I know this blog is about the house....

...but I couldn't really help but talk about the issue of Prop 8 today, and I hope I do not offend anyone about this issue. I've had a lot of talks with people, most notably my cousin Jackie, that I thought were really constructive and respectful. I think it's really important to respect both sides of the fence, no matter how much you may disagree with someone else's opinion. There is no way that any problem in life will get resolved if people yell and scream at each other.

Today, my step dad Clarke showed me a letter to the editor he wrote that made it in the Chronicle yesterday (he's the first one). I thought it was a great letter and was really proud of him. It's hard not to be severe with feelings, and so although Clarke's letter may be strong and hurt some people's feelings, I respect how heartfelt he was, and agree with a lot of what he says.

Tonight I'm going to my friend Jen's wedding to her wife Brenda (they were already married privately and are now having a ceremony/celebration with friends and family). I got to know Jen at Mills (we were both in the art program together) and think that she is a wonderful person. She was always there to listen to me all the times I was frustrated and was always so positive and upbeat. I can't imagine what it would be like for someone to tell me I couldn't get married or that if I did get married it was somehow not as valid as someone else's.

What should define marriage is how much you love someone and how much you are devoted and committed to maintaining a loving and healthy relationship. There are hundreds of thousands of heterosexual couples who cheat on their spouses, abuse their spouses (both physically and emotionally), lie to their spouses, and countless other misdeeds. To me, if we should question anything, those are the marriages we should address.

The bottom line though is that whether or not someone is gay, it doesn't have any effect on any other person. So whether you believe in their lifestyle or not shouldn't really be an issue, because their life doesn't impede on yours. If you believe that it's a sin or anything else, it isn't a decision/rule/feeling you should be imposing on other people.

I wish Jen and Brenda all the happiness they could possibly hope for, and in my heart I believe their marriage to be just as equal to everyone else's, because really, I thought our country already ruled that "separate but equal" wasn't really equal.


Nuts and Bolts

Chris doesn't have any sort of pencil holder for all of his pencils and pens in his workshop, so I decided to make him one! I thought it would be fun to make him one from things that you can find in a workshop. So, on one of our many trips to Home Depot I got a metal electrical plate cover and two boxes of 5/16" nuts, and away I art-ed

If I was to do it again I think I would get a circular plate because the corners were REALLY hard (notice all the glue gobs), it's a little big (4" diameter was the smallest I could find), and I would make it taller, but each box was $9! (and I used up two). All in all though, I think it's pretty cool, and now Chris has a (very) sturdy pencil holder.

About six weeks ago Chris' mom came up from LA to visit and helped us build a raised vegetable garden. It was great because it was a project we actually finished! It took the three of us a day to weed, level, build the frame and plant everything.

Our garden has gotten quite big now! It's really nice having something done, and something that we can enjoy so much. I'm so glad we built it, it looks great, and everything tastes so yummy!!!


Memorial Day Weekend

Chris and I had a pretty productive weekend filled with LOTS of projects:

Saturday - Day 1

We had to return 160 square feet of hardwood we bought back in January because Chris and I never really noticed that the flooring place gave us red oak instead of white oak. We bought it 5 months ago, set it in the front room to aclimate, and have been working on other projects since. Only now when we started testing out stains on it did we really notice it was a slightly different color and taking stains strangely. But, when you order something from a store, you figure they give you what you order. Wrong. So, we had a minor heart attack, fearing we lost over $600 on incorrect flooring, but luckily after going to the hardwood store and talking with them, they exchanged it free of charge for us after they realized it was their mistake. Phew! We also went to Urban Ore to get a salvage door we're going to make into a closet in the kitchen, and picked up some tools from the Tool Lending Library in Oakland. It was a relatively early day because I had to be at work at the A's by 3.

Sunday - Day 2

Our laundry room exterior wall has rotted away due to the poor job of who ever built the addition to the back of the house. They didn't properly insulate the transition from original house to the addition, so water has been steadily leaking through ever since.

So we worked on cutting out the section that was rotted, replacing it, and properly waterproofing.

(Chris being real photogenic :) )

I figured while Chris didn't need my help I might as well rip out the big, prickly, suckulent that prevents us from getting to the side of the house
(like the sink bird feeder our previous owners put in the backyard?)

It took about 30 minutes and a little of Chris' help towards the end because the roots went pretty deep, but I prevailed!

Monday - Day 3

My dad came over to help out in the morning while Chris was at work doing some electrical for the alumni house. He replaced two electrical boxes in the office so that we have power and phone/internet properly wired now.

(we got this COLORFUL dresser for free. It fits the wall in the office under the window perfectly and fits all of our paper, phone books, pens, pencils, blah blah blah great. I WILL be refinishing it soon though, don't worry :) )

While my dad worked on that, I insulated the laundry area, a job I actually quite enjoy

When Chris got home we had some lunch and then ripped out the rotting, VERY dangerous deck out back.

I think my dad and Chris tore it down in about 3 minutes, seriously.

When we finished, my dad wasn't leaving for another two hours or so, so we fugured what the hell, let's start demo-ing the bathroom

It was a weekend of a lot of hard work, but we got a lot done, so it was great! Hopefully we get the drywall lift in the next few days and we'll work on putting it up in the kitchen and get the kitchen door to the side yard replaced too!


Mid Week "Weekend"

I've had the last two days off from work, and because Chris has Wednesdays off and a 1/2 day on Thursdays (he's at class now) we've been able to get some things checked off our list, so that is ALWAYS nice. The number one thing was putting in our front door. When we first moved in we had a hollow core interior office door as our front door because the people who lived here before were idiots. They also had it swing into the house the wrong way.

Pretty soon after moving in we took out the door, Chris starting reframing it correctly, and we put up a piece of plywood until we got a proper door.

After a lot of hard work yesterday we finally got the door installed!!!!! There are some finishing things we need to do (one more coat of paint on the outside, paint on the inside, drywall the exposed areas around it, wire the electricity for foyer and outside light, and get an outside light), but at least we have a door now!!! For almost 5 months we've gone in and out the side door off the kitchen. I'm very excited we have a proper front door now, and I'm sure our neighbors are too :)

We'll eventually be painting the house back to the original color: white. I've also thought we should paint the trim gray because the side and front gates are cast iron and I thought our (eventual) front yard garden would really pop against a clean color palette. We shall see what happens when we begin THAT task.

Yesterday and today in the mail we got our kitchen hardware!!! We got the knobs yesterday and the bin pulls today. Because all the orginal door knobs in the house are glass, I thought it would fit to have glass knobs and bin pulls. I LOVE the bin pulls. I think they will look great on our white painted cabinets.


Mills Photos

My friend Sophie reminded me of the brilliant idea to post some photos that I took this semester of our house in one of my classes at Mills, Intro to Digital Imaging. I had a really hard time focusing on my first photo project of the semester (back in early January) because we had just moved into the house and things were so crazy with starting to tear down the kitchen, etc., so I decided to do my project about the house. During my first critique Sophie suggested continuing on with the idea of creating a portrait of our house throughout each assignment, so I did (the first of many times Sophie came to my creative rescue this semester). I don't like my first project so much, so here are my second and third (if you click on them they get a lot bigger).

Project 2 - Urban/Suburban (slide film)

Project 3 - Authentic-ity


Well, I've decided to give this whole blog thing a try.....

Chris and my life has become all about the house, especially now that I'm done with school (yay!!!). So, I thought it might be a fun idea to have a blog about our progress on the house. A lot of time when people ask how things are going with the house my stories are preceeded by a long sigh. It's not that I don't like talking about it (because I do, I LOVE our house) but the process of working on it has been very tiring thus far, so sometimes talking about it can cause me to relive those tiring memories.

Now, with the blog, hopefully I can keep everyone up do date with what is going on, what projects we are doing, and how far along we're moving. I'm not sure how good I'm going to be at this yet, so wish me luck!