Sunday, May 27, 2012


Jay arrived Monday morning and it didn’t take him long to finish the three remaining stairs.  Nice guy and he will return in the fall to finish carpeting the bedrooms.

Bill stopped by with the extra shelves for the hutch.  He checked out the church pew that needs to have the nails removed and screws inserted to strengthen the back.  The pew is over one hundred years old and makes a great addition to the sitting area off the kitchen. My great grandfather was a Baptist preacher so this sort of fits my background.  In the dining room we have twelve wooden pew chairs with kneelers that came from the local Episcopal Church, and that is part of Larry’s background.  Maybe I should look for some vintage hymnals and we could have our guests sing for their dinner.

Tuesday I left really early for a board meeting and Larry had a Kiwanis lunch meeting.  We spent the afternoon just enjoying the peace and quiet.  Larry installed his new National Geographic weather station and I put two more shelves in the hutch and unpacked two more boxes.  Only six more boxes to go but I don’t know where any of that “stuff” is going. 

The guys will be back on Friday to try and finish up.

Austin and Christian came Thursday to start cleaning up the yard and will return again next week.  By the time we are ready to have a party to celebrate the kitchen, the yard should be looking really good.

Friday Tom arrived and began working on the shuttered door for the master bathroom.  The old swinging saloon half door that was in the bathroom is long gone…now we are going to have a real door.  Well that was the plan…we need different hardware to make it work.

Bill arrived and installed the new mirror for the downstairs guest bathroom.  Let’s just say IKEA and Bill are not the best of friends.  Some tweaking, some muttering, a few French words, and the mirror is up and Bill will return next week to fix the little booboo that happened because there were no instructions included.  It looks good though!

The church pew is now fixed and Bill says it is never going to separate again.  Three inch screws holding the back and seat together should be the answer. 

The sitting area off the kitchen is beginning to look finished, sort of.  Larry had the boys bring down the rug we originally bought for the study and when it didn’t work we rolled it up and stored it in the shop up behind the house.  It works just perfect in the new sitting area and when we get the other chair it will be a cozy area for guests to sit and relax.  I moved the three nesting wicker tables that had been in the study to the sitting area and now there is a place for guests to put glasses, cups, and plates. 

Tom is installing the base molding around the kitchen island and finishing off the trim around the slate on the fireplace and trimming out under the front door. 

Monday Larry and I headed to Seattle IKEA…shhhh…don’t tell Bill.  We stopped off in Burlington to deliver a baby bed and some baby clothes to a friend whose daughter is pregnant.

The Container Store in Bellevue had the drawer organization bins we needed for all those miscellaneous kitchen tools that you accumulate and then they seem to multiply.  Kitchen stores are one of Larry’s favorite places to shop after sporting goods stores like Bass Pro and Cabela’s. 

The goal was to get another matching chair at IKEA, a floor lamp, a few more juice glasses, and hopefully we get out the door without too much damage to our credit cards.  Well, we got the chair, no lamp, yes on the juice glasses, and Larry found a cowhide rug he liked better so the other one is going back.

Tuesday Bill stopped by to check in with us.  Tom is out for dental work and they will both return tomorrow to finish up.  Did I just say finish up?  Wow!  Beginning to think I would never happen.

Wednesday Tom finally figured out how to install the bathroom door.  It’s not easy when the walls are not plumb, straight, or level. 

One more day to finish the trim on the slate, the front door, and the new knobs for the glass hutch doors.  We finally decided on the perfect knobs for the hutch doors from Anthropologie and they were out of stock.  The search began again.  We found a metal and red wood sunburst but the order would not complete online and when we called, the owner never called back.  Next we found red granite but the shipping from overseas was exorbitant so back to the computer search.  Mercury glass was nice but too predictable, the Texas Longhorns were cute but no we aren’t going for a hook ‘em horns yeh! UT kitchen, mercury glass was pretty but a little too Victorian.  I gave up for weeks and then I went back to Anthropologie to see what else they had we might consider and our first choice was back in stock.  We didn’t have to settle or spend a fortune in the cost of the knobs or the shipping.  The round knobs are metal, antique bone and horn.  Different and contemporary and we love them.

Thursday we went to IKEA in Canada to return a few things.  In and out in half an hour and on our way home.  Nexus cards are the best way to cross the border.

Since we removed the dropped ceilings and the upper cabinets are higher now, we ordered an aluminum two step ladder that takes up only two inches of wall space when folded.  Now I will be able to reach into the cabinet over the refrigerator that holds all those crystal bowls that we use once a year or the punch bowls that we never use…but now we have a space for them.

Bill finished off the trim around the fireplace and put the knobs on the glass hutch doors.  He will return next week to finish any little things we add to our list and then we will be officially done!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Monday Bill stopped by to get our check list of items that need to be finished and tweaked for the coming week and will be back tomorrow to work.  He is now backed up with jobs coming in and those needing to get finished.  This is a good thing to have jobs lined up in a slow economy.

Tuesday Bill cut and installed the shelves for the pantry cabinet, attached the kitchen island to the floor.  Not much to do until Tom comes tomorrow and they work on the cabinets.

Wednesday Fritz came to install the under-counter lighting for the kitchen cabinets.  He had never installed this type of LED lighting before but liked the final outcome.  He also installed the new light for the guest bathroom upstairs and the new fluorescent lights for the garage.  When he removed the light that we had turned off because it flickered all the time, he found the box was burnt and if we had continued to use it, it would have caused an electrical fire.   

Tom began trimming the backside of the cabinet for the kitchen vent hood and installing the remaining crown molding for the cabinets.  Tom is about to return to Alaska to fish so he was anxious to finish up this job.  Tom is all about the little details and making sure everything is perfect or he will work on it until he makes it perfect.  This is the type of person you want doing the finish work.

Thursday Bill installed the closet doors and fixed the wobbly, thrown together, makeshift, haphazard shelves that the previous owner put in the master bathroom.  The new shelves have cleats nailed to the wall to sit on. 

I installed the new handles on all the closet doors except two because counting is not a strong point for my brain and I counted once, twice and thought okay, but I was still short two.  Oh well it will just be another stop at Lowe’s tomorrow.  The trips were getting less frequent but have increased this past week for little things.  Note to self:  install the hardware on bi-fold doors before having them installed because otherwise you must squeeze in between the door and the shelves or clothing to get to the backside when the screws go in the doors.

Friday I had a scrapbook class with Grads so I was out of the house while the crew worked on.  Before I returned, Larry had the guys clear the house of all the tools, trim, the extra paraphernalia, and, even the porch had been cleared of almost everything that had been stored there.  No saws, sawhorses, buckets, or boxes.

The hardware had been installed on the cabinets and they look amazing.  Just waiting to order two knobs for the glass hutch cabinet doors and they will be done.

Larry went to the store while I was gone and bought a card for me to celebrate our new kitchen, and flowers, and a bottle of my favorite champagne, Mumm Napa. 

I have a history with Mumm Napa--The short version:  In 1998 my son Jim and his friend Jennifer took me to dinner.  My sister Mary came over earlier that day with a fur coat and diamonds for my ears, neck, and wrist.  I had already bought a new slinky grey floor length dress to wear and on that day Larry sent two dozen yellow roses.  Larry and I met online through my sister and his sister-in-law and we hadn’t yet met in person, and no one had ever sent me roses before.  After dinner Jim begged off the private art gallery opening at Mumm Napa and Jennifer and I went alone.  When we arrived Jim was in the parking lot waiting for us as a surprise.  He took a short cut.  My everyday work wear, as an elementary physical education aide, was t-shirts, shorts, and tennis shoes with a whistle and stopwatch around my neck and a fanny pack to hold emergency first aid supplies.  This was a very special night to remember for so many reasons--and why Mumm Napa became my favorite winery. 

Wish I could still fit in that size six dress and wear it when we pop open the bottle of champagne.  Maybe my sister would send me the fur coat and diamonds to celebrate.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Jay arrived with a helper to begin carpeting the stairs and upper landing.  He has also measured the bedrooms so we can finish off the remodel later in the fall.  Our carpet choice made a change in how the carpet is laid so we are short three steps of carpet and will be a day or so behind until more carpet arrives.  Jay can do part of the transition trim between rooms but we need one more small piece of laminate installed between the studio and the downstairs guest bathroom. 

Michael dropped by for a few minutes on his way from a business call to his office.  He laughed that we are still making coffee in the studio but liked that the kitchen is almost finished and we actually have stuff in the cabinets.

Bill arrived to remove a shelf high up in one of the cabinets so I can store items that we only use once or twice a year (or maybe never in our fourteen years of marriage) and they are too tall to fit anywhere else. 

I used up the remaining large size shelf liner so I need a trip to Wal-Mart or Lowe’s to buy more-- lots more.

The under counter lights have finally shipped and are due to be delivered on Monday 5-7-12.  Home Depot is sending us a gift card because of the unusual delay in shipment.

The instructions Monday were that if workers were coming they needed to call the night before so we know if we can take a vacation day and sleep in late or wake up early and be ready for organized chaos.

No call Monday night so we slept in sort of.  Larry had a lunch meeting with Kiwanis and when he returned home we headed to Canada to IKEA.  Larry hates to shop, hates to shop at IKEA, but the cart was full when we checked out and most of it was impulse, “I need that,” buys that Larry picked out.  How funny.  My must-have was fifty-nine cent tea towels for the kitchen and we did find our cabinet door pulls.  Success!  We stopped at Bobs Burger and Brew at the outlet mall in Custer for dinner on our way home. 

Bob arrived Wednesday to paint the shuttered closet doors in the downstairs closet because we had one of those rare sunny days (almost, it did sprinkle for a few minutes) and will return Thursday to install the doors.  Bill stopped by to give us an update on the cabinet piece we are waiting on.  Next week Bill will install the cabinet hardware and go through our list of little things to be finished.  We are getting close.

Wal-Mart and Lowes are both sold out of the shelf paper and the felt pads that go on the bottom of the furniture legs to help protect the floors.  There must be a lot of spring cleaning, home remodels, spruce up the old homestead type of projects going on right now.

Thursday morning I was up early to get to Lowes so I could purchase one of eighteen shop lights that was due to be delivered Wednesday night.  They have been out of the four foot length with the new smaller more efficient bulbs for weeks.  Since they will be making the older bulbs obsolete in the near future there is no point buying the cheaper version which is in stock.  Because only black fixtures arrived on the truck that is what I bought and there were only eighteen on the floor.

I arrived back to find Bob finishing up the painting but unable to mount the closet doors because the previous owner installed the hardware  too low and with the new laminate floors, the doors will need to be cut down a half inch in order to fit.  One more item for Bill to fix when we start on that bucket list of little details.

Dinner out with friends really takes your mind off being so close to being finished, but just not quite.  We laughed and joked, and enjoyed a great Mexican dinner at Chihuahuas in Ferndale.  These aren’t just friends we ride with, these are the friends who are there for you, you don’t have to watch what you say or watch your back, and they laugh with you not at you.  We are blessed.

Bill arrived Friday afternoon from working on neighbor George’s rental home which had some serious water and dry rot problems.  He was at a standstill on that job so he switched back to ours to do some of the little items.  I had a few new shelves cut and installed but Bob was not able to be on site so the closet doors are still waiting for a fix.

We waited until we thought Costco would be a little less crowded and went on our first shopping trip in months.  Not a cart full, but the essentials.  Parking wasn’t great and if we had waited maybe another thirty minutes most of the Canadian shoppers would have been gone. 

We made a quick stop at Wal-Mart for more shelf paper and the store was full of pallets with merchandise that had just arrived but not been unpacked yet.  So we still need thirteen more rolls of shelf liner and maybe tomorrow it will be on the shelves.

The forecast was for clouds and rain so no riding today.  I checked online for the shelf paper and they are already sold out except for one roll and the nearest store is Wenatchee that has it in stock, so it looks like it will be another week of waiting.  Really I am not obsessive compulsive…I have said this before but I started with a new kitchen and rather than have it look like a patchwork quilt inside the cabinets with different color shelf liners or patterns, I will wait. Larry said to just order it on-line even though it would cost a bit more…I will wait.

Sunday was a wonderful, relaxing day spent riding the back roads of Whatcom and Skagit counties with friends and stopping in Conway for lunch where we sat outside in the sunshine. Great friends and great memories. 

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