Staying on task!

This past weekend was scheduled to remove the siding, scrape the original wood siding and paint the exterior of the house. Amazingly we accomplished all that in 2 days!

Dan started Fri night stripping the siding, while I was out driving Thomas around and meeting some friends for dinner. What a great guy he is!

By Saturday afternoon all the siding was off the house (thanks to the help of Dan’s dad, Daniel and Thomas.) Next step scraping! I actually like scraping, the last time I scraped the garage it was 100 degrees outside, much nicer at 60 degrees.

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There were some repair patches we discovered. This double window must have been a taller window the same as what is in the living room. No worries though, we plan on adding French doors here when we redo the kitchen.

The other smaller window is in the kitchen area, I do want to add more windows to the kitchen but I don’t think that is the right spot, we’ll just have to see.

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That dark line down the side of the house is where the addition was added on. It seems they didn’t connect it to the original house at all, just butted it up to it. So we have quite the gap that needs to be filled in.

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We were all commenting on how ugly the original pink trim was, when it occurred to me that it was almost the same color as what I painted the inside trim. Hmm seems a little spooky.

inside trim on left, outside trim on right

After we finished the scraping Dan was panicking a bit, the house was really dirty and needed to be cleaned before we could paint. He didn’t think we could use the power washer since there are so many holes in the wood siding. In the end he decided he had to power wash. I stood inside the house trying to cover up any water that was spraying through. The water sprayed in some places and seeped in many more. It looked like the house was bleeding.

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This is blurry because I didn’t want to use a flash, but each of those little white spots is actually one of the nail holes left behind from the siding, this is just a small section of the wall, and this is what the water was seeping in through. All these holes have to be caulked before we can put up insulation.

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We also had to deal with a few big holes in the front of the house. Apparently, when they sided they removed the transom but didn’t feel the need to fill it in with anything, same for the mail slot. Thomas hurriedly covered both with plastic before Dan power washed the front.

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Speaking of Thomas, he had a side job going on in the midst of the chaos. He was repairing our old cedar (trash picked) bench. Here he is using the plate joiner to cut biscuit holes.

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And here is the house finally painted. We rented a sprayer and bought 3, 5 gallon buckets of paint (sprayer was $80 for 24 hours and paint was almost $600.) Dan started spraying about noon on Sunday and was done with 2 coats, the front of the garage and some furniture by 4:30.

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I should have taken a picture of our neighbors house during the painting, we enshrouded it in plastic to prevent any over spray. Of course the wind kept blowing into the plastic poofing it out like a sail. It was challenging to say the least. But we succeeded at not getting much paint on the their house. (I did see one little spot, that I meant to go wash off.)

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Back entry way

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back porch (it was already painted white but it got a fresh coat along with the underside of the roof.)

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the garage

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and some benches…

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And here it is all cleaned up and painted! Next weekend the new windows go in along with all the trim! I can’t wait.

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How’s that renovation coming along?

It’s been more than a year since this madness began (read more here and here) but we are finally in the home stretch. The end is in sight and our construction calendar only has a few more weeks of tasks. Granted they are HUGE jobs…

This weekend: strip all the aluminum siding from the exterior of the house, scrape the flaking paint off the existing wood siding and then paint the house (yes all in one weekend, is that even possible?)

next weekend: install 7 new windows

the following weekend: insulate house

next: finish up framing

the next 2 weekends after that are for punch out (for you non construction types that means finish up all the loose ends)

Which puts us into Dec and then we can finally have someone come in and install the drywall (before Christmas!) Since we’re paying for someone to install the drywall it will be up but we will probably work on the mudding and sanding ourselves, so that may not be finished for a week or so.

Then we’ll sand and finish the wood floors.

In the mean time this is how the house looks with all these jobs going on: Construction supplies and tools have permanently taken hold of the kitchen floor!

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The living room also has a wall of construction stuff piling up. Well it looks like I also have a few things lying around that need to be taken care of.

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One of the job that has been completed is all new duct work. Dan LOVED the HVAC guy he brought in to help him with the job! Sam O’Neil from Best Price HVAC Solutions, LLC. He actually was the best price and he gave us great ideas on ways to fix some of our problems and he was really easy to work with. Since Dan did construction for many years he is very picky about anyone he hires and he was more than happy with Sam’s work!

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new duct work going upstairs to our bedroom, we can already tell that everything is working much better upstairs than it has previously. Not only were we replacing all our duct work but almost all the vents had to be moved and rerouted.

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We also replaced all the electric in the house. That was one of our main reasons for starting this renovation and again Dan was extremely happy with the electrician he brought in to help. He was very affordable and knowledgeable. If you’re looking for an electrician we highly recommend Tom Oettinger.

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Also on the list of things that needs to be done is replacing that massive (bowing) header that spans the living room. I’m a little concerned that the house will collapse during that job but Dan assures me that house don’t generally just collapse.

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The living room still feels cozy even in this state of disarray.

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While I was in LA Dan (with help from his dad, Daniel and Thomas) tore up our top level of wood flooring, to expose the original oak flooring underneath. Dan has always wanted to have this wider planked floor instead of the thin cheap looking floor that was covering it. It still needs to be repaired (lots of holes from all those relocated heating vents) sanded (I’ve already gotten several slivers) stained and sealed. I can’t wait to see how it looks when that’s all done!

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We’ve saved one of the original built in cabinets and we’re hoping to find a new home for it somewhere in this renovation. I don’t want to lose all the old charm of my house by replacing everything with something new.

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This used to be a bedroom, it is now our dining room and the wall has come down to open it up to the living room.

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I really can’t wait to finish the office and finally declutter and set it up all nice and pretty. It’s always been a big pit but that’s about to end.

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Even when all these room are completed the job will not be done. This winter we need to do the bathroom then next year we start the demo on the kitchen, we even have out idea board up to keep us inspired.

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Happy 14th Birthday to Thomas

IMG_4348 Today is Thomas’ birthday and while we do have some fun plans for later today, right now it’s  a lonely morning with just the two of us. Normally we would be eating crepes with all the kids around the table, but since Daniel and Beth are gone Thomas thought it would just be too depressing to do crepes all alone. So we’ll wait until Beth comes home from LA for the official crepe breakfast. Instead he got bacon and eggs, which is not quite the production that crepes usually are.

For dinner tonight we’re going our favorite restaurant Knead Urban Diner with Daniel, Megan and my parents. After dinner we’re heading over to the Santa Maria for a haunted tour, then back to our house for ice cream sundaes. Since mom and I bought Thomas’ birthday present together he won’t get that until this evening and he is very anxious!

But I didn’t want the morning to be too sad so we got some balloons to brighten up the room and he also got 2 small presents to open right away. A new yo-yo that he had picked out months ago (and now can’t quite remember why he wanted it) and a box of…IMG_4326

…Boo Berry cereal (gross) since we don’t buy these kinds of cereals and this is a limited edition cereal that just comes out for Halloween I thought it would be a nice surprise. He was intrigued but still asked for bacon and eggs for breakfast instead of the sugary cereal (YES!)

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Happy Birthday Thomas, you are my super sweet and easy child. The one that opens car doors for me, unloads the van without complaint, cleans the kitchen just to be nice, doesn’t argue (too much) is silly and funny and get along with everyone. You make people happy and everyone enjoys having you around. Daddy and I love you very much!

Leeds Farm and Pumpkin Patch

A group of homeschooling friends, Thomas and myself all went to Leeds Farm last week for our annual pumpkin patch trip. This was a new-to-us farm and it had all kinds of fun areas that even especially the big kids enjoyed.

One of the favorites was the Tube Time! area.

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Something about acting like a hamster and rolling around in the tubes really spoke to all the kids.

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They rolled and raced and rolled some more.

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Then there was more racing in the pedal tractors.

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even some of the adults got in on the fun

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Another fun spot was the bouncy mound, it was this huge ground level bubble that you could just bounce and bounce on (like a trampoline, but with no possibility of falling off.)

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There were also tube slides (and also bigger slides that we didn’t discover before we left. Which gives us another reason to return next year.)

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And of course farm animals. These goats were well trained to stay where the food was.

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who doesn’t love baby pigs?

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and baby goats…

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The big favorite of the day was the zip line! Here’s Thomas climbing up to the platform.

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And down he goes…

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Lets zoom in on that  and see how he really feels:

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No pumpkin patch is complete without a hayride. One different thing about this farm, normally the hayride takes you to the pumpkin patch where you go pick your pumpkin. But here the hayride is just a hayride (where you get to see some creepy stuffed animals out in the forest.) At Leeds you buy the pre-picked pumpkins separately, not what we’re used to but it’s such a cool farm otherwise we’ll let that slide.

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Thomas and his group of friends having another fun day exploring places around Ohio.

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Chanel Runway show in San Francisco

The life of a model…

Last week Beth flew from LA to San Francisco for the Chanel Runway show.

She arranged for a cab to pick her up at 6:30am to take her to the airport. Unfortunately, the cab did not show up so she had to call around until she found a new cab that could get there very quickly. After much stress, she finally made it to her gate with just 10 minutes to spare.

Once she landed Chanel had arranged for a van to drive the models to the hotel. After a little down time in the hotel it was time to head to the Chanel Boutique for her fitting.

After the fitting she walked down the street to the Lux Salon where all the models got manicures and pedicures. One very nice perk from doing the show. Beth had so many blisters from New York Fashion week that she was very happy to finally get a pedicure and get her feet and fingernails all cleaned up.

After her spa time she was chosen to be the hair model. Which means the hair people practice the look for tomorrows show on her so everyone on the team knows what they’re doing the next day. There was another model that they did the make up look on. While Beth and the other model were waiting they were drooling over all the Chanel purses and shoes that were sitting around the room. Sadly no trade from this show.

Back to the hotel and to bed for an early day again tomorrow. Beth shared her room with a Brazilian model that didn’t speak much English, so no late night chats for them. They were both to sleep very early.

The next morning the van picked up all the models at 7:30am then took them to a private home in Atherton where the show took place.

After the show the models were brought straight to the airport for  their return flight.

This is the second time Beth has done a Chanel runway show, the first time was in Istanbul. She really enjoyed the show and the little side trip was a nice distraction from all the bus taking in LA (which she does not enjoy.)

Here are a couple pics from the day that I snagged off Facebook. Thank goodness for Facebook or I would never get to see what Beth was up to!

Test Shoot with Joseph Tran

Bethy was wearing pretty much all her own clothes for this test and there are a few items she was really excited to be shot in:

This black “leather” vest has made it into several of her shoots. The shirt underneath it had to be from the 80’s found at the thrift store.

Beth LOVES this button up white shirt that has birds embroidered across the front. Also a thrift store find (one that possibly should have been left behind in the thrift store.)

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Little Denim vest is a Paris vintage piece that Beth picked up last season during fashion week.

And her favorite item, Hello Kitty Vans! She looked all over NY for a pair that fit but ultimately had to order them since the stores didn’t stock her size.

Joseph N. Tran Photography