Monday, August 8, 2011

Funny Story, or Murphy's Law (they are really the same thing)

Of course the flooring project dragged on forever, it is in fact still dragging on --- there is still the tedious job of trim work and caulking and touch ups and the such.  But there is always the darkest moment before the dawn and we are past that now.  The following is the story of those darkest WEEKS!!!

The project actually moved remarkably smoothly until we hit the second fireplace with its crazy angles and the staircase (which we righteously fubared)  With those rather substantial blows to Robert's patience and my confidence, we embraced the work zone environment that we have lived in much of our life together.  (I'm not saying it was the right thing to do, just the comfortable thing)  Works in progress were left untouched, scraps scattered about, piles to jump over, things like that.  The front porch became a catch all for yard sale, displaced items, and the saw set up.  It wasn't pretty....

So, naturally, that is when the insurance adjuster showed up to take pictures!  I wanted to scream "Oh GOD, why did my mother have to be right about this?"  But I smiled and gulped, slightly relieved she wasn't the health department having realized that the beagle is a menace to society, and took her on the tour, trying to explain we weren't crazy white trash hoarders, just a really great lost episode of Renovation Realities.  For her part she was very nice and sympathetic, but she still kept taking pictures of the disaster.

That would have been humiliating enough, but then the phone call comes 10 days later that she now needs to do an inside inspection.  though she refuse to admit it, I am positive that this is because the underwriter saw our hot mess and did not approve.  I stalled for time, and got 3 weeks...

So i yard saled, and hauled off, went through no less than half a dozen magic erasers in the kitchen alone.  There were multiple trips to the dump, and good will.  Robert was brow beaten into doing what I perceived as potential safety violations; hanging the handrails back up, and new batteries in the smoke detectors.  We also spent father's day at Lowe's and running new electrical upstairs. My hands were raw, my nerves were frazzled and the flower beds didn't get weeded.  But considered where we had started from I was satisfied with what she would be walking into.

She was again beyond pleasant , and even said "I hope you didn't clean for me"---yeah right!! and took 4 pictures, one of the heat pump, one of the circuit breaker, one of the kitchen and one of the living room,  She never walked into any other room, even though WALT begged her to go upstairs...

When she left I stood on the sidewalk and thought REALLY?  Then I came to my senses and called Janice and told her to come straight over and hang out, the house was as clean as it was going to get. . . ..

The fresh flowers were a nice touch I thought.

Amazing how empty it looks without recycling overflow.

Some of the child directed artwork remains. . .

It smelled even better than in looked!!

The much beloved new bedroom!!

Every piece washed, and about 20% had gone into yard sale!

I think that there will be tool corner for as long as we live here.

Doesn't everybody have a tee pee in their living room??

Monday, June 27, 2011

Barrelling ahead at the astonishing speed of negative 55 mph

We seem to be stuck in the construction reality of the more we do the more that needs to be done. Work begets work so to speak.

The floor itself is 100% finished in 3 of the 4 rooms, and my mother, who is always SO helpful and supportive and demure, has pointed out how much better the house smells...
cheap carpet + multiple puppies = acidic smells

Our bedroom, the first room is 90% finished... paint is done, quarter round is down, furniture is largely in the correct place.  The hope chest needs to come downstairs and then painted to match the furniture to serve as TV stand.  several pictures both large and small need to hung, a small hole needs to be mended in the closet (which will hopefully help cut down on the number or farmhouse mice we get in the winter) and then there is the mantle.  we have all the materials, just nervous about the tiling process. so it has been setting there for approximately a month.

The living room has the floor and some quarter round and some painting, it is currently housing the majority of the tools and misplaced stuff, and some yard sale stuff and a tee pee.  Don't believe me?

The steps are currently under construction.  Like the mantle, it's a bit of uncharted territory.  As I type this 8 are installed with 5 left to nail down.  Then there will be holes to patch and that should be interesting, updates on that dilemma for certain.  Here's the progress so far:

The most exciting news of the last week or so is that Slinky has come to peace with the wood steps and is now moving freely through the house again.  No more hours of whining waiting for rescue!!!

The black hole/junk room has also been floored, just this weekend, with paint and a major change in purpose and furniture, pics coming in the next update!!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

First the walls

I had a plan.  A brilliant, researched plan.  The plan was to take EVERYTHING out of the bedroom, or the blank slate method.  I call it the "reality tv intervention" method.
This did not happen.  There was a fair amount thrown under a tarp on the porch, where some still lives (the truth is ugly sometimes).  The rest got moved around.  What wasn't stepped on or dripped in paint got to stay.  That was a mini purge of its own.

But plan be damned the walls got painted.
This color:

Which looks like this on the walls:

The mighty WALT was a mighty big help  (he paints in minimum clothing for ease of clean up)

There is always that moment where you have trouble determining what is wet and what is dry, what needs a second coat and what is safe to set furniture against.  This is that moment for the big man:

But by the next afternoon we called it good.  Trim work and touch ups can drag on forever.  All you can see are the tiny flaws. . . .
Still I think it turned out pretty great . . . . . The walls look pretty great anyway.

As for that pile, well that is the next step  . . .

Monday, May 16, 2011

And So It Has Begun (the massive remodel)

I am hoping to document this whole mad project in some type of coherent photographic sequence

As for a quick-ish explanation:  The beloved farmhouse is old and therefore drafty, cold and crooked.  The living room floor is particularly miserable in the winter, you can feel the $$$ slowly seeping out.  We had added two layers of insulation under the floor.  We also added a propane fireplace.  It is STILL frigid.
At the same time, the junk room black hole has become Slinky's emergency bathroom and the smell is unpleasant and impossible to completely nix.  The carpet is also the cheapest carpet ever made and poorly installed.  So with some careful budgeting and a sell at Lumber Liquidators, we became the proud owners of 1000 square feet of prefinish 12mm hard wood.  It was 47 boxes.  It took two loads in the pickup.  That was a long day.  My arms hurt.  There were massive piles of boxes everywhere.

We started in our bedroom:
Not like it needed it or anything.  the lovely red trim with the black laquer furniture.  The catch all of holidays, mismatched socks, and clothes in need of attention.
The color choice seemed so perfect when it was a 2 year old boys room.  But for the last year it has caused more than one restless night.  I may have created all his midnight terrors with this awful paint!!
But there are small pieces I will miss:
and this:
No one was more eager to help with WALT, and we started with ridding ourselves of the red:

Big Man got the high spots:

And by the end of Day 1, we were here:

If only it had stayed so simple, but that's for another post!!!

Monday, May 2, 2011

A Descent into Chaos

Guess what is happening at my house????

pay careful attention to the ears . . . .

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Updates on progress from the black hole!

The weather "washed out" our plans for the yard last weekend, so I talked the hubs into a blitz through the black hole! In about an hour and a half we emptied 4 boxes, took 3 boxes of yard sale items to the building, started a 4th yard sale box, and took down to big bags of trash.  There was even a wide enough path to bring out the Dyson for a vacuum!
Here are the pics . .  refer back to the Feb. post to compare before and mid point (we aren't really at after yet)
This we we have a shortned spring break and so I am hoping to make some additional progress!

Humble tricks of the trade I have mastered

It is nice to wake up to a clean house on Sunday morning.  VERY VERY NICE, addictingly nice.  And I think I've figured out how to make that a weekly ritual of this karmic high.  Dinner guests on Saturday night!!  I like to cook, I like company so it's a win, win, win for me.  It also motivates the hubs to get more involved, which is like double bonus point score.  As a tag team (and excluding laundry and WALT's room, which I did Friday night) it took just over an hour to straighten, vacuum, mop and wipe down the rest of the house.  Then there is good food, good company and the unmatched feeling of a guilt free Sunday morning with my coffee and a good book (current reading is John Irving's "A Prayer for Owen Meany.")  Reading is another unexpected reward of a more functional home!
Yard work season begins in about 3 hours. Robert is weed eating right now, but that's his gig.  A new batch of lilies and irises go in the ground this afternoon.  Thus contributing to my goal of cutting down on the amount of weed eating by expanding my flower beds.  The mission is to completely cover the front "slope" outside the fence with perennials by the end of next summer, thus cutting about 200 square feet of yard work torture.  I have been keeping the cost down by excepting any and all freebies (the lilies and irises from today are mom's extras from a recent purchase) and buying the clearance flowers at Lowe's after they have bloomed for the season.  Right now it looks like about 90% is going to come back from last year so I am stoked!
Will try and take some pics of the progress today!
Now off to have that 3rd cup of coffee and a bit of guilt free reading!!