8.31.2009

First Cooked Meal!

Working the Raiders game on Saturday was EXHAUSTING. We set up the cameras from 9:30-11 and were on the field shooting and striking from 12-4:45. I put on sun screen three times throughout the day, so I only got sunburned a little on one shoulder, but by the end of the day I was SOOO tired (and FILTHY). We only got a two minute break at halftime, so by the time I got home I was ready to pass out. We went to the movies though, so I very much enjoyed the air conditioning :)

Yesterday we made some serious progress on the deck. At the beginning of the day it looked like this


We started off by framing the landing right when you walk out of the door



When we got that done we moved on to the landing in front of where the stairs will go


At this point in the day I started getting frustrated because we had to redo one of the piers three times because we kept making it out of parallel with the other one. I was getting a little cranky, so we don't have many more pictures (I know, so out of character for me).

When we got it straightened out I helped Chris frame out the landing and then cleaned up for the day. He finished the landing while I took a much needed shower. And when I got out, our deck looked like this

After a hard day of work we cooked our first meal in the kitchen!!!

I made quacamole with tomatos and a lemon from our backyard!


We headed off the grocery store for the rest of the taco ingredients and got to cooking


And voila!

It is SOOOO wonderful to have a kitchen we can cook in, and a dishwasher to wash the dishes!!! Since I lived on my own (nearly 6 years) I have NEVER had a dishwasher, so it is GREAT. I told Chris last night that it feels like we're housesitting for someone because we have a nice kitchen, something that I've been missing for a LONG time. It's so great. Sigh.......

8.29.2009

Too Too Too Hot

I know I'm completely spoiled when it comes to the weather. In Albany and Berkeley, a hot day was in the mid 70s, and unbearable was when it hit the 80s. I loved it. It's amazing that just 10 miles away in Oakland the weather is so different. It got to 96 here, and that was COMPLETELY unbearable for me.
I started the day off painting another coat on our front door. When I walked outside at 8:15 to hose it down, I already broke a sweat. At 11 when I was painting I was trying as hard as possible to stay in any shade there was. I got the second coat on the front though, and it looks great (I love the buttercup yellow, it's so cheerful and inviting)

Chris worked on getting started on the deck in the back

I prepared the first lunch on our NEW countertops. It made it MUCH easier than the one square foot I had before (ooohhh the small joys in life)


After lunch (when we found out it was 96 degrees) we decided it was too hot to work outside on the deck, so we worked on installing the upper cabinets. We had to be finished by a little after 5 to take showers to see my dad and Wendy for dinner, and surprisingly we got it all done!


(We'll be getting a stainless fridge that will be centered under this cabinet sometime in the future)
(like our curtains? Don't worry, those are only temporary)


(glad I got that silly one of Chris, hehe)


We still need to put on the trim at the top of the cabinets (where you can see the plywood nailing strip) but other than that we got them in!

I thought the Raiders game today was a night game so I could work on the house during the day and wouldn't have to go in till 4, but it's a day game. That's bad for two reasons: I won't really be able to work on the house because I have to be in at 9:30 and I won't be home till around 5, and it's supposed to be really hot again, and standing on the field with no protection from the sun for 3 hours isn't going to be pleasant :( Chris said he was going to work outside on the deck, so he'll be just as hot :(

Here's to hoping neither of us gets heat stroke! (seriously only kind of joking)

8.27.2009

Holy Shit We Have Countertops!!!!

While I was at work this morning Chris managed the installation of our countertops (I had the morning shift instead of the afternoon shift like I had thought before). I sent him MANY texts asking about the status and how it looked. I was VERY excited to come home after I got off. And when I got home, this is what I saw


They look AMAZING and I was SOOO hapoy to have countertops in. But, it wasn't all good news. The much debated seam was not as marvelous as we were told it would be. We were well aware that because of the size of our countertop we didn't really need a seam, but Best wouldn't do it without one (mostly because they were too lazy to be careful enough and too cheap to hire 3-4 guys to install it). So we debated with them where it should go and we finally settled on a diagonal one in the corner of the "L." Well, we were told that it would be seamless looking because they would simply cut at the diagonal and then stick it back together, but apparently they cut a section out of the diagonal because the two sides DO NOT match up at all

Chris didn't give the installers the rest of the money because he wanted me to see it before we paid in full. I was really excited when I got home, and then I saw the seam and I was REALLY disappointed. I called the guy at Best and talked with him and said I had pictures and he asked me to send him them. I sent him the email and said we didn't pay in full because we needed to talk about the seam with them before we paid our full balance. We haven't heard back yet. There is no way they'll re-do it, but that is a really bad seam, and for a place that's call "Best Marble and Granite" it isn't a great representation of the "Best" work. We'll see what happens, but I'm aiming to pay less than our "full" balance because that's pretty bad.

After getting over it we worked on hooking up the sink, faucet and garbage disposal



Chris is at Home Depot getting the proper size transition for the drain. The first time we went today we saw a bad fight outside. It was between two people around 17-21. Chris and I were walking up and they were swinging and there were about 6 people around, one got knocked down and the other was kicking him on the ground. Chris was in front of me and he yelled "Hey!" and the kid kicking stopped and started running away. The kid on the ground was motionless for a good 5-7 seconds and then got up. I was afraid he had a concussion. Two of his friends came by and started yelling and asking what had happened and they ran off chasing the kid. It was a lot of commotion. Home Depot management came over and started to try and calm people down. I didn't know at first who had yelled "hey" because Chris was in front of me, and as we were talking about it in the store Chris said it was him. I was glad he did it because it made the kid stop, but it also made me realize that that was the first time I have ever heard Chris yell in the 4 1/2 years we've been together. So, good job Chris, good to yell only when you really need to :) It made me proud of him because it essentially stopped the fight. Chris also mentioned later about how it reminded him of Menace II Society (EXCELLENT movie, in my top 10-15 probably) when the two guys ran off to chase the guy who ran away and how you never really know how retribution will pay you back.

Now, back to the kitchen! Chris and I won't get to make dinner in our WONDERFUL kitchen until Sunday because tomorrow my dad and Wendy will be in town going through their storage unit picking out things to move to Boston in their now permanent apartment and we'll go out to dinner with them after and Saturday I'll be working utility at the Raiders game. But, Taco Sunday (as was our old tradition) awaits us with baited breath! :)

8.26.2009

Apparently I Like Basterds

We saw Inglorious Basterds last night. I'll tell you, I wasn't really looking forward to it because I don't like Quentin Tarantino very much, but I was pleasantly surprised. I didn't love it, but I didn't hate it, I would say I enjoyed it. I mostly felt obligated to see it because I'm nearly 100% sure it'll be nominated for some Academy Awards and I like to see as many nominated movies as possible. I would recommend it to people, but if you don't like gore you'll be covering your eyes a lot (as usual with Mr. Tarantino)


Tonight we'll get the kitchen ready for the granite to be installed TOMORROW. I'm SO excited. Chris and I have already decided that our first cooked meal will be tacos (we used to always make them on Sunday nights). I'm SOOOO excited. Chris has the day off tomorrow, so he'll manage the project. I'll be there in the morning, then leave for work around noon. But when I get home they should be DONE!

Then we'll get to work on the trim, installing the uppper cabinets and backsplash, putting in the garbage disposal and getting the sink hooked up. Around the house we'll prime the stucco, power wash the side of the house, build ONE of the decks, do some yard work and do one last dump run before our housewarming party in less than TWO weeks.

Hopefully we get it all done!

8.25.2009

5 Loads of Laundry

Leighton came over last night and after lifting and adjusting 3 times we got the laundry cabinet up! I helped Chris lift it into the house before we had Leighton come over and I thought I was going to die. Good thing he was able to come over and help us, whew!


It's a tad out of level and after Leighton left Chris and I did some adjusting. Neither of us really realized how out of level the ceiling was before we put the drywall up. We should have checked it more carefully before, we just had a brain fart. We lowered the left side a bit so there is a small gap between it and the ceiling, but now it just looks SLIGHTLY crooked instead of a piece of furniture straight out of a Dr. Seuss story (we'll patch it up soon so it is less obvious). I'll have to touch up some places, we need to skrew in the knobs, and install the counter that will go on top of the washer and dryer, but we have a functional laundry room now!!! (again)

It's hard to believe at one point the laundry room looked like this

8.24.2009

Neutral Color

We're making some headway on the laundry room, so that's pretty exciting. We DESPERATELY need to do a load of laundry, and hopefully we'll get the washer and dryer hooked back up tonight. Chris and I are both on our last pair of socks.

When I was at the Earthquakes on Saturday Chris and his sister got the texture on the walls, and yesterday morning and afternoon while I was at the A's Chris cleaned up and got the primer on the walls. So when I got home around 5 Chris got started on hooking the lights back up

and I got started on painting


I am not a fan of neutral colors in a home. I dislike shades of beige and off-white. I think colors like that lack personality and are unimaginative. To me, the only places neutral colors should live are hallways, utility rooms, closets, and garages. So, this being a laundry room, a light neutral color was allowed. It's a shade that really changes with the light because in the picture above it looks really yellow, but in the morning light right now it looks creamy, and at night it has a hint of green.

We got the first coat on by dinner


Took a little break, and knocked out the second coat in 45 minutes



Tonight we'll put up the laundry cabinet (which is DONE, I just have to clean it up and put on the glass knobs) and then we'll hook up the washer and dryer. The cabinet is SUPER heavy, so I think we'll ask our neighbor Leighton to help us lift it up and install it when Chris gets home. There is still the floor that needs to be replaced and the trim that needs to be painted (and some installed), but it is a VAST improvement.

I got my new schedule from LHB now that school has started again for our other receptionist. I've got Mondays and Fridays off, so that's pretty cool. It opens up a lot of time to work on the house, and also time to hopefully get some substitute teaching in for extra money once my CBEST scores come back (unofficial TODAY) and I send in my paperwork. Update: I got my scores and I PASSED!!!!

Alright, I'm off to get some housework done!

8.22.2009

Sea Ranch

We went yesterday to check out our granite. Yesterday....yes, that's right, a day late, because the granite place didn't realize when they charged us nearly $2000 for the material that it hadn't even arrived yet. Lovely. So it got postponed.

We had to buy two slabs because the slabs we found were quite small, so even our baby kitchen couldn't quite fit on the baby slabs (hence the $2000 price tag). So, when we got to the granite place and found 2 HUGE slabs sitting out front waiting for us, we were a little curious. It turns out, the granite supplier had MUCH larger slabs than they told us (and sold us), instead of being 94", they were 110". And now, we could fit all the coutertops on one slab, however, we had been charged (and told we needed) two. I was having none of this, there was NO WAY we were paying for two slabs when we only needed one.
After waiting about 15 minutes for the guy to come help us (even though we had an appointment) I laid the smack down. I tried to keep it as polite as possible, but I didn't want to get screwed. After, I asked Chris, "Was I rude?" and his response was, "No, but you told him how it was going to be." I was satisfied with that :) Chris said, "It's good to know that if I need it, I can bring in the big dogs." LOL.

And, my letting him know how it was going to be saved us about $800, so that was EXCELLENT news. Instead of $3700, it's $2900, music to our ears. AND, it's going to be installed next Friday, little puppy songs in my ears it sounds so good :)

After, we headed up to Sea Ranch (north of Bodega Bay on HWY 1) to spend the night with my mom, Clarke, and Adam. We ate yummy BBQ, had a nice walk on the cliffs with the doggie, and played LOTS of fun games, which my family takes VERY seriously: at one point my 27 year old brother decided to let out a large fart in an attempt to distract me. It didn't work. Asshole. :)




Sadly we could only stay one night :( because I had to get back to work an Earthquakes soccer game today (the game was fun though because I got to do camera the whole time). Hopefully next time my mom and Clarke decide to do a weekend away and invite us we'll be able to stay for longer.

On a side note, we're getting trim for the kitchen and we had a REALLY hard time matching the trim around our windows and doors. It's got a rounded edge (which is a little rare) but we FINALLY found it at Economy Lumber and apparently it's quite specific to Oakland

Pretty cool! Except the $20 price tag EACH! The trim is only like $2 a foot, but the corners are 10 times that!

8.19.2009

Templates: Check

The guys from Best Marble just finished laying the plywood and making the template for our countertops (amazingly they showed up ON TIME)



So tomorrow we go to see the template on the stone and pick where we want it cut out. VERY exciting :)

8.18.2009

We Can Officially COOK!

We don't have countertops, but hey, when you haven't had a functional kitchen for 8 months, having a working stove is QUITE exciting

Sometime in the next year or so we'll upgrade and get a stainless stove, but this one came with the house, so no complaints really.

The granite guys come tomorrow to make the template and lay down plywood. Thursday Chris and I will go to their warehouse/showroom to place where we want the template cut out of the stone. We'll also head over to the tile place to pick out our backsplash, this is my favorite

Then we'll go to Urban Ore to pick up some salvage hardware for the laundry cabinet (that is ALMOST done) and THEN go to the hardwood place to pick out some hardwood for the pass through (Chris will make it into a butcher block sort of dealio).

Totally unrelated, here's a funny video Chris took using the time lapse of me doing drywall mud


video