Monday, November 24, 2014

Removing Vinyl

I thought that there was hardwood under the vinyl but I discovered that I was wrong.  I spent 2 days scraping up the incredibly ugly vinyl floor.  Fortunately for me, my neighbor brought me a floor scraper which definitely made the task easier.  It was still hard work, however. The continuous scraping caused a blister on my right palm which was not aware of until I accidentally popped it.  Surely, I should have considered wearing gloves!  

I now have no idea what I will do about the flooring but I am pleased to have the old removed.  Another task completed.

I plan to take the week from renovating to prepare for Thanksgiving.  I do not need the aggravation or inconvenience so I am putting the appliances back in place and trying to resume to "normal".

Thursday, November 20, 2014

One Task Down....

The wallpaper is now completely removed.  I detest the color yellow and now I see yellow every time I walk into the kitchen.  This is definitely great incentive for me to paint the room. 

I still need to wash the walls and remove some of the glue residue.  I am not washing down the walls until I finish sanding the trim and cabinets.  "Work smarter not harder" is my motto. Why scrub the walls twice?

I finally feel a measure of satisfaction with the completion of that nasty job.  Next task on the list is removing the horrible vinyl flooring.

This is the wall and floor behind the appliances.  Horrible!  Looking forward to this being GONE!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Scraping Wallpaper

Wallpaper removal has been tedious but I was progressing at an acceptable pace until I discovered a complication.  The wall behind my appliances was a painted wall and I realized that someone had simply painted over the wallpaper.  Once again, I resorted to online research to solve this problem.  I discovered that more elbow grease was the only answer.  First, I scraped off the paint and then resumed wallpaper removal.  It was frustrating and time consuming but certainly not impossible.

Another obstacle was the arched wall above the appliances.  It had not been painted but it was difficult to get the vinegar/water solution to penetrate because it dripped off too quickly. This problem sent me back to researching a method to ease the difficulty of this task.

I found a great product, Chomp a commercial wallpaper stripper in a spray bottle.  It was very effective and definitely mad my life easier.  Chomp is relatively inexpensive and is non-toxic.  I bout my bottle at The Home Depot.  This is not an advertisement  but I want to share products which worked well for me.

As I mentioned earler, this process is slow and tedious but I am making progress day by day.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Kitchen Remodel

I love my nearly 70 year old house.  I love the structure and the details of this house.  I love that it is larger than it appears but it is so cozy.  However, I hate the decor.  

After reading numerous DIY blogs and watching hundreds of YouTube videos, I was eager to start my kitchen remodeling.

I decided that I will begin with three changes.

  1. Remove the wallpaper and paint.
  2. Remove and update the flooring.
  3. Update the countertops.

I started removing wallpaper only to discover multiple layers of wallpaper covering the lathe and plaster walls.  I began scoring the paper and spraying a solution of fabric softener and water on the walls and letting the solution set for 10 minutes and then scraping the wallpaper off with a putty knife.  This was messy but it worked well.  The upside was that my kitchen smelled great.

My friend, Leslie, told me that vinegar and water work great, too and is much easier to clean so I switched and realized it is cheaper, too.  The vinegar solution may even work a little better because the acid breaks down the glue.  

I have not really set a time table for completion but hopefully will be able to have the kitchen painted by December 7.

Friday, October 25, 2013


I am a grandmother for the second time!  Sweet little Anessa joined her cousin, Gabriel, as the lights of my life.  She is perfect and I am ecstatic to have a granddaughter.

Our family has not welcomed a girl for nearly nineteen years and we are "little boy" strong - five of them between the ages of 5 and 13 - so her arrival has been highly anticipated.

Mollie is delighted to have a niece.  Mitchell is thrilled to have acquired the the title of Uncle.  My mother thinks that she is perfect and my sister visited the hospital 3 different times.

Gabe seems to adore her.  As they left the hospital, he told his dad, "That baby just melted my heart." and that melted this grandmother's heart.

Her parents, Tim and Meg, are now adjusting to life as parents.  I am so pleased to see my sons as fathers.  They are loving and doting and have exceeded my expectations for them as parents.  Gabriel and Anessa are lucky to be so loved.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Enjoying the View

This is a scenic landmark a few miles from my home.  My kids loved hiking here and this past summer, I realized that my grandson had never been here.  It was too hot to hike up and through the desert this summer but Saturday was the perfect day so Gabe and I made the drive.  This photo was taken just as we began our climb.

Here is Gabe on the backside of Balanced Rock.  Not really a good perspective of what the area looks like and definitely not the normal view of the landmark.

Gabe looking out at the valley and checking out how far from the car he had climbed.

Gabe took my camera and took this picture.  I hadn't realized that he had taken the photo until I uploaded the pictures.  We continued climbing through the high desert above the rock.  Gabe was convinced and disappointed that we didn't see any rattlesnakes.  Actually, this is the perfect time of year to make this hike due to the lack of rattlesnakes.

We spent a couple of hours outdoors enjoying and gorgeous October day and soaking up the sun.  Too hard to stay indoors when we know that this temperatures won't last long.  

Saturday, November 10, 2012

21st Birthday

Well, my little darling turned 21.  What a milestone!  I drove to her college town so that I could be the designated driver.  Hard to imagine that my baby is now legal to drink and a myriad of other things.  Well, it was pretty tame and I am just thankful that she was tolerant of me tagging along for her safety.

College kids today are so much smarter than my friends and I were at that age.  The take cabs, they look for designated drivers, they stay home.  I am thankful that they are not willing to risk their lives or the lives of others.