Granite arrives: One step closer to having a usable kitchen again

| April 21, 2017

Here’s a quick slideshow of photos updating the granite countertops to our kitchen remodel after they were installed this past week. Thankfully every measurement was “spot on” and the install went without a hitch (the photos make them look a lot darker than they really are). A couple photos show a sample of the new […]

Simple hack for cleaning the gutters

| March 19, 2017

Although using a leaf blower may be more fun in cleaning the gutters, it can make a mess of everything below. I generally use rubber gloves, but in the end always slice them up and end up with a bare hand anyway. Here’s a great idea: Cut an anti-freeze or similar shaped plastic gallon jug […]

Pondering the last few items we still need for the kitchen project

| March 8, 2017

While waiting for the new kitchen cabinets to be built and delivered, the final decisions need to be made on the under counter lighting, faucets and backsplash tiles. The latter has become quite the struggle. The kitchen designer who is helping has picked a glass tile with a tint of green, but the opinions from […]

Take two: Finally moving ahead on the kitchen project

| January 28, 2017

Designer rendition Last summer we started to plan for a kitchen remodel as our "builder grade" cabinets and mishmash of appliances were in serious need of replacement. We updated our dishwasher and refrigerator already, but need to finish off the final stages once and for all. I’m currently working with a designer and close to […]

Painted and fitted the shelf storage in the laundry room

| January 11, 2017

   The long drawn out "laundry room upgrade" is finally finished as mentioned yesterday, but at least it improves and modernizes what we had. The old GE top-load washing machine was regularly being fixed and the dryer was long past it’s prime … but still working after the "bearing kit repair." The newer graphite color […]

Behind an American favorite TV show – Home Improvment

| November 23, 2016

A little “behind the scenes” history and commentary from my family’s favorite TV show of the 1990s — Home Improvement. Of course anything that Tim Allen does is a favorite of mine. I love his current Last Man Standing show too.

Severed my final tie bringing me back to Sidney, Ohio this week

| September 2, 2016

My brother and I closed our final chapter of "Our Life in Sidney, Ohio" this week after finalizing the sale of my parents home. The "young" new owners have some great plans for their first house and I’m sure will be very happy; it is a great place. They will return life back into the […]

Using Home Equity as a bank or as a credit card?

| August 26, 2016

Using the equity in a home isn’t anything new, but I’m old enough to remember when "we" first started to tap into home equity with Home Improvement Loans. "Back in the day" IRS deductions for interest on consumer credit (car loans, revolving credit, signature loans) were being phased out for all but home mortgages. Creative […]

Busy Estate Sale weekend for the Corbetts

| June 5, 2016

It was a busy weekend for a few of us in our family. My brother, his wife Claire and son Jaben, my cousin Diane and her husband Bert, as well as Brenda and myself decided to self-sell the balance of my mom and dad’s home contents rather than have an auction. It was quite a […]

Great to have your kids appreciate #home

| May 31, 2016

More to go … but recent evenings have been great for yardwork

| April 26, 2016

  Our lawn has never looked greener than this year (above, although cloudy in the photo) even if the landscaping and general cleanup leaves a lot to be desired. Which reminds me, we have a lot to do before calling it summer, but for now just getting the limbs and fallen trees cleaned up is […]

Spring weather is fickle — cold and snow or sunny and warm

| April 17, 2016

What a difference a week can make come April here in Cincinnati. Last Saturday we woke up to snow (backyard photo below) and this weekend after cutting grass Friday night has the grass green and tulips blooming yesterday morning.  Instead of shoveling snow that means yardwork and time to think about spring cleanup. Also wanted […]

Lost a few shingles do to high winds and a new roof

| February 25, 2016

With the early springtime weather we have been having this February, and a new roof towards the end of last year, we lost a few shingles.  It isn’t really a surprise since asphalt shingle need some hot sunny days in order to flex into position and tack themselves to each other. The recent winds came […]

Chimney repairs complete and it looks great too

| January 9, 2016

Thankfully the weather held and the construction was able to continue on the chimney repairs. They completed the final soldering of seams on the stainless steel custom top this morning and were quick to show up and collect the check too. Although this was an expensive surprise after replacing the roof, I’m glad to have […]

The Chimney repairs continue while I play with the RPi

| January 4, 2016

This post is more to test a “borrowed” wireless keypad that is set up on the Raspberry Pi — I’m not fond of the Logitech K400r. The photo to the left is part of the ongoing roof project and continuing chimney repair. In order test the Raspberry Pi’s image serving ability, I uploaded it from […]

Christmas 2015 – a family time

| December 26, 2015

We had a wonderful family time on Christmas day. Taylor came after work on Christmas Eve day and Katelyn and Drew drove from Minneapolis after a half day of work (long day for them), so we were all home for Christmas morning. After our morning gift exchange, which was wonderful, although too much … we went outside and enjoyed […]

Working on the chimney chase with stone veneer

| December 15, 2015

One of the issues we found when replacing our roof last month was a wobbly chimney chase for the fireplace in the house. The original fireplace has a stainless steel chimney that extends from the first floor through the second floor, the trusses and then the “chimney chase” on the roof. The builder must not […]

Fixing a skylight leak leads to replacing the roof on our home

| November 16, 2015

Several of the homes in our neighborhood had some hail damage this summer … ours included. We had damage to the sky light area of our mud room and water has been seeping in when the wind is just right. Unfortunately our insurance would not pay the entire roof OR the entire repairs that we […]

Finally … we bought a new refrigerator

| October 17, 2015

We waited long enough in deciding what to do with our 20+ year old KitchenAid refrigerator as the cheap paint fix can only do so much in extending the life of our old refrigerator. We opted for the Samsung that I’ve been sitting on the fence about for over a year and realized that we […]

The weather in Cincinnati this past weekend was spectacular

| September 21, 2015

It was a beautiful late summer (barely) weekend to hang out around home. Brenda continued her rehab exercises while planning a mid-October return to work, while I enjoyed working around the yard. We both took one more swim in the pool for 2015, watched the Bengals win and enjoyed a gorgeous Sunday evening with a […]

Brenda continues her recovery and new trees planted

| September 14, 2015

As mentioned previously, we made our annual tree purchase this weekend (Swamp White Oaks), as well as added a couple clearance Hydrangeas. Who knows, we may live long enough to see a few mature hardwood trees in our backyard? Also, I can report positively on Brenda’s recovery … she is now walking (with cane or […]

Purchased a couple new Swamp White Oak trees for the yard

| September 13, 2015

Back in 2009, I purchase eleven small year-end-clearance trees from my brother’s home nursery – NativeOhioPlants.com. We had mixed success in that our deer population enjoys both eating the new growth and “deer rubbing” the branches and bark. Unfortunately it killed or mangled more than half the trees that we planted. Since it is autumn […]

Building a Carpenter Bee Trap — Thanks Tim!

| May 17, 2015

Here are instructions for a simple, but effective carpenter bee trapLINK

A dead tree, or two, or three, makes for a big expense

| May 2, 2015

] It is pretty easy to tell that we had a little tree trimming done … but what is not as as easy to tell is how many dollars a few dead and dying trees cost to have cut down … $4000 plus tax! OUCH! I’m usually the ambitious sort when it comes to tree […]

Personal: We moved my dad from rehab to assisted living

| April 17, 2015

I don’t think many of us are properly prepared to make the decisions that are needed to care for elderly parents. Even though my brother and I have been through medical needs, nursing and then hospice care for my mom, we were still not knowledgeable when it came to handling dad. Thankfully, if you have […]

No swimming in the pool yet as there is still snow in the forecast

| March 20, 2015

One of our resident and noisy Mallard ducks woke me up early this morning. He thinks it is time for us to uncover the pool so he can take his partner for a swim as in years past (Link one and two). It’s still early since snow is still being seen across our latitude.

How to idea–Cleaning hard water stains from porcelain

| January 31, 2015

The inexpensive miracle cleaner and kitchen staple known as vinegar has hundreds if not thousands of uses … but few of those uses are as helpful as cleaning and dissolving hard water calcium build up. I use a vinegar mix regularly for window washing, as a way to keep the shower and shower head free […]

Extending the life of our old refrigerator

| January 6, 2015

Back in November I mentioned that I was “backpedaling” before buying a new refrigerator for our kitchen. We decided not to do anything before the holidays and so I figured rather than live with our ugly looking broken refrigerator that I could at least touch up the paint and put in a new light bulb. […]

So much for cheering on global warming. Winter has arrived.

| November 17, 2014

I was hoping the global warming climate change gurus were right … and that at least those of use living in the midwest would have a little longer autumns and milder winters. Just joking, if you are planning to remind me just how serious an issue climate change is. Nevertheless, winter weather has arrived in […]

Refrigerator shopping again, this time for the house

| November 13, 2014

Last year about this time (almost exactly this time) I was shopping for a refrigerator to replace the very old one down in the Florida condo. Ever since then, the aging white Kitchen Aid refrigerator in our house just doesn’t cut the mustard anymore … even though it still keeps the condiments it cool. Ok, […]

Pending Sale: Learn as you go when self-selling a home

| November 6, 2014

After attempting to sell my mother-in-law’s western New York home by using a realtor this summer, the family has decided to forgo the continued “professional” listing and instead do a FSBO listing … handing it off to yours truly. What are they thinking??? I’ve taken on the project and will “learn as I go” (advice […]

Archiving Bing maps aerial photos before they are gone

| October 13, 2014

  Before my childhood home photos are gone from Bing’s Maps, I wanted to archive a couple aerials of the house where I grew up in a rural Curtice, Ohio on Lake Erie. Although my family moved to the “metropolis” of Sidney Ohio when I was in high school, my fondest memories were of growing […]

Our 2014 drainage repair projects are finally finished

| September 21, 2014

It has been a beautiful weekend to work on a few yard projects as the weather was warm, but not hot. A new drain has been on the list for a while, but the trigger stimulated the repair was when I hit the old plastic components with the lawn mower, shattering the grate and the […]

Down the Drain – The downspout and sump drain project

| September 20, 2014

Way back in May I hired a company to fix our downspout and sump pump drains that more than likely have been invaded by roots (also possible to have been crushed?) The company I hired, with a substantial deposit … I’m nicknaming them “Down the Drain” … made excuse after excuse as the summer months […]

Added a new fuel filter to our John Deere 330

| August 11, 2014

  One of the small projects this past weekend was to replace the plastic disposable fuel filter on my John Deere 330 a new inexpensive diesel fuel filter (less than $10). The new filter has a glass site tube and fits my modified fuel lines. The element inside this small filter is replaceable (3 for […]

Using roller casters to increase the height of and old table

| July 17, 2014

When the rain came this past week, I turned to an indoor project that we’ve been tossing around: “How to aesthetically increase the height of an antique table?” After toying with a couple ideas for increasing the height of my mother-in-laws old table that we now have in our kitchen, I opted for adding ball […]

Loafing … or living a dog’s life

| June 24, 2014

Our dog Tootsie is content to sleep most of her day away on the cement floor rather than patrolling the property as she did years ago. I suppose having failing eyes, being deaf and nearly 16 earns her the perquisite of  spending hot summer days lazing on the cool garage floor? (she didn’t even wake […]

Family weekend and visited a “first house” project

| March 24, 2014

It was a whirlwind week ending visit for Taylor as he was home from North Dakota for a visit with his friends in Cincinnati, Oxford (Miami University) and Cleveland. He also found time for family and picked up sister Katelyn in Columbus on his return from Cleveland. He drove her home for the weekend as […]

Spring as sprung and flowers are blossoming everywhere

| April 22, 2013

Although we were hoping the tulips would be in bloom for Katelyn and Drew’s wedding (tulips for the “Dutch” Oostra … not that it mattered), they didn’t quite start blossoming until the other day. In fact everything is now blooming and the smells are fantastic.   

Repaired a long overdue dripping faucet this past weekend

| March 11, 2013

After 30 years of replacing seats, springs and stems in Delta style faucets, I had my first Moen cartridge repair this weekend. Ours has been dripping for about a year now (hot side only) and after the basement flooding I’ve decided it was time to finally fix this kitchen faucet too. The all in one […]

Desultory - des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee

  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.