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Counters and 1 balloon

Another weekend come and gone. We managed to do some nonrehab stuff this weekend, too, which is a good thing.


Saturday started with rehab, of course.  Here is another look at all the scapholding set up to repair the roof.




They are working on the valley up there and will be reslating the roof over the porch.  So glad I don’t have to be up there.  You know those things that you would never think of doing yourself? That would be roofing for me. I do have my limits :D

See that pipe on the roof waaaay up there in the middle of this picture?


That’s where they were last week.  Scary stuff. The back porch is also getting redone (which is why those wires are hanging there).

I was inside working on the counters while John made what seems like the millionth trip to the hardware store.  Sanding and sanding and sanding:



I have my game face on (kinda scary, actually):



I actually got interrupted while I was sanding by someone at the door. I thought maybe my sanding was too loud, but it turns out to be a former owner of the house. The owner previous to the one that got foreclosed on. He saw the sale notice in the paper and came to see his old house.  I took him on a tour and he was telling me what he had done to the property and all the things that were missing that the foreclosed owner took out of the house, like the California Closet systems and the French doors.  This gentleman was waxing very nostalgic about the house and said he would have bought it back if he had known it was on the market.  After I went back inside, he was leaning against his car and talking on his phone while looking at the house.  I have to say that it would not surprise me one bit if he approached us to buy the property  - but he can’t have it! LOL!

We spent some relaxing time in the afternoon with some coffee and a jazz duo:


This was the weekend of the Adirondack balloon festival.  We decided to stop by on Saturday evening, although it was breezy and we didn’t think any balloons would go up.  They didn’t fly, but some inflated a little bit:



This is how hard they were pulling to control the balloons in the breeze.



Darth Vader was there, though!


Darth had his own balloon, but it didn’t fly Saturday.  At least it was nice to get outside and walk around and away from the rehab.

We were able to do our usual 20 mile ride for breakfast on Sunday.  Doing that ride makes it feel like life isn’t quite so crazy, you know?  I do love my routines.  Except I forgot my phone, so no pictures.  Not to mention I missed that my mother texted that she wanted to meet us for breakfast. Oops.

Back to counters. Crack filling and sanding:



Kim asked what we will be sealing the counters with and it is this product:


After a lot of research, I chose this product for a few reasons.

A. It is food safe once it cures.

B. It is water resistant (not waterproof) and won’t turn white if it gets wet.

C.  Since this is a wood countertop, chances are it will get dings and scratches. With Waterlox, you can sand just the damaged part and add more Waterlox. Using poly and you would have to sand the whole counter and reapply. 

I’ll have to let you all know how that works out :D

And an historic moment at Radiance Manor:


The moving of 2 plants!  This is the 100-pound rose bush and my razzmatazz coneflower.  They are just in the ground. Probably not their permanent homes, but I had to get them over and transplanted so they have a chance to get some roots established.

This week we will be sealing the counters and putting in flooring. Getting close, people!


What’s Blooming!

I still have blooms in the garden!  The mums haven’t even opened yet.  We had some frost last night, which I think nipped some of the annuals (mainly my potted vines).

Annual Salvia:






Black-eyed Susans still going strong!



The Autumn Joy sedum has darkened up quite nicely.  It was really sunny when I took this photo. Normally I like morning light or evening because the colors come out more.


The burning bush is starting to turn!



One of my tippy pots has a late flush of allysum:



I also noticed my campanula are blooming again. These plants had so many blooms this year!




This weekend I will be moving over the rose bush and the razzmatazz coneflower to the new house.  I don’t have any place ready for them, so I am just going to clear a spot and put them in and hope they make it.  It’s getting late for transplanting.  I might have to shift them around next year LOL!

Those of you on FB might have seen this pic of the work being done on the roof.



It’s quite the elaborate set up to do the slate.  I am glad this roofer is experienced with slate, although he is spendy (and he talks too much!! LOL).  It’s painstaking work and hopefully they will be finished by Tuesday.

Inside, we have been working on the counters.  I am in sanding mode now:



Lots and lots of sanding to even out the counter.  I started with 50 grit and will be moving through finer and finer grit to get it smooth. This counter might actually work LOL!

Little gifts

Life has been a blur lately.  It is a little better with only 1 job and the rehab, though  - so there is that.  We are trying to do that last push to get the kitchen done so we can move in.  That and the shower upstairs are the things that have to be done before we move in.  I had been going in and working from the new house and then would do rehab stuff when work got slow, but today the roofers were at the house and a chimney sweep and I knew it would be too noisy for me to concentrate with work, so I stayed at the current house with my work partner:


It’s been pretty bleak on the selling side.  There just is not any activity in the market and our open house was a bust.  It’s just not a great time to list a house. The right buyer will come along at some point, but it could be many months down the road.

We escaped with major costs in other places in the new house, but the roof and the chimney are what hit the pocketbook.  The slate repairs are expensive (but hopefully we won’t ever have to worry about the roof again).  This is not a job I would want to do:


That’s 3 floors up from the back of the house. Yikes!  There are 3 spots getting fixed. One is the house roof itself and then replacing the roof on the back and front stoops. Closeup of the slate that will be going up:


Also, we need a new chimney liner to the tune of $2-3K.  The chimney is used for venting the boiler for the radiator system, as well as the gas fireplace, so it has to get done.  Sometimes it just makes you angry at how poorly some people treat their homes.  Delayed maintenance will get you every time… or get us, in this case.

Fun stuff lately:  I received a nice gift in the mail that was unexpected.  FB friend Rachel sent me a book to read to help decompress from the renovations and work stuff:



Very sweet gesture and just about makes me forgive her for being a Steelers fan ;)

John got me a little present just for fun when he was ordering something else for himself:



My sister and her family went to Maine, where Colleen had to buy this for us because of the name:



Pixie approved!

Latest rehab projects:

Working on the cabinet doors for the radiator cabinet:


Removing the middle of the doors for this step, which was kind of fun and no turning back now :D

Also, the countertop is going in:



Our mantra is “We will get through this, right?” :D

It’s fall and kitchen doins’!

It’s officially fall! Even though it really isn’t fall LOL! Pumpkins are in the store and they are mammoth pumpkins this year.

The picture doesn’t quite do justice to the size. These have to be 25 pounds. Big enough to wrap your arms around! And they are only $5.99 each.  Unbeatable.  Must have been a good pumpkin crop this year.

We actually put the heat on in our current house.  It was in the low 60s in the house. That’s really too early, but temps are going to drop into the 30s tonight!  Jeez!  Our new house is so solid with brick and cement walls that the temperature seems to regulate better and we didn’t need to turn the heat on yet.

We even had to really bundle up for breakfast riding as it was in the 40s:



Of course, lots of rehab this weekend.  You know how I was saying how progress was inching along? A lot of that is when you do the behind the scenes stuff, it looks like no progress happens for a long time.  This weekend some big stuff got done and we are starting to put in some finishes.  The hardware arrived and it makes me soooo happy!


And the pulls:



I just love it!  It’s called Reed and Ribbon in antique copper. It matches the copper finish faucet set:


The reason the wall looks like that is that is where the tile backsplash will be and I didn’t want to waste paint on wall that is going to be covered up.

We got the underlayment on the counters and the glue is drying:



Those green cans are fragrance and essential oils for John’s business.  They are 25# cans and great for weighting the counters.  The dishwasher is in and fitted, too.  We were worried the door hardware would get in the way and it just squeaks past …phew!!  I need to do a post on our cabinet hacks, too.  John totally impressed me :D

Dry fitting of the granite composite sink in the underlayment:


New light fixtures.  I fell in love with the schoolhouse lights a while ago and knew I wanted them in this house.  One for the kitchen:



A smaller one in the nook:


Of course, when I removed the old fixture it shows a ring and now I have to paint the ceiling.  Always something extra…

Let there be light!



As a reminder, here was the old kitchen:





While we worked in the kitchen, I had my mom work on stripping wallpaper in the dining room.  That’s the job du jour for anyone who dares set foot in the house LOL!  We pay in lattes, so it’s all good.

On the agenda for this week will be building the wooden countertops!  Woo Hoo!


What’s Blooming!

It sure is feeling like fall now.  There is that cool feeling about and mornings have been downright chilly!  I have just a few pictures for this week.

My geraniums:



The last gasp of butterfly weed (asclepis):



Still more delphinium.  I sure got a lot of blooms out of these this year!



I had some leftover coleus when I made my tippy pots, so I just stuck them in an extra pot and let them do whatever:



I like the color of this coleus.

It’s been such a busy week – well, the past 4 weeks  - and I haven’t had much of a chance to get into the garden.  I am going to have mums in bloom soon!

We hope to get to see some of the Jazz fest in Lake George this weekend. Tomorrow might be kind of rainy, but we will go anyway.  Here’s to another weekend!

Random thoughts.



You all know how I love the NFL.  When the Ray Rice thing came out originally months ago  - I gave it the serious side eye because while we didn’t see what went on in the elevator at that time, it was obvious this woman was hit hard enough to be knocked out in there.  I didn’t understand the delay in the suspension or the short length of the suspension for what to *me* seemed obviously a serious assault. Now, she chose not to testify against Rice, which is hard for me to understand, but I know that DV victims have a commonality in this regard.  It bugs me when people call her a gold digger.  I think if she was true gold digger, she would have sued his ass then and walked away before getting married.  Staying with someone capable of this kind of violence is common among DV victims. Now the whole tape came out and it was like the NFL said, “Golly gee,we knew he hit her, we just didn’t know how hard it was. Now he must go!” as their excuse for why Rice wasn’t canned in April.  Like her being dragged out of an elevator unconscious wasn’t a sign? Hello???

Of course, this isn’t just the NFL where this happens.  I think that if there is a silver lining to this, it would be the opportunity for the NFL to be a huge, huge player in opening discussions on domestic violence, bring those cowards into the open,  and stop blaming the victim.


Breakfast at the table:


John and I are eating all meals at the dining room table now.  Normally I eat breakfast at the computer and work, but I read a book that has  you eating at the table when you eat  (that I will talk about in a few weeks when my life settles down some).  I am now not tracking my food, either, which is a big change for me.  I don’t mind tracking food, but I am trying out not tracking going along with the book and seeing how I do.

It’s starting to feel like fall around here.  This is at one of the local coffee shops:


Rehab is inching along.  It seems like it is really hard to make progress during the week because we both have to work.  It just goes tiny bit by tiny bit.  The upper part of the kitchen is looking much better now:


The lower half still has a long way to go.  We are setting up the lowers and having to modify cabinets:


Hopefully the cabinets will be done this weekend (for the most part) and we can start working on the countertops.  We are both pretty tired right now.  It’s just the kitchen that needs the hard push to get done.

We are having someone come work on our roof starting tomorrow.  It’s a slate roof and we knew there were a couple of leaks that need repair.  It’s expensive, but there was so much deferred maintenance on the roof (and the whole house) – it will be very worth it.  John was able to negotiate the price down, too – Go John!  We have lucked out with expenses on things like the electrical, plumbing and heating, so to only have the roof be a bigger expense so far is a good thing.

I’ll end with a gratuitous Pixie shot:


This is her laying behind me on the couch.

No more second job

I had accepted that second job a few weeks ago. When I first interviewed with the company, I watched an introductory video and I was a little uncomfortable with the owner, but I figured it was just some nervousness about working for a new place and all that and figured I would give it a shot.

My account coworkes have been great. They have been really helpful and very nice.  I have been doing good work on the account. However, the company just feels like it is in flux.  The owner called that mandatory meeting at 10 pm on a Friday night with no notice and every day she was emailing with changes that we needed to follow.  There were emails and corrections to previously sent emails.  I was beginning to feel more and more uncomfortable with how she was handling things and I just knew it wasn’t the right fit for me.   So, I talked with my account manager and she tried to talk me into staying.  She said that the owner would get like this and then calm down, so it sounds like this is not uncommon, but honestly – I do not need any more stress LOL!  The nice thing is that the account manager put my status as leave of absence with the option to return at any time I want to.  I don’t think I will do that, but it was very nice of her to give me that option.  

So, that leaves me with just my old job, which is slow right now.  It means less money because of that, but the sense of relief I felt yesterday was huge.  I think I will wait until things settle down with the house before I look at other options.  My advice? Don’t try to rehab a house and work 2 jobs LOL!

On a fun note – the flooring came in!  (and yes, still working on the cabinets :D )



It’s cork flooring, which is something I have wanted for a long time.  It’s eco friendly, water resistant (not waterproof), softer to walk on and dings and dents will come out over time.  You just have to be careful not to drag stuff across it like a fridge that would tear the cork.  



The flooring came a lot faster than expected. We aren’t ready for it yet, but at least it is ready and waiting!

Rehabbing and riding

Saturday was spent doing rehab, of course!  It was really, really humid and painting was on the agenda for me.  It took forever for the coats to dry LOL!  Getting closer to finishing the cabinet doors.  There was cleaning the doors, patching damage, priming and 3 coats of paint.  I want these to last a long time.


This color is by Behr and called Moonlight White.  It is a very light cream color.  Its’ going to brighten up the kitchen so much!

I started more trim painting in the kitchen as well.  One thing that really irritates me?  When people paint over hardware:



I had to scrape the paint off the get the screws out and then sand down the big pain blops underneath.  The good news is that the electrical is done!  We have an electrician that we normally use when we need one, but he is ill with cancer and not taking on more new work (we wish him well). No one returned calls for an electrician, so John decided to work past his problem and go from there – and he did it.  What he did was to run the electric underneath the upper cabinets.  He put one outlet into the wall, but is is really difficult to cut holes in concrete, even with a hammer drill and we didn’t want to risk the integrity of the wall.  I am happy enough with the results because those ugly boxes are mostly hidden.  He also wired up for a new garbage disposal!  Yay!  BTW, he recommends this book to make sure you are following the codes you need if you want to do electrical:  


We also worked on the base cabinets and getting them ready for countertops.  We still need to get a sink base cabinet, but we will pick that up when we get the flooring this week (!!!).  I spent a lot of time scrubbing the cabinet bases.  Seriously – the people that lived here really loved their condiments.  They were splashed everywhere on the ceiling, underneath the cabinets, all over the doors.  At least I hope it was condiment Ewwww…

I started putting on some primer. Here is progress:


I was struggling with ideas for a backsplash.  We will have wooden counters and I while I like the look of glass tiles, they are kind of trendy and I want something a little more timeless.  Then I found the perfect tile.  Marble subway!


I wanted marble countertops, but they are just soooooo expensive and out of our budget, not to mention I don’t know if I could deal with the maintenance of marble.  Then I thought I would do it for the floor, but the tile people tried to talk me out of that for stain reasons.  So – I do get my marble after all!  Hee hee!!

John and I both took Sunday off from the new house.  We needed a break from rehab.  Plus we had to clean the house up for our open house…aaaaand it’s the start of the NFL season.

John’s bike is out of commission right now, so I rode to breakfast by myself.  Lonely early Sunday road:


It was a really nice morning for biking, too. Cool  and sunny.  Just perfect.   I got to Coffee Planet and there was someone waiting for me there :





After eating, I went out to finish the usual Sunday ride which is 20 miles.  John went grocery shopping LOL!


The rest of the ride was pretty much like this:



It felt really good to ride.

We got the house super clean for the open house, but only 1 party came through, unfortunately.  I don’t think it helped having the open house scheduled for kickoff time for the NFL season…

Tonight is time for the Broncos to kick some butt!!!!



What’s Blooming!

It nearing the end the the garden season. Time to start planning for planting and what happens next year.  I still have a lot of long bloomers going, though.


You know I had that problem with lily beetles earlier in the year?  Now it is Japanese beetles and they totally decimated one of my rose bushes:


Of course, it is the one right in the front.  :roll:  And note the black plastic bag in there.  That got blown in from somewhere.  Being on the main street, there are lots of interesting things that have popped up in the yard and garden like homework, receipts, bottles, cans, even an x-ray of someone’s teeth of all things.  Today’s strange item?  An egg:


Isn’t that weird?  I don’t know if someone was trying to egg the house and missed or if some critter had the egg to eat and left it there.

I have a volunteer petunia. This has never happened before.  It has to be from last year because it is pink (which I had last year) and this year I have purple ones.



My 100-pound rose is blooming:



Once this is done blooming, I will dig it up and find it a home in the new garden.




More delphiniums. I had no idea these were rebloomers!


These make me happy!

Annual salvia:



Purple liriope:


Black-eyed Susan going strong:



Also some Gaillarda:



There is one more day of hot and humid weather with storms on Saturday and then we will have beautiful weather!  That means Saturday will be spent rehabbing (like we would be doing anything else HA!) We have an open house scheduled on Sunday for our current house, so hopefully people will show up.  It’s a sloooow time of year to sell with school starting this week.

Working from the new house

Scheduling has been pretty whackadoodle around here.  I have been working both jobs, one of which is pretty slow now (which isn’t a bad thing with learning new stuff).  The work has been sporadic with both jobs, so I decided to work from the new house so that when it was slow I could do work during the day rather than coming back at night because Thursday night is opening night of FOOTBALL SEASON!!



I hope the Seahawks go down hard tonight.  I am still smarting about the Super Bowl…  Time to start the football picks for the year as well.  John and I also challenge his sister Sarah and her partner.  Last year I was the champion (with a little trophy to boot).  I hope to reign supreme again this year :D

I have to admit I am not sold on this second job, actually.  There is something about it that makes me uncomfortable, and I think it is the fact that they expect you to work whenever the work is there, even if that means it doesn’t come in until 11 pm at night.  I can’t wait around all day checking for work.  They had a mandatory call in meeting that was announced at 10 pm on Friday night.  It was announced by email as it was happening.  Sorry, but I am not logged into my work email at 10 pm on a Friday night, especially if I have been working all day!  It’s the owner that is like that.  Everyone else has been super, super nice to work with. So, I am not making any moves to leave the older job for the new one at this time.  I am very lucky I can do both for now and will just keep evaluating. Who knows, they may not want to keep me.

Anyhoo, during work spurts, I have been painting cabinets:


Cleaning, priming and painting.  These are half the doors. The others are in the dining room and another room!  Good thing we don’t have furniture yet.  John has his business set up and is running it now and after a few hiccups of getting used to a new spot, it seems to be going well.  It’s weird having him gone during the day, although I was with him working today.

Pixie is not happy with how much we have been gone:



This was how she was looking at us when we got home tonight.  I hope she adjusts once we move.  She seems a little out of sorts now because the rugs are gone and we are away a lot.  Plus it’s hot and she is so fluffy that she must be terribly hot.

I am rooting for the Packers tonight!