Foyer Complete

Slowly but surely we are making progress on this house.

I finished the foyer, then the Hubs did his part, and the kittens helped as well. I suppose it was a family affair!

Today you get a mostly pictorial update.

This is the best part of the old light:

Havoc helped unpack the new light:

Mayhem checks out the new rug:

All done:

I’d tell you that is the end of the projects til next year, but, a gal’s gotta do something with her days!

Let me show you the new door:

I’m not gonna lie, I was really sad about the brown trim. I’m not even sure what the thinking was here. All the trim on the house is white, so I guess they thought I wouldn’t care.

We tarped it up Monday afternoon:

I kinda wonder what the neighbors think when we do stuff like this!

I painted the trim Monday night, and then Tuesday first thing I put on the first coat:

In the afternoon I did the second coat, then later the Hubs put the hardware back on. We had a little trouble with it because the installers, who do this all day every day did a crap job and stripped some screws to the point they can’t be used. It necessitated a quick trip to Home Depot for a replacement. Suffice to say the Hubs was NOT a happy camper.

This morning I started the trim. I took down the tarp while counting the nails, then filled in all the holes.

Isn’t that trim stunning?

Much better!

The hitch in the giddyap is that the caulking around the trim and sometimes in the middle of the trim in not the paintable kind. So the paint was rolling off it. Which really pissed me off all the more about the stupid brown trim!

Second coat:

To recap, this is the house we got:

And this is how we’ve updated it so far:

And that takes care of that for now.

I hope you all have a very Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you get to be with family, friends, or other people you like!

Off Track Project

The foyer was not really on my radar as a project to be done. But it somehow bubbled up to the top and I finished it this morning.

I had some help:

I can’t really tell if he looks guilty or surprised.

Lest you think Havoc is an angel in all this, she managed to plop her back foot and tail onto the very wet paint can top. I didn’t stop to take her picture because she started to flip out and almost took off before I caught her. She got some paint on the outgoing rug, but that was as far as she got.

Crisis averted!

A quick wipe down and some mineral oil kept them busy while I finished up. They are mostly back to black now. Mostly.

It’s been an exciting and educational 3 days around here.

In case you’re wondering just how far this sad little house has come, here is where we started oh so long ago:

It’s not exactly a one-for-one, but you get the idea. We are oh-so-slowly making a difference in this house.

Here is the closer shots of the foyer:

I did paint the vent from here, and the one in the bedroom:

Kinda anti-climactic without a before, but they both had some gunk on them that is now gone.

I ordered a new light and rug, they will be here soon-ish. The Hubs will take care of replacing the outlets and switches and then I’ll re-hang the hooks and figure out the art situation.

Last night we had our first frost. I’m not sure how low it got, but it was 33 when I got up. I took a look around to make sure everything was OK… No burst watering cans. No leaking rain barrels – which are finally full now that we don’t have watering to do! Most of the plants don’t look any worse for the wear. But my fig. Well, that’s another story:

I guess it really didn’t appreciate the cold last night! Hopefully it isn’t going to die now. After some rather unhelpful research, I would know exactly what to do if I were in Chicago. I think I’ll just rake up some pine needles and use them to cover this little guy and hope for the best. I don’t think we are in winter yet, last week it was 80, but who knows. Some extra root protection can’t hurt. Plus there are garlic bulbs in here, so I’m sure they will appreciate the blanket.

I was planning to paint the front door tomorrow, but I’m not sure that is a great idea. The weather forecast is a lot of drear and some rain until next weekend. Maybe I’ll kick it down the road a couple days. The temp seems to rebound a bit, which is better for curing paint.

I’m thinking of biting the bullet and continuing the living room painting.

Oh, but wait… it’s Thanksgiving week. I can’t get distracted with painting. And then it’s time to put up Christmas. Hmmmm. Maybe after the front door, I’m putting away my brushes and rollers for a few more weeks.

I’m not sure how I feel about that.

Trading in turmoil for disarray.

Well, one thing is sure, come 5 January (the 12th day of Christmas), I’ll be ready for jump back into chaos to cure the pandemonium!

Trim Painting

Well, it happened. I finally found something I like less than painting trim. That would be painting trim with kittens.

Yesterday after all the grim chores were finished, I thought the kittens were asleep, so I decided it would be a good time to paint the trim in the foyer.

By the time I got the paint and supplies ready, both of the kittens were standing around waiting for me to provide fun.


Apparently, the new and improved no-VOC paint stench is enough to keep a kittens interest – from a distance. So I painted the baseboards, the trim around the door, and the trim around the window. Every time I looked, they were sitting idly by.

When I got up off the floor to clean my brush, I noticed maybe they weren’t so idle:

Notice Havoc in the background pretending she’s not involved in any of this.

Mayhem let me wipe the paint off his nose, and then they retreated to their bed to compare notes:

Seems a kitten tail is a difficult thing to manage around wet paint!

I suspect there will be more colors added tomorrow as I paint the walls.

I painted the inside of the door today. They seemed to keep a respectful distance, but since I was up on the ladder for a lot of it, they had no choice.

Here is a partial view of it, it’s hard to see the color with it so bright out. I’ll try later this afternoon to see if I can get a better shot.

Been toying with a colored front door for a while, but have been unable to decide on a color. I wanted something that pops, something unexpected. The Hubs suggested coral because that is the color we’ve been using in the closets.

Why not?

And if I hate it, I can always change it for the cost of a sample pot of paint.

Tomorrow’s plan is to do the rest of the foyer:

I’ll take down and repair the holes for the art, but since the hooks are pretty much where I want them, I’ll just take them down. The pillar is leaving someday, so I won’t paint that. same for the part over the doorway to the kitchen.

The rug will look even worse than it does now, and for the love of all things, that light has GOT to go!

If the Hubs goes to work tomorrow, I’ll repaint the vent cover because the garage will be empty. Heck I might be into it and take a few of them down. I might leave them all and ignore them til spring. You never know with me.

The door is kind of growing on me.

In other news…

Somehow, I’ve lost all my lighters. And I can’t light a match for some bizarre reason. But I like to have a candle burning after dinner. I did what everyone does: I went on Amazon to buy some lighters.

Imagine my surprise when the shipping date was about 8 weeks!

Not sure what that is all about, but I saw this:

It’s an electric (charged by USB) lighter. The reviews say it works, it’s the bomb.

So I ordered one because, well, instant gratification, and I was super skeptical.

It showed up quick, and the reviews are right! It works, it IS the bomb!

Now I don’t know what kind of voodoo it uses, but you slide the black thingee (yes, that is a technical term), and:

It actually ignites a wick! There is much candle lighting and less swearing going on after dinner around here.

Just thought I would share in case someone else out there can’t light a match.

A Door and Waves

You’ve been very patient.

You deserve a reward!

Do you like it?

Good, because that is not your reward!

This is:

Oh, wait, that was MY reward!

Last night we put a tarp over the front door so I could get up nice and early this morning and do this:

First Coat

Then after a couple hours, church, breakfast, and a shower…

Just kidding! That is the same first coat!

Ta Daa!

Ok, just ignore the dents! Revel in the color! And the Hubs actually likes it!

I think it looks fresh and pretty. Such a ginormous improvement over the original!

I think it could stand to be darker, but it was SUCH an ordeal to get it to this point, I’m going to live with it and see how I feel in a few weeks.

It might be time to paint the pelican, though.

And it’s definitely time for some landscaping.

And lights.

Everything kind of looks flat because everything is basically the same color. I’m currently shopping for lights for the garage. I know, you didn’t even notice it, did you? Trust me, it looks worse up close!

I also need some yard art.

We talked about making that semi circle into a garden, but I’m currently positive there are fire ants in there. What if I disturb them? What if they swarm all over me?

Oh, the horror!

The Last Day… Only Not.

Today there was a massive amount of grout happening. Just not so much as to end this project.

Does it sound like I am weary of this? I think it’s because I am!

I have a little before and after action for you:


Hey look! It’s tiled!

I still have to clean it off in 72 hours… So that’ll be fun. I’ll be trying to mop around all of our worldly possessions!

Today while I was sitting there, I could not bear to paint one more door.

Wait for it…

I painted trim!

Not just any trim, but the trim on the front door.

Junky Trim
Not so junky trim

And the overall look isn’t too bad:

More lipstick on the pig

I can’t decide if it makes the door look even worse!

Tomorrow will be chaos. I can’t wait! Last day to drag my butt out of bed at 6! I have someone coming to give an estimate on 1/4 round trim for the tiles areas, I have the guy coming to listen to my washer gargle shrapnel – hopefully he can figure out and stop whatever that is. I’m also going to ask him if he can disable the alarm on the dryer, good heavens is that annoying! If he can’t, it’ll be a YouTube adventure for the Hubs.

I am hopeful my day ends around noon so I can back here and finish some packing…

Tiling is FINISHED!

Just the tiling. The grouting starts tomorrow.

Here’s a couple of sneak peaks from last night:

Linen Closet
Looking into the kitchen from the sliding door
Dining Room
Laundry Room

I’m most excited about this! I know the pic shows some left to do, but it got done today, I assure you. I am glad they waited til last to do this because I think I might have said, “Uh, can you take all the other tile back and do my whole house in this?”

The Hubs probably would not have been happy, but I just love the way it looks! I was a little concerned about the transition, but look:


That door is no longer welcome in my home. I’m just leaving it open and living with laundry in the kitchen! Imagine how much better it’s gonna look when grouted!

Happy Happy Joy Joy!

Today I finished four more doors. Three left to go. UGH! I could actually kick myself for this. I deliberately picked “Coconut Twist” –

Trim and Doors

for the trim color. It’s white, but not. I was thinking it will be a softer white, less stark, warmer, pretty. But what is actually happening is that I loathe painting trim. And I literally NEVER finish painting the trim. I always say I’m going to, and then never actually do it. I’ll wash it, I’ll touch it up, but after the first room, I never do any more.

Well, all the trim in this sad little house is white. Actually white… at least under all the filth. And here I come with my coconut twist… and now I have to paint it ALL. All 50 million linear miles of it.

Grrr! Why do I do this to myself?

So yeah. Work in progress. I give myself 2 years to get it all done or die trying. I’ll do it room by room and everyone will just have to get over it. Of course if I had a brain in my head, I would do the laundry room trim while the washer and dryer are in the kitchen!

But I don’t. So I won’t. I’ll do it with scorn and malice when I do the walls in there.

I’m concentrating on the master bath this week – when I am not painting doors. I picked a piece of art to go over the potty. But when I unpacked it tonight, I think it might be too big. So that needs a plan B. I have the shower ready to be set up tomorrow, I have the vanity waiting for install on Friday, I picked up the lights today, I have the towel bars on site. All I need is a Hubs with an hour. If he wants to take a shower, he’ll get it done!

I also picked the color for the closet… Just for you, Cat. It’s called:

OK, looking at it completely out of context I’m thinking it might have been a rash decision. But I’m stuck. I bought it already. I might have enough to do the pantry, too… Shhh, don’t tell the Hubs! It’s be a surprise!

I’m feeling good about turning the sad house into a joyful house. The fun part is starting. Well, except the front door. That’s not fun. But it’s all decided and I just need to do it. Today I said no because we’re moving Friday, it’s bound to get scratched up. Yeah, that’s right, it’ll get damaged. I’ll do it next week…

See a pattern?

And the Week Finally Ends

It’s been a whirlwind week of filth, mold, and progress. OK, the progress part is a myth. I actually feel like I’ve made zero progress. My body, however, has been making me remember I am no longer 30. What the heck was I thinking taking this on?!

But it’s mine now, so I have to press ahead. The floors got measured today. Today? I thought that was yesterday? So did I! In fact, when I called yesterday at 1:30 to ask where the guy was, they made up some stupid story about how my order got shuffled to Friday’s pile. Well, upshot is, he showed up this morning, but I won’t hear from the company til Monday, maybe, about when these floors will be installed. The hubs suggested we go to another place and see if they have any sense of urgency.


Oh! The window! I have some disgusting window pics for you!

Seriously? You are supposed to clean these now and then!
After some bleach
And here’s where I quit

The hubs looked over my work, deemed it halfassed (with which I agree) and announced he’d be over there Saturday and get these windows cleaned. There’s like 8 of them in all, so I will prioritize them for him and set him cleaning! YAY! That means I have the day off!

And while he was there, he installed the new hardware on the front door. I refer to it as the lipstick on the pig. See if you agree:

Beat up door, newish lock

This is the pig. It’s been patched badly, needs painting, and we think the tenants took the keys when they left. So I bought a new lockset, and the wrong inside part.

Lipstick on the pig

And just like that, there is a stunning lockset on the door! Don’t you just love the little keyhole cover? If I can find one, I’m thinking about adding a twist doorbell.

After it takes me a week to decide on the new color, the Hubs will decide to get a new door. Actually, he’s making new door noises already, but with the ridiculous delays we’re facing I am going to paint the pig and make it pretty til there is a new door.

upside down lever

Here is the inside. What you can’t see is 20 paint chips taped to the door to help me decide what color it will be. I had a front runner, but today I decide it’s ugly and threw away the chip. Only 18 more to eliminate! I guess I really am making progress!

I finished cleaning the master bathroom today. I got a tip from YouTube about cleaning the tub and decided to try it… I mixed baking soda with Dawn and a little water to a paste. Then wax-on wax-off. After about an hour, I started to consider maybe taking a shower in there someday. I really wish I had a pic of the way it looked originally. The bottom was black.

I am not exaggerating at all. The entire bottom of the tub was just black. It was very perplexing. Like, do they not shower in here? Do they not SEE that? Who ARE these people that they would live like that??? Before we closed they had professional cleaners come and “clean” so it was almost normal looking from across the room. But when you got up close you could tell it was not clean. I took pics, but they don’t convey the gross. I want to get the name of the cleaners so I can NEVER use them!

This is before, it’s just dull and splattered with paint and … other stuff
Now it’s all shiny and clean, inside and out!

I will say, the paste works like a charm, I was even able to get most of the paint splatters off. I banished the mold and the yuk, but I didn’t take a pic of the bottom, because it was just clean.

I have to admit, in spite of this really big win, the toilet seat bested me. I can not get the one on it off, and I cannot figure out how to put the new one on. Sheesh. Why is it so hard? Oh, I know! So the Hubs can feel needed!

Well, I guess that’s enough for now.