Wednesday, September 27, 2006

This is why we drive so far

This church sign is on our way into town.

We are often asked why we drive so far to church, now you understand! This is one of a few churches that is in our area. Many of them frequently have dumb signs but this one takes the prize for the most tacky.

Will this ever end?

We still don't have the flooring in. It is extremely frustrating. We need to get finished this week but we keep running into snags.

My mom and her husband had to leave unexpectedly, we were sorry to see them go but understood. This puts us back to only being able to work on the house when Paul is off work. We are hoping to get a good start on things this afternoon but nothing ever goes as planned.

Paul's job situation is not good at all. He is currently working outside the office and the other employees have been told he quit. To make a long story short, his stepfather has been less than truthful where compensation is concerned. He has been pushing Paul to work on his day off and wouldn't take no for an answer. Instead of fighting with him, Paul decided to leave early a few Saturdays ago thinking it was better than saying something that was inappropriate. At first this was okay with both his mother and stepfather. But each subsequent conversation with them changes their feelings.
First it was, "See you on your normal work day." Then it was, "We want you to work from home this week." The next week it was, "See you on Tuesday." Then Monday night we got a call that he would be working out of the office again with his mom. Now it's, "Once you are finished training your mother, you will no longer be getting paid." So we went from everything's fine to you no longer have a job. We knew that this was not the ideal job but this is ridiculous!

So much for trusting family! He has been actively pursuing other employment for many weeks. He has sent off a number of resumes, had a couple of calls, and repeat interviews with one company. We are hoping something comes up very soon.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

More home improvements

The tile may be finished but that's the only thing that is.

We had problems with the faucet hardware for the shower controls, it seems that the rough-in on the plumbing was 1/2 inch too far into the wall. We had to order an adapter kit which was $40! The kit came on Monday and contained a brass ring, a 1 inch stem extension and a long screw for each of the 3 controllers. I expected something more complicated for that much money but it did the trick. But then we realized that the faucet pipe wasn't far enough away from the diverter, Paul made it fit by slightly bending the wall plate. This is when I asked him if he measured the piping when we first started this to make sure that this stuff would all fit, his response was, "Why would I have done that?"

The flooring still isn't here. It was held up at the manufacturer because of problems at the store. Then they shipped it but didn't deliver until over a hour AFTER the warehouse closed so no one was there to receive it. Because that was a Friday, it didn't get put on Monday's truck since it got back to L.A. really late. So it was out for delivery yesterday and we haven't seen it. I'm really hoping it got there late yesterday so we can pick it up today. The old flooring is up and the subfloor is ready for the new stuff.

We should be able to paint the bathroom today and put everything back together. The shelves I bought didn't fit so they will go back to IKEA on Friday, we are getting away for the weekend and going to be near a store. Once the bathroom is finished I will start focusing on the fencing for the animals and the shed for the tools. Once the flooring is in we can start moving our junk in.

My mom and her husband are here visiting so we have help with all the remodeling and they are going to watch the kids so we can get away for a few days. We aren't doing anything spectacular, just visiting with friends and enjoying some time with adults. Which is perfect for me!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Shower pictures

Here are the promised pictures of our bathroom remodel.

We started with Paul cutting out the old shower enclosure.

Here are the bare walls and mess that was generated after we finished cutting out the old junk.

Paul and I cut the Hardibacker to fit in the bare walls. At first we used a circular saw but found that scoring and snapping the pieces was much easier and less dusty.

Malachi really wanted to help throughout the whole project. We needed to replace a few of the spacer strips of wood that leveled out the wall because they had rotted.

Here I am putting on the first few rows of tile. This particular wall was a nightmare because of the window. I would have loved to put glass block in the window but we needed the ventilation.

This is a picture of the spider that came to visit the first night we were putting tiles up. The hole in the wall is the size of a quarter and the spider couldn't get it's body through the hole! The legs you see are just the bottom tips of his long hairy legs. We are going to be replacing the light bar and medicine cabinet with a mirror and light so we will be closing up this hole.

It took two days but we finished the tiles and proceeded to grout last night. I didn't expect it to take 5+ hours so we were there until almost 2am. Needless to say we haven't gotten any school work done the past two days. I disregarded the instructions on the grout about wearing gloves and am paying the price today. I have tiny puncture wounds and blisters on the tips of 4 fingers.

Here is the finished product of almost a week's worth of work. It was definitely worth it!

We have a few days to wait before we can seal the grout. We will be installing the new shower hardware tonight and getting the floors ready for our new flooring. I am looking forward to working in some room other than the bathroom.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Home Improvements

Why do they always take longer than expected?

We closed escrow and immediately started trying to do things to get the house in shape to move in. The first project was tearing out the old shower enclosure and replacing it with tile. It's a good thing we did! The house was built in the late 50's so there was drywall behind the plastic enclosure. The drywall was moldy and crumbling away so we tore it all out. We are still trying to get everything ready to install the cement board for the tile. I foolishly thought it would only take a day or so but we keep running into snags that require things we don't have on hand like 2x4s or saw blades.

We have made numerous trips to the hardware store for various pieces and parts. Paul got on the roof to check out the swamp cooler. It needed new pads so we thought no problem we would also install PVC to vent the overflow off the roof. Nothing is ever easy! The pads were $100! It seems we have a really spiffy and great swamp cooler so it needs special pads. Luckily they can be used for a number of years before being replaced again. Of course the PVC fittings didn't match up to the threads on the overflow so we had to make a few trips to get various adapters and ultimately a new overflow since the one up there snapped. Now we are back to the store again tomorrow to get a new water line, it has sprung a number of leaks.

Lorna's room has gone well, we dry brushed on a top beige color that goes well with her horse theme. I should be able to finish painting the moldings in her room tomorrow. At least one project was easy and nearing completion.

We had the very unpleasant surprise to find that the tile in the main part of the house has to be removed. The house is on a post foundation and the subfloor moves a little. Because of the movement in the floor the tiles keep popping up. The grout has crumbled away in places and we figure that there is no point in replacing it so it can just crumble again in 6 months. Since Paul manages a flooring store we were able to get a really good deal on some laminate. Not what we really want but all we can afford at the moment. Even so it's money we hadn't anticipated spending.

We also found we need to do a little foundation work. The posts are in great shape but they are not anchored to the floor joists. Because we live in earthquake country they need to be better anchored. Two of the posts are leaning at a weird angle. We are currently in the process of ejecting the rats and squirrels that live under the house so we can get under there with a house jack and some support bracing. Luckily we are familiar with the concept since this is what the yurt deck was made of. It may not be expensive work but it's going to be very dirty work and we are not looking forward to it.

I am hoping to have the tile done by the end of the weekend so we can start the flooring installation. I'm sure it's just wishful thinking! We really need to start on the horse and dog fencing so we need to get something accomplished this weekend. Someday I might have time to upload a few pictures of the renovations but not tonight :)

Friday, September 01, 2006

I'm done!

I finally finished that album!

It took me a good 4 weeks and lots of frustration but it's finally done. I will never again get everything out with the intention of finishing a whole album. The whole thing is almost too large to fit in the album. I ended up taking all the extra pictures that are good and putting them on the last 2 pages in a pocket. The pictures were too good to get rid of but we don't need that many in one album. I have included 3 pages below.

We also closed on the house yesterday. It is very difficult to get too excited. We have made a few decisions about the projects we are going to complete before moving in. We will be gluing down the tiles that are lose and regrouting as opposed to replacing the flooring. Neither of us likes the tiles very much but I don't want to invest that much time and energy on something that is in decent shape. We will be leaving the kitchen cabinets alone but changing out the knobs. The shower surround will be replaced with tile since it needs to be redone but we will just clean up the tub that's in there. We are not going to paint the living room because it will be too dark with the exposed beam ceiling. Outside we will be redoing the two sheds and moving them. As always there are lots of plans for after we move in but that's about the extent of the stuff we will be doing right away. We had our first dinner there last night while we measured windows, made some decisions, and just tried to get a feel for the place. It's going to be tight and very cluttered until we can get the yurt but we will find a way to make it work :)