Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Stimulate me

I received my "stimulus" (that's what we will call it) check yesterday in the mail. For those that haven't followed my postings religiously, and shame on you! I found out back in February that if you bought a house between April of 08' and July of 09' (which the law has since changed and has been extended) the government will allow a loan of $7500 for home improvement, and pretty simple payback period.
So I got my check and have been trying to get my crap together and formulate a plan. You would think that by now I would have had some sort of idea of what I want to do, NOT! Sunday I did do some tear out and kind of ran into some "issues" that put a bit of a dampener on what I had thought I wanted to do with the walls.
What I finally decided to do is bead board the walls up to the 8 ft level, then the remaining top 12 inches do a flat panel to the ceiling with a chair rail molding separating the two sections. On the ceiling I will also bead board with an alternating pattern in the center part of the room and a flat panel 16 inch border around the perimeter. The walls will be painted with Ruskin Room Green (egg shell), which is a Sherwin Williams color (but my designer, Home Depot insider, friend, insists that I use Behr brand paint) and a high gloss white on the ceiling. I think from the pictures Beth and I (mostly Beth, my insider) found and looked over of other kitchens it will turn out pretty groovy. Of course everything is subject to change and probably will.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

An automated soda dispenser? and two lips

Sugar's morning baby sitter (grandma's house) was not able to watch her this morning. I had to leave her in the house all day and just wanted to get home and let her out so she could stretch her legs a bit before church this evening.

On the way home I stopped at McDonald's and grabbed a burger and was fascinated by the automated soda dispenser that was at the drive up window, truly a modern marvel. The order comes in, the cup holder spins and a arm pulls the cup and drops it onto this little conveyor, a handful of ice drops in the cup and then the soda. I must have been living under a rock because I have never seen this before. I think I pissed the girl off behind the counter because I just kept staring at the damn thing going through is routine and she kept asking me for my order. I don't think she was very happy with me. Small things amuse me I guess.

I really haven't done to much on the inside of the house at all since the weather broke. I mostly have been focusing on getting the yard in shape as much as the budget allows. It is slowly coming together but there is still allot to do in the yard after (same story) years of neglect. I will have my near golf course look in a few weeks though with some persistence. I'm just glad it is a small yard.

Today I pulled all this old cement edging out of yard, 6 wheel barrels full and edged all the sidewalks that have not been done in years, I mean years. That was a wheel barrel full of grass and dirt. I am just getting to old to do this kind of work and still move the next day. But on the flip side, all the hard work is done and I only need to maintain it now.

Tulipa, commonly called tulip, is a genus of about 150 species of bulbous flowering plants in the family Liliaceae.Tulipa, commonly called tulip, is a genus of about 150 species of bulbous flowering plants in the family Liliaceae. Tulipa gesneriana

I had my first pair of tulips bloom today. The PO had planted them all along the street and are really kind of just in big bunches. Dig a hole, dump a bag of bulbs, dig a hole, dump a bag of bulbs, repeat for half a block.
Tulips, that is like parakeets. It is one entity but has a plural name. I still think it is funny, and tulips, I see no semblance of two lips on this flower but I guess when it comes to latin all the words sound funny, like incontineticus butticus, or biggus dickus.

Come hell or high water, Sunday I am going to start the tear out of the kitchen. I have put it off all week and really need to get it going and done. No more excuses.
And that is what I did. I tore quite a bit out and made a mess again.
During my deconstruction, I found that the base boards where not in fact "boards" but a clay type of ceramic and in fact looks as though it was installed when the sub floor was poured. The house is not on slab but there is a layer of cement on top of the wood floor underneath. So it is a early version of cement board that was installed when the house was built.
What I found kind of cool about the baseboards, is that they are made of a clay type material and when you look real close, you can see sawdust was mixed into the material. Very well dispersed throughout the mixture, so I am not sure if it was a premix or something done on site.
What I also thought was neat is that the baseboards were poured and formed in place. The corners had wire mesh nailed into the wood with older style roofing type nails. Then the corner pieces were formed over top.
Had I known, I probably would have tried to clean them up and save them. But as I tore into the baseboards with my trusty flatbar and hammer is when I found out what I had broken into. And kind of to late. That's alright though, I will find something to replace them and no one will ever know except me and Sugar. Although she hears me cuss enough and just tunes it all out so I not certain if she knew what I was cursing about this time.

I have a friend that showed me a picture of a ceiling that is done in alternating patterns of bead board. I think it is pretty cool and will try and attempt the same style in my kitchen. Long story, but after I got into the first bit of tear out on the kitchen last week I found that the ceiling stopped where the cabinets met the wall, in other words it the wall and ceiling were not finished above and behind the cabinets. So I think the bead board will be a inexpensive alternative to drywall, less messier, less expensive than a tin product and just unique enough to fit me. It is going to be really cool and something that I can do myself. I really, really, really hate working with drywall. Which gives me a segway into the next part.
During the tear out today on the surface of the walls, someone covered the plaster starting at about 4 ft up and to the ceiling with a luan material, then wall paper overtop. Underneath the luan was the original wall paper that was installed. Kind of a vinyl type of wallpaper, and as drab a color as one could pick for a kitchen. The nice thing about the wallpaper and the luan? When I pulled it off the wall the paper came off with the luan and left the original skim coat of plaster underneath. Nice huh? Now? I am looking forward to putting drywall over all the walls to cover up all the disastrous projects that have taken place in the kitchen over the years. Oh yeah! taping, and sanding! I can't wait! Love it!

Saturday, April 18, 2009


I started to blow the kitchen out this morning. My original thought was to do parts at a time but after getting into the job, and thinking more about it. why would I want to make and clean up a bunch of little messes instead of just one big one? Kind of took my motivation away.

As I got more into tearing things out, I was running into one of those situations that required; if I take this out, I have to take that out first, and that piece needs to go before I take that out. So that was the clincher, I cleaned up and stopped the tear out.

Early this morning, 7:15 to be exact, the delivery truck driver showed up at the door to bring in the new refrigerator. I looked out at the truck, and it was a semi flat bed with a forklift hanging off the back. Since the refer is a return and not a "new" unit, Home Depot will only drop the unit off at the front door step. My "insider" at the HD talked to the driver earlier in the week and asked the him, if for a few extra bucks he would bring the refer into the house.
So "Jim" (that's what we will call him) pulls the refer off the truck and drives the forklift right up to the steps and drops the pallet on the porch. Then we begin to wrestle this monster off the pallet and into the door.
Ah! you thought that this was the end of the story? Nope! just wouldn't fit. Ok, lets take the hydraulic spring off the screen door. Alright Jim, push! shit! it is hanging on the door. Alrightly then, lets take the door off the frame. That did it. I flip Jim a twenty and he cleans up the pallet and the tie downs and jumps on the forklift back to the truck, and down the road to his next delivery.
The whole time Sugar is looking at us and wondering what the hell are you two crazy humans doing? After a few moments of quizzical looks Sugar went into the bedroom and jumped on the bed to take her early morning nap. Now this is not to be confused with her mid morning nap, or the early afternoon nap, or the mid, and late afternoon nap. Then we could take another paragraph about her evening naps.

After "Jim" left I pushed the refer into the frontroom. There is really no reason to put the refer into the kitchen with the pending demo on the calendar so I strategically placed it next to the couch in the front room in case I need an adult beverage it will be close at hand.
Not really, I haven't even plugged it in yet.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Breaking big rocks into little rocks

Not really, but some how over the years there migrated a few hundred pounds of cement and limestone into the yard. It was such a nice day today that I lit the rockets on the car and flew home to start a bit of yard work. Some PO planted Junipers and then ringed the area with the "stones".
The first pic is the area and the last is all the rocks I pulled out. The Honda is there for scale. Or is it the rocks are there for scale?

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


I thought I would start out working 0n the french doors tonight and maybe get some of the windows taped off before I started the stripping process. The first picture is of the door before I started messing around. So I started my messing around. I pulled the hardware off and really marvelled at the detail of the mortises. I don't want to take anything away from today's carpenters or finish carpenters, but you have to admit whoever did these sure did a great job and took their time. I mean the brass was in there tight. Pretty cool huh?

In the last picture you can see where I ran out of tape to finish off the window panes. Think about it 3 panes across, 4 high, both sides and 2 doors. That is 48 panes that need to be taped off. Really I probably don't need to tape everything off but I am a masochist when it comes to some things. But as I ran out of tape I was standing there looking at the cobwebs in the overhead joists and thought of the cool little heat gun that I bought a few weeks ago and never really used yet. I was also thinking of some of the other things you could use a heat gun for.
Making toast! everyone likes toast even Elwood Blues.
Defrosting a freezer
Ok, here is one! You only eat half a Ding Dong (I know, a stretch) but say your in a hurry and need to reseal the package to keep your chocolate jewel fresh for next time?
What if you wear Lee Press on nails? ( I don't) but you could heat it up a bit, and reform that plastic back to your finger.
How about creating a bunch of smoke from the melted paint, thinking your pretty smug about melting the paint off and the furnace kicks in and fills the whole house with that great smell? Now that is more of a reality than defrosting a freezer.

But I digress. Picture 5 is where I am happily melting paint and I hear a strange sound. Now there are tons of weird sounds that come from an old house and I really just thought it was one of my poltergeist (I don't care what you say, I have one, and maybe two that like to play pranks, knock things over etc.One I call Joe, the other? just "Knock it off") But anyhow what I was really hearing was the glass making a low cracking sound. I looked down and sure enough, crack! Ok, note to self, don't put the heat gun "on" the glass to get close to the mullions and fry the paint off. So fall back, regroup, assess the situation.
What I did do was take off all the paint around the door and far enough from the glass so as not to humor the gods with my stupidity.
It is kind of cool the way it peels up and then when the paint cools on the scraper it just crumbles off. Alot less mess than using chemical stripper. But I still need to use some stripper to clean up the mullions.

Saturday, April 11, 2009


So I have this insider friend at the local Home Depot. I get a call and she tells me that they have this GE SXS refrigerator that is a return. So the story I was told by my "insider" is a guy buys this $1300 refrigerator, takes it home and finds out that it doesn't fit in the space that he made in his kitchen. So he brings it back to the store for an exchange and there lands in my lap a brand new Stainless Steel refer that still has the protective plastic film all over it and never plugged in. I really didn't think to much about it for a couple of days and wandered in to the store Friday afternoon to take a look. The damn thing was marked down to $818. Couldn't belive it. This almost ranks up there with the dryer I found at Sears a month or so ago. Again I could have been knocked over with a feather. I haven't seen even a black or white unit in this price range let alone a SS model. So I snagged this deal up and set a date for delivery.

Here is the model number if anyone is interested: gsh25jsxss
I really have not done to much on the house the last week or this weekend with family in town and Easter. Hopefully I can get back on track this coming week and get more trim stripped and sanded.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


Haven't done to much the last few days, but I did manage to get 13 pieces of trim sanded, stained and finished. I have only put 2 of the pieces up back around one of the doors.
Sorry to be so boring.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Slide Show

All I did tonight was play around with the slide show at the bottom of the page, added more pictures, did some stripping, and some staining. That's it. Sorry uneventful night.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

More Kitchen pics

Here are a couple more pics of my kitchen layout. As I get more of the plans scanned in I will add them to the blog. I am getting pretty jazzed about this project underway, Beth did a great job putting this all together.

Now here is another picture you can put your own words to. I like:

Man I am feeling gassy after eating that cabbage.

Feel free to copy and paste the image on your site and add your own caption!