Blog: My Little Farm in Town

Living a rich country life in a small Midwestern town.

Showing 3 posts in the Home Improvement category for this blog.
New (to me) Oven Just in Time for Christmas!
Tuesday, December 14, 2010

That gaping hole in my kitchen wall is now partially filled with a new (to me) oven! Well, it is actually a gaping hole in my kitchen and living room walls. My husband had to widen the opening by 5 inches to accept the bigger, newer oven and in the process had to remove paneling and move the living room portion of the wall by 5 inches as well. Nothing is ever simple.

I had found the oven about 3 years ago at a rummage sale in the parking lot of the Zwingli UCC. The oven was five years young and just about clean as a whistle. It cost me $25, and guess what? It works just fine and is self-cleaning to boot!

My old wall oven lost the victory about six months ago. We could have bought another heating element for $35, but why throw good money after bad when we had a perfectly good oven sitting at the bottom of the basement stairs? The old oven was at least 40 years old and 50 degrees off. My “new” oven preheats promptly and heats to whatever temperature I set it.

I used a wide array of small appliances to fill the gap while I waited for my new oven to be installed: crockpots, rotisserie, pressure cooker, bread machine, big Nesco cooker, and microwave oven and, of course, the outdoor grills! It only got tiresome when the cold fall weather hit, and I found myself planning meals and grocery shopping only to remember at the last minute that I didn’t have an oven!

The new oven was worth the wait. (I had urged my husband to finish the bathroom remodel before starting a new project.) Now I have a nice new bathroom/laundry room AND a new oven! Can’t wait to start baking Christmas cookies! Begonia


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Tiling Tip
Monday, September 06, 2010

I was chatting with my husband as he grouted the shower last Saturday. He’s been remodeling one of our bathrooms for the past year.

 It is slow going because he is on the learning curve for some tasks, such as wiring, and it just takes time to find materials at garage sales (recessed lighting fixtures $10, new faucet $15, floor tile $10, and paint $5), liquidators (toilet paper and towel holders $3 each), and the Habitat for Humanity ReStore (sink $10, a new window $40, and tile for the shower $36). We did buy a few things, such as a small piece of counter (on sale at Menard’s) mastic, grout, insulation, and ceiling and cabinet paint (cheap from Walmart). We will put the money saved into a nice water-saving toilet.

Time is also precious. That is another reason why these projects take a while to complete. First,  we work to pay the bills, then we work on home improvement projects.

I noticed that he was using my pink dust pan to hold the grout and then would push its edge against the wall beneath where he was working with the grout. I commented on his creative use of cleaning equipment, and he said that he’d been wasting a lot of grout until he had “repurposed” the dust pan. I’m glad I married such a clever, hardworking, and handy fellow! Begonia


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Another Safety Tip: When Trimming Trees, Stay Away From Power Lines!
Friday, June 04, 2010

“Was there a shower of sparks?”


“Did it scare ya?”

“My wife was scared—I just felt stupid.”

This was the conversation my husband had with a village utility worker early this morning.

After a windy night, I discovered a broken branch on the sugar maple on the south east corner of our patio. I mentioned it to my husband, and he said he’d get to it. I had almost decided to grab the saw and take care of it myself because of what a busy time he’s  been having  in our home business, only to see him out with the pole saw trimming the tree.

Once he took down the broken branch, we started noticing others that now had to go. One of these branches was partially draped over the wire that brings electricity to the house. We both thought it would slide harmlessly down once the bottom was cut. Of course, it didn’t!

I wanted to put a rope on it and pull it aside as he finished the cut. My hubby wanted to use the lopper attachment on the pole saw to cut away the end of the branch draped on the wire. Of course, we didn’t have a ladder handy, so he climbed up one of the plastic web patio chairs. I commented that he was awfully close to the power line. He replied, “This pole saw has a fiberglass handle, it’ll be fine!” Teetering on the outer metal edges of the chair, he extended the saw, the picture of the hapless homeowner doing something dumb and dangerous. (We’ve all been in this type of situation at some time in our home owning careers—if we are honest enough to admit it!)

The first cut went well. It still wasn’t enough to raise the branch above the wire though. By this point, I was just keeping my mouth shut. (He was going to do what he pleased no matter what I said.)

The second cut was another story! I couldn’t see the placement of the lopper, so I passed under the branch and wire to get a better view. I had just cleared them both when—that’s right— a SHOWER OF SPARKS started falling all around me. I’m sorry to say that a few choice phrases burst out of me in my fear and anxiety.

The insulation on the power wire was nicked, but no one was hurt. We were more fortunate than we deserved. The moral of the story is. . . whether your equipment conducts current or not,  don’t get it or yourself anywhere near live power lines! Begonia

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