Thursday, March 29, 2007


As per usual, things have been a bit crazy around here. Captain Jack was sick for a while, so I had to make a few trips to the vet for him. And then Mercury decided she needed to do the same. So I made 3 trips to the vet with her. They both seem to be doing better, but it took a lot of time, energy and of course money to get them both back to normal.

We got more work done a few weekends ago. Anthony ran ground wires for all of the outlets in the living room. We had replaced the two prong outlets to three prong, but there was no ground to them. It was a big concern to get that room done as soon as possible since we have 3 lamps, what I like to refer to as the entertainment system of doom (big tv, dvd player, etc...), and a 55 gallon aquarium. I washed windows and cleaned and such while he did that. We also swept the basement out, we re-did some of the plumbing for the sump pump. Whoever put it in did a very bad job. The pipe to take the water out of the basement ended 3 feet from the foundation and pooled in a low spot on the lawn. The water basically rand right back into the basement almost as fast as the sump pump was trying to get it back out. We cut off the pipe and replaced it so it bends immediately as soon as it is outside of the foundation, and then runs parallel to the house for 20 feet and empties at the front of the porch. The porch doesn't have a full foundation, so it's now 10 feet from where the basement wall is, and comes out at the top of a small incline so it can run downhill AWAY from the house. The sump pump is already running much less often and the ground where it came out originally is drying out. The pipe is a little ugly right now, but in better weather we'll paint it to match the foundation, and landscape around it.

We also got started on the Master Bedroom renovations. They are going really well, but slowly. Between the sick critters, Anthony getting sick this week, and about a billion other things coming up, we're not as far along as we'd like. But, I'm so unbelievably happy to have started it. The drywall is all up, which was an interesting process. I'd never done it before, and Anthony had never done ceilings, so we were learning as we went. But the room already looks so much better. Which is pretty pathetic actually, that sheets of drywall and a bunch of screws looks good. But anything is better than the murder room. (So named because of the crummy bright red paint job that looks like someone was slaughtered and then their blood was used to paint the walls). We wouldn't have been surprised to find a body stashed in the closet.

Anthony starting the mudding. It's something I want to learn how to do. Although I think he'll probably do most of it, and I'll do most of the painting. We're also probably going to re-finish the bedroom floors. They're pretty scuffed up. But they're a decent oak, so they're worth putting a little time and money into. I have a new duvet cover, and we picked paint to match. And I am getting really antsy to be able to actually start the decorating process.


For those of you who know me in real life, you probably know that Erin is in the process of starting her own business, EdesignsFashion. But for those of you who've never actually met me, I'll bring you up to speed. She's a fabulous clothing designer and I'm really excited that she's putting together a website with the clothes she's selling. She doing Edesigns, a collection of women's ready to wear clothes, babE, clothing for little ones, and Edesigns Bridal, which is custom made bridal gowns. She's made several wedding dresses, including her own! And she just got a commission for another.

She's always been fabulously creative and her clothing and accessories are awesome and they're all incredibly good prices, so be sure to check her site out!

Here's one of her creations, her Bodice Ripper Button Down. She's still photographing her designs and putting them onto the website, so there's a lot more to come.

Late February

In between moving into the house and unpacking boxes we've done a few more things. We're replacing switchplates, outlets, and outlet covers as we go. We also added a turn knob to the dining room light fixture, since all it had was the turn post before. We replaced the old mail slot, because it was letting in HUGE drafts of air, and added door sweeps (the metal and rubber pieces that keep drafts out) to all of the exterior doors. It has also helped a ton in getting rid of the last few drafts the house had. I am amazed but with those few small changes (and hunting down the last couple of windows that didn't have the storm windows tightly fitted into the track) we have a toasty warm house. It's amazing how much the storm windows do. Most of the windows appear to be the ORIGINAL wavy glass, but with the storm windows in place there are no drafts! It's only cold if you put your hand right on the glass.

We also put in the curved shower curtain rod (so worth the 40 dollars we got it for). We also convinced one of Anthony's old co-workers to sell us a rainfall shower head (one of the large diameter type) for 10 dollars! Major score there. So we have a nice comfy shower, even if the rest of the bathroom looks like electric blue butt.

The weather was decent enough to work outside for an hour or so. We removed the awnings on the house and it looks SO much better. They were hideously ugly. And while I understand that they were probably put up to block the tons of light that comes in the south and west windows...I would much rather use curtains to soften/block the light. They're more attractive and much more adjustable. The only good thing about the awnings is that they're aluminum, so we can take them to a scrap metal place and get money for them! Woot!

We also ripped down the wild grape vines that are attacking the side of the garage. They're doing some damage to it, so we wanted to get them down as soon as possible. We left them on the fence, they'll be very pretty there, without doing damage. We also took down the weird ugly metal medicine cabinet box in the bathroom. The wall looks crummy underneath, but it's still an improvement. I also got the rest of the kitchen cabinets cleaned out and some more kitchen things unpacked. We're not unpacking everything until the kitchen is done. But we realized that we'd never be doing anything but dishes unless we had more than 4 plates and 4 forks and 4 spoons. We also took down the hideously ugly cover for the doorbell chimes. It looked like something straight out of 1974, and we aren't crazy about any of them out there, so we took off the cheesy metal "decorative" scroll on it, and spray painted the yellowed plastic. It's black now, and while it doesn't look great, it's tolerable. My dad is going to make a nice 4 sided wooden cube to hang on the wall to cover it eventually. But in the meantime, it's gone from hideous to unnoticeable.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Cleaning House

Basically the minute we had keys to the house, we started working on it.

We did a ton of cleaning. Sweeping the floors, dusting, and scrubbing the kitchen and bathroom. The fridge was pretty gross, there was mold in the freezer and spills in the fridge. But we sprayed it all down with some pretty heavy duty cleaner, and it looks like a brand new fridge. It is in perfect condition, and is a nice model. We also scrubbed down the stove. It's a gas stove and I am so happy to have it. It also looks about a million times better after a good scrubbing. I used oven cleaner for the first time, and I was really amazed at how well it worked. I never felt the motivation to scrub out an oven in a rental house/apartment, but it's amazing how much more motivated I am now that it's all OURS. The dishwasher looks almost brand new, and didn't really need much done to it except for a quick cycle run through it and the outside wiped down. The vented microwave is 14 years old however. It does work. But it's very small and sort of ugly. If we find a fabulously good deal on one, we may replace it, but in the meantime it works well and we got it cleaned up nicely.

The garbage disposal wasn't working, but Anthony took it apart and it works fabulously now. We hadn't planned on replacing the kitchen sink faucet yet, but it was dripping and leaking, so we went to Menards (where Anthony used to work) and talked someone into selling us an almost 300 dollar Delta faucet that is no longer in stock for 50 dollars. It's really really nice. He also had to replace the pipe to the dishwasher since the people who installed it before did a terrible job and did it all wrong. Something made him curious about how it was installed so he took it out, and discovered what could have led to a serious serious leak if we had bumped into it hard. But it's all fixed now and installed properly, so we shouldn't have to worry about it in the future. We also got and installed a dining room fixture (there is no lighting at ALL in the living room and dining room, so we decided to get one earlier than originally planned). We also got and installed a digital thermometer. Oh, and we got a remote for the garage door opener. Which came in handy this weekend since it was so cold.

One of the first things we did was to rip down the shower doors, which were disgusting and ugly.
We also got a price for a new shower surround (around 50 dollars for a nice quality but basic model), and decided that we will replace it instead of attempting to scrape out all of the nasty old caulk. The tub is in MUCH better condition than I thought it would be. We poured a bottle and a half of CLR in it, and it worked wonders. The bathtub had a nasty black film on it, and it looked like it had been scraped and the enamel was worn away. But we were wrong. No major scratches, and it's gleaming white. The toilet was also very very stained with mineral buildup, but we used more CLR and it's perfect looking too. We also replaced the toilet seat because it was disgusting. And for 5 dollars, a brand new toilet seat is COMPLETLEY worth it. We're going to get a curved shower curtain rod to give us more space, and we already have an extra long shower curtain, so I think we'll hang it higher than normal, since Anthony is rather tall.