Monday, July 27, 2009


has been a while, apologies for anyone following this mess on a half acre!

Since I last posted the ground hogs have taken over, my knees are flat from laying tile & leveling floors
and I wonder if I will ever stand erect again.
I am learning why people hire "professionals", I am not.
I am a.... Wanna Be, well at least when I started this project.
Now after two years of constant construction I would gladly sit down
and write a check to anyone who is willing to
work on a house with wavy gravy floors,
ground hogs living in the basement (who visit regularly) and
a bitchy homeowner.

As the photos above show........ I build stuff and rip it out..... at this I am a professional!
On a positive note, my learning curve is HUGE but boy have I learned alot!
Currently I can talk a mean line with just about any contractor.
Throw out a few terms like; I think we need a bigger Micro-lam,
CDX plywood sure is heavy,
the sub- floor needs to be 1 1/4" thick before I will even talk to you about laying tile!
and on that phrase I hike my pants up, giving myself a wedgie, walk away.......
and do it myself.

So let me think what has happened in this house in the last 20 days.........

1. Install dining room chandelier........ and didn't electrocute myself!

2. Stain new awesome shelves......... but find out you cannot stain primed moulding.
Rip it off, buy new (another $40) and try to get the paint guy, Stan, at Home Depot to match old world walnut stain.
Buy one quart of Burnt Molasses semi gloss......... It worked!

3. Take all the left over end pieces from the office/dining room floor project (we keep tripping over) and line all my open shelves!
Have to say, this was brilliant!

4. Wire under counter lights for open cabinets. LED green lights with low wattage....... feeling quite superior!
Feeling so superior I add a tap switch next to the coffee pot to eliminate morning blindness & fumbling.

5. Work in the gardens two days.

6. Can 7 jars of dilly beans

7. Rip down shingles on the porch only to find rotted plywood underneath...... proving once again what was supposed to be
an afternoon project now morphed into a week.

8. Buy an entry table off craigslist for $75!! Big Score and currently loving craigslist...... but as you all know this could change at any moment

9. Rip up stones around entry and hearth. Spend three hours scraping mortar off the floor and using a box of bandaids.

10. Level floor, lay hardibacker board and cover myself in enough cement dust I scare myself glancing in a mirror as run back to the kitchen. Tip: don't do this on an 85 degree day with no breeze as I was feeling like a powder sugar donut!

11 Run to Home Depot and pick out tile for floor. Run back to Home Depot and exchange tile for the right color. Run back to Home Depot for more screws, run back to Home Depot for more drill bits......

12. Dig up perimeter of all porches and line with vinyl coated fence and then lattice. Check everyday and fill the holes the ground hogs keep digging. So far we are winning! Order 1# packs of cayenne pepper to sprinkle around the yard and house.

13. Order granite back splash, coffee center counter and try to match a 2' x 3' section at the end of the counter...... find out the granite I got two years ago is from Pakistan but due to political unrest can no longer get that strain so much try to match granite, also called Absolute Black from China, India, or South Africa........ conclusion..... it can't done and I will put a
big platter filled with fruit on the end of the counter to cover up my oversight.

14. Wake up two weeks later to a horrible smell permeating the house.
Rip the front porch apart to find the dead animal stinking up the house.
It doesn't exist but do find green dry wall under the porch.
Which means the ground hogs have tunneled into the basement. Running to the basement and pull down all the green dry wall, which should have been done years ago only to find a hole, no dead ground hogs and make one giant mess. Retreat and shut the basement door, happy not to find any dead ground hogs but shocked at the mess I made in my frenzy to defend the house......... will deal with it when I am in a better frame of mind. Back to put the porch together. Still stinks and then find a dead skunk in the bushes next to the porch......... calling this a Kill Me kind of day.

15. Get call my free range chickens are ready for pick up. Scored these off craigslist too. Drive two hours south giddy
over my happy free range chickens!! Drive so long I can't believe I am still in Ohio but manage to find the house as there was
a man standing in the garage with his hand up a chicken butt. "Hi!" I'm here to pick up my dozen chickens. He looks at me
and yells at his wife......whom I have been communicating the last few months about my fabulous chickens. She comes around the corner in her bloody Nike's and rhinestone studded T-shirt with the word "Princess" to tell me they are running about 4 hours behind. How many do you have done? 5 ......... I'll take them. Here is a tip....... use the phone and call me! I drive two hours back home cursing craigslist & chicken farmers. Arrive home at 7 pm and spend three hours cutting up chickens, food saver sucking the life out of the chickens and tossing them in the freezer. Call my friends to explain they are not getting 4 chickens but will be getting one chicken. I leave messages that I will be dropping them off in the morning. The next morning my chicken friends are not home and I return home........ my new name, She Who Drives With Chickens.......

16. We are eating out of the garden everyday and it's all I can do to keep up with all the produce. Yesterday I picked 25# of onions, a basket of green beans, swiss chard, potatoes, green peppers and the tomatoes are starting finally to turn bright red, the beets are getting big and the carrots are huge! Lettuce is winding down but squash is coming on. Sunflowers are over 10 feet tall and the best privacy fence ever!

17. Sneaked away to see Harry Potter and Up! Highly recommend both!

18. Apply for job at Home Depot..........

Conclusion for the last three weeks......... there are human years, there are dog years and there are remodeling years.......
One dog year equals 7 human years. One remodeling day equals 7 human days.
Every time I think I am getting there I am amazed at how far away I still am............

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

still living in chaos.......

sometimes I wonder if it will ever end......... but I am beginning to see a light at the end of the tunnel.

When I started this blog I thought I would be posting every week to keep up with the changes.
Some days I feel like I am moving at warp speed and then there are days I don't know why I turn on the compressor;
which has become a permanent fixture in the kitchen. Wondering if I can hook the blender or food processor to it.

I bought this lovely bookcase from Macy's (photo on the left) in April only to find a huge crack in the "solid" oak veneer on top of chip board.
This bookcase was not cheap, $1300 for chip board. After living with the bookcase for 6 weeks, as that is how long it took
Macy's to deliver and pick up, we decided we liked it. Liked it enough I decided to build one.

The photo on the right is the one I am currently building. The cost; $104.00 and two good days of work. On a good note, it matches all the other trim in the kitchen. Not sure if I will put glass doors on it yet but it give us huge storage options.
My carpenter skills are getting better but still not great as I usually end up building things two or three times but then again I still have all my fingers!
For a potter this is huge!

The last 18 days I have managed to put up a pot rack made from copper tubing from the hardware dept. of Lowes, buy
hardwood flooring from Lumber Liquidators but hire someone else to install it, put the porch up, plaster and paint the living room and dinning room, paint the hallway window, buy new rugs from , pick up new chandeliers for dining room and hallway and build this awesome bookcase.

with so much chaos in the house; one walk outside leads you to the gardens........ and ahhhhhhh
the lilies are blooming and scenting the yard with perfume. Life is good and I am sure the chaos will end soon.