Harsh life lesson

Tonight we sold Ella’s first walker. She was never ecstatic about it, but she had a few rousing jousts, a few good bumps, and lots of electronic classical music sessions. Oddly enough, when I got it out to sell it, she fell in love with it. Every time we were in the room with it, Ella was climbing in to the hanging webbed seat. She drove it around, played with the spinners, and banged on the buttons that released canned Baroque favorites to flashing lights. Of all her noise-making toys, it was probably my favorite.

Now it’s gone and I’m the bastard that sold it. To soften the blow, I took her in to the next room while the new owners carried it away. I’m sure I’ll pay for it later. Like when she’s 16.

Holding back the rain

Last night’s heavy rains exposed two flaws in our gutter system. I was a little disappointed because I thought my audit of the gutters a few months back had showed them to be adequate enough to last until we have to re-roof. Sadly, water is much smarter than me, and has proved again that it can get anywhere it wants to. Including the basement.

Where all the water is coming from is unclear, but it’s not being shy. Last night it started creeping in on the south side of the house and dripping into the sink (luckily). I had kind of forgotten about one of the downspouts, so I went outside and tried to redirect the flow as best I could away from the foundation. The gutter along the west side of the house had also filled and was spilling over the side. I placed an unused section of gutter below it and directed that flow into another section so the water was routed to the yard instead of the window sills.

It seemed to have worked until this morning when a sudden cloud-burst loosed a torrent on the weakened gutters. Stepping out to investigate meant I was instantly soaked. I had to make some quick adjustments to my already Swiss Family Robinson irrigation system, but I eventually had to go to work. Now I’m thinking about moisture and quietly snarling at the report that the “moisture problems had been fixed” in the seller’s disclosure.

One mediocre step

I met with my thesis advisors on Monday, refocused, and I think that I’m lined up for takeoff. Or landing. One or the other. Anyway, after the meeting, I came home and wrote the first page of my thesis. Maybe first page and two-thirds if I switch to double space. A minute but meaningful step.

Dear September

September is probably my favorite month, though it’s not been as much fun the last couple years because of the chaos of working at a school that starts in late September. Regardless, I need to post again and I haven’t done a top 5 category in like 5 years. So…

  1. Oktoberfest
  2. ideal weather
  3. Welcome, Autumn
  4. My birthday
  5. Fresh Hop Ales

Yeah, so number 3 is huge, but I don’t want to split hairs. July in Portland is most excellent, but September has (well, had) a better cadence.

Rapid remodel

Over the weekend, Michelle and I somehow managed to remodel our bathroom. A few months of mental preparation and a custom vanity were enough that we used all the inertia from tearing up the old peely vinyl to install backer, install the cherry vanity my dad made, lay tile, and install a new sink, toilet and light. I honestly can’t say I know how we got so much done with the baby and all, but we managed. The results (still 10% remaining) so far look great.

The added bonus? We dug the tile out of a dumpster by my sister’s place shortly before we moved. Now we have tan subway tile on the floor and mixed brown ceramics on the countertops. I’d feel even better if we could have donated the old sink & toilet to the rebuilding center, but apparently, they weren’t code. Now – smash them in to bits and slowly feed them into the trash? Not many other options for them unless someplace does porcelain recycling.

Did I mention we dug the tile out of a dumpster? Yeah, even Michelle was in the bin pulling out pristine sheets of tile the the manufacturer was clearing out.