Living In It

FedEx redeemed themselves yesterday, delivering the new rug one full day in advance. And to the correct address to boot! I'm much relieved on that one. Now the challenge is to replace the old rug by the end of Friday.

I hope to accomplish this task tonight, although you know how that goes. It's a maybe at best.

The good news is, after the rug is in, we can bring back the last piece of furniture - the bar - and get all the misc glasses and beverages out of the kitchen at long last. Other odds and ends include the curtain rods and curtains, pictures and mirrors, and the last two outlets. Then, call it done!

And dare I say, move on?
Oooo, I said it.

But what's next? I say it's only natural to finish up the hallway/stairway next. Plus, portions of it will be relatively easy. We could probably cut, stain, and install the baseboard trim this weekend if we get rained out as they're predicting. The front door trim shouldn't be much of a problem either - and I'd really like that done since one of our cats continues to munch on (and get sick on) the exposed drywall. The door needs to get painted too, as it's only primed. No biggie.

The stairway, however, will prove to be much more challenging. First off, thanks to me, all the treads need to be removed, sanded and re-stained. Even water based paint by the way, once it has cured for about a month is on there for life.

Once that laborious task has been completed, the stairway needs to be trimmed, the balusters and railing need to be installed, and the balcony overhang drywall needs to be trimmed and painted.

As usual... one step at a time. I'll see if I can push the momentum forward with some weekend trimmings.

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Furniture Face Off

On a previous post, you'll see the couch placed on the far wall of the living room. This was Mike's suggestion. I wanted to try it on the opposite wall from whence it started. So of course, on Monday, Mike moved it where I wanted it.

But I have to admit, after starring at it and thinking about it for Tues-Wed, I couldn't help thinking that I didn't like it. It divided the room - which I thought I wanted when I envisioned the arrangement. But in practice, it was too much of a division and left little room for Mikey to play on the floor, which is what I really wanted for him.

And on Thursday I couldn't shake the thought as I sat at my desk, leisurely working on a non-mission-critical project. Then, I had a crazay idea. Mikey was at day care that day... I could rush home at lunch, put down the old rug, and rearrange the couch. The more I thought about it, the more excited I became.

When noon came around, I was on my coffee induced mission home. Arrived in 15min, vacuumed the floor, carried the rug up from the basement, put down the carpet pad, put down the carpet, moved the couch back to the far wall, and vacuumed the carpet. I was back to work by 10 after one and sweaty as hell. But I was lovin the results!

Then, the call came in. I hadn't even gotten to the office - I was just getting off the highway in fact, when my phone rang. Day care. Mikey was running a fever. And wouldn't you know, I had to get back to the office, make a host of phone calls, turn around and go back past my house to day care, pick up the poor baby, take him to the doctor's, pick up a sandwich (5 dollar... 5 dollar foot looong!) (Gimmee a break, I hadn't eaten lunch and was ready to pass out.) and returned home.

Yeah - teething plus double ear infection plus a cold... equals one unhappy baby.

Luckily for me, Mikey took a nap around 5. And I should have relaxed. But no, I got my 5th or 6th wind and got back to moving and arranging and re-arranging furniture. I put in the chair, then one end table, then the second end table... moved the end tables several times until I liked them. I added the lamps, cleaned up a bit, and then stood back to admire the result.

I loved it.

Mike got home, visibly impressed. He wanted to bring back the entertainment center and get the TV going again. But I just didn't have it in me - no way I could lift up that thing. Not to be deterred, Mike called our neighbor, who was happy to lend a hand for a few beers.

Couch - TV - lamps - end tables - rug... not the new rug of course.

And look at all the room for Mikey to play!

And from the opposite angle.

And from the side.

All that remains is the bar and some smaller items. And of course, when the rug arrives next Wednesday, everything is going to have to be nudged out of the way. No big deal.

Despite the exhaustion from all the running around, the site of that room just made me so happy. It's so funny, I said to Mike, "It's like we have a real living room now!!" And it's true. It doesn't feel like a stinky old house. It feels grand!

And we watched TV on the couch for the first time in weeks and weeks. It was awesome.

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The Return of the Kitchen

After last week's maddening living room schedule, last night seemed so tame! But, it was still significant enough to mention here because I got the kitchen back! Yes, there's been a chair in there for nearly a week - and the cat food has been underfoot for more then two. Both were moved to their proper locations last night, much to my relief.

We still haven't figured out our furniture configuration yet. And other then the couch, and now the chair, there's nada in the living room. Oh, I lied. There was a floor lamp in the kitchen that I moved back too.... but other then that - nada. I'm counting down the days until the arrival of the rug.

Mike also moved the two extra boxes of hardwood down to the basement. (Remember not to store your excess hardwood on the basement floor - it will ruin it. Concrete to wood moisture transfer or something along those lines, I think.) Anyway - this gave us back the hallway!!! Which, we've only had the use of half of for the better part of a year. Boy did it feel good... and strange... to walk down the hall without having to squish yourself past 12 boxes of hardwood.

Next step - I dunno. I'm still in a tizzy from Sunday.

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Sunday. Yes Sunday. I had my goals. Mike had his doubts. But in the end it all came together so perfectly.

We were all up and movin by 7:30 and I was out the door with the baby by 8:30. Meanwhile, Mike got right to work, calibrating the nailer and preparing those all important first couple of rows. I was back by 10 and by noon, we were half done.

Yeah, we were MOVIN! I lay out the courses, Mike nails them, Mike marks the end piece, I cut it, he nails it, and we start on the next course.

And I tried my best to keep Mike down on the floor, since all the ups and downs tend to be what holds up the process. And if I was getting something, or moving something, or even laying out my courses, I was running, rushing, or sliding across the new flooring. (Always fun in the sawdust.) It made all the difference in terms of time.

Here we are at the halfway mark.

Here we are sometime just before lunch.

We kept on speeding along until about 1 when we ran out of nails. At that point we went out, picked up the nails, picked up the lunch, and were back, fed, and back to work by 2. I said at that moment, "I bet we'll be done by 3:30"

Mike was skeptical.

We were done with the main body of the floor at 3:30. All that remained was the difficult last sliver. Yes, you can see in the above pic how the drywall pulls away from the plywood. Turns out, there was a small section in the middle of the wall where trim just wouldn't cover the gap. So Mike had to cut a very very thin piece of hardwood, cut the drywall, and glue and squish the very very think piece of hardwood in there. Easier said then done. But still, he was even finished with all that by around 4:30.

Meanwhile, as he worked on all that, I began cleaning. So as soon as he was finished with the difficultness, we were able to just slap on the trim - which was all stained, dried, second coated, and dried previously. (Very good idea.)

That big long piece is the final trim board for the opposite side of the room. And no, there's not a big triangle of dark wood flooring... that's just a shadow people.

By 5:30 we were bringing the couch back.

And by quarter of six we were sitting on it.... and then we had to rush out to go pick up the baby.


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We're well on our way to living room glory, once again. Last night Mike measured for, cut, and first coated the trim - as planned. He even planed the old window trim and re-installed.

*Yeah... when first trimming out the living room windows - I believe the first things in the house we trimmed out - we forgot to take into account the tilt-in cleaning feature and ended up with trim block. Realizing our mistake, we purchased a planer. (Which at the time we wondered how much we would ever use, but soon were praising for its versatility of use in a house where nothing is ever square, straight, level, plumb, or perfect.) And in trimming out the rest of our windows, planed the trim accordingly.... but never fixed the living room windows. Until now!!

Urg. I just left the computer for a minute after hearing the dreaded cat puke warning signal. Unfortunately, with my office fulla couch parts - I couldn't find the even more dreaded cat output. (The two cats have been munching on drywall and this morning I actually had to clean puke off of the newly installed window trim, baseboard, and plywood in the living room. Another reason to trim and trim fast!!)

Anyhoo. The rest of the trim is down in the basement, drying away. Tonight = second coat!

And perhaps if there's time, more hardwood prep to make tomorrow go as smoothly as possible. I'm so excited. I'm dropping off the little one right after his first feeding. Mike will start work at the same time, then I'll be back to join him, and we'll do as much as we can in the 8 or so hours we have!
Here's what Mike's accomplished so far! Ooooo! Behold doorway glory! (Doorway Glory, awesome band name!)

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The Thursday Report

And the report is - all is progressing well. Last night, Mike actually decided to get a jump on the most difficult part of the hardwooding process - the beginning. We're actually hardwooding up to and into the basement stairway, you know, behind the door, so that's where he began. The first pieces needed to be cut, placed, and face nailed. Not so easily done, but great to accomplish ahead of the big Sunday day.

Meanwhile, I accomplished my goal - re-installing all the outlet covers, switch plates, and recessed light trim. I cleaned up some of the paint mess, but the rest is just a lot of trash... and the trash hut is blocked by a snow bank, so I had to leave it for later. (Maybe we'll get enough melting today!)

Tonight will hopefully be the trim - I know Mike's not looking forward to it, but I reminded him last night how critical it is to getting the furniture back in the room. We cut and first coat tonight, second coat Saturday night, and we'll be set.

And speaking of critical to getting the furniture back in the room, I ordered the rug. Unfortunately, the earliest arrival date is 2/24. The latest is 3/8. I'm hoping that because the rug is sold by a Boston based Walmart reseller, it will arrive closer to the early date then the late date. Still, I'm not waiting 12 plus days to move in some furniture. That couch is going back downstairs, come what may.

I can't wait until Sunday!

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Back to Green

This living room project has gone incredibly smoothly so far. I'm not sure what it is... maybe we're just sick of living sans living room... but Mike and I continue to work together, hunkering down to do what we need to do to finish quickly.

On Tuesday night, Mike brought home the ceiling paint and painted the ceiling. Wednesday night, he brought home the green and we traded off. I cut in, he rolled, then I cut in a second coat, and he rolled out a second coat. We were finished with the green and all cleaned up and to bed by 11pm.

It really feels like our living room again, now that the green is back on the walls. Warm and comfy cozy.

Tonight I told Mike we should measure and cut the baseboard trim, and then stain it. The trim will need to dry before applying a second coat, so if we start tonight and 2nd coat tomorrow night, the trim will be ready for installation by Saturday. Mike doubts we'll be able to finish the floor in one day... but I'm cautiously optimistic. Plus, with the trim finished ahead of time, we'll be one step closer to bringing the furniture back in.

That's the worst when you finish the floor and you want to bring in your furniture so badly... but you have to wait two days for the trim to be stained and installed.

Also tonight, I'm going to task myself with re-installing all the switch plates and recessed lighting trim. I've got to move all the painting/drywalling accouterments down to the basement too. Technically the window trim and all the curtain rods could be re-installed as well, but it's not necessary, so I'm not going to worry about it. We don't need to kill ourselves before the weekend arrives.

And the rug. Yeah I've got to order that thing. Already it's not going to arrive in time, but I'm not going to let that stop us from bringing in the furniture. Even if it's just the couch.

It's the home stretch and I'm psyched! Got to keep up that motivation level up there!

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Change of Previously Changed Plans

Yes, after some more reconnoitering, Sunday became a hybrid of the first plan and the second plan - resulting in a jam packed day of progress on all fronts.

Turns out our neighbor Richard really needed an excuse to get out of his house for a while. So he came over early in the AM to finish up the drywall in the living room with Mike. With the heat turned up, the pea coat dried in no time at all, allowing the guys ample time to prime out the entire room - walls to ceiling.

Meanwhile, I lined up a babysitter for next Sunday (thank you mummy bread) so Mike and I can tag team the hardwood. (After flooring the upstairs, baby's room, and the mudroom together, we're two unstoppable floor installin machines.) What a fitting way to celebrate VDay, right!? This tight deadline will also provide some much needed mid-week painting motivation, because it all has to be finished and dry come what may, come what Sunday.

The color will be the same... yeah, Mike again tried to convince me that the white would be better. No.

Since he and Richard started so early, Mike found himself with a free and clear afternoon. So he invited over some of his good guy friends to help him put the cab down on Dodge #2, take down the scaffolding, and load up the trailer. And believe it or not, even all that went smoothly! And now the cab is on...

The scaffolding is down...

And the trailer is loaded up with the old cab, plus some other metallic junk destined for a scrap run...

And still the guys were finished by around 5 - leaving Mike and I plenty of time to take the baby down to RI for a visit with the fam.

Everything just worked out so perfectly! I can only hope for some repeat good luck this coming week and weekend.

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Kink in the Weekend

I was right about the pea coat. That is, in fact, the next step. But our neighbor is actually headed up to Maine for a hunting trip and our other drywalling neighbor has some pressing family matters to tend to... so we're on hold for a bit. And that's fine. Both those guys are doing us such a big favor. They're allowed to take their time.

So Mike's going to take advantage of Sunday's nice weather to take care of Dodge #2, who's cab is still lifted up on that crazy contraption in our side yard. (As you'll recall, the blizzard halted all vehicle work.) His plan is to lower the cab onto the frame and move the old cab onto the trailer so it can be filled with scrap metal and eventually hauled in for scrap. And then he can take down the crazy scaffolding and clean up the side yard.

Our friend Shawn may also come by to work on/pickup our old boat, which he purchased back around the time of the blizzard, but hasn't been able to pick up due to weather, scheduling, and trailer issues.

Meanwhile, Mike will trade our Big Bear 400 quad for a new boat trailer, on which he'll be putting our new boat.... and if the trailer comes, the boat better be ours. The seller has been going back and forth - sell or no sell - for some time now. But now he wants to sell, so we've got to grab it before he changes his mind again.

Never a dull moment, right? Of course, we're both dam sick of living in shambles, so you bet your butt we're going to be working like mad next week/weekend to get it all done.

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The Pland Sand

Today is sanding day! Yup, our good neighbor Dana came by on Monday to slap on another coat of mud, hitting the new drywall patches and all the old mistakes in the living room. And now that it's been drying out for 48hrs, he'll be back today to sand it out.

I'm not sure if this is the last sanding or not, but I'd guess not. If I remember correctly, after this initial sanding, we've got to do a pea coat and sand again before we can paint. And unfortunately, since our perfectionist neighbors fixed even all the tiny problemos, we have to repaint the entire room and the ceiling.

I hate painting ceilings.

The living room was the first room we painted... or I should say, I painted, since back in the day I did all the painting. Hard to believe. But this time will be the last time unless I decide to someday change the colors... which, after all this, will be a while.

I've also picked out a new rug! Check it out! (The 8x11 of course.) I hope to purchase not this week, but probably at the end of next week depending on where we are in progress land. I bought the rug for the baby's room from Walmart and was actually quite impressed with the quality and affordability. Our old rug I just love in terms of design... but it's so thin and notsocomfy. (What do you want - it's a $100 8x11 from Ebay? It owes me nothing.) Plus we have a baby playing on the floor to think about. The rug in his room is so super thick and I'm hoping that this one will be similar.

The old rug will find a new home in the basement, undoubtedly, which is perfect. It'll help define a "not junk" area.

So we're still on track for painting this weekend. I couldn't have planned things better.

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