Sunday, March 29, 2009

Lazy Sunday, v2

Big plans today... 

We're going up to the northside in a bit to get some breakfast (I have a free breakfast card at LePeep!) and to get Eric some new tennis shoes. Yesterday, I went shopping for clothes for the first time since moving here in July, and when I left, I asked Eric if he needed anything, thinking he'd say something like, "A pack of t-shirts" or something like that. No, he says, "I need some new tennis shoes. Any color except white." What?? I think shoes are an extremely personal choice. 

The clothes shopping yesterday... Necessary, but I didn't have a good time. I used to love going shopping, even if I wasn't going to get anything. Yesterday, I HAD to get something (seriously, the wardrobe situation is a little dire right now), and I dragged myself to the mall like I was going to the dentist. Once there, though, I got some cute stuff, including a VERY cute black kick-pleated skirt. It will be nice to be excited about getting dressed again. Also, the mall was packed. Screaming children everywhere. This is normally something I dread, but perhaps this means our national freak-out is winding down? God, I hope so. 

I finished painting in the bathroom yesterday, covering up all the flaws and scribble marks on the paint. And then I set to attacking the gigantic mound of laundry. And then I pressed "start" on the washer. Nothing...

Eric and Matt did some rewiring the other day to install a vanity light, and in doing so, appear to have removed a power source to the washer and the back bedroom. Nice.  I've respectfully requested that they abstain from further electrical work. I appreciate the initiative, but prefer that they not burn the house down or prevent me from doing laundry I needed to do 2 weeks ago. SIGH. We called an electrician.

It's all about knowing your limitations, right? I KNOW that I am woefully unskilled at a wide variety of things--electrical, plumbing and anything involving a powertool are just a few of these. Therefore, I don't even attempt, and I'm positive that the house is better for it. I'm just saying...

Anyway, today I think we'll continue a little spring cleaning, even though it's supposed to FREAKING SNOW! today. It's rather unbelievable to me how dusty and dirty things get if we don't stay on top of it around here. Yesterday, I swiffered for the first time in probably 3 days. I picked up a dog's worth of fur. Seriously, how are the puppies not bald?? I took a half bag of fur off of Yogi's TAIL yesterday. Because he's half Rotti/half dog-with-a-tail, he has a sort of long stump for a tail. It looks huge, but in reality is quite a small tail. It's just covered in 17 layers of matted fur. Disgusting. 

In other news, we start this week on the master-bath shower build out. Like the guest bath shower, this one is down to the studs and sub-floor. Our guy comes back this week and we'll get moving. Wahoo. Once we finish the master bath, we'll be able to refinance. We have a pretty low interest rate as it is, but I'm hoping that a marginally lower rate, plus a new appraisal to put us a 20%+ equity, will mean that we have no more PMI and lower payment. That would be awesome. 

Anyway, as of right now, we're planning on the following for the master bath:
  • dark brown cork floors - apparently, cork is really good in a bathroom, particularly if you seal it with several coats of poly. Cork doesn't conduct heat/cold, so it adapts to the temperature of your feet. This means that Eric's well-laid, if delusional, plans for an electric bathmat/radiant heat floor are unnecessary. 
  • ivory shower tiles with glass-mosaic accents - I'm a big fan of subway tiles. They always look sharp. Eric, though, wants something different from the guest bath, and I understand that. We'll use square ivory/off-white tiles for the shower, and probably do an accent around the shower control/head with the glass tile. 
  • Tell me what you think... We were at the tile shop the other day and saw some rock tile. You know--the flat stones that are mounted on the mesh. What I'm wondering is whether we could make that ourselves? Find flat stones, maybe run them through a polisher or something, and then lay them individually? Seems to me that the only benefit the pre-fab tile has over this is the mesh backing that might make it easier to lay. But if it just means finding the stones, sticking them into the thinset, and then grouting, is this possible? 
  • We'll tear out the ugly vanity we've got going on right now, and replace it either with 2 individual vanities (something like this, or this) or a better-looking 2 sink vanity. Or Eric will build something. 
Anyway, we'll see. This bathroom is roughly 3.5 times the size of the guest bathroom, and that project started back in January, and still isn't finished. So, it's looking like we might finish this by, say, Christmas.

Lazy Sunday

While chatting with a friend last night, I was reminded of this SNL skit--genius. Mr. Pibb and Red Vines... Crazy delicious, indeed.

Being a Hoosier, though, I am partial to this remake:

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I found the camera. It was on a desk, not hidden at all. I feel foolish.

Picture time!

Adventures in landscaping... Most of the purple stuff is phlox, which should become mounded eventually, and stuff at the top right is spreading, so we're hoping that eventually, the flowers take over the whole yard so we don't have to worry about growing our anemic grass. 

Hanging baskets and nice new planters for the front porch below. 

Meanwhile, this is the attic ceiling...  Yes, it's on the floor. In the foyer. 

Bathroom!!!! Bathroombathroombathroombathroom!!!!!!! Do you like my nice new shower curtain?

Here's the shelf above the washer/dryer. It took forever to paint, but it's worth it. 

The Shower is Glorious

I've showered in it probably five times now, and it's lovely. LOVELY. We can't find the camera, though, so I have no pictures for you. You'll just have to take my word for it.

Now that we've finally finished the shower, you'd think we would have a finished bathroom. Well, OF COURSE NOT. Don't be silly. What we have now is a lovely shower and a disaster zone. Eric moved the vanity light location over about 8 inches since it was going to be off-center, so we had two holes. Filled the one up--that still has spackle in it that needs to be sanded and painted. The whole bathroom needs to be repainted because Eric, for whatever reason, scribbled little pencil measurement notes to himself all over the walls. The mirror needs to be rehung. We have shelves somewhere--I don't know where. Finally, we have to get down and SCRUB that floor. For being a brand new tile floor, it looks like crap. I got a beautiful black and white floral shower curtain the other day that I'm thinking will tie the room together nicely, but I can't put it up till we're finished painting. Maybe we'll finish by May.

On Sunday, we went up to the Depot to get a robe hook for the bathroom (not installed yet), and ended up in the garden center. We got a bunch of ground cover and phlox and even a couple rose bushes. I planted them all on Sunday afternoon, and even did a little landscaping with some bricks. It looks pretty good. We also got some hanging baskets and a hummingbird feeder--makes the porch look like new. I've been spending a lot of time out there lately, since it's been so nice outside.

I realize these posts are totally boring. We're going to do a massive search for the camera tonight.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

It's Been a While

I'm not ignoring the blog, really. It's just been THAT busy lately, and for some reason, I am dog-tired all the time. Like, heading to bed at 9:00-reading for 10 minutes-falling asleep with my glasses on tired. I attribute this to daylight savings time. Yes, I know it happened several weeks ago, but I just can't get used to waking up before dawn, even if it is at 6:30, which is a pretty reasonable time.

Anyway, we're making progress. Eric cousin Matty is up for an extended visit, and while I'm sure large portions of their days are spent chatting incessantly about baseball, basketball, football or comic books (seriously, I listened to 25 minutes of NON-STOP chatter about the relative strengths and weaknesses of the characters in the next X-Men movie before I finally said, "OH MY GOD. Shut up!"), they are getting some work done.

Yesterday, they went up to Menards and bought some beadboard, and while they haven't put it up on the attic ceiling yet, they have cleaned up the attic (so necessary--it's disgusting up there), and installed some rafters, which will allow for enhanced venting in the peak of the cealing. It's going to look awesome.

In 2nd floor shower-related news, no, I have not experienced the joy of showering on the same floor as my bedroom yet. This is because even though the shower is functional and beautiful, we have neglected to purchase a curtain (there will ultimately be a door, but not for a while). Eric is supposed to get one when he's out and about today.

Outside... It's looking better. We raked up about 10 lawn bags full of leaves and branches in the front and back yard, and even out in the esplanade. It rained like crazy last night, so the backyard is still a mud pit, but eric has big plans in the next week or so to rent a roto-tiller and plant some grass. I'm staying out of it.

We're going to take down the white picket fence that surrounds our front yard. Strange... I spent DAYS painting that fence just last fall, and while it had seen better days, it was in decent shape. Well, something happened this winter, because that fence is DERELICT. It's rotting away before our eyes. So we're just going to take it down, find something to replace the pillars and stair-rail, and be done with it. Next summer, we'll do a retaining wall.

I'll post some pictures of various projects this evening.

Monday, March 16, 2009


The shower works. Holy crap, I thought this day would never come. But yes, there's a showerhead and a turny-thingy and water actually comes out and goes down the drain. 

Eric had a brainstorm today, and determined that it wasn't that the cap on the shower head pipe was actually stuck, it was that the warm water in the pipes was making them expand. So, he turned off the water, let things cool down, and ta-da! It worked. 

I am so happy. 

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


No, the shower's not done yet. I am beginning to get discouraged.

The good news is that the only reason it's not done is because our plumber hasn't been able to come look at it, not because we had to rip down the newly tiled walls or anything like that.

In much-to-Haley's-chagrin-type news, Eric did indeed build a cabinet over the washer/dryer. It looks great. I just need to paint it. This bathroom has more trim in it than I would have imagined possible.

Entering the meeting-est 3 days of my life. Seriously--I've got them stacked. Tonight at IUPUI, tomorrow in Bloomington before 9:00. I may have something at 11:30 that I neglected to put on my calendar. Meeting at 4:00. Meeting at 6:00. Meeting AFTER the 6:00. Start up Friday at 7:45 till noon, then meeting at 1:00. Woohoo!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

I should have known better

...than to be even remotely excited about the shower being finished. Because you know when you get excited about something home-improvement-related that fate/karma/the wrath of God/whatever will step in and poop in your shoe.

Indeed, the shower stall is complete, and looks fantastic. However, now that Eric has taken on the task of installing the shower head, he has run up against a roadblock in the form of a very small cap, that has been screwed on the end of the pipe. He can't get it off. So RJ, our plumber, is coming over sometime soon and hopefully will know what to do. Because I swear, if we've been through all this crap and our shower still doesn't work... Well, I don't know what I'll do about it, but I certainly won't be happy.

This really is classic-Eric, though, I have to say. Not the inefficiency of it. No no--he's efficient down to the very core of his being. And thorough and methodical. SO thorough and SO methodical that he has difficulty actually 100% completing a project. He will spend days and days designing what is basically a shelf to go over our washer/dryer, because he hates that I put the detergent on top of the unit (I say, it's a natural shelf!). But do we have that shelf yet? No! We have a 3-D computer rendering of it, complete with beveled edges and color. Same situation with the downstairs half-bath, which is the strangest shaped room in all of creation. We popped a tall cabinet in one of the weirder corners, and as far as I can see, all we need to do is slap up a couple pieces of trim around the seams and we're good to go. This cabinet spent at least 2 months sitting in the hallway waiting to be installed, and has been in its home for probably 3 months now. The trim is sitting in the bathroom, waiting to be put up. Do we have a finished cabinet--of course not. But we do have a professional computer model of how it's going to look when it's finished.

Ahh, the blessings and curses of living with an architect... This is what he does for a living--this is who he is!

One might argue, Haley, why don't you take the initiative and do this stuff yourself? I answer, there are several reason:
  1. I have to live with this man
  2. I understand that even though this propensity toward overplanning may drive me crazy, the quality of his work is still MUCH better than mine. In fact, I can't recall a single instance in which the term "quality" has ever been applied to my home improvement skilz.
  3. I am afraid of the nail gun.
So, I putter around the edges, painting everything I can get my hands on, moving furniture around in attempts to make myself feel like progress is being made, and crushing his dreams of laying $25/sq ft tile on the floor of our gigantic bathroom.

It's a great time to be me.