Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Drywall Hung

Brian and Jeff worked on hanging the drywall in the master bedroom today. They pretty much got it all hung and taped by about 4PM. Tomorrow, Brian is going to go out and mud all the seams.

I, luckily, also had a pretty productive day. I went through on my hands and knees and scrubbed down the hardwood floors in the two bedrooms in an attempt to clean off the carpet padding residue. I did manage to remove the residue, but not the staining. I think we're just going to go ahead and live with the stains. We just don't have time to have the hardwood floors refinished too and most of the floors are going to be covered with rugs anyway. I also started pulling up the rug and carpet pad in the hallway. The carpet pad isn't too bad and the hardwood floor there is in pretty good shape, so that gives me hope that the living room is also in good shape.

We uncovered evidence of termites in the living room around the fireplace so now my Dad is probably also going to have the house tented; yet another project to squeeze into the schedule. Since we're supposed to give notice on our current rental in two days, I'm thinking seriously about slipping our move out a month. It will cost us another exorbitant month's rent, but will save us a lot of stress.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

All Cleaned Up

We started off our morning with a quick trip up to South San Francisco to buy a lightly-used doghouse for Shasta. It looks like this:
Then we dropped in at Sears so Jeff could take a look at the appliances I was thinking about. We've decided to buy a refrigerator with a bottom freezer; they just seem to make so much more sense. You reach into the refrigerator much more often than the freezer so why stoop every time? Unfortunately we only have a 30" wide space for the fridge in the kitchen, so we're going to have a pretty small unit, at least compared to what we're used to. We will, at least, have a freezer as well, out in the garage.

They didn't have the washer and dryer I'm considering, so we'll just have to order that one on faith if we're set on getting the top-rated unit from Consumers Reports.

After Sears, we dropped the dog off at Upton then went and had a quick lunch. When we got back to Upton, we cleaned up the construction debris in the master bedroom. We pulled up the carpet pad and swept up the rest of the drywall chunks and nails and got them in the garbage. The room is pretty much cleaned out and ready to go.

We got a call from our drywall guy and he cannot start until Wednesday. It's disappointing, but at least he called instead of just not showing up. Now I'm going to have to be there every day next week; that's a drag. Well, at least we won't have to worry about being in the way of the furnace guys.

I'm going to try and get internet installed in Redwood City ASAP. If I'm going to be spending so much time over there, it would be nice to have something to do when I'm not working on cleaning and painting.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Insulation Nearly Done

Today Jeff and I nearly finished hanging the insulation in the master bedroom. Jeff mostly stapled the paper in place and I did the cutting around the 2x4s and electrical boxes. Some of the walls had some weird diagonal bracing that it was hard to work around, but I think we did OK for our first time ever hanging insulation. We didn't quite finish the room because there is still a couple of wires to run. Tomorrow we plan to fill in all the small and odd shaped spaces we didn't finish today.

Jeff also washed down the master bathroom with TSP and bleach. The existing paint is in very poor condition and it is going to need more prep than I had realized. We're going to have to do some scraping, because it has started to peel around the light. And there are some large cracks at the edge between the walls and ceiling. I don't know if we're going to have these repaired by our sheetrock guy; it probably depends on how quickly the other work goes.

Shasta was quite the character today. At one point we secured her to a dog stake in the backyard (so she could see us through the window) and she was so desperate to be with us that she actually climbed the ladder to get in through the window! We tried to get her to do it again while we were watching, but we failed. She did go through the window a second time later in the day, but she was so quick I couldn't get the camera out and ready in time.

We bought Shasta a ton of stuff today. I found someone who was selling lightly used dogs toys (she had bought them for her infant) for $10 for half a grocery bag full. That was a deal. But we also found a new (to us) pet supply in Redwood City and that trip was considerably more expensive! Among the cool items scored was a Kevlar frisbee.

We'll be going out to Redwood City again tomorrow to continue working on the insulation and to help my Dad run the rest of the wiring (putting in Coax and Cat-5). We may take Sunday off if we can spare the time off, but we may go out and work on preparing the master bath for painting if we can handle another day in a row of work. Drywall installation begins on Monday.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Shopping Day

I got started this morning at 10AM and spent the day until about 3PM shopping. I had a fairly long list of things to do. I started by buying a peach tree from someone close-by on craigslist then I headed over to the Whole House Building Supply, a neat salvage place in Palo Alto. I was hoping to find a 50's style ceiling light fixture and maybe some salvaged wood trim for the bedroom, but I didn't find any.

Then I headed off to Sherwin Williams in Redwood City and bought about 12 gallons of paint and primer. I didn't buy the paint for the kitchen yet because I'm still not sure what color we're using. We're planning to paint samples on the wall in the colors from the other rooms to see if any look good in the kitchen.

After Sherwin Williams I headed off to OK Lumber in San Carlos. From them, I bought nice quality pre-primed 1x4s to trim out the master bedroom and also the drywall we need. I really appreciated it when they threw in delivery for no extra charge.

Finally, I headed to Sears in San Mateo to see about ordering the appliances. That didn't go as well as I hoped. First, they didn't have any of the models I was interested in, so I couldn't actually see any of them. Second, the help they had working in the store didn't seem to know anything about any of the appliances. It seemed like they just had clerks working in the department who really couldn't give you any advice or feedback about the different brands. I was so irritated I just walked out without ordering anything; I think I'll try another store.

Jeff has tomorrow off of work (Apple is moving his office to another building) so we're both going out to Redwood City to work on the master bedroom. We have a fairly long list of tasks to work on, but our main objective is to insulate the master bedroom. We're also hoping to get started on prep-ing the master bathroom for painting over the weekend.

Tomorrow the HVAC team gets started on the new furnace and AC unit. On Monday, Brian, our friend who does construction work, is going to start hanging the drywall. I've scheduled the vinyl installation for May 9, so we need to have the master bath and kitchen painted by then. We've got a very full schedule for the next two weeks.

On the puppy front, Shasta is making us a little crazy tonight; she's being very licky and bitey. It's a good thing she's so cute.She's been practicing all week now and is getting quite good at catching the frisbee in mid-air. We're going to have to find some better way to film her doing it.

I've already sold the oak bookcase I listed on craigslist yesterday. And all the free stuff is gone too. Now I need to get some more furniture emptied and ready to list.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Packing and Selling Furniture

Well, I've finally gotten past my inertia and have started packing. We had a pile of flattened boxes in the attic of the garage and Jeff took it down so I could get to it. I'm slowly working towards emptying out and packing up furniture that is NOT going with us. I need to get started on finding homes for this furniture that is not moving with us. I'm also expecting I'll fill the paper recycling several times during this move. It is amazing how the paper just seems to pile up.

I'm stuck at home waiting for our moving box delivery; I went ahead and ordered the boxes. I just don't have the time to run around and gather used boxes. I wish they'd show up so I can go buy paint today, but I need to be here when they arrive.

This morning's progress:

Update at 5PM:

FINALLY got the boxes; we were last on the route. Figures, I waited all day and didn't get out to buy the paint. I may have ordered too many. Looks like a lot, but we've got a big house crammed full. I guess we'll see.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Frisbee Dog Caught on Video

We tried to get a video of Shasta catching the frisbee in the air. Jeff managed to get a couple of decent videos, given how dark it was starting to get and how inexpensive our camera is.

We've discovered that this is a pretty good way to wear Shasta out, so we've been trying to spend as long as we can spare first thing in the morning. She gets into a lot less trouble when we find the time. Here she is very tired after one of our sessions. She just managed to make it in to her water dish and then she just flopped out and stayed there for a while resting.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Drywall Demo Begins...and Ends

This afternoon we're planning to go out and see if we can get the drywall removed from the walls in the master bedroom. With any luck, we'll be able to get that all off today and then we can get it cleaned up tomorrow and Saturday during the Estate Sale.

I'm going through our schedule again. I'm still worried that we're setting the May 26 move-in date too soon. I guess we'll see. If we can get everything painted pretty quickly, we should be fine.

I'm trying to figure out a way we can go down to Southern California and get that furniture I found yesterday. A visit to Jeff's parents is way overdue, but given our current tight schedule I'm not sure I can see how to do it, not without infringing on Jeff's work hours. Hopefully it will still be for sale in a couple of weeks and by then we should know how quickly the painting will go.

I already received my purple heart earring rack! Wow, they were fast. It's actually a bit bigger than I would like, but I was going by their earring count at the website. They clearly don't expect you not to pack them in as tight as we do. This rack is almost twice as big as I really need. I only have 41 pairs of earrings and they're mostly small ones on earwires. Oh well, I should have known better since I already have one. I do like the purple heart wood and am looking forward to hanging it up in Redwood City.

We're getting another quote today for hanging the drywall and also for trimming out the master bedroom. We discovered our neighbor from our last rental (on Dumas) who we've kept in touch with does that kind of work and he's out of work right now. I always enjoy helping out friends who need work. This will also help us out as we won't have to deal with the trim during our limited number of weekend hours; we'll be able to just come in and paint.


Jeff finished all the demo. He did a great job getting all the sheetrock off the walls and now all we have to do is clean up and dispose of the debris.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Packing AGAIN!

This is the third move in just over four years when we move next month. Ugh. I absolutely hate moving and wish we could stop. Though, I know that this next house is still only a temporary resting place while we let the economy sort itself out and we can figure out if it is safe to take off on that much-relished Year Long trip of ours or whether we're stuck in the daily grind indefinitely.

Today I finally started packing up my sewing room. There's so much stuff crammed into such a small room that I've already used up the boxes I have leftover from the last move (we got rid of most of the boxes to make space in the garage) and I'll have to take a load over before I can pack up some more. I'll just use the boxes over and over while we continue to go over and fix up that end.

I'm planning to hire movers to move the bulk of our stuff/furniture on May 26. I don't try to round up enough friends and family to move all our stuff anymore. Usually it's only about $1000 to hire a crew of several burly hispanics and they get everything moved and in place in just a few hours. Okay it's more expensive, but so much easier for us. We know we'll have enough help and we don't end up feeling like we abused our relationships.

Anyway, that will leave us a couple of days to get the Cupertino house cleaned and ready to turn over to the landlord. I'm hopeful we'll be able to keep on this schedule.

The estate sale is this Friday and Saturday; afterwards Jeff and I will have to step up our efforts to get through our list. This week we're sort of in a holding pattern while we wait for the Estate Sale to happen and the stuff to go away. So, I'm trying to get started on the packing on this end. But I don't really want to pack too much. We're still living here for a month and a half, so I'm trying to start with stuff we won't miss in the meantime.

One bright side of moving so many times is that every time we move we get rid of more stuff. Maybe by the time we buy another house we'll be able to buy a smaller one. =)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Quiet Days at Home

I've spent yesterday and today catching up domestic tasks back at the Cupertino house. Did some housework, laundry and dishes; boring to write about, boring to read about. I've also goofed off a bit online.

Yesterday, I splurged and bought myself a new earring rack made out of purpleheart wood. The earring rack that Jeff and I share has gotten very crowded with all his earrings, so I went ahead and bought a new one for myself. They don't have a picture of the particular style I bought, but it was like this one, only in purpleheart wood and with one more rung in the height. The maker is Ginny's Ear Nest. We originally bought the earlier rack at Portland's Saturday Market and have been happy with it, so I decided to get another that matched.

I probably should be working on packing. I'm trying to talk myself into starting in on my sewing room. That's one room that I can move over as soon as we get the hardwood floor cleaned up. Jeff pulled down some of the boxes we kept from the last move and they are the specially-sized boxes I bought to fit my folded fabric so I don't have to unfold the piles; I can just put two piles side-by-side in the same box.

Shasta is settling into our routine quite well. She's a pretty good girl, but still definitely a puppy. She has so much energy. She is quite the tow vehicle when I wrap her leash around me to slow her down on our walks. =)

Monday, April 13, 2009

Busy Weekend

We had an incredibly busy weekend this past weekend. We got a lot done on the Redwood City house, we went to the San Mateo Gem Show, plus we went to one family gathering. (We probably should have gone to two, but we had already double-booked Sunday.)

I had planned to go to Southern Shores' Newcomers Event on Saturday morning, but we were squeezing it in before an Easter gathering in the afternoon at my Dad's place. But Jeff managed to sleep in until almost 11AM, so by the time we all got up, ate and showered it was nearly 1PM, so we didn't make it to the event. Oh well.

At a bit before 2PM, we headed over to my Dad's place. I thought the plan was to eat dinner then all of us would head out to the Redwood City house and my brothers were supposed to poke through the stuff remaining in the house and pick the things they wanted. Well, no one really shared that plan with them. So, my brother Jeffrey showed up late and they said they weren't available to go after dinner because one of their twins had a baseball game. And by the time we were done with dinner, visited for a while and the kids had done an easter egg hunt, it was already 7PM and then James' declared that it was too late for him to head over to the house. He had to leave on vacation very early morning the next morning and then didn't have time to go over to Redwood City. Oh well.

Anyway, I actually had tasks scheduled at the Redwood City house on Saturday (when all three brothers would be there) and none of them got done. So, on Sunday, we needed to try and catch up everything we had missed.

Bright and early on Sunday morning, because we were expecting to leave Shasta at home by herself, we tried to go out to visit a park for a long walk. We drove to Rancho San Antonio County Park to go for a walk through a lovely grassland area. But when we got there they had signs posted that no dogs were allowed. I find it very odd their website and online map is totally silent on the subject of dogs and you only find out when you get there that they aren't allowed. We were pretty disappointed and instead headed to a regular neighborhood park and walked a few circuits around the park to try and wear Shasta out so she would mostly sleep while we were gone.

On Sunday morning, we were invited to my Mom's family gathering at a restaurant, Olive Garden, at 11AM. But I had also been invited and already accepted an invitation to a gem show in San Mateo at exactly the same time. Maybe I should have cancelled the visit to the gem show, but I've been wanting to go for a couple years now and there were always conflicts when it came up in the past. We really enjoy poking around at the gem show to pick out fun charms for Jeff; we hang them on ear wires for Jeff. He really enjoys having the right earring for the right occasion; he's been known to change his earring more than once per day. He has so many more earrings than me that I chuckle. I even need to buy my own little earring rack because he has almost squeezed my earrings out. =) Here is yesterday's haul:
This is probably his favorite. It's a calculator with the first few digits of pi on the display:After the gem show we tried to stop at In 'n Out Burger, but they turned out to be closed for Easter. So, we went to Clarke's Burger in Mountain View and had a quick lunch. Then we grabbed the truck and the dog and headed back up to Redwood City. We were there until about 7PM.

While we were there, not only did we (well mostly Jeff) manage to do all the tasks on the Saturday list, but also everything we had on Sunday list as well. We vacuumed the master bedroom carpet, took pictures (to try and find a new home for it on Craigslist), and removed it and got it out of the house. We unloaded a third bookcase from the truck into the front bedroom and I filled it with several more boxes of books for sale at the estate sale. We cut up the carpet from the middle bedroom and taped it into small rolls that could easily be loaded and thrown in the dumpster. We also folded up and bagged the old, shedding pad from that bedroom. Jeff also managed to remove all of the trim in the master bedroom, to prepare for removal of the drywall later in the week or next weekend. And Jeff helped my father run the wiring for the air conditioning unit being installed later in the month. And we got the trash all thrown out later that evening.

By the time we had grabbed a little dinner at nearly 9PM, we pretty much just came back here and crashed into bed. We were exhausted. But I do have hope that we'll get all this cleanup and painting done in time.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Working on Project Plan

I'm trying to plan out all the tasks we need to do on the Redwood City House project so I can map out the dates. I've been working on my own little project plan in a spreadsheet. This will help keep me on track and will help me make sure I've got the correct materials when we need them.

Anyway, I've been pretty detailed in everything we need to do, and I'm not sure we can have the house ready to move in by the 26th of May. One of the problems clogging up the schedule is the availability of my Dad's time. He works full-time and, basically, has a life. But there's several things he'll need to help us with in order to be ready for later tasks. For instance, he needs to help us remove the toilets and repair the subfloors if necessary, so we can have the new vinyl installed.

I think Jeff and I are going to have to start going over at least one night during the week; the weekends just aren't long enough. We need to get started on demolition of the master bedroom drywall so we can get that room insulated and electrical upgraded. Which reminds me, I found someone who would install the drywall and patch that bedroom for $850, including materials, so we're going to go ahead and do it. It will save us on our energy bills, and we'll be more comfortable at night, especially as that side of the house gets pounded with sun all day long. It's already hot in there in the afternoon and it's only April!

I'm really looking forward to the estate sale being finished, because all that stuff piled around the house is making it nearly impossible to get anything done there, other than sifting stuff, that is.

We really need to get going on painting, which means we need the walls clear. You can only do so much painting at one time. The paint has to dry and we're limited by the time we have to spend there. I'm hoping by going out an evening or two, we can get through the painting in time. We want to finish all the painting before we have the new vinyl/carpet installed.

This coming week I'm going to try and start cleaning the bathrooms. I think the cupboards are still full and I'll also need to start removing the existing vinyl on the floors. I can probably get started on that before the sale. And if I finish that task, I'm going to start cleaning the walls, masking and painting. I can at least get the master bath painted before the house is empty.

In the evenings when we aren't working on the house, I spend a fair amount of time cruising around the furniture section of craigslist. I'm still looking for good deals on 1950s style living room and dining room furniture. There's a few pieces I'm watching, but since they're not exactly a great deal price-wise, I haven't gone and bought them yet. They may sell, but new sets get listed regularly. (There were a few good deals, but they were too far away to jump in my car and get them. Once we move, I'll be more willing to travel a bit of distance.) 

That's the one glimmer of brightness in this sorry economy, there's lots of quality furniture for sale. There's a fairly significant number of people who are selling everything to move or to pay the bills. Sad for them, good for us.

By working on this plan, though, I've also realized I have to get started with the packing. I cannot spend all my free time over in Redwood City; I have to spend some amount of time during the week packing up this end. Sigh, I hate moving. And this one will be more difficult because a chunk of our stuff is moving into a storage locker, at least temporarily. We need to spend that much more time thinking about what we'll need at the house and ask ourselves if this thing we're about to pack is going to get used again soon, or ever....

I was hoping to go to the local SCA event this weekend, but we're far enough behind that we may not have time. I'm missing SCA; I think the last event we made it to was in December.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Mostly Finished With House Planning

During the last few days I visited at least five different flooring sellers and I think I have settled on what I want to put in my grandmother's old house. If this house wasn't going to be a rental when Jeff and I move out, I would put in Marmoleum to keep the retro rancher integrity, but alas I needed to choose an easy-care and durable flooring. And this year fake-stone vinyl is in; nearly everything has some sort of fake stone look, be it slate, limestone, or others. So, that's what I'm choosing.

Also, paint colors, as far as I can find, were bold and bright. Too bright for modern preferences, but I'm going to mostly go with them. I hate beige, so this plan will work for me, at least until we buy a house. I won't be using more than one bright color in a room, though. Here is one picture from a 1950's ad. This is not the color scheme we're going with. Here's a better kitchen from an ad.
(Both of the kitchen images were lifted from the really great Retro Renovation blog.)

Here is our general paint pallet:

For the Kitchen I am choosing Mannington Naturals Pompeii Ash 17360 flooring:

It will contrast nicely with the yellow birch cabinets and also work with my cherry furniture, if I don't manage to find a good deal on birch furniture while I'm there. I'm still debating about what paint colors to use; it will depend on what dining room set we end up using. It will probably be some variation of a yellow, but we may also use Chelsea Gray SW 2850, since all the cabinetry is yellow.

For the front bathroom, which has yellow tile with brown trim, and white fixtures, we are going to go with Manning Benchmark San Tropez Earthenware 3761:
The room has knotty pine wood panelling above the tile, so there is no painting required in that room.

For the master bathroom, which is mostly white with gray mottling, I'm going to use Armstrong Doylestown Pine/Cream 64605 Flooring.
The green medallion looks pretty washed out in this picture, it is actually a bit darker. (I've included a somewhat better picture.) I'm going to paint the wall over the tile wainscoting Cascade Green 0066 from Sherwin Williams.

And I'm going to recarpet the master bedroom in a dark pine green. I've been looking for a carpet with post-consumer recycled content, but I haven't been able to find any that have the dark color I want. So far, all of the recycled carpets are all pastels and mellow earth tones. I want dark! Something along the lines of Vogue Green 0065 from Sherwin Williams. And I'm going to paint the walls in the master bedroom Rose Tan SW 0069 (the darker of the two swatches). I'm going to paint the trim in Classic Sand SW 0056.

I'm still thinking about painting at least one wall in the living room with the color Orchid SW 0071. I'll probably paint the trim with Porcelain SW 0053. I'd like to find a decent used couch in something similar to Deep Maroon SW 0072.

And with all these great colors, I think the house will be bright enough! Now I just need to keep an eye out for a good couch. I'm not moving over my beige couches. They get dirty too easily and I just don't like beige....

Monday, April 6, 2009

Frisbee Dog

The puppy honeymoon is starting to come to an end as Shasta gets more comfortable in her surroundings and we're maybe giving her too loose of limits. We're looking forward to the dog obedience classes beginning at the end of the month.

Shasta is proving to be a very smart dog; she learned how to open the gate this week and I almost had a hemorrhage today when I arrived home and found it standing open. She probably had a great day goofing off outside, but she was at least sleeping in the backyard when I arrived home. I guess I'd better haul myself off to the award shop ASAP to get her an engraved dog tag.

Last night we were delighted when Shasta started retrieving a frisbee. It looks like we're going to have a frisbee dog! I tried to take pictures this morning but it was hard to catch her in the act as she was moving so fast.