Busy Weekend

We rented a cherry picker and Son 1 came to work on staining the parts of our home that didn’t get done two years ago. The plan had been to finish last summer, then COVID happened. Hubby and I managed the garage doors just before he and the cherry picker arrived within an hour of each other, but neither of us can go up on the scaffolding or the cherry picker and paint higher than our shoulders. It was brutally hot up on the roof areas where he was working and I know he is exhausted. The house looks so much better. There is still some to do, but it can be done with ladders or scaffolding.

My main jobs are keeping him fed and hydrated and being a gofer, opening windows, gathering items he needs. I know he knows how much we appreciate his work, but I want it said out publicly.

He loves this area and helped build this house, doing all the stone work with stone from our farm, doing all the interior carpentry, laying floors, building cabinets, and all of the interior doors, grading and yard work, and started the area that now has my garden, and it is a much loved home.

Last night and tonight, we drove down to get ice cream after dinner and both nights we saw black bears. This is on top of having the bear damage to my bird feeders a couple of weeks ago. There must be a lot of them this year in the area.

Coming in from gathering eggs this afternoon, I spotted my first Day lily of the season.

My little anniversary rose bush from year before last has dozens of flowers and buds.

It is a miniature bush that was thimble sized when he gave it to me. The scent is light and I am saving petals in a bowl.

Well, it turns out that this Olive Egger isn’t a pullet. HE discovered his voice over the weekend. It is like an teenage boy with his changing voice, but I won’t keep a rooster here. That will leave me with 14 egg layers soon to be. Ms. Houdini continued to escape, but two more escape holes have been blocked and she stayed in today after spending last night out in the wild AWOL.

With Son here, I cut lettuce for salad and greens for dinner from the garden. There are lots of pea pods that will fill in and provide us with goodness. The greens were sauteed with a green garlic bulb from the garden as well.

Plumbing Update

If you ever need to buy faucets and other plumbing items, buy Kohler, they are expensive, but keep reading. After DD and I saturated the valve with PB Blaster this morning, banged on it, both tried to free it, and gave up before we broke it beyond even the trickle and shower capability, we drove to Ferguson with a piece of the handle for color. Telling Sara, the showroom consulant that we needed to buy a new faucet set and why, she looked them up. First they make our faucet still but not in that color anymore, but it is $360+ and a 6 to 8 week wait to receive it. They do make one that would work in the area at the corner of the tub in the correct brushed bronze color, but it started at $800+ just for the faucet, not the handles and also a wait to get it, but she told us that Kohler had a lifetime warranty and to call them, providing us with the model name, number, and color.

I spent 10 minutes on hold listening to various Kohler ads, instructions on using their website after going through all the robot instructions on how to get where I needed to be, but was greeted by a pleasant young woman who promptly ordered a new cold water body and valve cartridge to be shipped directly to our house FREE to us under their warranty. We will still have to hire a plumber, but not to come out and tell us we needed a new unit or to break the one we have so we had to order a new one and wait for it’s arrival. We can still use the trickle and cold water from the shower to cool off the tub water until that can be done. It did give me an opportunity to clean up under and around the handles.

We will wait for the new unit, thankful for two reputable companies and the wisdom to have purchased quality in the first place when we built our house.

Independent and Self Sufficient

My Dad taught me those traits and over the years, I have strived to DIY whenever possible. I have replaced toilets, sinks, and a garbage disposal. Installed deadbolts and ceiling fans. Replaced valve stems in dozens of faucets, but today I have met my match.

The cold water faucet to our tub (it is a double faucet variety) has slowed to a trickle, it isn’t leaking, just doesn’t let water pass. The shower on a separate valve does fine as does the hot water. It probably needs a new valve stem, but it is a 14-15 year old Kohler. It is a non standard size for a tub faucet. Getting the handle off was easy enough, but the valve stem is set down in a threaded ring that still extends high enough after the cover is removed to prevent getting a wrench or channel locks on it. So off to Lowes to buy a tub faucet socket set.

The smallest one in the set is too large, I needed a 5/8″ one and they don’t have those in the plumbing aisle. I called Ferguson where all the plumbing came from for help and Adam was the epitomy of patience and attempted help, having me text him pictures while he researched. That very lengthy call ended with a phone number to Kohler, but before trying that, we returned the tools to Lowes and I had the idea that a 5/8″ spark plug wrench would work. Well it fits in the space.

But even with a longer handle to try to turn it, I can’t budge it. I sprayed it with WD40 to try to loosen it up and still no go. I am afraid of breaking something.

Dad may have taught me to be independent and self sufficient, but he failed to tell me that as I age, the frustration level at not being able to do something would build exponentially. I guess we will have to call in a plumber, which seems excessive for a valve stem, but I don’t want to break it and have a major repair and whole new faucet set to buy.