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.