Tuesday, August 23, 2016
Saturday, August 20, 2016

A Then and Now Home Report: Carpet, Light, Deck, and Holes in the Ceiling

Tired of house stuff yet? I'm getting there. But another big week.

2007 before, 2016 after . . . with a wide angle lens. 
You weren't missing anything on the light fixture in 2007. Just a little dome.

Next step: stain the oak bathroom cabinet visible to the same gray on the banister.

I've sat at the top here, admiring my new flooring and fantastic light and stared at the giant white space floating there, waiting. But how do you hang something there?

I'm not terribly confident changing one of these light bulbs is going to be a piece of cake without calling Eric back. 

Eric the Electrician swung by yesterday morning to put together my atomic chandelier and hang it with his handy dandy super safe ladder and headlamp.

And suddenly, there was light.

Faith basks in the warmth of our little sun. 

This thing is BRIGHT, which, really, what was I expecting when it has 12 bulbs? I may go on the hunt for some lower # LEDs and save these 40W equivalents for around the house in single lamps. Still, it amazes me that they have this warm light and don't heat up the place. If I had 12 40W incandescents we'd be roasting marshmallows with 1020 BTU produced an hour, versus a grand total of 40 BTU with LED. Even better, their lifespan means I shouldn't need to risk my neck to change them out. 

So a few more loft area appreciation photos with the real camera that I had been waiting to take until the chandelier was in place. 

this is my view sitting in my usual spot 

from the very corner, with Bru just out of shot

prior to the chandelier, on Monday, with the new carpet comparison

and with the new light.

You will also see, top left, that there are currently holes in my kitchen ceiling now that Eric got rid of the dastardly fluorescents in the kitchen. 

Best photo of the box I have is back from buying the house:

The "box" soffit that held them had to be removed and he put matching "can" LED lights flush into the ceiling throughout.

so, enter my staring again. Yeah, sure I could call the drywall guy and just make it a plain old white ceiling. But I have a crazy idea that is really cost efficient (under $50!) and right up my alley in terms of design interest on order. Stay tuned. 

Yes, I know my Disney fridge magnets are out of control. Get over it. Wait'll you see the Disney Room/Office. 

The lighting is so warm and cozy now, even though my shot didn't capture it too well. Will have to try again at night minus sunlight interference.

meanwhile . . . outside my lovely new back doors . . .

I started getting going on the deck restain.

Here it was, post stuff removal, pre-wash, slightly warped photo with the panorama:

the space where the grille has been protecting a portion is the only place where it's even slightly the original stain.

Last weekend was the power washer rental, which to my delight, only took two hours and the Home Depot guy refunded half our money when we returned it despite the only options being a 4 hour rental or a 24 hour.

I forgot to get a shot of the deck completely washed but here it is mostly, except for the first portion of the restain ongoing.

So I finish rolling the floor and let it dry only to discover a few spots where the stain wasn't a saturated, so on second pass, I redid those and worked on the outside with the roller to finish out the first gallon of stain. And, now the lighter spots are significantly DARKER. Sigh.

I will have to wait through our good chances of rain through the weekend to open the second gallon and see if I can't get it equaled out. It came pouring last night and this morning the weatherproofing is showing off all the beaded up water it's not letting get through to the wood.

For fun, I went back to the original state of the house when we first bought it almost a decade ago, after I took these this week.  A Then and Now set:

Backyard, March 2007:

August 2016:
poor yard. Between the deck interfering with the sprinkler system and some fungus killing off much of the lawn and our little spruce tree, as well as the fierce sun weathering the crap out of the fence, there's still plenty of work to be done.

Front, March 2007

August 2016. The tree! And the Juniper! At least the yard isn't as terrible up front.

By the way, the Juniper in the 2007 photo includes the neighbor's bush that was removed a year or so ago. That giant thing that's overtaking the front porch and spreading down to the drainage split between the houses is just our one hardy little guy above.

Better shot of how little he was: 

March  2007

today, awaiting the beautiful blue door that's on order. It takes about a month to come in, plus scheduling for install, so looks like the start of October for that piece of the home makeover.

I already found a rug that I refuse to start getting crudded up until the new door arrives. And the glass should really open up the dark little entrance corner.

Looking from the door inside comparison:

March 2007 at the showing and contract day

April 2007 at closing, when our deal to buy the all downstairs furnishings turned into missing all the lamps, a coffee table, a kitchen hutch, and the big mirror over the dining table that the previous owner took with her despite the contract.


Loft at showing:




What was first Sam's room, then Bob's, then Nick's, now mine, at showing: 
no overhead light or fan, lime green walls


Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Dog Day

Beautiful morning with extra dogs on the side!

Evan and I had just gotten out and up the block a-ways when we spotted a black lab sniffing around trash cans, all alone. He was a waggy fellow and came over as soon as I called to him, tail between his legs like he was in trouble. I looked around for someone who may have been nearby or an open garage and didn't spot anyone, so I coaxed him to turn around and walk back to the house with me and Evan. He was happy to oblige and I put them in the backyard and grabbed his collar off of him to access the phone number. 

No one picked up, but on the voicemail it said, "Jeff with Prestige Construction" and I thought, "I see a Prestige Construction truck on the curb right down the street from us all the time." I left my name and number on the voicemail with the message that I was pretty sure, thanks to the VM inclusion of Prestige, that I knew where they were. I poked my head out to verify, and also spotted their side gate wide open. Gotta be them.

Went to get Evan and new friend, who were now soaking wet and having a high old time chasing one another around the yard through the active sprinklers, leashed up both dogs (Katy's unused leash is always nearby) and as soon as we stepped out on the porch, I saw AJ (as in Jeff and AJ) standing out on her front driveway looking about. 

Other than getting her dog soaking wet before returning him, good deed complete!

And when I looked down at my phone, she had returned my call and left me a voicemail, but both of our phones, doubtless, were still in "Do Not Disturb" mode as it was before 7:00 a.m. and neither of us heard a sound. Good thing we're all in the habit of glancing down at our phones regardless of the time!

So we arrived at the dog park a bit later than usual, and that meant the two Goldens who regularly come near the end of our time were already there and happy to greet Evan. Even better, Patrick arrived shortly thereafter, owner of two GREAT danes, Claude and Sapphire, who come by regularly, as well. These babies are so big, Evan can run underneath them without ducking. 

Evan, who fancies himself the host of the dog park, always greets all newcomers at the door, as if to say, "Welcome to my kingdom!" He was a happy, if still rather soaking wet puppy this morning. 

On our way out, here comes another stray dog along the path!

This one wasn't getting duped into coming close enough to grab his collar, so I took a photo of him thinking I could at least post him to the Facebook neighborhood page with a lead on anyone looking for him. He'd trotted over the hill behind us when I saw a woman walking down the other end of the trail, scanning the open space, holding a retractable leash . . . with no dog. It was probably a stupid question, but I led off with, "Are you missing your dog?"

"Yes!" (Duh.)

"He's straight up that way over the next hill!" Hopefully she caught up to him, but at least we could point her in the right direction. 

Some days, it just rains dogs!

Friday, August 12, 2016

Kid Stuff

Ali texted me this one on his way out the door on Picture Day for the coaches. 
Hopefully any day now his photo will be added to his Coach Page!

But it was a couple days later that he got me all choked up on Instagram.

This week, caught sight of him through the SU Football posting of the team photo. The first one that showed up was an outtake. He's 4th from left in the yellow.

but in the later official one, he ended up 3rd from left instead.

Yesterday was the first day of practice, so really his first day of coaching his running backs. SU posted a "Day 1" video and I managed to catch sight of him at the :19 and the :28 mark!

all 30 seconds are here

He called on his way home last night and was exhausted but excited that the first day went really well. It's lovely to hear the happiness in his voice.

Meanwhile . . .  in Florida

move in day

followed by trips to the beach in Sarasota

and a short trip to Orlando this week to put their Annual Passes to work


Sam has taught Jason to hang on to his hat. Just not where all the cameras are placed.

they rode Everest twice, once during the day and then again at night when Bill and Julie joined them

Yesterday, she hit up the Goodwill and now has an official Sam Throne.

classes start next week. 

And SU football debuts Saturday, Sept. 3!