Posted: July 6th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: bathroom, gross, plumbing, progress | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

dreadful bathroom IT FLUSHES!

toilet: before and after

Exciting bathroom progress: I finally got this stinking toilet clean! It took me a ridiculous amount of hard labor and experimenting with different cleaning products. I started by putting on rubber gloves and throwing away the ghastly toilet seat, then over the course of a few months I tried scrubbing it with toilet bowl cleaner, soaking it in bleach, dumping in vinegar, and scrubbing it with more cleaners (sequentially, not all at once). Each effort produced slight improvements but the real winning trick was to wait until it was disconnected (and therefore empty), then scrub the living hell out of it with a pumice stone and liberal doses of Ajax. Why did I waste so much time on this thing, instead of throwing it away and replacing it as any normal person would’ve done? I guess I hate to waste something that could be saved. I’m on a tight budget. And once I’d wasted a few afternoons scrubbing it I just refused to accept defeat and had to keep scrubbing until I conquered it. Today I declare victory!
But the best part is: it is now reconnected and it works!! The most satisfying thing about this whole weekend was completing the plumbing updates so that we once again have indoor plumbing. Just as we were re-installing the toilet, I discovered a pair of childrens’ scissors lodged in the drainpipe! Glad I caught that. Explains why it wasn’t working so well.

amateur plumbing amateur plumbing

baby’s first plumbing project! it took me a ridiculous amount of time and thought and trial-and-error and labeling and marking and color-coding (and infinite amounts of help from my dad) to figure out how to run the pipes and fit all the pieces together. But it was worth it because it WORKS.

I also improved the bathroom by ripping out all the flooring. It’s a shame because it was sort of new and relatively decent (compared to the rest of the house, that is) but it had such an unholy stink. You don’t even want to think about it. Now the flooring is all out and the smell is basically gone. The subfloor seems to be in decent condition, not too stinky, though I’m treating it with a hydrogen peroxide-baking-soda odor removal treatment just to be thorough.

ferret pee and ladybug invasion

Posted: April 22nd, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: gross, kitchen | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

asian lady beetles

asian lady beetles

Today at the house: we finally conquered a stubborn radiator that we’d been trying (and failing) to get out of the kitchen for a few days. The winning trick was using a 5-foot-long crowbar. This enabled us to finish getting the last of the wallboard off the last wall! I firmly believe that we are FINALLY done removing sheet rock from that room. It was a gorgeous warm day which brought TRILLIONS of ladybugs out of hibernation to swarm the insides of our windows in a truly revolting manner. They’re actually Asian Lady Beetles, which sounds like something really sweet and lovely but is kinda gross when there are so many of them covering every window in the house. According to the internet, in nature they like to hibernate in cracks and crevasses in rock faces, but they’ll happily settle for squeezing themselves into any opening in anything large and pale-colored, which apparently includes every crack and crevasse around ever window of our house. Luckily they don’t breed in there, and they don’t eat anything, they just go to sleep and in the spring, on warm sunny days, they all wake up and crawl sluggishly around the windows and window-frames and ceilings until they make their ways outside (or drop dead, littering the floors with bug carcasses). We vacuumed up about 5 gazillion of them from the living room, then did another 3 trillion in the kitchen, and by the time we made it back to the living room there was a whole new crop of them covering the windows! Impressive. Hopefully we will have time to do some caulking and sealing to reduce this invasion next year.
In other wildlife news, as the weather warms up we spend more and more time wondering what the hell peed all over ever single inch of the entire house! (and reminding ourselves that the purchase price was so cheap that we don’t mind dealing with pervasive piss stink). Really, every single room, even the closets. Well, today in a box of old junk I found a purchase certificate for SIX ferrets. I don’t know anything about ferrets or their habits but I feel like it might be hard to house train one of them, let alone six of them. Mystery solved?

darned FERRETS

darned FERRETS!




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