Monday, December 31, 2007

Birth of a Bedroom

O Holy Crap. That was the theme of our "get the bedroom ready for company" Christmas. So much work and so little time. The week before my Mom and Dad came to visit was one renovation headache after the other. The most traumatic phase was just agreeing what color, style, texture, combination, paint, carpet, ceiling to go with. It took multiple trips to Home Depot amounting to several hours of looking at different samples, tiles, colors etc. Compounding the frustration was my endless indecision paired with my normal good-natured wife's deteriorating patience. And no thanks to the paint desk dudes discreet martial advice. 

Which didn't help either of us in the get-in-a-good-mood category.

And then there was the real work.

This room has been the storage area for the past year. Everything was pulled out and relocated (in a very optimistic sense of the word) in other places in the house. Because of the shortness of time I was trying to mud, tape, sand and texture all at the same time. It doesn't work. But I did the best I knew how, even though I sometimes sabotaged Valli's well-laid plans. My hope was that we would have the room cleaned out, have the floor prepared for carpet, and have the walls painted just in time for the carpet installers to show up Wednesday morning, pick up and assemble the bed Wednesday afternoon, and have dinner ready for the folks early Wednesday evening. And something like 4 days to do it. Okay- no sweat.

And then we decided to use leveling concrete on the floor. More trips to Home Depot. Which we discovered had to have a primer coat. "Oh, and by the way", needs to set for 12 -24 hrs.

Then we found that when an aerosol can of spray-on orange-peel texture says 110 sq. feet it really means just 10 sq feet. So we figured it would cost about six hundred thousand dollars to buy enough cans of texture. So we needed to find an air compressor to borrow, and learn how to use it, and buy mix-yourself texture, and learn how to mix it, and buy/learn to use a texture gun. Which means more trips to Home Depot.

When we were about halfway through leveling the room we simultaneously ran out of auto leveler AND discovered that not only are these "square footage per bag" also hopelessly optimistic, but so is the term "auto" in auto-leveling. So, the result was more scrambling to fix the newest disaster and of course, more trips to Home Depot as the first couple batches were drying and being put down by Valli.

Next came the texturing of the walls- before we finished sanding.  But I didn't care.  I just wanted the room to look done.  I could go back and fix that stuff later.  So on went the first batch with our brand new spray gun and borrowed air compressor (note- one trip to hardware store to but adapters, another trip to return them and buy the right adapters).  The first batch went on really nicely.  I was actually really buoyed up by this- that something actually worked the way I wanted it to.  Did I mention that this is the night before the folks get here?  I thought maybe- just maybe-  I could finish texturing in the next hour, let it sit for 6 hours with the floor fan on high blast, spray on the primer, let that sit for 6 hours, and spray on the base coats of the actual paint right before the carpet installer show up Wednesday morning.  Oh yeah, and somehow go to work, too.  But the next batch of texture was too runny and started sliding down the walls.  So Valli and I trowelled off everything and started over after we went back to Home Depot and bought more texture.  The next time, only a quarter of the texture ran off the wall.  And it had to be removed again, and more texture mixed again (really good at this by now).  But the problem was that the wall was too wet by this time and nothing would stay on until it had dried for at least 6 hours.  But if that was what the box says, then it probably meant to say six days.  Anyway- I finally had to concede that it just wasn't going to get finished.  The only positive thing now was that at least I didn't have to stay up all night, and no more trips to God-Bless-America Home Depot.

The next morning Valli called me at work to announce- with happiness and joy that rival the angel of the Lord, long ago in Bethlehem-  "(Hey! Unto you a Child is born!) Honey, we have carpet!"  The bad news is that since that floor has been raised by cement, pad, and carpet, the bedroom door no longer opens or closes.  It's an acceptable compromise.  

Once I got home from work i spent the rest of the day picking up and assembling the bed, wiring the new light fixtures wrong so that neither of them work and plunged the room into darkness, and making a last trip to Wal-Mart for floor lamps and a new lock set for the bedroom door- to install once Valli finishes cutting an inch or so off the bottom of it.  Turns out the door was built with a metal sheet in it.  That explains the slow process and black smoke billowing from the circular saw.  Oh well.  We threw the last bits together with an hour to spare before company arrived and haven't done a productive thing since.

It's as finished as it is going to be for a good while- and its beautiful.

And we love you Mom and Dad!


Tuesday, December 25, 2007

A "soda" but not really, Christmas

Valli had the fun idea to make a crapload of cream soda and give it away to our friend’s and such around the neighborhood with the following poem.

Some people are soda crazy, fun to be around.
Some people are soda cheery,
making others smile instead of frown.
Some people are soda neighborly, taking
interest and lending a hand.
Some people are soda superior when it comes to
being a friend.
So at this Christmas time, we want to celebrate by telling
you that we think you’re soda great!

So a week and a half ago she made 3 gallons of cream soda and left it to brew. Last night she typed up the poems on pretty paper and sanitized 30 or so bottles that have been collecting dust, ants, goo, and other yuckies for the past couple months since we switched to kegs. I didn’t really do much work, I just advised on the sanitation process since that has traditionally been my job. Everything was going great until we opened up the soda jugs and discovered that they were nasty. It was the first batch that we have ever made of cream soda that wasn’t delicious. The bottom line is this- No soda for you!

Oh well, we have had a great Cristmas holiday anyway. Its great to just be together. And wait till you see what we've done in the bedroom!

Not that- sickos.

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Who needs November anyway?

So we missed November. Or maybe November missed us, cause we had a great time!
There was a little traveling involved with seeing family, ruins, sandunes, sea turtles, snow covered Rockies and a miriad of other things. Thanksgiving happened somewhere since then but that was after the trip.

This is Chichen Itza on the Yucatan Penisula.

At the solstice the shadows form a serpent along the left edge. There's a serpent head carved out of stone at the bottom. Sadly the only things we got pictures of were the ruins and stuff in Mexico. The camera got sand in it at the sand dunes in Utah. Imagine that. This was poor timing since that was the start of our "visiting family" section of the trip. So, no family photos. Or us plowing 4wheelers through the snow on top of mountains in Idaho.

What a fun trip! Exactly one week prior to the snow excursion we were scuba
diving in Cozumel. Dave spotted a sea turtle. It was hilarious seeing him try to get our attention. He resorted to hitting his oxygen tank with his ring.