ROW80: R2 Check – 2019-Apr-3

On Monday, I got my door. I was stressing so much about how to bring it home. That’s part of the reason I didn’t buy it until this week. It turns out, I was fretting over nothing because it fit inside my hatchback. Getting it home turned out to be the easy part.

Moving it from the car into my unit was an adventure. I got it out of the car easily enough, but it was heavier than my dolly and the wind made everything a pain in the butt. Did you know ratcheting tie downs aren’t put together already when you buy them? Well, maybe some are, but the ones I got were not. So, well I was trying to attach the tie down to itself, the dolly fell and the door bounced, narrowly missing some dog poop. I’m just under five foot tall and the door is around six-and-a-half feet tall. The wind fought me as I reconfigured my dolly and eventually got the door on it once again.

The door is pine, so one side is marred now. That will be the side facing into the bathroom. I was thankful that someone helped me get through our building doors. It wasn’t bad once in my unit, though it did try to fall again.

I drilled the holes for the rollers. I cut the metal track to size and painted it. I began painting the panels on the side facing into the bathroom as I am using those for some art.

On Tuesday, I got the stain for the door and began staining it. I had to return one stain because my whitewash is latex. I got a new latex stain tinted the colour of weathered wood. I put the grey coat on last night, but one spot dried too fast, so I’m not sure what to do with it. Perhaps leave it and put extra whitewash on it? I’m also thinking the outline of the panels on the back needs to be a different colour. Perhaps grey to match? I’ll be painting the insides of the panels as if it’s art hanging on the door.

It’s my first time staining anything and I read pine can be weird to stain because it absorbs it differently than other woods. I’m hoping the white will cover some of the problem areas well. This is the same thing that happens to me with any kind of drawing or painting art. This middle stage where it just looks like hell and can’t possibly be turned into something good. I suppose writing is like that too…

Goals Update

French

I started out strong after class one and got a solid hour of the online work in. I’ve been watching French TV shows and listening to bilingual radio. My door has got me a little off track for more hours this week, but I knew this week would be me settling into my new schedule. My door shouldn’t be much longer and then my other home tasks can be done at a more leasurely pace. I need to do 3 hours minimum online each week. I’ll get it done. I want to be getting more than that in on the regular though. That way it will get done without causing me stress and I can learn more in Level One than is necessary, which pushes me closer to bilingual.

Writing

I’ve done a paltry amount of writing this week, but as I said earlier, it will be happening very soon. When my door is done, I’ll feel a lot better.

Finances

I need to get a couple more documents together for my taxes. I hope I can remember my school login. Then it’s gathering hydro bills. I’m not in a huge rush in case I have to pay. I’d rather pay closer to the end of the month if that’s the case. I shouldn’t have to, but one never knows.

Martial Arts

With my door, I’ve been too sore to go. I’ll get back there soon. I’m aiming for next week on that.

Home

Other than my door, I’m still way behind on laundry and such. It won’t last though. I’m committed to conquering my home. I’m loving my new Ryobi ONE+ drill. Because of gift cards, I haven’t spent that much on my door adventure, which is nice.

Job

I have some leads in this area that I’m working on. I’m not rushing as I have a couple of things I’d like to get done around here like this door and I found it too hard to be working somewhere with a two-hour daily commute and doing renos as a single person while building a writing career. Anyway, I’ll be following up with one such lead later today to see if it’s a fit or not.

Well, I guess that does it for today.
R~

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Merry Monday – A beautiful day for taxes

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With French done, I have a lot of other things to catch up on. It seems like I have Mount Everest ahead of me, but I’m just going through the list one at a time. I’ve gotten a couple of things done and some started.

Renovations

Before the weekend, my new kitchen floor was installed. After the credits that Jiffy gave me, install cost less than $40. The old floor was light grey peel and stick tile, which was peeling itself up on the edges. Because I couldn’t get all the glue up from the floor underneath the peel and stick, I needed to put new floor in. Oh, I started peeling it up with a hair dryer. I really don’t recommend that. It doesn’t get hot enough to work well. It was taking around 20 minutes each tile with the hair dryer. With a proper heat gun, a couple hours for the whole floor.

Old floors:

New floor:

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It looks like slate. It’s one piece of Tarkett vinyl. A little soft for moving appliances around on, so be careful if you go with it. I have a little indent from my fridge that I’m annoyed about. You can only see it in the morning from the bathroom, when the light hits a certain way, but it’s there and I know it so it bugs me. This floor was less than $200 including the install and since I had to buy more than I needed due to the manufacturer only having 12 foot rolls, I have enough left for my bathroom someday.

Writing

On Saturday, I finished the Steampunk Romance story I’ve been working on for Eighth Ripple Press. It’s in and I’m waiting to hear what needs editing. I was stuck until I was told the word count didn’t have to be exactly in the range. Then it was like my brain figured out exactly what needed to happen to finish the story. So I’m a few hundred words short, but happy to be on the next stage of the project.

Other than this, I’m taking a little break while I do some things like taxes and visit my family for Easter.

Taxes

Can I just say that I’m so thoroughly pleased with CRA this year? Seriously. Their online option to link with my tax software actually worked and I didn’t have to put most of my income slips in. This was especially helpful since one of my former employers never gave me my T4. I was freaking out because my option was not to put anything or kind of guess. Neither of those felt right to me. I was going to call them, but then it just worked out!

I was proactive at the start of the year and had a beautiful spreadsheet where I had been adding up my car related expenses like fuel receipts. Do you think I could find it? Nope. Had to start over. Otherwise it’s going OK though. Now that my package has arrived, I can go out to my car and get the rest of the paper I need from there to maybe finish them today.

I suppose I should get back at it.

Salut,
R~

Thoughtful Thursday – Reliability


As a handy person, when you take off for training rather than doing jobs booked and don’t make any effort to reschedule, you’re unreliable and unprofessional. 
I’m the customer in this situation and I’m pissed off. I waited all day yesterday to find out by reading Facebook that the guy went to a training thing without wondering if he had work to do on that day.

I contacted the service his company works through. They’re looking into it, but I already know where he was. If I don’t hear something soon, or get a flimsy excuse, I’m going to finish it myself and never bother with them again. Deals are only useful if things actually happen.

And customers don’t particularly like having their kitchens torn apart for longer than necessary. I had a friend take time out of his day to help move my stove. It’s sitting in my dining room unusable. 

I’m not waiting around all day today. I need paint and epoxy putty to fix my cabinets. At this rate, I might as well paint the cupboards before putting the floor down. Is this better? Maybe. But I was just going to wait and use really good drop cloths later.

And I still have to figure out how to get the last bit of trim up.

The bottom line is that a customer shouldn’t need to project mange a handyman who’s already got a service that is supposed to be helping him keep track of his jobs. A business owner should be able to handle their responsibilities in a professional way. If there’s a conflict, you get in touch and see if the customer can work around the conflict. You do this as soon as you know about your conflict. You immediately check what else is on your plate and then communicate or even see if there are alternate training days. 

Being reliable is part of being a mature adult. Otherwise you’re like a dead beat parent. The one that forgets to show up for games and recitals. The one that leaves their kid waiting at school in the rain.

And I should be writing instead of any of this. I’m going to do some of that first. I’m only a couple thousand words away. I’ve thrown in complications that should help me get there. Why are the last few words always the hardest?

I hope that in a couple of hours I feel better about both.

Salut,

R~

Merry Monday – Needs and Wants

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I’m exhausted folks. I’ve spent a large chunk of the last couple of days on my kitchen floor. Last summer it began peeling itself up. It has gotten to a state where it has become uncleanable and more dirt collects on it.

While I’m looking forward to a new floor, I haven’t been looking forward to the expense of it. To try and save cash, I’m doing as much as I can myself. This is everything up to the actual cutting and install. I’m terrible at cutting things and know I’d screw it up because my track record for this is high. Can’t afford that.

So I had no urge to go with more peel and stick tiles that would certainly do the same. I also didn’t want a similar colour. The floor was light grey and light grey tiles always eventually turn yellow and look like someone has been peeing on the floor. No thanks.

I got some roll floor today that looks like slate, is hypoallergenic, and is mold resistant. It’s multi-coloured, so I’ll be able to do almost anything later for a backsplash, countertops, and paint. I needed a piece 7.5 sq ft. This, of course, wasn’t possible. Why? The rolls only come 12 x 8. So I’m slightly annoyed that I couldn’t get exactly what I needed because it was more expensive than I wanted to pay. It might be awesome in the end though because my bathroom is ultra tiny, so I might have floor for it now too. Not that I’m planning to do it soon.

Also, I should mention I wouldn’t be doing it at all if I hadn’t been able to get a deal on the install. I’m supposed to pay $5 for the first 1.5 hours. Plus I’ve got other credits for sharing on social media. If I can get all the prework done, it might not be too bad. The handyman pretty much needs to cut it and place it. There’s not even glue for this floor. Also, I’ve used it in a home before, so I know it’s good stuff.

I can’t lift anything more today. I had to get the floor from my car to my condo. I’m under 5ft tall, so that was fun. Luckily there were a couple of people to help along the way at key moments like getting it into the elevator, then onto my cart. I’m hoping I can move my stove with said cart, but I’m not sure about it.

First my roast beef has to cook anyway. Then I’ll have food for a couple of days while the stove is… I don’t know where I’ll put it. My fridge is already in my living room and on an extension cord for 2 days. Kind of cool having my fridge so close to the TV hahaha.

Did I mention how tired I am? And the glue to scrape up seems neverending.

So far only one piece of wood trim has broken though. I guess that’s something. I’ll have before and after pictures later.

Off to shower and try to memorize my French oral exam despite my brain feeling mushy.

Salut,
R~

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Thoughtful Thursday – Renos

thoughtfulI thought I already posted this, but apparently not. I started a kitchen reno. Just a little bit at a time. It was instigated by my peel and stick floor starting to let go.

My cabinets are solid wood, so with a little ingenuity I can make them look nice. I think I’ll do what these people did to give them dimension: http://www.beautifulmatters.com/2013/02/diy-inexpensive-cabinet-updates/

I need to fix the drawer bottoms and one piece of the drawers. The very back and bottoms are not wood, so guess where the moisture has collected over the years. I literally needed one piece of wood to fix the top three drawers and I can probably leave the very bottom one. For bottoms? I was going with plexiglass because it’s waterproof and I had enough for 2 of the 3 until one didn’t work out and when I looked at the price of plexiglass, I said holy crap! So onto thin wood bottoms instead.

Then I’ll paint them a dark chocolate on the bottom doors I think, or maybe the top too. I was thinking of leaving those white. I figure it’s best to paint before changing the floor. There is old flooring underneath the peel and stick tiles that are coming unglued. I’m going to uncover that first. Speaking of the floor, I can get the flooring I want for $18 because my kitchen is ultra tiny. I’ll actually have some of the roll leftover. I’m planning a flagstone look fiber floor. It’s easy to maintain, resists mold, and no more individual tile issues.

Eventually, I’ll do a backsplash. I think I need help on the counters though, so those won’t be for a while unless I can get them cheap too. But that entails more because plumbing. I do have a water shutoff on my kitchen sink at least.

Anyway,  I have some things left to do before leaving town for the weekend. After that I can worry about how to get the rest of the floor up and how to move my major appliances. I need to clean behind those anyway.

Ciao,
R~

Merry Monday – Busy Times

I had a pretty full weekend. On Friday, I got some errands done. On Saturday, I cut a pumpkin with a sword and threw some axes and spears at a target. On, Sunday, I woke up thinking it was Monday and became very happy when it dawned on me that I had another day off!

Kitchen Reno

Well, I’m still trying to just fix my drawers. I thought it would be easy. I’m just changing out the bottoms and the backs for real wood that will be sturdier and not shed bits of itself into the drawers below. My plan was initially just the bottoms, but then I noticed the backs were particle board and had some water damage. So, I was going to use fiberglass for the bottoms. They’d last forever and have no water issues. Well, fiberglass sheets are hugely expensive, so I scrapped that part of the plan. I tried a thinner acrylic and it was too flimsy and broke easy. Now I’m doing wood, but it’s slightly too thick, so I have to scrape the edges a little with my hand planer. 

Wood, as I learned, dries slightly smaller than the size it’s listed as. So a 1″ x 3″ board is closer to 3/4″ x 2 3/4″ or so. Unfortunately for me, it’s not close enough to 3/4″ to fit the slots in my drawers for my drawer backs. Luckily, I have a friend who has offered to help me power plane those pieces of wood. 

I can’t wait until I decide to change out my floor… What fun that will likely be.

French

I’m doing OK in French except for the part where I’m struggling to complete the online learning hours. The exercises don’t take long enough, so I end up not accumulating enough hours. I’m not ready to move up to the next level work yet as I am having trouble with passé composé vs l’imparfait. I did succeed at reading a French children’s book this week. Onto one that is slightly harder.

After doing the practice exam, I’m not sure why we need 3 hours to do it… 

Iaido
I’ve been working hard at iaido. I am trying to fix some bad habits. I was given compliments on my technique while slicing up a pumpkin with a katana. Totally unrelated to recent events, of course.

Still, I know my troublesome areas.

My posture is always an issue and I have a bad habit of cutting small, so I’m trying to improve those as well as ensure my hips are square.

I also have lots of leg and core work ahead in the years to come as I think working those areas will help tremendously. I want to be able to explode forward and backward from tatehiza. Tatehiza is my nemesis currently. 

NaNoWriMo

I’m doing NaNoWriMo, but I’m not very far along. Still, I like what’s happening in my story. My brain has all sorts of ideas. If only I could write as fast as I can think…

B-Movie Club

My B-movie club met last night to watch Megaforce. I chose the movie because the theme I drew was futuristic. I thought something soldier related was a good idea given how close it was too Remembrance Day. My food was themed as rations. I considered getting actual rations, but those are quite expensive. Thus ramen, chips, juice boxes, a little chocolate, and Popeye’s cigarettes (err candy sticks)… Yeah, I’m old enough to remember when they had red on the end of them. Actually, I’m old enough to remember chocolate cigarettes that were actually packaged in real cigarette papers with filters. Anyway, it was a good night.

I got to spend time with my toddler buddy and the cheeky little monkey decided that I was to read him the longest story book they had. Before that, we had a ball playing balloon soccer. I need to bottle some of that joy he has!

Writing Business

I’m enjoying meeting with folks at the library to get some writing in and to learn techniques for plotting that I hadn’t used before. I’m also excited to work with some other writers who happen to be friends.
Well, I’m going to take a walk then get back to work.

Ciao,

R~