Let's have some fun, and fix stuff in the house!

Oh, the joys of home ownership. Seems like there's always something that needs fixing, inside or out. Or often, both at the same time.

We (and by "we" I mean my brother) have been doing some judicious tree removal over the last week or so, clearing out stuff that's died, begun taking over the walkways, or is growing too close to the house. We have lots of pine trees, some of them now dead husks, and those things love to fall over in high winds.

To show you what I mean about trees overtaking things, here's a shot of my azaleas in the front yard. Little maple and pine trees are coming in hard and fast behind them, and will need to be taken care of this spring. One of the dead pines would have fallen right through the middle of this area.

Wow, looks like I need to move some bushes this fall! They've really grown in the twelve years we've been here. It looks like there's tons of room in this picture, but these are actually taken up a lot of space, especially since there's a big hydrangea on the left.

By the way, these are two lavender azaleas that are nearly twenty years old, and what was supposed to be two pink ones, but the one on the right was mislabeled and is actually a dark watermelon red. Still beautiful, and I have a matching one out back that needs a new neighbor.

Back to the home repairs! Yesterday it was time to fix some leaky faucets. First up was the boys' bathroom, which had developed an annoying -- not to mention water-wasting -- trickle in the tub. Easy enough to fix after a quick trip to the big box hardware store for a $2 set of washers.

Of course, the tub in the boys' bathroom has also developed a crack, and needs to be replaced. Totally not in the budget for this month! So we'll go the cheap route, and spread a little silicone love over the crack, which will hold fine until I can find a bargain on a new tub.

Then it was on to the kitchen, and the long-standing drip there. Another, albeit slower, water waster. We tried to clean out the valves in the handle, which had worked a couple of times before, but that didn't help. Still with the drip-drip-drip!

A quick search on the Internet, and we learned that the cartridges tend to wear out, and as this faucet was almost ten years old, we figured we'd gotten all the service out of them we were going to, and back to the big box store we go. Weeeeee!

Fifteen dollars and a couple of gallons of gas later (we live out in the boonies, far from civilization), Number One settled in to remove the old innards. Not so easy, but with a little elbow grease the remaining parts came loose, and new cartridges went in.

Yay! No more drip. Total cost:  $17, a couple of gallons of gas, and some sweat equity. Amount saved by being the DIY people we are:  probably a couple of hundred dollars.

So there you have it, Gentle Readers, another busy day in Sheila's world. Take care, and fix something today.