Thursday, July 31, 2008
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Anyway, on to house stuff -- after our taping lesson from Paul the other day, we've been working a bit on patching up some of the holes in the wall (from the electrician, the crown molding, and the drop ceiling grid). It's a slow process and I admittedly am not very good at it. I've got about half the room done though and then we'll start taping the ceiling, which I have a feeling will not be so much fun. One thing at a time, though, right? After that we can get it primed, painted, and put some lights back in our kitchen!
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Ye who knows a lot
And passes on this knowledge
Is a friend indeed
Saturday, July 26, 2008
Friday, July 25, 2008
So, yeah, we're ready to be done with this part of the kitchen. It will be nice to have a ceiling up tomorrow - even if just not to have wool insulation falling on our heads (and into our food) 24-7. We won't really have it all done and the final layers of joint compound on until probably next weekend but at least we'll have a solid surface back up there again. Here we go - bright and early tomorrow morning!
Monday, July 21, 2008
But, not all in the Bangor Foursquare feel the same way about this stuff (although I'm not sure which way our cat, Mancha, falls on this issue). Thom and I had several chats about this stuff this past weekend. Unlike me, Thom doesn't get a great deal of satisfaction from being sore and bruised, and from getting dirty and sweaty (go figure). However, I know he really struggles with being a man who is not interested in doing home improvement, especially when I am doing the work on my own. I keep telling him that I'll ask him if I need help. Of course I enjoy doing this stuff more when we do it together but I also know it's not his bag and I'm totally okay with that. Too bad the rest of the world isn't as okay with it.
In fact, when I was teaching the women's studies class last month for summer session, we talked about gender roles in class many times. Several of the students protested, saying that they didn't think gender roles really existed as much as they used to. So it was funny to tell them about being outside painting my garage when my neighbor walked by and said to me, "You're always working on the house. You should have been a man." Or the neighbor on the other side, when seeing me working outside, will say to me, "Where's your husband? Why isn't he doing this?"
Anyway, my point is this: I think we need to get away from labeling people based upon their genitalia. If Thom doesn't enjoy re-wiring the kitchen, that should be totally fine, just as it should be totally fine that I do enjoy it, despite the fact that I have ovaries. There should be no guilt, no obligation, and no prescribed way for feeling anything about what was traditionally "a man's job" or "a woman's job." Phooey on that. Why can't we just have "people's jobs," huh?
And that's all I have to say about that.
Case in point: re-wiring the kitchen. Doing any kind of wiring used to scare the heck out of me. I was really, really freaked out about doing this part of the kitchen renovation. I suppose it's the fear of the unknown but it really made me feel uneasy. Now, not only knowing how to do it but even to feel comfortable doing it is really satisfying. And it just feels like a real sense accomplishment. I'm not sure if other women feel this way doing this stuff, but I think it's really empowering to know that I could do it. But it's really about knowng that I've gone from something like this:
To something like this:
Now, don't get me wrong. It's not all butterflies, puffy stickers, and rainbows; it's hard work. I don't think I've sweat as much as I have in the past three days. I also am not sure what kind of allergic reaction I'm having to the mounds of old blown-in wool insulation that keeps falling all over me, but it's red and it's itchy. I have more bumps and bruises, scrapes, and sore muscles than I have ever had in my life, and we seem to be living in perpetual dust. But, you know what? It's still awesome. Three cheers for hard labor!
Sunday, July 20, 2008
What were you thinking? My husband and I have spent the entire weekend fixing your unbelievably shoddy and ridiculous work. Whether it was removing eight nails from a small piece of molding, re-running wiring that was incorrectly installed, or pulling down the the falling plaster that was hastily smashed out. Seriously, what were you thinking?
With all our loathe,
The New Owners of the Bangor Foursquare
As we were just eating dinner I said to Thom, "I feel more exhausted than I did yesterday but what did we do today? We spent 9 hours working on the kitchen and I'm not sure what we have to show for it." What did we do today? Thom finished taking down the old crown molding (admittedly the only nice surprise hiding under that drop ceiling) as he is much more patient and gingerly about it than I am. Then we spent the rest of the day pulling wire over the old lath on the ceiling and trying to repair the mess they made of the wiring. I think the most frustrating part of the whole re-wiring saga is the fact that the electrician hired to do this did so as part of the conditions of the sale. In other words, this work was done for us just a few months ago. Knowing he was not only a lazy ass hat but that, more or less, we paid for cruddy work, it's enfuriating to have to redo it all over again.
Thank goodness, once again, for our friend Paul. We got to a point today where we felt we did all we could within our comfort range. I think that was the first time I felt really unhappy and a bit freaked out. The thought crossed my mind: What did we do? Why did we pull all this down? Did we just make a huge tiny mistake?
So, it was so cool to have Paul come over and in 30 minutes explain what we needed to do and then demonstrate it. I was able to re-wire the last bit without any problem after his marvelous demonstration. The most upsetting thing is that Thom and I are horrified that our new, wonderful friends think we're total moochers who only call them when we need something. What a terrible thing. We have decided that after this project, we're not going to do anything for a long time so we don't have to call them for anything other than to see if they want to hang out. What amazingly nice and generous friends they are and we are so lucky to have stumbled upon them.
Anyway, a few pictures to show you what's what. Believe me, it was a lot more work than it looks.
The eight bajillion nails that are clearly needed to put up this small piece of molding
Saturday, July 19, 2008
All soffits removed
Does this count as before and after? As in:
BEFORE: looks not so bad.
AFTER: looks like a crack house.
They do say it's always darkest before the dawn, right?
So, all in all: Huge mess, lots of dust, but it's looking better and bigger everyday.
(You better believe we're entering the contest - we need the gift card to buy some more hepa filters for the shopvac)
Friday, July 18, 2008
Thanks for your understanding and patience."
Sunday, July 13, 2008
I got sick of trying to pull down the metal ceiling frame that was nailed to our beautiful plaster and gave up. What a mess!
It's going to be a lot of work though. We're going to need to pull down some of the mess - don't know how much. We're considering putting up some 2x4s and going from there - it will drop the ceiling down a bit but it might be better than dealing with the big mess we have up there.
I'm tired. I am going to get a hot fudge sundae.
Friday, July 11, 2008
Believe me, we really agonized over this lighting thing but I think it will serve our needs best and is very affordable. Discovering the wiring nightmare under the drop ceiling also necessitated something easy and simple.
I'm thinking we can do this thing for about $1500. With new IKEA birch countertops ($170), a new cork floor from Lumber Liquidators ($800), painted cabinets ($60), new hardware ($50), a microwave cabinet and bookshelves from IKEA ($180), a new coat of paint ($30), a mini tile backsplash ($100), and another new pendant light ($30). We're thinking we might start doing a bit of the work, including taking down the ceiling and rearranging the wiring, as well as starting to paint the cabinets. We'll figure out drywall for the ceiling later (when our awesome friend Paul can help).