Wednesday, November 26, 2008

More Skills For My DIY Resume

I can now add Dishwasher Installation to my list of DIY skills. When we hooked up the old dishwasher that had been languishing in the backyard for more than 2 weeks, it made a rather loud, funny sound and seemed to be operating much louder than normal. We then noticed water leaking on the side, so I made the assumption that the dishwasher had gone the way of the master closet. Since everything in my house appears to be going to shit right now. I scoured Craigslist on Monday and found a 5 year old very gently used KitchenAid for $200. Probably more than I wanted to pay but then again, brand new, this model costs more than $700. So I ponied up the money as the lady was not willing to budge on the price (well, I had gotten her down to $190 but didn't have the right change and neither did they, so I ended up getting $4 back, so $196. Every penny counts.). Brought it inside and the first thing we noticed was the loud squeaking coming from the door whenever it was opened.

Husband was not a happy camper about this since this dishwasher purchase was all my doing. He tried some WD-40 (in what turned out to be the wrong places) and still, it screeched at us. Feeling like an idiot for not noticing this before I bought it, I proceeded to google away and found that the problem was actually the system of rope and plastic pulleys that control the door. Apparently, all it needs is periodic lubrication and the screeching goes away. Slapped some Vaseline on the ropes and bye bye horrific noise! Phew! Marital crisis averted.

This morning at the bright and early hour of 6:20am I broke out my tools, lots of different sized wrenches and screwdrivers and unhooked the old dishwasher. Shut off the electricity and water to DW, and hooked up the new one (drain, water, and hard-wired the electrical). And, Holy Smokes! It worked! Turned it on and it started churning, making normal sounds. I was a happy camper. Until I noticed water underneath the washer towards the back.

For the love of all things holy and righteous! What now!? I shut it all off, decided to take a shower, came back down stairs and pulled the washer out as far as it let me to get a better view and ran it again. It didn't leak. Hmmm.

I remain stumped as I had to get to work. Even though the boss is not here, 9:30am is my limit on how late I can conscionably arrive at the office. I have a few guesses to the problem. One is that when I unhooked the old washer, I spilled a good amount of water from the drain and water lines in the back corner that didn't dry up and I didn't see it there when I was installing the new-to-me washer. I really hope this is the case. Guess two is that we have a more serious leak coming from behind the wall. I really hope it isn't guess two. The third guess is that my as-mentioned-previously-weirdo contractor made the dang electrical conduit line so freaking long that when I first had the washer in all the way, the metal conduit was hitting the lower innards (I noticed it was hitting the motor) of the dishwasher and causing it to leak. Three is ok, too. Anything but #2.

Can you tell I am so over plumbing? I'd rather get a root canal and a pap smear at the same time than deal with any more of this plumbing crap. That's kind of a crazy image. I'll leave you with that. Ha!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Sometimes I think... life is uneventful but the reality is I have a lot of stuff going on. Saturday, the counter tops were installed and then we had to run down to IKEA get a new sink and also buy all new closet organizing stuff; Sunday, the plumbers hooked up the sink which was not all that easy; this morning, I got my fat butt into my almost new running shoes and took the dog for our first run in more than 8 months, and I am now sitting here with a numb face and toungue because I just had my cracked tooth done-up in preparation for my crown. I've got that nasty fake acrylic tooth in place until my pretty porcelain guy is finished. And how about the fact that I know I have bitten down (not hard, I don't think. I hope.) on my tongue 4 or 5 times without realizing it and the right side of my mouth feels like it's 15 times its normal size. No lunch for me for several hours. This sucks the big one. I even ran today so I really was wanting some lunch but not if it means I'll be wearing it.

The Sink

The reality is no two porcelain sinks are made alike. They have minor sizing differences and, therefore, you may fit one sink in only to find that another sink of the same model doesn't fit. So the installers broke the first sink, and when he measured, he didn't trust the IKEA directions on where to put the counters - he wanted to make the fit as tight as possible so that it had maximum support. That's all well and good until you BREAK the sink your measuring against. IKEA has those general guidelines so that all instances of said sink will fit since they aren't all the same. The replacement sink was slightly bigger than the first sink. This meant the plumber and his helper dude - who luckily had an angle grinder with a diamond blade and appeared to know something about stone work - had to cut down the sides of the counter to fit the damn thing in. I mean, he would cut and they'd try it and someplace would still be too tight, and the cycle repeated 6 or 7 times. It's a 124 pounds and has somewhat fragile sides so this is not what you want to be doing over and over again. Eventually they got it to work, but had the countertop people just followed the IKEA instructions, we would not have had this issue with the replacement. After that, it was smooth sailing and they hooked up the faucet and dishwasher air gap. The only unsettling thing is the dishwasher was leaking on it's second run, so we may have to replace it since it was sitting outside for about a month which may not have been the best storage location. Here it is. So Perty. I seriously love my sink and the faucet. It's massive.

The Running

I've been persuaded into doing the Turkey Trot regardless of the fact that I have zero training. I am going to be dragging ass, probably 4-5 minutes off my previous 5K time, but I am trying to get over that. It's not about the time - but tell that to my inner competitor who will feel like a loser when she crosses the finish line with a time over 30 minutes. Ah well. It's for the fun of it right?

I figured, I'd better get my butt in gear and at least try to run the next 3 days so that when Thursday morning rolls around it won't feel like I've been run over by a truck. I took the pooch with me who did quite well (though I had to keep pulling her along when she would try to make her 75th pee stop). She made me quite happy when she pooped next to the only area where I'd be able to throw it out. Oh, was I happy to not have to run carrying a bag of dog poop. I gave her excessive praise for her pooping location. My small 15-20 minute route has 2 hills and that went ok, so I think I'll be able to run the 5K without any walking. If I have to walk during this run I will not be a happy camper.

The Numb Face

I will be sporting an acrylic tooth for the next 3 weeks. Are you jealous? Don't you want a fake acrylic tooth, too? Want me to send you mine when I'm done with it? No? At least my dentist rocks the Novocain shot. He is probably the best shot giver I have ever had and I have had 6 different dentists. I really didn't feel any pain, just some discomfort. Normally, it's a good pinch when you get shot in the back of your mouth, but he is good. And, boy, do I feel for dentists. This dentist and even his staff have taken to always apologizing for anything they have to do to you. I just want to say "It's ok! You don't have to say sorry. I'm not in any pain or anything. It's cool," but generally I can't say anything since my mouth is pried open with hands and tools so I just sit there and feel bad that my dentist is always apologizing for doing his job. I am just happy to find a good dentist. If he wants to say "Thank You" and "Sorry" all the time, it's fine. Maybe I am just an easy patient, I don't know.

Turkey Day in 2 days! Does everyone have the menu nailed down? I don't! I'd better get on that...

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Livestock Mild Laxative?

The countertops are in! It's been a long time comin' but they are installed and look fabulous. Though there was one moderately large speed bump that we're still driving over, so to speak. Here are some pictures of the counters after they have been oiled down with livestock laxative. Yes. Laxative. Soapstone has to be oiled, periodically, with mineral oil which happens to be a laxative that they sell in gallon size at feed stores. If I had bought it from soapstone specialists I'd have paid like $20 per quart. I paid $16.25 for a gallon at the feed store the next town over (drive 5 minutes east from my house and you are in horse/farm country). The oil sat for about 4 hours and I wiped it off with a old t-shirt before I took these.

Barstool area:

Stove with Livestock Pooping Encourager:

I love the veining:

I'm sure you are wondering - WHAT ABOUT THE SINK!? I'm sure if my mother had been there she would have said the same thing. That's the speed bump I mentioned. I had a feeling it would happen and so I wasn't too bent out of shape when it did. The installers broke the sink while trying to fit in. One of the guys lost his grip and the lip which sits on the counter (once it's installed properly) was dropped into place rather than placed gently down and the lip cracked off the corner right side. Yeah. They did pay for a new one but it meant that we had to make ANOTHER TRIP to Ikea because the plumber is coming tomorrow morning at 9am. It also means we have to carefully drill another hole in the sink for the dishwasher air gap. I just hope we don't break this one - third time is NOT A CHARM. You hear me up there? Pleeeaaase? I asked nicely.

I'll leave you with a picture of my silly dog. This has to be one of her weirder sleeping positions with her feet in her face and all four legs weaved together.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

There's a First For Everything

I actually got lost in cleaning this morning. I am not one who enjoys cleaning. Yes, I love an organized house and I definitely feel more relaxed when my house doesn't look like DEFCON 2, but in no way do I like to clean and pick up after myself. The reality is I am a disorganized person with OCD tendencies. I am the person who perpetually leaves her shoes all over the place and the floor of my closet almost always has clothes strewn around.

But this morning, I literally lost track of time. I was up and showered before 7am. Unpacked the last kitchen box, put 90% of our kitchen items in their Forever Homes and then continued to dust and organize until I realized it was 8:43am and, EARTH TO CHACHA, I have to go to work. I was all ready to break out the shop vac and start cleaning up more dust. I guess the level of disorganization and mess in my house has tricked my brain into the delusion that cleaning is fun.

The counter tops are indeed being installed Saturday (yipee!) and the plumber is coming Sunday morning. I hope that we don't run into any major speed bumps and I manage to have a working sink and dishwasher by Sunday afternoon. Now, when my mother asks me for the 14th time when the sink is going in, I will finally have an answer. Literally, every weekend I talk to her, she asks me about the sink and I explain that it can't go in until the counter tops are installed. Only last weekend did it finally click for her that INDEED the counters have to be in before the sink. Not the cabinets. The counter. Jeez Louise.

And if you use Google Mail and the colors suddenly changed you are not going crazy. They have new themes which I think are pretty cool. I chose the beach theme and apparently it changes based on your location because they ask for your city. Pretty snazzy. But apparently the Reader doesn't have themes, so they'd better get on that! Consistency, Google!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I'm a Nag and Am Addicted To Target Clearance

Tuesday I got a call from the counter installers and they told me that my install date is looking like Saturday but that he call Wednesday to confirm. Haven't heard a peep out of them since. I hate to be the nagging type; I've called them 3 times since I signed the contract: once to ask when my templating appointment was, another time to confirm they had the right address, and the third time on Monday to ask about my install date. But I am itching to get the date nailed down. Saturday would be super-duper fablous fantastic because that would mean I wouldn't have to take a day off and it would give my plumber a whole 4 four days before Turkey Day to install my sink and dishwasher plumbing. However, the installer did say that if it wasn't Saturday it would be Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday of the next week. That's not so fabulous. Wednesday would almost suck because what is the likelihood the plumber can come install the sink before Thanksgiving? Not very good.

I'll probably nag them again this afternoon. I am such a pain in the ass.

So yesterday, I was at Target, doing my regular random toiletry/cleaning items shopping and I stumbled upon some really cute flats that I had seen a while back that were now on clearance. Yay, Clearance! I liked them when I first saw them but didn't want to fork over the full prices 20 bucks for fake leather shoes that probably wouldn't last more than a few months of solid wearing. But at $13.48, it had fallen low enough for Miss Cheap-O over here.

Of course, they didn't have my size in black - only in plum. I'm all for trying crazy things and the plum ones were only $9.99, but I figured I'd visit another Target, see if they have the black ones for my conservative fashion self. Purple-ish is a bit much for me. I arrive at the Target this morning to find that, of course, no black in my size only the plum ones again. Put them in my basket but can't bring myself to buy them because they are purple. What do I walk out with after thinking purple was a little too crazy?
Bright red patent-pleather heels. How these are not crazier than a muted purple flat, I have no idea. My Inner Shoe Lady cannot be reasoned with. Seems like I always end up going with heels even when I purposely try to get flats. At least they're from the Isaac Mizrahi for Target line instead of Xhilaration. And they were marked down from $32.99 to $16.48. Figure I can wear them for any Christmas partays I have coming up, including The Husband's work party with is always so much better than any of my work parties. I even have a red dress that I picked up last year on the cheap (it was $20 at Ross) - so I am all set! First time in history that I have my Christmas Party outfit figured out before Thanksgiving.

Friday, November 14, 2008

I Am Solving The Economic Crisis For You All. You're Welcome.

I am beginning to wonder if perhaps the higher power of the universe has a plan for my family to single-handedly bring the country out of the economic crises via obscene home improvement purchases. Either that or when your house hits 20 years old everything starts going to crap. Honestly, I am not sure which it is at this point because the amount of money we have had to spend - unplanned - seems akin to some kind of divine intervention.

I got home last night and went upstairs to change out of my work clothes. Walked into my closet and saw that all of The Husband's clothes were no longer hanging up on the rod. Nothing on the upper shelf. He shows me that, in fact, the master closet has now also shit the bed. His side has separated from the wall and my side is not too far from doing the same. Seriously? God, Jesus, Allah, Whoever: the nearly 20K we have spent on a slab leak and new kitchen, not to mention my old dog's sickness and subsequent putting down - this wasn't enough money to spend since June? No? You want me to spend more?

I see now why people like having "new" houses. Our last house was built in 1999 so we never had anything crap out on us. My condo was built in 1973 - I was only there a year, so I was lucky enough to avoid having any additional stuff die on me (though I also spent a bundle refurbishing that place). Is 20 years around the time where you're house poops out on you? Is there an end in sight? Or just maybe a tourniquet to slow the bleeding?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Always Take Pictures During Your Remodel!

About maybe 2 or 3 hours ago, I came to a realization. It was a delayed reaction to when I had been looking at our "during" pictures of the kitchen remodel trying to figure out what he did with the electrical. It's like my head needed time to process the information or something, but, perhaps we can do some minor surgery to remediate our "too high" countertop situation where the contractor made the seating area 36" when it should have been 34". Look at the top of this photo:

Are you seeing what I'm seeing? Two 2x4's on top of each other. It's like he did it right and then must have thought we didn't know what we were doing because it should be 36" and tacked on another 2x4. If we take off the drywall and then use a trusty saws-all (reciprocating saw) to take the top layer off in pieces and re-assemble and patch the drywall, we should be closer to where we need to be on the counter height. Then we'll just have to add a layer of plywood to get to the proper level of the other cabinets. It's going to be a pain the royal ass, but I think it needs to be done.

You Know Your Busy When You Don't Touch Your Computer All Day

Ok, I used it maybe twice. Once to look up the exact dimensions of my farmhouse sink on the IKEA website, and the second time to show the electrician my pictures of what the previous dude did before the drywall was hung. He was trying to figure out what the &*^$$! the guy did before him.

I had a long day, yesterday, but progress was made. All the cabinet doors are now hung (except the sink cabinet, those will go on later after we install the behemoth) and the innards of the cabinets are 90% complete. I have two cabinets left that need shelves installed but that's easy peasy. One of them the husband will do because my shortness will make it too damn hard to do myself and expletives will come flying out my mouth if I have to do it.

Anyway, I took a vacation day yesterday as I had two contractors coming over to do kitchen stuff and figured I'd better be home. I got up around 6:30am and began my quest to get as much kitchen crap accomplished as possible during this rare week-day off. My new licensed electrician showed up as promised and found that there were two problems afoot that were unrelated, and I'm not sure if the previous contractor caused them both or just the one in the kitchen. The first problem was a quick fix, the second one, however, turned out to me messier - since my fly-by-night contractor clearly was not 100% knowledgeable about eletrical work. He had me climb up the ladder and look into the inside of one of the recessed light's junction box and the wires were all hanging out in open-air in the ceiling, not contained in a box. Lovely. He had to leave at noon as he has another appointment and but managed to come back and fix it all up before his 3pm appointment. I lucked out finding this electrician dude who sounds like he knows his stuff and is honest -- and, oddly enough, he was born and raised in Italy so we had some fun chatting about the Old Country (my mother was born and raised there and I have spent numerous summers there as a child). It seems like my electrical crisis is now resolved - he said the other lights appeared to be boxed up correctly so it was just this one light that was messy. And there are still some question marks around certain wires that just terminate -- capped off -- in a few boxes, but everything looks "safe." At least now I have a good electrician and a good plumber. Can't move anymore. It's like when you find a good stylist. Can't move or will have bad hair.

The counter top templating guy showed up at the tail-end of his 8-10am appointment (what's new - do they ever show up at the beginning of the time window?) and that provided some stress that the universe felt I must have been lacking. He looks at my cabinets and first brings up the sink, that it needs to be installed in order for him to template for the counters. I explain that it's an IKEA sink - they do everthing ass-backwards. The sink must be installed AFTER the countertops as it is a slide-in top-mount farmhouse sink. He is skeptical and doesn't seem to be buying my explanation of how this thing works. He then looks at some areas where there are no cabinets (like a corner where there is plumbing and near the dishwasher) and tells me that all the supports should be in before he can template. What supports? I was never told what support was needed, so I expected they would tell me when they saw the cabinets configuration (not to mention, in my drawing I gave them, I included this information), where additional support was necessary. "Didn't you get the templating checklist?". Um. No. I didn't any checklist, dude. He steps out to call his manager and at this point I am about to have a cow because I TOOK THE DAY OFF AND I WANT THIS DONE NOW. Stand clear, everyone! A cow is now going to shoot out of my crotch.

He comes back and says he will go ahead and template, and also take pictures so his manager can figure out what he wants to do as far as supports. They can install the supports but it will cost more and they'll call me with the amount. Thank God. Seriously. I want my kitchen back and I am really -- REALLY -- hoping that it'll happen by Turkey Day.

I will conclude with new pictures of the kitchen. And I am again wondering if this paint choice is right. I am thinking Girly Stuff is right about waiting until everything is in before choosing paint. But I had to be stubborn and choose a color beforehand. At this point, we are going to wait until everything is in before doing any more stinkin' paintin'.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Be Still My Beating Heart!

I have been tagged with my first bloggy award by McAllen @ These are the days of our lives...

Holy smokes. I guess there's a first of everything.

I must tell you she is fabulous. That's the rule. Or she'll hunt me down. Seriously, though, she is a funny read. How she has time to blog with taking care of her kiddies, I have no idea. That deserves an award in and of itself.

The rules:
1. 5 things I love (you may know some of these from when I meme'd myself)
2. Tag 5 other bloggers (Dude, I may actually have the requisite 5 people. Ok, no. But close.).
3. Link back to me

Five things I love...

First of all, I love my family -- the Husband, my parents, my little Nikki dog,
and my friends.

I love all things home improvement and home decor/design. Obsessed.

I love to sing. Loudly. Even though it drives my husband crazy.

I love to hang out with friends, have some vino, eat some food, laugh, etc.

And, this may be kinda of "duh", but I love just being alive. I am in no hurry to get old, I wish everything would slow down, but I know it can't.. So, while I am not great stopping for "pause" to enjoy life's moments, I will have to make an effort to do just that before it's over!

Time to tag. If you feel up for the challenge, here you go:

(1) Frankie, who rocks the party that rocks the party. One of my best buds from college who is a wordsmith. She is on tag #3 from me. Are you sick of me yet? She is my first blog friend, been reading my crap since day 1.
(2) Girly Stuff, who I've never met in person, but is the nicest person ever and is fabulous
(3) Amy @ Cape Cod Makeover, who seriously runs way fast. Puts my marathon times to SHAME.
(4) Woman Interrupted, who is cooks a mean chili and loves her some Houston anchorwomen (not in THAT way, though. If you know what I'm sayin'. She's married, yo. To a man. Anyway.)
(5) Crap. Don't got a number 5. (yes, I know that's improper grammar.)

Because Something Must Always Go Wrong When You Are Remodeling

There were several "oops"-es discovered this weekend, as well as an "oops" discovered last week. It started with the electrical. Upon attempting to move the microwave from the living room to the dining room area, we discovered that the entire dining room wall of outlets are dead. They have gone "tits up." Clearly, this is the doing of our marginally wacky contractor. How all these outlets are dead when they aren't connected to the kitchen, I have no idea. They were working before. Also, it seems that when we turn on the bathroom light, it causes a little jolt along the rest of the circuit (or maybe adjacent circuit?) that sometimes momentarily shuts off the stereo receiver and/or makes the computer sub-woofer in the office emit a feed-back sound. Not so good. Yeah. I managed to get a recommendation for an electrician from one of my "students" in my yoga class. Hope the dude calls me back 'cuz it's jacked up.

The second "oops" was discovered Saturday. The counter seating area where there are no cabinets, just framing to support the cabinet is 36" high. This is after he first made it 40" high and then we had a separate discussion how that was too high, we need it kitchen counter height and better to err on the side of shorter as we can always build it up to meet the cabinets. We agreed 34" and he WROTE IT DOWN. We measured it at one point during the project (before drywall and before it was bolted down to the slabe) and it was 34" but somehow the finished product is now 36". How PISSED was I. I mean, it was the anger that turns into tears, I was that pissed off. Because at this point, I can't tear it apart without throwing everything off schedule by several weeks. Angry, people, I was ANGRY. That was the last straw for said contractor. You get what you pay for.

One of IKEA's saving graces is that the legs under the cabinets are adjustable in height. So we were able to raise the cabinets up to meet the framing, so crises sort of averted, although when you're short, the different between a counter-height of 35.5" and 37" is significant. If I were tall, I wouldn't care as much, but I'm 5 feet tall. I don't have inches to spare. We also chose not to raise up the other side of the kitchen - so there will be a height difference of about 1.5" on one side of the kitchen versus the other. We could have raised it all up but for me, I need some counter area where I don't feel like my elbows are up by my ears while I'm working. May not be ideal for resale, but we are in this house for the long haul. We are 60K "under water" so we ain't goin' nowhere.

The final "oops" (minor, compared to the counter-height debacle) was totally my fault. I will take the blame for it - I am not a kitchen designer so this is what happens when you design with a ruler, pencil, and some graph paper. That's why they make software to do this crap for you. So we have that farm-house sink from IKEA; it's behemoth in size. It has a depth of 27" (just noticed that Saturday) , so it sticks out 3" from the cabinet frame (about 2" from the finished door). That meant the 15" cabinet kitty-corner from it could not OPEN if we kept the current design. All the cabinets except the sink wall were installed at that point (great.), so we figured out that if we moved the sink over about 4 inches, wedged an open, door-less cabinet in there, and put a swing-door instead of a pull-out door on the other cabinet, all would be right in the universe. Luckily, I had three different 15" cabinets in the plan -- one swing door, one with drawers, and one pull-out -- so we swapped them. The final problem for the weeknd was that the San Diego IKEA had SOLD OUT of the discontinued 9" shelf that we needed. Yeah. So did Costa Mesa, our next closest option. We ended up driving all the way to LA yesterday to the Carson IKEA which had 10 of them left. Just for this one ding dang cabinet. Thank God we have five IKEA stores in Southern California. Or else I might have launched into outer space.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Amidst My Kitchen Mess, Election Stress..., teaching yoga, painting my kitchen, and my teeth, I managed to get sick. I think. Feels like it and, man, do I hate getting sick. I had such a great span of time where I didn't get sick and since we moved from the Boonies, I've been sick like 4 times. Only once was it bad enough to stay home, but still. I had a 2 year stretch where I didn't even get a cold! Immune System! Grow and pair and help me out here!

I think part of the reason is that my new-ish workplace is full of parents with young children - under 10 years old - prime age for being vessels of sickness from their school pals. That can't be helping. The other issue is that I'm now teaching yoga a lot more and interacting with people, hands on, adjusting, etc. I've never been on of those Purell carrying bacteria-phobe people but I am wondering if maybe I should think about getting my own little bottle of the shtuff because I am so over this cold/sick thing twice a year. It sucks. Right now I feel like a bobble-head or something - like I'm in some weird daze where if someone tries to have a conversation with me that's longer than 30 seconds that person is likely to think I'm either high or crazier than they initially suspected.

I know I must be kind of sick because my interest in food has dwindled. That's telling you something. There is a gargantuan bag of Halloween candy sitting in the caf and I DON'T EVEN CARE. It's 12:30, well past my noon alarm clock grumbling from my stomach, and I'm really not hungry. I was barely able to motivate myself to paint the remaining perimeter area near the ceiling this morning and I'm always rearing to go when it comes to doing work on the kitchen.

Four more hours...

Because I Don't Want To Become...

...known as one of those annoying people that send their friends 18 million email forwards and rarely any substantive email (thank you, Jesus, that maniacal email forwarding phase has died out) I am presenting you with some goodies we bought this week.

On Tuesday, we went to vote as soon as it opened (in fact, we were in line for a bit as we were there at 6:50am), in the rain, no less (rain in Southern California?), and then drove over to the stone yard to buy two HUGE slabs of stone for our kitchen. They are soapstone - yes, the Husband is getting his wish. Because I am OCD about finding the best price for whatever I am buying, it's only going to be about 4 dollars more per square foot than quartz. I couldn't pass that up. And we'll have about 30 square feet of material left over which can either be sold on Craigslist or we can save it for later and try our hand at soapstone counter fabrication for a new bathroom vanity top. I would feel like such the DIY pro if we were able to pull that off.

Anyway, so 3600 dollars later (slabs + 50% of the countertop installation fees), we have purchased our slabs and will have our templating done Wednesday! That means we'll be cabinet assembling and installing fools from now until Tuesday night.

They should turn out a bit darker once they are oiled up. In these shots they are pretty wet from the rain, so it's close to what they'll be, but I think once it soaks in the oil after a few months, it'll be a darker black-grey-green with the white veining.

SUPPOSEDLY, we will have our counters installed by Turkey Day, but I've heard this shiznit from contractors before. I don't know that I have ever had a contractor deliver anything on time. They are the epitome of over-promising and under-delivering. I'd rather you give me a padded date and deliver earlier than promise me something and then it doesn't come through. Eh. It's like they are born with this problem or something.

We shall see. I am REALLY hoping that I will have countertops and a functioning sink by Thanksgiving. If not, we'll be driving out to the hillbilly part of Southern California to have our eats at my parents place.

OK, Last Thing From the Onion - This Was Too Funny To Not Post

Obama Win Causes Obsessive Supporters To Realize How Empty Their Lives Are

Thursday, November 6, 2008

My Mouth Will Be Worth More Than My House Soon

I can't remember if I put this as one of my 100 things about myself, but I have bad teeth. Not because I don't brush and eat loads of candy, etc. I feel it's genetic - after watching my husband never floss, eat whatever, and just brush twice a day and has only had 2 itty-bitty cavities his entire life, I know I am cursed with bad teeth. Genes for bad teeth and hemorrhoids, but that's another story entirely. I am cursed at both ends, I guess. Ha! I am laughing at myself with that one.

I have also had not the greatest dentist experiences. I am not afraid of the dentist, the chair, needle, drilling - that stuff doesn't bother me so much. It's the potentially dishonest ones that I fear. When we moved out to the Boonies (Inland Empire) in 2004 I plucked a dentist out of my insurance network who turned out to be a crook that first made me pay by 20% chunk up front for the work, which ended up being more than 20% since the insurance negotiated rate was lower than the billed amount. On top of that my linked HSA account paid them automatically as they didn't know I had already paid. So I had then overpaid. By quite a bit. They owed me money and then had the audacity to send me a bill for MORE money. I went down there and got red-faced like I do when I am dealing with injustice and explained how they owed me money but, of course, with how COMPLICATED insurance company crap has to be, they weaseled around that the payment was not from my HSA buy from the insurance, blah blah blah, and never admitted they owed me a like $200). But you can bet your ass they didn't send me another bill. Maybe I should have brought a baseball bat and some brass knuckles when I went down there and asked for my money. Anyway, so, yeah, I am wary of just picking a dentist out of the phone book or my insurance network. I only go with recommendations now. After the asshole thieving dentist, I had a good one up in the boonies, at least good in the category of honesty, but more than once I had complained to them that I had lots of sensitivity in one molar and wondered if maybe something was up (like a fracture). They said it was probably just receding gums and "try this toothpaste. Floss more." OK. Fast-forward two years later we have moved and I am finally getting around to a going to a new (recommended) dentist because this one molar is now starting to SPEAK LOUDLY IN AN ANGRY VOICE whenever I chew anything dense or put anything cold on it. It's clearly disgruntled. I know it must be a crack (as the other molar on the other side had the same problem 8 years ago).

So I go in, and the real fun began when I got to "chew around on a Q-tip" until he located the spot. Nothing like intentionally causing yourself pain - nothing more fun than knowing EVENTUALLY he is going to find that spot and it's going to just be fabulous. I have a 25% chance of needing a root canal at some point in the future, because the pain lingered a bit afterward (like 30 seconds or so). And on top of the one previous dental practice being thieves, their work was also not very good. She had done two filling-thingies on abrasions I had (since I guess I am a overly vigorous brusher) and apparently this new dentist said one is bad as it is not smoothed out and causing receding above it and he is suspicious of the other since they were all done by the same person. Girly Stuff needs to show that dentist how it's done as I'll bet she knows her stuff. Oh, and I have another filling that is cracked (done by a completely different dentist). I can't catch a break anywhere with this mouth.

So, yeah. I now have three more dental appointments in the next month. Merry Christmas to me, I guess.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

This is Cracking Me Up

The Onion: Nation Finally Sh**ty Enough...

There are a few "f" ending in "k" and also "sh" and "it" words in there, so this is forewarning if you are averse to reading the occasional swear. I can't throw stones at The Onion because, hey, I use them myself when the time is ripe enough to sling 'em around.

Anyway. It's funny in a Weeken0d-Update-SNL kind of way.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Title. Yeah. Can't Think of a Good One. Sorry.

I don't know about you guys, but I spent my morning priming the ceiling with drywall sealer. FUN. At the end of it, I felt like my head would be permanently stuck in the "looking up" position.

So, here are the colors I picked out. I ended up going with Glidden because it's cheaper and I was getting tired of throwing money at Behr paint when I have used them both and Glidden is just fine.

Color on the left is Contemporary White. Was the closest thing to Behr's Parisian Taupe in the Glidden palette. Middle one is Navajo White, which at night with CFL has, again, the slightly green twinge. The one on the right is Bone White which looks nothing like it's supposed to. If you look closely at the paint thingy hanging below it, the Bone White is the third color down - the darkest one. To me, not the same color. I checked the formulation on the can like 3 times to make sure he gave me what I asked for and he did. So that one, I think is out just because it doesn't deliver what is promised.

Here is a cabinet door sitting proudly next to the paint.

I don't know about you folks, but, we are feeling the Contemporary White. I think it'll be good throughout the whole house.

Alright, gotta meeting to go to (what, I have to actually work?).

And, in case you are wondering, I am thrilled as all getup with the landslide, smackdown Obama victory last night. Our country has spoken loud and clear and it's fabulous.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Pumpkins, 200 Children, and CFL Trickery

Another Halloween come and gone. This year, the office had a potluck and pumpkin carving contest which was quite fun, I must say. I hadn't carved a pumpkin in like 20 years so I wasn't sure what to expect. It was messy but I loved it. Anything involving making something with my hands is right up my alley! What did I carve, you ask? Or you don't ask, but I will tell you anyway? A Barack O'Lantern! Yes, folks, I am certifiably insane with this election. I carved not one, but two. One with the campaign symbol and a white one with "Boo!" with the "o's" being the campaign symbol. My makeshift costume was supposed to be a First Aid dummy but as we were applying my black eye and bloody head wound (with 50% off Halloween makeup - score!), I thought of that girl that lied about being attacked by an Obama supporter and carved a backwards "B" on her own face. Figured why not go balls-out and be the crazy chick. All in good fun! Took some folks half the day to put 2 and 2 together on who I was with the backwards B on my cheek. I did, however, clean myself up before I left the office because I figured going to Home Depot like that might get me a real black-eye seeing as I live in a conservative county.

The evening rolled about and I spent the time sitting by the door in a dining chair with a magazine as there was little point to sitting down in front of the TV as the doorbell rang incessantly. By 8:15pm I was out of candy - I calculated that I had given candy to somewhere around 250 kids. Guess my Barack O' Lanterns didn't turn anyone off the whole "free candy" thing. It was kind of an experiment - I was wondering if I'd have fewer people but it didn't appear to make any difference. Which was cool. It's refreshing to know that people in my neighborhood are tolerant. Though I wonder about the guy down the street with the "No on 8" sign in his yard, if maybe he got fewer visits. Getting that information would actually involve talking to someone and introducing my self and I'm way to lazy/anti-social for those shenanigans.

The remainder of the weekend was spent texturing and painting the walls. The rolling of texture was an absolute mess. I was covered in orange peel texture by the end of it. But it worked - so I am pleased that again, we saved some $$$ by doing that ourselves. Sunday, however, was not messy but a much more frustrating day. The color I had picked which is currently in the adjoining family room - "Sand Fossil" - looks decidedly GREEN-ish under the glow of the CFL lighting.

I was not cool with this. After hemming and hawing over those little color pieces of paper I ended up getting a gallon of "Sensible Hue."

Can you say, YELLOW under CFL lights? Only painting a small area when we realized this had to go. I would have to find another room for it because I actually like it. I just don't want it all over the entire first floor of my house. Since the Husband was bitching about how he knew the Sensible Hue wouldn't work, I made him choose the next color from my plenthora of samples. He chose Oat Straw, and I figured this would work as it was on my list of potentials.

Yeah. Under CFL? Greenish baby poop. Painted the entire kitchen after realizing that it was SO NOT GOING TO WORK.

I am in Paint Hell, folks. I was up at 6:20am this morning at my least favorite yet closest to my house store (Wal-mart) buying more rollers and a can of primer. Primed it all up this morning - lovely way to start a Monday. You should try it sometime. If you're into that sort of masochistic behavior.

We have two new prospects, and I am going to buy only a QUART of each and throw it up on the wall for 24 hours so that we can see it in the different lighting throughout the day. I always thought this step was pointless and a waste to buy two itty-bitty cans of paint that cost as much as a whole gallon, but unless you are really familiar with the color you are choosing, it's a risk. I have wasted $50 on this debacle.

Parisian Taupe:

Antique White:

We are leaning towards the Parisian Taupe. We have decided to go light as that tends to be less offensive. Sure, less lively, but I can always add art and other decor items for punches of color. Anything with any palpable level of color I have thrown on those walls has looked like crapola, so boring neutrals, it'll have to be.

And VOTE tomorrow, even if you disagree with my Barack O'Lanterns!