Labor Day Weekend

Saturday and Sunday, with the help of my parents, we attempted to paint the exterior of our house. It really needed it; the paint was peeling badly and there was bare wood in some places. We asked our neighbor, who’s lived in his house for 20+ years, and he said the last time our house was painted was 8-10 years ago, so yeah, it was time for a new paint job.

Also, we didn’t like the color. Or rather, part of the color. The house was mainly white (fine) with forest green shakes at the top. Ugly. So we decided to paint the green part a nice blue-grey.

This was an interesting experience. First, we powerwashed the house earlier in the week. This removed a lot of peeling paint, but we still had to do a LOT of scraping on Saturday. This included standing on a 22-foot ladder, and somehow, I ended up being the one to do most of the high ladder work. This is ironic, because I actually have nightmares about climbing up a ladder and then being afraid to climb back down it. It was fricking scary. But I did it. It was a bit like riding a bike, actually– at first, I made my dad stand at the bottom of the ladder and hold it the entire time I was up on it. In time, he let go without my noticing, and I realized I was okay.  Actually, once I got to the point on the ladder that I was standing and scraping and/or painting, it was okay. Climbing up was the hardest part.

Closet Project

We’re building a walk-in (sort of) closet in some of the unfinished attic space next to our bedroom.

It will be the first and only real closet in the house. Our house was built in 1925, which I love, but old houses weren’t big on closets, so we just have a couple of big wardrobes. It’s fine for now; we’re basically using the second bedroom as a big closet, but when we have a kid, we’ll need that room for a nursery. So we need to get our clothes out of there.

We were going to hire a contractor to do the closet for us, but my husband’s friend offered to help us instead. He’s really handy had has done a lot of renovations on his own house, and his work is seasonal, so he has a lot of free time during this time of year. So we basically just had to buy the materials, and it’s been very affordable! I was hoping to actually be able to help out with the work, but unfortunately the weekend we did the bulk of the project, I caught a really bad cold and could hardly do anything. But I was able to observe and learn a little bit about how to do this kind of stuff. And once the framing was done, my spouse and I did the insulating on our own, since that wasn’t anything we couldn’t handle.

I also acted as the official project photographer.  Here are some pics of the project:

Busy Week; or, Too Much E Time

I’m feeling very tired and kind of stressed and cranky today. I went to bed early last night – lights out by 10! – and slept fairly well, but I’m just exhausted. It’s because I haven’t had any down time this week, except a little bit on Monday evening.

Tuesday I had dinner with my girlfriends, which was fun, Wednesday I had class, and then last night we went to a birthday party and were supposed to go to my husband’s friend’s stand-up comedy show afterwards. My husband ended up taking me home before he went to the comedy show, though, because I was so tired and his friend wasn’t on until late.

Aside from class and the social stuff in the evenings, I had 3 solid hours of advising yesterday at work, and I have another 3 solid hours today, not to mention all week I’ve been worrying about the mold in the basement and finishing my warm cloak for Fest this weekend. I have to try to do that tonight at my parents’, because my sewing machine broke.  Ugh!!

I really want to go to Fest on Sunday as well, just to play and take come photos, but I think I need to take the day to get some alone time and also to work on getting rid of that mold.

Fest 2010: 4th Weekend

This weekend I only attended on Saturday. I really wanted to go out Sunday, especially given that the weather was gorgeous, and next weekend is supposed to be cold and rainy, but I just had too much to do (rid basement of mold, sew cloak, read for class, etc). Sadly I didn’t even get those things done – the mold project was too overwhelming and I didn’t even start, and my sewing machine crapped up after I sewed about an inch of my cloak, and I couldn’t figure out how to fix it! ☹ I did get it cut out though.

But Saturday was a good day. It was busy, as we were scheduled for an extra show, and a bit difficult because our shows, except for the 9:30am one, were moved to Bad Manor Green instead of the Bear Stage. This was actually good in some ways, because we had a ready-made audience of all the people sitting in front of Ye Olde Saloon to eat, but it’s a pretty high-traffic area, so it was sometimes hard to concentrate, and also I had to try to play even louder then normal. That, combined with the wind, which is difficult for flute players, lead to a bit more physically taxing day than usual, but it wasn’t too bad.

During our one long break (12:30-2:15), I watched Four Pints Shy at Folkstone Pub while eating lunch. About halfway through lunch, I noticed that there was a dead baby mouse on the bench next to me. Appetizing! During the short break between our 3:30 and 5 shows, I caught a few more minutes of Four Pints Shy and did some general wandering about.

House Projects Wish List

There are several projects I really want to do to our house, ranging from small to big. From smallest to largest, they are:

1. Install 3-prong outlets where we still have 2-prong ones, fix some outlets that are currently inactive, and install an outlet in the bathroom (old houses and their outlet-less bathrooms…. how am I supposed to dry my hair?? Luckily, I rarely do that in the summer, but in the winter it’s a different story!)

2. Wall off the basement “bathroom.” Right now it’s not really even a bath “room”…. it’s basically a toilet and shower in the basement. That should be easy enough… all we’d need to do would be frame a wall and drywall.

3. Touch up paint in our bedroom, the “baby’s” room and the kitchen. This requires getting paint mixed to match the pre-existing colors in the bedrooms, since we left those rooms the colors they were when we moved in. I also want to repaint all the trim/baseboards/doors/window frames.

4. Paint the exterior of the house. It reeeeally needs it and we should have done it this summer, but the unexpected furnace and AC replacement ate up all our funds. It will have to wait until next year.

5. Refinish hardwood floors in living room, dining room and possibly the kitchen. (Not the “baby’s” room because there’s a huge armoire in it that I don’t think we could move to finish under! And our bedroom is upstairs and carpeted.)

6. Tile the main floor bathroom wall around the shower, so we don’t have to have 2 shower curtains. Also paint the walls a different color.

7. Convert some unfinished attic space (part of the attic is already converted into our bedroom) into a walk-in closet. Right now we have NO built-in closets in our entire house, and basically right now we use the “baby’s” room as a big walk-in closet. That is fine, as long as we don’t actually HAVE a baby… but our plan is to begin to have a baby next summer, so sometime within the next 2 years, we NEED to do this project so we can move our closet upstairs into an actual closet and free up the “baby’s” room for the baby!

8. Pie in the sky: I’d love to replace our windows. That’s not going to happen, though.

Number 7 is the most urgent. I think we’ll try to get that done before next summer. My husband has a buddy who is really handy and could help us out, and he works pest control, which there’s not a lot of demand for in the winter in MN, so his winters are pretty open. I think we can hire him for relatively cheap to be our guide and help us out, so we can do most of the work ourselves but not be totally clueless.  The buddy already said he’d install an outlet in our bathroom for us, so I’m sure he can help us knock out number 1, and possibly 2, as well.

Number 3 we can obviously do on our own…. we just need TIME! We’ll paint the exterior next summer for sure. 5 and 6 may never get done, but I can still dream…. I definitely think at least doing the shower would raise our house value, but it would be complicated, because currently our shower’s only against the wall on 2 sides, so we’d have to build a glass-block wall or something on the 3rd, plus one of the walls has a window, so we might even have to glass-block that in. Just tiling the wall wouldn’t be too difficult or expensive, but adding those to pieces would be a pain. Also, the faucet is currently on plain wall, not tile, so we’d have to tile the area where the faucet is, which would man cutting holes in tiles, and that sounds complicated. But having 2 shower curtains is a huge pain, and there’s no where to put shampoo and stuff. We have a shower curtain with pockets on it right now, and it works fine, but doesn’t look all that nice, and I’m really afraid the weight is going to pull the rod out of the wall one of these days…

Oh, that reminds me, the curtain rod in our bedroom is coming out of the wall, and so are the coathooks in the entryway. Those are minor repairs, but they need to be done. And our front door doesn’t open in the summer when it’s humid… probably should get that fixed one of these days….

Le sigh… the joys of homeownership…….