Thursday, February 25, 2010

Going into this week-end!

One of the things that I love to see is my son being involved in our ongoing projects.  Poor kid just thinks this is what all families do ... but I can't get enough of watching him work with his dad!

I just love this picture!  Recently we were winterizing our windows.  Pulling them out and putting insulation around and in the frames.  This actually not only insulated the windows, but also has reduced the noise from outside ... anyways, in this picture, Cody is actually supervising!

This past week-end, the boys built the sink counter together! 

Anyways, it was just awesome to see them work together and have fun!  This past week-end PJ took vacation days so we worked Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday .... then the evenings during the week ... tonight we're chilaxing!  Ready for another full week-end.

We pulled down the remaining walls, pulled off the popcorn ceiling, put up the new sink bench and sink with the temporary plumbing, and took down the ceiling. 

I must mention that I really, really, really dislike taking popcorn off the popcorn ceilings.  Why would I do that? you ask ... well, we needed to find the screws holding the sheetrock up - so the popcorn must come down.  Sad to say, my hubby would like the entire house free of popcorn ceilings!!!  It is a brain dead job - spray with water, wait 3 minutes and scrap with a texture scraper.

Sooooo glad to have the reverse osmosis back!  Didn't know just how much I would miss it!  I use it for cooking, cleaning the veges, drinking ... and the taste is the best! 

Here's what we're looking like as we go into this week-end ...

No walls and no ceiling ... National Lumber will be delivering our load tomorrow!  We have a little more to do before we are ready for the sheetrock to go up, but we're aiming for having a ceiling and walls by the end of the week-end!  We also need to rent a couple of tools from Home Depot to hoist the sheetrock up to the ceiling! 

We're very lucky to have a good friend come over to help put the sheetrock up (yeah and thank you).  So with an extra hand, it might actually happen!

So, it's time for some shut eye ... ready for another do-it-yourself day tomorrow!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Spring is in the house!

I actually wanted to say 'I have a baby' ... but that would have caused confusion!  But I really do ...

I have been watching the sucess of others and their seeds (planted somewhat around the same time) and feeling a little dejected as theirs have all grown profusely and I'm still looking at dirt!!!

Well folks, not this morning ... this morning I have a little baby sweet marjoram peeking it's pretty little head out!  And I'm extatic!

So there you have it ... barely visiable (evidently not visable in the photos!)  Not only did Cody and myself discover one little sprout, but 3 ladybugs ... protector of the newborn sprout!  You can see one on the above photo of the sticks on the upper left hand side.

I do try to keep spring during winter by bringing in and potting some my herbs over this time.  So I always have some fresh herbs to cook with should I so feel inclined!


This year I'm even trying to maintain some tropical plants in the house!  Thanks to the water globes, I'm having some success! 

So there you have it.  In the mids of it snowing outside, a tiny bit of green brings spring inside!  And a smile to my dial!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

We did it!

We finished the floor, with a couple of hours to spare!  I left off actually laying the floor.  Our goal for getting the floor laid was Tuesday night, followed by the renting, sanding, and staining of the hardwood floors on Wednesday night.

To achieve this goal we had to do some crazy hours and have been left exhausted!!!  We filled the woods natural gaps, then off to Home Depot to rent a sander. 

We didn't know how to use the sander, so the guys at Home Depot gave us a 5 second demonstration.  As it turns out, Pierre took full control of the sander and I was quality control!

The sandering was to even the new hardwood with the old and create a smooth surface for staining.  The big sander worked fine, but we still needed the small hand sander to finese the smaller and more intricate areas.

Once the floor was sanded we had to stain the natural oak so that the old and new woods would blend nicey together.

This is when it truely got insane!  We were ready for the polyurathane.  3 coats.  I made yet another trip to Home Depot to see if I could find a poly that had a more yellow hint to match the already oxidized floor, but to no avail.  So we had no option but to use what was available and realize that it was going to take some time for the blend to become uniform.  I'm guessing a year or so ... but that's just a guess!

Now we had 6 hours to apply between each coat.  If we were any shorter, the varnish wouldn't cure, and if we took any longer, we would need to sand ... so in order to expedite the process and drop our workload - we sanded at 8.30 pm Thursday night.  That was the first coat.  It doesn't take much math to add 6 hours, and realize that we were in for a 2.30 am wake up call!!!  Yip, 2.30 am.  We timed the application and knew that it was going to take about an hour for the application, but there you have it, the second coat was on!

Yes folks, that AM on the upper left side!

So now we had the final coat scheduled for 9.30 am.  Back for some much needed shuteye!!!  9.30 came and the final coat was applied.  Poor Molly wasn't released from the TV room until the 3rd coat was fairly dry.  Then at about 4 pm, we hoped in the car and started on our journey to New Jersey for the week-end!  We'll be back to a dry floor tomorrow, ready to fix the plumbing with the new placement of the pipe holes, and the oven/stove so that we have SOME ability to cook and wash for the following week ...

So, we did it!  We are both exhausted, but we did it!

That being said, we have a l-o-n-g way to go!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Progress with the Kitchen Reno!

After the walls came down and we then had to begin the process on the other side of the kitchen!  So once again I built a shelving unit to house the remaining 'important' stuff from the kitchen, and box the rest unit the cabinets are up and ready.  (Yes, that's a  box you see ... )

By this time we knew the pressure was on to expedite the project, so I did as much as I could during the day.  Our goal was to have the entire kitchen floor laid with hardwood, sanded, conditioned, stained, and glossed.  To make it a little more interesting, we decided to hardwood the entire floor, not just to where the cabinet baseboard ends ... so that translates to EVERYTHING being movable - including the plumbing!  Yes, wall to wall hardwood floors!

We began to lift the existing hardwood with a crowbar (by the way, heads and crowbars don't mix), where the hardwood had met a wall.  This meant pulling the floor back in staggers - right up to the foyer.  We managed to save 95% of the existing hardwood which we would be reusing back into the kitchen floor.

During the week we started taking off the top cabinets, and then by the Saturday, we finished up with the lower cabinets ... with the exception of the sink unit and sink.  The old cabinets were picked up by the freecyclers yet again!  Our dishwasher is in the garage, our reverse osmosis is in the basement (miss that terribly), and the garbage disposal unit is sitting in it's hole unusuable.  PJ did find that whenever the plumbers roughed in the house, they made the PVC pipes run uphill to get the water outside ...

In the week-end we began retrofitting the hardwoods - old and new.  With a lot of patience and TLC, we managed to get into our funk.  We managed to get started and worked up until we needed to move the kitchen sink.  With visits to Lowes, Home Depot, IKEA and Costcos, we actually didn't get as much done as we would have liked, so that meant evening work needed to become intensive. 

Each night this week we have been working into the wee hours in order to lay the floor by Wednesday night .... chipping away at the stock of hardwood and laying it piece by piece.  Cody miraculously has slept through most of the noise?????  Some days I have been without running water - even without a stove/oven ... you tend not to realize how fortunate we are until something so basic is taken away ... 

Above is the IKEA cabinet.  This is the corner unit.  I built it so that we could use it for making sure we were spacing correctly and for placement of the new vent and plumbing wholes.  I even got to pull the new kitchen sink out - sexy!!!!

How is the kitchen floor looking?  Are we on target?  Will we accomlish our goal?  Are we tired campers?  What is the next step?  Stay tuned folks ... 

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Trying to finish the vege grower ...

So I'm trying to finish off the vege seed grower ... finding the time has been a challenge!  However, I did get to do some more today ... here's how that went!

Getting my stuff together.

Measured the chain, used plyers to create hooks on either side of the chain for easier light mobility.

Drilled holes in the shelves with smallest drill bit I could find - measured to fit the grow light fixture.  Screwed in the small screw hooks.

Drill small holes (same drill bit as above) in the light fixture and screw in hooks.

Putting the light fixture up with the chains.

Shelves are almost ready for some action.  Still have to plug into a strip and set up the timer.

So I jumped ahead!!!!  Here's the exciting part ... and the scarey part!

I purchased some seed growers - but really don't know what size is for what.  So I got 3 different sizes and figured it's got to work somehow!   I planted Eggplants, Peppers, and some herbs ... trying my hand at documenting them ... and decided to use the bigger grow squares.  Now this is where I ran across an unsuspected hick up ... watering them!!!  I see there's a tray underneath, and they say to used warm water ... so up to the kitchen I go ... fill her up ... and then - OOOOHHHHHHHHhhhhhh.  How on earth am I going to get these flimsy plastic growers all the way down 2 levels to the basement???????

So out I go and find some plywood and mark it out into 24 inch pieces (worked out exactly - but not planned that way) used the circular saw and made a plywood 'tray' for each shelf!  So now I can move these flimsy grow containers if needed.  I have half a mind to get some cheap handles and that way they actually look and function more like real trays ... we'll see!  I might find some recycled ones yet!

So there you have it in a nut shell!  Almost there!  I did spray with a plastic sprayer from the top also ... guess we'll see tomorrow how the water has absorbed!

I didn't get to half my seeds and worry that I'm either over growing or undergrowing ... guess that's all part of learning!  Happy seed starting!