What was 2 has now become 1

The closet is done!   I labored long and hard (and hungover) on Sunday to put two coats of paint and install the Elfa before Royce came home from work.  It’s hard painting in that small of a space without constantly bumping up against wet paint so I had paint on my elbows for a couple of days and I just noticed some on my toe today at work.  The Elfa was the hardest…all I had to do was install the top track which sounded so simple until you realize that drilling at that angle at that height, and in that small of a space isn’t very easy.  I managed to strain a muscle in my neck while doing it and could barely move at work on Monday but it was fun telling people why.  Saying “I hurt my neck while screwing” causes a mild chuckle to even the most grumpiest of Monday morning people.

Its nice to say this room is done…well except for the furniture I suppose, but that will be done when we finally get new furniture for our room and then our old stuff will become this rooms’ new stuff.  I must put a big thanks out to Ronda and Cory who were instrumental in getting this project started when they visited in March…

Here are some pictures of our new space….a before:

and some afters:


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.

too late

Right when I saw him chewing the Kleenex in his mouth I said “Charlie, come here…NO…don’t swallow!!”…but he  gulped it down right before me…alas I wasn’t quick enough.  *sigh*  Stupid dog, I don’t quite get his fascination with all things Kleenex and Charmin…not to mention dishtowels, slippers, flip-flops, hiking boots, socks and yes, even cough drops.  He ate a bunch of cough drops the other day off of Royce’s night stand and smelled like menthol for the rest of the day.

Between chasing Charlie and pulling things out of his mouth I did get a chance to get out today and do some shopping.  I was on the search for a duvet cover for our bed before I decided on a paint color for that room.  After lots of internet searching and an hour at Bed Bath and Beyond I decided on this simple yet fresh look from Crate and Barrel.  Now I can keep our red sheets (and white sheets and green pillow cases for that matter) and get the green walls I want too. 

I also went to The Container Store to price and get some ideas for our guest bedroom closet that we will be working on framing out when Royce’s family comes to visit in March.  Lucky me, they had an Elfa sale going on so I decided what the heck I may as well just buy it, so I did…and I saved us $150+ which makes me super happy (and soon I’ll be super organized).  It’s kind of silly that I currently have to go to 3 different rooms to get ready in the morning since my pants are in one closet, my tops are in another room and my socks are in the office…it is quite the chore…Royce is lucky he only has 2 rooms with clothes in them.  We desperately need to get organized before we go nuts.

Gearing up for the big snow storm we are supposed to get this week.  Third time is a charm, so maybe these silly weather men will get it right this time.

A day off to mourn

A day off is a day off, so I’ll take it.  It will make tomorrow at work total hell though because I have some meetings I’m not really prepared for.  I don’t have much planned to do today.  It has been a pretty low key weekend.  We did some odd stuff around the house yesterday.  Finally got the door to the spare bedroom hung and installed new door knobs.  I’m glad we can shut that room off to Charlie.  We also went to Ikea to look for table linens, a rug for the spare bedroom and other random things.  We didn’t come back with much, but we did find a chandelier for the dining room that beats the nasty 70’s brown square globe thing that was left from the previous owners.  I managed to maul my thumb though while installing the light fixture and man does it hurt!  It won’t stop bleeding…mostly because I won’t stop using my thumb.  Who knew you used your thumb so often?

I think today I may drag Royce to go shopping.  He really needs some new clothes and since my sister gave him a much needed gift certificate for Xmas I think we will succeed today in getting him something.  Most of his sweaters have holes in them and although he doesn’t seem to care, it is a little embarrassing when he wears a holey sweater to my boss’ christmas party.


We bought baseboards today only to bring them home and find that they are not thick enough.  You see, since the previous owners before us put up that fake insulating on the outside walls before putting up that wood paneling there is about a 1.5+ inch area on the floors next to the walls that is totally unfinished.  There are holes, gaps, some glue and big stain puddles from previous sanding/staining/refinishing of the hardwood floors while that silly wall crap was up.

The baseboards we got at Home Depot are only 1/2 inch thick and with the shoe molding this doesn’t cover up all the unfinished parts of the floor.

I guess we have to find ourselves a custom mill-work place to make us some baseboards that are 1 inch thick.


Almost done

We have been to Home Depot 4 times in the last 3 days.  I think I’m going to go through Home Depot withdrawal tomorrow while at work.  The guest room is almost done.  It will look even better once we get the freshly painted new baseboards and window/door trim on.  We finished painting tonight.  My long-armed tall friend Chris came over to help so it went fast, and when we were done we feasted on spaghetti and meatballs which had been simmering in the crock-pot all day long.  YUM!

Finding our paint has a fun story behind it.  I found the color while we were at Sears on Thursday, but no one there knew how to run the paint department which makes me beg the question…why do you even have paint here!!!…ahh the insanity.  We went back on Friday but when the guy started looking around for a can of the exact color I wanted I new we were in trouble.  When I told him he would have to mix it he looked at me funny and well…we left.  Once again why have a paint department if the guy who works there doesn’t understand that its impossible to stock EVERY paint color and therefore you have to make them yourself by mixing them.

Sherwin Williams came through for us and did some color matching.  I did find it odd that the Martha Stewart colors at Sears are not the same as the Martha Stewart colors at Sherwin Williams.  To me it would be just a pain in the ass coming up with all those colors not to mention all the silly names.  Finally after 2 stores, 3 days of searching, and 1 hour waiting while it was mixed, we finally got paint.  Now I know why people don’t like to do home improvements…it’s a total time suck.

In addition to our priming and painting fun we also found the time to stop by a co-workers open house to check out their new master bath.  We are thinking about using the same contractor, so we had to go do some spying.  So far so good…as long as his price comes out within reason I think we have a winner for getting our master bath done sometime in January.  

Date night was fabulous a perfect ending to a day of putting up a ceiling fan and priming walls.  Dinner was great and the play was hilarious.  The theater, only brings in first runs of plays so it was interesting to be the first flock of people in the US to see this play.  The atmosphere was also really nice.  A good mix of industrial/new age style made it look fresh but not pretentious.  We will definitely have to check out another play there sometime.

As for the leaf update…well they keep falling…and they are still accumulating quite nicely on our lawn.  I can’t seem to find one of those plastic thing-a-ma-gigs you put in the paper lawn and leaf bags to keep them upright and open so bagging the leafs is very frustrating.

What’s for dinner:  I think I found the perfect meatball recipe.  We used this one from Alton Brown but instead of spinach we put in some onion that had been sauteed in olive oil.  So far these are the best meatballs ever.

What I’m reading:  Not much as of late.  My attention span has been quite short so I’ve been reading a book of short stories by ZZ Packer so far so good.  I’m in desperate need for something for Costa Rica.  We have weight limits on our baggage (25 lbs!  yikes!) so I need to find some good paperbacks to bring with.  Royce is going to be reading In Cold Blood so I’ve got to find something just as good so I don’t get jealous.

Paneling is down.

See how happy I am!

I can’t believe we got it all the paneling down today.  For the most part it came off relatively easily.  There is good solid sheetrock behind all of this crap so we are really lucky.  For some reason for the outside walls they nailed 1×2’s across the wall and then nailed the paneling to the boards, filling in the spaces with Styrofoam (see picture below, good sheetrock is to the right…lucky us its only a gross green!)

We can’t really figure out why they did this other than maybe the tack  nails for the paneling wouldn’t go in through the sheetrock without hitting the masonry.  Who knows.  So now we have more nails to pull and boards to take down on 2 large walls.  I’ve never seen so many nails…nails are everywhere.

I shouldn’t say this but so far this is easier than I thought it would be.  We still have a lot ahead of us with spackle and sanding and paint.  We also need to buy and install new baseboards.  I’m really happy that we can skip the drywall step though, that could have been rough.

The renovations have begun!

Since the wedding is over and the housewarming party is over we have no good excuse to not start tearing stuff up around here.  Today Royce started on the guest bedroom and its o-so-lovely plastic fake wood paneling covered walls.  We didn’t get a good before picture but honestly there really wasn’t a good one because this is the room where boxes that have not been unpacked went to die.  This picture gives you a good idea of what we are up against: 

The entire…and I mean entire room is covered in this ugly paneling…even the doors…so when you shut the doors they are kind of like little ‘hidden doors’ (can you find the doors in the picture?  There are two of them!).  We are not quite sure what is underneath all this lovely stuff but I have a feeling it will be crumbling sheet rock.  As you can see Royce has already gotten the molding off near the ceiling and it looks as though sometime in this ceilings past it was painted orange…yes orange.  You can kind of see the orange boarder in the picture before the celing turns to white.  Fun!  I can’t wait to see what sort of surprises lurk underneath the walls!

In addition to our renovation fun we also had halloween fun today!  Here is a picture of our very first trick-o-treaters!  They are the neighbor boys who live across the street.  Too cute!

Other than that its been a pretty quiet night.  My friend Amanda came over to keep me safe from all the trick-o-treaters, but we only had 3 so it wasn’t too much work.  We had a nice dinner though and I got to see “The Lost Boys”.  80’s movies are so hilarious!  

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