RedStrong Red (default) BlueCalm Blue GreenFresh Green

Chose your color scheme.

Archive for "Home Ownership"

Changes at Home

Posted on January 8, 2021 by under Home Ownership, Life.    

Untitled

We rearranged some furniture over Christmas break. Brian has been trying to talk me into doing this forever but I’ve always refused because it leaves the rest of our main floor living room quite barren. We used to have just the one chair here with the ottoman. We always either fight over who gets to sit in the chair (it’s a coveted spot in the winter because it’s right in front of the fireplace and literally the warmest spot in our entire house) or both uncomfortably squeeze in it.

I’d thought about buying a chair and a half specifically for this spot so we wouldn’t have to use our loveseat but our furniture is so old that they don’t make it anymore. And, I didn’t want to buy something that didn’t match because we all know how that goes — you end up replacing everything to match that one thing that you just got and it ends up costing you a fortune.

Brian and I are getting too fat to squeeze in the chair together so I finally caved and agreed to relocate the loveseat to the hearth and the chair to the living room. That’s all we swapped. We did have to reorient the furniture, though. Instead of placing the loveseat at an angle like the chair was before, we placed it parallel to the fireplace. We’ve spent so much time in this part of the house since we rearranged and it’s been so much nice that we both wondered why we waited so long to do this.

Untitled

Brian, the girls, and I are totally loving it. I think we will keep the house this way until the day we move, remodel, or replace all of our furniture — whichever comes first. Until next time. GNG.

No Comments

I am not a Handyman!

Posted on April 6, 2018 by under Home Ownership, Projects.    

So, the back door to the garage has needed some work for a long time now. If anyone remembers the Farmstead fiasco of a home, then you all know that I am not a handy person. I don’t really know how to fix things all that well.

Heck, I had to have my father-in-law come help me install two smart light switches because the switches were smarter than I was and I couldn’t figure out the wiring. If it wasn’t for him and his friend (Tito Arnel) I could have very well wired it and burnt the house down.

Back to the door! So, the door was water damaged and rotting because the previous owner cheaped out on the install and didn’t seal it properly. One of the sprinkler heads wasn’t ever adjusted right and water just pounded that frame and, well, we get a crumbling POS.

About a month ago I got fed up looking at it and called a professional to come give me a quote on installing a new door in my garage and, while he’s at it, installing a new front door too — because, if they are already here, it will probably be cheaper… Right? No!

After about an hour of his time and the price getting all the way up to $9000, I had to dial him back and tell him I wasn’t going to fork out what could be money for a pretty good vacation, for a couple of doors. We narrowed it down to just the garage door and that was still well over $1000. I thanked him for his time and looked at option 2, 3, 4, and even 5.

I looked at a few videos and found a door at Lowe’s for about $170. Add in screws and caulk and we’re looking at $200 max, plus my time. I managed to convince my wife that this was going to be so easy, a child could do it. I told her they made the doors idiot-proof and that even I could install one now. Heck, even my dad was convinced we could both tackle it and be successful.

Then one night I was playing online with my buddy and remembered he worked construction for like 15 years and knows how to install doors! So I buckled down, swallowed my pride and asked him if he would be willing to help. Without hesitation, he said yes. My wife has never been so relieved to not have to do something in her life. I think her exact words were, “Oh, thank God!”

Fast forward to this last Saturday. My friend and his son Eli come out. I already had the door and everything we needed. He gave me more information about installing a door than I could process. It wasn’t really as easy or simple as I thought it would be. But, in the end, we got it done and it looks great.

I honestly don’t think it would have been as good without him. I’m sure I would have done something to either ruin the door or mess up the install. I am grateful to have friends with skills.

Here’s some pictures of the new door and the old one we removed.

Untitled

Old, rotten door.

Untitled

New door, in progress.

Untitled

New door, trimmed up.

Untitled

Outside view.

Untitled

By the way, anyone need a door?

No Comments

What Happened Last Week

Posted on March 25, 2018 by under Events, Home Ownership, Life.    

Untitled

I walked over to City Hall last Friday to celebrate my friend Gavin’s retirement from WPD. They showed pictures of him from when he started his career in law enforcement 26 years ago. Many people came to wish Gavin well and the Police Chief said a few words before turning it over to Gavin to address the crowd.

Untitled

I didn’t partake of the cake and punch because I wanted to get back to work but I wanted to be there for Gavin on behalf of all of our Leadership Wichita classmates. The walk to and from City Hall and the reception itself was a welcome break from my workday although it was super windy that day and I thought I would be blown away several times.

Incidentally, this was the same day that Wichita State was eliminated from the NCAA tournament. In case you hadn’t noticed, I was sporting my WSU colors that day. I also wore my new Rothy’s flats, which are my new favorite shoes for work. More on them next time because I plan to post a video review.

Untitled

Saki and I took a super awesome selfie.

Untitled

I think this was on Saturday morning because I look like I just woke up. Speaking of Saturday morning, Brian went outside to take pictures of house for reference for the house painters. We are paining the house next month but we are repainting it the exact same colors so we don’t have to hassle with too many HOA approvals. If you keep the same colors, they tend to leave you alone.

When he was outside, he hollered for me to come out. Apparently, our new lawn service company completed spring cleaning on the yard earlier in the week and we didn’t even notice.

Untitled

Here are some pictures of the fabulous work they did.

Untitled

They trimmed the fountain grass, removed all the dead and dried up parts of the yucca and these plants that line the path that I can never remember the name of, and put fresh mulch.

Untitled

They also cleaned up around the day lilies, which are spreading like crazy. After our coffee chat today, I plan to pull the overgrown day lilies out.

Untitled

They did the same thing on the other side. They also pulled the weeds from the side of the house and put down fresh mulch. I don’t know why we kept trying to do this stuff ourselves when other people can do a much better job than we can. Plus, it didn’t take up any of our time at all. It was done just like magic. We didn’t even know when they came to do it.

Brian and I agreed that they must have come during the week but neither of us noticed until Saturday morning. If they did complete the work on Saturday morning, that’s even more impressive because we didn’t hear anything at all.

The company is called Commercial Lawn Management (CLM) and so far we’ve been really happy with their service. I think we may hang on to them. The spring clean up they did usually takes up so much effort on our part, not just in the time to complete the work but also planning, and we always end up putting it off and putting off and then the yard looks like crap all summer long.

We highly recommend CLM. They do all sorts of stuff and offer free estimates so if you need a job done, be sure to contact them.

No Comments

Making My Home Smarter Than Me

Posted on December 31, 2017 by under Home Ownership, Projects.    

I have been wanting to add smart devices to our home for some time. I wanted a Nest since they first came out but my wife wouldn’t let me because the local power company had their own program and she felt since she worked for them, she should honor that program and be a part of it as well. This did get us a really nice Honeywell programmable thermostat, but it wasn’t a Nest!

Several years have now passed and we’ve gotten off the WattSaver program, but we got to keep the programmable thermostat and it’s worked very well for us. But, again, it’s not a Nest. So after visiting a friend’s house and seeing all of his home automation toys, I decided it was time to work on Ching and see if I could finally swing a Nest. It just so happened that Amazon was having a huge sale and I was able to get it much cheaper than normal and Ching finally caved (because she’s a sucker for sales) and I got my Nest.

Untitled

This is a picture of me unboxing the Nest. It’s pretty simple when you get down to it and look at how they have everything set up for you. They even include pictures and labels. They offer a professional set up but, unless you are just really not handy (I’m close), I think you would be able to manage.

Untitled

Here it’s all installed and working. I love that I can control it from my phone, laptop or even my watch.

After that, it was time to update a coupe of light switches that we have really wanted to have on a program anyway but could never figure out how to do it. Again, my friend showed me some of the things that he had and they fit my needs perfectly. Thanks to Amazon again, they were having a sale and Ching could not resist, so we got three plugs and two light switches.

The plugs are very versatile, they just plug into the wall and there are some instructions on the app and then bam, they are available to be automated and controlled through my phone.

The light switches were a little different. These involved a little help from my father-in-law and a friend of his. I needed expert advise and installation. LOL.

Untitled

Here is a picture of all of us looking at the wiring and trying to plan the best way to install them without burning my house down.

Untitled

Here we have initiated the plan and we are conversing to make sure that we all agree to the final installation.

Untitled

Here is the final product installed.

Untitled

And here we have it all covered up with a nice smooth face plate. I like these face plates because you don’t see any screws like traditional faceplates. I think going forward, I may use these on all of my replacement switches.

All in all, I like the way everything functions. I like how it is automated and how I can, in the near future, tie them all to an Alexa and just use my voice to control everything.

No Comments

Garage Door Opener Saga Continued

Posted on July 26, 2017 by under Home Ownership, Things to Do.    

Untitled

Brian spent most of the day on 4th of July finishing what he and Chad started on Sunday afternoon: the partially complete garage door opener installation.

Untitled

He tweaked and tweaked and tweaked. I wasn’t much help except I got to push the button every time he was ready to test it. He would make some minor adjustment and then he would tell me to push the button and then he would make some more changes and then I’d have to push the button again. I suppose I saved him from having to go up and down the ladder multiple times so I was useful that way.

Untitled

Touchdown! He was so excited when he finally got it to work. Here’s a video of him explaining the whole thing.

While he was doing most of the troubleshooting — before my button-pushing part — I met Stephanie at North YMCA so we could take Melissa’s special 4th of July Aqua Zumba class.

Untitled

It was a blast! And, I’m happy to report, my Apple Watch survived it’s second water test (an hour of being submerged in the pool) with flying colors.

Untitled

I must say, I much prefer taking Aqua Zumba to teaching it specially when it’s 100+ degrees outside. If you’ve not tried Aqua Zumba before, come join us at Andover YMCA on Saturdays at 8:45 AM. We only have a few more weeks left before they close the waterpark. (SIDE NOTE: Hideki is filling in this Saturday while I’m at ZINCON but I’ll be back next weekend.)

Untitled

Later that day we went to Cory and April’s for a real-deal 4th of July BBQ, complete with ribs and deviled eggs! Mmmm, yum!

Untitled

April also served a bunch of festively colored food such as red, white, and blue jello, rice crispies cake, and cupcakes.

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

And Cory made this delicious, fruity concoction called ambrosia. It tasted heavenly!

Untitled

Unfortunately, we couldn’t stick around for a second, post-fireworks dinner. We had to get back home to comfort our dogs. Not so much Molly, who we are convinced has gone completely deaf in her old age because not only do fireworks not bother her like they do most dogs but she pretends not to hear us whenever we call her so I’m thinking maybe she’s not pretending — LOL — but Saki gets really anxious that she starts shaking.

Honestly, I didn’t mind missing the fireworks portion of the festivities. I love watching the pretty fireworks in the sky but I’m not a huge fan of the loud, booming fireworks on the ground — specially the ones thrown at me. No thanks!

That pretty much concluded our holiday weekend. It was quite and uneventful, just the way we like it. We both still have our fingers and toes and didn’t incur any injuries. I call that a fantastic weekend!

No Comments

« Older Entries «