Greetings from Seattle

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Projects and Other Stuff

Tom is stiff and sore today after spending too much time under a bathroom sink.

The basin in the guest bathroom was leaking and had been chipped when we had the roof replaced. I know, that doesn't make sense, unless you know that there is a skylight right over the sink. It was replaced too, but in the process the workmen dropped some of it through the hole and chipped the sink. That was  a long time ago. 

Saturday we went shopping for a new sink. On Monday Tom began replacing the old sink. He had to shut off the water at the main line out by the street, and it didn't seem to shut off. He called the water department and they sent someone out Tuesday morning.  It was just a matter of letting the line drain long enough. 

So back in business. Out with the old sink, shut off the water, hook up the new cut off valves.

 Oh oh. Something is not working. Check the instructions. 
Damn. He had the wrong size cut off valves. Take out the sink, remove the caulking, go buy the right size valves. 
 More crawling under the sink. Shut off the water. Check for leaks. (I was on standby, on the phone with him, just in case there was a gusher.) All was good. Get the cut off valves in place, hook up the sink plumbing, all underneath the cabinet, of course.  Then clean up all the messes.

It's done, and looks good. Tom will recover. I think it will be awhile before he takes on another plumbing project, however. 
Meanwhile, I decided to make raspberry syrup. Since we don't have kids here anymore, the raspberries we grew and put in the freezer haven't all been eaten. I had seven quarts from two years ago, plus some from last year. I decided to thaw out the oldest ones, extract the juice, and make syrup. That was a two day project also: thawing the berries and putting them through a fine mesh sieve, then wrapping the rest of the pulp in cheese cloth in a wire strainer, weighting it down and letting it drip over night. 
 I added sugar to the juice and boiled it about 30 minutes, reducing it down a bit. I scalded fruit jars and lids - I just happened to have several wide mouth and a couple of regular size canning lids- and filled the jars with hot syrup.
 Yay! They all sealed. I'll give most of it to Jill and Jake. It is delicious in club soda for raspberry spritzers, on ice cream, over sliced fresh summer fruits, and even on pancakes!

The tomatoes are beginning to turn red. I picked the first one yesterday to save it from gnawing critters. Squirrels, rats? Not sure, and not nice. 
Late in the afternoon I saw these thunder heads forming. We had a few showers during the day,
 But the storms headed for the mountains, where the rain will help with the forest fire danger. 
Now we're back to sunny weather for a few days. We'll take it!


  1. Keeping up a house is a never ending job. Raspberry syrup sounds wonderful. Never thought of such. We're loving these beautiful days with temps in low 80s and high 70s. Love the clouds in one of your photos.

  2. Oh your poor husband... I hope he has recovered. Your raspberry syrup sounds delicious and can now be used in various ways. I had fully intended to make raspberry lemonade this summer but didn't get around to it. Darn.
    Our tomatoes are also just starting to get red and I'm hoping no critters will gnaw away at them ( like they did last year!!). Mind you, now my DH has got rat bait "traps' set up as well as the old fashioned kind of trap with a bit of cheese to tempt them away from the veggies.

  3. Ah-ha! I picked my first ripe tomato last week! Picked three more yesterday. I planted 18 tomato plants, so I'll soon be canning and freezing tomatoes and making roasted tomato sauce. Love roasted tomato sauce. Your husband's sink project sounds like a typical Ken project with unexpected detours.

  4. Ah bathroom projects - we had one too recently. The raspberry syrup looks really good and so do your tomatoes. Ours are nowhere near red yet.

  5. The sunny weather is good for the tomatoes. Mine are just now beginning to ripen, too. Glad Tom got that project finished, it sounds like it was no fun at all. :-)

  6. raspberries in any thing is delicious...we can't grow tomatoes here too hot. hmm...even our strawberry plants are scorched but the monsoon rains have come to bring welcome relief from the heat!

  7. Congratulations to the plumber. You sound like us in the plumbing dept. After much trial and error we get there. We can shut our water off right in the house. Now I don't have any ripe tomatoes yet!

  8. Some things are just never easy. Plumbing is one of those things. Mike would have tackled a job like this and it would have involved at least one extra trip for a part that was not the right size! All there of his brothers and his son are/were professional plumbers.

  9. This is why we always call the plumber. I can't imagine changing the sink ourselves. Too much stress. Anyway, I am glad your project had a happy ending.

  10. I feel Tom's pain. I crawled under a sink one time to change out the fixtures. It is awkward, difficult and there is no way to get comfortable. Know he is glad it is done.
    Those are some cool ideas on how to use the syrup.

  11. I wish I could still do more DIY projects. I don't think I would have tackled the sink but in the old days I would have at least tried to fix something. Oh well.... I didn't make ice dyes in the old days so a trade off.

  12. My tomatoes are such a disappointment this year.


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