I have been working on a few home improvement projects. I have installed mini-blinds in all the bedrooms and the kitchen dinning area. I also painted the vent covers in the bathrooms they were a dingy yellow and now are a bright and clean-looking white. I also installed new vinyl floor covering in the master bath it mimics oak flooring and it looks much better than the original vinyl floor covering. I am planning on putting new vinyl in the guest bath also I just have to give my back a rest for a day or two before attempting that job.
A new problem arose; suddenly one of my lamps wouldn’t work seems the wall socket is dead, then I found my closet light didn’t work and my dinning room and kitchen ceiling lights don’t work. The circuit breakers are not popped. All the other circuits are working well so the lights not working must be in a series and something went wrong or broke cutting off the power. Ah, the joys of home ownership !
Here are some photos of the work I’ve done.
Old ugly vent cover
Newly painted vent cover
New vinyl floor covering in Master Bath
New vinyl in Master Bath
I have been planting trees. I bought four trees and planted them then I ordered four more trees from an organization that works with the electric company and sells/delivers trees to promote energy efficiency. So far there are eight newly planted trees four Mesquites one each Palo Verde, Apple, Apricot,Desert Willow. Three of the Mesquites and the Willow are little things. I hope they survive and grow although it may take years. The fruit trees will also take about three years to produce fruit if they produce fruit. One has to try or you don’t get fruit.
The growing area here is odd in that on occasion it gets hard freezes then snow, not much maybe an inch. The there are long periods of drought, then comes the Monsoons. Monsoons come in during the summer and are sometime violent thunderstorms causing flash floods and damage from high winds and huge down pours of rain in a few minutes. Spring brings high winds sometimes up to forty miles an hour. Summers are hot sometimes exceeding one hundred degrees for two or more months. Anything that grows here is either tough or protected and cared for, if not it is gone.
By planting trees and perennials I hope to increase the curb appeal and shade of the place and if I keep it I hope I get fruit someday.
Here are some photos of the trees and some plants I’m trying to grow.
Three new trees in front of the house for shade Mesquites and Palo Verde
Desert Willow has blooms already
Plants in tubs
Flowers now protected by wire
Another tub of flowers protected by wire
I finished a couple of household projects today; the first was pulling up the heater/cooling vents cleaning them up and painting them, the second was planting some Lantana plants under the bedroom window, the third was try-fitting pavers to make a better entrance to the front stairs.
The vents were in a well used sort of shape, new ones would have cost $6 or $7, paint cost $4.00. I had six vents to paint so I saved some money doing it myself. The flowers I hope will take and the little ground squirrels I hope won’t use them for lunch. The pavers are to form a walk way that will be better than walking through mud when it rains. The weather people say we will get rain this weekend so I’ll see if my idea works or needs tweaking.
Vent rehab project
New paver walkway
We have done a lot of work inside and out. The outside work caused for piles of debris that was causing me concern because of fire hazard. The winds here can be very strong and if a fire started piles of brush that are dry would burst into flame easily from flying embers. I contracted with a man to come in with his Bobcat and trailer to clean up these piles of brush. Here are the photos of the work as it was done.
Now cleaned up
Bobcat at work
Bobcat at work
Bobcat at work
The truck and trailer
Pile next to the tool shed
The Gooseneck trailer
I have been working on the house so far I have repaired and painted a guest bedroom, repaired the vinyl skirting so there are no more holes that animals can get through and I have planted two trees, and filled four big pots for flowers. It seems that everything takes longer than one expects and costs more too. I’m happy with the way the guest bedroom turned out as it had been a kid’s room and they had shall we say they “Issues”? I got the damage repaired and the walls needed priming then painting now the room looks nice and clean. All I need now is furniture for the room and it will be ready for guests. The skirting had holes in it from who knows what some were large enough for a small dog to go in and out. I replaced the skirting were needed and covered up the holes, the new skirting doesn’t match perfectly, but it doesn’t look bad either. I planted two more trees in front of the house for shade and found a site on-line that let’s me buy four trees a year at cost if I plant them on the West, South, or East side of the house. These trees are ordered and I will start digging holes for them later this week. Digging holes here is a challenge as the soil is hard-pan clay and rocks. I have to start a hole fill it with water and then wait till the soil softens then dig it out and do it again and again until I have the hole deep enough and wide enough for what ever I’m planting. Here are some photos of the house with the work I’ve done.
Guest room now painted
New vinyl covering holes
Hole in vinyl at the corner
Cement block blocking a hole so animals can’t get under the house
Front porch with new planters
Front porch with the start of a block path to the patio
The road I live on yes it is a dirt road
Road is dirt and rock and this is the good part
View of the house from the road looking better now that it is cleaned up
This is what the place looks like in April 2014. A lot of work has been done and the place looks like someone lives here. Now to find a person or company to come in load all the brush, cactus and trash then haul it off to the dump. I have gotten an estimate of what it will cost to have new front and rear doors installed and it kind of takes my breath away. The Estimate is $1040.00. Being a cheap skate this figure has my head spinning. I’m going to give this a lot of thought before I commit.