Sunday, August 31, 2008

Happy Birthday To DH!

DH likes to try new things. He especially likes tasting HOT things. So in honor of his birthday today here's a link to a video of him and a friend/coworker of his trying the Naga Jolokia peppers they grew. They grew them at work just so they could try the world's hottest peppers. Enjoy the video. Happy Birthday, DH!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

It's All Installed!

Yea! Finally! The hardwood flooring is all installed! It took more hours than either DH or I care to think about but it is all in. When we started this project we weren't sure if we would have enough boards to do both the dining room and the hallway out to the front door. We were pretty sure we'd have enough to do the dining room, but we thought we might have to buy some new wood to do the hallway to finish the project. We had managed to find a very close match that we were happy with, but held off on purchasing any until we knew exactly how much we were going to need. Well......exciting news......we had enough wood from my parents' old house to do the ENTIRE project!!! We are so happy about that! Not only did that save us money, but it is extra nice to know that the whole thing was done all with the wood from the house I grew up in.
Now it's on to the part of the project I have been dreading the entire time.....sanding the floor. Ugh! It's going to be a horrible, dusty mess to clean up after we do that. DH did go out and buy plastic sheeting to hang up to block off the other rooms to try to at least contain the majority of the mess, but sawdust is so fine it's still going to get everywhere (so even once the floor is sanded & refinished, the job will still not be done because then the cleaning will begin and I'm not going to even think of how long that's going to take!). *sigh* Oh, well, it will be so pretty when it's all done. DS & DD went down to spend the weekend at my parents' house so that they won't be trapped upstairs while we sand, stain, and the seal the floor. It's going to be a long process.
And just in case you think this will mean the end of the project.....think again! DH came home from the hardware store today with paint the hallway! Because of course now that the kitchen/dining room is painted, the hallway looked it needs to be painted too! And we still have yet to replace the vinyl in the laundry room, 1/2 bath, and closet. Plus we still need to put in the tile flooring by the front door. Yep, looking like we might get finished by Christmas! (And for anyone wondering......I think I have lucked out.....neither my kitchen nor the rest of my house smells like spoiled milk so we must have gotten it cleaned up enough....yea!)

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Half-Way There!

Woo-hoo! We are to the half-way point! It's taking a lot longer than I ever imagined to do this part and we're to the part that's even more difficult. The first many rows went from the carpeted area on the right (which had to abut smoothly & tightly into the piece that transitions from the hardwood to the carpet) over to the
kitchen cabinet on the left (where there needed to be a small expansion gap between the hardwood and the cabinet, which will be covered with a quarter-round trim piece). This meant that we had a little bit of leeway in the exactness of the length of our boards when it came to the fitting of them.
Now we are to the part that goes from the carpet on the right to the kitchen opening on the left (where there is another transition piece to step down from the hardwood to the vinyl flooring in the kitchen...which the hardwood has to fit exactly into). So the pieces have to fit exactly all the way across.....which makes the puzzle even harder to mess with figuring out, thus taking longer to put each row together. Ugh! But we are half-way done and for that I am thankful! (The picture below was taken a few rows before we reached the half-way point and a few rows before we reached the harder part.)
Both DD and DS helped with some of the work today. DD helped get some of the pieces in place using a rubber mallet. DS actually tried out the pneumatic nailer and nailed some of the boards in place.....and had just as much fun as DH did with it! My Dad was here for a little while today as well (dropping off DS from spending the weekend at their house) and got in on the action as well, using the pneumatic nailer to secure a couple of boards in place. The cats meanwhile just chilled out amongst all of the boards piled around everywhere and watched while we worked.
DH is taking the day off of work Monday so that we can get the last half of this finally finished. I can't wait to have a dining room floor again!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

It Has Begun!

Well, it has finally started! DH and I are in the midst of putting in the hardwood flooring. Yea!!!! We have 20 rows of flooring fastened down....only about 54 more to go to finish the dining room. Here is a picture of the first 5 rows installed:
I have no idea how many rows it will take for the hallway after that, but at least those are short rows of only 3 feet in width as compared to the rows that are 14 feet in width that we are doing now. There is finally light at the end of this tunnel! The worst part about this part of the project is figuring out where each piece's like a huge puzzle. Since we have a limited supply of boards, we have to lay out the pieces in such a manner as to cut as little off as possible to waste as little as possible. Plus, we have to lay them out so that the joints don't all land in the same locations and so that it looks nicely laid out with randomness....we don't want any inadvertent patterns (such as diagonals, etc.) to show up in the floor. Doing this with wood that has already been cut and laid out in another location is much more difficult than if we were to just open a new box of boards and start laying them out. The time that takes is the most frustrating part right now. Actually nailing them down doesn't take very long at all. And let me tell you, DH is absolutely loving using the pneumatic nailer! He's like a little boy at Christmas with a new toy....reminds me very much of DS when he gets a new toy to play with!
I'm just so excited that this part has finally started so I know that the end is in sight and things will hopefully soon be back to normal at my house (well, as normal as they ever get!)! Yea!!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Ahhh.....Is That A New Air Freshener??

Well, I knew with my crew it couldn't last long. My "new" kitchen has been initiated. Since we still don't have a dining room floor (although the preparation has begun!), the kids have been eating in the kitchen. DD eats at a little play table. DS is way too big to fit there so he eats at the counter (oh, the things we put our children through!). I had gotten onto DD a couple of times about staying seated while she eats rather than keep popping up out of her chair.....she knows better. Well, she wasn't listening very well and ended up spilling her milk.....her almost completely full cup of milk. Now if it had just spilled onto the new vinyl, it wouldn't have been a big deal. I would have had her clean it up to help enforce the lesson of sitting still while eating, and that would have been it. But, nooooo, the milk cup hit the newly painted wall, milk then went rushing down the wall, BEHIND the new baseboard, and down INTO the air vent! So I had her grab me a bunch of paper towels as I picked up the cup and moved the table away from the wall.....then had quite the time of it trying to get as much milk soaked up from behind the baseboard as I could (DH meanwhile pulled out the air vent grate to dry it off) and then stuffed more paper towels down into the vent to soak up as much of the milk down there as I could possibly reach. *sigh* Now to just hope that enough of the milk got dried up so that drywall behind the baseboard doesn't start to smell like spoiled milk.........oh, and I really hope I got it all out of the air vent. The last thing we need right now is the lovely "fresh" scent of spoiled milk wafting through the ENTIRE house every time the a/c or furnace kicks on.....

Monday, August 18, 2008

A Tired Mind Creates Strange Things....

To be sung to the tune of "Home On The Range":
Oh, give me a home where the floors have no holes
and the furniture is where it belongs!
Where seldom is heard "I have an idea!"
and nothing ever goes wrong!

Home, home that is done!
Where no projects are in progress!
Where seldom is heard a saw or a drill!
And I will finally have some rest!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Goodbye Old Home

Well, as of today, the house I grew up in is no longer around. This is the house my parents spent 40 years in. This is the house where DH & I reclaimed the hardwood flooring to use in our own home (and no, the dining room is still not done). Here is the progression over the past several weeks as we've said goodbye to the old home:

But we'll still have the memories, pictures, and now in my own home we'll have the hardwood flooring, the tile entryway flooring, and 2 ceiling light fixtures to remember the house by. Goodbye, old home! We'll miss you but enjoy our memories of you!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

He Wants To Do What??

The dining room floor.....all we were going to do was the dining room floor! Which then turned into replacing the patio door as well....and replacing the kitchen floor....and painting the kitchen walls....and putting up a new light fixture....and painting the inside of the pantry.....and hey, we don't want wet feet stepping directly onto the new hardwood floors by the front entry so let's put down tile (which will also come from the house I grew up in and no, it's not put in yet either)! It gets better! DH originally said there was NO WAY he was going to mess with replacing the vinyl in the laundry room, 1/2 bath, or hall closet (all of which have the same floor as the peeling stuff we've been replacing in the kitchen & dining room) due to cost, labor, time, etc. Today he comes up to me and says, "So I've been thinking...." OK, I've learned over the past 13 1/2 years of our marriage that when he says out! You guessed it....he has now decided that we need to replace the vinyl in the laundry room, 1/2 bath, and hall closet (will anyone ever see that flooring as it's always covered with winter boots and other odds & ends???)......and he wants to put it in himself (no labor costs that way!). I get a strange feeling my laundry room is also about to get a new coat of paint.....who knows, maybe the closet too! (The bathroom will not as I just repainted it myself a year after we moved in here when I could no longer take the horrid dark olive green color and changed it to a nice bright yellow.) And just how did the project progress today, you ask? Well, the new patio door has white vinyl on the exterior to match the vinyl siding of the house, but came with unfinished wood on the interior side so it could be stained to match the hardwood floors. So that is what we have been working on today.....staining the patio doors. So no, I still have no dining room flooring. When we originally started this project I was hoping to be done by the time school started.....I think now I better set my sights on Christmas!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Saga Continues....

So we returned from vacation (which was a fun time visiting friends & family) to the mess that is our home. A few days after we returned our new door finally arrived. A good friend of DH's from work very kindly came and stayed until after midnight that night helping us to remove the old door, fix the HUGE hole in the floor, and put the new door in. It was a lot of hard work, took much longer than we expected it to, but finally we have solid flooring (albeit just subflooring at the moment) to walk on and a door to get in and out of the back yard with. Unfortunately, we discovered that the reason there was so much damage to the floor in the first place has to do with the deck on the back of our house. The previous owners originally put on a wood deck, decided they didn't like it, then put a vinyl deck directly OVER the top of the wood deck, which raised the level of the decking material (which is flush up against the house and door threshold) ABOVE the level of the threshold. This means that every time it rained, water would drain into the house under the vinyl flooring, thus rotting the subfloor material.....which meant that any new material we put down would also be ruined unless the problem with the deck was fixed (i.e. removing the vinyl deck). Due to current time constraints, DH cut the ends of the vinyl decking boards back far enough away from the door threshold to allow water to drain AWAY from the house which should take care of the problem until we can figure out what to do about the deck at a later date (hey, I still don't have a dining room floor yet....the deck can wait now that the water issue is solved!).
So this brings us to the next stage of the project.......the kitchen! The kitchen had the same peeling vinyl as the dining room, which meant that flooring needed to be we picked out new vinyl flooring to be put down in the kitchen (DH & I didn't want hardwoods in the kitchen mainly due to the risk of water damage to the wood possible in a kitchen environment). Because the scope of the project kept increasing as our time kept decreasing, we bit the financial bullet and paid for the vinyl to be installed by a professional. So two nights before it's to be installed, DH & I remove all of the appliances from the kitchen (we put them in the dining room.....since the dining room table is in the family room and the chairs are in the playroom, there was room for the appliances!) so that DH could tear out the old vinyl and underlayment (had to save some money somewhere!). Then we decided that while all of the appliances were out and there was no flooring down......didn't that make it a good time to repaint the kitchen??? Which means that the night before the new vinyl was put in DH & I were up until almost 3am painting the kitchen! I bet you think that we were then done with the kitchen, don't you??? Nope! Two days after the new vinyl was put down we got all of the appliances back where they belonged......then DH decided that was the perfect time to hang a "new" (OK, it's about 40 years old and came from the the kitchen of the house I grew up in so it's not "new") light in the kitchen, which required him to cut a hole in the ceiling of the kitchen, a hole in the ceiling of the pantry, a hole in the wall of the pantry, and expand the hole in the wall where the kitchen/dining room light switches are! (I think I am getting really, really tired of HOLES appearing in my house!!) This takes another couple of days (since DH can only work on it in the evenings when he gets home from his job) to get the light up, wired, holes patched.....and then DH decides to paint the inside of the pantry! I finally got my kitchen back USABLE a week ago. But, I must say, DH has done a very good job with all of his projects.....he's a very handy guy. But, alas, as of today, STILL no dining room floor!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Nothing Is Ever "Free"

So some of you have been wondering why I've been out of touch for so all started a couple of years ago (yes, the story goes back that far!). The top layer of the vinyl flooring in our dining room/kitchen started peeling off and we also noticed a soft spot forming by the patio doors in the dining room. At the time we were unable to do anything about it financially, but we also knew that if we waited a bit we'd be able to get free flooring to replace it (the house I grew up in is being torn down....replaced with commercial development.....and we could take the hardwood floors up from the bedrooms there and put them in our dining room here once my parents completed the deal on their old house). Well, a few deals fell through, time passed, and finally this spring a deal was completed and we were able to start our flooring project. So DH, DS and I commenced pulling up the hardwood flooring out of my old home (while DD contentedly played with her grandparents at their new home). After a few weekends of VERY hard work, we had all of the wood up and waiting at our house......and then the fun REALLY began. DH began the work of removing the the vinyl flooring (which pulled up way too easily, meaning it hadn't been put in correctly to begin with!), only to discover that the "small soft spot" by the patio door was actually a HUGE rotted, moldy area that had to be completely removed, leaving a hole about 8 feet by 2 feet in the floor!!! Yep, we could look right down into the basement......NOT ideal when you have a couple of kids in the house! And it gets worse.....

So this rotted subflooring goes out UNDER the patio doors, which means that in order to replace the plywood subfloor we have to remove the patio door. Of course, we discover this on the day before we are supposed to leave on vacation gets delayed a day (luckily we were driving so no penalties with changing when we were to leave). DH then proceeds to pull off all of the trim work around the door, inside and outside, to get ready to remove the door......only to discover that the majority of the bottom of the wood frame around the door is also rotted beyond repair! So we head off to the hardware store to buy a new door......only to discover that the only patio doors kept in stock anywhere are 6-foot wide doors.....and ours is only 5 feet wide! Which means we have to special order a patio door and wait 2-3 weeks for it to come in. Now luckily we discovered this BEFORE we pulled the old door out of the wall. So after ordering our new door, we returned home, DH stapled a tarp over the old door and pounded the trim back up over it all to get it as waterproof as possible while I finished packing. Then we went ahead and left on vacation since there was nothing more we could do at that point with the project until the new door arrived. And that is the beginning of how our "free" floor has turned out to be not so free!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

....And Yet They're So Similar!

Well, today was the first day of school! DS started 5th grade and DD started 1st grade, making it the first year DD has been in school all day (eating lunch at school, riding home on the bus, etc). When they returned home from school, getting off of the bus, I discovered how very similar my children are in one particular way: DD got off of the bus without either her backpack or her lunch box. She left the backpack on the bus (luckily we realized it before the bus left the bus stop so she was able to retrieve it immediately) and left her lunch box in the cafeteria at school (so we had to head back over to school to get it......making me so glad yet again that we live only 1/2 mile away!). Now to understand how this makes my children similar.....I cannot count the number of times DS has left his backpack/lunch box/homework at school in the past 5 years, requiring a trip over to the school to retrieve them. And now, on the very FIRST day of FIRST grade, DD has done the same thing! So much for saving gas by having the kids ride the bus. Must be something genetic.......wonder if I can get by with blaming it on DH.....ummm, probably not since my Mom would surely remind me of the times I myself left my own stuff at school waaaaay back when I was in elementary school!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Polar Opposites

So tonight was open house/meet-the-teacher night for school (which starts tomorrow). DD is starting 1st grade and thoroughly excited (although understandably a bit nervous as well) while DS is quite put out that he has to return to school. Being the oldest at school by being in 5th grade this year holds no interest for him as he has no enthusiasm for school whatsoever. DD, on the other hand, is his polar opposite.....when finding out that she would have 3 recesses for the first few weeks of school before settling into a routine of two recesses for the rest of the school year, she informed me, "But, Mom, I'd really rather take another math test instead of having another recess." And she was dead serious. She even clapped when she found out she'd have a spelling test EVERY week. I'm still not sure how I birthed two so totally opposite children.....

Saturday, August 9, 2008

So This Is What Happened Yesterday.....

So I go outside to check on the kids (they were playing out in the front yard) to see what they were up to.  It had gotten a little quiet out there, so that's always a good indication with my 2 that it's probably a good idea to go see what's going on.....  What did I find, you ask?  Well, DD was looking up in the tree, so I looked up too....only to discover DS up in the tree ON A LADDER......WITH A FISHING POLE!!  OK, there's GOT to be a reason for this, especially with the way DS' mind I ask......and he replies, "I'm trying to get the fishing lure out of the tree."  WHAT???  Yep!  He'd evidently gone fishing in our front yard (nope, no water anywhere near there!) and caught a tree!  Didn't ask about the one that got away.....

The Start of Something New....

Well, after much thought and many comments from others, I have decided to entertain you with the happenings of my household. I figure one of two things will happen: either funny things will stop occurring, so there will be nothing to write about (hmmm.....which will make my life more simple....) or you all can get a good chuckle out of things by being glad that it didn't happen at YOUR house with YOUR kids. Enjoy!