Archive | Make it work RSS feed for this section

Paint & Doors & Trim Oh My!

24 Jun

(Late late post, 3/27-ish)

The flooring has been laid and it’s time for the finishing touches! We once had some general contractor friends tell us that finishing work is most often… not finished. They were of course alluding to our naΓ―vetΓ© having our first ever contractor to skimp on us unknowingly. They ever so kindly graced us with their experience, referencing that the budget is usually exceeded by the time the little bits come, but the clients’ wad has been blown on all the in your face pretty stuff, that it’s sneakingly undone. So we hired them to do the finishing work for us and we’ve never looked at a room the same. Even the hidden pieces. Lesson learned, there is no way I will let my wad be blown until it is finished. 

   Now, let’s get that trim on so we can move all our shit out of the kitchen and returned to it’s proper place (meaning where I want it to go πŸ˜‰)! For this full house project we needed 500 feet of trim, and every foot needed to be painted! Yes, 500′!! We bought them in 12 foot pieces, making less cuts needed so to save James a few trips to and from the miter saw. Well, we couldn’t just lay that all out and do a full sweep worths of painting, so there were stages. Some of this 500′ was done previously (back in January, to be able to move into our bedroom,) when we had naked floors that didn’t care if I dripped on them, making it slightly less painful. At the time we only painted enough trim to complete the two bedrooms, and now that all our belongings have been moved in we have a bit less open space and must take caution with the paint and our flooring, get crafty Desiree. (I’m seeing a trend in my attire πŸ€”)

Paint. 😫 Smoosh them together for easy and quick rolling. But then, don’t forget to scooch them apart, without pushing one off of the horses they are hanging onto for dear life, to paint those little top ridges too. Wait to dry. Repeat for two more bundles. But. Nailed it! Of course we didn’t get away without a few paint samples on.. hair of, I’ll just say their initials are Lily and Beau, due to tight circumstances from having to pass under and around this tight knit space. Nail guns are fun!! It’s the little things.Now that’s a finishing touch! On to the next task. 

It’s time to replace all the doors, all 5 of them!! And wouldn’t ya know it, two of them had to be special ordered, the door frames were built in some random measurements that no one carries! So we decide to wait until they come in to paint, trying to get it all done in one swoop.  You all must know how tired I am of painting. Well, one of the two doors arrived and the other was going to take a few weeks so we tackled what we had and figured I’d get to the last one when it gets here. 


Hahaha!  πŸ˜” It’s been hung for a couple weeks now, chilling naked on its hinges, blue tape and all! And I talk about putting forks in it, shame!
Now that this is posted, I suppose I must finish it. Hold me accountable!! 🎨

The Neurosis of a Dog, and Some Flooring.Β 

4 Jun

It’s been a few months since my latest update on the rehab and I apologize for depriving you of my juicy reads. You’ll probably need a refresher of where I left off so go ahead and reread this last post pertaining to our house progress. 

https://itzalllogical.wordpress.com/2017/03/24/climbing-up-the-diy-ladder/
 

 During our wall tear down/closet project, opening up the kitchen to living room, we had a bit of a floor situation. We were left with exposed subfloor from the 10 tiles we had to tear up in order to form a clean line for the new laminate to be laid throughout the rest of the house. As it turned out, whatever scent or discovery of life Lily caught through the cracks became her new obsession, (she has a history of such a thing). Our temporary solution was to just throw a rug over the void to prevent any life threatening toe stubbing, but nothing gets in the way of a Lily obsession.And it continued throughout the project. We finished building out my new pantry, (shelving and all!) and it’s finally come time to complete this flooring project that we’d started the end of January!! (This completion actually took place around March 27, again, late posting.)Why does it take 2 hours to tear up a floor, and load up the truck for a trip to the dump, but 3 days to lay it? Oh yeah, bc tearing up shit is more fun! 
Something we didn’t even think of when we picked out the flooring we wanted was the fact that they weren’t locking panels and here’s a tip my friends, always go for the locking ones!! If you’d like a first hand experience, laying it was kind of a bitch, as in, fuck you floor! So James spent all day laying laminate, wearing a path through the house to the garage to cut pieces, tapping them in, then one end would pop out so he’d go down and tap it back in, back.and.forth, back.and.forth, tapping.I’m going to take a quick time out to remind you all this is a different kind of “tapping”. You and your dirty minds πŸ˜‰

Anyway, for me, there wasn’t much I could do to help. The kitchen and back bedroom were full of our living room so I chilled with the dogs and binge watched Netflix, until beckoned upon from time to time. Plus Lily was basically grounded to the room with me for being in the way with her obsession, so that’s what we did. As luck has it, James is almost to the end and you’ll never guess, had to go buy more. The amount of waste there is to match the pattern and fit around hallways and closets is ridiculous!! Finally, its finished!! βœ”οΈ Our next project is the trim, and until we get that done, the living room stays in the kitchen and we chill in our bedroom with Netflix, and furry animals.

You will see the finished beautiful floors when the trim is in, next post. 

In Sadness it’s ok to ask for Strength

30 Apr

This is my mother and the love of her life, Dan Belair. Which is exactly what he’s fighting for right now, his life.Β Dan suffered a major heart attack April 8th in Sitka, an island in SE, Alaska. The hospital couldn’t provide the care he needed so he and my mother were promptly Medi Vac’d to a prestigious hospital in Seattle, WA where they have been taking amazing care of him, although sadly, it’s being spent in the ICU. He’s struggled through the cardiology ICU, now he’s fighting in the medical/oncology ICU. And hey, nobody wants to be in any type of ICU.Β 
Throughout these weeks and any span of days given, he’s taken many steps forward followed by many back, and we’re not done walking. Dan has yet to be able to breathe without assistance and he can barely form words.

He’s battled two types of pneumonia and a systemic infection. He’s been heavily sedated or confusingly frustrated the majority of this battle and we’re praying that will all soon change. In these exhaustingly scary and emotional times the last thing I want my family to worry about are the day to day living expenses. My mom has been sleeping either in a chair or on the floor of the hospital during these fragile times and isn’t able to return to work, as she’s Dans voice when he can’t speak. Their life is in Sitka yet the care needed is here in Seattle. Being away from home is hard, and I promise they want nothing more than to go there, but he has this battle to fight, and needs help.

The cost of living on an island is more than most of you may know, given the methods of shipping required, so every dollar, EVERY dollar helps. ❀️This is a man who lives for music and sports, and engaging in conversations about them both. He is a large part of this small community, and his voice is truly missed.

Here is a link to his GoFundMe account. Please help if you can, or at the very least, send prayers and thoughts of wellness our way.

http://www.gofundme.com/danbelair

Climbing up the DIY Ladder

24 Mar

Editor’s note; if you haven’t, or have, read these 2 previous blogs, well you don’t have to now, per say, but I highly recommend just taking a quick glimpse at the pics. It’ll help string this whole project together. 

https://wordpress.com/post/itzalllogical.wordpress.com/414

https://wordpress.com/post/itzalllogical.wordpress.com/371

As I’ve mentioned previously, most likely a few times, our path to homeownership began with having little to (leaning heavily on this), no knowledge. The amount we’ve gained is immeasurable. Our tool collection has become quite impressive, considering we started out with, I’m sure, nothing more than a few screwdrivers, a hammer, maybe a couple of those picture hanger things and measuring tape, we’ve officially come a long way! And with every project, every new piece of the puzzle there’s almost always that one tool you don’t have so you buy it out of necessity, because you can’t use just any screw, saw, drill or nail gun and so on. Nope. Nuh-uh. No way. That’s not how it works with building. Sure, you can buy the cheap version first, thinking you’ll save some money, only to replace it later with the real deal, so spend the money now and thank me later. This cycle is vicious and necessary until one day, suddenly, you need a bigger tool box, a bigger garage, with peg board and shelving Oh My!

This wall/tear down/shelf building/closet project has been our biggest so far. I guess I should say James’ in the way of a start to finish, piece by piece, on his own, project. Tackling this closet, goes like this; tear down the unwanted, redirect two outlets and a switch, frame it out, drywall, mud, apply that wonderful knock down texture and install the door. Easy enough yeah? 😐

Stage 1 and 2, βœ”οΈ. I’ve basically become his assistant at this point on, hold the drywall while he cuts, hand him tools, find tools for him, ( I hear a lot of, “Babe, did you see where I put the..) and cleanup duty. Which is how I know where to locate almost anything since they are finally finding their way home!! So while I’m not needed I’m chilling. Guilty tv, writing, reading and the likes, but I get to watch him work.

Working his way around the electrical. Installing the drywall, cutting the pieces to fit the outlets just right. The way he seamlessly goes from one tool to the next, handling them with such confidence. Even when he just stands there, visualizing how he’s going to assemble the door, frame by frame, mapping it out in his head, and I gotta say, it’s sexy as fuck! πŸ˜‹ And I’ve only heard a handful of curse words followed by, “nothing a little caulk and paint can’t fix.” That’s a comforting theory to have in the back of your head at all times. 

Let’s talk about this drywall, in case you’ve never played with it. There’s the cutting and the resulting gypsum particles floating it’s fine ass as it likes, but oohhh no, that’s nothing. Next comes the mud. The application itself isn’t the worst but you can’t just scrape it on and be done, it has to dry and be sanded, (the sanding comes in handy if you’re a beginner bc it gives you room to fix what needs fixing.) It’s not just a one coat and done thing, there’s 2, maybe 3 rounds of this fun. Now that fucking dust, it settles on every damn thing. In ever corner. There’s no escaping it!! And the depths of which it travels! When the time comes for such an experience in your home, I’m sorry for your impending struggle, I offer this, only drape whatever furniture you plan on putting your feet up with that glass of wine, after you’re cleaned and showered yourself. Don’t waste your time trying to cover silly things as a bookshelf or entertainment center, it wont help. You must hide any utensils or cookware that reside the countertops, any. Tomorrow, well, cover that furniture back up! You may have to live with that horrible layer of dust for days, (unless you’re paying someone but then this blog would makes no sense) but hang in there! For every.thing.must.be.dusted! And I ain’t doing that shit more than once.
We survived the drywall and today it’s time to apply the knock down texture. The simplest breakdown, you’re shaking the hell out of the can while only pausing to spray and to scrape it down, repeat.

 

This is not like shaking a can of spray paint, it’s like arm day at the gym. πŸ’ͺ🏻Got it done, it dried we painted and all thats left is the door!! Well then the shelves but that’s not a worry.
We couldn’t buy a pre-hung door bc they’re all too big for the frame so James had to build it himself. Not the actual door, but the smallest they sell is still too wide for this frame. So he built in the door jamb, we had to trim about an inch off the width of the door, (thank you table saw) chisel in the grooves for door brackets, he ended up needing to shave a hair off the top as well. Door handle and catch and bam! (Hours, days and I guess a week or two later) It’s done!! (Minus the shelves)Fork βœ”οΈ

A Salon Near You. Don’t Go Here

14 Mar

Another aspect of relocating that we women have to take into account, ok, some men I’m sure as well but I can’t speak for you. Beauty. I was with both my stylist and esthetician for most of my tenure in San Diego, so finding replacements, well, not that easy and oh so bittersweet. I’ve had 2 cuts since moving away, the first at a salon nearby the RV park we resided for a bit back in December, it was horrible, (the haircut not the park,) and after loathing my hair for months, I finally caved. To be honest I only let it last that long because most days Its comfy clothes or work clothes that are going to get dirty, so I let it slide, but a girl can only take so much. I was set to find someone near me that could get the job done. It’d be one thing if I could just put my hair in a ponytail and let it be. But damn it all to hell!! I can’t. Short hair. And there’s only so much a headband and hair clips can do with a bad cut. After much web searching and review reading I found one that stated, “I have short, fine hair and (I’ll call him Carl) gave me the best haircut in 15 years.”

Yay! That’s me! That’s what I need!! They also do waxing in the same salon, double yay (these brows are out of control!) Ok, let’s do this! Off to find me my replacement crew! 🀞🏻

Let’s start with the brow wax. There was no table or chair, or lamp over my brows for that matter, I sat in the shampoo sink. The wax was on the other side of a the wall so she’d go back and forth, and when she thought she was done and wanted me to look at my brows, I had to get up and walk to the other side of the wall to look in the mirror!!??? And when I pointed out she hadn’t even touched the brow canal that must always be clear, back the shampoo chair we go. No, just no.

Onward to the cut. πŸ˜” Here comes “Carl”! Who is also the owner of the salon, and he comes a roaring! I tell him I left my last stylist of over 8 years and his response is something along the lines of “Well, not to toot my own horn but, I’ve had clients for almost 40 years so it shouldn’t be a problem.” Bullet points of what I’d learned about him in those 45 mins; age, number of marriages/kids, marijuana stance, wife’s profession, also that she’s hot, I know how many pets/animals he has, DIY tips and how he feels about the homeless…. the list goes on, seriously, bc he didn’t stop talking the whole time!!! He did make an attemp and asked a few questions, I didn’t however get a chance to complete an answer bc he’d start with something else, which I didn’t really mind after the third or fourth attempt, hoping talking altogether would take a time out. I did come up in the conversation once or twice, about how lucky I was to have him cutting my hair. He was going to fix everything. (Yay!) Time to time he’d pause, lean on my chair, and talk about a thought that must’ve popped up in his head, looking at himself, in the mirror!!! And i will never understand why he lifted my chair up and down so damn much, with no use of shears most of the time!! At the end he stated that he was “My hero of the day,” and we can “Build on any criticism or issues we can change on my haircut the next visit.” Dude!! I’m here, in your chair, right now! Let’s start there!! He combed my hair so hard and flat to my head for the 40 mins or so that my forehead was sore for hours after I left!!!! 

I associate someone who refers to themselves as “Great”, or says such as, “Not to brag but,” to those that state, “I’m a great tipper.” It’s a warning sign. For all of us that know better in the industry, a “great tipper” is 10%-15%. Not the 20%-25% that great service actually deserves. At that point however, you can’t just say to that table “Get out,” or, in this instance, get up out of the chair and walk out. (Well maybe you could but I am not that callus.) 😫 Aaarrrgggghhhhhhh! How do I find someone that suits me, hell, I’ll settle for someone that won’t assault my scalp, without knowing a single person in the city for a referral? 

The search continues. 

Trails and Tribulations of DIY

6 Mar

I’m going to rewind a few weeks and then circle back around to now. 
Our first major task of this home was to lay new floors in the two bedrooms. (There’s a link below to that adventure if you’d like something to numb your brain other than another Trump tweet story.) Prepping meant tearing out the closet doors and tracks. We also had a beautiful πŸ˜‰set of bifold doors in the dining room that was used to separate it from the closet area that housed the water heater, washer and dryer and, yeah, those had to go too. So we loaded up the truck and drove all 3 sets for donation to Habitat For Humanity, and, much to our surprise, they turned them down. Said they weren’t accepting any closet doors. Umm, its a donation dudes! Ok, cool, that was a waste of a trip. Back home they go to chill along side the house, covered with a tarp until our, inevitable, next run to the dump. 

Now the fast forward ⏩

Storage is a much needed addition inside this house. The closets are small and shelving is a must. It’s really hard to unpack boxes (I’ve had to reiterate to James) when there’s no where to unpack them to. This is of course, my territory. We added a shelf to the bottom of both closets, essentially making it 2 shelves,  I guess 3 if you count the floor. And I do and will utilize it as such. Regardless of numbers this produced an instant, needed change and I’m a fan of making the most of the space given. Now comes the walls in the rooms and how to utilize their space in the best possible way, again, my territory. I’ve always wanted corner shelves, and for whatever reason, it’s so hard to find reasonably sized and priced ones. I mean really! Almost every corner in a house is easily wasted space! At this point I am adamant about finding one. Google, Google, click, click. I’m unimpressed. DIY Google, Google, click, click. Ding! James, this could work. 

https://www.lowes.com/creative-ideas/woodworking-and-crafts/corner-shelves/project,

He’s instantly on board. Check the list of materials and search to make sure we can buy them at our local Lowe’s and well, the door size in this tutorial is no longer available in stock, yes they can be a special order, but by then no money is saved, only spent. πŸ’‘James’ thought, “Let me measure those bifold doors we have outside.” Check!! It’s a match! So thank you Habitat for turning our doors away, (imaginary tip of the hat 🎩,) we are instead up-cycling. Our material list has shrunk.Several coats of paint and days later, (everything takes longer to dry out up here, everything!) its time to assemble.  Now to measure off and cut the triangles. In the tutorial it calls for 1 inch blue painters tape, well we have about 3-4 rolls of blue tape all around here and not a one is 1 inch, so we used masking tape, because we have it. Of course its pretty much the same damn color of the painted wood we’re cutting. There is a reason for the blue my friends! James cuts the first and I’m up next. Ummm, slight differential between the color lines aside, my jigsaw skills are dismal. Now kids, safety first. When working with power tools, protective eyewear is a must. I mean, it’s stated in every single handbook and on every supplies list on every project. So here I am, cutting my lines. The first one was ok, like, James went in and shaved off a bit for me, ok πŸ™‚ Then I’m coming in on my second, and well damnit if the sawdust didn’t suddenly amplify. . Eyes full of sawdust are now rinsed out and irritated, I am done cutting. I can clearly use some practice, but for this project, it’s on you babe. You can guess who’s is who’s πŸ˜”I mean, my lines painting, ace! Cutting, needs work. Next step. Build. We have our 4 shelves and our 2 doors. Need to attach the dowel on the one door to screw the other into. We glue the dowel on, drill the pilot holes and proceed to drill in the wood screws. First one, breaks off. WTF? Second one, breaks. Third, yep. Seriously!! Ok. We’d changed drill bits, drills, speeds. Finally figure out, wood screws cant handle the hammer drill. Trial and error doesn’t skip this project. Time to bring out the grinder!!You may have everything on the “supplies needed” list, but there is ALWAYS something else. After years and oh so many projects, its nice to have tools to sometimes pick up that slack or ‘oops’ that is bound to happen. And that bounty adds up after every ‘oops’ you’ve made before. We’ve fixed our current oops and its time to move on. I start drilling new pilot holes, and dagnamnit! I break off the drill bit. Aahh! That bounty we’ve built up has yet again come in handy as we had another drill bit the same size and thank you my Sanity Saint! If James would’ve had to go to the depot there’s a good chance Id’ve broke down in tears. I’m my own worst enemy and quick to blame myself. Sigh of relief. Game back on! Get the right drill setting and screw the doors together as intended. Shelving time. Measure distance. Level and screw. Minimal mishaps, only on the first bottom shelves (the ones I cut) so it’s ok, nothing a little caulk or paint won’t fix. By the end I’d happily (oh hell I did) pat myself on the back with how quick and comfortable I was with the power drill. Repetitive teaching, works for children and me alike. Alas, shelf. 1 of 2 is complete. And by golly this one is fucking awesome by my standards! 

Click on these links to read about aforementioned shitty floor installation and an abundance of painting. 
Home owners or aspirers welcome.

Settling In

https://wordpress.com/post/itzalllogical.wordpress.com/319

Forks And Ladders

https://wordpress.com/post/itzalllogical.wordpress.com/336

Settling In

7 Feb

We unloaded the trailer with the remainder of our belongings, all 4 fur babies included, on January 19 and this house, our new home, is slowly becoming just that. These first few weeks have been a fuckery of hurdles! We are still sleeping/living/eating/sitting, all cozy and together, in the living room, trying to keep the back two rooms as empty as possible for their complete makeovers. Here’s a before picture to prove their worthiness of of said makeover. 


All those delicious looking water stains, well, we assumed dogs lacking frequent trips outside to relieve themselves, and dogs were a good assumption as there were many remnants of tennis balls in the fenced in backyard, it just made sense. Luckily for us the previous tenants removed the assumably prestigious looking carpet and as this is a no carpet household they just saved us a step. During the inspection Mr. Inspector simply states, “Looks like this was used as a grow house,” with little to no shock or surprise. Turns out that the water stains were just that. Overwater much our little amateur friends? Getting the ball rolling is the hardest part, just ask any aspiring gym-goer in January. For me, right now, it’s paint. I want color. Color that flows and compliments throughout so I sit, and I stare at the walls for minutes on end trying to envision something, (with what seems like every possible paint swatch The Home Depot had at my disposal) anything to cover up this disgusting sea green blotched bleh and these beat down white walls. I’m finding it more difficult than our last house because here the walls transcend over and into the kitchen, two long walls spanning the length from front door to back. Ahhhh!!

So, I regroup and pick our new laminate flooring first, to compliment the kitchen tile that is already in place, and then proceed to find paint(s) to flow throughout the house. Let’s work from the bottom up so at least now I have a focal point. Find the flooring, find the paint. I finally settled on colors, plural! And by that I mean the lady in the paint department made a WOW comment to James when he gave her my list, and now, finally, we can get started on those back 2 rooms. A nice thing about these 2 rooms, with their wonderfully exposed floors, no stress about paint dripping or covering of furniture needed. Stay messy my friends. πŸ˜‰ Day 1, room number 1, (our bedroom of course) heads under way. After a bit of work I hear, “Have you seen Lily?” Well, guess who managed to find a loose board in the backyard? Yep, with her shepherd nose and curious mind she just walked on out. Luckily she was standing on the other side, (I speak Lily so I know what she thought was,) “Oh shit, I’m not supposed to be here! I’ll just wait.” It has now been decided that the fence will take precedence and steal James away from me starting tomorrow. Commence painting for today and all 4 walls, ceiling and closet get their first coat so we call it just before dinner. 

The next morning I get a call with some family matters and need to leave town for a few days and, well, James has a fence to mend/build so painting gets put on the back burner. Those 4 days I was gone James was building the fence. He planned on just rebuilding the sections that needed it but the weather was great and I was gone so he did a little more. And then when he thought he was done, a rotted post! Argh! Fuck it, just finish the damn fence, and damn it he did. This last week since he’s finished the fence have all been less than favorable outside weather so, I’ll say it, thank you Lily for showing us the faults in our borders at the right time. I may speak her language but she doesn’t speak mine so she’ll never know she did right by leaving the premises. πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ• Paint on! Well, we did it! One room down, rest of the house to go! A complete remodel is chock full of tiny victories, innumerable amounts of high fives, setbacks and many, oh so many, trips to the (in our case) Home Depot. I’m pretty sure we will all be close friends by the end of this venture, or at least them and our dogs.

 Piece by piece. Box by box. Wall by wall. And when you look at the piece, open the box and see the wall. Fuck. More. Seems never ending. And that is something I’d like to keep up.
Tonight, we sleep in this bedroom, finally.