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Category Archives: living room

’tis the season for getting sh*t done…

…or, ‘in awe of the male nesting instinct…’

So…wow.  You ever live with someone for nearly 10 years and then they go and do something – or a series of things – that totally blows your mind?  Yeah, well, turns out I’ve been living with a secret carpentry/renovating genius all these years and had NO IDEA.  Until now.  Not that he didn’t do a lot before, but nothing like this (and with remarkably little swearing).

To re-cap, in the past 3 days, Sam has:

1. built shelves in the living room for the record collection

2. built a desk in the study/nursery

3. added two new storage shelves in the study/nursery (- what the hell are we going to call this room?)

4. finished the trim in the bathroom

5. installed all the quarter round and moldings for the hallway baseboards

6. installed new light fixtures

7. replaced all the thresholds on all the doorways

8. cut all the doors to fit the thresholds

…and a million other small things that have been bugging the shit out of me since the summer.

Here’s the pile of records you might remember:

And, voila (which is what it felt like – I think I maybe had time to go to the corner store and they were done)
– here’s the new shelves:

 

Bathroom trim and other improvements:

– which might not look like the biggest deal, but remember what we had to cover up here after the tiling was ‘done’:

It required either an entire new row of tiles to cover all that crap at the top, or a very WIDE piece of trim.  We chose trim – and I no longer feel I need to pee with my eyes closed.

And really, how did I live with that light fixture for so long?  Gross.  We’ve had this $5 bargain from Walmart ready to install for about 4 months now…

New medicine cabinet is on hold (oh, and Sam built new shelves for that too – I’m telling you, he is on FIRE).

But why are there not pictures of everything Sam accomplished?  Because he’s too damn fast, that’s why.  By the time I get my lazy ass in gear and waddle over to take a ‘before’ picture, it’s already been transformed into an ‘after’.  Oh, and in the case of the study/nursery I still need to organize things so the photos do the new desk justice – we are almost there (as in the room no longer looks like a craptastic dumping ground), and I have recovered from my nursery panic/frenzy – hence building of desk and not change table, though it could be both.

Sam is like a man possessed.  Let no one tell you it is just women who get the nesting instinct.  Oh no…I’m too busy feeling fat and eating candy on the couch for that (especially now the gestational diabetes test came back negative – horray!  candy for everyone!).

Give a man about to be a dad a saw and a nail gun and magical things can happen…

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slow progress, but some progress…

So, we’re still here, though the renovating has slowed to fits and bursts – largely dependent on a) if anyone is coming to visit and b) if something just drives us crazy enough so we finally fix it.  I’m becoming surprisingly tolerant though.

Actually being back in school (or college for you guys in the UK – they think ‘school’ is for kids) is taking over all my spare time, and I actually want it that way.  When the view from your studio looks like this:

is it any wonder you want to spend all your time there?

When the baby comes I’m going to be stuck with the house (and in it I guess), but I only have less than 2 months (2 months!!!) to finish my fine art degree.  It feels like a race against time to empty everything creative in my head into amazing art projects before Christmas while I still have the chance.  I’ve actually had profs say ‘you won’t make any art once the baby comes’ and similar scary prophecies on a ‘children will ruin your life plans (oh, but they’re great too)’ theme and it’s stressing the beejezus out of me.

The fact that most of our light fixtures are mere dangling wires no longer seems to concern me (well, not as much).

The house is basically functional, though we still have no shower (all baths, all the time – it’s like living in England again), and until a week or so ago we had no heat.  Or, more accurately, we either had full blast heat, or none at all (which explains our crippling heating bills last year thanks to our last tenant obviously thinking extreme heat 24/7 was perfectly normal).   Turns out, the thermostat was actually connected to – nothing.

Crazy.  Nothing as pedestrian as actual wires, just stuck there like an ornamental relic.  For show, I guess.  Though nothing much surprises me about this house anymore.

So that was more money (as we are, as I might have mentioned, electrically challenged), though I’m trying not to think about it.  Finances are dire, and the only job I’ve been able to find is one hour a day at minimum wage in the Craft and Design office at the University.  So I might be able to spring for a new pair of socks to at least keep my feet warm.

But doom and gloom and dashed dreams of art careers aside…let’s see some before and after pics of the living room:

Yes, that would be the entire record collection piled precariously in the corner.  We’ve bought some shelves, now we just need to actually put them up.

Oh, and the wicker chair (scammed for free, left out in the rain, and not exactly ideal but nevermind) now replaces the matching green chair some of you might remember when we were downstairs.  Unfortunately, the crack it always had in the leg finally gave out and it’s been regulated to the nursery/office (which, frankly, is just a fancy name for ‘room of crap where Sam tries to study’).  The sofa is also making suspicious and very worrying creaking noises so we finally broke down and bought a new sofa this summer, which will arrive in about a year – or so it seems.  We were told 6 weeks, put down our (non-refundable) deposit, and then were called the next day and told it was actually going to be 16 weeks.  Nice.  So I keep forgetting we bought it at all.  I’ll update you all around Christmas time.

Yes, that is the door to the room we took off still propped in between the windows.  We can’t seem to agree whether or not to put it back on or not, so it sits there in limbo.  And that isn’t a sculpture in the corner on top of the speaker, it’s actually a lamp (made by my great aunt in England and shipped over with us) – just with no wiring and no lampshade.  Add it to the list…

Finally, of course, let’s not forget the hole:

It might not be the most professional job in the world, but hey, at least I don’t have a hole in my ceiling anymore.  One day (!) we might take down the entire dropped ceiling in this room and repair the original ceiling, but that, my friends, is somewhere near the very bottom of a very large list.

Oh yes, and we will put a light fixture here eventually.

Back to the studio…

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