Day # infinity (or so it seems)

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Today is Monday.  The wind has picked up and the outside layer of plastic across the openings has been ballooning in and out since its installation late Saturday.  I’ve put chairs against both sides to try and keep the edges from ripping.  So far, so good.  The windows might be installed tomorrow, so the tarp only needs to hold for another 36 hours’ish.  Best laid plans and all that jazz, right?


This was the sky on Saturday…darkness was headed our way!  Rain for sure!


Flimsy barrier against the weather

I’m going in to the office soon and Rick will be at the house til Wednesday night.  He’ll put in a full day of work Thursday, meetings mostly, and then back to it on Friday.  Lots to do on all fronts!


Nasty insulation.  Itchy but not carcinogenic asbestos.

We hired 2 guys from People Ready to demo, and they were here Saturday and 1 is back for the rest of the week.  We’ve got 1 framer from PR here today through Friday…hoping that the house is then fully enclosed and we can work on electrical, drywall, floors, and suchlike over the next 3 weeks until the cabinets get installed.  There will still be work to do after than.  We estimate we won’t be finished until the end of May.


Joe, Ben and Rick

Its been cold – not East Coast cold, thank heaven –  and we’ve been going through firewood like mad.  We’re consuming our own house, well, the old one, anyway.  The wood is so dry there’s hardly any ash and it burns fast.  Its supposed to warm up this week with no rain, so that’s helpful.


Nails and all into the fireplace…

I cooked chicken & prosciutto tortellini on side burner of the BBQ grill on Saturday and fixed salads.  Sunday was pizza, comfort food for Rick after busting his butt all day on Saturday.  Lovely day of rest for him yesterday, although he kept saying he should do SOMEthing…he was pretty pooped, so he ended up puttering around.


Piano nicely protected, fridge in the living room, extra storage UNDER the piano for patio furniture cushions and pillows…

Did the dishes in the bathroom yesterday…it worked out fine!  Except for the ‘don’t anyone use this bathroom until the dishes are dry and put away!’ thing.  I can only handle doing dishes in the bathroom if no one is actually using the bathroom for its intended purpose.  Otherwise…ewwww.  The sink is large enough for rinsing and I’ve got a big plastic bin for hot, soapy water.   I’m pouring out the old dishwater over some geranium plants that I don’t like.  Let’s just see how hardy they are…nothing else seems to kill them.

I was going to buy a dish drainer until Rick remembered that there had been a little one on our boat, Ms Maggie – blog for Ms Maggie is here – and I’d put it in the Salvation Army box but had been too lazy to take the box over there.

Kudos to me for being a slowpoke!

The drywall and siding is removed, the windows and doors are gone, old linoleum and particle board is being dug off the subfloor as we speak – as I type, that is.


Backbreaking work…this is George – he’ll be doing more of what he’s been hired to do (framing things) when Rick gets back from Lowe’s.

There were 3 loads of cr*p hauled to the dump/recycling yesterday.  So much detritus!  Nothing reusable because of the age of the windows – they are all single-pane.  Not good for energy saving, at all.  The cabinets were smelly, so no good for reuse there, either.   The only thing we’re keeping is what we can burn…that sounds weird.  We hired TM Hauling out of Brentwood and he and his partner did a great job.  They’ll be back on Saturday to haul more for us and for our neighbor, too.


Everything plus the kitchen sink!

It feels weird not to be helping the guys with their work.  I’m so used to pitching in.  This time, though, I’d be a hindrance, so better that I keep out of the way.  I’m helping more by doing nothing…that’s a pathetic statement.  Now I really feel useless 😉


Kitchen ceiling before…ugly fluorescent light box


There’s a vaulted ceiling up there!  Lo!  And behold!



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Once again its ‘into the fray’ of a remodel.  The kitchen is the victim, er, beneficiary, this time.

The kitchen cabinets had been painted white from their original dark brown.  The counters are bumpy beige tile.  Which isn’t bad in and of itself.  I might have actually chosen that tile in a past life but the ultra-wide dark brown nasty-looking grout has got to go.  Chips, cracks, missing pieces, chunks glued back into place, yeah, that’s a sign the tile has lived past its useful life.

The cabinets screech when you open them and they were made with wood processed with chemicals that are illegal now because they eventually put out unhealthy gases and smell dank and musty.  I have scented candles in every one of them.  The first few months after we moved in I placed jars of vinegar inside them, which was supposed to help reduce the odor, ugh.


The divided enamel sink has chips, scars and rust and the bowls are too small to fit my skillet in it – in them…but skillet in it was more fun to say.

The floor is a lovely beigy yellowy pinky browny flowery thing.  I think it was still in perfect condition until we put the fridge back after painting the room, then we ripped it.  Oh, bother!

Rick has been contemplating a new kitchen for quite awhile.  Its that old domino effect we keep talking about.  Besides the tired cabinets and floor, the windows leak air and need to be replaced – the patio door also scrapes like fingernails down a chalkboard (one of my absolute favorite sounds of all time) and the fridge is on the water side of the kitchen, blocking a pretty fine view.


View from our back deck – that’s Ms Maggie, our 34′ trawler.  Don’t look at the poor pontoon boat, that’s yet another project to be done.

So, once you decide to replace the windows and patio door, you look at the fridge and think, what a stupid place for a fridge in a home with a view.  So you want to move the fridge but there isn’t another spot for it unless you move something else and then that keeps on going until, Voila, you’ve redone the entire kitchen!

And that doesn’t include the ceiling work.  The kitchen ceiling is low with one of those modern grids of fluorescent lights behind brittle and yellowed plastic panels.  Modern for 1980, anyway.  Rick wants to vault that entire kitchen ceiling like the living room.  That’s my man, never one to go 1/2 way!



A few weekends ago we took plans to a cabinet shop in Brentwood, Precision Cabinets…more on that process later.

Last weekend I packed up all (or most) of the kitchen that we won’t need during the project.   I kept out 1 skillet, 1 larger and 1 smaller pot.  I have a George Foreman grill that my mom gave me awhile ago and we have an outdoor BBQ.  We also have a quesadilla maker and a waffle maker and a popcorn maker and 2 crock pots (yes, I often use 2 at a time) those are going into storage!  Well, I’m keeping one of the crock pots at the ready.

Some of the utensils stay out and the rest of them go into storage – spoons, spatulas, mashers, peelers, graters, did you know I have 2 wine bottle openers?  I didn’t.  Only need 1 of those.  We’ll be doing dishes in the bathtub, oh, joy.




All my ‘good’ dishes go into storage, most of the forks, spoons and such.  All of the crystal wineglasses, I’m keeping out two plastic palm tree wineglasses (ha!).  Enough coffee mugs to feed (beverage?) an army all go into storage.


I don’t need a ‘banana saver’

You know what’s gonna happen, right?  I’ll never get most of those items OUT of storage.  I’ll decide I didn’t need them for that long, so I’ll get rid of them!  Maybe its just a hope that I can downsize some…

The kitchen stuff we need to keep on hand will go in bins or baskets on shelving in one of the bedrooms, so convenient!

We bought our appliances about 18 months ago.  So that’s keeping our costs down this year, spreading out the financial pain over a few years.   And when we had the floors done before we moved in, we bought enough of the product to do the kitchen floors, too!  That’s thinking ahead!

Two bedrooms are now an embarrassment of boxes piled up.  This weekend we’ll put down the protection for the existing wood floor and tarp off the rooms getting messy from the rooms that aren’t in a valiant, but probably vain, attempt to keep them dust free.  We’ll move the dining room table and appliances out to the garage or…somewhere…and the fridge goes…um…somewhere, also, but accessible.  I think the hardest thing for us, honestly, will be to do without the icemaker.  And when I say ‘us’ I mean ‘Rick’.  He’s a crazy person when it comes to ice.


This has been on our fridge for about 30 years!

The actual demo of the old cabinets, ceiling, walls, floor, windows (yikes) won’t begin for about 3 weeks but we’re getting things ready early so we aren’t stressed later – see how smart we are!  I’m almost breaking my arm from patting myself on the back!

I know you want to see how ‘professionals’ deal with home projects of their own.  We didn’t even bother to get quotes from multiple cabinet shops.  We just went to 1 place.  I think our biggest shopping nightmare will be to find the counter tops…I figure if I just don’t change anything I won’t have to live with a possibly wrong decision…what a baby I am.

I’ve made wrong decisions before.  I know, you wonder, seeing me and where we live and the fabulous office building where we work, how that could be possible (ha!).  Some rooms have been painted too darn light because I was afraid of going too dark.  Other things are too boring because I was afraid of bold.  Plus, you have to choose cabinets without having them in the house to look at for awhile first!  A picture or sample of a cabinet door isn’t enough.  But, unless you have scads of money to pay someone build you a mockup, that’s what happens.

Therefore, I went with my heart.  What did I really want to see in my kitchen?  The cabinets are nekkid maple.  Well, the true name is ‘maple clear’.  I want light and airy and open.  Our flooring is a busy wood grain and I figured dark cabinets would pull your eye away from the windows.  I don’t want the cabinets to be the focal point of the house.  Am I right?  I dunno, we’ll have to see.  But I didn’t chicken out this time, I went with my heart 😉


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