Quest Fulfilled

I often go the free section of Craigslist. Mostly it’s just for fun, but for a long time, I have been searching for a free piece of granite (or other stone) countertop. I’d like to use it as a table surface next to my firepit.

I’ve seen it offered a few times, but I was never fast enough. Yesterday, I saw an offering on the Washington DC Craigslist site. I was at VBS, so I emailed quickly and said I could be there by 1pm. The guy answered and said the first person didn’t work out, and I was second in line! Woo hoo!

I was closer to DC because I was already in Catonsville, but it still took me an hour to get there. He had left the granite in the alley. It was a 3ft by 3ft piece, and two small backsplash pieces.

The backsplash pieces were heavier than I expected. When I bent to pick up the 3 by 3, it simply didn’t move. I pulled on it, and it just stayed there. It was HEAVY! I got in proper lifting position so I could use the strength of my legs instead of my back, and I heaved. It came up. Whew!

When I got home, I used my handtruck to move it. That was much easier. I have a firepit tabletop! Woo hoo! Now I somehow have to build a base for it with all the rocks I have…

It's black with some green.

It’s black with some green.

Posted in Journal | 2 Comments

2 Responses to Quest Fulfilled

  1. Lauren says:

    Well, now your Craigslist surfing will be unquenchable, won’t it? What a great find! I am amazed that you didn’t pop all your joints lifting that. I guess your weeks of hard manual labor have paid off. 🙂

    Hooray for fire accessories!

  2. Carol says:

    Yesterday’s gym workout facilitated through a Craiglist find – way to multi-task!

    Looks lovely but even thinking about anything with “fire” in the name in weather like this makes me queasy.

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Slow Drain

Yesterday was another day of VBS, but it was over at noon. I stayed a little late to clean up from yesterday and set up for today, then headed home. On my way home I stopped at Lowe’s. I’m looking for porch railings. I didn’t find any, but I did find a zip-type sink un-clogger.

My upstairs bathroom sink has been draining slowly. I have tried several things now, but decided to give a mechanical cleaning method a try. I’ve seen these little zip un-cloggers, but never tried one. Until now.

Simple and cheap.

Simple and cheap.

I got nothing. There was a little bit of something dark on one of the sharp thingies, but other than that, nothing.

I’ll have to find another way to make my sink drain faster. I suspect the problem is after the P-trap.

Posted in Journal | 6 Comments


Yesterday I took a break from working on the porch so I could help with VBS at my church. I will be doing it all this week. I am the Storyteller. It’s nice, because the materials supply a script and suggestions for objects and activities to involve the kids.

I was nervous and excited, so I missed the beginning gathering in the morning, but here is the ending gathering at noon:

A nice-sized group.

A nice-sized group.

I was also excited about my storytelling room. I used the coffee and donuts room of the church. I blocked all the windows to make it dark, filled it with various potted plants, and lit it with blacklights. The kids liked it.



Today we talk about Jesus and Peter walking on water. The book suggests having the kids walk across a cornstarch/water mix, which is liquidy if you’re slow, and solid if you’re fast. I’m doing it! It will be so fun!

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Repairing the Porch, Day Eight

After I went to church yesterday, I stayed to work at church a little while. I am the Storyteller in VBS this year. I am excited about it! The first order of business is to make my storytelling room look like a cave. I got a good start, then headed out for some supplies. I’ll finish decorating this morning. VBS starts at 9am, so I have lots of time.

When I got home, Karl and I talked about the next step. On Saturday, we had already determined how to cut the 45 degree joints and set them with some temporary screws.



The tricky thing is that the whole porch slopes away from the house to shed water. That means the 45 degree cuts also have to have a small undercut to them so the boards don’t form a ridge when pressed together. Brent and Karl and I figured out how to do those cuts on Saturday. Yesterday, Denis and I reproduced the cutting method and cut the rest of the joint boards.

Looking nice!

Looking nice!

We only had to do a couple more straight cuts to have enough boards to dry-fit the rest of the porch, so we did it. Then we cleaned up the work area and put all the tools away. After we leaned the old railings in place, and the porch almost looked normal.

I don't have the new railings yet.

I don’t have the new railings yet.

Karl and I are taking a day off today. I’ll be able to use the extra time to prep for VBS.

Posted in Projects, Repairing the Porch | 4 Comments

Repairing the Porch, Day Seven

Brent and I stayed up really late on Friday night, so we had a hard time getting up yesterday. Also, I think the week of hard labor was catching up with us. By the time we got out to the porch, it was already HOT. We chatted with Karl about how the flooring boards might be laid out. It’s a precise process, so you have to take your time. We only got a few things done before it was time for Brent to go to the airport.

At the airport, Brent and I realized we hadn’t taken a beard selfie yet. Both of us have been letting our beards grow while we worked. Brent had a head start, but his is longer than it’s ever been. Mine was only starting to fill in, and I hadn’t done any grooming, so it was just wild face hair. We took a quick picture as I dropped Brent off.

I have more white hairs than the last time I grew out my beard.

I have more white hairs than the last time I grew out my beard.

When I got home, I slept for an hour, then chatted with Karl a little bit. We agreed to meet later when it was cooler.

We got the first boards in place, and started spacing other boards out next to them. We have a question about the size of screws the company uses, and a question about screw spacing. There is some conflicting information. I’ll need to call them tomorrow. In the meantime, we’ve been tacking the boards down with smaller screws that we’ll take out later.

So exciting!

So exciting!

Posted in Projects, Repairing the Porch | 2 Comments