A Day Apart

I am a homebody, and I get rejuvenated by time at home with no one else around. I plow through the things that have piled up to do, and the satisfaction that brings me is immeasurable and necessary. The opportunities, however, to be home alone are few and far between. Wednesday was one of those perfect storms, while a storm raged outside, that both my kids were in school, my wife was parent helping at my son’s school, and my school was off.

I did manage to complete a fairly long laundry list of things to do including laundry. However, the things that I am most happy about are getting some inexpensive bins at the hardware store to organize the crayons and pencils that were stored in closing pencil boxes inside a pull-out drawer. This meant that we had pencils and crayons all over the playroom floor and desk. Now, I hope, there will a chance that they will get put away because the bins are so much more open. We shall see.

The other task, one that had me worried, was replacing some old, wired smoke detectors. As they have begun to give out, I have swapped them out of critical areas, but at this point I was down three. I am sure others will fail soon, and this day was the only time I have had the house to myself for an extended period of time in case I set all of them off at the same time. I thought I would have to chase down the circuit they are all on, turn that off, have all of them chirping at me while I untwisted wirenuts, replaced mounting brackets, drilled new holes and placed new anchors for the mounting brackets, and finally installed the new detectors. It couldn’t have been farther from that. Each detector came with an adapter that just snapped into the current one to convert it to the new style. All of the detectors were mounted to electrical boxes as they should be, but as the previous owner of this house did much of the work not to code I was surprised to find these boxes. All I had to do was loosen the mounting screws to the old brackets and remove them, place and twist the new brackets into place, tighten the screws, snap on the adapter cord, test the new detectors, snap the cable into them, and mount them on the new brackets. What I feared would be all day took only about 5-10 minutes per detector. The most difficulty I had was getting to the third floor stairwell detector. I have to stand on the window ledge and banister to reach it. With this done, I have so much relief at feeling we are fully covered with detectors and that when the next one fails I know how to do the swap.

The things I did today:

  • laundry
  • grocery shopping (twice)
  • hardware shopping (twice)
  • art store shopping
  • tighten screws on kids’ beds
  • smoke detector replacement x 3
  • register wheel locks on our new car (within a year of purchasing it! barely)
  • create letterboxing box (we had so much fun the first time, it is something we need to do again)
  • move boxes upstairs out of our shared office. They had been in our kitchen hall before. Now they are on a shelf, at least.
  • rearranged kids’ playroom a bit. Swapped dollhouse with art table. Table by a window to get light and in a bit of a nook, dollhouse in center of room and accessible. Removed pack and play and redid stuffed animal storage area.
  • replaced one bulb in kids’ playroom light. The ones that shipped with the light are far too dim. Must get some brighter ones that fit the diffuser.
  • put the hose in the basement for the winter. This required some penetrating oil and two large wrenches to separate the hose from the faucet. Next year, I’ll put it on with some teflon tape.
  • Took recycling and compost out. This necessitated shifting the compost from one side of the rotating bin to the standing bin and a bit more maintenance.
  • put away the co-sleeper/pack and play. There were lots of additional parts that I encouraged to fit into the original package. Phew. By this point my son was up from his nap, so he did all of the rest of the things with me.
  • Installed a new toothbrush holder in the kids’ bathroom.
  • taking the neighbors to the train station so they didn’t have to walk in the rain.
  • hanging pictures and art in my office that have sat on a shelf since the office switcheroonie
  • had lunch at 4:00 when I realized I hadn’t eaten. My son had a snack.
  • sorted out swag and info from MassCUE
  • framed a piece of paper (papyrus style) made from celery and onions that I made when I was getting my M.Ed.
  • lots of dishes!
  • and the day is not yet done!
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