TV and Toilet

Last night was our neighbors going away party so I got a slow start, but I did manage to outfit the new bathroom with a couple stops to some home good outlet stores.  It is now complete except for some pictures.

Since I had the camera out (testing out my brand new lens) I took some shots of the new TV…

And this is a good example of how you are supposed to watch the new TV…

Royce also worked hard today with priming and painting the hallway.  Now all that is left to do is sand sand sand that horrible notty pine.

And so it goes…but we got a giant TV.

Yesterday was not a relaxing day.  I knew attempting drywall was a bit excessive but I went a long with it as any good wife should to appease the part of Royce that really wanted to do this.  We set off early in the morning thinking we would rent a truck from Home Depot, get our drywall, scurry up to Costco and get our TV and all would be done.  Not. That. Easy.  All of their trucks were rented…so dejected we head back and on our way call Lowe’s but they alas have no trucks either.  Back to our neighbor we go and we sheepishly ask if we can borrow their Expedition.  Since they are lovely people they handed over the keys one again to the young couple with two reasonable cars, happy to know that their giant SUV was being used for something it was made for…hauling crap.

So back we go.  Costco was first and let me tell you it was a weird experience.  I’ve never seen people so helpful before here.  For the most part everyone just walks around ignoring everyone else.  I could be balancing a baby and 10 grocery sacks and not a single person would stop to think to help.  But buy a giant TV and everyone is willing.  Strange.  Once we got it on the cart with the help of a nice man we had to push the damn thing around the store as we got some stuff for ourselves and our neighbors.  Everyone was staring at us.  Some even congratulated us.  I guess it is a big deal but it was slightly creepy.  After unsolicited but grateful help from two large men we were able to get it into the large car without an inch to spare on each side.  Anyways look at our new baby…. big isn’t she?

It is gluttonous, but hey you work hard you can play hard.  According to the calculators we were supposed to get something even BIGGER since we are so far away from the set.  That and everyone who finds out we will be ‘trying’ soon the first thing out of their mouth is “go to the movies…you will never go to the movies again”.  So we have just brought the movies to us!  

With the TV onboard we headed to Lowe’s to get the drywall and the rest of the supplies.  The drywall barely fit in the car as well.  And boy howdy it is awkward and heavy.  By the time we returned from this adventure the afternoon was approaching and I had wished we had paid someone to at least deliver the drywall.  Next time…always learning for next time.  Our first kid is going to be screwed.

The rest of our day was filled with hanging up the first panels of drywall which wasn’t too hard once they were cut down to manageable sizes.


When not helping Royce with holding up drywall I was in charge of scraping the back wall free of this forsaken cork.  

Because the door is so close to the wall Contractor Dave (who is installing a new side door and front door for us) encouraged us to get as much of this off as we can so that he can have his 0.5 inch of space to work with when installing the hinges.  I hope you are happy Dave b/c this SUCKED:

And look Mom at our make shift scaffolding!  Thank God for disability insurance. 


By 4 PM we had decided to call it a day.  We had baseball tickets and deserved a good outing.  Our seats were horrible (thanks, but no thanks, Iowa Club) but the stadium was neat and the food options were endless.  There was a shortage of both ATMs and the ability for the food vendors to use credit which made for a bit of a conundrum.  We enjoyed the night though.  It’s not often one gets to see a brand spanken new stadium. 


Let there be light…and couches…and drywall

We have a busy weekend ahead of us.  Hopefully this will look different by Monday:

What is that you ask?  This is our lovely hallway going down to the basement.  It was kind of a “mini-crazy” prep before you got down to the “all out crazy” of the basement I think.  Anyways we are tired of the cork and got rid of the drop ceiling and tacky doctor’s office florescent light.  Royce installed that beautiful track lighting you see up top yesterday.  Today is drywall.  Instead of peeling off the cork (as you can see we have tired to do in the left corner) we decided to just slap dry-wall over it.  I’m not sure what sort of adhesive they used on this crap but it would have lasted through armageddon I think.  The saddest part is behind this tacky cork is beautiful sheet rock…This isn’t the first time we have been asking our selves why?  WHY? when we have remodeled this house.  I’m sure back in the 70’s they had thier reasons.

Since I had the camera out I thought you all would like an update of the basement.  Our couch was delivered on Thursday.  It is lovely and our basement smells like a big leather purse.  If I could bottle the sent for your online pleasure I would.  And now you also get to see the lovely new carpet.  Fancy huh?  MUCH better than crazy tiger/tribal pattern we had before.

Now you may be asking…whats up with those ceiling tiles?  Well…my Monday started off with a bang.  Having your husband come in to tell you that you have water in your basement after it has rained for 2 straight days is NOT the way to start a week.  Luckily it wasn’t infiltrating from the outside which is a far bigger mess to fix.  Our fridge water filter system hadn’t been changed for a while and was angry so it decide to pee all over the kitchen floor and that leaked into the basement.  The damage wasn’t much…4 ceiling tiles will need to be replaced and the carpet got wet.  It wasn’t anything beach towels, a fan and a dehumidifier couldn’t handle, but it still wasn’t fun mopping up fridge water in your robe at 7:30 in the morning on a Monday before going to a meeting packed day of work.  For all of you with water dispensing fridges out there remember to replace your filter EVERY YEAR.  We learned our lesson the hard way as we do so many lessons.  I however single handedly was able to figure out how to turn the water off to the fridge (of course I only figured this out after I had tried disconnecting the water line without turning the water off only to get water sprayed all over my face…I’ve gotta keep it real, I just can’t give you the good details).  Royce (along with the repairman) had to call me to figure out how I did it because they couldn’t find the valve.  ROAR! 

We still have a lot to do down here before it’s all complete.  For one, that bookshelf needs to get stained.  I just ordered our TV stand so once that gets in we can match up a stain for the shelves.  Blinds too…we need blinds because the sun shines in around 5 PM and blinds you (which is a good thing for a basement room I suppose).  I’ll focus on the little details later…we have a ton of wall space here to cover.  Hell we still have a ton of wall space in the entire house to cover.  Royce wants the stairwell to be a walking photo journal of our life so I better get clicking!

I’m sure there will be many more fun shots for this weekend as we teeter on our make shift scaffolding to hang drywall.  Stay tuned!

Yes, we are still here

It’s been a long while since a post, but we have been hard at work.  The basement is coming along…carpet is installed (pictures soon) and a couple of weekends ago we tortured ourselves furniture shopping for a couch.  We ended up going back to the same place we got our living room sofas from, and we went with total TV room comfort and got a big poofy leather sectional.  I however woke up at 4 AM yesterday freaking out about what we will do if we have a water issue…do we prop up the sofa?  Take it apart and put it outside?  Ack..  I guess I’ll just cross my fingers that we will be lucky…for a while.  It all gets delivered on Thursday so no turning back!  

We still need a TV along with a unit of some sort to put under the TV and I should move my office down there eventually as well.  Will probably expand my desk too so I’ll have a nice wrap around space to maybe accommodate another computer station down the road.  Or at least have enough room to get a good solid printer/copier unit.

Other than that we have been busy doing boring things like touch up paint, painting windows, and scraping windows.  This weekend we will get started on finishing all the doors.  I should also try to locate a mirror for our bathroom so that space can be done with.

So much still to do…so little time…and of course $$ is always an issue since most of our extra savings this year went to Uncle Sam a few days back.  Boo!

Basement update #2

More has happened to the basement this week.  Of note…baseboards, bookshelves and bathroom tile.  Pictures are below.

Bookshelves are in…the shelves are stacked up in the right column.  We will stain these the color of our end tables once we figure out what those are…

This is why I like Contractor Dave.  I would have never thought to make this ingenious wooden cover to hide the old concrete step.  Fancy huh?  Probably looks even better without grout stains but oh well.  These too will probably get finished and stained soon as well as I think paint will just scuff…

The bathroom.  I personally like our ghetto light fixture.  I guess Home Depot is on my list of things to do this weekend.

I’m sort of glad that he kept some of the bathroom ducks around in the bathroom closet.  We will always have memories of exactly how ugly things used to be.

Charlie loves to sniff the toilet hole.  ew

Scary basement window…should be replaced this week with something newer, not full of cracks and spider webs and hopefully white.

A constant reminder that there is always something to do in this house…up next?  The hallway leading down to the basement!  It’s filled with shiny notty pine and that crazy seizure worthy carpet. 

Let’s reminisce shall we?

The re-construction of our basement began yesterday.  A very exciting time for the Royce and Julie unit.  This will expand our living and entertaining space by 228 sq feet, not to mention add a usable half-bath into the mix.  We plan on using this space mainly as a family room/entertainment room.  But a corner of it will also house my office in order to free up a bedroom upstairs for future familial growth if you get my drift.  

But before we get ahead of ourselves, I figured it would be a good time to walk through memory lane. 


When we first closed on the house, our basement looked like this…something resembling more of a 70’s swingers lounge (complete with large plush orange sectional, crazy carpet and bar!) rather than a cozy family room:

With the washing machine incontinence issue of January 2006 we tore out the super funky carpet and were left with tile reminiscent of my grade school cafeteria…all we needed were metal folding chairs and our basement would have been the hit of AA meetings around town!:

Then my husband got a bug up his ass and decided to rip down all the notty pinewith the expectation that we immediately begin the refinishing process as die-hard do-it-yourselfers…that was until we tried to pick up a piece of drywall at Home Depot and decided we better leave this job to the pro’s…or at least someone stronger than the two of us.  So we have been living like this since January 2006:

It hasn’t been all that bad, until you walk down there with nothing but slippers on and forget there are still exposed carpet tacks just waiting to pierce your tender foot. But the general bomb-shelter look was also getting to be a bit…well…depressing.  

This week has been very uplifting knowing that soon we will have smooth drywall, a spiffy new bathroom, and plush carpet between our toes in no time.  I expect for the major construction to be finished within a couple of weeks…then we will do the finishing touches ourselves…the trim, painting etc.  We also need to get carpet, not to mention furniture, a TV and other stuff to fill the room.  We are not in a hurry, but I’m sure we will be fully decked out by the 2008 football season.


Stay tuned as I will provide updates as the construction continues!  Basement 2008!  Hip-hip-horray!

Royce is right

I figured it deserved a blog entry.  It’s kinda funny story.  We were sitting the other night watching our pathetic DC evening news when there was this report of this girl who was murdered and it was a big ‘who-done-it’.  Well Royce all non-chalantley said “The boyfriend did it”.  I was like “how do you know she even has a boyfriend?”  He seemed pretty confident that the boyfriend did it so we bet $1 and shook on it.  Now you may be saying…wow…these 2 really need to get a life outside of betting on who killed some poor girl in DC.  You are right, we do, but thats another entry.  Anyways…a couple of days went by and lo and behold I guess the FBI had been after the girl to question her about…yep…her boyfriend who they were after for dealing heroin.  Well whatta know.  Gee I wonder ‘who done it’.  It’s looking more and more like Mr. Boyfriend did it so I just gave up my measley $$ to Royce and told him ‘he was right’…a rare but occasional happening around here. 

In other more important news, the bathroom demo was finished yesterday.  And we now know why our shower leaked.  Instead of putting down a rubber or lead shower pan they put down waxed paper.  Yep…waxed paper.  So we had layers of concrete, waxed paper and tile.  Pure genius.  Here are pictures of the finished mess.  The wall and the closet are gone and you can see straight down into the basement which is kind of freaky.  They will be coming back on Monday to start putting in all the new stuff. 

And to the basement…Royce finished tearing down all the wood last night.  What a mess.  What a job.  I’m so thankful to have such a hardworking husband. 

Who I must say is such a saint that he got a truck today and hauled away that entire mess to the dump.  And because he is smart he knew to lie to the dump people and tell him that he only had 300 lbs of trash which saved us $60!!  Way to rip of the county dump people to save us $$!  Look at how clean it is now…a big clean slate that we will attack once we figure out how much this bathroom is going to cost. 

The current state of things…

…is kind of chaotic.

Royce got this bug to attack the basement.  So he started with the drop ceiling (which is piled in the right) and today he started taking down the walls.  It is a mess.  That’s about all I can say.

And for those of you planning on visiting us anytime soon. Consider this a warning…

Charlie likes to lick the dirty silverware, so never re-use something that’s been in there without washing.  I figure we tell him no enough, so we let him have this one small luxury.  It is quite funny actually and at least we have some company while washing dishes.

What’s for dinner:  We had a chicken and rice casserole.  It is boring, and easy, but that’s what Monday dinners are all about right Mom (and your darn Monday salmon patty nights!)?  For dessert we had my new obsession…ice cream with Rice Chex.  You mock me and go yeck!  But just try it, its like little ice cream cones in your ice cream.  Tasty!   : D

Just when you think it can’t get any uglier

Lucky us, we went from this:

To this:

I mean really, first the carpet is like the ugliest carpet in the world and then we get tile?  Salmon and white tile in this annoying pattern reminiscent of my grade school cafeteria?  Ugh!  I’m not sure which was worse, both are pretty bad, but I think the carpet was at least funny, the tile is just tacky.

I think the only good thing to come out of this water-mishap is that we are a bit more motivated to get the wood paneling off the walls.  We have given up the idea of refinishing the walls and will just put up some dry wall.  The big decision will come with the floors.  I’m not sure what we should put down. Obviously wall to wall carpet isn’t a good choice.

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