Friday, June 28, 2013

Sweet Solitude

Sorry to disappoint, this post may seem boring in comparison to the last, but to me it is a little slice of heaven - no home projects, no dead animals and no slave driver Andrew...JUST ME:)

I love hydrangea season. My favorite. 
I used to relish at the idea of pure, uninterrupted alone time. Whether it be traveling, a good book to read, or a Sunday afternoon.  In fact I used to prefer it.  For the past two years I have done a 180.  I now prefer company and the surroundings of those I love.  I have to admit that the idea of solitude and time away from Andrew for the summer has terrified me.  It has been a dread in the pit of my stomach - not wanting to leave him, our new house, and the life we have created together in Rhode Island.  But, girls gotta make a living.

If I told you this was my place for the summer, would you not hate me?!
And so this week has been a welcome surprise - sweet solitude.  The past two months have been a blur - weddings in Virginia, moving, house renovations, job prospects, keeping up with friends and starting our own businesses, blah blah blah.  It was like coming in on the yellow brick road in The Wizard of Oz when I arrived on the ferry to Nantucket.  Nantucket has a way of doing that - welcoming you bACK.

Thanks Stephanie for the book it! 
The last few days have been time to unwind, enjoy the summer breeze and just BE.  I can feel the knots coming out of my shoulders and the worries melting away.  This chance to reconnect with myself and actually enjoy the summer is here.  I have read books, taken walks on the beach, tried to erase my body's white glow and caught up with my photography work.

Dionis Beach at sunrise
Hello Morning
We all need this time. This time to unwind, catch our breaths and be good to ourselves.  This week has been my opportunity.  I know after this week I will be working 7 days a week and then some.  But for now, I am enjoying this solitude and time to reflect, refresh and renew.

Nantucket fog

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Dryer Kill

When your boyfriend comes to you while you are reading in bed and says, "you might want to grab a trash bag, gloves, a face mask and maybe your camera because I think I know why the dryer smells" you know your night just took a turn.

I can't even make this shit up.  Four days ago I asked Andrew why the dryer wasn't drying.  Turns out our dryer is from like 1980 and I was unfamiliar with the lint trap.

This was also the day I heard some weird noises in the basement and thought it was the raccoon under the living room.  Then today I went to do my last bit of laundry before Nantucket and was appalled at the smell in the dryer. I am telling you it was rank, but I figured it maybe was the blanket that Andrew left in there from three days ago that was still damp. WRONG.

Instead of road kill we have dryer kill. The poor fellah found his way into the dryer vent and we cooked him...literally.  I have never NOT wanted to do something as much as I did not want to unveil that animal from the hose in the vent.  You can imagine the scene - Andrew with pliers trying to get it out, me screaming and half closing my eyes like we are in a horror movie.  And then us laughing hysterically about not wanting to throw up from the smell.  There is only one other time Andrew and I have laughed so hard - when I totally botched his lemon meringue birthday pie (for the 2nd year in a row I might add) and he was spitting out seeds and lying about how good it was.

And then we started wondering if we could sell the dryer with the preface that there might be a unique scent that lingers here and there.  Any takers?!? Anyone...

Ironically enough we had looked at washers and dryers at Home Depot just 2 days ago. I of course thought it was an unnecessary purchase as ours are old but work fine.

Guess we're getting a new dryer.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Have A Heart

Andrew was right.  I hate admitting that because MOST of the time he is right. I guess its the 12 extra years of life that he has lived.  Either way it results in him doing an "i told you so" dance. Obnoxious.

I hate to say it y'all, but we have a raccoon living under our back living room.  Well...we can't exactly confirm that its a raccoon, but something has made themselves a cozy home below.  The rustling at the back door and when I walk down the stairs to do laundry in the basement are the indicators.  Andrew has started talking to it through the vents in the back room - "do you want some nice cold Budweiser"...yeah, I know, we need to get a life.

So the other night I was asking Andrew how we are going to get rid of this raccoon.  My parents and I are not the biggest animal lovers, so I know what we would do.  However, I live with someone who prefers animals over people. Go figure.

In comes the "Have A Heart" trap. Apparently you entice the animal with some food and it goes in this nice little metal trap.  Then you let it go.  Am I the only one who thinks this sounds ridiculous?! These animals are clearly not stupid. Where are they going to go once they are released?! Oh yeah, right back to their "home" under your house! drop them off at a friend's house;)

But in all seriousness, we have to add "get rid of raccoon" to the list of projects.  The list is slowly dwindling for the back living room.

There was SERIOUS progress this past week.  We used Egyptian engineering and installed nice french doors out onto the porch and two new windows.  Sheet rock is completely put up and we are 3/4 of the way done with mudding, taping and sanding. Andrew even put up some primer and 4 paint samples on the wall yesterday before our little house warming party! This part warms my heart as I have been thinking about paint colors for the past month - in fact it is a weekly question to Andrew.

Pre Sheet Rock

Our little helper Fiona
The french doors had to go through the window hole



Lots of mudding

FINALLY picking paint colors! 

Option #3 it is - "Morning Fog"

I leave for Nantucket for the summer in 2 days. Andrew will now be left to his own devices to finish up the back room and start on the garage/basement for his new shop.  I am oddly enough not worried about the house - I know that it will look great no matter what he does.  What I am truly worried about is the 3 month old Newfoundland dog that our friend's dad found. I am scared shitless that Andrew will adopt this dog while I am gone.  I do not really want a dog, never mind a 150 pound furball that drools so much he could mop the floors.  To which Andrew says, "Have a heart".

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Raccoons and McDonalds

Andrew's living hell is small spaces and lots of people.  The thought of getting coffee from a Starbucks on a Sunday morning or playing in a ball pit at McDonalds sends him into anxiety overload. Fair enough.  The germs in the ball pit send me into germophobia orbit. We all have our things.

So this week we have had to tackle wiring, insulation, and strapping on the ceiling in the back living room.  Its hard to believe that slightly over a week since we moved a big trailer from VA to RI we have accomplished so much on the house, our 2 startup businesses and current work schedules and commitments.  Did I mention that we are working 19 hour days?!?!  Talk about burning the candle at both ends.

So back to the question you are all asking...what do raccoons and McDonalds have in common? Well, underneath the back living room is a crawl space.  And in that crawl space is the master wire (I am probably saying it wrong) that was, wait for it, done incorrectly by one of the previous owners.  We have at this point more or less rewired the entire back of the house...and by "we" I mean Andrew.

12 hours of sweating, debating, and bargaining with me about going into the crawl space ensues.  For one because of the anxiety of the small space, but mostly because of the raccoon that Andrew is convinced lives in the crawl space and is going to jump out and give him rabies.

This is literally terrifying to him.

And a total laughing matter to me.  So supportive Maria.

So the whole time Andrew is under there fixing the wires I am chatting to him, telling him the noises he hears is birds and trying to assure him that he will not get rabies.  All the while laughing at the fact that whoever "tried to" insulate the pipes under the back room failed miserably.



Notice the taped wiring in the upper right hand part of the wall

Did I mention that our fireplace leaks water?  And that the sellers LIED about it?!

So our next challenge is sheet rock, french doors and windows.  Hopefully it won't involve raccoons, but I'm sure we'll have a surprise.

Friday, June 7, 2013

House Love

Thanks Maaike & Harper for the flowers!
It's one of those days.  Rainy with a side of New England chill. Normally this would be the perfect excuse to curl up with a book or spend some time editing photos, but now that we have this house, its construction time ALL the time. In fact slave driver Andrew is hardly giving me the time to write this blog post...I am literally being pulled out the door to the Home Depot as I write.

Since my return to Rhode Island after almost two weeks in Virginia celebrating weddings and engagements whilst packing up my belongings, it is "go" time and I haven't had a spare minute.  In between unpacking the UHaul, putting furniture and boxes in their respective rooms and working on the construction in the back room, I fall asleep without hesitation.  Everything we own needs refinishing, a cleanup or something.  Just add it to the list.  Welcome to home ownership:)

While I was away in Virginia Andrew had a WHOLE lot of time to himself to completely gut the basement. It now really looks like a basement and a space that we could find to function quite well with a laundry room, "shop" for Andrew and toy room (ie paddle board and bikes).


Cheesy nautical wallpaper - so hard to let go...
Andrew found 1970's Playboy magazines and a bag of pills in these rafters...guess it was a crazy era...


Lots of future workshop space

Andrew has his work cut out for him in the wiring department
Cheesy wallpaper gone
More and more space

This week our efforts are on the back living room.  I literally feel like Heidi from "Home Improvement" but without looking so cute.   Her character lies.  This construction stuff is HARD WORK!!

The crappy construction from the previous owners that we are finding time and time again. 

In the past three days I have cut nails with a saw zall, learned the difference between an impact driver and a regular screw gun, culled lumber, used a leveler and a chop saw (ie sliding compound miter saw) and pulled nails with a crow bar.  I have my own tool belt and got checked out ("oh hiiii")at my first solo Home Depot run while culling through 2x6 boards for us to create sister joyces to the original beams.  Oh, and how could I forget trimming hedges and the huge hydrangea bush in our front yard - certainly a first for me. Somehow my manicure from this past weekend's party is still intact.

And I wanted to look at paint colors this week.  How naive.

This hydrangea bush will be gorgeous one day. 
My first trimming experience was not so successful...I guess that whole section of the bush will grown back:)

This weekend I get a break and get to go sailing and do some photography shoots. Monday, it's back to the grind.  Insulation, strapping and sheet rock are next.  As much hard work as it is, I am in love with this house.

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