Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Finished the Dining Room Ceiling. Things I Learned that You Should Know Too

Hubby primed the tongue-and-groove pine planks before putting it up, but left the finishing to me. I caulked the perimeter as well as between each plank; filled all the knot holes, dents, and dings; sanded; and applied two coats of semi-gloss paint.

I found it easier to use the kitchen step stool that I could pick up and move easily rather than a heavy step ladder even though it was a bit short. I learned how to sand the ceiling with my eyes closed while standing tip toe on the top step. I learned early on that if I opened my eyes, I would soon have tears streaming down my face as my eyes filled with dust. So this saved time and irritation.

Another thing I learned, and this is what I wanted to pass onto you dear reader, is the trick of putting a rubber band around a gallon of paint.
No, I didn't invent this trick, and you have probably heard of it too. That's not what I wanted to tell you.

Hubby hadn't heard of this trick, and for those of you who haven't heard of it either, the rubber band around the middle is to wipe off the excess paint after you dip it into the bucket. It keeps the paint from filling the groove around the edge of the can, which, when dried, keeps the lid from sealing again.

So I put the rubber band around the can, and it was working splendidly. Hubby was most impressed with my ingenuity and I didn't tell him it wasn't my idea. I was basking in the glow of his admiration, when suddenly the rubber band broke. I heard the snap, and then heard the splat, splat, splat, splat as the paint which coated the rubberband shot across the room and hit the wall Hubby had just painted.

And of course, it happened right in front of Hubby, who no longer thought I was ingenious.

Monday, December 3, 2012

As If I Don't Have Enough Going On

You know how one thing leads to another, and then to another, until you are doing something totally different than you intended? That happened to me this weekend. I have been trying to decide on a chandelier for the dining room and now I'm refinishing a table I bought off Craig's List. How did that happen? Let me back up.

In order for me to visualize a chandelier in the dining room, I needed to see how one would look over the table in the room. So Hubby and I moved the table into the room. I sold all the upholstered parson's chairs I used to use with the table, and now I just have four Windsor chairs that came with our first table. So I moved one of those in there too. Are you following me? Good.
I have a love-hate relationship with this table. It is an antique, draw leaf, parquet top, gorgeous hunk of trestle style table, but the drawbacks are that it is an antique, draw leaf, parquet top, hunk of trestle style table. It has a shellac finish on it which shows every water ring, every spot a hot item has been place on top of a trivet on the table. And the trestle feet are spaced too far apart for one chair, and too close together for two chairs to fit between, so someone is always straddling a pedestal with no where to put one of their feet except on the trestle. Unless the leaves are pulled out, no one can sit comfortably on the ends either because the table top doesn't extend out far enough.

But once photographed with my Windsor chairs, I could see that something else was off. I posted the above photo on a decorating forum and the folks there pointed out the obvious: my chairs are too delicate for the table.

I love those chairs. Hubby and I bought four of those with a solid oak, round pedestal table at an unfinished furniture store in 1985, finished them, and used them in our dining room for twenty-five years. We use the table in the den now and last year bought upholstered swivel chairs so we can use it as a game table. That's when I moved the Windsor chairs to the dining room. I never stood back and looked at the scale of the table and chairs. But now that I have, something needs to go, and it won't be my chairs.

Sunday afternoon, I was perusing Craig's List and saw a table like my round one, except this one had a leaf, and mine is a solid wood top. In the photo, the top was beside the base, and I called about it. The owner told me that it was in good condition except she had lost one of the bolts that held the top to the base. The price was right, so Hubby and I decided to go see it. As is always the case when I find something on CL, it was in a suburb north of Dallas, which meant a three hour round trip drive even if we didn't buy it.

Once we got there, the owner told us that the veneer on the top had come loose in a few places but it would be ok with a tablecloth on it. She told us she always used coasters but sometimes people who came over didn't use them. The top was wavy and bubbled, but Hubby looked it over and said it might be salvageable. We negotiated with the lady and got the table for $20. Even if I have to build a new table top, the extension mechanism is worth $20. I intended to put the table together and take a before picture, but by the time I came out with my camera, Hubby was already sanding the top. He had only done a little of one side, so I made him stop so I could take a photo.
By the time we got the top smooth and flat, the bubbled places were sanded down to new wood and even down to the particle board in places. Hubby tried staining it to see what it looked like, but the stain was darker on those former bubbled places. So the easy route is out.  Good thing they used coasters, right?
I took that stain off and let it dry overnight. Today I tried a heavy faux woodgrain over it. This is the first coat.
(I know you're thinking What a mess!, and you're right. So focus on the table, ok?) The bubbled places are covered, but they have a different sheen and still show when the lighting is across it.
Tomorrow I'll put a second coat on so the whole top is the same color. If the bubbled spots still show, I'll strip it all off and just paint the top. But that's my absolute last resort. I'm not crazy about painted table tops. And that's how looking for a chandelier ended up with refinishing a table. As if I didn't have enough going on right now. ....

Guess what? I found some shoes to wear when I'm standing on tile or concrete all day.
I went to First Monday Trade Days in Canton with some friends and found them there. They are really comfortable for standing, not so much for a lot of walking. And they're cute! he he he

Saturday night, I was so revved up after a day with friends and so much to see (and a little caffeine) that I couldn't sleep. I started thinking of all the things I need to get done by Christmas, and the dining room and my table problem was one of those things. That's when the idea of getting a table similar to the one I already have hit me. When we have a big crowd for dinner, I can always move the other table into the kitchen too. Perfect. I hope.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Buddy, aka the Cat

Last week Hubby spotted a little dog in our front yard. It was wearing a blue sweater and appeared to be lost. I opened the door, called to it, and he came trotting over. After giving Hubby the phone number on his collar, I took him to the garage so I could dry his feet. The garage is cat territory, and Buddy was not a happy cat with a dog in there. To pacify Buddy and to keep the dog out of mischief, I put him in the hallway between the bathroom and office where he settled down on the bathmat.

Before leaving the main part of the garage, the dog made the mistake of checking out the cat food dish. Buddy arched his back, stalked around the table saw, and peered around the corner to watch the little dog. After the dog was sequestered in the hall, Buddy resumed his position on his window perch. When I tried to pet him, he swung his head around as if to bite my hand. He did not want me to pet him. This is a cat who lives for petting and food. He was not a happy cat.

When the friend came to claim the dog, I made sure Buddy saw the dog leave. It took awhile for Buddy to lose the attitude and let me pet him. Later that night, Hubby and I were in the office when Buddy walked in. He must have gotten a scent of dog because he stiffened, stalked over to the bath mat, sniffed it, and then stalked out.

All this over a dog who was only here for an hour. Lil and her husband are bringing their new puppy here over Christmas and Tali gets to stay in the house! I don't know if Buddy will try to pounce on the little dog or stalk around in a foul mood for a week.

This is Lil's dog.
I'm trying to get Buddy ready for Tali's visit; I bought a little stuffed toy dog and every time Buddy comes in the house, I make the toy jump around, tug on Buddy's tail, and just generally annoy him. When Buddy ignores it, I tell him what a good boy he is. But when Buddy has finally had enough and wants to bite, I tell him no and give him the choice of his bed or the door. Too bad the toy doesn't smell like Tali.

I still think Buddy will be in a foul mood during Tali's visit.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Anti-stress Mats

For the last 16 years I have had tile in the kitchen. It didn't bother me at first, but the last few years my feet suffer after a day in the kitchen. So I've been looking at anti-stress mats. There are long ones, short ones, narrow ones, and wide ones. And all ugly. I would want one in front of the sink, and the stove, and the baking center beside the stove. But I wouldn't want them there all the time, because they are ugly. But I'd have to leave them there all the time because I don't have anywhere to store them. Wouldn't it be easier if someone invented shoe shaped anti-stress pads that attached to the bottom of shoes? Photobucket

Friday, November 23, 2012

Houston, We Have Kitchen.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. If not wonderful, at least nice. Ours fell into the nice category. We spent the morning working on odds and ends so we could get our appliances back in the kitchen, and then we went to my mother-in-law's for lunch.

I haven't been posting every step of the way with the kitchen because it got so tedius with the dining room addition (and it's still not finished either). We got countertops mid October, and our floor tile was laid last Monday. The only hitch is that there is a haze on the tile and some of the grout lines turned white (efflorescence) and the guy is coming back today to look it over.

Hubby and I spent a couple of weeks getting the old tile and thinset off the floor, then filling the brick ledge between addition slab and getting it smooth, filling other low spots, and putting Redgard over all. It was back breaking and after all that, we wanted the tile to be perfect. And we don't lay tile perfectly. This guy wasn't perfect, but he still did a better job getting it flat than we could have done. The only thing we could have done better was vary the tile so there weren't 2 and 3 in a row of the same pattern, and the grout. I know I could have done a better job with the grout. When I saw the streaky haze over it, I was just sick. But an online search (I love the internet) showed that it can be removed with a vinegar and water solution or a commercial product. I mixed some vinegar and water and it seems to take off the haze, but doesn't do anything for the efflorescence on the grout.

So now it's back to the vinegar and water for me, and more surfing for you. Have a good day!


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

I Found a Dead Body in the Garage!

I guess the cat is earning his keep. Can't figure out why he didn't eat the mouse though, so I had to create a diversion to keep him away from it so I could scoop it up and put it in the trash. For some reason he likes to bring his prizes to one spot in the garage.

I thought with two bells on his collar that he wouldn't be able to sneak up on anything, but I guess he is really quiet when in stealth mode.

By the way, we finally gave him an official name. It's Buddy, though he still comes to anything, especially if it involves food.

Today I'm going to try to take him to the vet for his annual shots. Lil doesn't want her puppy to catch anything from the cat when they come for Christmas. Not that the cat will want to have anything to do with her dog I'm sure.

The above was written before our vet adventure. Here's how it went.

I bought a new pet carrier hoping the cat would go into one that didn't have the smell of other animals on it. That was wishful thinking. Even with a rug over it hiding the door, he wouldn't go near it. I put his favorite treats in it and still no luck. I tried to put him in but my two arms against his four sets of claws just didn't have a chance.

So I went to the vet and got a sedative, and just like last time, I crushed it and mixed it with a few drops of milk. At first he was curious about the bowl and licked the pink milk. But it must be bitter and he walked away. So then I started the process of dipping my finger in the mixture, wiping it on his feet, waiting for him to lick it off, and then wiping on more. It took about thirty minutes for him to lick enough to start getting woozy. When he couldn't walk a straight line, I picked up his front end and Hubby pushed his back end, and we got all but his tail in the crate. By then he was snarling a little and fighting with everything he had left. It's amazing how an adrenalin rush can energize a drugged cat.

He meowed a pitiful, drunk meow all the way to the vet's office, but once inside, he was meek as a lamb. When I picked up the sedative, I told the vet how difficult he was, and there he was being totally submissive and making a liar out of me.

Now we're home, and he is sleeping off the sedative in the office. We tried letting him loose in the garage, but decided it was too dangerous in his condition.



Saturday, November 3, 2012

It's Hard to Get Back in the Swing of Things

It seems like ages since I have even thought of making a blog entry.  A good friend called and asked me when I was going to start blogging again, and another asked if I had quit.  My daughter asked me to at least post some pictures so she could see how we were coming along with the house.  There were times I composed a blog post in my mind as I was working on something, but when I sat down at the computer, I just didn't have it in me to write it out, or I forgot what I was going to say, or I hadn't taken a picture.  All feeble excuses I know, but that's all I've got.

Since I last posted, we lost Pawpaw and Brownie moved back to Oklahoma. More about Pawpaw later.  It was not unexpected that he would die, just not the way it did.  The first few weeks after that were full as we dealt with a few things with Deedee.

 There have been some changes on blogger since I last posted too I see. I'm not crazy about them, but I guess I can adjust. I've still been online, but most of my time is spent working on the kitchen or looking up ways to work on the kitchen.

And the work on the kitchen continues at a snail's pace. The cabinets are almost finished, the countertop is in, and next we begin tiling the floors in both dining room and kitchen. Then ceilings in both rooms, and hopefully we'll be able to have Christmas dinner in the dining room.

We were going to have someone do the tile, but none of the three tile layers who came out planned to do anything about the joint between the new slab and old slab, except to just tile over it. The last guy told me the thing to do is just pour a layer of self leveling cement from one end of the dining room to the other end of the kitchen, raising one end over an inch. When I questioned how the dishwasher would fit back in it's slot if the floor was raised that much, he scratched his head and said "well, we won't pour under it then, just in front of it." Of course then the dishwasher wouldn't be able to come out. Ay yi yi. That's when I decided we would  just do it ourselves. Photobucket

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

We Passed Final Inspection!

Since I last posted, we have had electrical, filled the brick ledge, sheetrock, texture, and painted inside.
My photo editing software crashed and I lost a few photos getting used to the new one. I had taken several pictures of the room after painting but lost those. We still have a lot to do in the room, but the next thing is flooring, and we want to replace the flooring in the kitchen at the same time, so we have abandoned the dining room to work on the kitchen. Actually, we are using the dining room as storage while we work on the kitchen. It is nice to have the appliances out of the way.

What the cat likes best about the new addition? A niche that is shady all day.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Copyright, all rights reserved

Here's the deal.... I would love for you to pin my photos from my Marti's DIY blog or my Pinterest albums, unless a post specifically asks you not to do that (because they may not be mine). If you want use my photos for any other purpose, please email me first. Most of the time, I am happy to oblige. The written content on this blog belongs to me and may not be published, copied, or reprinted without my written consent. When you visit other blogs and websites, please pin responsibly - with permission. Thank you for your understanding and consideration. You're the best!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Days 20 Through, I Don't Know, A Lot!

Hubby shamed me into sitting down and writing a post. I've been trying to take pictures every so often, but I just haven't taken the time to crop them or compose anything to go with them. He told me I was the kind of blogger he deleted from his blog list. So I guess he has deleted mine. lol

One mood slump, and one trip to the emergency room later, I'm finally getting back to updating. For those of you who haven't dropped me from your blog list, I'll try to do better in the future.

When last I left my tale, we were ready for brick outside, and sheetrock inside. So I'll start with the brick. Hubby and I went to several brick yards and called many more, only to find that no one could get any brick even remotely resembling ours. Our options were to buy brick that was all yellow/tan or buy anything the same size and then paint the whole house. We chose the first option, thinking we could use some masonry stain and match our brick.

The day before we left for the wedding, I heard a semi rumbling outside and looked outside to see a forklift with a pallet of brick rolling down my driveway. When he started lifting the second set of brick, called a strap because it wasn't a full pallet, one of the straps broke and I heard brick hitting the pavement. By the time I got there with the camera, the guy had the brick off the street and the broken pieces in the middle of the stack. I wouldn't know until we began staining them that there were twenty broken brick.
The brick on our house looks like it is solid yellow/tan with some brick that have red or brown sprayed or dabbed on. When we got back from our trip, Hubby used a spray gun to stain a small amount of red and brown bricks. They matched the color, but they looked too new compared to the older brick. We hoped that they would look better once they had some mortar scraped across them. The ratio of yellow : red : brown was about 10 : 4 : 1, so we put stacks of brick in those proportions on the three sides of the addition to make it easier for the bricklayer.

The first day, he did the corner where the addition tied into the old house and used the old brick I had cleaned. We had decided to start the new brick on the other side of the patio door, and he began that on the second day. After lunch on that second day, Hubby and I went out to look at the brick and found that he had not spaced the brick the way they were on the rest of the house. Instead of doing a 10 : 4 : 1 ratio, he had done a 2 : 1 : 1 ratio. When he ran out of red and brown brick on one side, he went around to the other sides to get more. We asked him to space them out the way they were on the rest of the house, and he did, but it was too late. The bottom 3rd of the addition looked like a checker board.

Also, he ran out of brick on the last day. I don't know if he broke more than expected, or we just mis-figured. In any case, we were one hundred bricks short. I finally located a brick yard that buys odds and ends from brick layers, and they had some brick that would work. It had a tumbled and sanded front, but the back had a similar look, but a little darker. The bricklayer said to get one hundred and twenty five just to be safe, so I bought one hundred and fifty.

We tried to scrub off the stain where it looked like a checker board, but it wouldn't come off. After looking at it for a week and getting more and more annoyed by it, I decided to stain almost all of the yellow bricks with the red. There is still more brown on this section than the rest of the house, but at least it's not a checkerboard. But then I had to do the whole house. That's a subject for a different post. But here is the bricked addition.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Day 19

My youngest daughter got married last Sunday, so we took a week and a half off. We drove to St. Louis on Thursday and spent the next few days getting ready for the wedding. After the wedding, we took the rest of the week to visit Kentucky, Tennessee, and Arkansas. More about that later.

The patio door was delivered while we were gone, and Hubby picked it up Saturday and we got it installed by late today.
The inspector came after my last post, and didn't like a couple of things the electrician did, so he has to come back and rewire a couple of things. It was a different inspector than last time, and he complained about a couple of things the first inspector accepted. Wonder what the next one will say.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Days 16, 17, and 18

The days are beginning to run together, and we are making slow progress.
HVAC ducts installed.
Siding on original gable.
I've also been working on the refrigerator cabinet. It's stained with one coat of finish.
And working on the endless string of cabinet doors. The inspector is supposed to come back tomorrow, and after that, all work stops until after the wedding (our daughter is getting married).


Monday, May 14, 2012

Days 13, 14, and 15

Thursday evening, after hearing that rain was on the way, Hubby put up the siding on the gable. It rained, but nothing too severe and the only leaks were around the back door - as usual. Saturday, the electrician came and got all the wiring done. We've got a switch to the kitchen and living room near the back door for the first time in three years. Yay!

Also Saturday, Hubby started taking out the back door so it could be re-installed. When the door was out, he saw that the slab was especially uneven in that spot (no big surprise there) which allowed water in and prevented it from running back out. So he used a grinder to level the foundation, filling the kitchen with concrete dust, and I just happened to be staining the refrigerator cabinet at the time. Someone told me that living in a house that is under construction is like living in a garage. So very true.

No pictures of the door as it didn't change the look any.

Another fun thing Hubby did was to spray an encapsulator on the wood in the room. The wood has a lot of dark places on it, and is probably just from exposure, but we wanted to play it safe in case there was any mold there too.


Monday, May 7, 2012

Days 11 and 12

Last Tuesday, the inspector came. Yay! But he didn't approve the framing. Boo! He wanted some additional bracing done and the electrical and a/c vents done first. The city secretary said the inspection was to come after the framing and then again after the electrical. So now the bracing is done and we're waiting for the electrical. Our temps were in the 90's on Saturday when Hubby was doing the bracing and it was over 100 in the attic. Not a good time to be up there. But we're supposed to have a cool front for the next few days so maybe the electrician can get over here before it gets hot again.

Even though the roof is really small, Hubby wanted professional roofers to tie in the old and new, and they came Thursday. A crew of seven spilled out of a van, and had it done in an hour. They used an extension ladder and I told them not to put it on the deck, but they did anyway. They did put a bundle of shingles at the bottom to keep it from sliding, but one of them almost fell when he missed a step. I couldn't watch. I had to go inside.
Friday night there were storms in the area, and while we missed out on rain, we were hit with some strong winds that took down trees and scattered some of our materials. The next morning, Hubby and I split up and walked down the street looking for our stuff. A roll of valley tin was found four houses down. I heard it banging around when the storm hit and it sounded like the house was coming down.
Also Saturday, our little town had a clean up day so we hauled all our construction debris over there and they helped us throw it all in a big dumpster.
We still haven't heard back from our bricklayer, but we have time to line up someone else since our brick won't be here until June. I'm still cleaning our old brick and found that it is much easier to clean after soaking in a tub of water for a few hours.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Day 10

I didn't do much yesterday except help lift and hold a few times, but Hubby got the beams in place so we could take the support post out. You can't see them in the pictures because of the plastic, but there are two ten foot 2x12 inch beams, and they were heavy. Since our walls have six inch studs, he had to fill in the other two inches with scrap. Then we put up a plastic wall with zipper so we don't lose as much air conditioning in that space. A few attic braces and we are ready for the framing inspector.

Today I need to go to Fort Worth and see if Acme still has matching brick. But we're also waiting for the patio door to be delivered so I can't leave until Brownie gets home. I also need to go run some wedding errands. Poor Lil, between adding on to our house, and them buying a house, the wedding isn't getting a lot of attention.

When I opened the shade this morning, I saw that rotten blue heron in the yard. He flew off as soon as he heard or saw the shade move, but I went out to see if he got any fish. They were really skittish and were darting from the cover of one lily to another, and then I saw something else in the pond. A turtle! I got the leaf net and chased him around the pond a few times before I caught him.
His (or her) shell was about eight inches from front to back. I don't know if he is a water turtle or a land turtle who just managed to fall into the pond. He sure could swim though! I put him in a bucket and Brownie took him halfway to somewhere.

So I don't know if the heron ate the fish, or if it was the turtle. Hubby and I cleaned out the pond a few weeks ago and moved all the plants from the pond to a plastic swimming pool. We didn't clean out the pond last year and most of the lilies have grown through the pots. That makes repotting them more difficult, plus I have to go dig clay from the back of our yard and clean out the weeds before I can use it, so I haven't been repotting them quickly. I had been feeling guilty about it, but today I was glad I hadn't done very many because it was easier to spot the turtle and much easier to catch him.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Days 8 and 9

Work progresses slowly during the week when Hubby only has a few hours a day to work on the house, and one day he came home too tired to work on it at all. We did work on it Friday and got a lot done on the soffit and facia, but nothing that really shows well in pictures. The big result came yesterday, after hours of doing little tedious to get ready for it, and then finally taking down the wall between the kitchen and new dining room.

Blessings, Marti