Thursday, July 31, 2014

Water update

I woke up on Tuesday morning at 4:30, wondering how much water was in my back yard. Once the sun came up, I could check! Increased flow in the driveway ...

And in the new "creek" in the back yard.


I called the county back ... it turns out there was a worse leak that needed attention on Monday. Tell that to my back yard ...

They showed up about 10:30 and started digging. It didn't take long for them to figure out that they couldn't shovel water faster than it was being replaced. So they got in their truck and left. About a half hour later the returned with a truck that had a pump and a holding tank.

By now, all that clay they dug up was finding its way to the bottom of my driveway and was clogging the drain in front of the garage. No way I was leaving until the water stopped in case my garage flooded and I had to figure out what wasn't in a plastic tub and needed to get moved.

They finally got the truck pumping faster than the leak so I went to work. I came home to find the leak repaired, but the access to my water meter now well above grade. Probably because of all the dirt ended up here covering my drain:
Of course, the county has said nothing about the damage in my back yard, or come to get the two bright orange traffic cones they've left by the water meter.
I'm thinking since I've already begun digging the trench, I might just want to go ahead and extend the drain hose down to the edge of the property. Once I fill in that giant underground hole ...

Monday, July 28, 2014

Water, water everywhere ...

Last February I found a very nice note of my front door from my county meter reader telling me there was a leak on my side of the meter. Called a plumber, got it fixed and went on my merry way.

Until this morning when Sweet Daughter and I were headed out the door at 8:00.

I dashed up to where the water meter is, kicked off my black heels, pulled the cover and saw more water gushing out than last February. Still in my office clothes, I grabbed a bucket and started bailing. Now, in February, the meter reader explained that he was supposed to tell me that we are not supposed to use our own meter key to shut off the water. So let's just say I managed to stop the numbers on my meter from moving. I took SD to day camp, came back and there was more water than before. So, I called the county and informed them of the leak and that it sounded like it was on their side of the meter ... since I had my side repaired in February.

According to a neighbor, they send somebody out at 10:00 and they did ... nothing.

All that water coming down the driveway? It empties into the back yard. Which is now a swamp. And it's continuing to flow faster and time goes on. SD and I dug a trench when we got home to sort of direct the flow a bit.


You can't really tell, but the water is coming out faster than if I had a garden hose on at full blast.

I'll be calling the county when their office opens in the morning. And frequently thereafter, I'm thinking.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

How to make inexpensive 18th century shoes for kids

Well, not make, exactly, but how to make "acceptable" ones on a budget.

The hobby standard is to use black oxfords with black tights or knee socks. Not cotton Mary Jane canvas flats, but lace-up shoes. They sort of disappear, or at least become neutral instead saying "LOOK AT MY PURPLE CROCS UNDER MY GOWN!"

Black oxfords can be picked up at Goodwill for a couple of dollars. If you look closely ...

... you can see the padded ankle and the huge clunky heel and the laces, but it general, it doesn't detract from the overall outfit.

When I made the white cross-barred muslin gown for Sweet Daughter, I knew I'd have to step things up a bit. She was going to need white stockings and the shoes were going to be noticeable. I found these shoes,

and thought "What the heck? The price isn't awful, and they have a round toe with no seam, and sort of a buckle ..." The tongues turned out to be absolutely ridiculous, and so I trimmed them back. But not enough ...

And they scuffed terribly after only being worn two days.
They were absolutely "\costume" quality.
So I decided to spray paint them red with Fusion paint designed for plastics. I cut the tongues down some more, masked the heels and soles, and sprayed them red. I figured when they get scuffed up again, I''lljust give them another squirt of red paint.
I ordered some inexpensive oval brass buckles (well inexpensive compared to real shoe buckles) and substituted them for the cheap rectangular pot-metal ones. The shoes are till scuffed, but they look a LOT better.
An easier way to make more passable shoes is to take a pair of  thrift store oxfords and cut them down. See the lower profile? Cut down past the first row of grommets. You can touch up the cut edge with a black Sharpie.
Then cut away under the second row of grommets. Cut away so that you have finger-shaped tabs and tie with a silk ribbon.

Same pair of shoes ... after being cut down and before. Quite the difference, eh?

The next project will be thrift store shoes cut down and painted red!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Once in a while, you hit the jackpot

I started researching images for Sweet Daughter's "turban" to go with her muslin gown, and hit the mother lode. Reinette had already compiled an amazing collection of images.

Here are a few images (all shamelessly stolen from the above site) to whet your whistle.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Because ...

Because work got interesting late on Friday, and I've done nothing of note all weekend (except move furniture, work on organizing the sewing room, spray paint some shoes, start turning old wine into vinegar ... you know ... the usual weekend), and because MSgt B posted this, and just because EVERYBODY needs to be humming "fleas on rats" to themselves, not just me, I present today's history lesson:

Sunday, July 20, 2014

So much for sleeping in

Yesterday morning, I was still in bed while preparing myself to get up and go into the office for a few hours (“The deadline is when?). I hadn’t slept well for a few nights as the new ice maker sounds like the Tin Man vomiting shrapnel into a galvanized bucket whenever it dumps a load of ice. I’m still finding this … startling.
Anyhow, I was running through my mental list of Stuff to Do, when I felt a like I’d been jabbed with a Glover's needle. Nope, a wasp got me. IN MY OWN BED. It got me on the arm, above the elbow - it could have been much worse. And while a highly effective way to wake the hell up, I do not recommend it.

I probably didn’t need the coffee on top of the adrenaline, either. At least I was the only one in the office, so nobody could hear me singing.


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

New Fridge

I ventured into town this afternoon to see what I could turn up. Apparently, 32" is a very narrow space for refrigerators these days, so options were limited.

When Joey the sales guy heard what I had to spend, he gave me the card of a local guy who sells refurbished appliances with a 30 day warranty. We looked at what was on the floor anyway, to see if any fit my criteria; reasonable price, would fit in the space inhabited by the previous fridge, and could make ice. Low and behold, one appeared. After subtracting markdowns, sales, and discounts, then adding back tax and a three year bumper-to-bumper warranty, it came to $43 under sticker price. And that included delivery of the new fridge and hauling away of the old carcass. He said he'd give me a written estimate which would be good until the close of business.

At this point the heavens opened up and just let loose. I've sat through hurricanes with less wind and rain. I couldn't see 5 feet past the glass in the doors, much less where I'd parked my car. I figured this was the Almighty telling me to stay put, and just take the deal, already. So I did.

Half an hour after business was concluded, there was enough of a let-up that I could find my car. This will be interesting. I haven't had a new refrigerator since 1988.