Tag Archives: home improvement

Belly Work

The Boy worked hard this weekend, putting in two more windows for added efficiency upstairs. These ones are lovely and open at the top – a great feature when you’re trying to get hot air out of your attic addition in the summer.

Obi was excited to do some man’s work. But The Boy is starting to think Obi’s definition of man’s work is different than ours.

If The Boy is in the basement, Obi suggests they go up to the belly rubbing rug. If The Boy is upstairs cleaning paint brushes, Obi points out that he happens to be standing on the upstairs belly rubbing rug. And he should use it.

Basically, Obi wants The Boy to stop doing whatever he is doing and rub the brown kitten’s belly.

Things are different with me, of course. I should stay on the couch at all times. That’s Girl’s work.

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Man Stuff with Style

Oliver and I were on the couch this morning when Obi came up, leading The Boy to the belly rubbing rug. The Boy said “show your girl why you aren’t allowed to help with Man Stuff.”

Obi was not interested in showing me. He wanted his belly rubbed.

But The Boy borrowed my camera so he could document the issue.

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Seems the brown kitten rubbed against a door frame, claiming it in the name of Obi, just seconds after The Boy painted it.

While he looked awesome with frosted tips, I used the brush and a wet paper towel to remove the paint. And Oliver have him a bath.

***

We wrapped presents today. Although Kitten Thunder is kind of mad about their boxes being filled with things that are not for them and jammed under their tree, Oliver thinks this is the best bag ever.

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Neglective

A note from Obi:

Our purrsons did the following things this weekend:

– refinished a dresser
– dry walled the laundry room
– trimmed the plum tree
– started framing a door
– manned the registration desk at a conference
– went to train club
– layout for the weekly edition of Tidbits

You’ll notice, if you are a good purrson, that there are two things missing from this list:

– adequately snuggle with Oliver
– adequately entertain Obi

Seriously, this is a problem. I mean, yes, The Girl did snuggle with Oliver last night during the movie and for a couple hours after The Boy got up this morning. And an hour after she got up. And yes, The Boy did rub my belly ten times or so during the weekend and play with me on the rubbing rug. And sure, The Girl found Funky Chicken for me. And I laid on her lap a couple times.

But it was all just an afterthought between all that stuff they did. The called it “productive.”

I call it neglective.

I’m out,
Obi Wan Kittenobi

***

Here’s a picture of Obi giving us a hard, disapproving stare from the laundry room window as we worked in the garage.

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By late afternoon, Kitten Thunder was supervising from the cat shelf.

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OutTV Expansion

You know how your cable provider is always adding new channels of quality programming without increasing the cost? Yeah, me neither. But The Boy is better than the cable company. Last week, Obi was eager to show me what he and The Boy had done in the laundry room.

He started low, to build suspense. He really likes the climbing wall that The Boy exposed.

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But look! A NEW channel of OutTV! We’re not exactly sure why they covered this window with a wall. Obi very much enjoys sitting on that piece of wood, where he can rest while watching the new channel.

He was certain The Boy would leave it there.

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Because why would you mess with such an awesome climbing wall?

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While Obi was showing me this, The Boy brought down some insulation. And Oliver watched from a safe distance.

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Right after this, The Boy got the thumbs up from me and took out the climbing wall. Obi is mad. But he’ll be happy in the long run – a new window and a very deep sill are in the works.

Plumb Crazy

There’s a frost advisory for southeast Wyoming tonight.  That pushed us over the edge from “let’s just turn off the furnace and tough it out” to “let’s close all the windows.”

Kitten Thunder does not approve. Even if we did leave one window on the cat shelf slightly cracked for the afternoon.

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You call this Smell-o-vision?

I was upstairs because The Boy is working on the leaks in our house and had to run to Home Depot. He called to send me upstairs for a part number. And Kitten Thunder thought they should get me up to date on the project.

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It started with just Obi, who explained the project thoroughly.  Then, when Oliver came in, the brown kitten got up on the supervision shelf to see what the grey kitten would add.

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Oliver thinks gaskets and O rings look like pretty good toys. When I wouldn’t let him have them, he decided to contemplate that. From his contemplating spot.

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As I took this picture, I was contemplating the incredible rust stain that is forming in The Boy’s shower. Hopefully the new whatevers that are needed to stop the dripping will slow down this stain – I just scoured the stains from this shower a couple weeks ago.

Fully caught up on the project, I turned to leave. Oliver had a suggestion:

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Let’s go take a nap.

Bubbles

While The Boy was working on plumbing in the basement as part of the laundry room project, he had to turn off the water. Now this would be a straight forward proposition in some places, but not, as it happens, in our house. There were numerous options for where to turn off the water to the laundry room. One of those options was in the ceiling of the downstairs bathroom. My bathroom.

The first Monday morning after he worked on it over the weekend, I stepped out of the shower to a big puddle of water on the floor. At first I thought the steam had just gathered on the cold pipes and dripped. So I mopped it up. A while later, I identified the problem. A drip.

It was the kind of drip that you get familiar with in an old home. It was the “this gasket was fine until you touched it” drip.

I put a paint tray underneath it and went on with my day. The Boy was aware of the drip, it turns out, but was hoping it would stop. It didn’t. He was going to have to do something. But, since it was a slow drip, nothing was done right away. A week later, the paint tray had about a half an inch of water in it. As I was getting ready for work, I noticed that Oliver was in the bathroom with me. And then Obi arrived.

But I was not the source of their entertainment.

There was a bubble.

Every time the water dripped from the pipe, a bubble would form in the water and float around for a bit. The kittens would watch it intently until it popped. Then they would continue to watch, hoping it would come back. They’d lose interest and look away just as a new droplet fell to create a bubble. Then they would lean in close to look at the new bubble.

I waited.

I hoped. 

I anticipated.

It may be mean of me, but I’m sad to say neither of them ever got pegged in the head by a droplet.

Does that make me a bad “mom”?

***

Happy Mother’s Day to my mom, grandma, and mother in law. Plus, of course, all the other mothers out there doing what you do. And Kitten Thunder sends out warm purrs and head hugs to all the Girls and “moms” of critters big and small.

Home Improvement with The Boy, Part 2

In addition to putting in a door to the spare room, The Boy decided to take the wall behind our washing machine and dryer down as well. Obi and I went down for inspection. Neither of them approved of what they saw.

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For one thing, they found some serious wasted space behind the wall. Once things are put in more efficiently, the new “hallway” will be about six inches wider.

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After a cursory look behind the wall, Obi decided he would need some tools. He didn’t find what he needed in The Boy’s supply.

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Obi did not approve.

He decided to show off his acrobat skills, but high-wire walking along plumbing, mystery cross-supports on oddly spliced verticals, and electrical piping.

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The electrical is bad. Really bad. Bad enough that The Boy would rather pay a professional than hassle with the mess himself. That’s saying something.

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We pretended like we didn’t know Obi was looking for a way into the walls or ceiling.

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But we did know. So Obi and I went upstairs and the door in the kitchen shut behind us until The Boy was done working.

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Obi did not approve.

He also didn’t approve of the wet paper towel I ran over him and around his feet to get the spider webs and dust off.

Home Improvement with The Boy

Our basement is strangely configured. The spare room, where I get ready in the morning and where the grandpeople stay, is as far away from the stairs as you can get in walking distance – but actually only a couple feet away. So, this weekend, The Boy started the process of putting a door in our laundry room.

He started by taking down a wall. Behind it? He found another wall.

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And behind that? He found another wall.

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In all of these home improvement situations, there is – of course – help from Kitten Thunder. The Boy finds this funny. And annoying. But luckily for him, this particular project included power tools from very close to the beginning. And, when the power tools are involved, Kitten Thunder chooses to protect me instead of helping The Boy.

Protect me. Yeah.

And, when the power tools stopped, three of us went down to help with inspection.

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Obi was shocked to see the shoddy work done on this wall. The vertical studs were well beyond the 16 inches they should be placed.

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When there was just a window, he did not approve of the complete lack of sill.

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Upon further inspection, he decided it was doable but not particularly comfortable.

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The spare room is dusty. I’m really glad The Boy took me down to look at the second wall so I knew to quickly move all my clean laundry that was on the spare room bed.

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While Oliver is not usually the most adventurous of our kittens, he was willing to try out the window.

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He helped The Boy measure the space for a door. I took this picture and headed upstairs. I called Oliver. I told him to come with me. He didn’t, until The Boy started using a saw. Then he casually walked across the laundry room. Once he got to the floor and into the hallway, he allowed his panic to take over and raced, frantically, up the stairs.

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The Boy, on my request, cut a second window at the floor level before calling it quits for the day. I didn’t want kittens attempting to thunder through a poorly supported window in the drywall, five feet off the ground.

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Thunder on, kittehs. Thunder on.

 

How Deep Does This Go?

The Boy and I were taking a walk this afternoon and discussing our house. His office used to be a bedroom, but at some point they removed the closet and turned the built in storage around to face the bathroom. This happened when they removed the bathtub from the bathroom to make room for real stairs to the attic addition. But, The Boy postulated, the built ins do not fill in that entire space. There is room to add a closet back in.

When we got home, we grabbed the magic toy making and started measuring. The Boy removed one of the drawers. Of course, this attracted help. Obi went in to take a closer look. The Boy and I measured the depth of the shelving in the built in, then the stairs. There is, indeed, enough room for a shallow closet.

Meanwhile, Oliver decided he, too, must check the drawer.

Obi came out to suggest that our use of the magic toy making stick was wasted on home improvement. His home would me most improved, he said, if we used the stick to get his mousies out from under the couch. So I did. In addition to the two flat mousies, I also recovered a bouncy ball, a milk rink, and enough cat hair to knit a minion.

Oliver doesn’t know what we were discussing in the bathroom, but he did eventually lose interest in the drawer and leave. The Boy replaced the drawer and we all returned to the living room to watch Obi play with a mousie.

Home sweet home.

More Man’s Work

I was sitting on the couch yesterday when Oliver came down to lay on my lap. The Boy was knocking a hole in the side of the house, upstairs, and it had disturbed his nap. The grey kitten did not approve.

Obi was all over it.

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While The Boy was on a run to Home Depot, the brown kitten showed me his project.

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Then The Boy returned.

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Oliver came up to see what we were doing. He looked at me with “let’s go take a nap” eyes. I did return to the couch because I had some work to do on my laptop. But The Boy’s work bothered the grey kitten even there – a ladder right next to him on OutTV was not a restful thing.

While The Boy was outside on the ladder, Obi was still upstairs…hanging head and shoulders out of the hole in the wall where a window had been. The Boy did not approve.

This would be a good place to say that The Boy primed a new window sill and put it in. And it was too big, so the window didn’t fit. BUT! When he trimmed it down it was perfectly level so the window went in with no shimming needed. TA DAAA!

This is also a good place to say that I did not sit on the couch, napping and eating bon-bons, while my husband worked. I did my regularly scheduled work on the computer. Then I cleared leaves from around the foundation so it could dry out – today I was supposed to be recaulking in the driveway and pulling out the section of wall that is water damaged. But, because of this plan, it is raining and snowing.

Nothing is drying out.

This morning, The Boy came up and started trimming away excess spray foam from the window. Oliver and I were still in bed. I lifted my head to see what was happening. “Stay,” said the grey kitten, putting a paw on my shoulder.

Obi was supervising the work from the counter. When he noticed the Oli and I were awake, he started to walk toward us. But he walked over the decal that had been on the new window and his feet stuck to it. It was disturbing. It inspired a bath.

Hours later, the window is close to being done. The Boy had to go to a train meeting, but when he comes back he will put up the last bit of trim and seal things like crazy. It looks great. And it will be so nice to have light in the room – the old wood-framed window was covered by an icky piece of plastic so we kept the shower curtain closed to hide it.

During a run to Home Depot, Obi took a nap on my lap. He told me to be sure to let you know that he never would have been able to do this project without The Boy.

The Boy is an excellent helper.