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.

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

April 25, 2012

Day 7

The window came in yesterday! So last night we put it in and didn't get as much done on the facia and soffit. It's hard to get much done when Hubby gets in from work late and needs to rest and eat before starting on this project.

The cat is getting used to this new routine and the Tyvek crackling in the breeze (that stuff is LOUD) doesn't bother him as much as it did. Last night he was sprawled on the deck, supervising, when two hummingbirds came to the feeder. Hummingbirds must have teeny, tiny brains in their tiny bodies, because they flew right into the cat's face. Cute as hummingbirds are, they can be pretty aggressive with each other, and in their aerial dogfight, they didn't notice they were flying into the cat. I must say too, that the cat's reflexes are still pretty quick, and he became upright and airborne before I could even yell NO. For a moment, I thought he got one of them, but he came up empty-handed.

He has studied the hummingbird feeder before, but I don't think he knew what was going on there. Now he does, so the feeder needs to be raised about five feet. Like I need another thing to do right now.

April 23, 2012

Day 6

You probably can't see them, but there are swarms of butterflies around these coreopsis in my front yard. Walking down the sidewalk stirs them up and they land on me. How fun!
We also got some work in yesterday. While I mowed the yard, Hubby got the band on the end of the rafters and soffit supports, then I helped him put up the barge rafters, finished decking, built out the gable end for siding, and then put on board and then wrapped it. Tyvek isn't normally put on gable ends but we wanted to make the room as airtight and bugproof as possible before the kitchen wall comes out.


April 21, 2012

Day 5

While Hubby made a lumber yard run, I took a few minutes to take some pictures of our neighbor's pasture. This is the view I have from the kitchen window. So pretty right now.

And our end of the day update. I took photos on all three sides since the side facing the driveway is solid.  Thought I'd better take a few photos before cleaning up tonight so I didn't lose all the light.

And this is the view out the window.
I'm tired and we've barely begun. I told Hubby today that when we finish this project, I want to start having fun on weekends like normal people. That is what normal people do isn't it?

April 20, 2012

Day 4

We worked until dark-thirty last night trying to get the roof on, and I didn't get to take pictures until today after it rained.

BB came back thinking they would get the roof on by noon, but he didn't get to leave until almost five o'clock. They were not complimentary about the workmanship done on the original house. The word wonky was used often. When taking off the brick, we found another beer can crushed and mortared behind the brick. That probably explains part of the wonkiness. Hubby and BB had trouble with the rafters because the original wasn't level.

But they finally got the rafters in place, and most of the decking up so BB could go home. Hubby was on the roof and BB and I on the ground handing up the decking. It was slick and Hubby was having a hard time getting his feet planted. I was so afraid he was going to slide off, and it was a big relief when they finished that part.

After BB left, Hubby was on the old roof and had the convertible ladder set up as an extension ladder on the deck under the new roof so I could climb up and help him with the roofing felt. As soon as I handed him the felt and he climbed to the top of the roof to tuck it under the original shingles, I felt the ladder start sliding out from under me. I screamed for Hubby, and he hooked his hammer onto the ridge and stuck his foot down so I could grab the toe of his boot. The ladder kept sliding and he wanted me to let go of his toe and grab his ankle. Let me tell you I was scared to death. I just knew the ladder and I were going to crash onto the deck and it was really going to hurt. But I let go, then grabbed his ankle, and then grabbed his pants leg with my other hand and as the ladder continued its slide, I leapt sideways off the ladder and climbed his leg until I could reach his hands and he pulled me on up onto the original roof.

He left me panting, hyperventilating, and clinging to the shingles so he could pound on the roof over Brownie's computer and she came running onto the deck. Then she held the ladder so Hubby could climb down, and he held it so I could climb down. I didn't get back on the roof but after he changed the ladder to a step style, I did climb up to hand him the felt. Still, every time I was on it, it seemed like it was sliding. I need to get over this fear. It doesn't help that the same thing happened when I put an older extension ladder on the deck to put up Christmas decorations in December. But that one didn't start sliding until I was stepping back on it after being on the roof and I managed to jump back onto the roof before I had both feet on it. We both blamed the old ladder and thought the grippers on the ends were probably old and hard, but since it happened with this new ladder too, I think it's the composition deck.

So word of warning from me, if you have a Trex or any other composition deck, don't put an extension ladder on it!

And on a brighter note, we caught the other cat and he has a new home far, far away. It was kind of funny when we caught him. Brownie heard the trap close and called "kitty, kitty" to it. I didn't want our cat to see that cat and get all bent out of shape the way he does so told Brownie not to let our cat know it was there. Too late though. But instead of yowling, hissing, and growling the way he normally does when he is around that cat, our cat sat calmly near us, just watching the cat.

Later, when we put that cat into the shed for the night, our cat following along, rubbing against our legs and I swear he was pleased as punch that the other cat was in the cage.

Well, that's all for now. A short downpour has stopped all activity outside for the moment and I'm enjoying the break. But now I need to go get all the puddles out of the new room so we can continue with the sheathing.

You might also like:

Day 1
Dining Room

April 18, 2012

Day 3

Not the best looking lumber, but Hubby says it is straight. Hubby found someone he had worked with before to help with the framing, but first he said he needed to get his income taxes done, and then he had something else he needed to get done. So Hubby called his brother and he helped all day. It was a very long day, and if it hadn't been for BB, we wouldn't have gotten much done.
The cat has been pretty jumpy since we started this project, but he finally settled down today. I think he found the sound of hammers restful. He climbed into this chair mid-afternoon and stayed there the rest of the afternoon.
I think another cat has been dumped in our neighborhood. He's (I'm pretty sure it's a he) a pretty cat, not very skittish, and doesn't seem put off by our cat. But our cat is plenty put off by this other cat. In the evenings, the other cat sits in our driveway, calmly looking at our cat, while our cat yowls, hisses, and growls at the other cat. One morning, after Hubby opened the garage door, the other cat went under the door and helped himself to the cat food.

So two things need to happen now. One, our cat needs a name. When one of us says "the cat" to the other, we never know which cat. I would like to name him Buddy, or Sawdust (since he likes to get into the sawdust bin). Hubby still likes Socks or Tom. The neighbors down the street call him Tom. He's just not a Tom to me, he's mellowed out too much. But he's not mellow enough to be a Socks.

The other thing that needs to happen is that the other cat (we've been calling him Carol's cat because he always runs away in the direction of her house, though Carol doesn't want anything to do with him) has to go away in order for our cat to be happy. And believe me, when our cat isn't happy, no one is safe petting him or even walking by him. BB brought his small animal trap, and he wants a cat for his shop so this will probably work out just fine. This other cat will probably be a better cat to have around clients too. But if we didn't already have a cat, I'd like to have this new cat. He looks like he would really like to live here and be friendly, though he runs if I get too close.

Well, early day tomorrow. BB is coming back for a few hours and we'd like to get the roof on.

April 17, 2012

Day 2


The Addition Has Finally Begun! Day 1

Here's what we started with. The slab had been poured a few years ago.
We couldn't find our old chisel so Hubby bought one with a rubber guard on it so I wouldn't pound my hand when I missed the handle, and believe me, after a few hours, I missed the handle quite a few times. And that chisel and hammer went from two pounds to ten pounds.
Now that's love! *smile*

We got a late start and didn't begin tearing brick off until 4 p.m. We were hoping to get it all off, but even taking turns with the hammer and chisel, our arms and backs gave out before we finished. Here it is at 8 p.m.
Afterward we had a big pile of bricks that need to be cleaned and reused, and a smaller pile of mortar rubble.
I'll try to do a daily update, but it may just be pictures.

No, I Haven't Been Abducted by Aliens

Although that might be more interesting than real life.

This is where I have been spending my time.


And refinishing

The cabinets and drawers were fairly easy, but these doors are a royal pain. So many little grooves, especially on the doors with four raised panels in each. We thought of taking the door to a dip strip place, but I tried some of that type stripper on a couple of drawers and it stripped off more of the stain than the CitriStrip I've been using. And since the cabinets are already done, the stripped pieces really need to match. So I've been using the CitriStrip on the doors too.

If you ever think you'd like to strip your entire kitchen, Don't Do It!. Do gel stain or paint, anything but stripping raised panel doors. I think I've spent two weeks doing just eight doors, one of them twice when the finish coat took off the stain and I had to start over. It would have been so much easier to paint, not to mention cheaper. But Hubby is a purist when it comes to which kinds of wood that should be stained and which should be painted, and ash should be stained. I think it's written in stone in the woodworking hall of fame or something.

The stripper made the wood take the stain darker in some places, especially the corners, and nothing I do makes any difference. It gives it an aged look, and I've decided it looks like it belongs in my thirty year old kitchen, so from now on I'm saying I planned it that way.

Meanwhile, we have the refrigerator and freezer cabinet built; just need to get it stained and finished too.

If my warning above wasn't enough to keep you from stripping those cabinet doors, maybe this will:

Yes, I keep forgetting to put on my rubber gloves when I start staining. A little dip stripper will take it right off though, along with letting me know of every cut, scratch, or dry skin crack on my hands. I only forgot to wear gloves on both hands once when doing the dip strip.

But the big news of the day is yet to come. I was going to make this a double post, but I'm just too tired. It can wait until tomorrow I guess.

April 03, 2012

You've Got to See This Kitchen!

I have found that I can’t work AND blog, and right now I really need to be concentrating on my kitchen.

In the meantime, I’d like to introduce you to an online friend of mine, and her wonderful kitchen. Mama Goose as she is known online, is an amazing woman. Not only is she creative, talented, and resourceful, she is also strong and resilient. You see, Mama Goose suddenly lost her husband in the midst of her kitchen remodel, and with her life turned upside down and her kitchen torn apart, she turned to family members for help, and tackled projects that I can’t imagine doing even with the assistance of my husband. Mama Goose gives a lot of credit for finishing this kitchen to her father, brother-in-law, and brother. They answered questions, helped her with the heavy lifting, taught her, and encouraged her. What a great family and support system!

Please pin from her site if she allows it. There is a link at the bottom of this post. Thanks!


And After:

Mama Goose and her husband began with an addition of a dining room/family room. This is the little sink they put in that room, right behind the kitchen sink to use when the main sink is unavailable. They put marble tile on the counter and a great flower tile backsplash.

Her father took out a wall between the old kitchen and dining room. Mama Goose says, “He framed and sheet-rocked the new opening, moved outlets, and told me stories about the good ol' days--his way of trying to help fill the void in my soul. At that point I was still in shock--if he hadn't stepped in I could never have done everything that I've accomplished since then.”

Mama Goose and her husband had found the perfect set of cabinets salvaged from an old school.

They bought marble tile which she honed herself to give it a warm glow

And here is the old cabinet partly built into the new kitchen with the marble tile counter:

And finished:

She found a great marble-topped table on Craig’s list,

and her husband converted it to a storage island for the kitchen:

and the other side

Another Craig’s List find is the vintage oven that needed restoration.

When she finished, it’s a conversation piece in the old dining room, and storage too!

Because she wanted a vintage, unfitted look, she found a new refrigerator with rounded sides, and built a cabinet around it that resembles an old kitchen hoosier cabinet. Then, for the microwave, she built a cabinet that resembles a bread box

Are you beginning to see how awesome this woman is? Well you haven’t seen anything yet.

She moved the stove from one side of the kitchen to the other, and then, get this! She transformed an old feed bin from her barn

into a vintage barrel range hood

She covered it herself with sheet aluminum, painted, added straps and towel bar, and installed a vent insert in it. How cool is that?!!! Mama Goose says that her brother-in-law helped her mount the range hood and answered a million questions.

Next she needed a counter top for the workspaces beside the sink and stove. More resourcefulness and she bought some vintage table tops from a high school science lab, complete with dried bubble gum stuck to the underside.

They are black resin, and with her brother cutting the slabs to fit the cabinets, she measured, templated, sanded, and buffed, to finish the counters. Her father designed and built a jig so she could rout runnels into the piece by the sink.

And then she began routing the top, over and over again until she was at the depth she wanted.

And here is the top installed in her kitchen

And more around the corner, along with the recessed shelves she built for her spices.

Since not everyone clicks on the part to see the comments, I am going to paste one of them here. I had forgotten about this until Nancy in Michigan commented.

Those counters are not soapstone, but are resin made for chemistry labs. It is hard and very heavy, can be sanded and polished - and as Mama Goose taught us -even routed. The amount of sanding she did on those resin tops and on her marble tile counter on the right side of the kitchen just blows my mind. She must have vibrated for days afterward. Mama Goose bought shiny marble tiles and honed the stone with a hand-held sander. Then, after laying the marble tile onto her counter, she developed a method of using epoxy resin to fill where the grout would go. She then used a pin (if I remember right) to scratch into the epoxy. The whiter scratches extended the white veins of the marble tiles through the epoxy "grout" lines so that the counter top looks like one solid piece of marble. You cannot see that it is tiles in the photos. See photo 7, above. Mama Goose has shown us all how to work hard to get what you want on a small budget, a whole lot of courage to try new things, and unlimited heart. Please check out her album. Her creativity will inspire you.

To see more pictures of this kitchen project, check out her photo album here.

Note: Permission was granted for me to use Mama Goose's photos here.