Sunday, March 27, 2011


No blog entries for nearly 3 weeks - not for lack of material to write about.

The events of the last 3 weeks told through pictures:

It's hard to believe that we had just started painting a month ago.

Annika turns 4.

The best part of the birthday cake.

Grout pumping truck for the geothermal wells.

This picture - March 16 - just starting to see the mud beneath the snow.  Currently - March 27 - and still plenty of snow in the back yard.

Spent a night at Lowes buying light fixtures.  We're hoping the exterior wall lanterns will look good as interior wall sconces.  We'll see.

The blood red bathroom... with the blood red stain on the floor from where I dumped a good part of a gallon on myself, the ladder, and the floor.

Living room color.  Future fireplace mantel is on the ground.

Girls' bathroom color.

Ella's chosen bedroom color. She thinks its called "Invitation to a Princess."  It's actually called "Glamour."  Not sure which name is worse.  And this is a toned-down version of the original choice!

Annika's chosen color: "Sugared Pansy Pink"

Our room painted.

The play room painted.

I've been spending a lot of time wiring outlets and light fixtures.  The temporary bulb here is just to test that it works.  It's still like magic to me every time I flip a breaker and everything works.  I did have one glitch this week when I turned on power to Ella's room.  All the outlets test okay and the switch box gets power, but any time I draw power (to a light fixture or outlet) the breaker trips.  I'm thinking it's an arcfault issue - maybe a nail or screw in the wire - but will need to get an electrician in to figure it out...

One of the geo wells piped and grouted.  Now we just have to wait for the sludge in the back yard to dry enough that they can dig a trench to the house without it falling in on itself.

The machine needed to drag the drilling equipment through the muck in the back yard.

Regular truck/trailer tires are no match for the muck.

Underlayment for master bath tile.  Met with a tile guy to look at the shower pan and walls.  While talking things through with him I realized that the spray foam around the tub actually lifted it off the floor when it expanded.  I spent a good part of yesterday, with the help of Amy, Jeff, and dad, disconnecting the plumbing, cutting free the tub, removing the excess insulation, fiberrocking the tub deck, and reinstalling the tub.  Not a very gratifying job...

Wasted half a day staining half the boards for the kitchen ceilling.  When it dried they looked pumpkin orange.  Decided to scrap them (reuse then on the other side for the front porch roof) and start over.

Tiling in girls' bathroom haulted for lack of a tile saw to do around toilet flange. 

New boards waiting to be urethaned (no stain this time).

The results of a couple weeks of on and off tiling activity.  No running water yet, so the 5 gallon water cooler jug and the  blue cooler transport water from the Stro's house to ours.

After a week of sand, clean, urethane, repeat my dad and I started putting up the kitchen ceiling today.  We got this far before breaking for Buzzy's 85th birthday party.

14 boards up, 20 more to go.  Average 12 minutes per board... It might have been faster, but the 10 ceiling fixtures and range hood vent that had to be measured and cut around slowed things a bit.

Nearing completion of one of the first really rewarding jobs that had a clear start and finish.  Thanks for all the help dad.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Paint and Pine

Friday-Sunday: All painting all day.
Monday: 70 boxes of flooring @ 80 pounds each = 5600 pounds of flooring carried into the house.
Tuesday: Arms too tried to function all day.  First trailer load of pine boards for bedroom floors after work.
Wednesday: Second and third trailer loads.  Thanks to Jeff, Paul, and Dad for taking two afternoons to help me lug heavy, sappy, dirty boards and stack them around the house.  Annika's 4th birthday today too!

Cleaning plaster dust from window frames with a q-tip.
No running water. Instead times snow melt off the roof provided necessary brush cleaning.
Creative roller storage.
Annika got to start rolling her room.
And Ella too.
It all started out so nicely.  Ella demonstrating proper roller technique.
A badly timed handoff.
Not enjoying the paint in the hair.
Not believing me when I explained it will wash out.
After painting the inside of her closet.  She worked for an hour without getting tired or complaining.
Fireplace mantel: $20.00!!! - Just have to dry it for a few months and finish it.
A bedroom full of pine boards - stacked and ready for drying.... long, slow drying.
Bob at the saw mill wasn't kidding when he said he could get me WIDE pine boards. (narrowest are 10", widest are 22")

Friday, March 4, 2011


It's been a while since I've updated.  Busy few weeks.  The week before February vacation was spent sanding walls, vacuuming plaster dust, and priming ceilings with every spare minute.  I just barely got the upstairs done (last room got done Saturday afternoon a few hours before leaving for the airport).  A much needed relaxing week in Florida.  Since we've been back:  More priming, sanding, vacuuming,  and now real ceiling paint.  Took Wednesday "off" to finalize colors and amounts of each and to order paint at HD.  Also got a look at the cabinets painted.  They look amazing.  I should finish up the ceilings tomorrow, then on to COLORS! 

Underlayment, Bamboo, and Hickory were delivered this week as well so I can start conditioning them to the house.  One false start on Tuesday when the Moffet couldn't maneuver on the ice in the driveway.  Lots of sand and they got it into the garage on Wednesday.

And the wide pine from the saw mill is ready!  $566.41 for the entire upstairs and the mantel.

Valentines Day: the first fire in the fireplace.
80 and sunny every day for a week in Fort Pierce, FL.  No physical labor, just relaxing by the pool/beach.   I even met up with Larry at Archie's.
Got to see one of the last space shuttles from the beach right at the condo...
... from 100 miles away!

The plaster looked white... until I put primer on it.
Family room painting staging.  It was a little hairy out in the middle of the plank with nothing to hold onto or lean on.  Luckily no accidents, and I finished the ceiling after school today.
29 gallons of wall paint.  Apparently, HD won't mix $1000 worth of paint for you before you pay for it...  This is on top of the 20 gallons of primer and 10 gallons of ceiling paint so far.  ~60 gallons and counting.
With the water continuously running beneath the ice in the back yard things are starting to melt (a little) from below.
The geo wells are finally going in.  One is drilled.  The other is cased and ready for drilling.  Then it's just piping, grouting, trenches and connections in the house!  This is a picture of the erosion of the ice caused by the warm slurry of rock dust and water that comes out of the ground.
The drill "bits"

Drilling in progress.  This shot taken seconds before something broke and water shot out like a geyser.  After a little welding they were back underway.

The aftermath.  The rock dust-water mixture sprays everywhere.  And a lot of it has run around the house and into the garage as well.  That's going to be fun to clean up.