Archive for April, 2010

Oh, but I have been remiss…

Posted by on Friday, 30 April, 2010

I have failed to post about the most interesting news in recent past! Over the past 6 months since getting into contact with my half-sister (Kallasandra),Ā  we’ve been emailing volumes of tomes back and forth on a weekly basis… sometimes more. We’ve both been talking about visiting each other, to meet face to face, and catch up on 30+ years! Of course winter travel between Denver and Portland means we were stuck looking for flights, and the holidays being what they were, no travel plans came to fruition.

But I am here today to tell you, plans were confirmed earlier this month! Kally is flying in to PDX in 2 weeks, and neither Jean nor I can wait. Seriously, the wait is brutal! I can’t even imagine what meeting Kally will be like, especially since we seem to share quite a few personality traits. Jean will likely be rolling her eyes at least half of the entire visit! I foresee quite a lot of laughing over the weekend. And lots of pictures. And quite possibly a blog post afterwards about the entire experience of meeting a blood sibling from the perspective of someone who has never known any blood relations. It is sure to be a roller coaster of fun and introspection to say the least! I think I have a lot to say on this all, but my mind is muddled with anticipation and can’t quite suss out what it all means yet…

So hurry up and get here, Kally! šŸ˜‰

In the mean time, we will be busy this weekend entertaining our dear friends John and Mary, who have driven up to visit for the next few days. Yes, dear readers, this means time in the city, time in the country, and time spent being gluttonous hedonists once again! It will be VERY good to see J&M again, especially since the last time we were able to visit wasn’t a happy time for Jean or I…

BUT, this time will be a whirlwind of sushi, sake, wine, really good food, and of course great conversation with two of our best friends! We need our fix! Truly the worst part of leaving SoCal was knowing that we couldn’t take everyone with us… thank gods so many friends enjoy visiting and giving us excuses to get out and do stuff! Thankfully, J&M should be getting here this afternoon and the fun can commence!

My, what a productive weekend (or two).

Posted by on Monday, 26 April, 2010

As any of you following me on Twitter or as a Facebook friend, you already know we spent the majority of the weekend working on the master bath and bedroom, in hopes of getting it to a completed state. In actuality, it really wasn’t JUST a single weekend though, as we’ve been working on the bathroom and bedroom for a total of about 7 weekends now; albeit non-consecutively.
To give you an idea of what we had to start with, this is what the master bedroom looked like before we moved in, 2.5 years ago:

From Renovations

Note the platform bed in the center, which was built -into- the floor, and fully carpeted. In order to even move into this room, we had to completely remove the carpeting and then demolish the structure of the bed. This demo required the use of a reciprocating saw, as it was a very well built platform which previously had supported a waterbed. That demo work was accomplished around January, 2008, just before we’d moved into the house. It took a few more weeks of cleaning debris and installing hardwood floors before we could even sleep in the master bedroom (we had commandeered the guest bedroom for a month or so just after we moved in).

Once the hardwoods had been installed, we moved our furniture into the master so we could at least utilize the room as it was intended. And that is how it stayed for the next two years while we worked on the downstairs living room, kitchen and bath, as well as the upstairs guest room, craft room, and office (not to mention the whole house paint and partial residing work accomplished last year). Part of that delay was simply due to the fact that neither Jean nor I had a good idea for the bathroom colour, which we really wanted to do in tandem with the master bedroom work because of the open floor plan of the two rooms.

Adding to the delay, the fact that the previous owners had (likely twice) painted over the original 1947 wallpaper, making for removal a complete impossibility. Yes, we tried every method. In the end, we opted to retexture rather than bring the room down to studs and re-drywall it all. So, we took two weekends a while back and began applying skim coats of joint compound on all the walls. I soon found that troweling a smooth coat was going to be as difficult as removing painted wallpaper, and we opted for a more venetian plaster type texturing, which mean rollering on mastic, and then another weekend of sanding down the peaks to get that final subtle texture.

Cue another few weekends passing, and we found ourselves with colour choices, and some minor motivation, briefly negated by the fact that the red-base we needed to get the bedroom wall colour was out of stock. So last weekend we were only able to tackle the master bath completely, leaving the master bed for this past weekend. So we dug in and primed both rooms from floor to ceiling, then worked our backs to the breaking point putting up navy blue in the bath… both on the walls as well as on the ceiling. You can see the difference in the pics here (note the original walls were a cream, so the only difference in the first picture is a brighter white due to the primer):

Before-ish:

From Renovations

After:

From Renovations

With the success of the bath under our belts, along with the need to finish off the trim work, we buckled down this past weekend for more hard work to hopefully get the master bedroom completed as well. Saturday was long, but saw two coats of deep red hit the walls, and final trim work done in the bathroom. Nothing ground breaking, just solid hard work through the day. Sunday was touch up work on the walls and ceilings, plus baseboards, trim, window, and door work in the bedroom to get the nice balance of cream to the dark red. Come 6:30pm Sunday evening, and we were cleaning, placing furniture back, and mounting a new shelf just under the window to act as a cat perch, so the little buggers can look out the window again without having to keep a moving box for them to sit on…. cue a load of pictures being taken coming from some pride in having -finally- completed the task that has literally bee looming over us since we moved in two and a half years ago:

Done:

From Renovations

Now, all we need to do is work on a closet organization solution for our loft area (which we use as a walk-in closet, dressing area), paint the same loft, paint the stairwell to the loft, the butler’s pantry between the kitchen and loft stairs, the laundry hallway, the upstairs hallway, and the upstairs guest bath… which may seem like a LOT to you all, but in retrospect of all the other projects we have done, we have solidly eclipsed the halfway mark and all other projects now seem minor in comparison. Who knows, we may actually get this house done in under the 5 years I expected the renovations to take!

For those of you who want even more pictures of this, and other renovations, you can check out my Picasa gallery here: http://picasaweb.google.com/acdntlpoet/Renovations#