Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Look Dad...it's a Craftsman!

So the lawn was getting a little out of control, it was time to purhase a lawn mower (or a hay bailor at the rate we were going). We were heading up to Portland to get an AWESOME vanity (just wait till the house is done...you'll see if in the 'finished' photos!) from a guy on 'craigslist'. So we found a couple other things. Got a great deal on a brand new mower (in the box) from a guy that bought it but then moved into an apartment. Then we made a third stop to get a ceiling fan someone was selling. We've saved a ton getting the house fixtures like this! Anyway Joe got busy plastering (whats new) and Myra mowed part of the lawn with our new self propelled mower. Its great...and it's a Craftsman (Dad will be proud).

They're bbbaaaaaaacccckkkk!

So I can't really say why, but Jeremy and Carri and John and Sarah all came back again this weekend to help us with the house! Jeremy & Carri on Friday night, and John & Sarah on Saturday. Let's see, Friday we got a whole lot of random stuff day, a few plaster touch ups and then Jeremy put a second coat on some of the living room walls. Carri was busy getting the contact paper out of the drawers (better her than me!). We started refinishing a kitchen lamp we found at a resale store and then started sanding the kitchen cabinet frames. It was a long night.

Saturday we got back into painting (living room and kitchen cabinets). We had a whole bunch of things we crossed off the list, thanks to the help. Painting, plastering, removing paint from the cabinet hinges, relocating a light fixture, and then plaster, plaster, plaster...will it never end! Don't ask why Sarah's enthralled with the brush...I really don't know ---------->

John was getting a little unsettled so we sent him out to relieve frustration by ripping down the old fence!

We wouldn't be nearly as far as we are without friends! CLICK HERE for more pics from this weekend.

We spent the rest of the night sanding and plastering. Joe was opening up some of the cracks so that there was more surface area for the plaster to stick too, but when Myra walked in she was a bit suprised.

When Irish Eyes Are Smilin'

I forgot to post something OTHER than the house from last weekend. We took a short break to celebrate St. Patricks Day with our Young Marrieds group. Joani organized a great meal of corned beef, potatoes, and cabbage....oh and Mt. Dew! We could only stay for a little bit, then it was back to HW (yep even on Sat. night). Luckily we had some good stuff to wear (we were told everyone was dressing up...jokes on us!) that was leftover from a failed attempt to New Orleans 6 years ago! Remember that Shelley?

Thursday, March 22, 2007


The electrician came out this week to relocate the service (why did they install it there in the first place if it wasn't within code!!) and to replace the old fuses with circuit breakers. We were having a few switched put in too and then we are going to install some GFCI's and three-prong outlets ourselves. Although when we went to run the wires we found out that not only our exterior walls are cinder block (read below for when we found that out!! Its kind of rare for the wood-rich Pacific NW) but the lots of the interior walls are too! All-in-all....we live in a bomb shelter! Makes it hard to recess an outlet or an electric panel in the wall doesn't it. Surprises just keep coming, but so far nothing bad, just interesting so we're thankful for that!

Can't wait to see what we get done this weekend!

Dan & Natalie come for a day of PaInTiNg

We can't really say why we decided to move towards painting some of the rooms except we want it to have time to cure before we starting redoing the floors and filling the house with dust. The living/dining space was all patched and retuxtured so we started to paint (makes us feel like we're actually getting things ready to move-in too!). It all started by painting our walls pink...its all the rage these days.

JUST KIDDING, thats just a tinted primer so that the eventual crimson color will look like it should. Throughout the weekend and some of this week we got the ceilings painted in the living/dining room, hallway and guest room, and the walls in the living/dining room and entryway. Progress in baby steps. Thankfully our friends Dan & Natalie came and helped us out on Sunday! Thanks guys!!!!!

Raise the roof ...

Well we've been doing lots since we had time to post yet. Myra's been sanding, preping, and priming all the kitchen cabinets (it didn't seem like so many when they were still hangin'). Joe's been getting a lot of practice in patching plaster cracks and holes and taking many attempts to match the original wall texture -- a rather impossible task.

We spent lots of time the other weekend trying to repair the ceiling in the small (blue) bedroom. There was a sag in the one corner where the plaster & backing (theres actually no lathe; just a thick cardboard backing) pulled away from the ceiling joists. After many trips up and down from the attic and pulling away the insulation we found the spot and used plaster washers and drywall screws to lift it back into place. It worked fairly well, except we were limited in where we could reattach it (i.e the joists are on 16" centers). So theres still a little bulge but nothing like it was. Now its time to plaster over the cracks we made and over the plaster washers! Lets hope it works!


So we set out to find ourselves some mold. At least we were preparing ourselves for it. The one corner of the house where things are a little 'shifted' had a hint of mold in one small space on the wall under the wall paper. So we starting chipping away so that if it was dry rot, we could fix it. We chipped, and chipped, and chipped...and found concrete. The house is cinder block, sandwiched by stucco and plaster. Interesting ...

On to the bathroom. A small section of wall under the closet and adjacent to the tub was molded too. So we starting tearing out the plaster and thankfully it was only surface mold, the plaster wasn't wet on the inside. Hurrah! So all in all, demo was a success and a relief! I couldn't get Myra to stop puching holes in the wall -- too much stress I guess.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Thank God for friends (i.e suckers who help us work!)

First Jeremy and Carri, now John and Sarah, we'll have this done in no time! John & Sarah (& Linus!!) came down for a day of fun this weekend. John was mostly stuck ripping off the last remaining pieces of wallpaper in the small bedroom and Sarah was taking off cabinets for HOURS! Our realtor (Melanie Marshall) also stopped by to drop off a nice housewarming gift! Things are really coming along.

Linus got a little bored, guess next time we'll have to put him to work.

Here's some more pics...
March 3

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

What lies beneath ....

So on Friday we started our demolition. Our friends Jeremy and Carri (our first guests!) came over to see the house and got stuck ripping down wallpaper for hours! Thanks guys!

They started on the bathroom and it wasn't long until they had the place paper, fixture, and lighting free! They also stumbled upon quite a find. The wall behind the toilet looked like it was the bathroom stall in a middle school, just covered in graffiti. The comments on the wall even dated back to Nixon. Myra's favorite saying though was "Never graffiti with your feeti!"

Don't worry Myra and I did some of the work too. By the end of the night the four of us got most of the way through the three rooms that had wallpaper (actually multiple layers of wallpaper and paint overtop)

We worked the rest of the weekend too so stay tuned!

We're Homeowners!

So we closed on our FIRST HOUSE last Wednesday! We were very excited but for those of you who didn't know it's a definite fixer-upper but that's what we were looking for in the first place. It was built in 1948 and structurally things are good but boy it's in need of some updating. Myra put it well when she said "When I'm 70, if I'm structurally sound and my pipes still work I'll be happy". It was a rental for 17 years so what can you expect. Anyway the seller just finished putting a new roof on it and we didn't waste anytime starting the demolition. Hopefully we'll have time to keep updating the blog as we progress over the next couple months but with working nights and weekend, time might be scarce. We're hoping to move in at the end of April!

Here's a picture with the old roof and before the tenants moved out!

Monday, March 05, 2007

NY Visit and Winter Fun

Myra took at red eye flight out the night of Feb. 15th to spend an extended weekend with her parents back in NY. Unfortunately, it was at the tail end of the crazy winter storm so after thinking that she might not get there at a decent hour on Friday, she was rerouted to Rochester and her parents drove out to get her. Saturday morning Myra, her dad and Rugger (the dog) went out on snowshoes around her parents property - it was beautiful!

As you can see there are CRAZY amounts of snow there! See more pics HERE.

Sunday morning her dad, brother and her went out snowmobiling. They met her mom for lunch (she drove there) and then headed back to the house. Some of the trails were very bumpy and there were sore backs all around.

Myra enjoyed lots and LOTS of time visiting with her mom. She (her mom) is doing amazing - only one more chemo treatment left!!

Monday before heading to the airport her mom and her went to Utica and took her grandma out to lunch. Then they went back to her grandma's house and played Rummikub for a couple hours - then back to the airport and reality!!