My new ride, Fraelsi

My new ride, Fraelsi
Fraelsi means Freedom in Farose

Thursday, November 27, 2014

So much to be Thankful for

Really, despite the snags and hitches and issues that over time will become small, my life is really good and I ahve a lot to be thankful for.
The cabinets are here, the installer should be here tomorrow, the counter company and I have next Friday for measurements so they can start cutting/making my counters. 
Work is still there, as usual, harder in the winter but also more time on the clock which means more money to help fund this old life I enjoy.  And I work with good supervisors and good crew of co-workers, like where I work and know I have livable pay, good benefits and a short drive to and from work.
I have all the doll knitting done for the club Christmas exchange so now only need to work in yarn ends, sew seams, and do the finish work, wash and block so I expect to be ready this year.  I still need to do cards for everyone in the club, but will get that done too.
The house is still a renovation disaster, but last weekend Ben and I did some work on the front door and have really reduced that draft problem.  I just need 1 more section of beadboard to finish the laundry ceiling area, still need to use some caulk, and paint but it is a big improvement that has needed done for years.
There is a lot of drywall work to be done here, and I might actually make some progress on that today, dormer area, and I also will badger Ben into helping me haul some lumber from the attic eave where it has been stored to the utility area, except for the deck boards.  The deck boards will be used as bridging for working on the drywall in that dormer area, the stairwell creates some open space we cannot reach across to work safely. 
The studio is a mess right now but I will work on that this winter, some is the small pieces of drywall, I will use what is big enough to use on the dormer walls and then dispose of the rest.  I just need to get busy and do some work up there on a regular basis.
Jake seems to have settled in well up the street, moved in with a friend of ours but Shadow is staying here with me and Ben is camping here while I need help with old house projects or someone here for contractors.
The house is much quieter with just Ben, he has his faults but he also works better with my needs and wants for a quiet house to start my work mornings and to come home to.  And he keeps the volume down on things much better and has not taken over my living room.  I am actually able to use and enjoy my living room again, despite the kitchen stuff in here and the table saw and the dust.
My Xbox has moved downstairs and the big flat screen I won last spring is now is use, I watch movies, Netflicks and YouTube videos in my own living room and am enjoying that.Today I have videos going about re-upholstering furniture.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Still working on the kitchen

And the laundry space, the dormer area, the mess everywhere but I am seeing progress, 30 more feet of beading board to buy, prime, paint, cut and nail up and the laundry area will have ceiling, the left over board ends will do that lip/edge along the wall seperating the bathroom from the laundry area.  The stairwell opening left a small strip about 6" wide by 4 foot long, it makes a handy shelf as you enter the attic space, I even have an electrical outlet and the few house plants that struggle here live there.
The new kitchen door and windows are wonderful, will need trimmed out once cabinets and counter are in, and I sure have plenty of outside work to do.  But they are sealed up, and a bit of caulk along the inside bottom edge of the east one, should be snug and make a far warmer and brighter kitchen for many years to come.
I finally have the last of the wiring up into the attic, ran 2 lines for the future bathroom, so now have that last area of dormer eave wall closed up, the osb is primed and I did do a separate panel that could be removed to access the wiring junction boxes hidden back there and the covers of each has a label so a person can easily know which box is the baseboard heaters, the south outlets, the north outlets, the lights.
Jake has moved up the street a block but Shadow is staying here and right now Ben is camping in the bedroom, on the floor.  The bed and mattress were in such bad shape they went out the door, I will dispose of them in time, they can occupy space in the back by our parking for now.
I plan to start removing the rain damaged ceiling tiles from that bedroom this winter and replace them. It would be nice to be able to hire someone to come in, pull down all the ceiling tile, the old, damaged plaster, clean up, install and finish new, clean drywall ceiling but that is not affordable so I will take out 3-4 rows of that ugly staple up ceiling tile, replace it, and the trim, and paint the whole ceiling and be glad I have a home I can keep on fixing.
The new kitchen will be nice, not awesome, not huge but clean, very usable, very handicapped friendly and long lasting.  It took more battle with the bank than I expected for some of that and I am on a tight budget but I can work with that.  
Here I do a lot of the work, Ben and Jake help for free or very low pay so there is no huge labor bill.  The door and 2 windows were contracted out but the boys and I did the removal of the old ones and repair work for all 3 openings.
The cabinets are Kraft Made, a very good company and from Lowes, who will also take care of the installing, and the granite counters are also contracted through Lowes.  And a very dark green that reminds Ben of being up high and looking down into a forest or jungle floor.  I can see that, there is a lot more colors to them than I can explain but to me, the granite is very alive and active.  With all my natural lighting, white bead board ceiling, light, warm toned walls, I think it will work well, not create a dark and gloomy kitchen but really give it a nice wow factor.
Work is the usual winter stuff, harder to remove and a lot more shells/nails on the hogs and a lot more hair to shave but also more hours on the paychecks which really helps pay for all my old house improvements.  I keep working, take something over the counter for pain and keep thanking God that I have a job with good pay and benefits that is very close so I don't have a long drive every day.
The house here is changing, some of what I had wanted for years is now happening, the wall between the kitchen and living room now has open shelving so both spaces feel a bit lighter and bigger and it improves the air flow, which should help on heating and cooling.  I now have my pegboard shadow boxes in the wall between the kitchen and laundry area and a big part of my coffee cup collection is now out to enjoy and to use. The new windows are not much different in size than what was here when I bought the house but far nicer looking, cleaner and much more energy efficient which will make a far more comfortable kitchen area.
The upstairs still has a very long way to go, a lot more drywall to buy and install and then finish but progress has been made and I can now start the wiring in the future bathroom, and that means the first piece of water resistant, mold resistant drywall will go up on that ceiling this winter, once I get some of the wiring work done.
The new side by side means that I can take advantage of employee meat sales at work as I now have freezer space for that.  And the new stacked washer/dryer unit gives me a more efficient dryer and more space. Getting the ceiling up in there makes the space look cleaner and better lit instead of the dark hole it used to be.
And Shadow is adjusting to Jake not living here, he has some behavior issues that are slowly being dealt with, it will take time to teach him he is not a lapdog, he is not to paw me or nip at me but he is improving slowly.  
I am no longer dating/seeing/spending time with L.L, it just doesn't fit into my life, my old house needs the weekend time and attention, I don't want to be at his place, my allergies flare terribly, I get bored, and I just do not want to.  There just is no want or need for a male, or female, for that matter, significant, emotional, physical relationship in my life.  Call it old age, call it busy, call it just comfortable single and solitary, but I am just not willing to make time for dating, not willing to spend time being bored and wishing I was home alone instead of watching 'idiot' TV at someone else's place.
Life just works smoothly and contentedly for me right now, and I am working to keep it that way, like where my priorities are, where my goals are and love being home, like seeing the results of the work I am doing here, do not mind the money I am putting into this old house to see those improvements happen and I think I have finally found the peace I have long sought.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Kitchen progress

This kitchen project seems to be moving very slowly but then, it has been more than 10 years since I ripped out what was in this house, trashed cabinets, damaged counter, rusted sink, leaking plumbing and so forth.
Now all the electrical outlets are properly wired, grounded and 2 new ground faults added.  The drywall is replaced and painted, the beadboard ceiling is finally getting trimmed out.  The wall between the kitchen and living room has been opened up and most of the trim work is up.
I now have put shadow boxes for my coffee cup collection in the wall space between the kitchen and laundry area and most of that is trimmed out.
There is a new side by side freezer/refrigerator due to be delivered this coming Monday and also a new washer/dryer unit that will be more space saving than my 17 year old set.
And the wiring has been run up the wall and to the ceiling area of the future upstairs bathroom.  So, a lot of progress, the door and windows in the kitchen have been replaced, the insulation improved, and I am slowly gaining on all the small jobs and cleaning up after the projects.
The cabinets have a delivery date, and the bank has agreed to refinance my mortgage so I can afford all this fun old house stuff.
It will be worth all the work and inconvenience and the financial costs to have the kitchen with very handicapped friendly cabinets, granite counters that will stand up to many years of hard use and the house more energy effecient than it has been.
I will be working my way up stairs too, and will try and get a lot more of the drywall up this winter so the house is cleaner and easier to heat and cool.  5 gallons of primer will go a long way and I will buy more joint compound and keep working on seams and so forth, a bit at a time.
The house is center to my stability and security, my shelter and my reason to go to work on the days I hurt a lot or am just fed up with things.  I need a relationship that has meaning in my life and I have found that with saving and improving this old house.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Almost mid month, again

It seems that time is flying by and I am not getting much progress done here on the current old house project.  But I do have the paint color and some is on the wall.  Tomorrow I will make some progress, and it will not be long before we have my jury rigg kitchen back in working order.
The installer has come and done his measuring, he will then fax the information to Stacy at Lowes and we will then be able to get the cabinets ordered.
I will work upstairs on the electrical and on the drywall up there while I wait for cabinets, once I have done all I can do in the kitchen.  I have a lot of trim work to do, and I will get as much as I can done so that there is very little to do once the cabinets are in, and then again, once the counters are in.
But the windows are a huge improvement, as is all the other work we have gotten done, I am sure it will make the kitchen far more comfortable, temperature wise, not as much heat loss in the winter, not as much heat gain in the summer.
And once the kitchen is done, I have a new mortgage and will work on the house as I can, both financially and energy wise.  I started this project in August and it might be December before it is done.  But I have waited almost 10 years to do a good kitchen in this, my last old house.  And I want it very handicapped livable, because I need that, now and in the years to come.
I have had some battles with the bank over getting the loan to do what I wanted with my house but it has been resolved for the most part.  I did not expect the problems but I am determined that I will decide what is done for my house, to my house and what I make payments on.

Sunday, October 05, 2014

I finally got the bugs worked out with the bank for my house refinance and finally got my kitchen planned out at Lowes, all the pieces  I wanted, very handicapped friendly, in case I ever need that, and the granite I want. 
All the electrical issues have been dealt with, the new windows, door and drywall are in, Ben has been doing a great job with the mud work, seams are very good, many cannot be found.
The wiring has been run up for the future upstairs bathroom, I will need to add 2 more circuit breakers to the box but     I have the stuff to start the wiring work so hope to see at least 1 sheet of blue board on that ceiling this winter.
10 hour day tomorrow so it is about time to turn in here.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Old houses and renovation

Inspection accepts New construction is all new stuff, new lumber, new wiring, new outlets and plumbing, usually clean and start from scratch, follow the plans and get the job done.
Renovation on old houses is very different, nothing is new or clean, there are usually ugly problems lurking beneath, behind, under everything.  No part of the job is simple and easy and you always need more of something than you planned on.
But today my old house gained properly wired outlets in the kitchen, 2 new ones were added and some older ones were replaced, all were wired properly, to code and done right.  But the kitchen sure looks worse than when we started.  New drywall, all the way up to the ceiling to go in and 2 new windows, a new door, floor tile to be replaced where it is damaged, and in time, cabinets and counters, good quality, handicapped friendly, a good paint job, trim work done, and then plan for the next job here.
A refinance to do a huge, expensive job and then nickel and dime the small jobs for awhile, the railing along the landing and patio so it is inspection acceptable and safer from falls down onto the bike patio.  Keep working on the drywall up in the attic, read up on bathrooms and showers so the new bathroom up in the attic can be sealed up from potential water damage, get the vent/light/heat unit and vent pipe to that done, get the plumbing roughed in, and the blue board and tile board in, at least on ceiling areas where there is the most heat loss/gain issue......and the list goes on.
But I am content, at peace and happy here in my old house, despite all the problems and all it still needs.  It will look better in a few days, and keep improving, and stuff will get back in order, the kitchen will become usable again, it will take some time but for now, the electrical is safer and that is a big step in the right direction.

Monday, September 08, 2014

Back to work

A week of vacation went fast with a lot of it spent working on this old house, and not getting very far on the list of what all I had hoped to get done.  But I made some important progress in the kitchen and that was high on my list.
And I am refinancing the mortgage, for the new kitchen windows and door and to do a proper, good quality kitchen here, finally.  The paperwork has been signed at the bank to refinance, the house inspector has been here and I have contacted several people about the kitchen job, 3 have been here to talk, look and measure, the 4 th is Lowes.
I want to see rough plans/ideas and rough estimate of costs and then will decide who I will work with for the job and want a contract. 
I know some of what I need and want, but until the windows are in, some measurements will not be valid.  The east facing window can really change a few things with cabinets and I plan to whine but move the water and drain for better kitchen sink set up.
It may be months before I see a finished kitchen but having coped for 9.5+ years here with what I have! I will manage until the new kitchen cabinets and counter are installed and I have everything put away.
Temps are dropping and we have a chance of seeing our first frost some time in this coming week.  It will drop pollin counts but I am not wanting winter to be here early and if fall comes early. I can expect winter to be right behind.
Off to bed as I am beat tired tonight.