Banned to the Basement: Home Renovations, part whatever

Progress is being made. Right now someone is sanding and refinishing my hardwood floors. Floors someone hid under carpet and peel & stick vinyl. In the past week we managed to peel up that vinyl and mostly remove the adhesive, paint a room, and move our entire living room.

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Peeling with a heat gun and a scraper

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All the vinyl is up just adhesive left

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The end product. We cleaned as best we could with mineral spirits

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Just beginning and a little freaked out I chose such a dark color

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1st coat and it was blotchy with the former chair rail clearly visible. eek!

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End product. Everything covered up and evened out. Whew!

We’re cruising along but, right now, I’m stuck. Stuck in the partially finished basement with my boyfriend and three cats. And those cats did not go easy.

I spent the morning, before my first cup of coffee, chasing one cat around the house after he got loose when I tried to close him in the basement. He is freaked out very easily and upon figuring out we were trying to sequester him he jumped a baby gate and plowed through what I thought was a closed door. It was a process but he is safely hiding under a couch in the basement. Finally.

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While one is hiding the other 2 cats want to be where the action is 

My living room floor is being worked on which means I can’t get anywhere in my house. Not the full bathroom (yes, thankfully, we have a half bath in the basement), or the bedroom, or my office. This is why everyone is stuck in the basement. I can get into the kitchen but because there is not a door to the basement the area is being blocked by two the of cheapest baby gates I could find. Cheap baby gate means pain in the ass to use! So I’m not going through them unless expressly necessary. But, it’s not terrible. We have a tv and couch down here. Plus a twin air mattress. And more reading material than I could possibly finish. It would almost be like a vacation if the sound of sanding wasn’t so distracting. After all there’s not much I can do down here.

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Tomorrow I go back to work and hopefully the floor project will wrap up. By Thursday evening I’m hoping to actually be able to walk on it and get to the shower & bedroom. By Friday I should be able to put furniture back where it belongs and start organizing my house again…at least a little. I still have a living room to paint!

 

 

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Spackling dust, the new dry shampoo

The home renovations continue. Those lazy bastards (aka the former home owners) have struck again. I was prepping our extra room for painting. Patching where I removed the chair rail, sanding, and re-patching.

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That’s not blurry, it’s dust floating in the air. What a mess!!

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My post sanding look. Old chemistry goggles are good for something!

Finally I was ready for one last wall and ceiling wash. I noticed as I was washing the ceiling that there were TWO colors up there. Very similar colors so I never noticed before but with my nose pressed up there to wash, it was clear, the lazy bastards didn’t bother to cut in when they painted. They just rolled to about 6 inches from the wall and stopped. I shouldn’t be surprised anymore but it still makes me roll my eyes.

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We also are removing carpet in our living room. The hardwood floors will be sanded and refinished next week. Who covers hardwood with shitty carpet in the first place?! However, as we removed, we found another surprise.

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We hadn’t swept yet. So much dirt under carpet!

Someone had stuck peel and stick vinyl flooring over the hardwood to create an “entry way.” It’s awful. Today’s project is going to be trying to peel it all up. That’ll be a good time, I’m sure.

At least we have supervisors who keep their opinion to themselves.

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Keeping an eye on the progress

Quick Little Baby Granny Square

I started a new job in February. With that came 3 pregnant bosses! They are all lovely ladies and it seemed like a good excuse to pick up the crochet hook again. Handmade gifts always go over really well. And those of you who crochet under how quickly a simple baby blanket can be whipped up. I finished this blanket first.

It was a nice slightly thicker wool yarn and I liked the colors. Simple, basic granny square pattern. I just alternated colors as I wanted.

I have a second baby blanket in the works. To be honest, I’ve been working on it for a few years. I got tired of the pattern and shoved in the closet where it sat for, well, a long time! But it’s a cute pattern and now I’m finally going to finish it! Here’s the work in progress:

And a cat. Because when you pull out the yarn the cats show up. 

The pattern can be found here. I have to complete the blanket this month to get it to it’s intended owner! Wish me luck.

Humane Society Cat Cafe

I have previously posted photos of my own cats. Last week I had a day off with some friends and we decided to check out the Huron Valley Humane Society’s Cat Cafe, Tiny Lions. You pay to spend time with shelter cats and drink a coffee. It’s my kind of place. I took my camera just for fun too. And all the cats are adoptable. They do pretty well adopting cats out from the location with 2-3+ finding homes each week, usually older cats as well. These are some of the cats we spent some time with.

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I Like Deadlines

Well, actually, I need deadlines. I’m good if there’s an impending….something. I was listening to the Jordan Harbinger podcast and he had on Gretchen Rubin who talked about “The Four Tendencies…” which is about the origin of motivation. She describes which, external or internal, motivations prompt action depending on the person. I do take a lot of this research with a grain of salt, however, it did give me some insight when it comes to following through or, as the case may be, lack of following through. After listening, I noticed that I respond well to external motivation. I do well in school, there are deadlines, and consequences for missing them. I’m productive with work stuff because, again, there are outside influences telling me when something has to be done. I’m not nearly as good when the motivation needs to come from me. I need a push to get the ball rolling. I’m trying to use this knowledge to create motivation for myself. If I can create deadlines that actually mean something maybe I’ll actually get some shit done!

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I slowly have started to put this in action. When I decided to take up photography I knew I wanted to take a class to learn the camera better. After the first class I continued because I liked having photography homework. Not only did it make me try new techniques, but it also gave me a deadline. It’s not that I don’t take photos without the class but I enjoyed being “forced” to make time for my hobby.

I have been renovating my house FOREVER. This is partly due to time constraints and partly due to simply putting it off. In an effort to play to my strengths and motive myself I scheduled the floor guy in advance. (I’m getting my hardwood floors sanded and refinished.) Now, I have a month to pull up carpet and repaint two rooms, one being the main living area. It’s completely doable and with that deadline fast approaching I’m feeling more pressure to get stuff accomplished.

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Now I just need to figure ways to apply this to other areas of my life….like cooking, blogging, and exercise!

Hobbies, My New Pastime

Since graduating nursing school and my short-lived time at a hospital, I’ve been on a 9a-5p schedule since February. It’s amazing. I had seven years of 2nd and 3rd shifts, a ton of weekends and generally being unavailable when the rest of the world was off work. I had forgotten what it was like to have a relatively set schedule that falls in line with day light hours. I still must work the majority of Saturdays but it’s really a small price to pay for a consistent schedule. Now I can plan things with reasonable assurance I’ll be able to do without requesting time off. It’s freeing.

I started a photography class, a continuing ed type, at a local community college back in February. It was my Christmas present to myself. I really loved it. I enjoy school, the learning aspect anyway, and I enjoy it even more when there aren’t grades. I decided to take the next level of photography class this spring. As I was looking through the classes I noticed I wanted to take them all! There was a craft beer class, wine tasting, cooking, ceramics, and language classes.

It feels as if there’s been a shift in my focus. For so long I was focused on getting through school, working full time and generally just trying to keep my head above water. Now I get to slow down and have some fun. I want to do All The Hobbies!!

Of course, that’s not totally practical, at least not to do them all at once. The joy is the possibility. Sure, I have all the normal life adult crap to deal with and home renovation projects to complete but I also have the opportunity to do some stuff just because it’s enjoyable. And to do it without the guilt of knowing I should be doing something else. It’s a good change.

Home Renovations continue

I have, very slowly, been working on updating my house. While I was in nursing school, yes, like the entire time, we finished our guest room. Before nursing school I painted my office and at that point decided I hated the previous owners. Like a lot. At some point I need to put up some photos of the finished products. After I finished it, my office became my favorite place in the house. I swear it gets the best light and it just turned out so pretty. But I digress.

We have a third bedroom downstairs that was sort of functioning as our junk room. Everything we didn’t have a place for sort of just ended up in there. The carpet is terrible because it’s also the room where we housed a kitten during her first arrival and she tore it up at the doorway. Also, it’s the room where our ceiling leaked which had clearly happened before. We did have all of our books in there on cheap bookshelves we got from Target. Now we are repainting, pulling up the carpet, finishing the floor, and setting it up as a library.

The room had the stupidest chair rail ever. It was stuck out a good 1/2 inch from the wall which didn’t allow for anything to sit flush against it.

I removed it with glee! There was quite the paint story behind it too. I’m going to have sooo much spackling to do.

Wow, look at that orange sherbet color!

There quite an ice storm in lower Michigan today so the plan is to turn on a podcast, rip up some carpet and spackle my little heart out. Wish me luck!