Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Are you ready for my new kitchen?

It has arrived!
Well, mostly.

I have a stove, a fridge, cupboards (some missing doors or handles), a countertop, floors, most of my electrical, light fixtures (most of them naked), an enclosed support column, primed walls (for the most part), baseboards...

I even have my kitchen table set up (in the dining room) so I can eat on something other than the floor. I have already had two proper meals at said table, complete with candlelight. I have cooked on my gorgeous gas stove and used my oven. I have washed dishes (not yet using the dishwasher as it has a final electrical thing required). I've reheated food in my microwave (though it still needs to vent to the outside). I have food in the fridge and cupboards. I have kitchen storage that keeps taking all the pots and pans and appliances and dishes I throw at it. And storage continues to abound.

It is coming together.
I am LIVING like a real person in my house.

The other day I went to Home Depot and bought weather stripping for my front door and fancy furnace vent covers and adhesive. I spend Sunday doing all the little odd jobs that needed doing INCLUDING weather stripping my front door. I can no longer see the outside when my door is closed. The house is immediately warmer and I feel like frackin Hercules, I am so powerful!

I adhered the bits of vinyl flooring that I needed to. Now I have a few strips left to install and it's all done upstairs. After putting on the stair nosing, of course. Again, I will feel a powerful sense of accomplishment when that is done.

Now I need to concentrate on the little things left for my contractor to do, paying him, getting some carpenters to do some open, built-in shelving for me and other odd jobs. And then, after two weeks of pretty diligently doing my yoga and other back-improving exercises and stretches, I need to concentrate on going on my ski vacation on Friday.

Yay house! Click for more house photos on Picasa.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Oh, for a Château on the lake

I was in the middle of my usual late-night blog editing, email-responding and typing, clicking and dragging, when I came across this photo.

This is a real photo. Taken using some technique, no doubt. But a photo of real place. A Château on the lake. With the sun coming through the clouds.

I'm pretty sure this place is not filled with drywall dust, nor are the floors covered in cardboard. My guess is that you can probably walk around in your bare feet, unafraid that you will step on a nail or a shard of wood.

It probably has a properly functioning vent from the kitchen. This contractor did not make the random decision to just vent the natural gas fumes into the house instead of outside, as directed.

I'm going to take a wild stab and say that it probably also has a fridge. And the delivery people did not tell THESE people that they would deliver between 5-9pm and then show up at 1:15pm when, in theory, the contractor should have been there anyway working on the baseboards that this place would definitely not be lacking (but wasn't). No, I'm sure delivery happened exactly when they said it would. And if it didn't, the shop who made the mistake probably bent over backwards to make it right and did not blame the innocent Château owner who of course would likely NOT have been without a fridge for the past two weeks.

I'll even betcha that their washing machine drains beautifully. No half-draining and then leaving your shower curtain a sopping half-washed mess.

Nor would the bathroom smell like pee. And of course the bathroom light would work and not hang from electrical wires pulled from its socket. And when you walked in the door, you would be able to turn on the light instead of feeling your way to the other side of the room in search of the switch.

I'm sure that life in this Château is pretty restful. Calm. Quiet.

But perhaps they want the excitement that Chez Cathy brings. Perhaps they are bored with their lack of challenges and recognize that they are becoming lazy, slow and weak because they have none of these trials to test their savvy -- to keep them sharp.

Certainly, they must be green with envy.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Living in my house

After days (weeks?) of prep work upstairs, I am finally sleeping in my own house!

You can see the flooring that me and my best-loved helpers installed in my second level. It's vinyl. What does that mean? It covers over all of the stupid rises and falls of this old house. It's quiet and warm. It looks like wood (or at least laminate). It's water proof and super easy to clean. It bends and goes under the existing molding. And it cuts with an exacto knife.

The master bedroom and guest room (my soon-to-be roommate's room) and the hallway are all done. The landing is half done and I'm debating whether to start on the third bedroom or not. Right now, I'm waiting for the numbness in my index finger to go away.

I have a bed in my room. I have two dressers. I have a closet filled with my clothes. Yes, all my clothes in one place! It's like coming home after my year traveling in Australia and realizing what it's like to live in one place again.

My bathroom has a shower curtain up. I have civilized bathroom items like make up and moisturizer in a basket under the sink. I have towels hanging up. Tonight, I clean up the "linen closet" and the back bedroom (or my work room, as it is actually used these days) so that my roomie will have space to put her things when she moves in this weekend.

And downstairs?

Downstairs looks like a construction zone. However, I do have updates:

  • I have gorgeous granite in my kitchen
  • I have a sink in my kitchen
  • I have new appliances (although they're still in boxes)
  • I have internet being installed as I write this
  • I have hardwood being installed in my front room right now.
Tomorrow, I might be able to use my microwave and a fridge! For now, I use my window sill as my refrigerator.

I'll be honest, I've eaten my fill of chinese food, pizza and KFC. My love handles have as well. I'm ready to cook. I'm ready -- my house is a little reluctant, it seems. But I do have a kettle and I can clean off my toaster tonight. Peanut butter toast, here I come!

It is slow progress, but it is progress, all the same.

Friday, January 09, 2009

It's beginning to look a lot like a kitchen

I walked into my house last night and was greeted by the vision of my half-finished kitchen.

Now, some of you may think that elicited disappointment as I am moving in tomorrow to live in my "new" house. Not so. I was excited. I have cabinets, for goddessakes! This is exciting!

Not only do I have cabinets, but the cabinets look good. And:
  • I have hardwood flooring in my kitchen (although not in the rest of my house).
  • I have an amazing stove (delivered long ago).
  • My OTR micro, dryer and dishwasher are to be delivered imminently.
  • The electrical inspector came by again (not sure if he's done, but at least he came).
  • I have enclosed walls and ceiling.
  • I have lights.
See? Things are OK!

And last night, I put down the last pieces of flooring in the second bedroom (my soon-to-be roommate's ), so I have TWO rooms with flooring upstairs! And Gordon made some good progress in the hallway's flooring.

There will come a day when my house is done. Or, at least, when a person can live in it with all the comfort of a home.

In the meantime, have a look at some pics of my unfinished domain and our flooring party here >>

Sunday, January 04, 2009


As my contractor puts the somewhat-finishing touches on my hardwood floors downstairs (and by that I mean that he is only a third of the way done as he is waiting for my kitchen installer who will be done at the end of next week instead of the beginning of last week, but that's another story...) I am doing my OWN flooring remodel upstairs.

Meet my TrafficMaster Allure Hickory Resilient Plank Flooring that I'm installing (with help from my mom and dad and Gordon -- none of whom have installed something like this ever before) in my second floor.

I was going to paint my upstairs for the year that it will take to get the money together for my second reno. Something short-term but reasonable to walk on. Then I took a good look at the so-called "sub-floor" up there. Yikes. Holes everywhere. And I can't have carpet due to allergies. So I saw some cheap laminate there at the Depot and thought, "well, maybe I can install this and reuse it in my basement someday..." But the cheapness of the product meant that it would likely splinter if I dissassembled it. The flooring specialist recommended this stuff.

I was sold.

It's pretty cheap. It'll go over my totally uneven floors. It's easy to install (ie: I don't need a saw like I would for laminate). I can later take it up when I want to reno my upstairs with REAL wood and use it in my basement where it will be waterproof and mildew/mould resistant. So it's not throw-away money.

And tonight I found out that it actually looks GOOD.

I would likely be fooled if I walked into a room with this stuff down. Unless I dropped down and scratched it with my fingernails, I might not be able to tell. So that means it's much like laminate, but easier to install (in my opinion) and more durable and reuseable.

Yay! New cute floors that might actually be done before I move in next week!