Can I Step on It Now?!

Grass is a wonderful thing - and boy is it coming in now. We still have a lot of holes - and now a lot of weeds are coming up. But they're green weeds! When the lawn is high enough to be mowed, we'll put down some week control.
Here's the view from upstairs. You can really see the blank spots from here.

But from the side, it's harder to tell. Hopefully another week or so and the overseed we put on will start to grow. It's almost getting too hot now to seed. But at least our nights are still cool.

Here's the side yard, which actually looks better in person then in this pic. This we didn't hydroseed - it had grass.

A DeepHo Story

All of you know by now that I have mixed feelings about the Home Depot. I've had bad luck there, and I've had good luck there and I've complained about both.

This is a story about why Home Depot is taking over the world. Sad, but true.

Mike and I went to purchase landing posts for our stairs on Saturday. We were on Cape and decided to check out the selection at MidCape Home Center - figuring that they might have something we liked better than Depot in stock.

The dude in the store told us to go to building #9 out back because that's where the stair stuff was. So, we walked, in the drizzling rain, past 8 other buildings to #9.

Once there, we saw they had just one style of post and it was too short. The guy went back to his stock and, by chance, he happened to have some super long ones. We decided to just get them - I mean, we had already come all the way down here and made the guy check for these for god sakes. We felt bad.

He asked if we wanted oak or beech. Our treads are oak so we said oak. And he gave us the three posts and told us to bring them to the gatehouse. Poor Mike had to carry these three heavy 6ft long posts through the drizzly rain all the way past the 8 buildings to the gatehouse.

At the gatehouse, the attendant told us we had to bring them inside. So we brought them inside to the cashier. She looked at the boxes. Put on her glasses. Looked at the barcode. Asked us where we got them from and what they were. We told her. And then she told us that she didn't know what to do with them and to take them to customer service.

Mike again carried the boxes through the store to customer service. The lady there didn't know what to do with them either. She pointed us over to another customer service guy. Lucky for us, he knew what to do.

He started ringing up the posts and then asked us if we had wanted oak or beech. We said oak and told him that the guy in building #9 said they were oak. They weren't. They were beech. So customer service man called building #9 man to find out if they had any oak. They didn't have any, we'd have to order it.

Mike asked the price difference. It was $79 per post for beech and it would be $90 per post for oak. I thought that was outrageous for either, but having just been through allll that ridiculousness, I told the guy I had to get my project done and I'd take the beech.

And we were finally able to pay and get the hell outta there. Immediately I commented to Mike about how much of a pain that all was and how obvious it became that Home Depot would take over the world at this rate.

We went home, dropped off the posts, and headed to the Depot because we had to rent a hardwood floor stapler.

By chance, I said, "Let's look at their stair stuff."

Oh my god. They had everything. They had a variety of landing posts, banisters, trim pieces, balusters, and more. They had the exact same style as midcape - oak - the right size (actually a variety of sizes) and it was $50 a post. (Actually $49 a post.)

$50 a post! And it was there, I could pick it out myself, I could bring it up front and pay for it easily.

So for the same amount we spent at midcape - we got all three posts, long oak boards, landing post trim pieces, an iron baluster for test length, jig saw blades.... I can't even remember all the stuff we got.

Mike's going to return those other posts tomorrow. Can you believe that? I'm all for supporting the local businesses - and I hate the fact that the whole world is a Home Depot/Walmart/CVS plaza - but OH MY GOD!

Sleeping in My Room

Do you know how awesome it feels to sleep in your own room after living out of your guest room for over 2 months? You must - you're all housebloggers.

I think it was the most restful sleep I've had in a long time. But that could also be because I was exhausted!

Let me rewind a little.

Having to work last Sunday - I decided early on last week that Saturday was do-or-die-day for the wood floors upstairs. I was determined to sleep in my own room again. The problem - the banister... or lack thereof.

The banister landing posts has to be recessed and attached to the floor joists - not just the hard wood, so we knew we had to get them before anything could be accomplished. Now, if you haven't had a stair experience - I'd highly recommend it. Stairs are complicated, confusing, mathematical, expensive, and usually, very necessary. Ours are even more so because they lead into an upstairs room with a railing that theoretically should tie into the stair banister. And we have an unusually tall last step. (at the top that is)

Ok - so we were completely in the dark about how to work the banister. Over rail, between post, wood, iron, lose it into the ceiling, lose some tread space, tie it into the upstairs railing, how to tie in the railing with the hardwood floor...

We were confused enough about how to make it work - never mind making it look good. That was a complete enigma.

So Friday Mike went over to TJ's house (carpenter/contractor extrodinaire) to ask his advice. Together they came up with a plan, and Saturday Mike and I set about putting it into action.


Step1: We drove over to TJ's early in the AM with some of our hardwood pieces for him to cut and router. Cutting off the tongue & groove portion would leave us with a smooth edge to edge the stair hole with.

Step2: We picked up landing posts. We decided to go with a post to post system rather than over rail because it would be easier for us. (Long story about this to follow)

Step3: We picked up some oak boards to trim around the landing posts.

And there's more to this plan, but that's all we could afford to get at the time because we had to rent the hardwood stapler again too.

With all these errands, we couldn't start flooring until around 3 or 4pm. So, naturally, we were up till midnight flooring. And I had to get up at 5am for my shoot. Lovely. But it wasn't so bad - our neighbor's son came over and helped out. It went pretty quick once we got started. And here are the results:

Here's where the railing will be. With two oak landing posts, the oak board surrounding them, and next to the board, you can see a piece of wood flooring that goes in the opposite direction to the rest of the floor. That's so the tongues of the horizontal boards snap in and hold tight.

Here's the other side of the room. We stained the baseboard trim last night and haven't put it up yet.

Awe behold the beauty.

Having just barely finished the floor on Saturday night, we were in no condition to move furniture. And Sunday, I was exhausted from work.

Last night I didn't even think it was going to happen! Mike and I cut and stained the baseboard trim and the landing posts. And after that, I was ready to quit for the night. But as we were bringing laundry upstairs, Mike just decided that we should sleep in the bedroom that night. And we started moving stuff!

Around 11, we had all the office stuff back in the office - although not arranged. We just threw it all in there. And we had the bed and nightstands in the bedroom. Messy as everything still was, I was so happy to see it in place.

Trudging Thru the Mud

Here I am reporting live from the scene of yet another exploding logo. And wait... is that big booms & explosion SFX?! Oh my god - isn't that the coolest most awesome thing you've ever seen?!

Yeah right. I need more warm & fuzz in my life right now.

Anyway, so as you can tell, work has totally infiltrated my sanity.... if there was any there to begin with, it's gone now. I should start a second blog - but then our clients might get a hold of it and that would just suck. Because boy would I have a few choice words for a few choice individuals. As in, "NO MORE EXPLOSIONS!"

Back home... yeah, home - what's that? But seriously folks, the grass is coming in nicely. We put down some additional seed plus starter fertilizer to begin filling in the blank spaces.

We also got a cable splitter. Now, here's an issue I'd like to bring up. Those things are dam expensive! Way back when, when we did the wiring, we put cable, phone, and internet in every room... except the bathroom. The bathroom just got cable.

(Could you imagine me blogging from my bathtub?! I could add a web cam and make millions from idiots watching me blog naked live in my bathtub. Unfortunately for all of you, I'm not greedy and shameless enough.)

Back to the story - so we have eight cable cables that need cable hooked up to them. (Yes, I'm a video professional, leave me alone about the ridiculous girly techno babble..) Of course, Comcast doesn't do diddly but give you a two from one adapter and say, "All done!" So Mike and I went to the DeepHo after he gave me my cool new kitchen TV looking for a better splitter with 8 outputs.

And they had one! It was perfect, one in, eight out - amplified and ready to mount on the wall. The price for this little box no bigger than a Dove Ice Cream bar box - $130.

$130!!! Let's take a minute to examine that. That's outrageous. $130 just so I can watch TV in every room. I don't even have a TV in every room, but why spend $60 to have TV in three or four rooms just to spend $60 again later down the line?

I could have had my stairway banister all finished and my office floor done with $130. Which, by the way, needs to be spent/done this Saturday. I can't even tell you how frustrating that is. I've spoken to it before - these little things that end up costing big bucks.

But I bought it anyway. Needed to. I'll have to eventually. The price is never going to go down. (Famous last words.)

Meanwhile a debate has begun on the stairway - should the railing go over the poles or between them? I prefer the over and Mike prefers the in-between. We'll probably go with what he wants this time around. Even though it's f-ing ugly.

I want the metal balusters though - none of this all wood junk. It'll be too woody. I wouldn't mind if Mike would let me paint the wood. But wood on wood on wood is just too much wood.

And now back, to Summerfest2007. KABOOM!


Mike got me the coolest (yet, most belated) b-day gift evah!

It's a kitchen clock/tv/radio/DVD player/CD player/iPod player! Oooo! Total techno geek stuff right there. We installed it last night and I have high expectations for its future awesomeness.

Feels Like A Year

Remember how I had that mad-crazy last saturday plan? Well, that was foiled. My sister in-law is selling her house and needed Mike's home-improvement expertise on Saturday.

Which, actually worked out perfectly because I really shouldn't be buying more stuffx at the DeepHo until I pay off my bill next week! That's a conundrum isn't it? Paying off a credit card so you can buy more stuff on it and get yourself back in debt.... it's almost philosophical in its retardedness.

So my Saturday was spent on my ass. There was a Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends marathon on and one point - and I enjoyed that waaay too much.

On Sunday I had to shoot in NH and Mike was the one on his butt all day... probably watching the Power Block on Spike TV... followed by Man-Type movies.... and eating chips 'n cheez.

This week's going to be a complete loss too. Since I'll be shooting in Laconia next Saturday I decided, what the hell? Why don't we just go up there for the weekend and do some riding? Since we won't be up there for bike week. I wish we could camp, but the grass isn't strong and tall enough to drive the big 'ol truck over it to pick up the slide-in, which is at the back of the back yard.

What does all that mean - I've got to hoard more money so I can pay for room and food and fun and gas. *sigh*

It's always something.

Although I did get my plants in the mail! I got three pink flowering shrubberies, one lilac, and a bunch of little ground-cover-type purplie flowering things. (You can tell I'm sooo into gardening, right? Pshaw!) Yeah, I just plant 'em where I'd like 'em and if they live they live and if they die, I don't cry about it because I don't have the patience to deal with taking care of them. I just figure - these plants normally just grow in the wild allll on their own, right? So they should be able to fend for themselves in my yard.

Gardeners of the world are screaming at me and my laziness right now, I'm sure. My neighbor is an awesome gardener/farmer - I have to plant stuff when he's not looking so he doesn't see how many rules of gardening I'm breaking.

The Weekendless May

What a bummer of a week. I should be psyched - the grass is coming up, the office is painted, and it's been beautiful out.

But there's also bad news. I'll be working this Sunday, next Saturday, Sunday the-what-ever's-after-next-Sunday, and the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend. And not just working working - like, out of the state working. I should be psyched about that too - it's a great opportunity and should be lotsa fun. (Can't elaborate any more, however. It's a little bit of a hush-hush operation for now at least.)

But this is the start of Spring!! Normally every weekend is jam-packed with places to go, people to see, and things to do. This Sunday, I'll be missing out on the blessing of the bikes, for example. =(

And Mike and I won't be able to go camping at Nickerson on Memorial Day weekend like last year.

Not to mention the loss of countless hours of work around the house. Saturdays are going to be super stressful. That is, if I don't have to travel on Saturdays. I'll be getting the details today at 1pm. This Saturday, as an example, I have to get up early for a hair appointment. (Shut up, and let me be girly for an hour and a half please!) Meanwhile, Mike's got to haul a load of scrap metal to the junk yard for cash. When we both get home, we have to run to the deepho, rent the stapler, and try like hell to do the office floor by end of the day.

For now, I hope this crazy schedule is only for May. I'm going to cry if it cuts into June and July. I'm already missing Laconia this year because of a stupid dance recital we're shooting 6/16. We always go up last weekend of the week - and I was really looking forward to it being just the two of us this year. Plus I wanted to get a new leather jacket at Weirs Beach.

Anyway - nothing I can do about it. It's just - why can't all this stuff happen in Fall, Winter, or Early Spring?!

Princess $7

Last night I took absolute joy in just standing in the office. It's just something about dim light and warm colors that makes me comfy. (I have dimmers on almost all the ceiling fixtures in the house - from the recessed to the tracks to the pendants.)

About a month ago I found a killer small chandelier at Walmart for $7. Mike wired it in for me last night while I put the pendants back up.

Now this is officially the princess sitting room. It is so royally awesome. The chandelier is perfect. The pendants look killer.

All I need now is the floor and the furniture. Too bad I have to wait until Saturday.