Thursday, July 24, 2014

Wherein I Overuse the 'H' Word.

There's a little four letter word that I hate. Oops. I just used it. Yes, the word "hate" is not on my favorite list...and I use it way more than I like to, but you know what? Sometimes, a situation calls for the use of four letter words.

Like HATE.

As in, "I HATE (loathe, despise, dread) HATE HATE HATE removing wallpaper.". See? Totally justifiable, no?

I know I totally need to do a remodel update for y'all, but for now...just lemme vent.

The entire time we've lived here, I've always assumed that the previous owners (not the original owners) updated the wall paper in this house. Well, when we removed the cabinets, we discovered the wallpaper went BEHIND the cabinets, which leads one to believe it was original wallpaper, no? And 40 year old wallpaper shouldn't be THAT hard to remove...right?



Wrong. (If you look closely, you can see some of the wallpaper ...thankfully, most of this was removed with demolition...crazy to me already, to see that this is what our mudroom USED to look like!)

In every house I've lived in, I've had to remove oodles of wallpaper and let me tell you...my version of hell is removing wallpaper. If said wallpaper removes easily in nice large sheets? Well then, I can tolerate it...however, if said wallpaper peels off in teeny, tiny itty bitty scraps? (As it did in our current house.) Forget it. I'd rather have you stick hot pokers in my eyes and pull my fingernails off one-by-one while making me try to figure out math word problems.

I. HATE. TEENY. TINY. SCRAPS.

Thankfully, there wasn't a TON of wallpaper left to remove in our house (I had painstakingly done it several years ago...) but that which was left? Freakin' cemented on to the wall with some sort of bionic glue. (Likely the same dang glue they used to put the flooring on with...that stuff is STUCK.)

Seriously. I tried steaming...it just saturated the drywall underneath, which resulted in me peeling layers of drywall off. I tried hot water and vinegar. I tried fabric softener. I tried ironing. (Yes, you read that right...IRONING.) I even tried to get my dad to help remove it.

NOTHING worked. Teeny, tiny scraps or peeling layers of drywall. I was losing time off my life. My hair was turning gray. I wanted to run away, screaming. I whined. I pouted. I almost cried.

Then we realized drywall was, like, 6 bucks a sheet and for the space I had left to remove we figured, "Aw, the heck with it, tear the whole dang drywall off!!"...we figured the time I was losing off my life, and much blood, sweat and tears, painstakingly removing the wallpaper, then, needing someone to come in and patch up all the torn off layers of drywall...we'd be better off starting from scratch.

So that's what we did.

Ripped out the wallpapered drywall.

HALLELUJAH!!!! Adios wallpaper!!

And, to the person that invented wallpaper? I hate you.

*GASP* I just used that word again.

Totes warranted, though, right? ;)


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The Story of the "High-Maintenance Mother"'s Ring

Before we begin, let me clarify...it is not the ring that is "high-maintenance" in this story, oh no, my friends, not the ring...it is the mother.

If you've read around here for any length of time, you'll have gathered that my wonderful husband is NOT the World's Best Gift Giver. As in, if gift giving were an Olympic sport...well, he wouldn't even qualify to attend. ;)

I mean, y'all remember the chocolate covered strawberry story, right? And, I'm not sure that I ever told you about the beef jerky and Pepsi birthday present, did I? (Disclaimer: I'm a Coke girl.) Even still, I love him so.

But then...THEN the one time he puts forth a lot of thought and effort (well, I guess the berries DID require some planning...), I go and blow it. And here is where you learn that I am high-maintenance. (Ugh. I try not to be...but sometimes? Well, sometimes I just can't help it.)

So, a week or so before Mother's Day this year, the Mr. was looking at photos on his phone and I happened to glance over just as he was (trying to) quickly swipe past what was, undeniably, a photo of a ring setting. A MOTHER'S RING setting.

Nice, right?

Well...yeah. Only, I've never been a traditional "Mother's Ring" kind of girl. My childrens' birth months meshed together create a color scheme reminiscent of that one time I drank too much Captain Morgan in high school and barfed until the cows came home. Add in the long skinny fingers connected to my blocky hands and any thin band looks wonky on me. Plus, I've just never been a fan of Mother's Rings.

Anyway, I see this ring setting photo, feel a bit of panic rise in my throat and toss out a "Yeah, um...you should probably run anything like that past me, first." Turns out, it was already a done deal...I just didn't know it.

*insert foot in mouth*

Shortly before that, however, my sister-in-law had three unique, thin diamond bands (one for each of her children) soldered together and called it her Mother's Ring...and I was sold. Only...slight problem.

FIVE KIDS. Oy. Can you imagine the width of THAT ring?! I mean, I know I'm no skinny band girl, but yeesh. I'm not sure that even MY fingers could handle a ring of that magnitude.

So, Mother's Day rolls around, my handsome hubby snuck out of the house early to buy a card and comes back with a bag of Sour Patch Kids and the aforementioned card. I kiss him, thank him, and turn around to finish getting ready for church when he says, "WAIT! You should really try one of those Sour Patch Kids...they're super fresh!" and having been married to him for 13 years I realized there was something more in that bag of delicious candy.

I open the bag and there lies a small box...and I start to have heart palpitations and thoughts like "Oh no. How do I handle this?!" run through my mind and sure enough...there it is. That Mother's Ring. The unfortunate melding of birthstones that activates my gag reflex...that ring that makes me feel as though I should be 20-30 years older to wear it. 

My heart sinks...and not because of the ring. My heart sank because here my wonderful, amazing, hard working, fabulous husband gave me an incredibly thoughtful gift and all I could think was "BUT I DON'T WANT IT!!!". What kind of spoiled, selfish brat does that?!

Me. Apparently.

He gave me a crooked grin and said, "If you really don't like it, they said they'd work with you on something. You can't return it, but they'll apply it toward a different ring."

Why...WHY can't I just be happy and satisfied with it? WHY??? And so I ruined my own Mother's Day. By feeling so guilty.

By being so high-maintenance and spoiled that I couldn't just be pleased as punch. I knew I'd never wear it.

And so, after much consideration and discussion with my hubby...THIS is my new, non-traditional, ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT, Mother's Ring (yeesh, are my hands ever ugly...):



A band for each one of my children. My 2 beautiful, dainty daughters represented by the beautiful, dainty diamond bands and my 3 strong, sturdy, handsome sons represented by the strong, sturdy, solid bands. 

And each band? Held together by a strong, wide base...which I like to think represents my husband. The strong base of our family.

That, my friends, is the story of my "High-Maintenance Mother"'s Ring.




Thursday, July 10, 2014

Things I've Learned While Remodeling

Before I start...let's be honest; I am CERTAIN I will learn a lot more before this project has reached completion!

We've sort of reached the "putting it back together" part of our remodel...today, the "stair project" will start and by tomorrow, I should have a new area in which I can walk downstairs! Hoping to start painting next week so that we can be ready to start installing the flooring!

Okay, so let's get started with things I've learned:

1. (Speaking of stairs...) Have you ever tried to calculate the rise and run of a staircase? I did. I consumed approximately 300% of my time and absolutely fried my brain. And I'm still not sure. Calculating rise and run of a stair case is infinitely more difficult than anything in the whole world.

2. Recessed lights: 2nd most infinitely difficult task is figuring out where to put the dang cans.

3. When demolishing things, make sure to check to see if they contain asbestos.

4. Remodeling during the summer isn't nearly as bad as people led me to believe...in fact, I think it's better than any other season! DUDE...it's SUMMER. We aren't trapped inside this war zone of a house...we can frolic outside all day long and cook outside and eat outside (unless the mosquitos are awful, then that's another story). Summer is where it's at for remodeling.

5. You discover a lot about yourself. For example: I might not know WHAT I want, but I sure as heck know what I DON'T want!! (Boob lights, for example. Don't want.) 

6. There is a smart end and a dumb end to a tape measure. Please, always, give me the dumb end.

7. Inside every remodel project are hidden costs. But I'm sure you already knew that. (Mold. Rotten sub floor from a leaky patio door. Wallpaper that won't come off and totally destroys the sheetrock.)

8. It sucks to have to cut things out because of that stupid word "budget".

9. I never knew I'd be excited to be awoken to hammering...because it means PROGRESS is happening!

Stay tuned, I'll fill you in on more of the knowledge I've gleaned from being a "home remodeler"!


Tuesday, July 8, 2014

It Was Bound To Happen...

Well...all throughout this remodel plan (even whilst in the planning stages) we kept hearing about the bumps along the way, the "issues" that crop up when you start tearing apart on older home.

Behind every ripped off piece of drywall, I expected to see termites, rotting boards, leaking ceilings, alien creatures destroying our home from the inside out...you know, all THAT stuff. All we found, however, was just a whole bunch (like, a whole, WHOLE bunch) of cobwebs.

Until last night.

We had a piece of paint that had been peeling on one of our walls and I kind of ignored it for a long time. Like, years. Then, as we're tearing apart everything else, a little one tugged a bit on the paint and GAH. Mold. And a rusty screw.

Well, we decided to rip off that piece of drywall, figuring we'd replace it AND make it easier for the plumber as well, and wouldn't you know...mold on the other side too. (Please ignore the cobwebs...it's hard to dust inside your walls...)



This is right where our washer/dryer hook-ups are, a roughed in, hole in the drywall, redneck style hook-up. A couple of times we've had a leaky washing machine or the drain would suds up and back up and goodness. I guess it caused a bit of a problem.

Thankfully, I don't think it's too bad. Nothing a little drywall patching and "hook-up fixing" (which we were planning to do anyway) can't handle.

I hope.

Yeesh. Wish us luck!



Tuesday, July 1, 2014

A Sneak Peek...Home Reno Style

Well, we've "officially" started!!

Saturday brought forth some major progress...hubs bowed out on an invite to Dr. J's, citing electrical work that needed to be done and I was a bit annoyed, until I came home and saw THIS:


Crikey! Hard to be annoyed any longer when I saw the surprise he had up his sleeve!! Our good friend stayed to help the hubs tear stuff apart! Walls, sheetrock, lights...WOW!! 

Here's a "before" from the same angle:


Sunday afternoon we went to Menards to price doors and windows and GAH. Holy moly they're expensive. As we were walking out if Menards I said, "Well, I guess I could pick up a few shifts at the hospital?"...to which my hubby agreed that yes, that would probably be a fantastic idea. So, guess what I did Monday?

Hospital shift it was! Truly, I am grateful that I have the option of making some extra money when we need it! 

Now, gotta finish getting the ceiling scraped, then patched, and retextured and painted and then...THE FLOORING!! 

Good golly, I can NOT wait for that flooring to be in!!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

The Project That Almost Wasn't

When you're remodeling an older home, you never really know what you're going to find when you start digging in.

As my dreams were blossoming in my mind about our "new" kitchen (which, let's face it, our remodel is more of an "upper level" remodel than a kitchen remodel!) with a sleek, modern open floor concept, everything suddenly came to a screeching halt when our carpenter mentioned that we should probably hold off on tearing out the walls until he could get someone to look at it.

The walls we are removing are, essentially, part of one big wall (with some walkway openings) that runs down the center of our home. 



We had always been a smidge leery about removing this wall,  with its nearly continuous central location, because we weren't certain if it was important or not. (Forgive the mess, we're, you know, remodeling.)

"Important" as in "load bearing". "Load bearing" as in "roof collapsing".

We had someone from a lumber supply company come out, look at it and say "yup, you need a beam"...then proceed to tell us things like "microlam", "joists", "attic", blah blah blah. Okay, fine...I can deal with a beam in my attic, continue on. (Although, secretly, I wondered if having a lumber yard dude come out to look at a project with a potential "sell" was something akin to driving into a car lot and asking "do I need a new car"?)

Next up, the lumber dude ran it past an engineer...verbally. No blueprints or anything, just a description and the engineer dude said, "Oh no. They need a *insert technical word for beam IN HOUSE that is 8-10" tall*...and just like that, my dreams were crushed. I lost sleep. I saw my open floor plan inclusive of an ugly beam on the ceiling that screamed "HEY! WE REMODELED OUR HOUSE...CAN YA TELL?!" Right then and there I decided, if I can't have my open floor plan, let's just leave the dang stairs where they are. SMACK in the middle of the house.

Oh...did I mention we were moving stairs?

Anyway, the lumber dude wanted an engineer to actually LOOK at our house/project and it just so happened this engineer (an engineer for a truss company...you know, rafters) was going to be in the area and could pop in and look at it.

I left a long list of incredibly important and mind blowingly complex questions (think, "do we HAFTA have a beam?!") for my dear sweet husband to ask while I was worrying my head off at work.

I would never do something like incessantly text my husband questions about what was happening while he was visiting with the engineer, no way. So I didn't. *Ahem.* Soon after these texts that I "didn't" send, I received a return text along the lines of "Need more walls, beams, columns, Fort Knox"...and as it is with the written word, I couldn't tell if he was frustrated with the news he received or just being silly and teasing me.

GRACIOUS did it seem like FOREVER until I could talk with him in person and get the skinny...wellllllll, I'm happy to announce, that the engineer deemed it perfectly okay for us to start ripping out walls!!!!

NO beams or posts or headers or columns needed!

Best. News. EVER!

And so, tomorrow, we get started with scraping this nasty popcorn texture off the ceiling in preparation for some major demo to start happening SOON!!! 

We picked up our flooring last weekend and you guys. OH MY GOSH.



I'm in love! I will actually go down into the basement to just check in on it. To caress it and snuggle it and gaze at it with loving eyes.

SO gorgeous!

OH...and I took before pictures! And a few "during" when we tore apart our mudroom...should I show you now or when we're all finished?!

EEEEEEK!!! This is really happening!




Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Phillips? How about Stanley?

Have I mentioned we're remodeling? ;)

Oh, I have? Silly me...I wasn't sure. Anyway, you know how they say "If a marriage can survive a home remodel, it can survive ANYTHING."? I'm starting to see glimpses of where that saying came from.

The other night, we were DEEP in the throes of ripping stuff out. I was all "full speed ahead" and let's just get everything ripped out...while my hubby, bless his heart, would put in a 12-14 hour day at work then come home to me, bouncing off the walls, wanting to "TEAR OUT ALL THE THINGS!!!!"...and he'd oblige and rip something out.

So, one night, we (and by "we" I mean "he") was working out getting a cabinet out of our laundry area. This cabinet was deep, with only one door, and he had to climb into it to unscrew the counter from the cabinet. 

While in said cabinet, he asked Dubya to "Grab me a Phillips screw driver." Dubya quickly ran over to this pile of screw drivers on the ground and stared.



Mr. W.: "The Phillips! Get me the Phillips!"

Dubya: ...stares at mess of tools on ground...

Mr. W.: (already a bit cranky from cramming himself into a cupboard and getting crankier by the second) "THE PHILLIPS!"

Dubya: ...stares...

Mr. W.: "THE PHILLIPS!!! NOT THE FLAT HEAD, THE PHILLIPS! DO YOU KNOW WHAT A PHILLIPS IS?!"

Dubya: "But...but they all say 'Stanley'!!"

And OH. EM. GEE. Did we laugh. And laugh and laugh and laugh. Dubya, realizing then that his dad meant the TYPE of screw driver, not the brand, laughed and laughed!! What a classic story.

"BUT THEY ALL SAY STANLEY!!"

Gracious, do I love that kid.

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails

This Template was custom created by Bloggy Blog Designz Copyright 2010