Thursday, December 29, 2011

Recovery and Looking Ahead

Our family Christmas celebration in the new house was grand!

Monday morning arrived and I moved from my bed to the kitchen for coffee then to the couch for the TV.  That is where I stayed pretty much the rest of the day.  I think with all the pressures lifted of remodeling, packing, moving, unpacking, and getting ready for Christmas my body said, "All done."  

After a couple days of rest I'm ready to go again.  I think I'll take alittle slower pace now that we're moved.  

Last night I looked at the jacuzzi tub in my bathroom and thought to myself how nice it would be to use it, so I got online to find out how to clean out the jets.  The article said to use one cup bleach and one-eighth cup dish soap.  Fill the tub with hot water and run the jets for 15 minutes.  Drain, then run another time or two with clear water.  I wasn't so sure about adding the dish soap, but that's what it said to do.  So,.....

This was only after about eight minutes.  A little longer and it would have run out onto the floor!  I drained the tub early then ran it again with water and bleach only - no soap!  All clean!  Bubble bath, here I come!

As usual, now I am thinking about goals for the year.  These are still in the process mode and will be shared in a day or two.  

What I do know at the moment is that the my well isn't dry, there's still water down there, but the pump definitely needs to be primed.  I'm in desperate need of some quiet time alone with my Bible, my notebook, my thankful list, and worship music.  Time to get the wellsprings bursting forth; I'm feeling just a bit dry at the moment.

The Lord will guide you continually, giving you water 
when you are dry and restoring your strength.  
You will be like a well-watered garden, 
like an ever-flowing spring.
Isaiah 58:11 NLT

Yep - time to prime the pump.

Also in the thought processes are projects!  Besides the various remodeling projects still on the board, we are looking at bookshelves and creative ways to store things in this old house that is short on extra closet space.  Here are just a few of my inspirations....

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The stacked benches are just too much fun!

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The tutorial for this wall of bookshelves can be found at Centsational Girl.  Isn't it cool?  We're going to do something similar.

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The kitchen cabinet uppers turned storage bench is just genius!  I can think of at least two places where I could put one of these.

Thanks for stopping by today!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

All Moved (Mostly) and Slightly Decorated

Moving Day was a beautiful Saturday considering it was mid-December in the Midwest.  The awful cold I'd had during the packing marathon subsided just in the nick of time.

Forgot to take pics -- oh, well.  :-)

On Tuesday, enough of the clutter had been cleared away to get the Christmas tree set up.  It had been raining for two days, so it was soaked, but I think we got the last, best tree on the lot (for half off, too)!

It was so cold and wet the guy in the little tent in the garden center called someone from inside the store to cut and bag our tree.  He barely stuck his hand out to beep our other purchases.  He was not budging from his precious tent!

With Polar Express playing in the background we opened the containers that hold our collection of ornaments and started in.

Our Christmas tree is like the old crazy quilt my Grandma made.  The crazy quilt that my mom used to wrap us in when we were sick.  The crazy quilt I used to rub the velvet  pieces of fabric and trace the patterns of fancy embroidery with my fingers feeling ever so comforted and warm.  
(I could have used that crazy quilt last week.)

Our Christmas tree is full of all the random ornaments from ages past and just yesterday.

Sitting in our new living room with the tree glowing and the cats sniffing around was as soothing as being wrapped in the love embroidered into the quilt.

I wonder if Mary took a special quilt with her on their journey to Bethlehem.  I wonder if she took comfort in the years and tradition it caused her to remember.  I wonder if it gave her a sense of the familiar in her new surroundings.

Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father,
who has loved us and given us eternal comfort 
and good hope by grace, comfort and strengthen 
your hearts in every good work and word.
2 Thessalonians 2:16-17

Friday, December 16, 2011

Cabinets and Kitties

The long-awaited cabinet update is here!

When I posted last I had stripped and restained the lower cabinets
and was ready to tackle some doors to see if they would match.

Well, they didn't.  Take a look.

Three doors.  Three colors. Three kinds of splotchy.

As you can see from the door on the far left, they seemed to strip down fine, 
but they didn't take the stain uniformly.
My son-in-law, a cabinet maker, said that since they weren't protected
with a clear coat they've had years of fingerprints, grease splatters and
spilled water, etc. that could affect how they receive the stain.

I moved on to Plan C and bought this.

I chose the Dark Color Kit in Cabernet.

Here's my workspace.  
Every door and drawer cover was laid out so I could do them all at once.  

It was a long process with multiple steps, but it wasn't hard and I love the results.

And you ready for the big reveal?

Here's a reminder of how it looked before.....

And today it looks like this....

Ta Da!

I love the richness and depth of the color.

Another great thing is that you can still see the texture of the woodgrain.

The glaze that is applied after the bond coat adds variety to the finished color.
I am extremely happy with the results of this kit and would call it
the next best thing to stained wood.

The kitchen is still a work in progress.  I will be adding a backsplash and we need to paint,
but I think we'll move in and have Christmas first.  :-)  

Here's a couple more fun things that happened this week.

The new outdoor kitties moved in.  They are staying in the loft of the shed.

Isn't this a handsome little guy?  His name is Clyde.

The little girl kitty wouldn't sit still for a portrait, so we caught her in action.
She is Bonnie.  (You saw that coming, didn't you?)

Pretty soon Clyde discovered the opening in the bass drum.

It didn't take them long to decide it would make a cozy nest for them to sleep.

Nighty, night Bonnie and Clyde.

Silas has started working on their little outdoor house.

Yesterday, I had the piano movers out to pick up & deliver our old upright grand.

This was given to me by my Grandma and Grandpa.  
It was in the house they purchased in the early 1940's.
Mom tells me it used to be painted black, but Grandpa refinished it.
It was built in 1903 (or was it 1905?), and I can't remember the manufacturer.
At any rate, it is a treasure to me and my family.

That's the latest!
Moving Day tomorrow.  I need to get packin'!

Have a wonderfully blessed weekend!

Friday, December 9, 2011

New Moving Date

We're not quite ready to move our stuff in yet.
Next Saturday, the 17th, is moving day.
Ready or not, here we come...on the 17th.

Meanwhile, we are continuing to remodel.
Here is how the bay window project is coming along.

This is what Dad had to work with.  Pretty rough terrain.
We decided wainscoting would do nicely rather than
trying to fill and smooth all those cracks and bumps.
This picture doesn't begin to show how awful it was.

Starting from the middle, he worked his way to either side.
Each piece had to be measured and cut to specific lengths
because the house isn't square.

He installed trim on either side and on top to frame it.
The left side is taped because we added some glue to help
keep it in place since there is no stud in the middle.

To finish it off, he filled this sill area with the leftovers.

Another amazing custom fit job!

The beam is boxed in and got it's final coat of mud.
Tyler got it sanded down nice and smooth.

It's ready for primer and paint.

I forgot to tell you something interesting about the cabinets.
When our friend came to install the countertop, he had to
tear out and reinstall the cabinets because they weren't level.
Not only were they not level, they weren't attached to the wall!!

See the shims under the cabinets?  
Notice the difference in height from left to right.  
Would you say the floor is a little wonky?  
I would!

Thanks again, Bill, for your patience and hard work to get
this all back together in proper order!

Saturday's agenda includes painting of the baseboards,
bay window, and new header beam.
Of course, I will continue to strip the cabinet doors.
So far so good, but I haven't tried the stain yet.
Thanks for visiting A House and Yard!
I have appreciated all the comments and encouragement.

Cabinet Refinishing Update

Did you ever start a new project 
full of hope and high expectation?
Even your lack of experience didn't stop you 
from believing the challenge could be conquered.

It happened to me in the last week.
I present to you the kitchen cabinets.....

Here is where we started.  The house came with plain, stock cabinets from the local building supply.
They were badly stained and not lacquered.  I had something else in cabinets!
Alas, new cabinets were not in the budget, so I decided refinishing would be the next best thing.
Armed with a lovely stain....

....and high hopes, I got started.
Cabinet doors were removed and set aside.
The cabinets themselves got a good scrubbing, stuff got covered, and I applied the stain.

The uppers took the stain beautifully!
Love the color!

The lowers were very particular.  

The stain rested on
the surface and I had a very difficult time getting
the color to stay on.  The end result?

Not only were they splotchy, but they were a 
different color than the uppers!

This is definitely NOT what I had in mind!
I worked on this Wednesday and Thursday last week.  There were other things
(FUN things) to do over the weekend, so after shedding a few tears I walked away for a few days.
This week it was time to get ready
for the new countertops, so now I'm on deadline!

I decided to strip the lowers and start over!
I've never stripped wood in my life,
so this was a risky endeavor to me.
After researching I gathered my supplies.

Did you notice the lovely tile countertop is missing?
Looky here....

Brian removed the countertop and backsplash during my cooling off period.

The tile wouldn't chip off the wall.  He had to cut away the sheetrock and replace it.
The remains.  Anyone want some fruity ceramic tile?
Moving on.
After practicing on a door we aren't going to use....
...I started in.  Thankfully, it went smoothly.
The stripped wood took the stain better
and the colors look pretty good.

I got the new coat of stain on the lowers
the night before the countertops were installed.
Here's how it looks....

The next step?  I'm going to tackle those doors.
The lazy susan door still looks alittle splotchy.
Hopefully the rest of the doors will behave!

I'm lovin' the pretty new countertop!
In all honesty, if I had known ahead of time
how much time and frustration I would encounter
with this project, I would have done something else.
Now that I'm in the middle of it, I have to keep going.
As they say, ignorance is bliss.
(At least until the stain turns out splotchy....)

The next update?
The baseboard trim, rounded corners,
and bay window finishing.
My dad has been hard at work!

Stay tuned, Friends!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Nannie's Christmas Box is Here!

Nannie is what my kids call my mom.

Right after Thanksgiving, Mom sends a "getting ready for Christmas" box in the mail to my family,
my sibling's families, and my two grown daughters.  I can't remember when she started this,
but it's something we look forward to every year. 

Who doesn't love to get a big box full of stuff in the mail?

This year's collection is a variety of new things and some old favorites.
Let's take a look inside!!
She always includes something she made by hand.  Here we have a lovely table runner!
Next are a few useful and educational things.
Here are some yummy mixes to try.
Of course, there is a large sampling of sweets to tempt us.
I call the Mocha Latte Espresso Beans!
Anna's Ginger Thins are amazing.
See the little snowball-looking thing?
It is literally a ball of sugar and at the center there is a nut.  A filbert, I think.  Yum.
Here we have the silly things.
The blue spider-thingy can be thrown at the wall where it sticks, then slowly "crawls" down.
The wind up rat?  Not so sure about that one.  Maybe that's for Hershey and Snickers.
Snickers would probably be scared of it.

And now for the weird Santa and Snowman Heads!
Look what they can do.....
I KNOW!  Just what we all need to make us happy during Christmas, right?  :-)

Thanks, Mom, for our Christmas Box!!

Isn't this a fun way to kick off the Christmas Season?

What would you include in a
"Getting Ready for Christmas" Box?