Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Fast and Furious!

Seemingly out of nowhere, the snow started falling this afternoon and again this evening. And it was a good snow - the kind that would keep us snow-bound if it kept up for a few hours. But, alas, it only lasted a little while - enough to cover the ground but not enough to give me my much-coveted snow day from work.

Here's a picture I snapped this evening:

Yes, that is our Christmas tree. It seems to be holding up well! We haven't quite figured out what to do with it - the trash folks don't pick up trees, and we're not quite sure where to take it to recycle. And even if we did, neither one of us has been gung-ho to strap a tree to the top of our car. It's fun before Christmas, and a pain in the ass after. So, it is sitting outside. The birds seem to enjoy it. I suggested we make a string of popcorn and wrap it around for our little feathered friends.

Meantime, ol' Spike decided the snow was fun to watch...from inside. Carpet is where it is at:

Saturday, January 27, 2007


Um - Framing Update! What were you thinking??

We've been busy today! We got a basic framing put up, so we can see how the room is actuall ygoing to look! You can see the new doorway leading into the bathroom, and the closet door will be on the let when you enter.
We did have one small issue today - I nearly got Joe electrocuted. Ok, so maybe that qualifies as a large issue. I asked him to cut out some of the wall so we could line up the framing....."Is there anything back there I need to worry about?", he asks. "Nah - just that old disconnected phone line. Nothing to worry about!"..... *ZAP*

OOoo, we found the wiring for the bathroom light switch and plug! Well! I wasn't expecting that there! So Joe got a little bit of a shock! And we had sparks! And black marks on the metal saw he was using! Exciting!! I patched it with black electrical tape. This should work until the electricians come out.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Now There's A Classic!!!

While I was coming home tonight, I spotted one of these:Anyone recognize it?

It's a 1979 Ford Pinto! And if I am correct, the color is Chestnut Metallic!

How do I know? Because my very first car was a 1979 Chestnut Metallic Ford Pinto! Woo! This isn't actually my car - but I found the image on the 'net. Take away the striping, and you have my car!

I loved that car. Who cared about the rear-collision explosion potential? This car was hawt! And you know what else? We didn't have just one. We had TWO! We were a 2-Pinto family! My oldest brother Pat had one too, and it was that chic Baby Blue. And it had the full-glass rear window, versus the trunk mine had.

Since my parents bought it, I had to share this car with my middle brother for a year until he went away to college. Then it was all mine! Ha!

I kept that car until I moved to Maryland after graduating from college in 1985 and got my first job. Then I graduated to a 1985 Ford Ranger pickup. I was ridin' high....

What was your first car, and do you have fond memories of it?

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Snowed In!!!

Ok, not really. But we did have actual snow today.

It was sooooo windy last night! And cold. They weren't kidding when they said those record warm days were over! This was on the deck this morning:

The snow picked up for about 10 minutes later this morning:

And caused quite a bit of excitement in our household, especially since noone was calling for snow today!

And then it was over. We haven't seen snow in 3 years, since being in Phoenix, so this was a treat. Until we had to go outside. Ick. Cold and windy is highly overrated. Looking back, I am wondering how we made it in Minnesota for 6 years. Though Minneapolis is still my favorite city.

What's your secret to surviving the cold days and nights of winter? We've made fires pretty much every night, and at this rate will run out of firewood before winter ends. We also bought some fleece sheets, which are really comfy.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Getting to know the Attic

So! I took off work today so I could spend some time working on the master bedroom remodel. (*Side note - I could get used to 4-day work weeks....).

The first thing we accomplished was moving the bed to the other side of the room!

This is probably where it will end up after we are done.

I ended up spending most of the day removing those pesky 2x4s in the ceiling. This required an inordinant amount of time in the attic. I had to move insulation all around, put some plastic down, add some support studs, and finally, put up some drywall to cover the open areas. I got most of it done before I called it quits for the day:

This last 2x4 is being extremely difficult. I spent 15 minutes trying to get it out before giving up and saving that for another day.

You can see that I also built a temporary clothes holder thingie. I couldnt' stand all the clothes stuffed in the spare bedroom closet any longer, and rigged this up just to get some clothes actually back in the bedroom. The new closet will be in the area where the clothes are.

Spike was intrigued by what I was doing. And then fell asleep.

We are re-evaluating our final design. After we moved the bed, we put 2x4s down on the floor to lay out the area how we thought we wanted it. After doing that, westarted rethinking things, so we are going back to the drawing board to work out the actual final lay-out. The general plan is the same, but the location of the doors is under review.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

We Have A Door!

So! We have a door! This weekend's goal was to complete the framing for the new wall area, and get the new door up. And, we did it!
It may not look like much, but it was a pain in the ass! The first time I got the door up, when I went to close it, it didn't shut. Grrrrr. So I had to take it down and re-do it. I got a little smarter the second time, but it was still more than challenging. I have a new-found respect for carpenters.

But we have a door!
And it closes!
Next steps: call the electrician to finish up the wiring (I have reached the end of my comfort level with re-wiring!), and get some drywall up on the walls. I'll tackle the ceiling after that. Then, Phase II - the new closet!

Meantime, while we were working our fingers to the bones, I discovered Fluffy (Max) on the couch! Coveting the remotes!

Gee, Max, I hope the hammering and sawing didn't distract you from your TV-watching! ><

Saturday, January 06, 2007

70 In January? In Maryland??

Um. Really? I believe it's actually warmer here today than it is in Phoenix. Good thing I got the snow plow all set up last month! Geez!

We took advantage of the nice weather to head out and about this morning. I love the folks that dress up and stand at busy intersections to attract business! Today we spotted the Chick-fil-A Cow:

I noticed that my friends the Alpacas seemd to be enjoying a lazy day in the sun as well:

Even ol' Spike took to the outdoors and enjoyed a nice little romp in the grass:

Spike, you look pretty darn good for a 16 year old dog! Good boy!

And of course, one can't go outside without the Master of the Estate....


Bwuahahahaha! I love his little puppy dog scowl.

So. Global warming? Fluke? Sign of things to come? What's your theory on temps 30 degrees above normal in January? I also heard on the news that this is the first time since the 1880's that New York has not had snow this late into the winter season.

Friday, January 05, 2007


No work progress today. My primary supervisor decided he had more pressing needs today....:

So we took a work break! Let's hope he doesn't find out, or we will get demerits....

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Progress Report

So! How are we doing, you ask? Is the bedroom done yet?? Well, no. But we are making progress!

Tonight we took out the last of the old door frames, and NOW you can get an idea of what the room will look like when it's done:

The Master bedroom was 13 x 12, the closet was 7 x 2 1/2, and the bath is 7 x 6. The new master bedroom will be 20 x 12, roughly, with a 7 x 6 closet and a 7 x 12 bath.

The king bed will be moved to the other side of the room from where it is, and that area will house the new closet and expanded master bath.

I'm guessing I need to call an electrician very soon though....

The yellow note on the electrical box says "LIVE WIRE! Be Careful!", in case I forget....

As we plug away on this, we generally have at least one supervising pet present at all times. During this most recent work session, we managed to have 3 levels of supervision:

I am guessing they were more interested to see if I shocked myself than anything else.

Anyone have any tips on framing? I don't have a lot to do, but this will be our first time. I studied the walls very carefully before taking the circular saw to them...how hard could it be?

Tuesday, January 02, 2007


Max put on his best Happy Face to say

Happy 2007!

Monday, January 01, 2007

"Disaster Area"

I think the master bedroom area can officially be declared a Disaster Area:

Too bad I have to go back to work tomorrow - this is just getting fun! Joe and I have been tackling this over the past week, and I think the results will be well worth the minor inconveniences......like living out of one small closet until we finish.

This is by far the biggest home improvement project we've undertaken ourselves in any house we've owned. Yay!