Grey Gardens West

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Wrong tool, or just improvising?

Recently I had to peel back the chain link fence so I could get on the other side and clear out some trash and branches that were pushing against the fence. We’re installing those tacky fence slats, they don’t completely hide the vines but it’s better than it was.

Unfortunately, when I was done, the chain link wouldn’t stretch back to where it bolts to the post. I looked for some kind of small come-along, but wound up with this.

Well, it didn’t say you COULDN’T use it for that. In fact, they are “PERFECT FOR A VARIETY OF USES”. It worked, but maybe bent the chain link a little in a few places, and I had a heck of a time getting them to release. Hey, it worked, and I didn’t get injured.

Random plants are popping up!

Random flowers and plants suddenly

We bought this house last summer, so it’s our first spring here, and boy howdy, there are hidden gems. White, yellow, blue delicate flowers, showy red tulips, new sprouts from our supposedly dead Hardy Banana Trees, and palm trees. Dandelions are appearing and challenging me to do something about it. I would rather be in Fort Lauderdale 1966, but they are pretty.

Ryobi 40v mower. Will it do the job?

Ryobi 40 volt mower Home Depot

We finally replaced our gas mower, having moved last fall, I left it at the old house. We upgraded(?) to a “Home Depot exclusive” Ryobi mowers that runs on a chunky 40 volt battery. I’m sure Briggs and Stratton are rolling over in their respective graves.

First mow of the season, what possessed me to not use the bag? In “mulch” mode, it doesn’t seem to puree the clippings, rather it seems like it just leaves it in damp clumps for me to rake the next day. It’s probably because it snowed a lot recently, and the grass was wet underneath. So I am holding judgement on that.

It is not as maneuverable as my old mower which had larger wheels. Made me wish that I had spent another 70 or 80 bucks for the self-propelled model. I guess the exercise is good for me though.

One thing that puzzles me, it has headlights! It takes a real lawn nut to mow after dark.

I was going to give it a 6 out of 10 because mowing is more of a chore with this thing, not less. So far it keeps enough charge to do the front and probably the small back yard too. But I guess I should use it more than once before passing judgement.

It’s probably not a good sign that the guy in the ad looks like he is not enjoying mowing the lawn. It makes him feel like a Stepford husband.

Can Crushing for the fun of it.

My dad built this can crushing machine years ago, I think at one time it had a hopper on it. The thing is huge, and the recycle value of the cans is practically nothing. The squashed cans are starting to pile up and will probably attract ants and bees.

Still, there is something satisfying about crushing can after can, it makes a wonderful crunching noise, almost as good as the sound of breaking glass.

SNOWMAGEDDON 2019

I just put some sand on the front steps yesterday, but mother nature is not having it. Several more inches overnight plus the window in the upstairs bathroom was dripping- I think the gutter is not tight against the house there but I am not going up there. It’s always something!

There is a yogurt shop up by Costco that is now selling Snow Cones! Stay away from the lemon ones.

Palm Baby

We got some white rock (marble chips) to put in this little corner where our palm tree resides. I got the weeds out;

…But to my surprise, in mid January there already seems to be another palm tree start there. Or something interesting, anyway. It was under the mulch, guess I will cover it back up, and wait.

We didn’t start the fire

Junk found under the woodstove

The clean air authority here in Washington is offering a big rebate for replacing our wood stove insert, under certain circumstances. So I was down on the floor looking for a serial plate or something to identify this monstrosity.

This model has channels underneath, and the kids that used to live here, used it to store toys I guess. I found some sort of light-up Lego thing, a gear that probably goes with that, a Hot Wheels car, a plastic dart, some pink(ish) nail polish, and a pile of rubble. You would think the nail polish would have burst into flame. The reporters would ask the fire marshal what caused the fire, and he would shrug and say, “Maybe it’s Maybelline.”

UPDATE: February 13th; still haven’t gotten word about whether we qualify for the rebate. I got nothing but time.

Do I smell gas or are you just glad to see me?

So apparently when I opened the furnace this afternoon, it blew out the gas light? It wasn’t until late night TV time that we all starting whining about being cold that I discovered it.

There was an instruction sheet attached to the inside of the panel that had me crawling around smelling for gas. THANK GOD I had not eaten any hard boiled eggs today.

The instructions for resetting the thing were pretty straightforward though, and soon we were all comfortable. I’m still glad we bought a house with gas, the energy bills are dirt cheap compared to the old place.

Pegboard start

I’ve only begun to figure out where to put my tools and other junk that goes in the garage here at the new place, it’s a two car garage, you would think there would be plenty of room for a car, a ping pong table, tools, yard stuff, etc. Maybe someday.

I was at the Goodwill today and was surprised how many battery operated drills they have. I guess when the battery dies and won’t charge, people just buy a new drill instead of getting another battery at Amazon or whatever.

Fred Flintstone’s toilet was a… pelican? Droll. Very droll.

My mother loved anthropomorphic characters, like Fred Flintstone’s turtle lawnmower, who would pause, look at the camera, and say “It’s a living.”

So it’s no surprise that she cut this (cat litter ad?) out of a magazine, framed it, and hung it in the bathroom for everyone to enjoy.

Later I inherited it, and it hangs in the bathroom here. It was my sisters-in-law’s first visit since we moved, and they were taking turns going in the bathroom, turns out they all wanted to giggle at the cute picture. Thanks mom!