Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Kitchen Renovation Week 1: Nailed It

With the help of my in-laws, the Incredibles, my brother, and a very helpful neighbor, we got a lot accomplished in the last six days.

Once the crew was gathered the floors came up...

then the walls came down...

And the ceiling soon followed.


Everyone was covered in 100-year-old plaster dust, dirt, and soot. They could easily have been mistaken for coal miners. You should see the ring around my bathtub! But all for a good cause of course.

Then the bathroom, now sans bathtub, got framed in and drywalled.


 Then the old servant's stairway got framed in.



Then the pluming got roughed and a whole lotta wiring got done.


The bad news: When tearing down the walls there was a well-timed rainstorm and we discovered that our gutters aren't doing their jobs. Rainwater seeps into the walls in one corner. So that will have to be fixed, but I'm not really sure how.

The good news: Check out this brickwork!
It's the back of the dining room chimney. The hole on the right is (we assume) where the stovepipe for the original wood burning stove connected. We are hoping to clean up the brick and leave it exposed to give the kitchen a little character.

And now we're tired and we are taking a well-deserved break.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Final Countdown

We have our construction permit (Mike Holmes would be so proud).


We have our his-and-hers heavy duty construction overalls. (We are going to look so slick)

We have a freezer full of food that doesn't require a stove to cook.

We have Nemo's parents, The Incredibles, coming tomorrow.

We have my brother and his big National Guard muscles coming on Thursday.

I just ordered the dumpster.

Let the kitchen renovation (the longest three months of our lives) begin!

The finished design:



 A sneak peak: Back splash, counter top, floor tile




Saturday, May 5, 2012

It's the little things

This piggy bank toy is a loaner from CJ's Godmother.
 It's pretty cool and Conor loves to play with it. I put the coins in the slot and he pushes them the rest of the way though and laughs at the very satisfying plocking noise (and the music, if I turn on that feature) that it makes.


Then at the end of the day when he is in bed and I am cleaning up the toys, I track down all of the coins. I could just open the door like so and put them all in at once to save time.
 But instead I feed them one by one into the slot and listen to the plock...plock...plock.
 Why should CJ have all the fun?

Friday, May 4, 2012

10 Things

I recently had a birthday. I am now ten years older than I was when I was eighteen. I have been reflecting on how much I have changed since I was a grungy college student. It's pretty drastic.

Ten Things I Never Thought I Would Say Ten Years Ago.

10. I made my own laundry detergent! It was super fun!
I don't consider myself full granola, but somewhere along the way I have acquired a fair amount of crunch in my lifestyle.

9. Cheeseburger? Don't mind if I do.
I was a vegetarian from the ages of thirteen to nineteen. At the time I was doing it for ethical reasons, but looking back on it now I can see that there was a healthy smattering of teenage rebellion mixed in.

8. Hey, this short haircut totally works on me.
When I was eighteen I got a short haircut. It was longish up top and so short in the back that the stylist had to shave my neck. It was not flattering AT ALL. But earlier this week I got a short haircut because I just don't have time to try to tame my cowlicks any more. For some reason, it works this time around. Thank goodness.

7. What novel? I've never published a novel.
 As I was that weird kid with few friends, one of my primary occupations as a teenager was writing stories. I fancied myself quite the prodigy.  At that age I had just completed my first full-length novel and was convinced that fame and a spot on the Jay Leno show was right around the corner.

6. I'm not a police officer. That's right, I wanted to be a FBI agent and a novelist. I didn't want to write crime novels though; I was  high fantasy all the way. Anyway, I was in a police cadet program for five years and my path was pretty set. Or so I thought.

5. I sew for fun and hopefully one day, money.
I mean really. From police officer to amateur seamstress. That's a leap if I ever saw one.

4. Well, see you later, I'm off to Adoration.
I was raised Catholic and was a practicing Catholic at the time, but I had no idea what Adoration was. I used to have an hour every week and that is something I want to get back to in the near future.

3. I live in a small town in Appalachia.
Sometimes I still don't know how this happened. No wait, I do. It was Nemo.

2. This is my husband, Nemo.
It's not that I didn't believe in marriage; I just never saw myself as a married person. I was a late bloomer and at that point I had never had a boyfriend so it just didn't seem like it was in the cards. Surprise!

1. I love my life.
I wasn't a very happy person as an eighteen-year-old and I didn't see how anyone could be. Life is terrible! But God worked a wonderful change in me. Even when things go wrong, even when I see evil in the world, deep down I am still a happy person.


There you go. Sometimes I'm surprised that my own mother can recognize me.