All I Want for Christmas Ver3

Two years ago I made a list for Christmas - everything I wanted done to the house. Last year I updated the list, you know, crossed off finished projects, added others. And now it's time for yet another update. (This is becoming a yearly tradition now!)

Ok here we go:

1. New Downstairs Bathroom: stand up shower American Standard Champion toilet, small vanity, stand up shower, mosaic tile, river stone floor tile

2. Kitchen: Fix drywall and repaint, new cabinets, new windows plus trim, new (Kenmore or LG) refrigerator - the new double door freezer bottom model

3. MudRoom: reinstall wainscot, laundry cabinets, laundry closet doors, recessed light trim, new rug, dining set

4. Living Room: Fix drywall & repaint, flooring, trim all round, reinstall that one crooked window, new media center, Sony 32" HDTV, carpet pad, fireplace?

5. Hallway/Stairway: finish repainting, new front entrance door, banister, stairway trim, top stair step, stairway track light with dimmer, flooring,

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

7. Office: Closet organizer, door to the attic crawl space, ceiling fan, bigger area rug

8. Bedroom: new mattress, new HDTV, more drawers for my Closetmaid set, door for attic loft space, window and closet door trim

9. Upstairs Bath: BUILD IT - frame it, electrify, insulate, drywall, paint, design, , pretty tile, skylight, Corner Jacuzzi tub for two, new vanity, stand up shower, American Standard Champion toilet

10. Garage: Drywall and paint, Two garage doors, storage system with shelves, addition on back of garage - built

11. House exterior: new clapboard siding, trim out farmer's porch, window boxes, green shutters, a new mailbox, lampposts, less gross plants and trees, flowering trees and other nice plantings, a shed, chimney overlay, chimney cap, another chimney 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, 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.

Slow Progress

Have you ever felt like things are moving out of control around you, yet you're just standing there in slo-mo and can't get a thing done? That's been my holiday season so far. So much to do, so little time.... and I seem to be making no progress no matter how much I get done.

We've been picking away at things around the house - or I should say Mike has. I've been busy making cookies and Christmas cards etc etc. He finished the ceiling and closet paint in the downstairs bedroom. (And yes I did get those outlet covers and installed most of them.)

He installed my magic hanger (for brooms and the like) up in the mudroom closet next to the washer/dryer too. And he's been going around the basement trying to plug up air leaks.

Now that I type it out it all doesn't seem like very much does it? But it's felt like a lot for some reason.

I hate to say it, but I'm sure we'll be continuing to pick away at these small projects into January. There's just no funds for anything else. Winter-time blues at their finest, for sure.

Congratulations - It's Teal!

This week Mike's been slowly painting away. One color one night, next color next night, and the ceiling and closet still to come. I couldn't be happier with the results. The room is so bright and fun and well... teal!

Yes, that left side wall is the lighter Sweet Rhapsody color, it's not your imagination. Lighting just makes it a little difficult to tell in this pic.

Here's the opposite side of the room, and you can more obviously see the color difference here. Lookin good!

Although I've missed painting. I seem to be the only one who can cut in sans tape. (I forced myself to learn after several tape-related disasters.) Mike had to purchase tape - nearly $9 for a roll of scotch delicate brand painting tape. $9 - highway robbery. You'd think a tape that wasn't as sticky would be cheaper than a sticky tape. Not so. I could get masking tape that would pull the drywall off the studs for $2.

That shopping trip was depressing. No coupon this time either.

And now that it's Friday, I can only imagine that Mike will paint the ceiling and closet over the weekend. Not much else we can do at this point around the house. Holidays are waaaay too close. Although the recent slippery weather reminded us that we need a temporary railing up on the porch steps... or else someone is going to slip and fall and get hurt. Most likely - me. And probably while I have my hands full with groceries too. Never fails.

I'm thinking now looking at the pics, I could go down to the deepHo and buy all those outlet covers I need. They're cheap enough. That would really help the walls look finished!

The Painty Smell of Success

Tuesday tends not to be the most productive day of the week. Mike usually has work to do elsewhere after work and I have dance class.

But yesterday I was shocked to discover him home early - sanding the downstairs bedroom. He had it in his head that he would finish up the sanding and put on a first coat of primer. And I wasn't one to argue.

One of the greatest features of that room in a time like this is the door. Really, only our two bedrooms and the bathroom can be truly closed off. None of our other rooms have doors. So Mike just shut himself in as well as all dust and nasty fumes. It was a nice change of pace to our usual most-mess-possible methods.

By morning the door was open and I could faintly smell the primer. Just the smell of it really sent me back to the days before paint. And then the sight of that room, white. I couldn't tell you the last time that room was white. But it made me think of when we lived in there as the rest of the house was still under construction.

Ah, memories.

I would imagine that tonight he'll throw a second coat on there and be able to paint in color by weeks end if his motivation keeps up. I feel bad just sitting around while he's closed in that little room... with paint. But nothing I can do about that, unfortunately.

Turkey Day and Loose Ends

Another long long weekend - hope all of you had a great turkey day! I have to admit, I was a bit shocked and sorry to see my own mother making so many dishes from a bag.... gravy from a bag, stuffing from a bag, green beans from a bag.... I just always imagine those grandmother thanksgivings from years past.

My grandmother actually majored in home economics in college (can you imagine that?) and was an amazing cook until she recently took ill. Her thanksgivings started out with her famous hot crab dip and my personal favorite, a snack we referred to as, "The Cheese Things." These were served with an array of fancy crackers, which it was my job to arrange nicely on a platter.

Then the meal itself - if you still had room for it - included a huge turkey, always on a bed of parsley, stuffing, cranberry sauce, gravy, scalloped potatoes, squash or sweet potatoes, fresh green beans with almonds.... I think I remembered everything. And all from scratch. For desert the classic pecan and pumpkin pies with homemade whipped cream. While we waited for the pies, we ate After Eight mints and other mint candies and drank coffee.

Even my mother made some outrageous thanksgiving meals over the years - her homemade cornbread stuffing is still the most unforgettable stuffing I've ever had.

But in thinking of all this last Thursday, I realized that I can't just sit around dreaming of thanksgivings past. If I want it, there's no better way than to do it myself. (Especially now that the mud/dining room is together.) All I need is a table and some more chairs and my grandmother's recipe book. Mike's seen how to fry a turkey at least twice on Good Eats and is just dying to try it. So why not?

I won't want to travel with a baby this time next year anyhow - so why not stay home and host? At least try. And you're all invited! Well... maybe not all of you house bloggers. Sorry. House isn't that big.

Well, enough grandiose schemes.

I'm sure you all want to know what we weekend warriors were up to for four days... ur, three not counting the big TD. (Turkey Day)

Well, I hate to disappoint, but really we spent the time tying up some loose ends. Mike finished sanding and then painted the basement stairway drywall. (I had suggested this project after bringing all the Christmas stuff up from under the basement stairs - thus dust, paint, and who knows what else could just fall down there without further ruining any of our stuff.)

Oh and of course I put up the decorations, cleaned, and basically finished all the other chores. Then Mike had some more winter vehicle maintenance to take care of. Ho-hum, right?

The real exciting moment of the weekend (sad though it may be that we're so excited about this) was purchasing the baby room paint at the DeepHo. I had a 10% off coupon - and with drywall well on its way, I think it was just meant to be. And even Mike was a little disappointed that he couldn't paint yet. He was actually in a painting mood... imagine that. Hopefully that will last until the drywall is done.

Speaking of which, the guys are working on it tonight and should have it finished and ready to prime by the time I get home. I can't believe the paint will be done before Christmas.