Monthly Archives: May 2012

My mind’s made up, I’m doin’ this, I’m doin’ this…*

*Lyrics from Coeur D’Alene by The Head and the Heart from their self-titled album. I found these guys tripping through the Related Artists category on Spotify. I love finding other artists that might match my mood on a particular day. This one fit me today: upbeat, friendly and decidedly happy.

Yes, I worked well into the night. Until midnight the first day. I was a woman possessed.

Have you ever had a project that you always wished you could do, but weren’t sure you could actually do it? That’s how I’ve felt about making curtains. I have always thought to myself, ‘hey, how hard could it be?’, while secretly knowing that it wasn’t exactly easy. Understanding fabric, learning how to successfully operate a sewing machine, measuring said fabric and cutting it straight – these are all things that have sat in my mind as road blocks, convincing me that maybe I should enlist some help before I start on my project. Of course, none of that stopped me from buying fabric, measuring (incorrectly) for panels, and letting all those materials sit, unused, in the house for over a year. That’s right, over a year waiting for me to get up the nerve to actually just do it already.

read on…

I was afraid, I’d eat your brains…*

*Lyrics from Conversation 16 by The National. Mostly because I feel like that’s how many times we’ve had conversations about plumbing inspections. Partly because any song that has lyrics about eating brains is cool in my book. A little bit because I dig his voice, and need something good to cling to right now.

Hire thee professionals with references, permits and licenses. Please. Do it for me.

Sigh. We just failed another plumbing inspection. All because we thought we could just switch out a sink and faucet and tub surround without going through the pesky process of hiring yet another plumbing crew. You see, we’ve had nothing but bad luck with our plumbing experiences. Every single thing we’ve paid to have installed has had to be redone, at least once. I’m not exaggerating, I’m not being hyperbolic – every. single. thing. Sighhhhhhh.

So, now, we’re stuck waiting for more plumbers, and paying to have things done thrice. And this time the original crew has to try to fix a rookie (read: idiot) mistake by a junior plumber (not from the original crew, and totally an idiot) who we mistakenly trusted (double rookie mistake, which in turn makes us idiots, too) to help us out and save us some time/money/hassle. Turns out that that one little shortcut has made the longest path through stress, turmoil and havoc. (Picture me clawing my own eyes out.)

So, please, I beg you. Learn from me. Do not hire friends of friends to ‘help you out’ – hire real plumbers who are accountable, who can be blamed officially by the city (and you) for any mistakes they make; pull the permits and suffer through the inevitable delays caused by waiting for interruptive inspections. Do not think that renovating will be easy – it is hard, never-ending, and hideously expensive (yet secretly totally rewarding). Redecorating, now there’s where the fun stuff happens. The rest, leave it to the pros, I’m serious.

At least our carpentry and electrical pros have been just that – experts, accountable, professional and dedicated to our satisfaction. I have to cling to that right now for fear that I might either explode or implode due to rage.

Wooo sahhh… wooo sahhh… xoxo

I want to show you what love’s all about…*

*Lyrics from Hungry Eyes from the movie Dirty Dancing. Partly this song is inspired by my previous post about the tree we planted for Bec, where I used another song from Dirty Dancing. Partly it works because I wish both she and Patrick Swayze were still here with us. Partly I couldn’t think of another song that could accompany a post about compost. Can you?

At the risk of boring you all to death with pictures of the yard, I have another update to share with you. And it’s even more boring: it’s the compost area. Ugh, I know, who cares? But, you might care since it looks so nice.

AFTER: There's now about an inch or two of crushed bluestone over most of the area 5' x 15' area.

read on…

To the basement, people, to the basement, many surprises await you…*

*Lyrics from Two Door Cinema Club‘s song Undercover Martyn from their album Tourist History. I like to run to this album – it’s short (good for brief workouts) and peppy. Ok, I like to have private dance parties to this album, too. Don’t judge me.

Ok, ok, I know I owe you a big post. (Absence makes the heart grow fonder?) Well, feast your eyes on this before and after:

Basement BEFORE: knotty pine, shabby (not chic) carpet, dingy paint, peeling wallpaper.

Basement AFTER: new paint, new carpet, new baseboards make for a bright, fresh, inviting any-purpose space.

See? What did I tell you? When we first started our ‘let’s quickly do over the basement’ journey we had a wallpapered, stained-carpeted, knotty pine accented, dreary space. Not to mention (ok, I’ll mention it again, in case you missed it the first time) that after Brad rewired the whole house he had to make all these holes in the wallpapered walls (that turned out NOT to be so easy to patch). Anywho, long story short(er), we decided to paint, paint, recarpet, and paint some more. We aren’t 100% finished – there’s still the matter of switching out the outlets (from brown to white tamper-resistant), replacing the ceiling light covers, and moving the mechanical controls for the sprinkler system to the mechanicals room (which we never even thought of before now, that’s how little time we spent down there) – but for the photos, well, you’ll get the gist. Besides, eventually, once we get things a bit more styled up, I’ll update you. (You know I will, whether or not you like it.)

read on…

From the West side, to the East side…*

*Lyrics from Randy Newman’s I Love LA. Totally cheesy, totally appropriate, totally ’80s. Deal with it.

You know how, when you’re getting ready to go on vacation, you try to do everything you can to make your return home just as relaxing as you know your trip will be? You do all your laundry, make your bed, clean the house, do the dishes, mop the floors, clean the fridge, clean the bathrooms, deodorize the carpets, etc., etc. Yeah, well, we may think we can get it all done, but we never do, do we? (And, for the record, I got one bedroom clean, and the laundry washed, but not folded – that’s it.) One of the tasks I had set out to do before we left on a trip to the left coast to visit family and friends was to load my blog photos onto Jeff’s computer (since it was really a working trip for him – vacations are hard to plan when you  own your own business) so I could blog while we were away (huzzah for multi-tasking!). Forget the fact that I didn’t have time (or energy – we spent half the week adjusting to LA time) to spend hours pouring over pictures, editing images and thinking up quippy captions, and finding songs to accompany my riveting posts; in this case, I didn’t have the pictures either. I believe this is the time when you could stamp a huge ‘FAIL’ on my forehead.

read on…