Monday, December 21, 2015

The Sink Saga

Did anyone else see Star Wars last weekend? I loved it!!! I shall say no more. No spoilers here :)

But speaking of sagas, I have had an ongoing one with my kitchen faucet. At some point when I was in Mexico City, the water pressure in the faucet dropped. Now, my condo has amazing water pressure normally- you could probably pressure wash a deck with it. So this drop was very noticeable- it was down to a trickle! If we wanted to do dishes we had to port water from the bathroom with the kettle or let it run for a good 20 minutes while doing something else. It was so annoying.

I called the building super the next day and he said they had just started doing some repairs related to water pressure values and that must be the cause and basically told me to wait until the repairs are done for him to come check my unit. Well to make a long story short, the repairs went on for a MONTH. Finally this past Wednesday they announced the repairs were complete...but I still had no water pressure. Hmm.

It dawned on me on Thursday that I could just test the water pressure myself to see if the issue was my pipes or my faucet. So I cleared out under the sink on Friday night and got to work! PS- the urge to build, clean, or repair seems to hit me at odd times. Hence how I found myself under the sink on a Friday night when I was home alone.

Also, please don't judge my iPhone pics. Plumbing is not the time for photography.

Anyway, I set up a bucket under one of the pipes, turned off the water, disconnect the hose for the faucet, and covered the open hole with a baggy (my dad's idea!). I turned on the water a tiny bit and it ERUPTED with water pressure, Huh. So problem had apparently been my faucet the whole time.

After that there was an hour or two of various weird ways to try and find the problem, which we assumed was a blockage in the hose. I won't go into details, but it was hilarious and 100% would have made plumbers pee their pants laughing at me. :)

Finally after all this time I actually read the install manual for my faucet and at the very end in tiny writing it was all "if you have low water pressure, try checking for debris in the second screen in the faucet". I had NO idea there was a filter beyond the aerator.

I had to unscrew the faucet head (which, I will add, I didn't even know came off). Also- note to all you budding plumbers out there- do not let go of the hose after the faucet head is removed because it WILL snap back into the hole and you will need pliers and a prayer to get it back out again.

And Bam! There was the 2nd screen with a putrid green ball of I-don't-know-what stuck to it!!! I had to use pliers to get it out. I took a picture, but I had a trouble getting the phone to focus. But then, I guess no one would want to see this grossness in focus. It was like if one of Kermit the Frog's toes had gangrene.

Oh, and the next day a friend was kind enough to point out that we had been drinking water out of this faucet with the frog toe in it for the past month. So thank you for that reminder, my friend.

Anyway, I screwed the faucet all back together and now it works again!! There is also a very slight leak from the back of the faucet head (where I am pointing to in picture 2 shots up). This seems to be a due to a broken seal (completely unrelated to my repair job- I had a leak from here before) but I got it all back together as tight as I could and it is like 99.9% good now.

So yay running water again! It is a Christmas Miracle!

Monday, December 14, 2015

Christmas in the Condo 2015

I love Christmas and I love Christmas decor. I grew up in a house with 3 full Christmas trees and 2 Christmas villages (one of which I still set up to this day). Not to mention I have divorced parents so I also set up a tree at my other parents' house...4 trees! However, in my own place I seem to take a more simplistic approach. I only decorate in the living room, and even still it is just the tree and a couple little decor items. But still, Cam and I are loving having the Christmas decor up and our evenings are always the fireplace channel on TV and Christmas carols played over our bluetooth.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Five Things Friday! anyone there? Bueller?

I know, I know. I should blog more. I haven't even posted about my Christmas decor, which went up 2 weeks ago (man December is flying by!!). But blogging in an open concept condo is very tough because of the amount of cleaning I'd need to do to take photos! Plus winter= no natural light. But the tree is up, the fireplace channel is on all the time and Cam is spending every evening regaling me with Christmas Carols on the electric guitar (dating a musician does have some advantages). Also, I baked a million cookies and cupcakes this week so Christmas spirit is definitely alive in our little home!

Now let's talk about some random goings on!

1. I am buying a new oven and fridge
Last Boxing Day I picked out a new dishwasher and microwave and installed them with my stepfather in January. I didn't expect to wait a whole year to buy a new fridge and oven to go with those, but man does time sneak by! Now Boxing Day sales are coming up again so I have started doing some research. I am pretty sure I am going to get this oven which had good sale prices during Black Friday, but I am not sure yet about the fridge. I am hoping beyond hope that there are some fridges with stainless steel sides. The side of my fridge is very visible so I need to see the fridges in person to see the sides and pick something attractive.

But yay double oven! I hope it goes back on sale! Think how much more baking I could do!!

2. My sink hasn't worked properly for a month
When I was in Mexico, the sink faucet in the kitchen lost a lot of water pressure one day. Now, the water pressure in this condo is usually over the top, so this was alarming. I called the superintendent and he said it was probably related to some water valves they were replacing and repairing. But it has gone on for a MONTH now. I emailed the management office a couple times but only heard "the repairs are ongoing" and then they sent all units a letter saying they will tell us when the work is completed and then the super will work on each unit still affected on a case-by-case basis. I have heard no update since.

In the meantime my sink is barely usable. It takes a good 20 seconds to just fill a glass with water. And sometimes there is no cold water. I've resorted to getting glasses of water from the bathroom, which just feels WRONG. Sometimes I even transport water from the bathroom to the kitchen using my large measuring cup so I can get the dishes done in a reasonable amount of time.

Oh, and also, what if the problem is with my faucet? See, I literally have no idea what is wrong! The dishwasher actually seems to work OK, but it is a water-conserving dishwasher anyway. I checked the faucet aerator, but beyond that I have no idea what could be wrong. And it is a brand new faucet so I can't see how it would have broken already.

Feel Better Soon, Mr. Faucet

3. I need to spruce up my bathroom
I haven't done much to the bathroom since moving in, except replace the faucet and shower head. WAY back in this year I actually ordered a new towel bar, toilet paper holder, and towel ring for the bathroom, but I have yet to install them. And my old toilet paper holder has been hanging on by a thread since I moved in. Very embarrassing. So I need to spruce up the old bathroom. New paint, install fixtures and maybe take down the giant mirror and put up a mirror and a medicine cabinet? I think I am going to replace the shower curtain with a nice white waffle weave one. I'm thinking of painting the room a blue-y grey so it feels a bit spa like. Thoughts?

Down the line I may also replace the vanity and granite shelf, but that's not on my radar right now. FYI- My toilet stopped working properly the other day and it was a pain in the butt trying to see the problem with that shelf in the way! But the issue was easily fixed...thank goodness.

4. My new Knuckle Lights!
I mentioned last week that I bought some flashlights that strap to your hand for running and I just want to say that I love them! On Tuesday I busted them out for their inaugural journey and they were awesome. They fit nicely on my hand (though I did have to set them to the tightest setting, and I don't have small hands!), they are easy to use with just the push of a button, and they light up very well! They can be set to bright, dim, or flashing too. I set mine to dim to conserve battery. It isn't pitch black where I run so the lights are more so other people can see me.

My only two complaints were that (1) I found them kind of warm once I was sweaty. They are plastic and rubber so they don't breathe too well. But soon I will be in gloves anyway. And (2) the adjustable strap is, in my opinion, backwards. The loose flap of the strap kept tickling my hand because it comes up from the bottom instead of hanging from the top. But these are pretty minor things! Overall they are great!

5. I am been in the condo for over a YEAR!

Can you believe that? It feels like I just moved in, but move in day was Nov 28th 2014 so it has been officially over one year! I still love the new condo. The area is SO much better and I can walk to all sorts of good shops and restaurants. Plus, I love all the space that comes with this place. Cam could have never moved into my old condo. We would have killed each other!

Anyway, happy one year anniversary to my little home :)



I am off for a week over Christmas so I am hoping to clean this pig sty up and take some new photos for a full before and after of the condo for the past year!

Friday, December 4, 2015

Update on Winter Running

So some crazy person (mainly me) signed up for a May 1st marathon. Which means training in the winter. In Canada. Yay.

It seemed like a good idea at the time. Mostly because I was on a half-marathon high and enjoying sunshiny days. I literally forgot how much it sucks to come home at it is already dark and cold. And then I am supposed to leave my parka at home and go back out there and RUN?

Source- The Oatmeal
Anyway, so running has not been going so good. First I took some time off after my half to rest my muscles. Then I had sore muscles from a big workout! Then I was off to Mexico! Then I got sick! Then I had a sore neck!

Basically I managed a few 5Ks on the dreadmill, but that was basically it since my half! Last weekend I finally made it outside to run 5K. It was cold, but thankfully the weather gods have given us a really mild fall and it has barely dipped into freezing at all. Sucky for White Christmases. But nice for runners. And then finally last night I went for my first night run! It was cold (around freezing), and very dark. I did about 7km! I learned a lot too. I learned my route is NOT as well lit as I would like and I learned I was not as visible as I would like! Not good!

Thankfully I am a problem solver and not a quitter (or so I'd like to think) and so I ordered a pair of Knuckle Lights and I get them today!


They are little flashlights that strap onto your knuckles! Kind of pricey, but totally going to get my moneys worth this winter. They have really good reviews so I am hoping they will work out fine!

Up next...figuring out how to run in the snow. Though at this rate, I dont think we will see snow for awhile yet. 

And also,the view at night ain't so bad :)

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