Wednesday, April 30, 2008

April links

WFMW - sleeping haven
Auctions
Rice Salad
The back steps
Before and During
Photo Fun!
Sparkle
First Class Postage
Happy Birthday Zora!!
My old room
WFMW - gmail
Big Give
New Shoes
Stella
Zora's Haircut
More Baby Pics!
She's Here!! She's here!!
The Patio Door
Electricians, Plumbers & Contractors
Boy or Girl???
Flipping saga
WFMW Pill Container
Flip Pics
Jupiter Day Three
Springfield Days 1 & 2
Juptier Day Three
Pics day two
Jupiter Day Two
Zora Mail
Pictures of Day One
Jupiter Court Day 1
Just funny
Us Girls
Cool, very cool
Nervous Nellie
WFMW - The Dishes
Milk for Kitties
Bye Bye Tiki stuff
Happy Birthday Alison
Funny
Springfield Ct.
Cool Building
Flipping Wonderful!
Caffeine
Spelling Alphabet
WFMW - Greatest Hits
I am grateful

WFMW - sleeping haven

Welcome to another edition of Works For Me Wednesday! Each week hundreds of people from around the world gather at Rocks in My Dryer for WFMW and share their tips. Please take a look when you have finished here. Thanks & I'll see you again next week.

My Tip this week is about creating a great sleeping and resting place in the Masterbedroom. When I was a kid, all I had was my bedroom. I will admit it was a disaster. I was a kid, though, and the pressures of the world weren't on me yet, but even then I never slept with anything else on my bed except for me and the comforter.

When I was on my own finally and figuring out life, I learned a valuable lesson - Never bring anything into the Masterbedroom. I expanded that to include NOT sleeping with the bed half full of junk. Have your bed, nightstands, clock, lamps and your one or two books, but that's it folks. Don't pile up your laundry, your stash and dash laundry baskets of clutter from other rooms, luggage, paperwork, childrens toys, etc. If your bedroom is for sleeping and relaxing, then make that room a haven by keeping all of the clutter of life out of it. Having piles of possessions hovering around you all night is distracting, even if you don't realize it. I have met people who do paperwork in their bed and then fall asleep with the paperwork still on their beds. Please don't do this to yourself. Get everything off the bed that doesn't belong. You deserve to have a peaceful place to sleep.


I have pack-rat-abilities and I have a few closets stuffed with STUFF! I have clutter and paper piled high in some places. I have a little storage closet that is so full, oh my, I may never find anything in there again this year, but I truly, honestly have a minimalist bedroom. It is easy to keep dusted, vacuumed and tidy. I don't trip on anything or stub my toes when making my way to bed. Keeping all of the drama of life out of the bedroom makes it a very peaceful place indeed.

It took me years to figure this out - "Don't bring anything into the Masterbedroom" and I am so happy to pass this tip along to you today.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by,
Kristin


Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Auctions

I love a good auction.

Sofa Express and More! has been in bankruptcy for awhile now, but the countdown to closing their store has been going on for the past month. Yesterday was the LAST DAY - everything must go! Well, everything didn't go - so there was an auction tonight. It was a lot of fun. They had about 20 guys hauling the furniture up to the stage - some hauling, some holding, some moving stuff off the stage - it was like a dance, with large pieces of furniture. It was one of the fastest auctions I've ever been to.

One of our Flip houses is being occupied by one of our worker bees. So far he has a bed.

Just a bed. Plus: One pillow, two sets of sheets and a comforter.

Needless to say, he will have no problem lounging (when the house is finished) in the house on his new sofas. a chair or two, some lamps, quite a few pieces of fun artwork and an ottoman or two. I think I got a side table, too - Oh and a really cool white buffet, with silver door pulls. It was part of a set, but they decided to sell it separately and about 30 minutes after they sold the set, so I got a great price on it -- $50 maybe? Something like that. Awesome Price. Awesome piece.

I have to say - Tom bought the UGLIEST couch. We didn't even bring it home tonight, so no pictures yet, but I hate it. I turned around to look at a table and the next thing I know the woman next to me said - "I can't believe that guy you're with, just bought that!" I thought it was a joke. Seriously. It was truly ugly. I can't wait to see it in the daylight. I hope it improves. He has volunteered to put it up for sale on Craig's List - I just don't think I will be able to stage a house with it.

I just don't want to continue to say how awful I think it is, for fear that someone that reads this will think it is just lovely.

But.... ugh.

I had a really nice time, minus the couch incident. We got several awesome pieces that will work great as staging for Jupiter Court or Springfield. We got some really nice artwork, two floor lamps that match and a few side chairs that will be fun additions to the staging. Oh, I also got some fun bamboo sidetables (they are lightweight!!!) I was not going to get a single table that I couldn't move easily by myself - and those bamboo tables were perfect!! I can even paint them if need be.

I'll take pictures of everything tomorrow I hope. I have to go fix a TV over at one of the rental condo's -- or buy them a new one. So Tom and Robert will be moving all of the furniture tomorrow while I do TV duty. Hopefully I'll catch up with it all and get some photos before it's all piled into a shed.

Have a great day!
Kristin

Monday, April 28, 2008

Rice Salad

I've been trying to figure out how to get Rice Salad onto my blog. Thanks to Pioneer Woman, I have a great excuse! Pioneer Woman's call for a favorite recipe was just the excuse I needed. Actually, PW (Ree) is giving away a Shiny New KitchenAid 610 Stand Mixer and the qualifications to be a part of it, was to post your favorite recipe that you were willing to share. I posted Rice Salad. All of you 6WBMO friends of mine - turn away. This is not on plan. Probably none of the comments in Ree's give-away are on plan -- but I have a point here.

What was my point?

Oh right, the comments section - when I posted my Rice Salad recipe I was comment #3075 - right now, right at this moment there are 4400 comments. That means that there are probably 4000 recipes there that are family favorites of some kind. 4000 recipes that people make at least once a year and that they serve to their friends and families. If you are ever in a quandary as to what to make for breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert and any other time, you now have a location.

There are now 4413 comments.

I'm assuming that some of the comments are blank, double posts, questions, comments without a recipe, etc. So that's how I came up with the 4000 recipes.

Here is my submission to PW's site. I had to post it. For one reason, it was the only recipe that I know off the top of my head. It is something that I truly believe should be in everyones recipe box. It is that good. It pretends to be healthy with rice, yogurt and some veggies. The mayo is the deal breaker -- I wonder what this would taste like with real homemade mayo?? Hmmmm, that's something I hadn't thought of... oh goodness. Here's the recipe.

Rice Salad

2 boxes Uncle Ben’s Long Grain and Wild Rice - original recipe (Fast cook is OK, but I prefer the 25 minute kind)
1/4c plain yogurt
1.c Hellman’s Real mayonnaise
1c. cucumber peeled and sliced (I like the English cucumber - just use the whole thing or two)
1c. tomatoes
a few sprigs of fresh parsley chopped

Cook the rice as directed, omitting the butter. After the rice has cooked, mix in yogurt, mayo, cucumber, tomatoes & parsley and serve warm or cold.

I have to admit, I almost always forget the parsley lol I also try real hard not to eat it all when it is freshly made and still warm — oooh lordy, it is wonderful. Rice Salad is a HUGE hit at potlucks and family reunions. It is a staple at nearly all summer family events & bbq’s. Enjoy!

This is the page where my comment is located on PW's site.

4481 comments now (so that's probably 4100 great recipes)

I gave this to my friend Bob and she now takes it to her neighborhood potluck dinners and BBQ's. She calls it the Corlett Michigan Salad. It is requested by friends of hers "...be sure and bring that rice salad." She lives in New Hampshire, so the Rice salad love is being spread across the United States. Who knows, maybe a few folks from the PW site will make the salad and start passing it on.

I made the rice part of this the morning of my wedding. I think I made 4 or 6 boxes. I thought about taking it to the reception, but as wedding mornings would be...I ran out of time. After our wedding and the reception people started coming over to our house. My mom noticed the GIANT pot of rice on the stove and asked if she could make up the salad. We spent the next few minutes chopping up the cucumbers and tomatoes and soon had a beautiful pot of Rice Salad. I don't recall if we actually got it into a serving dish, but I do know that there wasn't a single spoonful left after about an hour. It was literally inhaled by everyone.

It is that good!

Have a great day!
Kristin

The back steps


This is the floor of the kitchen. Or the lack of flooring. All of the hundreds of layers of flooring that was bad, warped, substandard and otherwise unusable is now gone. It also contained a million nails, as I mentioned in one of my other posts. The nail theme is a running joke now. It is found everywhere in this house - if one nail is good - 10 must be better!

This next picture is looking through the former kitchen floor, onto the crawlspace. See the set of concrete steps? Those are the original back steps into the house. The kitchen was an addition we believe and the original kitchen is what was the closet/storage area and the bathroom (which we have turned into two seperate bathrooms, now.) I think it is so cool to find indicators of the past. I wish we could save some of these features, but the only thing we can really do is just to cover them back up again and not destroy them. So the steps are staying under the house.




Meet Les and Chip. Chip has a hat on. They tore up the rest of the flooring on this particular day. They have been a part of the construction crew and have been a lot of fun. I have truly enjoyed having these two gentlemen on the job.

Have a great day!
Kristin

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Before and During

This is the House before -- before anything. We hadn't even closed on the house when I took this picture.

The next picture is a close up of the front door area. Lots of fixes are needed.



This last picture is how it looked on Friday. The main electrical service is now on the side of the house, the windows now have window sills, the awning is gone, the front attic vent will be replaced with a roof top vent. The house wrap is almost completed and the siding should be going up on Monday or Tuesday.




The Windows before and after

They still need work, but I like the window sills. The front windows are also going to get planter boxes. Dan says he is going to make them.



Photo Fun!

I really like Photobucket. I have several accounts, two of them are paid accounts (No ads & lots and lots of storage) and the other few are the free accounts. Those are really nice for sharing photos with friends, without having access to EVERYTHING. If I've taken a photo, chances are I've got it loaded into one of my PB accounts. Well, PB has been revamping the site for quite some time, adding new things, taking out things that didn't quite work, all the while I just ignored a lot of it because I just find graphics, I don't alter them.

Wellllll.... Let me tell you something. The newest edit feature that Photobucket has is FUN! I played with it a bit this evening. Here's what I did. I took an original photo - this one happens to be of the Sitting King - The Burger King logo from the late 50's through the middle 60's. This was one of the Burger Kings that was in one of our original family stores. It now hangs in my laundry room. (Isn't he great?!!)

OK, so here is the original picture, followed by the fun edits I found in the Edit section of my personal PB account. I have placed text on each of the alterations so you would know what I did.

Enjoy!!
Kristin







Saturday, April 26, 2008

Sparkle



I just have to say -- I've used this window cleaner since I was a small child. My mother bought it, so I bought it. Not very many stores carry it, but Meijer Stores in Michigan carried it and when I couldn't find it here in Florida I had my husband buy several bottles of it when he drove to Michigan a few years back. THEN, the most amazing thing happened. I was looking for floor cleaner at the local ACE Hardware store in Daytona Beach and there it was - sitting on the bottom shelf, in a gallon jug.

I could hear the choir

ahhhhhhhhhhhhh

I was almost out of the glass cleaner & had seriously been wondering what to do. But no more, no more!

I just recently went to one of the Ace Hardware stores here in Jacksonville, FL and the choir sang again.

ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh

It was there in all it's Sparkle beauty.

This window cleaner doesn't have ammonia in it, it is purple and it is de-ioninzed (whatever that means) and it is one of my favorite things - right next to the Magic Eraser, The Absorber and my dishtowels :0)

Have a great day!
Kristin

Friday, April 25, 2008

First Class Postage
















Have you heard the news?


May 12th the new postal rates will be in effect.

You still have time to go to the post office and get the Liberty Bell Forever stamps for 41¢ - they will be available until the 11th of May at 41¢ after that, they will increase to the new postage rate. Remember though, you can use them forever, no matter what price you paid for them.


Here are the new rates...

First-Class Mail letter (1 oz.) $0.42
First-Class Mail letter (2 oz.) $0.59
Postcard $0.27
First-Class Mail large envelope (2 oz.) $1.00
Certified Mail $2.70
First-Class Mail International to Canada and Mexico (1 oz.) $0.72
First-Class Mail International to all other countries (1 oz.) $0.94

a 62¢ stamp will be available shortly after May 12 for 1-ounce nonmachinable First-Class Mail letters, such as square greeting cards.

Have you written a letter lately? One to a friend, a family member, a long lost high school friend. Did you have a pen pal when you were a kid? I haven't written to Ingrid in ages...I will do that. May 12th will be my deadline for getting that fun project finished.

Have a great day!
Kristin

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Happy Birthday Zora!!



Happy 4th Birthday Zora!!!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

My old room

I had a memory flashback last night. I was back in the old house, the one in Lansing, Mi on Ingersoll Rd. I was laying in my waterbed, with the great dark blue wall paper with the little squares of color, looking at my dresser... My dresser. It was the most unique dresser ever. It was tall - 6 feet tall maybe? No, not that tall - but it was taller than me and I'm 5'2" on a real good day. It had a top portion with two doors, a middle section that was just an open shelf, and it had 3 or 4 large drawers on the bottom. This dresser was covered in a crushed-velvet type of maroon fabric, with Gold trim.

I don't recall how I got that dresser. I don't know if my mother picked it out or if I did - I just know that one day is appeared and I loved it. I really liked that room. I liked the dark wallpaper, the dark blue shag carpet, the stereo system/record player that I got for Christmas one year. My mother told me that I really needed to take care of that stereo system because it cost $142. She said she normally didn't tell me what things cost, but that I needed to know so I would take very good care of it - and I did.

I think one of my sisters used that dresser for awhile, after I left for college.... and after that I really can't remember what happened to it.

Well anyway, I had a fabric covered dresser. With Gold trim. It would be considered very retro today LOL

Have A Great Day!
Kristin

WFMW - gmail

Welcome to another edition of Works For Me Wednesday! Each week hundreds of people from around the world gather at Rocks in My Dryer for WFMW and share their tips. Please take a look when you have finished here. Thanks & I'll see you again next week.

There are so many email programs out there on the internet. One of the problems that I see people run into, is using their current service providers email program as the main email that they use. I have moved three times since I first became an internet user. I've had three or four service providers and I've sent out those messages -- "I have changed my email address, please change my email address in your address book" That only works about half the time. Sometimes your friends change the email address at home, but not at work and they can't remember if your email is through roadrunner, comcast, bellsouth, or aol. Then, is it dot net, dot com or dot org.

I got a gmail account (a free online account) several years ago. I LOVE IT! I have tons and tons of storage. Right now the counter is at....
Over 6650.692399 megabytes ...and that number grows each second. I don't have to delete anything for the rest of my life LOL I do, but I don't have to. I can search my email easily with a google search feature. Gmail is a part of Google, so you can probably see why the search feature is so great. If you don't change the subject line on an email, all of the responses will line up in the same email. You don't have to keep clicking to open emails, you just scroll down to read all of the responses. You can get email on your phone, too.

But the tip I have for you that is just so cool -- You don't ever have to change your email, ever ever again. If you change service providers, so what! If you move to a new city, so what! It doesn't matter what internet service provider you have, gmail will be there for you.

You can be free to roam about the country and log into gmail from any computer connected to the internet.

It is an incredibly easy email program and has more features than I can mention. It is however, my most favorite email program and I think everyone should have one. Go ahead - go to www.gmail.com and sign up for your free email. You'll be so happy you did!

Have a Great Day!
Kristin

I have no interest in Google except that I love their email program!! This is not a paid advertisement, just real enthusiasm for a great product.




Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Big Give

I watched all of the Big Give episodes on ABC, in fact the finale was just this past Sunday. It was so exciting to see all of the ways that the contestants reached out to communities and made a huge difference in peoples lives. It also helped me to see all of the ways that I could be helping others, even in small ways. AND, the shows also let me know that I am a giver right now. I may not be doing all I can, all the time, but I do give and I do go out and make a point of giving. That's nice to know. :0)

The reason for this post is about one of the top 4 contestants, Rachael. I learned a lot about myself when watching her, but just learned a whole lot more this evening, so I thought I'd share. Rachael was something. She was driven, annoying, stubborn and focused and at times she was all consuming, but the most incredible thing about her was that she just didn't get it. IT being the big picture. She thought she got it, but she didn't. Oprah has had all of the contestants on her show after they have been eliminated and Rachael was no exception. However, when Oprah interviewed Rachael on the Oprah Show section, Rachael was asked if she would do anything different in regards to her last "Big Give" and Rachael said no. The collective gasp was audible. I even sucked in my breath. How could she NOT see her error??? Oprah immediately said that they were going to talk after the show and that the audience could read/see more about the conversation online. So I did. Oprah literally tells Rachael that she had a lot to learn and that she needed to step back and see the lesson. The chat that Oprah and Rachael had is right here...Rachael learns about Ego. It is 15 minutes long and it is an incredible learning experience for more than just Rachael. I got a ton out of it. Oprah talks a lot about the Eckhart Tolle book and class that she is doing, but you don't have to be reading that book to understand this segment.

How many times have I heard - "You have to get out of your own way" So true so true. I hope that you will go and listen to the 15 minute segment. The very last minute is incredibly poignant, so don't rush out of the viewing before it's over.

I know I'm not even close to perfect lol I also like to think that I get all of my lessons. I know that there are observers of my life that shake their heads and think -- She Doesn't Get It! Here's to hoping that I can get the lesson, too. (and don't have to go on national TV to get the lesson)

Have a Great Day!
Kristin

Monday, April 21, 2008

New Shoes

My feet were hurting something horrible this morning. The ball of my foot was nearly numb. It was a very strange sensation. I knew I needed a new pair of tennis shoes, especially with all of this contruction going on - I was doing a lot of just standing around and standing on concrete...but this foot thing was almost unbearable and I'd only had my shoes on for about an hour.

So I took off the shoes and made a thorough inspection of my socks and the inside of my shoes and finally I turned my shoes over. I had a nail in one shoe and three staples in the other. All of these items were imbedded in the "Air Pockets" of the shoes. The staples had let the air out of that shoe - but I think the nail had pierced and plugged the hole in the other shoe. I was seriously walking funny.

I had said something today about my weird walk to my family in an email, funny I should bring it up again. I do walk funny, I can feel it sometimes, but this shoe thing was not comfortable.

So, I went and bought two new pairs of shoes. I buy the same shoes again and again and the same socks, too.

White Ryka womens size 9 wide tennis shoes from Lady FootLocker

Lady FootLocker almost always has them at 2 pair for $89 - so I buy two pair. One pair for now and one for later LOL

I also buy 3-6 pair of Womens Crew socks - White CoolMax socks.

They are the only socks I wear. I LOVE THEM!!

When I get new shoes, I almost always buy new socks and then go to my sock drawer and toss 3-6 pairs of the old socks. This trip I bought 6 pair.

The shoes I just retired I got out of the box just before Thanksgiving. The nail and staples made the demise of these shoes a bit quicker - but not too bad. Usually I wear a pair of tennis shoes for 6-7 months.

My feet felt MUCH better and the numbness went away almost immediately when I switched shoes. I'm so glad I had the time to get the shoe thing fixed today. I don't think I could have lasted another day.

Have a Great Day!
Kristin

Stella

This is the most recent email message from my Brother-in-Law

We decided on the name Stella Josephine

I do have some minor bad news to report. It appears Stella has hip dysplasia in both hips, which might ring a bell. It's what Kristin had when she was a baby, and it does run in families and affect mainly girls.

The good news is that treatment has massively changed in the last 40 years (sorry, Kristin... don't mean to make you feel old! :)) They will probably use a Pavlik Brace or Pavlik Harness to hold her legs in the right position for at least six weeks. You can read more about hip dysplasia here: Hip Dysplasia


Unfortunately, no hospital in Lansing has the right kind of ultrasound to do an adequate scan. X-rays do not show cartilidge, and so we'll have to go to U of M so the doctors know exactly the severity of the dsyplasia, just to be on the safe side.

I feel better talking to my friend Greg, the guitarist from Root Doctor. His daughter Rachel had the same thing. He told me the brace is a bit of a nuissance, but Rachel is now 10 and is perfectly fine.

Alison will hopefully be released tomorrow. I can't wait to have my girls home.

----Jim



This was me, Kristin, in my cast. This was one of the treatments for the hip dysplasia that I had. The next picture, if you look at my legs you can see that the tights are covering my braces that I had for a little while as well. I don't know what all was done to me - or the time line of events - maybe my annonymous commentor (my mother) can help explain a bit.

I wish, of course, that baby Stella didn't need to go through all of this, but I am grateful for the advancement of information and treatments for this type of birth defect, so that hopefully Stella won't need to have surgery or be placed in a body cast like I did.

Kristin


UPDATE:  Stella didn't have hip dysplasia.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Zora's Haircut

Zora cut her own hair yesterday -- My Mother sent an email out last night that Zora had cut her hair but it wasn't terribly clear as to what really happened, so here is todays message to explain to all of us...



Judith: (AKA my Mother, Nana) So….first of all I was so exhausted I couldn’t even write a coherent email! Anyway, I had told Zora that she needed to play by herself for a bit while I did up the dishes……..in just a couple of minutes she called down “Nana, come look what I’ve done”. I thought it was another art project. She had taken her kid scissors and trimmed her hair! She had dropped each clipping into the wastebasket, and was quite proud of herself. The result was about 4 chunks from the front bangs area…farther back so now it will stick straight up for a while (about ¼ to ½ inch long at the most), one spot that is right at the scalp in the front. Then she trimmed both sides a bit. (That part actually looks okay :o))………….Her mom is beside herself thinking Zora looks yucky. The whole thing is pretty funny. I don’t know if she gets to ever spend the night with me again or not! :o))

I spoke with Alison on the phone this morning and she was just beside herself at the condition of Zoras hair. She wanted to have a 4th birthday photo (her bday is next week) and now she is thinking it will be hard to get a good picture. Alison also said that they were just starting to put Zora's hair back into a ponytail, a little one, but a ponytail nonetheless. The new haircut just won't look as lovely in a pnytail, I guess.


Next, I received an email from Jim, the daddy in this family and he said this...



Jim: (AKA Daddy, my Brother in Law, Alison's husband) Here are some pics for everyone. (Posted in the message just before this one) Little baby is super cute. I am beside myself. She is so sweet. Zora is just too excited by all of this. She fell asleep with her butt up in the air, flat on her face on the couch this afternoon. She slept that way for an hour, before finally moving. Poor thing. Her hair isn't that bad.



Before and After!!


It is so funny how she looks like a different kid - not because of the haircut, but because of the smile LOL

Have a Great Day!
Kristin

More Baby Pics!

Here is Zora, Nana and new baby






New Baby!!





Zora, Jim and New Baby



Here is the whole family. Zora, Alison, New Baby and Jim.





New Baby!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

She's Here!! She's here!!

Here is the proud Daddy, Jim. I totally stole these photos from Jim's website -- www.organissimo.org Thanks Jim!!!
Here she is -- born 1:07 pm today, weighing in at 7 pounds 6 ounces. She is 20" long.
These next two photos my sister Hillary (another proud Auntie) took with her cell phone. Thanks Hillary!









This muddy gal is big sister Zora. She is going to just love the stuffin' out of new baby.

I can't wait to find out what they name new baby. I'll let you know.

Have a great day!
Kristin

The Patio Door

You wouldn't imagine that I have any other life other than these flip houses. Let me tell ya, the dishes have piled up this week. I actually (gasp) used the dishwasher today. The sheer number of glasses and plates was a bit overwhelming, so I decided to just chuck everything into the dishwasher (the first time this year I do believe) and get it done quickly. I just had to wash up the cutco knives and the countertop and cutting board and viola! The kitchen was clean.

OK, so about this patio door - this was for the Jupiter house. The first thing that you all need to know is that we did not get a French Door, we got a Patio Door. My Dear Husband says that a French Door is one that swings INTO the room and an OUTSWING door (like we purchased) is called a patio door. The patio door looks exactly like a french door - however, in this case, it has two doors and they both open. :)

Originally we wanted a 5' Patio door for the kitchen area, but of course it wasn't in stock the day we needed it, so we got the 6' Patio door. My contractor, Dan, had a heck of a time getting that sucker into it's spot in the kitchen wall. It was a rough Friday afternoon for him, that's for sure. After several hours, many gutteral sounds, some swings of the sledge hammer and a lot of liquid nails, the doors are in place. Whooo Hoooo!

Tom hired two guys to clean out the crawl space under the house of all the debris that ended up under there, to pull nails, sweep up, demo the kitchen walls and a few other projects - boy were they a great find. The house is really shaping up. I think I'm going to sneak over there today with the vacuum and do a little "extra" dust removal.

Have a great day!
Kristin

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Electricians, Plumbers & Contractors

Today was a pretty good day. The contractor arrived before 9, so did the electrician and his workers. The plumber who didn't arrive yesterday, did in fact get there today...at 4:48pm.

I don't have one problem at all with my contractor, Dan. He is great. He is nice, respects my opinion, gives me his and then quickly says "I can do what you want in 5 minutes, but I gotta know now" LOL He likes to just keep going. I thought the shower was too small (and it is) so he and Tom and the plumber all measured out a new shower and what walls would need to be moved. It wasn't going to be a big deal at all --- until all of a sudden we realized that the linen closet would now be 9" deep. The shower and walls and everything are back to the original small size.

The deal with the shower is this -- when they were measuring it out the other day, I suggested quite strongly that the shower area was not large enough and I asked for them to figure out a new configurations to make that shower bigger. In the end, I thought the shower had been increased...until today when I saw the chalk lines and the studs were put into place. Dan very patiently measured everything, told me how easy it would be to move the studs since they had just been put up and there wasn't any drywall put up, etc. So we measured again and again and again. The shower is going to be 36" square. There just isn't any other way for it to be. That's a pretty small shower for this day and age. Bummer.

What do you think -- should a 36" square shower have a shower curtain or a glass door?

The electricians put the main electrical panel in the wrong spot. The wall that had PANEL written in HUGE letters was mysteriously torn out and the panel was installed across the hall. It isn't a huge deal, but the darn thing is in the middle of the hallway. I didn't want it there. I wanted it at the end of the hall. grrrrrr

That was todays saga. Tomorrow begins at 8am. :)

Have a great day!
Kristin

Boy or Girl???


My sister is having a baby on Saturday (or sooner) - she must have a C-section so the baby is scheduled for Saturday morning, April 19th. This is a week early from her due date, so they don't expect the baby to arrive any earlier.

So, I think it's a girl. Jim's family is mostly girls and Alison is the middle kid of three girls.

This picture of Alison, Jim and Zora was taken last year - not sure what kind of mood Zora was in. How funny.


Here's Zora, soon to be the big sister, in a more current state.

WOW -- this is going to be so much fun. Baby number 2. Is it a girl? Is it a boy?

I'm guessing girl.

Girl

Girl

Girl

But I'd love to have a nephew, too.

Have a great day!
Kristin

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Flipping saga

This is the garage. The original color of the whole house and garage was this green color. I think it is pretty cool looking. I know that on "Little House on the Praire," they didn't have such bright colors, but the way this "window" is cut out and the way the paint has worn, immediately made me think of "Little House."




There was T-111 on the outside of this garage that was torn off one of the demo days. Now this original siding is going to be covered up again, I think. But whatever happens, the garage is going to look like the rest of the house & the whole place is going to be painted yellow. A yellow house with white trim and dark green accents. It is going to be lovely.

The electricians came today. We marked out all the spots for eletrical outlets, lights, smoke detectors, cable TV and Internet, telephone and under cabinet lighting for the kitchen. Also the exterior lights, washer and dryer and other assorted necessities.
Do you see where the electrical service comes stright to the very top of the front of the house? I didn't like that. So the electricians, whos trucks say "We fix your shorts" and "watts your problem", are going to move that main line to the side, on the next highest peak. It will be much nicer looking.

I am really hoping that the awning will get removed sometime tomorrow.

The flooring was removed entirely in the kitchen and in the bathroom area. All the way down to the sandy soil below. The plywood subfloors were just aweful, however the main support beams for the house are really solid. I guess they are incredibly hard - the contractors said that the wood is so hard that if termites do ever decide to munch on this house, they'd eat the drywall before they'd ever eat the support beams...they are just too dense and don't hold a drop of moisture. Good to know.

So that's what has happened these past two days -- More demo, no floors, electricians arrived, and work is going at a steady pace. I'm quite pleased with the process.

Have a great day!
Kristin

Ooooh, and I'm going to put captions in the pictures I posted the other day. I'm going to do that right now.

WFMW Pill Container

Welcome to another edition of Works For Me Wednesday! Each week hundreds of people from around the world gather at Rocks in My Dryer for WFMW and share their tips. Please take a look when you have finished here. Thanks & I'll see you again next week.

My fabulous tip this day after tax day (in the United States) is a handy dandy little pill container. This container not only holds my vitamins and my allergy tablet, but it also does a whole lot more! It keeps me on the right day. It helps me remember that I have taken my allergy tablet and I don't double dose myself. I don't know if I have actually double dosed on the allergy meds, but I have NOT taken one because I couldn't remember if I had already. This makes for a terrible evening when the residual medication from the past weeks has worn off. I usually just suffer through the allergy attack so I don't mess with my schedule of taking my vitamins and other assorted good-for-my-body pills in the morning around 9am.

Here is the picture of the pill container that I purchased about a month ago. I chose yellow. Nothing in my bathroom is yellow, so I wanted it to stand out in the crowd - make me aware of the daily habit I was forming -- Take your pills each morning. Take your pills each morning - well you get it. :)





I have also found that taking a multi-vitamin each day (for the past two years) I have physically felt a lot better than I ever had before. (That is an additional tip - take a multi-vitamin each day)



Here is the pill box open - I have a rather large multi-vitamin and a rather large omega-3 fish oil capsule and they fit quite nicely. This is probably a medium sized pill container. They had smaller ones, but I was afraid those fish oil capsules wouldn't fit. I got these at my local grocery store in the vitamin area of the store. $2-$5 depending on your style.

The side benefit of the Days of the Week on the pill box is that I am aware of what day it is! I know that sounds funny, but days can sort of string along without me really knowing if it's Sunday or Monday. Thursday is Survivor day, so I rarely miss that one LOL But seeing the day of the week first thing in the morning sort of cements that in my head for the day. Like I said - that's a side benefit.

Hope you enjoyed my Tip of the Week. I have really been enjoying reading the tips you all send in. Have A Great Day!

Kristin


Flip Pics

This is the tile flooring that was discovered underneath the layers of flooring in the bathroom. We were going to leave it and just put the subfloor over the top, but a structural problem was discovered under this, so this tile had to be torn out.



This is the cleaned up area - the master bedtroom all the way to the storage closet. Now however, it is a disater again. The chimney is gone, the floor is gone and all of the walls are gone.


This is a picture of the bottom of the kitchen flooring - all of the hundreds of nails. When taking out the subfloor our carpenters found that some of the flooring had been bolted to the floor - actual bolts with washers and nuts underneath. Our best guess was that they were trying to get the warped floor under control. This floor was the devil for my demo guys. Millions of nails, boards bolted together, three subfloors - ugh. It is gone now.


This is one of the electrical switches. Old wiring, old switches, old everything. The house had "grounded" outlets, but they weren't actually grounded. This place was just waiting to burn up. No need to worry anymore - we are rewiring the entire place. All new everything.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Jupiter Day Three

Tom and I met with Dan and Kenny (The contractors) today to finalize the plans for the bathrooms. I say finalize, but we never actually had anything written - just that we wanted there lol With all of the walls & ceilings down it was so much easier to measure and map out the spaces today. The floors have outlines of toilets and tubs and vanities and showers. It is fun. The master bedroom gained about 18 square feet. The master closet went from a 4 square foot space to a small walk in closet. The master bathroom will have a large shower, toilet and vanity. The main bathroom will have the tub/shower vanity and toilet. The chimney in this house will be torn down because we have it all exposed right now and that space will become the new linen closet. The linen closet that is in the house now will be a part of the second bedroom closet and will double that space.

Dan and Kenny have inspected the walls in the kitchen and we have all determined that we need to demo the kitchen walls...so we'll call the demo guys back this week and get that all torn out.

If nothing else this house has officially lost weight! We have taken off the plaster walls and layers and layers of flooring. The chimney is thousands of pounds, too. We are replacing concrete and brick steps with decking and we are taking off the horrible front awning and replacing it with a pergola. The lighter and brighter tone of the house is going to make it lovely! I can hardly wait to have it finished and I'm only on day three.

Have A Great Day!
Kristin

Springfield Days 1 & 2

The Springfield house is getting renovated fast and furious. On day one (Sunday the 13th) we got the carpet and padding out, the toilet, sink and vanity removed, the floor in the kitchen and the entire floor in the bathroom (all the way down to the ground, literally) and the refrigerator moved from the kitchen to the lawn.

Today, day two, Robert and a new guy, they call Pops worked on repairing the floor in the bathroom, removed all the kitchen cabinets and the stove. Tom is planning on listing the cabinets and the stove on Craigs List or on FreeCycle. They are good enough to use again, that's for sure.

I took pictures last night before a lot of the kitchen demo - but I did get a picture of the beginning of the Hole in the Floor in the bathroom before I left for home. I want to go over tomorrow and see what's happening. Robert and Pops are supposed to be there at 8am.

I suggested that instead of demolishing the chimney (which is no longer needed) and demolishing the pantry, that we keep it and take down the wall between the dining room and kitchen and just expand the kitchen that way. I think that just taking out the wall would be much less mess and time consuming and would give a much more open concept. Taking out the chimney would give us an additional 4 square feet. I think we can leave those feet for someone else to demo if they'd like.

Tom really liked my plan for the kitchen and thinks that is the way to go... so that's the plan! I'm excited. I didn't even have to explain why my idea was better! LOL

I'll post this and then get the pictures in on the other computer.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Juptier Day Three

Day Three arrived with rain for about half of the day. This was actually a real good thing because the boys needed to take off some of the siding and it really minimized the dust. The siding was from 1947 so it was more than likely asbestos. We got the boys respirators and followed all of the codes. The small area that we needed to come off was very easy to work with and came off without any troubles, thankfully.

We ended up having a full day of clean-up left on the house. We had a crew of five until 1:30pm when two of them had other plans. Then the three remaining, plus Tom and I went into overdrive to get that place cleaned up. The debris in the closet, bathroom area seemed to multiply throughout the day. It was almost finished when bam - something new was discovered and needed to be demo'd. We found some cool old tile - the octogon shaped small tiles in blue with white flowers. That was an unexpected find. I'll post a picture tomorrow.

The chimney is cool, too. It isn't needed anymore since there is no longer a furnace needing to use it - so to add space to the bathroom, masterbed room project, we are demolishing the chimney. I am not sure who is doing that or when it is going to happen, but I'm excited about it. The top of the chimney is red brick, the middle is white brick and the bottom is cinder block. It looks like the white bricks have almost completely pulled away from the mortar and is just locked in like a puzzle piece. I hope the white bricks are individual because I'd like to save them for a gardening project for that house. We'll just have to see I guess. If nothing else I'll save what I can and make a stepping stone out of them lol

I pulled staples out of the ceiling today. I started this project on Friday, but didn't really get much accomplished until today. Each 12" square acoustic tile was set in place with three staples. Thankfully the staples used just barely stuck into the wooden strips mounted on the ceiling, so they were fairly easy to get out with a pair of pliers. However, my middle finger on my right hand is starting to get a blister. I can see it. I went around and showed the soon to be blistered finger to all of the worker bees this afternoon. They all told me I should probably call it quits for the day. I'm so glad that they understood the joking nature of the "soon to be blistered finger" because those boys worked so hard today. I wouldn't want them to think that I was that much of a whiner LOL

Speaking of whining. I'm so tired! I'm so sore! My feet hurt! my legs, my arms, my fingers, my scalp, everything. It feels good in a way but not that good! The next few weeks I will more of an observer to the house being recreated, so it is nice that I got to help right away in the beginning. I love seeing all of the layers in the floors (even though they are so hard to remove!) and when you think you have hit the last layer, another is revealed - like the unexpected tile in the bathroom. Part of the floor had been removed at one time and that tile had been replaced, but some was left behind for us to find. And we are leaving it behind for someone else to find. I love the tiny closets with the wooden shelves and the notches cut out for the rods. I love the hardwood floors being revealed. This really is a great project.

See you tomorrow for Day four! (And an update on the Springfield house)

Kristin

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Pics day two

This is one of the bedrooms & below is the same bedroom with the carpet removed. I am truly surprised at how nice the hardwood floors look. The other bedroom is nearly identicle.





This is a view from the Master bedroom, through the demolished closet, bathroom and all the way into the storage area, which will also become a bathroom.


This is that Kitchen floor. I don't think this picture even comes close to showing how many layers and how many nails were in that floor. Dean is working on it, in this photo.

The green side is the laundry room. We've taken the wall out between the kitchen and the laundry room and will push it back about two - three feet to give us room for a dining room table in the kitchen. The laundry room should still be fairly large. The door to the exterior will no longer be in the laundry room, we are putting in French Doors in the kitchen, which will lead to a deck.

Jupiter Day Two

It didn't start off well today - Everyone agreed at 8am, so I arrived at 8am and not a soul showed up until 9. I would have loved an extra hour of sleep this morning instead of sitting at a house with no workers.

The day picked up though - Bill (carpenter) arrived with Robert (who is our carpenter and who is going to live in the Springfield flip) & he brought along Dean. Those three got to work right away (the steam coming from my ears might have helped) and then about an hour later Tom arrived with Glen and Jerry. They all worked real hard today. We got a lot done & the 30 yard dumpster is nearly full.

I found out something interesting from the neighbor - there are two large holes, one on either side of the driveway, she said that area used to have palm trees. I wondered what had been there. Since this house was a foreclosure, the guy dug up the palms and sold them. He also sold the furnace/Air Conditioner unit and all of the appliances, but I hear that's typical. I didn't realize that plantings were normally dug up and sold though.

Here is what was completed today...or finished since yesterday.

-the wall between the master bedroom and bath - gone (there was a closet inbetween, too)

- the entire bathroom gutted

- Furnace room next to bathroom torn down. We are going to put the new air handler in the attic space.

- former coat closet/storage area , nearly gutted. It houses the electrical panel, so that wall was left intact, but the rest is gone.

-The kitchen cabinets - all gone.

- The kitchen floor. Oh goodness, this was horrid. The floor was nailed down, more nailed down than I had ever seen in my life. It took about 6 hours for these guys to get the floor up. It has a subfloor, then a particle board floor, then two layers of lino, then cement board, then tile. The cement board was nailed with 2" nails, 4-6 nails per square foot. This is just one of the things you find when redoing a home... people do the strangest things! The cement board could have just been glued and that would have made this job a 1-2 hour job.

- the exterior of the garage was rotting, so that wood has been removed.

- The insulation was just loose stuff. Most of it is now gone, everywhere where we took out walls or ceilings.

- The laundry room floor is being removed. That isn't done yet.

- The wall between the laundry room and kitchen has been removed. (We are making the kitchen a few feet larger, since the laundry room was so large.)

-We had one guy bagging trash all day. Most of it was plaster and insulation from the masterbedroom, bath, storage area.

-the carpets in the other two bedrooms were removed & revealed that the hardwood floors are still excellent.

All of our carpenters and workers are coming back tomorrow. The kitchen floor really held us up and we need to get another days worth of demo done before Monday morning when the Contractor, Dan, comes ready to work.

That was today. I will post pictures shortly.

I may post those photos after I have a bath. :)

Have a Great Day!
Kristin

Friday, April 11, 2008

Zora Mail


Here is Zora with her Grandpa - my Dad. I'm so bummed the picture is a bit fuzzy, it is one of the only pictures of Zora that I have where she isn't moving!


Alison's birthday was the other day and Zora's birthday is coming up. I guess she was thinking about one or the other when she drew this cake and ice cream theme. Look at the cherry on top of the ice cream!


I'm not sure if this is a kitty because there is a leash involved. I haven't seen my name written by Zora before, so this is great. To Kristin From Zora