Monday, March 30, 2009

Did I mention?

My mom is on a flight to CA as I type. She is coming out for my birthday (today) her birthday (Wednesday) and Easter.
Stuntman is leaving tomorrow for the corporate home office until Good Friday. The two trips just happened to coincide... Stuntman didn't know he was leaving until recently.
I hope my mom doesn't mind the mess!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Making progress

A lot of progress has been made on the remodel. Nothing fancy, and it's still a mess, but progress has been made. The engineer came back with a plan, so the guys have been working on the sheer wall (pictured above) and giant bolts that go into the foundation at several (6?) places. These bolts are as tall as I am and they go through the floor and into the foundation. Construction is so much simpler in places that the earth doesn't shake. Earthquakes have never really affected this neighborhood in the past, but there is always a chance. We're much more likely to be in the path of a brush fire. Isn't California great?
Seriously, I love it here... my neighbors are awesome, the weather is amazing, and everything (beach, mountains, desert, Disneyland) is within an hour drive.

You may not be able to tell, my my new dining room is taking shape. What was once a GIANT laundry room, is on its way to become a dining room. The patio door or lights aren't in yet, so it will look a lot less like a cave soon.

My kitchen is about the same, except most of the cabinets are in, including the island. I've always wanted an island. I also found a pot rack on Craigslist, yea!
Countertops should be in place in a few days. That island is big enough to roll out some serious lefse!

My contractor and his crew are amazing! What a wonderful bunch of guys. Last week, I had a truckload of soil delivered for my seriously undernourished garden. Two of the men were awaiting delivery of materials before they began work for the day. When I began the task of bringing wheelbarrows full of dirt into the backyard, they helped. Not only did they help, they did almost all of the work! I'm talking 6 cubic yards of topsoil into the backyard that is on a slight uphill. I was planning to take 2 days to do it myself! They weren't being paid to haul dirt... they just happened to arrive a bit early for the job. They wouldn't take anything for their trouble, but I think they will be by in a couple months for some fresh tomatoes.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


It seems as though having gaping holes in your home during a remodel may invite unwanted guests.
Stuntman and I were in the kitchen chatting and out of the corner of my eye, I saw something looking at me from an exposed rafter. It saw me and scurried back further into the attic.
Stuntman didn't see it, and thought that maybe my eyes were playing tricks on me.

I was upstairs typing and heard the airsoft rifle on full-auto in the attic. No luck, because the battery is low. It's currently on the charger.
We just heard one of the two large traps go off. Empty.
I think we may borrow one of the neighbor's cats. Maybe the one that caught the rabbit in our backyard yesterday.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

A runner

Yesterday was E1's first track meet. She's wanted to join track since kindergarten and she seems to really enjoy running. The coach spoke to me how he sees real potential in her and how he is looking forward to how she progresses. The other coach also gave great compliments about her "mind of a long-distance runner". It seems that her downright stubborn side and determination is paying off now. It was a mock meet, so kids were able to enter as many races as they wanted and it was very relaxed. She ran the 800, easily. As 8th graders ran past the finish line out of breath and exhausted, she ran past the finish line (not far behind them) as if she had just ran to the mailbox and back, not a half mile! She also ran the 100, 200, 400, and the 4x400 relay. E1 definitely does not take after me. I only run when chased.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Technical Difficulties

Everything is on hold until Tuesday. It seems that our house isn't constructed like originally thought, something about beams in the other direction, nothing major, just a need for re-planning on the architect's part. Soooo, today it's just me , E3 and the dogs at home. It's good to give Roxie a break for a day. I think she was growing tired of sleeping on the sofa and barely raising her head to bark at the workers now and then. She needs more sleep than that and they were disturbing her.
The architect is talking with the city engineer for a new plan approval, something about a sheer wall and earthquake and tie downs, and other things to make sure that my 2 story house doesn't become a ranch-style house if there is any earth-shaking.
I do have my new sink in, I like it... and it shows how it is just a matter of time until it all comes together. My washer/dryer is operational once again. It was out-of-service for 4 days but by the looks of the hampers it must have been out for 4 weeks. My oven is also operational so no more microwavable foods or take-out. We did hit the kids favorite restaurant, Soup Plantation, earlier in the week. We were definitely in need of fresh vegetables and that place is always a huge hit with the kids. They love piling their plate with every vege, and they actually eat most of them! (They know that the more veges they eat, the bigger bowl of soft-serve ice cream they can have at the end)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Before and During


Day 1

Day 2

Now that the plumbing is complete, and the new tankless water heater is in place, the guys began on the kitchen.
I was left with a functioning kitchen over the weekend, but Sunday night I needed to empty every cabinet. I have stacks and stacks of dishes in E3's room. Luckily, the weather has been nice so he hasn't played in his room at all.
The decision about the countertop was the easiest yet. The trip to the slab warehouse was fun. The kids accompanied me... and luckily, they didn't break anything... not even close. Although the girls fought over who got to carry the small sample of soapstone on the way home. They took turns every ten miles.
The "before" picture definitely looks better than the other two photos right now. I can't wait to see the "after".
As you can see in the "before" pic, my cabinets began protesting when they heard about their impending doom. Drawers broke, shelves fell out... it was a conspiracy. Similar to the range's recent protest.
I'll keep you posted...

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Checking in

I have started a post more times than I can remember... but I am finally going to finish this one (I've said that before too).
It's been a bit busy around here. In the last few weeks we have gone through two nasty viruses, one stomach, and one cold... and I caught both. Things don't move smoothly when mom gets sick.
We just returned from walking around the neighborhood delivering Girl Scout Cookies. (Butterfly Wife, yours will be in the mail tomorrow). We lucked out and all but one person was home.
It's a beautiful day today. In the 80's I'm guessing.
Stuntman is working his butt off cleaning out two rooms that are in the path of demolition this week. We are doing some house remodeling that involves moving Stuntman's workbench and the laundry room. It also means cleaning the playroom in order to access everything. It's amazing all the crap that can collect in 13+ years.
Next week, I'll need to find a place to put everything in my kitchen while it is remodeled. I can't wait to say goodbye to my pink kitchen tile! I didn't even know they made pink grout.. seriously... who special-orders that?
I don't do well when there are too many choices... it took me two hours to pick out the color of white that I wanted for the cabinets. Many more choices, and my head may explode in the next month. Wish me luck, I'm going to the slab warehouse tomorrow to pick out the countertops. It is very likely that my head WILL explode.
I'm also in the midst of creating a new website for the girl's school. It looks great so far, if I do say so myself. (don't judge by the looks of the blog, I haven't put my best effort in it, sorry)
OK, I must post this now. I need to go back to helping Stuntman before he tries to move the washer and dryer by himself... like he did with the freezer.