. Can't find a schematic on the website to tell me, and finally we realize they provide a template in the box, which means we have to buy the unit before we make the cutout.

So after another bit of searching, and printouts in hand, off I went to Lowe's.

Now we could have ordered this unit from a company in New York and saved $300. and that's nothing to sneeze at. Shipping was free, and the website didn't look fly-by-night, although the weird thing about the internet never can tell. So being the cautious creature that I am, I decided to go down to Lowe's and see what they would do. I took my printouts from Home Depot (a $100. less than Lowe's) and from the east coast internet place ( a lot less) to see if they would bargain. Well, they did! They didn't match the east coast price, but they did go about halfway between the Home Depot price and the east coast price. I was pretty happy, and ordered the range unit. We'll pick it up in about two weeks.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

He's My Big Cat Daddy

Sunday, Ed and I took the dog for her usual walk..down the tractor road, through the pasture, and back up by the barn. As we walked by the creek, right by where the garden had been, Ed noticed some animal prints in the sand. Really big animal prints. From a really big animal.

In a state of I-can't-believe-it, I made a plaster cast of the prints. The internet says most mountain lions have prints that are 3-31/2" wide. These are almost 5". He must be finding lots to eat because he's a big boy.
Mittens couldn't believe it either. It was like a cat Holy Grail! We all decided to go walking on the buddy system, and never at night!
Monday, Ed got up on the roof, filled the lines with water, bled out the air, and pressurized the lines. Perfect....until...we heard a horrible whoosh. Luckily it was only the temporary plug at the end of the lines that blew. All the important stuff was tight and leak free.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Can It!

This winter has been a doozy. We've had to step back and assess winter weather damage, and move the garden away from the creek. Ed had a nasty and lingering head cold, and was finishing plumbing in bitter temperatures. Spring will be a welcome sight this year!

We now have the garden completely moved up near the house and have the fence installed. We cut a chicken-door through the fence from the original hen yard. The girls have discovered how to go through with no problem and are busy destroying the grass in the new area. I did have to enclose the blueberry bushes so they wouldn't dig around those, since they have very shallow roots. I figure they'll have it all gone in about 8 weeks, just in time to re-enclose my little feathered rototillers in their summer pen and plant spring vegetables in the new garden. They can stay in the summer condo until the growing season is over, then tour the garden in the winter and clean up for the next spring.

In spite of being pulled off for this project and that chore, Ed has finally finished the water supply lines! He pressure tested it on Tuesday without a hitch. Unfortunately the sleet we had on Tuesday prevented him from getting up on the roof to fill ...whatever it is he fills... with water for the final test.

He spent the rest of Tuesday installing can lights in the ceiling. Here's a little building hint for non-builders like myself. I was the one going to the store to buy can lights. They had some in kits, but not enough kits to do all our lights, so for the rest of them, I just bought all the various components, making sure they all matched. Ed installed the component lights first. Parts were missing, bent..whatever. The ones in the kits, which is what he did this weekend, were much easier. They were all the same, all the stuff was there. So my rule for building the house will be..... buy the kits, the price works out to the same, and if they don't have enough kits, order them and wait. It's worth it in irritation factor. Who knew?
Once he gets the water test done and the rest of the electrical in, we can call for an inspection and start..drumroll please... insulation and sheetrock!