So we are in the process of yet more fun home renovations. Our downstairs bathroom ceiling finally caved in under a slow water leak during the one big snowstorm we got this year. Now the downstairs bathroom has been torn out and we are having it expanded and redone. So we are sadly back to only one bathroom again.
Archive for the 'House Work' Category
So the work on our upstairs bathroom is coming along, though it’s taking longer than I’d like. That however seems to be the norm in regards to this housework. We got the floors redone, and the walls painted, and now the baseboards are going back up. We are leaving the brick chimney exposed, rather than plaster it back up, as it adds to the rustic charm. The bathroom has been wired and the plumbing is in, so now all we need is the fixtures installed. Unfortunately the upstairs won’t be done in time for John’s brother, who returns in about two weeks. I’m not sure how long he will be here, I believe it’s only for a weekend, but I’m sure it will result in a story or two. Right now all the furniture upstairs is actually in the guest room where his brother stays. If we don’t get things done and out in time then he will have to stay with his mother, which will lead to major drama. Grab your popcorn kiddies!
In other news, I just went back to Pennhurst with a friend for another investigation there. I haven’t had time to review all my recordings, but it was a fun night. It was also a freezing night, as it was the weekend of the freak cool down and the tempts dropped into the twenties and started to snow on us. We did hear a kid crying at one point during the night, and a lot of our little electronic gadgets went off in a few places. We plan on going back this summer when it’s much warmer. This weekend however we have an investigation in at a B&B that we are staying in. It should be fun!
In the meantime, check out the photos of the house, and some blurry photos of some of our gadgets going off at Pennhurst below.
So February is over, and I’m very glad. I decided to use “the month of love” to basically be about getting healthier. I converted to being a vegetarian again, which I was for 7 years once. It was only supposed to be a month long challenge, and believe it or not I succeeded!
Truth be told, I don’t know if I really feel any different, and I didn’t lose much weight at all. That’s likely due to the sodium in some vegetarian products, along with me eating too many carbs. Half way through the month I did my best to alter my carbs by changing to mainly flatbreads, flax breads and other hearty high fiber breads by Udi. Udi is best known as gluten free, but I wanted them for the flax/chia/hearty grains more than anything. I did try and make my own flax bread, which was gross. I will say the overload of fiber did not play well with my tummy for a large part of the month. I’m sure though it helped with my blood pressure and cholesterol issues.
I’m not sure I’m sticking with the veggie thing. In fact given the amount of frozen chicken and other non-veggie things in my freezer, I’m pretty sure I’m at least going to eat that up rather than throw money out the window. John won’t eat it, and it’s mainly small high protein portion controlled sizes from Personal Trainer Food, which is amazing by the way One thing I also did that I am going to try and stick to is I completely cut out soda, diet and non-diet. I have to say that was hard, and I noticed that I’ve never craved sweets as much as I do right now. John has this bowl of chocolates which I normally don’t care about at all, but I went to town on it a little too much this month. I definitely have to curb that for sure.
So in other news, the upstairs is coming along. I’ve thrown some more photos for updates in. A lot of insulation has been put in upstairs, and with access to all the walls elsewhere it’s been piped down to the manifold as well. Our house was from the age where they didn’t insulate, and it was noticeable in the dead cold of winter and the insane heat of the summer. It’s a lot nicer now. It will be nicer when the bathroom is done though. Then they will start the renovations on the main floor bathroom though . . .
The current joke is our contractor is basically Eldin from “Murphy Brown.” He will be here for nine seasons working on this house
So I love snow, I really do. Now I don’t live in an area that gets inundated with it every winter, which is why I likely love it. When I was a kid we got at least 2 or 3 good snows each winter, enough for great sledding. That’s what I remember about snow, the fun I had as a kid. Now as an adult I appreciate the quiet in brings, and seeing the dogs have fun in it. I won’t lie, if I had a hill near me, I’d so be sledding. However the last countless winters, with last year as the exception, we’ve gotten little to no snow. In some cases it was 65 in January. That’s crazy! So the lack of snow for so many years has also fueled my love of the white stuff. You can imagine my disappointment when the blizzard of the century, the historic storm they talked up and down we were supposed to get last week, turned out to be a dud for us. I was planning to be stuck inside for days, but nothing came of it. At this point I’m just hoping for one good snow before Spring is here.
In other news, construction on a second bathroom upstairs has begun. I actually felt we should wait till spring for this, but I was out-voted. Construction started during the blizzard that never happened, and it involved dormering out. While we didn’t get snow, it was still cold as hell with a large hole in our second floor. Fortunately construction has speed along and it’s not so bad upstairs anymore, except when it gets frigid outside and the wind whips up. The upstairs bathroom will have a shower stall, toilet and sink/vanity combo. It will mainly be for guests, and night time necessity. Once in the bathroom downstairs will get it’s much needed makeover. We are expanding it into one of the bedrooms downstairs which gets no use. It will still be a good space, enough for the small office I keep meaning to turn it into. Our new bathroom will have double sinks, a lot of cabinet space, a toilet obviously, and a nice big tub/shower combo. I’m still not sure as to how that one is going to work yet given the tub John wants to buy. It’s some sonic tub that sends your music through the water as sonic pulses and turns the whole tub into a speaker system. I keep telling him “and what happens when it inevitably breaks?”
So it’s a new year, how time flies. While 2014 wasn’t the worst year in recent memory, it wasn’t the best. We lost Moo Kitty and Galahad last year, and Bunny Poo Poo needed an expensive operation. He’s at least okay now.
Christmas was good and bad. It turned out the cold I couldn’t shake developed into pneumonia. Fun! While at the urgent care to get treated John picked up the flu virus. Thankfully we both got good drugs and are recovered just in time for our vacation. We are headed out on our cruise soon, so as usual watch my Instagram and my Tumblr blog for photo updates. We are going on the newest Royal Caribbean ship The Quantum of the Seas.
Finally some house renovations inside are going on. Work is starting on our bathroom renovations, even though I wanted to hold on that until it was a tad warmer. We are looking into finally possibly putting a small bathroom in upstairs and then later expanding our main floor bathroom. Yes we are moving on up, a two bathroom house! Mind you this house was constructed in 1914 when one bathroom was a bonus.
That’s all for now. Stay tuned for some more fun updates!
Oh yeah . . . it’s 2015, so where’s my damn hoverboard?
So as usual, it seems we’ve almost entirely skipped Fall and headed straight into Winter. The cold weather and wind is here, and it sucks. I am however counting my lucky stars that we didn’t get the snow hitting north and west of us. Still, these are late December and January temps we have going on, not Mid-November! Brrrr! This winter is gunna suck. I should stock up on cocoa now.
Thankfully the work on outside of our house is almost all but finished. The only thing left is to re-seal our roof. But the new windows make it nice and toasty inside, and no wind is coming in through cracks anymore either. The garage is being revamped now. Unfortunately the back-yard fence hasn’t gone up because of issues that had to be tended to first out there. It likely won’t go up until the spring sadly. I really could have used that backyard on nights like these. I do like walking the dogs in the snow though, because they enjoy it so much.
I finally got Halloween down on the outside of the house. However I’ve left it up inside and I really don’t care! It’s the “Nightmare Before Christmas” village, and it can just stay up until I get Christmas out as far as I’m concerned. Thanksgiving is around the corner and I have no idea what our plans are yet. I need to find out if I have to cook. We have been invited to my friends, so we may just do that.
I’ve done a few more paranormal investigations, but haven’t really had a chance to go over anything yet. I hope to do a few more before years end as well. So expect some posts about those soon.
In other news, someone on the web host I’m on did some bad things, and a lot of major email servers have blacklisted mail coming from my server. I’m working to fix that, but that has resulted in the blog subscriptions bouncing back since around June for many. Oopsie! Yeah I just logged into that email and saw them all. After this post goes live I will have a new subscription service in place. So you can re-subscribe below under the comment form or from the link on the front page. I’m going to also port over the old subscriptions when I get a chance.
So our big ole ditch out back finally has been filled in with all sorts of high-tech draining system stuff, and they are onto bricking over the ugly cinderblock wall. Unfortunately because it was so wet this whole week, they didn’t get far. Sadly the week coming up doesn’t look much better. Apparently it’s not good to do masonry work when it’s raining or to moist out, it is bad for the mortar.
In the photos below you can see the start of what is planned. Hopefully they will make a dent in this work tomorrow before all the severe storms move in. The pillars you see here will all have some kind of lights/lanterns on the top.
Were the wall bends in is where our new bluestone patio is going. This will also wrap around the backside of the house where our back door is. The indentation is going to be my grilling area, and eventually I hope to get some kind of table and chairs to put out there so we can enjoy the patio.
We are also working on getting some new bushes put in soon. So much of the brush and trees had to be removed, really exposing the back of our house to the street. We are hoping to put something back as a shield, not just for privacy but especially for the noise from the road.
One thing we really need back though is our A.C.. They took this out in order to grade the land for water and dig all the ditches. Unfortunately one of the reason we are getting storms this week is the heat is soaring into the mid-to-upper 80s. We have several windows open now to create a breeze, but it’s also bringing in the dreaded pollen. It seems like every year right when we need the A.C., we don’t have it for some reason or another!
So spring is finally here, and our house is actually coming along. The contractor is back to working on the outside, thank God! Come fall or winter of next year we are looking to redo our kitchen and bathroom. After last year, I am going to stress that this should happen AFTER the holidays. I want to be able to get decorations up in a timely fashion and without fear of breakage this year.
Right now they are working on our patio and side wall that will also include a French drain to carry water away from our house. The patio is going to be done in bluestone. It will also include short pillars with lights/lanterns on them. I don’t know what the whole thing will look like, the final design hasn’t been set in stone . . . except for the bluestone on the ground. There may be a pergola and backsplash put up for me to put my grill in front of to guard from the wind, which always comes from that direction.
I took the below photos this weekend when it was nice out. They actually did a lot more work since I took these, but the weather turned horrible these past few days and I haven’t had a chance to take new ones. I’ll try and do that this weekend or next week for an update.
First up, the bushes in the front of our house got a massive trim, especially the one on the left. The purple walkway is being replaced. I put these old doormats down during halloween to cover all the cords for the lights so that nobody tripped on them and sued us. We are going to use the large stones from our old back porch to make a staggered sidewalk out front. I’ll just have to post photos to explain, but think of the chains made from stick gum wrappers . . . if you remember those things. Here I’ll just add a photo to the left!
The black goop on our house walls in the one photo is what has been applied all over to seal the foundation so that water will stop leaking into our basement. So far so good! Well except for yesterday when we got 5+ inches of rain in 24 hours. We had a very tiny bit of water in the basement, but nothing like the flood we would have had. We also had a nasty back-up with our septic system, but that has been cleaned up and we don’t need to talk about that crap
My garden area looks a little bit better than it does below. The giant pile of dirt is gone, but that’s about it. If you’ve followed me, you’ll also notice the entire fence around that area is gone too. I am hoping to do something with that area and have things planted by mid-May. I have told the contractor I must be able to garden, as it is comforting to me. Most of my friends, and even John, think it’s silly since I live on a farm and can just go pick whatever I want from the fields. I always say “That’s not the point! I want to grow it myself!” I like growing my own veggies, though I don’t like the yearly battles with the critters. This year though the groundhog holes got filled up completely and covered with rocks, a lot of rocks. I hope they don’t return!
The porch is almost entirely finished, aside from the one end shown in this photo. They haven’t fit the railing on there because of the giant vine growing. That’s John’s precious wisteria plant, which he has agreed to cut finally. It runs up to the very top of the tree to the right of our house, and the only wisteria that blossoms seems to be at the very top of it . . . which is so high you can’t even really appreciate it.
The other photos are mainly of the retaining wall they’ve been building to redirect rainwater and runoff away from the house. It looks ugly in these photos, but it will be covered with a nice brick facade eventually. This is partially where our new back/side porch will be as well. They’ve actually filled all the trenches in these photos in.
The house still needs a final coat of paint, the roof then needs to be tended to, and finally they have to finish with all the window trim.
While they take care of that this summer, I have to work on organizing the inside of the house a bit better. I finally bought some new dressers, I just have to clean out the old ones, chuck them, and move the new ones into the downstairs rooms. Next up at some point will be a new desk for the room that will be my office! This way I’m not sitting and working in the dining room area . . . where I’ve been for the past 12 years.
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.
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.