Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘mission creep

Starting Big

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In the beginning, I was asked to build a terrace wall for Cyndie to have a produce garden. Seemed like a good idea to me. We talked about creating two levels in the space she wanted to use, but decided to focus on just the upper level to start. We have never grown our own food before, so I suggested we start small and learn what works in that location.

Just a suggestion.

The other day I saw no less than 21 different names listed in a text where Cyndie described what she has planted.

So, that one terrace I started building has been dwarfed by subsequent construction Cyndie undertook on her own. Fencing and netting, all hers, three different locations.

Plants are in the ground and awaiting some mulch. Woodchips are something I can contribute to her new project. The rest has spun up so quick it makes me dizzy just thinking about it.

When Cyndie bursts headlong into her projects, I tend to get out of the way. I am inclined toward sequential thinking and prone to plotting each step in advance before taking action. Cyndie operates more randomly and takes action simultaneously to figuring out a plan.

I guess we serve as a classic example of the attraction of opposites.

Here’s hoping she meets with an incredible success that exceeds imagination come harvest time.

I’ll be watching to see if my terrace does its job. The rest will be gravy.

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Written by johnwhays

May 22, 2020 at 6:00 am

Runaway Chores

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The last few times we ran the dishwasher, we found some wetness on the floor in front of it. Most recently, it turned out to be a lot more than just some wetness. We had a leak.

Fearing the worst, I hustled downstairs to check the ceiling. The dishwasher is located above our storage room, which has a finished ceiling. There was a light stain on one of the tiles. Curses!

We have some history with leaking dishwashers. In our previous home back in Eden Prairie, the leak went undetected for a long time, because it was located in the drain hose. Mice had chewed a hole in the plastic hose and the leak was not visible from the kitchen.

My fear was that it had happened again, and I prepared myself for pulling the dishwasher to look behind it. I didn’t really want to tear into that project, so I decided I should make sure the drain wasn’t blocked by debris, first. The only problem with that plan was the fact that I didn’t know how to gain access to the drain.

While I was sitting on the kitchen floor, peering at the inner workings of the dishwasher, I got a close view of the nasty buildup of gunk that had accumulated around the edge of the door and on the gaskets around the door. Could it be?

I gave them a thorough cleaning. While I was on the floor peering under the appliance, I got a scary view of places that never get cleaned. We have a cat, so areas that don’t get cleaned become an incredible mass of cat hair, which then becomes a super absorbent net that catches dog hair.

DSCN4449eCyndie got the small shop-vac for me and I started cleaning under kitchen cabinets. Cat crawl spaces. While I had the vacuum and was lying on the kitchen floor, she suggested I clean under the stove and the refrigerator, too. I couldn’t argue with that logic.

I pulled the drawer from beneath the oven and found enough items to feel like an archeologist discovering an ancient tomb. I had to ask Cyndie whether they were from us or the previous owners. She said it looked like a little of both.

After the stove, I moved on the refrigerator. Again, my first thought was, we own a cat. Those coils should be cleaned about 10-times more often than we are accomplishing. It was nightmarish under there. While I was grunting over that project, Cyndie started giving the oven a heavy dose of scrubbing.

DSCN4450eI asked permission to remove some screws so we could get to the space between the windows in the oven door. There was a cobweb in there that has bothered me for a long time. Soon, we had all the kitchen appliances in pieces, and we were cleaning nooks and crannies that have probably never been cleaned before.

Delilah was incredibly patient with us, as we toiled away the entire evening on this runaway series of cleaning chores, though she failed to mask how forlorn she felt over being neglected the whole time.

While we were busy dealing with the mission creep of the oven door and the refrigerator coils, the original problem of a leaking dishwasher appeared to have gone away. After cleaning the gaskets, we put it though a test run while we worked away in the kitchen.

There was no sign of any leaking whatsoever. Problem solved? I will be keeping a skeptical eye on it for the foreseeable future.

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Written by johnwhays

February 17, 2016 at 7:00 am

Mission Creep

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Initially, it was only supposed to be gutters for the back side of the barn, but when the company showed up to quote that project, they noticed the gutters on our house. I have had an inkling that there was something wrong with our gutters since last year. They were more than happy to point out the shortcomings. It was a bad design that didn’t last, installed poorly by a questionable company that also didn’t last, so we were told.

I didn’t feel the need to check his facts, because I could see that water dripped from places that didn’t make sense to me. Something wasn’t working right, so we told them to include the house in their quote for new gutters. Mark this down as another home maintenance thing that we didn’t have on our to-do list, and don’t really have the budget to afford at this time.

It’s never stopped us before.

We accepted their quote and authorized the work, which got scheduled weeks out, into late November. They finished the barn in a single day while we were both away at work. When I got home that day, I noticed tracks in the gravel and wondered who the heck had been driving around our barn. I completely missed the new gutter hanging overhead. I think it was because they did such a fine job that it looked like it had always been there and never caught my eye.

After the day they expected to start had passed, I called the company to check on the status, still clueless that they had completed the barn. That was embarrassing. The scheduler was describing the plan for the house, which was fine, but I was wondering about the barn, too.

“We already finished that,” I was told.

Oh.

Anyway, then winter weather arrived, causing the house project to be delayed. I figured that meant until spring, but I have already written here about their plan to work on it regardless the snow and ice. That may be a good thing, I don’t know. I’m sure hoping so at this point, because when they came to uncover the old gutters, they discovered other problems occurring from the ice buildup and suggested one big contributor to the problem was that the venting in our soffits was insufficient.

IMG_3403eThe project expanded to having them pull the wood to open the soffits for increased ventilation, and then refinishing it with metal fascia and soffits that match the new gutters. How are we going to afford that? Their no-interest, no-payment financing plan, that’s how. Looks like our savings for the next year won’t be going toward an exotic vacation. They’ll be socked away to pay for our new and improved gutters and soffits.

I sure hope the payments don’t end up being due at the same time we will need to pay for the fractured window replacement and the new storage room about to be built downstairs. Something tells me we should be real careful about allowing any mission creep to occur when that builder arrives to do his work.

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Written by johnwhays

February 6, 2014 at 7:00 am