Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Finally ....

Well folks, that sound you hear in the background are a multitude of angels singing the "Hallelujah Chorus". Yes, it took me 160 days longer than anyone else on the planet would have taken, but my bedroom walls are finally finished - insulated, drywalled, textured, primed and painted (2 coats!). They look AWESOME. A light blue ("Misty Aqua") that has a bit of an edge to it which keeps it from being the pastel blue of your grandma's Easter pantsuit. When I finally get the black and white accents brought in, I believe it's going to be a very "French sophisticate" design look. If Emily from HGTV was describing the design look, I feel confident that that is what she would name it.

Meanwhile, I'm on to the next step which is all the 100-year old original woodwork around the 3 doors and 2 windows. I'm going to strip or sand it down and repaint it white. Then I've got to get new crown molding up on the ceiling. Yes, you're right; there's still a lot of work to be done. Dare I hope to set a new "move-in" date of Christmas eve?

Meanwhile, a couple of things: first off we're expecting our first snowstorm of the season tonight and tomorrow. Which means the cold is on it's way. Actually it was 16 degrees out this morning.

Plus, more importantly: I have given notice for my Sunday job. It is one that I've worked at for 5 years, since my divorce. It's been that long since I've had a 2-day weekend like the rest of America. I am so excited about this. Just 4 more Sundays and I'll have weekends again. Molly and Sammie are not going to know what to do - having me around for 2 days in a row. Since they were babes, I've been working a six day week. They don't know it, but their spirits are about to soar! Along with mine!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Another step behind me!

Well, if I had had any help, this project would have been wrapped up back in July, I'm convinced of that. I did break open the champagne last weekend. Not because I had anything to celebrate, just because I wanted liquor. And it was horrible stuff. I mixed it half & half with orange juice and it was still horrid. So I've decided that that was my practice celebration and I'm still entitled to a real celebration as soon as I can afford a bottle of something good. Like whipped cream vodka .... have you had that? Excellent stuff.

I ordered up the texture gun. It is supposed to be dropped off at my house along with the air compressor that runs it. Oh my gosh. I can feel another nightmare coming up fast. Old John at the rental store warned me that this was a complicated machine and process, which did not make me feel optimistic or confident. I just see disaster written all over this next step.

However, before I can start the process of spraying texture on my beautiful, pristine white walls, I have to tape off the ceiling, windows, doors, floor, electrical boxes, etc etc. Or so my brother tells me. He is actually going to come over on Saturday and help me with the spray gun. I have a vision of myself with a backpack and hose (a la "Ghostbusters") and this stuff coming out with the pressure of a fire hose. Probably won't be quite so dramatic, but I bet it will prove to be just as messy. 

Meanwhile, it may be fall, but here in this neck of the woods it is c-o-l-d at night. I need to be moved into my bedroom! Camping out in the sewing room has lost all of it's initial fun-ness. I want to break out all my new blankets and - - best of all -- my new heated mattress pad. I know I swore I wasn't going to do it until the bedroom was completely done but I'm getting twitchy about it. Plus I can't wait to see how the new Cadet heater works. It's been 21 years waiting for a heater in that bedroom, and folks, I deserve to be warm!

Friday, September 30, 2011

No champagne yet

Well, here I am .... tomorrow marks the beginning of month 4 and I'm still in the thick of it. I like to think the end is in sight, but in reality, it isn't. This past week I've been working on getting primer painted onto the now mudded and sanded drywall. Like everything else, it's proving to be a s-l-o-w process. To be fair to myself, I do work 6 days a week at 2 different jobs  so I'm tired all the time. And, let's not forget my ever-increasingly painful arthritis in my right hand. Yep, the right hand that holds the sanding block and the paint roller. However, I do have nearly 3 walls primed and ready for the texture gun. The fourth wall is giving me fits. I still have a ton of work to do on it to scrape off several layers of wallpaper that I swear were put on with superglue.

And meanwhile, fall is upon us in this mountainous corner of Oregon. The temperature is dropping at night into the 30's and I want to be sleeping in my nice warm bedroom instead of camping out in a corner of the cramped sewing room. I've got all kinds of new bedding, just waiting for the new room. I refuse to use it until I'm in there. Which is great, except I'm cold at night with my summer weave blankets. I may have to break down and buy an electric blanket.

Which reminds me, I'm taking tomorrow off (I know, I know ... how can I expect to finish the project if I take whole days off?) and having a girls' day with my sister and cousin. We're going to the big city of Moscow, Idaho and hanging out. I can't wait!

Oh, and about the champagne? It's been in my fridge since the beginning of July, just waiting to be opened that first night when I'm in my makeover bedroom.

Friday, September 16, 2011

the drywall blues

Well, I'm one step closer to being finished in the bedroom - woohoo!! I was going to take last night off because I was so sore from the night before (this is really physical work, kind of like an aerobic workout only not so cute clothes), but at 9:30 when I was getting ready to go to bed I decided that I should put in a couple of hours on the drywall. I finished at 11:45 pm. So now I have the screws and the horizontal seams mudded and sanded. Now it's time to start tackling the corners of the room. I think this is going to be a difficult step because I'm not sure how to do it. Guess I'd better start checking some online sites.

I am only 7 days away from my self-imposed deadline of September 23rd, the first day of fall. When I wrote that day in on my calendar, I was confident that I could easily make that deadline. Of course, that was before I started the drywall process. Three coats of mud and a whole lot of sanding later, I know better. Yes, I'm a wiser woman now, but I'm also almost out of ibuprofen. I should have bought stock in an ibuprofen pharmaceutical before I started this process, I'm going through them like M&M's.

And did I mention that I'm into my third month on this project? I have to laugh at myself (with a touch of scorn) when I look back nearly 4 weeks ago and read the posting predicting that I would have the sheetrock done over a weekend. Ha! Sorry sweetie, but you were an idealistic, optimistic idiot.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Sheetrock Weekend!

Well, finally --- I'm ready to start sheetrocking. I'm no longer keeping track of how many days it's been since I've started this project. Because it's been forever ago that I started. However, I've become a patient person in my old(er) age and have weathered this delay very well. I think.

Last night my brother, who was a contractor in a former life, came over and spent 3 hours giving me a hands-on lesson in hanging sheetrock. Thank heavens for that. I now have just enough knowledge to give me confidence that I can do this myself. I'm going to start tonight (Friday) and work on it all day tomorrow. My plan is to get it done tomorrow, but that's probably too ambitious. On the other hand, I'm all about being too ambitious when it comes to DIY projects! It's my standard operating procedure.

Update on the dogs: it's been HOT here this summer, weeks of 90-degree weather and no rain. Which is good because this area normally has outrageous summer lightning storms that start some pretty serious wildfires in the county. But still, from a dog's point of view, this is too hot. Molly especially is suffering. All her thick black Border Collie hair is holding in the heat. She spends a lot of time laying on the linoleum floor in the bathroom. Sammie, on the other hand, loves the heat. She spends her days spread out on the rock garden path, soaking in the sun. I think she is saving up heat for the winter when she suffers from cold. Poor girls.

Oh, and here's a weird thing - Molly got into my fenced off vegetable garden the other night and pulled out a zucchini plant (roots and all) and chewed off a 6-8 inch zucchini, which was destined to be zucchini bread. It now is her baby and she packs it around with her and guards it from Sammie, who has absolutely no interest in it. Weird, huh?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Taking a Break

Well, 41 days ago I started what I thought (ha!) was going to be an easy makeover for my bedroom. Of course by now it's clear that it was anything but. However, I have been making steady, if somewhat slow, strides towards the finish line. At this point, the demolition is all done, and the insulation is up. The next step is the sheetrock, something that I don't feel is do-able by myself (physically it's probably impossible). And since my son is in the middle of his own DIY project, I feel it prudent to take a break from mine and wait (mostly patiently) for him to become available once again. Far better this way than to try to install sheetrock on my own. LOL with that idea.

Meanwhile, things at my house are certainly not at a standstill. I have been working on curb appeal by doing some landscape work (that's my definition of weeding). And guess what? A guy came into the office today and remarked to me how very attractive (he might have used the word "beautiful" but that could be a figment of my imagination) my house was looking this summer! Yay! Woohoo! I have been working at it and it's paying off.

Oh, and one last thing: the hummingbirds have found my back yard. It has taken 21 years for this to happen; every spring I put out feeders and have high hopes. But this is the first year that they've actually found my place. And I am so happy about that. It makes me think of my mom every time I see a hummingbird. She loved them and her backyard was always filled with the sight and sound of them. It's one of my happiest memories of her. I'm glad to welcome the hummingbirds back into my life.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Demolition Finale!

Today is Day 23 of the bedroom remodel project. And boy, has this project evolved into something bigger than I every could imagine. In fact, if I had imagined it, I would absolutely never have started it. But incredibly enough, I have worked my way through every stage of the job, and on my own! Talk about liberating and empowering - this will do it to you.

Tonight I expect to put in the last hour of demolition work, then I can start to rebuild the room. Right now the walls are totally stripped down to the 2 x 4's. My brother-in-law has installed 5 new (!) electrical outlets and (even more importantly) has wired in a wall heater, which will bring actual heat to my bedroom. Tonight is basically clean-up. I've borrowed a shop vac and have a ton (literally) of plaster to get cleaned up and out of that room.

And how are the dogs doing, you ask? Well, Molly is taking the whole thing in stride. She likes to go into the room and check it out. She's sleeping on the floor beside my bed in the sewing room, where I had to move my bed. She's a dog that goes with the flow and doesn't get too excited about changes. Sammie, on the other hand, is confused and worried about all the changes, especially the sleeping arrangements. She has never liked to enter the sewing room (for whatever reason, I don't know), so she won't sleep in there. I moved her bed into the living room and she spends the night in there alone, which I find troubling. I like having my girls with me at night! I keep assuring her that everything will be all right and back to normal soon, but she can't remember what normal is so she is worried. Come to think of it, that's kind of how I feel too.