Writing Update – October

As we are on the verge of another NaNoWriMo – I look at those that are going to do it and wish them luck. I have never had the time to do it. I can look at my schedule and know there is no way I could have the time to get it all done. Currently, I am in my 4th month of working on my novel and only about a 1/3rd of the way through. With school, I am lucky if I get a few nights a week. Of course, it doesn’t help that sometimes I need to just zone out and end up falling back into the world of Sims just to get away from it all (cheaper than a vacation).

I am writing though, and that is the important thing. I have added several new chapters to my novel and have fleshed out the story so damned much its beautiful to me. I recently went to a Writers Conference and loved it, I was surrounded by all these people who had achieved the same dream I had. When I had gone, I was kind of trudging through the swamp of my novel but by the end I had become re-inspired to keep going. I even spent several sessions working on background for my story. I love taking this story and making it realistic to the reader. Going over details with my husband because he is a wonderful sounding board for me. I am also feeling more confident in my writing and the story, having had a chance to talk about it to other people outside of my small group of family and friends.

I would recommend conferences to anyone wanting to write because it is a wonderful experience. Maybe one day I can get into a writers group.

What is going on with my story? I have gone from a single person view-point to multiple… 3 females and 1 male. I do feel bad because out of all them, she is having the worst time ever in a story of some really bad times but it is really interesting to write her story. It is interesting fitting the different stories together, making sure the timeline matches up and that you have the details right. You can’t have someone seeing something happen that hasn’t happened yet or too far in the future – I have done this a few times already.

I have also found that some of my characters are unnecessary to put into the foreground and have gone to very minor roles, whereas a minor character that I thought was a throw away one and I thought I would delete now has a major role that is becoming very vocal in the story.

That right there is why I am enjoying this story, because it feels like it has a life of its own sometimes. But I have learned that giving everyone a distinct voice is WAY more difficult than it sounds but it can be fun trying to figure out their personalities.

All in all, it is still going and will finish one day. I really hope so because I have about 10 more ideas for stories I want to work on; including several non-fiction pieces and scripts. I just want to write and maybe something will happen. 😀


Yep, Editing Sucks the Big One!

I finally finished editing my first 10.5 chapters of my novel, which I had done by hand. Now I am in the process of going into the actual computer file and making the changes. It completely and utterly sucks! I have been at this for weeks and feel like I am not making any progress. I really want to get back to actually writing the book. An assistant is needed but we can’t afford one, so until my kid can start typing it looks like I am on my own for at least a few more years. Then I can start making him fix my mistakes to pay his rent.

Only have a few moments to complain then I am going to grab some ice cream, do some more work then bed time. I have my dad in town and he is helping us do a lot of stuff around the house. Tomorrow we are going to be staining the back patio and painting. This is our “rest day” so I am hoping we will have time to go see Man of Steel finally. Hubs already went when I was out-of-town, he thinks I will enjoy it because I am not as hardcore of a Fangirl as he is a Fanboy. This from the guy who listens to me complain about the fact that I think 6′ is too short for Superman and that I think Cavill looks like a Hobbit Superman.

2 more days and I get my C pap machine… yeah for breathing while you sleep!!!

ETA: Please check out my Literature Page here on the site. I will be updating with more later in that area.

Kitchen Sweat Equity

Well… we are almost done with the kitchen. Recently DH and Bf have framed out one of the arches. We have molding partially done. Still needs to be painted.

Right now its the details that we are working on. Getting the plugs put back in place. All the cabinet knobs on. Finishing the backsplash. Trims. Touch up painting. Etc.

We have some other things that are going to put the kitchen on hold. Due to a very curious child we have to renovate our family room. Not much just moving the tv and building an entertainment center that’s inserted in our wall so that wires, electrical equipment et al are out of reach.

We have some other things to do down there. Recently found out that the previous owner had fixed the basement right before the sale because their tenants had left the water on outside the house and there was damage. So we are going to do a mold test because somethings are happening to the walls that now make sense.

Will post pics soon of everything else.

Bad outlets!


We have been coming across outlets like the follow picture… one of the many reasons you DO NOT PAINT OUTLETS!!!!

Yes that is a melted outlet.

Kitchen… almost there!



I’m spending today cleaning, tearing out more contact paper and cleaning our kitchen some more. We only have a couple things left to get it done. DH is going to grout the floor tonight… it had been push to the side while we moved in. Our breakfast bar countertop will be installed in the next few hours.

Which means, hopefully, by tomorrow all the appliances will be out of the dining room! And I can do some real cooking and start making some homemade babyfood for the LO again. As well as have more space to move around because of course the disaster zone that is our dining room is where the LO struggles to get to.

But it also means I can unpack a good majority of our boxes this weekend. We will still be limited because we have to finish the upper cabinets and install them but they aren’t necessary just yet.

We also got our blinds in for th

e living room, master (which means no more acc

idental flashing of the neigh


and the kitchen. Here is hoping they fit. I ordered them online at blinds.com and they

guarentee that they fit. Just need to get them


Not much else right now. The LO is adjusting. Right now we are cosleeping at night until he gets used to his room.

Renovation Update

The renovation is going very very slow right now. DH is working on the cabinets trying to get them painted but the paint you need to use is very thin and takes forever to dry. So its going little by little. He and his friend were able to finally get the floor clean from the vinyl tiles and once the wood floors are done we can get that tiled. Right now, the floors have been sanded and the first layer of varnish is on and drying. Tomorrow Footprints Floors will be going back and putting on the final coat. I can’t wait to post the final pictures. Here are some pictures of the pre refinished floors:

Living Room Floors

Future Office Floors w/cat pee stains

As you can see with the future office picture of the floors there are a lot of stains BUT they should be gone except for a few of them that will be too deep to take off. One you can see on the bottom near the wall. That isn’t cat pee but a water stain from possible a potted plant being there. So I guess that will be “character” for the floors.

Bathroom – Upstairs

I did finish the painting in the upstairs bathroom. I think I stated before that we had 3 or 4 different colors in this tiny tiny tiny bathrom. They were shades of green with one white wall. Now I love green, it is my favorite color. We are painting our kitchen & dining area green and possibly my office and downstairs. Our living room will be the green the old owners had painted it until we have the time to paint it another color. So, I wanted to find something to match but brighten it up. The yellow I found is light but once it was done it has made the bathroom feel so much brighter and bigger. It will help make the space more liveable until we can renovate the entire space and make it more our own. I mentioned before that they had repainted the cabinet and mirror very badly, I decided that I will take the paint for the molding/base and try to fix it some. Here are some photos from the bathroom:

Shower Corner - Pre painting

Shower Corner - After Painting

Vanity Area - Pre painting

Vanity Area - After Painting

Now – it wasn’t 100% done when I took these photos but it is now. Once its fully decorated I will post a photo… now to look for a new shower curtain.

Kitchen Walls

Here is the texture that was on the walls before we had them fixed:

sand texture paint

The guys redid the walls and fixed some bad dry wall work. They also patched this giant whole:

Look thru to the back wall

That was where the old backsplash was. And then they fixed this:

Giant crack in the ceiling

But now our home looks like this after all the guys hard work last week:

new ceiling

But everything is coming together, even if it is slowly happening the main thing is that it is happening. On Monday morning the LO and I are heading to Albuquerque to get furniture and the last of my stuff from my parents house. While I am gone my awesome hubby will still be working so that when we get back we can work on getting things moved. I have recruited my dad to help me out with some things at the house, I figure he and I can finish painting the kitchen, dining area and the master bedroom. I also will need to install the bead board on the walls in the dining area and on the back of the cabinets in the bar area. You can see it in the above picture of the kitchen wall before the new drywall was installed.

Hopefully I will have one more update before I leave town.

And a few more days

A few more days have gone by on the renovation and things are happening but I while I have a bunch of photos… I really don’t have the time to upload and post right now since I am squeezing this in while the LO sleeps and I do some cleaning. And I have no idea where my camera is at the moment… I may make a post later with just photos for you to go thru.


A good friend of ours came over and babysat for us while I headed to the house to do some work and watch more work get done. Our drywall guys came as did the plumber. We now have new drywall where the old backsplash was and they repaired our ceiling crack, as well as the horrible texture walls. We have gas in our laundry room and in the kitchen thanks to Steve at Anchor Plumbing. I met with the floor renovation people from Footprints Floors to get an estimate and schedule a time to start the renovation. He did recommend waiting to paint in the areas where they will be working but I did go ahead and start the painting in the bathroom upstairs.

I went with a yellow – its a bit bright but its a VERY small bathroom and it helps make it feel bigger. The walls were originally 3 or 4 different colors – one for each wall: white, olive green, sage green and khaki green. I ripped part of the sheet rock off when I took the shower curtain rod down – luckily I had some people on hand to help me with that… I got most of it done. I need to take the light fixture down, I tried to paint around it and yeah so not gonna happen. I had to wait to the area around the wall damage to dry so that isn’t painted and I didn’t edge the top of the walls. I am hoping to get back there on Sunday to finish it. I wanted to continue but was suffering from a major migraine and just wanted to get home.


Omar had to work super late and I still had a migraine so this was a rest day


Omar’s day off so he headed over and did some work at the house. I headed to the store and spent money – woohoo! I picked up our new faucet… the Pfister Elevate:

Its pretty cool. I did a lot research on Wednesday to find the best priced one and found it Lowe’s for $198.00 – and since I used my Lowe’s card, I got an additional 5% off. Its pretty cool – it goes from 8″ to 9 1/2″ to 11″ in height. I love the taller faucets for pot filling but they always seem to overtake the view of the kitchen. Its a basic simple design that I think will match our kitchen well.

I also picked up a new light fixture for our kitchen. Right now we have a large 4 1/2′ long florescent light fixture that takes like 4 bulbs with a large wooded frame around it. It is humongous! Anyways, we decided to change it. I found a 28″ swaure florescent light fixture with a white frame around it – its bigger then I really wanted but it works for the kitchen and the design. It takes 2 lights instead of 4 at least and shorter. Wider though but because its square we think we can center it better on the ceiling and it should blend into the ceiling better.Unfortunately, after buying it I read a lot of bad reviews – not sure what to do now but alas I guess we will try it out first.

And the paint color for the walls – I had originally gone in with some samples of colours I wanted to use but neither one looked right with the countertop. Luckily since we were at Lowe’s and purchased our countertop from Lowe’s it was just a quick jaunt from the counter department to the paint department to grab some more samples. And I found a great one – it works great with the countertops, the white counters, the white beadboard and the dark wood kitchen table we already have. Its called “Brown Buzz” from the National Trust Collection thru Valspar (http://valsparpaint.com):

(image borrowed from myperfectcolor.com). Its a neutral green color.

We also had the countertop people show up and take the template for the counters – we should have them in about 2 weeks. Hopefully the Wednesday before Turkey Day but most likely afterwards. Not sure how that will affect the day – we may have to move it back a few days because we won’t even have a sink to use for cooking.

Omar spent a good portion of the day getting the vinyl tiles up. He got about half and did some other things – not really sure but things he needed.

We also go our backsplash tiles in – and looks like we will need more then we anticipated originally but have come up with a few ways to cut some of the area we need to use the tiles. We have a high area at the sink with smaller high cabinets with a lot of empty space in front of it. So, we are going to build a small shelf there to put things like the dish soap, etc and keep them out of small hands. Instead of tiling behind it we will paint it the same color as the walls. That takes out 3 sq feet of tiling expense. We will still need to spend more then I want but Omar really loves their look and we are going to go ahead with it.

Today, Friday

Omar and his friends are at the house – I am watching the LO. They go the rest of the floor up and headed out to pick up the new flooring. Omar stated that one of the benefits of taking up the old floors is there is a grid on the floors from where the tiles were placed. They are also prepping the cabinets and getting them started on being refinished. Now, our cabinets are not the best made cabinets and I hope to one day be able to trade them out for nicer ones but at least the fronts are solid wood so we are able to refinish them. The ends are going to be harder then the front since the sides are laminate. May have to come up with something interesting to cover them up.

Time to run, someone is up for their nap and mommy still hasn’t eaten lunch.




Kitchen – Part Deux

Continuation of yesterdays blog about the kitchen….

DH and BF spent the day at the house working on the floors – mainly taking the staples that were put into the hardwood floors when the carpet was installed. This entailed crawling on the floor with vice grips and pulling each individual staple out of the floor by hand and I guess there were a lot of staples. They also pulled the last of the carpet from upstairs up and found more pee stains and damage on the floors. To say the least I am meeting with a flooring company about getting it redone professionally because of the time constraints we are now in. We don’t have the time to do it ourselves… so hopefully the price is reasonable otherwise we are going to have to find somewhere because we can’t paint the walls and put new trim down until the floors are done. Now for the kitchen part – they spent a good part yesterday attempting to take up the sticky tiles from the floor and its not going well. These aren’t your inexpensive tiles they are the really heavy duty ones. I am sure they will figure it out and its probably better anyways since we have people coming tomorrow to work in the kitchen. So, if anyone has any tips – please let us know and respond below.

Now – for more fun things… our Countertops!

When we found our tiles for the floor we lucked out and found the most perfect quartz that matched perfectly to the floor tiles. We then asked for a quote – it took weeks before we got a quote back, in fact about 4 weeks. It was a bit annoying but when we did we received a shock. After weeks of dreaming about this countertop – which was a highend quartz but we found it online for about $60/sq foot. So, when the gentleman called and told me that our 46 sq/ft of countertop would cost us, installed, over $6200. I was speechless… doing the math that was $135/sq foot. Way too expensive for our budget, in fact that would of been our entire budget and twice what we were finding online. He then tried to sell me on getting a granite countertop… yeah not going to happen. And this was the first person I have ever heard tell me that granite was cheaper then quartz, I guess if you are charging $135/sq foot it is.

Anyone who has talked renovation with me knows that I can’t stand granite. I think its overrated, major upkeep and many of them are a kinda ugh. Its too busy for me, there are some that are night but everyone uses it. We saw a lot of granite out there when were looking at homes with bad cabinets. Most was installed wrong, not sealed correctly, etc… So time to find another countertop. After speaking to some more knowledgeable countertop sales people we found out that our cabinets – while sturdy and well made – would not be strong enough for a quartz countertop.  But this was the countertop we were going to get…

We looked at the recycled paper countertops, which we found one place locally and they priced it higher then granite… again out of our price range. I found it online where we could buy a giant slab and install it ourselves -which was a possibility because come on kinda cool having paper countertops. BUT when they deliver it you have to take it off the truck and the delivery men can not help you. This would work since I would most likely be at home alone when it came in and while I like to think I am pretty capable at a lot of things – lifting a several hundred pound 60″ x 12′ slab of countertop by myself… yeah not going to happen. So, we looked around and settled on an acrylic countertop from Lowe’s.  Heading in the people were helpful but we couldn’t find a sample of the color I wanted to look at but wandering around we came across a display the countertop. We put the tiles up next to it and cabinets and it was beautiful. We sat down with the woman and pricing out the LG Hi-Mac Countertop installed with an integrated acrylic sink (which we upgrade from the free one for like an additional $125 – half of the cost of the sinks we were looking at) – we came out in the end with a price that was 60% less then the quartz. And its pretty…

LG Hi-Mac Oregano Sand

Now Cabinets!

No fun stories here just the basic story of we aren’t buying new ones. The ones we got are well made and to save the money we are just going to resurface them and paint them white instead of having the honey-oak that they are now. I personally can’t stand honey-oak… it reminds me of apartments and the 80’s when it was used for everything. I have no samples to post about what they will look like. We are in discussions of possibly just buying new doors but that is going to take a trip to some local discount cabinet stores. So, there may be more on this end. Now, I made the mistake to purchase the cabinet knobs I wanted but depending on what we are going to do with the doors – they may not work because its hard to see if they will look right. I was only able to get 28 at the store the other day and about 7 short… I just have to make sure I can get more but also I may take them back and buy something else that is cheaper to help with the budget, which is getting up there.


We have the dry wall guys coming tomorrow to replace that crapastic texture on the walls and fix some bad  patch work they had done with the bar area. And after getting it priced out – they are willing to patch up the backsplash area for a decent price. Tonight we head over to take the top cabinets down and take the backsplash off in large sections. Its worth the labor to do it with the right price.As for the paint color – still no clue. I need to hit Lowe’s with some paint samples to see what will match the countertops. Most likely a very very very light green that will go into the kitchen and the dining area.

Gas Line

DH and I can’t stand electric stove tops, so tomorrow we are getting a gas line installed into the kitchen. Once again bringing someone in to do it but like many other things – time is worth the money. Unfortunately we won’t be able to afford a new stove right away but we are ready for when we do get one… which won’t be far out just want to take our time shopping.

Thats about it for today… I will post more pics as the renovation progresses… this is very exciting and fun but because of some options we have made we have had to forgo certain things such as renovating our bathroo0m. But with the bathroom we decided to wait because we want to do a full overhaul on that as well and get rid of the 3 different tiles that are in there and streamline in into something we like better. Its workable for now so we are good.

Laterz… the LO has woken from his nap and we need to go to the store to buy some supplies!

Renovation Starts… the Kitchen

Saturday afternoon we started with actual work on the house. We (hubby, LO and myself) met with a great friend of ours to start. This will also be LO’s last day on the site except to drop off some items because the big work is now starting and will be messy. For his safety and health he won’t be coming over unless mommy needs to do something when its safe. But mostly he will be at home or shopping for supplies.

But I want to give you a quick run down – here is our kitchen prior to the renovation:


Now that beautiful backsplash – yes that is floor tile and its a beeach to take down because of the extra glue used. Lets just say my finger tips hurt like crazy. But I got it down to the original plain white tiles (which match the basement bathroom shower tiles) so that we can start taking those off without too much damage to the dry wall. Of course, hubby has now decided that may not be the best plan  and that maybe we should see if we can get the drywall above the counters replaced instead of just taking off the tiles. OR just put our new back splash over top the old white tiles – which got a quick no from me on that. I want to do it right the first time and not just take short cuts. This is what the last owner did and we got that ugly ass floor tile back splash. Do it right the first time and there won’t be a reason to go back and do it again to fix it.

In the end – I have no idea. I called the drywall guys to see how much it would be to marry a new section to the older drywall. Waiting for a quote on that, so we will see. Personally, I would like to try to take some off to see what happens first but no seems to believe me that it can be done. Even though its done constantly on the DIY and Kitchen shows and there are about 1,000 hits when you do a search for “taking tile off of drywall without damage”. We ended the day with all the cabinet doors off of the cabinets, floor tiles off of the back splash, facings off of the plugs & switches, curtain rods down and hardware off walls, fridge moved to the dining area, carpet taken up off of the bedroom floors (more on that later). The only thing we didn’t do for prep is make sure we had a place to dump things… right now the old carpet and padding is sitting in the backyard. I will be heading to the store tomorrow to grab a “dumpster in a bag” before the drywall work begins on Tuesday morning.

Backsplash FUN!

Now our new back splash is a sticky tile BUT the difference is these tiles are made to be a back splash not made to be put on the floors. There is a BIG difference to me in that. We had many long conversations on what we wanted for a back splash from me saying why do we even need one – heck, I never had one before in any of the houses I lived in – to multiply choices. At first DH wanted to go with those small glass tiles that seems to be the number one choice of all home renovators lately and I wanted a metal back splash. I was completely resistant on the small glass tiles mainly for the reason that everyone seems to be doing it and in truth, they aren’t that easy to take care of. Imagine having to clean all that small grout but to each their own, gives me chills just thinking about it :D. I am big on trying to find something different and unique for your home. Something that makes it yours and yours alone… if you can.

In the end we ended up finding something different and kind of new out there. They are 3 x 6 inch metal backsplash tiles by Aspect. They come in different shades of silver and bronze appearance. For about $19.96 you get a pack of 8. At first I thought that wasn’t much but that is about 2 square feet and some of those other tiles made for a backsplash are about 12-15 bucks a square foot. They are simple to install and we don’t need to worry about grouting anything. They will also come off pretty easily if we ever want to upgrade or change the kitchen again (hopefully not for a very long time). Here is the website: http://aspectideas.com/. But for me probably one of the coolest features of the tiles are that they are made from 60% recycled material and they are 100% end-of-life recyclable. The tile we chose is the long-grain stainless steel tile:

When we install we will probably go with the subway tile look on the walls… or if we want to be fancy a vertical version of a subway tile look. I am pretty happy with our choice. I ordered them on Friday thru Lowe’s and we were able to get free shipping because we spent over $49 and got an additional 5% off because I used my Lowe’s credit card. In the end we ended up saving about $1.70 per box after taxes.

Floors… oh the floors

Once again – major decision. We knew we wanted to pull up the floors that existed. They were an orangey red fake terra cotta looking sticky tile and not really what we wanted. So what do we want to do? Do we want to install hardwood to match the rest of the house? Slate? Another type of tile? Once again, as with all our decisions it came down to time and money. We don’t have a ton of time nor a boatload of money to spend on our kitchen but we wanted to get something that would last. Interestingly we found the product we wanted to use by watching a DIY Channel show called – Renovate My House. Its a floating tile… meaning what? Meaning that they click together and leave enough spacing inbetween for grout BUT and here was the biggest selling point… you don’t need to do all the additional work. There is not additional subfloor work, no cementing to the floor. They float and use a flexible grout so that when the house settles or expands/contracts with the weather the tile itsn’t stuck in one place. It move’s with the floor.

Now, the tiles are more expensive then regular tile BUT in the end it costs the same and you get the added bonus of time on your side. To install, grout, waiting it is in a few hours not days. When you have only a few weekends to do as much as you can – time is very important.  And as with our backsplash tiles there is an environment aspect to it – there is so much less waste with the tiles… and if you want you can just install it over your existing floors. We aren’t because we want to put the tile in places there is nothing but subfloor at the moment but we won’t have a huge difference between the floor and tile flooring in the kitchen like you would with traditional tile.Oh yeah, the product is called Avaire Floors…

We went with the Avaire Floors: http://avairefloors.com and this is our tile. Its a 12 x 12 Choice called Sonoma Desert…

Okay, this post is getting pretty long… I will talk more later about everything else going on with the kitchen such as the countertops, which is a really long fun story but ends happily for us. Today, DH is over at the house finalizing some prep work on the floors and it looks like we are going to have to get the floors restored because there are so many surprise cat pee stains on them but that is a story for another day. I am at home letting the LO catch up on some Z’s and have a day off. We have been out and about almost everyday for the past week.

Here is where we are now:


Another post soon! With more pictures!

Yeah Shopping!!!

Last night I headed to the new house and found out a few things.

  1. We need a light in the front room
  2. We need some chairs there because there are no seats what so ever in the house – which makes trying to feed a baby very difficult
  3. My child STILL hates his pack n play – he doesn’t want to be in it for more then a few moments… that’s gonna suck for when he has to go with me to the house
  4. Having bottle waters on hand

But all in all – I got a couple things done. I found the paint for his room. It wasn’t the exact colour we wanted but I found a blue paint a few shades darker/brighter on the oops shelf for $5.00. I dropped off the things we have already purchased: the faucet for the bathroom vanity, painting supplies, paint, garbage bags, baby supplies, etc. And I was able to get a couple of things done while DH finished installing the new locks on the house. As well as upping the heater about 5 degrees – because of the weather.

I think the things we found still in the house were the most surprising such as piles of garbage in the basement, a items we had no desire to have. I guess I was a little frustrated because when I sold my last home I made sure everything that was not the new owners was out of the house before hand and left it clean. I mean there was not a pile of trash and dust on the folding counter in the laundry room when we were last there. The sellers were very confidant that they left us a perfect home and also “gifted” us an old lawn mower that doesn’t work very well, a snow shovel (because they have like 10 at the new house) and a kids mattress in the storage room in the basement as well as bunch of other weird stuff. But it will get cleaned – that is why I bought the supplies for cleaning and lots of garbage bags.

We are getting things worked out – we found that to take the floor tiles off of the other tile is going to take a bit more work because it looks like they used globs of gorilla glue to put them in place… which was still sticky. The floor tiles we are taking up only go the edge of the cabinets so we don’t have to worry about having to take them out to re-tile. And I have an appointment tomorrow with not just a drywall person but also a plumber to put a gas line in the kitchen. We were going to do the kitchen and laundry but have decided to forgo the laundry. A gas dryer isn’t absolutly necessary… while for us a gas stove is.

As for today – we are snowed in which is wonderful so I did some administrative items. Trash pick up is now in order, change of address done with the post office (including getting the Lowe’s coupon we need!) and some more. Tomorrow after meeting with the plumber and drywall guy, the LO and I will be heading to The Great Indoors to pick up some drawer pulls then off to Lowe’s to buy some more supplies and tools for the house.

Now time to run because the LO is awake… laterz