Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Friday night lights

Police, ambulance and fire truck lights that is. While lying in bed late Friday night I heard a crack and some rumbling. I asked J if that was thunder and he said he thought so. A minute or so later I heard commotion and noticed cars in front of our house. Nope, no thunder here, just a car that mistook the house across the street for a McDonald's drive-thru. I don't think he got any fries with that but maybe the police were nice and supersized his handcuffs. The gentleman that hit our neighbors house supposedly passed out from coughing (per his wife) but he'd had enough alcohol to warrant a sobriety test right in the neighborhood street and a chauffeured trip to jail. During his short unconscious spell he drove over a 10 foot bush (starting to resemble a tree), up a slight hill and straight into the house. If he had turned the wheel the other direction he would have driven straight into our front door.

Within minutes every neighbor was in the driveway and people were calling the owner because she wasn't home. After 15 minutes or so a cop rang her doorbell and she answered the door. She slept through the whole thing! By this time there were two firetrucks, an ambulance and four police cars lining the street. What a sight to wake up to!

The floor and more

You would think an entire weekend of work would yield a lot of wood floor installed. Nope, the websites really are accurate when they say you can install about 200 sq. feet per day as a DIY job. J got the rooms measured and the first row of flooring adhered on Saturday. That was time consuming but I guess if we want straight rows it was worth it.
We worked for seven hours on Sunday and installed approximately 180 square feet of flooring.

Day 2 finished the rows across the front of the house up to the stairs. J had a difficult time installing the last couple of boards in front of the staircase.

Day 3 brought the wood into the dining room; it is now a little over half way finished. We also put a few more rows down in the formal living until J had to earn his money with IT help. OK, he doesn't actually get paid to help family members with IT issues but he loves me so much he does it for free. Gotta love him.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

A Tribute

Today, we salute you, Mr. Kitchen & Bath Vinyl Installer. You showed up for work on day #187 of construction ready to show this house who's boss.
You brought the biggest air compressor on wheels and the mother of all staple guns. This was "Man Work" and the wimpy tools simply wouldn't do.
After all the thin plywood was cut to fit and laid this kitchen floor was smooth as butta. To make sure this floor wasn't going anywhere you started adhering it to the subfloor. Of course, you knew that one inch staples meant they needed to one inch apart, at a maximum; you were weren't getting fired today.
So away you went all bent over stapling 48279 staples into this smooth kitchen floor. Just a few staples along each seam would not be enough action for you, this floor needed to stay for eternity.
While nothing can compare to the feeling of the kickback of the gun or the poof of air that it sends towards you, blowing your greasy, blond locks, we really know you were just trying to impress the other construction crew with your massively powerful staple gun. You made sure everyone saw just how deep it drove staples into the floor "Hey Chuck, look at this staple; now you see it (ka-wham) now you don't." You followed up with the brand name and store name where you purchased your massively powerful staple gun so everyone could be like you.
Oh, but you are a special one Mr. Kitchen & Bath Vinyl Installer; there won't be anyone that can ever copy your level of staple expertise. Your work will be forever cursed admired in the years to come.

Now that I was able to semi-joke about this removal of our vinyl floor in the kitchen I will tell you somewhat of our experience. I mentioned that grouting sucks, well grouting is a mere inconvenience. Ripping up the thin, layer splintering, staple ridden plywood under vinyl sucks. What sucks more is sitting on your duff for a couple hours each night after the kids are in bed pulling out the 27328 one inch staples left in the floor. The other 20951 staples were designed to rip your hands to shreds as they stuck out of the plywood while being pried up from the floor. This has taken the gold medal of "worst project ever" from the cabinet painting project who now proudly wears the silver medal.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Snap, Crackle, Fizzle

Just so you can be prepared.
If you hit the electrical cord while using the hedge trimmer you will not get shocked (as I had originally hypothesized). You will hear a pop and see the a ball of fire fizzle though. It is a good thing the hedge trimmer loses the juice when you cut the cord because once you see the fire fizzle and realize what just happened you will most likely toss it on the ground without thought of what is around you...including your toes.

I now owe my husband a new extension cord and my half-trimmed bushes are a pretty sight.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Finally...The Kitchen

The major renovations are finished in the kitchen. Ignore the vinyl floor, it will be gone by this weekend. I guess one might consider replacing the floor in the major renovations but my kitchen is fully functional so I group the floor in with the rest of the house. Ask me next week and I might feel differently.

So, first a couple of before pictures; this is a shot we took back in April when we put the contract on the house. You can view an after of the desk area a few posts down.

We have painted the cabinets (that fiasco is detailed a few posts down as well), added hardware, installed new countertops and backsplash, installed a new faucet and light fixture above the sink. We will be installing a new light fixture above the island as well but we have to wait for it to go on sale. Everything in this kitchen was installed by J or the two of us together.

We changed out the hideous countertop looking windowsills and changed them to a travertine sill to match the travertine tiles on the backsplash.

We extended the island a foot on the right side and now have a L shaped overhang. I can comfortably fit 3 stools under the island now and have help with my baking without fighting (well, one can hope.) I still have to buy the stools.

A couple of overall "after" shots.

In the picture below you can see the new dishwasher. It is a KitchenAid and is the best appliance in the kitchen, hands down.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

5 Short Years

We took a short trip to the science center yesterday. We paid to become members so we can go back and enjoy it often for a lot less money. We took a trip before J left for Korea five years ago and I remembered some pictures I had taken. I wanted to take some pictures in the same location to show the difference five years can make.; you really must click to enlarge these photos!

Matthew was 14 months old when we visited in 2003, he is 6 now. I guess it is official, he is no longer a "little" boy. Unfortunately for him he was born last in the birth order so that gives me full rights to always call him my baby.

Another area of the science center is a train that is set up to run on binary code. Five years ago J didn't have a brain full of computer knowledge (only about half a brain full) and he was trying hard to figure it out. Jacob and Emily sat so patiently watching the train inside the case.

Now, J figured it out within seconds and then the kids to fight for the controls. This picture really captures the family:
Jacob making his face contortion antics (doesn't he remind you of Jim Carrey? That is how we comfort ourselves on face contorting day.)
Matthew is pushing Jacob's creeping hand off the controls.
And Emily is standing there trying to mother the boys and just acts disgusted to be a part of the entire situation.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Tiny Toby

Toby went to the vet yesterday for his initial check-over. He was so calm the receptionist asked me over and over if he had been sneezing or coughing. The only reason a puppy could be so calm is if they are sick, I suppose. They must have passed the word around because the vet wanted to know if I had given him a tranquilizer, and he was serious. Are you nuts?! If I had any tranquilizers around here they definitely wouldn't go to the dog!

Tiny Toby weighs even less than I thought he did. He nearly broke the scale tipping out at 6.8 lbs. I birthed 2 babies bigger than this dog. I think his 2 inch hair adds at least 5 lbs to his appearance.

Saturday, August 2, 2008


First known as Fluffer Doodle, then Nutter Butter. I thought a mid-30's man outside calling Nutter Butter would be a bit too comical for the neighbors so we settled on Toby. For the record, the first names were not picked by the people 10 years and under in the, try the mid-30's male.

Toby is a Maltipoo and 4 months old. He will not shed so that is good for the dog allergies in the house. After his first afternoon at home we have figured out he is most happy when in your lap, follows you around if you leave the room and looks like a white, fluffed out cotton ball when hopping around the yard. He is probably around 8 lbs right now and shouldn't grow much more. He currently looks like a white Benji. We all love him already.

Friday, August 1, 2008


Grouting sucks.

If we had flat tiles we would have been able to use a float instead of our hands. No, I had to like the beveled tiles.

If you decide to put tile in your house, be prepared. Grouting sucks.