Monday, May 25, 2015

So, the deck project.

Back in way, way last year, or so, we painted our porch again, because it looked like shit. The year before, we had it patched up because bits of the deck were rotting and splintering and looking terrible, and we had it painted then, too.
 
Basically, someone fucked up and painted the porch with an oil-based paint at one point before we bought the place. And when you paint a porch with oil-based paint once, you paint it with oil-based paint EVERY FUCKING YEAR AFTER THAT. Unless you don't mind having a shitty looking porch. That's always an option, too. I never judge a house by it's painted porch, because I have lived through this bullshit, man. I know how much it sucks.
 
Anyway, we knew from the initial inspection on the house that the main bolts that connected the porch to the house were insufficient, and were bound to fail. At some point. Not sure when. The whole thing just got to the point where it seemed like a giant pile of kindling attached to the back of our house. So we made the decision to have it replaced this winter. This is what it used to look like:

 This is what it looked like after a particularly pretty snowfall in 2013:
We were tired of shoveling it, we were tired of painting it and constantly worrying about it falling off the house eventually, and we love hanging out on covered decks/screened-in porches when we get the chance, so we decided that's what we wanted to do. So we started that process up during a particularly lovely January 2015. WOOHOO!


They put up this little board across the door to keep us from accidentally walking out into a 5 foot drop once they tore the actual deck off. Which I thought was decent of them.
Ironically, the guy doing the work was the guy who helped build the deck back in the 80's, when the house was built. On day one, I heard him out there saying, "Holy shit, man! What were you thinking?" to himself. It was pretty funny. He was an apprentice back then, and I guess that whoever he was working under wasn't a super-great teacher. Fortunately, since then, he's gained some mad building skills. (I hope...)
The front of the deck/porch had a big planter built into it. It was lovely, but dated. And having that thing torn out was almost as satisfying as a good orgasm.

Ok, let me be honest...almost ALL demo of old, outdated shit is as satisfying as a good orgasm! In case you were unaware.
Here are the lumps of leftover planter bits after all the wood was removed. They were frozen there. And looked so, sooo gross to me. Blech.
 Something fun we discovered was that a big window in our living room had been installed incorrectly, and the whole support beam under it was rotting! And had been a great environment for termites! YAY!


So, so fucking PRETTY. UGH.
Discoveries like that are NOT a satisfying part of demo. For a day, we were concerned that the damage continued around the corner there, along a very long length of our house, and I might've had lots more wine than usual that night. But it turned out ok.

That was demo. Tomorrow or Wednesday, I'll post about the rebuild. Because the new deck is so amazing. It deserves it's own post. Plus it's 5 p.m. now, and that means it's quittin' time! Later!

Friday, April 24, 2015

Powder Bath - (almost) COMPLETE!

Holy. cow. 

I knew it had been a while since I posted anything, and I needed to post an update about the powder bath remodel, at the very least. But I, um, hadn't realized that it had been THAT long since I last posted! Oops! I kept wanting to post the finished photos of the bath, but even still, it's not quite complete. 

The door is back on! The plumbing all works! The electrical outlet is replaced! 

But the art we bought for the space doesn't work at all. And I still have to find hooks for towels and a proper hand towel bar to put up. So it's just not DONE-done.

That said, it's done enough. So here are the before and after shots of the tiny space. Looks so much better!

These are pretty self-explanatory, but I've captioned them all the same, just in case additional info would be helpful at all. Click on the photos to embiggen. (Which is a real word. I swear.)
This is how it looks from the entrance. Note the change in the window, in particular. No more stained glass insert! Just a clean window with a nice pull down shade from JC Penney.

The vanity....OH how I LOVE that new vanity! The marble top! The shiny mirror panels! The clean undermount sink basin!!! 

This is the old air register in the room. It's tiny. But they had wallpapered it, all the same! I bought a special new one online, and I like it much, much more.

I didn't get a good "before" shot of the vanity/toilet before we tore the old vanity apart, so this is the best I could do, comparison-wise. It looks so much more pretty!
Next up, I'll be posting pics of the deck we ripped off the house, and replaced with a screened-in porch. It's a lovely new space, but it's also a big part of why we're living on a tighter budget these days! YIKES. Time to take a lil' break from big remodels around these here parts...

Friday, February 13, 2015

Jury Duty in JoCo, KS is a fucked up process

I'm "on call" for jury duty for the entire month of February.

This has happened 2 other times in the past...the last time was when my dad was still alive, I think, so it's been a while.

This whole system is a pretty fucked up way to do things, I think. How it works is that, between the 2nd and the 27th, I am on-call. Which means that every Friday, after 6 p.m., I call a phone number to find out whether or not I need to report to the court house on Monday morning.

Because of the not knowing whether I have jury duty or not the following week until 6 p.m. Friday night, I have to cancel/move all appointments I might have to another day/another month. Which sucks a lil' bit.

Also, I live in south Johnson County. There is a courthouse about 8 miles from me, in Olathe. However, for some reason, the courthouse I have to go to is in KCK (a.k.a. Kansas City, KS), which is almost 20 miles away from my house.

I don't get how jury thingies work, but both the Olathe location and the KCK location are US District Courts of Johnson County. So wouldn't it make more sense to have me report to the location that is less than 10 miles from my house? I think it would. But maybe that's just me.

Anyway, I am currently a self-employed (ha.), pretty-well-educated, childless, disability-free 41 year old woman. I guess they don't technically know this about me, but I am also middle of the road when it comes to politics, open-minded with regards to religion and all religion-related issues, and like to think that I'm pretty non-racist in most regards. I think Hitler was an evil human being. I think we are likely not alone in our universe. I love puppy snuggles.

These are all qualities that would make me a fantastic juror.

In spite of all that, I have never had to report any of the previous times that I've been on call. And I wonder if I'll have to report next week, or the week after that. If they aren't calling people like me to serve, then who the fuck is sitting on all the juries in JoCo, KS???

But, seriously...wtf is up with the whole KCK location thing? That really chaps my hide, and I'll be sending someone a strongly worded letter about it, if I do wind up having to drive up there, goddammit!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Wallpaper-removal mojo is not to be underestimated.

Ah, the art of wallpaper removal. Such a fun past time. ::sigh::

Actually, I find it strangely gratifying. It's an immediate gratification process, so maybe that's what makes it tolerable, in small doses. I don't know. Everyone has their own way they think works best, but for me, the entire piece being removed needs to be soaked in the warm water/soap/whatever-magical-potion-you-prefer mixture, and then the paper needs to be removed from the bottom up. In this photo, you can see the result of my attempting to remove from the top down.
It took me 30 minutes of fighting with the paper before I finally walked away, took a break, ate some food, and stretched my hands out a bit. Prior to that patch, I had been working with much smaller sections around the window, and on the soffit over the vanity area. It had taken me about an hour, or so, to clear two walls of paper, so things had been going well. So when I hit this frustrating point, it really riled me up!

And here you can see the results of me realizing what made the previous two walls so easy to peel, because I had done them from the bottom up, and I was able to finish this small wall in less than 25 minutes once I figure out that "secret".

Whoever wallpapered this bathroom was serious about it. They were so serious, they even wallpapered the air vent cover, the switchplate cover, and the plug cover. It...was a little nutty.

And here we are! Back to bare walls again! WOOHOO!

This one looks like it's been extensively patched, for some reason. Maybe there's a small human plastered into that wall?

We had the issue of having to patch the floor in there after removing the old vanity that had apparently been there since the house was built in the 80's. Thankfully, our contractors are here working on a deck project we have going on right now, so they were able to get some guys in here supah-fast, and the floor was patched up faster than you can say "holy shit! the floor is whole again!"

Right now, we're letting the floor stain dry, and then I can finish sanding the walls, and hopefully get some primer on them this week. I'm so excited to get it all completed! It's going to be so much more pretty, you guys. Say goodbye to the 90's, little powder bathroom! You will be more up-to-date and transitional than you ever have been in your life!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Will we miss this wallpaper? No. No, we will not.

Our powder bathroom is a funny little thing. It's teensy. It's back in a corner of the house that people don't even notice unless it's pointed out to them, a lot of the time. It's decor is straight out the 90's, and has always reminded me a bit of the house I grew up in when my twin and I were in junior high, in Lake Arrowhead, CA. Kind of a rustic traditional type thing. It serves it's purpose well. But it has this GIANT vanity in it that makes no sense. And was apparently built into the room in spectacularly pain in the ass proportion. 

We've officially lived with it for, what? 4 years now? It's time for it to move on and say goodbye forevah.

For those who haven't had the opportunity to see this lovely little space, here are some before pics:
The toilet and the cute lil' window it sits below...
The monster vanity, and the outdated mirror wall above it.
Ahhh, wallpaper. I can see you want to be removed, my friend. No worries. It's a matter of time, now. You will be heading to wallpaper heaven vereh soon.
My favorite part of this wallpaper is that it shows every little scratch and scrape that happens to it. Such a fun quality!

Leo and I got started on Monday this week, pulling the doors off the cabinet, and taking all the hardware out of the room. That was easy, of course. And since we started another major reno on the house on Monday as well (that's another story for another post...), we have another Dumpster in our driveway right now. The vanity went in there today, as we tore it down piece by piece. WOO!

I forgot to get a picture of the pile of rubble that the vanity wound up being when we were done ripping it out, but suffice it to say, it was in a lot of bits. We salvaged the sink basin and the faucet, because they're both in great shape and can be donated. But the rest of it? The rest of it can SUCK MY BIG LEFT TOE. This is what the space looks like now:

Before we pulled it out 100%, I held on to my last hope that the hardwood floors somehow might continue underneath the damned thing. I bet Leo $5 that they did. We shook on it.

He won the bet.
HOWEVER, I was positive we could remove the huge mirror in one big piece, and Leo had no faith in that theory. And we DID it. One big piece. And even though we didn't make another bet on that one, I felt it was pretty much implied. So I said we're even, and since I'm a beautiful wife, I win at all the things in the end.

Which makes projects like this so much more fun!

The wallpaper will be next. Wish me luck, and send me big-pieces-of-wallpaper-coming-off-at-once vibes, if you would. Don't even talk to me about the floor. I haven't decided what we'll do there, yet. I have ideas...I'll share them maybe tomorrow or Friday. Let me know if you have any ideas...I'm open to suggestions.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

It's a DIY. Haven't DIY'd in a while...I'm a bit DIScared.

Our guest/powder bath is a nasty mess. It needs remodeling, and because it is tiny, I feel we can do this one ourselves. So here's where it begins, with this here vanity I just bought off eBay:

I can't WAIT to tear out the old vanity, and begin tearing the wallpaper off the walls. It's what it wants. It's been peeling itself off for years now. So I'm just going to finish what it started all on its own, really. I'll take some good pictures of the hideousness soon, and get them posted up. I'm fired up, people. FIRED. UP.

Woo!

Monday, December 08, 2014

What I've Been Up To.

I haven't been a good blogger. It's weird, this whole not-having-a-job thing. I don't have much to say any more.
 
And that's disconcerting. :/
 
Anyway, here's what HAS been happening in my life. A friend of mine hired me to help her design an event she was putting on at her work. We created a little seating area out of hay bales, blankets, and spread out some rugs to make it cozy (which was pretty tough to achieve because it was COLD that night!), and unfortunately, we didn't get very many good photos...

Our puppy, Stella, is 5 months old now, and is settling her sassy ass down quite well. She loves, loves, LOVES being outside. She was born in July, so she doesn't know what snow is. I can't wait to see her in it for the first time!
We even bought her a sweater, just in case she needs it. She's not as furry as our other two fur babies. So we just wanna make sure she doesn't get cold.
Lastly, I have gone the most bold with my hair color than ever before. I've died my hair purple.
I love it!
I want it to be a lavender color, and my hair-stylist is doing a great job of working toward that goal with me. After this, I want to go a dark platinum gray color. So the purple should be a good base for that.

I don't know why I went this direction. It's not a desire for attention, but that must be lurking somewhere under it, I suppose. A day doesn't pass without someone mentioning it, and I notice people looking at me more than usual when I'm out in public. I think that it really just all stems from a desire to be different, is all. Probably a part of that being-a-twin thing that I guess I won't grow out of any time soon. ;)

I'm off to yet another session of therapy. I still don't know entirely what I'm looking for in all this work I'm doing. It's such a slow process...but I know that it'll all come together eventually. I just have to be patient...