Shortly after I finished my last post, Mike returned home, and I discovered that I had my story all wrong. Mike was actually removing the windows at the time of the incident. He had a window in his hands and jumped down with it off the ladder... and right onto a nail, which was sticking out of a board on the ground.

The nail didn't fully penetrate his foot, but went pretty deep. And lucky for Mike, it landed right through a nerve, making the injury very painful. He's been out of work and on crutches all week. The foot is looking much better today though, much to both our relief. Unbelievable how much a little nail can really mess you up.

Meanwhile, I've been working hard at leaving my own mark on the kitchen.

Mikey added the blue with a crayon... Of course, I thought to myself as he watched me write with a sharpie, "I should not be showing and encouraging him to write on the wall." Too late!

After that, Mikey and I did some decorating.

Beautiful porch & trees!

Mikey gets the candy canes!

And puts them on the tree


Second Time These Windows Sent Somebody to the Hospital

An explanation for that title is certainly due. Several years ago - pre-baby, pre-prego, for sure, I had a TRIP at my house. (TRIP = Totally Random Incredible Party) This TRIP was in honor of my bday, a small affair that turned a little crazay thanks to a little green fairie.

We were all in the kitchen when Mike tripped (literally this time) and his hand landed on one of the old windows... and when right through the glass. And me? I was so excited about the window breaking. "I hate these windows!" I think I yelled, and started punching out the remaining glass panes. I may have destroyed the neighborhood had the guys not pulled me away to the sink, where they washed my now bloody hand and bandaided me up. Then I ran off and started dancin' but that's another story.

Mike and I post-accident at the TRIP with Wigs!

The next morning, Mike and I woke up with swollen, painful wounds on our punching hands and had a nifty story to tell the morning crew at the ER.

That was the FIRST time the old kitchen windows sent someone to the hospital. Now let me set you up for the second time.

Sunday, Timmy's son had a brand new baby - so he was definitely excused for stair-duty. But Mike decided to get started anyway. He dug and poured the one needed sonotube footing.

He also prepared and poured the larger slab footing.

But after that, he was excited to rip off the siding on the kitchen. Excited... PSHAW. You couldn't keep that man from his mission. But I'm proud to say, he set himself a stop point. He'd take the siding off, but not the old shingles underneath. Good thing. If the shingles came off, that was the point of no return. Shingles off - you have to put up plywood, take out the old windows, and tyvek. And at this point it was 1pm, soooo... yeah. Shingles off - he'd be working til midnight.

I'm proud to say he stuck to his stop point too! He took off the siding and then cleaned up and that was it!

Here was the outside of the kitchen - this morning.

We're getting to the hospital story now...

So today Mike got some free time and decided to finish up the job. He took off all the shingles and repaired the sill, which was leaking air like crazy. I talked to Mike on the phone and he said he could already feel a difference in how the room was holding heat. Awesome, I thought.

Now... somewhere between the shingles off and the plywood on, there was an incident. I'm still not quite sure of the details, but basically - nail gun + foot = mucho malo. (Our framing gun has gained itself a little bit of a temperamental reputation. I'm scared of it, personally.) Thinking it wasn't so bad, Mike kept on working. He took out the windows and completed the plywood.

Unfortunately, by the time I got home from work, he was in a whole bunch of pain and decided to go to the ER. He's probably on his way back right now, actually. He sent me a text and said they had to cut into his foot. Sounds terrible! I almost don't want to hear the details. And I definitely don't want to see the foot, but I know that's the first thing he's going to want to show me.

Anyway! (I'm not thinking about it!) Those windows were cursed, and I'm so happy they're gone. This is not a trilogy!

Window Wating

What a difference from last weekend's hustle and bustle! This one was calm in comparison - a much needed breather for both of us, for sure. Sunday was calmer then calm, since the guys weren't able to come by to work on the porch. Stairs next weekend! We even have the materials list in hand and soon to be ordered up.

We actually attempted to go to Home Depot, since we needed less then our usual HUGE load of materials. Plus, I wanted to check out and purchase a big 'ol window for the kitchen. (Tax credit expires 12/31 people!) But, once again, HD let us down. They didn't have the right length of board. Ok, fine. I'll give them that. So Mike went to pick out the next longer, no problem. But all the boards were of very poor quality. He gave in quickly. We didn't need them at that very moment anyway, so why not order them?

Moving on to the kitchen window.
We currently have dos kitchen windows with the fridge in between.

We'd like to push the fridge over to the left, ditch that first left-side window, and install a larger window centered on the right hand side. A little Photoshop action and you can see the possible result:

Pretty sweet, right? Imagine this with a new fridge.... oooo, so cool. (Literally)

So I researched the possible fridges I might want and found that they all were about 36" wide. (By the by, that's like 6" wider then our current fridge... imagine the space!) I then measured the approx space taken up by our corner cabinet, since we'd need to install a second one to butt up to the fridge. That was about 6" additional. In total, I figured we'd have a max rough opening size of 60" by 48" - and that's the MAX.

Back at the 'ol HD, we checked out the window section. I didn't imagine they'd have anything in stock to meet our needs. I thought we'd be ordering something for sure. But believe it or not, they had a 4' x 4' sliding glass window with screen in stock for the low low price of just $107.

That seemed like a super low price to me. For some reason, I had it stuck in my head that we paid around $100 for the small sliding window above our stove. Maybe not.

Then I started thinking out loud, well we've got more room then that. Maybe this is going to be too small. But as Mike pointed out, "How big a view of the DRIVEWAY do you want."

Excellent point.

We were there, the window was there, it matched our over-the-stove slider, and it was only $107. I'd be a ding-dong not to buy it. So we did.

Mike was even half tempted to seize the day, rip all the siding off that side of the house, remove both old kitchen windows, install the new one, and plywood the entire side. (Since we probably have enough ply in the basement to do such a thing.) But he also really needed to do some wiring in his truck as well as an oil change and a few other maintenance type things in and around the garage. In the end, sanity won out and we didn't rip apart anything. Probably for the best. No job that large is ever so easy that you can complete it in one day. Something always goes awry.

Next weekend, our wood will arrive and stairs will be built, come what may.

This Organization brought to you by Rubbermaid

I've written much about ClosetMaid. Specifically, ClosetMaid completions in the now discontinued cherry color. I loved that closet organizer - thought it was awesome, chic, high brow, etc etc.

But I was wrong.

Time travel back a few weeks.... I go down to the basement to put away a jacket in my locker (yes locker, a metal locker) full of coats & winter hats/gloves/scarfs, only to discover that everything has gone moldy/musty over the summer. After meticulously washing and airing out everything, I decided that I just couldn't reload the locker. History would just repeat itself next summer and I'd have to repeat the cleaning process all over again.

Solution - An organizer for the mudroom/laundry closet featuring a section for hanging coats.

Now, back in the day, I had all these lofty closet ideas for this particular closet. But at this very moment, I just wanted all those coats, hats, gloves, and scarfs up and outta my way... especially with the party coming down on us. I decided it would be easy and inexpensive to buy a couple of those white metal shelves. On a whim, I went to Lowes to check 'em out.

What I found there was a set by Rubbermaid that was completely customizable. Brackets could be hung on the wall, and then you could move your shelves up and down at will, place clothes racks on whichever shelves you wanted, and purchase add-on pieces that you could also move at will. I was completely blown away. It's called Rubbermaid Configurations. I purchased the 4 to 8 ft set, since I needed 48" shelves. (The set came with two 48", three 22", a bunch of clothes hanger bars, and all the brackets and hardware.) Note that I've added the image and link from Amazon.com... but also note - I did my do-diligence on this one and calculated that Lowes had the best price. ($93 at Lowes. Amazon is cheaper yes, but not when you add the shipping.)

We installed the organizer easily in just about an hour one evening and I couldn't be happier with how it looks. PLUS, if I ever want to change my configuration, add shelves, add hangers, add a sliding bin or basket.... I CAN! Seriously, I'm still freaking out over it.

Those stoopid ClosetMaid completions sets suddenly pale in comparison. They're expensive #1. They don't come with as many shelves and hangers #2. They take forever to put together and install #3. Add on pieces are even more expensive #4. You can't change your design once it's installed #5. And the cherry color I loved originally has now been discontinued and I can't get any more add-ons #6. (Yes, many bloggers have come forward and offered to sell me their pieces, but the shipping is just too outrageous.)

I'm now toying with the idea of ripping out my completions sets and replacing them with Rubbermaid Configurations sets. That's how much I love how the Rubbermaid turned out in the mudroom.

Check it out! The clothes bar hangs right on the shelf, so you can move it if need be. Plus I still have room for my dresser, which houses our sheets, and my cleaning cart, vacuum, and trash. If I ever want to add more shelves and move the dresser - I CAN!

Flying and Dying

We'll begin with the dying - as in, dying of STRESS, first and foremost. Crazy deadlines at work plus three days at a conference plus Halloween party prep plus mad errands equals massive brain hemorrhage. And the weekend before last, we headed out to the Woodshed Halloween party... not good. Or maybe it was, but I can't remember half the night. All I know - Sunday the 31st was the worst day ever and I was soooo sick. All day sick. Dead sick. Can't get out of bed, embarrassed like crazy, missed taking my baby trick-or-treating, infuriated at my stoopid self sick.

Then I woke up at 5am Monday and had to go to the conference.... (And now we go with the flying...)
Got back Wednesday night and started editing for Thursday and Friday deadlines...
Managed my Friday deadline by the skin of my teeth - like done at 4pm skin of my teeth....
And rushed out of work like a rocket to do party errands....
Cut errands short because Mike was sick....
Put the baby to bed and went back out to the grocery store....
Came home and made jello shots until 10pm.
Woke up early and didn't stop party prep until the party officially started at 8pm Saturday eve...
Partied until 2am and had an awesome time.
Woke up at 10 and cleaned until 3pm....
Then collapsed on the couch and watched movies while hacking my lungs out.

Did I mention I've been sick with a cold since Wednesday?!

 Mini Mummy Pizzas

Snake Sandwiches

Decor - Note Peeps are Werewolves this year

I'm Goldilocks

Jello Shots going fast

Group Pics

Can Dance

I'm so pretty!

You all have no idea how glad I am that it's all over. And everything was a success at that! The party was a hit and still the talk of the town two days later. The clients are happy with their videos. Mike is feeling better. I'm still sick, but at least I don't have madness to deal with. The only complaint I received:

Not enough jello shots. And I knew that, but I had no time to run to the liquor store on Friday night. It was too late by the time I was back out running errands. It's sad, because I can remember the days when we made 10 boxes worth of jello shots and were stuffing them down people's throats all night.... next year.

But ASIDE from all of that, let's reverse the clock and head back to Sunday 10/31. Yes, I was sick as a dog, but be that as it may, Mike and the guys still managed to install 4 out of 5 railings. (The 5th couldn't be installed since the last pole hasn't been wrapped since the stairs haven't been done since we needed the temporary stairs for the party!)

This pic was taken post party - note that we also cleaned up and brought back the furniture for the occasion. The party also gave us an opportunity to test out the electrical with my collection of halloween icicle lights. It worked perfectly! Mike even picked up a bunch of small hooks, which we screwed into the trim, to hold up the lights. These hooks will stay in permanently for all future holiday lighting opportunities.

This weekend, we hope work will commence again! Stairs... here we come.