Archive for the 'House Work' Category

Spring . . . It
 

photo So we are experiencing lovely “Spring-Like” temps right now, but it won’t last. This coming Thursday . . . snow is possible. Then next Monday and Tuesday . . . more possible snow. I don’t think Spring is EVER coming! Now I love snow, but I’m at my limits. I want the yard done so I can start planting grass and working in my garden areas.

On an up note, the nice weather we have been having has allowed our contractor to get a lot of work done outside. The front porch is ALMOST done. We also have the final new window in the attic/crawl space, as well as the boards sanded down up there. It still needs some paint. Now all that will be left is final coats and of course all the window trims.

My old garden area by the garage is getting a facelift. They are tearing down the fence there, which really makes the yard look bigger. With a large tree gone out back, and more smaller ones to be taken down, we are now getting a lot more sun. I may be able to move my garden elsewhere this year. Oh and the best part yet, they filled in all the groundhog holes! I’m not sure that will last though.

Soon they will be working on a French drain on the side of the house to stop basement water issues. The back porch area is now being disputed. The built in grill is out, we couldn’t seem to agree on anything (we being John and myself, he was being ornery about what kind of grill . . . as if he would even use it), and I got fed up and just nixed it all. I have my small charcoal grill I like, and I may get a small gas grill I’ve had my eye on since last summer. I have now suggested a smaller porch area and a large fenced in area at the back door and side of the house for the dogs to be outside and safely unsupervised. Being able to let the dogs out and have them hang out outside as long as they want seems to be a better deal anyways.

Home Renovations Continue
 

So we are coping without Moo Kitty. I picked up his ashes this week, to be added to our collection. Our vet now makes a cute little plaster paw print like little kids do with their hands in pre-school. It’s so adorable! To be honest, none of the other animals miss him. He was a mean mofo and was a cat that really needed to be in a one pet home. He loved his humans, but he hated the other animals and was mean and bullied them. None of them seem to be morning him. That actually makes me sad to think about.

As I can’t dwell on Moo forever, I am typing this as I’m watching the Olympics and waiting for the latest Snowpocalypse to hit. Actually it’s moved in right now as I’m editing this post. So the point of this post was to finally share some photos of the work on our house. They’ve done as much on the inside as they can for now, and have moved back to working on the outside. Yeah, bad timing! They won’t be back till next week I’m sure.

Our new kitchen nook is “almost” done. We have walls, we have paint going down to the basement and we have lights. We are missing our new sky light, but that is pretty much because of weather at this point. We did get some much needed cabinets and more counter space . . . YES! That’s what I wanted more than anything. However these are all temporary. These cabinets, pictured below, will go into our brand newly refurbished and cleaned out basement area when we finally begin renovations on the rest of the kitchen. I’ll post some photos on the basement area soon enough, or you can visit my instagram link and see some early photos. The final cabinets that will go into the kitchen nook will match what we pick for the rest of the kitchen, when we redo it. We also only have a temporary floor in the nook, as we are waiting until the final renovations for it as well.

I will say that John picked the color. He was set on this lighter chartreuse color. Why I don’t know! I guess it will grow on me. I hope . . . Everyone on Facebook of course loves it.

Something New Every Day!
 

So the work on the house continues, as does our cleaning house and getting stuff thrown out that needs to go. We are making great progress with the cleaning, the housework is coming along too . . . just not as fast as I would like. It seems like everyday the plans get bigger and more things torn up. Apparently I am being told on an as need basis at this point so I don’t get too stressed and flip out :)

Case in point, I found out that in order to put the new back door in, the whole landing had to come out, and suddenly we were getting all new steps and some closets built in the basement where the laundry room is. This was apparently going to happen perhaps when we were on vacation, so as not to inconvenience us. I thought it might be better to do it while we were here, so we could watch over the cats, who normally go into the basement to eat, pee and poop. Well apparently it all got ripped out today!

Our yearly vacation is coming up soon, and the workers will continue to work while we are gone. I’m just choosing to believe we will come home to so much having been finished. I know that’s a fairytale :)

Christmas Gone, New Year Almost Here!
 

So this wasn’t the happiest of holiday seasons. I had just put up the tree, spent HOURS rethreading new lights into The Pink Nightmare’s pre-light madness to get dark sections to work, dragged all the boxes up from the basement when . . . . the houseworkers who went on hiatus returned! They tore out every window to put the new ones in, which meant gaining access outside and inside to the windows, which mean major moving of things including the Christmas tree. I just had it and put the tree away and took everything back downstairs. Things were getting broken left and right, I was not gunna let Christmas get ruined anymore than it had been by them breaking ornaments or the Baby Jesus!

Then they decided to take out the giant kitchen window, tear the walls down (which meant packing up the entire kitchen and moving things elsewhere) and that’s where we are now. Yes they were gone for weeks and decided that two weeks before Christmas was the opportune time to do all this. Hey I had nothing to do! Sure I can just take time out to pack up half the house, forget decorating. No trouble at all, not like you couldn’t have done this all say . . . when it was still warm out!

Anyways, below is some of the progress on the kitchen nook which is being redone . . . Oh a skylight is going in where there is no dry-wall in the one photo.

So there was some issues as to where we would even be for Christmas, but we did manage to drive down to my mom’s Christmas Eve night. My mom had to have a new water heater installed that day, and apparently the workers there did not bother to close her back gate. We arrived at 10pm, it was dark, I didn’t think the gate would be open and couldn’t see it either. So at about 10:30 Christmas Eve . . . Nikko and Ebbie go missing from the backyard! After walking up and down the street calling them, Ebbie came back. She ended up at the back door barking to be let in, or at least responding to our calls. Nikko was another story. We walked for an hour with Princess and Ebbie on leashes, hoping they’d draw him out. Then we drove in the car even further. NOTHING. I was about to just burt into tears. I had given up, he was not going to be found tonight, so we were on our way back home when my mom called. At about midnight, she found him . . . . directly across the street. He knew he did bad and had been hiding out the whole time. The little shit! I was just so relieved to have him back safe and sound at that point. He knew he did bad though, as his ears were down the whole night without me even having to say anything. He also insisted on sleeping with me/us, when normally he and Princess always sleep with my mom. He stayed by my feet the whole night.

While I was going back and forth between Virginia and NJ before Xmas, John did decorate our tree. We put it back up eventually, and he did it while I was gone. On the 23rd I put out some minimal decorations, pictured below. It’s no where near what I normally do, but with the amount of banging and disruption I didn’t need stuff getting broken. I was already in a foul mood, if they broke the Baby Jesus I would have flipped shit!

We are now in the process of cleaning up the house. This FINALLY includes throwing away crap that needs to be thrown out, the basement and the two rooms on the first floor that will be my study and a new guest room.

Happy New Year! 2013 SUCKED . . .

Thanksgiving Time
 

I can’t believe Thanksgiving is almost here. Where has the year gone? Honestly the last thing I wanna think about is cooking a bunch of food and eating it. For the last 2+ weeks I’ve been sicker than I can remember being in years. A nasty cold turned into a nasty bacterial infection of the nose and lungs. Fun! I’m finally on the mend, but the antibiotics I got put on are ripping my insides apart. It’s been a long time since I’ve been on antibiotics, but I never remember my stomach hurting this bad from them! Must be one of those joys of getting old. So food just isn’t on my radar right now, and hasn’t been for 2 weeks.

However, I likely will end up cooking. I not only have to make John something to eat, but it looks like we have to feed and entertain his brother as well. I’m sure there will be some stories to tell about that. I need to make a new category. “Shit John’s brother says.” Before I knew we had him, I was pondering just going out to eat. Blaspheme I know, but I’ve never been a big fan of Thanksgiving dinner. The only part I like is the stuffing :) I don’t even like the pies. Pumpkin and pecan pie, no thank you!

In other news, our house repairs have slowed to a crawl. I am assuming it’s because the weather has turned bitterly cold. We have a bunch of new storm windows sitting in our garage and new doors are expected any day now. I would personally like to see these go up sooner rather than later. They took all our old storm windows down so now we are just sending heat out the windows! Hell, they still haven’t finished painting the house and our porch is still unfinished. Yeah, getting a little annoyed :)

Noise Polution
 

Ahhhhh! I feel so bad. It’s been a month since I blogged! Well, here is an entry on our house repairs . . . . which need to get moving!

Our garage has been completely emptied of the crap John hoarded in there for years. LOVE IT! Though now it’s their workshop, so we can’t park in there. I actually want them to do the basement if possible :) They also got rid of all the trees and brush on the side of the garage, which I’ve been trying to get rid of for over a year now. We had trees that John cut down as they got too big, but then he left them and weeds grew all over them. They also mowed the woods down on the side of our house too (not pictured). We haven’t had the tree that needs to go removed yet though. We are getting a new porch with a built in fireplace grill for me. Yay!

Some of these I took this weekend, some I ran out this evening and took. They’ve really sanded off all the old paint from most of the front and one side of the house now, as well as dismantled the entire front porch. They haven’t really been here since before Memorial Day, but now seem to be back daily doing work.

Today I was asked “So when do you normally start putting up decorations for Halloween?” I gave them a look . . . Their response was “Uhhhhh October 1st?” I said yes, let’s go with that . . . I should be getting reading NOW! I had planned for things to go up this weekend, but I have no porch! I’m going to work with the yard areas I guess and do the porch later.

I do have to say, the sanding of the house, and hammering on it, is LOUD! There is no sleeping in anymore, as the dogs just bark and bark at them when they get to work early in the morning. Right now I’m battling some insomnia, so I’m not appreciating that. However if they get that damn porch done by October 1st, it will be worth it.

Oh, in one of the pictures (bottom left) you can see the new color of the house. There was a test splotch put up. It’s a darker blue-grey rather than the light grey it was.

House Repairs!
 

First, sorry for not posting sooner! So if you couldn’t tell from my Instagram photos or tumblr blog, we are finally getting some much needed house repairs. Long story we don’t need to advertise as to why John finally bit the bullet to do all this :) Expect a butt-load of my photos to be documenting this work-in-progress!

So what are we having done? So far they’ve power washed the roof, are fixing the chimneys, and are making roof repairs. After that it is painting the house. I will be suggesting they do the front first, so they don’t interfere with my annual halloween decorating of course. We are having at least one tree by the side of the house removed (I’d like a few more, but tree removal doesn’t come cheap), all the saplings cut down, the the ivy removed (as much as they can), and a new porch/patio out back built. We are looking at some kind of built in stone stove/grill for me as well. If we could only work in a Jacuzzi!

I’m hopefully going to also convince them to do some other yard waste removal as well. We shall see. Namely the trees John cut down by the side of the garage and LEFT there, which have become a haven for weeds this very wet summer.

Summer Cleaning! Since I Skipped Spring Cleaning
 

So the past few days I spent way too much time searching for things that I couldn’t figure out where they were. I have way to many drawers of “crap” where things could be. And the overflow of crap in cabinets and other places has hit epic levels. I’ve decided if I can clean out one drawer, or one pile of crap, or a portion of a closet every day, then by the end of the summer I will have made huge progress “de-hoarding” this house. Game on!

In other news, John has someone looking into house painters. The house needs to be repainted badly, and to do that also means removing the vines and other crap that’s grown up all over it. I’ve tried each summer to tackle this, but it’s totally out of hand now. Hopefully this means someone other than me will finally remove it all and keep it from coming back!

PS . . . John is way worse of a hoarder than I am, my issue is I just saved way to many computer parts and boxes and since most are now totally obsolete it’s pretty easy to toss them or take them to the place they need to go for recycling!

Summer Solstice: It
 

Summer is officially here, and it has brought the first heat wave for our area. Something tells me this is going to be another scorcher of a summer, especially since we had no winter at all.

With the heat on, I’m pretty much over yard work at this point. I got my side gardens started and some flowers finally growing. Now I just have to hope they don’t become food for critters as they usually do. I also got grass growing where there was nothing but a few patches of crab grass. Take that John! He didn’t think I’d get it to grow in the shady areas, but I did. It just took a raking up several inches of rotting leaves and branches, and a lot of seeding and re-seeding. There are still a few bare patches, but I’m hoping they will fill in eventually.



The only thing I didn’t get to was the side of the house where I have a million saplings to cut down. I’ll wait till a nice cool day to do that. Plus I’ll need to put on pants, socks over the pants cuff, and deep woods myself to keep ticks away . . . then scrub myself with poison ivy scrub afterwards to be safe. Not something I’m itching to do right now.

Oh . . . my first tomatoes are growing too! I am also trying peppers this year in the garden as well. So far that plant doesn’t seem to be growing very much.

Now it’s time to finally move onto some house work I’ve had on my list for the past three years: the two downstairs guest rooms. At this point I think the only thing I’ll get done is packing up stuff, moving it to the basement, and throwing out or donating a lot of other stuff. If I can get that done, then I know what John’s project for his time off in the winter can be . . . helping me actually make those two rooms into real rooms. They both need a repaint, and he just loves picking out paints for rooms. Plus we’ll need to probably go furniture shopping at some point for some more book shelves, a desk and a new dresser.

It
 

So I finally went out and tilled the land in my garden area. Last year I planted tomato plants in above ground pots and in a topsy turvey planter (which finally dry rotted and needs to be trashed). This year I might try a few in the actually ground and see how they fair. I have a few new topsy turvys to use as well. I killed all the weeds a few weeks ago, and finally removed them the other day. I think this weekend should be safe to plant!

I am also trying to “repair” parts of our yard. Over the years weeds took over, and grass died out. I really just want to call a landscaper up, but I’m not working thing summer (by choice), so that’s not another bill I need right now. Plus the satisfaction of doing it myself is something I’d also like. I can do other things than just kill plants . . . . John! There are however piles of crap/branches and trees John sawed down this winter than do need to be carted off, and those will require hiring someone.

This past winter we finally got my old bed out of one of the spare rooms and down to my mom who wanted it for her guest room. That has cleared up a lot of space in that room. John also went through some of his crap piled up in there, and cleaned many parts of the basement out over his break. So one of the other tasks to do this summer (which was in fact on the list for LAST summer) is to get both rooms downstairs cleaned out and organized! One will be a guest room, the other is going to be a study for me to do work and store my books, DVDs, video games, etc . . . . I however need to buy a new dresser for my clothes (the one in there is falling apart), pack up a ton of stuff and move into the basement, and of course throw a ton more of stuff out . . . oh and paint one of the rooms.

Hmmm, something tells me a lot of this still won’t be done till next summer! I will try my best. As I said, with the rooms opened up, it’s a lot easier. Also ONE of the people storing stuff in our basement has actually expressed an interest in coming to collect it finally. That’s progress. John told me “See, aren’t you glad you didn’t throw it out?” Actually no, because I could have told the person “Oh I thought you forgot about it, it’s been years!”

I have other things to blog about. But since I have so few to blog about these days, I’ll save it for later. That and I don’t want to jinx things!