10 Annoying Projects, Part 2

I set out last week to complete 10 small, annoying projects in 10 days.  It took me 6 days to complete the first 5 items, but I was able to complete the 2nd set in 5 days.  So overall I am very pleased!  Although due to the catastrophic & alarming election results I am anything but pleased.  So there’s that.  MEH.


Last Saturday afternoon I tackled one of the harder items on the list:  cleaning the Breville toaster oven I bought from William’s Sonoma in 2011 a few months before meeting my husband.  I splurged and paid $200 for it, the first & only time I’ve ever paid so much for a small appliance!  But as a single girl who cooked 90% of her dinners in a toaster oven it was totally worth every penny.  And Jim & I use it almost every night to heat up stuff for dinner [mostly veggie meatballs or veggie chicken tenders to put in our salads].  It took about an hour to clean with 3 Brillo pads:

312a       312b

After cleaning it I ran it on the broil cycle for 10 minutes to burn off any Brillo residue:



On Sunday I touched up the wall paint in the kitchen, downstairs hall, upstairs hall, bedroom, & bathroom.  Mostly it was either dings in the trim or spots where I’d spackled a hole but never painted over it.

This ding was really high up on the bedroom wall – I needed my big ladder to reach it and it required wall paint [for the left half] & trim paint [for the right half]:

312d        312e

This spackled hole in the upstairs hall was from a failed placement of a cat platform:

312f        312g

Total time to touch up all the walls & trim was about 90 minutes, using 6 different cans of paint [for all the various colors], and waiting for the paint to dry between coats.


On Monday after work I started fixing the newel post at the base of our main staircase.  It’s been loose for years & getting slowly worse.  Recently it’s started physically separating from the staircase:

312h        312n

I wasn’t sure how to fix it.  Hubby suggested squirting wood glue into the gaps, slamming it back into place with a rubber mallet, and then adding support screws.  I didn’t think that was the best idea at first… it seemed rather barbaric.  But after watching YouTube videos and researching “loose newel post” it seems it’s every man for himself since each situation is so different.  I grabbed wood glue, deck screws, my drill, some clamps [which I didn’t end up using], and the rubber mallet.  And of course Bonkers walked by right when I took the picture:


I squirted wood glue into the gaps, slammed the front about 15 times with the rubber mallet, drilled 2 pilot holes, & used the drill to secure the post with deck screws:

312j    312o    312k2

As you can see, the slamming with the mallet step is where I should have slowed down and put a piece of scrap wood in between the mallet and post.  I didn’t think the rubber mallet would mark the wood, but it did.  Crabbit!  The only saving grace is you totally can’t see it unless you’re really looking.  From a normal standing position it looks fine *phew*:


On Tuesday after work I filled in the remaining gaps with wood filler:

312m        312p

And today after work I primed & painted the wood filler – it looks awesome!  And is rock solid – no wobble at all:

312t        312u


On Tuesday after work I moved the couch and thoroughly vacuumed behind/underneath it.  I also moved the few pieces of furniture away from the walls & vac’d behind those.  And thoroughly vacuumed out the baseboard heaters.  It didn’t take long, only about 10 minutes.  The living room is now super clean:

312q        312r2


Today after work I vacuumed the entire bedroom.  I lay on the floor and vacuumed under the bed.  Then I pulled all the furniture away from the walls and vac’d under it and behind it.  I also thoroughly vacuumed out the baseboard heaters.  And gave all the books in my little bookcase a once over both in back and on top.  Phew!!!  It took about 30 minutes.  Darwin did not help, but he showed up afterwards for a photo op:


I am SO GLAD to be done with my list of 10 items!

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  1. You hit me hard with #7. You must be so satisfied with your progress. Jo @ Let’s Face the Music

    • Yes, but now I see more things I’ve been putting off, like cleaning windows – YUK! But yes, very satisfied to have 10 big ones off “the list”.

  2. The toaster oven sparkles like new! Come out and do my microwave? It’s gross. 🙂

    • HA HA HA! I have heard great things about those packets you put in the microwave and “cook” for a few minutes – apparently they shoot moist, soapy heat throughout the box which eats through the grease & crud and makes it easy to scrub off. I have never tried one but my coworkers swear by them!

  3. Well done! The toaster oven and the newel post are the most noticeable differences, but I’m sure it feels good to have them all done. Can you come to my house and work on some? Swim season started Monday so I lost over 12 hours a week.

    • That’s a huge time hit!!! You always inspire me to clean behind and under stuff!!! You are so good with that. I still haven’t moved the stove away from the wall like you do and get in behind/under it… that’s on my next list of 10!

  4. That’s fantastic – what a feeling of accomplishment it must be to have all those projects done – and looking good, I might add!

    • Yes, huge accomplishment! I am so glad they’re off the list and finally done. And I am hoping to keep up with things from now on, like the toaster oven & the dust/cat fur that is beyond Ted’s scope. It’s a lot of work to tackle it all at once!

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