Lemon pound cake…

My mom made me a gluten free lemon pound cake! I told her early on that cake would make the job we are doing go so much better so she brought a new cake. Oh happy day!

Steve mostly had meetings today. He did have time in the morning to put down some thresholds and caulk the tub. Late in the day he changed more switches and began on another ceiling fan. I spent the day lining drawers and cabinets in the bathrooms and installing the elfa pullout drawers. I have to say that these were way easy to install. Better than any other brand I've ever installed. I think they are going to be great to use. I started installing them in the kitchen, one of which is below:


I spent a lot of time installing magnetic closures on all of the cabinet doors in the kitchen. Below you can see that the pantry doors really need to stay shut otherwise they get in the way of the back door. Now they don't.


The kitchen looks better with the cabinet doors shut as well.

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We came home to find one corner of our sail shade had frayed and broken. Oh my. It's way too hot not to have the said shade up.


So I got out my seam ripper (as you can see) and then I went to JoAnn's for nylon webbing. I set up my Bernina 1130, threaded it with way too big a thread (which worked anyway) and got ready to fixi this thing…


And now it's fixed…


I went to the site where we bought the sail shade and discovered that the shade cloth has a 10 year warranty but my guess is that the webbing is not covered. Darn. But luckily I can sew and Steve can rip. We'll fix the other corners when we take the shade down in a few weeks (or months).

2 steps forward, 1 back…

We had high expectations for today and they didn't gel. It seemed like every object we touched fought back. Every job took too long. So what did we do?

I started by painting the front door. It was a bad, screaming yellow before. I had to get paint early. Lowe's didn't have the correct base so I had to go to Home Depot. This was the beginning a day-long pattern. This blue is a very nice color. Unfortunately it is going to take 2 coats.

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That baby blue outside is going to have to be painted over. Later.

I moved on to painting the high trim in the living room. It took 2 coats as well. I didn't really want to paint it the first time but it was just so bad. Later in the day Steve hung the ceiling fan. By now you can guess that it was not easy. In fact that fan went up and down twice because the first time the attachment to the rafters was not tight enough. There were words spoken.

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I painted the rest of the baseboards. Steve changed several light switches. That stuff went well. Then I started painting the inside of the front door. The previous owner had a (probably expensive) electronic dead bolt that was funky looking and didn't work. We decided to take it off so I could paint the whole door. And we decided to replace it with a regular deadbolt. Steve went and got it and installed it. Then we decided that it would be good if all the knobs and locks were keyed the same. Steve took off most of them and Lorna took them to Lowe's for re-keying.

Guess what… you have to have the key that works the lock to re-key a lock. The previous owner left us keys but none (NONE!) of them worked in any door. That meant replacing all the dead bolts and knobs. That sucked away the rest of the afternoon and they aren't all changed out yet. Lorna spent at least two hours just getting the new ones (thank you, Lorna. I would have lost it if I had been doing this job.) The new knobs are better looking.


Chris worked more on the fence. The old chain link is gone now. Chris still has to take out the old posts – or rather the concrete left from the old posts. The guys (Salt and Pepper who remind me of Sanford and Son) who picked up the old chain link fence took the posts (which was not part of our plan) by breaking them off at ground level. That makes getting the concrete out harder.

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Below you can see where the buried utilities are marked. This is also where the side fence needs to go. It's going to be a real trick to figure out where to put the fence posts. It was that kind of day.

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The dirt area is where the red barn was. It's now a pile on the front yard. There is also that big area with gravel that will need to be scraped off. The plan is to spread topsoil here and plant perenials in the fall.

I ended the day by getting the rest of the shelf liner in the kitchen. We've soaked in the pool, had dinner and now we are watching Armageddon because it's fun to watch Bruce Willis blow things up!


2 more days?

We hope that by Friday the remodel will be done (except for the countertops, more on that later). This morning I painted two walls in the garage. It looked like this before:

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Those weird patches on the wall are from old water damage. The washer and dryer will live in the garage and the blue and beige on the walls was sort of depressing. White is better:


The paper towel dispenser on the wall is from the previous owner and we'll leave it up unless mom and Christy want it down. It's pretty handy.

I painted baseboards this afternoon. I hate painting trim and there's more to do tomorrow. Oh well. My friend Karen lined cabinets and drawers in the kitchen with shelf liner (thanks, Karen!). The new refrigerator was delivered. They had to take off the front door to get it inside:


It feels a little big but it's the same size as the one that was there before. We just got used to that space being empty. It'll feel normal in a while.

Steve spent a good part of the morning on the tablesaw. He turned it on and it didn't start. It's now in the shop. He needed the tablesaw to cut a piece of lumber to put under the kitchen sink. There was old water damage there, the wood was warped and the plies were de-laminating. And it was sticky. So he cut out the old shelf. He then over-engineered (his words) the base for a new shelf:


And then he screwed in the new shelf:


This is way better.

So… the countertops – kitchen and bathrooms. We ordered them from Lowe's 4 weeks ago. They are made by LG and should be very nice. Lowe's contracts them from a place in Dallas. We paid for them 4 weeks ago. The guys came out to make a template for the countertops a week later. Wouldn't you think that when they have your money and have the template made that they would get moving? Nope, they didn't.

Last Thursday I got a call that the final measurements showed we would get money back and would I please come in and sign new papers so they could order the materials!!! My head almost exploded. I was very cranky in as nice a way as I could stand. They are moving as fast as they can but it will be at least 2 weeks before the countertops are in. Mom and Christy could move in this weekend except they can't because there are no counters or sinks.

If we had been told the actual timeline up front we could have planned for it. Instead we were given the best case, rosy timeline. Usually I am very happy with Lowe's. Goodness knows they have gotten a lot of our money over the years. But this they could have handled better. There's a Home Depot a bit farther down the road and it may be that we visit them more often.

Tomorrow I'm finishing the painting, Steve is hanging light fixtures and changing switches. I'll help a bit with that. I also need to install the pull out drawers on the bottom shelves in the kitchen and line the cabinets and drawers in the bathrooms. This stuff will probably spill over into Friday. Two more days!


Manic Monday…

We started the day at Mom's house by cleaning up our messes from yesterday, hanging doors, and doing a variety of tasks. We went to Lowe's to get the next round of supplies. We got concrete pavers to make step from the garage to the kitchen. To get into the house you had to step up as you are also working the door. If you are not strong, that's a bit of a chore. There isn't time now to build a more permanent step but concrete pavers are cheap and very functional:


And a detail:


it is entirely possible that this step will still be here, in use, many years from now. We'll be putting more pavers at the front door tomorrow.

It occurred to me that I should share a painting trick that I learned from a professional painter. When you are painting cabinet doors, or regular doors for that matter. Use nails as feet to keep them off the ground and one on each side as a handle, so that you can lift them and turn them. This way you can paint both sides. It worked well for us, with only minor mishaps.




And if you are really smart, and my husband is, you figure out how to mark the cabinet doors so that you can figure out where to re-hang them. I learned to love these little tags…


Steve spent the afternoon putting in the quarter-round. He's wearing ear-plugs because he was using a pnuematic nail gun. Yet another fun power tool!


And I worked on the kitchen cabinets and drawers – screwing on the hardware and and hanging the cabinet doors:

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Sore all over…

Putting in flooring means being up and down and up and down and on and on. it took 3.5 days but we got the flooring finished today! We started on the south side of the living room and finised on the north side of Christy's bedroom. We are both fried – but know that we'll be up and at it again in the morning. It's a good thing we aren't older than we are.

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What you see scattered on the floor are a few of the important tools for this job. Knee pads, measuring tape, sharpie (for marking cutting lines) and a small square for marking cutting lines. Also there are the whacking tools that are part of the Pergo installing kit.

There are two important power tools that you need for floor installation: a table saw and a saw that does undercuts. We have a Fein Multimaster and it is marvelous. You use this tool to cut out the bottoms of door jams so that you can wedge the flooring in place under it. The black space you see in the photo below will be covered by 1/4-round.


Another nice tool we got for this job was the paint sprayer. It took maybe 30 minutes to paint these louvered doors. It made cleaing the spray gun worth while. Mostly.


I managed to squeeze in time to paint the backsplash in the kitchen today. It went fast. Mom says the color reminds her of a Dreamsicle. It makes me smile.

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Steve had meeting Thursday morning. Did we paint? I can't remember, but I think we did. I do know that at yesterday's end the kitchen cabinet doors were painted and we had the added more to the floor so that it was out of the living room and into the front hall. That's Steve saying "oh happy day, we're done for today!"

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And this is me, in my painting garb. Steve insists that when this job is done I throw these painting clothes away and start on new ones. They are actually worse than they look in this photo if that is possible.


This morning Steve had some short meeting on campus. I finished painting the base cabinets in the kitchen. They are done!!! I hate painting cabinets and vow never to do it again (unless it is to help either of my children). Steve came home around 10:00 and started on the flooring. It went really well today. We finished the front hall and moved into the dining room…

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…and the kitchen

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And we decided to tough it out and finish the kitchen before calling it a day. Well, all but one tiny little strip that will go under the door trim and the threshold. That we will tackle tomorrow.

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Here's what I can tell you: Pergo goes down really well. We got the kind with the attached pad and it is so worth whatever extra it costs. The house sounds better. And my oh my, it looks so good! I like mom's floor better than the one we put in our house a few years ago. But not by much. It's possible that Mom and Christy will be moving in by next weekend if the countertops are installed next week! It will be both weird and wonderful to get back to some sort of normal routine.