Thursday, May 24, 2012

William Morris Project: Backyard Shenanigans + Bonus!

 Of all the areas in/ around our house, the backyard gets the least amount of love.  We've done a few minor things since moving in: cutting down a sad little Charlie Brown tree next to the shed, building a firepit, mowing regularly... but mostly, we have turned a blind eye.  

Blind though we were, I was always frustrated by the view out the kitchen window.  

This would greet me each day: 

You can't tell from here, but this is a giant steel frame designed to hold a porch swing (which was both splintery and rickety, and which we took down the day we moved in & cut up for fire wood).  Sadly, the 7' frame remained immovably in place.  

Standing here usually means I am doing dishes - not my favorite chore.  But I do enjoy gazing at the green grass in Spring, and watching for errant snowflakes in Winter, yet I hated the harsh vertical line that interrupted my line of sight.  

Thankfully, Husband & his welding tank changed all that for me.  
I'm so happy that I'm considering it a belated Mother's Day gift.  

This is my view now: 

A man of MANY talents.  

After cutting the frame, he dug out the 18" concrete plugs that were embedded in the yard. 

Good-bye rusted steel frame!

I can't wait to till up the area under the window & plant a kitchen garden!
(I know, a little late for this year, but whatevs)

And this little bonus falls under the category of "Useful" (forgive the rambling):

When we bought this house, the kitchen appliances were included.  They are not my first choice, but they were free, and we are broke.  The freezer portion of my side-by-side refrigerator has been leaking off and on for several months.  I thought it had something to do with the ice maker, and shut it off in March.  Then, earlier this week, another leak appeared under the fridge side.  When I stopped hyperventilating, I pulled it away from the wall, and realized the laminate flooring under the area was buckled ever so slightly - indicating that it had been leaking for some time.  Yesterday I moaned on Facebook about the problem, saying it was probably time to shop for a new fridge (which we absolutely can't afford, but we also can't afford to live out of an ice chest either, so you know, the lesser of two evils).  Multiple friends suggested I check to see if the drain was plugged.  


I pulled it away from the wall, and poked around the back.  No drain, and no way to even access the drip pan (which was bone dry).  

I stared inside my freezer for a while, and then started emptying it out.  I unscrewed the inside back panels, and was greeted with this: 

I am no expert on the inner workings of modern kitchen appliances, but even I thought that might be just a scoch too much ice build up.  
An hour with the hairdryer on full blast thawed the ice, and then I was able to unclog the frozen drain using hot water, a straw, and a final flush of baking soda & vinegar.  

No more leaking (so far, so good) and the water & ice dispenser in the door is even working!
It hasn't worked since, well, ever.  
I don't think this is a permanent solution, but I am hopeful that I bought us another 6 months!

I think William Morris would approve. 

PS: Why don't we use the word shenanigans more often?  Is it just a touch too old-fashioned?  Like saying "automobile" or "grocery" or "inoculation"?  Making a mental note to add more archaic vocabulary to my daily conversations.


Rita@thissortaoldlife said...

I love archaic vocabulary! Big words are fun!

And that frame project looks like one of those totally no fun but pretty necessary things. It's good to have a man of many talents--or should we say, a gentleman of many avocations?

Anonymous said...

Capital, smashing (some words should make a comeback). Love that you had the wherewithal to open up that fridge and get the ice melted. Kudos. And what a great job your hubby did of removing the steel frame, the view is so much better now!

Alana in Canada said...


We've tackled appliances under similar circumstances and when we've been successful, it always feels like we just stepped back from the brink...

May said...

You are going to be so glad that the rusty frame is gone. And what a resume expanding week with the appliance repair person and all!