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16 Dec 2010

No new real updates...

.... so I will titillate your fancies with this 3D view of what the south side of our bedroom will look like.

Work continues on the closet - it is about half put up.  Ad is taking two days off work very soon to work on all this - and I hope baseboards and trim will go up soon!  He has to build those nice headboards up see above and stain them and whatnot, so... it all takes time.  The bedroom door has been re-hung, and it is fantastically balanced now!  Yay!

The men have not yet come to fix our pipes from the city....although there are promising spray paint lines in the front of the house!  And there are even orange cones, but the cones aren't actually doing anything yet.  Soon, soon.  Maybe they are paused due to snow?

In siding news:  they've come and put up some scaffolding, but siding we do not have.  I can't picture them working when it is so cold out...but I suppose they will.  We'll see.  The man said they would start in a few days, but that was a few days ago....

28 Nov 2010

Halfway there!

Our pipes are half done!  The pipes on our property are done - brand spanking new copper for us!  w00t!

The city portion should be starting on Monday-ish?!  Already we see a slight water pressure increase, but the big increase will be later this week.  Yay!!!

Here is a fancy collage of how the work went (courtesy of Mr. So).  Those two guys were very industrious workers!  It made the basement VERY DIRTY, but it is mostly back to status quo now.

Ok, now it is on to Christmas decorations!  Yay!  I've brought out all the Christmas versions of things, I just need my nice husband to help putting up the lights!  Yahoo!  And maybe we'll put up outdoor lights now that we're owners not renters?!?  We shall see. 

Update on the siding:  No word yet.  They were supposed to come a week or two ago...but I have faith they'll do it eventually.  I am expecting it before Christmas!

21 Nov 2010

Even more exciting news

So in the last week or so, we went from this:
To this!
The colour doesn't show up really very well in the is actually darker, more...gray-ish??  (Jeanne can vouch for it!)  We're ready for the closet to be put together now!  As you can see, part of the closet has already migrated upstairs.  Yay!

And the even more exciting news??  We're getting our PLUMBING FIXED!!!  YEEEEEEHAAAAAWWWW!  Turns out, they will begin fixing the city portion of the pipes TOMORROW.  Neat!  We called up the company, a dude turned up this evening, gave us a quote and told us our water pressure woes will be done by next week (after an exchange of some money)!  Or sometime thereabouts.

You will then be all welcome to come over and flush the downstairs toliet while I am upstairs in the bathroom - no more three minutes of freezing cold while puffs of air come out of the faucet.  Huzzah!

17 Oct 2010

Living the Dream

Ok, I know, it's been AGES and AGES since I've posted.
Terribly sorry.

Update on the bedroom: It's coming along.  Adrian is now in the process of mudding.  I know, I know, it just looks like an empty room - but it has come a long way, baby!  It actually looks slightly better than this picture below, having at least one coat of drywall mud on all places you would want to have mud on.

On to bigger and more exciting things.
Yes, you may have heard - WE HAVE A MACHINE THAT DOES OUR DISHES!!!  What?!

It is so awesome.  It was literally installed today, by Adrian's "Uncle" [soy diu=man married to his aunt on his father's side, of course].  Adrian had done some fancy cabinetry work last week to prepare for said dishwasher.  You can see there is still a little cabinetry work left to do to the left of the dishwasher (whom we've christened him Corrie Jr., or CJ for short).  Our house feels oh so moderns now, with the addition of CJ!  It was amazing - we left the house this evening, came back - clean dry dishes were waiting for us!  I didn't even heft any soap!  Ahhhh.  Such luxury.

Next on our list of exciting new things for Sunday:  we now have a compost bin!  It is working away at its first load.  I attacked our bushes in front - it was time for a trim.  I have them mostly down, I want them down to sticks, so they can grown in more lady-like in the spring, slightly less jungle-ish.    I even have a dream of actually removing one of the vines I do not enjoy and consider to be a weed, but we'll see.  Man, our rosebush had some seriously huge branches.  I had to bust out the saw, my clippers just wouldn't hack it.  I've been reading up on composting, I hope to have excellent compost ready by spring!  :)

Ok, I think I'm going to go and see how CJ is.  Our kitchen is SO CLEAN.  And it didn't involve me doing 3 loads of dishes!  Wunderbar!

10 Jul 2010

Deep South, finale

Hahah - ok, turns out I was too busy to blog for the rest of the trip!

The second day at Sarah's, we went to the NASA Rocket Museum - that was super fun.  They also had a traveling Star Wars side exhibit we saw as well.

That night (America Day) we had Sarah and Christian's fun boozy neighbours over for a barbeque.  It as super fun - Christian made organic chicken, and watermelon soup, and we had bruschetta, there was some corn and pork loin as well.  YUM!  (Watermelon soup - I've never had that before - it was soooo good!)

The next day we were off to Georgia!  We stopped along the way in South Pittsburg at the Lodge Logic Factory, where they make good ol' seasoned cast iron skillets.

Let me see.... in Georgia was saw Laurie's cute apartment, we went on some nice hikes in the hills, we watched all the FIFA World Cup games (although Laurie and I were Proud to be Awesome, we were gutted by German's loss), we had a classic Auntie Jan lamb roast, we did some walking around and shopping in the square in Marietta, we played with the lovely doggies (my impression of Chleo is much much improved from last time - Chleo and I were bffs).

On Thursday we went into Atlanta with Laurie and saw Bodies and Dialogue in the Dark - that was pretty cool.  Dialogue in the Dark is where they turn ALL the lights out and they lead you through scenarios and you have to navigate around like a blind person would (they give you a cane, and you have a blind person for a tour guide).  Pretty cool!  We also did a little shopping - Atlanta was particularly melty that day, so it was nice to go inside the airconditioning.

While in Atlanta we ate a R. Thomas, this crazy hippie bird sanctuary with all sorts of fancy vegan and raw foods - highly unexpected for me in Atlanta!  I was expecting all Southern cookin' style.

For dinner that day, we had FRIED CHICKEN AND WAFFLES!  ahhaha.  THIS was more like what I was expecting!  Gladys Knight and the Pips Chicken and Waffle House.  Love it!  We all had fried chicken and waffles for dinner - somewhat hilarious!  Soooo greasy, it was, but somehow a nice waffle does go well with fried chicken.

Friday was our driving back day - and all day it did take!  We made it to Waffle House for breakfast - that was fun.  Their waffles are NOT as good as Miss Knight's waffles, let me say.

We're now here in le Windsor takin' it easy on the last leg of our journey.  Some more cousin action tomorrow, I will be watching the game (World Cup Final - go Nederland!) with Drew and little Bri.  Fun!

4 Jul 2010

Deep South, part un

This is for you, Auntie Jan!

I have a wee little time to blog this morning, due to Sarah being a little more Dee Dee-ish in the mornings than me.

Some fun things that have happened so far:

4.  Someone trying to convince me that grits really are good
This was quite casually done.  Sarah mentioned maybe we could go out for breakfast the next morning - and they she snuck in, "so you can try some grits".  HAH!  I'm on to you!  Nope! 

Fun Eats so far:
Mexican:  Yum!  You know how it is, hard to get good Mexican food in Canada.  So Friday night we headed out - yum yum yum!

10.  Barbeque.  Wait, no, its Barbecue.
We went to Dreamland Barbecue for lunch yesterday - I had a chopped pork sandwich.  It was friggin' awesome.  The sauce was just how I liked it - tangy, not too sweet.  We are bringing a big jug home with us - maybe I'll tune my own pulled-pork sauce to it?  It's pretty close already, mine is just maybe a bit too sweet.  The most hilarous thing - when we first came to the restaurant, while we were still deciding what to order, the waitress (who was SUPER nice and sweet, as expected in the South!) said she'd give us a few minutes and just come back with some bread.  She came back with a plate of white bread and a side of barbecue sauce!  HAHAHA.  Like, I'm talking a stack of Wonderbread here.  Unheard of!  Shown here is the big wood fire ovens they slow roast the meat in.  Mmmm.

For dinner - why, a good ol' low country boil!  We went to Po' Boy Factory and we got the last platter of crawfish boil for the season!  It is this huge platter with three pounds of spicy crawfish, served with three little boiled potatoes, half a cob of corn, and two inches of sausage.  All four of us attacked it - eating crawfish is a lot of work!  They are like wee little lobsters, but they are so little, you only really eat the meat in the tail, which you have to put quite a lot of work into before it can be removed.  We also ordered crab legs and some shrimp - man, we were frantically tearing into this fish for over an hour before we each finally leaned back and mumbled something about having to wash our hands so we could stop.

All that fish (it was essentially a meal of only protein) lit a fire in my belly, so up the mountain we went.  We drove up to near the top, and then Sar and I power-walked (I have honestly never walked so fast - it was like I was on a movator) to the top in the gloaming.  We got to the top, which was very pretty, a sort of hazy view over the nearby hills, very pretty (shown below, but it was really much darker than the picture lets on).  The walk down was more hilarious.

So my night vision isn't so good. (That's Mrs. So to you!)  By the time we had to begin our trek back down the (paved) path, it was pretty close to dark out.  Well, I essentially couldn't see.  It was like walking in gravy.  So I had a leader (as for a blind person).  It was Sarah's turn, and we were walking along (slow but steady) and chatting away, then all of a sudden - I stopped (mid-sentence), and very gingerly put out my right foot in front of me like there was going to be a large step or something.  As I was doing it, I could see white disembodied foot reaching out in front of me, and we both doubled over in laughter.  It was the equivalent of walking on flat carpet and suddenly stopping to take a tentative step forward for no apparent reason.  Maybe you had to be there, but I had tears streaming down my face (of laughter).  It was like the time Sarah tipped us in the canoe at Uncle Lorne's!  hahah - good cousinly fun.

6. Drinking unsweetened iced tea
Check!  Both at the barbecue place and the Po' Boy place.  Sooo good.  I must have had a litre + of iced tea yesterday!  (Sarah and Adrian order half sweet, which means she mixes the unsweetened jug with the sweetened jug).

17.  Riding in a Volvo

Sarah's house and neighbourhood is super sweet and quite Southern!  Lovely!  And of course a huge yard.   We watched both soccer games yesterday, which was quite excellent.  I think those Germans are going to go all the way.

Today we're off to see the Rocket Ships!  Oh, and tonight, we're going to "cook out" (this is pronounced with the emphasis on 'out', and as two distinct words).  This is a term I hadn't heard before, I had to ask Christian to repeat himself.  It's what I would normally call, "having a barbeque", but of course the b-word is reserved here to mean tangy sauce on slow cooked meat.


24 Jun 2010

Things I am looking forward to: Deep South Edition

  1. Okra
  2. Drinking a Bloody Mary and complaing it's not a Caeser
  3. Melting in the heat
  4. Someone trying to convince me that grits really are good
  5. Seeing Vampires (I watch tv you know, I know they all live down South)
  6. Drinking unsweetened iced tea
  7. Banjos
  8. Target
  9. Seeing funny signs with "Jesus" in them
  10. Barbeque.  Wait, no, its Barbecue.
  11. Maybe somebody will call me a cracker
  12. Picking up an accent by the time we get into Kentucky
  13. Giggling about all the things that can be chicken-fried
  14. Starting to talk real ....slow....
  15. Rocket Ships
  16. I'm gonna Jump Down Turn Around, pick a Bale of Cotton...nah...just joshing....
  17. Riding in a Volvo
  18. Singing about "Goin' to Graceland" on the way down, and pretending it is true, because it will at least be plausible.
    Can't wait!  Yeeeeeeeehaw!

    Yours truly,
    Mrs. So

    16 Jun 2010

    And the Walls...come tumbling down!

    Ok, maybe not so much 'tumble' - but we're removing them like crazy people.

    Our ugly (mint coloured) back bedroom is going from what is shown below (you can still see the channel they cut in the plaster to do the electrical work - we had bubble wrap taped over it all winter because since we have no insulation, that's like, practically the outside of the house)...

    To this!  EEEGADS!  What are we thinking?!?

    Well, this is how it sits now.  This was all started this weekend, so now you, dear reader, are up-to-the-minute with our latest project.  It is like a scary jail in there.  And dusty like you wouldn't believe.  And I'm thinking maybe we have a hole into our neighbours closet, shhh.

    The plan is to rip down the lathe, put up some insulation (thermal on the exterior walls, sound-proofing on the interior walls), vapour barrier, then drywall (soundproofing on the shared wall), then baseboards (turns out our old ones will not be salvageable - sadness) - THEN it will start to look normal.

    We're going to paint it "Sapphire", and then install some PAX closets along one wall.  A custom headboard and a new bed later, maybe a ceiling fan, and she'll be done.  No problem at'all.

    21 May 2010

    Update: Roof Fixed

    Mr. Roof Repair came, found the hole (one of them shown above - apparently there were a few other problem areas as well), and fixed it.  Yikes.  Ok, it's done now, our wallet is lighter, and we don't have to worry anymore about leakiness.

    On to greater challenges!

    8 May 2010


    Ah-ha!  So I went up into the attic.  This was no small feat, believe me - our attic isn't the kind of attic one would want to go up into.  In fact, I would bet no one had been up there (besides our home inspector popping his head up) in 30 years!  It involved moving insulation around and placing myself from one beam to the next, all the while there was fiberglass everywhere. 

    I really wish I had some pics to share, but of course the one time our camera is out of batteries is today!

    I slowly made my way over to where our light fixture is, and lo and behold - yes, there was some wet wood.  Boourns.  Then Adrian called up and suggest I turn off my flashlight, and upon doing so I did notice a wee little hole in the roof.  I estimate its diameter at like 3mm.

    Well.  That's no good.  There is some weirdness in that the hole isn't directly over the wet wood, and I can't see any water tracks to wear the wet wood is, but regardless, the hole needs to be fixed.  Calling a roofer today, we will do.  Our roof is only like 2 or 3 years old, so we continue to ride the ghetto train of poor quality.  Hopefully it's under warranty.  :)

    7 May 2010


    As you may know, tonight turned out to be quite rainy and cold.  We got home after our Mother's Day 10 course dinner with Adrian's family, and I booked it upstairs to put on a sweater and change out of my wet socks.

    After I changed, I turned toward the bed (in the front bedroom I'm talking now for your reference) and there is a big round wet spot on the bed!  Did I put something wet on the bed?  No.

    Water was dripping from the light fixture!    Uh-oh.  Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, man!  I thought our roof was relatively new?  Well, tomorrow is detective time.  Stay tuned.  I'm on this like Mrs. Fletcher is on a murder case!

    31 Mar 2010

    Dining Room. (sigh)

    Yay! Dining Room is DONE! And I loves it. That is a sigh of love. :) (Like Bella sighs when she looks deep into Jacob's eyes)

    Our lovely big gray carpet covers most of the awful floor, and ALL of the horrid green is gone from the 1st floor - w00t!

    We tried selling the China Cabinet, but that's not so much happening, so.... I don't know. Maybe we'll keep it. I'll keep you posted. We have plans to trash the lighting fixture, but that seems to be down the road a bit.

    Today I did purchase previously mentioned lovely red couch, so our living room will be coming along! There was a slight kerfluffle at the couch store, but I emerged victorious, and strangely $100 fell off the price.

    As for our little bathroom cigarette smoking problem - we now think the pipe connecting our houses is simply a horizontal pipe from bathroom to bathroom, with a shared exhaust. I made the mistake of looking into the pipe - GROSS! Its like 80 years of nasty, dusty awfulness. We have to do something about it.

    25 Feb 2010

    Living Room

    Our living room is FINALLY done!
    I refer you to the before and after (it's too bad I can't find a picture with holes in it, it was much worse before the patching started):

    Look, the dirty yellow walls are gone. Yay! Everything is shiny and new. The colour [Night Frost]...well, its not quite what we expected. It turned out to just be gray. Like we're painting most of the house (can I at least get a Hooray from Auntie Jan, who also paints her house gray?). But it'll do. I think the fireplace actually looks nicer now, with the white mantle, instead of the pukegreen mantle.

    This took FOREVER, due to Olympics. I hope the dining room/hallway will move along at a slightly faster clip without Olympic hockey to vie for Adrian's attention. Dining room priming starts today - many more days later than expected....

    And now we need a couch. Actually, we found a lovely couch we both liked...but then we decided we needed new eavestroughs more. So, couch, you just wait for us, we'll come get you soon.

    14 Feb 2010

    Upstairs bath is DONE!

    Our upstairs bathroom is finally done! w00t! Our before and after:

    LOVE it. Really, I'm surprised at how much different our place feels now that we can use the upstairs bath! I mean, the downstairs bathroom is fine... but having to hike downstairs to have a shower sort of makes you feel like you're camping, you know?

    The before picture doesn't even tell the whole story - alas, I don't have one showing the gaping hole around the light switch - you'll just have to trust me, it's much improved.

    The thing that really makes the bathroom though is without a doubt the towels - thanks to Aunties Ladi and Carol for the thoughtful wedding gift!! Seriously, I have never used such towels. They make me feel like a rich person. If it wasn't Chinese New Year today, I think I would go have a shower just so I could dry off. :) And these beautiful bathroom accessories courtesy of Shavaun and the Hohs, very lovely! Thanks, guys!

    I mean, sure, the bathroom is still ultra small, and you do get a mild claustrophobic feeling when you're "answering the call of nature", but at least now its plush! I'm also having a bit of issue with the brown - we all know brown is on its way out, I wish I had the foresight to ask for these lovely gifts in black, but overall, I'm giving my *new* bathroom 2 thumbs up!

    You'll notice the cadence of the blog posts is much slower now - that's because everything takes so LONG when we are both working full time! Sorry! Up next, look for the kitchen - its actually done, but we're still unpacking into it, so I'll post when its 100% done and set up. The living room is scheduled for priming on Family Day - wooohoo! (Its about time, one would say).


    4 Feb 2010

    Slowly but surely

    Work progresses - its not terribly interesting at this point, sorry! We taped the kitchen last night, today, first coat of primer will go up. Adrian and I had our (hopefully) last sanding party in the kitchen, with a billion drop clothes, and me madly trying to vacuum up all the plaster dust as it was made.

    Household temp still sits at 66'F. I set it to 68'F. Sooner or later it will hit that setpoint! Perhaps once massive drafts aren't coming in everywhere? In particular the kitchen has a new switchplate that seems to be directly connected to the outside, a refreshing stream of air is coming in at all times.

    I notice the upstairs bathroom has no heating vent. So it can't really be blamed for how chilly it is. Maybe we should look at some shrink wrap on the window for now? I fear its outside wall of the upstairs bath ought to be ripped down at some point too and insulated. Perhaps next year. We're still using the downstairs bath for showering, since we have one more plaster coat to go upstairs, and the faucet still needs caulking. Oooh, maybe we should put heated floors in when we remodel the bathroom, that would be awesome! They are freeeezing now.

    The upstairs bathroom also smells like cigarette smoke on occasion. This is a wee bit of a mystery. I thought someone the neighbour smoking was coming in the wall holes, but when I sniffer them, I detect no smoke. I think the smoke is coming in from our exhaust pipe from the bathroom. This is how it was done before exhaust fans - just a pipe out to the roof. Mayhaps this pipe lets in cigarette smoke from the attic? But when I sniffer the hall closet that has a HUGE GAPING hole in it to the attic, I detect no smoke.....

    And a Happy Birthday to Justyna, my only loyal blog "Follower"!

    1 Feb 2010

    Excellent Brown Couch

    Well, the big move happened! Only the bedroom is painted and sans holes, so the rest of the house is chaos.

    Our living room is filled with dust and construction accoutrements, the dining room is piled with furniture, the middle bedroom is FILLED with boxes, and the back bedroom houses scattered furniture and boxes and painting supplies, and the kitchen is draped for painting!

    Controlled chaos, it is - camping for another week, I'm ready for it. I even bought all processed food to eat this week, so cooking can be kept to a minimal before the kitchen is painted.

    Oh, and our new house is also COLD. So Cold! I think all those walls we have punched in outside walls are doing it - we have not yet hit room temperature. We're idling around 65'C...and the floors are freezing. Yikes. So in the next few days, we're prioritizing some hole patching!

    As I took the inaugural shower Saturday night, I noticed lovely warm steam going into the bathroom walls and ceiling through the massive holes in them, and I'm thinking this isn't such a good idea. So we're off showers in the upstairs bathroom until the holes are patched and the cement is dry. Meaning we may end up painting the bathroom, or else we'll have a massive white primer square on the wall. But you probably know we lived with that in our old house for like 2 years....

    The bedroom is an oasis (cold oasis) of wonderful Turquoise-Mist. Mmmm. I love it. I spent time before sleeping on Saturday night just looking at how lovely the walls are. They look almost new! There are just a few wee spots the paint peeled off with the tape. No worry. I can fix that this week. Poor Adrian has a lot of mudding to do.

    Our excellent brown couch -
    (If you recall it was no slouch)
    She didn't fit in the door
    She is no more.
    our excellent brown couch.

    29 Jan 2010

    Wow! Does the Front bedroom ever look swanky!

    Woohoo, Turquoise Mist! The front bedroom looks real fine! You can't even see where all the holes were! Nice. All thanks to Dave!

    Momo was a HUGE help today, we did a ton of packing - I was totally off with my previous 92% business.

    My Dad was also a trooper - 103 boxes were moved in the minivan. LOTS of work.

    I look forward to actually moving tomorrow. Now everything is packed, so we don't have much left her to live on!

    Will try to post pics tomorrow....


    Help is on the way

    So I did not finish packing last night. I am not a night person.
    I did have a good sleep though, and got up quite early, and now I'm a lean-mean-packing machine, I should have it wiped out soon.

    [As aside - How will I know its morning when its still dark outside and I don't have the gentle rumble of the subway to let me know its ok to get up?? New house is too far from subway to feel its minor earthquake every 3 minutes. Hrmm. I suppose I'll hear buses. Great.]

    Yesterday at the ranch, Dave primed painted the front bedroom. Oooh. Ahh. Adrian patched the dining room (parts of? There were a lotta holes in the dining room! I'm not sure how much got done last night, I was at the old house), and put the 2nd last coats of mud in the kitchen/living room. Oh, except that one spot in the living room, it needs like 3 more coats. :(

    Also, I prepped the kitchen, it just needs one more layer of mud, and then its ready for painting today. Am sore today, from all the sanding - that darn green trim wasn't taking to primer very well, so I roughed up all the trim in the kitchen.

    Dad and Mo Mo arrive in ~3 hours! w00t!

    28 Jan 2010


    I didn't get all the packing done last night. :( But I do think I'm like 92% there.

    We already had birthday noodles this morning for Adrian, and now we're heading over to the house to SAND sand sand. Wet sand??? Dunno....

    We didn't even have coffee yet this morning...everything is so packed.....oh dear.

    27 Jan 2010

    Packing. Not renovating, PACKING!

    Today/last night/tonight is all about the packing!

    Turns out Adrian doesn't agree that I have a hidden drywall spackling talent, so I've been relegated to unskilled labour.

    Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the kitchen ceiling is now patched, and I believe its getting mud-ed today. The third (and in some places second, boo) coat of mud has been applied this morning, and this evening, hopefully the next coat can go on where needed.

    Adrian will be working on the dining room holes this afternoon.

    Oh, newsflash - there is a wee bit of mould in the middle bedroom. Well, isn't that a nice birthday surprise for Adrian! So the middle bedroom is officially on the wait list, we have to poke some more holes in its wall, and see if there is a leak, or if the wall is wet on the other side. Cross your fingers its just a surface problem. (Although that doesn't make a ton of sense, the house is pretty warm and dry?). We had planned on ripping out those walls and insulating eventually anyway, this just forces our hand to do it earlier.

    Painting scheduled to begin tomorrow. So I suppose that means tonight is for sanding. Yes, tonight is for sanding, where possible. But not for me - packing is for me. I am off tomorrow, so I can be at the house doing what needs to be done - I would REALLY like to get packing done today.

    My Dad is coming (yay!) Friday, so if everything is in boxes by then, it will magically move itself to the new house, we don't have to worry about it.

    We've come to 14 trips to a homestore today: we ran out of plaster. And I didn't tell you about the time Adrian went to buy more drywall.

    24 Jan 2010

    This post is bought to you by the number 12

    and the letter "M" for "mud".

    I believe I'm at 12 trips to a home store now. Bought a ginormous can of paint for the trim, and many more cans of primer. And a drywall knife! W00t!

    Its all coming along. Most of the front bedroom has its first coat of mud, and most of the living room has its first coat of mud - except where Ad is going to pull out the 1/4" drywall and replace with 3/8", due to our excessively thick ceiling in that area.

    We've draped the kitchen, and Ad will start on the patch for the kitchen ceiling tomorrow night. And I better get myself in gear and finish the ceiling in the front bedroom in the mean time - and since mudding and taping the patch is faster than the cutting and screwing of the patch, I should have time tomorrow night.

    Am SO tired now.

    23 Jan 2010

    Workin' in a coal mine, going down down down, workin' in a coal mine....

    We are in for a heap o' trouble! We work all day, and only the front bedroom is patched. And by "patched", I mean little squares of drywall are screwed in - none of that other jazz is done yet. And the ceiling, it is still a big hole.

    This is what the hole from yesterday looks like now, and this is what the wall-vent looks like now! I have to say, very swanky, it was looking pretty sketchy originally.

    Poor Dave has realized we're unlikely to be done before we move in, and again has offered his services, to help paint later in the week. Thanks Dave!

    Today I tried to kill myself with fumes from epoxy, so we could lay down one more coat. Not that it needed it, we just did it to be through (I really did have to run outside at one point [or more] and gulp some fresh air). I draw your attention to the shiny reflection of the flash off the floor in front of the dryer - OH YEAH!

    I also spent an hour or so getting the little bits of backing off the ceiling of the middle bedroom, where those plastic glow-in-the-dark stars were. A tip - DON'T EVER EVER PUT THOSE DAMN THINGS UP. Its seriously annoying to get off the backing without ripping the drywall paper. I also had my share of mineral spirit fumes from this encounter. And there were OODLES of them. Which I can see doing, since that room was so dark, with only a wee little knob-and-tube light scone on one wall. But now we have a nice overhead (to code) light fixture, we no longer need stars to light the darkness. I'm actually not done it all yet, I was re-prioritized. I suppose I'll finish it tomorrow.

    22 Jan 2010

    Holy Holy Holy

    If anything, our house is holy. Hahha, ok, I mean holey.

    Yikes, there are soooo many holes. And I anticipate they're going to take some time to fix - they have to be sawed out to rectangles, drywall has to be cut to the exact shape, then tape the edges, then plaster, then plaster again, then sand, then prime. Then paint and paint.

    Seen here, is one of the holes in the front bedroom (before being cut out to be a nice rectangular hole). Adrian actually patched it tonight, making it the first patched hole (sorry, no photo). How long did it take? Why, only 2 hours. Wait, that is only the drywall, and does not included the etc etc etc to do after that.

    Oy vey.

    Whew! How can this all be done by the time we move in?!? I think we're going to be out of luck, in that regard. We'll be living in chaos for a while.

    Future plan: we're going to leave the future master bedroom totally alone, and I think in the next month (or, let's be more serious, the month after that) Adrian is going to completely re-drywall it. At least this allows us to put some insulation in, not a bad thing!

    20 Jan 2010

    The "Dave Room"

    Well, its been a tough slog (mostly for Dave), but our basement is near complete, and I thought it would be fun to do the reveal now, since I haven't posted any pics lately.

    Our basement started out sort of spooky and dirty, and full of efflorescence. It was the sort of the place maybe one would use for a torture scene in a movie, but not the sort of place you'd want to hang out and fold laundry in. Dave made it a personal project for himself, and scraped down all the walls, and then began to put highly fume-y epoxy on the walls

    But NOW, its shiny and LOVELY!

    OOOOOOooh. AAAAAaaah. (The crowd goes WILD!). Its all nice and clean now, and it will be easy to give a quick mop or wipe down to should it need it. Also, this epoxy should keep out any moisture from getting through the concrete and into our lovely basement. Well, that coupled with some eaves trough work to be down in the spring. (I am moderately obsessed with leaking basements, and quite expect our to leak if we don't follow our plans. We plan to build shelves to put storage on, so if it leaks, at least things are off the floor.)

    Favourite Quote:
    "Dave, what would you think if we painted the basement stairs red?"
    "You can't do that Corrie! It will look like a whore house in here!"

    Electrical Update:
    Adrian went to the home store last night to buy supplies to start repairing the multitude of holes there are due to the electrical work, total number of trips to 11. There are sooo many holes in my beautiful living room walls...and all the other walls....oh dear....I think this patch work is going to be more trouble than we anticipated!

    Tonight is for Adrian to start patching, me to stay at the old home to pack. Tomorrow I will go to the new home and begin the sanding of the patching.

    19 Jan 2010

    Chinese are hard workers

    We didn't do much on the house today. I showed up around 7:30pm, Raymond Wong's crew was just leaving. Raymond Wong stayed until about 8:00 when Adrian got home, and they went over what had been done in detail.

    Man, those guys sure did a lot in one day! There were numerous holes in the walls, and all the switches seemed to be off and hanging. Apparently Raymond said since they had squeezed our job in they might have to leave for a few days (a good chance for us to put one last coat of epoxy on the basement, eh?), so they would be working until 9pm to try and finish, since he knew we had to move in soon.

    Those dudes are hard workers. I've said it before, I'll say it again - Chinese work hard for their money, man.

    17 Jan 2010

    Disaster Strikes!

    We were SO excited to be finally putting the second coat of paint on the first wall we would be DONE with, have spackled, sanded, spot primed and put two coats of paint on....when disaster struck.

    Adrian and I stepped back, admired our handywork - the upper shared wall was now a nice 'Gray Beard' colour. I went downstairs to spackle the wall joist I had previously destroyed, when I hear Adrian shout "Oh no!".

    I ran upstairs, and to our dismay - bubbles had started appearing in the paint! The largest being about the size of a toonie, the littlest no bigger than a pin head - but there were loads of them. WHISKY TANGO FOXTROT?

    Dave popped by just then, so at least we had a witness to our woe. We think that despite all the old paint cans in the house being Latex, maybe the Huangs hadn't painted over this wall ever (without Adrian's doogig, it is rather hard to reach), and so maybe there was oil paint underneath.


    We we peeled up the paint where the bubble was, leaving a huge gaping paint-hole. Then came more sanding - very very hard sanding, I might add, because we kept it wet, so there wouldn't be dust everywhere, since we were priming the lower common wall at the same time. Yes, we decided to prime anywhere we weren't absolutely sure was Latex. Bah.

    So we had to buy another gallon of primer. This brings us to our total # trips to 10. While we were at it, we also bought a new faucet for the tub, since the one in our upstairs bathroom didn't work at all.

    Oh, and breaking news - my BEST HUSBAND IN THE UNIVERSE has seen the light, and we will be painting the plate rail in the dining room black. Oh yeah!

    Electrical update - "Raymond Wong" will be starting tomorrow! Is it sketchy he can start so soon, or did he really move around other jobs to accommodate us? We shall see....

    16 Jan 2010

    Saturday Night Fever

    Today, Saturday, more spackle-sand-prime-etc. for me! We actually managed to get one coat of paint (Gray Beard) on one of the walls of the upstairs hallway.

    The basement still isn't dry yet, so we up'd the furnace 68'F, and let it alone. Tomorrow I am going to do laundry down there, come hell or high water, so it had better be dry!

    Adrian made a clever doogig too stand on while painting the hallway - its the wall above the stairs, so as you can imagine, its hard to reach to do the taping and whatnot, without a million dollar ladder.

    We actually took Saturday night off, and had dinner in our new local pub - the Old Nick. is rather pub-ish (as can be expected), but the beer is excellent, and the waiters are friendly.

    Sorry for the lame post - this would all be better with pictures, but I gotta run! Painting calls.

    15 Jan 2010

    Once I starting SPACKLING, it's very hard to stop!

    I could spackle forever, spackle until I drop!

    I laid into another corner - Mr. Chisel got a wee bit carried away. I caulked it tonight, tomorrow will be spackling nightmarezone again. I continue to find places I could apply plaster to, continuing my neverending cycle of wipe-plaster-sand-wipe-prime-plaster-sand-....

    So it turns out, mebbe Frank isn't our bff... we like the sound of this "Raymond Wong" character. Raymond Wong quoted to do the same work as Frank, but half the price. And me likes. Raymond Wong doesn't seem to sketchy (we are crossed sketchball "Patrick" off the list).

    So I believe tomorrow we'll call up Raymond Wong, and we'll engage him to be our new bff electrician.

    Poor Dave had a wee bit of an adventure today. We had given him the key to the backdoor, and this afternoon when he was coming in, he dropped it underneath the back stairs. Poor Dave, he tried moving the stairs (they are concrete, but there are only 2), he went out and bought grabbers and magnets, all to no avail. Finally, he called Adrian, who came home and let him in. So, this forces us to do something we were planning on doing anyway, but probably would have put off indefinitely - new locks!

    Yes, that's right HUANGS - you can't come in and steal our caulking gun anymore! The Huangs left us with only like 2 keys, me thinks they were holding back on us. So we have foiled their evil plan, and ahead of schedule. HAH!

    14 Jan 2010

    More o' the same

    So tonight I wiped down the walls/ceiling in the living room with a wet rag, and then primed over the areas I had plastered.

    In doing so, I noticed about 4000 more areas that could use ya......its rather disheartening. I think I will have to let some of them be. I did put another layer of plaster on some of the area where the wall/ceiling meet (where we ratcheted out a big mess), and I filled one nail hole that was missed....but I left all the other bumpies.

    No progress pic today, I was in it, and ruined the stitching. Looks about the same, but there are more white splotches. Man. Those white splotches take time! I am sort of sore now, from all the ceiling work today.

    The basement floor is about half done courtesy of Dave. We had to buy another can of epoxy (total # trips to home store = 8). See photo:

    Does it not look beautiful?? Oh yeah!

    Discoveries for today:
    1. There is a taxidermy shop a mere block from our house. Beat that for convenience! W00h00!

    12 Jan 2010

    Hobnobbing with TV Stars!

    Oh yes, that's right, Frank [as seen on Holmes on Homes] is our new best friend. He came by tonight to quote us to fix our dodgy electrical.

    He wants to rewire our whole house. Yikes. That's a lotta dough! But he also says if we fix the kitchen and bathroom, we're pretty much ok. So...probably we're gonna do that, for now. Will keep you posted.

    Frank drives a Porche. And he seems like a nice guy - very chatty. And he's single, ladies!

    To sum up:
    • Basement walls are now all epoxied - I spent a couple of hours+ slapping on as much as I could, because we had about 1/6th of a can extra. I am now surprisingly sore. Ooch.
    • Dave of course spent all day painting the basement. W00t!
    • Epoxy is smelly.
    • Running total of trips to a home store: 7
    • Oh, have I mentioned? If we ratchet up the hot water tank to MAX, it is acceptably hot.
    • I MISSED American Idol premiere. :( AND I can't find the download of it. That was my master plan, just download it. So sad.
    • We worked until almost 11pm again tonight, tomorrow is also our sleep in morning.
    • Richard came and saw the house! First friend to see it! Woohoo!
    Tomorrow is our rest day. The day I was supposed to be catching up on my idolatrous television.

    11 Jan 2010

    I think I love Patch Cement

    Perhaps I have mental problems, but I really enjoyed patching various holes in the basement with patch cement tonight!

    The basement is all scraped down, in preparation for the big paint tomorrow. Dave is a madmen, there's no stopping him! We went and bought fancy epoxy for the basement walls/floor, no water or critters will ever find their way in when we're done, man. [Bringing total # trips to the home store to 6]. Eh....we might drop dead from the fumes....but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.

    OH, hilarious - stuck up between the joists and the wall at the edge of the basement ceiling were old underwear and shirts! I hope Dave or Adrian has a picture of this, it is super funny. Our house perhaps lodged some sort of perve, there was a least one pair of ladies underwear stuffed up there. Hahahha. I suppose that was what one did before spray-foam?

    "Well, I don't need these underwear anymore."
    "Here, let me plug a draft in the basement with them."
    "Good thinking!"

    I also did a wee bit more spackling in the living room, probably need to do a wee bit more after some dry time and some sanding.

    10 Jan 2010

    Day 2: It wasn't so bad

    Today I spackled and spackled and spackled and sanded. The living room has no zone that is without little bumpies in the paint, I swear. Jeesh. And we busted out a rather large area where the wall meets the ceiling in one spot, it had been spackled (puttied? whatev) in a super messy way and painted over. We discovered the chisel does a good job of getting out old paint drips and bits. I am a chisel-master now.

    The living room still looks the same, but with more white dots (where the spackle is, patiently waiting for paint). And I have started this process on the front bedroom, where the trim is not just green, its mint-green. Yum. AND, there are tons of places the mint green in on the wood floors. We may just leave that for now.

    Dave and Adrian worked in the basement most of today. Its looking good. No pictures...I hope Dave has some, they are really going to town down there. Man, Dave put us to shame - we were tired and wanted to stop for dinner, we could barely pull him out of the basement!

    Oh, breaking news - no lead paint in the basement! Whew! I was worried last night, so we did a lead paint test before they boys started work in the basement.

    The electrician did come, but I was out buying cement, so I missed him. No real news, apparently he is going to send us a quote tomorrow or the next day. Tomorrow, Paul the electrician (Lucanor's electrician) is coming before we go to work, so I will be puttying before work for maybe an hour or so. Sheesh.

    Number of times to a home supply store: 2 (total 5 trips this weekend). We have now been to all brands of store BUT Rona, including Home Hardware. In fact, today's "2" trips both are actually Home Depot/Home Hardware combo trips, so its almost like 4 trips!

    9 Jan 2010

    Day 1: No where else I'd rather be

    So it has occurred to me this evening as I putty the random holes in the baseboard of my new living room, there is no where I'd rather be. With my honey in my new house starting our remodeling - hells yeah!

    Although I bet in about a week its going to get old. Or maybe by tomorrow.

    So it goes!

    Here is our "before" shot of the living room:
    Have I mentioned I hate green trim? Oh yes. And there are miles of it in this house. For now. Its all soon to be "Gypsum", baby!

    See that door on the left? Gonzo. Adrian already took it down.

    They left us some nice bamboo. I think that's because they are Chinese, and are being nice. Or they just forgot it. Meh.

    We're painting trim first, since it has a low likelihood of having to be ripped out to replace our dodgy electrical. Speaking of which - first electrician we booked to quote us did not show up today. Well, he sounded sketch on the phone anyway, so we're not too broken up. Our next fellow is due tomorrow. He does not speak English, so we expect some deals, yo.

    Here is our 'end of day 1' shot of the living room:

    Not too much has changed. I've filled in most of the random holes in the trim with putty, leading to the discovery that my putty knife is HUGE, and way too big to do this kind of thing, leading to me using the 'winging it with my finger' method. Oh wait, am I supposed to tell people I am doing things like that?

    We also cleaned out the kitchen/fridge/stove, its not like we were sitting around at any point in the day!

    We had several more discoveries today:
    1. Our water pressure is ..... uh, terrible would describe it well. I prefer to think of it as 'retro'.
    2. Our hot water is ... very warm. In our current house its more 'burn your face off', so 'very warm' I find insufficient. I am campaigning to turn the water heater up the last notch tomorrow. Cross your fingers that is hot enough.
    3. Our fridge is big and lovely.
    4. Our stove seems very turbo-charged. Mmmm.
    5. Ceiling of the living room is yellow. Yikes. Barf. Hello, 'Gypsum', here we come! So there is more ceiling painting in our future than anticipated.
    6. They left the glow-in-the-dark stars on the [lavender] ceiling of our office. How thoughtful.

    We also had some surprise paint changes. We changed 'Knight's Armour' to... oh heck, I forget. A different gray. And we decided to paint the kitchen afterall, so we decided on a colour in about five seconds for that....

    Am very very tired now.

    Tomorrow my Realtor comes over, and we start on the basement.

    (Number of trips to home supply store today: 3)