Sunday, July 26, 2009

I am woman, watch me work & cook.

If you know me, I’ve never been one for physical work. In fact, I’ve never been one for physical anything. I only did enough gym in high school to get a grade of a C. I don’t like to sweat. So I’m not sure why I come up with more & more ways to make myself do physical labor. Mid you, last time we really did house stuff it was more of me picking things & Adam doing them. But this time around I picked something that I planned on helping with. HELPING. Not doing. Please note that.

I hate carpet. I hate our carpet. You try having carpet with 34845654 cats, kids, & a husband who doesn’t take his shoes off & see how much you like carpet. Tan carpet at that. The idiots who “flipped” our house didn’t know how to lay carpet but they sure didn’t let that stop them. So on top of cheap, ugly carpet that I can’t keep clean to save myself, it’s put down poorly. And no where was it so poorly than the stairs. Not cut correctly, not laid correctly, with nails coming up in some places that made you bleed. And then you bleed on the tan carpet, which leads back to the keeping clean problem. It’s a vicious cycle.

So I decided “I have a GREAT idea! Let’s re-finish our stairs!” That meant ripping up carpet, sanding (oh god, please, anything but sanding), then staining. Simple enough, right? RIGHT!

So Simple I added other task, including but not limited to…

-Putting handles all on the kitchen cabinets

-Painting the back bathroom, along with adding new fixtures & trim.

-Pouring some concrete to connect the concrete pads on the side of our house to the back.

We also, of course, added some minor wall decorating in the living & dining rooms, & adding a couple corner shelves in the living room. Oh yeah, & a pantry in the kitchen. But we’ll get to all of that in the future, I promise.

On one day we decided my parents could baby-sit a few hours & we’d work to get as much done as we could without interruptions. So I now bring you what Adam & I did on that day. With pictures, of course.

Adam’s first job was the concrete, which he started when I left for my parents house. He was preparing the location. He was still doing that when I came home. Fine, I move in the house to start on the stairs, thinking he’ll come join me soon enough…

Here are the stairs, from the top down…


Please note the nice, fancy decorative door knobs at the bottom. I hung those up all by myself.

In case you’re wondering why I didn’t take a picture from the bottom, the answer is simple, I was already at the top of the landing when I remembered to &, as I said, I don’t like physical activity so I didn’t want to go down & have to go back up.

I’d cheated the night before & removed the carpet from the bottom step, & it was ugly…


Of course, what was more ugly than that stair would be my arch nemesis, the staples…


If you’ll remember, I’ve said before that the people who did our house were idiots. This wasn’t anything they knew how to do, so they just did everything badly & used staples to try to make it work. I pulled over 50 staples out of the one bottom step. FIFTY! On top of the various strips of nails used to “hold” the carpet down. And on the bottom step they put so many staples in the corner, it messed the entire corner of the step up…


Every step had at least 20 staples, some more than that, some had 2 or 3 staples on top of each other. Lots of fun. See?


See all that foam? That’s the padding, where you see that there are multiple staples. And this was AFTER I removed half from that step. And lets not forget the fact that I’m also prying up nail strips, too. Lots of fun.

And really all I’m getting in return is ugly steps. Of course, I found uglier. Our landing…


I almost felt like it looked as though a pirate had hidden his treasure under there.

Oh yeah, Hammy wants you to know he approve of this, too…


Adam comes in as I’m doing this to make a phone call about graduate school. I only know this because he came to me & asked, “so what do I need to ask them about?” So then I spent a few minutes telling him what he needed to call for. I then go back to work.

I go for about 1 ½ hours, then I’m finally done. Ugly, bare steps…


I’m tired. I’m sweating. I’m cranky. And you would be, too, if you’d just been doing that & were covered in what I called “carpet ickies.” I felt grimy thanks to the dust off the carpet & padding. I wonder where Adam is, so I head outside. He must have something done now & going to come inside at any minute, right?


That’s it. Still. He tells me about all of this mathematical stuff he’s done in effort to pour concrete in the holes. Silly me, I thought you just poured concrete. He uses the excuse of his phone call earlier taking time away from his work, which I don’t accept as that was something he had “been meaning to do” for over a week. So I suck it up & head back in to move to the next project.

Oh yeah, Adam did take the time to make sure he had music…


Did I mention I’m sweating?

I go back in the house & move to the kitchen where I’m going to drill holes in the cabinets & place handles. It seemed easy enough, but I was freaked out because this is something you really don’t want to mess up, putting holes in your cabinet. You can always repaint & things, you can’t undo a hole. Here is before, without the handles…


Again, excuse the mess, we live here & it happens.

Anyway, I take my time & do one set of cabinets without any problems. Hooray!


Like I said, hooray!

I then move onto the other side of the lower cabinets, this time with drawers, only to discover this problem…


Fail. My screws were too short to drill through the drawers. I take it in stride & move on to the rest of the cabinets. As I work on cabinets above the counter I realize this is messy, sawdust would get everywhere. On the floor it didn’t matter, but I didn’t want it all over the counter, so I came up with this idea…


I would hold a plate underneath while I drilled. Dumb? Maybe. But it worked.

And in a “WTF?!” moment I get on the chair to get the cabinet doors over the stove & I found this…



I’m sorry, but is this normal?

I didn’t care though, I moved on & had all the cabinet doors done in another hour or so…


Have I said hooray yet?

I then check on Adam again. He’s now smoothing his concrete. So then I made dinner after I did the steps & the cabinets, cleaning up after both projects as well…


I even prepare & light the grill. As I’m taking out the chicken & stuff, I see this…


Adam has left me a gift of his socks in the doorway. I knew then it must be a day that ends in “y” for him to leave me the gift of socks in my way.

But I continue out & grill…


Oh yeah, at this point I tell Adam I’m going to be sure to blog about all the work I did on top of cooking dinner while he just did a concrete step. He wanted to make sure I mentioned that I prepped all the food the night before. So yeah, I prepped all the food the night before. At around 2am, while he was playing video games. So I guess I cheated there, please excuse me for it though.

While cooking dinner, I fed Jennifer…


That’s Jennifer. She’s the newest cat the neighbors stopped feeding & threw her out after she had a litter of kittens. It’s likely she’s one of the kittens from Macy’s first litter. So now we’re feeding her. Ugh. Getting her spayed in a week or so though in order to prevent anymore kittens, so that’s one good thing. She has a very crappy attitude & snorts as she is attacking you for food. We’re considering renaming her Muffin.

But anyway. Dinner was pretty & good. I meant to take a picture of it all done, but I was hungry so I forgot. Then I took a quick shower before driving over into Ohio to get Jules.

So, in that 7 hour period I stripped carpet & 34534534 staples from the steps, cleaned it all up, put handles on all the cabinets, cleaned up that mess, cooked a nice dinner with dinner rolls at that, showered, fed a cat I don’t own along with cats I do own, picked up my kid, and then came home. The only thing I failed to do? Pick up those damn socks when I did 2 loads of laundry that night.

And Adam? Well…


He poured a concrete step. A, as in one. And at first he wanted to use a 5 gallon bucket to mix the concrete up in. He’d still be outside doing it as I type this if I hadn’t talked him out of that great idea.

I swear I had “I am woman hear me roar” in my head while I was doing most of this.

And a couple days later, I got the pleasure of sanding all of the steps. Alone. I did that while Adam went to Lowes because he got the wrong size replacement step so he had to return it & get what we needed. While I was at home. Sanding. Do you know how messy sanding in your house is? You’ll get to see soon enough.

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