Sunday, September 11, 2022

November Hill farm journal, 165

Well, we said we needed rain and we are getting it! It’s on again, off again for two days now, and the sun just peeked out but seems to be hidden again. It would be nice to have a sunny break to dry things out a bit. 

Yesterday morning Baloo was perched on the sofa, looking out toward the front as he often does, when I heard a low woof and noticed his tail was moving very slowly back and forth. I assumed he had spied a deer out front, but when I got up to look, an opossum was on the front porch, digging in the large planter that my dead plant tree still occupies. 

I ran to the front porch to get Pixie in. She was lying in one of the porch chairs, totally unconcerned, but I brought her in and went to the back door to call to my husband. I spotted Pippin heading into the back yard end of the cat tunnel, so ran back to the front porch to get him. Mystic, Isobel, and Violet were already inside. 

By this time the opossum had climbed the dead tree. Husband swooped Pippin in and relocated the opossum to the front steps. He trotted off to the woods next to the driveway. 

I have to admit, he looks sort of handsome in the quick photo I took!

In other news, early Friday morning before taking Clem to get her stitches removed, I discovered the kitchen sink was leaking - a huge amount of water underneath. Thankfully most of the water had filled a tupperware bin I had sitting in there but that had overflowed and it was a mess. When we got home from the vet I got everything out and put a box fan in front of the open cupboard to dry the wetness.Thankfully, it didn’t take too long, and we were soon able to determine that the faucet was leaking down through the sink hole. It’s been needing to be replaced anyway, so yesterday dear husband went and picked up a new one. 

He ended up taking the entire sink out and once that old thing was removed, I remarked that it would be nice to replace it too. He headed back to Lowe’s and I was excited about a new sink. Not the ultimate dream sink (that would require wood working and new plumbing to be done) but the closest thing to it. Of course the configuration of that sink meant completely re-doing the plumbing, and we weren’t eager to  take that on. The best substitute was this:

I’m not the biggest fan of stainless steel appliances and sinks. I chose one for the laundry room because it was the sleekest thing I could find when we replaced that old sink, but for the kitchen, I wanted an off-white cast iron sink with no divider and one drain. Dream sink: that plus the farm sink style. But this is what they had in stock that fit our existing set up, so I said okay. We installed it last night and by this morning I can’t even remember what the old sink looked like, nor am I bemoaning that it’s not what I wanted. So - it’s new, super clean, and now I just have to redo the grout line along the upper part of the countertop, which needed to be done anyway but somehow looks much worse now that the new sink is adjacent to it. 

All this brings me to another home repair that we’re soon to be enduring. (Ha!)

The toilet ring in the upstairs bathroom started a slow leak and we have to replace the toilet and some of the surrounding floorboards. Which means ripping up the original ceramic tile. Which means we’ll never be able to match what remains. Which means we need to have the floor redone. That bathroom has been on the list of  “things we need to get to” but because of the cost of bathroom renovation and the pain that would be for us and our animals, we haven’t done it. 

Now that we have to do the worst part of it anyway, we’ve come up with a compromise. Our contractor is going to do two parts. First, he’ll replace the floor, install a new toilet, and replace the old vanity that has a built in cracked sink. I’ll probably do the painting. Then in part 2, later this year, he’ll replace the old bath/shower combo with a walk-in solid surface shower, spruce up the open closet with some painted beadboard, and replace the old bathroom fan. 

I’ve chosen materials that are easy maintenance and in stock at Lowe’s. I think it will look pretty spiffy and the ease of cleaning will be most welcome. 

He also has to repair the hole that had to be cut out in the dining room wall at the ceiling to diagnose the leak. It kind of never ends, right?

Meanwhile on the farm:

More fall flowering natives are blooming, the tulip poplars are shedding leaves, and the dogwoods are still turning. I’m behind with garden tasks but I don’t even care. Right now I’m just trying to ride the end of summer wave until it reaches fall. Added bonus of not caring - I’ve had time to READ! We cannot do it all, nor are we meant to. 


Kathleen said...

Thank heavens for the rain, but I'm really looking forward to the milder, sunny weather the rest of this week. Looks like we'll be able to dry out!
I can commiserate with your house woes. I guess with any house, but with an old house it is always something...that leads to something else.
I've spent the months since retiring doing house stuff that I could never get done on week-ends when I was working. Painting, drywall, yardwork... It never ends but I'm so happy to have time to do it now.
My biggest challenge is cleaning up the property. Too many invasives, not enough native plants...everything has gotten out of hand over the years. It's a slow process, especially with deer eating everything we plant, and I'm not very patient.
Enjoy this beautiful week! September is the best!

billie said...

So familiar! The saga of home maintenance and yard/garden work. I’m very happy for some dry and milder weather this week. You enjoy too!

Grey Horse Matters said...

We’re going through the same things here. Just replaced the wax ring on a toilet here and put in a new faucet in the kitchen. Heading to Home Depot today to look at tile and toilets for the bathrooms in our two houses at the farm. The hard part is that there is no one willing to work here. We’ve had lots of contractors say they will do it and they never come back. Hopefully, the store will have someone to install a bathroom shower,toilet and vanity.

We finally had some rain and cooler weather.

billie said...

Oh, gosh, we’re on parallel life mode again! :)

I hope you find someone to do the work. We have decided in the upstairs bathroom to go with luxury vinyl plank flooring instead tile because it’s easier to install, the maintenance is easier, and I honestly want to try it out to avoid the tiling installation process. My brother had a custom/high end tile company for a number of years when he was younger and he did some work for us in our previous home. It was beautiful but a process for sure. I talked to him about this project and he said when he updates his bathrooms in the next year or so, he’s going with luxury vinyl plank because of the ease of maintenance and waterproof feature. My main thing with tile is the grout - I am beyond tired of trying to keep it clean. The bathroom upstairs is a good test location for the lvp - eventually the dwonstairs bathrooms need the same updating and at that point I’ll have some sense of comparison. Here’s to going into winter with new bathrooms for both of us!