Thursday, October 11, 2012

The blog post where start my catch-up.


After last month's (or two months ago...holy crap!) photo upload debacle, there is much to catch up on. So, to that point, the blog is going to turn into a major photo drop for the next 5 (or 10...or 20) posts while I play catch-up on all that has happened in the past month+.

Don't worry though, we've been so, so busy with the kitchen, the pup, a Reindl siblings visit, an amazing (and very scenic) trip to Alaska, the installation of our new stove, some first meals on said new stove and much, much more that I can't begin to think of at the moment that I am sure everyone will have something interesting to look at.

I'll start off with the pre-Alaska bit of the history:

The pup and kitty update goes as follows: they still love to play but Frieda has recent decided that she also wants Pep as her cuddle buddy. Unfortunately, Pep doesn't quite understand this since for all of his time with her, Frieda jumping up on the chair with him meant her very quickly en robing his head in her mouth.

You're a little bi-polar when it comes to the kitty, Frieda. I can't blame him for giving a pissed-off look and jumping off whenever you jump up on the chair with him to cuddle. Maybe one day.

 I rented a drum sander from Home Depot where I had not my first, but my second incredibly sexist encounter with a Home Depot employee. (HD -- you have some training to catch up on in this dept, at least at this store).

 And the next day we rented the edger and finished up the floor sanding. It looks purdy now.

 Frieda discovered that Michael is very helpful when it comes to her lack of opposable thumbs.

 And I discovered that Frieda is adorable, well, all the time, but especially when she is cuddled up on a down comfortor.

 My 26th Birthday was celebrated with homemade sushi. The tuna and salmon were delish but the real star of the show was the raw scallop sushi; it was incredibly sweet and just melted in your mouth.

 We started the waxing process on the floor which was, indeed, a process. This wax didn't end up working well in the end.

It looks good in this picture, it really didn't have enough of a solid layer on top. Every layer would soak right through the wood. It probably had something to do with how old and dry our wood floors were.

We ended up stripping most of the wax off the top after an unfortunate fall from the ladder while painting (It was me, and I am fine, although the floors weren't since they were covered in chartreuse paint) and in the end, put on a coat of paste wax which has given us a much better finish.

 See? Chartreuse walls.

Funny story: while we were in Sherwin-Williams trying to decide on a paint color that we had given absolutely no though to up until that point, I decided to Google "paint color for kitchen" since some colors can affect you psychologically (i.e. some make you hungry, some make you angry) and the first search result on Google said not to paint your kitchen green because it is horrible for resale. So, what did we do? We painted it green.

And what's that? A cabinet? 

Actually, quite a few cabinets made it into their place before we packed up and headed to the great north.

Yay for us! We may have a kitchen by Christmas 2013!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Tiding Over

I had intended to do a big update on the kitchen progress but we've been running a little low on storage space on the computer. So instead of uploading lots of photos and editing and posting, this is what my screen currently looks like:

We finally bit the bullet and purchased a 3Tb external hard drive so I am doing our first ever time machine backup while simultaneously clearing out a much smaller (128Gb, I think) portable hard drive that will solely be used for photo backup. 

And this doesn't even begin to touch on the Reindl sibling visit last weekend in which we (meaning all 5 of us -- it was a pass-the-camera sort of weekend) took at least 500 photos over a day and a half time period. 

Struggling to find storage space for all of my 16.2mega pixel camera photos is certainly what I would call a first world problem.

In the meantime, I'll have to get by with yet more smartphone photos. What was I saying above about first world problems.


House pics:

 The late night-ish floor sanding started last Wednesday with the large and relatively easy-to-use drum sander rented from Home Depot.

 I'm pretty sure I could have handled the machine but once Michael got in a rhythm, I just let him go with it. 

 This is what you call a brave kitty. The sander was extremely loud but his curiosity got the better of his concerns. He came in an plopped down next to me for a good chunk of the sanding.

On Tuesday (after the visitors left) we rented the edge sander which was much more unruly and difficult to use. We managed though and now we just need to finally purchase a palm sander to get back in the corners and we'll be ready to wax!

 In other news, a good knitting friend, Sharon offered up these lovely chairs for free last week. We jumped all over the offer thinking: "We'll finally have somewhere for guests to sit other than our super-saggy couch!" but as you can see here, the animals are of the thinking that the chairs are just for them. Don't worry if you visit though, they'll gladly share if you scratch their ears/cheeks.

As a preview of the Reindl siblings weekend visit I offer up this photo of three gigantic goblets of beer served to us Friday afternoon at the super-delicious Fuzzy's Taco Shop.

And now, I'm off to the mechanics to have my exhaust system strapped to the bottom of my car once and for all!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Moving Right Along

 The most difficult part of this kitchen renovation by far has been the somewhat level placement of drywall on these few walls. 

And I honestly don't know how we did it but they finally came together.

And now that they have, we have been moving ahead with full steam.


 Please don't ask me to explain all of the strange pieces of wood poking through the drywall. I honestly don't understand it all myself but what I am sure of is really the only thing that matters: when it is all finished, it will both look good and function properly.

 The bay widow walls were certainly a challenge but Michael did a great job of building some mini walls to support the drywall.

 Then came my part of the job: mudding. It really is incredible how similar mud and Italian Buttercream Icing are. And since I've been without an oven for the past 3 months, joint compound mud is filling a serious void in my life. 

I'll admit it, I love to mud drywall!

 The hole-less ceiling looks so pretty with the new canister lights.

 And the skim-coat over the old, textured plaster went much better than I expected. 

Finally, my lovely pastry degree is getting some use!

 Once the mudding was almost complete (I have one more coat before we start to sand), the floors were next to go. And the ugly laminate flooring in the entryway happened first since it was actually stapled on top of the laminate flooring in the kitchen. 

 Staples, staples everywhere! This find necessitated a 9:30pm run to Home Depot since we couldn't exactly have a minefield of staples in our path to bed.

 Look at that: Gorgeous! I will never understand why homeowners feel the need to "protect" their hardwood floors. 

 Of course, now we need to locate some 1/4 round molding that will bend around our bottom stair to fill the newfound void. Suggestions? Anyone?

 And the threshold didn't make it out in one piece. The new one is currently being stained and poly'd.

 Our new entryway.

 And, the rubble, dumped in a laminate-less kitchen.

 And a laminate-less side entry.

And here's where we are now, stripping section after section of laminate adhesive that was made to last a lifetime. Thankfully, we are nearly done with this step with only the section I am standing in to take the photo left to strip. 

Then we move on to the final coat of mud, and sanding of both the walls and the floors.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

The Best Ab Workout Ever

So far, we've stripped the laminate adhesive from approximately 1/3 of the kitchen floor. 

After stripping this little 18st. ft. patch by myself on Friday I have decided that if Cinderella ever truly existed, she would have had abs and arms of steel. 


Friday, August 17, 2012


Nope, still can't find my camera cable. Phone photos will have to do for the time being. And even this one is pretty old news at this point. 

Taken just after my first coat of mud made it on the wall.

Before I put up corner pieces.

Before the laminate floor layers were ripped up.

But still, it shows progress and that's all that matters. 

P.S. To the Reindl siblings: I apologize if we are still stripping laminate adhesive off of the floor when you visit in T-7 days. It is a B*%$! of a job!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Quick and Dirty (no, really. see the last photo)

 So...all of this stuff has happened recently. 

I made Michael install a fan.

 I can't sleep without air circulation.

 We enjoyed a fabulous weekend at a friend's lake house. Thank you, Sean!

 We hosted visitors (Michael's parents) and promptly put them to work.

 We had some fun too.

 But mostly we just made them work.

 We hosted more visitors. We didn't make this group work though. They were already exhausted from their cross country trip including song-playing and movie-making. (Really, I'll do more on this later but it will require a loooong post to explain the peculiarities of this story).

 Pep made fast friends with the band/movie crew. He'll sleep with anyone willing to be lazy with him though. 

 Drywall went up on the stove wall. This wall wasn't particularly difficult. 

 The bay window walls were a bit more difficult, requiring the building of mini-walls.

 Michael installed canister lights.

 Aren't they pretty?

 We attended a birthday party for two of our friends that entailed me sewing a Medieval dress for myself and a tunic for Michael. It was a lot of fun!

 The bay window turned out quite well, especially now that I've accepted that the walls will never be truly level in this house. Sigh. 

 And we started to work on slapping drywall on the sink wall. This was truly the most difficult part of the project so far. 

 Frieda developed some separation anxiety. She sits with her head up on the back of the couch and watched and wimpers every morning as Michael drives away. 

And we've acquired a mud dog.

And the sad thing is that this won't even be considered catching up since I can't currently locate my camera cord therefore, all new photos are off-limits.

Photos to come include finished kitchen drywall, mudding and skim coating of all the walls in the kitchen (I'm so excited at how good it is looking), and pulling up the laminate floors (plural!) that have been laid on top of the lovely hardwood in the kitchen.