Friday, May 31, 2013

All the Small Things

We're to a point now where most of the big things are done.  Which means there's a TON of little things that need to be picked back up and completed.  With only two months left before our kid is born, I really need to get to work on all the little things.  Let's do a quick recap of what we've been doing this month:


First off, I got the mower out for the first time, a beautiful John Deere 112L we purchased last year after trying to push mow our 1.5 acres of lawn, and in the first run through, I somehow lost the front bar that holds the suspension arms, and therefore bent the arms back.  I tried rigging it a few times, and managed to get through the yard, but I've got some serious repair to do on it.  Luckily I have a handy Father-In-Law who enjoys a challenge.  In the meantime, my Father bought a new rider, so I'm borrowing his to get it done.  As is the issue with riders, and not owning giant vehicles in general, we needed a trailer.  Rather than rent one, we decided to go in on one.  Thanks to my Craigslist persistence, I found this guy in Big Rapids (about an hour north) for cheap.


At 5'x8', it's the perfect size to haul a lawn tractor, pick up a compost bin that Becky bought, and with the side rails, haul drywall and wood panel sheets and still be able to see out the passenger side of the car!

Speaking of buying things, Becky and her mom also found this awesome dining room table:


Built by Century Furniture in Grand Rapids in the early 1900s, it is a classic drop leaf, solid wood table.  The four leaves in the middle come out, and the ends push together to make a much smaller table.  The ends also drop down to create an even smaller table - very versatile, and with all 6 chairs, it was only $125.  It definitely needs some work, but nothing that is outside of our abilities. (Photo taken at a greenhouse before we purchased it.)

Becky's big project was her veggie garden - tons of tomatoes, onions, peppers, beans and corn, all grown from seed and ready for the ground.


She dug a big bed in the front yard, next to the driveway, and planted her tomatoes, beans and corn.  Because of the erratic weather, many of the tomatoes don't seem to be surviving, but there are some that are coming back.  The beans and corn just sprouted yesterday, and the peppers aren't quite ready to go in yet.  Very exciting for her first attempt at a veggie garden!

While she was working on that, I set my sights on starting to clean up the garage.  First I hung all the bikes with some hooks. 


Obviously an easy project, especially considering the wheels are 48" apart, and the joists are all spaced 24". It just took some thinking on how to stagger them in such a way that they would hang next to each other in the best way possible to not stick too far out from the wall.

That, as expected, kickstarted our attempt to finally start unpacking some of the random boxes that have been in the garage for a year, mostly of all the random decor items that will start occupying tabletops and walls throughout the house.  Like this fantastic eagle that hung in a similar fashion in the last house. 


Moving along in this crazy random post, another thing that has been bothering me is the unfinished laundry room, so I took some time last weekend to finish painting the laundry portion of the back hallway, and adding some shelving above the washer/dryer.  


AND FINALLY, after having some short friends over that couldn't see themselves in the hung-too-high mirror cabinet in the bathroom, I dropped it down a foot and a half last night.  We had an electrician out a couple weeks back to move the outlet that caused me to hang it too high in the first place, I patched the hole and Becky did her amazing mud and paint job.  Now she just has to cover up the old screw holes...sorry honey.


In keeping with the "small stuff" process, I've also replaced over 65 outlets, switches and plates throughout the house, moving from the awful cream color to white. This also gave me a chance to document what switches do, what breaker they're on, and what the boxes and wires look like.  Every box had some kind of dust, drywall, cobwebs, etc. that I cleaned out.  Most also used the punch holes in the back of the outlets and switches, which I'm told are not as reliable as the side screws when connecting the wires, especially in a fluctuating climate like Michigan.  There are definitely still many switches that remain a mystery as to what exactly they turn on/off.

That's it!  Many more things to come.  Our friends Ryan and Lori recently had their own housewarming party, so I leave you with this shot of Ryan double-dutchin'.


 

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