6/20/2017 0 Comments
Day 39+: The finale
Wayne worked diligently on the tile install since our last blogging update. It was a slow, meticulous process but it did come out absolutely beautiful! Up until the week before Memorial Day weekend- we still needed to paint the walls, paint the trim, and finish grouting the tile. Rebecca and her girls were coming up from Miami on Memorial Day weekend which meant Melissa and her family would be coming down from Brooks, ME and my parents would be coming over. It was the “perfect stress storm” to crash the project and be done.
We, thankfully, brought our crew in. Our crew of Brett, Brian, and Zachary were awesome. Wayne worked along with his crew and the project was finished up quickly. I did not do trim paint as I planned because of the company work schedule and then I came down with a respiratory infection/ flu from hell. It knocked me out of physical commission for a couple of weeks. I hated being down and out, but I was SO thankful for our crew coming in and bailing me out! My super heroes!
The project came out beautiful. I bought new bar stools. We did find the perfect gray wall paint finally. I LOVE this kitchen. I was sad initially in losing my large pantry to make room for dual ovens. But with the extra high cabinetry and pull out draw pantry—it has worked out. This short girl has a nice stool to use when reaching up past the second shelf and I still have not filled up all the shelf space! I love the white color-it is so crisp, clean and welcoming. The stately crown molding added more character to the room. I so love cooking with gas- I really should have made that switch a long time ago!
Kitchen renovations definitely can be stressful and overwhelming but I
The last pieces to completing the puzzle were to tile the backsplash and to paint the walls and trim. Having finally selected the gray wall color we wanted (who knew there were 50 SHADES OF GRAY? – lol) the last decision was the design for installing the tile. We wanted it to be original but not too gaudy or over the top. I mocked up about a dozen different options and ideas. This exercise took about an hour and we found ourselves continually gravitating back to the pattern of aligning the 4x4 tiles in a line horizontally and vertically. Then we assembled four 2”x2” tiles diagonally in the shape of a diamond and installed them in a repeating pattern every eight horizontal tiles.
Within a few hours of starting to install the tiles in that pattern, I knew instantly that we had made the right decision. Sure it took the better part of two weekends and a few week nights to cut and install all those 45 degree angle cuts - but when I was done I stood back and was amazed with the finished product. The icing on the cake was when we grouted the tile with a silver gray grout. It was a lighter color which made the white cabinets and gray tile pop and morph together. What a great feeling when all your efforts come together so perfectly.
Our self imposed deadline was to have the kitchen completely done by the time our daughter Rebecca, and our two granddaughters, came to visit for the Memorial Day holiday weekend. I cheated a little and scheduled my crew to finish up the painting. They two coated the trim; painted the first coat on the walls, and finished up the remaining punchlist items on Thursday. Friday morning we applied the final coat of wall paint, hung some shelves for pictures, and moved the furniture back into place just as Wendy was saying, “We need to leave for the airport to pick them up”. The paint may still have been a little wet on the walls – but we made the deadline!
It has been over six weeks now since we completed the kitchen and I am so happy! One of the things I am most proud of is that I kept my promise to Wendy about fast tracking this project. I told her I would do it and I did! Sure there were bumps in the road along the way: delays because of snow storms, trials and tribulations of finding the right paint and tile colors, even getting tired of going out to eat… but I would do it again without pause because the final product came out so beautiful.
I still occasionally walk into the kitchen and find Wendy just standing there – I ask her if everything is ok. She turns and smiles and says, “I can’t believe the kitchen is finished… and I can’t believe it is mine”.
We are both most critical of ourselves, but when I see that smile I just melt – and I know I hit this one out of the ballpark! :-)
4/12/2017 0 Comments
Day 38: Life is good again
The cook top is here! Wayne’s contact at the gas company said to call when it got here and they would send someone over. Well, they did! I finally have a working gas cook top. I cooked on it this evening-I LOVE IT!!
Wayne took down the last barricade tonight. It connected the kitchen /fireplace room to the family room. I still have the fireplace furniture in the family room. I better get going on the trim so we can do the walls and move everything back. Yeah…trim painting was on my schedule today but the schedule did not allow for it. It has been moved to the schedule for tomorrow…crossing my fingers!
Happy Happy Day!!! I happened to be home when the new gas cook top got delivered. I called the gas company to let them know it was here and they said, “We’ll send someone right over”. What? Seriously? A couple hours later it was all hooked up and running perfect. That’s’ it – we’re basically done. I can’t believe it. We have been dreaming about this project for about 10 years and it really happened. There were some bumps in the road along the way but I am smiling from ear to ear right now!!!
I sanded the walls, which are now ready for final paint, then took down the last barricade. Things are returning to normal (as much as they can around here).
Wendy cooked dinner in her new kitchen using the wall oven and gas cook top…Life is good again!!!
4/11/2017 0 Comments
Day 37: Unpacking
Another busy day but I spent some time at the end of the day to finish putting EVERYTHING away. The kitchen is fully stocked with all its items…wooooHOOOOO! The cook top is set to be delivered tomorrow….but we still need to get the gas company back too! And no…trim..painting…by…me…yet. Ugh
It reached 87⁰ today. We skipped spring and went straight to summer. Guess who installed 4 skylights and shingled on a hot roof today. No work in the kitchen for me – a shower and early bed is all the energy I’ve got left…
4/10/2017 0 Comments
Day 36: Punch list items
“Monday, Monday, can´t trust that day”,
Monday is always a busy work day. After work today, Wayne finished the venting 100%. He found a missing piece to make everything work. So tomorrow-I can officially finish putting the rest of the items away. I did go grocery shopping and I hope I remember where I put all those items!
I have not started the trim painting yet….egads. I did succeed in making lasagna tonight for dinner though! I am soooo looking forward to the tile arriving this week and the cook top!
I struggled with the microwave venting yesterday because I didn’t have the right parts. On my way home after work today, I picked up the pieces I needed to finished. With the correct pipes installed, caulked, and taped; the venting system was test run and is working perfectly.
Then I installed a lazy Susan in the diagonal wall unit (why it doesn’t come with one was a surprise to me). Done – two more items checked off the punch list.
Since the wall ovens are working I think Wendy really wanted to use them. She made lasagna, one of her best yet, and we enjoyed eating at home. I still don’t know how she was able to boil the water correctly; maybe she cheated by using the microwave? She is very resourceful.
4/9/2017 0 Comments
Day 35: Wendy's birthday
Happy Birthday to me! We went out for breakfast. We went for a late lunch/early dinner in Rye. We went for a beach walk in Rye. Beautiful weather! So, limited work on the kitchen was done today. Wayne started the process of putting the actual venting through the cabinets to the outside. We had issues with the angle so we will have to regroup on that. I put more things away today. I just hope I remember where things are!
Who knew that so many things are stored in a kitchen? Not me. I was not home when Wendy unloaded our old kitchen into bags and boxes and brought all the items up to the 2nd floor spare bedroom. Now that it is time to load it all back in, I volunteered to be the ‘hauler’ and she be the ‘organizer’. After 9 trips up and down the stairs with both arms full, I was huffing and puffing. All this stuff came out of there? She loaded it up and moved it all out by herself? I’m sure bringing it down was easier than moving it up. Kudos to her and a shout out to all the ladies who do the behind the scenes work that goes unnoticed!!!
I did take the afternoon off to enjoy the beautiful day and take the birthday girl out for lunch. Atlantic Grill and a Dunkin Donut coffee stroll on the beach was a wonderful afternoon and conclusion to the long week!
4/8/2017 0 Comments
Day 34: Wake up call
We decided to sleep in a bit. I set the alarm for 7 since the gas company would be here at 8am. The alarm went off at 7 along with the front doorbell. The gas company arrived at 7! Good thing Wayne can dress quickly…bahahahaha! The gas company worked here for a few hours then was ready to do the final install on the cook top unit, but there was an issue. The gas top is automatically set up for natural gas and there is a converter for propane. We have propane. Well, no converter was with the unit. So, the cook top unit final install is on hold.
The cook top unit is from an old client that did not want the unit but it has not been used. It has been in storage for about 10 yrs. I cannot get a converter for the unit because it has been discontinued. So, most of today was spent trying to find a unit that would fit. You see…the granite has already been cut a certain size and if I cannot find a unit that fits then the granite company will need to return and re-cut. This means more dust, mess and more money. I found two units that would fit the cut dimensions. Both units were highly rated, decently priced but I could not actually get one in my hands. I ended up ordering one of them today (I did see a real model in the store of it) and it will be at my home on Wednesday. The kitchen is getting pricier but this unit should last quite awhile.
We regrouped and made a punchlist of items for the kitchen remodel. We cleaned and put more items away. We chilled out a bit tonight with Mai Tai drinks and a movie. It was so needed.
Because we were up late organizing the kitchen last night we decided to sleep in a little – until the doorbell rang at 7am. Quickly throwing on some sweats, I rushed to the door to meet the gas company who was an hour early. A bit out of sorts, and without coffee, I quickly set out site protection tarps on the floor. After I reviewed the scope of work with the installers, I put on a pot of coffee and smiled as I realized that this was the big day – we were going to get our last, and most important appliance up and running.
About an hour into the project, our hopes and dreams were dashed. The brand new Bosch cook top which we had in storage since 2007, the one that this whole project was centered around, was set up for natural gas and we didn’t have the conversion kit for propane. Wendy frantically searched the web and discovered that this model had been discontinued and no conversion kit has been available for 5 years. The gas guys left without fan fare (and without us being able to cook). To make matters worse – we had to find a new cook top that would fit into the exact same opening that our granite counter was cut for. After extensive research, Wendy found a Whirlpool unit that would work. After our depressive mood lifted - we set off to go buy it.
State Street was so busy we couldn’t even get a salesman; Home Depot had the model on display but couldn’t deliver for over a week. Wendy finally ended up ordering it on line through Best Buy with a delivery date for next Wednesday.
It’s been a long day and we don’t feel like going out – Pizza it is.
4/7/2017 1 Comment
Day 33: Officially move-in day
A lot of business running around today but I worked a bit this morning and a lot this evening slowly cleaning and moving things back in. Wayne painted the wall behind where the fridge is being placed and the color gray is PERFECT! So we finally nailed the color! We moved the fridge back inside the kitchen with plenty of floor protection so we would not scratch up the floors. The gas company will be here tomorrow to run the new line and set up the cook top. I am almost on full cooking in my kitchen mode!
Its officially move-in day. Hip-Hop-hooray! We were going to wait until Saturday – but we are both so excited to start filling up the cabinets. Not to mention starting the declutter process of the rest of the house.
I applied the first coat of wall paint behind where the refrigerator goes. As soon as that dries I will apply the 2nd coat and then install the fridge. The is the last appliance to be installed – with the exception of the gas being hooked up to the new cook top tomorrow morning.
Wendy has Pandora cranking and she is singing as she is moving boxes from around the house and organizing the items into the cabinets. I remember that is what she did when she first was washing all our dishes in that small bar sink – that didn’t last long. This singing should! :-)
4/6/2017 0 Comments
Day 32: Happiness mode
The wood floors look beautiful! So gorgeous! The floors were tacky most of the day, so I let the big Turbo Fan run to keep the smell out of the house. Wayne started the installation of the venting for the microwave fan which meant drilling through cabinets to the outside wall. We took down the temporary barricades from the hall to the kitchen and from the dining room to the kitchen. I started to clean some of the cabinets and started to move a few items in. YIPPEEEEEE!!!! This is going to be a wonderful space. I am in the excited, thrilled, and jumping up and down, happiness mode!
The wood floors look awesome. Adding a 4th coat was worth the extra effort. That should provide a very durable finish as well as a beautiful look. Once the floors cured, I surprised Wendy by starting to take down the barricades. The smile on her face as she came around the corner and caught me in the act was priceless. I took down two of the three barricades. I am going to leave the barricade with the dust extractor up for a little longer. I still need to pole sand the walls before painting them. Better safe than sorry – someone won’t be happy if I get dust in the newly cleaned kitchen.
Funny thing is that we got so conditioned to walking the long way around the kitchen with the barricades in place that we were still doing that after they came down. It’s great to have full access back again! We each took one item from our temporary kitchen and put in the new kitchen to mark this momentous occasion. I put a box of cereal in the pantry cabinet. Wendy brought in the coffee maker. That’s my girl!
Back to the grind today! The electrician came and installed the ceiling fan, track lighting, finished the recessed cans and did the outlets in the bar area. The gas company was not able to honor their appointment today because of sick employees. It has been rescheduled for Saturday starting at 8 am….ugh. So the bar braces were primed, the ceiling molding got painted another coat, and the handles were installed on all the cabinets. We went up to Tri-City Masonry to put our tile order in and bring back the boards of inspiration. We went to Home Depot again for client materials and decided to purchase some of the pencil border we saw.
The Crockpot meal that I cooked today was eh but now the Crockpot is dead. I had a feeling it was going…. It has been good to me for over 25 yrs. I have another one also but it is on its way out too….it is 36yrs old!! So Crockpot shopping will be happening and at least I know I am not failing completely at cooking just because I am renovating my kitchen! I think…haha
Wayne is doing the final sand and coat on the wood floor late tonight as I type. This should be the LAST one! Turbo Fan Commence!
You know why I do almost every aspect of a job myself? Because I am your typical ‘type-A’ personality and I need total control (and quality assurance). Today was a prime example of that. The gas company called me an hour after they were supposed to be here to say they were not coming. It messed up the rest of the day, I had no control over it, and it upset me. That’s not to say we didn’t have a productive morning, because we did, but that pushes the move in date back until they reschedule.
The crown molding was painted for the third and final coat (see the ‘quality assurance’ comment), the cabinet handles all installed, and the granite counter brackets primed. After dinner I buffed the wood floors and coated the 4th and final application of gloss finish. It looks like a piece of glass – no... a mirror. And that’s a good reflection of me (LOL)
4/4/2017 1 Comment
Day 30: Glass floors
The floor is taking a while to dry after the late night application, so trim painting cannot be done. I am running the Turbo Fan longer today for the smell is a bit strong. Sigh.
We ate at Alexander’s. The food was eh but atmosphere was nice. Here I am digressing into a food review blog.
Today was a day off from the kitchen as ‘real’ work took precedence. (If you are a future client reading this – don’t worry, we would have been at your house painting. I just don’t have the personal time for that today.) It is just as well as it is giving the floor an extra day to cure without anyone on it. Though we typically only do three coats of urethane on wood floors, I am going to do a fourth since it is a kitchen and a high traffic area. It will look like glass after the next coat.
Since our days off being forced to go out to eat will be coming to an end soon – we are heading out to Alexander’s for some fine Italian cuisine tonight. I love the food but not the wine. Warm wine? What? Yuck.
My plan was to start painting trim today but work and life got in the way. I am bummed I did not get in there to work but we can only do so much….
We went to Home Depot for materials for clients and for some more tile inspiration. The decision is to start with some 4”x4” white tile as the bottom row. We believe we have found a pencil border and we believe we will order the tile we like from Tri-City. We went out to eat at Fogarty’s and Cold snap is no longer available it seems…the change of the seasons!
Wayne sanded the floor again and put a nice gloss finish on it. The turbo fan will be running for the night!
It was a month ago today that we ripped the kitchen out. It seems like it was much longer than that but then again it seems like it was only yesterday. Keeping in mind that we had delays by snow storms and that we were gone for a week – things have progressed rather well. I know Wendy feels it too and today she announced that we are moving into the new kitchen this weekend. I’ll be excited just to take the plastic barricades down!
We purchased the 4”x4” white soldier course of tiles today. We are debating between a white or black horizontal pencil tile to install above that. I think it will be a game time decision but we are leaning towards white; black may be too much of a bold statement.
We went to Fogarty’s for dinner and found out that the ‘Cold Snap’ is over and ‘Summer” is here (Sam Adams switched their seasonal ale) I don’t think I like this beer as much – but I do like the theme! After dinner I buffed the floors and applied the third coat of oil based urethane. Good thing the extraction fan is still set up. Who needs beer when working with those fumes...
A day of rest…HA!
We went outside and did limited snow removal. The advantage of spring snow is it is going to melt fairly quickly! Wayne and I worked in our offices most of the day trying to catch up. Wayne has sanded more of the woodwork to prep for paint. I told him I will paint all trim woodwork. I like painting-it is therapeutic for me as long as I am not being rushed. Wayne has complimented me on my trim painting skills. He doesn’t like painting trim so he is trying to keep me pumped up…haha! I keep revisiting the tile….I am going to drive myself nuts.
I texted a dear sweet client of ours, who we did a big kitchen renovation for, and told her I so empathize even more now! She said that unless someone goes through it- they will not totally get it. Both she and I like to cook, so the temporary kitchen can be a blessing and a curse. This has been good for Wayne and me. It has enlightened us more in a few areas which will be helpful for our future clients. Also, I am allowed to text/call and vent to this sweet client whenever I need to –haha! We are really blessed with great clients. Many of our clients turn into repeat clients…so we must be doing it right!
I have arranged for the electrician to come here on Wednesday and the gas company will be here also to set up the cook top. I think by next weekend-I will be able to move back into my kitchen. The tile may not be done but enough will be done to allow the kitchen to function. I have started a master list for my kitchen of things I need to do before moving back in—that are not construction related. I need to clean of course, get liners for drawers/cabinets….measure the sizes, new utensil holders (old ones do not match—off to my camp they will go), hook inside the cabinet sink doors for towel hanging, install paper towel holder (new one), and try to move in slowly so I can adjust shelves accordingly. I can only reach the first two shelves. So that means putting the most used items in the first two shelves and the base cabinets. But there is no guarantee that shelf #2 will always be reachable and then add shelve #3 and #4 which by no means are reachable --except by stool/ladder for which I have bought a new one. May I not shrink with age and may I always be able to dance on the counters which is the most fun way to reach the shelving…hahahaha!
Wayne sanded the floor some tonight to prep for another coat but he could not finish sanding because the poor guy is exhausted. Like I said…a day of rest…HA!
Ugh – now I remember why I hire people to do this type of work… I spent the entire afternoon caulking, spackling nail heads, and sanding the trim for paint. As is the case for most things, it is the preparation that makes the final product so good. As much as I did not enjoy today’s tedious efforts – I know the paint job will really look good. Dinner and a movie at home was a nice conclusion to the week. Who needs a kitchen anyway? I’m getting accustomed to this. Lol - I wonder if Wendy’s blog will mimic this.
4/1/2017 1 Comment
Day 27: April fools
It has been snowing and sleeting all day. Wayne did the final perfect coat of paint on the ceiling. I can contact my electrician now to finish up the recessed lights, install the ceiling fan, finish the outlets in the granite bar area and install track lighting. We will not be able to finish the outlet finishes in the countertop area until the backsplash tile is done.
I reviewed the tile boards that we got from Tri-City and I am now leaning towards one. It was my favorite before but I did not like it next to the granite but loved it next to the cabinets. I will need to put another color (plain…maybe white) close to the granite. Hmmm…add a border…then this tile. We will see. I have spent time tonight using my research skills and looking at too many tile options and layouts.
I used my crock-pot for tonight’s meal and it came out awesome. Winner winner…pot roast dinner!!
I was hoping that today’s predicted 12” snow storm was a collaborative April Fool’s Day joke by all the local weathermen… but it wasn’t. That’s alright – we have nowhere to go so I hunkered down to work in the kitchen with music and coffee.
I put down site protection tarps, sanded the ceiling, did some minor patching, and applied the final coat of paint. I sanded some scratches off the wood floor, spot urethaned, and did a site cleanup. All the time, Wendy was researching tile design options. She found a picture that we both liked and I was able to mock up her idea with some random tiles I had in the workshop. Hummm – I think we’re on to something here. We’ll install a horizontal row of white 4”x4” tile on top of the black granite top, then an accent pencil border above that, then the 4”x4” grayish marble tiles (from the sample board we liked) turned at a 45 degree angle above that.
Ok – you know what? That actually was ‘kind of fun’.
My new advice to clients will be, “selecting tile and paint may at times be stressful and confusing but don’t give up. Afterwards you will look back and realize the overall experience was a journey that was worth it”.
The plumber came today to install the dishwasher and hook up the new sink. I am so excited to see my dishwasher…oh, how I have missed you so! No more continual hand washing dishes for me…woohoo!! The crew was here this morning working on trim, re-hanging the cabinet doors (all upper doors needed to be removed for the painting of the crown molding) and doing some prepping of the woodwork for paint.
This afternoon, Wayne and I went to the tile store. Oh my lord- I was sooooo overwhelmed. We are trying to find a design and color scheme that will be timeless but also different than everyone else. We took some boards home. Out of the three we picked, we now don’t like the look and/or color of any of them! Ugh, Ugh, Ugh. It looked great in the store and in our head but not in our real, live kitchen. Always take the samples home …always! But we did get new wall paint and hopefully that will be the awesome gray we envision. So back to the drawing board we go to figure out the tile situation.
Thankful that Wayne and I have been on the same page through about 95% of this renovation. The paint salesman today told us that he usually feels like a marriage counselor when couples come in. Hahaha-oh, it is so true!
I can’t count how many times I have told clients to “enjoy the experience of picking out tile and paint – it should be fun”. What was I thinking? I will never give that advice again – it’s not fun at all!
The day started out great, the plumber installed the sink and the dishwasher, and our guys accomplished a whole bunch of punchlist items. All work was finished by noon and the house became quiet. Wendy and I decided this would be a great time to go out and do some tile and paint shopping. We stopped for lunch at Strafford Farms and we both spoke of how excited we were to go look at tile. I reiterated to her what I always tell clients – this will be fun.
We went to Tri-City Masonry, which I highly recommend, and met with Laurie, who was great. But we left there with our heads spinning… we couldn’t decide a tile we liked, we couldn’t find a color we liked, and we were confused on what we wanted for a design (we knew we didn’t want the standard subway tile with glass accent). We left with a bunch of sample boards and headed off to the Sherwin Williams to get our wall paint.
We knew what color we wanted before we got there - until we saw the sample chip under that florescent lighting… it was nothing like what we expected. We ended up selecting a different color (our 3rd choice to this point) but it did match the leading tile contender perfectly. Feeling pretty good and thinking we nailed the paint color and possibly the tile - we headed home.
At home we put the tile board on the countertop and immediately realized it was not compatible with the countertop. Oh noooo…jubilation turned to despair and we just looked at each other and shook our heads…this is not fun! Oh the bright side - we do like the new paint color though.
When I returned last night, I headed right back out with Wayne to go out to eat. Cold Snap, dinner and good conservation was had! I had done a 6hr round trip drive with a visit --in about a 10 hr span. It was so worth it though and I love driving. My dog was in excellent hands, I got to visit with my daughter and grandchildren and I got to meet 4 more baby goats!
Today was granite install day…wooohooooooooooo! I was so excited! Our own crew came here this morning to prep for the granite and do more work on the bar area. Trim work and baseboards were installed. The granite looks wonderful. We still need to pick out tile for the backsplash area and revisit the wall paint color. I definitely (and Wayne too) do not want this color in this room. It needs to be more of a true gray…a bit darker. I think working with paint chip samples is driving me fairly nuts. There are so many shades of gray that change color with the light and the time of day. It is crazy. Who needs so many color choices of the same color?
I keep visiting the granite countertops. I feel so happy because the granite fit beautifully and there were no issues. I am breathing a big sigh of relief and feel the stress, which I did not realize was accumulating, release for my shoulders. Wow… this is getting to look so nice. It is so cool to see what you envision really come to life!
What a difference a day makes!!! I am soooo excited right now!!! Though I was out and about much of the day, work was still getting accomplished in the kitchen. The finish trim (door casings, bead board, and baseboard) were 100% completed and the countertops were installed. Wendy texted me and said that the granite looked beautiful but I had to see it for myself to believe it.
When I walked in a smile spread across my face that hasn’t left yet. The black pearl countertops, peninsula top, backsplash, window sill, and half wall cap were done with perfection and match our existing bar tops perfectly. I couldn’t be happier!!! I am trying to get some office work done but I keep gravitating back into the kitchen and just stand there, looking, smiling!!!
We are going to stay home tonight to eat so that we can keep going back into the kitchen again and again to enjoy the beautiful countertops and progress of the day. I would write some more right now but I’ve got to go look at the countertops again…
We returned from Miami last night. We ate dinner on the way home from the airport. A wonderful vacation break it was and now it is back to reality. While entering our house, the plastic barricade designer look brought me back to reality hard.
Today I will be driving back to Maine to pick up my dog from my daughter and Wayne has site work to attend to. Nothing will be done today in the kitchen renovation. It is a bummer but priorities come first.
Absence makes the heart grow fonder. Well, the same must go for the brain too because the longer we were gone the better I was feeling good about the progress of the kitchen. That was until we walked in the door with our suitcases and looked into the kitchen. What I saw brought me back to reality and a somber mood replaced my previous jubilation. There were no doors on the cabinets, paint supplies strewn about, handles in packages, appliances in boxes, missing baseboards and door casings. Ugh... it all came back to me and I emotionally crashed as I realized our mini vacation was over and the task(s) at hand.
To compound matters, it was off to work early and back home late. You know how it is after being gone for a few days – work and obligations pile up and need attention. As much as I want to continue work in the kitchen, it is going to have to wait another day. I do remember making preparations before I left though – so I know good things are about to happen. Until then, we might as well enjoy another night out to dinner.
It’s been nice not repeating restaurants because we are starting to discover some jewels that otherwise would have been overlooked. We went to the 99’s, which we hadn’t been to in probably 10 years. It was a really pleasant experience; great atmosphere, service, food, and drink. We will be sure to come back here again even after our kitchen is finally complete.
Tomorrow we leave for Miami to visit out eldest daughter and her family. So there is packing, prepping the office for away mode and getting what we can done before we temporarily close down this job site.
Brett, our lead guy, is here painting ceilings, walls and crown. It is nice to get to this part. A lot less noise and no dust! I do not love the wall color….oh no. I will have to deal with that when I return.
Next week we will be installing baseboard, beadboard on the back of bar wall, and granite. The plumber will be installing the dishwasher and hooking up the sink. There still needs to be a final coat on the floor, the microwave needs to be vented, and the gas installed for the range. Oh yeah, we need to pick out tile for the backsplash still and of course…more painting. It sounds like a mini vacation is needed..haha.
Tonight we went out to eat and it was wonderful. Cold Snap again! I am looking forward to a mini escape of renovation, work and NH cold. Off to Miami we go……………………………..woohooo!
Today was a good day – I am starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel (or is that an oncoming train?). Brett finished painting the crown molding – it is beautiful, and he put the first coat of paint on the walls. Neither Wendy nor I saw it until he was done. We both had the same impression when we did see it – it’s very pretty, but NOT what we expected. Way more blue than the gray we anticipated.
<This made me realize I need to apologize to Brad and Julie. They recently selected a paint color for the 2nd floor of their house. Three of us painted all day and completed the entire base coat. When they got home they said that wasn’t the color they expected and that they wanted to select a different color. I said (maybe to myself) they were CRAZY – what a waste of time and paint. I get it now!!!>
So it is back to the color wheel for a darker shade that is more of a true gray. But our spirits were not dampened at all as it was exciting to see paint on the walls!
For dinner we headed out to Longhorns – one of our favorite spots. Maybe because it was in celebration of the culmination of the work to this point, or the fact that he had just packed our bags for the morning flight to Miami, but the steak tips, sweet potato with cinnamon, and of course a Cold Snap – made this the most fun, delicious, and relaxing meal yet!
3/21/2017 0 Comments
Day 16: The clock never stops
Today I drove up to Maine to drop off my dog with my youngest daughter and her children. While I was away, the power fans were heavy at work for there was a lot of sanding of the crown and sanding of all the patches of the ceiling. Then the ceiling and crown molding were primed. These are the days of the renovation that you REALLY appreciate the power fans and barricades! The crown molding has a new coat of trim paint…yippee!
I prepared the crock-pot again before I left. I put a meat and couple of veggies in. The slow cook was not too slow, for it seemed over cooked when I arrived home much later in the evening. So the meal tonight was not so good….ugh. But the positive was that two new baby goats were born at my daughter’s farm today that I was able to see—so cute!
I was able to break Brett free for the afternoon and he finished sanding, caulking, and priming the crown molding. Wendy and I both went our separate ways and we were gone all day, I returned home just after 8pm and the last thing I wanted to do was break out the tools and work in the kitchen. But I feel like a failure if I don’t accomplish ‘something’. At least this is one emotion that our clients shouldn’t have to experience.
With Wendy needing for me to get some office paperwork done, clients looking for proposals, our employees waiting for their work instructions... there just aren’t enough hours in the day. The kitchen is going to need to take a backseat. Oh no!!! Is this how my home projects don’t get accomplished in a timely fashion? I am sensing a pattern. CRAP! A renewed push will be in order once we return from Miami.
Wendy didn’t get home until 9:30 so dinner was a ‘eat what you can find’ kind of night. This is starting to get old. I can’t remember what having a kitchen was like…
3/20/2017 0 Comments
Day 15: The two week push is over
We went out to eat last night after returning from the weekend of visiting with our youngest daughter and her family. It was nice to go out and relax. What I feel is the real difference for our clients going through a renovation compared to myself going through renovation is the final money factor. We both have our savings getting eaten away as we renovate but Wayne/I have to worry about not making money at the same time. Each day a crew member or Wayne himself is working on our project, during normal work hours, is less money being made for the company. I do factor this in when we decide to do a project involving our home. There also can be delays by weather, of materials or subcontractors which may throw the schedule off. Sometimes we have to put the business first and our projects take the background. So it is not Wayne that makes our home projects take longer…..
Today was spent prepping the crown for paint along with patching and fixing the ceiling. All the new trim and baseboard wood is here along with new bead board for the bar area. We went out late this afternoon to pick out wall paint, trim paint and ceiling paint.
I decided to set up the crock-pot today to prepare supper so we could eat in. It felt nice to relax at home this time with a decent home cooked meal.
Our two week window of crashing this project has come to an end. It is time to get back to our previously scheduled clients. We accomplished a lot in that time but the remainder of the work; final trim, painting, and tile work - will have to be squeezed in when possible. Leaving on Thursday for a trip to Miami is only adding to the stress – ugh!
Happy St. Patrick’s Day! I wore my green and my lucky shamrock pin—so I am wishing for some good luck today! The electrician came and finished installing the under cabinet lighting. I love it! They have dimmers and different types of light. The granite template was done today and the granite will hopefully be installed as soon as we return from our trip. The crown molding installation was finished and looks awesome-even with the annoying crooked house. Now the molding is ready for prep and paint. There was more sheetrock mudding and other repair work to walls and ceiling. I am feeling that forward progress is being made. I am still a bit antsy and a bit burned out--I want my house back.
We went to Portsmouth tonight for dinner. I picked a new place for us and it was quite healthy. Poor Wayne was traumatized…hahahahaha! It was a nice evening even with his faces, his rolling eyes and wishing for a big plate of something steak & potato related!
A major milestone was reached today – Stone Creations came to template for the granite countertops. After Ryan was done with his measurements, he informed us that he would be back in a week to install the countertops. I am impressed that it only takes a week turnaround time from template to install. Unfortunately, we have to postpone the installation because we won’t be home. We are taking a trip to Miami to see Rebecca and her family (THAT part is very fortunate). Wendy doesn’t seem as upset about that as I do because as she says, ‘We won’t be here anyway”. I am a schedule freak and it feels like a wrench got thrown into the gears, but she’s right – so I’m moving on. To make sure the process is expedited once the countertops are installed, I have already scheduled the plumber to hook up the kitchen sink water lines and drains and the electrician ready to hook up the dishwasher. It seems so far off in the distance but it will be here before we know it. For all intensive purposes – the kitchen will be back up and running soon.
Since Wendy and I are each a quarter Irish – it was a good excuse to party on this Friday night. But without a reservation, we weren’t able to even get near any local Irish restaurants so we struck out on our own. We ended up at Jumpin’ Jacks in Portsmouth. I’m a meat-n-potatoes kind of guy and they are a bit more foo-foo. Not for me. But the Portsmouth Punch was really good and Wendy kicked up her heels which would have made any Irishman proud. :-)
The kitchen work finally continued today after the snow interruption. The electrician came by for a couple of hours. One of our crew members was working on the crown molding and sheetrock repairs. It was a day of tedious work, so the pace seemed slow. The issue with our crooked ceiling was causing more problems for the crown molding…..sigh.
I decided to cook meatballs in the crock pot for supper tonight. The little 2 burner took forever to boil a larger pan of water for spaghetti. It did finally all come together. I learned that the crock pot is awesome and the 2 burner is not quite as awesome.
I am also starting to get antsy about finishing this project.
As we were getting ready for bed Wendy said to me, ‘When will our kitchen ever be finished?”
What? Really? It been less than two weeks…but I get what she is saying. Losing those two days has made the project seem like it has lost a lot of momentum. But the snow is all cleared and the workers have returned so we are back at it. A little more demo into the great room entrance, some electrical, nail hole spackling, and more crown work completed. As the remaining work gets more detailed it does seem slower – but it is all a part of the grand plan.
We stayed in for dinner because Wendy tempted me with spaghetti and meatballs. Though she had her first snafu with cooking – the hot plate didn’t bring the water to boil quickly enough after adding the spaghetti and it came out a bit mushy. Our Electrician, Dominic Libby, brought us a 6-pack of Cold Snap earlier in the day (awwww – thank you Dom!!) and that helped wash it down :-)
3/15/2017 0 Comments
Day 10: Snow Storm 2 - Kitchen 0
Well, not much going onward today either because our plow guys did not show up to plow the private road. Wayne headed out around 8 am and did it all with his tractor. So by the time he plowed the road, plowed out neighbors and help clean up our yard/driveway it was 4:50 pm. I shoveled and snowblowed and got my butt whooped in the process. We were both exhausted so we showered and headed out to dinner. Cold Snap was had and all was good in the world again!
Snow Storm 2 - Kitchen 0. The storm was subsiding as we headed to bed last night. My guess is that we received about 16” of dense snow. Knowing that it would take a few hours to clear our driveway I informed the guys we would have a 2-3 hour work delay in the morning. What I didn’t anticipate was when we woke up was that our plow guy never plowed our road. We live at the end of a private road that is just over a ½ mile long and has 6 houses on it. Since I am in charge of the road – my phone started going off because nobody could get out of their driveways and children had to get to school. Come to find out our plow guy was out of town and had hired another driver to do the route – but he couldn’t be found. I warmed up my tractor, poured a cup of coffee, and headed out. By 8am I was plowing the road, my neighbor’s driveways, and then my own driveway. At 5pm when I parked my tractor – I was wondering where the day went? Sadly not even a cabinet handle was installed and no progress was made on the kitchen.
Since our road was clear though – date night resumed. It was Wendy’s turn to select a restaurant and she chose Blue Latitudes. It was a quiet night in Dover and not many people were out. We practically had the whole restaurant to ourselves until Kimberly and our adopted son, Frank, happened to come in. Shrimp and Scallop pasta, a Cold Snap, and seeing friends – the day ended much better than it began!
3/14/2017 0 Comments
Day 9: Snow Storm 1 – Kitchen 0
Not much going onward on the kitchen today. Stella the blizzard has come to visit. She has made the power go on and off and she has been dumping quite a bit of snow. We did put a couple of handles on the doors to see the look! There was no going out to eat tonight. I cooked in with my easy bake oven. I made chicken, rice pilaf and veggies. I pulled it off quite nicely and even made it through dish duty! Pans are a pain with tiny sinks……
Snow Storm 1 – Kitchen 0. The predicted ‘Eric Storm’ of the year began the previous night and continued throughout the whole day. All work came to a screeching halt as we waited out the storm. I did get some cabinet handles installed so we could see what they looked like, and to be able to say that I did something. Date night was cancelled due to the storm and we ate in. Wendy prepared another culinary delight in her mini-kitchen. We enjoyed a chicken dinner and watched the season premier of Survivor ‘Game Changers’.
3/13/2017 0 Comments
Day 8: Stress is taking its toll
Monday’s work day called for an invasion of some of the crew members and the electrician. Crown molding was being worked on. The final install of all cabinets is done-with some words that I cannot write here. I have been told that our kitchen wins the most crooked wall, floor, ceiling job we have ever had to work with. Well…..at least it was our house and not a client’s! The microwave and the dual ovens are installed-in black and they look absolutely, positively wonderful!! NOT excited or anything…WOOHOOOOOOOO!! A back wall was built behind the last wall of cabinets so we can have a higher bar top area. We are nicely moving along!
Tonight’s dinner was out and Cold Snap was involved. It was wonderful. Tomorrow there is a blizzard on tap so …..I’ll be cooking with power or generator power!
The crew is back in force here on Monday and we got so much accomplished that things seem like they are starting to wind down. All the cabinets are installed; plumb, square, straight, and level – ready for countertop templating. The half wall is built and sheetrocked, the crown molding almost done, and the appliances installed. One more day of odds-n-ends and we will be ready for paint prep.
We stayed local for dinner and visited the Farm; great service, big portions, and multiple Cold Snaps. Do we sound like alcoholics? We hardly ever drink… must be the stress of the project? (insert winking emoji). Our apologizes to Ella, our 8 lb. Schnoodle, we left the doggie-bag of steak tips on the table (sorry!)
Sunday Funday. I am a bit off today. Darn changing of the clocks. I feel like I am running behind! All has been fairly quiet today. Wayne installed more base cabinets. It is really starting to take shape. The second coat on the floors came out wonderful. I was worried that the cabinetry going all the way to the ceiling would make it feel a tad claustrophobic but it hasn’t. I love the white. It really has brightened this area up which is important for it is the darkest spot in our home. The kitchen only has one small north window but is open to the fireplace sitting room which has a west side slider that we installed when moving into the home 15 yrs ago that lets in more natural light. I usually still need lights on in the kitchen in the day time. It looks like the limited natural light will be bouncing off the white cabinetry. There are many opinions about cabinets dealing with color of paint, or dark or light stain. When you have a smaller space and /or limited natural light—light color cabinets is the way to go …in my opinion!
We snuck away for Chinese for supper-it was wonderful. We passed on the beer but had a scorpion bowl instead! We really are not drinkers…even though this blog is showing otherwise. We will have a drink when going out or on a vacation. I am making this a mini vacation-hahaha!
…and on the seventh day he rested...
Well I ain’t got time (with finger waving) for dat! I was serious when I said that I was breaking the pattern of taking my time on my own home projects (and for Wendy’s peace of mind).
I did take Sunday morning off for some r&r and to beat Wendy at cribbage (which seems to be getting rarer and rarer). But as the afternoon rolled around – it was go time. I installed the base cabinet for the cook top and progressed to the left. I got in the two super-Susan’s, the sink base, and a couple other cabinets before dinner time. Wendy seemed impressed as the kitchen has taken on it complete structure now.
Staying true to our agreement to visit a different restaurant every time we go out, Wendy selected the Oriental Delight on Central Avenue in Dover. For years we have been driving by that establishment but have never gone out to eat there. I am so glad we did. We strayed from our Cold Snap and instead shared a Scorpion bowl for two. It has been 30 years since we did that. Dinner and drink was great as we sat in the window seat and had old friends knocking on the glass and waving.
Anyone who has a fear of ‘empty-nest syndrome’… you have nothing to fear – just the opposite. It’s awesome.