Ima be a little late…

Ima be a little late…on my next craft post, sorry! Murph paid me a visit last week. Actually, he kinda hung around all week:

Monday – I finished my work on the fundraiser staying super late after work and going in early. We all came together and pulled it off short a few members, as Murph was keeping them busy.

Tuesday – huge storm. Like HUGE. I worked late and was driving down I-95 to see a tree WITH ROOTS AND ALL fly horizontally across the highway. I was so happy to get home. Trees down everyplace and lots of folks lost power for the remainder of the week. Got myself settled and stupidly thought my trashcans were the only thing busted on my property. Soon, I realized Murph made sure that my A/C didn’t make it through the storm. My options are now Antarctica or Hades until I can get it serviced.

Wednesday – I had a friend coming into town that I haven’t seen since around 2004! Murph delayed his flight so many times that night they cancelled it altogether. By the time it was finalized it was too late to get anything done.

Thursday – was the fundraiser. Left work a 3pm to go do the setup. It went really well, Murph didn’t show up. We raised over $51k for CHOP!

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Our fundraiser was a success!

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Met up with my buddy Juan really fast on the way back from the fundraiser since his flight got moved to Thursday!

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We saw this killer painted billboard for The Blacklist on South Street.

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Penns Landing was hopping Friday afternoon!

Walking out of the house to go to the gym I see that Murph stopped by again and busted a huge limb off my tree.
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Saturday – I had plans to see the Tall Ships with Dad and I made sure to get back early enough to get a post drafted. Murph called in some rain so I got home earlier than expected.IMG_6535IMG_6541IMG_6543IMG_6536IMG_6542

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Worlds Largest Rubber Ducky!

I set out to make cupcakes I promised Clint before I wrote and the power went out. Murph wanted me to take a nap, I guess.
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Went in to take said nap and heard water dripping. It was a mess dripping down the air duct shiney stuff so that you can’t tell whats wet and whats just shiney. It was really fun in the dark with a flashlight. 😦
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Clint brought me his 6′ ladder and I was able to get in the ceiling crawlspace and rule out the A/C unit as the culprit. Found I had a leak in my roof!

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Poop.

I sat down like 10pm and opened a bottle of wine. It was like vinegar. Last bottle, too.

Sunday – I spent the whole day cursing Murph while taking care of things that went wrong this week. Rented a 32′ ladder to find out there is nothing wrong with the roof. Dad hiked it up there and found NOTHING. Looks like the ENE 30+ mph winds (that are atypical in intensity and direction for my area) simply pushed the water into the house under the flashing and/or shingles on the side of the dormer. There is really nothing actually wrong that we can tell. I need to wait and see in the next rainfall what happens, I suppose. After that I mowed the lawn since it FINALLY stopped raining and Dad fixed my back storm door that was sticking.
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Found that the winds destroyed my basil and I had to pull those all out. Once that was done I cut up the tree parts that I can do myself without a chainsaw. Those are bundled and ready for the trash men.
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After that I made an Italian chicken bake to eat for lunch this week, boiled some eggs for breakfasts and made some mint chocolate chip cupcakes for Clint. Wrote this, and I don’t think I will be getting to my planned early week craft post.
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Have a great week guys! I am goin’ to clean up the kitchen and then stress-eat a cupcake.
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Thanks alot, Murph.

<3,

Roni

Save Money WIth Ceiling Fans This Summer

Did you ever notice that your ceiling fan has a little switch on the side? Well, you should take a minute now and go check if you haven’t. That tiny toggle can save you some dough this summer, man!  It will look like this this switch here:

Flip that switch each season!

Flip that switch each season!

If you never noticed the toggle before, chances are your fan is going in the warm weather direction as the default setting should be to blow the air down on you. Stand under your fan and take a look at it when it is on low. When you are looking up at it, it should turn counter clockwise. You’ll want to flip that switch if it is going the other direction. Keeping your fan on high like this can help you reduce your AC bill and will make you feel cooler this summer.

Stay cool my friends,
Roni

Updated Exterior Lights

Pretty straightforward post here, people: my old exterior lights were busted and installed incorrectly. Armed with a gift card I got from Coinstar, I headed to Big Blue and picked up two Portfolio Litshire outdoor lights.

Portfolio Litshire lights

Portfolio Litshire outdoor lights

The front light went on perfectly, but the back light needed some finagling. The awning was hung right-smack in the way of the old fixture. Light doesn’t shine through metal on this planet, so it was futile to put the new light in the same place. Relocating wasn’t going to create a huge eyesore in hacking up my siding, either. The old fixture was hung only from a small hole – just large enough for the live wire to poke though. Super safe.
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Dad found a better spot and cut away the siding to properly allow for the light to be supported. In no time, he had the shiny new work box installed to hold all the electrical bits safe and sound.
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Then I added a bit of caulk to keep the moisture and rain out.20131022-131234.jpg

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Hangs low enough now

Pretty new light!

Pretty new Litshire light!

Let there be light!

Let there be light!

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Tiny bubbles

Remember the post about the new gas meter? Well, the meter swap wasn’t the end of the shenanigans:

A week after the swap, we turned the gas back on to the heater. Steve lit the pilot light for me and immediately smelled gas. That’s not unusual when first lighting a pilot, so we went back to other jobs around the house and checked back in a couple hours. We still smelled gas when we came back. Rut-roh!

In relocating a (gas) dryer the guys took apart a lot of the lines. They couldn’t properly check for leaks since the gas was switched off. Well, it looked like we had just found a leak in one of the joints. How were we planning to find it with all those pipe fittings in jammed in around one location?

These were all undone and now there was a leak. :-(

These lines were undone and now there was a leak.

Actually, that was quite an easy thing to do. All Steve and I needed were our big Italian schnoz’s noses and some dish soap. Recalling the pipes were recently moved around, it was safe to assume the smell was not a malfunction of the heater, but rather a fitting that needed to be tightened. If we showed up and smelled gas in any other event, we would have called in a professional. That said, you should NOT try this out at home. Call a professional ’cause if you have an issue you could blow yourself right to Kingdom Come. In fact, if you ever smell gas when you enter your home, the first thing to do is GET THE HECK OUT! (Duh.)

Back to it:
We smelled around a bit and identified the general area we thought was the source. There were multiple joints and fittings there so we had to use the soap to narrow it down. We just globbed it on the fittings and waited for bubbles to form. See?

Bubbles

Bubbles

The soap allows little bubbles to form, identifying the source of the leak.

The soap bubbles up, identifying the source of the leak.

Now we knew right were we needed to focus. Steve tightened up that location and used a little more soap to ensure everything was sealed. And that’s all there is to say about that. 🙂

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Do the right thing…

…and get nothing but grief for it. This is a rant post about how one (particularly incompetent) “gas company” employee caused me a heap of troubles.

Dad and Steve had turned the gas off this summer in order to relocate the hookup for the dryer:

Washer n dryer was in the kitchen

Washer n dryer was in the kitchen

New location is upstairs so I have room to bake!

New location is upstairs so I have room to bake!

We decided it was a good idea to let the gas remain off to the appliances since it was warm and major work was on hold while everyone enjoyed their summer. The water heater in there now is 10 year rated but is about to turn a whoppin’ 15 years old! I figured I had better gear up to replace that miracle, rather than turn it back on. Now that it was turned off for a few months and all that sediment had just been settling, I didn’t want to risk it failing ruining any of the progress on the house!

(Hello, I am Grandpa water heater.)

I assumed the right thing to do would be to call the “gas company” and let them know the gas was off: “No problem, we’ll make a note in your account. You did the right thing calling us so there is no confusion.” Simple. Easy.

Two weeks later: problem. In short, the “gas company” left me a message that they were not getting readings from my meter. (Duh, thats cause its off, remember!?) I called and explained, again, that the gas was off. They said there was no note on the account and then they proceeded to kinda accuse me of stealing gas. They needed to come out to the house and check that the gas really was turned off. All I needed to do to resolve the discrepancy was to wait for a call from their third-party contractor. Those folks would reach out to me ‘later’. Ok then. Simple. Easy.

The contractor called…a week later. Well, robo-called, technically. “Robo-Gas-Co” calls me at 8 am, sharp, with a recording that swiftly barks a number that “gas company” customers having issues are supposed to then call back. (To make an appointment with a human, I assume). [face-palm] Simple. Easy.

Only, it’s not fine and it sure ain’t easy, either! It’s some kind of twisted trick ’cause that number delivered you to yet another recording. This recording said they’d call you back if you leave a detailed message. But they only “Robo-Gas-Co” call you back, catapulting you into a cruel circle of voiceless-voicemail torture!

Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

Over and over, I played the voiceless-voicemail game. It’s not a very enjoyable game. “Robo-Gas-Co” says in the recording they are open from 8 – 4 (or something like that), but no human ever answers the phone. It started to feel like Groundhog Day up in this joint! I was trying to strategically place desperate call-backs at all sortsa hours in an effort to land a human on the other end of the line! Finally, I started to lose it and left this message: “Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya – er – ah – Veronica.” Just kidding! I didn’t really do the Princess Bride thing. However, I did call one last time and freak out, then I called back the “gas company” to see if they could give me another contractor or something. No dice, they didn’t give me help. But they did give me a letter stating that they were going to be shutting my service off for refusing to let them in my house!? I called them after getting that letter and raised all kindsa h-e-double-hockey-sticks. It launched me right into you can kiss my *bleep* mode and asked them where I should forward my phone records proving several unanswered attempts to get hold of the jerk-faces they had contracted. Within the hour, the other fools called me back, ’cause thats how the universe does in these situations. It straight-up mocks you!

A date was finally set. After that I did get two more shut off notices from “the gas company”. It was super-fun waiting on hold for extended periods of my life to chat with them repeatedly about:
1. I had the damned appointment scheduled!
2. My bill was paid in full, even a month ahead, and has never once been late. How do you shut such a customer off?
3. How is it, exactly, that they interpret blowing me off for 8 weeks while I tried in vain to get an appointment with the contractor as a refusal to let them in my house?

Anyway, the guy that came out from “Robo-Gas-Co” was pretty nice. It helped that he also hated “the gas company” as much as I did at that point. He blamed them for the problems. (Good, so we are on the same page, Good Sir!) He also informed me that he could get everything he needed without coming in my house at all. So I didn’t really need the appointment anyways. Ermahgerd! I wanted to punch him right in his ‘pretty nice’ face. (I didn’t do that! It wasn’t his fault the universe vehemently hates me.) After all that, he did at least replace my old evil meter.

Evil Meter

Heavenly Meter

Heavenly Meter

One final kick in the pants? I didn’t have to even sign anything. I didn’t even need to be present. Simple? Easy? Oh well.

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It’s the medium things…

Here are two seemingly little things that were a BIG deal. First off, adding outlets outdoors is the bees-knees. Really. Last Fall I had to use a leaf blower with a 100ft power cord in sessions so I could run back in to unplug and work out of another window.

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The other is all that trash! My trash guys hate me. No, really. They totally do. They once called the code inspector cause Dad asked if they would take the rotted 2×4’s if they chopped it up first. One guy said yes, and started helping toss it in the truck while other came around and said they don’t take contractor trash. Suspiciously & shortly thereafter, the code people’s came around.

A few weeks later they stickered a bag that was so not 50lbs, saying that they don’t take certain waste or trash or something like that. There were small bits of drywall in some bags so I think they opened it and snooped. But small bits of drywall? You are the trash men! Take it away and quit your whining already. I am not the first tax payer to remove drywall you…you…you stoopid head! Steve’s truck is labeled with a carpet company logo. Not contractor, no permits need to be pulled for carpet or tile work! Dad has a plain Ford truck that’s grey. Also, obviously not a contractor. What contractor doesn’t advertise on their work vehicles? Me? Well, I drive a flippin’ Prius. Do I even have to go there on this one? Any self-respecting American contractor would laugh at the mere suggestion they drove a Toyota, let alone a Prius!

Anyway, due to those visits from the Drama Llama I ended up stock-piling garbage. Steve took me to WM where I paid them to get rid of it all. It was really fun hurling things off the platform. Big things. The toilet ‘sploded when it hit bottom. Way cool and oddly therapeutic. Good stress reliever. Ha!

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What the hell is a gigawatt?!?

Anyone out there get the reference? Hmm? Well, anyways, here we are in February and I am no closer to moving in but we are making progress!!! Woooo!

Had the electric service changed out two weeks ago and now we are adding outlets ourselves like crazy I tell you! When I say ‘we’ – I mean Dad and Steve. They have been working fast as all get out two days this week while I was at work they got the whole first floor almost done! (New post on that, soon.) Well, there is not too much to write about since I don’t know really know about the electric stuff so I will show you some pictures, instead. Enjoy!

Shiny happy electric stuffs!

Shiny happy electric stuffs!

Washer and Dryer were in the kitchen, so to disconnect those guys so they can go to their new location in the spare room.

My awesome boyfriend was kind enough to cap this gas line off for me so I did not make myself dead trying to DIY this one. Don’t DIY things that can kill you. Bad idea. Never do it! (Thank’s Babe!)

With the W&D moved outta the road the electrician was able to remove the ‘old box’ from the kitchen so that ‘new box’ can go live upstairs now. I am happy to report that ‘new box’ is settling in and happily making new friends with other household utilities up there.

‘Old box’ is going to ‘the farm’. Don’t be sad. He is going to be taken to be recycled into other fun new metal stuffs. 🙂

Thanks for reading, please subscribe to this blog and help me out by sharing on Facebook and Twitter – use the buttons below. ❤ Roni