Last night I got home from another one of "those days" just to find that Mike was having one of "those days" too. And we had a long conversation, complaining about this and that, bad luck, what-ifs, and the ever popular what-are-we-going-to-do-about-it.
Usually in these circumstances, I set myself in front of the TV and eat my way to some sort of mild satisfaction. But Mike was going to go in the garage and try to get work done, and I figured it might do me some good to do the same.
So I went up to the office and attempted to clean and re-work the furniture. It was actually pretty frustrating at first and I had the urge to just quit. Nothing was turning out very well. My bookshelf was just too tall and skinny for the space I was trying to put it in - but I really need it for my books and am not in a position to get a new one.
Then I had this amazing flash of genius. Tip it over. That's right. I had a tall skinny thing and I needed a long short thing. So I just laid the bookshelf on its side against the wall. It fit perfectly, and I could still put all my books in it - just all stacked on top of one another. Plus, now I had a nice skinny top shelf surface for pictures and nick-nacs and whatever.
That made me feel a hell of a lot better. And it got all the books out of the guest bedroom. I hope to force myself to do more tonight.
Mud room. Ever since my friend finished the renovation on her dining room, I've been thinking about turning my mud room into a dining room. It adjoins the kitchen. It would work.
In fact, I've been thinking about it more and more since I calculated that I could in fact finish the floor in there with the leftover hardwood from the upstairs.
I know I know I know I know I know.
The cardinal rule I set for myself when I set out to finish my upstairs was, and I quote, "THOU SHALT NOT START A NEW PROJECT UNTIL THE UPSTAIRS HATH BEEN COMPLETED."
Me starting new projects usually results in lack of doneness everywhere, as opposed to lack of doneness just here and there.
But I just can't help thinking - we've got the hardwood. It's sitting right there in boxes, just screaming to be put down in that room. And I know it's not that easy, because we already have plans afoot for that room.
First, we'd have to rip out the double windows at the front and replace them with double french doors. Then we'd have to replace the other window in the room with a new window and get rid of the original single gross entry door at the side.
Then we'd have to relocated the doorbell and exterior light and all light switches next to the new door.
Then the drywall would have to be repaired, new wainscoting and chair rail trim installed, and everything would have to be primed and painted.
And even when that was all done, we'd have to purchase some slate tile and install around the new doorway (for your gross feet people) before the wood could be installed.
Not to mention that I've been tinkering with the idea of making the ceiling in there sloped.
You can see now how I get into trouble by starting these projects. I try and pass it off as some easy cheap weekend thing - and then it turns into a major gut-busting months-of-labor type of affair. I don't know why I get my kicks like that. It's sick, isn't it?
Ok - I just wrote a huge thing about this and that and why I've been feeling down. But then I decided I don't really want to share today. And I deleted it.
Probably because a number of people have warned that it's dangerous and stupid to publish your thoughts online and made fun of bloggers to my face. Normally, I would whole-heartedly disagree.... but in current state of mind I'm a little bit sensitive to suggestion. Not that I share my blog with these people who would wonder "what's the point?"
To summarize - I've just been too bummed to do anything lately - for a multitude of reasons. And Mike has tried his damnedest to snap me out of it, but I can't help worrying about well, everything.
So despite having all the gear to finish the upstairs, it's been just sitting in the basement, some half stained, some unstained, some un-cut.
That all changed this Sunday. We put up the office window and base trim, wired the bedroom and office smoke detectors, and put a coat of stain of both sets of closet doors. Although we did also discover that we didn't have enough base trim to cover the room. It had been so long, we had just forgotten! Plus, we ran out of stain.
An office window.closet trim (door trim was already there)
notice the baseboard trim
see the smoke/carbon monoxide detector? now just one hole to fill - the office ceiling fan.
If we can finish the doors and install them this week - both upstairs rooms will be 99.9% done. The only remaining projects up there would be the attic crawl space doors, office ceiling fan, and the bedroom window trim.
And since we lifted the house, the bedroom windows went crooked. So they actually have to be physically taken out and put back in straight before we can trim them. (Our carpenter will have to handle that one.)
Next on the docket is the stairway/hallway. I'd like to finish it next the same way we finished the upstairs. That is: Buy everything needed to finish it and don't stop until it's done. That would include all materials for the banister and catwalk railing, lighting fixtures for the hallway, paint for the hallway, a couple light switches, and trim.
Not so bad right?
We probably won't be able to finish that until we get back from our vacation Oct 1st. And who knows what the money situation will be then - so I shouldn't say anything.
I never had a chili cheese dog in my entire life. Which is why Mike was so shocked when I told him I was making them for dinner. He said, "Are you kidding?" But it had been a frustrating couple days and I was feeling disappointed that he had to work late and couldn't finish staining and installing the upstairs trim.
I must admit, with the Nathan's hot dogs and the crock-pot chili and some shredded mexi-cheese.... I made a damn good chili cheese dog for a person totally unfamiliar with the art of sloppy-bad-for-you-foods. I'm always refusing to make Man-wiches, so I think that's partially the reason for Mike's shock.
Monday, I think, was the last day we did anything. Mike was unhappy on how the brushed on, then toweled off stain was turning out and got out his paint gun. And that worked quite well - until water in the air compressor air started spitting out.... (for we are without a separator) Water and oil based stain... not the friendliest of combinations. I haven't gone in the basement to see how it turned out. Mike tends to be dissatisfied with stuff I think is perfectly wonderful - so I never know.
On the same day, Mike put down some Summerguard fertilizer and he's been watering the heck out of the lawn every night trying to combat some of the browning. And it's worked! I can't help wishing I had some more seed, but I know I have to resist the temptation to fill in the gaps. It's way too hot right now to plant.
Hard to believe tomorrow is Friday. But I know Mike is working late again tonight. I'm rambling. I have the weirdest little feeling that nothing's going to get done over the weekend too. I've been too worried about bills I haven't even gotten yet. And now I've got myself wondering what's for dinner tonight too.
My now husband Mike and I purchased this quaint home back in spring of 2004 - our first home - and, being the handy folks we are, expected to have the entire thing renovated in about a year or so.
And here we still are... renovating away.
This house needed a complete overhaul. Its plaster walls were uninsulated, its attic floor covered in 2" of bat guano, its basement - dirt and snakes, its exterior - asbestos siding, and lead paint windows in every room. The electric had not been updated and light sockets hung bare from the ceiling. Plumbing featured cast iron radiators - and only one for the entire upstairs.
We began by gutting almost the entire house from top to bottom. (sans bathroom - we needed to pee) We rebuilt the entire upstairs, with a new floor (not new carpet or wood - the once unstable framing underneath) and turned 3 small rooms into two. We reinvented the downstairs by turning a closet into a hallway and eliminating interior exterior windows and doors from old half-assed additions.
New insulation, windows, electrical wiring (including phone and CAT-5 internet), plumbing and baseboards, and drywall were all added.
We purchased kitchen cabinets from a yard sale. (None existed previously.) Our families helped us replace and purchase new appliances including the once also missing washer & dryer.
Then we had the entire house lifted - straight into the air - dug out the dirt, and had a real basement foundation poured. We updated our oil tank and burner and created heating zones.
Outside, we took down trees and planted grass. We dug out an awkward hill to create a 2nd part to the driveway and used the rocks our house once sat on as a retaining wall. We electrified and repainted the garage.
And of course, we spent many an hour on finish work like paint, trim, closet doors, lighting fixtures, hardwood floors, curtain rods, dimmer switches, and many other things everyone else takes for granted. We are still working to complete all this final finishing, but happy to report that we are FINALLY nearing completion of all little things in all rooms!
In 2008 we began overhauling the exterior by creating a new french door entryway and building a farmer's porch and garage addition. We replaced our roof and then stripped off our siding and replaced with new clapboards. We then planted two new flowering trees and a maple in the front yard - our first major landscape purchases. I'm happy to report that here in 2011, the porch is nearing completion and the back yard is on the road to recovery with some new loam and grass. More plantings soon to come!
In 2012 we plan to attack the last MAJOR (emphasis on major) job in the house - the dreaded BATHROOM! We plan to first add a second bathroom in the basement. Then, demolish our current bathroom and rebuild it, adding a second bathroom on top for the upstairs.
And that pretty much brings you up to date. The battle continues day to day as we try and complete everything.