Saturday, September 22, 2007

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

A little peek

Here's the happenings from this past weekend, along with a little peep of the future color of the house...

We got the sprayer up and running this weekend (YAY!) and spent the crisp fall Saturday and Sunday laying on two good coats of primer on all the surfaces on the west-facing side of the house. It took us a while to work the learning curve when it comes to operating the sprayer (warning--understatement.).

B got started Saturday morning by giving the kitchen another coat of mud. At about 5:30am. I managed to roll out of bed about 7-7:30, and blearily helped. After we got done, B pulled out the sprayer and began fiddling with it. Come to find out, the intake hose was allowing air into the line and not letting the machine build up pressure. Easily fixed with a trip to the Despot and a few bucks of plumbing supplies and some garden hose. It was about 1pm when B climbed up on the pump jack rig, sprayer in hand, and excitedly got started. After about five minutes up there he realized it was spewing out great globs. All over the deck. And porch. And hot tub. And yard. We had the brick part of the house papered/taped off and a little of the deck close to the house, but nowhere close to enough. It took us a couple of hours to scrub everything down and try to get as much as we could up. Sigh. Ah, well. We'll hopefully be borrowing a pressure washer and getting the poor deck cleaned up sometime soon, anyways.

We fiddled around with it more, and saw the nozzle was backwards. Once we got it turned around, things went a lot smoother.

At one point on Sunday, one of the pump jacks quit going down. It would go up, but wouldn't let him crank it down. B wrestled with it for about an hour trying to get it to go down again, but it took two of our neighbors and B climbing around on the rig like spider monkeys to figure out the mechanics of the boot. Finally: success! We finally got the last of the two coats of primer on the West side of the house done about 3pm on Sunday. We excitedly brought out the yellow paint bought last fall, but when I opened up the five gallon bucket, it was orange. Eeeeeep! I stared at it a while, plucked up the courage, and began mixing it up with a stir stick... It mellowed out to a lovely mango lassi color... a great golden orange, but not what I remembered from last year.

How did I choose that color, you ask? Here's the explanation. I bought a quart of yellow paint last fall, in anticipation for painting. I spent two days testing and taking this one quart of paint back to the Despot for "color adjustments." By the time I was happy with the color, there was a stack of stickers on the container, and the technician took one look at it, and told me it would be a lot easier to just color match the paint than to try to decipher all the numbers. Well, I went ahead and got the five gallons of color matched paint and didn't really think about it until I opened up the top of the bucket and saw the orange hue. Sigh.

Phew. We've definitely learned a lot. We've gone through about half of the five gallons of primer getting two good coats on the one side of the house. We've realized about 3/4 of the time "painting" is actually consumed by taping off areas, adjusting ladders, climbing up and down, and wrestling with pump jacks. There's very little "painting" involved in this process.

And here's a sneak peek... with a proper yellow tone bought Monday evening and the robin's egg blue soffits, a tribute to my family's homestead on the South Solomon River in Kansas. The porch ceilings at the ranch house are all painted robin's egg blue to ward off flies and mosquitoes. Even the trim is this color. I've also read it keeps birds from nesting in the eaves.

The next side will end up going loads quicker. Stay tuned, dearest ones. We'll give you some more of the goods as soon as we can.

Hugs all 'round...

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Garrison is great.

Some days when the Writer's Almanac comes on while I'm driving home, I have to pull over. Garrison Keillor is a force to be awed.

All poetry I read, I have to imagine as spoken in his weighty baritone voice, the gentle inflection, the innate knowing only an English major can understand. Here's a winner I humbly offer; if you can, imagine it coming out of your car speakers in this crisp fall day, the changing leaves skittering across the road...


Grief is the total feeling of disorientation.

Grief is lying on the floor,


when it has never happened to you

in your life before.

Grief is awakening at 5:00 in the morning

with that old newsreel of your child's death running around in your head.

Grief is sitting in a group among friends and feeling

"I cannot tolerate this another minute. I have to get out."

Grief is going to shop, looking at a jar of peanut butter and bursting into tears.

Grief is a total inability to relate to the members of your family

in the way that you would like to.

Grief is many powerful emotions,

totally unknown to you and unexpected

until the death of your child.


Grief is a cleansing of the non-essential of one's life.

Grief can be an opening to something richer and better.

Grief is like a summer storm

-that horrible crashing and thunder,

clearing the air,

and then one can begin to move forward-

but you have to allow yourself,

and Society has to allow you,

to express your grief.

- Margaret Darte

Monday, September 10, 2007

So I was just standing around upstairs with a cold frosty beverage, looking around at all of the changes. There are walls missing. The stove I hated is gone. No more almond porcelain sink or gnarly rust colored tile counters. It's all gone.

We're at that stage in the project now that I can't quite remember what things looked like before we started, and to be honest it's a little freaky. Everything is new, nothing is the way it was! There's better lighting and new switches, open areas with lots of space... and we created it ourselves (with help from the bigkrygowskis), which is most satisfying.

Cheers, folks...

Things are coming into focus

So it's Monday morning... time for a quick update. The kitchen is really beginning to come together. It's feeling pretty good to spend time putting things in place rather than tearing things apart.

Here's a view of the completed drywall, including a nice first coat of mud:
Here's a close up of the drop ceiling above the island with the cove detailing. B got the lights replaced this weekend, too. No more cake-box fluorescents that hum incessantly!
Here's a better view from the kitchen side of the drop ceiling.
And here's the completed arch from the kitchen looking at the front door. It matches the one from the living room to the dining room.
...and from the front door looking into the kitchen.
Will catch up more later: for now it's time to head into work.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Too hot to paint.

So, since this weekend is too hot to reasonably paint the exterior of the house (and the sprayer isn't really fixed yet), Pop and B designed a drop ceiling above the island.
Notice the lovely ceiling fan "adjustment" courtesy of B. The soffit is coved here on the two sides in the kitchen.
And then here in the dining room Pop thought of running the cove all the way across the front of the counter and across the room to hide all the different ceiling heights... yes, folks. Someone thought it would be a good idea to needlessly drop the ceiling a good six inches. It's not really noticeable since the ceilings in our home are terribly high anyways, but still... This shot is taken from the living room looking into the dining room for those friends and family that are having a harder time getting your bearings. I tell you, it is so hard to describe where everything is. You really have to see it to understand how different it is.