Sunday, May 28, 2006

Counter Hell

Ginger and Max cut the plywood for the counters a few weeks ago and we've been living with them while we decided on tile. She and William cut the Hardibacker and installed it while Max and I were sanding, staining and sealing the trim for the counters. There are no pictures of that :(
Cutting out the opening for the kitchen sink got a little tricky. Maybe, just maybe, we should have measured and cut that outside, but as it was we went through several power tools and handtools before we got the opening cut completely. The rounded corners were a bear! If you are installing a sink, get a self-rimming model. We were reusing our old sink and while it's self-rimming, it is also aluminum and has to have clips under it. Much harder to install.

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Tips on remodeling your kitchen, a DIY nightmare

1. Only attempt a DIY kitchen remodel if you have a strong marriage. Don't think it will bring you together, it will bring every conflict you have to the surface. We are lucky, our marriage is rock hard (think Diamonds) but there have still been moments.

2. Plan, measure, budget and know the whole damn thing isn't going to go according to plan, match your measurments or your budget despite your most determined efforts.

3. Ask experts, read books, read magazines, watch DIY and HGTV for about a thousand hours and know that every single thing that you're NOT supposed to do, you will do.

4. Be flexible. Often hours spent shopping, calling and planning take up precious time, but can save you heartache in the long run.

5. Paper plates and disposable silverware get old. If it's going to drag on for months, think about purchasing an enamled steel plate, cup and bowl for everyone. Titanium camping sporks are perfect for most meals. These items wash easily in a wash bowl and don't break.

6. Know your contractors! Know their bosses, know the owners. Get all the cell phones and call them at the first hint that something isn't going to work. Be firm. Our cabinet order has been just this side of a nightmare. We're still calling and keeping on everyone involved until we're happy.

7. Pick updated, but relatively classic styled cabinets, appliances and flooring. Go wild with wall colors, accent rugs and other easily updated items like cabinet pulls. You don't want to have to do this more than once every few decades.

8. If you don't know any curse words, look some up. You'll need them.

9. Drag your children into the work at every possible turn. You didn't have them for nothing.

10. Despite owning every power tool and duplicates of many. You may need to rent a tile saw. It's worth every penny.

11. If you live within 5 minutes of a big box home store, plan to get chummy with the staff. You'll be there daily if not more frequently.

12. Contractor trash bags and disposable shop towels are necessities.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

After School Acting Program Spring Festival

William was Sunny Bono in the ASAP program about Greek Tragedies. The Downtown Elementary program was adorable. Summer Conservatory is right around the corner, watch out for this "rising bright" star!

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Molly's La Casita Cinco de Mayo

Max was at his 13th Cinco De Mayo and he was, of course, reading. Book worms do eat though and William says "the food was great!" So was the company. Kelly, manager, was running around and the staff was flying by with frozen margaritas for everyone especially Sam Tune 'cause it was his birthday! Owner Robert Chapman and his wife and mother came to the party. He was the man of the night. It was fabulous to see him after all these months.

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William finishes the weekend

William completed the Friday night free practice, long Saturday practices and Sunday's testing. He finished his testing and was very tired, but pleased with himself that he stuck it out. Thank you to Sensei Dach for getting him to this point and to all the guys from the Memphis Dojo who made the trip. You are a great group and we look forward to the next seminar. William is a lucky kid. We didn't see any other families there for the entire weekend. Heck, we even brought the dog! Posted by Picasa

Tile for the Counter

Max's favorite is this first one.
The terra cotta colored is a solid favorite, but what would I paint the walls?
One of my favorites is the last one, but it is "safe" and neutral. Should we go bold?
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Saturday, May 20, 2006

Kendo Seminar at TMG 2006

Sensei speaking to the Memphis contingent
William is excited watching the upper levels free fight
Conrad loses his mind and threatens Don! (Harry, avert your eyes)
Rogers emailing Harry on the floor of the dojo while Adam supervises

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Tempting II

Jenna Adorno designs simple classic yet hip chic knitwear. I have picked several of her patterns for my "To Do List", but this is the first to hit the needles. Jenna was a dear and emailed me quickly about adding short rows and after some swatching I decided to skip the wrap, but add short rows. In hind sight, I should have added more or added them differently. Next time I will. For now, here it is. Tempting II knit in KnitPicks Shine Sport on size 6 (US) needles. It's a very easy knit, a great summer top and I highly recommend it for anyone. The bra (for my Ample Knits sisters) is Jeunique style 73193. No underwire, no padding, just me and a lot of support.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Kitchen Desk Zone

While it is in theory going to be for sewing, crafting and general handy stuff, it remains to be seen how it will really be used, but I couldn't resist the opportunity to put a work zone in the kitchen. Maybe the kids can be in there working on some of their math or reading while I'm cooking? One can dream! Posted by Picasa

Kitchen Sink Side

You'll have to imagine the sink in the center cabinet :) and the dishwasher in the empty spot. Trust me, eventually it will get done. Posted by Picasa

Kitchen Cupboards installed

It's not done, but it's a start. this is the stove side of the cupboards. My favorite part of this side is the long counter we will eventually have. The far end is a baking zone, the near side by the stove will be butcher block and for chopping and cooking prep. We have 10 foot ceilings. The cabinets are 42 inches tall. Can you imagine the amount of storage I have? Posted by Picasa

Ginger's idea of a kitchen puzzle

Some of you like Sudoku. It's a logic game from what I can make of it, but it makes no sense to me so when Ginger pieced together drywall on what is to be our LAST bit of drywalling in the kitchen, this is what she made. I had to tape it, mud it and try to make it into one smooth wall. Did I mention some pieces were 3/8 and others were 1/4?

Renee moved the dryer electricity

And though she denies it, she tried to KILL ME! She wired the box wrong and the frame of the dryer was running 220 through it. The gods were smiling on me though and I never touched it while it was running. It didn't dry anymore and we called the repairman. 2 weeks later he showed up and was less than enthusiastic about her work. So "free" work cost us $45 in repair bills and a red face. But at least I didn't die. Posted by Picasa

Cabinets are delivered...for the first time

Several weeks ago I woke at 7 am to this. Cabinets being delivered. After an hour or two, our living room (previously inhabitable) became a mountain of boxes and uninhabitable. Posted by Picasa

Tower of cupboards

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Electrician Ginger

this was before I assured her I had turned off the power...which I apparently hadn't. Did I mention a little memory problem? Posted by Picasa

Ginger in the (new) closet

this was the pass-through to the middle bedroom. Now it's a closet! We are a handy family. Ginger is putting in the light for the closet before we dry-walled and cut off any natural light she could use. Posted by Picasa

Mikey pitches in

"Uncle" Mikey pitched in and hauled out a cabinet. Later a neighbor, who had responded on FreeCycle and asked for cabinets, picked up our old kitchen cabinets and Mikey helped them carry a few pieces into her house. Such a gentleman, and single, did I mention? Posted by Picasa