Archive for the ‘Around the house’ Category

I’m Glad That Job Is Over

Friday, August 19th, 2016

Last weekend, I decided to replace the two toilets in our house.  As a person ages, it gets harder and harder to get up off the throne, especially when the seat is lower than sitting in a chair. So, I did my research extensively, trying to find the best toilet for our budget, and for our bu…..  oh, never mind with that comment.  We will, after all, be spending a lot of time sitting on those seats in the coming years.

I did not realize that Lowes lists hundreds of models, with many in the $500-$900 price range! Who knew there are self-cleaning, heated, powered, fashion toilets? So, after a couple of days of spreadsheet comparisons, looking at seat height, GPF (gallons per flush), flush valve sizes, rough-in measurements, and of course, customer ratings, I chose the model I most wanted. Fortunately, our local Lowes reported 6 in stock. So last Friday, we went to pick them up, one for each bathroom.

I knew that the bathroom off the master bedroom would be an issue, as I had worked on a leak once before. The flange was well below the level of the floor. Rather than putting in two wax rings (they really do break down over time), I decided to put in a “flange extender kit”.  The instructions make it look pretty easy. Just set this on top of the existing flange, with the seal provided, drill some masonry screws in, and mount the toilet. Little did I know that the existing flange was installed before the concrete was poured for the house! I had to chip out enough concrete to be able to insert the flange extender into the space where it needed to go.

My “one hour – tops!” estimate was grossly insufficient. The first toilet took 6 hours to install, almost all of that being preparatory work.  The second installation gave me two advantages: I knew what I was doing, and I had more room to do it in!  It only took a mere four hours to install!  Trying to chip away about 1 1/2 inches of concrete in a near perfect circle, and with a flat level bottom surface – is not at all easy.

But the result is spectacular! I know that these toilets will give us no problems for many, many years to come!  They only use a fraction of the water we used to use, and yes – it is much easier to stand up!


Fall is falling

Friday, October 24th, 2014

According to the calendar, we are in the Fall season. According to the weather at our house, it’s still summer! It is still dry and hot (supposed to get above 90 degrees today). I’m waiting for that first blast of cold air out of the north, heralding the beginning of winter.

I hate being cold.

Being cold hurts and makes me tense.

Being cold is depressing.

Being cold makes you a prisoner inside buildings.

Being cold makes your electric bill higher.


It’s harder to be warm when it’s freezing outside. I love being warm and  during winter season it’s important to compensate:

To get warm I like to drink more coffee and tea. Hot chocolate is nice, so is a good brandy.

To get warm I can use the oven to bake cookies, cakes, pies, casseroles, and it’s okay to heat up the kitchen!

To get warm means I can wear all my Baylor University sweatshirts.

To get warm I can crochet the afghan project that I didn’t finish last winter.

To get warm the terriers and cat can snuggle on my lap, usually all three at the same time!

To get warm I can seek the comfort of Frank’s embrace (yes, indeed).

For Frank, it means he can fire up his chainsaw and do the heavy work outside. We have a lot of trees and brush to cut up and burn, since Chad is putting in a brand-new stock fence all around the ranch. Last year Frank bought new windows for the house which makes it warmer.  It feels good to go to the barn and snuggle Holly, especially when she has her blanket on!  Wintertime means we will be taking a cruise to the beautiful warm waters of the Caribbean! So, I see that Winter is not so bad after all. It’s a different approach to everyday life, which is as good or as bad as I want to make it. Look always to the bright side and be thankful to God for all of your blessings.



Clear as a bell…

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

Frank called Jim “Jimbo” Davis, who came out with another man and cleared out the 3 acres of land north of the barn. We have lived here for 24 years and the brush and cedar was thick then and has gotten too dense. It was too much work for Frank and me to clear it by ourselves. Here are a couple before photos:

Here you can see how thick the grapevines were next to the barn. Hard to tell what was living in this mess!

Looking to the north, toward the neighbors, it’s solid cedars and cactus and mesquite.

Frank kept some trees and cedars behind the barn as a windbreak. Now, here are some “after” photos:

Here, you can see that the vines and brush is all gone on the west side of the barn. (hi Holly! hi Cochise!)

This photo was taken from up by the county road, looking west. The trees on the left are behind the barn (windbreak) and the big brush pile is on the right.

In this photo, you can see the neighbor’s barn. The cedar and brush is in a big pile.

Standing behind the giant brush pile (to be burned later this year), facing northwest, you can see the neighbor’s house. Frank saved some of the smaller elm trees.

I’m so glad this was finally done! (dk)

Farmville 2012 (continued)

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

Things are growing in the little garden!

We’ve had some nice Spring showers! I have also planted flowers in the pots.