Operation: Fix This House!

Operation: Fix This House!
Our adventures in fixing up a fixer-upper

Confessions of an Antibride

Confessions of an Antibride
Snarky Commentary on Wedding Planning

Pink Dog Cooks

Pink Dog Cooks
Sort of.


And other Crafting Goodness

Craft Room Phase I!

Monday, July 30, 2007

MacGyver and I were sitting around this weekend trying to decide what to do. Suddenly he said, lets go knock out that wall in the craft room. As soon as I realized he wasn't kidding, up we went! We moved some of the stuff around but weren't able to get it all out of the room. Now, for any of you who has never had to remove lath and plaster walls before, I do not recommend it (unless of course you're into that sort of masochistic thing in which case knock yourself out). There simply is not easy way to do it. It's messy. Very, very messy. I've decided that removing it ranks right behind cutting up raw chickens, de-veining shrimps, and hauling baskets of laundry up and down the stairs in my top ten least favorite activities!

Remember my Skittles Colored craft Room!? Well here is a picture of the wall from that side before anything was torn apart.

Say goodbye to this wall!

A light switch used to be where this hole now is. Notice the friendly sign to Robyn where not to hit-we both tried to remember whether we knew CPR.

I got to help!! MacGyver said I did a good job but I am s-l-o-w so he let me whack at it for awhile and then told me to beat it. I think it is appropriate to take a moment to explain what exactly it is that we are doing. You see, we live in a hamster cage. Our house is built of cedar, metal and plaster. I like to equate the plaster to that frosting/glue Mom used to make for gingerbread houses - the hard-as-a-rock-break-your-teeth icing? It doesn't come off easily. It's extremely messy. And a giant pain in the patooty! But I digress...So MacGyver told me to scram and let the "real men" work. Notice the difference in fervor between my picture and his!! In the amount of time it took me to take down this small section he had half the rest of the wall already down. Sigh... I guess this is why we leave this stuff to the pros!

Here's what the wall looked like after all the plaster was removed! I can't imagine building houses like this! It must have taken forever to build!

Did I mention it is a messy job? Chunks of plaster all mixed in with pieces of lath (which of course are full of sharp, tetanus-laden nails). I'll let you enjoy the next few play-by-play without commentary :)

So now that all that business was over (and a GIHUGIC mess had been made) we needed to remove the framing posts.

Oh! Look who has the sawzall!! Yes, that's me (admittedly I had to be coerced to use the stupid thing, but I'm all better now!)! Now that the wall is out the chimney must come out as well.

MacGyver started chipping away at the plaster covering the chimney. This chimney had long since been out of commission. It runs down through the house, through the kitchen and into the basement. We think it was once used to cook with or to heat the house from the basement.

We started knocking bricks off one by one and chucking them down the chimney into the basement (which was pretty entertaining actually!).

MacGyver went down in the basement and stuck his head into the chimney ;)

Our basement looked prett scary after we were all done with that! These are all the bricks from the chimney and the plaster from the wall spilling out of the chimney. I'm not looking forward to the day when all of that has to come out of the basement!

And finally, after a long weekend of hard work, it's all done!!

Today's lesson: How to install a dishwasher and garbage disposal!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

MacGyver bought me a dishwasher! We've both been thinking about it for a while, but you can imagine my surprise when MacGyver said "let's go buy a dishwasher!" God bless Tillamook too, the saleman delivered it in his personal pickup truck for free. When you view the picture of the dishwasher, think of violins and a choir in the background, maybe a dramatic spotlight casting a warm glow over the stainless steel finish... That's what I hear every time I walk into my kitchen.
So, in our cabinatry there has always been a space for a dishwasher; however there has been no such appliance occupying that space in a very long time, if ever.

More recently, that space has been re-zoned as a sort of bunker for Linus to hide from Nasty Puppy. We also lack one garbage disposal (which apparently is not called a "disposAL" at all, instead they are all called "disposERs". Whatever.) Therfore today's lesson will focus on how to install a dishwasher and a garbage disposER!

Step 1: Take all appliances out of their respective boxes and do a happy dance around them in the middle of the kitchen floor. (But you have to leave the stickers on because it keeps it new and shiny!) And, no, you do not get to see a picture of my happy dance. Too bad for you.

Step 2: Make two trips to the hardware store to get the right breaker for the fuse box. Check to make sure your girlfriend knows CPR. Kill the power to the house (and discover that your house indeed DOES have a main breaker after all! Fancy that!). Fiddle around in the breaker box for awhile, swear a little, send your girlfriend to the store to get her out of your way, and install a new circuit breaker.

Step 3: Redo the outlet in the wall so you have a switch to turn the disposER on and off. Ours started out with one outlet and one switch. The new fixture has two switches and an outlet. I wanted it to go the other way around, but I was told to get over it...

Step 4: Spend the better part of the morning trying to fish the wires from the electrical box on the bump out/back porch thing down under the house (ewe!) into the basement and back up through the wall, only to discover that the cabinets are sitting on top of the hole that the wires come through in the basement which is why we couldn't get the damn things up there to begin with.

Step 5: Cut another hole in the wall. Bend the sawzall blade trying to cut through the wall. (NOTE: our walls are made of a plaster and horsehair cement-like compund. It's strong stuff. Strong enough to break the sawzall blade apparently.) Bend the blade back into place. Repeat the bending process three or four times, and give up. Bust out the hand saw and hack that sucker out of there.

Step 7: Chop another hole in the wall for the dishwasher wiring. Please refer to the steps taken in the post detailing how to fix a bathroom door steps 4 through 8 to best describe how to properly pound, saw, bang on, and otherwise force something into place. Install the box and slide that dishwasher into its new home! Screw it into place so it doens't come flying out the first time it's run.

Step 8: Stand back and admire how pretty it looks in the kitchen (listen for the music again...).

The DispoSER went in without incident. I actually took pictures of the box where it claims "EASY INSTALLATION!" all over, fully anticipating the opportunity to prove them wrong. At the end of the day MacGyver and I were proud new owners of a shiny new dishwasher and an InSinkErator!

Hauser von Schnauzer!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Meet Mojo! He turned seven weeks old today and we were able to finally bring him home!

While some of the following pictures may depict images in which Linus appears to be happy about the new puppy, sadly, this is not the case. It appears he was not expecting this outcome from his little rendezvous last fall! Linus has become quite the drama queen in the past few days and I think is convinced MacGyver and I have lost our minds. He, for lack of a better way to say it, utterly and completely despises little Mojito. Hopefully this will not last!

Mojo with one of his brothers before he came home.

While they look like they are making nice...believe me looks are deceiving.

Mojo invited himself into Linus' kennel (without Linus permission, of course). This picture was taking moments before Linus ran for the hills.

I put Mojo in his kennel to see how it would go. I think the only thing missing from this picture is a tin can to clank against the bars. What a sad little puppy we have!

Mojo modeled his new shirt compliments of MacGyver's sister. (It says "I'm naked under my shirt!)

One passed out puppy!

And now I must excuse myself, I have to go fish Linus out from under the bed where he has been pouting all evening.

Long time no bloggie...

Thursday, February 1, 2007

My apologies for slacking on the blogging. MacGyver got a job! This is great...except that this means he doesn't have as much time to work on the house, which means projects will be slower in completion, which in turn means fewer blogs. But that's okay! He actually did this a few weeks ago, but I'm just getting around to posting it now (oops!) He took an old door from my parent's house and turned it into a handy little table for my craft room! True to MacGyver fashion, he screwed it into the floor so that sucker isn't going anywhere! :)

The Floors: Chapter Two!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

My computer has been out of commission for a few days while I relocated it to a more permanent home. The picture uploading cradle is connected to that and so I apologize for slacking.

The last post you all read included photos of MacGyver in the process of lifting the floors. The next day, he raised the floors a tad bit more. Amazing what an eensy weensy bit more weight can do to a floor...

Eh hem...ummm yeah. That's right boys and girls! You're looking at the jack that went through the floor!

This is a picture of the bottle jack sitting inside the floor. It actually broke through the 1" thick concrete floor of the basement (which I'm told is actually not much at all) and wedged itself underneath! So that was pretty awesome to come home to.

Not to worry though, MacGyver patched the hole in the floor and made it all right again. With a little elbow grease, and more pounding

(because, as I'm learning, the first lesson in home repairs is to always try pounding the poo out of something first!!),

the post is back where it belongs sitting on a freshly poured patch of concrete.

Well, close enough!

The Floors: Chapter One

Thursday, January 4, 2007

MacGyver spent today working on the floors!

When his friend was here awhile back they made a string line to show where the posts should meet the main beam. MacGyver used cement that was supposed to dry in three minutes...

still not dry...

still not dry...

three hours later it still isn't dry. Apparently the basement is too cold so hopefully by tomorrow it will be dry?

This is first casualty of the floors being jacked up.

This lock used to lock. Now that the floors have been lifted an entire inch (yikes!), things seem to be shifting around a bit. Eh hem...

When all was said and done the floors were lifed about 5/8". There is still about another 1/4" to go, but that will probably wait until summer when the house has had a chance to settle again. It's like we took our house to the chiropractor!

I just hope we don't end up with vaulted ceilings when this all over.

2009 ·Pink Dog Blog by TNB