My research into finding a great toilet

I have taken a lot of time and effort this week to find a toilet that fits the household requirements. Truthfully, we want something that has a decent flush that still doesn’t consume the amount of water the old style flushing systems do. I think that the ball park figure for those was something crazy like three and a half gallons with each flush. We will be looking for the complete opposite of this. A environmentally friendly toilet that consumes less than one point six gallons, and preferably as low as one point two eight.

Quite specific requirements, but from my research around the web, there is plenty of toilets that meet them. Whilst that is the most important feature we’re looking into, there are still plenty of other considerations like the seat height, do we want a bidet or not, and bowl shape. We don’t want to overlook these as we want the full package, and finding the best rated toilets often means looking into each of these things individually to find something that fits your bathroom size and shape.

We are leaning towards getting a KOHLER, simply because the amount of choice they bring to the table. They offer plenty of efficient options that look fantastic. In fact the Memoirs stately comfort is one of the first products that caught my eye, but it doesn’t look like our rough in matches. So the search goes on for a toilet that provides a ten inch rough in.

The bowl will need to be smooth, and made from china to ensure that when water pours into it, the area self cleans easily. It will also have to be a somewhat elongated shape and of a comfortable chair height.

Then there are several accessories that go hand in hand with all this, and that whether or not we need a soft close toilet seat, a bidet, or even a heated seat. These are all things we’re taking into account and I must admit, it’s tempting to make a rash decision when you look at the technology that helps ensure user comfort. We are however leaning towards getting the bidet attachment, it seems the way forward, and much more hygienic than the old style.

A day out at the garden center

My worst nightmare came true this week. We spent what seemed like several hours at the local garden center to buy some flowers for the new flower boxes i’m tasked with fitting. Now, not many men like shopping, but shopping for plants and stuff? No thank you!

I feel it’s not something I should even turn up for as anything I pick out gets immediately shot down. How about this one? No, no, that’s horrible, I don’t like the colors. Yes I’m mad. Don’t like my choices, don’t bring me along.

Anyway, after what felt like an age, we ended up bringing back some lawn care items, about fifteen plant pots, some other pond accessories, and a mini fountain birdbath. Barely fit in the back of the car and could easily of been two trips. Absolute nightmare. However, the following day was a Sunday, so I was expecting a lie in, but woke up to the nagging of ‘can you help plant these flowers’ etc.

So after several more hours of working outdoors, still tired from the previous days antics, there I am planting everything and then I’m asked to move it. Bad day for me is an understatement.

Yard maintenance – stocking up on the garden tools

When clearing out my garden shed, something hit me. The major noticeable thing I saw was a distinct lack of tools hanging from the wall, and certainly nothing of note in regards to pruning and trimming back plant life in the garden. So on Thursday, I have set aside $600 dollars to go shopping for various garden tools including pole saws, some spades, forks, and some new grass seeds to repair the dying grass from lack on sunlight.

The idea is to stop this discoloration of grass by trimming back the trees using a (hopefully), popular, highly rated pole saw. Time will tell whether or not I make the right decision on that front, as I simply have no idea what to look for, other than vague information relating to bar and reach measurements, alongside the power type of either gas or electric.

Hopefully by looking at various buying guides around the web, I will find what model and brand is right for what I need. The reason I’m choosing a pole saw over say, a chain saw? Well I have a fear of heights, and getting up on a ladder with a power tool just doesn’t appeal to me. I think people that do that type of work are insane anyway, but not to worry, with the additional reach, my feet will be firmly, and safely it should be added, on the ground.

The fork and spades will be the additional smaller tools I need to give the flower bed a makeover, as well as digging up the old grass and turning it over to plant new seeds, making use of the new found sunlight, once the pruning and trimming work is done on the biggest trees in the garden. That’s a little way off yet, but there is no harm in planning right?

The fences will also need replacing as the last storm that blew in from the coast has loosened several of them, so I will either be hiring a builder to re plan the fence posts, or I will be finding time to do that myself to save money. The major expense here will no doubt be the pole saw, but I think it will be a long term investment as the trees will be bound to of grown back by next winter, and require more cutting and trimming on the branches.

Fitting a new heating system

Problems arose when we first moved in with how cold each of the most used rooms were. For example, the living area, dining room, and bedrooms were far too chilly and we had to buy a top rated wood stove or two to improve the warmth distributed throughout the house. It’s a great temporary solution for the whole house, but we need something more permanent in place in time. This is what my husband will be working on over the next couple of months.

The wood stoves won’t go to waste however. They will be used in the living area, slotting into the old fireplace next to our television set. In fact, we have been looking at getting another one for the kitchen, which can get a bit chilly as well. I’ve had a look at reviews online on the Warm Home Guide who have some fantastic buying guides showing what the best wood stoves are, and they organize them from the top rated, to the lowest. This has saved us a bit of time and money, as we now have one model in mind that should do the job nicely.

Then there will be the task of knocking down multiple walls in several different rooms, to fit them with insulating products and retain heat better, especially in the winter months. Not only that, but it will keep the heat out in the summer months where it can get blisteringly hot down here.

The sooner this is done the better in our eyes because it paves the way for the rest of the work including decorating the walls with wallpaper, tiles and paint. But we can’t do any of that till the walling is well insulated.

It’s going to be a long couple of months, but we can see the changes having an enormous effect on how we feel in day to day life. What we don’t want, is visitors coming round the house and complaining how cold it is. That would be quite embarrassing, wouldn’t it? So hopefully we will avoid that once the main changes are in place.

One thing we didn’t mention, is that we are also looking at getting some kind of floor heating, because of the old floorboards are letting a bit too much cold air through, making everyone’s feet cold when they walk around the house without shoes. Not quite sure what the solution is yet, but there does appear to be some electric mat solutions online that we will be  researching further into.

My blog documenting home life in the Clarence household

As the forth child, growing up was tough, but it was handy having other siblings around to rely on. We all went to the same school, lived under the same roof, and hung out together in our spare time. We were all within 5 years apart of one another in age, so we still had plenty in common to chat about.

This blog is dedicated to the fun times, and current problems life throws at us all, and how we have all pulled through them. In time, you will be hearing from each of the siblings with some fantastic stories to share with you all.

Growing up in a leafy suburb, somewhere in the bible belt of the good ol’ USA were 2 sisters, and 2 brothers. We had an amazing old house that had tons of space, and acres of green fields and woods to run about in. It was the perfect location for hide and seek and whatever else we wanted to do.

our old houseWe had a ball making our own tree house in the back yard, which on a recent visit to the old property – whom a friend purchased from our parents, is still intact, albeit a few rotting pieces of wood. Not sure if it’s safe to climb up there, but it truly was a work of art for us. It looked terrible on the outside, but once you got inside, it was transformed into a secret hideout, which was fantastic.

We also had a small pen where we kept chickens for fresh eggs for breakfast. Gone are those pens, but the old house is still looking great.

Today, I live in a more modest property, which is nothing to get excited about, but it’s perfect for myself and my husbands needs. We have recently embarked on a project to re-fit most of the house from the ground up. Why, I hear you ask, don’t we just purchase a new build? Well, that’s because it’s in a great location, and should we wish to start a family of our own soon, this is where I would want to raise it.

Anyway, back to the home improvement work needing to be done, we are aiming to completely overhaul the living area, bathroom, kitchen, bedroom, and the back yard. We are also considering putting a new driveway in place of the front lawn, as street parking has become a nightmare in our locality. So the bottom line is, you will be hearing a lot more about these projects as we work on them.

In fact, we have already been going through as many DIY guides online like those on Do it yourself. There is a lot to take in, but we’re working on that, and are beginning to put plans in place to start with some simple demolition work on the back end of the property. So we will soon see what our capabilities are ourselves. It may be that we need to enlist a builder, but we want to try it our way at first. Here’s to hoping that’s not a big mistake.