Small is Tremendous

Ah, didn't you enjoy my lovely poem yesterday? I enjoyed rhyming out my frustration. But in all honesty, I've been enjoying catching up on these little things because it really makes me feel like I'm getting stuff done.

All this week I've set myself to the task of purchasing and installing wall and switch plates. I even purchased a couple fan controls and dimmers, which Mike was nice enough to install for me on Wednesday. It feels good to flip a switch without fear of accidentally poking live wires. Plus, the outlets and switches look soooo much better.

At this rate, if I continue taking on at least a couple small tasks per week - I'll make great progress through the winter and be well positioned to begin work on the house's exterior and/or the bathroom in spring.

Yesterday I also checked out Lumber Liquidators - just because I like to check out their current prices on hardwood every once and again. Wouldn't you know, they had a beautiful pre-finished hardwood on sale for $1.99 per sq ft?! It was a gorgeous mahogany with a hint of cherry red. I just love it. I'm contemplating making the calculations for the house - upstairs and down. I know it would probably be around $2000. And I know I shouldn't be spending around $2000 when I have to contribute $2000 to my IRA or else my parents are going to annoy me about for a zillion years.

I know retirement is important - especially since Mike is getting to be almost 30 and the cost of everything is only going to go up - so we'll need over a million dollars saved.... I've heard this speech over and over.

But I could always get the Lumber Liquidators credit card. I did pay off my home depot card recently. No interest for a year - and I could pay the $2000 over one year to avoid interest entirely. AND - we are selling that Tacoma of Mike's.

I'll have to talk it over with him. $1.99 per sq ft for beautiful pre-finished like that is hard to pass up.

THAT would be a BIG small thing to get accomplished.

Ode to Little Things

Demolition I can do.
Electric, plumbing, carpentry too.
Major construction, no big deal.
It's worth $10 grand - that's how I feel.

But this little tiny stupid stuff -
Wall plates, trim boards - enough is enough!

$20 fan controls
$20 gets one eyeball trim
$82 bi-fold doors
$15 for a switch that dims

$5 for the wall plates
More for 3-toggle and four
Hundreds in wooden molding
And don't forget the floors!

$20 per closet light
(Light bulb not included)
$15 for a door knob
Too much, I concluded.

$60 for a pendant light
$100 for a lighted track
$80 flowering shrub
$400 for a tractor shack

And though I'd rather be spending my cash
On bigger things than this little trash,
A house with wires hanging out,
And untrimmed drywall all about,
Or closets with no bi-fold doors,
Knobs missing from half the other doors,
And too bright lights that do not dim,
No molding, no plantings, no window trim -

It makes the place look quite undone.
Too bad those little things cost a ton.

Merry Moosemas

Can't wait til xmas? That makes two of us. I know I'm not getting anything from my dream house gift list, but that's ok. All in due time.

I am hoping though to get a couple more drawers for my closet organizer after xmas. And maybe I'll even spring for some more closet lights.

Back in Bathroom

Hey jize. It's Decemberween time once again. Time to start dreaming of spring and all those home improvement projects that dreams are made of.


So in my latest caper - I designed a downstairs bathroom of EPIC proportions - which would totally make my current 6X7 look like an ink blot on a billboard. (Whatever that means.) See - I decided to totally stop compromising. Which is good. Bigger is better. That way I can get my jacuzzi corner tub, stand up shower, and everything else.

I designed a 6X11 that extended my current bano by 4 feet and fit all the amenities in it. I thought it was rather brilliant.

Mike thought it was rather ridiculous. Because if we stacked an upstairs bathroom on top of it (which we wanted to do) we'd lose both our windows in our bedroom. Plus one of our living room windows - a small problem, but the loss of the upstairs windows would be for ventilation's sake.

Very uncharacteristically, Mike unveiled a scheme of his own. And I hate to admit it, but I like the way he's thinking.

Step one - tear the current bathroom completely off the house and rebuild downstairs and up at the same time. It'll be easier than trying to retrofit old wood to new and trying to stack an upstairs bathroom on top of an old not-so-well-built bathroom.

Step two - keep the downstairs bath small, with just a stand up shower, sink, and toilet, with maybe just a small linen closet. New dimensions would make the upstairs bathroom 11 x 8. (Because we'd be able to build over our current basement stairs which are in back of our current bathroom, if you can picture it.) So the upstairs master could have the corner jacuzzi, stand up shower, double vanity, and private toilet enclosure. (Mike even picked out a design in a bathroom book that we both agree on... amazing.)

In the upstairs we'd only lose one window - which would become the doorway into the bathroom. Downstairs, we wouldn't lose any living room windows.

The kicker - Mike doesn't want to build this one. He wants to hire our carpenter TJ to do it. And I must admit, it can't be wrong because that jacuzzi tub alone is bound to be heavy and the framing has to be solid to code. The problem - costly costly. Currently, I have the tub priced at about $700 (unless I ebay it), toilet at $200 (times two), stand up shower at $250 (times two) and vanities at about $who-knows (times two) Plus building materials.

Plus, since we only have one bathroom currently, we'd be living sans-bath for x amount of time. Sounds dirty, don't it?

But I'm still confident that my luck will hold out and we'll be able at least to build both baths without buying all the accessories for both at the same time.


All I Want For Christmas

The Ultimate Wish List, Never to be Obtained, But Here Goes
(House only, personal X-mas gifts not included.)

1. New Bathroom: Corner Jacuzzi tub for two, new vanity, stand up shower, American Standard Champion toilet, mosaic tile, river stone floor tile

2. Kitchen: New windows plus trim, under cabinet TV/Radio, Kenmore refridgerator - the new double door freezer bottom $2200 model

3. MudRoom: Flooring, new door, new windows with bay window box built, laundry cabinets, laundry closet doors, closet light wainscotting, cushy big blue IKEA chair, tiffany pendant lamp

4. Living Room: Flooring, trim all round, new IKEA media center, Sony 32" HDTV, carpet pad, switch and outlet plates, stairway going into the basement, closet light

5. Hallway/Stairway: finished drywall and paint, new front entrance door, ceiling fixtures, a little door for the under-stair closet, banister, stairway trim, top stair step, stairway track light with dimmer, flooring, runner rug

6. Guest Room: Closet organizer from Closetmaid, closet light, Closet doors, window trim, flooring, new wood door

7. Office: recessed lights dimmer, new desk and file cabinets from IKEA, built in library shelves, closet organizer from Closetmaid, closet light, closet doors, door to the attic crawl space, new office chair, flooring plus an area rug, more throw pillows, better couches, window trim, railing for stairway overlook

8. Bedroom: plywood - foam - and batting so I can make my headboard, bed risers, new HDTV, closet light, closet doors, more drawers for my Closetmaid set, curtain pulls installed, flooring, area rug, new dresser for Mike, red mattes for my picture frames, trim and moulding, finish work on above closet storage, new storage boxes, door for attic loft space, stain for the bedroom door, a door knob for the bedroom door

9. Upstairs Bath: BUILD IT - frame it, electrify, insulate, drywall, paint, design, stand up shower American Standard Champion toilet, small vanity, stand up shower, pretty tile, skylight

10. Garage: Drywall and paint, Two garage doors, storage system with shelves, new wood stove and chimney, addition on back of garage - built, and whatever else Mike is dreaming of out there

11. House exterior: shingles for three sides, clapboards for the front, window boxes, green shutters, a new mailbox, lampposts, more grass, less gross plants and trees, flowering trees and other nice plantings, a shed, wrap around farmer's porch, chimney overlay, chimney cap, a bigger chimney with all accessories to vent wood stove, hammock, new driveway (ie, repour it)

12. Basement: finish it off with a bathroom (toilet, vanity, stand up shower), bedroom (twin bed, dresser, small closet), work room (shelving and storage), and rec room (comfy dark colored furniture and rug, pool table, air hockey, HDTV and storage unit). And I want my wood stove hooked up down therez.

Is that too much to ask?

Christmas Bowtie

Mike and I have not had an official Christmas in our house for the two Christmas' that we've been there.
Christmas #1: we got heat hooked up a couple weeks before and had just moved in - despite the fact that all the drywall wasn't completed and we only had heat downstairs. At that point we were living in our guest bedroom and eating out because we had no kitchen - except for a refridgerator, which was helpful for takeout at least. We had no other furniture besides out bed. All our clothes as well as toiletries were in trash bags and boxes. And we were working night and day to finish the drywall. I spent new year's eve watching an exhausted Mike sleep through.
Christmas#2: we were very depressed about the house lift. Our house lifter had originally told us he'd be able to do it in summer, but hadn't. $35,000 lay idle in our savings account. He was now telling us he'd be able to do the job after the new year, but we didn't keep our hopes up. Plus, both our vehicles had just died, right before the holiday. Mike bought a new truck at a high expense only to have the motor blow up after five miles. Luckily the previous owner helped us buy a new one. Meanwhile the headgasket in my 4runner went and we had to put my new one on the road. All those expenses, plus a trip to Maryland to visit relatives made it impossible to spend money on a real christmas.So this year I took the initiative the day after thanksgiving. I pulled out all the decorations, put the candles in the windows and bowtie on the garage. We got a tree the very next day and decorated it. There's no stopping the holiday this year!

blogging blogging i-2-3

This is a test of the emergency blog not working system. If the blog is actually not working.... i won't be surprised.

The System Is Down

I have been attempting to post pics for a straight week now, with no luck. In fact, my entire blog has been down for some reason. Don't ask me. I don't know.

But despite the fact that this post may not post - I'm writing it anyway. Can't stop the presses you know. Ok, update. The toyota pickup is mechanically fixed. This weekend we're going to hopefully complete the cosmetic repairs. Also, we have to put a new starter and windshield wash squirter motor in my 4runner.

At the same time, we'll work on finishing the shingling on the back wall where we put up the chimney. (It's already half way done - I took care of it last weekend.)

I think that will keep us busy for the whole weekend. I don't really have any other goals except for a bit of holiday shopping. Thank you internet. I don't want to leave my house on weekends. It's just dangerous with all the psycho holidites out there ready to kill over parking spots and nick-nacks. I'm one of them. Internet saves sanity. Save the Holidays - Shop Internet... sounds like an It ad for Ebay.

Friday four friday four. Not even, three forty. I need to get outta here. Another two hours save me save me.