..To the Other Side

10 Mar

Phase 2
So we accomplished the physically hardest part of this project, and don’t get me wrong, there’s more of that physical shit coming but it will be in smaller bits and pieces. Well, except moving the lumber and debris from the house and backyard into the truck, to the dump, and there will for sure be more than one of those trips. Ok, focus Desiree! Here’s where it starts to get tricky. The section of the wall we tore down housed one wall switch, two outlets and a cable jack. Well, those need to go somewhere and they need to go there through a new wall. Technicalities and a bit of brain scratching insert here. Thankfully the couple that we met when we moved here are warm, welcoming, and knowledgeable in the trades.  Those are the people you want to have around, and now is one of those times so I called in backup! Thank you Edward ❤

If you’re new to this blog or missed this past one, here’s a post that highlights said amazing new friends.

https://itzalllogical.wordpress.com/2017/01/22/the-first-of-oh-so-many-overnights/

Electrical is lost on me so when James was trying to figure out how to move
these ⬇️ outlets here ➡️ to come out to ⬇️…The Translation; (1) the wall we knocked down, (2) inside what will be the new pantry and (3) have their new home be on the new wall we’re replacing this door for. Got it? Yeah, me too. 🤔I’m thinking out loud, “Can’t you just run it along the floor inside the pantry, and use those insulated staple things?” That’s me trying to find the easy route and, as Dad is reading this he’s cringing, I just know it. After sleeping on it James says no, “If you’re going to do it, do it right now or you’ll have to fix it later”. And now I just know Dad read that with a smile on his face. This was Edwards idea/handywork for rerouting the electrical inside the wall with minimal damage for repair. 👍🏻The boys have their hands full dismantling the frame and there’s no room for me there. The only other piece of this project I can do right now is the kitchen tile. Little fun-not so fun- fact, whoever built this house laid the tile around the structures in the kitchen so anything we pull up will be a void of said tile. Yay for us 👍🏻, we don’t know where it came from, meaning matching it will prove to be a quite difficult task so it’s imperative that while pulling it up, I try not to break any. The most I’ve ever dealt with tile in my life is cursing at it b/c the fucking grout never seems to get clean, or when I took a sledgehammer to the kitchen and bathroom in our last house. The latter is my preferred method. Now I have to coddle these tiles and slowly tap them out. Just give them a little tap, tap-a-roo ! Well, those tiles were my bitches! I mean half broke, half survived, but it’s enough for us to replace the 3 that were cut into from the old frame and complete the line, as you can see maybe, and then run the new laminate flooring in the living room, (to match with the 2 rooms we’ve already completed) up to it and add the threshold.  Wow! The space really opened up! Now, time to finish that damn electrical! Because if I have to say electrical one more time 💪🏻!

James spent all day today working on that closet. A few, ok many, hours and 2 trips to the Depot later he got it done ✔️ Fork!

Tomorrow, which doesn’t always mean tomorrow, we pull up the cement board that was under the tiles and drywall my new pantry. Then there’s that stupid Knockdown texture, more paint, 😫 shelves, Hardie Board, tile, laminate flooring, a door… Do I really need to list it all off?! How long do you have?

One day at a time.

Break On Through…

10 Mar

When shopping for a new home there are many things to take into account, the 2 big ones, in order I believe. What’s Wrong? And. What can be improved? For us we were in agreement that, floors aside, our major project was to knock a wall down that serves no purpose whatsoever and open up the living room to the kitchen.  
The fact that it was not a load bearing wall was a huge bonus and now, after so many, many weeks, demo day has finally come. I can’t run from it any longer. Tearing down this structure, while it being the first thing we said we would do, still made me apprehensive. There’s electrical and cable in those walls somewhere. In my head I always psych myself out so I may have, maybe, drug my feet on this one. James tackles projects, like everything else, with confidence, something I do not possess, and after the first one or two times I push something back until “tomorrow” it’s no longer a question but more of a, “Ready because we’re doing this!” From him.
So we prep, cover furniture, lay some plastic and get out our tools. As with our past few demo ventures, James lets me take the first swings, and with the first many more flow freely, like a waterfall. I tread lightly to begin, knowing there’s hot wires in there, but once I find their freeway it’s an open road for me. Suddenly I’m in the demo zone. Another important tool to have at your disposal in these times, music. (Pandora Marilyn Manson is a great station, just saying.)

Lily was the first to show her curiosity. While I was on one side of the closet banging on the wall she was on the other side, trying to figure it out. In her defense, she’s always been pretty sure that everything has something to do with her, and must have the Lily stamp of approval.

Lily’s the most emotionally transparent of the family, and yes, we’re keeping her. We’ve broken through! Those little beady eyes are hers on the other side, still curious. Tear down that wall baby! It’s fun, and makes for easier cleanup when you can pull off nice big chunks of drywall instead of piles of crumbled bits. He pulled this baby off and hey, what’d ya know, we found a carbon footprint they left on this house. 🙂 

With little under my belt of the demo/construction/how to build shit circle of life, this, as far as framing goes, seems overkill and ridiculous. It’s a structure. Built for nothing more than to hold a few shelves. Below. It seems to be built strong enough to park a small car on top. I mean the best you could do with the space up there is maybe some faux plants. But then you’d have to climb up there every so often and at least dust them off. I’ve seen it up there. It is a dust collector, all alone, by itself, with no way for anything to ever visit. And dust is not that heavy. 
Our first house we bought we had a similar situation. Open up the walls between the kitchen and the living room. I sense a pattern of preference here, open spaces. 

(I would like to apologize that you had to bare witness to my poor attempt at using a fancy app to trick out my pictures. I don’t know how you people do it.)

We busted out a good 4 hours of demo today. Everybody who knows, knows that you always have to add at least an hour on after you call it quits for clean up duty and to put away the tools in their rightful homes, which make it there about as often as shopping carts get to their homes in the parking lot.

Bring out the big tools baby, because tomorrow, it’s on! As for tonight, my little wrist is tired from the repetitive hammering. Must.Save.Strength to lift my glass of wine. 🍷

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 😉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. 💡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 🙂 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 😔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

Forks And Ladders

21 Feb

This will be like a 10 minute or so rant on painting so, buckle in. 

When we bought our first house, at my ripe old age of 30, it was the first I’d ever lived in that was owned, not rented, and, when you buy within your means (which you should) it’s not a guaranteed beauty. But, we made it ours and the possibilities became endless so there was no way I was going to waste this opportunity to go fucking bonkers and push the limits. The walls were hideous, like years of nicotine smokers creating yellow rings around what used to be pictures hideous, thus, project #1 was to clean and cover that shit! Paint!! 🎨 So here was a blank canvas for me to work with, and a nice thing about a fresh coat of paint, it cleans all the mess leftover from what I don’t care to know about. Let’s play. Having never painted, I really, really got my fill and my hands full. With every wall covered and every room having 2 or more colors it always felt like a warm hello walking into, at least to me, it helped that I did go bonkers and went full on red wall along the living/diving room, but, how fun is that??!! Any who, I have remnants of all the colors on several pieces of clothing to remind me of those feelings for as long as I want, and, I could tell you every room or wall it’s from, and now I’m starting on a new handful of clothes that will hold reminders of every color we paint here as well. Like a little paint stamp. 🙂 

Our first inside job on this house were those two glorious bedrooms, you remember, the ones with the amazing water stained floors and hideous sea green painted walls, well, two new floors, five new colors and some crisp white painted new trim later we are open for business. 

Now that those rooms are done it’s time to move out of this one ⬇️ and get started! 🤗

An open room with no furniture or floors to worry about is easy to navigate the painting with the use of a simple step stool when needed, then we get to the smaller spaces, like a closet with shelves. So I’m up on my 3 step stool trying to reach a corner and, well, damned if it didn’t slip out from under me and try to kill me! Yes it did and don’t believe a word it says. So the next day James makes a run to the depot (that’s Home Depot, kind of our adopted family member, and I will always refer to it as such) and comes home with a shiny new utility ladder, actually 2, a priceless utility bucket and some pails. And more brushes!! Pretty much one for every color so we don’t have to wash it until we are through with said color and have the ability to work on numerous walls at a time. The cleaning of the brushes is the worst!!!!! I don’t know if I said that loud enough, the WORST!!!! So, it was a happy Valentine’s Day to me. 🙂  

Our painting station. I told you we were using colors plural!!

These walls. 😔 These walls. The texture Is called “knock down,” well, “Fuck you I will knock YOU down!!!” Is what I think of them. Don’t even get me started on how much of a pain in the ass they are to paint!!! Ok, I’m started!! With all the thousands of tiny little bumps and nooks you really have to go at it from different angles with the roller, several times to properly coat the walls. Then comes the smaller spaces and cutting in, the necessity of the brush size, angle and all its glory of being more of a bitch. Cutting in is the best! (full usage of a sarcastic tone used here,) and this shit isn’t making it any easier! So on the darker colors this takes at least 2 trips across, now I tackled it like a pro mind you, its kinda my forte when it comes to painting and it ain’t no easy task! But when you see them you’ll agree, I mean, they’re the best lines you’ll ever see, they’re incredible lines, tremendous, no one can do lines like me, but in my defense, this texture is making me look bad. It’s false representation of how amazing my lines are, and these are not false facts, I stand by them. 😉

Ready for me to start cutting in! And I had to go over the Fired Up (the name of the paint color) 3 times, and the first round took almost 2 hours!!! So tired of looking at that ceiling! 🙂 


It took us a few weeks, cuz really, you gotta take a break from smelling those fumes once in a while, add 3 more colors to the previous 5, and all but the hallway and the bathroom are finished!! And both of those are small so its cool. In our house we have a saying, “Fork!” Ok, a word, but it means something to us. ❤ I’m happy to say we’ve stuck a lot of forks in around here, we only have about restaurant sized supply to go. FORK!!

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. 😉 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. 👍🏻🐕 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. 

Shit me no more. 

22 Jan

No more shit from other peoples dogs!
We’ve packed up the trailer and the animals on our final descent to our new home!! Needless to say, the kiddies are unimpressed with the journey in their fun little carriers on this lovely truck ride out of the RV park. It’s like a cat song of torture in here 👍🏻. (maybe have animals out of ear shot of the video) 


The dogs are upgrading to their very own back yard and will have access to it, uninterrupted as they deem necessary. No waiting on us to take them. No hoping the dog park is vacant for them, and the very bestest part of it all, no more of other people’s dogs’ shit!!! 💩😡 Yes, that’s right, done with the keeping the park clean for our dogs to enjoy. 

Mic (in this case Poop Bag) Drop! 

The first (of oh so many) overnight.

22 Jan

We finally did it!! We are officially pulling away from our little trailer, our home for the past 3 months. Spending the last few weeks getting us to move-in ready we’ve had a, I’m pretty sure, regular amount of speed bumps. There was a back and forth until we got the heating unit functioning, it just so turns out it needed to blow some cold air out its ass, (yay for not having to spend money on new parts, and labor!!) and in the meantime there was a separate but equally fun back and forth with the City to finally get the water turned on, heat pending. FINALLY. Water and heat ✔️. Lastly, the POD that contains the remainder of our belongings is set to be delivered and we can officially make it our home!! All of us and everything. 🏡 Before we left San Diego there was this tiny issue of the key breaking off in the lock and we said “Fuck it for now.” Well now is that time to give that fuck. Alas! 2 hours and $200 later we got in that damn thing and it’s time to unload!!!


My favorite part of Delivering Our Belongings Day was meeting some amazing new people. A dear friend of ours back in SD has family here nearby-ish that we had been on a back and forth with for months trying to get together and, well, the best excuse/make it happen reason is moving day. So these people we’ve never met, and have had a mere texting relationship with, drove about an hour to meet and help us unpack our shit. The introduction was a hug, like we’ve already met, kind of thing. Nothing was forced or awkward. After about an hour or so of, shooting-the-shit-get-to-know-you, face to face we unloaded the POD went to dinner and, it was simply a great day. 

We are home.