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The Good, The Bad, The Ugly – 10th Anniversary Edition

As I have mentioned before, Friday was my 10th Anniversary with TechyDad. He went to work, NHL went to school for his last half day, and JSL and I stayed at home to do some cleaning. We had someone stopping by later in the day to check on a clogged bathroom sink. Thanks to this sink, we were forced to wash hands in the bathroom tub.

The day did not exactly go as planned. You see, thank goodness the plumber came early. He showed up at 11:30-ish instead of 2-3. I had to leave shortly after to pick NHL up from school. When he left, we knew we had some large issues. He said he would go to lunch, get supplies, and come back about an hour later to get to work. In the end, he was at our house until about 7:30 at night. Our initial plans were shot and even other items had to be changed. Still, we made the best of the situation.

The Good:

We went to my parent’s house to have cake with the boys before putting them to bed there. Thanks to fumes, we could not stay in our house. Here are the delicious cakes that we had

Cake Time


Once the kids were FINALLY into bed, TechyDad still wanted to head out to dinner. Since it was almost 9:30, we had limited choices. I recalled a new Sushi place not too far away, so off we went to Mr. Fuji Sushi. Our experience at Mr. Fuji’s was amazing. The food was delicious, the people there super nice, and the atmosphere wonderful. Since it was so late, we ordered two appetizers and three sushi rolls to share.

To start we had Age Tofu and Vegetable Tempura

Start of our meal

Then we had a Philadelphia roll, Avocado Peanut roll, and Sweet Potato roll

Sushi Time

Yes, I believe this is the best sushi I have had in a long time. We will definitely be heading back to Mr. Fuji again soon.

The Bad:

We thought that the plumbing issue would require snaking the pipes. When they tried to do this, the snake refused to go down and kept going up into the pipes instead. When JSL and I left to pick up NHL at school, they were debating a few options.

  • Try to go in the attic and snake things and it may last 1-2 years IF we are lucky.
  • Replace the old pipes in the section that appeared to be the root of the issue with PVC pipes.
    I went to pick NHL up and bring the kids home for lunch.

The Ugly:

When they arrived back at our house, I saw them hauling a long section of PVC pipe. I knew it was the best thing, but I was paranoid and worried about things. As they started to work in the basement on cutting the pipe open, it started to get more complicated. They could not get to the top of the pipe from the basement. Suddenly, wall removal was needed. Yes, I think I aged several years in this afternoon from making big decisions on the fly and listening to the noises in my house. I knew that they were capable, but it was driving me batty.

The guys came back upstairs to give me the news and I immediately knew we made the right decision. You see, the pipe in the basement was nearly closed shut. The old material has basically closed itself shut. I never went to look in the basement until a while later. I gave permission to remove wall to get at the sink pipe within there. The hole got larger than this, but you get the point from this view:

 The wall hole getting larger

After a lot of power tool noises and labor in the bathroom with the wall and pipe fighting, they finally got that sucker out. Check this bad boy out. Yes, this nasty object was pretty much what was happening down stairs in the basement as well. Here is our corroded galvanized pipe from within the wall:


It was not an easy job, but these guys were amazing. They dealt with my paranoia and got the work done and well. They even cleaned up the mess when the tiles on the wall next to the sink spontaneously fell off – no I am not joking. Apparently, they were not put on right by previous owners. This was good under the sink since nothing was ruined getting to the pipes behind the wall. I was too sick at the mess during that time to take a photo. I am also sparing you from photos of the basement pipes and sludge that came out of them. Let’s just say old toothpaste and soap are not pretty nor do they smell nice.

In the end, the pipe is fixed, a few more will need this down the road, and we need a massive bathroom rehab soon. More good news, the pipe works and we have a new faucet that is not leaking. Thanks to spray that was used during the cleaning process on the tiles/pipes, there are horrible fumes in our house. It has been a rough few days and we are so very lucky that my parents are here for us.

So there you have it, the good, the bad, and the ugly of our 10th Annversary!


Psssst. . . if you need a good person for home repairs in my area – just let me know. This work, along with the roof, and broken main water valve were done by the same person. Highly recommend.

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Iced Over Mess

I interrupt regularly scheduled blog posts to announce that Winter has NOT left the building yet. The groundhog clearly did not specify where Spring would be coming early.


Over the weekend Mother Nature had some fun with those of us living in the north. First, she gave us warmer temperatures. 50 degrees in early March is not too shabby. Snow mountains that were here a week ago looked more like oversized ant hills on lawns. Sunday we watched as the rain came down very steady at times. Then, as the day moved on, the temperatures started to bottom out. Before we knew it, we were well below freezing and the rain turned to ice.

It is hard to concentrate on anything, including sleep, when ice is pelting your house. This morning schools in the entire area went from 2 hour delays to closed. Even our front door was glazed with ice. At first it was stuck shut. Imagine using that as your excuse not to get into work.

Ice Ice Baby

The trees are a mess thanks to the rain freezing on them. This is a little one on the side out front:

Covered in Ice

Ice is heavy and the tree in our yard is hanging down. If it large limbs fall I fear we will not have power, and may need repairs to the house itself.

Trees in Trouble

Every little noise outside is going to keep me on edge. Excuse me while I go run for a blanket to hide under.


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Knee High Up on the Roof

About a year after we bought this house, we learned a new winter term. What is this winter vocabulary item that will now haunt our winter lives? The word is ice dam.

We learned about ice dams the hard way. One late winter morning, I woke up and heard dripping. I slowly turned on the light and saw water coming in our bedroom. Yes, we had a leak there and on the other side of the wall, in our bathroom. We had no clue what was going on. We called a handyman that we knew and he came over. When he went on the roof he immediately saw we had a few giant ice dams that were allowing the rain to flow back into the house via the roof shingles.

Ice dams are something to be feared as a home owner in the northeast. If you drive around and see pretty icicles hanging off of homes, it typically means there is more going on up over the roof. Our fear of water coming into the house from ice dams means that TechyDad is constantly outside raking our roof and working on the ice.

The windows in our upstairs room allow us to get a first hand look at the lower section of our roof on the one side. Checking the ice dams has been very depressing this year. Saturday morning, we were scared of the weather report. It said a lot of rain and ice was coming our way. We went out and bought supplies to target the ice dams after others had suggested this technique. We wanted to make channels for the water to flow off of the roof and not back into the house.

When we came home from Home Depot with the 50 pound bag of calcium chloride, I went and found an old box of knee highs. TechyDad and I filled four of them to begin the experiment. After about an hour, we could see that they were doing something, so we went and filled six more knee highs to tackle the  ice dams before the rain. We noticed an area of water pooling in one section and worked there. Sure enough, these nifty knee highs did the trick. The opened up an area for the water to flow off the roof.

Knee High Up On The Roof

So far so good. Of course, next year we plan on installing some heating coils on the lower roof section and other problem areas to try to prevent ice dams from forming. And if you are wondering, I will never be able to look at knee highs the same again!


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Saturday Surprise at Home Depot Thanks to the Ice

Dear NHL and JSL,

This morning we decided that we had to head to Home Depot to get some calcium chloride to put on the ice dams. Daddy and I heard that if we put that into some panty hose, that it would help to make channels for the melting mess. Our hope is that this project will help us avoid water coming into our bedrooms.

As we pulled into Home Depot parking lot, we realized it was the first Saturday of the month. That is when they do the Kids Workshop projects set up. After we grabbed 50 pounds of calcium chloride, I took NHL to check out what the project was.

Project for today

We started the project together, then Daddy helped JSL to get started. You both enjoyed doing this and decorating it when you were finished.

Working on projects

Luckily the project did not take a long time, so we were back home to set up what we hope will prevent the roof from leaking in. Here are your finished projects at home.

Finished Heart Shelf Project

Now we are keeping busy by cleaning the room upstairs. Both of you are so excited to have this space for a playroom. Hopefully we can work together as a team to get this going and finished soon.




If you want to participate in Dear Kid Saturday, head on over to Cutest Kid Ever by clicking on the button below.

Dear<br<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />

/><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />

Kid<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />


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Spring 2011 Will Come One Day

Wednesday, while Punxsutawney Phil was getting pulled out for his Groundhog Day show, we were digging out from an icy and snowy mess. I have to admit that I think Phil may have “said” he didn’t see his shadow just to avoid being on the dinner table around the country. Seriously, this winter has been crazy for so many people across the United States and beyond.

Here are some recent shots from the storm:

No more snow!

As you can see, we are running out of places to put the snow. I was outside for 2 hours shoveling. Thank goodness a neighbor felt bad and used his monster snow blower to clear off the end of our driveway where we had been severely plowed in. Before dinner, TechyDad raked the roof for quite some time.

So this mess has me thinking about Spring. My question for this week:

What are you most excited about for Spring 2011?



Thanks to Kailani at An Island Life for starting this fun for Friday. Please be sure to head over to her blog to say hello and sign the linky there if you are participating.

Aloha Friday by Kailani at An<br<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
/><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
Island<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />

Aloha #137

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