Wednesday, May 28, 2014

off the checklist...

Condo update:

We haven't been there for a couple of days...we will be there tomorrow after work.

We've completed tiling the kitchen.  We purchased the 12 x 24 matte finish ceramic tiles for the kitchen, utility and bathroom.  I'm still not a big fan of the matte finish.  It somehow keeps a lot of grout haze within its texture.  So when you check out the reflection, to me it looks dirty.  We had the same issue in our kitchen.  Ah well, it's modern and who (other than me) really looks all that much at the floor?

We ordered the kitchen cabinets.  They will take 3 weeks to get here.  In the meantime, Jerome removed all of the thin subfloor that they had under the vinyl tiles - all the way into the utility room.  He needed to remove the water heater in order to get to the subfloor and remaining tiles.  So for now, there is no running water in the place.

There are some tricky things to figure out with the utility room.  The drain in the floor and making sure everything flows toward it.  Where to begin tiling (we think at the drain).  The trap door leading to the crawl space.  Where to install the dryer vent.  And then we need a professional to come and run a gas line for the gas dryer.

I painted the wall behind where the water heater will return.  Wanted to do that while it was dismantled.  Much easier to access the wall.

We need to bring the contractor paper to cover the tile floor in the kitchen so that I can start painting in there.  I guess that's next for me while Jerome handles the tough stuff.  Like I said before, I'm the painter and he's the "everything else" guy.

In the meantime, we are hosting a German student intern.  He will stay with us for 3 months this summer.  He arrived last evening.  First impressions are good.  He seems like a very nice young man.  He's 24.  That's the same age Jerome was when he came to America.  Looks so young to me.  His name is Felix and he is in a band in Germany.  Indy-rock band.  He didn't bring his guitar.  He's got a girlfriend.  I'm sure she's just a tad bit worried about his American adventure, but he assures me that they've been together for 6 years already and there is a much longer separation coming in the future, when she goes to Greenland (I think) for 6 months!  At that time, he will visit her.

I believe, if he allows, I will put him to work.  He came just in time to help us take down that bathroom.  I'll just have to get him a respirator for mold.  And if we're at home, I may just have him power wash the driveway :-)  We'll see...I may just be dreaming.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

in the meantime...

It looks like the AirBnB season has started.  Since the beginning of the year, we've had 9 inquiries and 6 were in the last month!  Last weekend we hosted a very nice couple that were on their way to San Francisco to live for the summer.

This Tuesday we will be hosting a student that will be working at Jerome's company.  He's from Germany and will stay until the end of the summer.  This is our first time living with another person since Justin was living with us.  Should be an experience.

gawd! we're slow...!

It's been just over two weeks since we closed on the latest condo and we've not completed anything.

We've started a TON of stuff, but have completed nothing, except to constantly pack the place with stuff that we trip over all the time.

What have we done?  Well, I seem to be the "painter" and Jerome seems to be the "everything else" guy.

There has been a lot of ripping out and repair of walls and floors.  In the kitchen, Jerome removed the tiles and the thin sub floor that was under the tiles.  After he removed all of the cabinets and appliances, he has had to repair a nice portion of drywall and added newer insulation due to former water damage from the roof.  He had to rip out nearly a whole floor board because of water damage that was making the floor spongy - could have been from the roof or from water overflowing from the sink or dishwasher.  Other patches and spackling.

He has removed all of the wallpaper in the dining room and hall, removed and spackled the area where the chair rail that was glued to the wall.  More removal of tile and sub flooring.  Installed a new light fixture in the hall.

He has removed all of the carpeting and padding from the living room and the bedroom.

He has removed the askew shelving and the appliances from the utility room and has repaired the walls with spackling.

He has installed the underlayment and laminate flooring in the bedroom.  Also replaced the light fixture with a new ceiling fan with light.

He has removed the bathroom medicine cabinet(s), mirror and shower door from the bathroom.

OK, now what have I done?  Like I said before, I'm the painter.  I believe in 2 coats of paint on walls and 3 coats if you are covering something dark with something light.  So, I've painted the bedroom walls "Bamboo" and the trim "Eggshell cream".  I've painted  the following "Eggshell cream": the bedroom and hallway closet and 3 sets of closet doors, all 3 entry doors.  All the doors (including closet doors) were a dark brown so these needed 3 coats.  I've painted the vent from the bottom of the utility room door and chair rail and I've painted the ceilings of the bedroom, utility room and hallway.

I helped a bit with the removal and installation of some things, but mostly, I've painted and cleaned up stuff...

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

condo #2...

Jerome and I have purchased another investment least I hope we get something back for this.

We will be working on this one for about a month or so.  Figured out last night that we're going to have to gut the bathroom and decided this morning that we might as well get new kitchen cabinets...might as well because EVERYTHING is sooo dated and used.

Hope to get some cash money for some of the things that we are removing from the condo.  50 bucks is 50 bucks, after all.

maple syrup, spring has sprung and other things...

I believe we were a little late with tapping our maples...we only ended up with enough sap to make about a 1/2 a cup of syrup - LOL!  And our syrup is very light, VERY.  It's good...and we used some on our pancakes one Saturday morning.  Our neighbor told us that we can tap their trees next year and we WILL!

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The long (and I mean super-long!) winter is kind of in our rear-view mirror.  We did beat the record snow fall that was set back in 1880-81 that's something :D.  Spring has definitely sprung, but it is absolutely blustery out there (except for tomorrow when it's supposed to be in the lower 80's).  I am happy to report that crocuses have come and gone, grape hyacinths are blooming along with daffodils and some tulips.  I have some flowers on my vinca-minor and the primrose too.  With flowers and spring, means MULCH.  We have purchased 69 bags of it so far and applied 44 bags already.

I attended a container garden workshop and have at least one container filled with beautiful hardy flowers; thrillers, fillers and spillers, as those in the "know" like to call them.  

It still feels weird to bring out the patio furniture...chilly and windy.

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Over the last month, both my sister and her son had books published in which they were the illustrators.  My sister's is called "I am the Rainbow", which is a children's book and my nephew's is called "The Curse of Maleficent; The Tale of Sleeping Beauty" which is a young person's book...and a little more notable (sorry Terry) than my sister's because it's a Disney book and because there is a movie coming out this month that this book is supposed to complement.  Anyway, we are proud of them both and hope only good things to come from the release of these books.

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Back in August, my friend's mother passed away.  It was a swift illness, which must be extremely hard because no matter what, you are not prepared.  A few months later, they had an estate sale and my friend reminded me that she had some items that I would like, such as Christmas ornaments and other crafty things.  She was right, I bought a bunch of things...then I spent the next day making my friend a wreath out of her mom's ornaments.  For months I had thought about bringing her the wreath and even had tried a time or two to come by, but the timing was never right.

We finally were able to go out to dinner last Friday, together with our hubbies...headed back to her house where I finally was able to give her the wreath.  She really loved it! Even thought I know it's not her style, but it was her mom's style and that's what matters :)