Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Basement Remodel Update...NOW we're getting somewhere!

The basement project is...getting done. 

That's about the best way I can put it right now! We're accustomed to construction projects going longer than expected. We're not a show on HGTV, and we don't live in LaLa Land, and we're not complete idiots, so we always plan for (a) extra time being spent on a project, and (b) extra money being spent on a project.

This is the reality of the remodel world, about 90% of the time. 

Yeeeaaaars ago I had a bathroom remodeled in our last house about a year after I moved in. Ripped the whole thing out, because everything from the walls to the subfloor needed to be replaced. I met with the contractor, settled on a price, agreed to a week long schedule (it was a really small bathroom!), and Bob's your uncle! Done. 

That was a magical time. ::reflects fondly on the tiny bathroom remodel::

Anyway, this is our third large remodel we've been through. We're prepared for delays. Comparably, there's a small amount of inconvenience involved in this particular project, since we have two living areas in this house. So we've been pretty easy going about the fact that the project began back in February, and still isn't completed at the end of May. 

The painting process was a looong one. It's a large space. And we chose to paint out all of the cabinets, with the hopes that we could maybe use a less expensive wood for them than we would had we chosen to stain them. But also, I decided that a painted cabinet would be better for our space, anyway. That process is not a quick one. 

Now, had there been more than one or two people doing that work, it might've gone faster. But there wasn't. And so 2 weeks went by, and nothing much was changing. All the cabinets were getting painted, but it just seemed slow, is all. Nothing against the ONE GUY that was doing a majority of the work...he was doing so much all on his own! But guy. ONE. 

The owner of the contractor company we're using dropped by for a visit on Monday last week and apologized for the extended time the project was taking. I told him not to worry about it, and that we expected it to a certain degree, blahblahblah. We really like this company, and again, the inconvenience isn't too overwhelming, so we're reasonable about it. 

But then on Tuesday, the painter guy that had been working on a majority of the paint down there told me that because of the dark paint we chose, he was going to have to prime the walls, and they hadn't counted on doing that, to which I responded with my head exploding.

I told him that I didn't mean to sound bitchy, and I completely respect all the hard work he's doing, but was he KIDDING ME with that? Because the walls were basically white/light colored walls. And they had KNOWN that we had chosen a dark paint color for over 2 weeks. The samples were all over the goddammed place in the room he was working in! He saw it! HE KNEW IT WAS DARK. Of course we were going to need to prime before starting with the main color!!! AUGH!!!!

Then he said that the following day was going to be his final day on the job, and that was the day Leo and I were leaving town very early in the morning to go to his home town for a wedding so we weren't even going to be able to see the color up on the wall to make sure it was going to be ok, and then my head exploded again.

Fortunately, he told me all that right before I headed to a therapy appointment. And also, I called my main contractor on the way to that therapy appointment to vent and tell him what the painter guy had told me, and I said that this is the kind of job where MULTIPLE painter people should be working to get it completed, and yet there was ONE WHOLE DUDE a majority of the time and that just wasn't fair to us or the dude, and why did they not realize they were going to need to prime the walls before painting them?, and also that apparently no more painting would be done again until this week and by then, the floors would be down and that kind of sucked because protecting the floors would make it take longer, and how about if we hired more people to come in and get this damned paint job done in less than 100 years???

He understood. He's a good dude. I thanked him for letting me vent, and he said that I was always allowed to call him to yell whenever necessary, and then he apparently cracked a whip, and got the paint done, the floors done, the countertop in the bar installed, and the wallpaper put up in the following 3 days.

And THAT is what gets done when you yell at people, folks. Just saying. Acting crazy pays off now and then.

So here we are with completely updated pictures for you! The lighting isn't completed yet, so the pictures are a bit glare-ish and the colors aren't as true as they could be, but it's looking more finished than it has for a while. The floors are great. The wallpaper looks amazing. And I can't wait for the tile to get installed (that's happening this week), and for the wainscoting to get it's final piece added. But in the mean time, here we are!
The floors! Are beautiful!!! They're a high-grade laminate.
This is what that area looks like with the paint and the wallpaper and the floors all put together. YAY!
Our fireplace is turning out to look absolutely perfectly. Now if the sconces I ordered would just arrive...
That corner back there to the right of the fireplace is where the dart board will go. It's pretty perfect for that application.
The sunlight that comes in those windows at about 9 a.m. is very bright. I cannot WAIT til I get to live/work back down in that space again!
This is the hallway that the shuffleboard table will be will go along that wallpapered wall on the left. The bar is at the far end...
The countertop was installed in the bar last week! SO PRETTY. Tile is going up today and tomorrow, so I'll have pics of that early next week when it's all grouted and stuff.
This lighting kind of sucks for showing the paint in the TV area, but there it is. Dark blue from Sherwin Williams called "Gale Force". It's exactly what we wanted. Once the lighting is all installed and stuff, it will show much better.
The office is painted the same color as the game area/fireplace area in the other room. This room used to be RED, so this is quite a dramatic change, and it looks so awesome!
This is just the other side of the office, with the doorway that looks out into the main part of the basement. The paint job is perfect.
So today, the tile guys are working down there, getting all set up and started on the bar area and the fireplace area. Hopefully it'll be a quick and easy job for them. I'll be sure to update with pics of that early next week.

SO EXCITED! The end is in sight, my friends. WOO!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Dealing With My Crazy

I had a rough weekend. Leo was away for a bachelor party, and I was alone with my thoughts, my dogs, and my personal version of crazy for a whole 4 days.

Fortunately, I have a friend that spent a lot of the time with me…we ate, we drank, we shopped, we had our nails done. All of those hours spent doing those things were really great for me, mentally.

But the rest of the time wasn't so much. I signed out of Facebook on Friday night, because my reaction to the things being posted by the group at the bachelor party was bothersome and annoying. Saturday was a great distraction from my over-active brain, for much of the day. But then I was alone again with my thoughts, and while I was able to go to bed without too much trouble that night, I did have a stomach ache, and woke up in the middle of the night feeling bothered, and was unable to go back to sleep for a while.

Sunday morning, I was at the end of my rope. I was teary, and even more upset. My stomach was in knots, and things that normally serve as a decent distraction for me (i.e. recorded episodes of Peoples’ Court on my Tivo) did nothing to help. The litigants were ridiculous and the cases were relatively unbelievable. This is troubling in itself!

After a relatively spirited conversation with Leo on the drive home from the airport, I was able to calm down a bit…we spoke more about what was upsetting me, and how he was feeling about what I was saying. My stomach was better. My brain was better. I slept well last night. Today, I feel productive and energetic. I journaled a bit ago, which inspired me to write this post. I’m going to head to the gym when I’m done here. I’ll work on my needlepoint, and mount a couple of finished pieces this afternoon.

Basically, I think I blew a fuse of sorts this weekend. Today, my breaker panel seems to be back in the right mode.

My journaling lead me down a mental realization path that I felt like sharing here, because it’s something I think we all often forget to implement in our daily lives. (I know I do, anyway!) I finished my entry today in a way that really helped me.

"I need to step it up, too. Actions speak louder than words, and this weekend’s activities reinforced that old adage more than anything else has for a long time. I need to think on this, and consider what I can do to be a more loving wife, and a better influence to the people I come into contact with. I think I’ve been so focused on being a better stranger to those I randomly meet, that I’ve lost touch with being a better loved one to the people I’m closest to in my life.

Great…something else to work on! Or is this just a realization of the next thing I need to work on? Regardless, I recognize it now, and will pay attention to it for what it is."

Our actions are what people remember. The way we behave, the way we respond to their presence in our lives, and the way we choose to share our time with them…those things we DO are what sticks with those we connect with, whether it be for a moment, or for an hour, or for many years. At work, at home, or at play, we should be mindful of how our attitude is expressed. Making eye contact and smiling while we make small-talk with the cashier at Trader Joe’s; connecting with our coworkers, and letting them know when we feel overwhelmed and need their help; conversely, telling our coworkers when we need some time alone to get our portion of a project done; going to visit family in order to feel connected to their lives, and to be there in person to express our support of them…

Expressing myself in a positive way is becoming more and more important to me. Not that it hasn’t been important before now. It was just…different, is the thing. This isn’t to say that I don’t have, or don’t allow negative emotions and expression to occur. Some days, there’s a lot of yelling and crying going on. It’s a release that works well for me, and if I didn’t do it, I’d probably get a tumor somewhere, and we all know THAT isn’t good.

I’ve been known to try to drown my emotions in wine and/or vodka. (And cider, and whiskey…la la laaa!)

I might’ve hit some things to express my negative reaction to stuff.

I might’ve tried to eat my way out of those negative feelings, too.

Hell, we aren’t perfect, right? DUH!

I’m trying to work through those negative emotions in healthier ways at this point in life, though. Through a law-hawt of therapy, I’m learning about the base emotions behind those reactions I’ve had all my life, and why they happen that way. My anger is likely a manifestation of fear and loneliness. My poorly-timed attempts at humor, while sometimes welcome, might be a manifestation of my low self-esteem, which again makes me scared of what people might think of me, and that can lead to me being angry at very weird times.

This is getting boring and wordy, so I’d better wrap things up and move on with my day. Net/net, how we behave is important. And don’t think for a second that it isn’t.  We must be accountable for ourselves, and speaking from experience, it’s just nicer to be accountable for our decent and loving actions than it is to have to be accountable for our bad and ugly ones.

So let’s all go out there and be pretty and fun and nice, dammit! It’ll put a smile on your face, I promise. :D

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Basement Project Update - Almost Done!

Ok, not 100% almost done...but we're getting there. :)

The cabinets were installed today!
Our bar area...lookit all that wine storage! We don't have that much wine! Sooo...please send us wine!
The base unit for the TV area is...partially installed. I dunno what's happening there. The guys left at about 2 p.m. So maybe they're coming back tomorrow to finish putting the doors on...? Who knows. My contractor will be here tomorrow to meet with the tile guy, so he can deal with it. That's what they're for! :D
 Our mantle is perfect. Exactly what I wanted:
Super-simple, clean'll look great painted!
The workout room was our last bastion of storage/usage in the basement during this whole process, and that flooded when a stupid pipe burst a couple weeks ago. Drying out the carpet in there was a lost cause. So we tore that out and have to put in new carpet now. ::sigh:: This is what the room looks like right now:
All those boxes with the green on them there? That's our new floor. It gets installed next week.

And then...THEN...then we will be on our way to completion.

We are soooo ready for completion.