Thursday, May 30, 2024

Small Victories

It's probably been at least six months since this table was last cleared. I'm finally getting my act together and cleaning again.

Back in February, I ordered four side chairs that match these arm chairs. Joinery already sent me photos of the wood pieces a couple weeks ago, so I'm hoping any day now.

We finished assembling three more racks. Three more to go.

Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Moving Out of Storage

Despite my best intentions to get out before we got the inevitable rent increase, we procrastinated. Oh well, we'll pay one month of the higher rent.

I had planned to rent a trailer and move the racks whole and possibly rent some help to move them back into the basement, but we finally decided to just take them apart and throw them in the back of our Ford F-150. It was possibly more time consuming, but much cheaper that way.

This past weekend we finally got started. On our first trip, we managed to get about a third of what was in storage and all of the racks that we'll be setting up with the new space plan. We're slowly putting them back together this week. (The rest of the racks will be taken apart and probably put up in the attic.)

The pantry tubs were all stacked up in Jeff's closet
so it's nice to have this rack set up again.

My hope is to do a load every weekend until we're out.

Friday, May 17, 2024

$2500 Drippy Faucet

Last fall, our kitchen faucet developed a slow, nagging drip. At first, if you tightened the handles really hard, it would stop. But over time, the drips grew more frequent and more pronounced. So, when we decided to move some plumbing lines in the basement this February, I saw the perfect opportunity to have the plumber fix the faucet too. I provided her with the make and model, and she ordered the replacement cartridges in advance—$40 for parts plus her hourly rate for both projects.

When she arrived and dismantled the faucet, we hit our first snag: the cartridges wouldn’t fit. It turned out the schematics on the manufacturer's website didn’t match our model. After more digging, we discovered that Newport Brass had updated the internal components. We found what we thought were the old schematics and ordered another set of cartridges for $80, and we scheduled a second plumber visit. Unfortunately, these didn’t fix it either.

Frustrated, I reached out to Newport Brass but received no response. Further research revealed I'd need about $500 worth of parts from several different suppliers, as no single repair kit was available for this model. Reluctantly, I decided to replace the entire faucet instead and ordered a Fairfield Bridge Faucet from Perigold for $1,489 in March.

Another appointment with the plumber was set, but delivery delays led to rescheduling—twice. The faucet finally arrived last Sunday, and thanks to a cancellation, the plumber was available Tuesday.

But the saga wasn’t over. We discovered the new faucet wouldn’t fit the existing holes in our soapstone counter, they'd changed the size of the posts.

After the plumber left, I scrambled to find someone to redrill the holes, eventually getting help from the original installers, Portland MarbleWorks, who charged $180.

With no functioning kitchen faucet, we seized the opportunity to dine out for a couple of days. By Thursday morning, the plumber squeezed us in early, and at last, we have a functioning, drip-free faucet. The final cost for this visit and the previous quick visits totaled $360. (The plumber nicely added all the time together in one bill, rather than charging her minimum each visit.)

So, was it worth nearly $2,500 to fix a drippy faucet? It pained me to see gallons of water wasted every day, but $2,500 could have paid for quite a few water bills. But, I'm fully expecting it will be worth it in the long run.

Thursday, May 16, 2024

So Close!

Back in February, inspired by our new-to-us media cabinet, I ordered three cherry bookcases from Mission Craft Furniture—the same folks who crafted our lovely bedroom set

They estimated a completion time of 4 to 6 weeks. However, after 8 weeks without any updates, I reached out to them, only to be told, "Just one more week!" 

Yet, another four weeks drifted by with no bookcases in sight. Finally, I laid down an ultimatum: finish the bookcases within a few days or cancel my order and refund my deposit. That got them moving!

This evening, the long-awaited bookshelves were delivered. However, the celebration was short-lived. The shelves clearly hadn’t been installed in the frames back at the shop because when we set them up ourselves we realized the shelves didn't look level. We measured and discovered the shelf pin holes were misdrilled, being about a quarter-inch off from one side to the other. Oops!

Regrettably, they had to take the bookcases back to the workshop. It's unclear how they'll rectify this error, but it's certainly not going to please the owner. As for when we'll finally get our bookcases, that remains to be seen. I'll keep you all updated as soon as I have more information.

Update on Thursday evening: They're back. I guess the owner was pretty embarrassed and he made it a priority to fix these. 

We need to unpack boxes of books to make room for the third bookshelf to go in its spot.

Wednesday, May 15, 2024


I want to say that Portland sucks, but I'm sure it's like this in most cities. About a week ago, the city came through and trimmed the trees on our street. We don't have any street trees (mainly because I refuse to plant them because then the city decides if/when you can remove them). But they also cut down our clematis vine from that ugly pole they installed in our front planting strip a couple years ago. They just chopped it off at the ground level. How was it hurting anything? These are photos of the clematis from last year. It hadn't made it to the flower stage yet this year.

We also got a letter a couple weeks ago telling us our power would be out for a few hours for routine maintenance work. Did they say anything about the location? Nope! Well, it turns out it was in OUR FRONT YARD

There was not a word that they'd be working in our planting strip to give us some warning so we could relocate plants. We woke up to a strange noise and I got up and looked out the window and found them drilling a big hole in our planting strip. I didn't get a photo of it, but this is what it looked like by the time I managed to make it outside.
Really, you had to set them on the plants? You couldn't have put the huge barrels
of gravel on the other side where there were no plants?!

I do not have any recent photos of this planting strip, the plants were just starting to wake up and it was just starting to look happy again. It was pretty well covered with ferns and other plants. This is a photo from a couple years ago.

I was pretty frustrated and upset, so we simply got in our car and went RV shopping. I couldn't watch.

This is how it looked when we came home.

I'm not sure which of these crushed plants will come back. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

Update later: I was able to work out some compensation for the destroyed plants. They are going to give us a $175 gift card. It doesn't begin to cover the labor and shopping time, but it should at least cover the cost of replacement plants.