Thursday, December 23, 2010

Squeaky Faucets and Other Tragedies

I think houses must age on a special scale the way dogs do. We bought the cabin back in 2002 and for the first three years it was shiny and new. Year 4 was like an awkward acne-filled adolescence - in fact we needed a fresh coat of stain to disguise the sun-faded blotchy appearance of the siding.

Years 5 and 6 were the fun-filled "college years" - we added fencing, a new deck, retaining walls, and solar lights.

Year 8 must be the early 40's in human years. Nothing horrible is failing just lots of minor things that add up to major irritation. For instance:

1. The skylight leaked this year (2x) and was fixed in 20 minutes by a skilled roofer and his handy can of goop (2x).

2. The sliding glass door has developed hot flashes (I can empathize) so has condensation between the panes. This was covered by the lifetime warranty but when the man came to fix it this week it seems they'd hired someone with dyslexia and our 31" wide door had been manufactured as a 13" window. The installer remarked that he thought it was a very narrow door when he loaded it on his we'll be viewing the mountains through mist until January.

3. The bathroom faucet squeaks. Not quietly either - loud squeaks that wake up people in other rooms. I knew I should call a plumber but after watching a couple how-to videos on the HGTV website I was convinced I could fix it myself...

I took a picture of the faucet with me to the hardware store.

The nice (and very patient) man sold me a tube of plumbers grease.

I squished the grease in and around every part I could get to.
And darned if it didn't appear to be fixed at first...
So I've ordered the replacement valve online...sigh.

4. The last thing is probably more a product of my 40's than the cabin's - I am having trouble seeing to cook in the evenings. My first idea was to eat out instead but I was placing my Weight Watchers lifetime membership in jeorpardy. The answer was to install undercabinet lights.

My first attempt was installing LED lights - but they just weren't bright enough and there was no easy way to link them together. So back to the hardware store (no Home Depot or Lowe's up the mountain). Luckily there are two hardware stores so I avoid the "back for a third time" embarassment by frequenting both.

This time I purchased the Xenon lights. They are bright enough - in fact they have two settings which is really a nice feature.

SO I drilled the holes to pass the wires through.

Then I accidentally knocked down the wallpaper I had installed on a whim when the cabin was a baby.

I did have a stash of wallpaper paste (I have no idea what teh original project was for that) but a few swipes with an old paintbrush and the wallpaper was stuck back where it belonged.

Screwing the lights into the cabinet bottoms went quickly. But I hadn't accounted for the loose wires connecting the lights so back to the hardware store (the other one of course) for wire clips...sigh.

Those of us in our 40's and now ready for a nap.

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