getting there.

20 04 2012


We’ve been busy.  Really really busy.  Storing up nuts for winter busy.  Making hay while the sun shines busy.  Busy as bees.  Busy as beavers.  So busy that we literally fall asleep before we hit the sheets. 

[You get the idea.]

But!  We have something to show for it. 

Floors you can walk on without needing shoes. [Actually, now we’re not supposed to wear shoes!  I can’t keep up sometimes…]


…and the fancy tool that installs them.  It also comes with a matching mallet.


A kitchen with countertops AND functional appliances… that is a pleasure to cook in.

Imageinduction cooktop + R2D2-like vent hood

Imagefridge + wall oven + paint color!


Not one, but TWO usable bathrooms… showers and all.




And now with carpet! [those poles to the left are basically what’s holding the house up, so they’ll get wrapped in some decorative trim to be disguised as a pillar.] Image

A driveway-less yard. [Well, that’s still kind of mess.  It’s hard to keep the house clean when 2/3 of your front yard and 7/8 of your back yard are dirt/mud, depending on the weather.]


You know the guys were fighting over who got to drive this bad boy. ImageImage

Along with the requisite dump-truck-full-o-dirt to fill in the space… would you believe this was not enough?!


More room-by-room updates coming… and obviously the “after” pictures of our heinous yard, as soon as we actually get the work done.

Better get back to busy-ness.



10 02 2012

Things are moving quickly around here… we’ve already upgraded to a functional shower AND a sink and toilet in the same room!  With doors!  It’s getting pretty luxurious, really.

with an added dishwashing bonus feature!

And not only is the shower functional, it’s freaking GORGEOUS.

with frameless shower door... just a little light on the privacy. 😉

plus side panel. FAN-CY.

And the hammer-wielding elves have been hard at work getting the basement framed and ready for electrical and drywall… but not before they broke out the big-boy toys to dig out the egress window box!

Tonka Trucks for grown-ups, amiright?

the fruits of their labor.

look at that view!

But just as one thing gets better, another gets worse, right?  Because of all the work going on downstairs, all non-essential items that we didn’t want covered in dust (too late!) or paint had to come upstairs.  For a normally particular-about-where-things-go-neat-freak, it sort of feels like living in an episode of Hoarders…

trying to keep out the drywall/paint dust.

Exhibit A

Exhibit B.

Oh hello, cello-that-is-more-for-decoration-than-playing. You're kind of in the way.

But! All is not lost.  I am learning to be flexible (and to step lightly in the middle of the night so as not to stub my toe(s) AGAIN).  And as always, this phase of madness is temporary… new wood floors are being installed downstairs, and once that’s done, it will be time to move all of our junk back down.  (My favorite!)

In the meantime, if I squint my eyes just a little, I can almost imagine what the master bathroom will look like:

I mean really squint.


rubber, meet road.

7 02 2012

[coming to you from an undisclosed satellite location… but I’ll give you a hint:  I’m drinking a cup of Earl Grey de la Creme and I didn’t make it myself.]

We’re trucking along at nearly-warp speed, and as we go, things are getting crazier and crazier around here.

Do you know what’s freakier than dust boogers?  PAINT boogers.  No joke… I blew my nose this morning and actual paint chips flew out.  Oh, was that TMI?  Well, welcome to Park Ave… where we keep it real.

How real, you ask?

1.  We have one toilet.  It’s in the new first-floor bathroom, which does not yet have doors.  I told Eric we’ll have to yell “fire in the hole!” before either one of us goes in there as a warning.

2.  We have one sink.  The kitchen sink.  I’m waiting for the day our neighbor Tom walks out onto his back deck and looks over at me brushing my teeth.

3.  We have no shower.  We have a half-constructed Jensen Tile masterpiece-in-the-making (it’s SERIOUSLY beautiful), but it’s on a temporary hold until the rest of the first floor and basement walls get wired and framed in time for the drywallers to come tomorrow. (!)

In the meantime… hel-lo Jordan YMCA! 😉

4.  To get to this place, the original bathroom was torn out, soon to become part of a bedroom/closet (plus, that ivy wallpaper swatch HAD to go).

goodbye, old friend...In the process, we found a window hiding behind the shower!

In the process, we found a window hiding behind the shower!  I was hoping for a million or so in small, unmarked bills, but I guess we’ll take what we can get.

5.  In the stretch of nice weather we had last week, Eric, Branden (of the Ohio branch of Jensen Tile 😉 ), and company produced a rebuilt deck AND a new fence.  Like, in TWO DAYS.  Unfortunately the big rickety gate (and the dogs’ primary mode of escape) has to stay until the driveway gets torn out, but 95% new ain’t too shabby!  In the meantime, I’m gunning for an old-fence-burning party…

”]… but I think the neighbors (and the fire department) might object.

…and into overdrive.

7 01 2012

Yes, we’re still here.  Yes, we’ve been hard at work… at just about everything but blogging.  Sound familiar?  Perhaps I’ve made a resolution to be more consistent, or perhaps I’m simply feeling guilty about not following through with my commitment to document the ins and outs of this house’s rebirth.  Either way, it’s time to get back to business around here.  Especially because we now have an April 1 deadline!


Rather than trying to make up for months(!) of backlogged house progress (and because most of the people who read this blog have actually seen the house lately, methinks), we’re going to take a giant leap forward in time to the present day.  So, strap in:

Looking fancy, no?  Porch rebuilt, brick level raised and evened out, second story trimmed and sided!  Still need to replace the doors and paint their frames.  Oh, and move the lumber pile off the porch.  And some landscaping… unless that tarp counts. 😉

Chimney repaired and extended to a height appropriate for the new roof.  Still need to acid-wash the mortar on some of the new bricks, replace windows, and paint window trim.

Front porch detail; still need electrical box and light fixture installation before the top ridge can be closed up and painted.

Front door overhang detail; still waiting for new door, light fixture, and trim.

Scaffolded up to the heavens (none for me, thanks!), and putting the finishing touches on the new trim.  Actually, I believe I hear Eric taking down the scaffolding out back at this very moment…hooray!  So thankful for a string of 50-degree days in January.

There, that’s better.  Don’t look down, though… the scaffolding has not been kind to the deck or the yard.  Or maybe that was the dogs…  Either way, they’re on the list!

Until next time… when you get to see the inside.  🙂

filling the space.

29 07 2011

Once we were roofed and insulated, it was time to build the interior walls.  So far, my favorite parts of this project have been when a big aspect falls into place (shocker, I know… but it really does help me to visualize what things are going to look like when they’re finished!).  Putting up walls really started to make the second story come alive, rather than just a big idea.


YOWZA.  That’s the master bedroom, people!  Love that high ceiling.

The area to the left of the doorway [where the sheet of plywood is standing up] is the home of my new WALK-IN CLOSET!!!!

The nursery/office [sorry for the awkward angle.  As you already know, I’m not a big fan of ladders… and that orange one was the only way up or down.]

And the linen storage/laundry closet.  Hip-hip-HOORAY for laundry that’s not in the basement! [But at the moment it’s still in the basement.  Of course.]

The walls really made a HUGE difference.   Adding the bones to the second floor has created the illusion of walls, with all the benefits of, you know, throwing stuff up to Eric while he’s sitting at his desk in the “office.”  It’s the little things in life… 😉

Last Friday, 8:44 AM.

15 07 2011

Phone dings; a text from Eric: “can you call?”

Picks up the phone, dials.

“Can I buy a motorcycle?”

thinks to self, um, what?!?!

“It’s just like my other one!”

[mental image: his childhood motorcycle, now leaning against our garage, wheels and engine locked up.]

“Do the wheels turn on this one?”

“Yeah, it runs, and the guy only wants $150 for it!  Seriously, we were sitting at a stoplight and I saw it in the back of his truck a few cars ahead of us.  So I got out and ran up there and asked him if it was for sale!”

“Does this mean we can get rid of the other hunkajunk?”

“No, don’t you see?  We’ll have a matching pair! This one is totally your size.”

“Ooooh, way to butter me up…”

“So can I?!”

“Sure, whatever, go ahead…”  *facepalm*



And that’s how we ended up with this bad boy:

[he threw in the giant dog ears for free.  Can you spot them? 😉 ]

there, and back again.

8 07 2011



We’re back from the darkness.  From radio silence. From nearly 6 MONTHS of non-blogging.  And for that I apologize….

and I bring you lolcatz.



[sorry. sloth, not cat…couldn’t help myself.  especially since this is how I feel when we’re working on house projects sometimes.  and, come on!  adorable sloth!]

Moving on.

So, we’re married!  And now that the mass pandemonium has passed [for the most part, anyway], it’s time to get back to business and get snap-crackle-poppin’ on this house… and get you folks caught up!

So, where were we? Oh yes… the roof.  While we were celebrating the other newly-married Jensens’ big day [and my birthday], our house was getting papered and shingled up top.  Once we got back, the big push became getting cross-ties hung [large beams that support the peak of the roof by creating a triangle like so:

rafters + crossties

Oh hai, meester kanstructshun man!  Oops, yure on da fone.  I sowwy.

[too much?  not funny? cuter than a cat?  less cute than a sloth?  you tell me.]

So yes.  Crossties. They keep the roof from caving in–which Eric calls “splay,” in case you were looking to learn a new vocabulary word today.  You’re welcome!

Our next goal was to get some insulation into this bad boy…as much as I like the exposed-rafters-n-beams look, I don’t like freezing my patoots off while paying $500 a month to the electric company–despite the fact that the house never really got above 60 degrees all winter.  True confessions.

[Actually, we had bills that high even once we did have insulation… but that’s another story.]

Johns Manville FTW!

new walls! insulation! and a bag of trash?! who knows...

Look, someone had to do it.  Good help is hard to find these days… and sometimes I get tired of being the grunt/#1 best construction helper EVAH. 
So anyway… we’re BAAAAAAACKKK!