Heat Today, Gone Tomorrow

Well - I guess you could call it a good weekend. We made the scrap metal run Saturday morning then picked up a baseboard from the DH on the way home and installed it in the mudroom while waiting for our friends Andy and Crystal to pick us up for the RV show. (Hopefully, we'll be able to hook that baseboard and the kitchen baseboard into the system tonight if Mike's not feeling ill.)

The RV show was fun - very tempting, but we didn't walk away with anything new. We all went to dinner afterwards, then hung out at our house drinking watermelon-tini's and taking digital pictures of each other in weird hats and posting them on Andy's myspace. Very random.

After our friends left, around 1am, Mike got terribly ill and was throwing up again and again. It was awful. We were up half the night. The next day he continued to be sick - it was a bug, not an alcohol related thang we thought. So sunday was a lost cause.

I still managed to take back THE LAST BAG O CANS!!! (No more redemption - ever - because you'll remember that Mike got a kegerator for x-mas.) Boy, was that liberating. And I sold the truck to our friend Ben. We gave him a good deal, and he'll have to make payments - so it wasn't my ideal situation. But since I got the raise at work, I'm not too worried about cash flow. I got the minimum I needed to get anyway, and sold it to a friend in need. It was weird though, because all Sunday people kept coming by and calling me - wanting to buy it! So ironic, right?

Bread Makes It Better

Let me tell you, there's few things that will squash a bad mood like a freshly baked loaf of sourdough. That's what's brought me out of the depths. I should count myself lucky that we have a bread maker here at work - and delicious dipping oil.

So I'm sorry for yesterday's rant. I wasn't feeling very well when I got home from work yesterday and just collapsed. But now it's Friday and I feel a little better. Especially since tomorrow I'm going to the RV show with my good friends Andy and Crystal. Not that I'll come home with a shiny new RV - but it's so much fun to look.

And I talked to Mike seriously about the heat problem. He did agree that the windows and door in the kitchen and mudroom weren't helping the problem. And he's going to hook up the baseboards for me this weekend! I'm so excited! We may also blanket wrap the side door and use the front door only until we can get a new door.

I would imagine that I could purchase the door at the end of this month. If I hadn't filled the oil tank, I could have gotten it this week. Thank god for pay raises. And... hopefully my friend Dos Bequis and her beau will come over Saturday morn to look at the truck. I offered it to them for a discounted price. If they buy it, I will be a happy pancake.

Doesn't that just Chill you out?

Freezy-Cheez. The awesome new frozen dispensable cheez product sweeping the nation. Not really. I'm just feeling a little out of my mind. I was freezing last night. The house just couldn't get up to temp in the downstairs zone.

Mike continues to claim it's because we're missing 2 panes of glass from the basement windows - but the holes are all boarded up. I think it's because Mike didn't hook up the baseboard in the kitchen and mudroom - the two rooms that still have old and crappy windows that leak. Plus our side entry door in the mudroom has a 3" gap at the bottom of it from when we replaced the mudroom floor and had to slice the bottom of the door to make it fit.

Let me tell you - being cold does not put me in the greatest of moods. In fact, I'm having one of those infuriating days when little stupid stuff is enough to just make you crazy.

We were supposed to have the window panes by now, but our friend keeps forgetting to bring them from his work, where we purchased the windows from. Mike can be so single minded. As if putting two window panes in is going to solve the freezing kitchen and mudroom problem. Yes, I'm sure it's a contributing factor - but it's not the only one.

I'm not going to argue with him - he's been singing this same tune for months because I don't think he wants to hook up the baseboards. That's fine - I can understand that. I'll just put on another sweatshirt and keep my mouth shut until the windows are in. And once they're in, I bet you a lifetime supply of freezy-cheez that Mike will claim it's cold because we haven't put in the glassbricks in the smaller window holes - even though we stuffed those with rigid foam insulation.

Not that I can afford 5 new windows and a door at the moment. I'd love to just get a door. The one I want is only about $250. But we filled up the oil tank this week. That and my paycheck was late, so I'm overdrawn at the moment. That's awesome. Know why? Mike bought a pizza. Normally I wouldn't care - but it was just bad timing with the check being two days late and all. I have overdraft protection - but I used it all to cover my bills that get taken out automatically - because the check was late. Oh it's such a pain. I had to text him this morning to say don't buy anything. I can't call him because he gets pissed off if I call while he's working.

See what I mean about the cold being detrimental on my mood? URG. I wish I could buy soup from Paneras for lunch - but there's the matter of the overdraw again.

El Dube

I've been working on some spec stuff today at work for a possible new client. And I've been thinking in my head that I want to install my laundry closet light tonight.

I'm so itchy and restless this week. I just want it to be the weekend so I get feel accomplished. Mike and I are probably going to make a scrap metal run on Saturday - hopefully get at least $100. I don't know what we'll do after that. If it's not raining, Mike will probably want to finish up the shingling behind the chimney - which is only about a 2ft section.

Theoretically - we shouldn't do a thing, money wise. But I may have run out of stuff already purchased and procrastinated!

Although I do need to pick up those coin wrappers....

Photo Update

Here's the newly stained door from office to our bedroom:
Office before picture September 2005:

And here's my newly re-organized re-designed office after:
Here's the opposite angle of the office:
Here's the view from my new desk:
*This picture is ironic because I'm sitting at this desk right now looking at a picture of this desk...

Here's our bedroom:


I've been feeling down the past few days. It's been rainy non-stop and my truck hasn't sold. I've had some offers - but none at the price I was hoping for. It's very sad - I was really excited about having some extra money for once. Now I'm worried that it won't sell at all.

Plus I hardly got anything done over the weekend because the guys were over allll weekend. Not that I would normally mind, but I was just bored to tears.... and poor to tears, so I couldn't really do anything. I installed the dimmer and fan control that I wanted to install. I tried to put together my new fluorescent lights, but messed up and couldn't get one of them apart again! (Mike helped me out with that last night.) And I bought a few small things at the DeepHo with a gift card from my friend Kie.

That's it.

I'm not really looking forward to this upcoming weekend because I'm going to be poor again after filling my oil tank. Joy, right? I need to bring the last bag of cans to redemption and count out all my coins... which should be enough to purchase coin wrappers that I need to wrap the coins. So ironic.

Maybe the truck will have sold by then, if I'm lucky.


What are we going to do today?
There's the beach or miniature golf to play...
We can go to the mall, are you ready to say -
Let's all go to the zoo!

If you grew up on cape cod, you know the zooquarium song. Isn't it sad? But I'm not doing any of that this weekend. Looks like it's supposed to rain straight through. But I guess that's alright because we've got some interior work to take care of.

1. A dimmer needs to be installed in my office.
2. A fan control needs to be installed in the living room.
3. Mike's getting the other two panes of glass for the basement windows - so we should really finish that up.
4. I need to put up my tape storage in my office.
5. And maybe if Mike is feeling super generous, he'll fix the back window control in my 4runner. We'll see about that one - that's a big job.


It's Fancy Friday again! And I just ordered a novel thing from the Home Improvements Catalog website! These are switch box spacers! Now, if your drywall was done incorrectly, as mine was, your switches and outlets don't sit flush to the wall as they're supposed to. So therefore, your wallplates fit poorly and when you try to plug stuff in, you end up pushing the outlet into the wall. And it's all jiggly and messed up.

So I discovered these spacers in one of these catalogs that I usually just throw out. With these and some longer screws, you can firm up your outlets and switches. For just $7.99 you get a set of 56. You can't beat that, so I figured, why not try it? It just might work. In fact, it's a rather ingenious invention if I do say so.

Ok, I'm sure you're all dying to know what my weekend war is all about this week. Well, last weekend we got so much accomplished that I don't know if it can be beat! All in one day too. This was last Saturday:

7:30 - Wake up and load Mike's truck with demo for the dump.
8:30 - Arrive at Jess's eye appointment
9:30 - Stop at CarQuest, pickup auto primer, a relay, some wire, and a bunch 'o butt connectors. (And other connectors.)
10:00 - Arrive at the dump, unload the stuffx.
10:30 - Arrive back home, prep and prime Mike's new truck hood.
11:30 - Between priming coats, finish the shingling on the back wall. Jess conditions all the inside closet trim with pre-stain wood conditioner.
4:00 - The shingling is finally done and the truck hood is drying. Install exterior outlet next to the side door. Re-install exterior security light on the newly shingled wall.
5:30pm - Jess paints the mudroom closet trim and gives the mudroom ceiling a coat.
6:30pm - Mike comes inside and installs our newly stained bedroom door and door knob. We stain the upstairs closet trim and the bedroom door trim.

Then we were done for Saturday. Mike went riding on Sunday and I finished re-organizing and re-decorating my office, then hooked up and organized my computer. So all in all it was crazy. I don't know how were going to beat that. Let me start a fancy2.

Expensive Decisions

Remember those little dormer doors? I got price on them. At my dimensions, with one raised panel, each door will cost $140. $30 shipping. Without the raised panel it would be $120 per door, same shipping. A little freakin' expensive, right? That's more than a full size door. Amazing what they can charge for stuff now a' days. So I guess we'll try to make them ourselves. I'll print out those pics and we'll see what we can do about building them.

Also, we talked to our carpenter about the whole "new bathroom plus upstairs bathroom stacked on top thing." He thinks that while we're tearing off bathrooms and building new ones, we should add rooms on top of our kitchen and mudroom. And while that's an exciting prospect, we'd have to have an architect draw up the plans, pull permits, go through the whole conservation commission BS again, demolish half of our existing upstairs, either move out or live downstairs, and pay a crew of three guys for a month of work - just to frame out the entire thing and get it weatherproof.

Having just come off the stress of the whole basement thing, I don't know if I'm mentally ready to go through it all again, despite my current expertise. Not to mention the cost of all that - I'm definitely not ready to spend another $10,000 or more, which I know it would cost. Three guys working for a month plus materials, plus the architect, plus permits. No way. I just can't do it with the loan for the basement already hanging over my head - and that won't be paid off for a few years.... and by a few years, I mean like 10 years.

But I want the bathroom done - BAD. I looked at a free camper/trailer last night that had a bigger bathroom than mine. That's pathetic. And IT WAS NICER LOOKING!

For the First Time Online

Hey guys - want to support my home improvement efforts? Buy my truck! It's on Ebay right now - just click HERE.

Dormer Doors

One of my frustrations - among many - is my attic space lovingly referred to as The Loft, an homage to The Loft of tween makeout sessions belonging to my good friend Becci's house.

Anyway, it's really just an attic crawl space accessed by two small holes in the wall. One hole in my office, the other in my master bedroom. The frustration - how to create doors for these holes. Nice looking ones, you know, with a knob, and some trim. Maybe a raised panel.

My internet searches had previously turned up nada for pre-hung attic doors. Mostly because I didn't know this type of attic was called a Dormer or knee wall. Once I discovered that, I pulled up a site with very suave-looking pre-hung dormer doors. All custom made to my specifications. Here's a pic:

Those aren't my doors - those are the examples on their website - which is http://www.access-doors.net/index.html

Anyway - I measured my holes last night... that sounds kinda dirty. Clear you minds, just the attic door holes. And just now I filled out the dimensions on their online form and hit the submit button.

I wonder what kind of pricing they'll come back with. I know that custom anything means mucho dinero, but these doors are small, and I'm hoping hoping that will keep cost down.

$50 Doesn't Even Cover It!

Toilet update - it seems to have fixed itself. Which I guess is a good thing because I'm not ready to re-do the entire bathroom yet. If it lasts until May, I will be so psyched.

On the other side of my to-do list, I ordered two of my hard-to-find switchplates from a website I just discovered - http://www.switchhits.com Previously I was looking at myknobs.com - but I'm just not satisfied with their selection, their prices, their shipping options... They estimated 4-6 weeks on the availability on one switchplate. Ridiculous. I found one I liked better on switch hits and they estimate shipping within 24 hours. Their site has better selection of cool cool stuff too! I highly recommend checking it out. I wish I could afford to deck out all my wall plates using their designs.

My Toilet Is Crying Right Now

It's happened. The little green toilet is fatally ill! I woke up this morning, when into the bano, and discovered that my rug was sopping wet! And there was a tell-tale dripping sound. Sure enough, water was pouring from the handle of our little green toilet.

Now we've had issues with this toilet before. First off, it's green. That's issue enough. But when it was leaking like this before, we had to super glue it together and replace many of its insides - a major surgery that would extend its life, but not for long. And now it's finally ill again.

We have to replace it. There's no other way around it at this point. I'm wondering if Mike knows yet - he leaves before me in the AM. Although I hate to replace it without doing the entire bathroom. Oh well. These things happen.

Yup. It's Outta Here

Well, we had a great time new years eve. And we started off 2007 Jan 1 by ditching the xmas tree and putting away all decor. (Xcept for the bowtie lights - because I've been getting so many compliments this year.

So now's the time for those all-important resolutions. I'm the type of person who'll look at this post a year from now to see what I wanted to get done - and if I did it or not!! Yes, a little p-psychotic, I know.

OK, house resolutions:
1. Bathrooms - do 'em
2. Dry wall and interior trim - get it fixed and done
3. Wood floors (Turns out the $1.99 special I was looking at was laminate and not hardwood. Darn. Maybe we'll go for the cheaper unfinished variety and do it ourselves.)
4. Kitchen roof - it leaks when rain blows in a certain direction
5. Exterior repair - If we can get at least one of the big walls shingled and the rest of the new windows, I would be so happy with that.
6. Garage - That thing needs a paint job and I think I can handle it in spring.

That's probably good for main goals. I think most of that is do-able. As I've said before, I just have to keep picking away at stuff.

So what's my task this week? Well - I need to finish organizing my office. I picked up a new desk at the IKEA sale plus Mike got me a new filing cabinet for xmas. Then, I have one more dimmer and one more fan control that I need Mike to install. Oh, and also, we've begun staining our bedroom door. We'll finish staining the trim on that and reinstall with the new doorknob.

On Friday I'll probably order my living room switch plate from myknobs.com. And this weekend, if it's not raining again, we can finally finish up the shingling on the back wall.