Friday, July 3, 2015

In the middle of every project all the time, always, good time, beach party.

 Well, we're making forward progress and we're in the middle of... everything.  While I have some energy and mobility, I've been trying to kick out as many TODOs on my list as I can.  A lot of them focus on woodworking, because those are the projects that I like to do and that I would rather not pass on to anyone else.  So here's a quick update of some of things that I've been pushing through.

(Oh, and the title is one of my favorite 30 Rock clips)

Garden is all loaded up with dirt and we planted some seeds:


Everything has popped up!

Here's the low-down on what we planted.  We went super simple, as we're doing a CSA this year.


I made the first of the two pullout pot drawers I wanted.  The other one is... half done. Of course.


It works great!


I'll need to do another update, but our deck is "safe" now.  We supported the falling section, and it nice and sturdy.  Need some things like.. stairs.. and rails though.  We got a cheap Craigslist ladder installed too, since our old one needed a deck to use it.


Strange intro, but my Mom's neighbor died a few years ago.  It was a heartbreaking second bought with cancer.  He was a contractor, and we had even spoke to him about helping us build a house back in the day.  Regardless, his wife had set up a garage sale getting rid of his tools and supplies.  We were able to make out with a whole lot of cool things.  The haul below was $3, with most of the items being free.  We have plenty more not pictured too.


I started sanding the larger coat hangers...


To give them a good spraydown!  Oil rubbed bronze, of course.  They turned out great (not shown) At some point, we'll get these finished and hung up too.

Speaking of ORB, we also sprayed down some of the used knobs for the new upstairs hall closet door.  I also finally got around to painting our bi-fold closet door handles as well (5 of them, I think).

I got my Mom's router back (which was some of the hold up), and started on some more projects.  This is to put next to our bathroom tub.  I needed to cut a slot the back because some mortar was sticking up at the corner.  Not installed yet, of course.

 And I cut these transitions:

For these ugly looking things:


Better?  Again, not installed.


In the random, why-in-the-world-would-I-start-a-new-project category, we have our downstairs bathroom.  I mudded these walls and bought paint OVER A YEAR AGO!


Even before I mudded, these walls were pretty ugly. That green spot is the old color, I guess, probably from the first owners.  The second owners took down a cabinet, added those cabinets... and never painted.



Kinda like us third owners.  Because we also took down that same cabinet they had moved.  Then of course, muddled, and never painted over there.  Still haven't painted over there, so don't get your hopes up.


Okay, well.. I spur of the moment decided that it was time to paint... the other half.  So not like me.  I could only do part without Jon's help though.  So... only half is done.


Classy, huh?

We also picked up a new clothes rack for the room.  We actually got that hung up over the counter already, despite not being done with the painting.  We really did need one of those things, and I'm loving it.

I don't have a picture with it hanging but check out this sweet packing Amazon gave us.  The nice big brown box was holding that tiny little blue one.  Spectacular waste of money, I would say.


Moving onto things I'm more proud of working on... Eve's room! Drywalls done, primer and paint is actually up too!  (Pictures are just with primer)
 Yay!  The stupid part of me left the old paint cards at home picking up another can of paint, and I got 'semi-gloss' instead of 'shell'.  It's totally noticeable... so we might be repainting some of the other sections as well :(


And finally, we hit up our first build a grow!  Not too much to do with houses, but it's Lowes... and I'm proud of heading to one of these while my kids are all in an age they could enjoy it.


Okay.  There's a whirlwind of what we've been up to this past month.  Nothings finished, but we're certainly not stagnant!  Only 3 weeks until my third trimester... gulp. 

Hoping this post will help me with my motivation  Eeek!

The Computer Desk That is NEVER Finished

I realize I haven't updated the blog on our office space in a while.  A lot of little details have been wrapped up.  Here's where we left off.  Note the cords, router and lack of shelves:


Last December I added a few stragically placed holes for wires in the desk.  That way our desk could sit flush against the wall, like it is actually a built in.


 Then I threaded the cords through the hole ...

And over to the computer.  I stapled some hook and loop cord wraps to keep the cords behind the wood support.  Since we moved the telephone jack from behind the bookcase, we were able to settle on a spot for the wireless router.  I screwed that to the underside of the desk while I was cleaning up the desk area.


Here it is about a month ago.   The our cords/router were looking better and it did actually make a big difference... despite the overflow of clutter.


A big part of the clutter was stuff I brought downstairs that was taking up space on my bedroom floor.  This was *after* sorting.  I also added some baskets and the one shelf I finished. Plus I took care of the cord mess inside the shelving unit by mounting some power strips and using zip ties. Plus we installed a KVM switch, so we could swap between windows computer and the mac easily.  It's what every app developer dreams of, right?

I think that was all done around late winter, just before I was too pregnant-sick to do anything else.


 Anyway, now you're up to date to about a month ago.  So with the second semester burst of energy, I did some more woodworking.  I added in two shelves, one upper and one lower. Makes a huge difference in the ability to actually use the baskets and storage we wanted to.  Way cleaner looking. 

The other big addition was that of a printer shelf. Not a huge deal, but it makes our life a little easier.

Pull out the shelf, and...  


 ...we can actually use our scanner.  It really helps with things like making electronic versions of our paper files (there's an autofeed on this model) and copies of homeschool stuff.



That's the update.  Still to do:
     Make 2 pull-out, flip down keyboard drawers (not looking forward to those hinges)
     Make a little paper divider for the stacked papers we store in there
     Buy and install doors 
     Install molding to give it the "built in" look

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Summer House List - The sequel

Here's where we stand with our current projects, both with the permitted work we pulled last fall, and our summer house list.  I checked of somethings that I haven't blogged about  yet.  I also added some new items that cropped up... and very few of these pictures I'd call current.




Eve’s Room
    Finishing mudding, sanding, priming and painting Eve's room. 
    Install door and frame window. 
    Install window blinds. 
    Pass inspection (!)
    Move crap out, clean and move Eve back in.
    Decorate and get furniture for Eve.


 New Linen Closet/Upstairs Hall
    Finish framing/painting the closet door. Install closest door for realz.
    Install new floor molding.  Paint old and new molding.
    Pass inspection (!)
    Organize closest and hang wall items.

 Master Bedroom
   Install new domer window. Repair floor/walls, and everything else that was leaked on from old window.
   Sort clutter and donate items.
   Move crib in.
   Buy/Build changing table
   Make 'nursery'  area where clutter was.

Living Room
    Sand, paint and 'install' molding around floors, new and old. 
    Build, stain and seal transitions to the laminate flooring from hall.
    Frame new wall opening.
    Build up shelves for kids drawing table.
    Pass inspection (!)

 Hallway/Entryway
    Patch holes in ceiling and wall of hallway/entryway. 
    Build coat hook bar hang coat hooks
    Paint and install molding around floors of new wall.
    Pass inspection (!)
    Build a built in coat rack… someday.


Downstairs bathroom/Laundry Room
    Adjust cupboards and repair wall behind them.
    Mud, sand, prime and paint.
    Caulk around sink.  Caulk around counter.
    Sand and paint heater.
    Cut down counter so the dryer doesn’t stick out.
    Buy/Build, paint and hang hooks and drying racks.
    Possibly buy new washer and dryer… if I can beg Jon into it.


Computer Desk
    Build, seal, paint and install sliding printer shelf.
    Build, seal and install middle and upper shelves.
    Attach power strips cords and router to desk.
    Build a little paper divider shelf
    Prototype hinges for keyboard/laptop shelf. 
    Build, seal and install keyboard shelf. Build seal and install laptop shelf.
    Put molding around the base and top of cabinet.
    Buy/make cabinet doors, paint and install.
    Upgrade computer – new monitors, fix crashes, new speakers, new case that fits in cabinet.
 
Kitchen
    Paint
    Build, seal and install a sliding pot shelves (x2).
    Buy and install a kitchen faucet.  Repair area under sink.
    Figure out broken dishwasher problem, order part, install and wash a whole lot of dishes.

Basement
    Buy and install or repair our basement door.
    Donate the donations!
    Clear out, organize, and burn scrap wood.
    Mitigate mold issues until a real gutting can be done

Electrical
Upgrade all switches to white ones
Upgrade all outlets to white tamper resistant outlets

Remove lightswitch from upstairs hall, and rewire other switch
Add outlet/light to upstairs hall

Add recessed lights for eve's room
Re-rout switch from outlet to lights
Add extra outlets to Eve's room in key places
Move switches from demo and under window
Add extra outlets to Boys room behind dresser
Add ceiling light to boys room
Re-rout switch from outlet to light

Add smoke alarms to all three bedrooms, wired to the existing hardwired smoke alarms
Add closet light to new closet w/switch
Add outlet for dustbuster in new closet

Add recessed lights in office
Add recessed lights in livingroom
Add extra outlets in livingroom where needed (computer, TV, etc)
Finish coax installation behind TV 
Replace and fix the dimmer switch in dining room.



Outdoor stuff (All clumped together for now)
    Put in new front steps.  Put in a new walkway.
    Set up a raised garden bed, mulch, remove poison ivy, add another fruit tree, make our lawn grow grass again.
    Get/build a new compost bin, and put it closer to the house.
    Finish digging up the sinkhole, and then filling it in.
    Get an engineer to look at drainage.  Fix what we can around the porch, deck and driveway
    Put in a longer bar across the playset and add some new swings.  Build a sandbox and stock with sand.
    Take down most of the old deck, salvage enough to still have a small deck.
    Repair pool liner, get pool started for the season, build/buy some sort of ladder so we (I) can get in.
    Finish building up the campfire, get it inspected, and start burning some of the wood on our lawn.  Stain log seat.
    Install some sort of clothes line.


Um, okay, some of those pictures are crazy old.  Like, when-we-moved-in old.  I think I need to go through the house and take some updated, full room pictures.  I'm pretty sure I'm more focused on the indoor list, because that's the stuff I do the most of.  Outdoor is a much bigger mix of Jon and I.

Really though, I just want to see our progress on the list. Current pictures could help too.  But man, having the electrical checklist from before, and seeing it now makes me real happy to see.  I'm actually holding off on the few switches/outlets I have left, since those will be easy enough to do when I get into the third trimester.  Living up the second right now, trying to get as much as I can done!  Let check off more of the list!

Friday, June 12, 2015

Landscape and Gardening!

So one thing I mentioned in my summer house list was my desire to have a raised garden bed. 

Skip a few steps.. and here it is!


Okay, so this was one of the easiest builds ever.  I did the construction with a little bit of Jon's help, but it was pretty easy, even for my pregnant self.  Isn't the second trimester great?

It probably took Jon more work to dig the hole for it (I wanted it recessed a little), than it did for me to slap it together.


I used white cedar from Lowes.  Six 1"x 6"x 8's and one 2"x4" for about... $50, I think.  Plus I sealed it with Thomson's water seal.  I put down some landscape fabric and topped with a little bit of our dirt to hold it down.

We weren't completely sure of the "best" location, but over by the apple trees seemed fitting enough.  The tomatoes that grew from our compost (around the apple trees) seemed to like the spot well enough.  We can always move it if we don't like it there.

We borrowed my parents SUV/wagon and hauled some topsoil from a local place.  It was a good experience in that we learned 1) Wagon's can't haul much.  We could only do 1/2 cu yard at a time. and 2) We're going to hire a delivery truck for our future landscape needs over 1 cu yard or outside of 'local'.

 We used a few tarps to make the transition easier.  While they did help a lot, it was still a bit of work.


And that's about it for the garden bed!

Onto other gardening endeavors, last year we bought these pretty floxes...  um I think that's what they are.  Really though, I just wanted a perennial flower that smelled good and looked pretty.  These were great! 
Sort of.

Funny enough, we bought two, but a random neighborhood cat pooped right in the middle of the the right side flowers just after we transplanted them last year and kill them.  Weird, right?  In a stroke of genius my husband ripped off some of the good plant last fall and stuck them in the right pot.

They took! It's so funny how easily that worked.


I also mulched the front area.  Seems like getting bags during Lowe's labor day sale is the way to go.  We can just load a cubic yard in our van (we needed to mulch the front of the house too), and the price was cheaper than buying in bulk.

 We also added in the a few more plants to the front garden area from around the lawn.  


Actually, if you payed close attention to far away picture with the truck, you'll notice a few things.  We've actually destroyed a 'garden' around the rock in front of my raised garden bend.  It had some small trees and, well a bunch of stuff we never really payed attention to.  It was sort of an odd placement for us, and more than we wanted to manage.  I'm more of a veggie grower anyway.  Jon wants that rock out of there someday too.

But we were resourceful, in that we took some of those nicer looking plants over to the mulch area.


Also, you can see two other projects we're working towards. 

One, is that Jon found more lawn to dig up :(  There was a bunch of roots and stumps buried in the lawn that was causing the grass to grow a little weird.  So Jon made it a big pile of dirt instead.  I'm not sure I understand him.  At somepoint though, we will be getting a quote from a drainage specialist and then backhoe. And then he can dig to his hearts desire and we can have a plan for drainage.  And then put grass on it.  And mow it and dig it up anymore.  That's my goal at least

Two, you can see our collection of pavers.  We decided, at least somewhat, the direction we want to go with our walkway.  Again, we're waiting on a backhoe to help us do some of the dirty work.

Well, enough with the lawnwork.  Hoping we can get some of these projects done!