Wednesday, July 29, 2015

One Step Closer to Indoor Plumbing

I spent my first bereavement day remembering everything my father taught me about plumbing.  First I cut a piece of plywood to go underneath the vanity because that area was lower than the tile.  Then I re-routed the incoming pipe so that it fit under the cabinet.  Once that was done, I was able to cut a hole in the side for the drain pipe.  For a moment I thought I was going to have to buy new pipe but one of the segments could be unscrewed and I reconfigured it so that it fit.


Now, since the drain is connected, my nephew can wash his hands and brush his teeth in his own bathroom with water from a gallon container.  Tomorrow I will work on connecting the water tank and pump outside.  My nephew still won't like taking showers there until I hook up the water heater even though the water in the tank will be around 95 degrees.

In the afternoon, I went to the other house and waited for the fridge recycle people to pick up my old fridge.  I am so glad that it is gone and they will send me $30 for it.  The dogs went with me to keep me company.  My plants and quail all looked fine.  I took a shower there and filled up more water jugs for the dogs.  They certainly drink a lot but that is mostly because one of my dogs has Cushing's Syndrome which makes him drink a lot.

Tonight we had a big storm and I got to see all of the leaks in this place.  The roof seems fine at least.  My nephew's room had a small flood because I hadn't put enough foam around the edges of the window A/C.  The dog door was a problem.  I need a small awning over it.  There is a hole on the outside of the mobile home where a light had been.  It was leaking through the wall and in to the hallway.  There is a mystery leak which made the curtains wet in the kitchen area.  I am still baffled by that but I'm sure it has something to do with the window.  Tomorrow will be more projects and then my nephew's open house at his school so I can meet his teachers and hopefully get some questions answers.  New schools are confusing.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Delinquent Update

Sorry I have been gone so long.  Moving out to the mobile home was an adventure especially since it is so unfinished.  Then, yesterday my father passed away after a long struggle with Alzheimers.  That means family is converging for the funeral on Saturday, but in the meantime, I have a few moments to give you all an update.

My nephew and I loaded up the car with groceries and dogs last Thursday.  My kitchen area is still in total disarray and I didn't even dig out the microwave until Monday.  The first day of school went off without a hitch except that he was signed up for girl choir so his schedule had to be changed around.  I took the day off and tried to put up some shade cloth but it was too hot to be working outside so I ended up putting together the table and stools.  I hadn't heard back from the company that makes the table so I decided to keep it even though it is damaged because we really needed a table.  I finally heard from them yesterday and they suggested that I take it back to Home Depot because the replacement part was not in inventory.  I said I would wait 6-8 weeks because I did not want to take it apart after all my hard work.  I wonder if the replacement part will ever show up.

The straw seats are SO scratchy!  What was I thinking?  They definitely need covers.
Here is my messy corner where my tools are still out for the remaining projects like cabinets and countertops, trim, shelves, etc...  I am in serious need of storage solutions.  Even some hooks on the wall would help me.


This is my little dish washing corner.  Someday that countertop will be cut and secured.  Until then, I am drying my dishes on a wire shelf over a trash can.  I still have running water in this sink.  The water tank is getting low so I got out my extension cords and found out they aren't long enough to reach all the way to the pool.  My engineer co-worker offered to help me install an outlet by the pool since there is an electrical panel there already.  In the meantime, I bought a 100' extension cord.  It was raining tonight so I didn't try it out.


And this is my sad, dark little room.  The stuff has been shoved under and on top of the counter so that my 2 mattresses can lie side by side.  It is much better than just a twin size.  The dogs are bed hogs.  Someday I will build a bed frame so that I can have storage under this bed.  The dark walls need to go too.  It is so dark in here.


That's where we are so far.  So many half done projects.  I'll just keep plugging along a little bit at a time.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Finally Fence Time

The fence is up!  Not complete, but it will keep the dogs in.  But first, my table and 2 stools arrived just in time.  Unfortunately, the box looked like this.


And the table inside looked like this.


Now I have another chore, calling the customer service number to see if they can do anything for me.

Here is my front door area.  My niece made a little path for me.  The steps are still temporary concrete blocks since I ran out of time.


The hardware cloth is not finished yet.  I started burying the mesh on the easy side of the fence that is not on a slant.  I hope no snakes come around on Friday when I bring the dogs out but then, I have fenced out the snake food (pack rats) with the concrete skirting.


Here is a picture so you can see the relationship between the mobile home and the barn shed.  After I get the tie-downs completed and inspected, I can extend the fence to meet with the barn shed.  My niece was working on a mural for the mobile home but I don't know if she is going to have time to add the flowers.  Someday I hope to replace the metal siding with hardi-plank cement siding.



Here is another view of the fence.  There is a gap on the right side of the photo.  I used cattle panels as temporary fencing since they are cheap and sturdy.  3 feet of hardware cloth will keep the dogs in and other things out.  I have shade cloth to put up for shade, obviously, and so that flying predators won't be able to see the small dogs as easily.

As another temporary measure, I grabbed two extra concrete panel scraps and propped them up against the fence on the side that is most likely to harbor snakes.  The water tank, old metal skirting, and construction materials are on this side which provide hiding places for rats and snakes.  I'll be cleaning things up as I finish my projects.


Sadly, I didn't have any time for the bathroom.  I plan to get the sink drain hooked up next but finishing the fence is also a high priority because I will be worried about the dogs while I am at work if the fence isn't, how should I describe it, snake-repellant?  School starts Friday so we are moving in whether we are ready or not.  The adventure continues!

Friday, July 17, 2015

Final Countdown

Tomorrow is the LAST SATURDAY before we have to move in next Thursday.  I think I am hyperventilating a little bit.  My focus will be on the fence because it must be done so that the dogs don't escape.  I'm also planning to take a half day off so that I can work on stuff next Friday.  The dogs will only be alone for 5 hours and I will be there when my nephew comes home from school.  Then we can jump in the car and go back to the house and figure out how to make things more comfortable and convenient.  My bedroom only has a mattress on the floor at this point.  I still need a bedframe and either a boxspring or plywood.  Hopefully, the roof won't leak and hopefully, no other major calamities will happen although my car seems to be over-heating again.  Maybe I can work from home one day while I take it to the mechanic.  I was hoping to have left over money to start working on the barn-shed but that won't happen for a couple of months if my car starts acting up.

Sorry for the short post.  My head is spinning with to-do lists and priorities and I must go to bed so I can make the most of tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Moving On to the Living Room

I'm still here. I'm trying to post from my phone for the first time ever. Here is a photo of the last piece of vinyl floor and my living room furniture. The arrangement is not working for me but I don't have a lot of room to work with.

The small table and stools arrived tonight. Maybe my niece can put them together for me. Tomorrow my nephew gets his computer, ID, and class schedule. 8 days left. Maybe he won't notice that his bathroom doesn't have running water.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Friendly People, Horrible Customer Service

I didn't really think my vinyl floor saga could get any worse, but I was wrong.  Today was the day the that vinyl flooring, which I have been waiting for 3 months, was to arrive.  If you recall, I bought the first piece for the living room without much trouble until I took it home and found out it was 3" short.  The manager offered to exchange it but hauling it back was too much trouble so she gave me a discount on the next piece.  When I went back a week later to get another piece of the same pattern, there was only 7 feet left on the roll, the same 7 feet that was left the first time.  The manager told me she would call me on Monday when the new roll came in but I never got a call.  I called on Tuesday and they said a roll had been ordered on Saturday and wouldn't be in until 9 days later.  I pre-paid over the phone to ensure it would be there as ordered.  They told me the piece would be waiting for me Thursday which is today.  I called at 3:30 to make sure it was ready and they said it was.  

After work, I headed down to Home Depot.  My niece wasn't there yet so I found the countertop I wanted.  I was going to get white but the beige and white flecked counter looked better.  


I rolled my cart to the customer service desk to collect my pre-paid roll of vinyl.  She couldn't find it.  She called someone from flooring.  He looked and looked but all he found was the same 7 foot piece on the rack.  Finally, another associate suggested they check the receiving area.  Yep, they came back with the entire roll.  My piece hadn't been cut.  I suppose I am lucky they could even find the new roll.  They put the new roll on the rack and cut my piece.  Whew.  I am so glad that is the last piece of vinyl that I need for a while.

It took an hour to get my pre-paid vinyl.  I wanted to take it out to my mobile home but my niece offered to take it out tomorrow so we went home.  It is not going to be fun wresting that piece in to place and trimming it but I will sure be glad when it is done.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Two Saturdays Left

Time is running out.  I can't believe I only have 2 Saturdays left before school starts.  Here's what we got done this long weekend.


My nephew's bedroom now has furniture.  The mattress and bedding should show up this week (when my niece brings it out).  My mother was working on the curtains.  She thought his room made a great sewing room.  She used one of the glass top table's chairs with his desk and I think I will leave it in the room so I can cross 'find small chair' off my list.


This is his corner closet area.  Not much to look at.  He didn't seem to have any problems with it.  I imagine most of his clothes will be in a pile on the floor....haha.  Just kidding.


I FINALLY finished the little bit of skirting under the door.  My nephew finished painting it later on but I was too tired to back fill and hook up more fence panels.  Steps are only a dream at this point.  We will make do with cinder blocks for now, re-stacked, of course, once the dirt is in place.  A small deck and steps is on my project list for later.


My mother let me have this chair.  It fits in perfectly.  Not as big as an overstuffed recliner but still comfortable.  We put the glass topped table in to the barn shed because there wasn't enough room for it.  I have 3 weeks to find a little table or else we will be eating on the couch and chair which isn't horrible, just not ideal.  The cabinets were cleaned by my mother and she took one to the hardware store to get ideas on refinishing.  I might just paint them white.  That would be easy.  I found out the Home Depot has inexpensive formica countertops.  $68 for a 6' white piece.  That would do nicely.  I don't think I will get it purchased and installed before the deadline.  Looks like I will be working many more Saturdays after school starts to finish off all the things I had to postpone.

I did get my new modem (only $28 from ebay) and hooked it up.  That was a big relief.  It only took 8 extra days to fix all the connection problems.  My nephew will have a school laptop and his homework will be online.  I don't have a printer yet.  That is something I am working on.

The 500 gallon water tank is next to the mobile home now.  I had to do some more leveling and then I laid out the pipe and connectors from the tank to the pump.  Turns out I didn't have enough pipe so I made a list and will work on that next weekend.  After I hook it all up I will test the pump.  If I am smart I will figure out a way to test the pump before I glue everything together.  Hmm...I'll have to think about that.  If the old pump doesn't work I have a back up pump but it uses smaller diameter pipe so I will have to reconfigure everything with the smaller size.  Either way, my goal is to have water to the toilet, sink and shower before we move in.  No hot water yet.  That will be later project.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Good News, Bad News

Pictures!  I took a vacation day on Tuesday because I had too much to do.  My niece took the truck to pick up my thrift store stuff while I went out to the mobile home to wait for the Century Link technician.  While I was getting gas (and a donut) the Century Link tech called because he was lost.  I was still far away but I gave him directions and he actually found the place.  I got there a half hour later and he had already checked the connection from down the street and concluded that the connection box at my mobile home was bad so he snipped the wires and installed a new one.  He got in his truck to leave but then came back to make sure my modem was working.  It was not so he checked the line which was working.  I pulled out my back up modem and tried it.  That one worked but it isn't wireless so I have to buy a new one.  After he left, I took the modem apart.  My high-tech repair techniques (which involve shaking it and blowing on it) did not work so it was definitely dead.


I found a compatible modem on ebay for $28.  It should be here Monday.  So, no internet yet.  Good thing I started this process early.  I don't actually need it for another 3 weeks.

Here is a photo of the vinyl flooring that my niece and I put in my nephew's room. I like it a lot.  I'm not so fond of the blue walls.  I think a gray-blue would have been better but we were trying to use up the paint from my shed.

See the little desk?  It goes with the story of the chair at the end.

Here is the hallway which is a different pattern.  I made the mistake of not cutting an extra section for the doorway.  Now I have to find a scrap that matched that I can glue there.  They sell wood doorway 'transition' pieces but they get quite expensive the wider they get.  I bought a one inch transition.  I don't think it will be enough.


You can see that the trim is still stacked in the hallway.  It really needs to go on the walls asap before I fill the rooms with stuff.


Here is a photo of my new fridge and my mother who is working on the curtains.  The fridge was a house-warming gift from my mother and it is perfect!


Here are the 3 cabinets that I bought.  They are being stored in the barn-shed for now until my mother re-finishes them.  She volunteered to do it.  I would have just used them as-is.  I still might if we run out of time.
3 weeks to go and the heat is not going away until October.


And lastly, there is this big office chair.  I picked out a small, wire framed chair with a gray fabric seat.  When my niece went to pick everything up, they couldn't find the chair.  They called me up apologetically and I said it would be fine if they substituted another chair, preferably, with wheels.  The small chair didn't have wheels but I wanted wheels.  So, my niece shows up with this monster of an office chair.  Samsonite brand, leather, huge compared to the little desk.  I wasn't sad though because I have been wanting a comfortable computer chair at the house for a while now so I took it home.  Oh, and it was only $5 because the chair that they lost was $5.  I love that thrift store.

Later I called Home Depot to see if the vinyl from the living room was in stock yet.  The manager said she would call me on Monday but didn't.  Turns out they just ordered it on Saturday so it won't be in until July 9.  Sooo frustrating.  I pre-ordered and paid for the piece.  I can't believe this vinyl purchase has been so difficult.  Soon it will be done and then I am taking the rest of the summer off from major renovation projects.  I still want to build a deck though.  Someday...

Sunday, June 28, 2015

I Have Refrigeration

I can't believe I didn't take any photos this weekend.  Well, you will just have to take my word for it that things actually got done.  On Friday, my mother called and said she found a fridge for me at her local thrift store.  Her thrift store is 45 minutes away but I couldn't turn it down especially when she offered to pay for it.  My niece had choir practice on Saturday morning so I took my truck by myself and picked it up.  Since I was there, I went inside and found $10 kitchen cabinets.  They are old and some day I will refinish them but they will work for now.  I bought 2 base cabinets and one over the fridge cabinet which is not going over the fridge because I can never reach that cabinet.  It will go lower on the wall so that it is within easy reach and I can use the top as a shelf.  I also found an $18 desk and a $5 chair for my nephew.  The back of my truck was already full of fridge so I have to send my niece there on Tuesday to pick them up.

After the shopping, my mother and I went to my mobile home and managed to get the fridge unloaded by ourselves just by tilting and sliding it.  It was blazing hot so I went home but my mother stayed to hang curtains.  Around 4 my niece and I went to Home Depot to buy vinyl flooring.  I located the manager and everything was going well until....they didn't have enough vinyl on the roll.  Ugh.  I decided to buy a different pattern for my nephew's room so that we could get something done.  The manager gave us a discount for the vinyl that we bought last week which was 3" short and said she would call when they got a new roll of the pattern for the living room which should be tomorrow or Tuesday.  I can't believe we have to go back.  Oh well, it will be finished soon.

We stopped to pick up dinner and ate it at my almost livable mobile home.  The clutter is driving me crazy.  I need to put all of the tools away and the paint and dispose of all of the used paint brushes and rollers that have dried up. I plugged in the fridge and found out that the closest outlet doesn't work because the handyman cut it when installing the door.  I wonder what he did with the wires.  Luckily, there is another close outlet and the fridge was cold right away.  It is wonderful to have a fridge.  I can't put it against the wall yet since I haven't finished the trim.  After we ate, it was getting dark but I went outside to cut down the spiny bushes near the phone pedestal.  I need to call Century Link tomorrow because they were suppose to turn on the internet on Friday but it doesn't work.  I am pretty sure the old wires in the pedestal are the problem.  Then we cut the vinyl for the hallway and fit the new piece for the bedroom.  I only trimmed one side because we were both really tired and it was after 8pm.  So, that's all that I got done.  1/4th of what I wanted to do, as usual, but more done on the kitchen than I expected.

My nephew arrives on Wednesday and I have Friday off of work.  It should be an interesting week.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

The Insurmountable To-Do List

As promised, an exciting photo of gravel!  This is 8 cu.yds. delivered for $300.  That's a lot of money.  I wish I could afford more gravel for the whole driveway but I will have to be happy with enough for the parking area.  


The monsoon rains started today.  I hope my gravel isn't washing away.  I should be out there looking for leaks in the mobile home but instead I am in my house hanging out with my dogs.  Maybe I can get enough done on Saturday so that I can spend the night there next weekend.  I am dog-sitting two dogs this week so that throws a wrench in things.  I wasn't expecting it to rain yet.  I thought I had at least another week or two.

The manager of Home Depot called me about my short vinyl complaint.  She said she would give me a replacement piece at a discounted price.  We will see if that actually works out since she doesn't work until after 3 on Saturday and I plan to pick up the vinyl in the morning.  Besides buying the last 2 sheets of vinyl flooring, I plan to focus on fixing any leaks around the new window, door and dog door, and cover the water heater closet that I never covered because I still haven't finished the plumbing for the bathroom.  I've just about given up on gutters.  I have 3 gutter pieces but they aren't a priority at the moment even though I hate to see this rain wasted.  My list of what is not going to get done is getting longer and longer.  Century Link should be turning on my internet.  If my modem works I will be able to bring out my TV and Roku so that I can watch movies instead of working on all of my projects....hmm...that really doesn't make much sense.  Well, one of these days I will have all of the important projects completed and then I will be able to relax and watch a movie.  That's my goal.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Like Father, Like Daughter

Whew...is there an end to this project?  Last weekend was so busy it started Friday evening and spilled in to Monday.  My niece is finishing up her textured wall project.  Tomorrow she will paint it, I think.


I made some purchased from Amazon.  An air purifier, a Roku, and a roll of shade fabric were all thrown in this giant box together.  It was so big, it blocked my car.


Big box with small boxes and a lot of packaging.


So, Friday evening my niece and I meet at Home Depot.  We go to the flooring department and there was an associate who asked us if we needed help.  I was thrilled since finding help at HD usually takes forever but then the guy says that the flooring associate is helping the forklift guy and he will let him know we are waiting.  Bummer.  So we wait and wait and wait.  After what seems like 15 minutes, I go ask for help at the customer service desk.  Right then the flooring guy shows up and says there are two people ahead of me.  I say fine and go back to staring at flooring.  The guy shows up after a few minutes because the other people didn't need him.  I tell him that I want a vinyl remnant which is advertised on sale so he digs through the pile of poorly marked end rolls and finds mine.  Then I wanted a piece cut to size so he has to clean up the mess he just made when he threw the other end rolls in the aisle.  I tell him to cut it 13' 3".  He repeats it and finds a helper.  He asks me again, 13.3?  I say no, 13' 3".  He says ok, cuts it, rolls it up in plastic wrap and tags it by the square yardage.  My niece and I roll our unwieldy cart up to pay and a nice associate helps us load our truck.  Originally, we were going to take it to the property but it was 6:30pm already (it took over an hour to buy it) and it was very hot so we went home.

The next day we take our roll of vinyl to the mobile home and lay it out.  It is short by 3 inches.  I measure the wall.  13' 3".  I measure the vinyl 13'.  ARGHHH.  I thought about trying to roll it up and take it back without the aid of the plastic wrap and in 110 degree heat.  I knew there was not enough left on the roll at HD to get another piece immediately.  The associate had told us it would take a few days to re-stock because I need another piece for the living room.  I decided to keep it.  The short side will be mostly covered by the sink, future counter, fridge, and door mat.  The next piece will be a little longer so that I can cover any visible areas.  I haven't complained to the store yet but when I do my store survey which is on the receipt, they will hear the whole story.


Anyway, besides being 3" short on one side, the flooring looks very nice.  I picked up a free loveseat from a facebook garage sale page.  I can definitely see progress being made.

On Sunday we went to visit my dad for Father's Day.  I found this photo of him and me when I was 3 years old and he was 35, I think.  He had 5 children and was building a house on his own on evenings and weekends while working a full time job.  I don't know how he did it.  I'm exhausted with no children and only working on my mobile home on Saturdays.


I baked him a mini-chocolate cake.  He seemed to enjoy it.


This morning I attempted to work at home but couldn't get my computer to cooperate.  My plan was to was to wait for the gravel company to call me because I ordered a dump truck full for the driveway.  They called earlier than expected so I had to rush out there and tell the dump truck where to dump.  In my next post I will show you fascinating photos of gravel.  I know you can hardly wait!


Monday, June 15, 2015

Temps Go Up and Work Slows Down

I barely got any work done on Saturday.  In the morning, I went to the office for a couple of hours to catch up and because I knew I was going to be registering my nephew for school Monday morning instead of working.  It was 3 before I actually got out there and it was 100 degrees already.  It was a good test of the window A/C.  The indoor temperature was comfortable within 30 minutes.  My niece went to a CPR-first aid class in the morning and she didn't make it out there until 3:30.  We didn't do much.  We tried texturing one wall with drywall mud.  Neither of us had done it before and it was kind of fun athough the mud was thin and lumpy because it was old and I added too much water.  I cut one more skirting panel but I didn't screw it in.  It was just too hot to be outside.  We also attached one more fence panel.  We both decided than we should spend the night out there on the weekend so that we can get up early and work before it is hot.  The flooring and the fence would need to be finished first though.  Next weekend I hope to get at least one piece of vinyl flooring and maybe even two pieces.

On Sunday, my niece and I went to visit her aunt and uncle who live nearby.  They have lived here for 6 years but I have never met them.  It is nice to meet more friendly people even though they aren't technically my family.

This morning I meant to get up early and go to work but I hit snooze.  I tried to log on to answer work emails but I needed to do a full computer scan and that takes hours.  My appointment at the high school was at 9.  Everything went smoothly and the people seemed friendly.  We will go back on the 16th of July to register for classes.  I really hope my nephew likes it there.  They have golf and choir, two things he excelled at at his previouse school.  The first day of school is starting soon.  I need to make more of an effort to wrap things up at the mobile home and make it look comfortable.  It still looks pretty rough.