One more room done

Our hard working house guests have done a great amount of work this weekend.  You can see the progress of our projects as well as some photos of the new bathroom here

They arrived on Wednesday afternoon and when I arrived home at 4 PM they were already demolishing the guest bedroom closet.  This bedroom  had 2 closets, I’m assuming a ‘his’ and ‘hers’ as the previous owners used this room as their master.  Due to the size and the issues with two swinging doors opening and closing we wanted to make these 2 closets into one big one with a nice sliding door.  This turned out to be a bigger project than we anticipated.  First we had to add some items to our tool arsenal to finish the demolition, and thankfully I was able to return the power drill I got as a wedding gift from my co-workers to get something else at Sears…I think Royce traded it in for some power tool set with a handsaw and some other fancy items.  I’ve really been too busy to catch up on all the purchases as of late.  Due to the wall that used to be in the middle of the closet we had to fabricate a patch for the wooden floor…something we didn’t think of when dreaming about our big new closet.  The project isn’t done yet…they are having trouble getting the plaster to dry.  I think they are going to get it as good as they can get it before leaving and then the rest will be up to us.  Fine by me…they got us this far I think we can take it the rest of the way.

The other big project was the dining room.  We had bought the paint for this room a while back but never got around to it because of the water-mishap that took priority that long weekend in January.  Royce’s Mom and Dianne did most of the painting.  We finished that up yesterday and last night Royce and Cory did a stand-up job putting up the crown moulding.  Now I just need to decide on a window treatment, which is proving difficult because I’m trying to cover a sliding glass door that is gigantic AND I don’t want a single pull system because it will imbalance the room.

To top it off Cory bought a new door for our guest bathroom and installed it for us.  With the old door you had to body check it to get it to close and then you always wondered if you were going to have the strength to open it.  It was so warped, it was pathetic and that is even with our 25% humidity in the house.  Now we have a new door that you can close with a push of a finger.  What a concept!   We haven’t done only housework.  Thursday they went to the National Mall when I was at work and they walked the monuments.  Friday night after a hard days work we went to our local pub for some pizza and beers.  Yesterday we went out to the National Air and Space Museum which was lots of fun, and today we are going to spend this beautiful spring-like day walking around Annapolis, MD. 

I think that is about it. Oh wait…Royce and I bought a couch and two chairs for the living room.  After a long search (well really it wasn’t…while we were looking for dining room furniture we always kept our eyes out for sofas but could never find something ‘just right’…they were always too soft) we went to England Custom furniture, which is affiliated with LazyBoy and had something made to our picky standards.  The entire process only took us 30 minutes which seems like light speed compared to the 4 hours it took for our dining room furniture.  Amazingly this stuff is a better deal than anything you can get out of mega furniture marts here or Pottery Barn, or Ethan Allen…and I like the fact I could pick my own fabric (both are microfiber and the couch will be a beige and the chairs will be a light green) and hardness of the cushions and by gosh its only going to take 2 weeks to get here.  Wow!  After we get the sofa and chairs we will make a decision on whether or not we have room for a loveseat.

I think the month of April we will be exercising some financial restraint that is for sure!  Well maybe not…we still have patio furniture to buy and April is about the time that stuff stars to pop up into stores.

Where is the bread?

Yesterday was busy day.  After putting in a 10 hour work day I got to come home and paint. I know…I know I am such a lucky girl!  Well really, I am…because I have a wonderful husband who has busted his butt on this days off to get the trim painted amongst other things. 

We got the bathroom painted last night.  Second coat went on at 7:30 PM.  Had a nice interlude from neighbor Brett who came over because he was locked out.  It was fun showing off our new fancy bathroom even if it did have a drop cloth on the floor and painting supplies everywhere.

Although given the chaotic busy conditions it would have been easier to order out last night, but we decided to cook.  Wasn’t planning anything fancy, just baked chicken parm which is super easy and has a low clean up factor.  In preparation I took 6 slices of Italian bread out of the freezer and set them on the counter.  While Royce we cleaning the paint stuff up I decided to tear all the tape off while the chicken cooked.  When I was done I came out and was slightly perplexed.  My bread was gone.  Just disappeared.  Not a crumb to be accounted for.  At first I thought maybe Royce did something with it…moved it somewhere…maybe already fixed it up and had put it in the oven.  Nope.  He didn’t know where it was.  And then I look at Charlie….sitting there all guilty, and full I suppose.  Bad Charlie!  I can’t believe he ate 6 frozen pieces of bread.  Silly dog.

Lesson learned.  Put things far enough away from sneaky puppies.

I think spring has temporarily (hopefully permanently) sprung around here.  It was absolutely gorgeous yesterday…sunny and 60.  Dare say I was hot in my car and had to open the windows.  Almost a crime I had to spend all my time inside my dark hole of an office.

Potty Break

I mean bathroom break.  Heck…bathroom update.  It’s been a hard week.

Things with our new bathroom are coming along quite nicely.  The tile went in yesterday, and the vanity, counter top and vanity mirror went in today along with the grout to hold it all together.  All the doors and windows are trimmed too, so that means…we get to PAINT.  WOOHOO!  I can’t wait to PAINT!  (can you sense my sarcasm?)  Contractor Dave said it would be smart of us to get the bathroom painted before the toilet goes in which will happen on Monday.  Now we hadn’t really planned to paint this room until the in-laws left, so this is kind of a last minute thing I’m not really cool with.  But then again I don’t particularly like painting around a toilet either, no matter how clean and new it is…there is just something about my head being that close to a toilet that skeeves me out.

So I get to paint this weekend on the top of all the laundry, cleaning and grocery shopping that accompany preparing for 4 visitors.  And yes that is a capital ‘I’ cause Royce works all weekend the 10a-6p shift.  So much for another lazy weekend.  Our taxes are never going to get done. 

Here are some bathroom photos to tide you all over until you get the final ones on Monday!  The first one is of the new shower, then we move (we are going to the right here kids) to the new vanity, and then it is the new medicine cabinet and light, and the last one down below is of the new custom linen closet Dave made for us. 

That is enough for tonight.  Charlie has discovered his reflection in the fireplace glass cover and keeps barking so I need to go pay attention to him

I’ve got our tile…and you can’t take it away from me!

Man…what a saga.  After our weekend of being shocked silly by our tile not coming in until May 5th (just enough to send this little girl with 4 family-in-law members coming to visit in less than 2 weeks nearly over the edge) I figured not much else could happen to us and our tile.

Oh but I should know better!  Mom sewed Murphy in my pocket afterall before sending me off to face this world.

Royce followed up with the Great Indoors (really not great so I’m just going to call the Mediocre Indoors) on Tuesday after our Sunday fun…and found out that yes, indeed the tile was in but the pallet it was on was dropped and broke so they were having to hold our tile hostage until the insurance people came out to look at it.  Al, the salesman said we could come pick it up later in the week. 

Last night was as good a night as any to sit in traffic so I decided to go get the tile while Royce played basketball.  This time I called before I went…and asked the nice man on the phone if ALL of our order was in and ready to be picked up.  He said he didn’t know, b/c his computer was down.  Great.  Fabulous.  “Could you please walk your lazy ass back there and see if my order is in instead of relying on your computer?  really?  Great.  Thanks.  call me back please”.  (Ok so I really didn’t say that word for word but I thought it).   I figured I would never hear from the guy but amazingly HE CALLED BACK!   And he told me good news…ALL of our order was in.  yippie.  off i go.

When I get there I scan my receipt and wait patiently.  Some guy pops his head out and tells me “2 mins Ma’am”.  OK…sure great…this is looking good. I’m so excited I’m getting my tile!  Our bathroom will be done before we know it and we can move back into our room!  Oh the fun, and I can get it all done with some time to spare before the visitors-in-law arrive! 

The power goes out.

No shit.  I’m standing in the Mediocre Indoors waiting to get my tile that was impossible to pick out, got lost in the snow storm, then its pallet got dropped and was held hostage by insurance people, and then the freaking power goes out whenI try to pick it up?

I stand there in the dark and wonder.  “maybe this just isn’t meant to be?”.  Maybe this tile just isn’t meant to go in our new bathroom.  But it is such lovely tile…all natural stone in grays and white, and we can’t forget the pretty decorative strip.

Well kids, this story has a happy ending.  I think I had the hardest working (and maybe night vision capable) person working on finding my tile and navigating it through the dark quiet store to my car.  He even loaded the heavy masses into my trunk.  At which point I sped off after a gracious “Thank You sir!” and I  prayed that I wouldn’t get rear ended on my way home.

Now the only problem is this freakish wind we have been having for the last couple of days.  Dave called this AM and told us he wasn’t going to come because of the weather.  Hell. I don’t blame him, I wouldn’t want to stand outside in this cold bitter wind with wet hands and a tile saw either.  

I need another weekend…and the saga of the tile continues

Going to work on Tuesday feeling like you need a weekend to recover from your weekend is not my idea of being well rested but what is a vacation starved Federal Employee to do?  We were busy little bees this weekend.  We managed amongst other things (like trips to Costco, and the grocery store plus dog walks) to get the entire master bedroom sanded, painted, trimmed and painted again….finished up around 8PM last night.  Good thing we had chili in the crock-pot cooking because I was in no mood to head to the kitchen to whip up much of anything else.  

Saturday night we were supposed to go to my co-workers Chinese New Year party but that got trumped by driving to The Great Indoors to pick up tile which was scheduled to arrive on the 17th according to the lady I spoke with on the phone.  Lucky us, on our way to the store it started to snow, which means that traffic comes to a stand still and people start driving like total freaks.  Once there we learned that they were having a 20% off sale on all tile…2 weeks after we just dropped a load of money on our own.  Royce went to work his magic and spoke with some managers and managed to get us $163 back.  After that was all done we were ready to get out of there so we went to the loading dock to pick up our tile.  

We scanned our receipt and I nearly had a heart attack.  Only 1 item was in (the decorative strip) and everything else had a delivery date of May 3rd.  MAY *&^%$ 3rd!  I can’t wait until May 3rd for my stupid tile!!!  The sales man said it would take 10 days…and now it is going to take 3 MONTHS!  Back to the customer service counter we go.  I guess their computer just puts in an ‘arbitrary’ delivery date.  According to manager, our tile is scheduled to be delivered on the 17th (we were there on the 18th), but was probably being held hostage somewhere because of the bad weather (sure blame it on the weather…whatever).  So instead of heading to a party grumpy and tired we decided to drown our home improvement sorrows in margaritas and headed to our neighborhood mexian joint instead.

The next time I do this again we are getting tile 1st and everything else will come after that arrives.  That way we can match the counter top/vanity  to the tile.  This tile has been nothing but a headache.  First we didn’t know what to get becuase our counter top samples were not in (and as of today I still don’t have a sample), and then once we found something we like it takes forever to be delivered.  I’m hopeful it will be in this week because that is all we are waiting for to complete the bathroom…and the room for that matter. 

We’ve got drywall!

The drywall went up in the bathroom today!  Our tile will be in on Saturday so before we know it we will have a new bathroom.  We are so excited.  I can’t wait to see what the finished product looks like.  So far everything looks so new and fresh.  

The sleet has started to come down and I just sent Royce off to work.  Federal offices closed today at 2 so now I’m just stuck here twiddling my thumbs babysitting Charlie so he will keep out of Daves way and so we don’t get puppy fur in the spackle.  If I get motivated I’ll finish, double check and finalize our taxes.  Or maybe I’ll just sit on my bum and read my book that I’m so engrossed in it is hard to put down.  I just picked up A Thousand Acres while in the library strolling the isles and I figured that a book that has won the Pulitzer and the National Book Award can’t be a bad read so I checked it out.   Surprisingly, it is turning out to be one of my favorite books.  Maybe I should start picking up random books in the library more often. 

Back to the norm

It was nice having Royce at home for 5 days straight.  Now that I’m alone tonight I realize how empty this house can be without him around.  We had fun this morning with Charlie though.  We went for a nice long walk and then played some catch before some other dogs showed up and then…well…Charlie can’t focus very well so we gave up catch and let him torment the other dogs.  You can see pictures of our morning fun here

When we got home we had to head out to look at tile.  We still don’t have our counter-top sample (I will never shop at Home Depot again for something like a counter-top) which makes finding tile hard.   We went to The Great Indoors…it’s a good mix of a Home Depot and a Bed Bath and Beyond.  They have a lot of sample bathrooms, kitchens and what not set up so  you can get ideas.  They also had a nice selection of tile and we managed to find something that will look good for the floor and shower.  We also looked a a vanity light but kind of ran out of steam so we headed back home so Royce could rest and eat before going to work.

Once I got Royce fed and off I went off to Home Depot to get a vanity mirror and light.  Both items were found and the mirror was ordered. Hopefully this is the last of the bathroom spending for a while.  We still need to get paint and towel holders and hardware but we will buy that after it is all complete.

I’ve got to work tomorrow at CVS…praying for a slow day, SuperBowl Sunday usually is.  Royce works too, so he won’t get to see any of the game.  After I get off from CVS I’ll be heading over to my friends Leslie & Noel’s house to watch the game with them…well until half-time and then I’ll have to come home at watch it alone with Charlie.

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. 

New yard art

I think a toilet in the front yard is fantastic.  Especially a brown toilet.

It was an exciting day over here and a noisy one at that.  I guess the bathroom could have pretty much sufficed as a bomb shelter because everything was lined in cement which is typical of houses built in the 50’s.  They call it mud floors but these people took it to the next level and did the walls too.  It is amazing how much crap they have hauled out of that tiny space (and how much crap there is still left).  This afternoon we went to look at fixtures for the shower and got sucked into buying this design from Kohler…which is way more expensive than we wanted to go, but it looks great and sounds like it will work pretty easily.   I’m happy none the less knowing that this will be in our shower for the next 20-30 years.  Skimping on some things just isn’t worth it and it ships from Iowa which is cool.

Here are some before and after shots.  It was hard to get a single ‘before’ shot because the space is so incredibly tiny…the ‘after’ shot was much easier.

And yes…the toilet is still in our front yard.

So very loud

I decided to work from home today for many reasons.  First, my little magic token that lets me log into the FDA network expires on wednesday and God only knows when it will be replaced…so I figured I better get while the getting was good because I have no idea when I’ll be able to work from home again.  Second, Dave is staring today on the demo I wanted to witness the first bits of destruction.  Boy howdy is it loud.  I’m sitting in the office with the dog who has found a safe place under the desk while they bang away.  My desk is shaking right now as I type. 

Tonight we are going to head over to a couple of places to look at shower heads/handles and tile.  We are finally going to get the sample of our counter-top sometime this week via UPS.  That only took 4 calls and 3 visits to Home Depot to acquire.  grrr…  Hopefully we can get it by saturday so we can order something.

I hope our house doesn’t fall down with all this banging.

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