Saturday, April 25, 2009

Very large dog doors

I finished the world's largest dog door for our back door yesterday. The dogs often like to go out to sun themselves or explore the backyard but also like to come in and see what we're doing. When they get bored, they want to go back outside. Since we get tired of opening and closing the backdoor, on nice days we just leave the door open so the dogs can go in and out as they please. Unfortunately that means we've had flies, bees, wasps, and birds (!) coming into the house.

I always wanted to just put a screen mesh or something so the dogs could come in and out since a doggy door wasn't an option but I wasn't sure about the logistics. Then Cindy had a fantastic blog post about a companion screen that she created for their boat. I really liked that idea but would need to make a few changes for our backdoor. Our screen would have to be temporary with very little hardware needed. Then I didn't give it anymore thought since it was getting chilly and no longer an issue for us.

This spring I have to replace a few screen windows that have holes so I bought a very large roll of screen mesh. I thought this was a great opportunity to put the screen in place on the backdoor too but still wasn't sure about the logistics of it all. Then the Google answered my prayers. I found this site that sold something that was exactly what I needed. After looking at the pictures I knew I could build this easily. I stopped at Home Depot and picked up a tension rod and some magnets. When I got home, I measured out the screen I needed and started sewing the edges and top with the magnets.

The whole process took about 3 hours to finish but I'm very pleased with how it worked out. The dogs were a bit hesitant to go through the screens but I think they're getting used to it. I'm looking foward to using this for the spring and fall.

Curse has been lifted!

I'm finished Finished FINISHED!!! Hee hee the garage doors are completed after so many issues! Back in August we had a small oops with our garage doors and got new ones. We found really nice garage doors at Costco so we got them within a month after the incident.

(original doors before the incident)

After we got the doors installed we wanted to paint them to match the house. Unfortunately I had a hell of a time finding the right grey color to match the house (the right grey color was too light to see as an accent on the doors) so I went a little darker. Then I painted the interior squares of the garage door to match the trim which is an off-white. Unfortunately the off-white paint looked WAY too yellow so I left the other two doors with their original bright white and painted the grey accents. So that part was easy.

(new doors, pre-painting)

After the grey was finished, I had to go back and repaint the interior squares of the first garage door, easy right? Unfortunately straight white paint was too white (since the doors are steel with white paint meaning the overall tint is slightly grey-ish). After painting one square and realizing it was too light, I got the lightest grey paint and found that was too grey! So I started mixing the two paints together to try to find the right mix. It took me about 3 tries then I just decided whatever color I had is the one that was going on. By this time winter had reached us and it was time to quit.

Spring finally came back so I tried again. While I was painting this time I ended up spilling half the paint on the driveway! Since I needed that paint (custom paint now) I started scooping the paint back into the can. My hands coated in paint, I headed back inside to clean up but ended up leaving paint on the entry rug (my sneaker had white paint on it). I cleaned up and headed outside to hose down the driveway. While hosing it all down, I accidentally sprayed my ipod and speakers so I had to clean that up. At this point I'm just fuming cause nothing is going right but I continue and finally get most of the paint cleaned up. I cleaned everything up, and shut down operations. While I find the whole thing amusing now, I was so frustrated at the time that I called it quits for a few weeks. If Mike would mention the incomplete paint job I would shoot him an evil look and ignore him. The weather and frustration level finally worked out so I finished the garage doors yesterday while it was beautiful outside.

(finished doors)

I love the garage doors and the colors but I think I'm finished with garage doors now. (Oh, and for those smart-alecky friends, the grey accents are the same colors for all doors, it's simply the angle of the shot)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Who knew the outdoors could be fun?

A few weeks ago a bunch of us headed to W&OD trail so I could try out my Landrollers on more than our neighborhood streets. I got to have some company from Scott/Sue/kids and Mike. Mike borrowed Scott's bike while Scott roller bladed with me.

Well the trip turned out to be a success. Mike enjoyed the bike ride, I didn't fall on my butt (or anything else), and all had a great time. Unfortunately blading is a lot more intensive than bike riding so I decided to get a bike to keep up (I plan to keep blading but practice on my own). Performance Bikes is having a sale so Sue, Mike, and I bought entry-level Fuji bikes last weekend for pretty good prices. I took my bike in on wednesday for some further tune-up and instead upgraded to a better bike for $34 (little bit of haggling and other bonuses got the price down).

Today we took the bikes on the W&OD trail out by Rt28 and headed west. We made it all the way to Luckstone quarry in Ashburn (about 6 miles) before heading back. Round-trip took us about 1hr 15 min (way back was MUCH nicer...downhill with the wind at our back). It was a good relatively leisurely ride ending with really good food at Cheeburger (have you noticed how wonderful food tastes after working out?). We really had a great time biking and the trail is relatively flat and easy to handle.

Now that we've got the momentum going (HA, one bike ride so far, that's momentum?) we're trying to bike more often at least until the weather gets ridiculously hot and humid.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Toxic friendships

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