Archive for the ‘LOL! (Lake Oswego life)’ Category

This Old House – Our Water Damage Repair Project

Friday, July 6th, 2012

In the master bathroom, the old cast iron tub/shower drain pipe has been leaking, apparently for quite some time. On Sunday, the pipe reached a total break point, which let the drain water from a bath to pour down the backside of the sheetrock wall between the next room. Hearing the water gushing, we had to pull the bed out of that corner of the room away from the wall to discover the carpet was saturated with drain water and starting to mold, and the lower corner of the sheetrock wall was soft and wet. That room is my daughters room, filled to the brim with 20 years of knicks knacks, books, girl stuff. It had to all suddenly be pulled from the room. She was horrified and in tears.

Even though it was Sunday late afternoon, we were able to reach a plumber who said he could come out Monday morning. Most of Sunday evening we packed Syringa’s stuff into many boxes we’d saved from moving so many times, and we packed the boxes into my Volvo to take to the storage unit. I moved my favorite things out of the little room and she moved into it. I had to rearrange and move furniture all over the house in order to fit Syringa’s bedroom furniture in some new livable location, because I could see the water-damaged room was not going to be habitable for awhile.

Monday morning Joe the Plumber arrived. This man was courteous and efficient and he was able to replace the broken pipe without too much trouble, for under $300. (While he was here, I showed him some future project points, such as ?a new small basin? in Syringa’s bathroom, and a repair of a faulty valve in the shower of the master bathroom.)

Getting a handle on the leak, I progressed to finding someone to come and get the wet moldy carpet out and haul it away, as soon as possible, not only to get the mold out, but to start the drying out process. I found a company that works with property managers to quickly handle cleanout jobs, and they could send a guy out the next day on Tuesday, perfect! He arrived late morning, a very nice clean-cut young guy who cheerfully cut up and pulled out the old carpet and pad underneath in the 10′ X 15′ room, packing the mess into many large plastic garbage bags which he had to carry out one by one, out of the house, up the stairs to the upper carport parking pad and load into his van. Yuck!!! A couple of hours, and a bill of $275.

Underneath the carpet, we found oak hardwood flooring. Many years ago, whoever had laid the carpet had staple gunned the carpet pad to the floor, all down the length of the room, several rows of staples about 3 inches apart, and now each of the staples had a tuft of rotten carpet pad hammered down underneath. After the guy had swept up and left, I spent a couple of hours carefully pulling each staple out of the flooring (I figured over 650 or so) and cleaning up the bits of carpet pad. I put down a strong Borax solution on the wet stained wood floor and scrubbed along the edge of the wall floor board. Borax is said to be one of the best non-toxic products for stopping mold growth.

Wednesday was the 4th of July. We were lucky to get those two service guys out so quickly, and we were also lucky in that finally the weather is warming up and drying out. It has been such a cold rainy year, and this house was feeling damp! Now we know why, especially that was so. . .

Thursday I neatly cut away the soggy lower corner of the sheetrock and revealed the tub pipes behind the wall. The old pipe insulation was horrible, wet and moldy, as well as the backside of the cut away pieces of sheetrock, and I cleaned it out with gloved hands. I put a lamp in the corner and we have a fan going, with the windows open. Now we have to wait until everything dries out completely. The oak flooring in the corner is pretty wet, slightly buckling, but not too bad. It feels solid to stand on, not rotten and soft, but it is darkly stained in spots. After it is dried and sanded, it could be OK.

My Frigid February

Friday, February 25th, 2011

The coldest day is also the sunniest. The dawn was hot pink. I had to go out and bring in the hummingbird feeders to thaw. The birds will be late getting out of their beds this morning, I think, because it is 25 degrees.

From Oswego Lake to the Willametter River

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

With the lake drained, we won’t be doing any paddling on it this fall, a disappointment.

Neighbors walking across Half Moon Bay Sept. 19

So, we retrieved our kayaks from the easement and brought them home for storage. Yesterday, in an unusually adventurous mode, we tied the kayaks on the Volvo racks and drove down to the Sellwood Bridge Park public paddle boat launch on the Willamette River. It was our first time taking our own little 9 1/2 ft. boats out on the big river, but I had gone out from this launch once before, in demo boats from Next Adventure.

It was a perfect paddle day, clear blue skies, little wind and warm sunshine. Since it was my first time out, I especially love that surprise of seeing things for the very first time. As I was paddling slowly along the edge of a wild area, I noticed in the dappled light through the bushes on the beach, three male wood ducks and a couple of drab colored females. The patterns and colors on the males flashed clearly in the sunshine, and I was thrilled to add these families of beautiful Wood Ducks to my life list of birds I have seen with my own eyes in the wild. Being noticed, and my outburst of wordy joy, flushed them out and they flew off.

Lake Down

Monday, September 13th, 2010

Now I’m looking out at the lake, which has just been drained to accommodate the next phase of the sewer replacement project.

Lake Oswego\’s Half Moon Bay, nearly drained, mid-September

When we found out it was going to happen, I looked forward to it with a deep feeling of sadness. I will really miss looking at the water, the mesmerizing reflections, but especially I will miss the geese, the ducks, the coots, grebes and the herons who have wintered in the shelter of Half Moon Bay every winter before.

A bumblebee visits current blossoms in the yard

Thursday, April 8th, 2010
bumblebee

a bumblebee visits current blossoms in our yard

The wild currents are in full bloom. I noticed last year how many bumblebees were attracted to the blooms, as was the rufous hummingbird. I am looking forward to seeing the joyous golden rufous again, which I researched to learn has probably been wintering in Mexico and just flew over 1800 miles to be here. Although it’s still cold, and has been rainy, I have already seen a few bumblebees out bumbling about over the last week or so. I adore watching them and having them in the yard. But I haven’t gone out much, the weather has been too wet. But this morning the sun came out, and the sunlight on the bushes was magical. I spontaneously picked up my camera and went out to take some quick random shots, capture some color to put up on my blog today. I was kneeling at the base of a large current bush shooting blossom close-ups, and a bumblebee flew into my range. I zoomed in as much as I could to get the shots and held my breath. I love the moment because I didn’t think to have it.

Yesterday, something of a different nature happened. The bird watching around this old house has been fantastic, and I am always on the look-out. I was going through one of my bird books and thought to myself, I haven’t seen the Yellow Rumped Warbler for quite some time, since last summer or fall at least. Later I looked out the kitchen side door to see a Yellow Rumped Warbler at the birdbath on the patio.

I also saw many cedar waxwings! OMG so cute!

Yesterday morning a great blue heron flew into Half Moon Bay and sat up in a Douglas Fir tree in our neighbor’s yard to prune it’s long feathers in the sunshine. We saw this from our big west-looking kitchen window. There’s so much good bird watching I don’t have enough time to see it all, but in the past couple of days, additionally, I’ve seen our usual dozens of lesser goldfinches and pine siskins, house finches, chestnut-backed chickadees, black-capped chickadees, bushtits, spotted towhees, house sparrows, song sparrows, fox sparrows, hummingbirds, ravens, red breasted nuthatches, a white breasted nuthatch, flickers, a varied thrush, robins, european starlings, mallards, canadian geese, mergansers, bufflehead ducks, coots, osprey, violet-green swallows, and a band-tailed pigeon.