So here I sit in my cubicle, avoiding some really icky meeting scheduling, and listening for the sounds of the masses crying "Tell us how your weekend projects went. We must know!" All I actually hear are the sound of cartoon crickets, but I’m waiting. I’m sure some sad soul out there is dying to know. Someone whose life is even less intriguing than mine...
The weekend was not as productive as I had hoped, but I hit the big goals. The laundry alcove is done but for the new cabinet doors. I didn’t get the second one glued up until last night, and neither of them have their panels set in. That can happen any time though. The wallpaper in the spare bedroom has been stripped – there is no more wallpaper in my house other than what currently resides in the trash bag! Very exciting, that.
Friday we decided to go out for dinner to celebrate a year in the mortgage, given that the nice people at the dentist’s office had re-cemented my crown back into my mouth. But I decided that if I hustled, I could get the glue stripped out of the laundry alcove before Bob got home. So I ran home and got to work moving the dryer. That’s when I discovered that the dryer was NOT going to be spending the weekend outside because that new storm door we installed has the gas spring at the bottom. That means that in order to remove the dryer it has to be lifted up and over the spring, which I can’t do by myself. The next option was to push it into the kitchen. At this point I need to be descriptive, and you need to visualize. Concentrate:
When you walk in from the outside, you are in a little tiny entryway. To your left is an alcove that is *exactly* as wide and exactly as deep as the washer and dryer sitting side by side. Directly in front of you is the door to the half bath. The washer is on the bathroom side, the dryer is on the exterior side. To your right is the door you just walked through opened against the wall and the doorway into the kitchen. It is important to note that the exterior door, when open, overlaps the kitchen doorway by about four inches. This is a very small area, with not a lot of maneuvering room – the open floor space is only slightly wider than I am. There are a few issues with moving stuff around in there:
*I didn’t want to disconnect the washer. For one thing it’s a heavy mother, and I didn’t want to shift it any further than necessary. For another, I didn’t want to bust open the connections for the water supply hoses. It’s always best not to disturb those if you can avoid it.
*The dryer can’t be pulled out of its alcove if the exterior door is closed, because the doorknob is in the way.
*The dryer won’t fit through the kitchen doorway if the exterior door is open, because of that four inch overlap.
*The exterior door won’t close if the dryer is pulled out of its alcove.
You see my dilemma, don’t you? I could have solved this by waiting until my husband got home to help me lift it outside, but that would have been far too simple. What worked was this:
Open the exterior door.
Pull the dryer out of the alcove.
Rotate the dryer 90 degrees.
Push the dryer back into its spot.
Close the exterior door.
Pull the dryer out, and feed it through the doorway into the kitchen.
This was brilliant on Friday. On Sunday when I couldn’t remember how to replicate it, it was just really annoying. I did however manage to have the glue stripped before we headed out to dinner.
Saturday was an exercise in moving slowly. Bob got the pavilion up and hosed off, with extremely minimal help from me. Our yard is pretty much exactly as wide as our pavilion, by the way. Once that was done I started priming the alcove/entry. I primed the ceiling and walls, and then decided that I really should do the inside of the cabinet. So I went for my trusty can of Zinsser BIN primer – and it was empty. Cue the run to Home Depot. I got the cabinet done just in time for dinner. While that all dried, I headed upstairs with a garden sprayer full of Dif solution and malice in my heart. The wallpaper removal was a fairly easy procedure. It didn’t come down quite as easily as it had in the first bedroom, but it wasn’t as problematic as the hallway. The only fly in the ointment is that I did heftier damage to the wallboard paper than ever before. We suspect that room had been previously papered, and there were spots where the original glue hadn’t been fully removed when the new paper went up. I say this because of what we found under the wallpaper. Those walls were chock full of tack holes – but there weren’t holes in the wallpaper that corresponded. Neither had that room ever been painted – I found primer under the paper. It’s not really important, but I wonder about these things. I ran out of gas shortly before I was done stripping the paper, and decided not to finish stripping the glue just then. But after reflection, then I decided that the laundry cabinet needed a coat of Kilz primer before I went to bed. Glutton for punishment – yep, that’s me.
Sunday I was supposed to explode into action to get things done before we left for Suzanne’s picnic. Instead, I crawled into slow motion. I popped open my paint cans, and got the first color coats on the entry. Everything is left over from something else: the walls are the left over kitchen wall paint, the inside of the cabinet is the left over cabinet paint from the half bath, the exterior of the cabinet is the left over cabinet paint from the kitchen, and the ceiling is well... the leftover ceiling paint from... everywhere. But it was nice to use stuff that I already had. Once the first coat was on and drying peacefully, I headed upstairs to strip the glue and wash the walls. Thank goodness Bob came up to help, because that took tons more time than anticipated. I’m not sure why, but this glue was just stickier on the wall than the others had been, and it took more to get the walls clean. We started with Bob stripping the glue with Dif and me washing with hot water. During that phase I managed to pull the lamp off the dresser (bending the base but not breaking the bulb) and slop half the bucket of water all over me and the floor. Brilliant. When it became apparent that Bob didn’t quite have the hang of glue stripping, we swapped off. That took two hours longer than I had planned, but I was determined to have it done. Then we changed into drier, less sticky clothes, I combed some of the paint out of my hair, and we headed to the picnic. It was nice to see people, and we had a great time. When we got back, I put a second coat of paint on the alcove walls so that it would be dry and ready for baseboards the next day, and Bob headed upstairs with the joint compound to patch the tack holes and try his hand at skim coating the damaged spots. Unfortunately, my joint compound had dried out. Since hardware stores are generally closed at 11:00 pm we were done for the night. We patched the holes, and called it quits.
Yesterday the husband came down sick. So I left him to catch some more sleep and headed down to put the second coat on the laundry cabinets. When he emerged we headed out to buy vinyl cove base, appropriate adhesive, joint compound (grrrr), and – oh yeah – a refrigerator.
Here begins the rant. There are dozens of models of fridges out there. Top freezer, bottom freezer, side-by-side, french doors, black, white, stainless, ice in the door, water in the door, ice AND water in the door – you see what I’m getting at. Fridges are really, really expensive. I’ve known people who have bought cars for less than some of the models out there. Here’s the thing: call me crazy – I want to SEE what I’m buying. *Before* I buy it. I’d surfed the web. I’d scoped out options, and priced things. I’d checked out all the Labor Day deals. I was pretty sure that I knew what I wanted, and where I wanted to buy it. I wanted the GE Profile model PFS22MBWBB, and I wanted it at Home Depot with 10% off, 12 months interest free, $100 gift card, free delivery and removal, and no sales tax because it’s an energy star model. BUT... I wanted to actually look at it first. I wanted to open the doors, pull out the drawers, and make sure that I liked it. Home Depot in Bristol didn’t have one on the floor. Neitehr did the Sears appliance store in Bristol. Neither did Lowes in Plainville. Neither did the Despot in Southington. Bernie’s in Southington finally did. We looked at it. We liked it. We went back to the Despot in Bristol and ordered it. But seriously – do people actually buy major appliances sight unseen? I can’t fathom looking at a fridge online where they don’t even give you a picture of the actual model, and saying "I’ll take that." It seems like buying a car without a test drive. How do they actually sell these things when no one has one that you can actually examine? Or am I the only person who frets this much? My only regret? If I’d known we were going to be replacing appliances this quickly I might have held out for beige. Oh well. There’s no going back now, without winning Powerball.
So I have a new fridge that will be delivered on the 13th. Unfortunately the one thing I forgot to measure was the front door. Oops. I’ll check that tonight. I’m incredibly excited about this.
Once that was taken care of, we headed home. The frozen pizza went in the oven, and Bob went to the garage to pull the old dryer hose out of the wall. Dr. Doom (our home inspector) hadn’t approved of the fact that we had a section of plastic dryer hose because it’s a fire hazard. So as long as we had everything pulled out, we swapped it out for metal. After the pizza, he cut and glued the rubber baseboard in place for me, and it really looks sharp. It’s kind of a shame – he did a beautiful job cutting around the dryer vent and mitering the corners – and you can’t see any of it now that everything is back in place. Then it came time to put the appliances back. Pushing the washer back in place should have been easy. Except that I wanted it leveled – it wasn’t when we moved in. That should have been easy too, except one of the legs had frozen over the years. It turned into a fiasco with me holding up the front of the washer, Bob on his belly with the Liquid Wrench, and Becket walking back and forth across both of us. Cutting past the swearing and sniping at each other, we got the washer level and back in place. After that, I couldn’t remember how to get the dryer back in. Luckily Bob remembered me telling him that I had turned it sideways, and after a few false starts we got that back in place. It looks nice.
So next, I need to finish gluing up the new laundry doors. One frame is already glued, and I clamped the other one last night. They need to have their panels set in place and caulked, they need to be painted, and then hung. I hope to have them up by the end of the week, but we’ll see. I’ve also got some little under-counter LED lights that we got at Ikea with an eye towards using them in the kitchen. I was never really happy about how they looked in the kitchen, but they’re going to be perfect under the laundry cabinet shining down on the washer and dryer. I’ll put those up as soon as I’m comfortable with the cure level of the paint.
I never got back to the spare bedroom, but what I really wanted done up there was getting the wallpaper down. I can pick away at the rest of it over the week and weekend. It’s the dry times that kill these projects. I’ll skim coat the damaged spots and that has to dry for 24 hours. Then I have to prime, which has to dry for four hours. Next is the color coat which also needs to dry for four hours. Then it’ll need a second coat, and the dark wall might end up needing a third. The reality of doing all of this after work is that those dry times dictate one coat per day. So you can see that it’s a drawn out process when only done in the evenings. But it’ll be so nice to have the room done. Then I’ll need to make a new quilt to match the new color scheme. That’s the fun part!
Did you notice that I never mentioned taking the pavilion *down?* Yep – it’s still in the back yard. We hope to drop it tomorrow.
But the next big thing I need to accomplish is all the laundry that’s been accumulating while we worked on the alcove. Yuck.