Debts of Gratitude are owed

Bloged in kitchen remodel by mark Wednesday June 29, 2005

As we begin to step back and view our progress on our home project, we’re really realizing how many people have helped make this happen, and we feel they are all owed a big debt of gratitude. Richard began early on with professional advice (he built their home from scratch) as did Dave and Deborah who are also building a beautiful custom home near us. Baird and Karen have loaned us several important tools, the most valuable has turned out to be the shop vac. We’re always indebted to them anyway………. Paul Barstow came over one night and helped with framing (his partner Kristen helped us with easing Tucker into doggie heaven). Architect Roushdi had a few things to say about layout that we have used. Paula and Karen had several hints for us while they visited. Neighbor Peter and lisa did the same. Nancy provided us with a contact that turned out to be an enjoyable beginning of friendship, our electrician Carri (who we saw help start up the Gay Pride Parade on her Harley with partner Francis on the back). Hayes Cabinets have turned out to be completely reliable both in product and workmen (Robert, also gay by coincidence) has been as professional, helpful, thorough, as could be expected. Kaye Rochlin even brought us over some Chicken Ragout as she pained at reading out tired stories of peanut butter sandwiches, etc. This part of our project has made us tremendously grateful for friendships that prove themselves with all the help we’ve been given.

A vision is becoming reality

Bloged in kitchen remodel by mark Wednesday June 29, 2005

Friends and Neighbors one and all:

Guess what? We “think” our friendship has survived the worst part of a kitchen remodel and have had a rush of activity this past two weeks that sharply brings the new world into focus. :shock: We now begin a down period of about two weeks while the countertop fabricators prepare the material for delivery about July 11 ….. or so.

However, IN that two weeks, we have to get a lot of work done like install the hood (it’s hanging there without ducting) up in the attic, get all the insulation back up in the attic, find and choose flooring material and color, etc etc etc not to mention begin to learn how to use a convection oven. Hurray.

Cabinets arrived in this truck Thursday, July 23:

Doesn’t look like much, does it? It didn’t even look like there was enough “stuff” in there to fill up the little kitchen space.

Here’s how it looked about an hour later:

The delivery boys left, and installer “Robert” showed up about 30 minutes later in a big van FULL of every kind of tool:

He went right to work, spent the entire day with no lunch measuring, leveling, eyeballing, sawing, shimming, hanging cabinets, re-leveling, trimming, cutting out sink and cooktop openings:

He didn’t finish that day or the next and will be back July 8 ahead of the countertops to finish up.

Mark was able that evening to the job he’s most experienced at:

After two months, we were more than thrilled to experiment with a few things that night like, “Does this ONE drawer hold all those pans?”

By the next evening, we couldn’t wait any longer and got the fridge back into the kitchen hooked up to water and ice-maker. Hm. . . . we easily figured out why underneath the machine was lots of dust:

BUT. Here’s one look at the cabinets as they “hang” today, and it’s not bad. We even have a little corner for making toast, eggs, cereal, etc. No water for two more weeks:

Carri helped us hook up the oven so there was no waiting there either. We immediately baked some chicken thighs as an experiment and they were great. Mark, however, got overconfident the next day letting the bread machine mix up some bread dough and being in a hurry, didn’t have the 3-4 hour time to let it rise properly. While the taste was great, there was kind of a doughy middle! Still made good toast.

And………….Since then, as stated, the Countertop Fabricator’s been in who’s built a template from those plywood tops and so we won’t see him for at last two weeks. We travel tomorrow to Salem to help them decide how the slabs are cut up.

We can’t believe how great the kitchen looks, and are getting more confident that our own little design for the space is going to work great. We can’t wait to see the finished product.

Hope all’s well with you, /Mark & Rodger.

A light at the end of the Kitchen Tunnel?

Bloged in kitchen remodel by mark Monday June 20, 2005

Kitchen: Drywall and paint brings hope

Things are happening quickly now, and the new cabinets get installed this very week by Thursday and Friday, June 23 & 24. The drywall began to arrive last Friday:

The room continued in a very dirty condition, but was quickly getting re-built:

By day’s end it was done. Not dry enough the next day to tape and mud, they came in Monday and finished. Dry, dry dry…..by Wednesday we began to paint. Now, nearly a week later, we have finished painting using 6 gallons of paint for this one room. That was what it took to cover up new drywall and color it right:

Now Rodger began to worry about the Hood being squeezed between cabinets:

As it turned out, Standard Appliance failed to prove they could get our hood in time, so Mark located the distributor and called. They immediately stated we should be talking to the store and not them so Mark calmly told them the store has been no help and had began simply saying baloney about being unable to track shipments…..THIS they’re saying to a man who worked in transportation shipping for 31 years. I only got the salesman to apologize after firmly saying, “You mean YOU have never heard of global positioning satellites? If I had two ID items on this hood from Zephyr, I could tell you where that ship is in about 10 minutes. He had been saying NO one could possibly know where a ship is at in the ocean, so naturally, could not possibly know when the hood would be in. That was when Mark knew they didn’t care enough to find something out. So, anyway, the distributor was told the sale would be canceled and “thank you for your time.” It wasn’t 15 minutes later and Standard Appliance was calling to announce that the same hood was on site AT the distributor in Seattle, and had been on hold for another customer who wasn’t ready for it……they would have it to us by Wednesday. Odd how that worked, that it took MARK to make the call, the store was of no help. Now that we had the hood by Thursday, Measurements were reviewed again:

The house is still a mess and eating out is a primary source of our meals, but when we cook something simple it goes through gyrations of finding stuff, most common used items are here on a rack in the Family Room:

Don’t forget there are shelves, stands, boxes in every room of the house …..how did it all fit in that old kitchen?

With painting done we still review the vision of what’s going to happen, and here is that source of inspiration, our samples all in once muggy view:

Can you visualize the new kitchen that will be in place about 3 weeks from now by looking at that pic?

Oh well, a trip to the HazMat place tomorrow, and we can then begin to try to pry up as much of the old floor as we can get. By Wednesday, we should have a quiet day to await NEW STUFF!

Today, Mark did take a few hours to plant the corn starts out in the garden since the day reached 80 and was beautiful. On the down side, after trapping 6 moles, there are STILL new holes coming up on all sides so six traps are still set……I am SURE that all the clear-cutting next door drove a few more out than normal.

As we mention our Kitchen adventure to folks, we here LOTS of different stories. One guy at Costco said to me, “Well, I hope you make it through without ending up in divorce.” It IS a struggle to continue thinking about all this and doing grunt work since March. Our Vet has a friend who, along with his wife, are doing EVERY item themselves in their remodel, and they are not replacing cabinets but refacing them. Their kitchen has been torn up for a year, and they’re still not close to being finished. That’s what happens when both people work all day and then he is going to do Everything from scratch…..THAT would be a nightmare.

Intrepid Rocks, our granite company, and their intrepid agent, Andrea Morgan, have outdone themselves. We already had three slabs chosen with our name on them. At that point, I figured they were done with us. On Friday Morning, ANDREA, who was in on her day off for a bit, called to say there were new slabs of our granite “Juperana Pompei” in and they looked very nice so thought we might want to see it. Someone was already there looking….. We hopped right down to find gorgeous beautiful slabs. We immediately changed our selection from what we had to these new ones and can’t say enough about Andrea to have gone that extra mile to help us. IF you ever need granite, make sure you talke to HER at Intrepid Rocks. Intrepid is a name that’s been mentioned quite a few times by others when we’ve mentioned that we were using them. It appears everyone who’s worked with them has been happy.

So there we have it. Hopefully NEXT weekend, we’ll be putting stuff stored all over the house back into new kitchen cabinets even though countertops and appliances won’t be working for another two weeks or so.

Odd observation: AS we get so close to having done all we can do, every day seems a long list is made up of little things that MUST be done the next day. The hidden fact of being the “General Contractor” we guess.

****ON OTHER THINGS:
**ALL our bird traffic MUST be feeding young. They are seen at feeders ALL DAY LONG and draining them fast……….. what a wonderful thing to watch. The DAMN Jays already brought a fledged set o-young to the feeders. Mark got home one day to find 7 jays hogging every post in the back……and not a tiny bird to be seen. We’re seeing fewer and almost NO Male Hummingbirds………my, how this time is short here for them.

So, Nancy, rest easily knowing your hummingbirds are still being fed with clean fresh food ……….. interesting though, the feeding has dropped big time just with this warm air….I’m sure they won’t need as much, but I’m wondering how many males have “flown the coop”…………. HAH.

Mark & Rodger.

In Other update news….

Bloged in birding,garden,General Home Life by mark Monday June 13, 2005

We seem so swallowed up in one long boring project, but finally, a few other things are beginning to surface.
1) Saturday Mark visited cousins Nancy and Warden to see how they were doing. Warden is no undergoing both radiation and chemo. Cousin Nancy Purvine had traveled down from Seattle so we had a great visit and Warden felt really good that afternoon.

2) Sunday, we both went to a Sunday Breakfast at our favorite (“neighborhood” = closest place that’s great: the John St. Cafe) place with 6 other folk. Thomas and Brenda Ebert/Hoppe bought a home in St Johns. Brenda works at OHSU near Rodger, Thomas is completing an education at PSU relating to environmental issues, i.e., recycling, a noble pursuit. They are so active outdoors it’s amazing. They just got back from Thailand doing a hiking trip. Brenda just found out she’s expecting her first baby, so they’re both excited. They had friends over Saturday night, and we joined them all Sunday. We met other interesting St. Johns folk, and really enjoyed out visit.

3) We really ARE eating lettuce from the garden regularly although I hardly put any effort in making it work, so that’s been fun. Somehow the coffee grounds treatment (and some bait) held off the pests throughout our damp previous month. We have herbs that SHOULD be picked and dried…..maybe we’ll get to that next week. We picked our first green onions, cilantro, and are keeping a close eye on tomatoes that are now fully out of the top of the water jackets, so may be introduced to the real world tomorrow or very soon. About 36 corn starts (with three plants each) are up in pots….I thought that was something I could get planted that won’t take too much work.

4) We will NOT be canning this year probably……………NO Christmas Gifts, so sorry ! ! ! ! !

5) Our baby Robins have flown the nest ! ! ! Other babies are beginning to make themselves shown…… a juvenile song sparrow got scared out into the open by the lawn mower….. oops, and what seems to be baby finches are being seen. Nature is at work.

Oh well……………………

It’s all Downhill from Here ! (?)

Bloged in kitchen remodel by mark Monday June 13, 2005

Looking back, I see we didn’t explain how we’ve lucked out in a few details.

1) We didn’t HAVE to do a nightmare struggle under the narrow dirty crawl space…..we’d figured we had to crawl clear to the west end of the place to get around ducts, crawl completely back to somehow find the wires and drag them the mere 6-7 feet to the island openings. WELL. Carri brought a “fishing wire”….intended to grab errant wires in bad places and bring them back to the proper place. Well, it just happened that Rodger had opened up the floor next to where one bunch of her wires had been sunk because a furnace duct was there that we had to seal off. Rodger left it open that night, Carri used it to stuff herself into the opening with that fishing wire, and luckily, got BOTH of the sets of fires into the right place. That was a BIG lucky break.

2) The Drywall contractor has been great, and persistent getting the job done. They completed sanding this morning and spraying early afternoon. Mark began the obnoxious cleaning job immediately and by 4:30 today, we have a big dent done in that thanks to a LOT of plastic cover sheets placed early on in the weekend hoping to save some of the cleanup. It worked. Mark mopped, washed, dusted, washed towels, rags, and so we have the kitchen space ready to paint and one bathroom clean, the L/R cleaned up (thanks to the covers), etc.

It is INCREDIBLE and hard to believe that the Biggest cleaning struggles are getting behind us. Of course, there will be more cleanup, but that lung clogging dirty dust dirty demolition stuff is done and sealed up with new wallboard!

We even made headway on selecting paint colors thanks to inputs from neighbors and friends Smiths and Saylors. Looks like the first sealer coats go on Wednesday and then we can play with the kitchen final paint jobs thursday and over the w/e. CABINETS just a week from Thursday! WOW ! And within two or maybe three at most, weeks, after that, we’ll get countertops and then finally get plumbed and hooked up.

I can Breathe clean air this evening!

Pace of work and decisions gets even Faster

Bloged in kitchen remodel by mark Friday June 10, 2005

We THOUGHT we were going to be able to relax for a day or two. Just the morning after Carri finished her electric work two days early, the selected Drywall Contractor says he has a crew READY to go (from a call here at 0730)….we were in the room in a minute moving things out, covering, etc, and most of all, replacing the insulation in the bathroom walls to soundproof them. The great drywall team finished the basic work in one day, and are back this morning to re-mud. They will sand and texture on Monday and we will probably paint next Thursday.

The Range Hood is still on a boat somewhere between Seattle and who knows where and we’ve gotten the run-around so long, we are going to cancel that order with some frustration in hand. We could do that because we found a dealer in Southern California who has everything in stock and will ship it to us so we’ll actually have the hood here before the cabinets arrive. Whew!

That meant we spent yesterday looking around at paint, and beginning to address home issues that are being ignored: both cars overdue for service, dog overdue for shots, house is a mess (usual), Mark overdue for dentist, etc etc. PAINT COLORS are going to become an issue?? If you just look at the TAN Color Family, they’ll open up a range of about 300 tan selections. Look at Yellow and you’ll get about 300 yellows. How do you EVER make a choice.

Oh well. back to work.

demolition comes to a stop

Bloged in kitchen remodel by mark Tuesday June 7, 2005

So. As of June 5, demolition began to slow, and details had to get finished as Carri, our electrician found through the good graces of Nancy G, began her work. The doorway into the Living Room shows framing removed, opening widened, and of course, junk piled in the “formal” area…hah hah

And this is showing framing work beginning. Rodger framed in the doorway that went to the entry so it now awaits drywall, finishing, painting, cabinets, countertop and then?

Looking exactly the opposite direction, the sink pass-through is now framed in a little more and you can plainly see the beautiful convection oven sitting there useless:

But after each session, cleanup continued, and as the demolition finished, progress looks beautiful. Carri tore out miles of wire and confused electrics and yesterday put in new wire that today awaits placement:

All that’s failed so far was Mark’s attempt to go underneath the floors and find wires placed through the floor to be dragged to the future island spot for hookups. He couldn’t find a place to get under ducting, piping and gave up after two attempts and a chest full of insulation dust. Today he has a headache, and for some reason, Carri thinks SHE is going to get under there and find it. It will require a complete circling of the under crawl space if it will work at all. So THAT story remains to be told.

Rodger filled in the floor holes last night, and finished framing everything.

Whew. Now we have to run tubing for the ice maker through some lumber (tonight) and get ducting to install a range hood that is NOW becoming LATE in its expected delivery. Typical project stories, eh?

The Dirty Work turns a corner

Bloged in kitchen remodel by mark Tuesday June 7, 2005

We’re throwing in a couple of pics showing the dirty demolition work and actually these are a couple days old. Work is further along than this. WE have turned away from the black hole and are at the first stages of rebuild, HOORAY!

But removing insulation and cabinets was a dirty job:

Yep, that’s what we looked like while vacuuming out the loose insulation sitting above the kitchen ceilings that had to be removed. Then the shop-vac would have to be emptied every few minutes.

The vac contents would be emptied into plastic bags so it can be reused after new construction is done:

There are now 22 bags of these up in the attic awaiting a date late next week.
And so then the real demolition could begin:

The dirty work continued as drywall was torn out and cabinets knocked down to remove. Ovens into the back of a pickup and we made 4 trips to the meto center over a couple of days:

The dust on Rodger shown here after one night’s stint at the vacuum lies in a layer throughout the house even behind closed bedroom doors:

We finally have an open ceiling and open walls, and yes, the weather of course had to turn cool enough almost to break records at the same time:

Now the next post will probably show demolition complete with electrical work beginning.

nature

Bloged in birding,General Home Life by mark Friday June 3, 2005

This season is flying by………….there’s way too too too much to do…….and we’re missing the passing of our seasonal nature shows, damn! Yesterday I was watching some morning news and got to see a hawk/squirrel standoff……..That WAS fun. The hawk saw two squirrels arguing and chasing each other around the tree over the feeder tray….he came in, they saw and split, he landed on the deck until he spotted one of them and flew up in the tree. They ran, he sat, flew in and out of that tree about 20 minutes! What great fun.

Last night we caught Rocky Squirrel number (probably about number four) and relocated him to the usual logged area on Newberry. The last two racoons (one last year and this one) have both been juveniles………so must be birthing time in the woods for Mom. Mac was quite perplexed seeing the racoon and really did not know what to think. I didn’t let him get a look until the cage was in the back of the truck…….where Rocky hissed and growled at the dog. Mac didn’t bark and hid behind me for a few seconds……he’s not TOO brave.

The meadow next door continues to let us watch deer feed some mornings…..and coyotes traipse across the area occasionally.

We’re again full with moles, and just today I’ll be setting all traps once again.

Our four robins are hatched, I’ve seen a fledged song sparrow hiding from my lawn mower, and the hummingbirds are holding their own at about 2.5 quarts per day.

What a beautiful season.

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