Thursday, March 29, 2007

It's All But Finished Now

The flooring guys showed up at exactly 9am - two absolutely wonderful Bosnian men who were far more perfectionist than I am. They were a bit thrown by the fact that I do not have a level floor in the entire house and they had to do a bit more prep work than they had anticipated but they did it beautifully and cleaned up after themselves and made sure I knew not to use hot water to mop (hot water will cause the floor to yellow - who knew?) When they left at 2 I immediately drove to the northside to pick up the odd-size white floor register covers I ordered and I just can't believe how great it all looks!

I still have to put the final coat on all the baseboards (I knew they would be installing primed shoe molding so I only gave the baseboardsone coat). I still have 4 electric outlets and one light switch to change over to white. I still need to move stuff back in and hang artwork. Other than the baseboards this is a piece of cake and I should be able to get almost all of it completed by Sunday (APRIL FIRST!!!)

SO here ya go:

Mudroom before:

Mudroom after:

Kitchen before:

Kitchen after:

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

More details . . .

24 hours from now I will have new floors! I am so excited I could just faint!

Since completion of the painting I have been concentrating on detail work. For instance, all of the outlets and light switches and their covers were those off-white yellowy-looking things and I was determined to replaced them all with white. This means changing out the wiring. I thought it would be fairly easy but because this house is so old I have been running into some problems. Nothing I can't deal with but it's slow going.
When they finally are finished they look magnificent!
Also I shored up the mudroom windows. I installed new knobs and barrel locks on them. The barrel locks serve a dual purpose - they provide security and also they keep the windows closed tightly so I can't feel wind coming through them anymore!Last week had a woot-off and I broke down and purchased something I have wanted for a long time - a mini DVD recorder. It's refurbished so was very very very cheap. I hope to use it to document tomorrow's install and will try to find a way to post it here.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007


The flooring guys will be here Thursday to install the new vinyl. I am getting so excited. Still a couple of small things to do but they will take almost no time at all so I'm in the end stretch. So in the end stretch that I've begun digging through artwork to try to decide what I will hang where.

Today and tomorrow I will post some detail photos. Of course I first need to post about the range hood. Funny backstory here. I picked up the hood at Lowe's Saturday morning and almost immediately began installation. I marked the correct holes and mounted it. I was a bit disappointed because I realized I would have to do a bit of ductwork but decided if I could get it screwed in and wired that would be simple. So I followed every direction carefully. I turned on the circuit breaker and . . . NOTHING! All afternoon Saturday and all day Sunday I stewed over it. I decided I would call Ramiro (my contractor and the love of my life) on Monday to come do it right. MORE BACKSTORY - remember that the hood replaced a bathroom steam exhaust fan? How do you turn on a bathroom exhaust? You flip a toggle switch, right? OK - BACK TO STORY. I am in the shower late Sunday afternoon still stewing over my dismal failure when the lightbulb goes on. I turned off the shower, wrapped a towel around me, and dripped water all the way to the kitchen where I flipped the switch that controlled the previous contraption and VOILA! The range hood is fully functional!!! A totally blonde moment. Totally. Seriously. DUH-HUH. Can you imagine if I had gotten Ramiro over here and he had flipped that switch for $50 or $60???
OK - pics now. Detail of the wiring for the hood. Which I did perfectly by the way.
The new ductwork for the hood. Which I did all by myself. Which is perfect by the way.

Stove with hood fully installed. I can't wait to fry some bacon and boil some pasta!

And for an extra - here is my pantry door. It has been without a doorknob for 6 years. For 6 years I have stuck my finger in the knob-hole to pull it open. Now it has a knob and here it is:

Gaga is excited y'all!

Monday, March 26, 2007


Pollen count in ATL today. 100 and over is considered severe. 100. No zeros missing. 100. A week ago it got to 900+. A couple of days ago it was near 2,000. Today it was 5,499. Every year for about a week it is like this. I call it the green days. Here's my truck this morning:

And now for a cat photo:

Clockwise from 17 year old Sonny who is at 8:00: Sonny, Camille, Dylan and baby Phoebe. They eatin'. Them happy cats.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Pink? NOT!!!

The mudroom is finished. OK, actually while I was painting the trim I found a couple of places on the wall where I didn't get full coverage with the roller. I painted the walls in there at night and the lighting isn't so good. You can't see them unless you're right up on them but I know they are there so I will take care of that this weekend. Here are a couple of results shots:

The previously hideous back door:

I'm not sure if I've posted a before shot of the windows so here is a shot taken at the home inspection in 1998 - also a good chance to see the hideous textured ceiling and the hideous berber carpet which was only surpassed in hideousness by the worn vinyl beneath it but at least the vinyl was easier to clean:
And here is what it looks like now:

I'm on my way to Lowe's in a couple of minutes. The range hood is in and this weekend I will amuse myself installing it and taking care of small details (I have quite the large list for these so-called "small details"). Will post photos of all the fun as it happens!

Please everyone keep your fingers crossed that the flooring comes in and gets installed in the next few days! I would so dearly love to have this all finished by April 1!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Update With Photos!

This week I was able to get the kitchen almost finished. I still have the tiniest bit of trim to paint - the baseboard behind the fridge and the doorway into the study. Also I have to replace the rotten kickboard under the sink counter which I ripped out a couple of weeks ago. None of this is a big deal. I got the cabinet doors back on and found some terrific knobs for them. I put the stove back where it belongs and it's plugged in now for the first time in about 3 weeks. For the rest of today I plan to re-fill the cabinets which will clear up a lot of the clutter lying around the house and will make me feel a whole lot better.

This week the range hood finally came in. It was supposed to take 8-10 days and it took 3 weeks and they sent a 36" when what I ordered was a 30". So today I returned it and re-ordered and hopefully it will be in before the 26th.
I also ordered the flooring which will be sheet vinyl in a white, slightly textured tile pattern. I think it's going to look so good. As soon as it gets in the installer will call me to schedule installation which I hope I hope I hope will be prior to the 31st because I don't want this project going into April.
Obviously the countertop now sticks out like a sore thumb and once I get all the other pending things taken care of I'm going to look into a new countertop and sink. Plain, simple, white. I just have this thing about a clean kitchen (also bathrooms).
Of course there are various and sundry details - all the outlets and light switches are a gross off-white and now they just look like crap so I'm going to replace them all with white and then put white covers on them. I want to do some kind of simple window treatments - maybe a scarf or swag over the sink and cafe curtains on the back window. I don't want to cover them but I want to soften them a bit. And then I get to go through all the artwork that isn't hung and choose what will hang in there!!! Once I get the mudroom trim painted (there is a LOT of it in there, including 3 doors) I'll be down to the really fun details. By this time next week - WOW!!!
Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

Monday, March 12, 2007

Just a Quick Update

No photos tonight - not because it isn't photo-worthy. It is so photo-worthy you couldn't believe it! I just want to make sure all the trim is painted before I do the reveal. Of course this will be the pre-flooring reveal. All walls are now painted in the green. It is such a soothing light mellow green. I would be the first to be surprised about choosing green but this color is so very wonderful and subtle and yet retro enough to look right in this house. I just can't tell you how this lifts my spirits which weren't really down to begin with.

I've started some of the woodwork but to my eye it will need a second coat. I don't want to do this at all and probably any one of you would walk in here and never think another thing but that fucking pink trim has had me so traumatized for so long that I HAVE TO KILL IT COMPLETELY. If I even imagine I see a bit showing through I need to do a second coat. I swear I will not become OCD over this and feel free to stop me if I start writing about doing a third coat. THAT would be excessive.

Pictures I promise will be forthcoming in a day or so. Now I need to go. A new contact is going to call tonight and I need to feel pretty so will go change out of these dirty paint-encrusted sweatpants and into a clean pair. He looks promising but then I've said that before.


PS to Suerk and Veggie P. - thanks so much for your comments. On this project I find I have an up day and then a down day when it feels like it will never be finished. Your comments keep me going!

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Ceilings painted gloss white now - entirely washable. I'm about to hit the shower and then will go get the wall paint - here is what I've chosen:

A nice pale sage green. Photo taken while it was still wet - actually it's a satin finish and I think this will work well. Trim will be gloss white.

Crew will be here Monday afternoon to measure for the new flooring. I am SO going to be paying this off for a while. But I'm very happy that so much progress has been made in so short a time. I am amazed - on January 1 I was thinking I would work on the bedroom first. Now in a few short weeks I will have a huge project behind me - one I really didn't see happening for quite a while.

Sometimes life sucks you into the vortex and you just have to go with it.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Ongoing House News - With a Strange Twist

Since my last update I have been priming the mudroom at night after work. Little by little.

When I (we - I and my ex) bought this house 8 years ago (we moved in 8 years ago today in fact) the people who were here previously had flipped it. In 120 or 130 years there had been only a few owners and they moved in and god bless them in 2 short years they did upgrade plumbing and electric but made many mistakes which I continue to try to fix. But the funniest thing to me is that every wall and ceiling was painted this kind of flat eggshell color and in every room there was a different trim color. A very nauseous trim color. The bedroom isn't too bad - a kind of royal blue trim. I can deal with that. The living room used to be a baby blue trim until I completed that particular project several years ago. In the study and extra bathroom it's this dark pukey seafoam green. Next on the list thank you. But in the kitchen and mudroom it was this dark pepto bismol pink.

For EIGHT YEARS I have lived with this. For eight years I have walked in my door and wondered why my house seems to suck the very energy out of me. I have been angry and sad and all sorts of weird feelings - some very justified but most not and I could never understand why I would be at work and look so forward to coming home and then get here and get depressed adn only want to live on the couch until bedtime.

Tonight - just now - I have completed priming the very last of the pink woodwork in the mudroom. I knew I felt much better after priming the pink in the kitchen, and I still have the walls inthe mudroom to go (but that might take an hour at most). The pink is now gone. While priming I found myself spending a great deal of effort to fill in every single tiny pinprick of a hole that had pink paint in it. It's done now. I will have a huge job ahead of me when I begin to actually paint the trim but the pink is gone. And for some strange reason I feel a sense of catharsis. There is not a single bit of anger. I feel energetic. I feel hopeful.

This is so weird and I almost don't want to say it. Mom was here in the late summer/fall of 04 when I was recovering from the achilles thing and in a wheelchair and she has talked about how angry I was then. Then I went to Japan for that year and she talked about how my anger seemed to be mostly gone. I really think (and I might be reaching here but stick with me) that this pink fucking trim was part of the problem. When I was away from it I had no anger. When I was stuck looking at it in a wheelchair I had definite issues.

Now it is March 2007 and I am liberated!!!

Pink is GONE NOW!!!! There is NO PINK IN MY HOUSE and I am happy and content and relaxed. Don't get me wrong. Pink is pretty when it's soft and pastel and in clothing. Like a pretty cashmere cardigan worn with gently aged jeans and some Bass Weejuns. Just NOT IN TRIM COLOR!! WHO WOULD MAKE THAT CHOICE?!?!?!

I never have believed much in the color thing but I have to say that getting rid of this pink shit has done wonders for my spirit. Life is good! There is still a lot of stuff to deal with but THE PINK IS GONE and I'm so happy and relieved I could just cry.

Pictures to follow as I continue this project. My drop dead date for completion is thed last day of March. Please hold me to this. I need to cook a nutritious meal.

Love, Gaga

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Gaga tired. Gaga need some TLC. After spending all of Friday night and then all of yesterday on a ladder the priming is finally finished in the kitchen!

I've made the big decision to go ahead with new flooring - sheet vinyl. I might as well. It is a priority in the mudroom and since the kitchen and mudroom flooring need to match I've just decided to go ahead and do it.

I'll get the mudroom washed down today and try to get that one piece of rotten wood removed and maybe replaced. The mudroom is small and I can maybe get that primed in a day, then on to the actual painting!

But today I'm just tired.