Monday, January 21, 2013

Well, that was a long break from blogging....

So - in the past month, instead of blogging and working on the house, I've been quite busy traveling, finishing up the end of the semester, getting ready to start the new semester, and enjoying a bunch of family time.

First, we went to Indiana to spend the holidays with Dale's family.  It snowed the day we arrived, to his great happiness, and snowed 2 more times while we were there. More happiness for Dale, less than ecstatic for me.

That's the view from my daughter's driveway after the first snow.  The picture below is during "the blizzard," which was over-rated.  8 inches, but not too horrible.  Lots of blowing snow.

While I was out visiting, my daughter Leslie and I did a bunch of work on the baby's room - we painted the walls, installed molding, did some sewing -- it was a regular craft-o-rama.

She found this picture on Pinterest (left), and we did a dragging technique on the walls with a bamboo colored glaze (right).  The colors in the picture inthe right are a little off, they're closer to the ones in the inspiration picture, but it was hard to catch a good photo at night.

We also made the curtains, the banner, and several other small projects. 

Then we flew home around new year's day, and a week later, left for a conference in Honolulu, where the weather was more to our liking - around 75-80° each day.  We went with our dear friends Herbert and Eric - Herbert and I both presented at the conference, and then spent the rest of the time doing the tourist things!
The view of Diamond Head from our room - -a cheery sight to wake up to each morning!

We hiked up a slippery, muddy slope to view Manoa Falls -- great memories, even though we were filthy by the time we got back to the car!

We also got a great view of the city from the hills.

And the view from the plane as we left --

As soon as I got back, I had a few days to do laundry and clean up before I headed up to Santa Maria to help my niece clean out my sister's house, so she can get it up for sale.  Lots of packing and sorting, but we got most of it done.  We will probably meet up again in a month to have a yard sale to get a lot of the extra stuff taken care of.  I got home late last night.

Sooooo....we're back and now the other fun begins.  We are going to work on getting our kitchen done.  First step, knock out the wall between the kitchen and the living room.  This morning, I got the furniture moved away and removed the paneling from the wall.  Here's how it looked back when we closed on the house, and now...

OK, not an improvement yet.  But we need to get this off and then start removing the plaster.  Getting the room ready for all this mess means taping it off with plastic and trying to keep the mess contained.  I figured if I got the large sheets of paneling off first, I could get the room taped off easier.

As far as plans for the room go, we're playing a bit by ear.   We want to get this wall opened up, then do our measurements and get things planned.  Doing a lot of work on old houses, you learn that you get a lot of surprises any time you check into the walls, and I don't want to have all my plans based on something that can change at the last minute.  On the other side of that wall is this:

So there's a gas line and electrical at least.  No HVAC in this house, so we don't have to worry about that at least.  But it is a load-bearing wall, so we have to put a beam across the span. 

We're not in a big rush. Again, the bathroom took months, so will this.  I have a high tolerance for living in chaos, and I have a lot of things going on at work this spring, so we're going to take this one step at a time.  We have some cabinets in mind, and some ideas for the flooring, but we'll see how things progress as we go.  I want to move the sink to this side of the room, in a center island.  But I want to try out the sizes before I commit.  So we'll build some temporary structure to check out and live with it a bit. tiny step forward!

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