Wednesday, August 31, 2011

dining…erm, living…

I thought that maybe I should outline the various rooms and our tentative plans for them beginning here.

Ok, this house has this weird room that has a door into the kitchen and a wide doorway into the entryway and a chandelier and a bay window on the front of the house… so it’s supposed to be the dining room but it’s too big to be all dining room but not big enough to truly be a dining room and a full living room.  We call it the front room around here.

View towards the front.

Same room looking in the other direction.  Nice and empty before we let the movers in with the stuff. 

After the movers left – so things were still nice and neat.

It became laundry staging ground after our 10 days on the road.

Starting to unpack…

It got so much worse as I really started to unpack things and continue my game of shuffling crap around the house to move for more furniture or for a project.

After we had the fancy furniture delivered from NJ.

It looks a little different right now but I’ll get to that later… right now, didn’t I say something about talking about our plans for the room when I started this whole thing?  I did.

So here they are in no particular order for now:
- remove boring curtains
- remove popcorn ceiling (spoiler alert – that’s what I’ve been up to for the last 2 days)
- prime and paint ceiling, walls and trim – different colors, of course.  A nice Benjamin Moore Ceiling White for the, uh, ceiling, color-matched BM White Dove for the trim, and Restoration Hardware’s Silver Sage for the walls.  I’m hoping to do this soon so that the furniture can be put in its final home and filled with a lot of the stuff floating around the house.  Those antique pieces are gorgeous but horrific to move particularly on our bizarrely plush carpet.
- move chandelier – not the whole thing just removing the dumb hook that it’s on and pulling it up to the proper height
- reupholster (or recover really) the dining room chairs
- get furniture for the more living room portion of the room
- maybe some crown molding or would that be weird because there’s no molding framing the windows?
- some day I’d really like to extend the wood floors in the kitchen through this room as well.

I know that it probably seems like a weird room to focus on but getting it all smooth-ceiling-ed and painted will allow me to find homes for a lot of the random objects that are in our house right now which will make me happy.

Maybe I’ll post another room tomorrow.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

popcorn belongs in bowls, not on ceilings

1994 called and it wants its popcorn ceilings back.

Every house we looked at had rounded corners on the walls and popcorn ceilings.  Ok, not every house.  We bought the only one we looked at that didn’t have rounded corners but it does have popcorn ceilings.


First step – to the internet, of course. 

Where I found these 2 videos: Video 1 and Video 2.  The basic idea is prep the room with a ton of plastic sheeting, wet the ceiling down with a garden sprayer and scrape the popcorn texture off.  I didn’t follow the directions of either video to the letter, more or less combining the two for a method that worked for me but more on that in a bit.

Second step – buy crap.

I needed plastic sheeting, tape, the ceiling scraper suggested by the first video, face mask, safety glasses, and the garden sprayer.

Third step – prep.

OMG, prep took forever!  I started with our upstairs empty bedroom because I figured that it’s not in use, nor will it be for a while, so I might as well use it as my experimentation ground.  First off, we had to figure out which breaker killed the power to the room since, well, you know, water and electricity don’t play nice together.  It would have been nice if the breaker box a) wasn’t outside (who does that?!) and b) had more labels than a bracket covering almost half the switches labeled “lighting.” 

Then I just started with the plastic sheeting using the method suggested in the second video.

I’m not sure why I didn’t take any pictures after I mostly finished covering the floor (I didn’t actually finish all my prep until I was in progress oops)

So in essence I had made myself a giant plastic box.  YAY.  And also had my first lesson learned – open the blinds before covering the windows.  I did manage to get them open but it would have been a heck of a lot easier to do beforehand.

Fourth step – get to it.

First attempt: I started out using the fancy ceiling scraper tool that is supposed to catch the mess but it wasn’t doing crap or catching anything and I was gouging the ceiling so I quit that.

Second attempt: I moved on to the other corner using a regular 6” putty knife.  Better but not great.  At this point, I was still spraying the ceiling and letting it sit but it just wasn’t coming off in the nice clean manner that the guys in the second video show. So…

Third attempt: At this point I just put the sprayer on the top step of the step ladder and just started to go to town with the water on whatever was within reach and then immediately started to scrape it off.  If it didn’t come easy, spray more water.  This was my second lesson learned: Don’t be afraid of the water.

Spray on water.

Scrape off ceiling texture.

About this time, I sent Will to Lowes to get a bigger bladed something.  He came back with this 12” drywall something or other.  I was really cooking with gas with that thing.

And for some reason I could control that tool a lot better with my left hand which was a welcome relief for my poor overused right hand.

With breaks for lunch and feeding the baby (for which I had to strip and wipe down to do because the plaster stuff got into everything), I got it all off in about 7 hours (not including prep which I did a few days ago).

so pretty.

And of course was left with a gargantuan mess.
I’m not sure that our step ladder will ever fully recover.  

Fifth step – clean up.

All we did was roll all the plastic in on itself and toss it in the trash – should have taken a picture but the baby was upset at the time.

There is a final step of sanding it all down with a sanding sponge but eh, I was tired and we probably won’t get back around to priming and painting the ceiling anytime super soon so I just called it a day.

I will say that this is an “easy” DIY project.  Once you get over spraying water all over your ceiling, it’s mindlessly easy.  It is somewhat physically painful (I think my right thumb is trying to be one giant blister and my back/neck/legs hurt) and horrifically messy but, really, it’s easy.  I will say though that the mask and safety glasses are an absolute necessity.

Now that I’ve perfected my methods, my next victim is the front room (aka our dining/living room). 

Do we think I can do it before we head back East for the weekend?

crap, we have a house now…

um, so yeah, we have this huge, to us anyway, house now.  It’s literally 4 times as big as our old condo (which we are closing on week after next – yippee!) and it needs a little bit of help.


I’ve added a tab up there under the header called “house tour” in an attempt to corral the blog posts that I’m planning to write about all the projects I have planned of which there are many

We’ll see how I fare!

after 10 days on the road (this pic really is from the day we got the keys), you might notice that Sweet P and I are very much dressed down while Will is dressed up – well, kinda.

Friday, August 12, 2011

I will preface this by saying that I wish I was better at writing.

It’s 6:15 and I can’t get back to sleep (both hubs and the baby get up at 5) because all I can think is “he’s gone”

He’s gone.

As of yesterday morning, he’s gone.

He’s gone and it’s not fair.

It wasn’t supposed to happen this way.  We were supposed to get at least 5-10 more years.

I accepted a long time ago that he would never see my kids grow up like he was able to with my sister’s kids but I never imagined that not only would my kids not have a single memory of him, he wouldn’t even get to meet most of them.  She is my shield but it’s also hard to look at Miss P and not think about how he’s not going to be around to see her walk and talk or anything else.

I think that’s the worst part because my dad was (oh god it hurts to have to write “was”) so amazing with babies.  A little less tolerant of kids but amazing with babies.

The timing isn’t fair either.  (oh yes, time for self pity)

We literally *just* moved 1600 miles away.  I have a beautiful baby and a great new house.  This should be a wonderful happy time for us.  And they were going to follow us out to Colorado next year too.

This is not a curve ball that Life needed to throw my direction right now.  Not that there’s ever a good time.

I did get to see him last week but how was I supposed to say goodbye to the only man who loved me for the first 26 or so years of my life?  In trying to be hopeful and upbeat when we left (twice even since we didn’t make it out of Philly airport the first attempt), I feel a little like I robbed myself of the chance to tell him a few things and truly say goodbye.  But that’s my fault and no one else’s.

It all happened so quickly.  He only first went in the hospital on May 31st.  He only came home to hospice last week Tuesday.  14 weeks sick and 9 days at home, really?  That’s all the time we get to wrap our heads around this? 

And another thing… Why can’t we get some research money into other types of cancer?  I think breast cancer has been researched to death and I think everyone on the planet is aware (no offense to breast cancer sufferers).  How about some research on bile, liver and pancreatic cancers so that some day the diagnosis won’t be a death sentence?

Anyway sorry to those of you who are reading this and finding out my unhappy news but I can’t deal with having to talk about it just yet.  I probably wouldn’t even be doing this except I’ve been mentally drafting blog posts for a few days and I can’t really do any of the 13,000 things that need doing (first on the list trying to find the moving truck with the rest of our stuff since it is hauling around 50+ years of family photos some of which we want for the wake) because the babe gets upset if she wakes up and I’m not in bed with her.

This will ever and always be my favorite picture of us, Dad. I’ll never stop missing you.