May. 23rd, 2017

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So every summer my Dad and my brother come over and stay with us for a couple of weeks. On our end this involves a lot of house cleaning and doing of various postponed chores. Which are beginning to happen now, because The Visit will be in about 2 1/2 weeks.

Chore 1: Mounting the stained glass window.

Last summer we commissioned a large stained glass "window" from David Green, a stained glass artist (mostly retired) in Oregon, and drove home with it. I had made a Most Excellent Crate (MEC 1.0 was goddammit a quarter inch too small to have room for window *and* padding, and MEC 2.0 had to be constructed in Dad's garage with Dad breathing down my neck because Dad can handle sharing a house with other people for about a week and we were on day 6) that was sturdy, had handles and was deftly designed into the 4 inches of spare space between the size of the window and the size of the inside of Kip's Prius C which is not a large car. I was rather proud of the MEC.

Mounting the stained glass artwork in our actual window was intimidating--it involved drilling through the mahogany window frame into the 2x6 header above it so I could screw in eye bolts, then using s hooks and chains to suspend the artwork by the 2 metal loops soldered at the top. So it took me quite some time to figure out what I was going to do, buy the hardware--finding a decent chain that was 1 strong and 2 nice looking took quite some time, for example--and I kind of ground to a halt and I set all the hardware on the windowsill but never got around to moving the MEC out of the rumpus room and into the living room to actually unpack it. Among other things, opening the crate would be the moment of truth where we found out if the MEC had actually done its job and got the window home undamaged, and also handling the window is a bit tricky; you have to be very careful how you pick it up and move it around because stained glass windows can destroy themselves under their own weight if you do it wrong.

However Kip and I wanted to have it up before Dad and Jake came, so last week we cleaned up the living room, moved the furniture around to get easy access to the window, and I actually drilled holes in the woodwork and mounted the eye bolts. I hooked up the S hooks and chains and then we took two of Kip's weights (30 lbs each) and hung them off the chains for 24 hours to be sure they would be strong enough to hold the artwork. (The artwork is only about 35 lbs, but I figured if the hardware could hold 60 lbs it could certainly hold 35.). The hardware held up fine, so Kip persuaded one of his co-workers to come over in the afternoon and help--the moving process is safer with 2 people to hold the window and one person to do up the hooks. That went very smoothly except it turned out that the artwork was best positioned in the window if I didn't use the chain--just the S hooks to connect the loops on the artwork with the eye bolts in the window frame. So okay, I have some chandelier chain if anyone wants it. Going cheap, because I don't think I can return it.

The artwork looks fantastic, by the way. I have several pictures under different lighting conditions. The down side is that now the living room has a lot less privacy. You can't really see through the artwork because even where the glass is clear it's still wavy. That was what we wanted; I hate feeling like people can watch me at night. But the paper shades we'd been using as window curtains don't provide full coverage anymore. We had to take one down to put up the artwork, and the artwork is a little narrower than that shade was so there's about a six inch gap.

Chore 2 arranging for new blinds

However we'd been planning to get nice wooden blinds for the windows. Which I'd also been putting off, because we didn't want to do that until we had the artwork up. So yesterday I called a couple of places about coming to give us an estimate. One place got right back to me, the other hasn't, even though I called again today. I guess they are not very interested in our business, so I'll pick another place and give them a call.

Chore 3 getting new bulbs

Last week I ordered a bunch of puck lights (GX53 bulbs) for our under cabinet lights because we'd had several lights burn out and I was out of the dozen spare bulbs I'd bought when I got the under cabinet lighting in the first place. I actually called the company to order more because I couldn't find them at the local hardware store, and I was quite unhappy when they told me they didn't make them anymore, because I thought I was going to have to replace all the fixtures. However it turned out GX53 is a type of bulb that several companies make, so I went online and ordered a set of four LED GX53s from Amazon. The LED bulbs arrived yesterday, and I replaced the 2 burnt out bulbs and they switch on immediately, (the CFLs have that fluorescent second where you wonder if the light switch is working) and they are quite a bit brighter (but their lighting pattern isn't as even) and they don't get as warm, so win. I ordered another set of four.

Chore 4 (cluster)

Yesterday I also did a bunch of dishes, got a new toilet seat for one of the toilets and put it on, scrubbed the bathtub and the bathroom sink, and put our pull-down sprayer attachment for our kitchen sink in several bowls of vinegar until it would spray properly again.

Chore 5 making a rack for Kip's weights

Today I did library music in the morning, then Skyped with Dad to work on Dutch, and then I designed a rack for Kip's weightlifting weights, bought wood for it and cut out most of the pieces. Kip's weights right now take up a fair amount of floor space and I think I want that floor space back and the rack is the easiest way to make that happen. It will be clunky and ugly, made out of 2 x 4s and re-used plywood from MEC 1.0. (MEC 2.0 may become a spare worktable top; I haven't decided). But the parts are cheap and I think I'll be able to finish it in a couple of days.

And for the Resistance I went to the Truth or Trump demonstration on Friday, phone banked on Sunday for Julie Byrd Ashworth for Tennessee House of Representatives, and I have signed up to canvass for John Ossof for GA-06 2 weekends from now.


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