Sunday, August 30, 2009

Kitchen Tile - nailed it!

Updates galore….. well, somewhat. Simply, we are pretty excited. In the past week since the kitchen tile mess, we now have new bath cabinets (no counter tops), tile in the kitchen, painted hallways and foyer, a few more outlets and switches, and even had a surprise visit from friends.
I’ll try to keep it short. Cabinets were installed in a day and look great. Really make it seem like we are getting close. We elected to have the cabinetry without the toe-kicks, and be free-standing, or wall-mounted. We like the look, and especially like how they make the room feel more open. Counter tops next.
We are thrilled about the kitchen tile. Just a week ago we were almost in tears and now we are on cloud nine. This tile seems to do it all. Looks great with the wall color, makes the stone heater really pop and warm, and believe it will be perfect for the kitchen cabinets that will be delivered Monday, and installed on Tues/Wed. Are we excited about that? Oh yeah! Overall, we think it will all come together once the cabinets and appliances are in…. and most of all believe it will hit the mark of having a kitchen with an little bit of an old/modern “Italian” look and flare – is that possible? Regardless, we think it will be just what we envisioned. Make no mistake, it is a load of work!
On Saturday evening, our friends Lisa and Dick Norris stopped in, we had dinner, and they stayed the night in our apt. Debbie knew they were coming but I didn’t. Debbie convinced me to take a break and head to the orchard for a walk and get some fruit. Great idea actually. Just as we get to the orchard, Lisa and Dick spring out of nowhere and yell “surprise!” I about crapped my pants. It was great. Had a great night watching the sunset and then had dinner in Bow. They left in the morning. What great people they are. Always have fun with them and they always pump us up with our house adventure. Love em!
OK I am beat again. Big week. Could have almost all of the kitchen in place by the end of the week.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Rut Roe....Tile in and Tile out....

Guess it had to happen sooner or later. We had been doing pretty well picking colors and tiles….. until we picked our kitchen tile. So, it’s Friday, and Deb’s co-worker, Kathy offers to take her pick-up truck to Seattle with Debbie taking our truck to pick up all the tile! How nice was that!! Wow, what a kind gesture that was! They arrive Friday afternoon. We unload it all and schlepped it upstairs… ready to go for Sat.
Long story short is as we continued to lay the tile, the busier it got and the more it started to look like camouflage… or something. The look was fighting everything. Stuff looked great in the store but we only got to see one tile and there are about 12 different tiles to make up the whole thing.. once we saw tiles with a large blue/grey blob, we got concernec. After about 45 tiles, I said I thought it looked horrible. Deb nodded. We wanted to cry. We had lunch, called Sandra/Jon, and a few friends for advice and they agreed it was time to tear it up, and “don’t look back.” We reluctantly agreed it was best. Did the deed, washed all the tiles and cleaned up the thinset. Another couple hours. Will either sell tile, or might be able to use somewhere else in the house. Another delay we did not need….. now kitchen cabinets may be next week. Of course, still have to install new tile when it comes….again. Did a load of painting on Sunday. God Bless, Debbie. She did a second coat on the entire kitchen ceiling, and more! As Astro from the Jetson’s says…. Rut Roe….
Best thing as of Friday is Margaret was evaluated and approved to move back to Creekside in assisted living! Back to her buddies, bingo, etc. She really impressed. Evaluators came to nursing home, asked her to stand up and she did, walked to her walker and walked out the door! So impressive and inspiring! I know there were a whole lot of people who essentially “wrote her off” when she broke her hip. Also, said she would not last a year after Barney died, also said she could not move anywhere…..etc. etc. Still not a cake walk ahead but just goes to show heh…?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Kitchen Cans

Kitchen lighting has started. These are “can” lights, as they say in the electrician world….We are really happy with the look. Paint looks great. Tile is next. Install the stove, and then the kitchen cabinets next week. The pics are all about the same but from slightly different viewpoints around the house. That’s all folks.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Let there be light..... almost.

Had you fooled on the first pic. Actually, this is not electrical lighting. It is the sun coming in our picture windows during a fantastic sunset! Keeping this post very short. Electrical trim out has started but no lights yet. Kevin, Deb and I put in front door! Photo coming. And, for fun, the nature scenery is from Cascade Pass, North Cascade N.P. … a less than 2 hour drive from our place in Bow. This is just one reason why we moved here. Fantastic place! We plan to hike to the pass before the road closes… All I got. Later. D2

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Paint and Tile

Sunday night here in Bow, WA. Wow, again. Since late afternoon Friday, we….
Finished tiling the guest bathroom, sanded a whole bunch of walls, and painted the following… kitchen area, back loft wall, guest bedroom, guest bath room, office, hallway/stairwell, hallway in basement, master bedroom and master bathroom/toilet! Also installed the front door (and forgot to take photos), and sealed tile/grout in basement shower and master bath floor. And, visited Margaret on Sat and Sunday. She had an impressive walk on Saturday by walking the length of a wing of the Care Center and back. We were surprised for sure. Not out of the woods yet on some other areas but this was a good sign.
This is all for now. Really tired again and a big week ahead. Worked till 9 pm both evenings. Must pick out kitchen tile and lay it by the weekend. Other stuff too. Note - paint and tile colors are not what they look like...:)
Wanna pick a tile for us… just let us know which one you like… look close and you will see our sample piece of cherry wood for the kitchen cabinets. Consider paint color of the kitchen and our masonry heater stone color too.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Many hands make for a light load....

Funny what four more hands and four more arms of muscle can do when it comes to moving a refrigerator. Tim and I just could not get the refrigerator past the landing last night. Tonight John and Tod come over and we move the refrigerator up the steps in about five minutes. We simply just picked it up and lifted it up the stairs… no “dolly” etc.. Piece of cake as they say. So, we are ready for stair work and ready to tile the kitchen. Oh boy. Just need to pick out the tile and away we go. Josh will be doing the stairs and Troy will fab the railings. This will get us a long way. A rough electric trim out is on tap and then the kitchen cabinets are ready to be installed.
Sunsets dominated the evening again. Deb and I just stared and kept telling one another how much we feel we made a very good decision buying the property over seven years ago. Its been quite a ride.
Front door to be installed within the next few days. It is at the house and looks great. Can’t wait for that one. Appropriately, Kevin will help install – kind of a ceremony so to speak since he has been with us since the onset of the adventure.
By the way, the little freezer in the barn is doing great keeping our food frozen. And, no mice in any of the traps. My guess is that one damn rogue mouse got in when I had front doors open to take out dishwasher. He (little bastard)/she (little bitch) messed with the sheets just to screw with us, and then high tailed it out? Or, the bait on the trap, which was “hoisin sauce” is not the bait of choice. Maybe mice don’t like Asian/Thai food. I’ll try the old standard peanut butter next just to make sure. This theory would mean he/she and maybe some buddies are still in the barn…. Don’t worry, as our former president said…. “we’ll smoke em’ out….” lol.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Building your own house – Step 45,679… bring refrigerator in house.

Another Monday under the bridge. Worked, went to see my Mom, stopped at two stores and came home. Had dinner with Deb – broccoli and chicken….again…. Our neighbor Tim offers to help us move our refrigerator out of the barn and in to the house. It is time. Stairs will be worked on soon and need to get appliances up there so we don’t scuff up the new wood etc….
Here is how the night went….
Deb and I clean out refrigerator to make it lighter. Lots of frozen meat too.
Don notices something on our bed in the barn. You know, the bed we have waited 9 months to sleep in again.
Find out mice got in barn for the first time in 18 months – must have gotten in when Don moved the dishwasher out of the garage last Sunday.
Mouse/mice chew through our good sheets and make a hole the size of an orange.
Mice piss on fitted sheet and mattress pad.
We strip bed and take sheets to house to do laundry.
Tim arrives and we get refrigerator on truck and take down to garage.
Door to upstairs too narrow for refrigerator.
Take refrigerator back up to trail.
Roll refrigerator all along our stone path to front door.
Now we are all wet but in the house.
Get the refrigerator up seven stairs but can’t make the turn to go the final seven stairs.
Decide to call it a night and try to get more help tomorrow.
Go back to barn and get frozen food.
Take to apartment but it does not fit in our refrigerator.
Take back to barn and “un-bury” our little freezer.
Ooops, appears we forgot to take out our “popsicles and fruit pops.”
Freezer smells wonderful…. But not horrible.
Put popsicles out behind barn in the rain and hope mice try to eat it …. And gag.
Put frozen food in freezer and hope freezer still works.
Will check in morning.
Get back to apt.
Deb asks Don “why doesn’t anything we do ever go easy?”
Don says “why should things change now?”
Deb nods.
Deb and Don kiss and hug and Deb goes to bed while Don writes this post.
Step 45,680 begins tomorrow morning with meeting at house with propane man who needs to complete the job he started in February……
Sorry, no photos of this adventure....

Sunsets keep us at peace while we work on all fronts..

It’s been over a week since the last post with photos. Deb's last post sure puts things in perspective. Her recovery continues and it sure has not been an easy road. I have never experienced a day with her when she said that her back was bothering her too much to continue working... I'll say it again.... she is one tough cookie. That doesn't mean she is without pain and discomfort. And once again we will say we are begging for the day when we can sleep in our own bed again. It will do wonders for her back, and for our souls. Here is the latest on how we intend to make that happen:
Things continue to progress somewhat slow but sure, but all things considered we have made some significant headway. Margaret is part of our progress as well. She is an inspiration to us as she works on her rehab, just like Deb did. Yesterday we took her for a pretty long ride in her wheelchair. It was a sunny day and she really enjoyed it. We are convinced that being outside is a natural medicine. Maybe two more weeks in rehab? Maybe a bit less, as her progress is pretty good.
Once again the pics tell it all. Some major accomplishments were the installation of our propane tank, removal of our temporary driveway to the house….. replaced with the new spur that allows us access to the garage, and last but not least our initial “landscaping” on the north side of the house which is where we stored so much junk for the past year. Tod did a great job helping us out. We even built a small retaining wall out of aac block that will be clad later on with left over rock from our masonry heater. Even laid out a streambed which we may put in place later but installed water line and electric line conduit in the event we do .... better now than later, so plan ahead is the right thing to do. Deb did more kitchen painting.... on a ladder.... go figure!
Matt came up again and lined us out on our tiling chores. Of course he did all the hard stuff and it looks great. OK getting late again and getting really tired….. Goodnight.
Oh, and the slot sunsets were back…… they put us at peace. They are truly therapeutic. May move refrigerator upstairs tonight…Oh our aching backs for that one, but Debbie will be prohibited from touching it! Bathroom tile pix coming soon. Our fingers are raw from all our grouting.

Friday, August 7, 2009

What were you doing 1 year ago today?

It was one year ago today when I fell and broke my back. It's a strange "anniversary" to remember and write about. I even wrote it in my calendar - strange. I woke up today feeling sad and angry. I know I should feel ectatic that I'm alive and not in a wheelchair - I tell people that when they ask me how I'm feeling; however, everytime I get up from a chair or get into or out of bed or work around the house, I feel sore and achy. I find that I'm angry about the fall and the soreness that I feel. WHY did I fall???? The soreness is a constant reminder of what happened a year ago and I'm upset about what I've lost. I've even had nightmares about falling this week...?

So, what do I do about it? I did my normal stuff...I went to work, sat in a net-meeting but then left early to work on the house. We landscaped the yard - it looks great. As the "fall-hour" approached, I thought back to that day. The fall...Don never leaving my side...being lifted out of the house on a forklift from the 3rd floor windows...the ambulance rides...the E.R. in Seattle (what a trip!), friends and family visiting...the out-pouring of cards, phone calls and gifts...As I worked on the house, I re-lived it all in my mind. And the other big emotion I felt was gratitude - to all my family and friends who supported me throughout this ordeal. I was totally shocked on what everyone did for me. I could never Thank everyone enough for their kindness. I then felt the urge to go to Bay View and walk along the dike to "get my mind straight", but other duties pulled us away - I'll have to wait on that.

The most interesting thing about today is that before I left work, I ate a piece of Dove chocolate - the one with the messages inside...I looked at my message: "Life is precious and an opportunity for you to make every moment count" ???? So I opened another one: "Make the most of everyday" Was someone telling me something?

So, that's my message to all of you..."Life is precious and an opportunity for you to make every moment count" And I'll work on doing the same.

Thank you again for your support and love throughout the year...