while the cat’s away, the mouse will play (with plumbing).

I hope you enjoyed your extended weekend (if you got one)! It wasn’t until a few years ago that I started getting these glorious holidays off and I try not to take them for granted. I was pretty busy the rest of the weekend so I had fully intended on doing nothing on Monday. Saturday we took Daisy to the vet for her annual checkup. Babygirl is looking good, down .1 lb from last year! We were a bit early for her appointment so I went into Target to kill time and walked out having only spent $10. Pretty sure my last 3 Target trips were all record breakingly low, as in under $20. I’m not sure what is happening to me.

Saturday afternoon I headed to my little cousin Adam’s birthday party while Keith went to a baseball game. Always nice to see the family! It also may have been the only family function in the past few years that I did not bake cupcakes for and they were sorely missed. Sorry fam!

Sunday we headed to the ballpark where we met up with my stepdad, my brother and my nephew. It was Bradley’s first baseball game! He did great, they stuck around until the 7th inning or so, too bad the game was so terrible. Bradley is 18 months old now and seriously the smartest. I asked him where Uncle Keith was and without any hesitation, he pointed right at him! Love that little fella.

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Sunday night we went to Keith’s parent’s house for dinner and that was nice. While there, his mom was asking my opinion on painting her basement and I decided I needed to squeeze some painting in ASAP. My livingroom trim has been half done since January and it’s a lot of annoying door/window painting that I just don’t feel like doing. I had decided I wasn’t allowed to do anything else without doing that first, so then I just wasn’t doing anything.

Well when I woke up Monday, I decided it was the day. I first stopped at Lowe’s for some other project supplies.

plumb

A few weeks ago, I used the bathroom in the middle of the night and when I flushed the toilet, water started pouring out of the tank. I pulled the lid off and water was spraying everywhere. I reattached the hose from where it had popped off and went to bed. The next morning, same thing happened. I called my sister since her boyfriend is a plumber and she told me to lower the water pressure. So I did and everything was fine for a few days until it did it again. I lowered the water pressure even more and it’s been that way for a few weeks. The water pressure was so low it was taking upwards of 30 minutes to fill the tank. Not an emergency, but really freaking annoying.

So, I watched a few videos online and figured I could handle it. While grabbing the toilet guts, I decided to be fancy and get one of those dual flush systems. Got home and sneakily went to work while Keith was downstairs watching tv. I was about 80% through the installation when I realized the fancy system would not fit. I had to pack it all up and take it back. And admit to Keith that my attempt failed. He just rolled his eyes. Got back to Lowe’s, grabbed a regular fill valve and had a working toilet in about 30 minutes! I was very proud of myself. I think I need to fuss with it a little more because it has a leak guard and that is doing some weird things, but it works!

After that, Keith was getting ready to go to the football game and I decided I was going to paint the entryway. I figured it would motivate me to get the trim paint out and then I could finish the living room.

IMG_5823

Here’s a shot of the entry from when we looked at the house. Off-white walls with beige trim. The tone on tone off-white just made everything look so grimy.

Here’s a more color accurate view. Pardon the mess.

yellow

It just looked yellowy. And gross.

I did half of the entry, I didn’t want to start up the stairs yet, so it stops pretty abruptly on one wall, and the little back hallway. It’s a very anticlimactic after, because it was getting dark by then. I also didn’t paint the trim, so most people probably can’t even tell I painted. The color is Behr – Sterling. A nice, light grey.

after

It’s even less noticeable in the back hallway since the four doors in the hallway are gross off-white as well. Once I get my bright bright white trim, it will look awesome.

backhall

I rolled up the entryway rug to paint and I think I like it a lot better without it there. It is a dark oriental rug and so big it covers most of the floor. Thinking of leaving it off entirely or maybe getting a smaller rug, it really opens the space up without it. We don’t use the front door anymore, so it’s not like people need to wipe their feet. Also dreaming of refinishing the floors. I saw a picture of someone’s floors after they were sanded down but before they were stained and loooooved the look of the blonde wood. Thinking of something like that way down the line.

daisyfloor

After I got one coat up I had one more project to complete before I called it a night.

I wouldn’t say this was a nightmare, but it was not fun.

sinkew

I don’t know if you’ve spent any time under a sink, but it’s pretty close quarters under there. Add in a gigantic garbage disposal and it’s even less fun. Luckily (?) the reason I was replacing the sink was that the plastic nuts had all completely broken off, so removing the old faucet was super easy. I would have had an easier time installing if either the garbage disposal was not there or my arms were 3 inches longer, but I am stubborn and wanted to do it by myself.

I was super proud when I stepped back and it was all finished and there were no leaks and I tested it and the hot was cold and the cold was hot. Ugggggggggggh. So I had to unhook those and redo them. That was honestly the hardest part. I have blisters on my fingers today from tightening those stupid nuts.

sinkyay

But she’s a beaut! Delta – Lewiston with a pullout sprayer and fancy soap pump. I wanted one of those Touch20 faucets but they are like $400. No thanks.

I’m dreaming of non-laminate counters and an undermount sink but that will be wayyy down the line. The plus side is my faucet can come along for the ride.

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plumbing fiasco, day 3.

So, the plumbing was supposed to be finished on Friday, but when I drove past the house at 5pm, there were still 3 big trucks in the driveway. I got to Keith’s parents’ house and he was there and said that when he drove by (before me) there were no trucks, just a man. So we let the dogs out and decided to drive over to Lowe’s while we waited. Well, we drove back past our house and everyone was gone. So we went in and took a peek.

uhhh

The first thing we see when we walk in is this little half-wall and we still are not 100% on where it came from. It might have been holding up the desk in the little office? I really have no idea.

random holes
To the left, the random little holes are filled.

exercise room

exercise room
Big giant hole in the exercise room is gone.

one of these things does not belong.
And the toilet and vanity have returned. Not to their normal/usable space…but at least they are there.

bathroom
And the bathroom…

little office
And the little office…

the hole
And the hole.

in little office, toward exercise room

I jokingly told Keith we should write our names in the cement and now I regret not doing it.

Since everything was still pretty wet, we decided to just spend another night at his parents’ house and come home in the morning.

We went to Lowe’s and considered our options for the floors. We had mostly decided on going with a laminate, but were told there would be about a 30 day wait on the installation. And moments later, Keith gets a call from the plumber informing us that everything is done and oh yea, cement takes about 30 days to cure.

Sooo lovely. We made an appointment anyways to have someone come out and measure, just so we can start pricing things out. And actually by this morning I am sort of leaning toward no laminate and just getting some carpet. We had originally wanted laminate so that we could have some sort of cohesive flooring situation down there, but we can’t have laminate in the bathroom, we most likely cannot have it near the furnace, we don’t want to rip up the game room’s carpet, we wanted to wait on doing anything in the office, Keith wants some sort of rubber mat in the exercise room…so that would mean there was still 4-5 different floors down there. So I am leaning toward some kind of carpet. We also are toying around with the idea of knocking down a few walls…

This project has gone from little to gigantic and it is pretty stressful.  We don’t really HAVE to do anything but get a bathroom floor down…but if we want to expand the bathroom, there is no sense in putting a floor down first.  Ahhhhhhhh.

Keith has to talk to the insurance adjuster tomorrow so he had offered to give us some recommendations on people to go with, so hopefully he can recommend a contractor that we can come by and just give us some sort of estimate.

Again, so thankful all this crap is just in the basement. We still have a fully functional house…it’s just really annoying.

plumbing fiasco, day 2.

So Thursday was day 2. I snuck down in the morning to take pictures as I stated before. They were actually gone by the time I passed Thursday evening, so I got to go in and take my Day 2 pictures. Keith had gotten a call Thursday, that instead of finishing Friday like they thought, it would take until Monday.

I was not really surprised. Three days in and out seemed way too good to be true.

So we walked into the house Thursday evening and were immediately hit by the horrible smell of PVC pipe. Oh man, it was awful. Chemically and overpowering.

Walking into the office now looked like this:

into the office

Everything behind plastic, thick muddy plastic on the floor, countertops gone for good, sink and vanity…where did you go? No, really, where did you go. I don’t remember seeing you.

exercise room

Ooohhh look at that shiny white pipe!
anybody need any rocks?

Anybody need any rocks? I guess I didn’t expect them to fill the holes with concrete, but I was kind of surprised to see a big ol’ pile of rocks in my basement.

bathroom

More pretty white pipes!

crappy old tub.

Just realized that pipes are going a different direction now. Weird. Also a shot of the crappy tub. Apparently we are getting a new toilet because it would be more work to replace the old one? (Um, okay, sounds good to me!) I wish they would have broken the tub or something and replaced that. We’ll have to replace it ourselves one day.

the little office. slatted door leads to gameroom, folding door to "the hole"

The little office.

in "the hole"

The hole. A little more pipe rearranging here.

standing near "the hole" looking toward the office

Looking back toward the office. Nice new pipe!

standing at the edge of the little office, looking toward the office.

Pretty. (You know you are far too in love with your house when you can see the beauty in new PVC pipe.)

So later that night, Keith got a phone call and the guy said he was back on the original timeline and they should be done today!

Except the toilet and the sink can’t be replaced until we get some sort of flooring in the bathroom. We were going to try to wait on putting down any flooring in the basement since we still aren’t sure which direction we are taking it. There is a lot of awkward space down there that could be better utlized in other ways. We had talked about expanding the bathroom (by using the little office) and putting some closets in there for Keith (since he gets ready in the basement).

So it doesn’t make a lot of sense to pour lots of money into flooring when we might want to rearrange everything. But at the same time, apparently we can’t just make do with concrete floors/rugs for the time being. So this weekend we are going to go price some things out and figure out if maybe there is a happy medium.

 

plumbing fiasco, day 1.

So Wednesday was the day! Since I don’t think I ever shared pictures of the basement and it is a total labrynth, I drew a little diagram. On an adorable post-it.

basement diagram

So, we thought the areas to be affected would be the bathroom (obvs), the exercise room and maybe the little area in front of the shelves. Haaaaaaaaa.

Keith texted me at some point in the morning that the project was going to be a lot more involved than they expected. Which is just a wonderful thing to hear.

I stopped at home Wednesday night to get the mail and was greeted by the sound of jack hammers and this sight:

hey fellas

You can hardly see, but the left truck was FULL of broken up concrete/dirt. I had originally planned to go in and take pictures, but obviously couldn’t do that with them still there. Keith stopped by a few minutes after I left and went inside He later informed me that it was wayyyy worse than expected. I decided I would sneak down Thursday morning before they got there and take pictures.  So that’s what I did.

walking into the office, day 1
This was the view that greeted me once I opened the door. Encouraging already, right?

office, day 1. hello little sink. and counters

Once I peeled away some plastic, I was greeted by this in this office. Hello, sink and vanity! You do not belong here. Those are countertops to the left and right. 2/3 of them Keith ripped out of the exercise room and were just stashed in the little office til we could get rid of them. The other one was from the little office and the plumbers had to rip it out. I wanted it out of there anyway, so I was not the least bit disappointed by this. And Keith asked them to just throw it all away and they agreed, so that was a huge bonus since the other two had been sitting there for months (too big for either of our cars).

exercise room

And then here she is. Lovely. And another angle to show the enormity of the hole.

exercise room

Yikes.

old carpets/old toilet

The rest of the exercise room. Old nasty carpets and old toilet. It was indoor/outdoor carpet and it sucked. I hate green and it shows EVERY single dog hair. They told Keith they were going to put it back, but he told them just to throw it out. You can also see the lovely state of the walls down there. That white strip is where Keith ripped the desk out. There is some sort of burlap glued to all the walls, but of course they put it on after the desk, not before. Another old house surprise.

bathroom

And then here we are looking at the bathroom. That giant rectangle leads to the tub.

bathroom

A better bathroom shot. Pretty horrible. Just to the left of the blue blanket, you can see a cracked pipe.

 little office looking toward "the hole"

This shot is of the little office, I am standing where the old desk was ripped out. Through that folding door is what we call “the hole” and you can see they dug all the way into there.

"the hole"

Closer shot of the hole. This is where the other two bathrooms connect to the main line.

standing in little office, looking toward office

And then the view once I turned around, looking back toward the office.

standing in little office, looking at exercise room

And a better shot of how that trench connects to the giant exercise room hole.

holes under shelves

And then two little holes under the shelves, these must have been their initial holes before they realized which direction the problem was.

to be continued….

some updates

So! My friend Ryan mentioned that I never blogged about my new couch, so I figured I would do that now. When we bought our house, we only had a couch and a loveseat.

old apt livingroom

Old apartment.

Pretty normal. Except we moved into a home with three living spaces. We have the gameroom downstairs, the living room and family room upstairs. Which was fine for a while, but as the living room became more and more presentable, I was itching for some furniture to put in there.

The loveseat was in there…it’s tiny, the room is huge, I wanted something else.

I have been scanning craigslist every now and then for something but all craigslist couches are typically floral/plaid and hideous and I was hoping for something grey. I was also a little hesitant to buy something upholstered since you never know how people live, so I had pretty much given up.

I was on craigslist one night after Christmas looking for a dresser and just happened to click on a posting for a couch. “Hey that kind of looks like our couch, but in blue…” And then I clicked on the other pictures and noticed the pillows. “Hey that IS our couch but in blue!”

I asked Keith if he would be okay with getting it if I could arrange for a way to get it home. He said it was fine, so I instantly emailed the lady and got to work on finding a truck. Luckily, nearly all of my uncles have trucks and my sweet uncle Gino agreed to transport the couch for me. And the best part was the couch was 75$. Since we bought the exact couch, I know for a fact it cost more than 10x that.

living room!

So now my little loveseat has a friennnd. And it matches the back of my built-ins, I am so good at picking paint colors! Not sure if the couches will stay where they are, they are actually currently thrown in the middle of the room since I was doing a little painting. I have plans to do some sort of painting/refinishing of the coffee table.

 

Thinking of something like the above, except probably not teal.

I was doing a little trim painting the other day and decided to paint a frame. My lovely friend Megan gave me an etsy giftcard for my birthday and I purchased a print. Luckily the people we bought the house from left frames everywhere. I have at least 4-5 with weird flowers or ducks in them. But since gold is not my favorite, I repainted one!

before and after

The white balance is off, but it’s a huge improvement! The print is also off-center, but I took it out and fixed it. It is currently hanging in the back hall, but I want to put it in the kitchen as soon as I get Keith to help me.

And the final update is that somone is coming to fix our plumbing tomorrow! The home warranty did not cover crap. It has been completely useless. So thank the flying spaghetti monster for homeowner’s insurance. They are covering almost everything. The repairs are slated to take 3 days and they will have to dig up the basement floor, so we are spending a few days with Keith’s parents. So thankful they only live .5 mile away. I am SO EXCITED that this stupid plumbing saga is almost over!

the semester that killed her.

So classes started on January 7th. I am taking U.S. to 1877 online and an Anthopology seminar: Culture Change and Innovation. I had high hopes for the Anthropology class, especially after the instructor got changed to someone I once had as a T.A. and really enjoyed.

Since I started back at school…2.5 years ago, I have somehow lucked out with my classes. I take two at a time and I have somehow managed to have a pretty nice balance between a demanding class and an interesting class. If you haven’t discovered this from the title, this is the semester that all came to and end. The anthropology class may get more interesting but I am drowning in school work. The history class is self-paced which is nice on one hand…but on the other hand I feel like I am never going to catch up. I have 3-4 readings a week for that class. Then there are a set of questions after that I have to answer. Luckily, these are only for my benefit, as the grades in the class will come from only the midterm and final.

The anthropology class is a nightmare so far. I have 80-100 pages of reading each week after which I have to write an essay summing everything up. Then our class, since it is a seminar, is mainly discussion based except NO ONE WANTS TO TALK. There is so much reading and it is so dense that it is really hard to remember anything once class actually rolls around. I feel like I need to do a better job of preparing for the discussions, but it isn’t just me not talking, it is everyone. It is just painful.

Every night after work and pretty much all weekend I am doing schoolwork and I don’t see this ending any time soon…so all painting and home projects are pretty much on hold.

Some potentially exciting news is that there is an insurance adjuster at the house right now. After dealing with the plumbing issue for 2 months, I have had enough. I contacted the home warranty (who of course will cover nothing) and then went onto the homewoner’s insurance. They made it seem like they will cover the majority of the cost, but they are there now inspecting it. I really really really hope they do. While it could have been a lot worse, it is so incredibly inconvenient to only be able to use the basement shower. And only once every 12 hours. And only flush the toilet if someone hasn’t used the shower in the past 5 hours, etc. Luckily Keith is a morning showerer and I am an evening showerer, but still. We shall see.

So don’t hold your breath for any home progress for a while. I was able to sneak 35 minutes of painting in on Saturday, but that was only because I had Monday off. 😦

8 days on, 20 days off.

Well if that wasn’t a spectacular fail at NaBloPoMo, I don’t know what it was. In my defense, I was incredibly sick and incredibly boring.

The last week has certainly made up for that though, but not in a good way. Last Monday our refrigerator died. We woke up to a horrible mechanical/burning smell and apparently some part of the fridge had caught on fire (!!) and it slowly died from there. Luckily, we have a fridge in the basement and were able to move almost everything into that before losing anything. We had someone out to look at the fridge and apparently Kitchenaid has some miraculous 10 year warranty on whatever part failed. The fridge is only 8 years old so we just need to contact Sears and have them out to look at the fridge. We were quoted 600$ to replace the part, so if, for some reason it is not covered, we’ll be buying a new fridge.

The current fridge is a side-by-side and I hate how awkward the freezer is, so I have already been daydreaming about a new fridge.  Hopefully we can just get the part replaced though.  I am very thankful that we have a basement fridge but the most annoying part about no upstairs fridge is no ice maker. I am an ice water fiend and it is really killing me not being able to fill up 3-4 times a day.

hoping for something like this…

And since when it rains, it pours, we are also having a plumbing issue! Our basement shower is backing up/not draining. Had someone out to look at that and he couldn’t fix anything. It’s probably some sort of collapse in a portion of the pipes and we got a several thousand dollar quote to fix that! Hooray! (Some part of this may be covered by our Home Warranty so we will investigate that first.)

In actual, exciting news:

goodbye forver, microeconomics.

That pile of paper is everything I printed out this semester for my online Microeconomics class. I took the final quiz today and didn’t waste a second throwing it in the shredding bin at work. I ended up with a B in the class, which is fine with me. That is usually how me + online classes go. I start out hoping/working for an A, but by the time the course ends, I am so relieved to be done with it, a B sounds wonderful. I managed to finish a few weeks early since the class was pretty much self paced. I will NOT be going into economics in any manner though, snooze.

I have some other, less boring news, but that will have to wait for another day. Adios!