Here is the latest in the Wonderful World of Kitchens and What-not!



That is right folks!  We have a sink!  I was so excited the first thing I did was fill it up with dirty dishes!  I have never been so happy to wash dishes in my life.  


It was a good thing we got the sink working because Richard also hooked up the oven.  Behold, the maiden voyage of our new oven!


I tried to get pictures as soon as they came out of the oven, but some vacuum faces sucked some up before I got a chance.

Wanna take a guess whether my new counter tops are clean or not?


Of course not.  I guess maybe I should have taken a better picture of the stove at this point, but all I was really thinking about were the cookies.

Oh, but that is not all.  More sinks!


No more washing our hands in the bathtub for us!  There is now a sink, and a hook to hang a hand towel on and a medicine cabinet/mirror.  It is so fancy.

All of this happened last Saturday, and I was too buy washing dishes and baking to tell you about it.  And then today Richard did this:


Which is a sink on the island.  I don't know why I didn't zoom out a little so you could actually see some more of the kitchen.  Forgive me.  And we'll talk to you later.  Peace!


Back in January we went on a vacation.  We were tired of being cold, so we planned to go to St. George, which was supposed to be like 3 degrees warmer than here.  We would be there 3 days, and two nights.

I told the boys to pack a bag, listing the things they would need:

2 pairs of pajamas
3 or 4 pair of underwear
3 pair of socks
3 pair of pants
3 shirts
and 2 pullups for Colin

Pretty straightforward. I also warned them that it would be cold and they needed to be prepared. They happily ran off to pack and proudly brought their bags back out to me in no time.  Before we left I went through their bags to make sure they had what they needed.  You know.  Just on the off chance that maybe they were missing something. Just in case. 

The Contents of Harrison's Bag:
2 pair of socks, and several additional socks that had no mates.
2 pair of shorts
2 T-shirts, one of which belongs to Colin
1 pajama shirt, belonging to Colin
1 sweater
11 pair of underwear


The Contents of Colin's Bag:
6 pullups
1 pair of underwear
1 pair of socks
1 T-shirt
1 pair of pajamas


When I saw what they had packed I had to start writing it down but before long I was giggling so hard I could barely dictate it to my phone.  And so instead of repacking for them like I had intended, I just packed ANOTHER bag, with all the things they were missing.  I had considered just letting them live with the repercussions of their actions, but sheesh, Colin is only 5.  And I know my children.  Not having a shirt to wear if some stain type situation had happened to the only one they had with them would have led to a Full Metal Meltdown.

When we got to the Hotel the boys found some drawers in the TV Table next to the mini fridge and gleefully dumped their bags into a drawer each.  All was well.

(someone isn't too happy about taking turns.)


All was well, that is, until the next morning when it was time to get dressed.  I was still lazing about in bed (I think it was all of 7:15 am at this point) listening to my little boys' conversation.

"I only have one underwear!  I forgot to get more!" Colin said in dismay.
"I have a lot of underwear." declared Harrison proudly.  "You can use some of mine."
"Thanks!  But that is my shirt, Harrison!  It is too small for you!"
More rummaging ensued and Harrison said "Oh no.  I only have shorts to wear."
"I don't have any pants at all!" said Colin.

I was snickering into my pillow at this point.  It was all happening just as I had foreseen.  And when Harrison said, "Wow!  We are really bad at packing!"  I burst out into a loud, "HA HA HA!" and then they jumped on me.  Vindication!  We don't get a lot of emotional validation as mothers.  Sometimes a little vindication is the best you are going to get.

And because I ALSO packed them the extra stuff they needed, we had us a real swell time.






Do you see that happy skip of Harrison's?  That is a boy in his element.  He would happily climb on rocks and explore caves ALL DAY LONG.



I don't know what this place is, but I totally want to build a village like this in my backyard.



Colin took that picture.  And I think maybe upside down really works for us.  

Thanks for stopping by!


And then there was this!





The countertop guy attached all the sinks, and the oven was delivered and so maybe on Saturday when Richard has time he can hook up the water to all the sinks, and hook up the dishwasher and the oven and then we will have a functional kitchen!  No storage, but still!

And for any of you in the market for ovens, I would recommend checking Best Buy.  I looked for used Stainless steel gas ranges on KSL, but there was only one, and they were selling it for $850.  I found this Whirlpool range at Best Buy for $450.00.  We got our microwave there too, and both prices were cheaper than we found them for at Home Depot and Walmart.  Who knew?


I have zero time for words, so this is all I have for you.  You will have to interpret it for yourselves.




I'm not dead yet.  I'm still kicking around over here.  And we will not be able to close the book on Project Darkstone until the city has done their final inspection and declared our house COMPLETED.
Not much has happened since we last checked in with you, so here is what we have:

A New Shelf in the Laundry Room

It started like this.


Purely functional.  Shelves like these are really easy to build.  All I had to do was find the studs, choose my height and then make sure I screwed the support boards up level before screwing the plywood on top.20160307_135134

And then all it took was a board screwed to the front to give it a more finished look.


Heck, I may even go so far as to fill the screw holes and then paint or stain it.  I just might!

Moving on to the master bathroom:


Shelves like these are all over pinterest and I had to get in on the action.

All it takes is some black pipe, a cap and a flange screwed together to make your supports, screwed into the wall using drywall anchors.


Then I got a board from my back yard, cut it to length, and set it on top.  I think this wood was one of the original floor joists from my house.


I didn't sand it, or stain it or anything.  That is the fun of reclaimed wood.  Its fine just as it is.

I also made this using black pipe:


But I used the wood from the vanity for the little shelf.  It turns out it is really handy to have somewhere to set your cell phone while you are on the toilet.  You can buy these for around $40.00 on etsy, but it was really easy to make.  Black pipe isn't cheap though, and it still cost me about $18.00, just for the parts.

Last of all, we have the stair rail.


I could have cleaned the tools off the stairs before I took this picture I suppose.  But why?

Lani the Builder also finished off the newel posts with all the necessary trim pieces and it looks beautiful!





Oh, I also pulled up the rest of the paper that was laid down to protect the floors during painting.  And as quick as I could pull out my camera to take a picture, my kids had left some toys in the middle of it.


But gosh it is pretty, isn't it?




I asked Colin to make a face to show how he felt about the new banister.  I feel the same!


A few items worth of note:

I made this vanity:


Using plans from Ana White.  A year ago I got it into my head that I wanted to build the bathroom vanity.  I'm ambitious like that.  As time progressed and as I got busier, I started to think it was a bad idea.  But I had already told the builder that I was going to make it so the cabinet maker wouldn't have to (his price was $800) and I didn't want to deal with telling him that I had got too lazy.  So, after putting it off as long as possible, I just did it.

I finally got the walls painted in my bathroom too and tried to put the vanity in the space designed for it, but it was too big.


So I got out the belt sander, sanded some off until it would fit, then stained it and pushed it into place.


You know how that scientific phenomena goes: Nature abhors a vacuum and clutter abhors a surface.  We really need to figure out somewhere to put our tools, but right now most of them are on our bathroom vanity.  I haven't built the drawers for it yet, because we've still got to put the sink in and run the plumbing to it and I'd like to build the drawers to fit AFTER that part is done.

We're going for kind of an industrial look in here, and I thought these bulkhead lights would be cool as vanity lights.  Plus, they are only $16.00 a piece from Home Depot.  Win-win!


Last night Richard installed the toilet.  He kept saying, "As soon as you are done painting, I can just plop that toilet right in there." or "It should only take me a minute to plop that toilet right down." or "I can't wait to plop that toilet in!"

And when the time was right, that is exactly what he did:


And here is the shower, if you care:


Here are some more light fixtures for the light fixture lover in you.  If simplicity is your thing, then maybe this light fixture is your thing as well.


(I know it isn't hanging straight.  I just installed it today and I'm confident that given time, gravity will do its thing and straighten it out.)

The light fixture, without the bulb, is only $14.99.  14.99!  I paid $13.00 for the light bulb, but it is an LED, so it ought to be worth it.  BUT, on, you can get a 5" silver bowl light bulb like that one (non LED) for $6.99.  A five inch bulb in there could turn that into a serious pendant light.  It is a Globe Electric Mini Pendant, if you are interested.

And last of all, these:


I found these lights at a yard sale for $5.00 a piece.  3 of them, actually.  But I wasn't really into the copper and brass.  So I spray painted them silver. Big surprise.  The underside, however, was kind of this cool brushed gold, and I thought it might look awesome with silver on top and gold underneath, so I left the underside alone.


And guess what?  I love it. These are my favorite thing in the house right now, so I give them two thumbs way up!

In other news, I washed dishes in the bathtub today.  It was easier than I thought it would be.  Like washing in a giant sink.  And the tub has only been used once, so I figure there isn't any gross people residue in the tub to contaminate the dishes, right?

Stair Parts for Dummies

If we're going to talk stairs, there are a few things you need to know.  Here is your 37 second lesson on Basic Stair Part Terminology.

(If you are asking yourself at this point, "Then What in blue blazes is a Banister?" - cuz maybe you talk to yourself like that, who knows - A banister is the sum of all the things: A handrail combined with the balusters makes a banister.  Ok?  Ok.)

Now you know everything you need to know.  It is important for you to know this, otherwise the entire time you are reading this post you will be saying "What are you talking about again?" Which is exactly what Richard says everytime I want to talk Stair Parts with him. 

This is how my stairs look right now.


Those 2 posts you see are the Newel Posts.  They are installed and secure.  That square block just hanging out there on the wall to the left is the rosette.  The handrail will end there.

Newel Posts are good.  But you can see that it is still 100% possible for people to fall right off of the stairs, or right over the edge of the landing at any time.  As such, we can not yet say that these stairs are "DONE" in the conventional sense.  I don't like to knit pick, but to really feel done I'd say we still need a handrail and balusters.

We got all our stair parts from a local place, and Lani the Builder took all the balusters to a shop somewhere to have them painted.  I don't know why, but this took a couple of weeks.  But they finally came back.  Hooray!  Here they are!  In a stack!  By a Dinosaur!


But when he went to install them, he realized that half of them were too short.  

Let me demonstrate with another diagram I didn't make:

Those are the same measurments we needed for our balusters, but all of ours are only 36".  I don't know whose fault it is, but the question is somewhat pointless.  What matters is that we don't have what we need, and we need to get what we need.  It was decided that Lani will make us some new balusters, get them painted, and then bring them here and install them.

Maybe by the end of THIS week I won't have to hold my breath every time the kids walk up and down the stairs?

So now you know.  I challenge you to take this new stair knowledge and go show it off at home shows or at Parent Teacher Conference.  Everyone is sure to be impressed!