So: renos and reunions

Wow! What a weekend. Today alone was an amazing high energy day. We managed to install our new pantry cabinets, put the pantry back, and entertain a friend from college!

First of all, hanging out with IdaRose for the first time in a very long time was awesome. It was a big surprise since we heard from her yesterday, but the Mortroski Mid-century has a welcome mat out 24-7 so we were ready.

I wish we lived closer, we’d probably have lots of fun dinners and do cool things together. And I wish I wasn’t traveling this week while she’s in Dallas because I’d love to take her to some of the museums and restaurants. But at least we had a lovely dinner and a few hours together tonight.

And before she came over, Bruce and I were very busy today (I realize this is a surprise):

20130728-221446.jpg
Putting together the new cabinets for the pantry. Notice the supervisor.

20130728-221556.jpg
The gutted closet that will be a pantry. Notice the new supervisor.

20130728-221734.jpg
Bruce doing the finesse stuff.

20130728-221912.jpg
The final result

People, this is an Ikea setup. We are very impressed! We have 1/2 for pantry items (canned goods, staples) and 1/2 for cleaning stuff (home for vacuum, broom, steam mop, cleaning supplies). It’s lovely and well thought-out. Works for us–and we could get it all installed in a Sunday.

Advertisements

sow: obscene harvest

obscene! yes, that is our kitchen table groaning under the weight of the bounty

obscene! yes, that is our kitchen table groaning under the weight of the bounty

Don’t worry, friends. That craziness will feed 3 other families this week in addition to Bruce and me. It was a productive two weeks for spinach, chard, mixed salad greens, cilantro, mint, parsley, oregano, red velvet lettuce, candy cane beets (the very first ones!) and bok choi. And it felt awesome to pick everything, feel the sun on my back (hello, farmers’ tan!) and do a little weeding this morning. It’s an exciting time on the Urban Farm — English peas are podding, snow peas are flowering, okra plants are sprouting, salad greens are weed-like, tomato plants are getting huge, peppers are starting to flower, beets/carrots/radishes are all forming, herbs are going insane. So much is going on. The Urban Farm is looking very pretty and there’s lots of deliciousness about to happen. Ah, the relaxation.

As you surmised from yesterday, it’s not been a restful or relaxing weekend around here. Dumps, IKEA, moving furniture, getting rid of stuff, etc, etc, etc. And there will be no rest this week. Destroy! Rip out! Sort! Give away! Donate! Put away! Spring cleaning on steroids. Or as I like to think of it an extended Date Night. At least there’s wine every night as a reward for so much physical labor.

Officially, today we became carpet-free home. All of the beige big box store lowest possible grade carpet is gone. It was an excellent magnet for black lab and yellow lab/golden retriever hair and dander. My allergies (nose and eyes) are going insane with the amount of 47 years of dirt, dust, dog hair and dander that I sucked up with the shop vac and the Dyson Monster. But after a shower and a little down time, I’m feeling better. Still I’m having Zyrtec with a Benedryl chaser tonight before bed. That and all the carrying, hammering, prying, cursing, and working will ensure a sound night’s sleep.

The trim around doors and floors in some of the rooms and hall is also gone. It is a bit unattractive around here and most of our furniture is either in the garage, the living/dining room, or back in the office (office furniture only). We still have a lot of work to do on the office, but we need somewhere clean where we can sit and rest after all of our work. In our bedroom, we put down blankets before we dropped our mattress on the bare floor. And we put some blankets under the dog beds too. We are wearing flip flops inside the house at the moment, despite the double vacuuming efforts. The Gs don’t seem to mind the bare concrete.

However, the Gs are a little unsure of what’s going on. George is slowly but surely getting over his phobia of loud sounds, power tools, the shop vac, and swearing. Godiva and Guinness are happy that we’re leaving all of the back doors open and they can come and go out for a squirrel hunt/bark/pee as they please.  There was lots of snoozing in the sun by those lazy hounds punctuated by squirrel chasing and a little visiting with our friend Camille. Despite the inside the house chaos, the Gs had an awesome weekend outside. Good thing since they’ll have another next weekend.

No sense of getting ahead of ourselves: this week will be busy. We have several rooms and closets yet to prep (aka things to destroy and remove) for Saturday’s bamboo-ing. We need to pour a bit of concrete in the lounge to level the floors where the wet bar and the tv cabinet used to be. We need to assemble the new cabinets on the tv side and get them in place for the bamboo dudes. And there’s a trip to IKEA in order on Thursday night.

We’re going to need our pal Jim the Master Plumber to come and remove/cap the wet bar sink and our other pal David the Master Electrician to move the plug. We’re not keeping the bar wet since in the nearly two years we’ve lived here we’ve never used the sink. But we’ll be adding a beverage fridge eventually so we need to make sure the electrical is ok. David loves what we’re doing with the place—he enjoys being part of the process and likes seeing the progress. Maybe that’s because he’s our age and wishes he had the energy and stamina to make his wife happy with the kind of improvements we’re doing. Seventy-one year old Jim is amused by our renos—the Urban Farm allowed him to share his dating exploits with Bruce (never with me, he’s too Southern). Apparently in East Texas if you are a single man of a certain age, the garden clubs are the best places to meet oil money widows. Rush out there everyone!

Well, George is snoring (loudly) and it’s time for bed. Hope you all had as excellent of a weekend as we did. (Yes. I know we’re crazy.)

 

 

So: today’s DIY adventure

We had an adventure today. Not only did we par down the possessions, we also ripped out more carpet and got to visit our local dump. All of us. Yes, the 3G Network went with us in the truck to experience the transfer station with us. If you want to imagine the experience, imagine the worst smell you can remember. Then imagine contractors and homeowners making a pile of stuff in a giant building scented with the worst smell you can remember. That’s the dump. Ick, but on our way to the dump we saw 1) a pretty cool looking biker bar, 2) a trail around a lake that looks like a great dog walk, 3) plenty of unique and strange import stores.

We did a ton of work today, but there’s still lots to do: pull up the smooth edge in the two guest bedrooms and then vacuum up all of the bits left behind; break down the furniture in our bedroom and move it to the garage and porch; rip out the bedroom carpet (then all of it will finally be out); pull out the smooth edge in our room; remove all of the trim in three bedrooms.

ikea-logo

And we went to IKEA. If you’ve ever visited an Ikea store, you know that it is a place to be avoided at all costs, especially on the weekend. But unfortunately, the cabinets they offer are part of our design for this stage of the reno. And it is open until 9 pm  on Saturdays and there is a big sale on for cabinets (ends tomorrow). We went and arrived around 5 pm. Thanks for Kyle H. we got most of the pieces we need to make our new dining room built-in buffet (perfect for dinner parties) and for our new lounge cabinet. He was amazingly helpful and maximized the spaces we have. Bravo, Kyle H.! You are a cabinet planning genius! Thank you.

We’ll worry about the countertop later (quartz is what we are thinking), but for now, we’ve got lounge cabinets to get in place by Saturday when the flooring magicians show up. Those poor dudes have to get the whole rest of the house paved, I mean, bamboo-zled, by Saturday night. I will be outside, weeding the front plants and tinkering around with the Urban Farm while I entertain the Gs (I can’t wait).

The house is pretty bare at the moment. so please don’t drop by unless you want to sit outside. The patio is looking just fine as is the front porch, but rooms really do look bigger with furniture in them just like the real estate agents say. Our real estate agent would be horrified to see what we’ve done with the place. But don’t worry, we’re not inviting her over until we’re done.

Speaking of furniture, Guinness is THRILLED that the office/tv watching space has furniture again (we moved everything back since this will be our only space where we can chill next week and next weekend until the new floor is all in). He is much happier now that his favorite nap sofa is available to him. The office still needs work, but we’ll get it done once we can put all of the other furniture (now in the garage and dining room) back where it goes. It needs paint. It needs another row of our custom panelling. It needs a cool ceiling fan. It needs stain. It needs organization and throw pillows. And a three large-ish dogs to nap in it.

Tonight we’re all chilling. Godiva is exhausted from playing ball (we had a little happy hour on the patio and chucked the ball to her for the whole hour). Guinness and George are exhausted from their latest attempts at squirrel hunting (I pity the fat rats with better PR because their days are numbered. Ick.) Bruce is exhausted from carrying huge rolls of gnarly carpet, flats from IKEA, and chucking stuff into piles at the dump. I’m just happy to remain vertical at the moment and have the strength to type. It’s been a very physical day.

So we must head to bed and rest up for another physical day. The good thing is we can rest on Monday.

So: spring cleaning

Tonight I came home to the cabinets in the lounge partially ripped out, all of the stuff in the cabinets packed up, and lots of loud noises. Time to help demo and then clean up the mess!

George wasn’t very happy. He’s the only G still getting used to high pitched wail of power tools. He hid behind me and carried a toy around for a while. He’s ok now (passed out on the sofa next to Bruce).

The other two could care less. Godiva has heard power tools from pretty much day 1 as a 8 week old pup. Guinness doesn’t love the sounds but he realizes it will stop after about 6 hours. Besides, he’s trying to set a good example for George.

Thanks to two unexpected windfalls, a flooring sale, bulk trash pick up, and an excellent installer looking to build his new business, we have the perfect storm to complete our flooring plan much faster than originally planned. We were planning to do a few rooms at a time–not any more.

So between now and May 4 we must demo, pack, move furniture, purge and plan. And even previously made plans need to get changed. It certainly takes spring cleaning to a whole new level.

The before of the cabinet with the floor demo–notice the bricks (new cabinet and bamboo coming soon!):

20130423-203954.jpg