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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

Sunshine on a Rainy Day

21 Mar

I’m loving this move/home/life changing decision more everyday. House aside, this is a beautiful city and it has been confirmed that we did, in fact, make a great choice landing here. Moving somewhere with blindfolds on can be both scary and exciting. I made a similar, I guess virtually the same, venture in September ’05 when a good friend and I decided it was time to leave ‘The Island‘ and head, well, South. Our destination was wide open. After a few months, a handful of states, family and friend visits, we settled on San Diego. Neither of us had ever been there and knew nobody, so instead of dipping our toes in the water, we jumped! Because what the fuck else do you do when it’s time to be a grown up again? Get a job and pay bills!☹️ It was the best decision I’d ever made, up until that point. Fast forward to my current crazy adventure – except this time the husband and I did a bit more research – I had replaced that truck full of a few totes and suitcases with a family and life I had built over the last 11 years. Instead of the unknown destination just being “South,” (growing up in Alaska that means the lower 48) it was now “Northwest”. The farther north we went the air just got clearer and fresher. The water from the tap, colder and tastier. The blues, the whites, the greens, you’ll never guess! Sharper! With every mile we knew we were making the right decision.

Before leaving that POD behind with all of our belongings, awaiting our beckoning, we wanted an estimate of what it would cost to have it shipped and for that they needed a zip code. James just picked one that he figured would be a close or possibly central enough location and well, what’d ya know?! Turns out that’s our fucking zip code!! And not just ours as in Olympia, ours as in, out of over 12 zip codes in the city it was specifically ours!!! Now thats some cool ass shit.

We have yet to do much city and outskirts exploring, spending the bulk of our time within a maybe 5 mile radius of our home, consisting mostly of the grocery store, Home Depot and walking the neighborhood with the dogs, but it is beautiful. We have a gate in our backyard that accesses a little pathway connecting us with surrounding cul de sac communities, a 20 minute walk to a beautiful big park, the streets are quiet and I love it, as do our fur babies. Then the birds. There’s a window over our kitchen sink that looks out to the backyard, and there’s our sliding glass doors opening to the back deck allowing us all to have the opportunity to watch our outdoors do as it likes. The house next to us has a handful of established bird feeders which, fortunately for us, means there’s already word in the hood that there’s access to food around these parts. My mother-in-law sent us this amazing bird feeder, (she’s a bird fan πŸ‘πŸ») and we were quick to add to it and I can’t tell you how often minutes just get lost watching the action in our backyard, this is all day action my friends. Zen. Lily has found a new obsession, because her current and never ending one with the cats just isn’t enough. Are you familiar with the movie ‘UP’ ,those dogs and their distraction word “squirrel!” That sums up Lily perfectly. We have been mimicking that for years joking about her attention span and how quickly she’d come to attention with the mere mention of the cats or their names. Well, we can no longer utter the word, she now knows it actually means just that, sadly, we have a few little fuckers that come and steal the bird feed and flare up her neurosis.

 

We’ve been downtown a handful of times. The capitol building overlooks a lake with a park and wrap around boardwalk. A weekly farmers market, cute ‘small business’ shops, restaurants and the like. I’m looking forward to springtime weather for the patios to open up and enjoy a brew with the four legged crew, we apparently moved here in the “off season.”

I’m well versed in the weather up here and I know that this kind of wet/rain is different. Those clouds, rain or not, are mostly just, there, and, as it did before it makes those blue sky days so amazingly majestic. I’ve missed having more than 1 type of weather 3/4 of the year -San Diego, 70 and sunny – is kinda it’s slogan. β˜€οΈ One of my favorite weather days thus far I woke up to a light snowfall, then it turned into blue skies. Which changed to sleet, followed by rain, blue skies again, then, BAM! Downfall of big balls of hail, which lasted about 1 minute and quickly petered off resulting in light rain. This was all in a span of about 6 hours. Ahh, I’ve missed those “every type of weather” days. I know my honeymoon won’t last forever and some days or weeks or months the rain and gray may just get old for me again, much like it did those 17 years I spent SE Alaska. But I also know that on the clear blue sky days I’ll forget about all that rain and take a deep clean breath in and smile at how amazingly beautiful this place I now call home is.

Update; while editing this the local news just stated, “this is the rainiest winter in over 2 decades.” Well ain’t that some shit 😊🌧

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. 

Gifts don’t always come wrapped in a box.Β 

27 Dec

It’s not even light out yet! (12/22). We’re driving to SeaTac airport and the dogs would like to know what the fuck is up, where we are going and what it means for them! Feeding time was 2 hours early today and potty time was too close to form the perfect amount of poo and pee. You know we all like to have a sorta schedule for our good morning let’s start the day right business. Well this early morning I’m on my way to a family Christmas and James is staying behind to watch the kids (yes, I am a little jealous.) I’m not a fan of holiday traveling, in fact, I avoid it as much as possible, and I really can’t think of a time that I’ve done it. For me, as far as traveling goes, I can spend Thanksgiving weeks before to avoid the chaos, and love it just the same. Same goes for Christmas. It could be in May for all I care. Or whatever time you’d like. Don’t get me wrong, I love the lights, the tree, the decorations and the cold weather. I love seeing the houses that are all decorated and sparkly. It’s just the pressure. What to buy for who, because that who may be buying something for you. It’s the pressure. And it’s everywhere. Any store, street or tv commercial. It’s everyone doing it at the same time. 

So here I am, at the airport. I try my best to be patient with everything, (the only way to survive,) people are running late, people are juggling with their kids and employees are taking as many deep breaths as they can. So I take my own deep breaths and smile, wholeheartedly, because we all could use more honest smiles. 
Boarding time!! Everybody on board, we pull from the gate and onto the runway. Annnndddd, there it is. “This is the captain speaking, (never fucking good) we’ve been informed that there is too much traffic flying into Jackson Hole and that we should be getting word in about 40 minutes if we are clear for take off.” ✈️ Sweet, not sweet. πŸ‘πŸ» Deep breath, shit happens. Thankfully, we were directed back to the gate after only about 10 minutes to deboard and that they would keep us updated. Seriously, not having to sit in that plane on the tarmac waiting made it more bearable! I had a beer. 🍺

Maybe 30 or so minutes later we get the ok to re board. Yes! Ready to go! Yes! Then 15 more minutes later we finally pull out. My morning has been too long already so it’s time for me to turn on my quiet cruise control. I have my eyes closed, soft music on, wanting to sleep. I hear the planes engines rev, then slow down, then rev again. When will we fucking fly?!! 

Wait, what’s that?! We’re on a slow roll again, now are we ready for takeoff? It has been almost 30 minutes since we’ve pulled away from the gate, the second time, and by now I’m leaning on the annoyed side. Maybe it’s the screaming baby, or anxious child, or the fact that we are over 2 1/2 hours delayed. πŸ˜’ Or that my not wanting to fly over the holidays has been justified to be true. It’s the pressure we put on ourselves. Then yay! We finally take off! 

Flying alone in an isle seat while tired isn’t much fun. I don’t have James’ shoulder to sleep on, or the window to lean against, but I manage to drift off. Then I wake up and see this,
across the isle from me, I do not know who they are but the fact that brother and sister are cuddled like this made my heart smile.  Traveling to see family isn’t so bad, but EVERYONE scrambling to get to everyone in the same time span, BAD!
 

This post is 4 days old, it’s Christmas now and it’s going to be fun and crazy and chaotic. Someone will get frustrated, someone will complain. Someone will, for no reason at all, stress themselves out which will have a trickle down effect. 🍷 Someone will forget to buy that damn ingredient and there’s no store open and make themselves feel like they ruined everything! Kids will fucking cry and fight and drive us crazy!!! 🍷 Sometimes you cannot find a quiet corner to hide in for at least a minute, with that glass of wine. 🍷 And there will always, and I mean always, be that person that somehow manages to do the least of them all. All this will happen, I promise. And all these someone’s that bring it, all of us, will throughout this day, smile and laugh. We will help each other with the food, and the cleaning and the keeping track of the kids. Seriously, where the fuck are the kids? We will all hug and kiss and say thank you. We will smile and laugh, The dinner will be great, even if it’s come down to that frozen pizza. 
So it’s sometimes shitty getting there. It’s stressful as fuck at times! And so amazing at times as well. But let’s face it, we will all need a fucking vacation when we get home. 🍷 and quiet. Oh so, so much silence. 

Most people won’t get one damn second of this complete and utter chaos. So lets all be a little more dysfunctional and a little more loving for those that miss out. ❀️ ❄ Gifts don’t always come wrapped in a box. 

Star light. Star bright.

22 Dec

We sometimes forget to look up. Looking up is really where everything you have, want, or need is all wrapped up in a beautiful starry night, sunny day or cloudy afternoon. Looking up makes it all better. The days set our moods. The stars tell us where home is, if you look. 

Growing up in SE Alaska the sky literally was the limit. Abundant and hopeful. Breathtaking. My last year there was the only time I had lived by myself, and the only time since. I was 24 that winter and on clear nights I would just stand outside and look into the sky, the Big Dipper was like my compass in life then, right out my front door. Reliable. And lucky for me, seldom but still, the northern lights dancing. 
Those stars and lights are burned in my mind. Maybe its because there was no one on the other side of that door, that I took an extra second to look up before going in, I don’t know. But sometimes now, I forget to look up. 

When I moved to San Diego well, those starry nights weren’t always visible, they weren’t even a thought for some time. I remember when James and I first went camping, this was about a year and a half after I left Sitka, unfamiliar with this campsite the drive took us a little longer than expected, so we were basically setting up camp in the dark. Not fun. But there was this second, we were walking to the restrooms and there was a clearing and I happened to look up and there they were. All the stars that had been hiding from me. I instantly froze and gave him the mom stiff arm to stop and look up. We had driven 4,000 feet up but it burnt a memory in me, and every camping trip after that I’d make sure to look up. 

About 3 years later we bought our first home. It was maybe only 4 miles from where we had lived before but a much less busy area, not so surrounded by street lights. One evening, a few months after living in our home we were sitting on the front porch having a glass of wine and I looked up and there it was. The Big Dipper. I was a child at Christmas! All was right in my life. And since its not always easy to see stars in a city, I followed it whenever I could. I knew that around Christmas and New Years I could see it on a clear night from my favorite seat in the hot tub. 

Chapter ummm, does 3 sound right? We sold and moved out of our home in SD and have been rocking it in our trailer for almost 3 months now. Our time spent outside of said trailer is as follows; dogs, driving to see properties, dogs, showers, grocery/random errands, dogs, seeing properties, dogs. 

There have been beautiful, beautiful days we’ve looked up and took deep breaths and really felt we were going in the right direction. But these were days. The nights were all about the dogs, on the leash and keeping a light on them to make sure we picked up after them if needed so (don’t get me started on how many fucking piles of shit we’ve picked up that were not ours!! Piles!!) on that note, we were mostly looking down. 

Tonight I took the dogs out, with my light, following them, and for some reason I looked up, finally. And there it was, the Big Dipper. I don’t know why it to took me so long but I will try not to forget to look up. I recommend it to you as well.

 The sky and the stars will lead you home. Always.