Still in the midst of a bathroom renovation and planning the next few impacting home projects, my to-do list would be 18 miles long if I didn’t carve out some time to do (or redo) some of the little things, like emptying the dishwasher instead of just pulling clean plates from it when I need them, or moving the laundry from the washer to the dryer (drat). Working from home makes you forget about actually taking care of the little things for some reason. On occasion, these things that I slack on are home/life-improvement related, and here are a few that I’ve been meaning to take care of for awhile. Here are a few that I put off for weeks or years.
1. Painted the stairwell (for the 4th time).
Right, in almost three years, I’ve painted the stairwell four times. The same color, nontheless. Last time I found myself making repairs, it was because I was needing to patch holes in the plaster from what was once a stairwell frame gallery. This time, it was because I had clearly done a poor job in spots with coat #3.
The messy patchwork wasn’t very noticible. Only when the sun shone through the windows. Or when the light was on. Or when you touched the wall. Nevermind, it was totally noticable, so I spent an afternoon re-sanding and re-painting the wall with the same Behr Burnished Bronze in an effort to clear up those blemishes.
Patience and care worked, it’s lovely. Now all your eye might catch are the blemishes in the original plaster. Wonderful character in an older home.
Speaking of character and only semi-associated to this to-do, when I re-sanded down a particularly offensive part of the wall, I blasted my way through several layers of paint; the color directly beneath the gold was light blue, that I knew from when I painted it after I moved in, but the sanding also exposed the home-wall-paint equivalent of rings on a tree, a myriad of colors and layers of paint from over the years. The photo was taken with my phone near a halogen light, so it’s a little wonky and yellow, but going from the outside inward, there’s my gold, light blue, beige, yellow, teal, and white. Raw plaster’s in the center.
Clearly, other people appreciated a rainbow palette too, and that makes me happy.
2. I joined the Oxy Challenge.
I knew buying sneakers with white suede on them would eventually be an issue, but I liked them nonetheless. They’re not grungy enough to be retired for mowing the lawn, and I really don’t like putting my shoes through the washer after a mishap that happened years ago with my all-time favorite running sneakers. Nowhere else to turn, I channeled my inner Billy Mays and lept into my own little Oxy-Clean challenge.
I approached the test doing one at a time so that I could see how they compared, Oxy-cleaned vs. Dirty. Not only did I follow Billy’s infomercial tutorial to a T, even using more of the product than the package suggested, but I even let the shoe sit submerged overnight in a 2-gallon pitcher in the bathtub.
Result? Meh. Must say, I was let down because they’re not as clean as the day I bought them, although that one on the bottom does look cleaner in the photo. Somewhat a photo deception.
Isn’t it supposed to take grass stains out of my baseball pants and juice out of my favorite t-shirt too? Still, I did the second shoe the same way and will continue to look for another gentle shoe cure-all. Advice appreciated.
3. Updated the stairway to code.
Clearly necessary, but a long time coming, I finally added the railing back to the second tier of steps in the stairwell. Originally (and still), I really like the look of the stairwell without railings, but no, it’s not safe, and yes, it gave my older relatives a lot of trouble when they visited. I installed the longer handrail last spring, but only got around to putting the second (shorter) one up this week.
I still don’t really like how plain they are in the grand scheme of railing concepts, so I’m always keeping my eye out for alternatives, but anyways, you’re welcome. Don’t fall.
4. Whined about Sirius Radio.
My Beef: The car antennas for Sirius Satellite Radio. In almost two years, I’m on my third antenna, and if you order right from Sirius, they don’t come cheap. The issue isn’t at all related to reception, rather the quality of the wire that is used to attach the antennae to the in-car radio adaptor. Mine have repeated busted right in the same place, even failing through electrical tape this last time, and that irks me to no end. I do of course leave the whole adaptor loose in the center console, so it does wiggle around unlike a permanently installed piece, but it really seems like they’d make the most basic component of the whole operation more durable.
Still, now I’m addicted to Sirius and have to replace the entire antenna and cord in order to get the service I already pay for. Shopping around, I can usually find one priced around $15 (reduced from upwards of $50), but to reinstall it in the car is a process too. This time, however, when I got the new product in the mail, I bound the problem area with Sugru in hopes to prevent that fragile end from twisting and bending. Ideally, the maleable silicone will morph and flex with the wire more naturally than electrical tape. We shall see how it works, check back with me in 6-months.