Busy Bees


Friday everyone lucked out. You guys got a double post (one by me and one by Heath) and I was forced to call in sick but had a great day playing with Pumpkin and getting stuff done around the house. I got up at 6 on Friday like normal but instead of getting ready for work I helped get Heath to work then got busy on projects. Heath fed Pumpkin right away and then let her sleep some more. I’ve got a lot to cover so I’ll go fast. I started in the garage because it gets really hot in there during the day. I had started cleaning it up Thursday morning and Friday I got the rest cleaned up and organized. Then I fixed a spongy stair in the basement that was a never really a bother to me but once fixed it was nice to use. I did the dishes and cleaned the family room and got everything in great shape but sweeping, mopping and vacuuming because Pumpkin likes to help with those things from the backpack.

Pumpkin was still asleep so I started in on energy improvements. The access to our attic is above the garage and is just a hole in the ceiling that I lean a latter up to then push a board out of the way and climb in. The board that was up there was bigger then the whole and covered it but did not seal it off at all. The auditor mentioned this being part of my problem during the audit so I got to work building a better cover for the access hole. I added some boards to the hole and did some measuring and stuff then cut a board to fit and glued some foam ceiling tiles to it then made a simple handle to make it easier to pull and push into place.

I put some leftover attic fan insulation around the edges and the whole thing fit together pretty well. Sunday I added caulk into all the corners and seems.

It was nearly 10:30 and Pumpkin was still sleeping so I went into her room and started working on a giant pile of laundry. We had washed her clothes but never folded and put them away and we had a big bag full of clothes from storage she had grown into and we needed to get rid of clothes she had outgrown or were for winter. I was quiet but Pumpkin woke up pretty quick and started smiling at me from the crib. I got her out and changed her and put on some new clothes. Then she crawled around the room while I sorted an folded clothes. At like 11:30 I realized I had used up the whole morning and better get going to a craigslist appointment I had for 12:15 in Blue Springs. I quickly got ready, gave Pumpkin a bottle, grabbed a backup and headed out. We were not after wood so I grabbed some money and off we went.  When cleaning the house and posting my blog and stuff this morning I had called an add about some barrels and he had agreed to meet me at 12:15. I got a late start but still was only a couple minutes late. Once there I gave the guy $40 and he gave me four 55 gallon food grade plastic barrels.


We loaded them in the truck and strapped them down. Pumpkin had finished her bottle on the drive so I have her another for the way back. Once home I ate a sandwich then we swept and mopped and vacuumed the house. Then Pumpkin and I put on swim suits and headed outside to the little pool to cool off.  IMG_0248


The water was hot so we added cold water from the tap and put the umbrella over us. We played with cars and stuff for about 30 minutes and she had a good time trying to make things sink and watching cars roll down my legs or just crawling around on me and the pool.  IMG_0255

Eventually I got tired of trying to keep Iz from crawling out of the pool so we headed inside and changed clothes. I made some baby food and Pumpkin helped me out.

I pealed apples and she made sure they tasted good then I ran them and some peas through the processor and poured into ice trays.

The apple turned brown but tasted good. The white ones are a little bit of apple mixed with rice cereal. Then I fed Pumpkin a bottle and she laid back and closed her eyes and drank it. Whenever I would go to move or take the bottle away she would start sucking again so I just let her eat and relax. It took about an hour. Then KK and Chiaki showed up and my work called. I helped out work then hopped in the shower while they played with Pumpkin. Heath got home and Kelly came over. We had a beer and went over any babysitting stuff with Kelly then headed to Chelly’s for dinner. After dinner Kelly and Pumpkin went home and the rest of us took the van down town. We parked a few blocks from River Market then cracked some beers.


It was hot but the windows were down and we had a decent breeze. We drank for a while then packed up the van and headed over to the entrance.


The whole river market area was fenced off and packed with people. We found Heath’s aunt and cousins and got another beer and looked at the merchandise and messed around. It was hot and crowded but fun.


Heath’s cousins got with us and we decided to work our way closer to the stage and made it pretty close.


We watched most of Cohead and Cambria and all of Weezer from this spot.


It was lots of fun and they really rocked. We all went crazy during Weezer. At the end of the set Weezer did some crazy cover songs and then the whole band climbed up on the drums for the finally. I filmed a bit of it and then a view of the crowd from my spot.

After the show we made our way to the van and I drank a ton of warm slightly orange tasting water to replenish all the sweat and then we headed home. We picked up some more beer on the way and then hung in the basement and relaxed and watched a movie before heading to bed.

In the morning I got up at like 9 and made coffee and biscuits and got my laptop and some paperwork ready. At 10 the auditor called me and I put him on speaker so we could go over the reports with Heath on our house. KK and Chiaki watched Pumpkin. We talked for nearly an hour and it was really interesting and we had lots of useful data. Some of the most interesting stuff was that we have the equivalent of a 2ft by 2ft hole in our house for air to escape/enter. Also 1/2 our utility bills are for heating and cooling and the rest are all the lights and computers and tvs and stuff we plug in.

He had pointed out the biggest problems to me while doing the audit so I’ve been working on them already and had a few questions and he gave me suggestions and we discussed how they would work. The reports were pretty cool and I plan to go over them some more as I get done with the big stuff. Remember Heath and I working on a cover for the attic fan last week. Here is a thermal picture of the attic fan before we did that.

And the recessed lights in the kitchen that I sealed up are the first picture in this group.

While we were on the phone I was getting calls from the station and let them know I would help after the phone call. So once we were done with the auditor I called work then headed in. I got things fixed and came home and ate a biscuit. KK and Chiaki had gone to the store but came home shortly after me and took over our kitchen.

They were fixing us some authentic tonkatsu and other Japanese things.

While they were cooking I was working on some project but I can’t recall what it was now. When lunch was ready we all loaded up and dug in.

There was a little salad and rice and some shrimp stuff and the breaded fried pork. We put a little sauce on it and it was great.

After lunch they headed out and Heath and I worked around the house then drove around to a few car dealerships and looked at a few Focus Wagons and Mini vans. Then we went to Home Depot. I got some insulation and a guttering piece and Heath got some boards and a drill bit. Once home we made some dinner and watched some TV. We had planned to get back into projects but never made it. We played with Pumpkin till her bedtime then played on the computer and played games and watched tv all night. It was not productive but really fun.

In the morning Pumpkin woke up at 6 and Heath fed her then they went back to bed. At 7 Pumpkin woke back up and I went to get her a bottle. I got it fixed and warmed up then came in to find her back asleep. I put the bottle away and went back to bed. At 8 she was up again fussing so I went to grab my bottle. I got to the kitchen and turned on the monitor and she was not making noise. So I did the dishes and picked up the games and stuff from last night and Pumpkin was still quiet. I was pretty awake so decided not to go back to sleep.

I headed outside and got busy on my rain barrel project before it got too hot. Here is the side of the house before I got after it.


I got some pipes and adapters and things together and drilled 2 holes in my barrel.  IMG_0268

Then I rinsed out the leftover vinegar that the barrel had in it before. I put some pipes together and made sure they fit right.  IMG_0269

I screwed them into the holes once and the metal pipes dug their own threads into the plastic. Then i coated the edge of the pipe in silicone and screwed it back in.


I put one hole in the very bottom of the barrel and the other on the side near the top. The bottom hole is for us to use to water plants or fill the pool or whatever. The top hole is for the water to drain out when the barrel is full.  IMG_0274

I unscrewed the existing piece of gutter and removed it and then put in a flexible plastic one I got at the hardware store and screwed it in.


I put together a little cinder block platform to the barrel higher for more pressure and to make the tap easier to get to and put it all together.


I cut a hole in the barrel and siliconed a piece of gutter to the hole.  IMG_0275

I put a piece of screen between the flexible gutter and the metal stuff in the barrel to catch leafs and debris then I put it together and it was done.


Now I am ready for a rain. I guess these things fill up really quick with very little rain. I’m going to give 2 barrels to a friend and then make 1 more but I’m not sure where I want it yet. Oh actually late on Sunday I added a hose end on my green drain hose in case I ever want to connect a hose to it and let it drain somewhere else like by the sunflowers or in the pond.

After the barrel was ready I took some stuff downstairs and decided since the garage was so clean and we had so many projects starting I should clean the shop. It took a while but I got the shop all cleaned up and organized. Heath and Pumpkin woke up and came to check on my progress. While I finished up Heath fried some eggs and made sandwiches for breakfast. Then I took Pumpkin to the grocery store. We needed some food (only 37 items) and I needed some foam coolers.  Pumpkin helped out with the shopping and bringing in the groceries.

Once the groceries were in Heath fed Pumpkin and she fell asleep so Heath and I headed downstairs. Heath got started on her project. Mostly she was sawing, she made a ton of cuts then started to glue and screw.

I had like 3 projects going at once. I was trying to solder some wires together to make my cordless drill work again and I put the end of the barrel hose and I was adding silicone to our floor joist corners.

The auditor recommended going allong the edge of the house in the basement and anywhere I could get to I should pull out insulation if there is any and run a thick layer of caulk or foam along the top and bottom to seal that seam. Then put insulation back in. Apparently this is a very vulnerable place on the house for air to get in and get out. You can see ours in the bottom left picture of this.

It does not look like much but that much leak every 16 inches around the whole house adds up.

I did this till I ran out of silicone and Heath had to leave. Pumpkin woke up and Heath took her shopping with my sister. I found a recipe online that sounded good and got started on dinner. I just realized I didn’t take any pictures of our awesome dinner. I spent the afternoon making dinner, watching cops and dozing off. When Heath and Pumpkin got home we had ribs, beans, rice and salad. The ribs were all cut into individual ribs and then simmered in a sweet and sour type sauce for an hour. They turned out so good. I also really liked the baked beans. They did not fit with the ribs but they were really good. We fed Pumpkin apples and oatmeal during dinner and watched Weeds. After dinner we watched more Weeds and played with Pumpkin on the floor a bunch. Eventually we put her to bed and tried to follow. She would not go to bed so I gave her a bottle then she calmed down and I was able to get her to sleep so I could follow.



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