May 31, 2015

13 Reasons I Love My Husband

Today is my wedding anniversary.  13 years.  13 long, long years.  And even after all this time, I love my husband.  And I figured it was time I told my loyal readers why:

1. He doesn't like sports.  

This was one of the things I was looking for in a husband, and I never stop being happy that I found it.  

2. He can fix anything.

Every time he fixes something for me I wonder how people who don't have him around survive?  

3. He is always prepared.  

I am somewhat less so.  And honestly it makes me a little lazy, because I know with him around, I don't have to be.  I never carry a knife or a flashlight because I know he always has one.

4. He doesn't care that I don't know how to count.


May 30, 2015


Lani the Builder is back!  I thought he wasn't going to work again until Monday, but we found this when we got to the house on Saturday.

Those are ceiling joists, in case you didn't know.  Which are pretty exciting, as lumber goes.

  So I'm sure the question on all your minds is, did Richard finish all of the plumbing and electrical work he had to do??

Nope!   And most of what he has done is under the floor, so there isn't even much to see.  But here is one picture of some of his pipework mastery.

And you will just have to guess for yourselves what is hidden beneath this cloth.  Terribly Mysterious.

Mostly I just act as a gopher and a helping hand, but I got to spend the day today nailing in outlet and light switch boxes.  Which was very fun, cuz it meant I got to DECIDE where they would go.  I'm always annoyed at light switch placement, and now the power lies with me to decide where the power lies.  Ha!

Lastly, we have this picture of the ceiling in my living room.

Richard was working on the drains and vents for the laundry room, and cut a small hole in the ceiling drywall to get access to it, and the rest of the drywall was so wet and rotted from all the rain that it just fell out.  Fun.  Until next time!

May 24, 2015

Conversations with Colin

"Mommy?" (I'm trying to ignore him.  He is supposed to be going to sleep)
"What Colin?"
"What sound do bears make."
"Uh, Rar.  Or Grr. Something like that."
"How do you know?"
"I just know stuff."
"Lots of stuff?"
"Yep.  Lots of stuff."
"But you don't know my secret moves."
". . . No. I don't know your secret moves."
(He does some fancy kicky motion that I can't see because most of him is covered by a superman blanket.)
"Those are my secret moves.  Don't tell anybody."
"I wouldn't dream of it."

May 22, 2015

Kitchen Designing For Dummies

The title of this post would probably be more accurate if it was "Kitchen Designing BY Dummies" because I don't know what I am doing. Planning my kitchen is both exciting and terrifying.  And stressful as anything.  I've come up with a few arbitrary things that are important to me that the design is based around, but I'm afraid that as soon as the kitchen is put in, other more important things will become obvious and painful and we will be kicking ourselves for not having the foresight to plan for them.  I've tried to think of everything.  I know that I have failed.  And I am always second guessing myself, but at some point we'll just have to pick a design and run with it.

Here are some of the things that are on my kitchen mind.

1. The ideal for the kitchen triangle (which may not be as important as we've always been told) would be to put either my oven or my sink in the kitchen island.  I don't want to do either. At all.  I don't want my dirty dishes stacked on the island.  Period.  Cooking on the island might be nice, but I'm looking forward to a big stretch of uninterrupted counter space, for rolling out cookies, painting masterpieces with my kids. cutting fabric, or just filling up with clutter and stacks of stuff that I haven't found the energy to put away yet.  Which means the island is off limits, leaving me two walls for fitting everything on.

2. The mudroom enters the house right through the kitchen.  This might be annoying. I'm hoping it will be bearable, because it is too late to change our plans now and it really was the only viable option anyway.  But I want to prepare for the fact that there will be more traffic through the kitchen than I am used to.  I don't know HOW to prepare for it.  But it is surely something I should keep in might, right?

3.One wistful day we spent an hour looking at counter depth refrigerators. And then suddenly realized in a moment of brilliance that since we are still in the construction phase, we can build a recess in the wall and set the fridge at whatever depth we want.  Instead of paying more for a smaller fridge, we can have a big fridge, and have it counter-depth too.  Win Win Wahoo!.  This is my favorite idea for the kitchen so far, but it does effect where we are able to put the fridge.  There is a large support beam that runs through the wall right where I had been planning to put the fridge all along, which means I'll have to put the fridge somewhere else.  That alone is messing up my plans more than anything else.  I had everything where I liked it.  I am doing this all on instinct (which may not even exist, by the way.  I don't know if a sense of most correct kitchen layout comes naturally to me or not).  I keep making up a drawings in Google Sketchup, and hoping that when I see the right one I will know it.  So now I have to come up with another drawing that feels ok to my sense of kitchen rightness. It is proving difficult.

I know I have been fretting over more than just 3 things.  But I have no idea what they are.

Richard said we have to decide on the layout tonight, because he wants to run all the plumbing for the kitchen tomorrow.  But then he went to bed.  It stresses me out, but he is the one who actually has to RUN all the pipes, so it is fair to say he is more stressed out that I.  Which is a huge relief.  I'd hate to be the stressedest.

So here is my favorite layout at the moment.  Hopefully you can tell what is a sink and what is an oven.  The dishwasher is right next to the sink.  And next to the fridge is a tall, deep cabinet.  The countertops are dark, with white upper cabinets above.  Making sense?  In this picture the fridge is built into the wall in the utility room, which really is a great place for it.  But will the fridge feel too far away?  How will I know until it is built and way too late?


I like the sink being over on the left wall, but the opening just below that goes into the mudroom and I have some concerns about children running by while I'm washing dishes.  Will it really matter though?  No matter where I put the sink, the children will find me.

So that is where we are at the moment.  My tiny little brain is about taxed to the breaking point.  It is just too many decisions for my simple mind to make.  To sleep!

May 9, 2015


No new progress to report. However, in the time since Lani the Builder left a week ago, it has not stopped raining. I'm concerned about all the new wood and sub floor they just laid but it is my original house that has me really concerned. With half a wall and part of the roof gone upstairs there is plenty of space for rain to run in. And water is getting EVERYWHERE.

Here is the 2nd Bedroom with part of it's roof gone.  There is a good chance the floor slopes to the left and that is why the water is running All The Way Across The Room.

This is the ceiling in the living room, which is right underneath the 2nd bedroom. It is covered in blisters full of water.  

Upstairs is one big puddle.

The addition downstairs looks surprisingly dry by comparison.

Someday maybe it will stop raining. I mean, come on, how much moisture do those crops really NEED anyway?

May 1, 2015


It was the most gorgeous day today.  My men have gone off camping (Father and Sons Campout: No Moms allowed) and it is blissful.  Just after the sun went down I went over to the house all by myself and the weather was perfect and I took pictures and basked in the beauty of everything and the conviction that no one was going to fall 12 feet to their death.  Not this day.

So today was the last day of building for the next 3 weeks.  They worked as hard and fast as they could to get as many interior walls up as possible.  Feel like seeing a bunch of pictures of 2x4's? What could be more funner?  

Here is the view from our neighbor's house.  Oh wow.  That addition is enormous.  It may very well look horrendous when it is done.  Our old brick house with a behemoth glued onto the back.  Like a little brick hermit crab. Seeing our drawings become reality is scary.

They cleaned up a lot when they finished working today, so I'm including some more pictures of the downstairs, just for the heck of it.

This will be the pantry.

And here is the kitchen, dining room, living space.  Almost move in ready, no?

Another kitchen shot.  That wall at the back is right where my oven will go.  Sometimes I stand there and imagine I am cooking, just to try to see what it will be like.

Here is the utility closet.  

Lets head upstairs, shall we?
Here we have the doorway into what used to be the master bedroom, but what I am going to call the 2nd bedroom.  

Just outside the 2nd bedroom is the laundry closet.  Big enough that I can have a regular washer and dryer instead of stacking, which means I don't have to use a front loading washer any more.  Hooray! I don't know if it is just the way they make washers nowadays, or just front loading washers, but what I do know is that about 8 years ago we sold our regular washer and dryer to my parents so we could get the stacking kind, and we have gone through 2 washing machines since then, while the pair we sold to my parents is still working just fine.  What is that about?

This picture is taken from inside the 2nd bedroom.  The doorway over on the right goes into the closet.

And here is the new wall they built to replace that sad old brick wall that was falling apart. Nifty.

Further down the hall, we have the entryway to the 3rd bedroom.

And this, boys and girls, is a wall.
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Here is the closet for the 3rd bedroom.

And here is the master bedroom.

Doorway into the master bathroom.

My Shower.

And lastly, the master closet.  It is pretty big.  We have a lot of crap, and need somewhere to put it.

A mess of 2x4 walls, for your viewing pleasure.

Last, but not least, a hall.  I love how open and airy it is, right?  Ceilings are overrated.  They just block the sun.  I think we'll leave this one off.  

And that is the end.  

While Lani the builder is gone Richard is going to run all the electrical wiring and plumbing.  Or most of it.  He'll run what he can.  But I probably won't be updated you so regularly as I have been, because a new wire attached to a wall is not very exciting, not like this thrilling lumber filled post has been.  So I'm sorry, but you'll have to survive without your construction site fix for a little while.  But you'll be in my heart.  Never doubt that.  Au Revoir.