Sunday, May 30, 2021

Garden projects in Spring

 While our kitchen is being renovated, I did some projects in the garden.   My hands and nails are all tore up from using the garden tools but I don’t really care as long as I can work in the garden 😝.

Anyways, I decided to use the discarded trunk of the crab apple that we removed in the front yard to hide the undesirable part of our corner yard, which is my compositing  corner.   I put all the cut grass there and wood chips that We used as bedding for our guinea pigs.  This year, I thought I’d use it as a planter for my chicks and hens succulents so that’s what I did.

A friend of mine has a lot of these succulents so she gave me some few years ago, it multiplied.
I think that the shapes of the wood give this part of our yard a character.


I found some live moss when I took my dogs for a walk in the nearby woods so I added them into the succulents.  The birds are eyeing on it though.
I also put these gangly dried out vines in there.
Birds like it as the can hop around using those twigs.
Our weather this morning is rather chilly.  Here’s May and we’re still have mid-30s at night.   My vegetable seedlings are struggling.   I am dealing with frost, hail, birds, slugs, and the aphids are thick this year!
Hostas are great border plants, I have few different kinds.  The slugs have been eating the leaves of the small ones.  Deers love them too.
Snow in Summer is a really good ground covering perennial .  The former home owner has few of them before and it grew thicker as I transplanted them to a new location.

Sunday, May 9, 2021

Electric, Boiler, and a 🔥!

This home renovation is causing me a lot of stress!!!  One major downside of buying an old house is you’re going to have to upgrade or replaced a lot of things that are slowly breaking down or getting so ancient looking.   So far this is the biggest renovation we are undertaking so it’s not only costly but also taking soooo long to get done.

So while the kitchen Reno is going on, my husband decided to have an electrician replaced the old box that we have in this house.   The project manager that is doing our kitchen knew someone that could replace it on a budget so we hired him so our box won’t be older than my husband (this was built in 1968 and hubby was born in 69).
 We also had Austin Heating Company came to check on our boiler as it stop heating upstairs.  This company has been working on this since January and here comesMay and they’re still not done.   I don’t know what the hell is going on but I told my husband we might get shocked by a huge bill that this guys are gonna send us.

But anyway, back to the electric box that was installed.   The electrician worked on it for two days and during those days, our electric was shut off.   He turned the power back on on the first night although it wasn’t finish yet just so we will have lights.   The next day, he finished the wiring and turn back the power on.   He forgot what the project manager told him of not turning on the breaker for the stove as he hooked it up already.  It would’ve a problem though but for some reason one of the knobs of the stove was on and it caught the cardboard and drop cloth they put on top of it on fire.   It was a mess and scary.

I’m just glad that when it happened, my husband was at home already.  I was outside doing some gardening and he was waiting at the basement waiting for the guy to come back as he left to pick up his check after he turned everything back on.  He came out with the burning cardboard and told me to help him put out the fire on the cloth.  Our whole first floor was filled with smoke, I was scared as heck.   My husband did training as a firefighter so he knew what to do.  If I was the only one there. I would have panicked!   Both of my kids were taking a nap that time so they’re the ones I thought of first when I saw the fire.   

I wasn’t able to sleep that night thinking about it.  The reality have sunk in and the fear set in on me.   Although there wasn’t much damage to it, I was bummed out because now my house smells like burned inside ugh.  The kitchen is not even finished yet and it almost got burned down, whew!


Monday, May 3, 2021

Kitchen Reno 2021

 We finally decided to have our kitchen remodeled despite  so many hesitations.   At first, I really didn't want to do it because of the cost but my husband really want it done while he is still working.  So what we did was took out a loan out of his 401k  investment so we could pay this  costly renovation. 

I was busy packing all of our things from five rooms at our first floor because we also decided to have all the floorings done.  It feels like we were moving once again and in the process, I mashed one of my fingers with the cabinet shelf and man, it hurts like heck.
 Hubby and I polished all the wood floorings few years ago when we first bought this house.   Then we hired Empire Today  to do the floorings in the kitchen and family room but we didn't like how it turned out so even if I love what we did to the wood floorings, we had two types of flooring in the first floor.  My husband wanted to have just one type of flooring (see photo below) and also to level it all out so we added the flooring to the kitchen renovation project.
The company that we hired to do   this renovation is Kitchen Designs from Ohio.  They were supposed to start on the last week of February but they got held up  from another job so they did not get to start until March 15. 
Our house was built in 1968 and everything in it is still the original when it was built so it really need an upgrade.  We started  updating  it ever since we bought it but we could only do one by one since  home improvement in our area costs an arm and a leg.  We had new windows installed in 2017, a new front door, and built  a wooden fence  at the backyard.  
We upgraded the powder room in 2016 since the toilet there is the original 60s style with bright yellow color.  We put in new vanity and new toilet.  Hubby and I also renovated our main bath and master's bath last year, it was a heck of a job but glad we did it coz our bathrooms  looks great now compared to the old ones with colorful toilet and floorings.  
One thing I would say though about the old kitchen cabinet is that, it is heavy duty.   Although it was 53 years old, they are still in great condition.  I was gonna  save them and install it in the basement but my husband refused lol.

It's week 7th now and there's still more to do to complete the job. I am getting more anxious  because  the dust and unorganized  stuff around my house is driving me crazy.  I get migraines just by looking at our stuff in the basement.  
We put everything in the basement in order to  have the workers  space to move around.
There's dust in over  nooks and crannies of my house and it makes me feel so stressed out.  I tried to clean as much as I could but with it seems  useless since they do sanding it fills it back up.
When this is all done, I will need to clean everything/  The good thing is, we don't need to  worry about renovating again for a long time.  
I kind of sad covering the wood floorings because I really liked how it turned out when we re-polished it but hubby is right, having just one kind of flooring in the first floor is better.  I hope that this kind of flooring will last for a long time though, we will see how it goes.
Our dining room and kitchen used to be separated by a wall and there was a closet in the hallway, we decided to have an open conce3pt and  removed that wall.  They installed a beam  across where the wall used to be and underneath it, the new island was built.  I finally get an island in my kitchen yay.
the first two weeks of the renovation was mostly demolition of the wall, stripping off the tiles in the family and kitchen floors,  and removing the cabinets.  The father and son who was doing this was]]ere very hard workers, they never stop unless they have to eat.  They are very respectful and really nice to work with. What I like about them is that, they always clean before they leave after the days work.   Thanks Rod and Christian.
This was the  flooring that  Empire Today have installed five years ago.  The material has a very weird texture to it that if you are walking barefooted, it doesn't feel good.  It made me so upset that we spent more than  5 grand  for this to put in and we had to removed it since we didn't like it.  This was stripped off so that all the floor in the first floor will be leveled.
The Project  Manager, Mike is  very skillful.  He works with his wife Tanya, they are super nice people.   Him and his wife installed  the cabinets on the fourth week after the flooring was installed.  They also did the electricals for the lighting.  
On the fifth week, the counters were installed.  The company that did it was from Pittsburgh.
The crew that work on the  walls are different, they were also the ones doing the painting.  We decided to have the family room and staircase walls and ceiling painted.  This wasn't part of the project so we will be paying separate for this job.  
We are also hiring an electrician to replace the old box that we have.  I think by the end of this project, we will be spending nearly 70k including the new appliances and  furniture.  I am keeping a tab on all our expenses so that I'll know exactly how much it costs us.  
While this is going on, we also have the heating company fix our heating system.  "When it rain, it pours"  is exactly true when doing home renovations.  You find things that need fix so the expenses keep adding up.  Hopefully, this will increase the value of this home.
The good thing is,  everything is getting fixed now so we don't have to worry about it when we are old.  The problem is, we spent half of my husband's retirement fund  on this project.  Oh well, he  really want all of this done before he retire so I guess it is all good.
Funny how you never realized how much stuff you accumulate over the years until one you have to pack them and move somewhere else.  Our basement is packed right now, the good thing is, we have a very largenspace down there.
I was hoping that I can have my kitchen back on Mother's day but I don't think it will happen.
Hopefully, it will be done before my birthday so I can start cleaning up and  start putting things back together.  I am hopeful that it will be done by then, fingers crossed!  

This two-story  colonial house was built in 1968 on a 8,712 sqft lot.  We bought this in 2016 and in five years, we have upgraded pretty much all of the  things that need upgrade except the basement.  This house is way bigger than the first home we lived in Park Avenue but I miss my neighbors on our first home.  We're not  close with the neighbors we have in this  street.  Some are nice but some aren't and some don't care lol.

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