Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Subtle Changes

Well, it's been a whirlwind two days of work, culminating in a sore booty and swollen hands. It's a small price to pay for new doors, installed baseboards, a less smelly fridge and a recognizable guest room. Dad came up from Houston in and around shifts to help me take care of a million little things. It's the little things that finish a room, but it's also the little things that will cause you to drink excessive amounts and spin around in a room pulling your hair out! (Not necessarily in that order!!!) He worked on getting the upper shelves of my ClosetMaid Selectives closet organizer installed (plug for Uncle Bri!) While he was cutting and measuring, I second and first coated the hall closets. (Yes it was in that order. One closet had already been coated once by my SIL Jes.)

As I was sitting on the floor inside the closet painting the walls next to the door, I was
considering my logic in painting a wall no one can see. Then, as your mind is want to do during jobs such as painting the inside of closets, it started to wander. And then I was thinking, what if one day, long after I was gone, someone had to hide from the bad guys in that closet. And what if their last thought in life wasn't of their family or loved ones, but instead of the fact that whoever owned the house before them never painted the inside of the closet??? I simply couldn't let that happen. Therefore I had to paint the inside of the closet and thus my ponytail in the process. (Okay, I confess, I've been watching Criminal Minds a lot lately. Great show, but spooks the heck out of me and keeps me awake at night! But it's addictive and I can't turn it off!!!!)

Okay, enough with the morbid thoughts, onto baseboards. Oh wait, I was thinking some morbid thoughts while doing those darn things!! First of all, let me explain a few things. I picked a really pretty, 5 1/2 inch tall baseboard made of MDF. Medium Density Fiberboard for those wondering. It's flat on the bottom 4 inches and then has a lovely curved piece at the top. Unfortunately, this curved part, combined with my fabulous "square" walls/slab, note the sarcasm, means that all corners aren't simply a matter of 45 degree cuts. Instead each piece has to be cut on a 45 degree angle and then coped back. No, my baseboards don't sit and talk to a therapist about coping with their life. Instead, you take a VERY thin saw and cut off the excess behind the pretty front of the baseboard. If you're totally confused, I recommend googling this old house coping baseboard. Bob Villa I ain't! After tons of this tedious work, a very patient Marc and me cursing the man who originally built the house and it's completely un-level slab, we have the results shown in the pictures. I must admit, I love the look!!!

One of the biggest jobs that we did this week was installing the new front and carport doors. (The back door was already replaced by Brant and Terry last month and greatly appreciated!!) When we removed the decorative trim out from around
the old doors, the entire jamb fell out onto the floor. Anyone notice a problem with that? There were NO nails, screws, glues, anything holding the door jamb to the walls of the house except for the piddly trim. Hmmm, wonder about the safety of that!! Fear not now, there are a TON of 3" exterior screws now holding the doors and the hinges in place.

The sore booty came in response to the fact that I have no upper body strength! In
order to drive the screws into the pre-drilled holes, I had to do a deep squat and lay on the drill. I apologize now to the entire town of Brenham for having to see me in that position!!! My SIL Jess came into town to help and among other things graciously painted the wall color around the door before we put the trim on. I just realized that I didn't shoot the door from that side, but now you'll have something to look forward to in the next blog!!

One of the biggest jobs I completed solo this week was to scrub out the entire fridge from top to bottom with bleach and simple green. This resulted in a sparkling clean fridge that no longer smelled like fish, yuck, but also resulted in sore hands from holding the scrub brush. The fridge, under a minor layer of stickiness, is actually a gem. When new it was apparently a top line model that I was blessed enough to pick up for a steal at $100.

This is a new gadget from Uncle Jeff in Colorado that came down on the last Purvis express jet. It's a organizing bin that the Container Store would be thrilled with. Don't let the lack of labels fool you, all of the little bins are full, with more items waiting. The lack of labels comes from the fact that I have no idea what the difference is between the screws/nails/wall anchors/wire nuts/s-hooks/cup hooks etc. are.

Again, while
working with everything, my mind wandered and for those who know me, I went directly to where in the world these names came from. For example why is a 16 penny nail, a 16 penny nail? What makes wire certain gauges? Who was the person who decided that a 1 gauge was a 1 gauge? Why does wire get thinner the bigger the number? Do nails go the same direction? Big number = small nail? These are the things that keep my mind busy at night... On that note, I'm sure there are tons that I've left off, but I will have to cover it on the next edition. Have a very Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year!!!

Monday, December 14, 2009


Good Evening, or Morning depending on when you read this-

I know it's been a while since I've updated and no, while I LOVE spending time with Zach, it's not his fault. As anyone who has ever done anything on their house knows, money is finite and I found that out the hard way. Anyway, money ran out, kaput, nada, zilch, zero and as any industrious young (ha!) woman would do I found a way to solve the problem. Actually, it was my mom's idea and huge helping hand that got me headed in the right direction. We decided to have a garage sale a
nd knock out several birds with one stone. While I've been relatively satisfied with my storage company, I would love to end my 7 year relationship with them soon! Anyway, I started the task of going through tubs that haven't been cracked open in years. Seriously, what was I smoking when I bought some of these things?!?!?

Jon and Felicia cleared out their old office, closets and barn and Mom emptied a couple of years of garage sale items out of the bathroom. (I know, odd place to store them, but if you rip out the tub, there is a ton of room in there.) Aside from having to give up attending my staff Christmas party, it was a great weekend and a great sale. We made almost $300, which considering the weather (cold and raining) and the fact that the Cubs were playing the state semi-finals (We WON!!) was an awesome accomplishment. It was truly a blessed
garage sale!

As soon as the sale was over and I had regained feeling in all of my extremities (did I mention it was COLD?) I headed to Sutherland's and Home Depot to purchase baseboards, crown moulding and paint. Not to worry, I did have some money left, but not much!

While I was out an about making my purchases, Mom called to let me know that a l
ady we knew had their fridge on sale on our version of Craigslist for $100. Boom, in one swift move, there went all of the rest of my money. Granted, I wanted/needed a fridge and to get one from someone that I knew and trusted was another blessing. So, after some batting of eyelashes and pleading, Dav & Jes, and Jon & Fel (Zach too, but he really didn't have an option...) agreed to give up their Sunday to help me install (and pick-up) my new purchases. After some grunting and a couple of "darns" my new black side-by-side fridge has been picked up from Old Baylor, hauled to town, lifted out of the truck and installed in my "kitchen." I use the term kitchen loosely seeing as it's currently more of a "stud room." (Now taking applications for cute guys to stand around in my "stud" room!)

We got both the office and the guestroom final coated, my bedroom door closing, high-boy drawers lined, closets and closet shelves painted and several other small jobs taken care of. Nothing spectacular or obvious, but all jobs that had to be taken care before I can move the furniture out of storage or I can move into the house.

Now all I need to do is get the floor stained, trim sanded and painted, doors stripped and installed (love liquid sander!) floor second coated, furniture moved and placed, door framed out, and a couple of other things. So, is anyone else exhausted by that list???? Speaking of exhausted, I have to meet Zach and his mom and dad at Burton High at 7:15. I better start getting ready to head to bed or I'll never be on time! Yeah I know, rarely am I on time, but I still put forth the effort to try! If you're in education, have a great rest of your week, remember just 4 more days! If not, just remember that it's almost Christmas! Fun with family and friends and a legitimate reason to stuff your face beyond reason with fabulous food! Have a great holiday!!

Monday, November 30, 2009

One Small Step for Me

Okay, after much work, sweat, tears and a bit of blood, there is finally furniture in the house! My bedroom, except for more pretty things, a chair and a bookcase, is finished. Now, that doesn't include the closet. It's still in progress, but it's getting closer everyday. I have a couple more pieces to the ClosetMaid Selectives kit to assemble and some doors to finish painting and install. Installing those should be quite fun. Ugh. I'm quickly discovering my least favorite jobs. Hanging doors ranks right up there under painting ceilings! Don't get me wrong, the gray hair look is fine, but spotted gray gets old really quick. Hanging doors goes great until you go to close them and discover that all of the sudden they don't close anymore! I would love to blame the thickness of the paint, but since I don't know if the door ever closed, I can't prove it. I attached some pictures of all of the hard work. I also included pictures of the "before" in case you've forgotten just how bad it really was. Stay tuned for more updates, hopefully soon!

Master Bathroom Before
Master Bathroom After

Master Bedroom Before

Master Bedroom After

Monday, November 16, 2009

Come One, Come All!

Okay, I've now reached a time of pure desperation! I am trying to move into my house before the Christmas holidays and in case you haven't noticed with the lack of blogging, my momentum has dropped to an all time low. So, in an effort to make working a little more fun and entertaining, you are cordially invited to come and spend a day releasing frustrations, getting instant gratification and having a ton of fun and laughs! Saturday November 21 from 9-5ish or 11-2 or 2:40-3:00 or whatever time you have! There will be pizza, snacks, cold drinks and good music for all.

All ages are welcome, though I can't guarantee the safety of those under 5, or over 5 for that matter! Some of the jobs I'm looking for help with are pulling up carpet in a shed, cleaning a storage closet in the carport and priming the inside of it, priming closets, sanding shelves, painting ceilings, painting walls, installing crown moulding, for the really intrepid, removing a HUGE stump in the yard, sanding trim and if nothing else, just company to keep me going! Even if you only have a spare 5 minutes on Saturday, drop by the house and see all of the work in person. The front room is still a mess, but the master bed and bath are really starting to take shape. No need to RSVP because I understand that plans often change, especially at the last minute, but I hope to see you there!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Some Days It's Rough Being a Pumpkin...

I know, I know, it's not pictures of the house, or a cute set of anecdotes, but it's Zach, in a pumpkin suit, come on, it's precious! He's growing like a weed and wearing out Mom and Dad with his antics. At last count he was up to 7 pounds 2 ounces, so that's great. He's ahead of where he needs to be, which is good since he was so skinny. His chicken legs are starting to fill out finally. Anyway, more about the treasure uncovered in the backyard in the next update. Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Sissi's backyard

My first guest blogger, I'm so excited!!

Okay, between being "forced" to play with Zach ;), the state capital for school meetings and teen-sitting, my poor house has been abandoned. Since I signed up for a 30 year mortgage, though, my thought is that I am going to have plenty of time to work at it and on it. However, Dad has been faithfully plugging away the past two weeks without me. Below are the results of his efforts.

Before working on the patio it looked like this:
Tuesday it was such a nice day I got distracted from the painting inside and was looking around for a place outside to sand a door when I tripped over the patio. Some 9 hours later I had found the patio as well as areas to plant flowers.

But after dinner I started to shovel out the entrance to the patio and found down 4-6 inches under the dirt and roots a brick sidewalk that extends to the corner of the house: Notice the before photos don't show any evidence of it. The sidewalk appears to have been buried for decades.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

We Interrupt This Blog for a Baby!!

Zachary David, son of Fel & Jon, was born at 10:49 am on October 12, 2009. He weighs in at 6 pounds 10 oz and was 20 1/2 inches long. Mom, Dad and baby are doing great!!!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Latest Edition

That's it! I'm officially quitting my day job and starting life as a lead singer for a cover band. I cannot tell you how fabulous I sound when I'm wailing away to my iPhone while working. I'm telling you, I think I've missed my calling! (Just FYI, I can also dance really well while working.) It's a sight and sound to be behold, let me tell you!

Aside from the wonderful entertainment, things have been slowly turning around at the house. Bit by bit it's finally starting to look like a home, not a scary insane asylum, it's former occupation! I've attached several pictures in loo of a long blog today. Hey, they say a picture's worth a thousand words, which means this is one of the longest blogs ever! 7,000 words at current count!

The new knobs are featured in the first picture. There was a moment of frustration at first. The original holes are too small by about a 1/4 of an inch all the way around. So, after dragging out several tools, the dremmel won out. (I would just like to point out that removing the bits from the dremmel is counter-intuitive! Instead of lefty-loosie, it's right-tighty to UNDO the bit!) After sanding out the hole, I put the knob in and it didn't fit! The backset wasn't right! What the hey?!?! NOOOOOOO!!!! Oh, wait, I put it in wrong. Quickly Dad, Marc, was able to set it right and as you can see, it looks fabulous and even makes the filthy door look good!

The next picture is a shot of the crazy living room. Instead of a relaxing gathering place, it's become a storage closet, painting station, toolbox and general dumping ground. I know that one room has to have that desig nation, but I was sure hoping it would be the garage, not the living room. I guess I would have to have a garage though to make that work.

The next two pictures feature the master bedroom. Notice the fabu paper blinds that cover the windows. A steal at $5 each at Home Depot and from the curb you'd be hard pressed to call it paper. Now, the real scene stealers are the new electrical devices featured. Notice the gorgeous new ceiling fan, one of my great deals, and the new outlets. I know, new outlets, what's the big deal right? Let me tell you, they're a huge deal! It means no more running around looking for the little adapter thingy (I'm sure that's the official name.) that lets you plug in a grounded plug.) If you're confused, check out this quick electrical lesson here: The old 2 prong outlets didn't have a ground, which could result in a nasty shock. The way things are going, it was only a matter of time until one of got it good! Thanks to Dad and Sara's hard work, the plugs are now safe and shock risk has been minimized.

Office paint shows off my office and it's lovely array of drywall. Please also note my fabulous cutting in job! Thank heavens for crown moulding, that's all I can say! It covers up most, if not all of my sins. I would also like to point out that you should be willing to take chances on paint colors in rooms. It's just paint and all in all, it's $40 and if you really hate it, cover it up. Several people told me that they were surprised at how much they liked the wall color in the office. They thought they were going to hate it and ended up really liking it. (They were sweet enough to keep the comments about not liking it to themselves until it was up.)

The final two pictures are of the master (green) bath. One features the new shower and faucet combo and the other is of the stripped vanity. I had to peel off layers of paint, both latex and oil using a heat gun and a putty knife. Didn't learn about the paint scraper until the job was done. Oops. While it didn't come off perfectly, I was able to sand it down and remove the rest of the paint blotches and knife dings. I guess that's why people build things out of real wood instead of fake junk...

Anyway, I need to get going. I've been working on trying to get my grades to post for the first grade reporting period and I might as well be nailing jello to a wall! At least I think I'd have much more success that way! I'll let you know if I ever get my lawn mowed or the bedroom door finally refinished...

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Deals, Steals & A Little Bit of Water

Well, I strongly recommend NEVER having an allergic reaction to a tetanus shot.  (If you would care to see the pictures of the blisters, check out this link, otherwise imagine a HORRIBLE sunburn.  Thanks to this, I've been away from cleaning products, (yes, I am showering daily, brothers,) sweating, outdoors and general labor of any kind.  Can I tell you how hard it is to get anything done when you can't move?  Now, I could disobey doctors' orders and take care of business anyway, but there is this itchy rash that goes off, causing you to claw yourself to a bloody mess as soon as the temperature reaches higher than 77 degrees.  Personally, I think the rash is just a way to ensure that I'm obeying!  Anyway, all that being said, I'm finally getting back on track with the house. 

Yesterday afternoon was spent on an unintended shopping spree. I had the greatest intentions of running into the local hardware places and checking prices on trim.  Unfortunately/Fortunately Lowe's and Sutherland's both had great clearance items that I was able to get for a song.  I now have door levers for every closet, bedroom, bathroom, and entry door in my house.  The design I like is a lever handle, not the typical knob, so I had to count the number of left handed and right handed doors in the house, and then get the correct set, closet, bedroom/bathroom, keyed entry.  I had the entire "display" (they were dumped in the middle of an aisle on a pallet) taken apart and spread into piles.  I then mentally walked through the house and pretended to open each door.  I'm sure I looked quite comical to anyone watching but such is life.  I was going to go with Satin nickel, but switched to oil-rubbed bronze (think copper brown), seeing as there wasn't enough of the satin nickel (think dull silver) in left handed doors to work.  Either finish is okay with me.  I like them both and actually prefer wear shown on the oil-rubbed to the satin.  I also picked up 2 clearance ceiling fans, light switches (flat "bump-able" style,) outlets and other "fun" purchases. 

The real progress was shown this weekend when Dad and Sar re-plumbed the entire house.  Using a product called PEX and some sweat, okay, a lot of sweat, they were able to re-plumb the entire house in approximately 24 hours of work for WELL under the bid by the professional plumber.  The true feather their the cap was the compliment paid by the professionals!  My contractor, Jack, has two helpers that in their former lives were plumbers.  They admired the plumbing job and pronounced it "Done Right!"  High praise indeed, trust me. 

I'll let you know what I get accomplished, if anything, today.  Hopefully the rain will hold off just enough to allow something to get done!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Not really slacking but...

Okay, I know it has been suspiciously quiet on the house blog front, but I promise I haven't been that lazy lately.  First of all, I kid-sat all weekend, so I wasn't able to get much done.  The real reason for the tardiness for everything started last Thursday with a small red spot on my face next to my left eye.  Since Sunday, the small spot, which was the same from Thursday through Sunday blossomed to my entire body, legs, upper arms, hair, and face.  When I woke up on Monday morning at 4:45, the entire left side of my face was so swollen that I couldn't open my eye.  I ended up in the ER with an idiot for a Dr.  He declared that I was having a reaction to polyurethanes and paint thinners that I'm using in my house.  Unfortunately, I don't even have any polyurethane or paint thinner in my house.  Anyway, I ended up with 2 steroid shots,Pepcid, which is also an antihistamine and orders to take Benedryl every 4 hours.  Fabulous!  I have an appointment with an allergist this afternoon in College Station, and hopefully there is a magic shot which will make me look more recognizable in the mirror.  At least better than I have been.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Making My List & Oops...

This weekend was extremely productive.  Crazy, but productive.  Friday night Cas and Can came over and helped me get color on the walls in the master bedroom.  I must say it looks fabulous!  Three of the walls are Brown Tepee, a cafe latte color and the accent wall is Roasted Nuts, a chocolate syrup color.  It will all be accented in Heavy Cream colored trim.  Contrary to their claims, Can and Ca are incredible painters and great workers!  Dad came by after he got off work on Friday and continued his quest to retro-fit the bathtub with a shower.  As simple as it sounds, the job has evolved into replacing all reach-able pipes in a really tiny hole under the tub, through the hamper.  We ended the evening with giving another set of neighbors, the Cavasar's a tour of the house after a quick trip to Lowe's & Sonic for supper.  (Thanks for the gift card Aunt Jud & Uncle Bri.  It was a huge help in keeping my wonderful volunteers happy!)

Saturday dawned bright and early with some dummy's idea to set up a window estimate appointment at 9.  (Yeah, the dummy was me.  What was I thinking??  9 am??)  Ray from Home Depot came and expounded greatly on the benefits of Home Depot's double hung, vinyl, energy efficient windows.  After he came, David from ClearChoice Windows came and expounded on his.  Basically I couldn't see much difference between the two, except for the lifetime warranty at Home Depot is truly a lifetime, while the one at ClearChoice is only 50 years.  Have a slight bone to pick with ClearChoice, a lifetime doesn't have a preset limit last I checked.  During the middle of the fun with windows, Dav and Jes, apparently wonderful gluttons for punishment, showed up again to help.  (Wow!  Is this what decorating a wedding gets you?  I'm thrilled!)  Jes went to work on priming the back bedroom and the office.  She even did the ceiling!  That earns extra bonus points in my book.  While she and I continued painting and getting the bathroom ready for wallboard, Dav and Dad attacked, literally, the back and side yards.  See the attached pictures to tell the difference in the before and the after.  The vine tree picture is showing a tree that is COVERED in some kind of vines, choking the life out of the tree.  (G'ma & Sar don't read the next part.)  Dave used the bucket of the borrowed bobcat, thanks Brandon, to life Dad up so he could attach a chain to the vine.  Dad was then lowered down to get out and Dave would use the chain to pull the vine out of the tree.  Some of the vines had a diameter of more than 4 inches. 

(At this point, I stopped typing to attend a gradebook training meeting that lasted an hour or so.  By the time I left it was after 5 and I was pooped.  I went home, got mom, checked on the house and picked up supper.  We then sat down to put together a puzzle, a serious weakness of mine.  I'm now in bed and about to fall sound asleep.  Stay tuned for the rest of the weekend, including the oops and more pictures!) 

Friday, August 28, 2009

Still No Paint...

Last night was the big Brenham Chamber of Commerce Tailgate party, so I had two assistants for the evening.  (Leslie was running the party, so Marshall IV and VJ hung with me.)  Instead of going over to the house, we went and watched the new star quarterback of the Brenham Cubs Sophomore team make 3 of the touchdowns in his first season game.  Go James Zeiders!  Marshall was disappointed that we didn't get anything "painted" but I have to be honest and say I was a little relieved.  I was worried about getting into painting and getting them both fed, homework done and in bed, all with the energy of a slug.  (Don't sweat, I'm not sick, it's just usual exhaustion from getting back into the swing of things.)  I only have one bedroom primed, not painted, primed.  (Promised I wouldn't paint without my assistants, but do have permission to prime.)  I would like to get a couple of more rooms under my belt before any color goes up.  This way I can put the color samples up in the rooms where I potentially want that color. 

I do have a bid waiting on me at the house on the new windows.  The guy priced out aluminum clad windows and vinyl ones.  Does anyone have any opinions on which ones to go with?  I'm leaning towards the more expensive vinyl ones, but am wondering about other people's opinions.  (on windows...)  Gotta go, I'm headed out to return several things at Lowe's & Home Depot, my two new favorite stores, or at least the ones where most of my money goes...  ;)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Seriously Slacking...

Chalk it up to the kid throwing up in my classroom, finding out I have a new student, a long afternoon of bus duty or learning a REALLY old laptop for a new visually impaired child, but I was a serious slacker yesterday.  After I finally left school at 4:30, I'd been trying to leave for since 4, I went and got the crew drinks and headed for the house.  Dad (Marc) and Sara had been working non-stop all day yesterday and lots to show for it.  Dad had cleared out a large patch of grapevine and other weeds/weed trees from the back fence area.  He had also worked on tearing out the old faucet in the green bath and replacing it with a shower tub faucet combo.  This is really good news, seeing as the only shower in the house is in the pink bathroom and there is no way in heck I'm getting in that thing!  (Granted, the shower pan in it is shot, so I have a legit excuse...)  See the attached pictures to check out his new "workshop" area.

Sara spent the bulk of the day organizing the myriad of tools that I currently own.  (The drywall guy, Wes, was really impressed with my tool count.  Impressed and maybe just a little bit jealous...) The tools look great and now I can easily find the one I need when I need it.  Thanks for all of the hardwork.  I'm sorry the only appreciation I could muster was supper at Cici's, but I do appreciate it.  In case anyone from the Texas Board of Education is reading this, I would really appreciate it if school could start on a Thursday every year so we can then have 2 days to recover and plan for the next week.  :)  Have a great day, or night if you're reading this late and I'll keep you up to date on what happens next!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Holes, Both Good & Bad

The pictures attached show the newest additions/removals going on at the house.  Jack, my GC (General Contractor,) came in and opened up the wall for me, creating a much larger opening into the kitchen from the living room.  In the process, he removed a pocket door which will later be moved between the laundry room and the kitchen.   I love the new opening and can't wait to see it completely finished out and painted. 

Speaking of paint, I was able to finally get in a prime the master bedroom. (PLEASE do not tell M4.  He will be MAJORLY upset with me if he knows I "painted" without him.  You know it was priming, and I know it was priming.  He'll never buy that line.)  The primed walls look fabulous.  Clean and white now instead of stained and torn up.  It was worth every penny spent on drywall and the wonderful looks I'm going to get tomorrow at work with my fabulous new hairdo.  Note to self:  wear a bandanna on head when painting ceilings...

There are some other pictures attached that are a bit scarier than the pretty hole in the living room.  Those are of the back soffit and fascia boards.  Jack's crew came in and tore off the aluminum siding that was up there, holding water next to the wood.  They repaired the damage and have replaced the aluminum with Hardi-Plank, a cement board product that has venting holes built into it.  Eventually this is what I would love to have the entire house re-sided in, but until then it's going to be a bit by bit process.  It appears that the gables might also be getting a new look soon.  They too have water damage and need to be repaired.  Jack is coming on Friday to see what that is going to cost me.  While costs are mounting and MOUNTING, I still feel that this is the house for me.  Little by little I can update and redo, making it my own.  I just have to be patient that while I cannot afford the new windows right this minute, I can have a safe roof over my head.  I guess its all a matter of perspective. 

I would like to do a huge shout out to Dad & Sar for coming up today from Houston and working majorly hard in the two most important rooms in the house, the bathrooms.  Dad replaced the sink faucet in the green bathroom and removed the water damaged base to the vanity.  Sar, bless her, got into the NASTY pink bathroom and scrubbed it to within an inch of it's life.  It is now safe to use the bathroom to wash your hands and the toilet if you must.  (It's not a water saver.)  The shower is still off limits due to a shot shower pan, but the green bath will hopefully have a shower head soon.  Thanks guys!

On a completely random note, my fifth year of teaching started yesterday and I'm just not sure about these kids yet.  They are sweet and talkative, but they're not last year's group.  Granted, I know last year's group gave me fits, but it's amazing how quickly you forget the headaches and just miss the kids.  (Not all of them though.)  I realize this happens every year and as soon as we're into a routine, it will be better.  As of now, I need to get to bed seeing as I have my first day of morning duty.   I'll let you know what happens next, both with school and my house.

Haven't Forgotten...

I promise I haven't forgotten about the blog, but school started yesterday and our internet was down at the house last night, so I didn't get it written.  Big things are happening and I promise to get them posted soon!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Big Changes

I am sitting here barely able to move, but sooooo excited!  I went over to the house today and I loved the ceilings.  Wes, the drywall guy, uses a technique called stomp and drag.  He uses a self-designed tool to apply the plaster to the ceilings.  (See the picture of the guy in the blue shirt.)  They then go back and knock it down so it provides a flat surface.  Tomorrow, yes Sunday, he's going to apply an orange peel texture all of the walls in the house.  It's going to look just like an orange peel, minus the fabulous orange color.  I wanted flat, but I will settle with the orange peel.  It hides the flaws in the walls much better and makes the overall look much smoother.  I just like it because it's smooth enough that I can still get straight, clean paint lines for stripes, apply vinyl wall graphics etc. and no one will draw blood on rough walls! 

While the guys continued to work on the walls/ceilings, I tackled the paneling in the kitchen.  It all had to come down because we need to rewire the kitchen for electricity.  (No one panic, Dad was able to save the green built-in in the corner.  It will be moving to the opposite corner.)  The need to rewire means that I get to design my kitchen and have to know where everything is going.  Yahoo!  Since I already have everything planned in my head, I now just have to make it reality and get it down on paper.  Should be an easy task.  I have no where else to be on Monday so I can tackle it then.  Oh wait, school starts doesn't it?  Darn.  Can you guess what's going to be the feature of Day 13?

Soon after finishing the paneling, Les (see prior blogs) showed up and helped me get rid of the fabulous linoleum in the kitchen.  Surprisingly, it came up really easy.  We used a flat nose (no real idea what it's called) shovel, chisel, and pry bar to get it all up.  It only stuck in a few places and those popped up easily with a wee bit of encouragement from the chisel.  :)  Unfortunately the mastic used in 1961 and now highly visible was a lovely black color, so I now have a custom floor treatment that will be featured on the cover of "60's Kitsch." 

Dad & Sar showed up for a little while in between ER shifts and pitched in after taking in all the hard work.  Sar assisted Les with the floor demo and Dad headed out back to attack some much overgrown grapevines. (think 3-4 inches in diameter...)  Thanks for taking the effort to come up between shifts, I appreciate it!

Now, if I'm going to design and mentally install an entire kitchen tomorrow, I better get to bed tonight.  Advil, oh advil, where are you???  Advil?  Hmm, maybe it's somewhere near my muscles and my ability to move.  Soon as I can locate those I'm home free!!  I'll let you know what I can find.  ;)

Saturday, August 22, 2009


I am beyond impressed with the new drywall guys. They have really busted tail today and fixed EVERY crack, chip, and hole in the entire house, barring the kitchen. They have re-drywalled the ceilings in the master, guest and green bathroom, taped & floated them and textured the living room, office, and hallway ceiling, all today. Wow! My house is starting to have an obvious change in it. With this huge change, I'm hoping that we can start painting soon, much to Marshall's delight! I know it's only been a week, but there has been no change that has been "pretty." Yes, I took out the nasty carpet and scrubbed the walls, but nothing that made me happy to see it. (other than the house itself.) It's going to be awesome!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Changes Are Stirring

(In case you're wondering, I'm a day behind again with the blog due to open house.  Hopefully this weekend I will get back on track on the days, but school starting is a bit hair pulling around here!) 

Jack, the contractor, called yesterday with good news on the nasty ceilings in the master, guest room, and green bathroom.  These rooms all have extensive termite damage in them, causing the paint to peel and look tacky, not to mention the stained ceilings in the master.  He had his drywall guy out and they are going to apply 1/4 inch drywall over the damaged pieces and re-tape and float.  They did look at repairing the damage, but it is so extensive that there is nothing really to attach the patch too because the paper is all gone.  (For those of you who don't know, drywall is a layer of plaster, sandwiched between two sheets of paper.  Paper is a tree product and thus is eaten by the termites.  They don't eat the plaster, but they do make a rather impressive freeway system in it. The current drywall still has holely (sp?) plaster in it, but the paint just flakes off because the paper the paint was on is now gone...)  In one fell swoop he will fix a wall and three ceilings, allowing me to get started painting and hopefully look at moving in sooner!  (For those of you wondering, Jack did check the studs in the wall and they are fine.)

Due to a slow time, the drywall guy is going to give me a GREAT deal.  I'm going on the whole faith thing that it just worked out that the guy that I needed was available right now.  There are a TON of things that I want to do in the house, built-ins, custom treatments, remodeled bathrooms, etc.  I so don't want to spend my time inhaling drywall dust, ESPECIALLY from the ceiling!!  (You blow white boogers for a week and that's with a mask on!)  For a mere $200 plus materials, over the cost of the other rooms, he is going to go ahead and drywall the entire kitchen for me!  That means this weekend I will be prying massive amounts of paneling off of the walls and spend next week wiring the kitchen for electricity  (If anyone wants to join, I'll be there!)  Mom suggested saving some of the paneling and using it as wainscoting in the kitchen.  I love the idea.  It's a really pretty paneling, almost tongue and groove, with evenly spaced panels.  Nothing like the rancid paneling of the 80's.  I'm just not in love with the idea of painting the paneling and leaving it in the house...  (Sorry Can)  I'll let you know how the rest of the weekend goes...

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Not Much Happening...

Sorry about the delay in this edition.  I was at work until 8 last night working on t-shirts for the 4th grade Open House, so very little was accomplished on the house yesterday.  I did meet with my contractor over my lunch hour.  He had the roof measured for the new metal and looked at all of the termite damaged drywall and the SCARY laundry room.  He's working on a price for all of it and is going to let me know something tomorrow.  I realize that I could possibly repair the termite damage myself, but I do want to be in this house before I turn 40, so...  And as for the roof, no amount of money could get me up there!!  I will gladly pay someone to climb it for me, not to mention the 100 degree temperatures!  Keep your fingers crossed that the estimate in my price range which is free to cheap!  ;)  I am excited that for once, I'll be spending a large amount of money and have a large item to show for it!  Nothing like having a medical procedure done, paying $5,000 for it and having nothing tangible to show!  Now I can show off my roof!!  It's the little things in life!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Short & Sweet

In honor of all of you who have slogged through all of my prior e-mails, I promise to keep this one short.  In honor of my first week of being a homeowner, I took this afternoon off!  ;)  Actually I REALLY needed a pedicure, so mom and I went and had girl-time. I also managed to drop almost $70 on two AC filters, trash bags, a pressure pump sprayer thing (technical name) and a couple of other things.  

Note to self:  NO MORE WALMART TRIPS!  Tomorrow I have a roof measurement, drywall consultation and laundry room implosion scheduled.  My fabulous contractor, Jack, is meeting me sometime tomorrow afternoon.  The city of Brenham is also supposed to come by and trim trees out of the electrical lines.  Slowly but surely things are happening.  I'll let you know what happens next!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Making Your Mark

I am slowly resigning myself to the fact that I have to work and cannot spend all of my waking time working on my house.  Thankfully though, the kids aren't back yet, so I was able to leave school this morning and meet the A/C repair man.  Perseverance prevailed and after a $60 call fee, it was deemed that my unit did need a charge and it was possible that it COULD have been working when we signed the papers.  He did tell me that it would take a while to cool the house down and get all of the heat out of the walls.  I was also told that my unit was a ton and a half too small for the house.  It will work, but it's going to work it's little heart out for me.  If anyone has an extra 4.5 ton A/C unit, preferably American Standard in honor of my Papa, I'd be glad to take it off your hands!

Tonight Cas, Mom and I headed over to the house to work.  (I would like to throw an honorable mention in for Rach.  She was ready to work yesterday, but I was taking a nap...  She had to make supper tonight, so couldn't come.)  Cas and I tackled the master bedroom.  I started to wipe down the closet, think beautiful green covered in a tea/nicotine stain.  While I was working on that, Cas dirtexed the walls.  Dirtex, a cleaner used for wall prep is the last step before priming, so that is a huge leap.  When she finished that, we both worked on the closet, taking down the shelves and trying to get the layers of nicotine off.  After scrubbing the walls down by hand, scrubbing them again with the mop and then a final hand scrubbing by Casey, I can pronounce the entire closet clean enough to prime! 

We tackled the closet and Mom took on the green bathroom sink.  It looks FABULOUS!  Somehow she got rid of all of the rust stains, hard water deposits and general yuck on the sink.  I am so impressed and thrilled to have a clean place to wash hands. 

As we were finishing our chores for the evening, my "dollar dealer" came over and gave me another installment.  Thanks Jon and Feli for all of the effort.  I really appreciate it. 

So far, Thursday I am having the rest of the house treated for termites, next Monday evening meeting with the window replacement people and tomorrow meeting with my contractor to see about the laundry room and other odd jobs.  I'm still waiting on the roof.  Jack, my contractor, hasn't received word back from the roof guy yet.  I think that just about covers everything. Slowly but surely I am making my mark on the house. 

Speaking of making my mark, we took Elvis with us this evening to the house.  He had a ball sniffing all of the new smells and barking at the leaves in the bark yard.  As long as the bad guy is wearing leaves, I'm safe!  Anyway, apparently one of the spots in the guest room was left by another animal.  What does an animal do when it smells another animal's scent?  Marks it's territory!  Darn dog!  Now I have another spot to clean up.  It's a good thing Elvis is cute.  I've attached some various pictures of the work so far.  Enjoy!