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February 28, 2006

Toys!

Sometimes I wish you could all see the fun toys I get to play with when making these entries. I have a new toy. It's very cool. Makes new entries very easy. Not that they were hard before.

-M

Kitchen Pictures

It's 1am.

I'm sleepy.

I have meetings in the morning.

But here's some pictures of the new kitchen.

Enjoy.

And goodnight.







February 27, 2006

I'm going to propose a new home improvement show...

And I'm going to call it "What Not to Do!" (much like "What Not to Wear"), where we show home owners and home improvement-types how NOT to fix things. For the first episode, I can just see it:

The top 10 things you should ALWAYS think about when working on your house

1. Always prime the wall before painting over glossy paint.
     I wanted to post pictures of the results, but I forgot in all the hullabaloo of getting it all painted

2. Make sure your screws are going in straight.
     Have you ever tried to straighten out a screw hole that was drilled wrong in the first place? Doesn't work so well. If you'd like a demonstration, come check out my kitchen cabinets. The hinges are fab!

3. When painting/mudding/whatever corners, it's a good idea not to leave large blobs of stuff. They don't go away.
     My bathroom door is a prime example

4. Large holes punched in the ceiling do not disappear just because you've placed a hook or light fixture in them to cover the carnage
     I have a number of examples of this one. Mostly confined to my dining room, happily, thought not having them at all would be even better.

5. When removing drains from the front of a house, it's a good idea to PAINT THE BALD SPOT LEFT BEHIND.
     You know, because it's on the front of the house, and it's obvious, and it just looks sloppy.

6. More screws isn't always the best answer for cabinets that don't want to stay on the wall.
     Well, you see, sometimes that means that you shouldn't be doing these things yourself. Sometimes that means you're doing it wrong and you should GET HELP. Because people just MIGHT notice the 10,000 screws in the backs of the cabinets.

7. Feng shui is great in THEORY. Sometimes questionable or just not PRACTICAL in practice.
     I can think of a number of examples, one of which isn't necessarily even my problem: the 8-foot in the roof to cast sunlight on the red door, facing south, with no outside light, no knocker, and no doorbell. Who thinks that's a good idea? Anyone? Anyone? No?

8. Concrete that slopes towards the house will cause flooding and drainage problems. Period.
     Yes, even if your brother knows how to pour concrete, that doesn't necessarily mean you should let him. Because you know those crawlspace windows? The ones that are now on the same level as the concrete? And the concrete that slopes towards those windows? Guess what happens when it rains...

9. Just because you've put half an inch of dirt over the pipes for the sprinkler system doesn't mean they're truly buried
     Yes, they may not be visible right this very second, but just try to add a sprinkler head to THAT. Or try to plant around that. Go ahead. I dare you.

10. And finally, It doesn't matter how much paint you put over it. A bad patch job will always continue to show.
     Places like the bathroom, the not-fitting wall in the entry, and the thousand other places where you just slapped 3 inches of mud over the crack and then painted. We can still see it. You're not fooling anyone.

So anyway. I'm tired. Of painting. Of cleaning. Of spackling. Never mind the fact that the cats have fleas right now. Yes, our indoor-only cats have cultivated a fairly raging colony of fleas. Best we can figure is that Miles picked them up the last time he was at the groomer. Now, I'm thinking that I've had enough trouble with them in the past that this just could be the last straw. Ask me again the next time he needs a shave in.... oh.... 4 months.

And then there's the fish tank. I guess we're going to have to start a batch of water-change water tonight. The nitrate levels are just too high. I thought live rock was supposed to help that. At least the Ammonia level is down. sigh

Do I do that before or after the curtains for the bedroom?
  Before or after the counter on the bookcase?
    What about cleaning out the computer room?
      Storing the small fish tank?
        Patching the ceiling in the dining room?
          Cleaning the heater air return?
            Scrubbing the shower?
              Touching up the blue paint in the bedroom?

Oy. At least the kitchen is pretty much finished. Soon as I remember to get the pictures off the camera, I'll post. It's pretty. I promise.

February 20, 2006

We'd better get a lot of money out of this

So in case you haven't figured it out yet, my favorite new topic is the huge pain of having to fix everything in the house that was broken when we moved in, plus undo all the changes we made in the last 4 years to make the place a little more fun. Well. Let me just tell you. It's not so easy to make breakfast when your entire kitchen is in PIECES! I'm fiddling with the camera, trying to get some of the pictures I took this morning so I can show them to you, but so far, it's being very stingy.

The cats have been cooped up in the bedroom for an entire day now, meaning they.... are.... BORED!!!!! I got out of the shower to find both of them standing at the bathroom door, waiting to ambush me and make me let them out. It wasn't fun to tell them that it wasn't going to happen. (aHA! I have conquered the camera) Meanwhile, Schondy and I have been sanding/priming/painting for 2 days now. Seeing as how it's President's Day and he has the day off, he's still. painting.

At this point, I'm convinced that we have magical color-changing paint, which means that right now, when the sun is shining, all the paint looks the same color :), but when it's night and the lighting is funny, it magically CHANGES so that some of it is white-ish, and some of it is lemony, and it's very ODD.

Happily, we get lots of light in the kitchen, meaning this will nice and bright and cheerful. And I think I'm going to put some big, pretty sun catcher up in that window over the cabinets. We'll see how it all comes out.

On top of all the paint, we also have all new hardware for all the cabinets and we're going to shelf-paper everything to hide the painting mistakes tie everything together all pretty. I even told Schondy he could use green if he wanted (aren't I nice). I've been told to call home before I leave work to make sure he doesn't need me to go buy all the shelf paper at Home Depot. I did have a meeting at 2, but it's been cancelled.... Hm. Wonder if my manager would understand if I told her "my kitchen needs me".... The up side of this is that we will have a lovely kitchen for Friday, when the realtors come back, and for when we start taking pictures/showing the house.

Of course, the down side of all of this is that the kitchen is in pieces (as mentioned above), meaning everything is on the floor and we're trying to figure out where it all came from. Because we do not have a large kitchen. In fact, we have a small kitchen. With just a few cabinets. I don't understand. And we have to move this? In 6 weeks? Really? Seriously? Oy.

And now for some more pictures of my poor destroyed house..... I'm also learning how to do a picture blog. I find this whole thing very interesting because it's a really powerful system. And I feel very good about the fact that I'm admin-ing the thing myself and control everything about my system. I thought about doing a blog before and decided I didn't want to use any of those websites (blogger.com, etc.) because I... oh, I don't know... wanted to let my inner geek have a little fun.

And finally, one last thing that makes me very happy. We have track lighting in the dining room. I've only been trying for that for the last 4 years, but it finally happened. See that, poor-schlub-who's-going-to-give-us-loads-of-money? We installed track lighting for you. Hope you like it. Because there's HY-UGE holes in the ceiling now. You're welcome.

Hope you've enjoyed my pictures of the carnage. Hopefully I'll have some prettier pictures the next time I post.

February 17, 2006

Just in case you were wondering....

Preparing houses for sale stinks. In profound ways. And can I just say: the people who last worked on this house should have their contractor licenses taken away (assuming they have them).

I'm wishing I had pictures of the house right now. To show some of the heinous things we've discovered. The sad and frightening and WHAT WERE THEY THINKING things that we've had to fix/remove/disguise in hopes of getting some poor schlub to take this thing off our hands at an oh-so-reasonable price of 1 zillion dollars, please, thankyouverymuch. But alas, no pictures. Not yet, anyway. Maybe that's what I'll do tonight.....

Anyway, we've decided entirely on our own, certainly not because the realtor told us to... oh, no, never would we have considered avoiding this chore, to paint the cabinets in the kitchen. But if I'm going to paint the kitchen, I'm going to do it MY WAY. And I don't do beige. Be afraid. Be very afraid. So last night, in a fit of HOLY COW WE ONLY HAVE 6 WEEKS TO DO ALL THIS, I insisted on getting Schondy to remove all the cabinet doors in the kitchen. And the last 2 doors on the pantry. So now, the cats are all confused, and the house looks funny, and it's a big mess, and I don't like big messes for very long. So this weekend, if you're bored and have nothing better to do, you can come help me sand and paint 18 cabinet doors and 6 drawer fronts. I might even be convinced to provide drinks......

On that same note, if anyone has a hankering to replace a door frame, I have just the project to make you happy. Oh, yes, we were planning to save this job for a professional, but we could probably be convinced to employ... you know... ANYONE. :-)

And the pantry. Did I mention the pantry? I love my pantry. Or at least I used to. Until we discovered the hinge that wasn't anchored to the wall (yes, really). The center post that wasn't anchored.... much. The GINORMOUS globs of paint keeping the doors from closing. Because OB-viously, why on earth would you REMOVE a hinge before painting the door? That just slows you down, right? And surely no one will notice that the doors don't actually close anymore. Details!

And then there's the windows in the kitchen. We have a great vaulted ceiling in our kitchen. I've always liked that. And there's windows up really high that bring in the sunlight, so the kitchen is lovely and bright and I've always liked that. BUT last night, I decided to get all industrious and pull down the screens from those windows to see if maybe some of the 3 inches of grime could be cleaned off, at which point I discovered that only 1/2. That's right. Half! Of the window frame was painted up there. The other half, they... I don't know... forgot? to paint? Along with the entire window sill. Seriously. Who wants to paint a window sill that's 10 feet in the air? Because no one will ever see it, right? Of course!

We're pretty sure we're going to have to completely dismantle the hall cabinets for a full hardware-ectomy (again with the painting hinges - I mean, seriously, people!), but I'll worry about that after I get my kitchen cabinet doors back. Deliah thinks we opened them all up just for her and I'm not much enjoying the thought of itty-bitty-kitty-paws all over my pots and pans.

Thankfully, most of the carnage is limited to the kitchen/dining room/entry area. Not to say that everything is just fabulous everywhere else. When our realtor saw the random diagonal wall in our master bathroom (~85 degrees), she literally was speechless. And I get the impression that this is not a normal state for her. Not that this is a problem. Because it means she's able to get a word in edgewise with me. Which is (I'm told) not always easy.

Anyway, I'll be glad when this is over. It makes me so tired to think about it. I'm ready to just go. Let the (aforementioned) poor schlub deal with the globby paint and nasty window screens and new door frame, oh my! I prefer my homes to be somewhat devoid of things that make you go "hmmm." I'm hoping for more of an "oooooh" or an "aaaaaah".

So this weekend, I will be sanding and painting and lighting and migrating live rock and.... possibly hunting for the parts for a new door frame. <sigh> Come join me and we'll make a party of it.

February 16, 2006

Aaaaand now I have a template

So yesterday, for no apparent reason, I decided I needed to do a blog. Now, I have a busy life. Really. I work 9-10 or more hours a day (contrary to what my mother might believe, given that I don't go to work until 9:30am). I take Highland bagpipe lessons (yes, really). We're in the process of selling our house and moving. All this together means... I don't have a lot of free time. And what I do have, I like to fill with some good quality time with reality TV.

So as the previous entry so..... eloquently illustrated, I'm very, very, very excited to finally get this working. And yes, we really did switch website hosts to get this working. We had a few other reasons too, but this was the catalyst.

I must have tried everything yesterday. WIth our previous host, we had a really gimpy database. One that didn't work. At all. Now we have a niiiiice database. Complete with WORKING bits. And after I spent my day today configuring... and configuring... and configuring some more, I now have a working blog that I set up ALL BY MYSELF THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

Schondy says he'll post here. Somehow I doubt it, but I could be wrong. He's certainly suprised me before. I told him he could have his own blog. But I think he'd almost rather just use mine. Ah. Marriage. In sickness, health, and blogging.

Heeeee! I rule!

Score! Two days, a gajillion files and one very bad neck cramp later, I DID IT! Almost all by myself, even. And we got a new website host out of the deal. Now that's what I call success.

I am woman. Hear me roar.

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