We just ordered a set of washing machine anti-vibration pads for our LG front loading machine.

Since we put it upstairs, the whole house shakes when the washer spins up.  Hopefully these rubber pads from GVI Inc will reduce the problem.  They're supposed to be much thicker than the usual rubber pads you get from the home center.


We'll let you know how they work when we get them.

Alright, we got them and installed them under the washing machine.  These are some SERIOUS pads. They are fully 1 inch thick, very heavy, and THEY WORK.  The noise and 'house shaking' is significantly reduced.  An added bonus is that since the pads stick out a bit on either side of the machine, the machine is held AWAY from the side walls of our closet! When the washer used to bang against the side wall, it was tremendously loud.

I would definitely recommend these things to anyone with a front loading machine.

Good Vibrations rubber pads

We've finally decided on a shower system!

After looking at dozens of choices online, and trying to get everything for under $500, we have decided on the Danze 'Parma'.

We're getting two shower heads with individual controls.  One control has a diverter valve so we can feed the shower wand/hand sprayer.

Z actually found this model from Danze years ago.  I guess it's good to know we still like it enough 2 years along to buy it.

Maybe by next weekend we can start installing it!!

Shower control/head with no diverter
Shower control/head with diverter for shower wand
Shower wand and mounting rod

The Danze is about half the price of the Fina though, and since we need TWO of these for our huge shower, it'll probably be the cheaper of the two.

Once we get a couple of shower valves, we can install the cement board and granite!

Danze "South Sea"
Moen "Fina"

Last weekend, we had a pair of woodpeckers eating the suet on our back porch, and plenty of other sparrows, finches, starlings, etc eating the black sunflower from our feeders.

Here are some of the best photos we took.

Mrs. Woodpecker
Mrs. Woodpecker
Mrs. Woodpecker
Some house finches
A Dark Eyed Junco
A couple of sparrows, hanging out
Pair of House Finches
House Finch
Dark Eyed Junco
Mr. Cardinal (we had two males on the same railing!)
Mr. Cardinal
Mr. Cardinal Peeking around the cedar tree
Mrs. Cardinal
Mrs. Cardinal
Nobody loves the birdies more than our Bella
Too much excitement, I'll just...  *yawn* *flop*

After installing the PEX manifold system in the basement, it has been wonderful to not have rusty particles in our water, but one frustration had remained.

It took a very long time for the water to heat up when switching on the taps.  Especially bad was the kitchen, because the water had to travel from the water heater, to the new manifold half way across the house, then back PAST the water heater to the kitchen sink.  It took a total of 21 seconds for the water to heat up, and wasted an entire GALLON of water every time we did this - I checked.

Finally realizing how much water we were wasting, perhaps up to 8 gallons every day, I decided to do something about it.

We went to the hardware store for two unvalved 3-port manifolds ($19 each), and a bag of ancillary goodies totaling perhaps $80.  I then spent about 3-4 hours in the basement on Saturday hooking it all up.

First, I had to solder a cap onto one end of the 1 inch copper manifolds and solder a transition and PEX adapter to the other end.  This made the living room smell like burnt flux.  (Yeah, I did this in the living room - bad husband!)

I tee'd into the 3/4 inch lines for hot and cold water under the downstairs bathroom, and installed the manifolds.

Since I couldn't find my garden shears (the best tool to cut PEX tubing), I had to use a razor knife, which takes forever, is wickedly dangerous and hurts your hands.  Worse yet, I had to actually reuse some of the PEX fittings, which required cutting through the copper crimp rings.  If I have to remove these in-situ, I usually use a dremel, but my battery was flat so that was out of the question.  (that's the one thing that bugs me about battery powered tools - they're never ready to use unless I remember to put them on the charger 3 hours in advance)  I ended up cutting out the fittings and using a chisel and hammer to cut through the rings.  This worked very well and was pretty quick, but it shortens the pipe run by about an inch each time you do it - a fully charged Dremel would have been preferred.

With a bit of head-scratching and some time, everything went back together in time for dinner.

Then Sunday morning, Z took a shower and ran out of hot water about 3 minutes in.  Turns out I forgot the most important step in the whole process - plug the water heater back in.  D'oh!

New manifolds, hung from the ceiling
With explanatory labels
Up close of new manifolds
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