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Posts Tagged ‘home improvement’

It’s been almost a week since I’ve updated.  Things have been relatively uneventful since Monday when Gabriel received his last spinal tap, intrathecal chemo, and bla bla bla.  We are getting to a point where it is all running together in the brain.

Otherwise the week was relatively uneventful, except Wednesday Gabriel had to go in for his third blood transfusion.  Unfortunately, since it was his first here in Reno, it meant most of a day spent at the clinic for Chet and Gabriel.  They got there at 9:30 a.m.  I took them lunch and hung out for a while and then they were finally released to go home around 4:30 pm.  They say the next transfusion won’t be as long.  We can only hope.

The best part, at least for all of us this week was the SNOW!  Oh, it’s been awesome.  We got about 18″ here at the house, not to shabby.  Gabriel and Rebeka had a blast playing.

Snowshoes ROCK!

It’s been a fun week for all.

This weekend Chet and I were able to get our office remodel almost completed.  We finished up taping and spraying texture on the drywall.  Have I mentioned recently how much I would prefer to pay someone else to do that work.  Oh-well.  Then today, while Chet was running, I got the primer on and the first coat of paint on.  I did not expect the walls to suck up an entire gallon of primer.  Whew.  We had 3/4 of a gallon, and ol’ Murphy was at his best with his law, and I had to make a run to Home Depot for another gallon with only less than 1/4 of one wall left to prime.

But, it looks great.  Tomorrow, God willing, Chet will have time to lay the new hardwood floor and then we’ll have the trim left to do, but otherwise it will be nearly complete.  My job will be to get it set up like an office.  One more project nearly complete.  Pictures will be up once I remember to take some in decent light.  I have to say, the office colors are very masculine – very Chet.  That’s not a bad  thing.

Well, that’s pretty much all there is to report from here.  Things are pretty mellow.  Gabriel goes back in on Tuesday for another spinal tap and intrathecal chemo along with a few other chemo drugs.  Wednesday we’re going to head back to Oakland for the rest of the week and radiation for Gabriel.  Onward we go.

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It has come and gone, and truly, it was a pretty good weekend.  I think we got a lot accomplished.  But, looking back now, I’m not absolutely certain of that.

Saturday Chet and our friend Scott went out and did a nice 17 mile (give or take) run on Peavine, Chet’s old stomping/running grounds in Reno.  Truckee was able to accompany them, and his foot seems to be doing much better.  He’s got a bum knee I guess is the best way to put it.  But, he did great and none of the guys, Chet, Scott or Truckee were any worse for ware.  Well, I assume Scott wasn’t, but I wasn’t there today to see how he was feeling.

I felt like I got a bit accomplished yesterday.  I got the kitchen cleaned up (amazing how quickly it can all be undone) and the house picked up a bit along with sewing a comforter cover for Rebeka.  Ahh, yes, that time is upon us and we finally decided it was time to transition to the big girl bed.

Rebeka’s been able to crawl out of her crib for a while already, but it was infrequent.  She also has a very controlled manner of dropping out onto a nice carpeted floor.  But, she was generally content to just chill in the mornings.  But, this past week we were having more incidents of her climbing out coupled with one night her climbing out, leaving her bedroom, and being almost all the way down the stairs to the living room at around 2am.  So, we decided it was time to move into the big girl bed.

Our friends had given us their daughter’s old bed when she upgraded a while back, which we were extremely grateful for.  So, yesterday after Chet’s run he stopped at my parents storage unit and picked up the bed.  Today was the big transition day.

It started with totally repainting Rebeka’s bedroom a bright green color from a pale yellow color.

Ultimately, we’ll replace the trim and I need to clean the carpet, but it’s MUCH better than it was.  Got the room painted and redecorated before noon!  Not too shabby.

I am very happy with how it turned out.  So, once I finish putting a hard coat on the switch plate covers and Chet replaces the sockets and switch, all we’ll have left (besides the trim) is artwork.  But, not a bad room for our little big girl now.

And of course, what’s the first thing you do when your 2 and you get a big kid bed….JUMP of course!

After Chet and I got Rebeka’s room done, Chet headed out to restock our firewood stores near the house, since we might be getting some weather.  Gabriel worked hard with his dad helping him to stack firewood and moved a ton of kindling for us too.

Not only did he move kindling, but he moved some of the smaller logs on his sled.

He is such a hard worker.  It was just awesome that he felt like hanging out with his dad in the yard today.  All in all, it was a great day.

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I started this blog post a few months ago and never got it completed, until tonight.  There’s a Gabriel update at the bottom, but when there’s not a lot of really juicy things to report on Gabriel, I figure I might as well keep up with some of the other aspects of our life.

So, one thing Chet always wanted and I readily agreed to, was a wood fired cook stove.  The idea is so incredibly practical – the power can go out, you can loose natural gas, and you still have a source of heat and a stove to cook your meals.

After much searching, Chet found an Amish made cook stove with a glass door on the fire box.  And, we ordered it.  About three months later our custom Margin stove arrived and with the help of a couple friends a lot of grunting, it was moved into place.

So, we’ve had it and while it took a little getting used to, we have started to learn to use it and it is wonderful!

Is it not beautiful?  I think so.

Our house did not have a wood stove in the living room when we purchased it .  So, the process of preparing a space began.  Chet started by tearing out the wall that went between the living room and kitchen.  Unfortunately, I was out of town that whole weekend, so there are no photos to document his progress.

We decided that we’re aiming for a late 1800’s mining camp feel for the new house, so with that in mind, Chet conceptualized rusted metal panels for the back of the wall and we eventually decided of slate for the hearth.  I think it turned out nicely.

The process was a bit of work.  Chet cut out the wood floor where the hearth was to go (after taking out the wall).  We then installed the cement board and then did the tile work using 12×12 slate tiles.

The stove heats the house beautifully, and when we’ve got it cranking it will easily get the house up to 80 degrees.  Oooh, how I love to be able to walk around the house in a t-shirt and no socks in the middle of winter entirely warm and comfortable.

We’re still learning to cook on it and in it.  Once things settle down again that is one of my priorities – I can’t wait to bake bread in the oven.  But, until then we’ve cooked pies and various other things in it with good success.  And, well, there just isn’t anything like a pot of beans cooked on the stove top.

As for Gabriel, he has his next chemo treatment tomorrow here in Reno.  This will be his last chemo treatment in the induction phase.  This also means we are on the count down of prednisone and to his last bone marrow aspiration before moving into the consolidation phase of his treatment.  It will be interesting meeting a new team of doctors tomorrow, and it’s absolutely awesome to be able to do the treatment locally.

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Yah, I really have zero place to whine, but I’m gonna anyway.  Tis’ my space and I can do what I want here.

Can we just flipp’n get this house done already!  U-G-H!  We can see the light at the end of the tunnel, but the problem is, the light’s so bright that despite all our hard work, it seems like it’s taking FOREVER to get to the end of the tunnel.  *sigh*

Okay, I’m done whining.

House progress is moving along.  Chet just has trim to finish in the kids room.  I can literally hear the angels singing a joyful song with that.  Our room is really almost done with the paint.  We have one more coat of the upper color to do and then trim.  We decided tonight to scrap the crown molding there.  Too much work.

I got all the wall color done in the living room now.  So, all is left is to paint trim.  Why does that feel like such a daunting task at the moment.  I mean, there’s three windows, baseboard, shoe molding and three door jams…and a partridge in a pear tree!!

The hall bath has an hour of painting at the most and we have our bathroom, which really shouldn’t take so long.  But, I just feel like there         is            so               much             to              do.

The house will be ready when it’s ready.   I just want to get it on the market so we can seriously make offers on places ourselves.  I’m done with this place.  I’m ready to move on.  I’m ready for more space.  I’m ready to start this poop all over again.  PSYCH!

But, really, I’m ready for Chet to get back to running.  Me to not be stressed out about work and home improvements (have I mentioned that I’m sooooooo freaking busy at work, it’s a beautiful thing but stressful none the less).  I’m ready for the kids to have their own rooms and not have to keep Gabe up way past his bedtime because Rebeka decided she didn’t want to fall asleep easily.  I’m ready for more space.  I’m ready to move on.  And God willing, everything will work out.

Until next time…..hopefully soon we’ll be talking about FUN things, not home improvement!

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At least that is how the last three months have felt to Chet and I, and admittedly, more for Chet.  We’ve been working on finishing 10 years of remodeling projects in the last three months, and finally, we are seeing the light at the end of this very long tunnel.

I should be posting pictures of all our hard work, but we’ve been very absent with the camera throughout this process, which now seems rather tragic.  For those who have been to our home, you wouldn’t even believe what our house looks like anymore.  This beautiful 1934 bungalow is just charming.  Granted, it has always been a charming home, but it’s just finally come together – just in time for us to sell it.

Why is it that we, as people, generally have a list of home improvements we want to accomplish and then only rush to do them right before we sell a place?  I mean, it would have been really nice to enjoy all the work we’ve (well, mostly Chet) put in over these past several months.  Oh well, the house is beautiful and it is my sincere dream that who ever buys this home will fall in love with it just as we have.

I do promise pictures soon of the work we have done.  Maybe, some time in the future when I unpack the old pictures of the house we took over the last decade I can post “then” and “now’s.”  I make no promises however.

I really owe Chet enormous gratitude for all his hard work and sacrifices.  I mean, he’s spent practically every single day since the middle of November working his butt off on this house, and for the last month, it’s been at the expense of his training.  But, if all goes as planned, the house will be ready to list on the first of next month and he can hit the trail running. ;o)

As for running, it’s going to be an awesome year.  He’s only planning on doing local 100’s this year, which will be a welcome relief for our travel budget.  But, aside from saving some money not traveling all over the western U.S., it’s going to be a really fun year.  Our good friends, Jim and Leslie are coming to the States from New Zealand.  They’re going to spend several months here in the U.S. running, visiting friends and hopefully spending some time with us.

Equally exciting is the planned Griswold Family Vacation by the Olgolvies who are planning on coming out.  Taylor is signed up to run the Tahoe Rim Trail 50 Miler this year.  So, the whole family is going to make a trip and we’re just thrilled.

So, over Tahoe weekend this year, we’ll have the pleasant company of Jim and Leslie – Jim’s running the TRT 100 and Leslie’s running the 50 miler.  That makes 3 great friends coming from out of town to run the various events.

And, God willing, we’ll have our house sold and be in a new home and have more than enough room for all our visitors to spend time with us!

Here it is, nearly 1 a.m. and Chet and I are finally taking a couple moments to unwind from the day with a couple of beers.  Pictures later.  For now, it’s time to take a deep breath, enjoy another beer and get myself ready to finish painting the interior of this house tomorrow.

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