Thursday, November 13, 2014

Two Years And Counting

 Two years.... Well we appear to be approaching the coveted and elusive finish.  We still have endless little things and some pretty massive things at the main house to do but the studio is actually approaching the end.  Jeremy spent quite a few hours in the basement at the Studio installing this dead-sexy manifold plumbing system.  The water hadn't been turned on for over 10 years, so the town guys (Thanks Rob and Dean) came over and... well turned the crank.  Other than a slight leak at the meter everything went surprisingly well....  Jeremy is scowling at my lack of confidence, but it just seemed too good to be true.  I mean I don't think anything we have done has actually worked the first time, with the first plan.  I mean to come off without a hitch is just fundamentally confusing to me.  Then we had to see if the ancient hot water heater would work... and it did.  It's actually quite anti-climatic to tell the truth.  I'm so used to typing something more like:

"So we downed a couple beer and reassembled our thoughts into a new and more extravagant plan than before that would require twice the amount of materials and two more weeks of knee splitting work."

So yeah, now we have both a working bathroom and kitchenette.  Shout out to Clint, thanks for your help with the tub.

I suppose it all wasn't all migraine and fear free finishes.  This tub (which I adore because its soooo cute) almost gave Jeremy a coronary when he finally got his gumption up and drilled the holes for that fancy faucet.  Just to give a timeline to this renovation project I first posted about working on this bathroom in..... September, which means we probably really started in August, wow.  The bathroom still needs a mirror and some art, and that'll be it.... Yeah, that's it.  Weird. 

Imagine a big bright painting above the sink. 

 We decided that the most cost-efficient, and by that I mean most labour-intensive solution to a countertop, would be to tile it.  I originally wanted to do it in screaming red tile but when my parents arrived bearing Christmas presents I was outnumbered 3 to 1.  So large white (ahem, boring) tiles it was.  Luckily I was due for some good karma and I found the only 12 white tiles in town and bought them.

Kitchenette complete, I feel the need to devulge our dirty laundry.  By that I mean tell you about one of the largest pressure points in our marriage:

Jeremy is an average sized man standing at 5'10", I am a short...ish woman standing at 5'2"3".  These counters are 37".  Needless to say I was pissed disheartened.  Jeremy is angry frustrated.  Whenever conversation even drifts toward this topic I swear both our nostrils start flaring............  Seriously we just started arguing about it again just now............. OK done (for now).  During my research I discovered average is 36", but my argument is that I only have so many inches to spare, and it's my Studio anyway so I win.  I have decided not to force a redo, but like hell I'm going to keep my mouth shut (insert evil laugh).

The rest of the studio is slowly but surely coming together.  I need to come up with a couple more storage solutions to really eliminate the clutter but it is functioning at almost optimal capacity.  If you care about what happens in this room you could check out my other blog Quilting Curve.  Well basically all that needs to be done is some trim work, touch up painting, and transition strips between rooms.  I could get all rowdy and get into landscaping plans but I'll save that rant for spring.  I really hope this winter helps us keep up the momentum and we can move onto the massive stuff over at the main house.  I'm apprehensive to state a start, or for that matter finish date on our next project at the main house, but I'm hoping to get demolition at least started just in time to make Christmas an ordeal.  Well I'll leave with a video of the gross water coming out of the pipes for the first time, because that's always fun.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The Lost Summer

Summer is over.  Harvest and school time (as if life couldn't get busier).  I haven't posted all summer mostly because... <insert believable excuse here>.  Well, we haven't been entirely idle, but most of the projects have been little ones.  You know, those type of things that need to get done but never really do.  This whole summer of painstakingly simple and eye-twitchingly annoying jobs began in late spring.  We were sitting outside having morning coffee under the tree when "The Deck" conversation came up.  You know the one...  "We could wrap it around here, under this tree, the bbq could go here, and we can leave a space here for a hot tub."  "Oh, but the railing has to be perfect beer height for evenings (or afternoons)."  "Yeah, and the planters could go here, here, and here."  So with much arm waving and endless enthusiasm we had a plan.  Jeremy priced out materials and called me a day or so later from work with his estimate for the most awesome deck EVER!  After I got off the phone, I started to tidy up the house... and the glaring unfinished-ness of this renovation nightmare became starkly real.  We have been living here for almost a year and a half, and I swear not one room or job is actually "finished".  So with a heavy heart (and a little snicker) I sent him "The List" via email.  It contained everything from base boards to unfinished plumbing, touch-up paint to uninstalled doors; all of which we have most of the materials to complete, just perhaps not the motivation.  Jeremy took it like a champ and came home with the printed out list (still hanging on the fridge) and some paint.

I kicked it off by breaking out some power tools and a pile of 2x4s, and fixed the front and back steps of the studio.  I also painted the steps and all the outside window trim.  Much more work has to go into the curb appeal of the studio (flowers and all the frilly crap) but it looks a lot cleaner and you won't trip and die if you try and knock on the door.

Last Fall
 While I was working so diligently to get the studio looking nice I had a number of neighbors come by commenting on how much nicer it looked, and also how ugly our other house was...  I'm not even kidding! One guy actually said we had the ugly house on the street!  So, with my biggest polite smile, and my sarcasm-free tone of voice, I said that maybe he was right.  Then I took a look, it wasn't even a long or hard look... he really WAS right.  Ugh.

Yeah it's a jungle.
 Well that just wouldn't do.  So I called Jeremy at work and told him to bring home a chainsaw... Great minds think alike, or perhaps he was already aware of the ugly stamp we had, the chainsaw was already in the truck (he bought a BC chainsaw... way overkill for any wood we'll find here in the prairies)

 So with much manic laughter Jeremy got er' done.

Oh, hey look, there is a house!  I promptly ran out and bought curtains.  Turns out we don't need a deck to get morning sunshine! Yeah, it's not the same, but "The List" reigns supreme around here.

Other bits and pieces have been started and some finished.  Jeremy finally plumbed in the sink and toilet in the studio, but the water still isn't on... waiting on a tub so hopefully next week.

Baseboards for one of the kids rooms are painted and almost installed (ahem).

Jeremy buckled down to his most hated job, finishing carpentry.  He can do it but he just likes sledge hammers and chainsaws better... don't we all.  So the inside of the upstairs windows are done as are other tedious jobs hardly worth mentioning.  The types of jobs where it takes longer to assemble your tools than to actually do the work.

But summer wasn't all just hair raising deck battles and paint spattered bikinis.

Sam: "Should there be a caption here?"
Jeremy: " I don't know what you could possibly say..."
It was also an amazing trip home to Prince George, B.C.  Rivers and lakes galore, with beer, great friends and family.

But why not check out a great B.C. music festival?  Like the one my brother puts together just outside of Chetwynd, B.C.
Awaking Music Festival 

 Jeremy had an accident in B.C. He and his brother took a plunge into the lake off a tube and Jeremy's brother ended up putting his front teeth through his lip and into Jeremy's elbow.  10 days later Jeremy is on a take home IV drip for a fairly massive infection... hahaha.  I told him to go to the hospital... it was a great "I told you so" moment! (Jeremy still swears it was the most "wickedest-awesome-tubing-wreck" ever).

But now it's fall, and life begins to pick up it's pace again.  We didn't quite finish "The List" actually we didn't even get close (Jeremy figures I'm sabotaging him by scribbling more chores onto it daily).  But once Harvest is over we will get right into it again.  Winter renovation sucks, but at least you don't get distracted by sunshine and camping.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Being a Grown-Up

Well piece by piece we continue to make progress on this gigantic over ambitious top to bottom renovation.  7 weeks ago I posted about the beginning of our bedroom renovation and we have now (more or less) finished that.

We have always planned to have a bathroom in the attic and our bedroom could not be built until all of the plumbing was installed and bathroom set up.  So with the expertise of my brother in law on the phone Jeremy got it done.

  • Plumbing  check
  • Bathroom sub floor check
  • Lino check
  • Sink check
  • Toilet check
  • Fixtures check
  • Whole bunch of finishing stuff... no check
It's becoming more and more obvious to me that as soon as we "finish" the house we will have a year of real finishing to do.  Jeremy with all of his ambition and stick-to-it-iveness just hates finishing.  And although I suppose I could just pick up some tools myself that just doesn't seem overly likely either.

Well with the attic bathroom installed (but not yet connected to the water) it was time to turn ourselves back to drywall.

 I'm pretty sure I have photos of me taping and mudding this room, but I'm so darn tired of them people must be tired of them too.

Before I painted the bedroom I did some research on colours and moods and all that non-sense.

What I found was that people who sleep in blue rooms usually sleep longer... 7 hours and 52 minutes.  People with orange rooms have better digestion, and get this people with purple rooms only get an average of 5 and a half hours of sleep a night.  But the real kicker is that people who paint their rooms caramel have more sex.

Well with all this bull shit going through my mind I just picked some dark olive colour (or the colour of sick poo, depending on your taste).  According to my research (I really mean one article I read a while ago hahaha) this colour will sooth us to sleep and help us wake up with an upbeat outlook on the day... This makes me feel better since I really didn't like the colour to begin with, but like hell I'm repainting.

We still have to refinish the floors in the room but we will be doing the entire main floor when the time comes as we will be sanding it down and staining it along with all the baseboards, doors, and staircase.  All in all I'm happy with the room, it's not big but the best we could have done in this house.

 But the real bonus of finally moving back into a bedroom is the taking back of the living space.  What a relief just to have room to move and hang out as a family again.  The living room is quite large so we decided we needed to fill it with some real life adult furniture.  So yesterday while I was off a soccer with the kids Jeremy and the neighbor unloaded our new living room.

It was bliss to sit down on furniture.  We haven't had a proper couch in 2 years, just a old dirty recliner and a futon.  I feel so grown-up.

Each time we come to place were our house starts to feel like a home I get so happy and I start to believe that maybe just maybe we will 'finish'.

Jordan and Payton at their first soccer game
Jeremy's completed bike

Monday, March 24, 2014

Michael Finnegan Begin Again

From the stairs.
Well the time has come.  Why relax when there is demo to do?  Jeremy got the itch, he just couldn't leave it alone.  Hahaha jokes on him though, it's not as much fun as it used to be!  I started this blog in September 2012... We have been hair straight back pretty much since then.  Jeremy spent his evening last night reading through the blog... I peeked over his shoulder every once and a while and I get tired just looking at it.  But as I said Jeremy just couldn't let it be so here we are again renovating.

The second bedroom on the main floor of the house (our room) is pretty teeny so with a couple of long conversions filled with animated over zealous gestures we decided on an action plan.  Step one was demolition (as always).  We took our the closet between the bedrooms and decided to (with a suggestion from Jeremy's dad) to move the door into the bedroom to the stairwell instead of the living room.

The closet.

From bedroom

After packing endless amounts of drywall out of the room we gained an extra two feet to our bedroom.  

We are sleeping in the living room again... sigh.  Jeremy promises that this is the last time... until we do the floors...  Speaking of floors how lucky are we that the hardwood runs seamlessly throughout.  Drywall overtakes my every spare moment and mostly because it's been sitting in a neat little pile in the living room (also where I sleep).  It's been there so long that the kids have drawn targets on it and proceed to shoot their Nerf guns at it whenever I leave the room.  Jeremy has been preoccupied since the weather took a turn toward Spring (a balmy -15C). 

My much repressed objections towards this recent lapse in renovation bliss is stifled by his sending me to Peru in November with various members of my family... I just can't bring myself I force him back to it... although it was he who started this whole process again.  Well for the moment I will keep my seething silence (with the casual dig veiled in sarcasm once in a while).  Hopefully the weather will co-operate soon and we can get outside and keep the momentum rolling, although I foresee many more hours in the shop working with his other wife (motorcycle).