Tag Archives: upgrades

Stair Rails, Minisplits, & Life Work

I told DH yesterday to add to the list I want to replace the stair rail at some point. It’s shiny brass. The house is going towards flat black or brushed zinc hardware. Flat black on incidental stuff and brushed zinc on things like faucets. (Not shiny brass!)

So I did a bit o’ research and so did he, it will cost $100+ these days to replace the railing.  We explored some DIY ideas, and they’d all cost about the same, so why bother?

It’s a detail and not on the urgent list. If we find a  used flat black or brushed chrome set of hardware, we now know where to buy the railing, prefinished or raw lumber. Info. is almost always nice to have.

I had found a fireplace set I didn’t hate for < $100 and sent him a link. He pointed out it has 2 tools more than we actually need and why buy them? The place where I found this I think has some tools a la carte. I’ll have to go look. The tongs from the current set wound up in the flea market pile because of this discussion too.

The minisplits got more discussion, as did the house design ideas we’ve explored. We talked about taking the home plan we now have to a big box store and talking about floor plans, changing the kitchen around, etc. with one of the free kitchen designers. Don’t know if they’ll actually talk to us without a monetary commitment, but you don’t know if you don’t ask.

DH came up with a piece of hobby equipment for the flea market, prompted me to go find 4 bowls and a length of fabric to add to a new flea market box.

I found in the shed a few things I thought were long gone, but no, they were not sold long ago and far away… they’ll either be put in the booth or the new flea market box, after they’re cleaned. I have a silk pantsuit which needs to be ironed before it gets added too. The china and silk will fill up the end of the box — and another cubic foot o’ stuff goes outta here!

That doesn’t seem like much, does it? But we’ve both been sick, for most of 6 weeks with 2 different colds. And the second one is a bitch and a half to kick, let me tell you!

3 rules of work

DH dismantled one of the 2 snowblowers last week. The motor is being kept for a project he has in mind. The rest of the bits and pieces went to the dump. The last of it today. Also, we’ve started hauling the accumulated leaves and bark piles to the dump too.

He resigned from the board he was on and I asked him what we could do to forward his avocation using his now free time? What he did shocked me!

He bought organization materials for the accumulated work, so we can label and catalog it. His heirs will be pleased and I’m relieved. I had this nightmare vision about going through the work and only having my best memory and no knowledge of the technical side of what he did, when and where. Hopefully, at some point, there will be (even self-published) a complete catalog.

We’re adulting here. It’s a slow process, but it’s happening. All I have to do now is find some weird convoluted way to turn it into some $. That’s all?

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Action Items

I’ve been whacking away at the various piles of boxes in the bedroom. I’ve created some clear floor space and stuffed our swap shop/recycling bins. Today is a dump day —

Hurrah!

Another thing we’ve been doing for some time is replacing and upgrading what we can, as we can. This is prepatory to either selling this place or retiring here. We probably won’t have money to replace the roof, upgrade windows, etc. when DH retires, and so the updates need to be done beforehand. We’ve been doing a big item every few years, and little stuff between. We pay off one big item, then do the next. We started this years ago.

We found some LED lighting on sale just before Christmas, and DH has been busy installing them. Our favorite type of upgrade: it replaces the badly done, dead cheap, marginal stuff which came in the house with something we can 1) afford 2) is cheaper to operate 3) will function more productively and 4) looks better than what we’ve lived with for years.

What we got when we bought this place were shop lights, hidden with cheap plastic grids. They looked awful, didn’t light the room well, and the plastic grids disintegrated all over the counters — just what you want in your food: bits of oxidizing plastic!

(We took down those grids right after we moved in.)

Shop lights are not my idea of attractive kitchen lighting. Picky, I know.

Especially when they’re on the ceiling of a post/beam room. The available lights were in a hole, the light was blocked by the beams, right? So the fixtures looked awful, didn’t function well and have been on our “Replace This” list nearly since the day we moved in!

The new lights are suspended from the beams, no blocked light! Also, light where it’s needed. What a pleasure!