Where the Willows Meet the Stump Grinder. 

3 Aug

Now that the inside of the house is pretty much squared away it’s time to turn our attention to the outside. I could spend time telling you how un-kept this property was before we purchased it, but you really need visual aids. I’ll first add that in these before and after pics, you’ll notice quite a difference in the ground color so keep in mind that the befores were taken in Dec/Jan and the afters are during one of the driest summers we’ve had in years. We’ll tackle that lawn issue sometime soon, but as you’ll see, the overgrowth of trees and left behind stumps HAS to come first! We took a few cuttings of the branches to our local nursery and their best guess at the species was a sort of Willow tree, or tree-ezz. They have a very invasive root system and they had been having a fucking party in the backyard when no one was paying attention! Our neighbor told us that the city had came in after it was foreclosed on and cut down a slew of trees, just close enough above ground that if you don’t look down while walking there is an inevitable occurrence of profanity from whatever injuries or pissed off toe that transpires.

For this fun-time removal project we started from top to bottom. Smaller pieces, quicker clean up and less chance for crazy shit to happen. James started with his telescoping loppers, then came the chainsaw, then the dreaded stump grinder. There was a good 30 stumps that needed grinding and that’s about 30 more than you’ll ever want to have to use that beast of a machine on. Here’s something you won’t hear James say, “That beat the shit out of me!”​There was an added small handful of stumps and about 3 trees/bushes in the front yard we took down too, but I think you’ve got the gist of what we’re dealing with. 🌲 (I don’t know why the video isn’t playing with sound, I’m not very tech-y, but imagine a very intimidating/scary movie/chainsaw sound)⚙️😵

​

​This happened for about 8 hours. 8 hours!! Followed by a couple truck loads to the dump of yard waste later, we can get on that landscaping!Remember kids, we’ll work on that dreaded brown ground later, but for now, the view of the clear blue sky just got better.

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PORT.A WHAT????

12 Jul

Weeks ago, hahahah! Nope. Back in late May James was all excited about a present he had bought for me that was coming in the mail. It’s a surprise! He says. So of course I’m intrigued. Can anyone guess what it was? No! Every thought is wrong! Wrong! It was a port a potty! You heard me. Port.A.Potty. Now I’ll explain. Our bathroom is next up on the to-do list and needs an upgrade on a serious level. Tile, vanity and medicine cabinet, and with doing that ourselves it could possibly take more than a week. So, there’s that toilet issue, it did not need to be replaced but, just plain old had to be removed for proper laying of the tile, hence, needing a place to do our business! And then a series of events happened. 

First, I’m a procrastinator, (that has been established time and time again,) and secondly, family and friend and life shit happened. So it was put on hold. 

Then a rainbow arose 🌈 and a pot of gold landed in our backyard. Well, a couple miles away but. Dude. Some great friends of ours over the last 7 years moved up here, purely coincidental, and well sometimes, one needs a great coincidence to poop out in their backyard. (Is it just me or does this post seem to be leaning too much towards poo? 🤔) And don’t ever dismiss it. One of these friends happens to be someone who knows a little about everything and a lot about some things. So our project that may have taken us a week plus some days, took these two boys 3 days. And those three days, they did while I was away.  

When men take a before and after. Yeah. Cannot trust them!!  Close the lid babe. But, thank you. 

I came home to a new bathroom. While I didn’t do any actual labor, I was instrumental to this remodel. I picked out everything and damnit not surprised, totally nailed it!! Looks amazing! And while I got away with the days worth of no working toilet, there is still one last task, (besides more mother-fucking painting!) seal the tile, and that takes the better part of a day. So. I cannot get away without gracing that port a potty with this cute little bum. Hello garage. You seriously need to pick up after yourself! 

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 naïveté 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 😉)! 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 🤔)

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!  ðŸ˜” 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!! 🎨

Update 7/9.  I finally finished the door!!! Fork!! ✔️

The Neurosis of a Dog, and Some Flooring. 

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 😉

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!! ✔️ 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 Loving Memory

2 May

I can’t express the hole you’ve left in our lives. 

I can’t explain the heartbreak I’d witnessed before my eyes.

My last moment with you, my very last goodbye. 

I thanked you.

For what you gave to her, for how you made her feel.

And how that carried over, you were infectious.     

 You were real.

So I thanked you. 

I’ve never held back so many tears while wanting to cry so much and so hard. 

Lowering my gaze, staring off in the distance, 

I fought to stay strong, to keep up my guard.  

We can only fight so long. It’s proven to be true.

And at the end, I thanked you. ❤️

http://www.gofundme.com/danbelair  

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. 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. 
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, ✔️. 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! 😋 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. 💪🏻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 ✔️