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September Happenings & Living Room Update

September 30th, 2020 Comments off

Ugh, I have been SO bad at blogging and for that I apologize. So much has been going on which sounds silly considering the only place I go is around the neighborhood to walk Wookie and to the store for groceries and home stuff.

In any case, here are the highlights over the past month. There will likely be separate entries to elaborate on some of these things in the near future:

Joe renovated the workout room. It looks much like the office – same flooring and paint color. Right now it has pantry backstock and the treadmill in it. We sold the elliptical and I couldn’t be happier. That thing was big, bulky, and I was tired of it. I like the treadmill much much better! I’m getting a storage cabinet delivered this weekend so I will post more about the room then.

On the 22nd, Joe tackled a project we’ve been wanting to do pretty much since moving in – replacing the ceiling fan and lighting in the living room and foyer.

The high ceilings had been stopping us. We ended up renting scaffolding, and a pickup truck to transport it, from Menards. The plan was to put up the scaffolding and move it between the foyer and living room area but it was so big Joe had to build it around the stairs in the foyer in order to reach the ceiling to swap out the chandelier. It was kinda nerve-wracking for the both of us, but it did work and he was able to install the new chandelier I got off Facebook Marketplace.

Old Chandelier

Old Chandelier

New Chandelier

New Chandelier

It’s actually the same exact light we have in the dining room and was only $25. It was disgustingly dirty and full of dead bugs before I cleaned it up though. People are so gross! Why would you sell it in that condition? I didn’t see any of that in the pictures. Plus they removed the light bulbs which is kinda false advertising, but whatever.

Joe ran into a snag once he was able to partially deconstruct the scaffolding and move it to the ceiling fan area. He was able to get the old fan down without a problem but the junction box was too small to accommodate the new fan. He didn’t feel comfortable trying to replace the box, so he packed everything up, returned it to Menards, and contacted an electrician we found via Facebook when I previously asked for recommendations for someone who could do the work (before Joe decided to try doing it himself).

The electrician’s inability to give us a time, or at least a window, for when he’d be over that Friday was a bit annoying, but overall we liked him. Not only did he replace the ceiling fan, he swapped the ugly mismatched recessed lights (which I referred to as boobies) over the fireplace with much nicer ones (he told us exactly which kind to buy). I mean just look at those fugly things; they aren’t even the same color. Lazy builders!

Old Recessed Lights

Old Recessed Lights

But oh how nice do the crisp white matching lights look! Too bad the entire ceiling cold use a cleaning/repainting. When Joe was up on the scaffolding he was able to remove some of the cobwebs where the ceiling and walls met at least.

New Recessed Lights

New Recessed Lights

We were originally quoted $450 for a two-hour job but it actually only took 45 minutes, probably because Joe had the ceiling fan already wired and put together. We asked if it would still be the original amount but the guy said no and charged us $300 instead.

How nice does the new fan look? Joe later admitted he wasn’t sure about the color of blades when we originally picked it out but after seeing it up he really likes it. I’m going to pat myself on the back and say I have pretty good taste.

Ceiling Fan - Before

Ceiling Fan – Before

Ceiling Fan - After

Ceiling Fan – After

The only downside, which wasn’t the electrician’s fault, was that the old fan had a built-in remote that was controlled by a switch on the wall and the new one does not (which we didn’t even consider). He had an on/off switch in his van, though, so he swapped that and set the fan on medium speed (which is what we use most of the time anyway) so it can still be turned on and off via the wall switch. We just can’t change the speed unless we get on a ladder to reach the chain.

On the plus side we should no longer run into issues with the fan turning on every time there’s a storm. The electrician explained it was interference triggering the remote in the fan. He said if it does it now he’d be concerned we have ghosts, lol. I guess we’ll find out. He was a very nice guy and I liked how he and his assistant both wore facemasks and booties without being asked. We’d definitely hire him again if we ever need work done. Bonus – he told me he’s friends with Julian Jumpin Perez. If you grew up in Chicago and listened to B96 you’ll know.

Good riddance to the ugly gold fixtures. Whomever decided gold was a good look is insane. One of these days we need to replace the gold handles on all the doors in here too.

Oh, and after all was said and done the entire project cost us just under $600. That includes fixtures, rentals, supplies, and the electrician. Not too shabby!

Ok, so what else happened this month? We celebrated Wookie’s birthday on the 21st by buying her presents from Petsmart and taking her on a long walk at the park.

We ended up returning to the same park later the same week to try out the drones we had purchased.

Yes, that is plural. Basically we have three, although only two of them work. The first one went haywire when Joe turned it on and it crashed into the living room blinds and stopped working. We contacted the manufacturer who sent us replacement motors but that didn’t fix it, so they sent us a replacement drone. In the meantime they went on sale so we bought another one so we could try it while waiting the month or longer it was going to take to get the new one from the manufacturer. Well, life got in the way and we never got around to flying either of them so they just sat in the closet for almost three months.

Anyway, it was only slightly breezy the morning we took them out but that was enough to prevent us from controlling the drone very well. Honestly, I’m glad they were inexpensive because they aren’t as fun as I thought they would be. I don’t know, maybe a better model would be, or if we could find a calm day with absolutely no wind. I’m just glad we didn’t spend a lot on them.

Categories: Fun & Games, House & Home, Pets Tags:

Puppy Playdate

September 29th, 2020 Comments off

Last Saturday (09/26) we had a socially distanced visit with our friend, K, in her yard since it was nice out.

Wookie nearly played with her dog, Teddy, which was exciting. I didn’t get any of it on video, unfortunately. I really think if they saw each other more frequently she would learn how to play like a dog. Wookie did drink from that water bowl seen in the photo, though. I was shocked because she has never drank from a communal bowl before. The most she will do is sniff it.

We only expected to stay for two hours but it turned into more like four. The time passed quickly, as it usually does when we spend time together.

They just built a new Dollar Tree right by her house so after we left I decided to run inside to check it out but it was so ridiculously crowded that I left. As we were leaving, this dumb driver went the wrong way to exit the shopping area and it was caught on my dashcam.

We decided to stop by Hamburger Heaven to grab some food and while I was waiting in the car with Wookie, a dog in the car next to us escaped by climbing through the window because they didn’t have him belted in like responsible drivers! He wasn’t even wearing a collar or anything. The dashcam caught some of that also, although not him literally climbing down the side of the SUV. Scary with that busy street right there.

By the time we got home I was exhausted from the people-ing and excitement. That’s probably the most that has happened in a single day since this whole pandemic started.

Categories: Friends, Pets Tags:

Office Renovation & More Plans

August 21st, 2020 Comments off

In late July we decided to tackle a project we’ve been wanting to work on for awhile – updating K’s old bedroom and making it into a proper office / game room. Joe already got a new desk and moved the tv stand in there but the girly wall color and ugly blue carpet from when we moved in had to go. Even though he ran into an issue with some water damage to the subfloor, he was able to repair it and still got everything done in about two weeks time. Considering how many months it took when we renovated the kids’ bathroom that was super quick! And I love how it came out. The space is so much more inviting now.

New Office

Final cost: $500 for materials (paint & flooring) and decor (chair mat, rugs, bookcase, floor lamp, and futon). We came across the futon at Walmart (it was right by the entrance) right after he finished the room. It was $89 and while it isn’t comfy enough to sleep on (unless you’re Wookie), it’s comfortable enough for sitting while gaming.

Here’s a before photo for comparison.

Old Bedroom

We forgot to get a before photo with the furniture (including the old white bed frame because it sold quickly when we listed it on Offer Up).

We bought enough flooring and paint to redo the workout room in the same manner. That’s currently in progress and should take about the same time since there’s no subfloor damage. However, Joe worked on the office the week of his birthday which he had taken off from work. So he has less time to work on the next room.

I recently sold the big Critter Nation cage that used to be in the workout room to a teenage girl who wanted it for her rats. I sold the single-level one last year. I decided even if I have rats again it won’t be anytime soon. Wookie’s prey drive is too high so there was no point in hanging onto all that unused stuff taking up space. In fact, I no longer have any cages at all. I sold the old aquariums last year, as well as the cage I got with Templeton and Nutterbutter (our first rats). This year I got rid of the purple cage Winston came in and the other small purple cage we purchased when we got Peanut (our first pet, a hamster), eons ago. I also included supplies with each cage so I literally have nothing for any small critters. I even donated my old 2 gallon fish tank and sold the reptile equipment I had for Mrs. Toad. If/when I decide to get any other pets I will need to buy all new supplies. But honestly, I can’t see that happening in the next decade because I want to keep my focus on Wookie anyway. I don’t like the idea of dividing my attention between her and any other pets. But I digress…

We also sold the old elliptical machine for $50 because neither one of us was using it anymore. It’s so big and bulky, not to mention over twenty years old! I much prefer the inexpensive treadmill Joe purchased for me earlier this year to help me get exercise when I was too sick to do much else. Once the workout room is done it will only contain the treadmill, Joe’s weight bench, and a shelving unit for our overflow pantry, plus a few overflow items we don’t have room for elsewhere. I’m hoping I can reorganize the closet in there similar to how I did in the office to maximize the storage space. I feel like we still have too many things, but we’re running out of things to purge, although the kids’ old bedding and an old wooden toy box is going to be donated this weekend.

Wookie’s Sickness

July 24th, 2020 Comments off

Wookie is on the mend after having diarrhea for a few days.

Below is a screenshot of the timeline I put together for the vet (which we saw on Friday the 17th) since they’re still doing curbside service and you cannot go inside the building with your pet. They made a copy for her chart.

Wookie Timeline

They sent her home with medication and special canned food (which smelled bad because it contained liver; so of course she loved it).

Special Food

Her poop is still soft, but nothing like before, so I think it’s going to take some time for her to get back to normal even though she’s eating her regular food again.

We still don’t know what caused her to get sick, though. The vet felt the white item was a piece of rawhide. She also said the hostas weren’t dangerous, nor was the new floor cleaner. I’m a bit skeptical about the hostas, since many websites state they’re toxic to dogs, so I chopped the flowering part of them off so they don’t hang over the sidewalk by the front door anymore, and I swept up the remaining flowers.

Updated to add this story I can’t believe I forgot to write about:

At one point during Wookie’s sickness I took her potty pad upstairs to clean it from the runny diarrhea that had gotten on the plastic grates.

I was walking from the kitchen into the dining room when I slipped and fell. Luckily I caught myself and was not injured but my head got dangerously close to the corner where the kitchen and dining room walls meet.

What did I slip on? Dog shit. Apparently Wookie pooped on the carpet in front of the microwave and I stepped right in it. Her potty pad was upstairs drying, although the larger bin was still there with a pad in it but I guess it was too different for her to want to poop there so she chose the carpet. In any case, I had poop on my slippers, pajama pants, and all over the floors and rug. Yay! I threw the clothing into the washer and thanks to the miracle of Woolite pet stain cleaner, plus the Bissell Green Machine, I was able to get the poop out of the rug.

This was runny greasy poop too which made it even worse. Explained why I thought I smelled poop before I slipped though!

In hindsight, it was pretty comical how i slipped and fell, like that scene in Night At The Roxbury where Doug slips (which makes me laugh out loud every time even though I’ve seen it at least 50 times).

Categories: Pets Tags: ,

Weekend Recap

April 19th, 2020 Comments off

Couldn’t sleep past 5 am today so the day has seemed endless, but in a good way since the weather was so nice. I made breakfast tacos, and then baked a yellow cake with chocolate frosting. We took Wookie with us on drive around the neighborhood and accidentally made her excited driving through the parking lot of Northside Park. Apparently she recognized it and thought we were going for a walk but there were too many people out so we left. We grabbed Culvers (our second take home meal since this whole lockdown started; the first being Lou Malnati’s deep dish pizza last night). After lunch we took Wookie for a walk and then I cleaned the windows while Joe put out the Malibu lights.

Categories: Food, Neighborhood, Pets Tags: