Sunday, March 28, 2010

I'm floored!

After remaining in its boxes for 2 weeks, my craft room flooring is installed!!!  We finally had all the tools, the time, and nice enough weather to install the floating floor.  I even got a chance to cut with the miter saw myself.

It took us all weekend to lay down Pergo for the 12x14 room, but it looks great!

Here is a pic of us just starting the floor on Saturday.

The flooring wasn't too difficult to install; the trickiest part was around the closet doorway.  We only goofed up three times...all on the same board.  The first time we messed up, Jim cut a corner on the wrong side.  We tried using the piece a second time in a different spot, but Jim cut it too short.  The final time we screwed up, we needed a very thin piece for an edge, but we cut it too thin.  lol.  Atleast we only wasted one plank.  ^_^*

Here is a pic of Jim 1/2 way through the install, and towards the end.  Jim is pondering the easiest way to do the closet doors in the last pic.

Tomorrow, we plan to nail in the baseboards and mount the heat registers.  After that, I can start to move in my stuff.  I'm very excited.  This room seems like it has taken us more than the 2 months to complete.  I still need to paint the window sills, but that will have to wait until the weather is a little warmer and drier.  

Now, if we could only get the door to submit to our will.  It wasn't as perfect a match as we had once thought.  It will still fit, but we need to move the hinges a little.  You can see the bottom of the door in the first pic of this post chill'n in Jim's office.

I've sucked up quite a few of our uninvited house guests (lady bugs) with my vacuum cleaner and evicted them outdoors.  The number indoors is finally starting to dwindle.  Yea!  

I saw a shirt the other day that made me laugh.  I wanted to buy it for Jim to wear while doing yardwork.  It was a pic of a guy mowing the lawn with the words: "I wish my lawn was emo so that it would cut itself."  I laughed so hard when I saw it.

Monday, March 22, 2010


Well, my flooring is still sitting in its boxes.  T_T
We were going to start installing it on Saturday after we stopped by a few estate sales, but we couldn't even get passed step one which required a tool we didn't have...a circular saw.  Jim has been beating himself over it because we saw some circular saws and other tools at the estate sales, but Jim decided against buying them at the  time.  Doh!  Fortunately, we went to my in-laws on Sunday and were able to borrow my FIL's circular saw.  Hopefully, we can get started on the flooring this week.
I've done some research on lady bugs, and it turns out we don't have lady bugs in our house; we have Asian lady  beetles.  They are very similar except that Asian lady beetles hibernate in the winter whereas lady bugs don't.  The good news is that they aren't harmful; they don't eat fabric or wood or cause any other damage.  They also don't breed or lay eggs indoors.  The bad news is that I can't really do too much to get rid of them except vacuum them up and release them outside.  The websites suggested trying to prevent them from entering the house in the autumn by sealing up all the cracks and holes on the exterior.  This is a big, old house, however, and I don't think we'll be very successful with that.
We did manage to clean out some of our gutters on Saturday.  Only the ones on the south-side of the house seemed to have stuff in them.  We only managed to clean the lower gutters since it started to get too windy before we could attempt the higher ones.
I found out one of our neighbors has chickens since I heard a rooster crowing over the weekend.
Jim switched out the shower head in the upstairs bathroom earlier in the week.  He didn't realize that he had forgotten a gasket until he had it all reassembled and tightened.  Oops!  Don't you just hate it when that happens?  He had to take it apart all over again so that he could put it where it belonged.
I promise to post pics once the flooring goes down.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Great Ladybug Massacre of March 2010

Ugh!  These darn ladybugs seem to be everywhere!  I swear I seem to be killing the same ladybug over and over again.  At first, I would only see them one at a time, but now they've multiplied.  The most I've killed at one time has been 17.  The were all concentrated around one particular window in the upstairs bonus room.  I guess I should do some research on ladybugs online to see how best to get rid of them.  Does anyone know if I should be worried about ladybugs damaging something, like fabric for instance?
Since I'm on the topic of bugs anyway,  I'll give an update on our basement spider traps.  At first, Jim didn't catch anything in the traps.  Nothing seemed interested...until Jim caught a bug and threw it in the gooey thing.  This must have attracted the spiders because there were quite a few in the trap after that.  Nothing was as big as the original spiders Jim sucked up with the shop vac...Thank goodness!  I'd like to believe that Jim sucked up all the giant ones the first time...wishful thinking I'm sure.  Jim was wondering if after a few years, spider/cob webs turn black.  He told me that when he was cleaning up the cellar, he sucked up quite a few black looking spiderwebs that were in hard to reach places.  Maybe they were decades old spiderwebs. *shudder*
Ok, enough about bugs, or you guys might never want to come visit us!
In other news:
The flooring we had ordered came in early--they told us it would take 12 days, but it only took 5--so we are stoked about that.  Jim is pretty confident that we'll be able to install it ourselves since it is a floating floor.  We made sure to watch the appropriate "How To" videos at lowe', so we are ready to go! lol.  The baseboards have all been cut and painted.  I'll be finishing up priming and painting the closet and doorway trim today.  Once the weather is warm enough, I can paint the windows.  We took the craft room door off its hinges yesterday so that we can test the extra door we found in the garage.  It was a perfect fit.  The hinges lined up perfectly and everything!  The previous owners must have intended this door to go there, but for some reason or another never got around to it.  It doesn't have a doorknob, so we'll have to buy one for it.  The current doorknob on the old door is in poor shape, so we don't want to just switch it out to the new door.  I want to get a silver/chrome colored knob for it.  Unfortunately, all the other door knobs in the house (except for the few remaining originals) are gold/brass colored.  I very much prefer silver, so we may eventually be replacing the other knobs as we work on each room.
I keep watching the squirrels out my kitchen window.  They are going to be quite sad little squirrels come warmer weather and we take down the 2 little trees that they use as there main means to get from the front to back yards.  They use one to climb up on our roof, and the other to climb back down.  The 2 trees are too close to our foundation, and one is especially too close to our well.  Why the previous homeowners allowed these trees to grow there is beyond me.  I think we can handle taking the 2 little trees down ourselves, but we'll have to call a professional to give us an estimate on taking a GIANT tree down that is too near the house.  It's a shame to take it down since this tree looks as old as the house, but we need to take it down for a few reasons:
1.  This tree makes it difficult to back out of the garage if you are parked on the left side.
2.  It is too near our septic lines
3.  (the major reason)  It is way too big and too near our house.  If it was to fall, no matter which way it went, it would either completely take out our house, our garage, or our neighbors house...none of those are good options.
We're waiting for leaves to grow on it so we can more easily identify the species of tree.  Maybe if it is a furniture wood tree, some furniture maker will take it down for free.  lol, more wishful thinking.
Well, that should be enough for now, I have work to do.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Mitering Away the Day

Yesterday, my dad brought his miter saw and helped us get molding from Lowe's.  Thanks, Dad!  Jim read the manual last night, and started mitering the baseboards today.  In fact, he is finishing up the mitering as I type this. We also went back to Lowe's today (we'll all be on a first name basis soon  ^_^*) and ordered the flooring for the craft room.  In the end, I decided on Pergo Premium Laminate Flooring; it ended up being cheaper than carpeting.  I really love the look of darker colored woods for flooring, but none of them seemed to go well with my blue walls, so I actually decided on a lighter flooring called Old Magnolia.  It has a yellowish hue that looks lovely against the cool tones of the blue.  I promised myself that I could get a darker toned wood for the kitchen, dining room, and library when the time comes to tackle those rooms.  They told us we'd have to wait about 2 weeks for the flooring to come in, and then let the flooring acclimate to the room for another 3 days before we install it.  So close, and yet so far!!!
Jim told me about the silver dollar sized black spiders he saw in the cellar when he was cleaning up down there, so while we were out today, we bought a spider trap.  Spiders typically freak me out big time.  Well, basically anything with more than 6 legs kind of makes me nervous, but spiders especially creep me out.  I'll let you guys know if we catch anything.

Here is a pic of Jim having fun with the miter saw:
And yes, that is our kitchen table.

Tomorrow, I plan on painting the trim around the closet and door.  I want to paint the windows as well, but that will have to wait until the weather warms up just a smidge.  The door on the craft room isn't the greatest looks-wise (just a solid plank of wood), but it is perfectly functional.  I was secretly hoping I could eventually replace the door in the future, but there is so much other stuff that has priority right now.  Well, we did a little hunting around in the garage today, and we found an unused 6 panel door hiding behind a huge plank of wood!  Jim took some measurements and it looks like the door will fit the craft room with only a little adjustment.  Score!

Friday, March 5, 2010

And then there was light!

My craft room is finally starting to look like how I envisioned it to be.  Today, Jim installed the light fixture that we bought at Lowe's.  Here is a pic of it.

Tomorrow my dad is coming over and we plan on buying the baseboard molding and cutting it to size with his miter saw.  Yea, Dad!  I plan on thanking him with a home-cooked meal of meatloaf and steamed potatoes.  
I've brought home some carpet and pergo floor samples from Lowe's to compare which colors I like best with my blue walls.  Whether I go with carpeting or laminate will probably be decided on price.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Snow Progress

The craft room remodel has basically come to a halt thanks to all this snow we've been having.  Both our parents were going to come out last weekend to help us out, but a big snow storm hit the area and they had to cancel.  Neither Jim's nor my vehicle is good for hauling things, so we were going to take advantage of our parents' van or SUV to pick up molding from Lowe's.  The snow thwarted our plans however.  We were also going to borrow my dad's miter saw to cut the molding into the appropriate sizes, but that didn't happen either obviously.  The weather forecast for this weekend is supposed to be sunny, so hopefully our parents will be available this weekend.  Once we get the molding up, we can get the flooring installed, and then I can start moving stuff into that room!  Yes!
In other news, we discovered there was an ominous red blinking light on our furnace last week.  We had a furnace guy come out and inspect the furnace.  He changed the filters, but otherwise gave our furnace a clean bill of health.  We'll have the central air checked out this summer.  I'm not sure how often we'll end up using the air conditioner though.  I'm a freeze baby, so I tend to get too cold when air conditioners are used.  I prefer the old-fashioned method of opening windows.
I went to the local library last week to see if I could dig up any information on the history of our home.  I was told that they don't have the resources, and that I should check with either the local historical society or the main county library.  I found that a little odd...the local library not having information about the town's history?  I felt as astonished as Hermione when she was looking for books on horcruxes and couldn't find anything at the Hogwarts library.  I called the curator of the historical society, but she wasn't much help at the moment either.  It turns out that the historical society had to move to a new location because the local fire department wanted to use their former location for fire practice.  Most of their stuff is currently in storage and they won't be able to move to their new location until August.  August!  She said she'd look through some of the boxes to see what she could find, but I won't keep my hopes up.  I guess this means a trip to the main county library for me.

Some small progress

Nearly a month ago now, Amanda and I spent some time mapping out each circuit controlled by the primary (basement) circuit breaker panel. After this initial investigation, we concluded that there are some wild and elaborate networks sprawled throughout our walls. For example, one breaker was helpfully labeled "washer" by the prior owner; we learned that this breaker controlled: (A) florescent light in the kitchen, (B) front door lights and outdoor outlet, (C) overhead light/fan in the dining room, (D) lights for the staircase, (E) vanity light, ventillation fan and GFCI outlet in the downstairs bathroom, (F) only one of the outlets in the library, (G) everything in the second story master bedroom, and (H) the back door doorbell!

Yesterday afternoon I started a small project to rewire two of the downstairs rooms. The goal was to consolidate all outlets in the library and my office/den onto one 15A breaker, and properly ground all outlets. The majority of the project went well. We were able to fish new romex wire through preexisting holes, and establish a common ground path for all outlets. However, one of the outlets in the library proved to be quite the puzzle. To start, I tried to yank out the old wire & conduit from the basement ceiling, while Amanda fed a new line into the wall. After some effort though, we were obviously stuck. Investigation turned into a bit of excavation, unearthing more wires. Looking in the wall, we can see the conduit going up from the basement (to who-knows-where), a cloth insulated cord coming down, and a 4" length romex wire connected to a two-wire appliance cord going down (to who-knows-where). This newly discovered enigma is now electrically isolated, and temporarily on hold. It will take some intrusive investigation to figure out just what is going on, but I suspect that there is a secret junction box buried inside the wall somewhere in the library. Sounds like a treasure hunt to me.