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 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.


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 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 is not the ring that is "high-maintenance" in this story, oh no, my friends, not the 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, 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, 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 fact, I think it's better than any other season!'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 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'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?" 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!!


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