Thursday, April 19, 2012


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Our kitchen looked like this:
And today, it looks more like this:
Well hello pipe from upstairs bathtub!!!  (I see you’ve brought your friends Pink Insulation and Unknown Plumbing Contraption!  Welcome to the partay!!)
What are we doing?  (Really, what ARE we doing?!!)
We’re starting our kitchen renovation part 2! 
I’m so excited!  At least for the next few days until DIY exhaustion sets in. 
(As an aside, my husband and I cooked up an idea a couple years ago we thought would be great for pre-marriage retreats and engaged couples:  a DIY weekend where you are living out something that will test the strongest of relationships.  Set the retreat in a 1920’s house with old plaster, lath, unexpected complications, uneven floors, a deadline, and even add a few children of varying ages to make it more “exciting”.  At the end of it you should know whether you will be able to spend your life with the other person.  Needless to say, we did not do this before we got married, but I think it has worked out pretty well for us anyway so I guess there are other ways to know.  :-) 
If it isn’t immediately obvious from the pictures, our kitchen was/is in need of an update.  A couple years ago we took this same kitchen from a dark paneled cave with carpet(!!!!)  to a brighter more livable space, and now it’s getting another facelift.  Those drop down ceiling tiles were a dirty shade of awful, and the kitchen cupboards didn’t provide much storage (not to mention the fact that they were probably from the 1970s, a decade I have to thank for giving me my husband and my parents’ marriage but not much else).  The drawers have mostly wood fronts but plastic interiors and guides and I would say they were probably in their middle stages of breaking down:  some already were broken, others cracked, others it is just a matter of time. 
There are other things too, such as the crazy way out kitchen is set up (unfortunately we can’t do a whole lot about it as our kitchen is a certain shape and size and we can’t move any walls without compromising aspects of other rooms of the house), the soffits that are above our cabinets, this space above the stove:
We’re on a mission to change all of that.  It will be an interesting ride!  I have looooots of ideas, and I’m very excited to see the finished product! 
My husband tore out the drop down ceiling last night, and now it is a matter of getting the ceiling to the point that it can be rewired (should be happening this Sunday).  Oh, the fun light fixtures I have picked out!  I’m sure my husband will have to tear down the remaining plaster and perhaps the lath up there before then. 
Tomorrow:  what is lurking in our garage?   Hmm, come find out!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Checking things off the list…

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There is just nothing like checking a few things off a list that seems never ending. 
Case in point:  a couple weeks ago I decided that now was a good time to fix the wall/paint job in our downstairs powder room.  We completely redid this room a couple of years ago and I love how it turned out, but we had a small leak through the roof above it due to some ice jams two winters ago and it wrecked the paint job on part of one wall.  It was a small area and not terribly noticeable, but of course I knew it was there and it bugged me almost every time I used the bathroom.  I procrastinated on the project until now though I tell myself that I was just waiting to see if it would do it again this winter.  :) 
Thankfully it ended up being an easier fix than I originally had thought…I ended up just needing a little bit of drywall mud to smooth the upper corner out and then a couple coats of primer and another 2 coats of paint.  It looks as good as new!  And while I was at it I painted the underside of the bathroom sink which was still a sickly shade of yellow from the previous color “scheme” (if you can call icky wood paneling and blue and yellow plastic tile a color scheme).  I’m now working on getting the quarter round up—just have to seal it as it is already stained—and then I’m almost done with my list for that room.  It feels good!!!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Garden plans

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As we’ve been having a really really early spring here, I’ve been having fun gardening a little earlier than I normally would be able to.  Although I haven’t planted anything  new yet, I’ve been moving around existing perennials as they come up to new locations.  I seem to do this every year as I find out just how the plants like or do not like the different parts of our yard.  We have a mixture of full sun, part sun, and mostly shade so I have places for almost everything though I struggle with the shade areas. 
I had a lot of time on my hands this winter while I was on bedrest for over 6 weeks (subchorionic hematoma with baby #3), so I drew up some garden plans for the flower beds we have in our yard.  I have modified them slightly as memory didn’t quite serve me correctly in the dead of winter on some plant placements, but this is what a couple of them looked like:

The above is the front of our house.  My very elementary sketching and scribbling would probably be difficult for anyone else to decipher, but it is a huge help for me when it comes to organizing plant heights and colors, etc.  All the circles with number correspond to a “key” that I have written out on another page of this notebook. 

This one doesn’t have as many plants so I was able to write the names of the plants on the same page.  We’re actually incorporating a rain barrel into this flower garden so I’m going to have to do some rearranging, but most of the plants have not been planted yet (I ordered a few and am  moving a few from elsewhere in the yard to this flowerbed) so it isn’t a big problem. 

Not very professional I know, but for my purposes right now they work pretty well.  And really, I do have better handwriting than that…I didn’t plan to publish it for the world to see at that point in time!! 

I’m looking forward to my gardening this summer!  I’ll probably do some more posts on my gardening trials and errors as I’m sure there will be plenty of them!