Inspired by a little-known picture book from the pen of Bethany Tudor, this is a diary, of sorts, where I document some of my thoughts, activities, and ideas as I explore the challenges met by the characters in the story: hard work, the care and nurture of others, housekeeping skills, life changes, charity, community, and cooperation, among others. Like Samuel and Samantha, the ducks in the tale, I struggle and succeed, cope and celebrate, work and play, handling the tasks that come my way. I invite you to join me on my journey.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

PR: East Wall Shingles

Time for a progress report!  Since we began this project on July 3, 2012, I thought it was about time to provide some photographic evidence that work was actually proceeding.  Read more.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

So, No More Aching Back...Maybe

This past week I found something that could possibly rid me of years of nagging lower back pain and periodic sciatica:  the Thompson Maneuver.  Developed by orthopedist Alec Thompson, M.D., the exercise works to properly align the sacroiliac joints that lie between the sacrum and the hipbones...Read more.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

King Richard and the Sharpie Marker, Part 2

If you recall from part one of my story, this is what I started with:

The dryer door, stained with marker.
The dryer drum, a Sharpie victim.
Now, it is time for part two of the saga.

On Monday (7/9/2012), I had planned to go shopping for some type of solvent that would remove the dreaded black marks from the Gooseberry Lane dryer.  Fortunately, I was saved from that task by the suggestion of King Richard's co-worker.  A while back, the guys had "field day," an old Navy term for cleaning day, where one of the tasks was to remove Sharpie marker from linoleum tile.  They used a product called SoyGel and it got the job done.  After King Richard shared his marker story, one of the men suggested I try the same thing on the dryer.  Since we had some SoyGel in the garage, I gave it a go.  This was the result:

The dryer door, clean once again.

A closer look at the dryer drum.
As you can see, the paint remover worked well, at least on this small job.  The bigger problem was just inside the dryer door, to the left of the lint catcher.  This is a picture of the "lighter" stain to the right of the lint catcher.

Thinking that some type of graffiti remover would still be faster, I stopped by the local hardware store on my way back from dropping Katherine the Great at organ practice.  Finding no Krud Kutter brand products, I settled on Zinsser Graffiti Remover instead.  It helped to cut through the worst of the mess at the start of each removal session.  But to really banish the staining, I had to use the SoyGel just as if I was tackling painted woodwork or window trim, leaving the paint remover in place just long enough to wipe out the stains but not so long as to eat through the paint.  Then, to really make sure I was neutralizing the stripper and protecting the surface, I wiped the area I was working on with soapy water every few minutes.  It was a very tedious job.

But...after six long days with no dryer, here is the reclaimed appliance:

The dryer drum, cleaned and polished.
A bit cleaner near the lint filter.

It isn't perfect, but it will do.  It is certainly an improvement over what I faced last Sunday (7/8/2012).  The washer needed some treatment, too (about ten minutes worth!).  A few dabs of SoyGel and a thorough cleaning with Washer Magic, it went from this:

The washer drum with only a tiny stain.

to this:

Stain-less and looking great!

Now for the next task:  catching up on all the laundry!

Note:  No compensation, financial or otherwise, was received for this blog post.

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King Richard & the Sharpie Marker, Part 1

Sunday, July 08, 2012

King Richard and the Sharpie Marker, Part I

This afternoon, while discussing a change of location for our clothes dryer with my husband, I noticed a black smudge on the inside wall of the washing machine drum.  King Richard speculated that the stain might have come from a pen that he left in the pocket of a shirt that he had included in the last load of laundry.  Slightly panicked, I checked the dryer, where that last load of wash had just finished its cycle.  When I opened the dryer door and removed the clothes, this is what greeted me (see photo at right).

Sharpie marker vs. dryer
After a few seconds of dismay, I just laughed.  What else could I do?  I called my family from the house (our dryer is currently in the garage), so they could enjoy the sight, too.  We all laughed, even my husband.  After cancer, what is so threatening about an appliance full of scribbles?  Frankly, I'm a little surprised it didn't happen when my daughter was younger.  Following the adage, "There is no problem so big that it cannot be solved," Katherine the Great and I headed to the Internet for advice, landing on the suggestion of Krud Kutter Graffiti Remover.  Unable to find any today, I tried removing the marks with rubbing alcohol and acetone to no avail.  Consequently, I now have solvent shopping on my list for tomorrow.  I will let you know how I fare.

Oh, and it wasn't a pen that did the damage to our dryer, as you might have suspected from the photo.  No, it was a Sharpie marker:  the large, wide-tipped, industrial-strength variety that King Richard uses at work to write on big cardboard boxes, shipping containers, and the like.  You gotta love a man who does his own laundry.  :)

Note:  No compensation, financial or otherwise, was received for this blog post.

Saturday, July 07, 2012

Finally On the Same Page

Thus far on 7MR Restoration, I have chronicled a few ideas about what I would like to see on the inside of our house, some interesting products that I have encountered along the way while looking for remodeling ideas, and some qualities of my house that I admire/enjoy.  Well, the other day while King Richard and I were in our Toyota Tundra, talking on the way to a destination so memorable it slipped my mind, I finally realized that he WILL NOT help decorate or improve the inside of our abode unless and until the outside is finished.  Hmmm.  He swears he has been saying this for years (really?).  Apparently, it only took twenty years for me to hear him. His logic for refusing assistance is sound:  it makes no sense to decorate the inside when the outside isn't sealed against the elements.  How can I argue that point?  The result of this watershed conversation is that the home improvement projects (at least for the time being and at least for this summer) will be focused on upgrading the exterior of our home.  Read more.