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Archive for January, 2012

Recently, we moved into my Dad’s house. He got married, and moved into his new wife’s house, so we got to rent his on the cheap. It’s nice, because it’s kind of like owning a house without the debt. So far, I’ve had mixed experiences pretending to be a homeowner. Here is a partial recap of my escapades.

The towel bar fiasco:

We have a very small bathroom. Like closet-sized. As a space-saving measure, the previous owners (before Dad), installed a 2-tiered towel bar. It stuck out pretty far, and the weight of freshly dampened towels over the years pulled it loose. Easy fix right? I bought a new towel bar and set out with the best of intentions to remove the old bar and install the new one. 10 minutes and several gaping holes later, I removed what seemed to me to be a not so expertly installed towel bar. Installing mine would be simple. The bar came with wall anchors, so I carefully avoided the studs and drilled my holes. 20 frustrating seconds later, I determined that my stud-finder was broken as I flattened my wall anchor against a stud. Awesome. It was then time to pull out the big guns. I wall-dogged it. Wall-dogs are massive screws on steroids, designed for anchoring into studs or drywall. They did not disappoint, and the towel bar is still hanging. After several coats of Spackle, the walls are even mostly patched. It’s important to note also that Shannon gave me explicit instructions not to attempt the towel bar installation after my first fail. Instructions that I promptly ignored. Had the wall-dogs failed, I would have been in trouble. I love to live dangerously.

The flood of 2011:

On Black Friday, while strategically avoiding humanity at it’s worst by chilling at home, I was washing some dishes and my foot got soaked. I discovered a  plumbing problem that could not be fixed without parts. Off to Home Depot. Fortunately, most of the shoppers were gone, and I was able to pick up a new connector for the drain for $1.99. I even picked up a higher-end toilet seat to replace the cheap plastic one opposite our newly installed towel bar. The sink repair went perfectly, and has been holding since. I also must mention that this was shortly after I successfully installed a saddle-valve and connected the water line to our refrigerator ice/water dispenser. Apparently I don’t suck at plumbing.

Yard-Crashing:

I’m an awesome raker. Our yard was consistently one of the cleanest on the street this fall. After a weird lull in November and December, I’m now making a name as a driveway shoveler extraordinaire. I gotta give props to the man-plow for this. The man-plow was a conciliation prize after I chickened out on buying a snow blower at a pre-thanksgiving sale. It’s essentially a small plastic plow blade with a lawn-mower style handlebar. A man (or woman, of course) can get behind this plow and push lots of snow. It’s cut down my shoveling time by, I would guess, 25%. Plus, I get to announce that I’m going out to “man-plow.” I’m not super-excited about the fact that I’m now writing this post to avoid man-plowing for the 3rd time in less than 48 hours, but I guess it was inevitable.

Laundry:

This is just funny and stupid. Right now, I’m waiting for a load of laundry to finish washing for the 2nd time. I had a load of dirty clothes, plus a load in the washer and dryer. I emptied the dryer, transferred the washer to the dryer, then proceeded to load the dryer with the clothes I had just taken out of the dryer. Worse yet, I didn’t realize it until I had folded almost all of the basket of dirty clothes that I brought back upstairs with me from the basement laundry room. Nice work Mike…nice work.

All in all, it’s good to be a homeowner. A sort-of, not really, quasi homeowner.

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Thank you for writing!

Welcome to 2012! WordPress kindly sent us an annual report for this blog, including lots of stats on readership and writership. One of my favorite things to learn about was the top commenters in 2011. We appreciate all of the comments our readers leave for us. In fact, comments are the lifeblood of this little blog. They keep us writing.

I think folks who don’t blog themselves tend to not understand what a measly little comment can mean to a blogger. Blogging has very much become a one-way street: you write, putting all these things out there, and supposedly people read what you’ve written, but you rarely hear from these readers. It’s like a conversation where you blab on and on, and then the other person stares at you blankly. I’m sure everyone can relate to how awkward that is in real life, and it’s kind of the same in blog life. When we write something, it means the world to us to get a response. Silly maybe, but it’s true.

A lot of people have told me “I don’t have anything good to say!” Trust us, even a simple “That’s so funny” or “I like that idea” is like gold. So I guess this is my pathetic way of encouraging (asking? begging?) you to help make this a two-way conversation in 2012. Let us hear from you! I know it seems like a lot of work when you’re speeding through a million websites at once. I’m guilty of being a lazy commenter on other blogs for that very reason. But it makes us happy, and the more we know people are reading and interacting, the more we want to write.

In return, I promise to be a better commenter in 2012. Mike doesn’t really read blogs, but I read a lot of them, and I’m going to do a better job of taking a second to let people know I’m there, I’m reading, and I want them to keep writing.

And with that, I’d like to say a special thank you to the four people who left us the most comments in 2011. You gave us the motivation to keep this little blog alive!

1. Daytime Night Owl with 36 comments.

2. Nanette with 22 comments.

3. Kate with 8 comments.

4. Angela with 7 comments. (This one didn’t have a link, but I think I know who this is!)

Thanks to all of you! I wish we had some special prize we could give you. Our undying adoration?

Happy new year everyone!

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