You are currently browsing the monthly archive for March 2008.

So, there we were, diligently (attempting to) insulate the basement. then M notices some damp and mold sprouts in a previously bone-dry place. (I do not understand our basement drainage. It is incredibly to-the-dust hasn’t seen moisture in ages dry. There isn’t even a sump pump. I find it incredible)

So we pop out to open the vent near that area, and examine possible causes – like the nearby downspout. After running and digging about the yard trying to find where the downspout goes we run the hose down it and decide that wherever it goes, it isn’t clogged, and the problem is more likely that we had an *incredible* amount of rain recently, so probably won’t be reoccurring. (later note: we think it may actually go to the cistern – which we will need to check for an overflow)

Having run about in the unusually dry and warm weather, the notion arises to clean the junk out of the well-pit. In goes M, a shovel, and a bucket. And here’s where the fun really begins. About one bucket of trash down, M slips in the cramped muddy pit, and bumps the well pump. At which point, the rusted top cracks off, and begins spurting water everywhere. So I run to the basement and flip the breaker labeled ‘well-pump’ . . . to no effect. So we flip the main breaker to solve the immediate problem, and call the plumber to order a new well-pump asap.

So, now we need to solve the electrical problem too. M puts the main back on, and flips random breakers until the well goes back off. Apparently, it’s on an unlabeled 15 amp breaker (the breaker it was labeled as on was 40 amps, which seems more reasonable). Better call the electrician and get him to fix what he messed up.

But wait! there’s more! In flipping though the breakers, M gets a little zap. Forgot to dry his hands completely after the foray into the well-pit? Well . . . open up the panel and check. No…it appears there is water dripping into the breaker box from *inside* the main service line. Let’s make that call to the electrician a little more heated now, what do you say?

So, in the space of a day, we have no water, *and* no electric. Which, coincidentally, makes mixing mortar and applying it to the un-windowed basement, well, difficult. So we went home and watched the Kansas-Davidson game.

New plans for the week are finding a sink, and doing the bathroom demo (since it’s not functional anyway), and continuing to try to find someone to tell us what to do with the floors.

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I’ve purchased a shelf. I’ve purchased dirt. I’ve purchased seeds. I’ve been saving toilet rolls for months now. This weekend is ‘7 weeks before last frost’. Now I gotta jump.

I’m a little concerned – the good nursery nearby hadn’t gotten their shipment of pea inoculant. Though at least the lady knew what I was talking about and didn’t think I was asking for some crazy voo-doo thing. (which I feel I might be – I’d never heard of pea inoculant before this winter). So I’m torn – wait to plant them until it comes in? Plant them now and try to sprinkle it on top/in the hole later? I’m not sure that driving around to the other nurseries in town would be productive – they don’t seem the types to have serious vegetable supplies, more miracle-gro and ornamentals.

I still need to get lights, but I figure things probably won’t sprout in the first week. I’ll probably also have to get a new extension cord to run up the stairs for them, since I think we’ve cut all the power to the upstairs for safety reasons. I’m also still debating whether to get a heating pad, just for peppers and tomatoes.  But they’re so expensive! Maybe next year.

Which means I should probably finalize my plans and dig the veggie beds to put out the peas and lettuce by weekend after next at the latest. It’s starting to worry me that gardening season is coming up and we still aren’t in the house – so many things will be a lot harder not being ‘on-site’. I wonder how much I can really pull off.

Wow, so after the enthusiastic last post, people might be getting the impression I enjoyed the mudding.

Well, I did. Until we had to keep doing it. And doing it. And sanding it off again. And making all sorts of dust. And putting on more, because we’d sanded down to the tape, then sanding again, and again, and again. Horrible.

But!

We declared ourselves done, mopped all the dust up (it’s amazing how much cleaning feels like progress at this point) and started priming. Well – first we went back to the store to exchange the 10 gallons of ceiling paint we bought for 10 gallons of primer. Both giant purple paint tubs, and right next to each other on the shelf. Thankfully, the primer was cheaper :)

My family was over, and we got three rooms cleaned, taped and primed in one afternoon. M & I came back the next night, cleaned and taped the last room, and put up our sample colors. I really, really hope they dry darker. They should, but I’m having a hard time. The beige is very, very pale, and the dark, hunter green? It looks like nothing so much as the algae I used to scrape off the aquarium walls. Coupled with our gooey-textured walls? Disgusting. I’m really not sure what I’ll do if it doesn’t look good – I guess try even darker – or give up. I’m still a little scared of painting a whole room dark green. Even if it is an office with two walls essentially open.