It’s been a radically productive few weeks in Rochester with many outdoor projects made possible by super-unseasonably-hot temperatures and rain-free days at the lake. I love this time of year.
There were a bunch of things that I wanted to cross off the list before summertime hits full steam (how is it that our calendars are already so booked?), so we got down to cleaning things up, making home upgrades, and earning back a little dough. What’s been keeping you busy this past month?
1. Welcome to Furmination Nation
After much being-a-cheapo deliberation, I splurged on Cody’s own Furminator. If you’ve ever priced them out, you’ll have seen that the “long hair giant dog” variety (the big kahuna Furminator) will run you about $72.99+tax at your local pet store (gag!), and even a 15% off + $7 promotional coupon wasn’t enough to beat the pricing on Amazon.com.
For only $25 (+$0 in shipping thanks to being Amazon Prime members), our product arrived in the mail last week, and I promptly went to work grooming the beast (on a 95-degree day with sweat pouring down my face).
We borrowed a cat-sized Furminator last summer, and while it worked, this wide 6″ model saved me a lot of time. It trims an insane amount of undercoat with each rake.
I think the dog lost 10-pounds. This fur was from the first pass, although the second pass resulted in equal sized piles of fluff. Undercoat relief!
2. Buh-bye, cabinets.
We said goodbye (and good-buy) to our trio of IKEA cabinets, a set that I purchased from a friend when I bought my house. I had grown pretty attached to them, especially the one that I painted pink last summer for our office storage, but practically speaking, they weren’t really fitting our need anymore. In the office, it wasn’t quite enough space, and for kid’s toys in the guest room, they were a little wobbly and we decided that it’s more important that our next batch of furniture to be easy for Julia to store her toys within, without fear that the whole shelf would topple on her. And I thought they were a little too tall for the bedrooms, but that might just be me being crazy.
I can’t remember what I paid for the set three years ago, but I was able to sell them to a nice family via Craigslist for $100, which may or not be exactly what I paid originally. In my brain, I’m considering it a wash and doing a happy dance at the opportunity to find (or build) something new.
3. I designed Tomato Gate 2012.
Year after year, I find that I have to take more and more precautions with the tomato plants that my parents seed and deliver to me so generously. Last year, my Dad planted 9 babies and while we had lots of good tomatoes, the plants were too big, over-crowded, overflowing, and the dog found his way into them and got sick (not too sick, but tomatoes and especially the plant leaves are highly poisonous to dogs, and if he had been a smaller breed it probably would have been severe). This year, I took precautions: I only planted 4 (not 10), I made a custom gardening bed that sits above the ground, and I installed secure chicken wire.
The chicken wire, wrapped securely around tall stakes just within the wooden frame, wraps in one full sheet all the way around. At the stake that holds both the beginning and end of the wire, I taped the sharp edge with Gorilla Tape to easily identify where I could unhook the wire and access the plants.
Grow little tomatoes, grow!
4. We cured the Harley!
A big ol’ emphatic THANK YOU to everyone who commented and emailed about ways we might want to try removing the oil-based stain splatters from Pete’s Harley (a gut-wrenching DIY project error that I confessed to here). The winning solution goes to Tim, who recommended paint thinner to loosen the stain without damaging the finish of the motorcycle. In addition to the paint thinner, Pete bought a pack of plastic razor blades to help pop the stain loose without cutting or scratching the finish on the bike.
It was one of those cleaning experiences where every time you moved your head to a new angle and saw the fender in a new light, you saw more bits of stain to pop loose, but still only took us about 15 minutes to remove all signs of the stain, and re-wax the bike.
Can we all breathe a big sigh of relief now?
5. We got hosey.
After this happened to our last hose, we decided it was time for a new one:
We actually did try and splice and correct the split in the damaged hose, but it was too weakened after 3 summers of use to be fully curable. What, hoses don’t last as long as people?
Our $28 replacement extends 100-ft, easily reaching both the front and back yard, and instead of rolling it up into the plastic hose container that the old one had been stored in for years, we bought a simple $8 metal hook and installed it directly to the side of the deck with 2″ lag bolts for easy hose-to-garden access. Is it wrong for me to say that we’re too easily irritated and old to be wanting to battle a garden hose anymore?