30 December, 2009

Remodel Update: Office Progress - Texture

Now it's time to texture the walls.  Since we didn't take the shelves down, Greg put up visqueen to protect what little remains in the office.  Those slabs of sheetrock are starting to looks more and more like real walls.  It's fascinating to watch the progress.

It seems that even texturing the walls takes more than one go 'round.  Apparently the sprayer can put out larger, lumpy bits that aren't very attractive.  So you scrape the big bits off, then go again.  Two times?  Three?  I'm not sure - probably two.  I mean, how lumpy to you really want a wall to be??

This weekend should see the end of the texture phase and have us moving right into painting.  Greg asked me a while ago what color we're going to paint the walls.  White, I said.  To match the other walls in the room.  Otherwise, we have to paint all the walls, right?  We'll use the trim, window shades, and room accessories to create the look and feel.  It's supposed to be like a bungalow in a warm, sandy region.  At least, that's where the colors came from for the window shade - and the ceiling fan matches (similar color scheme with the big leaf-like paddles).  The flooring will fit right in.  If I need anything else, I'll use trim color and wall decor to finish up.  How many more things can I not figure out that we should take care of while we're doing this?!?  Good grief!

But it will be absolutely lovely when it's done...

28 December, 2009

Remodel Update: Office Progress - Mud & Sand

Now that the framing for the wall is done, we're focusing on the office.  Mudding, sanding, texture, paint, then flooring.  Greg took time over the long weekend to get some more work done (between movies and Game Night at the Green's - yay, Killer Bunnies!)  Finished the last coat of mud, then it has to dry for a day or two.  Then comes the sanding.

It was like an alien had invaded the house, bringing microscopic dust to coat the sawdust, sand, and grit that's already all over everything.  At least when this whole thing is done, the upstairs will have had a good cleaning.  We don't dust very frequently, but this project is going to force the issue.  I'll just wait until the end - since there's no point in doing it over and over again, right?

Now it's time to texture the new walls.  Again, here's me (the non-remodel, construction, house-builder anything) not thinking.  I figured we'd just move the furniture around as necessary, once it was time to rip up the carpet and install the flooring.  Turns out we need to move the furniture out, since spraying texture at less than two feet (my desk was in the way) is less than ideal.

So once again (see here for a previous episode) - only more so - the contents of the office are disgorged all over the living room, along with Christmas remnants and construction gear.  I'd like to add a cow and maybe a pig or two to the mix, so when it's all gone (again) it'll be as if I live in a mansion!  Greg's desk is broken down, leaning against the wall in slabs.  The computers are set up on the table and an end table.  My rickety old contraption that someone might try to call a desk is in the middle of the room, heaped with assorted construction supplies, Christmas presents, and other oddness.  (It's been a few days since the picture below, and it seems that we were never meant to have any uncovered surface - and that applies to our normal life, not just during this bit of construction.  Apparently the table is really meant for storage of "stuff" until you can't see it and are having problems finding the bills - then it's time to sort through the rubbish and clear a space.  Which will stay nice and organized for about... oh... an hour - then it's collecting again.  Maybe it's the furniture.  All our furniture is possessed.  Because it surely can't be the people, right?)

26 December, 2009

Christmas Cheer

Christmas was a low-key event this year.  Since we've been so busy, it was nice to have some time together where we didn't have any outside pressures and we could relax.  But it was different too.  None of our usual traditions: almost no socialization (and none at all that we normally host), no luminarias, no decorations, none of "our" Christmas music, no Christmas movies.  Going into the holiday season, we knew we weren't going to decorate and our normal traditions would be put on hold.  What I didn't realize was how much those little things mean to me.
Moose across the street on Christmas Day

This year was definitely different, but not terrible - just... odd.  There was plenty of Christmas music on the radio, so when I finally did set up The Wrapping Center, I was able to listen to Christmas music and have my spiced eggnog, just like always. We did attend a lovely holiday party and got to spend Christmas Eve visiting with friends.  And it was nice to spend time together - just the two of us - and relax for a bit.  It's been a hectic winter, thus far.  We met more friends at the theater for a nice chat, some popcorn, and eventually to see a movie (everyone was at the movies Christmas Day - who knew?!? - so we had to get tickets for a later show, then stayed at the theater until we could get in line for decent seats).
Pretty icicles hanging from the eaves

I'm looking forward to next Christmas - when I actually have time to participate in the season; when the remodel is done and we can decorate and bring out our music and movies; when we can plan for some of our other traditions (like luminarias and maybe caroling again - never as harmonious as what I remember from childhood, but always fun and a wonderful way to spend an evening).  Even so, I'm thankful this Christmas for the bounty of our lives; our health and happiness; and the wonders that constantly surround us.  Hope yours was as lovely as ours.

Merry Christmas!!

20 December, 2009

More Remodel Madness

Just because I missed a week blogging, doesn't mean we (that's mainly Greg with help from James - the Royal "We") didn't get things done on the house. It just means that I'm going to combine the progress - and pictures - of two weeks into one post.
Before Getting Started Last Weekend

We're working in the office now. The plan goes like so: sheetrock the new walls; mud the sheetrock; texture the mudded sheetrock; paint the textured, mudded sheetrock; then move stuff around so we can pull up the last of the hideous pink carpet (from that room, anyway); and finally - for this room - lay the flooring (and then move stuff around again, until it's all in its new homes - even if that's exactly where it was before, only without the hideous pink carpet).
James Working Outside the Closet

James in the Closet Again

Last weekend, Greg & James got the sheetrock on the office side of the walls. This includes the newly framed closet - but not the kitchen side of the office wall (which is fine, since we still need to work out some lighting locations before everything gets closed in). It's a little strange to have the rooms divided again, but I'm sure I'll get used to it. =)
Outside the Closet Again

My Rounded Corners w/ One Coat of Mud

This weekend, Greg got in two coats of mud. Because we opted for rounded corners (sounds like an oxymoron, right? I thought so too), it's going to take more time - but look better when it's done. At least three coats of mud to make it right - so says the handyman of the house, and who am I to argue?!?
Action Photos of Mudding

I don't know how long the whole process should take - I leave that up to people who know better than I do (Greg). According to his Facebook post, he thinks he'll be laying flooring by Christmas weekend. Two coats of mud down, and at least one to go - then there's the texture & paint, moving stuff around and pulling up carpet... Four days until the Christmas, then time on the weekend... we *might* be laying flooring (or at least ready to lay flooring) in about a week. Then again, maybe for the New Year? Either way, we're making progress!!

06 December, 2009

Parables are Still Relevant

A parable is a story with a moral, right? Well, I feel kind of like that farmer in the parable. I forget the name of it - maybe someone will know? Anyhow, it goes like this:

It's a farmer with a large family and a small house. He goes to the village wise-man and asks him how to get a bigger house for his family when he doesn't have much money. The wise man tells him to take the chickens into the house. Eeew, I say - I think they're stinky and they'd make a mess, but the guy does it. After some time, the guy goes back to the wise man. He says, "I took the stinky, messy chickens into the house with my wife and two dozen kids. It's more crowded than ever, so how do I get a bigger house? I really need a man-cave."

So the wise man tells him to take the pigs into the house. At this point, I'm hoping this house has dirt floors, so all the animal droppings can just be sprinkled with more dirt or swept out the door. The guy grumbles some, but since it's the recommendation of the wise guy of the village, he decides to do it. I'm not sure how many pigs he has, but the guy is nuts. It's a madhouse as the family tries to live in a small, dirt-floor hut with dozens of kids, loads of chickens, and some swine. The guy goes back to the wise man. "Okay. I put the pigs and the chickens in the house with my family. The girls are grossed out and whining about having to share the bathroom with *real* pigs, the boys are chasing the chickens so they don't lay eggs. This is nuts. And I still need my man-cave, but I don't have the dough to make it happen. What do I do?"

So the wise man tells him to take the cow into the house. And for some stupid reason, the guy decides to do it. Fortunately for his family and the rest of the livestock now residing in the house, there was only one cow. This goes on for a while, but now it's complete and utter chaos in the house and no one can move anywhere without stepping on someone (or something - is it animal or mineral?). His wife is angry all the time, and finally tells him she's going to divorce him if he doesn't do something about the situation. The guy goes back to the wise man. "Look, dude. I did everything you said. I took the chickens into the house. My family squawked, but I did it. Then I took the pigs into the house. It is handy to have the bacon a bit closer, but they can sure eat a lot and my girls don't like sharing their ribbons. Then I brought in the cow. Now it's bedlam. I can't think. I can't sleep. My wife is ready to leave me. And I still don't have enough money to get a bigger house that has a man-cave."

So the wise man tells the guy to go home and take all the livestock out of the house. Lo and behold, when all the animals are removed the house seems quiet and spacious. The family was happy again (particularly after all the animal residue and smell was cleaned out of the house). I'm not sure the exact moral of the story - but it has one. And I don't know if the guy ever got his man-cave, or if he was just content that he got to stay married and the kids stopped squabbling over the bathroom so much. But he was happy too.

Are you wondering what the point of the story is yet? It's my living room. For weeks & weeks now, we've had some of the kitchen cabinets, sheets of plywood, two-by-fours, and tools sitting in the middle of the living room. And today, since the new kitchen wall is framed, Greg moved the stuff back into the kitchen (well, some of it was used up in the process). I have raw plywood floor with a border of hideous pink carpet, but I'm loving that I can see across the living room. (And that the water is hooked back up to the fridge - our tap water tastes *aweful*!)


I haven't done a thing to help with the remodel this week. Greg, on the other hand, has been quite industrious. He re-routed the vent pipe (which involved running it through the floor, sending it up in a new spot, then going into the attic to re-route tubing there too), framed in the new kitchen wall and bedroom closet, then moved the cabinetry from the living room back into the kitchen. He did a fair amount on his own, and then James graciously spent his weekend helping to make it possible to move my "chickens and pigs" back into the kitchen.
Moving the Vent Pipe
Raising the Wall
More Raising and Framing

Routing Things in the Attic

The Wall

The Wall & the Closet

James in the Closet, Cabinets in the Kitchen
I know we're not done. It's nowhere near close to being done. But I'm seeing definite results - and I *love* having more space in the living room... =)