Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year 2010 - Celebrate!

Day 30: Coming together

They finished the backsplash tile today but will come back Monday to do the grout.  At the same time they will stain the floor grout.  I'm still vascillating on that color.  The backsplash is turning out just wonderful.  A few little electrical tasks will finish it all up.  The replacement pendant light arrived today and appears to be in good condition. 

So no more pics or updates now until it's done. 

Happy New Year to us all!  May 2010 be a better year for our country and for the world.  May we each find some personal peace in this year.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Day 29: Backsplash start

Yep, it's different than what I had decided.  And I think it is oh so right.  I love it.  The local store didn't have enough pieces in stock and my contractor drove to Layton to get more to be finished up tomorrow.  These 2"x2" tiles are on a 12" x 12" mesh backing, but our workers are very particular and used lots of spacers to ensure all those little things stayed just the right distance apart.  The terrible snowstorm today didn't keep them away, and they promise to return tomorrow. 

The lighting company was less than satisfactory.  Even after talking to them TWICE yesterday, and finding out the replacement order had inexplicably been cancelled, they failed to get the light on order.  It took two more phone calls today to get the thing on its way.  I insisted that it be shipped overnight at their expense and they agreed.  But I'll only believe it when I see it.  The electricians won't be out on New Year's Eve so I'll still have to wait until next week for that to be finished up.  But it looks like just about everything else could be done tomorrow.

Here's the backsplash so far.  I'm loving it.  Looks like my evening is going to be dedicated to snow removal in the driveway and walks.  So glad I'm off tomorrow.  I'll get pics if it ever lets up.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Day 28: The 80/20 Rule

More running around yesterday looking at backsplash options.  I suddenly felt I was one the wrong track and needed to be more sure of my choice.  I overwhelmed myself looking at new tile stores.  The trouble with most of the tile I saw is that it requires special order.  When I focused on in-stock tile, the options narrowed considerably.  And yes, I took home more samples and pondered the various looks.  I finally made a decision today just at the wire as my contractor needs to pick up the tile tomorrow and will be here to do the backsplash.

Today we got the dishwasher hooked up and icemaker too.  The garbage disposal is not working and will be replaced tomorrow.

The unbelievable item is the lighting store let me down - again.  The order for my replacement pendant light was apparently cancelled.  When I called earlier this morning, I was promised a call back.  When I didn't receive one, I called again she had gone home, but another employer broke the bad news to me.  The light was again ordered but they weren't sure when it would be here.  The store blamed the manufacturer, the manufacturer blamed the store -- the exact same excuse they used on the last failure.  I have no recourse but to wait for the light which means it won't be here before New Year's.  With all the things that could go wrong with a big project like this, you wouldn't think the biggest problem would be with simple straightforward orders of light fixtures.  Yes, there may be a blog devoted to this store.  I no longer think of them as the 'elite' lighting store I once did.

Tomorrow backsplash, new garbage disposal, and we're going to stain the grout to please me.  Then I think just some final electrical.  And the 80/20 rule?  They say 80 percent of the result takes 20 percent of the effort and 20 percent of the result takes 80 percent of the effort.  Thus, at three weeks it looked almost done, and at four weeks, it looks very much the same.  But we are close, really close.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Day 26: Getting organized

Yes, we skipped a couple of days. I actually used my kitchen on Christmas day, prepared a light meal and snacks. It was so pleasant, even though I had to dig through boxes every time I needed a bowl or a spoon, etc. The day after Christmas I cleaned out any remaining sawdust from the shelves and drawers and wiped the insides all down and then started moving things in. That has been a slow process, but I'm just about finished. I decided the thing to do was start with the things I used every day and put those in the most convenient places, and then work backwards to the least-used items and put those up high or at the back. I like my arrangement so far, and I still have a lot of empty space in the lower cabinets. I've moved things in that I had to store in a hallway closet because of lack of storage space for pots and pans and pantry. I still need to move in the baking pans and storage containers, but plenty of room for all. I'm delighted that I will get that hall closet back for keeping my vacuum and other cleaning implements.

Here's a peek at some of what I've put away so far.  I also have pots and pans in the deep drawers in the island.  Stirrers and ladles in the top drawer to the right of the stove, knives in the top drawer to the left.  Flatware in the drawer nearest the dining room.  Other utensils in the wide flat drawer of the island.  Still have many empty drawers and the lazy susan, bottom and top shelves of the pantry.  I'm stopping for the day to go out to dinner.

I have a backsplash dilemma.  More about that tomrrow.

It's my birthday too, yeah

My birthday coming at the end of the year always seems to provide a good opportunity for reflection and resolution. That was never more true than this year. I do feel I'm on my way to discovering and making my new normal. I feel in charge of my life instead of the other way around. At age 62, it seems odd that a person would still be changing her life -- where is my rocking chair and knitting needles?! Not yet. I survived. I feel alive and energetic. And optimistic.

None of us knows what the new year holds. But we can be sure there will be shakeups in our lives--things we cannot control. But we can be in charge of change in our lives just the same. Years ago Oprah had a challenge she boiled down to "Charnge Your Life". I have taken that challenge to heart permanently. I know I will be thrown off track now and then by life circumstances. But I intend to be in charge of the direction of my life after all. I'll cope when coping is necessary. But most of all, I'll be moving forward improving and relishing my life.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Day

A lovely quiet morning.  Oh so cold outside, but at least it's not storming.  I'm thinking of my friend in Minnesota today, terrible weather there.  The picture here is from my own yard last January following a big storm.  Don't we appreciate the sunshine more after such days?

Watched some Tabernacle Choir and Christmas Mass while I had coffee.  Read a few blogs but didn't comment anywhere just because I wanted to have my own private time for awhile.  Played some Christmas tunes on the piano and sang along.  Doesn't that sound silly to entertain yourself in that way?  It's what I do.

Wandered around the new kitchen and began thinking about what goes where.  I may or may not start moving things in today.  I have the whole rest of the weekend.

Jenn and Zach will be over later.  I bought food--more than we will want.  After that, a movie.

It's a new way of celebrating Christmas.  More low-key than in the past.  Steven and Simone and family are in Brazil.  Jeff and Brittany are spending the day with Brittany's mom and then the Strate's.  We had celebrations earlier.  Of course Eric is in Kansas, and his kids in Virginia.  I wish they could be here, but understand they can't.

It seems there is so much pressure to spend Christmas day in a certain traditional way.  This year I consciously decided ahead of time I would not be pressured by anything, but would just do what felt right, good, timely.  It has resulted in a quiet, happy Christmas.

There's a lot to be said for contentment.  I think I've had just the right amount of Christmas.

Happiness of the season to all my bloggerland friends.  I hope you get to spend it in just the way you like.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Day 23: Plumbing and really time for a rest

The plumber is here and things are progressing with getting water hooked up.  Contractor and I discussed backsplash and I may totally change my idea on that.  I'm going out shopping again on Saturday.  I think I did too much yesterday--feel exhausted today.  I wanted to start putting things away, but I don't know if I'll really make any progress on that today.  But since I don't go back to work until Monday, I think I'll take it easy today and try not to overdo.
Later: Plumber finished fairly quickly but did not hook up the dishwasher or the icemaker in the fridge.  No problem, I at least have a sink and water now.  That's stainless steel dual bowl sink and Delta faucet with a pull-down sprayer and a soap dispenser.  Very sleek and chic, don't you think?  And yes, that is late afternoon sunshine you see peeking in from the dining room.


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Day 22: Granite! Plumbing! Oh, what a day!

Today brought surprises of the good sort.  I already had plans for a busy day.  My best friend of 50-some years was taking me out to lunch for my birthday, accompanied by her sister and their mom, who have all become such good friends.  And before that, we planned to decorate Christmas cookies.  And I figured I could squeeze in a trip to the driver's license bureau earlier to renew my license since it is due to expire on Sunday.  I got out the door early and found no waiting line at all -- in and out in 15 minutes -- at the driver's license bureau.  Returned home to kill a half hour playing Scrabble  before leaving to do the cookies.

And then the surprise.

Countertop guy called and said the granite was finished and they wanted to deliver it TODAY, around 2, he said.  I agreed to leave the house unlocked for them in case they arrived before I got home.  Then with some back and forth phone calls, my contractor said the plumber would like to come tonight to hook everything up.

So I hurriedly shoveled snow off the driveway and sprinkled salt everywhere to make sure nobody slipped, and then left to meet my friends.

So here we are a few hours later, cookies decorated, a fabulous lunch at Tuscany, one of the finest restaurants in Salt Lake, and then a dash home to find the granite just being carried into the house.  As we speak, they are drilling holes for the faucet and soap dispenser.  I'm so excited, I am almost in tears.

It is just beautiful.

I was planning on taking my son out to dinner tonight for his birthday (I know, but that's how things are this time of year when you have so many birthdays).  We'll be flexible on the time now as the plumber will be coming around 4.

Check back later as there WILL be pictures!
Ok, it's later.  Took my son out to dinner for his birthday which is tomorrow.  It has indeed been a long day. Plumber couldn't make it and will be here in the morning.  Here is a promised pic.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Day 20: Appliances

Can you believe we're at "appliances"?  I can't.  It seems like so long ago since I picked them out.  Well, they're here, and it wasn't easy to get them into the house.  The stove and fridge wouldn't fit up the stairs due to the railing that could not come off.  So they decided to take them around to the back where the double french doors open right into the dining room.  Trouble is, the route entailed not only a short but rather steep hill, but also deep snow.  Oh, dear, I was afraid to see the delivery bill.  Turns out they only added on $5 more than I was quoted.  Whew! 

The electrician had an emergency job elsewhere, and promises to be at my house tomorrow.  There's still quite a list for him to complete. I need to return the defective light fixture, and I may have to resort to a very negative blog post about the lighting company.  I am so not happy with the customer service I've had from them.  We'll see how they handle this defective product. 

Countertop guy say "Wednesday".  If it really happens, the plumber will be there the same or next day and get everything hooked up and we'll have water.

The backsplash will wait until after Christmas - no problem.  We're also working out an issue with the color of the floor grout.  It's too light to my liking and we are looking at coloring techniques before sealing it.

Here's today's pic.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Day 19: We need a little Christmas

After working so hard cleaning and moving furniture yesterday, it seemed like the house needed something festive for the holiday.  So I did it, I put up the tree.  Did a little more cleaning, too.  And laundry.  I wonder why I feel so tired.  Big day tomorrow, better get some sleep.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Day 18: Cleaning up

Today no workers in the house, and with the dirty work behind us and all the tools and equipment gone, I am finally able to clean.  It's a big cleaning, including walls and every surface in the room.  Despite sheets and blankets over everything, a fine dust made its way in.  The walls were covered with a film.  Even my plants had a dusting which I resolved by putting them in the shower.  They perked right up with that.

I took on a job that may have been inadvisable, but sometimes you feel so compelled to get something done you just have to figure out a way.  I had decided I wanted the two large bookcases removed from the living room and moved to the basement.  They are each about 6 feet tall, 30 inches wide and 15 inches deep.  And very heavy.  But how does one weak woman wrangle a bookcase down a flight of stairs (actually 6 steps to a landing and then another 6 steps).  You use gravity and leverage.   I walked a bookcase to the top of the stairs, carefully tipped it toward myself allowing it to lower as I slowly moved down the steps, finally sliding it on the carpeted stairs.  On the landing, I tipped it up on its top, walked it to the next flight and repeated.  At the bottom of the stairs, I tipped it on its side and dragged it to its new location.  Repeat for 2nd shelf.  Yes it was slow, but I had no-one to call on for help.  My son who lives nearby has a back problem, and my son who has a good back is vacationing in Brazil.

It has taken all day to move furniture and clean.  I also moved my dining room table and chairs back in place, which was much easier.  I was able to move the bottom section of the china hutch into place, but I couldn't think of a way I might lift the upper section, so that will have to wait for the workers on Monday.

Throughout the day I've taken frequent breaks and made Scrabble moves and rested.  I feel pretty good after all that, though I expect to feel it more tomorrow.  Here's a shot of the covered furniture all pushed together taken the day the cabinet installation began.  Followed by tonight, clean and back to normal except the plants that are still drying in the bathroom.


Friday, December 18, 2009

Day 17: Let there be light

The electrician came back today and finished  most of the remaining wiring and installations.  It had an instant impact.  And it's not finished.  One of the pendants had to be moved and ended up being right on a strut or something like that, and he needs a different type of device there.  One of the pendant burned out and we discovered it had a defect with a wire pinched in the assembly so that will have to be returned.  The light over the sink has not been tried as we discovered it takes the small base bulbs of which I had none.  But the two can lights got moved out enough from the cabinets and all but one of the under-cabinet task lights were installed.  Monday they'll be back to finish those remaining things and install a chandelier in the dining room and lights in a couple of bedrooms and, if my luck holds out, run a phone line to my new office.

The contractor and crew also finished grouting the tile and tacked the carpet down to adjoin and then cleaned up and made things look so nice. 

Monday will be busy.  Applicances get delivered and installed, electricians will be here, contractor and crew, countertop guy briefly.  This weekend I will clean, clean, clean.  If I'm not too tired, I'm thinking of putting up my tree. 

Here are today's pics.


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Day 16: Odds and Ends

Not a lot to report today.  Contractor dropped by later in the day to start on some of the finishing.  The lighting guy has been overwhelmed and has been having trouble getting here, but he will be here tomorrow.  Many odds and ends will get finished up tomorrow.  Pics when things look different.  Loving it more and more.

Oops correction, today is the 16th day.  Although at this point, who's counting?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Day 15: Cabinets finished, and good news

Oh, wait until you see these pics.  More beautiful than I had imagined.  I've included pics of a couple of the guys who did this beautiful cabinet installation.  Don't they do good work?

Lighting didn't happen today but in the next day or two.  Plus a little more tile work and some clean up so I can start to get living room and dining room back to normal.  I also can have the appliances delivered and installed, except the dishwasher.  I think I'll schedule that for Monday.

The countertop guy did the template today and he's going to try to have it in on the 23rd.  He couldn't promise but if not that, then the first day or two of the following week.  And then it's just plumbing and backsplash to finish.

My contractor has convinced me I ought to add some spice cabinets in the space on either side of the window.  I think I must.

Enjoy today's pics:


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Day 14: Good news and bad news

It has been a long stressful day. The cabinets are going in with a few small glitches. Somehow the pantry extended beyond the tile a little over an inch. But my contractor found there is a 3" bullnose version of my tile, and we'll add a trim row of that. Some of the holes in the ceiling are in the wrong places. The electrician comes tomorrow and those will get fixed. I love the drawer handles I selected--sleek and simple.

Cabinets will get finished up tomorrow. Lighting will get done tomorrow, too. I picked up all the light fixtures this evening.

The bad news is that the countertop guy said he won't have it done before Christmas. He'll be here tomorrow to do a template and will give me a firm promise date so the contractor can schedule the rest of the work. My contractor has no leverage with this guy because I found him and worked out the deal separately--it's not someone he has worked with before. Well, it means a week downtime in the project as a number of things can't happen until after the counters are in.

I'm not sweating it. It will be a quiet Christmas. And I'll be able to clean my house in the meantime, which I'm dying to do. It's really starting to get dirty.

Well here are some pics. It really is beautiful.  The first ones are at lunch time, the last ones are the end of the day.


Monday, December 14, 2009

Day 13: Cabinets arrive

Today's horoscope tells me: "If anyone can meet a goal at this time, it's you. An expert in making plans and following them to the letter, you are ready to go all out with your engines revving. You have your eyes on the finish line already. If you can keep them there, you'll outstrip the competition before you know it. Don't waste any time on self-doubt or second-guessing. You can do this."

My biggest problem with this project has been second-guessing. But today I'm feeling like it's coming together and I feel better about everything.

First thing this morning the cabinets were delivered and stored in my garage. Tomorrow they get installed. Also tomorrow the lighting fixtures should all be here -- I hope. Today my contractor was here getting the plumbing squared away. It's in pretty bad shape and he cut the pipes back so the plumber can come in and put in new valves. I don't know when the plumber comes, but the electrician comes Wednesday.

Contractor likes my idea for the backsplash as do my best friend and my daughter (needing a little moral support for my decision). I think that's it. I'm excited to see the cabinets in. From what I can see so far, they look pretty.

No pictures today as nothing looks different, but definitely pics tomorrow.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Day 12: A little rest

It's Sunday and no workers in the house.  I've taken advantage by doing a little cleaning.  We also had a big snowstorm--heavy wet snow--and I did go out and shovel off the driveway and walks.  A neighbor helped me, and thank goodness for that, as it was backbreaking.

Last night I decided to go return sample tiles to Home Depot and start rethinking.  After seeing how dark the paint and walls were, I realized I needed to go lighter not darker with the backsplash. Instead of looking for fancy elegant highly-patterned tiles, I looked for very simple and neutral.  Now if I were not thinking of selling the house in a few years, I might have gone for a real contrasting color, but I settled on a plain almond color ceramic tile -- as basic as they get.  And then with the help of a woman who worked in the tile department, we experimented with creating some accents to dress up the plain tile.  I finally settled on one that really appealed to me.  I bought more sample tiles to show this possible design to my contractor.  In this picture I've placed the backsplash tiles on the new floor and I've added a piece of the cabinet wood and the countertop granite to show the contrast.  Add in the plain white appliances, and I think I manage to achieve the clean simple look I want.  The backsplash height is 18 inches and these are 6-inch tiles, so this is a fair representation of the end look.  I would choose a grout that matches exactly.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Day 11: Paint

They arrived right on time, just as promised.  I like the painters, they did a nice job.  Painted the ceiling white, painted the walls tan - about the same color as the opposite wall in the living room, maybe a tiny bit darker.  The chocolate color is gone from the kitchen, but I still have the accent wall that runs through the dining room and living room.  I think I like this color.  I had thought about going lighter, but I think this will be nice.

I enjoyed a wonderful time with my Reel Women friends a good part of the day today.  My dear friend Celia really knows how to put on a party!  Her house is filled with the beauty of the season.  The food she served was so delicious.  What a great time we always have at her house!

Tomorrow is another rest day - no workers in the house.  It is welcome for sure.  I'll catch up on some house cleaning too.  They are very good to clean up every day before they leave, but I see there is that very fine dust on things and I can clean some of that up.  I think they are going to have to redo the patch job of the hole in the hallway ceiling.  The texture they applied was too thick and it's cracking.  I won't worry about it as my contractor is a stickler and he'll have those guys back in here to fix the job.  That's what I like about him, he really supervises those subs closely and makes sure he's satisfied with their work.

The first few days of the week will show some real visible progress with cabinets and lighting going in.  Then I think we wait for the countertops.  The rest of the schedule depends on how quickly those get done.

Here's a picture of the paint.  They only paint where no cabinets go, although they did prime over all new drywall.  I do love that floor.  It will be even prettier when they do the grouting.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Day 10: Signs of Prettiness

They finished up all drywall work including texturing the ceiling today.  They did quite a good job of matching my existing texture.  It's a bit different and I agreed that if they couldn't duplicate it, we could have just a smooth ceiling in the kitchen.  But I'm happy with the result.

The tile is being installed even as we speak.  It's late, but the guys want to finish tonight rather than work on the weekend.  Painter comes tomorrow.

I'll look at some backsplash tile in the morning.  I have a fallback option that I think will work if I find nothing else.  But I have all next week to do this and being exhausted from so much shopping, I'm going to keep it very limited this weekend.

Pictures of the floor later when the guys go home.

Here's a peek at the floor.  A bit dark as the lights are not on in the kitchen at the moment.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Day 9: Floor tomorrow

Today was more drywall work.  Man, that stuff takes a long time.  The contractor and his painter are coming by this afternoon to review the job.  Floor tile is scheduled to go down tomorrow.  Painting on Saturday.  Cabinets go in on Monday and the countertop guy comes to make a template.  He believes it will take a week to cut the granite, but contractor says it shouldn't take that long.  Electrician comes again on Wednesday to finish up.  I have decided on all the light fixtures, but now the lighting company failed to place my order this morning and I'll have to pay premium shipping to get them here on time.  I'm not happy about that, but I sure don't want to go looking again.  There's nothing I've spent more time looking at so far than lighting fixtures and I'm finished with it.  Hopefully we'll work something out -- I told them I was not happy.

My one remaining decision is the backsplash tile.  I am having trouble figuring out when I can even go look now.  My life is just too busy including evenings.  I may be able to squeeze some early morning hours on Saturday if anyone is open.  But my best friend is having a luncheon on Saturday, and I will not miss that.

No picture today as the room still looks exactly the same.  But if we have a floor tomorrow, there will be pics!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Day 8: Nothing new to report

Just ditto to everything from yesterday.  Drywall guy back for another round.  Too tired to expound.  No pics, it looks just the same.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Day 7: One week down

The drywall guy was back for a second round.  I'm not sure what's next.  We had a lot of snow today, I shoveled twice, I thought about 6 inches each time.  Sure enough, NSL got 12".  We got the brunt of the lake effect.  I visited the plumbing showroom and settled on the sink and faucet.  Ordered a light fixture for the dining room and another for my bedroom, but still need more light fixtures.  And did a little Christmas shopping.  Truly tired tonight.  Here's today's photo.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Day 6: Drywall, etc.

Had a houseful of workers today.  The drywall and first taping got done.  The ceiling is closed up and looks lovely.  They fixed the squeaks in the floor, closed up the old ceiling hole from the swamp cooler -- I really felt sorry for the guy that had to climb up into the attic.  Tomorrow, more taping, then painting, then more electrical, and then tile on Friday. 

I need to try to have lighting fixtures before then.  I don't know if I can do it.  But I found a local specialty lighting store that has several options that really appeal to me and are in my price range.  I hadn't considered them before as I just assumed their prices were too high for me.  But they do have lines that compare pricewise to Home Depot and Lowe's where I am finding only compromises to my preferences.  However, the items I found were online and they may not have them in stock.  Crossing my fingers.

The cabinets are on schedule for delivery next week and the cabinetmaker says he's ready.

My contractor is such a cool guy.  He offered to run a phone line for me into my new office and several other little things I need done, no charge.  That's just how he was with my exterior remodel a couple of years ago.  Taking care of a number of little things while they were here in addition to the big project.  Who ever heard of such a thing?

Well here's today's progress shot.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Day 5: A day of rest

It's Sunday and I'll have the house to myself today.  Somewhat snowbound - by my own choice as I prefer not driving on icy roads if I don't have to.  Today I'll catch up on laundry and housework (as best I can), and will shovel snow in awhile.  The rest of the time will be for reading, napping, blogging, facebook.  I sent both of my Netflix movies back yesterday so if there is to be a movie, it'll have to be one I own.  Maybe it's time again for "Four Weddings and a Funeral".  Always good for a laugh and a cry -- and a happy ending.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Day 4: No drywall after all

The drywallers didn't show up.  I was gone all day and when I returned, I was disappointed to see nothing done.  But it was Saturday, after all, and I wouldn't have expected any workers, except that I was told they were coming.  Well, it will be Monday now.

I had a long list of things to do today and got much of it done.  One big thing was to pick out a sink and faucet.  Though I made many stops, I found too many choices and much confusion.  My contractor sent me to a plumbing supply and advised I get good quality fixtures.  I visited two different locations and really didn't like the place because the show room had no model names nor prices on anything.  You had to ask for each little thing.  Tedious.  The trick with things like that is knowing the right questions to ask.  The other complaint I have is that there is retail and there is contractor pricing.  So they give you a price and you have no idea what you're going to pay until you talk to your contractor.  I also visited Lowe's and Home Depot and wore myself completely out there.  The plumber who recently did some work for me advised against buying fixtures at Lowe's and Home Depot.  He said all the manufacturers have A and B lines, and those big box stores carry the B lines.  You have to go to a plumbing supply to get the A lines.

I finally realized there was only one way to shortcut all this shopping:  the Internets.  So I have spent hours this afternoon researching stainless steel sinks and various faucets.  And I think I have finally narrowed down my choices to one faucet and between two sinks.  Now that's progress!

I also looked at lighting, but frankly was overwhelmed with too much shopping and didn't like anything I saw.

Before I headed home, I visited my son's family and gave them all their Christmas gifts since they fly to Brazil in a few days.  The kids were excited to get new games and toys.  Grandma got lots of hugs!.

Oh, and did some grocery shopping too.

And did I mention it snowed?  The weatherman lied to us--we weren't supposed to get snow until later Saturday and into Sunday.  Now it looks like a four-day storm in reality.  The roads were icy, the temps below freezing, there were traffic jams everywhere.  What a relief to get home.  I feel asleep with my laptop on  my lap and slept for an hour. This girl needs to try and get some rest.

Looking back on the first week, I'm satisfied with the progress, but I am sure hoping that ceiling gets closed up soon.  My house is losing a lot of heat through that big opening.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Day 3: A little progress

The drywall guys didn't make it today, but the light over the sink was changed out and they hauled away the dumpster and took the pile of things I pulled out of the garage to go too.  Now the drywallers are scheduled to come on Saturday, which is pretty unusual.  But it is great with me.  I'm prepared for the dust to come.  They have plastic tightly affixed over all the openings, but I know some will escape.  Then they expect to lay tile early next week. 

I've got decisions to make:  the sink, faucet, door handles, light fixtures, backsplash.  Plus Christmas shopping tomorrow. It's going to be a busy day.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

O Christmas Tree

I'm not putting up a tree this year.  The living room is all covered in sheets, the kitchen and dining room are  a mess.  So I'm posting this picture of my tree from 2006.  My living room looks exactly the same now as it did three years ago.  I do need to make some changes.  But this year, I'll enjoy a virtual tree from 2006.

Day 2: Electrical and Finish Demolition

The electricians came today and wired up all lighting, outlets and switches.  The lighting includes six can lights, three pendant lights (over the island), a separate light over the sink, and three under-cabinet task lights.  I think I'm going to have enough light.  Just one mistake.  They put a can over the sink and I want a decorative fixture there.  I'll get it worked out with contractor Scott.  I didn't notice it until after they left.  They have to come back in a couple of weeks to finish the electrical.

The other workers came back today, too, and finished the demolition.  Sheetrock comes next.  They didn't know if that will happen tomorrow or not.  I hope so.

I'm feeling so tired now.  I woke up at 2:30 this morning and didn't ever get back to sleep.  Bedtime is going to be very very early tonight.  I need to go in to the office tomorrow for a meeting and a Christmas luncheon.  So I'll miss any work that gets done at home in the morning.  I work at home in the afternoon, however.

Kitchen area is so cold with that open ceiling.  Temps outdoors are below freezing all day right now.  Brrr!

Here's the final demo picture.  This is what you call 'gutted'.

And the lighting

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Day 1: Demolition (the real day 1)

They've arrived and have turned off power to the kitchen and started dismantling.  These guys are very considerate and nice.  Covering things to protect from dust.  I'd already covered piano and living room furniture.  I emptied out the fridge this morning before they came - a perfect day for it since temps are sub-freezing outside and I just put the box of frozen foods out on the patio.  I'll have a refrig in the garage before too long.

Things are not as noisy yet as I had expected, but it will get worse I know.  I have no intention of live blogging.  I have work to do - work-work, that is.  My nerves are tense and I'm having trouble concentrating on the complexities of software applications, but am forcing myself.

I'll do an update later - end of the day probably.

UPDATE: Lunchtime

They have everything out except the sink, dishwasher and two cabinets.  These guys are really considerate.  The noise has been minimal except for my neighbor's dog who has barked steadily since the workers arrived (can a dog get laryngitis from talking too much?).  They are just arriving back from lunch break now, so demolition should definitely wrap up today.

I'm finding it easier now to concentrate on work and am being productive.  Back to work now.

UPDATE:  Evening

The demolition isn't quite finished.  I had forgotten the ceiling had to come down -- that whole dropped ceiling.  It's down now.  But the plumbing was more difficult.  The old valves wouldn't turn off at first.  But finally did, so the sink and remainder of the cabinets will come out tomorrow.  The electrician comes in the morning.  Good thing, too.  They cut the power somehow to both of my bathrooms and my bedroom.  We knew the power was off to the one bathroom, but didn't think to check the others.  But I'll live.  I'll take a shower by flashlight -- it won't hurt me.

I promised 'before' pictures.  So now, you get to see the ugly kitchen I've lived with for a long time.  The missing ceiling light is a family joke.  It always had problems, but the ex finally just pulled it all down, intending to replace the whole thing -- but never did.  But we also have broken drawers, missing doors, ugly damaged linoleum.  And those hilarious harvest gold appliances from the 70's - literally!  Well, we always talked about doing this, and now finally I'm doing it.  There's no going back now.  And I survived the worst day.

 And now, it's almost all gone.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Day 1: Water Softener

Demolition is scheduled to start tomorrow, although they said it might slip to Thursday.  So you might think tomorrow is Day 1.  But it turned out today was.  I had nearly forgotten I'd ordered a new water softener until the plumber called me yesterday and said he was ready to install it.  And install it he did today.  Perfect timing really. 

I think I'm ready for the big day tomorrow.  There will be a dumpster in the driveway.  I'm not sure how long it will be there, but they said I can toss in anything I want while it's here.  There are a few more things in the garage that will go now.

The fridge will get relocated to the garage.  There's not much food in it right now anyway, but I'll be able to continue using it until the new one is delivered.  And then Utah Power will pay me $30 and will haul it away.  I don't know anyone who still has a harvest gold refrigerator.  It's more than 30 years old.

I still need to cover up my piano.  Just to keep all the dust out.  I know I'll have a big housecleaning job when this is all over, but I want to protect my piano from as much as possible.

My little temporary kitchen in the TV room is pretty convenient.  I have a microwave, coffee pot, toaster, electric teapot, and electric steamer, stacks of paper plates and bowls and plastic flatware.  Coffee cups.  Some food.

Picked up a few more cardboard boxes from the liquor store and, I managed to do a little Christmas shopping tonight.  I missed the president's speech.  I'll hear plenty about it I'm sure.

Think I'll hit the hay early tonight and get up early to finish those last few things.  I think they start at 8.