Th title has 4 totally unrelated things done this weekend.
It’s October, just a week from Halloween and my roses are a wondrous sight to behold. I never grew roses before, until this year, and so I am not sure if they are supposed to bloom this late, but they look great. My favorite color is yellow, and boy are the yellow ones looking beautiful. I will have to research how to keep them alive through the winter, because I don’t want to lose them. Now I will show you some photos:
I am having issues with doing this post as I can’t find my tags or other things I am used to seeing on the old dashboard. Blog-talk. Found them in Edit mode. Now where was I. Oh, yeah, roses. Here are a few more pictures of a red rose bush and my beautiful pink climber:
On to the stairs. Lynn spent the week getting the stairs to the correct thickness and cutting them to size. I spent the morning going over the underside of the stairs with a planer and wood chisel. Installed them then stained them. They aren’t perfect, but good enough for me. Much better than they were. There will be a runner down the center of them that will cover some of the imperfections and seams. But they are real stairs now. Only have 8 more to go. Right now, they are waiting on a budget increase. Remember this part is “a pay-as-you-go.” Maybe by Christmas.
This has been a little progress on the house. In between times, I am trying my luck at writing my second novel. The first one is on the house and is a result of this blog. It is what I did on NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) from last November 2014. It is still in it’s revision stage.
This November I will be writing a novel on human trafficking and that is why I have been doing all the research for the last 3 years. I will tell you more about that in a later post. In the meantime beginning November 1, I will be focused on writing 50,000 words, so my updates may be a little slow coming in.
Whoops, I almost forgot the Rowing Machine, mentioned above. Yes, about the rowing machine 😦
Lynn has decided that we needed to pull out the rowing machine that he has had in the storage shed for at least 27 years. You know how you have the best intentions of doing exercise and you buy these machines that sit and gather dust? Well, we have a few of those. I have gone through this so many times with him, but alas, if he will use it, I can’t complain too much. Can I? I will let you know how that turns out.
On that note I think I will head to town to get a banana split.
Thank you for following my blog. I am always open to comments and suggestions.
How is your weekend going? I would say mine is going way too fast. Posting about the Dream House has been sparse as I haven’t been making a bunch of progress, but I thought I would give you a little update.
The stairs have really been a challenge for me. A little back ground for all those that haven’t read all my posts. My husband (Lynn) built the framework for the stairs which is sturdy and strong. A mite complicated for me, but then I am only a novice and have been in this apprenticeship program for only 20 years. 🙂 Anyway, the contractor put down temporary treads and risers made from OSB. They had a sub that gave an estimate for the stairs along with the railings. What we got was the railings and just the stair overlay for the railings, with about a quarter of a stair. A picture will help you get what I am talking about.
This was not what we thought we were getting. We thought we were getting a full stair and installed. Guess we needed to read the fine print. Even the general contractor was surprised. First by the fact that that was all we were getting, secondly, that the sub wasn’t installing it. Which meant that the general contractor had to install it. It was not what either of us thought we were getting. The general contractor was awesome because they knew we were in a set budget so they did it. They were the greatest.
I spent several unsuccessful days arguing with sub about this. They said because I was going to have a runner that they thought the carpet was going to be from the 1/4 stair to the wall, so that was what their estimate assumed. Unfortunately, I lost that battle. When you think you are getting stairs, you don’t expect them to be a portion of a stair. Hemlock was the wood that was used in their overlay and it was 1/2 inch. They gave me an estimate of about $12oo to furnish the remaining false treads, and we still needed to install them ourselves. It was very frustrating arguing with them because I truly felt like I was being talked down to as they told me that putting on the false tread, then putting the runner over it would not be as strong as just putting the carpet to the wall. What!! I know he was handing me a load of crap, and I told him so in a in a nice way, but it sure got my hackles up. Made me bristle, so there was no way I was going to spend another dime with them.
Okay, now I am left with needing to find something that would match with what I had. So, I went to my “go to place” Home Depot online and found false treads for stairs made out of oak. Actually better wood, the only problem was that they were 11/16 inches thick. I had concerns about the grains matching and how to get them to be flush with the 1/2 step ends that were already installed.
I ordered one-step-set to see if I could make it work before I purchased all of them.
They stained beautifully and they will match when I put another coat on the ends. But the thickness was a real problem. Here are more photos of what I am looking at:
I was only looking at the solution from one angle (taking that 3/16 off the OSB) until yesterday when I was doing massive amounts of work to make them mesh. My initial thoughts were to take the OSB thickness and sand it down 3/16 so the seams would be flush. I started out with a palm sander (easier for my small hands). That didn’t do very well with 60 grit sandpaper. Then Lynn has an orbital sander (heavy duty) with 40 grit, so I tried that. That thing would get away from me. I was covered in sawdust even with a face mask, then a scarf tied around my nose and mouth. You know like the cowboys wear when they are robbing a stage coach. It was still taking forever, plus it left the corners to be sanded. Next I tried a Dremel tool that I bought just for this purpose, but using it a slightly different way.
I planned to use the oscillating saw to actually remove the OSB step and replace it with a thinner piece. That was my first idea when my co-worker, Preston, said that it would weaken the stair because it wouldn’t line up over the stringer on the balustrade side when I replaced the OSB. He understands my brain and how to explain things so I understand them. Okay, that option out the window. Besides they glued the steps down and they would be a challenge to take them up.
So yesterday, while covered in saw dust, I was seriously considering taking that mill sub-contractor to small claims court. I am not a litigious person but the harder I had to work to get this done right, the madder I get. Lynn and I were thinking of other options. He thought about making a pass on the false tread with the table saw and then I could use my Dremel tool like a chisel and match it. Which would have still been labor intensive. While he was explaining that to me, I had an epiphany. The idea was to take his dado saw on his table saw (which I don’t think he has ever used) and set it to take off the 3/16 to make it the same thickness. I had discarded that option originally as the steps come with a bull-nose cove molding and a lip that hangs over about a 1/2 inch. But by adding a strip to stabilize it, it can be run through the table saw and adjust the fence each time until you get it cut down. That is doable. I have used a table saw, but it was many years ago, so I defer all the sawing to Lynn.
Now we have a plan that will keep Lynn busy this week, cutting the boards to size and thickness. I will then stain them and put them on. Now the trick is to get Lynn to actually go out in the shop and do it. I’ll let you know how that goes.
Also, today I decided to go outside and trim my Iris’.
Got a little bit of that done, but got sidetracked with replacing fence posts and cutting down star-thistle around the stock tank. My son and grandson, Steven and Leon, did all the heavy lifting and digging on the posts. Then they hauled some boards from the side of the porch. Gotta put those boys to work when I can. Can’t let that opportunity pass. Now they are watching the Seahawks game and we have ribs in the oven. So this is going to be a good day. 🙂
Okay, I’m back to finish what I started a few hours ago. Had to take time to eat those ribs and fried potatoes. The boys have gone home to chill out. I tried to get some photos of them, but Leon really wouldn’t cooperate. Wanted to get a picture of them with the posts that they put in. All Leon wanted to do was show me his back side, as he said, his good side. Kids they never cooperate.
Well, that puts me at the end of this blog post. Thanks for stopping by for a visit.
Beautiful day in the great northwest, 63 degrees and sunny.
Sorry I have neglected posting on this site. I have been busy moving in. Entertaining my grandkids that came to visit for a week. Putting up closets and unpacking. We have been in the house for almost 2 months and I still have a gazillion boxes to unpack.
Our steps aren’t finished yet, because I just haven’t gotten to it. I did buy a step cap from home depot to see if I can make it match, but have been doing other things and that is just going to wait for a little bit longer.
We have been busy doing yard work as it has just been too beautiful to stay inside. We have been putting in railroad ties and hopefully next week we will go and get some 2X6 boards to put up. We are anxious to have our sweet Kinzie with us. She has been boarding next door. She will probably get lonesome when she come to our house, so she will have to visit her Romeo every now and then because they play so well together.
Now for a few pictures:
Now for the boring closets:
Then the finished closet:
Now for my favorite spot, my office:
Now for a couple of photos of my pets.
I have signed up to do the wordpress writing 101 challenge, so I have to get busy and finish the two days I am behind. I know I have a lot of new blog watchers, love you guys. So welcome and I will post more later.
Annie, the blogger for Dragonflysanddreams.wordpress.com
I will be blogging there for the next 5 days. Stay tuned 🙂
I haven’t posted in about 3 weeks as I have been having very little movement on the part of the contractors. This project, for them, is winding down and they have moved on with other projects. As much as I try to focus on the positive and I love my contractors, I am beginning to get a little anxious. So in some of this post you will sense my frustration with the process and how long it is taking. But there are still things that have to be done before the final inspection.
The plumbers have got to hook up all the vanities, tubs, drains, kitchen sink, dishwasher and shower. We ran into a snag when the tub was unpacked, it had a crack so it went back and we are waiting for its replacement which I hope will be in this week. They worked last Saturday, but I had purchased 3 wrong faucets and had to return them and get new ones which I did immediately. Tho they were able to get some of the other faucets and the water heater installed, they still need to finish. Now I have the new faucets and am chomping at the bit to get done already. They are supposed to be here on Monday.
Also the floor contractor has almost finished putting in all the carpet except the living room. He has to also finish grouting the shower. He will be here on Monday, also, and will be focusing on the living room carpet which is a floral design which will make matching seams a challenge.
Shower almost finished
S & K Mountain Construction and Hays Electric have been wonderful, but some of the subcontractors are being a little challenging. There was obviously some miscommunication with reference to the stair parts that were supplied. The staircase is very complicated and now a question with reference to whether the full stair will be supplied or whether there will be carpet put there instead. I thought when you purchased stairs, that meant the complete riser and bull-nose step. They are telling me that they understood that I was going to put a runner down the steps and only furnished the end caps and that the rest would be carpeted. This is where the misunderstanding needs to be ironed out. But first we have to have a meeting to go over this, and the supplier cancelled (or was a no-show) to the meeting that was scheduled last Wednesday.
The key being the runner. The runner I had in mind was bound along the sides and went over the steps leaving about 6″ on each side exposed. But nothing can be decided until we meet so that is going to be my focus beginning Monday. I will let you know how it turns out. Here is where we stand now.
In the mean time, I worked for about 3 hours today staining the railings that I didn’t get to before it was assembled. That takes more prep work than I like, but it has to be done, so there you go! Tomorrow I hope to finish at least that project.
Other things that are going on is building a fence for the back yard so Kenzie can be secured safely. That requires post holes being dug. Lucky me I have a well-able-bodied-post-hole-digger, Steven. It brings back memories of when he was a teen, and the never-ending post holes that he had to dig. He almost has it down to an art form. We are talking big post holes for railroad ties. I believe he has 3 or 4 left to dig, then muscling the posts into the holes. I think that will be a two person project. Then the 4 rails to match the front pasture.
I will post more pictures of the claw-foot tub faucets and the post holes and fence as it progresses.
Well, as I am seeing New Years Day coming to an end, I am hoping that the rest of the year goes better than today.
It’s cold, about 20 degrees outside now and may have got to 25 and at one point. The sun was shining and calm and actually pretty. I can tolerate the cold if there is no wind.
Day started out with a bang. Of course its a holiday, and we have a clogged sewer line. Lynn thinks there may be tree roots in the line. Tried to clear it with a snake, but will have to call out the big guns tomorrow. In the meantime, no laundry gets done, can’t shower and we are using the new house’s facilities. Not optimal, but workable. Will be calling the plumber in the morning. Ugh. Must have been the mirror I broke a week ago when the shower door fell-out of the shower and hit the medicine cabinet. It’s a pivot door and not easily fixable. Put it back in and it fell out again two days ago and hit the vanity and broke the stone top. Another ugh!! On to more positive news.
I Spent the day putting stain on some of the step parts in the foyer of the dream house. It came out a little darker than I planned, but will look good nonetheless. I need to put some wax on it after the they have dried some. Using Min Wax Stain and the color is Honey. Looks like dark walnut to me. What do you think?
Protecting my floor and walls. The staining begins
After my humongous electric bill, the heating contractor is coming out tomorrow to put on the heat-pump thermostats and we should see a difference. So we have been operating on an inefficient electric heat furnace. This is going to take awhile to get back on my feet from that sticker shock.
Have to keep telling myself that this journey is going to be through shortly. At least the main part. I was looking at the fence that needs repairing and a stable that needs painting and a lawn to put in. Where is chocolate when I need it….
With that all being said, I am a very happy and grateful person. I grumble, but I am very fortunate to live in this beautiful area. I am in good health, have a roof over my head and food in my belly, so I’m really not complaining.
Family and friends are all that really matters, everything else is just that, things.
I know this is a little late for Christmas, but I still feel it in the air. Been busy packing and working and painting and caulking… on and on. Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas spending time with family and friends. That makes for a beautiful Christmas’. We didn’t really celebrate much this time as we are in the middle of finishing so many projects. Hoping that we will be able to move into our new house sometime in February.
That progress at this time is: Most of the trim is down and waiting on the counter tops and some flooring. The counter-top will be installed on Tuesday the 30th. The guys have been working on the stairs and they are going to look amazing. All the appliances have to be installed and the 2 claw-foot tubs have to be installed. The faucets and plumbing items are purchased and should be delivered by the 5th.
My son Steven will be coming to stay with us for awhile so he can get registered and, hopefully, accepted into the nursing program at WWCC. It is his dream to be a nurse, and I want to do all I can to help him recognize his dream. Bonus is, he will be a lot of help around here. Never realized how limited we have become in this past year. Everything seems harder and seems to take a long longer to accomplish. Just need to set goals and keep working toward those goals.
I did get a rude awakening when I got my power bill this month. It was $799+ for one month. It went from $139 the previous month to $799. To say that took my breath away, would be an under statement. The power company along with the heating company will be coming out to see what is going on. I knew the bills would be higher, but I was not prepared for that. Needless to say that has put a tremendous damper on things around her. Holy molly, cross you fingers and hope it is a malfunctioning meter.
Now for some photos: We will start with the tile in the shower.
Still now finished, but I am sure the flooring guy will be a fixture in January.
Then there is the staircase. To say I am excited for the stairs is an understatement. It will be the focus of the house. Lots of natural light and something I can decorate next Christmas. Oh, boy I can’t wait.
The guys also installed the French pocket doors in the upstairs bonus room (aka man-cave). Also, I found an entertainment cabinet that I am going to use as a wet-bar sink. Our little wet-bar is only about 3X4 and I had to get creative. Excited about how it is going to turn out. Not much of a drinker, but it could be a coffee bar. I love coffee.
Interior French pocket doors
While working all the time, leaves little time for anything else, I did take a moment to snap a few photos of our really muddy April. She is our little yard ornament and can’t figure out what the fuss is about. Looking forward to spring when everything greens up and we have warmer days. Then we can look out our front windows or sit on the front porch and watch her play.
She has a stable mate, Buckwheat the llama, but he wasn’t having anything to do with the photo shoot.
More photos and more blog through-out January. Hoping our move-in date will be real soon 🙂
Though I am but a witness to the sheet rock going up, and not actually having to do it, it is exciting. This is the time that things are becoming real. The rooms are taking shape and it’s all starting to come together. The ceilings are almost done. The one ceiling left is the gazebo room, or family room is what I like to call it. That one being the most difficult is saved for the last.
The living room looks so much bigger than before, I can’t imagine what the walls will do for it. I guess this would be the time when I should be looking for paint samples. I will be doing most all the painting as my budget just won’t stretch that far. Sounds like a winter project to me. Now for the living room.
I am hoping to take the week off and get work done around here. I can’t believe it is already Sunday. Where did Saturday go?
Status on the posts. One is completed and drying. The other one has one coat of the white, it needs another coat of white then taped-off for the colored stripes. We will be putting both posts up tomorrow and taking down 2 more to finish. As soon as those are done, I will begin the painting on the outside of the house until the weather runs me inside or I need to paint the walls before moving. E-gads, moving, that is another expense that I don’t look forward too.
When you come into the entry way the ceilings are vaulted to about 22 feet and the staircase is the first thing that you see. Then the living room and there is a small bar that is located under the stairway. As Lynn and I are not much for drinking, we will probably use it more for a coffee bar. It has a little sink and a place for drinks to be prepared. This is what you are seeing in the next photo. Plus Lynn is doing his inspecting.
One of the things I am really excited for is the stairs. There are 3 sections with a 2 small landings, and we added a small balcony that is just above the door. Spindle rails will go up the side of the staircase and in front on the balcony. Will post photos when that is done.
Now I need to talk to Gabe to see what comes next after the sheet rock is mudded. Is it the trim work or the flooring or the painting?
Grassi Refrigeration has installed the two heat pump units. One for the upstairs and one for the downstairs. I don’t imagine we will be using the one upstairs very much, just when we have company. Maybe you are wondering why we are building such a big house for just the 2 of us? I always wanted a big Victorian house, and when it is done, we can have the kids and grand kids come and visit. We have been so cramped for space that we had to always bring out the inflatable queen size bed and put it in the living room.
I have spent about 8 hours on Saturday and 8 hours on Sunday just working on the posts. It is boring and tedious work sanding, filling with Bondo, sanding some more, filling some more…… ugh. Working on two this past week, and there is just no way of speeding along the process. I broke the palm sander. I know, I know if I get near anything mechanical it breaks. On this, the rubber pad came off so I had Lynn check to see if he could order a new one, but they are discontinued. Only had it 20 years, what’s with things nowadays? I can make it work for now, just have to treat it gently.
On a lighter note, I got a new big-wheel trimmer. Sears had them on sale as it is the end of the season so I had to have it. It was $80 off, so, hopefully, if I can ever get done with the posts, I will trim up some of this weedy mess around the place. I am truly embarrassed at the way things look around her. Even with Lynn being sick in the past, he has always been able to keep the pastures mowed so it at least looked inhabited, instead of abandoned. Can’t stand it, as it is driving me crazy. I’ll take a picture next week (of the weed wacker). It sure is purty.
Update on the house. We have a few plumbing changes that we need done. Smith Insulation is installing insulation with a vapor barrier. The ceiling and attics and under the house are left to do. Sheet-rock will be delivered tomorrow. It is going fast and I am starting to picture it actually getting done. S & K Construction has been awesome along with their subcontractors Grassi Refrigeration & HVAC; Hays Electric; Alden Plumbing; and Smith Insulation. I couldn’t be more impressed. They are very professional and are getting it done. Those are the ones that have been onsite and working on the house so far.
O’Conner’s Mr. Carpet out of College Place will be doing the floors and installation. I took pictures of the samples and will show some of the on this post. Probuild will be doing the doors and trim and stairs. They will instal a spindle rail stair system with fluted and rosette window and door trim. Oh, I can’t wait. I am clapping my hands together. Just imagine a kid on Christmas morning and you will know how I feel. There will definitely be pictures as it progresses. As for now, here are some photos of the flooring samples:
This will be in the in the entry, dining, breakfast nook, kitchen and family room.
The one in the corner. It will be in the entire upstairs except the baths and it will be in the study and master bedroom.
I really like this vinyl planking. It has such a beautiful wood look to it without all the maintenance.
This a focus carpet that will be in the living room and as a runner up the staircase. It’s busy, but will look wonderful in the Victorian house.
So tell me what do you think? Can’t wait to show it all to you done, and actually live in it. I don’t know what the finish date it, but I’m hoping before Thanksgiving as Lynn’s daughter is coming from California. She will be our first guest. How exciting. I forgot to ask if she can paint? Just kidding Diana. 🙂