Completed projects:

roof, kitchen, master bedroom, main bathroom (sans shower tile), fireplace, hardwood flooring, windows, office, front entry, stairway

Ongoing projects:

shower surround, dapping/painting woodwork, ensuite vanity/lights/mirror, painting outdoor trim, finishing front entry tile work, interior door painting and hardware, decorating

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Sat Sept 27 ~ Newly functional kitchen potlights and main bathroom!

Wow wow wow.

The team and I spent Saturday together banging on the house in a big way.

For Vic, Pete and Rich, it was an electrical day in the kitchen. They put in potlights and other lights and all sorts of wires climbing here and there and crawled around in the extremely hot and narrow attic for most of the day.

All for 6 lights. I'm always blown away by the enormous effort required to output what seems like a somewhat relatively moderate task. It never is though. It's always so much more for those that do the actual work. These guys are amazing together.

This had to be one of my favorite shots of The Ceiling Man. (Vic this time) It was fast hence blurry, but it gets the message across all too painfully well. There was a hole lotta time spent in that attic to get the job done.

The outcome? AMAZING. The kitchen is so well lit it feels like an outdoor stadium shining at night. I think I have to rethink that no curtain idea now... it's my bet folks driving the highway can see inside my kitchen at this point.

For myself, it was a tile the bathroom day. I was time to finally grout and gitter done once and for all.

Dave's day was all about trimming out the windows. As SOON as that grout was in (not even dry), he was banging up baseboards in place pronto. As SOON as that was accomplished, Vic and Jake installed the new fancy dancy toilet! I had an operationable bathroom at long last! Within just a few minutes of the floor being finished!

The day wasn't complete without a bit of mess to contend with here and there though.. but well worth it! Here's but a mere 36" x 36" patch of ick. This covered the entire kitchen. Some may think me crazy but I love these kinds of shots. It takes alot of fine workmanship to produce this.

And look what we created! When the team left, I couldn't even stand cleaning up the kitchen for one more moment for it was time to decorate a bathroom! I just had to go wash the newly completed bathroom floor and get it set up. I had it long planned out and had the hooks and ladder and mirror ready to finally be put in place. The pedistal sink Vic had stored in his barn (thanks too Gina!) so we put it to good use as well.

I LOVE this bathroom! It was one of the last remaining untouched rooms in the house. The transformation is breathtaking in every respect. It isn't quite done here and there but it's fully functional at this point. I'm thrilled to be using it!

Here's a little reminder what it use to look like. The huge vanity made the room feel twice as small as it removed so much visual space. Old uncleanable lino, cracked paint around the metal windows, and much more.

It is so fun to revisit that new bathroom again and again. When your surroundings are finally beautiful, I shake my head in wonderment. I can't wait to feel that way about the upcoming new kitchen... for now I'll enjoy all those beautiful bright lights.

The local firehall treated us to a hotdog/donut lunch which was just the ticket for the crew. They also indulged in cakes and such throughout the day.

It was a wonderful day, filled with extremely hard work, laughter and smiles. Renovating can't possibly get any better than that.

Thank-you everyone, for everything you do for this house and Cody and I. I can't WAIT to show off what was accomplished to Cody when he comes home tonite! And I'll have many new and wonderful stories at that to share with him. It was just a great day.

(more pics in the slideshow)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Reno, homework and baking chocolate cake (all at the same time)

I so so so wanted to get some of my bathroom tiles done today. I had a goal to have it done BY Saturday, somehow someway, so once Cody got home from school and my workday was done, I got right to work.

I had it all planned out. Cody would quietly do his homework at the kitchen table while I was able to hack away at my project. I'll cut the tile before dinner, then mortar after dinner. Yep, that'll happen.

Actually, nope, not quite. It started that way. And then Cody found the two boxes of chocolate cake mix I rarely buy. (my crappy oven burns stuff, that's my story and I'm totally sticking to it.. I have burnt cake to prove it tonight!)

Anyway, once his eyes laid on the cake boxes, he had to have one made pronto. Thinking quick, I promised him he could bake one AFTER his homework!

Well, I heard about that cake every 5 minutes. "Now mom?" "No." "Noww?" "Nooo..." NOWWW???" "NOOOOOO!!!!!!!!" "WHEN?" "If you ask me again before your homework is done, never!" "Never ever?" eeeeeeee... (apparently when you 'homework', you require alot of verbal breaks when mom is within earshot)

Now bear in mind, I've got my head stuffed with measurements while trying to cut tile to size in crazy places. A small room with many nooks and crannies is not what I'd regard as my first choice to want to tile a floor in. But it's all a lesson just the same. And if I want it, I gotta do it.

Ok, so the boy needs a break. I send him off to the tv for a few so I can rest my mom ears, and set back to work. It was dinnertime and I wanted to just get it at least all cut at this point.

I hear a ruckus in the kitchen. Cody is getting ready to bake his cake. He's FOUND (that's hard to do in this house right now) the mixmaster, bowls and beaters, and they don't reside all together in one cupboard. I'm amazed. He really wants that cake.

I go inspect. I have hearing protection on my ears, covered in tile dust, carrying a ruler and pencil and (another broken) tile, and I glance around the kitchen and sigh... now I know why he found all that stuff. He emptied every cupboard and drawer in order to do so with all doors still wide open. This house is so not pretty.

I send him back to his homework for that was the deal. Work, then bake. I just want to get these tiles cut, I really really do! My hopes are starting to dash that I won't get to the mortar stage at this point tonite.

I was never so happy to cut that last tile! (it took me 5 tries for a little triangle to be perfect) That's the only part about tiling I do not care for. Aiming for perfection and not getting it first try. Something else funky was at play. The tiles were starting to break at the end of the cuts... a new issue. And here I am with one more tile to cut...

"Mom I'm hungry!"

...and I can't get it!

And then I do. Happy happy joy joy... it's done!

Oh, and I have a wonderful tiling tip I made up. If you have a really odd shape you have to cut, lay down post it notes where that tile is going, shaped exactly how the tile would sit. Then slowly lift and stick it on a tile to trace. Worked every time!

So we celebrated the tile cutting completion with burnt chocolate cake. ("It's ok Mom, just cut the burnt off and eat in the middle.") That's my non fussy boy!

Tomorrow is mortar day. Saturday is grout day. If all goes according to plan of course.

Vic stopped in to check out the status of it all and helped me saw up the bathroom door. How does he do that? Just know when I need an extra set of hands? (maybe that's because I ALWAYS need an extra set of hands.. nahhhh, he's just good, that's all )

And I found Jake in the back of my garage sawing something for a bifold door! Cool...

This place is starting to get the feel of Dan's shop. Everyone likes going to Dan's because it's just fun making stuff there. I had always wished my place had that draw to it, and in it's own peculiar way, that is exactly what it's starting to feel like. That makes me smile.

So, thanks to Vic and Jake for their help tonite, Cody for pushing me on that cake aspect (will try not to burn next time, I think the oven was just in shock), and Dan for the grand use of his wet tile saw once again. And me for finally getting that floor cut!

Oh and about Cody's homework.. he was to make a poster for school about him. In one section alongside a hand drawn picture, he wrote, "It is the life living with my Mom."

Must have been that burnt cake that did it!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

No time to mope! Just replace it with hope!

Ok, what's going on here?!? I'm so ready to work on my reno homework daily, but life isn't cooperating one little bit.

My work is pouring through the woodwork. Everyone seems to need things yesterday. I'm trying to balance it but it's getting tricky.

Cody came home from school sick yesterday. He's back today in an iffy sort of way (anyone that starts their day on the trampoline by 7am is good to go for school I say) but I think it's my turn for the 24 hr whatever he had. Where I'm going to schedule in 'Sick Project' I have no idea.

I ordered my appliances yesterday! YES! A to-do crossed off by a simple phonecall and committment. Know what inspired that one? Rod the gas outfitter guy came by to run my gas line into the kitchen. Talk about calling the appliance place pronto to ensure I till NEED the gas line... Thanks Rod! So great to cross that off the ever growing list! And thanks for the push/reminder!

I've done more purging from the closets for the local thrift store when I had a spare 10 min here or there in between real life. You know when women say, "I don't have a thing to wear?" I think I invented that slogan because it had to have been derived from a truth somewhere. There's a whole lotta empty hangers in my closet. Not to mention 90% of what I do have left are paint clothes. I know Janette, we shall go shopping one day. I'll schedule it in right now... heh heh not. I'm the type that starts in Winners with high hopes but as soon as I see something in HomeSence, I leave shoe skid marks on the floor towards the other direction.

I guess I'll keep chipping away at the mountain of hope. Why is it when you're ready for full speed ahead, your plans shift?!? I don't have the answer to that one yet. So I'll take each day as it comes.

The pro to this? Life is relatively 'exciting'. No time to mope. Just a whole lotta time for hope.

Disclaimer: This post was made in total tongue and cheek reference. I am very blessed to have lots of work. I don't own 'nice clothes' out of pure choice, it's just not my current hobby. I'm blessed to have a healthy child, a good sound home with huge pending potential that is actually moving forward, and the greatest friends to help me continue to achieve in life. We are blessed indeed! Thanks to all that touch our lives every day in some small way. We 'hope' you'll stick around for many years to come!

Monday, September 22, 2008

No more excuses... I'm READY!

I fee like I've been in a deep sleep for awhile in regards to the home renos.

Work has been too steady for me to cheat and sneak some time into the house. The weather's been too nice to not have 'one last blast' at the campsite. We were busy attempting to maintain a new routine with school and sports back in full force.

Pick any excuse you wish for yes, they are indeed excuses. This past weekend wasn't even suppose to be nice and I went to the campsite anyway for the weekend instead of tiling the bathroom floor... what does that tell you?!?

Ok, I do have to sneak off to the campsite at least one more night to fully winterize the trailer. I'm relying on a friend there to help me out utilizing his compressor so I'll try and time my jaunt with his schedule if possible...

But 'nuff about that! My work is nearly caught up to the point of being able to 'cheat' during the day and giving the house my time again. School is running nicely, homework is getting done, sports are organized and scheduled... and yes, the weather is too lousy to camp in. LOL

This week I'll order my kitchen. I'll order my appliances. I'll hack away at my floor. (and Deadline Vic is back... gasp... I need to get to work!!)

I'm going to do all these things. It's time for this beautiful home to finally imerge.

This Saturday a group is to come by and get some to-do's crossed off the long tiring list. I really appreciate the company! It's alot more fun working alongside others, I indeed admit!

And I have this sneaking suspicion, when we get going, it'll be hard to stop this time...

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Another blog on the go

I soooo know the renos are about to start full force again soon! Summer holidays are history and slowly the dust will rise once again.

Until then, I found myself going off topic alot on this blog. So yessiree, those that just can't get enough of my ramblings can visit another divison of them for anything NOT reno related.

I just downloaded lots of Harrison pics I've yet to write about. What an amazing time we have there.

And I'll be honest. As much as I love my leisure time with my Harrison neighbours, I'm starting to get charged for more upcoming new things happening at the homestead!

Stay tuned!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Cody's new hobby when camping, and sneaky workmen

Our favourite campground has a slough running on 2 sides of it and a ton of canoes begging to be used.

Cody decided he wanted to go canoeing one day so off we went getting fitted for lifejackets. We two orange beings then waddled off to the dock (big lifejackets just make you feel like waddling) and watched John the owner get us set up. He was holding the canoe waiting for Cody to enter but for some reason Cody didn't listen to the instruction of STEP IN THE MIDDLE. It wasn't happening. The canoe tipped to the side and I exclaimed, "What's wrong?!?"


Ah. Something I can fully relate to. Yeah, it was big and nasty looking and crawling towards Cody, excited for his company. That ended that. There was NO WAY I was going to enter a canoe with unstable emotions flying. Cody's last words.. "I'M NEVER GOING INTO A CANOE AGAIN!" lol...

Fast foward to this weekend. Norm, our awesome campground neighbour was shooting slingshots with the boys in the campground. A can shot into the swamp and Norm wanted to retrieve it via canoe and Cody wanted to go with him. I snickered when Cody informed me, "Mom, Nick's Dad is taking me in a canoe to get a can!" I'm thinkin', yeah.. whatever. Minutes later, this is what I spotted in the slough.

Of course overly proud mom had to dash for her camera! Word has it that Cody was overheard saying to Norm, "Is the canoe clean?" Thanks Norm! Major major move for Cody!

Next thing you know, Cody wants to go in the canoe again. With me. It's been years. Well, I don't even remember BEING in a canoe. So I was somewhat nervous with Cody's last spider adventure. I wanted to pass but Cody wouldn't have it. And honestly, I wanted to conqour my own fears and do something new anyway, so I hesitantly agreed to go for it.

So off we went. That particular day, Cody was somewhat a force to be reckoned with. His way or no way. And a canoe in the middle of a slough is no place to battle wits and go into timeouts and try to figure out how to move forward and not backward. So we made it to shore, but I told myself it would be quite awhile before I tried THAT again.

Well, seems Cody had a change of heart overnight and agreed to listen to some mom kinda common sense about rowing. After all, Nick's Dad couldn't be in charge if he wasn't in the boat... LOL (yes Norm, filling your shoes was a major move)

So we talked about how we could work together better. And no tempers allowed in the water! It went like an absolute dream. Dreamy enough for pics too! We went out a few times together and even the owner commented that we were really coming along with those paddle moves...

I can see canoeing to be a wonderful new adventure for us, watching wildlife, being inspired by the beauty around us, working together and succeeding our mission and doing it well. And, just doing it because it's something really cool to do!

What does this have to do with sneaky workmen you ask? We came home from camping today to a garage door wide open and electrical stuff all over. Rich, Vic and Pete smile as I drive in. Seems I have some new working plugs and lights! And a little humiliation. Poor Vic unloaded some of my kitchen cabinets and that is not a job I'd wish on anyone! Thanks guys! I had been thinking about the kitchen stuff the entire weekend and it was pretty cool to come home to something major completed.

Lessons learned today:

1. Row at the same time or you start to spin and argue.

2. Don't believe Rich when he pretends to call from Pete's house.

3. Vic will in time rename our dog for good, to Rover. Get over it Jenna, it works!

4. Smile and appreciate those around you that enhance your life. And thank them. Guys, and Cody, you men ROCK!