27 February, 2010

Rondy Run-for-Fun

It's the one year anniversary of when Greg started running races.  Last year in February he entered the Fur Rendezvous (aka Fur Rondy, or just Rondy to the locals) Frostbite Footrace (my post is here).  He didn't dress in costume this year, but wanted to run anyway as it's a big anniversary.
My reward for getting up much earlier than usual on a weekend, was breakfast at Snow City Cafe with Stacy.  Mmmm... Bacon....  (Two Eggs Any Style - scrambled with cheese - comes with choice of meat - is there any choice besides bacon?? - hashbrowns, and toast.  Plenty of fuel for the morning to come...)  As a treat, we stopped first at Fire Island Rustic Bakeshop and I had my first ever chocolate filled croissant.  I can tell that's a bad habit to start, but since it's downtown I'll be saved a bit (since I hardly ever venture that way).  They also had a bacon, cheddar, and black pepper scone that's on my list to try the next time I'm there...

After breakfast and a nice chat, Stacy and I headed into the heart of downtown.  She had to get to the parade staging ground, and I was off to root for Greg on his run.  The helpful race MC proudly announced that it was a balmy 15 degrees, and since there's always a breeze downtown (it's right by the water) it was a mite chilly.  I dressed well for the weather (I thought), but could have done much better.  The thermals under jeans didn't quite keep out the chill, and I should have worn winter boots instead of trusting to my wick-away-wool socks (that I got last year after Greg's race!) to keep my feet warm.  Maybe I'll remember next year...

I got some pictures of the racers - those people are nuts! - and will be posting the entire collection on Facebook.  Then hung around the same area, since it was on the parade route.  There were all kinds of fun entries, and it was great to see people out and about.  I waved at everyone, since they were waving at me - and because I appreciate their fortitude in the brisk morning air.  The Geocache Alaska team was towards the end of the parade, so shortly after I watched Greg and Stacy walk by, we hooked up again and I was on my way home.

We couldn't tell the butt-warmers in Stacy's car were working until almost half-way home, and then it was by the stinging in our backsides.  I've been home for almost four hours now and am just about thawed.

21 February, 2010

Remodel Update - Ceiling and Walls

James was over to help on Saturday.  I keep telling them they're twins.  Blue jeans, blue shirts (computer shirts too, just not the same companies), covered in construction debris.  Sure one's bald and the other's not; one's taller than the other, too.  I didn't say they were identical, necessarily...  I'm immensely grateful for the help of James (James's just doesn't look right, and neither does James'), as I wasn't looking forward to the ceiling bits and they're extremely difficult to do alone.
By the time I made it up stairs in the morning, everything was in disarray.  I guess I mean more disarray than normal.  They'd moved the loose cabinetry from the kitchen into the living room, then spent the morning scraping the popcorn texture off most of the ceiling.  What a mess!  From there, they had to reattach some of the ceiling - particularly where it's close to where they're going to cut some out.  This is so it's easier to put in the replacement (and to fix a broken spot - probably from when the home was built).
Then it's time for Greg to go into the attic again.  He needed to start the cut for what they were taking down of the current ceiling.  Then they marked the line to the end in that blue chalk and sliced a preliminary cut.
And then they tore down the ceiling.  Yet another mess.  Good thing I'm better at sweeping and doing cleanup than I am at the actual remodel stuff.
So now we have an even bigger area that's open - although the insulation isn't falling out all over, thank goodness!  But, not to worry!  I got to help with the next part too - but that means that I didn't get pictures.  James and I climbed ladders and held the sheetrock in place while Greg went about securing it to the ceiling joists.
And just like that, the holes are covered and we have a ceiling again.  Of course, now there's mudding and texture to do so that it's really done, but no more draft from the chimney hole.  Yay!  Next on the list is to get the walls done - starting with the sheetrock, so all the mudding, sanding, and texturing can be done at once.
We're insulating the bathroom wall to add some privacy (and when we replace the door, we'll use a solid one rather than hollow core for the same reason).  We've got a good start on the next part.  Shouldn't take too long to get more rock on the wall-bones - the biggest headache will be to measure out where all lthe power boxes are so they can be cut out of the rock.  Then I help hold it in place while Greg screws it down.  It's all progress.

17 February, 2010

Remodel Update - Lights & Stuff

The flooring is on hold until we get a bunch of work in the "great room" done: ceiling and walls, then floor.  James was over to help this weekend - thanks, James!  There aren't many pictures because this is one of the weekends where most of the work is relatively invisible - but necessary.
We're moving light boxes to reposition the lighting.  The box that was in what used to be the hallway outside the bathroom - that one's going diagonally across the room to the dark corner.  The ceiling fan that used to be above the table - that box is being moved a few feet closer to the kitchen.  We're eventually going to have a return in the kitchen that will be a 2-seat bar on the other side, which will have pendant lights above it.  The ceiling fan is being moved to the dark corner, and we're not replacing the light that was outside the bathroom.  The picture below is from where the light was removed, outside the bathroom and office areas.  (We didn't actually destroy that much ceiling just to move the light box - this is also due to removing the fireplace, since the chimney went up there too.)

Lots of work in the attic - moving wiring, making holes, dropping wires down.  Got to get the power moved and ceiling work done before the walls; got to get the walls done before the floor.  In the picture below, it shows the new location of the kitchen light box (for the someday pendant lights).  We attached the old hallway light, since we haven't picked out the new lights yet.  Haven't picked out much for the kitchen yet - I thought that was for later, but it turns out we're going to have to work on lighting now, while we're doing ceiling stuff.  The hole to the right is where the fan used to be - we're going to have to patch that.
Putting in the new light box wasn't nearly as messy.  For me, anyway.  Greg is the one that goes in the attic to play in the insulation and move the wires.  So he disappears for a while, puts a new hole in the ceiling, fills it with the light box, then comes down and hooks up the light.  Good to go!  He swapped the fan blades so the lighter color shows on the bottom.  That'll go better with our choice of flooring, whenever we get it finished out here...
I think next week we get to start working on the walls.  We're still negotiating about the lights in the kitchen, but I don't think they absolutely have to be done yet.  I'm looking forward to getting the bathroom wall done - that's where the TV/entertainment center is going, which is really going to open up the room.  Yay!

08 February, 2010

Remodel Update - Floor Progress

The floor is going down!!  A couple nights last week, Greg was able to get a few rows done.  The calculations we did for the cuts are working nicely, so we have minimal waste and seams are nicely offset.  By Saturday afternoon, the office floor was almost completely done.  Yay!!
But now I've learned we hit a snag.  Boo!  Early on, we decided to run the wood grain lengthwise - this will tie the rooms together (since they're mostly open anyway) and supposedly make the "great room" look longer.  This is all good an fine, and will look best once it's done.  But we can't cut the slats off at the door of the office because of the groove on the end.  Which means that instead of finishing the office before we start work in the living/dining room, we've got to run the flooring at least a little ways into the room.  Which in turn means that we've got to get some of the work done out here before we can continue in there. Disappointment of all disappointments - we even had to take out that blasted door that we just put in.  Damn!  Well, here's to hoping that it goes in easier the second time.
The office is tantalizingly close to completion.  A few more rows of flooring, paint the trim, slap it in, and voila! we're moving furniture back into the room.  But instead, we had to determine light box placement (we're ripping up some of the ceiling so we can move some of the light fixtures) and furniture arrangement (plays to power in the wall and running cables).  Another trip to the remodel store (thanks for the help, James!) and we've got the supplies on-hand for this next part.
Greg did some demolition tonight to remove some of the sheetrock and ceiling where we need to do the next bit of work.  He found a lovely surprise in the wall (no, nothing dead, thank goodness!).  Look at the style of that can!
I told Greg that we need to get done what we can and wrap up for the summer no later than April first.  If that means we're walking on plywood for the summer, so be it.  Summers are always crazy here, and there's going to be little to no time to spend working inside on the house.  So the next few weeks will bring us to the culmination of this winter's part.  We're definitely going to be spending next winter (at least part of it) in the construction zone, but we'll have the summer off.

07 February, 2010

Super-Fantastic Weekend

This weekend was just marvelous!  I think that Fridays are my favorite day of the week.  It's not quite the weekend, but I can almost taste it - it's so close.  Ahhhh.  Sweet anticipation. This Friday didn't disappoint.  Went to dinner with Nita, since the boyos were playing racquetball.  We're not doing any entertaining at the house (see all posts and pictures regarding the remodel - the house is in *no* shape for company), so I don't get a chance to visit with people much.  Which makes it especially nice to spend time with my pal.

I'd get to visit with people more if I liked talking on the phone, but either my fingers are broken - not likely, since I'm using them to type - or we're like magnets pushing apart, me and the phone.  I just don't do so well with that medium.  Greg, on the other hand, should probably have one surgically implanted in his ear - except then I'd never know when he's talking to me or to someone else...  Anyhow.  Saturday continued the awesomeness.  After a day of progress on the remodel, Stacy and James invited us to dinner.  A new restaurant and more visiting with friends.  Can the weekend get any better?  Well, there's one day left...

In case you're not aware, I'm not a big football fan.  In fact, we haven't watched any football this season, and the last game I watched was probably Super Bowl last year.  I generally pick my team based on the color of the jersey.  This year was pretty much the same, except Sheri helped me in the last pre-game game.  It was the purple and the black teams.  At first, I picked purple since I like that color.  Then, (before half-time, since you can't change teams after half-time), I switched to rooting for black.  Why did I switch, you might ask?  Well, I found out that purple is from Minnesota.  It's *cold* there.  And black (which is another color I like) is from New Orleans, where they throw a kick-ass party.  (Someday I want to go to New Orleans for Mardi Gras.)  Turns out it was a good switch, since black won - yay!

Now to choose between black and blue for the real game.  Both are good colors, so I have to look for secondary criteria.  Looks like it comes down to party-town vs. flat-land baby horses (which are cute, but can't compare to a down-and-out party).  Black it is.

Once the science of picking the team is done, I'm actually getting a bit excited to watch the game.  Plus there's all the cool commercials.  Then Greg tells me that we might not get that channel.  Aaargh!  Thus far, I have refused to pay for cable.  Mostly because we don't watch that much TV, but I'm also holding out for the pick-a-pack.  I don't need 100 channels, or even 50.  I'd settle for a dozen - food network, HGTV, history, discovery, the local channels, and a couple others for fun.  Since that's not an option, I'm taking my toys and going home.  So there!  (That, and I'm just the tiniest bit worried that if we had cable I'd develop couch-potato-itis - even more - and never leave the house unless absolutely forced.)  Cable dilemma aside, now I may not be able to watch the game OR the commercials.  Drat!
In steps Ubon and Cindy, inviting us to share the day with them.  Whew!  Saved.  It's been quite some time since I've had a chance to visit with them, so this will be lots of fun (and it's Ubon's birthday - sweet!).
I wore black to support my team.  Was tempted to wear the only sports jersey I own, but it may have given the wrong impression on several fronts:  first because it's Grumpy (his team is the Miners - get it? haha!); next because I'm told it's a hockey jersey - they're different somehow from other sports' jerseys - who knew?!?; and also because it has blue (it's light blue), but no black.  No jersey for me.  Lack of football attire aside, the afternoon was outstanding!  Good food, good company, good game!
All-in-all, it was really a super-fantastic weekend!