Saturday, July 5, 2014

Kitchen Remodel Part One

Anybody that knows me well knows that I don't handle messes very well.  In fact, just looking at these pictures is making my stomach clench and my blood pressure go up.  I actually get anxiety from living in mess and disorder.  So, going through a kitchen remodel is a highly stressful process for me.


This is kind of the before the staining shot.   My husband took the doors and hardware off, and we stripped and scrubbed all the beige paint off.  I'll tell you, that is one of the most grueling tasks I have ever done.  We had to take everything from the cabinets downstairs, because if I put it in the upstairs, Blake will get into it all.  I have been running up and down the basement stairs to get dishes to make anything.  



 My husband used the power sander and went over all the wood, and unfortunately, we discovered that whoever put the cabinets together originally used a few different kinds of woods to make repairs.  One cabinet is partially made of particleboard.  It doesn't sound like a problem until you start the whole staining process. 

Then to add to the fun, we woke up yesterday morning to discover that one of the sump pumps had quit working on us temporarily, and we got several inches of rain.  The concrete floor portion of our basement was flooded with quite a bit of water.  If you're quick, you'll remember where I told you where over half my dishes were.  Yeah. 

Some insulation and some other cardboard/paper things downstairs were completely ruined, and we had to quit work on the cabinets to get the pump and clean up all the water downstairs.  After that was done, and a whole lot more prep work was done on the doors and cabinets, we FINALLY got to the staining part.  



I started the staining inside the cabinets, while my husband finished sanding cabinet doors outside.  I couldn't believe how dark it was, even though we wanted a really dark wood color.  The stain we used inside was oil-based, and it really soaked in fast.  We weren't leaving it on long at all, but it was totally absorbing into some parts of the woods, and not absorbing into other parts at all.  We figured out too late that that was due partially to the different types of wood they used.  I was really concerned about how dark it was getting, but at this point, we were committed, so we decided to go ahead and finish it.  Sometimes, things look better when they are all the way done and they have some time to dry.  


The kitchen just kept getting messier, and the stain just kept getting darker.  I was really on the point of tears, I was afraid that the fronts of the cabinets would end up black, and I didn't want black-painted looking cabinets. 


 The final stain color ended up being much darker on the outside, so it turned out alright on that front.  In these pictures you can't see the final shade, the color develops over a period of time.  


 I was also getting kind of stressed because my dad was coming to visit in a couple of days, and the house was a total wreck.  Not that he'd mind, but that kind of thing really bothers me, to have company and the house is a mess.  Plus, I was hoping we'd have at least the top cabinets done to show him. 

The day after this was done, my husband and his friend ripped out the existing countertops and my sink. I will tell you more about that fun in my next installment on our remodel.  So far, I am realizing that 1) Remodeling is not a good thing for slightly neurotic people (the end result is, just not the process, and 2)  It is NOT for sissies.  It is all hard work.  I just keep thinking that we are doing this so we can get our farm in the next year or so.  


I also got some other organization projects done because they were necessary.  I totally cleaned out and organized my gardening shed.  So I could find things in there, so I could WALK in there, and so that we could actually put a mower in there.   I was pleased with how much floor space I made available after I finished.


All my tools and plant markers and various garden implements are separated into different boxes and buckets.  


 All my garden stakes are organized into buckets.  Do you think I have enough stakes?  


My honey also put some nails up for me so that I can hang all my harvesting baskets on the back of the shed.  Hopefully they will be all filled with tomatoes soon.


The day before our basement had its mini flood, I took all my empty jars downstairs and organized them on this metal shelf.  I sorted them by size as best as I could.  Bring on canning season! 

Next time I post, you will get to see our new countertops.  I never want the summer days to go fast, but I can't wait until we get this done. 

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Life's a Beach

A few days ago, we went to the beach for the first time this summer.  This was Blake's first visit ever.  I was worried that he wouldn't like it, because when we took him to the wading pool, he didn't seem to get it. 


I didn't have anything to worry about though, he seemed excited to see the water, saying "Wow, wow" as we walked down towards the beach.


Some clouds passed over as we got into the water, making it suddenly chilly.  It didn't seem to bother him, he headed straight in, holding my hand. 


The beach has a few distinct advantages over the wading pool.  One of them being:  SAND.


He didn't like how the sand stuck to his feet at first when we came out of the water.  I got him to ignore it by teaching him how to bury toys in the sand and uncover them. 



Blake wants us to name everything, over and over.  He was fascinated by the star and octopus in the sand toys bag.  


His brothers and sisters were involved in a highly-involved sand excavation project, so naturally Blake wanted to help.



They were less than pleased about the help.  I told them he was the canal monster, and they better just get over it. 


They did get into a little cooperative sand piling though, before we left.  Blake didn't like when his siblings went off to swim in deeper water.  He would wade out to his thighs and screech in their direction.  When they didn't come back, he would turn around with a disgusted look on his face and go back to his sand play.  Blake and I didn't go very far into the water today, it was still really cold. 


We took a few minutes before we left to play on the really cool playground.  The big boys enjoyed scaling this spiderweb-style jungle gym. 


Blake was thrilled that they had little guy sized equipment at this playground.  He was able to get on and slide down all by himself, with mom closely supervising of course. 


In all, it was a very successful first beach outing.  I think Blake  and the big kids will be happy to go back again sometime soon. 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Wordless Wednesday- Babies of Summer













(In case you were wondering, this is the 'Trowel Lily')

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Baby It's Cold Outside...but there are always seeds...

The birthday boy checks out some of brother's old toys...
 So, this week we had a major milestone at our house, the first birthday of our baby boy.  I guess technically, he is not a baby anymore, but in my mind he still is. 


 It was cold and grey outside today, like many January days, and we had the birthday party preparations behind us.  We headed down to the family room to play some Wii, since we just reorganized and our setup is a lot better for game playing now.  We also set Blake aside some bins of brother's old toys. He really enjoys going through all of them and he stays busy for quite a while.  All I have to do is set them all down and take the lids off, and he helps himself. 


 He doesn't even mind that Daddy and his sissies are playing games.  I was going to come down and blog about his birthday party, but I got distracted when I checked the mail.  Yes, I know it is Sunday, I was busy yesterday...I didn't have time for a lot of things, let alone checking the mail. 

This is what I found in the mailbox!
I was pleasantly surprised to find my Renee's Garden media kit in the mail.  That is great news, considering I haven't got around to doing any seed orders yet.  I didn't do that great in the garden last year, relatively speaking, compared to my pre-Blake gardening years.  My tomatoes did well, but almost nothing else did.  I didn't get any spring veggies out; I barely got the summer veggies out in time.  I didn't start ANY seeds indoors.  All my tomatoes were starts I bought from the Master Gardeners Sale.  I did start some seeds outdoors directly in the garden, but a lot of my seeds are really old.  I only bought a few Renee's Garden packets at a local garden center.

Anyways, long story short...I'm ready to START SOME SEEDS.  I have my seed starting rack all set up and ready to go, I just need to replace some bulbs.  I am ready to order and I'm raring to go.  


So, later, I will post about Blake's birthday party.  Today, I am snuggled up in my comfies in the recliner downstairs.  I have the laptop in my lap, and I'm dreaming of spring, summer, and seeds. 
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